Tutorial Forest Terraining

Exide

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Forest Terraining

*Part I: Basics
-Pre Words
-Choosing Tilesets
-Start Terraining
-Finishing Touch

*Part II: Advanced
-Creating a Secret Path
-Applying Height and Cliffs


Pre Words

First of all, I want to tell you all that I come from Sweden, so my English might not be the best.

I wanted to make a Tutorial on something easy, one that I haven’t seen around and in a simple way.
So I thought, why not make a Terraining Tutorial. And here I am.

This Tutorial will use a few TFT functions, so at some points it requires TFT. (The Frozen Throne.) Yes, I know. I’m one of the last RoC-editors (is that a word?) on earth. But I do own TFT. (RoC – Reign of Chaos.)

Now that we have that explained, let my Tutorial on creating a cozy forest environment begin!


Choosing Tilesets

So let us begin.
I suggest that when you create your map for this Tutorial, that you choose the ‘Felwood’ Tileset.
First of all we choose a suiting Tileset for our Textures. To do this, click on the scroll-down menu at the top of your Main window in WE. The one named ‘Advanced’. Scroll down and click on ‘Modify Tilesets…’
This will open a new, small window named ‘Modify Tileset’ –The first thing we have to do in order to modify anything is to check the little box in the top-right corner of the window, named: ‘Use custom tileset’
This will make our small window slightly larger, as a new part will appear at the bottom, called: ‘Additional Textures’
First thing below ‘Additional Textures’ is a scroll-down menu, which (by default) should say: ‘Ashenvale’. –This is the Preset Tileset, with all its Textures. Click on the scroll-down menu and choose ‘Dalaran’.
Now, below the scroll-down menu a few new icons will appear. These are the Textures that we want to add.
Hover your mouse-pointer over one of the Icons to see the name of that Texture.
Find the Texture named ‘Grass Trim’ (should be the second one from the right) and mark it. Then mark any one of the original Textures in your Base Tileset (above), and click the ‘Replace Tile’ button at the bottom of the window.
Note that some Textures can’t be replaced, I don’t know why. Just pick another one instead.

When you have added the ‘Grass Trim’ Texture to your Base Tileset, click on the scroll-down menu once again and find ‘Sunken-Ruins’.
Find the ‘Dark Grass’ texture and do the same thing as you did with the ‘Grass Trim’ Texture.
-Now your Base Tileset should have two new Textures!

Picture5.jpg


Click the ‘Ok’ button to apply your new settings and close the window. (This might take a few seconds, but it’s all right.)

Now, in your Tool Palette, click the scroll-down menu and choose ‘Terrain Palette’.
There are two ways to apply a certain Texture to your map. One is to use the Terrain Palette and brush it on, little by little. –This will take a very long time if you have a big area to fill.
Or you could do it the quick way, which is:

Once again, go to the ‘Advanced’ scroll-down menu on top of the Main window. And scroll down to ‘Replace Tiles’. Now you will get a new, small window which will tell you:
Old Tile:
New Tile:

Now, just change the Old Tile to grass (for example) and the New Tile to ‘Dark Grass’
And then click ‘Ok’ to apply.
This will change all your grass Texture on the entire map to Dark Grass.
Note: You might find yourself having two types of Dark Grass when you want to replace tiles. This depends on what Tileset you chose in the beginning, when you created the map. –Lordaeron Summer has a different type of Dark Grass than Sunken Ruins does.
Make sure that your map is covered in the Texture you like.


Start Terraining

If you have followed the above steps you should have a modified Tileset and a map covered in the Texture of your choice (Dark Grass).

Picture1.jpg


Now, if you want to have Units moving through your forest you better plan the “pathing” before you start creating the terrain. This can be done by changing the Texture into something else to point out that this is a path. (The dirt texture is usually a good texture for this)
Or you could do it straight out of your head and let your fantasy flow. Either way is good, as long as the units are able to move through the forest. (Make sure they don’t get stuck)

Picture2.jpg


Now that we’ve got our paths up and running we might want to enhance them by surrounding them with cliffs. Cliffs usually gives a nice touch to the environment, in my opinion.
However, if you are using (as in this example) the Dark Grass Texture, some cliff-types might look weird. I still feel that the Felwood Tileset’s ‘Grass Cliff’ blends pretty well with the ‘Dark Grass’ Texture. But that is probably and matter of personal liking. Either way I’m gonna continue this Tutorial by selecting the Grass Cliff provided by the ‘Felwood’ Base Tileset.
So. Dot your environment with cliffs of your liking around the paths.

