General WE Tips and Tutorials
Good Fog, Weather, Sky
The World Editor is a very powerfull tool made by Blizzard. It allows you to create custom maps withen Warcraft 3 (Not WoW). You can almost edit 90-98% of the in-game. Although it dosen't give you full control of the Warcraft 3 engine. You have more features than ever. (if you ever played starcraft).
Why use the World Editor? Well without it, I hardly doubt the HiveWorkShop would be here today. But going back to the World Editor, it's a powerfull tool to edit, and create maps. You can import custom models, create triggers, create beautifull terrain, cinematics and more.... But to start the World Editor...
- Open your Start Menu.
- Go to All Programs.
- Find your Warcraft III folder, and open it.
- Then find your Warcraft III World Editor, and open it.
Wait a few seconds for the World Editor to open... Once open, you may need to check a checkbox for the license agreement if you had not opened the World Editor before.
Once you are in, it should load a blank map by default.
To start off in the World Editor. I suggest these things to make your experience with the World Editor smoother. If you find these changes at all bothersome, or for any other reason. Revert them back to their original state.
- Go to "File", and click "Preferences". Find the "General" tab, and un-check the boxe(s), "Create a new map on start-up"
- Withen the "File", "Preferences", go to the "Visual" tab. Under their, those options will be optional, such as grid color, sky preference, etc... Those you may toy with them later.
- Under the tab called "Window". Their is a sub-tab named "Brush List" uncheck this to give a much higher performance in the World Editor.
Once your done toying with the options, close the dialog box. I will now give a overview of the things that are withen the World Editor. I will only display those that I believe you will use most often, or of importance. The rest you will need to toy with, or get use to.
Please understand that the information I display may not be in correct, or in order, or might be slightly in-understandable. I will fix this later.
To get familiar with the World Editor. Lets look at the Tabs you have.
You have a "File" tab for creating, opening, saving, exporting, importing, preferences, configures, and Test Map. You can obviously save your map, open others that you wish to edit, or finish. I've never used the export, but with the import I have a bit of experience. This is where you bring external files into your map. Want a Kirby, Mario, Master Chief, Spooy Ghost into your map? This is the first step into importing models into your map. Their are other great tutorials on doing this, so please look those up for more information. Preferences are like the default things that occur upon start up. While Configures are hotkeys basically, making the World Editor a easier place to use. The last item is the Test Map, it's a new, and good feature that is easy to use. In Starcraft, or other game editors. You had to manually open the Game Engine, find the map and play from their. While here you can just click "Test Map" or press "F9" to test the map easily. Just make sure you have Warcraft 3 closed before you do this though, or it will give a error about it being still running.
The next tab is "Edit". This is used mainly when altering a model, doodad/sprite withen the game. You must select the unit/doodad to allow the "Edit" tab to function properly. From their you can move the unit, rotate, copy, paste, cut, or view it withen the "Object Editor". I normally would not use this, other than viewing a doodad or model withen the "Object Editor". Instead, I would use hotkeys. Understand right now that hotkeys are very important in managing game time, and increasing the amount of work done. A person using hotkeys may might as well get twice, thrice, or quadruple their work amount, compared to a person who does not.
Upon looking to the next tab, this one is important for Terrainers. The "View" tab allows us to look at the world editor in all angles, to allow the best terrain details we can make for our fellow Warcraft 3 players. Under their you find many options.
The Terrain allows you to view it under textured (normal), wireframe (I guess to see terrain deformations), and Hidden (Not really sure what it's for, but I guess to see the stuff on it, without the distraction of terrain).
For the next 9 items, Doodads, Units, Water, Blight, Shadows, Lighting, Weather, Sky, Fog Effects. These will hide/un-hide these certain aspects. But they will only hide if you are not in that mode, such as if you were placing doodads, you cannot hide the doodads while your placing them, and etc... These options can be used to experience what the gameplay can be felt like, or increase performance. For slow computers, I suggest you keep these options off for the most part. They can also be used to see what your making more clearly. Such as if you had a huge pile of doodads in one spot, and you wanted to edit the tileset under it. You would hide the doodads (Ctrl + D), making it easier to see what your doing.
The next item, is the Grid system. I hope you all know what a Grid system is, and what it is used for. It won't place your units in the grid style. But it will make it much easier to place your units/doodads. I preferable turn them off because I find the grid lines a bit of a nuisance. You can change the colors in the "Preferences" (Refer Above), to make the grid look more appealing.
The next thing to look at is the Camera Bounds, these are for more of cinematic people, and I'm currently unaware how to use them to their full potential, other than it gives me the maximum area the camera extends to (light blue box line).
