Tuesday, February 21, 2012

From Heightmap to Worldspace in Skyrim

Update (23 April 2013)
I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news to all of you who wish to do really large worlds. There is a bug in the game engine that limits the functional size of a worldspace to 4096×4096 pixels (128×128 cells centered around cell 0,0). You can read more about what this bug effect here.

GK asked if I could outline the world and height map creation in more detail. I will try to make an in depth description of my workflow. There will be repetitions of some of the things I have described earlier, but perhaps in a more collected manner :)

(Updated 07 Dec 2013)
First a brief summary of the steps I go through from image to worldspace:
  • make Height map in Photoshop, save as TIFF
  • run it in Geocontrol 2 to make natural looking erosion
  • back to Photoshop to lower the gray scale color range, save as RAW
  • run TESAnnwyn to make an .esp
  • change LOD water, default water and land levels in CK
  • (convert esp to esm with CK)
  • Previous post: Make LOD meshes and Textures 

Making the height map: 
(Updated 07 Dec 2013)
The size in pixels of the image will determine the size of the world in Oblivion/Skyrim. The game is built up by quadrants, with 32 x 32 cells in each. One quadrant is 1024 x 1024 pixels. As a reference, Skyrim is 3808 x 3008 pixels (not all of which is playable). A world can be up to 16 x 16 quadrants (16384 x 16384 pix) in size, but due to the bug I mentioned in the header, worlds larger than 4 x 4 quadrants (4096x4096) will have huge problems.

There are several ways to make the height map, paint it yourself or use a landscaping software (like GeoControl, EarthEdit, etc).

Don't have Photoshop? Well I think I found a way to still make a 16bit height map using Gimp, ImageJ and GeoControl. See new post.

This is my workflow for a 4096 x 4096 pixel sized world:

1.  I have made my original height map in Photoshop. Make a new image with the size you want, File -> New, size 4096 x 4096 pix, 16-bit and gray scale.
(Alternatively change the settings of an image you already have: Image -> Mode -> gray scale and 16-Bit.)
2.  Paint your terrain, I did this in layers, first black for the lowest to almost white as the top of a huge mountain. In the color tab you can chose the % gray scale. 100% is Black and 0% is White, so 50% gray has 50% black in it and so on. Whenever I talk about % gray, this is what I mean. 

(Oblivion and Skyrim can not handle a full range black to white height map like this, but I will fix this in a later step)
What can be good to know when you paint your world is where the sea level will be. When I paint my height map in 100-2% gray scale, the sea level will be between 89% and 90% gray scale. (This will change later to 99-98% when I lower the gray scale range to fit what Skyrim can handle.)

3.  Make sure to flatten the image if you worked in layers, Save file as TIFF

4.  Import Image to GeoControl2. Generation -> Terrain Import -> Image Import
GeoControl2 can only handle images up to 4096 x 4096 pixels. There are a lot of settings in GeoControl2, DON'T PANIC :) 
5.  Under the General tab -> Filter tab -> Add -> erosion system or erosion system inverse -> choose the erosion typed you want. I have used: Thin flow deep - inverse (all levels, strength 100), Thin flows sediment (only levels 1024 and 2048, strengths 40), Thin flow deep (all levels, strength 100) and Mountain ridged (all levels, strength 100).
I have uploaded some of my more used GeoControl settings if anyone want them.
Under the tabs Generation, General, General, General Settings, set "Random Noise up to level" to 0 and "Protect Terrain up to Level" to at least 64.
A high number for "Random Noise up to level" will introduce features that are not in your original map and a low number at "Protect Terrain up to Level" will lead to a flat terrain.
Some ideas on what the different settings can do

6.  Press Generate, depending on you computer this can take a lot of time.

7.  When it's done and you like the results go to Generation -> Terrain Export ->chose TIFF 16 bit greyscale.

Using GeoControl this way gives me less control over the final outcome of my world, but for me that's okay, in fact I have been happily surprised by my landscape when I'm in the game, as it turned out completely different to what I expected sometimes. 


8.  Open file in Photoshop, to flip the image vertical (TESAnnwyn will flip it back) go to Image -> Image Rotation -> Flip Canvas Vertical 
9.  The last thing we need to do is change the grayscale range. This is because Oblivion/Skyrim can only handle images that is from 0-76% gray (see previous post where I try to explain why and how I think it works, 1, 2, 3)
Go to Image -> Adjustments ->  Brightness/Contrast change to -150 brightness, and repeat again with -150 brightness. 
10.  Check with the Eyedropper tool that the lightest parts of the height map is not above 76% gray (With "above" I mean anything in the range 0-75%)
11.  Save as RAW, with the settings : Header 0, IBM PC
Now your height map is ready :)

Note: Important rules for the Heightmap
(Updated 07 Dec 2013)
1. If the change in height is too great there will be tears between cells!
This image posted by someone that had problems with this issue. Here you can see a classic example of this problem. Try making the height map image darker by lowering the brightness even more.

