john burns

Citizen
I searched all over and found information on custom map making that is years old, or inaccurate. I have followed posts and links in those posts. Leaving my question unanswered.

How do you make a custom map from start to finish?
Making the map in a bitmap picture, setting the properties, bit rate, correct pixels per inch, the correct colors so it will render correctly, and which map render software is the best to use.
 

Po0ka

Rookie
To make a map file with a bitmap, you have to either make your own mapping software, or use an already existing one.
So far, from what i gather of your post, you might want to take a look at Dragon.

If your questions are deeper, this may answer some of your questions:
https://uo.stratics.com/heptazane/fileformats.shtml

As for map rendering, i don't know.
I made my own mapping software and i'm still coding it little by little, so if you make your own, be ready to lose quite some time on it (that is if you start completly from scratch like i did).

On a side note, it might be easier to offer assistance if you tell us what you tried, what you intend to do to do your mapping, etc.
If i pump out any tutorials, chances are that you may have already deemed them as outdated.
 

john burns

Citizen
Tried using GIMP to set up, color, deserialize, and set all other properties that some tutorials told me to do.

Used Dragon_10362_Imod9+, Dragon_10362_Imod13, dragonmod9, and dragonmod9 with little and no success. If it did render the map and static files, I got the dragon picture that I uploaded.

Next tried using UOLandscaper with the color palette that they suggested. The only thing that came out like the color suggested was grass. Dirt came out as mountains, snow was water, the swamp was sand, and mountains was dirt.

We would like to make a couple of custom maps for players to play on that have not been used yet. My co-owner can deco great, but I am the one who handles the meat-n-potatoes of the behind-the-scenes stuff. She has made a custom map that we want to use, the issue we have is getting it to render correctly.
 

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eri

Citizen
you need to index the bmp to the dragon colortable

landsaper used 2 bmp (terrain and zlvl separate) to do a map. be sure you has taken the right colortable


dragon is the maptool that is easy to use cause you need only 1 bmp.
other tools need 2-3 bmps to do a map
 

john burns

Citizen
Ok, using Dragon's color table or not, I get the same results as the picture I posted. It comes out as a bunch of lines.
 

Argonious

Citizen
John Yeah for your decorator, and you'll get it be patient, and yes make sure its a .bmp that you use I made that mistake as well.
 

john burns

Citizen
yep, bmp.

But today we went thru all the colors, found out which ones will render as what and got rid of the ones that wouldn't render. So now we know what colors will turn out as what and what goes.

Although, any more advice u all can give would be great.
 

eri

Citizen
as i said, you need to create an indexed bmp based on dragon colortable ->42 / 8-bit.
 
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eri

Citizen
i only know the way via photoshop. take a closer view to the animated gif.

the count of colors are maybe different - depend on the count of colors of the dragon mode you use

indexed-bmp.gif
 
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Rex

Citizen
These were pulled from the wayback machine.

Dragon Tutorial (C) by Admin Nacor
Small instruction to draw maps and dungeons for calculation by AwA or the program Dragon.

The following is required: A bitmap graphics program that can process large graphics (Adobe Photoshop is the most suitable).

Basics:


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The UO card consists of 6144 x 4096 tiles, so the graphics to be calculated must have this number of pixels.
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The graphics must be saved as uncompressed as a Windows BMP with 8 bits or 256 colors.
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The program only calculates the basic styles with their different height values and the individual transitions between the individual species, and it sets the coastal strips and various outer walls for the dungeons.

The following goundtiles can be drawn:
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grass
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forest
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water
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dungeon cave floor
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desert
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mountains
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snow
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jungle
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dirt roads (dirt (big & small stones))
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pavement (cobblestones)
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desert path
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dungeon floorplates brown, blue-gray, light gray, sandstone,
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marble floorplates
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lava
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stone hills in the sand, snow and Grass

