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 How to use Reflections in Terraining!

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PostSubject: How to use Reflections in Terraining!   Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:13 am

Reflections Introduction
This method is really tricky to master, although it's not hard to explain so I'll give it a shot. I will explain how you make the illusion of water reflections in world editor (like in my latest terrain: ) This also requires that you have started the map with shallow or deep water and then raised terrain over it so you can reach the water by just lowering the ground via the terrain palette. If you want to skip this then simpy download "Ultimate Terraining Map" which is very valuable map for any terrainer. It features tons of great models and generally makes terraining easier. Here's a link: (make sure you download version 3.0)
Download the alpha tile found at the bottom of the post, open up the ultimate terraining map and let's get started with the tutorial.

Step 1 At first open up the terrain palette; To do this click the layer label and then "Terrain"

Step 2 When you click "Terrain" the "Terrain Palette" will appear (see picture below)
Select the "lower terrain" tool and a fitting size (I usually go for the second largest circle)
Start lowering just so you barely reach the waterlevel!

Step 3 After lowering the ground it is supposed to look something like my picture below (#1 in the picture),
We continue with using the terrain palette, this time we will use the plateau tool (#2 in the picture)
The plateau tool will as it sudgests level the terrain around it to a plateau.
The level of said plateau is determined from what level the terrain has in the middle of the selection (the selection is the light green part of the picture)
Make sure the selection covers the water like in my picture (#3 in my picture)

Step 4 How much space you are supposed to cover with water depends entirely on the terrain you're making.
In this case I will make a river flowing through a valley, so I'll make my water like the picture shows

Step 5 OPTIONAL: I smooth out the edges using the "smooth tool" (red circle in the picture)
I do this simply because I think it makes the image look better
To use the smooth tool, simply click on any edge and it will be turned smooth

When you've gotten to this point you are ready to start using the alpha tiles. Let's go to the next section in the tutorial!

Alpha Tiles
Step 1 Open the "Import Manager" (#1 in the picture) The import manager is a powerful tool allowing you to import custom textures and models to the editor (as if you didn't know that)
Click the "Import File" button (#2 in the picture) and find the alpha tile in the folder you saved it to (#3 in the picture)

Step 2 Import the alpha tile, find it in the import manager and open it. (It might help to press "type" which makes the import manager sort all textures in a row)
It will have the path "war3mapImported\Outland_Abyss.blp"
Check the "Use custom path" box and replace the existing path with any path found in this post:
I'll be using TerrainArt\Ashenvale\Ashen_DirtRough.blp so by replacing war3mapImported\Outland_Abyss.blp with TerrainArt\Ashenvale\Ashen_DirtRough.blp.
the ashenvale rough dirt tile, when placed, will show the imported tile (in this case the alpha tile)
In order for the texture to load we must save our map, close it down and then open it up again

Step 3 When our map is open and active again, let's put the alpha tile to work. Go to "Advanced" and hit "Modify Tileset" (#1 in the picture)
A window will appear (#2 in the picture) where we can see which tileset we are currently using. Check the box that reads "Use custom tileset" (#3 in the picture)
The window will be expanded showing a new topic entitled "Additional Textures"
Select Ashenvale Tileset (#4 in the picture), Select the tile that is completely white (#5 in the picture) and click "Add Tile" (#6 in the picture)
Hit the "OK" button and let's move on
Just ignore #7,8 and 9 in the picture, I had a plan for them but ended up ignoring it
(the picture below are 2 different images divided by the red line)

Step 4 Now try to open the terrain palette and place the alpha tiles!
They will look like black squares (#1 in the picture), this is a problem that is quite easily fixed.
You know how some tiles overlap other tiles, like grass tiles usually overlaps dirt tiles when placed?
This is such an effect, the alpha tiles overlaps the grass tiles. This is easily fixed though
Open "Modify Tileset" as you did in step 3 and uncheck "Use custom tileset" (#2 in the picture)
Choose Ashenvale as base tileset (that's where the alpha tile is imported to and ashenvale has some of the better tiles to work with)

