I've just released the latest version of Automap. It has a new tool that allows the creation of real-world photoreal terrain tens or hundreds of kilometers across.
You can download it here:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4380128/Automap.zip
*************** IMPORTANT! *****************
Several problems have been found. Please update the installation with these two steps:
1. Download the latest version of the .exe here:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4380128/AutoMap.exe
Rename AutoMap.exe (in the main Automap directory) so you can still run the old version, and replace with this new version.
2. Download the file Template.bmp and place it in the main Automap directory:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4380128/Template.bmp
The screenshots show the program interface and several sceneries created with Automap.
The terrain system uses brushes (.cgf files). It can be used to create photoreal terrain hundreds of kilometers across, though it will help if your graphics card has plenty of memory - 2 Gb works very well. Here's a brief description of how it works. It takes around 15 minutes to create an area roughly 40 km across.
It uses two additional free programs: Universal Maps Downloader (UMD) to download the textures from Google Earth and Multiple Image resizer (MIR) to manipulate the textures. But if you want to use decent texture resolutions, as shown in the screen shots, you need to buy the UMD licence.
The terrain system is integrated into my AutoMap program, see screenshot. There are six stages initiated by the buttons as follows:
1. RUN UMD
This runs UMD, and UMD will then automatically download all the required Google Earth textures. It typically takes 5 minutes to download the textures.
2. CREATE AREA FILE STRUCTURE
This creates the required scenery directories inside Crysis (or free SDK). It also creates the material file and a group file. The group file can be used to load the 30 scenery areas into Sandbox in one operation.
3. CONVERT TO BMP
THis uses MIR to automatically convert all the Google Earth .jpg textures to .bmp.
4. CREATE GRID TEXTURES
This stitches together the .bmp textures to create a texture for each of the 30 terrain sections (grids).
5. CONVERT TO TGA/TIF
This converts the 30 .bmp grid textures to tga or tif and copies them into the Crysis scenery directory.
6. CREATE SOLID TERRAIN
The input terrain height data is downloaded from the USGS (the manual gives the link). The data is converted to 30 .obj files.
You can then import the .obj files into your modelling program, apply the textures and then export to Sandbox.
I use Softimage ModTool and I have developed several scripts. The main script imports the 30 .obj files and applies the textures(it takes about 20 seconds). After any editing, I then export the 30 terrain sections to Sandbox, this takes about 5 minutes.
Finally I use the group file to load the 30 grids into Sandbox. Job done. The whole process for a 40km area takes about 15 minutes.
I can then make additional areas which seamlessly join together to make a very large scenery area. In one test i had scenery stretching from the coast of France to Land's End in Cornwall (the western extreme of the UK).
I have also added smaller and higher resolution areas e.g. for airports.
Please be sure to read the manual! I strongly recommend that you work through the tutorial.