Heightmaps Go to New Altitudes!

Hello developers!

We are very excited to release a new beta feature, Heightmaps 2. We listened to your feedback, and we think you’re going to love the improvements.

The most important improvement: instant iteration! We worked hard to find a way to make it so that your heightmaps are generated immediately, without having to first import them as an asset and wait for moderation. We’re happy to report that we found a solution, and that means that you can pick a heightmap/colormap from your hard drive, click Generate, and watch your terrain immediately begin appearing!

But we didn’t stop there :astonished:

We’ve added support for up to 4k (4096 x 4096 pixels) images that generate massive (16k stud) terrain. We also added support for 16-bit PNGs to make it easier to get smooth terrain. Behind the scenes, we significantly improved the generation algorithm so that there is far less terracing, even with 8-bit files.

Furthermore, we made it so that the generated terrain is no longer hollow. It generates a similar biome below-ground structure to terrain made within Studio, which ensures that all of our terrain tools work well, no matter how you created your terrain.

Finally, we overhauled the UI to make it simpler to use and more helpful, with sizing pre-filled based on the heightmap, larger previews of your files, and actionable warning and error messages. We are aware of a text sizing issue that affects some macOS users and have a fix queued up for next week’s release.

How to Enable

To enable this feature, choose File > Beta Features and select Heightmaps 2.

On a technical note, we want to share two bits of information:

  • We only read the Red channel of an image for the heightmap data.

  • With colormaps, we recommend that you work in sRGB space for best results (we will try to adjust your colormap if it’s not in sRGB), and we have a new RobloxColorMapIndex file available with the correct colorspace and material values that you can download and open in your color-aware-painting-tool of choice to sample from when painting a colormap.


Let us know what you think!
402 Likes

This topic was automatically opened after 14 minutes.

Thank you SO MUCH for this! Heightmaps were considered near useless to me up until this moment! THEY ARE SO COOL NOW!

THANK YOU! I had this issue a while back with excessive terracing. Thanks to this update, this:

BECOMES THIS:

You can see the feature request here:


AND THIS!

Thank you SO MUCH for making heightmaps finally editable! It was obnoxiously thin before. This was uneditable:

THIS IS EDITABLE!

I had made a second feature request for this hollow terrain issue:

THANK YOU FOR THIS TOO! A contributing factor stopping me from experimenting further was having to wait around 5 minutes for each map. Love the quicker, simplified workflow!

This looks so good! Love these layers!

SO PUMPED!

I’m so glad to hear terrain developers are heard! I cannot stress how excited I am! :heart: TO THE TERRAIN TEAM!

127 Likes

Some people won’t understand how big of a deal this is but this is going to save a lot of time of builders. I’m just telling this. If you don’t have any bugs or holes on the terrain this will be an awsome feature.

22 Likes

Looks great!

I’d love to be able to load heightmaps from an image ID to allow terrain to be shared as heightmaps. Generating terrain directly to heightmap might be useful, or generating terrain to an image ID.

It’s great to see how Roblox terrain evolves. I hope that at some point we gain more control over it (custom textures, custom materials, etc)

8 Likes

Looks nice!



Works with art as well!

39 Likes

Glad to see you finally finished negotiating with trust and safety to return the original functionality of this. It’s actually usable for me now without waiting 30 minutes and working in a published game. :slight_smile: Super happy to hear about the extra features as well.

It would be cool too if we could automatically generate caves through heightmaps instead of manually drilling them ourselves.

While you’re looking at this plugin, could we see an update for the ribbonbar icon? It is very inconsistent with the rest of the icons in the ribbonbar and looks a little out of place.

16 Likes

This is so poggers. 16-bit PNG support was a big need and im happy to see it added!

15 Likes

Could you let me know what your use case is for wanting to share terrain? And we do have some really great things on-deck to improve the terrain system, both in the short term and long-term.

12 Likes

Glad to hear we’ve helped your workflow :slight_smile:

12 Likes

We’re working closely with T&S to reduce developer friction, and I think we have some solutions you’re going to love. I will say it will take time to rework everything to make moderation seamless for our developers, but we’re working towards it, and heightmaps are the first example of that collaboration.

How would you expect automatic cave generation to work?

Your icon feedback is noted, thanks.

20 Likes

This update really is going to get some better terrain imports out there.
If there is anyone out there who is interested in heightmapping, I suggest checking out 144hertz heightmap importers guild, Heightmap Importers Guild - Roblox.

8 Likes

I would like to be able to preview a randomly generated cave system on the terrain that I could reroll to regenerate until I’m happy, where I could then permanently apply the cave system (i.e. it would keep the generated terrain in memory, and produce a carved version in the workspace each time I rerolled until I applied the caves). I would imagine it would just drill through the terrain indiscriminately, and maybe apply painting. Perhaps it would be useful to provide a masking brush that removes the influence of caves on certain voxels so you can preserve important terrain features.

7 Likes

Roblox always impresses me!
I am so happy for this change, and the moderation always left me waiting and sometimes it got moderated so I had to change my terrain. I am so happy with this change, thank you!

4 Likes

Some use cases:

  • Save terrain as a group asset and allow multiple developers to share, save and move parts of terrain between places (develop it in a production space and finalize it in another)
  • Easy “starter terrain” for new developers to get started with
  • Tutorials can share terrain that a developer may add into their own place without disrupting existing terrain or having to download a place file
4 Likes

Thanks! I have to say this seems like a request for a better cave system, not just one for heightmaps.

7 Likes

You’re right, this could be totally standalone from heightmaps. Maybe I’ll make a feature request in a few minutes.

Here is the thread:

9 Likes

Cool! I remember your team told me about these updates in a DM some time ago. I’ll most certainly be trying them out with my Gaea workflow!

2 Likes

i was having a little bit fun or should i say too much

yes this is the roblox Logo just pasted the image into the heightmap

16 Likes

Thanks. For your collaboration request, we have some other plans to improve collaboration in the works that I hope will address that need.

For starter terrain, I’d expect a new dev to use the terrain generator rather than importing terrain. Do you see a reason that’s inadequate?

And for tutorials, that’s a reasonable request. If a dev were to write an “export as heightmap” plugin for Studio, that would address that need because now even if you have Studio-generated terrain, you could provide a heightmap for someone to download/import as part of the tutorial. Importing it offset from your existing terrain should avoid disruption.

5 Likes