The next 2 items are Pathing. Their is a "Pathing - Ground" and "Pathing - Naval". These 2 options display the pathing that is available for each respective catergory. Their are ones for ground units (Pathing - Ground), and water based (Pathing - Naval). These will greatly aid later in RPG, RP, Tower Defense, etc maps... They will display what sections of your map tthat are able to walked/swam on. To foreshadow a bit, their are amphibous units, flying, and several others. amphibous units can swim in water, and most cases walk on water. While flying can go basically anywhere expect under certain conditions. So going back a bit, pathing is extremely important, since people like to walk around and interact with your stuff in the game. So use this constantly if your a terrainer.
This next item called "Info Display", it's basically like where you can toggle ON/OFF type of thing. If you notice that with some doodads, they have a funny purple-pinkish, checkered box on top of them. This is what it toggles for. The checkered boxes are to help you see the doodad, mainly because of how small, transparent, or for any other reason. This will only toggle ones OFF/ON with doodads with this property ON in the object editor. It can be toggled OFF.
As I talked before about terrain, units, doodads, lighting, weather, etc... the item "Region" displays the regions you have, if your not in the mode of adding, or editing regions. This will help when your trying to place doodads around a certain region for cool effects. Overall, I don't use it to much, but it's still imporant.
Following up... the "Camera Objects" displays the camera's you have in the WE. The cameras are used for cinematics, I may get into those later...
To the next item on the list, called "Lock to Game View Settings". I just actually tried it out while working on this post, but as far as I can tell, it shows what it would look like in-game time. But you have control over the angles.
Going to the next, "Lock to Game Camera". This displays the default zoom presented to the players in-game time. It gives you a feel what they would see. Obviously placing doodads in a odd position under 100 trees may look good in the WE, but dosen't show in the game. Which would only take up more file space, and doodad maximum capicity is wasted. You can scroll up and down, but you can't press "insert" or "delete" to tilt the camera left or right. Unless im mistaken...
In "Letterbox Mode", I honestly have no clue what the hell it's for, other than it makes it vertically smaller.
The last item in the list is "Snap to Game Camera". I also just tried to understand this while making this post. But when you click this option or "Ctrl + Shift + C"... It resets the WE camera to the default camera. This would of been really nice a long while back, when I had my camera messed up in a extremely weird angle, which I had to close the WE to reset the camera. But you also ctrl + right click, and hold the screen to change the angle of the game. (Try it!) I would add a sky, and View the sky on to make it look even cooler!
The next tab layered "Layer" simple brings up the pallete(s) it displays. The pallete is a dialog with all of the original/custom units, doodads, regions, camers, terrain. This dialog is much easier to use rather than selecting units from the far left in terrain, unit, doodad mode.
The next tab is "Scenario" this is where you can change your map;description, options, size and camera bounds, loading screen, preferences. You will also notice the Player Properties, Ally Priorities Properties, Force Properties, Techtree Properties, Ability Properties, Upgrade Properties. I would only pay attention to the Player, and Force Properties. The techtree, ability, and upgrade are ussaly used one mellee, or campaign type of maps. I'm not sure how to use the Ally Priorities correctly.
Withen the Player Properties, this is where you can determine the player's name, color, race, controller, and whether its on a Fixed Start Location. You will notice the other 5 tabs of Ally Priorities, Forces, Techtree, Abilities, and Upgrades.
Click the Forces tab, and you will see how you can arrange each player's team. You can edit their inital name, color, race, team.
The next tab is Tools. This is used when you you are in Brush mode, or when you can select the units, doodads, regions, or cameras, depending on which mode your on. You can rotate, scale, change brush size. I'd use hotkeys for the most part in this.
This next tab is called "Advanced Settings" and is a important one, containing much of options used in RPGS, RPs, etc... You can change the tilset, random groups (I'm not exactly sure), item tables, gamplay constants, and gameplay interface. You also have the option(s) of replacing.
Reset Height Field: Gets rid of height changes done with the terrain palette on a map-wide range.
Adjust Cliff Levels: Raises or lowers all cliffs a certain amount, useful if you get to the max or min cliff height.
Replace Tiles: Replaces the specified tile with another type.
Replace Cliff Type: Same as Replace, but with cliffs.
Replace Doodads: Same as Replace, but with Doodads.
Replace Units: Same as Replace, but with Units.
Reset Texture Variations: Each terrain tile has a certain amount of random "looks" (Variations) it can have, same as doodads. This re-randomizes the variation of each tile on the map.
Withen the droplist, changing the tilset is a way of giving your map a unique style. Although you may feel like using every tileset their is on your map, the WE limits you to how much tilsets you can have, which is 13. So you can basically have 13 maximum tilsets, but... Some tilesets count as 2, so it varies. Normally you would have 6-9. But to say a bit more, if you have ever tried the WEU (World Editor Unlimited) you can stack up to 16 total tilesets, and other features.
