Adding a Height Map
The Height Map object is used to sculpt the terrain using
an image. Using a height map, you are able to draw your terrain elevations using
a paint program such as Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro. Once your image is imported
into Realtime Landscaping Plus, it can be added
to your landscape designs where the drawing will be converted into height
To create and import a custom height map:
Open the paint program you would like to use and create a new document sized
512x512 or 1024x1024.
Draw the terrain using shades of gray. Brighter shades should be used for areas
of the terrain that are raised more, and darker shades should be used for areas
raised less. Black may be used where the terrain should not be raised at
Save the image in 24-bit BMP format.
Import the image as a height map using the Picture Import Wizard.
When browsing available height maps, your imported image will appear within the
To add a height map that you have already imported:
Click the Add Height Map button that is found near the top of the
screen under the Terrain tab.
Click the picture of the default height map that appears to the right of the
screen, and then select the height map you would like to use.
Click an area of your landscape design to place the first corner of the height
Click another area of your landscape design to place the opposite corner of the
How it Works
The brightness of each pixel of the height map drawing
determines how much the terrain should be raised or lowered. Areas of the
drawing that are black will remain flat, while areas that are white will match
the height map’s Height property.
For example, if the height property of the height map is
set to 10 feet (3.08 m), then wherever the height map is white, the terrain will
raise to 10 feet (3.08 m). Where the map is gray, the terrain will raise to 5
feet (1.52 m). The height property can also be set to negative values in order
to lower the terrain.
Surrounding your height map image with a black border will
prevent edge seams. For an example, see the sample height map below.
When using detailed height maps, it is recommended to set
the terrain resolution to High. For details, see Terrain Settings.
The picture below is a sample height map included with
Realtime Landscaping Plus.
The empty landscape design in the picture below uses the
height map shown above to form its topology.
The picture below illustrates a completed landscape that
uses the height map shown above.
In the picture below, the name of our landscape design
software was imported as a height map.
Height maps can be any size needed.
Multiple height maps can be used in a single design.
Adding a black border to the height map image can improve results by
eliminating potential edge seams.
working with complex height maps such as in the picture shown above, it is
recommended to use a High terrain resolution. See Terrain Settings for more information.
• If a
height map overlaps other terrain sculpting objects, it may be necessary to
modify the Terrain Sculpting
Adding a Height Grid
Adding a Height Painter