I always wanted to make maps but I just have had a hard time understand some vital aspects of good mapping. How do older good mapper manage scale issues & texturing.
I didn't make it!
I gave up mapping and started 3d modeling. I had a great teacher ( Natty you rock! ) but I just couldn't get the hang of the texturing for Editor 42. Also all the file work just bored me to no end. But back on topic, do you use Editor 42? If not, use it. It has no limitations! Its the best mapping tool you'll ever use, you just have to take the time to learn it. Yes, it takes time to learn, but once you get the hang of it.. it becomes great. Plus you'll see great results.
Editor 42 wasnt to bad, Im talking about FH2 Mapping ;P
Use bf2-tpaint for a good starting texture and make smaller maps that get progressively bigger until you reach 1024x2. Don't go any larger than that because EA never flushed out the bugs with scale 4/8 maps. Is that what you were looking for?
I use editor42 for FH2 mapping... Here's a quick tutorial:
Editor42 works with "layers" you remember those over-head projectors they used in school? Imagine Editor42 being one of those, and each "leaf" (those transparent images the teacher put on the projector to screen the image on the wall) is a layer, that has various effects.
Learn these different terms so you know what Im talking about:
Plain Color: This is a windows color, you set it just like you do in paint or PS Texture File: Ed42 can read almost all image files. I suggest you work with .bmp files in 512x512 though. Noise: this is when ed42 mixes two (or more) texture files into a sort of "blend", looking like those psychedelic fractal patterns (it is based on same algorithms..) Slope: this is when editor42 senses that the terrain is sloping, painting one texture on flat terrain, and a different on sloping. Height: this is when editor 42 senses a height on your terrain, painting one texture on high terrain and another on low... Stripe: to paint fields or areas you want to have striped
Anyway, to texture a FH2 map in Editor42, you need Editor42, download it from the download section in this forum or google it. (you want Editor42-0.41-Beta which is the latest version).
Unpack editor42, making a folder for example on your C: drive. looking like this:
Now open init.con file in notepad and fill in the paths, you don't need battlefield1942 to use editor 42!
In my example above I have this paths:
rem -- editor.path.game C:\FH2Dev editor.path.base C:\FH2Dev\Editor42-0.41-Beta editor.path.level $basePath\bf1942\levels\ editor.path.object $basePath\objects\ editor.path.texture $basePath\texture\ editor.path.standardMesh $basePath\standardmesh\ editor.path.tool $editorPath\tools\ rem --
see the location on my folder? it corresponds with my paths, you set the same to correspond on your computer.
see the bf1942 folder? in that folder make a folder called levels, in that folder you need an unpacked bf42 map, doesnt matter which one, in my case, I made a test map:
Now: you have ed42 set up... ok, you want to paint your FH2 map, to do that you need to convert your BF2 HeightmapPrimary.raw to a bf42 heightmap, I suggest BattlegroupFrontlines Heightmap utility, available on their site.
Now, you got your 1024x1024 BF2 HeightmapPrimary.raw converted to a 512kb heightmap.raw for bf42 (look at my testmap folder).
Now drop all of your 64 .dds files from Editor/Colormaps from your FH2 map into /Textures folder in your editor42 testmap.
Start Editor 42.
If done correctly you should see your map like you see it in BF2 Editor.
Here is Gazala from FH2 in Editor42: (this is a generated minimap from ed42 SEE NEXT POST)
Ok lets texture this map alittle bit in Editor42:
First.. what to paint with?
I usually do this: I pick some "clean" colors that I like, lets say we're converting Fenrings desert map to a wooded, grassy map for a totally different theatre, but keeping the same terrain.
First of all you need to create some colors for ed42 to work with, even though ed42 can actually just use plain colors..
You need to learn how to make 512x512 seamless texture files, google around or use photoshop, Im not going into that.. here is an example of a texture file I made:
Now lets add this texture file in ed42 and see what happens:
Go into Texture Mode in editor42
When pressing the TextureSelector button the window pops up, showing a distorted picture, press "proof" and it turns yellow, you have now selected a plain color of yellow, and can paint with this color:
Now let's talk about the TextureMode Selector in ed42
When you open this window, you have something called the "Shadow Root Layer" This is the "base" on which you will ad many more layers to create a "brush" in editor42...
A brush is not what you normally think of (like in Photoshop), its more a collection of functions, on which ed42 paints on your map... like many of those transparent images for the over-head machine, put on top of each other... almost like a Caleidoscope...