Item tables are a way of making easy based item rules for creep levels. Such as you may make a item group which contains 10 possible item drops, for lv 1. Then you may have another for lvs 2, 3, 4 and any higher you may have. It's more of a quick way of giving item drops for a creep, rather than clicking each item, every time. You would normally not use this any RP, hardly in RPGs, or any other custom game maps.
Gameplay Constants are extremely important for most custom maps. Withen this dialog, you must make sure you checkbox the "Use Custom Gameplay Constants" at the top left of the dialog if you wish to altar any of the options. Their are over 150 or more of these options. But to name a few, you can change the heroes maximum level, maximum unit level, sell range, time of each day, hero gain rate, hero (hp,mana,attack speed,movement speed, and others) attributes, and much, much more. These changes affect everything withen the game that they apply to.
The Gameplay Interface is the text, icons, images, models, and sounds that are used withen the game. Such as when you cannot target a unit, it will bring up a warning message about it. Here you change it, such as if you didn't want it to say something, or you think it could be improved. It's all right here. Many RPGs may change the Icons for the commands on a unit. Such as Stop, Attack, Patrol, etc... You change these to give your map a diffrent look, or style.
If we look at the next tab called "Module", it only opens the editors withen the World Editor. You can also open this with the buttons below them, their is the Terrain, Trigger, Sound, Object, Campaign, AI, editors. Including the Object and Import manager.
The terrain editor is the default or what your doing to edit/place terrain, units, doodads, regions, cameras, etc... on the map. Your ussaly in this editor, unless you opened one of the other editors. So if you ever want to go back to the Terrain Editor, just click around where you would place units and stuff. That seems so hard to explain in a smart way, but I hope it's obvious what im talking about.
For a bit harder stuff that I strongly suggest you get help from somewhere else (sorry, I'm not great with triggers). This is the Trigger Editor. Have you ever noticed when something weird happens in the game that you can't do? It's probaly a trigger, triggers are the actions/events that happen withen a game that are triggers by conditions. I can't give much help to you about it. But Trigger's are the most important aspect of a custom map. You can say, that it makes up just about 50-75% of a map.
The sound editor is a sound editor!? Well obviously, it's where you import sounds and music. This adds a whole new dimension to your map if used correctly. Such as for spooky cinematics, you might have the sound of zombies moaning, and the curling screams of girls, or mabey a heroic battlesong? I honestly haven't used this editor, so you would have to ask somebody else, or look into a diffrent tutorial. But if faith is with me, you can figure it out yourself.
After talking a bit about the sound editor, we now enter the sacred realm of the Object Editor. The mystical, all creating, Warcraft God TOY! For all of you map makers and creating stuff (like me
). Here is your toy to play with. You can make your custom units, items, doodads, destructibles (almost like doodads, but they can be targeted), spells, buffs/effects, and upgrades! You can change basically change all of a unit's aspects. Attack, speed, size, model, and so much more. You can also create custom heroes, but a small problem. You cannot change a normal unit into a hero, you must first get a hero, change its properties, and change it's Model File. Which makes its look into a diffrent unit. The rest of this editor is basically the same, but for me to talk about it would take forever. So I greatly advise you toy with this editor for awhile.
The next two editors, Campaign, and AI are something that I've never used. So I'm tteerriibbllee sorry!!
The next two managers, Object, and Import basically record keepers. Such as in the Object manager, you can see the exact numbers of units their are in the summary, and withen some of the other tabs. You can see every unit or doodad placed withen the map, and check its properties. The import manager simple keeps track of imported things. But this is also where you import things into your map. Imported items are basically custom things you bring into your map. Their is a nice import tutorial withen the HiveWorkShop.
The next tab is called "Window". This contains the viewing of the options withen. It can open a pallet, view; Show Pallettes, Toolbar, Minimap, Previewer, Brush List. As said near the top of the list, I suggest you un-check the "Brush List" and leave the rest of them checked.
Well obviously it's a tab for helping you. But hell, it's a really crappy helper. Besides they stated that Blizzard will not directly help with the World Editor. So don't bother calling them. It also displays their License agreement, so read it, if you feel really bored.
FAQ (It's going to be updated as I go with updating this tutorial)
Before we jump into the World Editor. Here's a small FAQ for doing things.
|How do I undo changes that I don't want?
|Press "Ctrl + Z". You should know this, but It allows you to remove things that you dont want.
|How do I redo changes that I want?
|Press "Ctrl + Y". You should know this, but It allows you to bring back things you accidently removed.
|How do I change my camera angle?
|Press "Ctrl + Left Click". This allows you to change your angle on what your looking at. Usefull for placing or remove things that you can't see from the default angle.
|My view on the World Editor has gone wrong! How can I reset it?
|Press "Ctrl + Shift + C". This will reset the camera to it's default, same as when you open a new World Editor.
