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From L3DT to Skyrim: Heightmap Tutorial


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#1
iakamil

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This is a full tutorial on getting a height map into the Creation Kit using L3DT and TESAnnwyn. L3DT can be found here. The standard version is free but is limited to heightmaps that are 2048x2048 pixels (about 2/3 the size of vanilla Skyrim). Buying the pro version is a good investment. TESAnnwyn can be found here. It is a command line program that creates an esp world space from a 16 bit RAW file and is highly powerful, but hard to learn at first.

1. Download and install said products.

2. Open L3DT and navigate to File>New Project.

3. A dialogue should open up. Select blank designable map from the options and click next.

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4. In the next window, select the size of your heightmap. In the box for "Horozontal Scale(m)" type in this exact value: 1.8288221359252928

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5. Press next and in the list for HF/DM ratio, select 16. This sets how many editable squares are in your design map. You can assign values to each square easily. The lower the value you select, the more detail you can put into your map. Don't fret though, you can easily change the HF/DM ratio by going to Operations>Design Map>Resize design parameters.

6. Press okay and you should now have a completely green view in the program.

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7. Go to Tools>Edit active map layer. A small window should pop up.

8. Check the box for altitude and set the value to -10. At the bottom of the window, select the button for "Apply to all" and click yes to the warning window that shows up. -10 is the value we are using for the ocean floor.

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9. Now set the altitude value to 5. This is the low beach area of our map. Create the initial shape of your height map with this level.

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10. Change the level to something higher and start editing the higher areas of your map. Keep doing this until you have your height map ready the way you want it to be. You can also set the brush size to varying sizes to edit a smaller area in your strokes. There are many other options in L3DT, but this is not a tutorial on L3DT, so you can find out what those options do in a different tutorial.

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11. Once you have the shapes and heights you want, navigate to File>Format Preferences. A window should pop up.

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12. In the window, click the small plus sign next to "Project Maps". Click the plus sign next to "Heightfield".

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13. In the list that shows up, click on the selection for "RAW". On the right of the window, click the "Options" button. A window should pop up.

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14. Double click the text of "Manual scale". In the box that shows up, type in the number "0.1143013834953308" and press ok. Double click "Mode" and change it to 16-bit unsigned.

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15. Press ok in the other two windows until the only L3DT window open is the main one.


16. Navigate to Operations>Heightfield>Generate Map. If it asks to over-write existing heightfield, press yes. Wait for it to generate. You should now have something that looks like this. Of course, the shape is different based on your heightmap.

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17. In the toolbar, press the little "3-D" button all the way to the right.

18. A Sapphire window should open up, showing a rough preview of what your world looks like.

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19. Navigate to somewhere where you know your player probably won't explore, such as a part of the ocean. You move around in the Sapphire editor by holding down left click and moving the mouse to rotate and using the W-A-S-D keys to pan and the mouse wheel to zoom.

20. Go to Edit>Heightfield tools ( or press the "h" key). A window should pop up.

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21. Select the option for "Set to" and in the window that pops up, type in "-200" and press ok.

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22. Scroll the mouse wheel down so that the wireframe sphere is as small as it gets. Click once with the left mouse button. A small hole should open up in your world. NOTE: We do this because the grayscale height calculation in L3DT is different from that of the CK. L3DT uses black for the lowest height on the CURRENT map, and white for the highest point on the CURRENT map, whereas the CK uses black for the lowest point POSSIBLE and white for the highest point POSSIBLE.

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23. Close the Sapphire window and press F-5 on your keyboard to refresh the heightfield. Your heightfield should look something like this.

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24. Go to Operation>Heightfield>Clip Heightfield. A window should pop up.

25. In the first options box, make sure "Clip below" is the one selected. In BOTH of the other two boxes put in the value "-117.0446166992187" and press ok. The heightfield might regenerate.

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26. Now your heightmap looks like this. It is time to export from L3DT.

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27. Navigate to File>Export>Export map layer and select heightfield from the options box and click ok. A window should open up.

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28. Select RAW in the file format and point the save directory to the directory where you installed TESAnnwyn. Press options and make sure the manual scale says this number "0.114301". For the file name, put anything. Press ok.