Now that we have the main parts done, there are a few other things that can be done with the Terrain Palette. Those are:
*Adding Shallow or Deep Water
*Applying Height.
The Felwood’s Water Texture is pretty neat; it has a slightly greenish color.
Applying Height isn’t very good, though. Sometimes it gives a nice touch to the map. But it usually takes a long time to get right.


Finishing Touch

Now, here comes the fun part. –Adding all the doodads.
First of all go to the Doodad Palette in your Tool Palette. Then choose a suiting Tileset (I suggest Felwood.)
Since we are trying to create a forest, we will need a lot of trees. Trees are really neat, in my opinion. They add a very nice touch to the map.
I also prefer living trees, not the dead ones.
Select any tree that you like, and randomly place them around your paths, just like you did with the cliffs. Also, if you made one or two cliffs large enough, you should be able to place a tree on top of it.
A good thing to use while placing Doodads is the ‘P’ button. (Pathing-Ground.) This will show a pink area around your cliffs and Doodads, which means you cannot walk there with ground Units. You cannot place any buildings or similar there either (in most of the cases.)

Picture3.jpg


Now that we have placed a few trees where we want them, we feel we need something else to enhance our environment. –More Doodads, of course!
In the Doodad Palette, there are two scroll-down menus. One saying the name of the Tileset, Felwood in this example, and one saying ‘Trees/Destructibles.’
Click on the second scroll-down menu and choose ‘Environment.’
Now you will have a lot of neat doodads to use to enhance your forest. Just randomly place these, just like the trees, around your trees and cliffs.
I prefer putting mushrooms near the foot of cliffs and logs. Because they are easy to place and they look good, in my opinion.
I also like rocks. They come in a decent array of variations and they are good to place near cliffs.
Bushes and even Thorny Vines are good to use inside a forest. I prefer placing them among the trees. It gives a greener feeling to it. Thorny Vines are also excellent to hide secret paths with.
If you have ever wondered what the ‘Cage’ in ‘Trees/Destructibles’ are good for, this is an excellent opportunity to find out. Just place it on top of one of your cliffs and let everyone who enters this dark forest behold what destiny awaits!
Flowers might not be the best Doodad to use, if you want a scary touch on the forest. –Just use any Doodad you feel like and let your fantasy flow!

Picture4.jpg


I think that covers the most of it and that you have managed to create a lovely forest!
There are, of course, a lot of more Doodads and Textures out there to use. Take your time and explore them all in order to create the best sceneries ever.


Part II: Advanced

Creating a Secret Path


The secret path can be quite handy in RPG maps. I know a lot of players don’t like secrets. I don’t know the reason, though. I will show you how to make a secret path in a simple way, and then move on to more useful stuff.

We begin, just like when we started making the Forest, with the pathing. You should know how this works by now. Decide how you want the secret path to be, and then make it.
However, this path is supposed to be secret, so we can’t make a trail of a Texture to do this. Instead we just put trees around the path and then cover it up. Once again, clicking the ‘P’ button on your keyboard will prove very handy.

Picture6.jpg


When you have the path done, just add some trees to cover it properly.

Picture7.jpg


And finally use bushes and Thorny vines to cover the entrance up, and there you have it!

Picture8.jpg


The red ring marks the entrance. Do remember to give some room for your Heroes to move, though. Or lower their collision size so that they can squeeze through.


Applying Height and Cliffs

This part of the Tutorial will take up the Apply Height issue.
To be honest, I am not very good with applying height. And that is probably why I don’t like to use it, or find it very attractive. I will show a few things one can do with cliffs, instead of using the Apply Height tool.

First thing to do is to check the surrounding Texture. If the texture around the area where you want your cliff is, like in this Tutorial, based on some type of grass (Dark Grass). You should use the Grass Cliff.
If the Texture is Dirt, use the Dirt Cliff. Easy enough.

Now, the first thing we do is to change the shape and the size of our brush. This is done at the bottom of the Tool Palette, inside the Terrain Palette.
There are two types of shapes (circle and square) and five types of sizes to choose between.
I suggest we pick a square brush with the size of 5.