|How do I change the Sky range?
|Hold "Ctrl + ScrollWheel". This sets the sky range, which includes the sky and black screen you see when your turning your camera angle. This can help with seeing your whole map or for any other reason.
|I can't bring up my palette!
|Press either "T, D, U, C, or R ". This will bring up the palette, depending on the letter. T for terrain, D for doodads/destructibles, U for units, C for Cameras, and R for regions. It dosen't matter which one you bring up since they all share the same space, but to save time, press the corresponding one you wish to use. Although it might be faster to just press for T (What I Do) and change it, rather than thinking for 1-100,000 minute.
|How do you raise doodads up and down?
|Press/Hold "Ctrl + "PageUp" or "PageDown" while the doodad is selected. This will force it to go up or down (PageUp goes Up)(PageDown goes Down). Usefull for terrain showcases, or basically any map.
|I'd like to change my Camera Depth
|Hold "Shift" + "Right Clif". Instead of scrolling up and down, and getting those huge jumps. You can do it precisly with this. I don't ussaly use this option, so I'd stick with scrolling up and down.
Well to start off, lets create a simple map.
Go to "File" > "New Map".
Find the Map Size, and lets set it to 128x128.
Next, look for the Tileset, and change it to Ashenvale.
Lets also change the Intial Cliff Level to 4.
Wait a few moments for the World Editor to construct the map.
We have created a map! Isn't it so exciting? So exihaltering? So cool! *Cough* *Cough* ok, back to business.
Well after your done observing it, lets start off by clicking the "Layer" tab near the top left. Under their, click the "Terrain" tab. This will bring up a dialog that should be near the top left, you can move it around if you prefer it near a diffrent place. Should look like this.
If you put your cursor over the squares with stuff in it. It will tell you what each one is. Find the one named "Grass", its the 2nd one from the right, that is all green... Click it.
Now put your cursor over the overmap. You should see a light green box moving around as your cursor does. Left click and hold to start terraining. Make a large area filled with grass. Please don't try to recreate everything I do, just do what you feel is good. Practice makes perfect!
After creating your grassy area. Lets select now the leaves tile. Make a few patches of leaves around your grassy area. You can look at the picture for the leaves icon. (It's highlighted greenish)
So what now? We made some terrain, what about trees, doodads, stuff to make it look COOL! Well going back to your palette. You will see the scroll-down. Select it, and look for "Doodad Palette". Once you have selected it, you may now put in doodads.
But before we go into a doodad placing frenzy. Notice these key points...
- Under the top first scroll-down. You will see the text "Ashenvale". If you open it, you will see a huge list of sub-tabs. These display the tileset. But don't mess with it right now, keep it at it's default Ashenvale, since were working in a Ashenvale tileset.
- The next scroll-down, displays sub catergories of doodads. So instead of having a big folder filled with doodad junk. They are divided to make it easier to find them. The main two catergories (not displayed) are doodads and destructibles. Doodads, which im 99.999% sure cannot be targeted or destroyed. While destructibles can be. It was set default on "Trees/Destructibles" so don't change it.
- If you look at the 2 squares highlighted light green (they should be). These are extremely important for doodad placement. The first one is "Random Rotation" and the second is "Random Scale - Symmetric". These make the doodads on default have diffrent roations and scales to give a more realistic view. Do you have shrubs that all stand 1 foot tall? Or ones that could stand 1 inch, and 5 feet tall around you? This is important for any terrainer, unless your doing special things, always keep these 2 options on.
- The next 2 options are Brush Size, and Brush Shape. The brush size is very usefull for filling large areas without having to place only 1 doodad at a time, but filling in huge amounts. I would recommend only using this for trees, thats if your making a realisitic place.The brush shape is something usefull for diffrent cases. But I normally only use the circle. Say when you pick a Brush Size 3, and using a square Brush Shape, and placing trees around somewhere, you will notice if you look carefull why it dosen't look to realistic. So I suggest always using the Circle Brush Shape if your going to mass trees or doodads.
Since you have your Doodad Palette open, it should of had on default a "Ashenvale Tree" selected. If you had accidently deselected this. Click the topmost item in the list, called "Ashenvale Tree Wall".
To give your small test forest a realistic view, place some trees on the leaves tileset. This will help demonstrate the usual leaves that fall off the trees.
Our next step is put in realistic props to spruce up our little area. Oh, when I left my computer on during the night, it apparently decided to reboot, so I lost my file I was working on. So this next image's terrain/trees will look diffrent.
Look to your palette, where it says "Trees/Destructibles", select it and change it to Enviroment. The list will now change to a diffrent set of doodads.
Lets first select the shrubs. You can try placing them around whever you want. I suggest around either around the trees or near them on the grass.
Now we are going to add more to make it look more realistic. Add some shrubs, flowers, mushrooms, rocks, logs, for right now. You figure it out, how you terrain.
