Thursday, May 24, 2012

Making a 16bit height map without Photoshop

I have been asked many times how to make a height map for Skyrim without using Photoshop. Unfortionally Gimp 2.8 do not support 16 bit images that are needed to make a height map and I have been trying to find some other program to do this with, and also make raw files that TesAnnwyn can read.
A solution it seams is a good but ugly program I used to work with called ImageJ. It is a Java program developed for scientific image analysis, and I used to measure root growth of mutant Arabidopsis with it. But it can also do what I need for Skyrim world creation, and it is free :)

Work flow

First make the height map in Gimp, save as 8 bit Tiff (see previous post for some guidelines)
Download ImageJ.
Open in ImageJ, change to 16 bit under Image -> Type, save as RAW.
Import the RAW image of the height map in GeoControl, under Generatio -> Terrain Import -> "Raw (16bit) from Carrara".
After you run the filters and have a terrain you like, export as a 16 bit RAW file.

To make the esp run TESAnnwyn, and because the image is to bright you have to use the scaling function. Exactly what scaling factor to use depends on how bright/high your world is, try what works for your world.
TESAnnwyn command line:
TESAnnwyn.exe -i Skyrim -p 1 -b 16 -d 4096x4096 -s 0.2 -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, -s scales the height range of the image, -x and -y cell offset in x and y directions. (See original post on -h values and the effect on sea levels.)

If anyone have found a better program or solution let me know.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


I have been working with Ztree to make new undergrowth plants (there is a thread on the Bethesda forum). Ztree has made some really nice new models :)
My favorites so fare is the fern and crane models, I can see that they could be very useful.
So far I have only made high resolution textures of woodland cranes and anemones, but I will keep working.

I made a braken fern texture on two different models, an unknown plant on a fern model, Meadow sweet (without flowers) and Lady's Mantel.

Update: 2012-09-11
ZTree just released his trees and with them among other things the undergrowth plants.
I have made some more textures (the pictures above) that you can download from here:
1k resolution and 2k resolution.

I really recommend this resource, there are some nice trees, rocks and plants. I'll be using them a lot :)


Sunday, May 13, 2012

New Sand ground textures

I'm slowly working through all my pictures from Ireland. I'm more or less done with the sand textures. Some of them are still a bit repetitive and will need some more work, especially those with stones. In total there is 28 different textures so far, with a light and a dark version.

Here are some pictures of how they look in game.

Dry sand

Wet sand

Sand with seashells

Sand with stones

Next I will work on more ground textures with leaf covers, some dirt, mountain rock, and lots of grasses/plants.