The biggest thing I wanted was to be able to explore the land of Hyrule in a 3-D capacity. Years ago I discovered a piece of software called L3Dt by Bundysoft.
This is what I used to import the initial height-map I had created based off of the original Legend of Zelda over-world map.
Below is the original map:
And below is my height-map:
B&W Height-Map of Hyrule:
This took a good number of steps before the map was even imported into L3DT.
Removing the color, adding grey and adding the screen grid.
Continuing to remove the color and add grey.
Adding more grey to define more heights.
All of the screens have their base altitude. Numbers added to denote the RGB value of that area.
Removed the grid.
Removed the numbers.
And then finally it was imported into L3DT where I manually shaped the landscape from this very rough and blocky height-map.
Below is an aerial view of the first screen (Grid H8)
Once I finished this up, I exported the height-map as a .BMP file. This is not the first time I have created a height-map of Hyrule. Long ago I used a terrain editor called T Ed (http://www.thegamecreators.com/?m=view_product&id=2102).
With this height-map, I initially attempted to import it into UDK. There were some issues (which I later learned how to resolve), so I had given up. My good friend who turned me onto UDK then showed me Unity. From then on, that is what I have been working in.
The image had to be split up though, the terrain objects needed to be a power of two x power of two (128×128, 256×256 etc.) The map was updated to have a large sea to the southern portion.
That was taken and then broken up into even 256×256 pieces.
For some reason, the original image had to be flipped along the horizontal axis to get it to import in the right orientation.
On import, I was getting a very unusual terrain block. It was nothing like what I was expecting. Turns out, you have to save the image as a grey-scale image with no additional indexed information.
Once the image is converted to grey-scale, you will then need to export it as a .RAW type file.
Below is after the map was imported and textured. Some of the GUI is visible as well.
It is in Unity that I have been able to import models, create scripts, add vegetation and explore all of Hyrule’s over-world.
Tomorrow I will go into more about what programs I am using in addition to Unity.