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Thread: Navigateable Rivers

  1. #1

    Default Navigateable Rivers

    Navigateable Rivers

    Author: J@mes
    Last Update: n/a
    Platform and Version: M2TW/Kingdoms v1.05
    Difficulty: Medium
    Content Overview: Here our goal is to create a river which is sailable .

    Required Tools: Photoshop, Gimp any application with layers that can open .TGA's
    Optional Tools:

    Files to be changed:
    map_heights.tga
    map_ground_types.tga
    map_features.tga

    Base folder:
    map_heights.tga
    map_ground_types.tga
    map_features.tga


    Content:

    Open you favorite TGA editor and open both map_heights and map_features

    Click to view content: 


    Take note of map_heights image size since i am using the british_isles campaign to create this river the sizes are H: 273 W:343 write these down and they will be needed to increase the size of map_features.

    Click to view content: 


    now select map_features and open the image size box and write down the value in the H\W boxes this will also be needed for later, now enter the parameter H: 273 W:343 (the value from map_heights)

    Click to view content: 


    click OK, The map_feature TGA will now be the Size of map_height if this is not the case check the Height and Width again.

    Click to view content: 


    now select the move tool from the toolbar.
    Click to view content: 


    click and drag the map_features.tga onto the map_heights.tga.

    Click to view content: 


    now align the map_feature with the map_height you may have to zoom out
    with the CTRL+ - key

    Click to view content: 


    once aligned select the map_feature layer (the dragged one) and drop the opacity to around 50% this works best for me but you can drop it to what you feel comfortable with.

    Click to view content: 


    now with the map_height layer selected open the color box and enter the value 0,0,253 RGB.


    Click to view content: 



    Now on the map_heights layer trace over the river that is visitable from the map_features layer, when tracing the color may change but this is ok.

    Click to view content: 


    Once you finished tracing your river right click on the mpa_features layer and select delete.

    Click to view content: 


    You can now see you river in the map_heights.tga (looking good )

    Click to view content: 


    now close the map_features file without saving but save and close the map_heights.tga



    Click to view content: 


    delete map.rwm file inside the base folder and restart the campaign.

    Click to view content: 


    And before anyone mentions it i will show you how to remove the shore lines.
    Last edited by J@mes; October 10, 2008 at 05:43 PM.


  2. #2

    Default Re: Tutorial: Navigateable Rivers

    great man thanks how do you get it to not look so squared thats the entire reason i dont want it in my mod cause its too suare

  3. #3

    Default Re: Tutorial: Navigateable Rivers

    Quote Originally Posted by Nakharar View Post
    great man thanks how do you get it to not look so squared thats the entire reason i dont want it in my mod cause its too suare
    you cannot the river as to be painted in square.


  4. #4
    Nevada's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: Tutorial: Navigateable Rivers

    I thought the river width in the map_heights had to be exactly one pixel, but now, as it seems, this isn't required so making them for my Map will be a lot easier.

    Thanks.



  5. #5

    Default Re: Tutorial: Navigateable Rivers

    Quote Originally Posted by Nevada View Post
    I thought the river width in the map_heights had to be exactly one pixel, but now, as it seems, this isn't required so making them for my Map will be a lot easier.

    Thanks.
    no but it does help its what works best for your map.


  6. #6

    Default Re: Tutorial: Navigateable Rivers

    thanks to harry for editing this and making it much clearer
    Last edited by J@mes; October 10, 2008 at 05:47 PM.


  7. #7

    Default Re: Tutorial: Navigateable Rivers

    Don't know how I missed this! Great tut J@mes +rep!

  8. #8
    Hengest's Avatar It's a joke
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    Default Re: Tutorial: Navigateable Rivers

    They don't HAVE to look square, if you are clever you can open up certain parts so that they avoid the block look, as long as the square is inside the river area...

  9. #9

    Default Re: Tutorial: Navigateable Rivers

    Quote Originally Posted by Hross View Post
    They don't HAVE to look square, if you are clever you can open up certain parts so that they avoid the block look, as long as the square is inside the river area...
    When i say square i Mean in a sense of direction NOT shape if you actually have looked at my picture you will see that.

    @Eothese

    thanks for the positive comment.
    Last edited by J@mes; October 11, 2008 at 07:47 AM.


  10. #10
    Violator's Avatar Centenarius
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    Default Re: Tutorial: Navigateable Rivers

    Hello JAMES i have Photoshop v.08!!What do you mean trace the river??What kind of tool do you use??Thank you very much in advance mate!!!

  11. #11

    Default Re: Navigateable Rivers

    To trace the river, you have to have the map_features underneath the map_heights and drop the opacity of map_heights, so that you can see the layer below. Then you simply draw, in pencil, over the rivers in 0,0,253. As in the pic, you can see the slight difference in colour in side the red box upto where the mouse ponter is.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Navigateable Rivers

    Quote Originally Posted by Eothese View Post
    To trace the river, you have to have the map_features underneath the map_heights and drop the opacity of map_heights, so that you can see the layer below. Then you simply draw, in pencil, over the rivers in 0,0,253. As in the pic, you can see the slight difference in colour in side the red box upto where the mouse ponter is.
    Thanks a lot Eothese!! I will try it out A.S.A.P.

