Suggested GenSurf settings (by Tab)

The General TAB:

· Select Quake 3 Arena under Game.

· Select From Bitmap under Waveform. Of course, you may want to play around with some of the other wave forms. But bitmaps give you the greatest degree of control.

· Orientation: as appropriate

· If you don’t want GenSurf to add any “noise” or randomization to the height of the mesh, set the Roughness to zero. The preview window gives you a good representation of what roughness does to your surface. The random seed changes the distribution of the noise. Adjust both fields accordingly.

The Extents TAB:

Extents: The extents of a map are the points on a map that define its lowermost t and leftmost corner and its uppermost and rightmost corner. They are given in terms of  X, Y coordinates.

· Under Extents, you should chose number values that are even multiples of your number of Divisions so that the grid rectangles are all the same size (this produces better texturing results). It also makes extra work for the compiler. Furthermore, use the Extents to position the terrain entity on the map (XY only). You will want to make sure that the terrain locates exactly where you want it each time you revise it. Repositioning a terrain file can be time consuming.

· Set your X and Y divisions to equal the number of rows and columns of triangles you want. You may want to strongly consider playing with the numbers so that your triangle sides end up be large powers of two (64, 128, 256 units etc.).

· Do not check Use Bezier Patches.

· Do not Decimate (keep it set to 0%). The process that applies textures to the surfaces and blends textures between vertexes works best if the size of the triangles is consistent and constant.

The Bitmap TAB:

· Filename should point to the .bmp file you are using as a height map. Reload will bring in any changes you have made to the art file without having to restart the program.

· GenSurf assigns an integer value to each of 256 shades of gray. The value is based on the position of the color in the palette. In a grayscale palette, the values typically range from 0 (black) to 255 (white). Map Color 0 corresponds (usually) to the lowest point on the height map and Map Color 255 to the highest. If you set Map Color 0 to 0 and Map Color 255 to 2048, each increase in color value adds 8 units to the height of the vertex. When you increase the difference between to the two values, the height changes are steeper. Decrease the difference and the height changes are more global. You can control the “Z” location at which the terrain draws by adding any extra height above (or below) zero to the height values for both numbers.

The Fix Points TAB:

The general recommendation for this TAB is to leave it alone. You should either modify the height map or directly manipulate vertexes inside the Q3Radiant editor.

Texture TAB:

· Set the main texture to common/terrain. The “Steep” angle is irrelevant for terrain texture mapping.

· Make sure that the Use detail brushes setting is checked.

Once you’ve tweaked all your settings, do a Save as. If you make changes to the settings, consider saving again as a new file. It’s nice to have a back up if you screw things up.

GenSurf Tips

· Setting extents to correspond exactly with the desired map location is important. You want to be able to drop revised terrain into a map without a lot of repositioning.

Back - Table of Contents - Manipulating the Terrain Mesh