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433tom

Making New Maps

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Well I decided to try and make a new map based on the clear_summer_map. I copied the folder and renamed it and it loads up fine in the editor.

And then I looked at it, and frankly have no idea how to begin. The Map Editor Manual does not really address the best way to build a map from scratch. To avoid a lot of trial and error, I'm hopimg someone might be willig to share their experiences and post a few tips on getting started.

Thanks,

Tom

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Firstly you need the texture files for the map, there are 2 maintex.tga (battle area) & farmaintex.tga (1km wide edge bit). These are both TGA files & need to be saved as 2048x2048 & 1024x1024 respectively.

You can either paint your own or use a satelite image, I prefer google earth satelite images as it's less work. I use google earth & the distance tool to measure a 4km x 4km square which I cut & paste into my graphics editor (Photoshop, PSP etc). I then smudge out any text etc & any obviously modern roads to give a more 1940s feel. I then copy a 2km x 2km square from the centre & paste as a new image. This will be the maintex.tga & needs to be resized to 2048x2048 pixels smoothed etc until you have what you want. Resize the original to 1024x1024 & save as farmaintex.tga.

Once you have these two files in place it is quite easy to then go into the map editor & add the contours, trees, objects & buildings for your new map. This bit takes the most time.

Hope this helps get you started.

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Oh forgot to mention that you should save a copy of maintex.tga as a 512x512 minimap.tga for the ingame minimap. I like to greyscale & age the image to give it more feel with the orignal game.

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Gnasher

The imported Google Earth image is only usable as a template, right?

You have to overwrite all the textures, including grass types, correct?

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Yes that's right you do have to overwrite the default textures.

I take a 4x4km shot & resize from there smudging out any urban developments that weren't there in the 1940's. I also play with blurring & colour balancing the images, seems to get a better effect if the image is not too sharp.

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hi gnasher!

This is all good information, i self i know, but i need better explain on new map to insert in tow map editor.

So can't you me explain after map are finish under photoshop, so what need are make as edition, so that map is ready to load into mapeditor?

here i speak by start a full new map, without old listed into mapeditor, a full new map whit other terrain texture etc..

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Steps for making a map:-

1) Copy one of the clear map directorys & rename to what you want to call your new map. Choose season for the map & copy appropiate directory.

2) Using a graphics editor like PSP or Photoshop create the 2 terrain image files you will need which are called farmaintex & maintex. Both of these need to be saved in the map directory over the default blank files as Truevision Targa .tga format images. To date I've had good results using google earth screenshots of the battle area I want to map.

farmaintex.tga represents an area 4km x 4km & is the 1km border to every map. Beyond this it's mirrored to infinity. This should be saved with dimensions of 1024x1024 pixels.

maintex.tga is the playable area this is the hi res battlefield & should be saved with dimensions of 2048x2048 pixels.

3) Load the map in the editor. Use the landscape brush to create the lie of the land in the form of hills gullys etc.

4) I think it's easier to do things in this order when placing the objects onto a new map:-

fartrees

buildings (In both main & farmaintex areas)

roads

walls, road stuff etc

defenses

trees

It's quite important to leave gaps between buildings (or groups of) as the game doesn't seem to like large clusters of objects, it gives pathing algorythms in game a problem.

5) Use the render brush to create the barren earth, long grass, pasture, etc , etc that you need for the map.

6) Save your project & test in the game.

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thank's, and what method use you to make isoline (relief map)to make farmaintex_hf.raw file?

draw you all isoline under photoshop, or use you a terrain software?

because, DEM map (Digital Elevation Model)don't exist for complete world area, or is don't on ou'r resolution 4x4km so many isoline level map should are make by hand drawing under photoshop.

So what method use you to create this file?

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hi slaphappy, TOW map use different file, so if mapper create hf.raw file under photoshop, is same as mapper create map elevation under terrain map editor tools.

difference between map editor elevation tools and create elevation under photoshop, under photoshop relief of terrain is 100% exact of terrain form.

So contour line done real terrain form.

see here.

