My campaign map is currently done in ProFantasy’s Campaign Cartographer 3. Recently, I’ve been playing with Fractal Terrains 3, a terrain mapping program also from ProFantasy. I am just learning FT and not very skilled with it yet, but I have managed to figure out (with the help of those on the forums) how to transfer a landmass from CC3 to FT3.

Overview

We will hide everything but the landmass in CC3 and export a very large BMP image. That image is then edited in Photoshop so that the land area is white and the sea area is black. Also we will invert the image vertically. This is then saved as a Windows 8-bit BMP image and loaded into Wilbur as a grayscale surface. No editing is done in Wilbur. We immediately save it as a Muse DTED Surface. Finally we create a new (binary) file in FT using the .dte file from Wilbur.

Step-By-Step

If you are familiar with all these programs, the overview above may be enough to go on. But I find when I am learning a new program, tutorials tend to skip some important step that is obvious to the author but not so much to the person reading the tutorial. I hope I can detail this thoroughly enough for folks to get what they need.

First off, you will need to download and install Wilbur (I am using v1.77 64-bit). You will also need some sort of graphics editing program. I am using Photoshop but any other similar program should work just fine. Obviously, you will need CC3 and FT3 as well.

Note that we will be using very large images in order to preserve as much detail as possible. All of the programs may appear to hang (or even say “Not Responding”) while performing various tasks. Most likely, they are simply busy and will become responsive again shortly if left alone.

Step 1 – Campaign Cartographer 3

  • Open drawing in CC3
  • Zoom extents
  • Make the land sheet and land layer the current ones
  • Hide all other sheets and layers
  • Change properties | Select land | Do it
  • Check fill style and set to solid
  • Check color and set to black
  • Click ok
  • File | Save As | Set type to rectangular section BMP
  • Click options
  • Set both height and width to 16000
  • Set bmp to 8-bit
  • Click ok
  • Click Save
  • Select rectangular area
  • Do not touch the mouse or keyboard! It probably says “Not Responding” on the top line. Most likely this just means that it is busy. If it doesn’t complete within 10 minutes, you’ll probably have to exit and start again but with slightly smaller values.

Step 2 – Photoshop

  • Open in photoshop (or other graphics program)
  • Use the magic wand tool to select the land
  • Create a new layer
  • Fill selection with white
  • Create a new layer below that one
  • Select all
  • Fill layer with black
  • Turn off original layer
  • You should now have a white landmass on a black background
  • Delete the original layer
  • Merge visible
  • Image | Rotate Canvas | Flip Canvas Vertical
  • Image | Mode | Grayscale
  • File | Save As | BMP
  • Click Save
  • Select Windows 8-bit
  • Click OK

Step 3 – Wilbur

  • Open Wilbur
  • File | Open | Grayscale Surface Image
  • Texture | Grayscale Bump Shader
  • File | Save As | Muse DTED Surface

Step 4 – Fractal Terrains

  • Open Fractal Terrains
  • File | New | Binary
  • Click Next
  • Choose Elevation file
  • Select the .dte file that you saved in Wilbur (You’ll need to select all *.* file types to see it)
  • We will only change the Map Edges data
  • Set top and left to 45
  • Set bottom and right to -45
  • Click OK, Next, Finish

* Edit: Do not delete or move the .dte file. Fractal Terrains will need to access it every time the map loads.

Finished

Here are a couple of pics of my landmass in FT. The first is a equirectangular projection, the second is orthographic.

Note that I used a square area and inserted it at +/- 45 degrees. If you use a non-square area you will have to adjust the range of degrees. To cover the entire globe you would use +/- 90 degrees vertically and +/- 180 degrees horizontally.

Final Words

These are far from done. This tutorial simply gets the landmass into FT. So far I have spent a great many hours trying to go from this to what you see in a “synthetic world” created by FT. The program creates a rough surface instead of the smooth surface you see here. At the coast line there is a short steep drop followed by a slow tapering slope to a continental shelf, then a steady slope down to a fairly smooth ocean floor. Each of these sections extend for varying distances. For instance the continental shelf is quite short in some areas but considerably wider in others. All of these have a very organic feel (due to the fractal routines) that I have so far been unable to duplicate. In fact, I’m having trouble just duplicating even an inorganic replica of these sections.

One way to approach some of this is to use a more detailed height map. Instead of simply using a black and white map, I could create a detailed grayscale map in photoshop. Filling the land area with light clouds, from white to grey (808080), and the sea with dark clouds, from grey to black, would result in a roughened terrain.

I will continue to work away at this but if anyone has experience in this area, please add some comments!