Set the Ambientmeter to max and the Sun meter to bottom for start (you dont want Editor42 to paint shadows or alter your texture brightness).
Then press the Default button, which takes you into the layer selection:
Only care about the first 6 in this selector... I described them in the beginning of this post.. Lets pick the texture file I posted: (Press "Texture File" in this window, it takes you back to the Shadow Root Layer window, but instead of "Default" it says now "Texture File" press EDIT - now a windows box opens: select your Texture file, then press PROOF:
Now test an paint with this texture... choose any of the brushes down at the bottom.... I usually use the ConeBrush with Gradient.
If you press the Size selector you can get some different sizes, then the hardness selector to choose hardness... If you press "R" you will go into "RoadMode" a mode made for painting from above, its a crappy mode but when you are in this mode you can scroll with the mousewheel selecting any size from 1 to 500 on your brush instead of being forced to the 5 preselected sizes..........
Now lets paint grass on Fenrings map:
Now this is nice and all, and waay better than painting in BF2 Editor.. but still we've just scratched the surface of the power in editor42.
Lets say i want to blend this grass with some rock, to make a sort of rocky/grassy slope in this screen:
I open up the Texture window again, and instead of Texture File, I choose "Noise Layer"
It looks like this:
NoiseLayer blends two textures (or two plaincolors, or one of each) into a cool fractal pattern. The threshold meter in the middle lets you control how much of each should be shown.
For demonstration, I pick the grass texture, and a pink PlainColor (I set the value to be 0.4 for the grass, 0.6 for the pink - press PROOF)
Editor42 let's you build a "hierarchy" of layers... This allows you to instead of two texture files, choose two more noist layers, so it branches out, like this:
On this image above, I have selected a noise layer, that spreads into two noiselayers, each having two texture files... One has grass + rock and the other dirt + darkgrass... The Result when pressing proof in editor42 looks like this (settings on each noiselayer is 0.4 + 0.6 and the setting for the "base" noiselayer is also 0.4 + 0.6 - play around with the threshold and see the differences!)
You can save each layer and its Sub-layers.. just type something in the bottom and press save.... you will now see the name in the selectorfield!
(WARNING!! Editor42 is highly unstable - when you want to load an old configuration always save before!)
Now allready we see that some nice textures are being made by Editor42's fractal algorithms, it blends up the textures. I paint a little on the hill on Gazala and this is what it looks like now:
Now, in this map there is a Detail.dds file loaded... You ofcourse will have up to 6 different Details to apply to these textures later on in BF2, to see what the textures look like with no detail press T in ed42 (for "Texture")
Actually i just realised if you want, you can put your main detail file you'll be using for your FH2 map into editor42, giving you a somewhat good view of how the map will look.. this doesnt matter too much at the moment, you are using Editor42 to create Colormaps for FH2, so details will be added later.
((Advanced:: If you want exact detail where your colormaps are, you need to keepo track of your layers, save the brushes, then later on when the map is finished, you can load the same brush, selectin a plain color of Red Green and Blue and paint DetailMaps in Editor42 this wont be exact if youve made very advanced colormaps but in theory it works... Havent tested this yet.))
Now you have learned how to use the NoiseLayer.
You can mix all the different brushes into one superbrush, slope with noise with height etc... the result gets more and more complex, but also more and more hard to control..l
In slope, the threshold levers control how much texture will show in slopey or flat areas In Height, the levers control at what heights certain textures (or certain layers) will show...
Example of a brush I usually start with: (SEE NEXT POST)
Basically when you have configured an advanced brush, you can let the ed42 paint entire map with this brush (there is a button for that)
It is like a super-advanced TPaint.
After that, you can make small brushes and handpaint villages, farms etc etc etc.... Also roads can be painted nice in Editor42, so you dont have to use BF2 roads all over..
When its done:
You now must use a collection of Tools I cant be bothered to make tutorials for, you must convert the editor42 .dds files into .tga then back to .dds in the correct BF2 format.. then drop them into your maps /Editor/Colormap folder and start BF2 Editor.
Now you will have a nice start on a goodlooking map, now you need to assign Details and vegetation to all this... There are tips and tricks how to do this easy, or you can do it manually... To be honest, assigning details by hand to a complex colormap created by editor42 is unrealistic, as the detail is too high, but you have to choose yourself the level of detail on your map.
Hope this was help to someone, any thing unclear, please ask. Im sure I forgot something.....
oh btw, the gazala map after painting with that brush looked like this: (remember this is unshadowed, undetailed map without vegetation....)