The following transitions are automatically calculated between 2 types:
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grass / pavement
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grass / unpaved paths
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grass / forest
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grass / jungle
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grass / mountains
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Grass / desert
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grass / snow
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grass / coast (choice between light or dark coastline)
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forest / unpaved paths
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forest / jungle
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forest / mountains
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forest / desert
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forest / coast
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jungle / unpaved paths
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jungle / coast
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desert / unpaved paths
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desert / jungle
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desert / Mountains
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desert /
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desert
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paths desert / coast snow / dirt roads
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snow / mountains
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snow / coast
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dirt roads / mountains
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dirt roads / coast
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Dungeoncavefloor is rounded off
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Dungeon Floorplates sandstone-colored / Lava

The following items are calculated to be integrated by means of a Staic-makers for Sphere or UOX:
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All coastal parts (waves) of water
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Dungeon Walls for Dungeon Floor Pates brown
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trees and forests
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with sandstone walls at Dungeon Floorplates sandstone-colored
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marble walls with marble Floorplates
(where each the possibility that the front walls are only half-height or have full height)

Further calculations have not been elaborated at the moment or are not possible, furthermore there is no calculation at places where more than 2 tile types meet, since this would result in a considerably greater computing effort and there are no intermediate tiles anyway ,

To ensure that the transitions are
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calculated correctly, there are a few points to keep in mind when drawing. Side-by-side only of landscape types where there is also a between calculation, there will be no hard transitions that need
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to be revised. At least one pixel field of 2x2 pixels must be available for transitions otherwise the transitions cannot be calculated correctly.
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Within a type of landscape, the number of pixels does not matter between the different heights, just make sure that they can also be walked on by games (i.e. no other grass height zero to the next tile grass height 45).
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Ascents in mountains should be as gentle as possible, otherwise an the player behind it is covered up to 10 fields by the mountains.
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All dungeons must be surrounded by a border with a minimum of 2 pixels black unwalkable since otherwise the walls will not be properly calculated.
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Between 2 different water levels there must always be 2 tiles of a different type of soil in order to create a waterfall.

Preparations for drawing a map (based on Adobe Photoshop )
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Create a new graphic with 6144 x 4096 pixels.
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Switch the mode of the graphic to 8-bit mode.
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Load the color table.
To insert a Photoshop color palette please click on Swatches at the color window and then on the arrow to the right. Now you can replace the color palette with the enclosed color table (Replace).

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Before you start drawing you should have a rough idea of how big the land mass should be or how it should look.
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The landmass and islands should be stored in a sea, which in turn should be surrounded by a mountain range, so that players who are traveling with a ship do not eventually reach a black edge.
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To what extent the country is then available in one piece or as islands everyone must know for themselves.
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You should start with a rough representation of the map, which you then work out in more and more detail.
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In order to achieve a certain atmosphere for InGame, one should not make the level of the surface and the height too large.
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You should also see whether certain types of soil should be right next to each other.
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In order to represent crossings with 2 levels in dungeons, you have to put the lower level paint and the other one later by hand using floor plates and then let them make static.
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golfin

Squire
I would probably add an idea to this. You know, over the years I do graphics and create UO files, I've met many people and taught them how to work for this game. But there was always a problem. People want to create, but they don't want to admit they don't know anything. Working with different programs for Ultima Online is often easier than working with Adobe photoshop (Gimp, paint net etc). To work on graphics, we need to control a civilian program. I knew people who edited images in the "paint" windows program. It is a catastrophe.

Friends who always encounter this problem, master Dragon Mod or UO Landscaper, or manage to create a gump or art image. But you can't create the right bmp format. Don't despair and learn. But not here on the forum. About Adobe Photoshop (Gimp etc), learn at source. There are plenty of instructions on the world's website. Here you will get information on how to set it up, as in this case of this topic. But to find and learn the job, to test trial and error, nobody will do it for you. So let's go to work boys and girls.
 

gametec

Rookie
The map sizes for Trammel and Felucca are actually larger (depends if you use Pre-ML or post-ML clients) and I have been making UO custom maps for a long while with Dragon, MapCreator, and with UOLandscaper; MapCreator is my own rendition of UOLandscaper so it really doesn’t matter which you use because they work the same - they are clones of one another except UOLandscaper is coded in VB whereas MapCreator is written in C# and is open source; so the community can edit it.

