The Camera Mesh Tools allow you to create a separate mesh for the camera to rest on. This mesh hangs over the terrain layout, allowing the camera to smoothly float along it without colliding into mountains and cliffs, and not fall into valleys and chasms.
This guide covers what the camera mesh is, how it works, and how to manipulate this grid to make adjustments to the player's camera.
How the Camera Mesh Works
Whenever the player's camera is centered over an area of the map, it is actually resting on the Camera Mesh. This layer provides a consistent support for the camera to rest on, assuring the camera glides along smoothly regardless of how rough the underlying terrain is.
The Camera Mesh is automatically created whenever a map is generated. This default Camera Mesh is generated based on the surface of a map, hugging the terrain at a consistent height above its surface.
This random generation produces an even, smooth ride for the camera that ignores minor bumps, dips, and similar irregularities in the terrain.
If you wish to make adjustments to the camera grid, you may do so manually by using the Painter tool to modify the grid layout or re-generate the grid using new parameters.
These methods are covered further below in this guide.
Manual Terrain Grid Hazards
When manually adjusting the camera mesh, this smooth default mesh can be easily broken, creating jarring ups and downs.
Therefore, when adjusting the terrain manually it is recommended you keep the camera behavior of the player in mind, and limit the steepness of any changes in height you create.
A choppy, chaotic grid like the one pictured below would create quite a jarring player experience.
Viewing the Camera Mesh
To view the camera mesh, click the Select Camera Mesh icon in the main toolbar.
If you press this button and nothing happens, that means your map does not have a camera mesh and you must first create one for it if you wish to edit it.
Making Changes to the Camera Mesh
To access the Camera Mesh to make changes to it, complete the following steps:
- In the Scenario Tree, Right-click on Terrain choose to +Add.
- A Camera Mesh entity will be added to your Scenario Tree. When selected, this entity will cause appear the red grid of the Camera Mesh to to appear over the terrain.
- When this red grid is visible, you can use the Painter tool to paint adjustments onto the grid.
Grid Painter Controls
The grid painter works similarly to other Painter tools, with a few unique controls, covered below.
The Generate Default button generates a default Camera Mesh for the map. This auto-generated grid will automatically contour to the shape of the terrain to the default Age of Empires IV camera distance.
When pressed, a confirmation interface will appear with the following two options:
- Smooth Radius: Controls the smoothness of the grid. A higher value results in a more gentle grid, and a lower value results in a more choppy grid.
- Maximum Height Radius: The degree to which the dips in the grid will be equalized in. Higher values result in a flatter, higher total grid where lower areas in the terrain have less effect, while lower levels allow the grid to sink into the dips in the terrain more readily.
Note that using this tool overwrites any manual changes you have made to the grid.
Camera Mesh Brushes
The Camera Mesh features have their own unique brush set.
- Feathered Tip Sculpt Brush: Normal brush mode. Allows you to adjust the level of feathering and shape of brush.
- Textured Tip Sculpt Brush: Allows you to use an uploaded image as a brush shape.
- Feathered Tip Extrude Brush: Takes a point in the terrain and raises or drops its value in a variety of shapes.
- Textured Tip Extrude Brush: Similar to the Feather Tipped Extrude Brush, but uses a selected image for the brush shape.
- Set Height Brush: Paints a consistent, level pre-set brush height.
- Sample: Takes the information of what is selected and adjust the brush to match.
Camera Mesh Brush Properties
The brushes for the Camera Grid have a unique set of properties. Many of these properties are shared with the Terrain Brush.
Feather: The ratio of hardness to softness of the edges of the brush.
Gusto: Controls the degree of the selected effect. Higher gusto results in thesmooth and roughen modes making larger changes.
Mode: Adjusts the modes between:
Additive: Raises the height of the grid.
Subtractive: Lowers the height of the grid.
Flatten: Smooths out the surface of the grid.
Roughen: Adds roughness and noise to the grid. This creates a bumpy camera ride.
Smoothen: Eliminates roughness and noise. This creates a more smooth camera ride.
Shape: Switches between Circle or Squarebrush shape.
Size: Sets the diameter of the brush, measured in cells.
Strength: Adjusts the magnitude of the selected effect.