Making a1:1 Scale Map from Real World Height Maps

Hi all, i’ve only been using Unreal Engine 4 for about a week and i was wondering how you would go about importing and breaking up a large height map.

The area i’m trying to recreate is about 570 Square Kilometers or 220 Square Miles.

I’ve been thinking of how i could do this since the max size of one landscape in Unreal is 55 Kilometers Squared, as i’ve heard.

I know I’ll have to use the World Composition feature but could someone elaborate on the process for me? Thanks:D

If you’re using World Machine you’ll need to use the tiled landscape feature (this is only available in the professional edition, I think) to be able to split your landscape into tiles for World Comp.

Thanks for the answer, I don’t have the pro version of World Machine so I don’t think I’ll be able to do that, but another thing I was wondering about was where i could download high detail height maps? I’ve been using the SRTM Tile Grabber page for the height maps but if I need to have the map in more detail I don’t think it’ll work that well.
Anyone know where I could get high-res height maps?

Are you trying to recreate real world geography in-engine? That’s the only reason I can think of for you needing real world height maps.

Is there an easier option for creating the map without using height maps? Or would i need the height maps no matter what i use? Which terrain editing software would be best if I had to use one?

You could do it with the landscape tool. :slight_smile:

Otherwise take a look at terresculptor, world machine or a 3d program (you can make heightmaps with them). Also make sure to search on google for reallife heightmaps (I dont have the link, but I think someone posted a high resolution heightmap of the world into a thread)

Thanks for the answer, I’ve already got height maps of the area i want re-create but i need better quality images. The ones I downloaded are 6000x6000 pixels but its of an entire square block of the world separated by the latitude/longitude lines and when zoomed in to get the correct sizes they aren’t that good quality. I’ll have to find a better place to download higher quality height maps or something so that the details of the land can be accurately represented.

There is a program called MicroDem. Get it. Install it. Get Google Earth SRT plugin.
Select area you want. Download SRT. Sometimes 500MB for one. Quality? Amazing. Res? Super high.


Thanks, I have MicroDEM already but I’ll have to try the google earth thing when i get the chance.

Its very cool. That plugin allows you to select the grid you want n takes u to the download.

Then you use microdem to strip the heightmap out. I found for me the best is to select onlynthe area i want. Export in greyscale.photoshop, enlarge a lot. Save.

Take terragen and add minor erosions or other features
Copy the google image over your terrain to have a quick color base to worl from.

Then create interesting lines with worldmachine and overlay it in your diffuse
In no time u will have sweet terrain

I know this is a tad old of a thread but it seemed to apply so, just wondering is there no way to export a heightmap from method you described above, to get say a precise sq mile size, in my case 25sq x 12sq ?

I’ve searched, but short of world machine ‘pro’ which faik is the only way to get tiles ( cant afford it atM!), I see no other way to do this, short of manally doing all of it.

Speaking of doing it manally, to make my own terrain if I were to do it in unreal editor, how do I get a precise size, as the one in this post ?


unless I have the wrong plugin, there is no way to ‘select the area you want’, as all I see is 'rectangular selectin, but its almost impossible to get it nice and straight on all edge.

I never found any ‘srt’ plugin btw, have any info about that ? ( yes I binged, found no info about srt anthing related to Ge)

EDIT: Ok I found it, its not CALLED ‘srt’, its the SRTM kml project, or at least that’s the closest I can come, and it does install it in ge, but I’ve yet to find a way to ‘overlay srtm data’ over GE, anyone know how this is done, there seems to be NO documentation for this, and I cant figure out how to get the overlay, to then grab the desired area of globe I want.

EDIT2: I found this: Shaded USGS Topographic Maps « GE Library Store , but it seems to get the kml info, its pay only, but I don’t have time to verify, anyone know ?

Gotta go…