29. Close L3DT and navigate to your TESAnnwyn directory.

30. Open Notepad and paste the following into it "tesannwyn -i Skyrim -w WorldspaceName -p 1 -b 16 -d 1024x1024 -h -8192 -x -16 -y -16 HeightmapName.raw" (without the quotes of course). In the place where it says "WorldspaceName" put in the name of the worldspace you are creating. Where it says "HeightmapName" put in the name of the RAW file you exported form L3DT. Where it says 1024x1024, change that to the size that your heightmap is. (The heightmap I created was 1024x1024 so I used that). In the area where it says "-x -16 -y -16" you need to take the size of your heightmap and divide it by negative 64 and put those values after the "-x" and the "-y". Since my heigtmap was 1024x1024, my values are 1024/-64= -16

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31. Save the file as a .bat file (with anything for the name). Make sure you save the file in your TESAnnwyn directory.

32. Double click on the .bat file. A console window should pop up. Let it do its work. A new file will be created called tesannwyn.esp. This is your new worldspace file. (You can rename it whatever you want.)

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33. Move the tesannwyn.esp file to your skyrim/data directory and load it up in the CK (making sure to load Skyrim.esm and Update.esm as parent masters). And there you go, your new worldspace! NOTE: If the water level is a little off, you can play with the "-h" setting. The values that usually work for me are -1400, -16048, and -18096.

THIS TUTORIAL CAN BE CONFUSING. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS JUST ASK IN THE COMMENTS AND I WILL DO MY BEST TO ANSWER THEM. I PUT THE IMAGES AS LINKS BECAUSE THE FORUMS HAVE A LIMIT TO THE NUMBER OF IMAGES YOU CAN SHOW.

Credits to Lightwave for the amazing TESAnnwyn tool.

Edited by iakamil, 21 January 2013 - 06:58 PM.


#2
rickerhk

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This worked great!
There were only a couple things I had to do different.
On step 3, I had to choose 'blank designable map, not blank heightmap, in order to get the 'next' button in step 5 to select 16 for the HF/DM.
On step 14, right above where you enter 0.1143013834953308, I had to set the mode to '16-bit unsigned (manual scale) or it wouldn't scale, I guess. The esp would be all distorted.
So I was able to make a small worldspace with this, and just adjusted the water hieght in the CK to get an island.

Thanks for posting this - Kudos!

#3
tonywallas

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Thanks for your great tutorial iakamil !
But can you explain how to create the .lod file with this new world please?

#4
iakamil

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This worked great!
There were only a couple things I had to do different.
On step 3, I had to choose 'blank designable map, not blank heightmap, in order to get the 'next' button in step 5 to select 16 for the HF/DM.
On step 14, right above where you enter 0.1143013834953308, I had to set the mode to '16-bit unsigned (manual scale) or it wouldn't scale, I guess. The esp would be all distorted.
So I was able to make a small worldspace with this, and just adjusted the water hieght in the CK to get an island.

Thanks for posting this - Kudos!


Thanks. I added the step 14 part, that was an error on my part.

#5
rickerhk

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Thanks for your great tutorial iakamil !
But can you explain how to create the .lod file with this new world please?


Here's a good tutorial: http://www.youtube.c...e=youtu.be&hd=1

Edited by rickerhk, 19 October 2012 - 01:16 AM.


#6
iakamil

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This worked great!
There were only a couple things I had to do different.
On step 3, I had to choose 'blank designable map, not blank heightmap, in order to get the 'next' button in step 5 to select 16 for the HF/DM.
On step 14, right above where you enter 0.1143013834953308, I had to set the mode to '16-bit unsigned (manual scale) or it wouldn't scale, I guess. The esp would be all distorted.
So I was able to make a small worldspace with this, and just adjusted the water hieght in the CK to get an island.

Thanks for posting this - Kudos!


Thanks. I added the step 14 part, that was an error on my part.


yeah thats what i used when first learning how to create worldspaces, its a great tutorial

#7
ALittleBird

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How do I install TESannwyn? I downloaded it, clicked on the .exe, a little command screen popped up for a millisecond, nothing happened. Please, tell me how. I feel like a dumbass right now.

#8
rickerhk

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How do I install TESannwyn? I downloaded it, clicked on the .exe, a little command screen popped up for a millisecond, nothing happened. Please, tell me how. I feel like a dumbass right now.


You don't install it. You just extract it to a folder. I used c:\TESannwyn\
It's ready to go. create the .bat file in the same folder for steps 30-32.

#9
Tomfrufru

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Thanks for the tut! But I have a big problem: All what my world is is random jolts of land into the sky? I used a 512x512 and divided right to get -8 for the values in TESAnnywn. Help please?

#10
FiftyTifty

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@Tom The heightmap's contrast is to great. Reduce the brightness of the heightmap.




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