808681CUSTOMTOPO.JPG

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Hi all,

I have found (through excellent emails from the Support staff) that TOW1 has the file "NearHF.raw" for heightmaps. This is greyscale and is in RGB values anywhere from 1,1,1 to 255,255,255. Note, however, that you should stay away from the extreme values, above.

The water level in any map is around 32,32,32 (dark grey) and that is where you want to paint in any areas for that lower, water level.

As for using DEM data, I have always wanted to do exactly as you describe. I have tried it, however, with no luck to date. I now use the Builder's terrain brush to perform height manipulations, as cumbersome as that is.

One thing that does help, however, is that I simply save the topographical data as you have, above, with isolines, as the "maintex.tga" file in the correct proportions and then simply use the Builder's tools to raise terrain to the proper isoline levels. In the Builder, I suspect that the indicated height is similar to the RGB values in the afore-mentioned NearHF.raw. That is, if the height says "33," I find that it is almost always at or around water level. Therefore, if the height is indicated in the Builder as 133, then it is 100 meters above the water level.

I have opened the resultant NearHF.raw in Photoshop to see how it looks after editing heights with Builder, but it appears to be not as easily graduated as your screenshot shows. There are isolines of a sort, but I am not quite sure how they are to be interpreted.

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Sorry to post here, but I rarely get an answer to map editor questions over on the TOW2board...

Using Google Earth and my paint program (paint.net) I've succeeded in creating a nice 2048 x 2048 pixels maintex map and a 1024 x 1024 pixels fartex map. I've saved both files as 32-bit tga (leaving the compression box unchecked). Is that right so far?

OK, then I opened both files in Dr. Jones IMFViewer (successfully), and saved them from the viewer as maintex.tga and fartex.tga in my new battlefront/theatre of War 2/maps/(my map name) folder. Then I opened the Battlefront map editor (keeping fingers crossed)...and the map loaded! But everything looks weird -- it's all gray, full of little lines, and when I go to 3D view it's covered with "moire" pattern of thin rainbow stripes.

Uh oh -- Any idea what went wrong here? Should I have saved the files as 24 bit TGA originally? Or checked the "compression" box? Or maybe something went wrong in Dr. Jones IMF viewer? I feel encouraged by the fact that the files and map loaded.

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By the way, the same result (grayish image, moire patterns) happens whether I save my maintex and farmaintex files within the IMFViewer or just place them directly in the maps folder as native 32 bit tga files.

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As far as I remember, this is a normal 32 bit TGA file uncompressed. Try the 24 bit though, if it doesn't work, since it's a long time i've done this, I don't really remember. But the moire patterns are the result of saving in incorrect format.

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Thanks, Gnasher, but my maintex.tga and farmaintex.tga got the gray/moire effect no matter whether I save them as 24 bit or 32 bit. It's that whole problem of not having any way to convert the files to IMF format (making them readable by TOW2).

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TOW2 (not TOW) will accept normal 24 bit TGA? Really? Then I wonder why my 24 bit TGA files are loading into the map editor OK but showing up looking so weird (the gray color and moire patterns). Maybe something else is causing the problem -- but what?? I'm so eager to get on with my map project, and so frustrated by these issues :-(

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Yippee! I've resolved the problems that were preventing me from making my own texture map files for TOW2. I simply create them in paint.net, using Google Earth imagery and some creative painting on top of them, save them as 24 bit tga files (uncompressed) and now they load into the map editor just fine. The 24 bit part was very important.

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The map directory name cannot have any spaces. This prevented the minimap from loading for me. My editing programs are Adobe Photoshop v7.0 and the NVIDIA driver for the DDS file type. To get the file size down, the 256 x 256 resolutions also works.

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While working on a new map, I discovered that the SpeedTree option did not work. When the SpeedTree editor window was opened, there were no tree option to select. After a lot of looking around, I discovered that the SpeedTree sub directory in the Builder directory was empty. Fortunately, I also have TOW3 installed, so it was just a matter of copying the files from there. It is now working again.

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I found that using the delete option in the tools->speedtrees window will permanently remove any selected tree definitions. Fortunately I had a backup.

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