Continueing in terraining, if pull the scroll down where you found "Enviroment" lets go to "Props". Here you can find like birds, firepits, and other doodads. If you look in your scroll down again, go to structures, they are another set of doodads. Now I want you to use the "Trees/Destructibles", "Enviroment", "Props", "Structures", doodad sets, and make something in that little area. Here's is what I've done. (Below)
Now looking back at what we have made, I want you to expand your little test forest, because looking at the small area is not enough to fully appreciate what you have done. So get to work! Here is what I've done (Below)
To make things a bit more complicated, we are now going to add cliffs, ramps, and water. Cliffs are cliffs! We can make those high rises to block, create views, and other things that come across your minds. We will be adding ramps so we can get onto these to! We will be creating some rivers.
Look at your palette, go back to Terrain mode. As we have done before, we have used the tilesets to create beautifull ashenvale terrain, now we are going to use the next set.
We can raise the terrain cliff size by 1
at a time, or decrease it by 1
at a time. We can create shallow water (usefull for rivers or shorelines), or deep water (rivers also, and oceans). Lastly, ramps are important for your units to gain access to these high cliffs, or bodies of water, althought you can't have a ramp going from cliff size 1 to 7, but you must do it one level at a time. Same goes for going form cliff size 0 (default) to shallow water, then shallow water to deep water.
So withen your test site. Lets create a small river. This may require you to remove some trees and doodads. But that is what terrainers do. It's what I do alot, when I create something. I normally in the end have it completly redone from scratch. You have to create constant ajustments to have it fit perfectly to your standards. Some have lower standards while others have higher ones, but it dosen't matter.
So to make a river, select the "Shallow Water" icon. Once done, click and drag to start making your river. If brought to close to certain doodads, like trees (destructibles) they will turn red and be removed. You must set a option in the Object Editor to to allow them to be placed in Water or Cliffs for this to work.
Depending on what is going on, and how you like it. Your river can range to be really small or really big. For this tutorial I suggest you keep it small for now. So don't make your river no more than 1-3 blocks wider. Fill your river with some doodads if you want. If you were wondering about fish. In your doodad pallete, change the "Enviroment" to "Water". This will give a list of some water type doodads, add any more from the other lists if you wish. (See below for a example)
To give a heads up, after adding rivers, cliffs, and ramps, were going to add some bridges.
Let's start adding some cliffs. Obviously their higher ground. Their can be as many levels up to 14
, and some other restrictions to. You can't simply stack one up and up. It will turn into a pyramid type of cliff. So level 2 is max for a 3x3 space. (Below for a example)
Ok... Going back to our test map, lets find a area were comfortable with. Oh, but we need to be in the cliff making mode. So change your "Doodad" list to to "Terrain". Just like where we found the "Shallow" and "Deep" water. Their should be a a cliff looking icons. 4 to be exact, but which one to pick? Well if you think about it, we're making cliffs that go up, so pick the green arrow going up
. But which one to pick? If you look closly, one should have a slight elevation, and another with a taller and deeper engraving elevation.
To make it simple, the one on the left is to raise the terrain cliff by 1
, and the one on the right raises the terrain cliff by 2
So let's make a small cliff for us. Pick a area and build a small cliff area. You can start with raising the terrain cliff by 1
, and make it any elevation you want. But for now, lets keep it withen 3 for max cliff size. Add or remove doodads if you feel like it. (Below for a example)
Now making our cliffs, how can we get on them?! Well another important thing are ramps! They allow your ground units to reach these areas. Look at your Terrain Palette, look for the step-step icon. Should say "Ramp", once selected, you can start making ramps. Making ramps can be difficult and frustrating depending on what your trying to do. But what we are going to do should be easy.
Get your ramp tool and put it over the cliff, you cant put the greenish block directly over the cliff, but it will switch over 2 positions. From their, hold down, and move around. You should see the cliff transform... into a magical... ramp!! Your units can now get onto higher ground!
I added some doodads to skip some needless explanations.
Now that I feel like you understand the palette and some of the WE alot better. I hope you will know where to find this stuff, rather than me explaining bit-by-bit from that I've been explaining.
Going back to your palette, look for the "Apply Height: Height" section. This is another extremly important aspect for terrainers, because you can raise, lower, even terrain. You obviously dont want to have flat rock clusters on your map (tileset), but ones that have a height, like hills and mountains. So you get the picture, lets try out a bit with the "Height" option. This will allow you to raise your terrain up, depending on how long you hold it, will it go up higher. Normally you can see it go up, but sometimes if your computer is slow, or the map is to big, it will seem to lag... Also realize that using 1x1 size will be to inneficient, so use the other larger sizes if your going to apply it to large ground coverage... I personally only use the "Height" option in most cases, but if you want more detailed terrain you will have to use the "Lower" and "Smooth". The lower obviously lowers the terrain, while the smooth makes the terrain less bumpy and smoother transition. I will explain "Plateau" and "Noise" in a bit.