I have made some tests to see when I have too much height differences and get breaks between cells, I apologize if this is getting a bit technical. In the image below I have different gray scale color ranges from 100-95%, 100-90%, 100-85% and 100-80%. The color range is spread out over approximately 3 or 5 cells, and distinct color borders is where a break between cells will happen (*). Note that a change in height from 100-90% over 3 cells is almost a vertical wall :)  

2. Sea levels will be between 99% and 98% gray color in the finished height map (When using the setting -h -22192 in TESAnnwyn, and setting the default land levels to -27000, default water levels to -14000, see description below) 

TESAnnwyn: making the esp

I use the TESAnnwyn (Skyrim compatible version) to make esp from raw files, much easier than using the Creation kit. TESAnnwyn is a command line program that is really easy to use.
TESAnnwyn.exe -i Skyrim -p 1 -b 16 -d 4096x4096 -x -64 -y -64 -h -22192 -w NameOfWorldspace YourImage.raw
 -i sets the game, -p RAW format, -b 16 bit image, -d size in pixels, -x and -y cell offset in x and y directions, -h -22192 lowers the land, specific to work with water LODs in Skyrim.

h -22192 will give about 8000 units of the land under sea level, that is a lot. I like to have more above the sea level, so I use -16048 (2048 units under sea level) or -18096 (4096 units under sea level).

Now move the .esp to you Skyrim/Data folder.

(Updated 07 Dec 2013)
To make LODs work we have to change the default water and land settings for the worldspace. This can be done with the Creation kit (alt 1).
There are also other ways to do this, but you will only need them if you are doing a world that is larger that 4096 x 4096, and as mentioned above larger world spaces will have huge bugs.
The alternative methods are: Creation Kit with version control (alt 2), or an editor for Fallout New Vegas, FNVEdit (alt 3, you need a registered copy of Fallout New Vegas for it to work).

Alt 1) using the Creation kit (for .esp files)
For a world up to 4096x4096 pixels you can open and edit the esp in the Creation kit.
1.  In the Creation kit, open your esp (set as active).
2.  Under World -> Worldspace
3.  Select the worldspace, edit: LOD water height to -14000.0000, Default Land Height to -27000.0000 and Default Water Height to -14000.0000
Set Default Land Height to different thing dependent on value given in TESAnnwyn: -18096.0000 for h -18096 or -16048.0000 for h -1604.
4.  Save the esp

Update 2012-07-28
Alt 2) using Version Control (with the Creation Kit)
For a large worldspace like my 106384x16384 pixels there is no way I can open it as an active esp in the Creation kit, but you can be opened as an esm. What you need is to set up Version Control, follow Meagfaer's guide on how to do this: http://www.creationkit.com/Version_control

1.  Make the esp in to a esm, I use TES4Gecko. You also have to set up this esm according to the version control guide.
2.  In the CK, open only your esm (not the Skyrim.esm).
3.  Under World -> Worldspace
4.  Select the worldspace, edit: LOD water height to -14000.0000, Default Land Height to -27000.0000 and Default Water Height to -14000.0000
Set Default Land Height to different thing dependent on value given in TESAnnwyn: -18096.0000 for h -18096 or -16048.0000 for h -16048.
5.  Save the esp
6.  Load your esm and the new esp as active.
7.  Click on the version control botton (left of the load botton)
8.  Select the worldspace entry, click Check out. Select the worldspace entry again, click Check out.
9.  You can close the new window that pops up, and then select the your esm that the changes will be saved in to.
10. I was also asked if I would set the ID for WaterType and LOD WaterType, choose Yes.
11. Choose NO when asked about Check In Data files.
Now the esm has changed water height and so on.

Alt 3) using FNVEdit (for esp and .esm files)

1.  Put the esp file in the FalloutNewVegas/Data folder, open FNVedit and select the file
2.  Change the LOD water height to -14000.0000, Default Land Height to -27000.0000 (alt -16048.0000 or -18048.0000 ) and Default Water Height to -14000.0000.
3.  Close the FNVEdit and wait for it to save. It will create a backup and a save file. Rename the save file to .esm again.

(Updated 07 Dec 2013)
Optional: Converting the esp to an esm
You can trick the Creation Kit into making a functional esm.
1. Make a copy of your esp file and rename the extension to .esm
2. Open the new file as active in the CK, the file will still be listed among the esp as a plugin.
3. Save. The CK will now make the adjustments needed to make the file a proper esm. Next time you open the CK, the file will be listed as an esm.

Now you are ready to make LODs (described in a previous post).

Hopefully this procedure will work for you too :)

EDIT 2012-03-03

After Skyrim updates some esm file will no longer work, the game will crash.
* esm that is dependent on the Skyrim.esm will work (example, the esp was loaded together with Skyrim.esm and then saved, then converted to an esm)
* esp will work
* As default the CK can only open one esm at the time, but you would like to open both your esm and Skyrim esm. You need to make a change in the SkyrimEditor.ini file in your /Skyrim folder. Add bAllowMultipleMasterLoads=1 under [General].



  1. Cool!
    Is is possible to connect with on some forums? Just to write a PM about your articles and copyrights?

    1. Ops.
      I mean "connect with you on forums".

    2. You are more than welcome to contact me. I'm on the Bethesda forum, haven't posted much :).
      My user name is elinen: http://forums.bethsoft.com/user/784762-elinen/

    3. I have the same user name on teh Nexus Forum as well :)

  2. Thanks!
    Just sent a PM on Bethesda Forum.

  3. Thank you for this tutorial. This is very clear and complete. It wirks for me. However i have a question. When i open my new worldspace, i got a very bright overview of the land in the renderer window. When i try the mod in game it crashes directly. Would you have a clue of what happens?
    Thank you and once again well done for this tuto!

