The shape of the terrain in Age of Empires IV can be modified using two main toolsets, the Height Map and Terrain Deform Shapes.
The Height Map allows you to sculpt terrain mesh to create hills, valleys, plateaus similar terrain features.
Terrain Deform Shapes allow you to sculpt terrain using specific shapes, which can make
This guide covers what these tools do and how to use them to sculpt the terrain in your map.
Make Changes to Terrain After Map Generation!
When you use any mechanism to re-generate your map such as the Terrain Layout tool, it will un-do all terrain deform changes you have made to your map.
To not lose your work, make sure you are satisfied with the generation of your base map before you begin making terrain deform changes.
Open the Height Map Tools
To open the Height Map tools, use the Tool Bar underneath the Main Menu and click on the "mountain" icon.
You can also access the Height Map tools by going to the Scenario Tree and navigating to Terrain > Height Map
You can have up to two terrain heightfield brushes selected at the same time, one keyed to your Left Mouse Button and the other keyed to your Right Mouse Button.
This allows you to easily and smoothly switch between two brushes as you work.
Brush Tool Settings
Many of the various brushes here share the same settings, detailed below.
Not all brushes will possess all the settings detailed below, but when they appear, they work as described.
The ratio of Hardness to Softness of the brush.
When changed, you will see the inner circle of the brush gizmo get larger or smaller.
Gusto affects the scope of the changes to the mesh.
More gusto means larger or greater changes to the mesh, with lower values resulting in less changes.
One of the most basic settings of a brush, a brush's Mode changes its core behavior.
- Additive raises hills
- Subtractive creates valleys
- Flatten levels an area
- Roughen adds noise to the texture
- Smoothen subtracts noise from the texture
A set of alternate Mode settings are found in the Set Height Brush tool.
- Set sets the terrain height to a specific selected value
- Add adds to the terrain height a specific selected value
- Subtract subtracts from the terrain height a specific selected value
Changes the shape of the brush to either a Circle or a Square.
Allows you to set the size of the brush.
You can quickly change this setting by pressing CTRL and scrolling the Middle Mouse Button.
The strength or effectiveness of the tool or brush on the terrain.
Mechanically, this setting controls how fast the brush moves towards the target value.
Only available for the Set Height Brush tool, this function allows you to set a height value for the tool to use.
It can be used to either paint a specific height (e.g. to create a butte or plateau) or add/remove a specific height (e.g. to create a ridge or a ditch).
Using the Height Map Tool
The Height Map tools consist of a number of specialized brushes, each with a unique function.
These brushes and their uses are detailed below.
Feathered Tip Sculpt Brush
The default terrain sculpting brush, this tool allows you to raise, lower, flatten, and add/remove noise from the terrain while adjusting the feathering effect of the edges of the brush.
Textured Tip Sculpt Brush
The second main terrain brush, this brush allows you to raise, lower, flatten, and add/remove noise within a pre-loaded texture.
To prepare this brush, you must first load a texture to the brush using the Texture control.
Age of Empires IV does not provide a library of pre-loaded textures, but you can load any image on your computer that contains a texture or pattern to set the shape of the brush.
Feather Tip Extrude Brush
This is a specialized tool that can lift or push down either a circle or square.
The various profiles allowed by this tool include Catenary, Dome, Linear, Sigmoid, and Terrace
Textured Tip Extrude Brush
This is a specialized tool that can lift or push down either a circle or square with a randomized pattern of texture.
Set Height Brush
This tool allows you to either Set a terrain height, Add a height value to where you paint, or Subtract a height value from where you paint.
Connects different terrain mesh height with a connecting ramp.
The various profiles allowed by this tool include Catenary, Dome, Linear, Sigmoid, and Terrance
This tool allows you to sample a terrain height.
This tool is only usable when you have the Set Height Brush tool selected.
Terrain Deform Shapes
Terrain deform tools allow you to quickly raise or lower a map's terrain in a variety of shapes which can then be manipulated and combined in a number of ways.
These main terrain deform shapes are: Cube, Cylinder, and Wedge.
Open the Deform Shapes Tool
To add a terrain deform to your map, open the Object Browser and drag the desired brush shape onto your scene where you wish to create your deform.
When placed on a map, the deform will cause the selected shape to form.
Deform Tool Properties
The Properties panel displays on the right hand side of the screen and will display a set of controls for the deform tool whenever you have it active.
- Comment: Allows to create a comment on your deform. This only appears in the editor, not in game.
- Display Name: If Empty the type of shape will be displayed in the scenario tree view.
- Exclude From Game: the shape will not be visible in game.
- Locked: If checked, will lock the shape's current selection.
- Visible: If checked, will toggle visibility on.
- Layer Mode: Drop-down menu that sets the behavior of the brush when interacting with the terrain or other shapes.
The options on the menu are as follows:
- Sum: Will add the deform to the current ground. If other deforms are added it will add them on top.
- Min Max: Will keep the min or the max of combined shapes.
- Set: Will be a fixed height from the lower point of the map.
- Exclude from Scenario Reference: The shape will not be seen when the scenario is referenced in another scenario.
- Shape: Drop-down menu that allows you to swap between cube, cylinder, and wedge.
- Softness: Sets the softness of the edges of the shape. Any value higher than 0 adds a degree of softness.
Values shown in the image below represent - Left 0 | Middle 0.5 | Right 1.
- Deform Mode: Allows you to swap between additive (increase height) to subtractive (decrease height).
- Position: the position from the center of the scene.
- Rotation: angle of rotation.
- Scale: Sets the scale of the brush in meters, defining the Width | Height | Length.
The heightfield deform will add height to a map using a height map image.
When added to a map, the deform will only show a position point until you add images to the blueprint.
To add a deform to your map, drag it from the Object Browser and place it onto your scene.
Heightfield Tool Properties
The Properties panel displays a set of controls for the heightfield tool whenever you have it active.
- Comment : Allows to comment on your deform.
- Display Name: If empty, the Blueprint image name path will be displayed in the scenario tree view.
- Exclude from Game: will not be visible in game.
- Locked: Will lock the tool's selection.
- Visible: Toggles visibility.
- Invert: If checked the white high will become low and the black low will become high.
Note that this acts the same a the deform mode additive and subtractive.
- Layer Mode: Similar to the other shape deforms, it defines how it blends with other deforms or heights.
- Mirror X: Flips the image on the blueprint and weight map along the X axis.
- Mirror Y: Flips the image on the blueprint and weight map along the Y axis.
- Blueprint: The image of the height to spawn. This image can be used without the weight map.
- Weight Map: The image that determines what is spawned, almost like an alpha. but can also be used as a blending image if this one is in the grey tones.
this image need the blueprint image otherwise it shows nothing.
- Exclude from Scenario Reference: The shape will not be seen when the scenario is reference in another scenario.
- Deform Mode: swaps from additive to subtractive.
- Position: The position from the center of the scene.
- Rotation: Angle of rotation.
- Scale: Sets the Width | Height | Length of the heightfield.
Note that in this case the scale is set to 1 by default and this covers the entire map. The "1" in the Width and Length is 100% of the map size.