What is the best free heightmap generator/source of UE4 compatible heightmaps?

I’m working on a space game for fun, with planets that you can land on. I need a good quality heightmap to use for one of the planets, but no heightmap I could find on the web looked right for this planet. I’ve done a lot of work on the rest of the game, but now I’m stuck and I wanted to know if there’s any way of creating high quality, realistic heightmaps without buying some expensive program like World Machine to do it. Here’s a screenshot using a free heightmap provided by Tesla Dev:

If you don’t need to keep making new heightmaps, maybe you could download some trial software? I don’t know if worldmachine has a trial version, but if it does, you could use that.

Wilkes: World Machine does have a trial version.

Dogsofknowledge: Check out my blog, here’s more about World Machine if that’s what you decide to use: https://unrealmethodscom.wordpress.com/

Yes, actually I did try the trial version of WM. The problem is that the trial version is limited to a resolution 513x513, making it absolutely useless. I also tried modelling the terrain in the student version of Mudbox, but to get the equivilant of a 4096x4096 heightmap you need a 16M poly terrain, which Unreal can never import.

Thanks, the tutorial looks awesome but it won’t work in the trial, as I said before it only supports resolutions up to 513x513.

but you can export heightmap from Mudbox also, no need to export it to UE like a mesh

Um, you have to bake your 16M mesh into heightmap and then import it in UE4. The same pipeline applies to World Machine or basically any software for heightmap generation

For learning stuff, i would grab one from here: https://www.google.de/search?q=4096+heightmap&biw=1280&bih=693&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj4yte566jJAhUDECwKHaG-ACsQ_AUIBigB#tbs=isz:l%2Cic:gray&tbm=isch&q=+heightmap+crater
Size it up to your desired size, add gaussian blur 0.2…
Most of these maps are so big, that some small part is enough for scenery.
World machine is very cool, but it is something to learn, you need some time, before result is like you want.

Really? I had no idea that was possible. I’ll look into it, thank you so much!

I’m probably doing something wrong, but when I import any heightmaps from the internet it comes out all spiky and full of artifacts in UE4. Do I need to modify the scaling somehow?

You can download real world STRM data from http://terrain.party/ They import straight into UE4 without much (if any) modification…Sometimes the results are good, other times not so good but in any case it’s completely free

Change the scaling on the Z-Axis

When you import it, you’ll have to tweak the z scale. There’s probably some sort of formula to figure out exactly what you should set it to if you’re using real-world terrain data, but if you’re using random/procedural data, just play with the value until you get a result you like. You can change the z scale after the import by selecting the landscape object in your scene.

Oh, ok. I’ll try that now, thanks!

OK, I got the the heightmap Luftbauch linked to, scaled it down along the Z, smoothed the whole thing out, then added erosion on the cliffs and it looks pretty good! I think I’ll go with this, thanks everyone for your help!

Very nice. Try to paint this stuff, use any paintprogram (krita is nice, gimp works too).
50% grey is the (normal 0 in german, sry ) try darker and lighter to understand what is happening.
Try different brushes with high opacity. Put a sketch of your map(how it should be) onto the paintprogram(layer with transparency, that you can see it), and paint over it…
Set up a cubic brush 100x100 px import and reimport to check scaling, make a cube inside UE4, in the proper size, arrange it over the painted area(100x100) then you can recaltulate scaling for roads and stuff…
This was very fun for me to learn, some time ago.
forgive me worst case, rusty english. ^^

Well, actually I’m trying to recreate the game Star Citizen and this planet is the one shown in this video:
so I need to make it as similar as possible. It doesn’t look that hard to texture though, I think a simple material should do it.

You can paint heightmaps in Photoshop. Selective/masked/feathered application of noise, scratches, and filters will add interesting terrain features, too.

Yep give it a try. paint details. Mark places on the map and paint them with different opacity, and always keep backup.
Try to click (dot) and drag dot for the waves. Not to complicated, but it sucks time into, like a wormhole planets.
try something like here in the bottom right. http://pixelov.narod.ru/MISC/Icon_Native_Alphas_ZBrush.jpg

Ok I’ll see how it turns out, thanks! I’m using Gimp, my Photoshop trial expired long ago…