Eroded and Enhanced Terrain

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Freak2121
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:14 am

Eroded and Enhanced Terrain

Post by Freak2121 »

Nexus link.

Screenshots:
Spoiler!
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Hello! It has always been on my mind (since 2011 at least) that a remake/upgrade for Daggerfall would look stunning and beautiful if the primitive heightmap were replaced with a much more detailed and realistic one instead.

For years I toyed around with lots of different software, different methods, different ideas, etc trying to make a good heightmap but I never had the opportunity to test it out. That is, until recently when chtujo contacted me and told me Daggerfall Unity actually draws its height information from WOODS.WLD, rather than a simple heightmap image. I still had FiryWoods around, a tool that lets you edit WOODS.WLD, although chtujo made his own tool which I haven't had the chance to try yet. I also had World Machine installed, as well as my old files for editing the heightmaps. So everything was in place to make this happen. :)

The process is detailed in short on the Nexus page's description.

The terrain has very natural transitions between areas, is decently interesting without being cartoony, and is fairly faithful to the original. It is also tweaked for and intended to be used with Nystul's Distant Terrain mod. There are some issues, however.

Issues:
1. The terrain is very noisy/bumpy pretty much everywhere. It just doesn't look good.
2. There's a lot of missing detail. I've replaced the noise map with a high quality version of the heightmap, however, I have no idea how to make it actually reflect on the terrain as extra details. There's a pretty significant difference in quality between the heightmap (800m/px) and the noise map (160m/px) and a lot of details such as river valleys are lost.
3. There are no more lakes. I'm sorry for killing them off. :lol: Daggerfall and Daggerfall Unity use sea-level heights to form lakes, water doesn't form on any other height. If I kept it as is, there would be a bunch of massive pits all over the landscape and not only would it look ugly, it would throw the erosion and river simulations off. So I just leveled them with their surrounding terrain.


Github.

I hope this interests some of you, I'd love some feedback. If not, at least there's some pretty pictures. :D

Many thanks to chtujo.
Last edited by Freak2121 on Sat Jan 16, 2021 7:30 am, edited 4 times in total.

l3lessed
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Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:32 pm
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Re: Handcrafted + Eroded Terrain Heightmap

Post by l3lessed »

This is great. I love it. Thanks for the work. Man, would it be nice to have water at differing heights.
My Daggerfall Mods: l3lessed Nexus Page

Daggerfall Unity mods: Combat Overhaul Mod

Enjoy the free work I'm doing? Consider lending your support.

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Nystul
Posts: 1477
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:31 am

Re: Handcrafted + Eroded Terrain Heightmap

Post by Nystul »

this is good work - looking very interesting.
we get more and more alternatives for terrain samplers, and the quality increases how it seems ;)

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BadLuckBurt
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Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2017 8:30 pm

Re: Handcrafted + Eroded Terrain Heightmap

Post by BadLuckBurt »

This is pretty damn awesome, I need to dive back into the rabbit hole that is my terrain sampler.

So you have only modified the 5000x2500 heightmap but still use the default terrain sampler, right? The bumpyness is being caused by the noise settings in the sampler and can be tweaked with a custom sampler. I will experiment with my own sampler and this mod to see what happens. I have pretty insane mountains with my sampler, it'll be interesting to see what it makes of this version of WOODS.WLD
Daggerfall Unity on UESP: https://en.uesp.net/w/index.php?title=T ... fall_Unity
Daggerfall Unity on Nexus Mods: https://www.nexusmods.com/daggerfallunity
My github repositories with mostly DFU related stuff: https://github.com/BadLuckBurt

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Freak2121
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:14 am

Re: Handcrafted + Eroded Terrain Heightmap

Post by Freak2121 »

I've made a small update. These are the following changes:
Spoiler!
Fixed locations sticking out into the sea by adding flat beaches to select areas. There should be next to none of this anywhere on the map now.

Image

Fixed the inlet by Privateer's Hold actually becoming a lake.

Image

Slightly lowered mountain heights.

Image
So you have only modified the 5000x2500 heightmap but still use the default terrain sampler, right? The bumpyness is being caused by the noise settings in the sampler and can be tweaked with a custom sampler. I will experiment with my own sampler and this mod to see what happens.
That's right. I'll be very eager to know how it goes.

By the way, if any of you can make use of a river map, here it is for this heightmap.

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Freak2121
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:14 am

Re: Handcrafted + Eroded Terrain Heightmap

Post by Freak2121 »

After playing for about a week with no apparent issues at all, I've uploaded the file to Nexus and decided to call it version 1.0.

This version has a small change -- Chtujo told me that Daggerfall unity only takes a 3x3 portion of the 5x5 noise grid per map pixel into account and provided me with a tool to correctly replace the noise map with a 3000x1500 counterpart. It should be just slightly more accurate and nicer to look at now.

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