Then choose a big empty area where you want to increase or decrease the height of the ground. Choose to increase the height by one. Also, remember to choose the same Texture as the surrounding Texture (Dark Grass, in this example.)

Picture9.jpg


When you have done that, change the size of your brush to 1 and click on the ‘Ramp’ button in your Terrain Palette. –The Ramp button is located in the lower lane of the ‘Apply Cliff’ Section, to the right of the Deep and Shallow Water.
Then click and drag the brush over the edges of your cliff to smooth them out.
Note that this works in the same way as when you are applying cliffs. If you are using the Dirt Texture the ramps will apply dirt. And look odd compared to the rest. Make sure you use the same Texture all the time.

Now we have created a small, square hill.
We can choose not to use the Ramp tool on some of the edges of the cliffs. To make them look more realistic and to function as a pathing blocker, if we like.
On top of this smooth hill we can either place some cliffs, Doodads, monsters or whatever we feel like. Or we could do the same thing as before to raise the height of the hill. But then we will have to use a smaller brush.
As always when Terraining, the ‘P’ button is a great tool.
Note that if we try to create ramps on top of a cliff that hasn’t got enough space, nothing will happen. And it will probably look like this.

Picture10.jpg


You can easily fix this by removing some of the newly applied height, or giving the first hill more space. I choose to remove some of the new height, because it’s easier.
Like so.

Picture11.jpg


I know this is all a matter of taste. But I prefer a hill with cliffs and, of course, Doodads. So I am going to go back a few steps and see what I can do about this horrible hill.

Picture12.jpg


And there you have it.
Yes, it looks a bit lonely and dull. But having this hill in the middle of the forest will put a lot more life to it, I assure you.


Now, the reversed of hills would be. Craters. If you choose to use the ‘Apply Height’ tool, that is.
I will show you how I do it with cliffs. It is very simple and reminds a lot about making a hill.

Start, once again, in a big empty spot. And choose these tools in your Terrain Palette:
*Dark Grass –Texture
*Decrease one –Apply Cliffs
*Grass Cliff –Cliff Type
*Size: 3
*Shape: Square

And simply put a hole in the ground.
If you want the “hole” to be larger, simply choose a smaller size of the brush and click around the edges of the cliffs. If something goes wrong you can always ‘Undo’ (Ctrl+z).
I choose to make the hole slightly larger, but not as large as the brush size of 5. Simply something in between.

Picture13.jpg


I then use the Ramp tool on the edges of the cliff. But I intentionally leave some out, because I like it that way. Otherwise it will just look like a silly crater, and I don’t like that.
And then I put some Doodads around it to make it look more realistic.

Picture14.jpg


And that would be it.

Thank you for reading my Tutorial, I hope you found something useful.
/Exide.
 

Exide

I am amazingly focused right now!
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If you're asking me then you are more than welcome to do so! ^^
 
B

Blue_Hand

Guest
quite good, I like it. Rather for beginners, but this is not a defect :)
My only suggestion is to add one picture in part about replacing tiles.
good work
 

Exide

I am amazingly focused right now!
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Thank you for that. :)
I'll add a picture or two, as soon as possible ^^

EDIT:
I added the picture, I hope no one minds that the picture was taken after the Tutorial was finished.
 

2-P

I will work hard tomorrow
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You explained the single steps very well, you know how to write tutorials. :) But the subject... >.<


>"I wanted to make a Tutorial on something easy"

Which brings up the question if the tutorial is really necessary. No offence, I've seen forests... phew, your tutorial would have been a blessing for those people.
But a tutorial about a forest, come on. :p

>"Cliffs usually gives a nice touch to the environment, in my opinion."

Blizzard cliffs? No, they don't. Your opinion is wrong, period. :p

>"Applying Height isn’t very good, though..."

o_O Woah, remove that sentence before anyone reads it!

>"...But it usually takes a long time to get right."

That's no reason.

>"If you have ever wondered what the ‘Cage’ in ‘Trees/Destructibles’ are good for, this is an excellent opportunity to find out."

The invulnerable cage under props should be used for terraining.
 

Exide

I am amazingly focused right now!
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Well, forests are really neat to move through in an RPG map, if they're large and well-made.
I just made a tiny bit of it in this Tutorial. And seriously, no one's gonna miss the apply height if you give them lots of other eye candy to behold.
Also, you can do the same thing as applying height with cliffs, but in a quicker way. -I agree that applying height is a good tool to use. But it takes a lot of time and practice and doesn't fit into my Tutorial, sorry. :p
'Cage’ in ‘Trees/Destructibles’ can be set to hold an item. If someone finds it amusing enough to destroy them. -If one Hero has the blink ability, you can put some secret item in the cage ;)
(I know some of you doesn't like secret stuffs in maps, but I do! :p I guess it's a matter of opinion?)