As for the Custom Map thing, the best editor to use is a combo of both UOLandscaper and CentrED. UOLandscaper is the only editor available that is capable of 3way transitions. MapCreator uses the same engine, but the 3way transition editor has not been included. The reason is because I coded MapCreator when I was starting out and I was unable to get the 3way transition editor to work properly when I tried to recode it in C#.

As with everything this process is a matter of preference and therefore you will get several different reasons to go with one editor moreso than another. My recommendation is to try and use all of them to get a feel. I would also opt to go with Adobe Photoshop rather than GIMP or another free paint program, only because it’s much more straightforward to us in my opinion. Also UOLandscaper and MapCreator were designed to work with Adobe Photoshops color table and swatches

If all else fails you can always solicit Eri to make a map for you. Her map editor Mass is also a great one to use, though I still have yet to master it. Lol

 

Domquixote

Citizen
Good evening everyone, I know the last post here was almost two years ago but I need your help, I started to create my map with dragonmod and I managed to create the entire grass area but the passage from grass to water is getting with error and you get a brown spot, does anyone know how to solve it?
 

golfin

Squire
That's right. There is no transparent water in the original UO. The brown transition is the texture above which the water is solved as a static.
 

HellRazor

Vita-Nex Sponsor
Good evening everyone, I know the last post here was almost two years ago but I need your help, I started to create my map with dragonmod and I managed to create the entire grass area but the passage from grass to water is getting with error and you get a brown spot, does anyone know how to solve it?

Which dragonmod are you using? There are a few different ones out there (mod9, etc.) Most people use Mod9/Mod9+. I think Mod11 has some issues with coastlines and/or was never fully completed.

There should be a designated color for "shallow water". You need to surround shorelines with at least 5-6 pixels of "shallow water". Dragon will then place the correct static tiles on the shorelines. (Looking at one of my old dragon maps, it looks like for ocean (deep water) you use water at Z -5, and for shallow water (which goes around the coastlines) you use water at Z 5. For Dragon mod 9, the deep water is RGB 0 0 102 and shallow water is RGB 0 0 153.

Also, as others have mentioned, you need to make sure your map image BMP is using the same palette as the Dragon color table, as it's really the index number in the image palette (not the color used by that index number) that Dragon is using to identify and render the terrain transitions. So if you have a map image that isn't using the color table's palette, it probably isn't going to convert to MUL correctly. (This could be why some of your earlier attempts were producing odd results).

I think most of the dragon mod packages include a palette file in the "Addons" directory (which I think is for Adobe Photoshop and possibly also one for Paintshop Pro). But you can also create one yourself using the color table BMP as the source for the palette. Exactly how to do this depends on the paint program you are using, but most paint programs can load and save a palette index from an image). There also might be an option in Dragon itself to generate the palette files (it's been a long time so I forget).

Hope this helps!
 
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HellRazor

Vita-Nex Sponsor
so do you know how to fix this bug?

It's not a bug, it's a feature. :)

It actually has nothing to do with transparent water. Unlike other transitions, coastlines are transitioned using static images vs. terrain. So all coastlines in UO will look like this (with those brown spots) if the correct static items to transition the terrain to the water are missing.

In your map image you have to use shallow water around the coastlines (as described above), and then Dragon will place the proper statics to transition the coasts to the ocean properly. (Remember that you have to generate both map and statics, as the coastline transitions are static items, not terrain).
 

Domquixote

Citizen
It's not a bug, it's a feature. :)

It actually has nothing to do with transparent water. Unlike other transitions, coastlines are transitioned using static images vs. terrain. So all coastlines in UO will look like this (with those brown spots) if the correct static items to transition the terrain to the water are missing.

In your map image you have to use shallow water around the coastlines (as described above), and then Dragon will place the proper statics to transition the coasts to the ocean properly. (Remember that you have to generate both map and statics, as the coastline transitions are static items, not terrain).
ok I understand, but in the dragon program there is an executable that I use to transform the BMP file into map0.mul, I use that same executable but I change the name that I'll save the file to statics0.mul or is it another executable?