3+ textures for large terrain



How would i handle 3 or more different textures on 1 big terrain?

I already made a blend of 2 different textures with 1 blend map. Using 1 10241024 blend map and tiling the 2 10241024 texture maps. But now i want to add a road (just a dirt path with some pebbles allong the side). How would i handle this? How did blizzards WoW handled this?

I don’t have mutch texturing experience, i realy need to crank that up to make my models look better.

Thanks in advance


like always, it depends on the engine and the editor.


The last engine i worked with did it that way:

You could use up to 9 layers. Every layer contains one texture for tiling (color) and one for blending (grayscale map). Now the engine can blend together the tiled textures.

A other form of blending works with one RGB-Map for blending and 3 textur maps! Every channel (Red, Green, Blue) is a blending map für one of 3 tiled textures.

Which engine do you use?


Interesting. I just ran into the same issue. I use Lithtech for my job and just had to learn to do this texture blending thing. With the version we use it seems that there is a max of two texture layers.

iLegacy, to what engine were you referring? I’m kind of confused about your second example. How are you putting a three color texture into a single channel?
Also in your first example are you using vertex color to blend?

madmenno, I hope I’m not hogging your thread. Hopefully these are the same sort of questions you need answers to.


In far cry you can use up to 7 textures but i think how it works is you load your textures in and paint them where you want them on the map then you generate a huge texture which basically merges all the textures you painted together at a maximum size of 8192 x 8192 pixels. I could be wrong because i have only just started using the far cry editor! :slight_smile:


@ Steen

I ment, one textur contains in every of the 3 channels one blending texture. So you can save 3 blending textures in 1 file.


This is entirely dependent on the engine, unfortunately, and ultimately it’s up to how it was implemented in the engine you were using.

The blending masking is handled by either a separate map or by vertex color/alpha. If you are using just a greyscale map or vertex alpha, you can only blend between two maps. If you’re using an RGB weighted map, where the red channel is the amount used for texture 1, green is texture 2, blue is texture 3, you can blend between 3 maps. It’s also possible to set up a sort of “levels” system, where say you have a greyscale map, and 0 is one texture, 64 is a second, 128 is a third, 192 is a forth, 255 is a fifth, and then blending between those values blends between maps, etc, but that is more difficult to use and limits the ways different maps can blend (IE texture 1 and 3 cannot blend together because 2 is between them).

Ultimately though, it depends on the engine you’re using.

Also, if you want to blend between multiple textures, you can always break up your geometry, so that you have part A blending textures 1 and 2, part B blending 2 and 3, part C blending 1 and 3, etc, etc. This allows you to blend with a greyscale between two textures but get more mileage out of the simple blend process.


Got it. Very good info. Thanks a lot.


Thats some good info. Thanks a lot people.

But i’m afraid that i forgot to mention something. I want to build it in 3D max only. As i have almost no experience with Ued or hammer.

That RGB thing interests me, but that will limit me to 3 textures. Thats enough for my road, dirt and grass but i may want to add more.

Like in some engines you could paint loads of different texture blends on a terrain. How would the hierarchy of all those textures be? If it’s possible in a engine than it must be possible with 3D max.

Thanks for all the comments so far.


not sure if there is an easier way to do it in max, but you can always just use blend maps in the blend map material slots (i.e. slot 1 and 2 of the blend map are blend maps too), that would give you 4 texture to blend. you could ofc use more, but depending on how much control you need it’s going to be a pain with all the grayscale maps. for my current project I’ll paint one grayscale map for the level 1 blend map, then just use noise maps for the level 2 ones (I just need to set the dirt road apart from the rest of the terrain, but don’t want either of those two look repetitive).

note: after reading this three times I’m not sure if anybody can understand what I’m trying to say. I hope so, but if not let me know…


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