    1. I get the brightness too, and I haven't figured out why get.
      There can be several reasons for the crash. I have found that when I have made LODs and if the world space starts at uneven number or not a multiple of 4 this will make the game crash.


    2. Thank you for your advice. Once I generated the LODs, it worked but I have a problem with the sea level (very high) but that's not a problem. I guess it's just un settings that I missed...

  4. I've read that the CK has issues with creating a worldspace that is larger than 4 quads in width


    My question is how big is "4 quads"? For example, how many quads are in Whiterun? One? Four? Less than half?

    1. 1 quad is 32x32 cells. To give you a proportion, the whole of Skyrim outdoors world is almost 4x4 quads large. For most projects this is more than enough space. We are just a few crazy people who want bigger :)

      I have read that there is a solution to the 4 Quad width problem, I haven't had time to test it jet.
      In the Skyrim.ini file add:

      You can read more about it here:

    2. Thanks for responding. So how big is a cell? At the beginning of this article you said that one quadrant is 1024 x 1024 pixels, meaning 32 cells = 1024 pixels?

      I'm trying to recreate the map from another popular game in Skyrim and I'm trying to figure out the scale. To get some idea I stood in two different spots in the game and used GetPos in the console to get my x coordinates.

      Let's say my x coordinate in one spot was 30998.73 and in the next spot was 10465.68. How many pixels would that translate to for creating my heightmap in photoshop?

    3. Yes, when you make your height map 32 x 32 cells are 1024 x 1024 pixels, so one cell is 32 pixels. There is also something called Game Units, that's the coordinates you got. One cell is 4096 x 4096 game units, so there is 128 game units for 1 pixel. Between your two positions, there would be about 158 pixels.
      Good luck with your mod :)

  5. I have so much trouble with this. Every single height-map I use crashes or has loads of missing lands. Even when I smooth the terrain. Days have past by, and I simple can't do it. And the creation kit bugs and crashes like madness.

    Is it possible that I e-mail you the height-maps and you make them into .esp/.esm?

    I'm really out of options, thanks.

    I tried different programs like Oscape...

    1. I'll see what I can do, send it to elin.overnas(at)gmail.com .

    2. I hope you got my e-mail. (arian(at)live.jp)

      Thanks again.

    3. Yes, I'm working right now. Think I will have a good map for you in soon :)

  6. This tutorial is great, I'm looking forward to creating my own world space. Thank you.

  7. Hi, I don't know if you'll ever see this, but I followed instructions on this post, I used one of the preset terrains in GeoControl2 and turned it into a .tif, opened with Photoshop, bla bla bla turned into a .raw file which I then used TESAnwynn to turn into an .esp and everything worked fine, however, after I load the .esp along with the Skyrim.esm and Update.esm files, I can't seem to find my new world space anywhere in the World Spaces list, any further info on this would be appreciated!

    1. Nevermind, turns out I didn't have the Skyrim version of the TESanwynn :)
      Couldn't find it anywhere on the TESAnwynn website so I just assumed it was in the only downloadable link on the page
      Many thanks for the tutorial

  8. Hi,

    I haven't tried this stuff out yet but thanks a lot for the guide and keep them coming!

  9. Looking forward to getting this tutorial to work for me. Thanks for posting.

    I am getting stuck on the TESAnnwyn part of the tut.

    When I enter the command line, it strings off a list of instructions, and that's about it.

    I previously tried a different tutorial, by another author, though it didn't help me much. Although I used the TESAnnwyn then, and it worked, according to that authors parameters, that is.

    Any idea what the problem might be? The raw file? The 16bit?

    1. When helping someone else out I found that you can actually run a 8 bit image as 16 bit, it will make a really crappy height map, but there will be an esp made. The same goes for using images formats not supported by tesannwyn, like tif. So it's probably not your raw file of the 16 bit.

      If the TesAnnwyn gives you an instruction list is is most likely that there is some command it can't read. When I run into this problem, which I do sometimes, it's because I have spelled something wrong, or given a value not supported for a command. Could you write exactly what you use a a command so I can see?

    2. Thanks Bisen, I actually did in fact miss a part of the command I didn't think to add the "Nameofworldspace".

      That being said, in the command line: "TESAnnwyn.exe -i Skyrim -p 1 -b 16 -d 4096x4096 -x -64 -y -64 -h -22192 -w NameOfWorldspace YourImage.raw"

      Under Name of worldspace I put tamriel, and it built out an ESP. The issue I'm running into now is the heightmap, once I run in CK does not load properly (I think). When I open the heightmap editor, (just to see visually, not edit) the view shows multi-colored gradient that are vertically oriented. It has no resemblance of the heightmap i produced...

    3. The command line for TESAnnwyn looks about right.
      Could you post a screenshot from the heightmap editor?
      On a guess I would say it sounds like a height problem that breaks up the map at cell borders.

    4. I will post a screen in a bit. Off the top of my head, could it be the DPI of my original Heightmap? I know 4096x4096 but at 72 DPI, or 300 DPI?