Step 5 As you can see, the alpha tiles now merge with the new tileset
Now you might wonder, what good are black tiles to me? Well, try this out,
Right-click with your mouse and hold it down, hold down ctrl and move the mouse to set the camera angle (I sugest a simular camera angle that I use in the picture below)
Once this is done, press "v" on your keyboard
This enables the "GVC" or the Game View Camera, which as it sudgests lets you view the map is it will appear when you start the game
The alpha tiles disappears, showing only the current skybox (think of this as a hole in the warcraft floor)

Now just fill the area where the water is showing with alpha tiles.
As we are now, we are pretty much ready to start terraining, however there is one more trick that completes this whole tutorial:
The ability to turn doodads upside down!

Upside Down Doodads
Step 1 Start by opening the doodad palette (simular as how you opened the terrain palette only now you choose "Doodads")
Choose "Enviroment" (#1 in the picture), as UTM has a very neat order of things and all trees are located under "tree:" (#2 in the picture)
Place a tree of your choice (remember the name of it) at the "shore" as in my picture (I'll go with "tree: Palm (5)" but which tree to choose is optional)

Step 2 Next, open the object editor (#1 in the picture) and go under the doodads section (#2 in the picture)
The doodad section is divided between "Standard Doodads" which means doodads that already exists in the game and,
"Custom Doodads" which stores every doodad created by the user (in this case this is all the imported doodads in UTM)
My doodad (Tree: Palm (5)) is a custom doodad so I'll open the custom doodads
Remember the trees were located under "Enviroment" and their names started with "tree:" so start looking under "t" in "Enviroment"
If you choose a tree that already exists in warcraft, yours will be under Standard Doodads>Enviroment and under "t"
Copy that doodad (select it in the editor and press ctrl+c) and paste it (ctrl+v)
If you picked a standard doodad, the replica will now be located under custom doodads with the same name as the original,
however if you picked a custom doodad it will appear right under the original with the same name

Step 3 When you paste a doodad in the object editor it automatically selects the pasted doodad, which is the one we are going to work with
Locate where it says "Art - Maximum Pitch Angle (degrees)" (#1 in the picture)
Truth is I don't know why it says degrees because it actually uses radians, however
Hold down the "Shift" arrow, then double-click it so the box you can see on the picture appears (#2 in the picture)
If you did this right (including holding down the shift-key) then release the shift-key and write "-3.15"
The shift-key allows the object editor to use negative numbers, if you hadn't held it down this wouldn't work and the value would come out as "0"
Now just rename the doodad we've been working on (#3 in the picture) so you can tell the difference from the original doodad
I just name it by its previous name and then I add replica at the end of it, but that's your choice

Step 4 Now try to place your replica in the same place as your original tree
It will appear upside down when placed, and thanks to the alpha tile it is vissible under the ground
Next check the scaling on your tree,
To do this hit 'Space Bar' in order to stop placing doodads, then doubleclick first the original tree and a box will appear (as the one in the picture)
Check its scaling (#2 in the picture) then check the coppied doodads scaling in the same manner. The scaling is supposed to be somewhat simular for a nice reflection effect
Next is rotation, check the original doodads rotation (#3 in the picture), copy that rotation and use the same rotation + 180 for your copy
In other words if the original tree has a rotation of 40, the tree replica should have a rotation of 220
The green circle in the picture shows that a specific doodad is selected

That's all there is to it people!
That sums up the tutorial on reflections, the rest of the terrain is up to you! Think about how the lighting hits the object and how the reflection is most likely to turn out,
I wish you luck in using this, hope you learned anything!
Here is a picture I wrapped up in an hour just to show you how it might look like when it's done,
This is the same picture as we worked with after a little extra terraining

Yo, brotha from anotha motha, lez' dizzle a rizzle dawg!
I don't care about no crazy gangster! Just give me my knife, shee!

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PostSubject: Re: How to use Reflections in Terraining!   Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:03 am

long tutorial But veryyy good Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: How to use Reflections in Terraining!   Fri Sep 03, 2010 10:26 pm

Tutorial, Rejected:


Use of Postimage, please convert to imageshack please.

The sins of postimage fladder, it is, destroying you You are not Prepared Muhahaha

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