Terraining - Tropical Lake

Tutorial By Hjalle

Tropical Lake v0.2

Table Of Content
Part 1
In part 1 we will set up the settings we need for making this map.

Creating The Map
Setting Up The Map
The Tools

Part 2
In this part we will start making the basics of the map. This part is needed to be able to complete part 3.

Part 3
In this part I will explain some more advanced things about making nice looking maps.
Welcome to my tutorial about making a nice looking tropical lake map.

Adding A Waterfall
Lowering the ground
Pathing Blockers

At the end of the tutorial I will show how my map ended up.

For changelog, check the end of this post.

This tutorial is made for you. I will try to explain as detailed as i can on how to make a nice looking terrain using the tileset "Sunken Ruins", wich is a nice looking tropical, jungle, beach tileset.
If you read this tutorial, please comment it, since it took a little while to make.

I hope you will find this tutorial usefull, good luck!

Part 1

1.1 Creating The Map

1.2 Setting Up The Map

1.3 The Tools

1.1 - Creating The Map

First, if you have never made a map ever before, you should open the Warcraft 3 World Editor, often shortened by WE. You can find it in your Warcraft 3 folder, called "World Edit.exe".
WE is the map editing program, used for making maps.

If you have opened WE, you will have to create a new map ( File -> New Map... )
If you have noticed, WE automaticly creates a new map when you open it. To make WE not open a new map every time you open it, to save time, you can go into ( File -> Prefences ) and uncheck the "Create new map on start-up".

Since this is a tutorial I set my map size to 32 x 32.

Now set the Tileset to: "Sunken Ruins" and also set the Initial Water Level to: "Shallow Water".

Why setting the waterlevel to shallow water?

If we set the waterlevel of the map, it will be remembered at that level. So if we raise the ground and then lower it again, without using the shallow water tool, you will be able to see the water again, since the waterlevel is set.

Click "OK" and you should end up with this:
Well, it doesn't look too funny but this is how it should look for now.

1.2 - Setting Up The Map
For making the map look nicer, you can also change the sky, time of day, add fog effects and more. To do this go into
"Scenario -> Map Options".
From here you can add fog by checking the "Use Terrain Fog" and setting the values.
In my map i used a terrain fog starting at 200 and ending at 7000.
I also changed the density to 0.75 and the color to a custom color using "Red: 0, Green: 150, Blue: 100". This makes the map look a bit greener, adding a more tropical feeling in the map.
You can also set "Use Global Weather", for a tropical map you should set it to rain, considering you want a weather effect at all. I didnt use a global weather effect.
You can also set "Custom Ambient Sound" for making a more realistic world with sounds, i used the "Lake" sound.
The "Cusom Light Environment" sets the light for your map. I used the Sunken Ruins one.

If you change the tab to "Prefs" from "Options" you should also be able to set the time of day and the sky. I used the generic sky.

1.3 - The Tools
This part is for noobs only.

Now you might wonder, "Well i made my map, but how do i edit it?".
Well, at the right side of the world editor you should a "Tool palette".
There is 5 different types of palettes in the world editor.

• Terrain Palette
• Doodad Palette
• Unit Palette
• Region Palette
• Camera Palette

This is the palette tool:
Currently set to the Terrain Palette.

If you have no palette tool you can always find one using "Window -> Show Palettes".

The Terrain Palette
The Terrain Palette is used to make the outfit of the map, making hills, water,
changing terrain types. Well, anything that has to do with the ground level and look.

The Terrain Palette has 5 different "functions".

Apply Texture:
The apply texture function is used to set the texture type of the terrain placed.

Apply Cliff:
The apply cliff function is used to edit the ground level of the place where terrain is placed. It can raise the ground, lower the ground and add water.
Using this, the texture at the edges of lets say a cliff can be set with the subfunction called "Cliff Type".

Apply Height:
The apply height function will also edit the ground level at a chosen place. But this dont make any cliff edges, it makes it very smooth.
This is what we will be using a lot in this tutorial since it makes very nice looking terrain.

Simply sets the brush size, wich is the area of where the terrain modification takes place.

Changes the shape of the brush between a circle and a square.

The Doodad Palette
The doodad palette is used to add objects to your map, making it to look more alive. From here you can add all from Birds/Bats to Trees.

In the doodad palette there is 9 different categories of doodads.

• Bridges/Ramps
• Cinematic
• Cliff/Terrain
• Environment
• Pathing Blockers
• Props
• Structures
• Trees/Destructibles
• Water

I list them here so you know what i mean later in this tutorial.

The Unit Palette
From the unit palette you can add all different types of units, but in this tutorial we won't focus on this one.

Anyhow, if you click the "Player 1 (Red)" text and choose "Neutral Passive" you can add critters to make your map looking even more alive and colorful!

The Region Palette
The region palette is mostly used for triggers wich I won't take up in this tutorial.

But if you create a region, you can set some special effect at this point by rightclicking the name of your region and take "Edit region properties".
From there you can select a special Weather Effect, or Ambient Sound for this region.

The Camera Palette
In this tutorial I won't take up this at all.

Part 2
Now lets start with making the lake.

As it should look now your map should be all filled with water.
Now you will have to work a little bit by filling this up using the "Apply Cliff: Same Level" function. When this is done it should look like this:

You might wonder, "Why did we do this?".
Well, what we have done is that we set the water level of the map, if you use the "Apply Height: Raise or Lower" function, you now can get a smooth looking beach.