      I tested my heightmap in Unity3D. When I imported the raw file, it was extremely distorted. When I changed the Heightmap in PS to 300 DPI, unity opened it quite nicely.

      Just wanted to get it from you, should my heightmap be 300 DPI or does it matter?

    5. My desktop...


    6. Sorry I have not answered you yet, I'm on a trip with little access to internet. From your image it looks like there is something wrong with the raw file format. I will have a closer look on my setting when I get back home to my computer this weekend.

    7. Thanks man, no worries. Hope the trip is well

  10. Hi,

    first, I got to say, that your tutorial is very helpful (thank you!) but I got a problem with the creation of a map, that is bigger than 4096x4096.

    My map is 10240x7808 with -x -160 / -y -122 cells. I created the *.esp-file in TESannwyn but I couldn't open it in the Construction Kit. I tried FNVEdit, but I still can't open it, the construction kit constantly crashes at 81%.

    I hope you can help me!

    1. Thanks for the advice, Bisen, it's working now! :)

  11. It could be that you Creation kit uses up to much memory when loading the esp. I can't load my Hoddminir world as an esp, but I can load it when I converted to an esm. I do that with tesgecko, but I think there are other ways to do that to, not requering the ck. Hope that helps.

    1. I went through your tutorial thoroughly, I completed in making an esp and loading it up in the creation kit, i look at my worldspace and it's sideways and very jagged, doesn't look like the heightmap i created in Photoshop at all. I've tried this for hours! My eyes are bleeding!
      I have no idea what im doing wrong, I tried CS, gecont2 and tesannwyn and nothing just jagged strips of land in the worldspace it almost looks 2-d.
      PLease help!

    2. You have no idea how many times I felt like that when doing this mod :)
      Could you post some pictures somewhere of how it looks in the CK and in the height-map editor?
      At least the heightmap editor is good for getting a overview of the map even if you can't do anything else in it.
      Just some checks: Was the Height map made from a 8 or 16 bit image, and what was the size in pixels? What settings did you use with TesAnnwyn?

  12. Great tut. I never even knew a lot of this was possible. What is this Geocontrol? Is it free?
    Try as I might, I cannot change the water height in the creation kit. I thought it might be my custom height map .esp so I tried to do something simple like change the water height in Riften. No go. I went into the world space and changed the height for the Riften world and it froze for an hour be fore I killed the process. I tried to edit the individual cells of the city but nada. Am I thinking about this wrong? I thought the water was just planes with an animated texture on them. Why can't I just grab it and move it!! If I can't even do that, how am I gonna create my dream world? :(

    1. You can run a 30 days trial of Geocontrol for free, after that you have to buy it. It's a very nice erosion and landscaping tool.
      To your water height problem, do you have a new world or are you making changes to the skyrim world. If your in the skyrim world it could be that you can't make those changes to the esm landscape. Haven't tried making changes in skyrim my self so I don't really know what works.

  13. Hi Bisen,

    I already wrote here and I have to say that your thread is really helpful. Probably the most interesting and working thread about heightmap creation. For me your method is perfectly working. The thing is that the creation of the esp give me a file that is about 10 Mo. The problem is I can't load Skyrim.esm and my esp because of this size although it is highly smaller than yours... When I try to do it the creation will attempt to open both files for hours without any result. This is quite a problem since with my esp alone I don't have access to any object. Plus, the texture displayed in the render window are very bright. Few times ago I made a heightmap really small and it worked. How can you load esm and esp in your creation kit so you can modify texture, add actor, add objects, etc ... ??

    Thank you in advance for your answer

  14. How much RAM do you have? Sounds like the creation kit is running out of memory when it loads.
    My world I can't open as an esp, the file is about 1Gb, but as an esm I can load it together with the Skyrim.esm, but I have 16G RAM :)
    What you could do is to use a stripped Skyrim.esm, the original esm is around 200Mb where as the SureAI (Nehrim team) stripped esm is only 16Mb.
    Try and see if you can load the stripped Skyrim.esm with your esp, then you should have all the things you need.

    For me the bright light in the render window goes away after I have set the default land height in the CK or FNVEdit.

  15. Yeah I have a quite good computer but I only have 3Gb of RAM since i'm on WIN7 32bits. So maybe i'm gonna get to WIN7 64bits. Anyway I tried to turn my esp into an esm but when I try to launch them both in the CK, then it told me you can't open both master file...

    However your answer was helpful since with the skyrim "light version", I can open the esm and the esp without any problem. Then I'm able to add objects and texture... Thank you for that. Do you think after i made the changes I run the game using the real esm (the big one) instead since it looks like some sounds are missing (walk sound for instance) ?

    1. To run two esm in the CK you need to add bAllowMultipleMasterLoads=1 under [General] in SkyrimEditor.ini file.

      I have used the light Skyrim esm in the CK and run with the original Skyrim.esm in the game for the same esp, and I have not run into any trouble, yet...

  16. Thank you again for your answer. It seems to work perfectly now :DD

  17. Nice tutorial, really easy to follow. My problem is that every time I try to load my .esp into the CK, the CK lets me know the .esp isn't valid, and then proceeds not to proceed, if you know a what I mean. I tried another tutorial last night and had the exact same problem. I am using a heightmap from the Seamless Data Warehouse (http://seamless.usgs.gov/ned1.php), Photoshop CS6, Geocontrol2, and have followed your instructions to the word, I think, I tried to at least :)

    Any ideas?