So let's add some terrain deformation to our little test map. Over what you have done, edit the terrain level a bit (not the cliffs). Doing this is completly up to you, so you figure out what your style is. (Below for a example... It may be a bit hard to see since I don't want to use larrrgggeee images, and their JPeg to).
I overdid the terrain raise and lower dramatically to make it more obvious to see what it does.
Now let me explain "Plateau" and "Noise". Plateau is usefull to make areas of terrain the same height, this is extremely usefull for hills/mountains. I will explain that into a advanced terrain tutorial. While Noise just looks like a 10.0 earthquake just hit the neighborhood. I find it a disgusting terrain, unless you have no fucking clue what to put their. Also smooth it out a bit to make it look nicer though.
Well that was the end of the basic tutorial. I'll go into a short advanced tutorial in a bit. I hope you will have familiarized with much of the WE.
Well I hope you know how to make some basic terrains. Now lets get into a more advanced terraining skills. To name a few, it will consist of cliffs, extre doodad placement, skys, other extra things to use. This part of the tutorial will be short since their is not much to explain other than telling the short sweet moments.
Notice: If you need help or ideas for your terrain, here are a list of links for some of our best terrainers.
Void's New and Improved Terrain Showcase - The Hive Workshop - A Warcraft III Modding Site
Belgarath's Terrain Collection - The Hive Workshop - A Warcraft III Modding Site
Infernal: My first go at any Terraining
Corexx´ Terrain Screens - The Hive Workshop - A Warcraft III Modding Site
Frostwhisper's Terrain Collection - The Hive Workshop - A Warcraft III Modding Site
Well if you bothered to check the links or have already seen their terrain, you would wonder on how the hell they make such good ones? Well the main elements are sky, fog, custom doodads/units, and terrain. The sky pertains to the sky you see in the backround, other than the black wall. The fog is obviously that cloudy stuff that appears to give your map a feeling. Obviously custom doodads or units are important because they look cool! Having these WoW type of trees or bridges. But obviously someone had to make them, so give credit to the models you use. A very good map with over 1.5k of custom doodads for you to use is on this link (The Ultimate Terraining Map 3.0 - The Hive Workshop - A Warcraft III Modding Site
). I woudn't have made this tutorial if not for that guy.
- Now lets get started, lets create a map, leave the options on default.
- To make map making a bit easier, scroll back a bit to see a bigger view.
- You will need to change the angle a bit later to check the cliffs properly (Ctrl + Right Click + Move the Mouse around).
- If you have zoomed out to much, and that black sky is getting in your way, click (Ctrl + Scroll *Back or Forward*).
- Go into the Scenario > Map Description > Options. Checkbox "Use Terrain Fog", "Custom Light Enviroment". Change the terrain fog later if you want it denser, lighter, or just wana play with it. Change the custom light enviroment for "Ashenvale for now"
- Go to the tab called "Prefs" and change the "Sky Display" to "Lordaeron Summer Sky".
- Press "Ok" to save the changes. Bring up your terrain palette once your done.
We are going to make cliffs, not those burly ones but smooth tranistion ones. These are normally usefull for cinematics and a few other maps. But for RPGs they can be a small hastle because you have to set Pathing Blockers to stop people to go on these cliffs.
Get your "Raise" terrain option. Change the brush size to "3" or "4". Now start raising an area pretty high. But compare, or eye ball it to the height of a "cliff height 2".
Now let's turn this into a amazing cliff! Get your "Plateau" option selected and put it onto your hill, place it onto the highest point and click, it will change the terrain onto that same height, do this over a large area.
Now let's get started on a small village, but first, let's get the terrain sorted out. Go to "Advanced" > "Modify Tilset". This will bring you to a palette give you the power to change your map's tileset. We do not wish to change the entire tileset, just adding a few. So checkbox the "Use Custom Tileset". You will see a some more options below.
that you can't add cliff tilesets, they are the ones with a translucent red box in their icon picture. The cliff tilesets would interfere with your default 2 tilesets, and mess it up really bad. Also realize that some terrain don't go together, well they do. But not what your thinking. They will not transition well when adjacent to eachother. You will figure it out what I'm talking about.
Now going back to your palette, change the scroll box to "Village". Find the "Crops" icon, and "Add" it to your tileset.
Well if you were thinking about adding some more tilesets, you can't. The WE limits you to 13 max. Well not exactly 13 tilesets, but if you look at that number at the bottem right of each icon. That determines how much it is. Don't ask me why the hell it's for, but it's their.
