How it works:
1. You draw your map in PCK colors on a 1000x1000 bmp (= AI map). 1 pixel = 1 meter. North is up, West is left, South is down and East is right.
2. You construct your heightmap 65x65 grey scale (= Height map). There are lots of ways to do this.
3. You start my Map Maker
4. Load H/Map (height map)
5. Load AI/Map (AI map) note you can use the mouse scroll wheel to change the transparency of the AI map so you can more clearly see the Height map
6. Type in a height (M_Ht0) in meters for a known fixed point on your map, or you can leave it as sea level (= 0.0 m)
7. Type in another reference height (M_Ht1) this sets the height scale.
8. You can then use the eye dropper tool on the heightmap to mark these references points on the map.
Note: Any point lower than sea level will be filled with water automatically
9. Now think about how many different layers your map will have. Usually Grass is a base layer, then forrest, then fields, then snow, the roads, etc. You decide. Try and keep the layers to a minimum if possible for performance reasons. For each layer type the name you want to use in the Masks + Textures name box and then choose the texture you want to associate with that layer. You can also enter in how that texture should be tiled and rotate so as to enhance the visual effect.
10. You can now define your tree (and brush) set. Browse for the trees you want on your map. You can set the alpha (a) which defines how "plump" the tree is, you can also define the density of that tree in # trees / 100 square meters for brush, light woods, medium woods and heavy woods areas. This allows you to customise how your tree ecology will look.
11. Select a skybox appropriate to your map. If you are doing an historical engagement there might be some data on this
12. You can set map lighting strength from total darkness (0) to mid day sun (255). You can also set the compass direction and height of the sun. Again think where the sun would be in the sky for your map.
13. Next set the diffuse and ambient lighting colors using the color picker provided.
14. The zFar plane is the clipping fog plane and defines sighting conditions. It is in meters. It equates to maximum visibility distance for your map. Use this to simulate fog or night conditions.
15. Final give your map a name and then press Build. In about 2-4 minutes depending how complex you map forest geometry is you will have a new map directory and new map ready to go!
All that is needed now is to draw on your masks which the Map Maker will have already created and named for you. You will find these in the map directory.
Example: You had a mask (layer) called Roads. Edit this "Roads.png" file in a paint editor and then draw your roads on it and save. Do the same for any other layers you have defined.
Finally go into scenedit and hand place what ever else is required for your map like houses, fences, foxholes, etc. This should not take long as the forest represents about 99.5% of all map work. And there you have it, a new map for relatively little effort, and zero extra cost
< Message edited by Stridor -- 6/8/2008 5:19:22 PM >