    1. That sounds like you have the wrong version of TesAnnwyn.
      Download the version released on the bethesda forum, that should work.

    2. Well, it accepted the .esp this time and I was able to modify the *heights like you say to ^^. Very cool..Thanks! Keep with the tutorials, very easy to follow :)

      thanks again


  18. Hello again! Everything has been working perfectly, so perfectly in fact that I have been messing around with many different height map types (my own from GeoControl2 and heightmaps obtained from http://seamless.usgs.gov/). My question is: When getting the RL heightmaps, the elevations are extremely obvious. I then run the image through Geocontrol to smooth it out some, but with varying success. I would really like to be able to use one of the real life Hmaps. Any ideas on this?



  19. Hello, So far I have done everything right when creating the heightmap but when I get to the TESAnnwyn command line I cant get it to run at all. I Downloaded the right TESA from the Bethsoft forums. The program is in 4 separate files on my desktop. My question is do i have to create a special folder for TESA? Because when i try to run the command prompt it doesn't do anything. Everything worked fine up until now. Any help or enlightenment would be greatly appreciated.

    1. I put TESAnnwyn in a separate folder, but that's just to keep things organized, I don't think that should matter. When you try to run TESAnnwyn, are you using the "CommandConsole" shortcut, clicking on TESAnnwyn.exe will not work. Other that that I don't know what could be wrong.

    2. Things i have tried so far include dragging my .raw file over TESA and having the program generate the esp that way (it generates an esp but that esp doesn't work in the CK) its a 512x512 world space, I don't know if that matters at all. I picked a 512x512 because is was a multiple of 1024 and i wanted to do a small map so i could get the hang of this. Do I just start the command console without doing anything before hand or do i have to put the file somewhere so the command prompt can find the folder (currently the .raw file is on the desktop and TESA is in a folder, also on the desktop).
      When i run the command prompt i always get a message that says "is not recognized as operable program or batch file" also im entering the dimensions as 512x512 and keeping the X and y co-ords as 64'64. If that is the problem then how do i determine the coords based on the map dimensions?

    3. Crap i just realized that i am using the No Photoshop method instead of the one with photoshop. I tried re entering the command but it still didnt work

    4. A world of 512x512 should work just fine, but it will be small, so no need to have the -64 on x and y. You will only have 16x16 cells in total in your world :)

      Ok, try this and see if it works (I take it really basic just to make sure we are on the same page):
      * Have TESAnnwyn in a folder on your desktop (like you have now).
      * Put the raw file in the same folder, that way the command console will find it.
      * Click on the "CommandConsole" shortcut in the TESAnnwyn folder.
      * Type in: TESAnnwyn.exe -i Skyrim -p 1 -b 16 -d 512x512 -h -16000 -w NameOfWorldspace YourImage.raw

      In place of NameOfWorldspace type the name you want the worldspace to be called, and in place of YourImage.raw you write the file name of your raw image.

      * Press enter , when it is done, take the tesannwyn.esp file and move it to you DATA folder in skyrim
      * Open the CK and load your esp

    5. Unfortunately its still not working. TESA is still not recognizing the command so no .ESP generation. Do i need to be using photoshop for this(so i can save with the Header 0, IBM PC setting)? Will that even make a difference since im using the no photoshop method?

    6. Could you upload your raw file somewhere, or email it to me so I can check that it is not anything with the image?
      I'll try to make a esp and see if I can get it to work.

    7. sure, Ill email it to you. I have to leave for work in a few so idk if i can get it to you now or tonight (timestamps look like GMT and im on Pacific Standard Time: GMT-8 i think)

  20. Hi, I'm having problems with LOD water and land heights. My water depth is lower, so I use different values in TESAnnwyn, like -5000.

    I'm not sure about the FNVEdit values, how do I decide them?

    1. For LOD water to work (at least for me) the water level should be set at -14000. Now if you want a deep sea, of say -5000 units under sea level, you need to subtract that amount from the sea level: -14000-5000 = -19000. In TESAnnwyn you type -h -19000.
      Now when TESAnnwyn makes the esp it will unfortunately not put the right values for sea level or land level. This is where the CK or FNVEdit come in.
      What you type is dependent on what you used in TESAnnwyn. In this example, set sea level to -14000 and default land level to -19000.
      Hope that makes things clearer.

    2. Yes and no, I'm going to try right now.

      Just to be sure, land level is always [-14000] - [underwater level]....right?

      But why just -14000, what makes you say just -14000?

      Thank you for your valuable help! =)

  21. I have a problem. The worldspace looks great in the creation kit but, when i load it in Skyrim, the game only renders 1~2 cells around me. So when i stand on the top of my generated mountain i can only see the top of it and not all of the generated world, like i can when i walk around in the Skyrim worldspace.

    1. Have you generated LOD files?

    2. Damn i feel stupid, it works now

      thanks for help and quick answer :D

  22. Ok, I somehow managed to find my way through many of the issues I've had til now.

    I have a question, though: how do you plan to add plants, NPCs and all the rest?