Thank you for your feedback :)
 

Quauhtli

I have the right to remain silent.
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I actually have to agree with 2-P on this one, the normal tutorials about terraining also tell about forests, wich means this one is a little ... well yes, useless.

not to be harsh or anything... anyways,
its still pretty handy.
Quauhtli
 
J

jus1992

Guest
THANK U! so much im making a Map based on a forest terrain i may later redo my terrain and use your tips to make a new one which will be 10000x better.
 

Exide

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I was wondering.
Since a lot of you think that a forest Tutorial is a bit weak :p
Would it be better if I added more to it? (Within the Forest area)
Like showing a few tricks of mine, etc.
And even taking up the oh-so-troublesome tool 'Apply Height'?
Would that be ok? :p
 

2-P

I will work hard tomorrow
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>"And seriously, no one's gonna miss the apply height if you give them lots of other eye candy to behold."

Eye candy? Anyway, I would. And I'm pretty sure that I'm not the only one.

>"Also, you can do the same thing as applying height with cliffs, but in a quicker way"

*uglier way would fit better if you ask me. :p That's not really the same. I'm not against cliffs when they have a gameplay purpose, but in a terraining tutorial?
Well, arguing is kinda senseless, since it's more or less a matter of taste.

>"'Cage’ in ‘Trees/Destructibles’ can be set to hold an item. If someone finds it amusing enough to destroy them. -If one Hero has the blink ability, you can put some secret item in the cage "

I know, that's why I said "for terraining". ;)

>"Would it be better if I added more to it?"

I'd say go ahead. ^^
 
J

jus1992

Guest
I was wondering.
Since a lot of you think that a forest Tutorial is a bit weak :p
Would it be better if I added more to it? (Within the Forest area)
Like showing a few tricks of mine, etc.
And even taking up the oh-so-troublesome tool 'Apply Height'?
Would that be ok? :p


ok first off i need help about making combat spaces meaning areas that arnt squishy for people to fight and place wards

also could you add a part about npcs? like rabbits and racoons and birds and stuff like where to place em (i have rabits snails racoons and birds in my forest just really not placed nicley ) if you want either a) ill make a thread for you guys to help me and post a screenshot . or b) ill send you the map and let you revamp the terrain. (as in you Exide)
 

Master

Thou shall be helped by...The Black Adder!
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What to say:
1.Includes pictures
2.States things very nice
3.Is divided into stages

I really like it :)
 

ragingspeedhorn

Is a Banned Asshole
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Okay tutorial, though I completely disagree with your views on what looks good and what doesn't. In my oppinion Blizzard cliffs is a big no-no and variation in the height of the terrain is a good thing. Also you should vary your use of trees more and use more than 2 sets of tiles so 1 is dominating, 1 is the dominating walking path and 2-3 are for looks here and there to give it a extra twist.
 

Evan1993

Ultra Cool Member
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Its also a good idea to make your terrain logical. For an example, that cage is just silly, why would anyone put a cage there?
 

Exide

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Ok, thank you all for the feedback.
I'll get right to improving it as soon as I have the time.

Why someone would put a cage there.. Did you even read the Tutorial? :p
Also, use your imagination... -What would happen to a person who is trapped in a cage all alone in the middle of a forest around midnight?
 

Evan1993

Ultra Cool Member
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That is a logical reason? Why not put a head on a pike or something if you trying to scare them, a cage usually holding people, not terrorizing them. Anyway, logical isn’t quite the right word, naturel is more like what I meant.
 

Exide

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I am not going to argue with you. You are, of course, free to pick whatever Doodad you wish. :p
 

Exide

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Ok, I added a bit to my Tutorial about what you can use to improve your Forests.
It seems to get pretty long. I hope no one minds. And I intend to add more as I have the time. -But, once again, I'm worried it might get too long?
Ah well. Hope you like it and that you might learn something from it. :)
Feedback appriciated.

EDIT: Next thing I will add will probably involve monsters. Even though I think they ruin the scenery. :p Monsters and maybe water...
 
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