When your done, press "Ok". Now looking at your cliff, it dosen't look to realistic so lets add some of that "Rock" terrain to the edges of the cliff, to give a nice rocky hill look. Change your brush size to "Size 2" and brush shape to the circle to make it look more realistic, and less editing later.
Now that we got that, let's make a pathway so our people can get on it! Zoom in somewhere and change your angle to make it easier to work with. Lets get our "Smooth" tool and smooth out a small 2x2 or 3x3 area. This will make a smooth transition for our units to walk on, and to make it more obvious where the ramp is. Change that areas tileset to "Dirt" or something.
Now going back to our cliff, let's give it a little twist. Ever since a spiral or step-step cliff? Like where you go higher as you travel more. Well that's hard to explain, but here's a little picture of what im talking about. Make something like it.
Well obviously if we want a nice looking town, we need some grass. But then again no, so do what you want for the terrain, or don't do anything. Also, to reduce the amount of steps, add a small village and doodads.
I know that the village looks shitty, but it's just something I made in a few minutes. Well I hope your version is alot better, but let's view this under some other conditions that are important for terrainers. Lets change the view so were looking at it from a flat plane, but at a 25 degree view I suppose. Go to "View" > *Check* "Sky" and "Fog Effects". Turn off the grid to.
You may notice depending on your view depth. Everything will seem very black or clouded, you may need to zoom in, or change the fog intensity or color. Going back to... "Scenario" > "Map Description" > "Options" > "Use Terrain Fog". Their are options to change the fog. Play with it so you can get familiar with it.
In the WE, looks a lot better. But it's a sunrise! Well you get the picture and the possibilites to how well it can make your map look like. If you have ever played TKoK RPG, thats a map that uses Fogs alot. The Sky is very important to, just like Fog, it gives a nice charactaristic to your map.
Next, were going to be raising/lowering doodads. This is a force type of option, extremely usefull for any map. If your not sure how to do it, (Press/Hold "Ctrl" + "PageUp/PageDown" while the doodad is selected). This will force the doodad to move up or down.
If you wish to change it's size, you can double click it for rotation, or size. But to make it more practical or easier. Press either "Home", "End", "PageUp", "PageDown", "-", or "+" keys. To rotate, select the doodad, and Hold "Ctrl + Left Clift" and drag the cursor around, you will have to figure out which way to turn it.
realize that some doodads cannot be rotated, so you will have to double click it and do it from their.
The "Home" key will increase its "X" and "Y" scale value.
While the "End" key will decrease its "X" and "Y" scale value.
The "PageUp" key will increase its "Z" scale value.
While the "PageDown" key will decrease its "Z" scale value.
The "+" key will increase its scale value.
While the "-" key will decrease its scale value.
Now to be short and funny, select a tree and raise it so it looks like a floating tree.
OMG! Floating trees of death.
Dedication: Some guy that asked me about the WE, forgot who he was. To the HiveWorkShop in these "Dark Times".
The next tutorial(s) will just be somewhat random ones that I think as I go along.
Ever seen those smooth transition rivers that are easily accessible and look realistic? Well they are a extremely simple thing to do.
When you create a new map. Their is a option for "Inital Water Level", change the selected icon to "Shallow Water". Press "Ok". Your new map will come up all in shallow water.
Now go to your terrain palette, and do the "Raise" option. Make it go up to a decent height, around "1" cliff height. Do this to only on a small space. One you have the desired height, select your "Plateau" option. Click it on that raised point, and drag it around. Use the larger brush sizes to make it easier to make all of it the same height.
Now select the "Lower" option. Lower the surrounding shallow water to give a island feeling, and split the island in half, so theirs a small canal. This demonstration isn't the best, but I would suggest using this in larger areas.
I felt to lazy to put in some doodads, but you get the picture. I hope this was usefull.
I'm just going to give a small rundown of what tilesets I suggest you use. Some tileset(s) just don't work at all for most custom maps.
- Lordaeron Fall
- Lordaeron Summer
- Lordaeron Winter
These tilesets just in my opinion dont match up with good maps. I've seen these used alot in simple, quick maps. But not worth much in good maps. But I could be wrong.
- Ashenvale - This is a very good basic tileset for any map. Has all the simple things needed for any forest, which I hope you have atleast one in your map.
- Barrens - Obviously it's a desert type of terrain, but apparently people have a huge interest into it. I don't favor desert that much, but terrain made from this tilesets can be dazzling if made by the right person.
- Black Citedal - I have never been a fan of this tileset, but I've seen this used alot in Alien type of maps. Very good dungeon walls with outside barren tileset.
- Cityscape - Please use your imagination on what could be created with this. Very good tileset for RPG cities. But that gets boring to see these walls everywhere. I would suggest using smooth terrain cliffs for cites, unless you got a better idea.
- Dalaran - Another variation of a cityscape terrain, but more mystical. Good for a dungeon.