    I mean: I've tried to make a plug-in for my plug-in, but the result was....let's say it didnt work properly. =p

    Then how? I could turn my worldspace to a .esm, make plug-ins that refer to it to change terrain patches and add items and NPCs....but then, as you know, I'd have to turn the esm back to esp or skyrim will just CTD (thanks Bethesda).
    And I dont know any way to merge a esm to a esp, at the moment.

    Also, I dont know how to build a Skyrim.esm parent reference inside my terrain esp....how did you do that? Or did you need to do it at all....?

    1. You can have an esm that work to load in the game, but it has to be dependent on the skyrim.esm. At least that was the case before the last update, I don't really know how it is now.
      What I have done is load my esp together with Skyrim.esm, save, then convert my esp to an esm. The new esm will now also be dependent on the Skyrim.esm, and should work.
      On the issue of merging, I know TESVGecko is on the way, soon. Then of course you can uses version control on the CK, I know the MERP team is doing this and it work well for them, have not come so far yet to try it. I think Maegfaer has posted a guide how to set it up somewhere on the Bethesda forum.

  23. Thank you for the guide. You helped my team and I get our heightmap for Skyrim. Thank you very much.

  24. Im having an annoying problem with mine, I got a great landscape/world created, but the landscape textures are black from 100 feet and beyond, and I followed all the steps thoroughly. What should I do?

  25. How do I access this in game, or create cells for it in the Creation Kit. I've got the .esp file from TESAnnwyn, and have adjusted the default water and land levels in the Creation kit, yet I have no idea how to actually access this in game.

    1. When you start up Skyrim, make sure that the esp is loaded (under Data in the launcher). Then when you get to the first menu (where you can choose new, load and so on), press ~ to open the console, type cow TheNameOfTheWorldscape 0,0. The numbers are the cell coordinates that you will appear in (X,Y).
      So for my world I would write for example seyland 109,-17.

    2. Thanks. I'm still not getting any cells in the Creation Kit to work with, though maybe I need to complete the LODs before that works.
      On that topic, TES4Gecko has issues with me because I don't have Oblivion, so I can't convert the .esp file to .esm using it. Is there any other option for doing this?

    3. First of, you can actually trick the CK to make an esm out of a esp. Make a copy of your esp, rename the extension to an esm. Open this esm as active in the CK (this file will be listed among the esps), and then save. Now the CK should make the adjustment needed so the file is a proper esm.
      Now this way is great, but if your esp is to large for the CK to load you need something like Gecko. There is a new GeckoV for skyrim, it is still in Beta, but it has some functions.

      About your other problem, is it so that you do not have any cells at all when you open the esp in the CK?

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. Alright, that's worked for me. As for the cell problem, I derped hard and had "Interiors" selected in that Creation Kit screen, instead of my worldspace.

      My entire world, however, uses the default texture, even after generating the LOD files, Texture Files, Normal Maps and installing them. I'm gathering I have to texture it myself at some stage in this procedure. How, and when, do I do this?

      Also, is there a way to convert between what the world generator I used to get the heightmap has as the land height and water height into what I should be using for TESAnwynn, or is trial and error the only way to get the result I want?

      Thanks for all the help.

    6. Good that the cell issue is solved :)
      So, if you want to add and change thing you either work in an esp directly, or have an esm master and make new esps that changes that esm.
      To add new textures you use the landscape editor in the CK, here you can select and paint the terrain by hand with new textures. Make sure that you never use more then 6 textures in one cell, more will result in black textures(to see the cell borders in the CK press B).
      There is probably a good formula to use to get the land and water levels right, but I'm afraid I don't know of it.

    7. Thanks, I'll try some 'smart' trial and error to see if I can get the heights right, just wish I had a way to tell which cell the water on my map was in, 'cause scrolling is taking some time and even with a reference I'm getting lost -.-
      I'll probably drop the map size a bit, and make it bigger if I need to later.

  26. Thanks for that great tutorial!

  27. Fist thanks for the Tutorial
    Now i understand how much work it is. :)
    Do you tink it' possible too use Vue de Esprit instead of Geocontrol 2

  28. Thanks a lot for the tutorial!

    I was wondering though, when you made a world that was larger than 4096x4096, how exactly did you stitch the pieces together seamlessly? Im assuming you started with a single image of the entire heightmap, and cut it into pieces to be used in Geocontrol at 4096x4096 a piece, but how did you put the pieces back together without having sharp lines between each piece?

  29. Would you consider a video tutorial? I'm more of a visual learner :)

  30. Thanks muchly for the awesome tut, much love!

    I am having a problem similar to one above that you already addressed ... getting the "tesannwyn.esp is not a valid tes file" error when I load it intop CK. I tried the solution you gave above, downloading the most recent version of the TESa files (which were the same, but I used the new ones anyway) and still the same results.

    Any further insight that you have with respect to this matter would be muchly appreciated.

    Kind regards, and thanks in advance.

  31. Could help me on my issue? PLEASE, i'm going crazy. http://forums.bethsoft.com/topic/1471221-map-collision-problem-what-im-supposed-to-do/

  32. oh mate!!...nice tutorial...but I don't know what I am doing wrong...I follow every step and...I get the same problem as this dude Kirk(some comments above)


    Every height map that I make, no matter what looks like sharped long lines walls with no radius at all.