  13. #13
    EarendilElenthol's Avatar Artifex
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    Default Re: Navigateable Rivers

    Some things you might want to know:

    1) One pixel and a deeper shade of blue will give better rivers most of the time.
    2) Your stratmap guys can cross one pixel but not two pixels of water.
    3) with one pixel water, roads will just go over the waterway, without bridge or anything like it, just as if its normal land
    4) you can use rivers in map_features to make bridges, even if it's water instead of land in map_heights, but you need a pixel of land to let units cross, and then boats cannot sail along anymore. I havent found a way yet to have both useful bridges and navigateable rivers
    5) so you'll have to sacrifice eyecandy for usefullness or choose what you like most.

  14. #14
    Violator's Avatar Centenarius
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    Default Re: Navigateable Rivers

    Quote Originally Posted by EarendilElenthol View Post
    Some things you might want to know:

    1) One pixel and a deeper shade of blue will give better rivers most of the time.
    2) Your stratmap guys can cross one pixel but not two pixels of water.
    3) with one pixel water, roads will just go over the waterway, without bridge or anything like it, just as if its normal land
    4) you can use rivers in map_features to make bridges, even if it's water instead of land in map_heights, but you need a pixel of land to let units cross, and then boats cannot sail along anymore. I havent found a way yet to have both useful bridges and navigateable rivers
    5) so you'll have to sacrifice eyecandy for usefullness or choose what you like most.
    Thanks a lot mate!!!

  15. #15

    Default Re: Navigateable Rivers

    Good tutorial, I have experimented myself with various widths of the nav rivers, but never found a good solution worth including to the map. The problem with these is not only the look or bridges, but the core of it - navigability. I see these issues:

    1) If you have only small width as shown in this tutorial, only ONE ship at any time can sail it. Ships cannot pass each other and AI cannot make use of them at all. Since this concept is intended for mainly longer rivers (Danube etc.) it makes them useless in long term and could be considered as a bug. If you make it one pixel wider, then it allows friendly ships to pass in straight places (not bends or curves), but it also means you won't get rid off the sandy shore everywhere. Even wider nav rivers solve this entirely, but are out of place with the river underneath them and thus it looks ugly...

    2) Trade. Since we use sea as navigable river, passage can be done via land bridge. This unfortunately does not allow trade routes nor roads, which is imho very problematic. Solutions are numerous but again none is ideal. River ports could be used without problems, but for coastal regions it means choosing between river port or sea port as a region cannot have both. The other solution might be narrowing the nav river at places of pass. As stated above, this can be done via leaving only one pixel gap, which looks terrible, but allow armies to pass (I am not sure about roads though!). The other one is actually use the river underneath and put there a bridge. Again though, this is contrary to the whole nav river concept as it renders the place impassable for ships...

    3) AI and player. At first it looks like great feature and if one would solve all above, it would still not be measured in actual gameplay. I am pretty sure that altough AI could occassionaly make use of it, it would be mainly player who would basically exploit it to his advantage. In normal campaign map this might not be a problem, but for instance in our mod - Dominion of the Sword - with the PSFs concept this would make whole point of slowing down expansion pointless.

    4) The looks of it. Yeah, good ol' look. Frankly I have not seen nice navigable river. I have seen only acceptable ones. Flaws can be often hidden through ground types around the river, but it will never be perfect. Truth is, as is with many other things like smoothing coast, that this is just work around in the engine. This feature is not supported and is created artificially using often bug-like behaviour of the map. Therefore it will never look good.


    Every mapper must ask himself the question, wheter he is willing to make use of navigable rivers despite all problems and will have to choose never perfect solution and will have to cope with the flaws it brings along. It still is viable option and I encourage everyone to give it a try. Just wanted to share some thoughts and comments so you can see a bigger picture of it.

    Mod Leader, Mapper & Bohemian Researcher

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Navigateable Rivers

    While working for DotS on the map I tried to get some kind of acceptable navigable river, but it just doesn't look right.
    Apart from that I still think it is an exploit as the AI will not use the rivers.
    Another thing (as you mentioned) is the problem with crossings: land bridges work for units, but not for trade (at least not visible - I believe trade is happening in the summary screen).
    And unless the river is at least 4 pixels wide you will end up with either a major traffic jam or a slugfest between ships.




  17. #17
    JorisofHolland's Avatar Primicerius
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    Default Re: Navigateable Rivers

    Not to mention it, but when will you show us how to remove the shore lines?
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  18. #18

    Default Re: Navigateable Rivers

    Quote Originally Posted by JorisofHolland View Post
    Not to mention it, but when will you show us how to remove the shore lines?
    It is done by making the river atop (or underneath) the navigable river. You cannot however remove the shoreline on both banks with nav river three or more pixels wide. That is one of the main and unsolveable problems of nav rivers...

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  19. #19

    Default Re: Navigateable Rivers

    is it necessary to edit map_regions when you add navigable rivers? I know the map will work if you dont, but are there any consequences that you know of?


  20. #20

    Default Re: Navigateable Rivers

    Quote Originally Posted by Resurrection View Post
    It is done by making the river atop (or underneath) the navigable river. You cannot however remove the shoreline on both banks with nav river three or more pixels wide. That is one of the main and unsolveable problems of nav rivers...
    Can you not place the the rivers running parrallel to one another 1 pixel apart?

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