- Dalaran Ruins - When dalaran was destroyed, who ever said you still can't use whats left? Extremely good for dungeons, or undead/zombie contaminated place.
- Dungeon - Even though it's called Dungeon, I like it better as a Pits of Hell tileset, or Arena. I don't like the walls it creates, but the tilesets, such as Lava I love.
- Felwood - One of my favorites, a swamp terrain! Good tileset if you like to cook up some cinematics.
- Icecrown Glacier - I like the many tileset variation, but this terrain for some reason gets messed up when adjacent to other tilesets. I woudn't add other tilesets with this one.
- Northrend - This tileset reminds me of the Lordaeron sets, but like a improved set. I mainly like this tileset because the snow is whiter than most, cooperates with adjacent tilesets. But dosen't appease me in foresting.
- Outland - A very cooperating terrain. I don't ussaly use this terrain, so I would say it's a decent one to use. Like "Black Citedal" it's a good map for future stuff.
- Sunken Ruins - My favorite tileset. Something about sand, grass, cyan water just makes me wana love it. I normally use this terrain for the maps I make, and add other tilesets from their.
- Underground - In my opinion this tileset name and "Dungeon" should be swapped. I like the idea of "Dungeon" being dank, dark, and spooky. While "Underground" should be were your really close to the planet's mantle or lava points. Most of the tiles in this tileset appease me greatly.
- Village - Another basic terrain that you could use. Obviously its for villages, but it's good for RPG maps to.
- Village Fall - It's a bit like "Lordaeron Fall", I love this terrain as a RPG tileset. Good for bandits, gnolls, evil humans, golems...
Good Fog, Weather, Sky
This short tutorial is going to give you screenshots about good looking Fog, Weather, Sky. They can contain 1, 2, or all 3 of these elements. I'm just describing what would be good for maps that pop in my mind. Such as a barrens theme, sunken ruins, foggy, sunrise, and any others...
These pictures aren't that great, I probaly spent less than 3 minutes on each. They just repensent the Terrain they can be usefull for.
So let's get started. We will first start off with the Barrens
. A very usefull one for giving a nice desert look, but allowing us to actually see most of the barrens. Since it would normally be bare. We can make it more dense but I'd keep it like this. Experiment if you have a better one.
Weather - Dungeon White Fog (Light)
Sky - Fogged Sky
Fog - [Z Start - 0
] [Z End - 7000
] [Density - 0.70
] [Color - Orange
Our next one will be about the Sunken Ruins
. This screenshot depicts those nice peacefull place is what I think of. You may have other ideas.
Weather - Rays of Light
Sky - Fogged Sky
Fog - [Z Start - 0
] [Z End - 8000
] [Density - 0.50
] [Color - Yellow
Our third presentation is the Sea
. Of course we have shallow, and deep water. But why not one that we can expand to the ocean's depths. Well the best way would be to give a false, but realistic view. By creating the water, mist. With some rays for nightly penetrating of the moon. But of course, our lovely Sunken Ruins tileset, named Sand. With a few added underwater fish, rocks, and plants. It could be the next Great Coral Reef. But it's up to you make that idea come true...
Weather - Rays of Moonlight
Sky - Fogged Sky
Fog - [Z Start - 250
] [Z End - 1500
] [Density - 0.50
] [Color - Light Blue
Our next presentation, is in fact a really easy one, it's a big Blizzard
!. If any of you bothered to complete RoC's human campaign... You should of seen a cinematic with Arthas entering a foggy white, northrend, blizzard. I just have simple recreated it, only with zombies in his way, and no walk animation.
Weather - Northrend Blizzard
Sky - Fogged Sky
Fog - [Z Start - 0
] [Z End - 2000
] [Density - 0.50
] [Color - White
That will be enough initially, I'll add more later.
|What does Z Start and End deal with Fog?
|Well it's a little hard to explain. In my perspective, the fog runs on a straight imaginative line, vertical or horizontal. But on a straight imaginative line, it determines where it starts, and where it ends. So if you wanted a far out fog, and kinda thin. Use a (Z Start - 0) and (Z End - 8000+). You can look at it as this. Keep *Z Start - 0* for the most part, and *Z End - #####* is what you change. Withen the *Z End* the lower the number, the denser and closer the fog. While the higher the number is, the farther and thinner the fog. If you can make the *Z Start* number larger than the *Z End* it would flip the fog backwards, usefull for sunrises, or a alien dropship landing or whatever... If this was very hard to read, just look at my samples for a idea.
|OMG! The fog won't show!
|Well if you can't see the fog you just placed, you must turn on the "View"-->"Fog" option. Or you can just press "F" to turn it ON/OFF. If it still seems to dense, or light. You can change the options, or "Zoom In" or "Zoom Out" to change the difference a little.