Terraining Tut. - Forests

Level 6
Feb 7, 2005
This tutorial will show u how to create nice forests, manipulating dodds and height/tile variation.
I suggest u 2 starting things:
-Use WEU, only because it lets u to make the great 85° cliffs :)
-Basic knowledge of the object editor.


Ok, lets start with a new map, in Ashenvale tileset. Just because Ashenvale is "the terrain" if u wanna make forest, the tiles are so good...

I will explain a few things u should know to go ahead with this tut:
-Rocks arent flat, so if u use the Rock tile, raise the terrain.
And talking about rocks, here comes another big "dilema", blizz cliffs or raised "rocky" terrain?. Its ur choice. Blizz cliffs could look great in maps where u are using no imported models, but really awful if u use them with, lets say, the models i used for this tut.

-Flatness sucks really bad: NEVER leave a single spot in ur terrain flat. Flatness described the smoothness and absence of curvature or surface detail of a two-dimensional work of art (taken from Wikipedia). So always select the raise tool, with a big brush, and start making small hills, that for a basic non-flat shape. Then we are gonna focus on details, such as valleys, roads, mountains, etc.

-I love Grassy Dirt (Ashenvale) I use it in almost every forest map i make, reason: Gives a smoth transition between grass and dirt.
Now i think this is very important, it makes a terrain realistic, and thats what we are looking for.

-When making a forest, Its always a good idea to use 2 or 3 different grass tiles, i will use:

Thick grass (village)
Grass (Ashenvale)
Lumpy Grass (Ashenvale)

Look at these images, they can work like examples:




Height Details

+ Lower level------> Dirt ------> Paths, Lakes, Rivers, Valleys.
+ Normal level-----> Grass ----> Small Hills, Tiny rocks and Grasses, Trees.
+ Higher level-----> Mountains > Mountains...:grin:

After a short time raising terrain, using tile variation... :wink:


Good! we have a beautiful non-flat terrain with a nice tile variation!
Our next step its the doddad placement.


-Set all rocks, shrubs, mushrooms, flowers, etc, etc (tiny dodds) pitch and roll angle to 90° (Read Gitlich tutorial for more information)
This is obvious, things arent floating in the sky, this isnt th3 M47r1x. So, go to the Object Editor, select the dodds (no trees) u think u are gonna use for ur forest, go to the "pitch and roll angle", and set both of them to 90°.

-Set ALL dodds Pathing Texture to -None-

And look carefully at this image, those are normal "foresty" scenes,
-Rocks with Shrubs, Mushrooms, Trees with rocks, flowers
U can use them to fill up different spots at the sides of a river, mountain, road, path, and they look very good.

Remember: Big dodds (Trees, Rocks) with mass small dodds around (Shrubs, Grass, Mushrooms, Flowers), always works ;)


Apply dodds in that way in the landscape we made (with tile and height variation)....



Yeah yeah, this is looking so good..... Im sure yours is looking better, we are ready for our next step: Atmosphere


This step is when ur terrain gets life, using fog, lighting and weather.

Ok, lets think about fog, A dark green fog? A teal fog? A dark blue fog? A dark grey fog? Its ur choice, so lets work with the fog values...
I suggest:
Z start: between 500 and 1000
Z end: between 3000 and 7000
Density: 0.15 – 0.50

Lighting, Ashenvale,
Dungeon & Felwood Lighting will afect somehow the tinting of almost every model in the map, giving 'em a green, red or blue touch.

Weather, ur choice, Ashenvale rain, Lordaeron rain, Moonlight Rays,

Just try out, experiment with different combinations until u get what u were looking for. Press "V" to allow fog, lighting and weather in WE.

My choices, Teal fog, Ashenvale Lighting:, Lordaeron light Rain


We are done... And this looks veeeery nice... :spell_breaker:
I hope u learned a few things i found useful at terraining time, if u think i miss something, just PM me.



Good luck terrainers ;)
See ya' in the Terraining forum.

-Alastor- :witch_doc_sad:
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I find couple things in this tutorial wrong. For example if you want a realistic outcome, never make grass angle with the ground, as grass grows upwards, it does not bend with the ground. Also you should not tell that leaving terrain at any place is always wrong as it is not. Sometimes it is a good idea, like when it comes to indoors. Also, using big brush with lower/raise tool makes the terrain look very monotone, prefer using smaller brushes (second and third smallest) even if it's more work. It looks a lot better.

Also your forest looks rather empty in between the trees. It's also worth to mention that your tile using is pretty monotonic (especially when it comes to dirt). Why don't you use rough dirt at all? Additionally, you should allow grass to go next to dirt, don't always smooth it with grassy dirt or short grass. It removes all the contrast and makes the ground look unnatural and dull.

I would also recommend you to always link the resources/tools you use in the tutorial. At least provide more information about them.

Also he is using these trees: variation 1 and variation 2.

Edit: Had to edit. Read the posts above and checked your tutorial again. That line "Ok, lets start with a new map, in Ashenvale tileset. Just because Ashenvale is "the terrain" if u wanna make forest, the tiles are so good..." is indeed rather useless and false statement. For obvious reasons:
If you use WEU (World Editor Unlimited) why would you stick to one tile set as you can have up to 16 different tiles from all the tile sets? For example Sunken Ruins Thick Grass (the dark one) is very good in forests as well. Also if you are making a tutorial, unless you are listing down many things, try to avoid "..." as it means that the text is continuing. I can't understand why you used "..." in there. To my eyes it seems either ironic or degrading (as the readers didn't know anything and you wanted to point it out).