    Hope you can help me.
    take care

  33. Hi! first of all very nice tutorial, and sorry for my english, not my native language.

    Im having so much trouble with the part of using TESAnnwyn and the results of it...I tried EVERY SINGLE METHOD to create my custom world (im trying to make a world that has the same size as Skyrim) but EVERY time I made the tesannwyn.esp and opened it, the result was the same as the guy over there (Kirk)....I really want to make this...Im working in a really big mod and I need this the fast as posible...

    Hope you can help....

  34. Sorry for the long wait. i have been out of the loop for a while.
    I don't know what is happening, but I can take a look at the raw file if you want. Upload it somewhere and post a link, or send a zip to hoddminir@gmail.com

    1. Thanks!!! Seriously...thank you...I will send a zip in a bit...thanks for your help ;)

  35. My heightmaps seem to "blow up" and have huge world seams, and sometimes the shape is completely different from what was originally shown in GeoControl 2. Instead of rounded off mountains, there'd be huge spikey ones, instead of slopes there'd be missing chunks of land/Seams.

    Examples :

    Do you know what would cause these issues? I have been trying to get heightmaps working for days and it just will not work for me. I feel like I shouldn't bother as it always does something strange.

    Thanks for the help.

  36. From the images I would say you have to make the height map image darker. This will fix both the breaks and the jaggedness you see. The breaks are in the borders between cells, this problem arise when the height difference is to great between the cells.
    Darken to some different amounts and then test with tesannwyn, you probably have to test a few to get the result you want.

  37. hey there,
    first of thanks a lot for that great tutorial! i followed other tutorials before that gave me waaay more bugs.

    i'm trying to make a fallout themed mod that takes place in the alpine regions of europe in the 23rd century AD.
    so i want to remove all the vanilly skyrim worldspaces and just have my own map, to which i add other small maps like dungeons, houses, forts, cities, etc.
    for this i got myself a heightmap of the alps. its 3072x1328 in size and covers the alps and the surrounding piedmont regions. the alps and other mountains should just be deadly radioactive jungle, while the hilly lands around the alps are already a bit "civilized" (like in the original games). the mediterranian sea is nothing more than a salty swamp.
    heres the link to the image i based on:
    however, i saved it as a .bmp map and converted it with TESAnnwyn.
    then i opened it seperately in the creation kit, just like you instructed. but when i try to view the landscape after setting the water and land height i just get a white surface with darker sprinkles on it.
    and somehow i also can not view it properly, but this is because im too dumb to control the camera...how can i rotate it to see the surroundings?

    btw, when i open it with the skyrim.esm it shows the normal ground. but when i try to zoom out it soon turns all brown and brown only. i guess cuz i made nothing else but ground

    today is the first time i tried modding skyrim, so thanks to your tutorial i made good progress i think.
    trial and error :D

    so my basic question is: what's my mistake and what is the next step after saving my "alps_worldspace.esp"?
    how do i remove the vanilla worlds and how do i add my new map it it finally works.

    thanks in advance :)

    1. ok, figured out how to move the camera and objects and stuff :D
      but the map is crapm so i guess i must try a 16 bit raw conversion, right?

  38. Hi! This tutorial sort of inspired me to try to get back into TES modding, and so now I'm doing my best to get my heightmap working in skyrim.

    I've managed to get a 4096x4096 map using gimp and geocontrol that I like. From there I've been working with Oscape and TesAnnwyn to put the map into an esp with the other lod data. However, when I view the heightmap in the CK, it only presents a small fraction of it (its only displaying what I *think* is one quad- i'm still trying to come up with a good way to verify that it is just that). I was quite careful to try to keep the heightmap in line with the specifications (no abrupt changes in geometry, keep the grayscale in a certain range, don't do things bigger than 4096^2 etc). I'm struggling to figure out why Oscape seems to show that the whole map is present in the esp, but the CK heightmap editor seems to refuse to acknowledge the existence of the other 15 quads in the map. The cell list appears complete. Looking at the cells in the render window shows that what were once small changes in height have become massive steps, and so... my conclusion is that for some reason, the CK is cutting one chunk out of my map, and using the cell-division specs on just that one quad-sized bite. The results are not very appealing for gameplay, and I'd really like to use the whole map.

    Oh! You'll probably want some details on what I've been doing.

    My workflow is this: Using isolines/erosion in Geocontrol, I generate my 4096^2 map, then port it to gimp in grayscale. I invert it vertically and report it back to geocontrol (I do this since geocontrol's exporter for raw format seems to be the only thing that works around here, and I don't have photoshop). Anyways, I use geocontrol to spit out a 16-bit .raw image. Then I run it through TESAnnwyn with this set of commands:

    TESAnnwyn.exe -i Skyrim -p 1 -b 16 -d 4096x4096 -x -64 -y -64 -h -16048 -s 0.65 -q -w MundusMentia ElysiumRAW.raw

    I've scaled it some more to eliminate all the overflow/underflow complaints. Then comes Oscape, and the esp loads just fine. The heightmap looks great in the preview window, nothing strange or out of the ordinary. I check all the right boxes and hit the right buttons, and then lod data generates in the right way (with all the error messages). At this point, I through everything into the Skyrim\Data folder and presto, I should be done. Then I open up it up in the CK, and then the hair-pulling begins! :D

    This is about the umpteenth time I've run into this problem, and I can't seem to figure out what's happening. I'll keep trying to coax the CK to reading the whole map in the meantime, but I really could use some advice here. Have you run into this problem? Any ideas on what to do?

