Using bdh's guide for harvesting height data and generating tga's (and a long, long time piecing these files together by hand), I've created an excellent base map image to pull from when creating your own custom campaign maps. This image is not for the faint of heart as it is 10800x4500 and about 7MB. But if you have the will, and the RAM, let's get started.
What you'll need:
- Photoshop (or Paint, although this guide is written for PS use)
- Very small rocks
- Nasty, big, pointy teeth!
First, you'll need to grab the image:
Once you have it, extract the gif inside and open it up in Photoshop.
Pretty impressive, huh? The map image will need to be cleaned a bit for your custom use, but we'll get to that later. Now you need to choose the area you wish to use in your map. Select the marquee tool (in PS, press M). Now drag the highlight around the area you wish to use.
Next do Edit > Copy, File > New, Edit > Paste (or Ctrl+C, Ctrl+N, Ctrl+V for fellow Photoshoppers).
Now you're looking at your map. But it's likely far too large for the game, unless your selection was equal to or less than 1021x1021. So if it's not, we'll need to shrink it down to a usable size.
Go to Image > Image Size (or Alt+Ctrl+I), set your 'Resample Image:' setting to "Nearest Neighbor" and make sure 'Constrain Proportions' is checked. Now make your width no greater than 1021 (as this is the maximum width allowed by the M2 engine). Your height will automatically adjust for you. Press Enter or hit OK.
Refer to this image if you're lost on that last part:
Now your map is at a usable size. Next you need to clean up any inaccessible areas and such. So set your color to the RGB value 1, 1, 1 and clean up any coastline issues. Single pixel water issues should be cleaned with the RGB 0, 0, 255.
Once you are finished doing this, open up map_heights.tga in your ..\modname\data\world\maps\base\ folder. Resize it with Image > Canvas Size (Alt+Ctrl+C) to the same size as your new map image. Then copy and paste your new image on top of the old one, merge them (Ctrl+E) and save (Ctrl+S).
Congratulations. You're now armed with a base height map to use when making custom campaign maps!
Hopefully this is helpful for all the mappers out there. The gif took me a long, long time to generate individual images and piece them together, one at a time (took 119 tga's to do so). Soon, I will finish this tutorial involving all the steps required to create a fully working, minimal campaign map.
Added the download as attachment to avoid possible loss of the data