Now select the "Apply Height: Lower" function.
Lower the ground until you see water. Do this at all over the area where you want your lake. Try to form a lake and a beach.
This is what i got:

You see that the water is very dark almost all over the water? This is because the water is too deep to walk on. Using the raise tool in the water to make the water not so deep. Now it should look brighter and its walkable.
Try to modify the height of the ground around the lake to make it look better.

Well, it looks better but still looks like crap, you notice the terrain looking very "edgy"? This can be fixed using the smooth tool in the "Apply Height" function.

The next step is to add some texture to it, since when is it dirt in the water? Use the "Apply texture" function and make sure to uncheck everything else. Now select the "Sand" texture and start adding sand around and in the lake.
Try making a beach using the sand.

With this done its time to start adding some life the the lake, click the doodad palette. Click the "Water" category and start adding fish and corals.
Try to make it look cool and don't overuse the doodads.
I also added some bubbles and seaweed. And if you go to the Environment category, there is some good doodads there too. I used lily pads, shrubs and shells.
Keep in mind to clump the lily pads together in groups since they don't grow alone, but in groups.
And the shells should not be in groups cause that looks pretty ugly.
In my tiny, tiny island i added a canopy tree from the Trees/Destructibles category to make a cool effect.

Lastly i added some critters from the Unit Palette.
Try adding units that seems to fit that partically area.
This is how the lake ended up:

Now start making the syrroundings by going into the doodad palette and and placing trees from the Tree/Destructibels Category at the edges of the map.

Well, trees are added but it dont looks nice, you will need more variety. Try removing some trees and add another texture on the ground, add doodads, change height, and why not add a walkable path?

Remember, when adding texture try to make it realistic, dont add just 1 texture, try to mix it with others to make a nice effect. The same thing is about doodads, use many sorts to get the best effect.

Pretty good, but lets more over to something more advenced in the next part.

Part 3
In this part we will go over some advanced things, so you might need to try several times. Use the "CTRL+Z" command if something goes wrong.

This is how this part will work:
3.1 Adding A Waterfall

3.2 Lowering the ground

3.3 Pathing Blockers

3.1 - Adding A Waterfall
Now we are going to add a waterfall, supplying the lake with fresh water.
With the waterlevel set, this can be a bit difficult, but it's possible!

Make sure you have "Advanced -> Enforce Water Height Limits" checked!
Then raise the ground where you want your waterfall by 2 steps using the "Apply Cliff: Increase 2" function.
After you formed the place where you want your waterfall, uncheck "Enforce Water Height Limits"!
If you don't do this, it will end up very bad.

Now start using the shallow water tool on the source of the waterfall, you should get something like this:

If everything works right now you should be able to get this result by using the shallow water tool:

Now start using the "Apply Height: Lower" tool.
Use it to make the water from the lake come to the edge of the waterfall, you should now see that the water surface is angled at the point of the waterfall.
I did also split my waterfall source in 2 rivers, by using the "Apply Height: Raise" tool.
What you can do to make this look nice is to change the depth of the water to various levels.

The first thing we should immidiatly should change is the sharp edges at the water edges from the waterfall source.
Do this by raising the ground with the "Apply Height: Raise" tool. After some work it could end up really nice.

Now you may thing like "Wtf, how did that happen?". Well, i shall explain.
First i lowered the cliff edges by using "Apply Cliff: Decrease One", this made it look very bad with the water, so i used the raise function to raise the ground over the water level, making it to look like a beach. I also made a ramp, using "Apply Cliff: Ramp" function.
It might be a bit confusing, if it dont work the first time, try again.

One thing that is improntant can be to remember, everything might not end up like you thought it would do, i might be better.
Exactly what happend to my "2 river water source thing" thing. I realised that it looked awful and removed it.

Now the actual waterfall part.
Start by going into doodads, go in the category "Water" and choose the doodad "Waterfall".
Place near your waterfall, then click on it and by holding CTRL+Left Mouse Button you can rotate it!
Move the waterfall to the desired location it might look ugly, but you can LOWER the waterfall by the CTRL+Pg Up/Down Command!
With the waterfall in place, you should add a few more waterfalls to add a really nice looking effect, for my map, i used 4 waterfalls, but it depends on how big the waterfall is and what scale your waterfall places with!
At the bottom of the waterfalls i added LOTS of "Bubbles Steam" to make a even cooler effect.

Now start making the waterfall really beautiful by using Raise and Lower in a proper way and add doodads to cover ugly places of the waterfall!
This was i ended up with:

Thats pretty much it!

3.2 - Lowering The Ground
If you should get the idea of lowering the ground without wanting water there. You will have to check the "Advanced -> Enforce Water Height Limits".
Now lower the ground, using "Apply Cliff: Decrease One", add ramps if you want, and when you are done uncheck "Enforce Water Height Limits" again.

3.3 - Pathing Blockers
Pathing blockers is mostly used for adding an invisible point in the editor so unit can't walk or fly over it, preventing units to come to unvanted places.
Pathing blockers can be find in the doodad palette in the category "Pathing Blockers". Im pretty sure the name of the different blockers explain it for you.

If you want to see the pathingmap of your map press "N" or "P".


Now continue making the rest of the map, if something goes wrong, you can always reverse it using "CTRL-Z".
Remember, if you want to make it cooler, add regions with different weather effects. (Look at part 1).
Good Luck!

This is what i came up with:

I hope you enyoyed this tutorial. Please post critics and your own outcome if you try this. I attatched the map if you want to take a look at it. Add +rep if you think this helped you.
I will update this after the time goes by.

PS: This is my first tutorial here.

Happy Map Makin'!

v0.1 - Changed some text
v0.2 - Added a table of content

Click here to comment on this tutorial.
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