    1. The first thing that comes to mind is a problem that Oscape can have with running on esps. I have seen several people say that the esp get destroyed and the landscape gets cut up.

      My suggestion is to make a esm of your esp, this you can do by tricking the CK :)
      Rename the .esp to .esm, open it as active in the CK and then save. The CK will make all the necessary changes tho make the file an esm. Now try running Oscape on this esm file.

      One thing you don't mention in your workflow that also needs doing, is setting the land and water height values (in the esp, before making it to an esm). And when you do this you also need to open the esp together with the Skyrim.esm to make it dependent of this master esm.

  39. Hi! I've tried following your tutorial, I've downloaded gimp, photoshop, TESAnnwyn, geocontrol2, and all. So I created a 1024x1024 heightmap, saved it a a tiff, convert using geocontrol, than save it as a RAW. The I copied your console command for TESAnnwyn. But then when I check it in the Creation Kit, I either have nothing, or huge spikes. I have tried redoing everything, but I obtain the same problems everytime... So basically nothing works...

  40. It has been awhile since I have commented on these forums but to fix the huge spikes you have to darken your heightmap , most of the time I darken mine by -150 brightness 3 times and works everytime for me :)

  41. Is it possible to create an esp that uses its own content instead of the main files (from skyrim+DLCs) to be then converted into an esm (which I understand is possible) but still dependent on those ESMs and Skyrim.esm in particular?

  42. Hey Guys,

    I like this tutorial very much, yet I do have a problem, you might be able to help me with.

    I can do everything in line without problem, until I get to the point to "generating" the heightmap in WorldCreator (successor to GeoControl).

    When I try to generate the erosions and this stuff on my imported Heightmap, it instead generates the erosion and everything on the pre-loaded map from WorldCreator.

    I tried everything I could think of to find out what exactly is the problem, but couldn't get it done.

    I'd be happy for any help.

    1. I haven't used WorldCreator so 'm afraid I don't have any ideas on this problem.

    2. Thank you anyway, this Problem is kind of strange, as it makes the import function completely useless, unless I'm a complete idiot who just isn't able to find an obvious button, of course. ^^

      But I wish you a happy 3rd Sunday of Advent :)

    3. Back to here share what caused my problems (if there's anyone else using WorldCreator wondering about this stuff):

      It was/is some kind of a bug, WorldCreator seems to block imported maps (for whatever reason). There is a workaround:

      a) Generate the Erosion with "Postwork" instead with "Filters", this though has the disadvantage, that it is much more precise, but you can use whatever map dimensions you want
      b) Create a smaller heightmap than you need. Create a 512x512 greyscale (for example) and change it in WorldCreator to 4096x4096 (if you need such a big map) and leave the protection level at 512.

      This actually works, it is though not ideal. (Anyway, it is still possible to create maps directly in WorldCreator)

    4. Thanks for sharing the solution.
      Good to know that it's possible even if it's a bit of work.

  43. is there any video tutorial of this?

  44. after 100 trying and play with numbers: http://s5.picofile.com/file/8160894618/ScreenShot93.jpg

  45. I'm definitely missing something. I ran TESAnnwyn and the entire process finished. I got:
    "Finished! The imported ESP is called tesannwyn.esp and is 128 cells by 128 cells.."

    However, I cannot find a file. There's nothing in the program's directory and searching my PC gets nothing. Any advice?

    1. Very strange, mine are always created in the same folder as the TESAnnwyn.exe. If you don't find a solution I can make the esp for you if you like.

    2. I get the VERY same thing. It is annoying.

  46. After hiking for a few days around the peak district area of northern England I felt inspired to recreate this beautiful landscape in a Skyrim mod. So I found the website http://terrain.party/ which creates heightmap pngs of real world landscapes and downloaded my heightmap http://i.imgur.com/Yz6D7kB.png . I flipped it vertically and converted it to raw. I then ran it through TESAnnwyn and it seemed to export however in CK the landscape was flat. So I went back assuming it had failed due to areas being too light and created this file http://i.imgur.com/W9WVfni.png which is much darker with lower contrast. This time the landscape did load correctly. But it was very torn and incredibly mountainous and jagged much more than in real life or the heightmap would suggest. Here is a screenshot from CK http://i.imgur.com/NTdrevC.jpg . Is there something I am doing wrong. I did change the height values in the TESAnnwyn commands because I didn't want it to be an island so wanted the land above the sea. Any advice on how to fix this problem?

    1. Nevermind, I have got it working after a bit more fiddling about with the heightmaps and different world sizes. However I never could have got this far without this tutorial. Thanks for creating this it is extremely helpful!

  47. If anyone has the problem that was listed a few times above, where you get jagged, separated horizontal edges for your worldspace, make sure you are using a multiple of 1024 for your pixel size, and that you have the correct dimensions when you run TESAnnwyn