Making Real Hills, Fields & Satellite PDA's

Game Version: FS11 and later
GE Version: ? and later

Modding Index | Map Making Tutorials

Note OS map data is only available for the UK, to view the OS map data & your not from the UK follow the steps in the quote below.


Figured out how to get it working, for non uk residents you need to go to the settings cog on the top right and change your region to the uk then on the map press S but you will only have OS maps for the uk. :)

This is the method I used when making the Dorset map. I will be writing this tutorial in away that new users to map making can understand as this would be the first part you would do when making a map.

A word about copyright of the resources used in this tutorial. Bling, goggle Satellite map images are free to used if they are for non profit or for education use & fair use. OS map date is crown copyright and is free to use. 'my blank starter map' credit to robbie I have his permission to link & use his map in this tutorial. 'Any sign Any size Any Shape' mod is all my own work from the ground up from the 3D models to the images. Contents of the tutorial

1. Tools you need and where to get them. 2. Setting up the 'Any sign Any size Any Shape' mod ready to use. 3. Finding that little bit of real life land that you would like to model, grapping it, scaling it and adding to the map. 4. Making the Satellite PDA. 5. Making the hills, dips and bumps. 6. Marking out the fields, roads and any other landmarks.

1. Tools you need and where to get them

1. Giants editor used to make your map, its free. 2. Image editing program like gimp its free there are many others. 3. If this is your first map then I recommend this starter map without it I would not have started map making and writing this tutorial. This is also the map I will be using in the tutorial. 4. The 'Any sign Any size Any Shape' mod, making signs is only part of what you can do with this mod. Its can be used as a black piece of paper. This is all you need.

2. Setting up the 'Any sign Any size Any Shape' mod ready to use. The only part of the mod you need is the image planes. These are used not only for Farming simulator but lots of other programs. Think of them as nothing more then a blank piece of paper that you put a image on. In this case we are going to put images of maps on them. I used this youtube video to make the ones in the mod. They have been made so the scale in the Giants editor is 1 = 1m in real life so 2048 = 2.048km in real life the same size as a standard map. Download and install the mod somewhere in your map folder, I make a new folder and name it 'import' the path looks like this. I put all of the mods I install in this folder. …/FarmingSimulator2015/mods/map/map/models/import

Open the Giants editor by double clicking on the map01 file in your map dir. Your map will open up in the Giants editor , click on 'file' top left then 'import…' find where you installed the 'Any sign Any size Any Shape' mod click on the folder then 'single_sign_single_pole' folder then 'single_sign_single_pole' file. This will now appear on the left had side column under 'Scenegraph' under 'allYouNeed' Now click once on 'allYouNeed' so its highlight in blue. On the right hand side under 'Attributes' you will see 'Translate Y' change the number in the box to -1000 this will move everything out of our way far under the map.

Now we are going to get the image planes ready. Click on 'single_sign_single_pole' press 'Left Ctrl + B' release and click anywhere on the ground of the map a sign with one pole should now be standing on the ground. Press and hold 'Alt' and move the mouse with the one of the mouse buttons press to move around the map, I will leave you to work out what the left, right, middle and scroll wheel does what. If you are moving around to fast or to slow then press the '-' & '+' keys on the numerical keypad to change the speed if you look at the bottom right you will see 'NavSpeed ## +/-' Now double click on 'single_sign_single_pole' this will open up the child files, click on 'pole' press 'Delete' we don't need it.

Following the images below change the settings as shown for each named item on the left of the image. 1. gallery.fs-uk.com_179379_12_04_15_7_43_55_0.jpeg 2. gallery.fs-uk.com_179379_12_04_15_7_43_55_1.jpeg 3. gallery.fs-uk.com_179379_12_04_15_7_43_55_2.jpeg 4. gallery.fs-uk.com_179379_12_04_15_7_43_55_3.jpeg Your screen now looks the same as the image below. Save and exit the Giants editor you have now setup the mod ready to use. gallery.fs-uk.com_179379_12_04_15_7_43_55_4.jpeg

At this point if you loaded up the map in game you can drive around on top of the blue sign you will see no grass. You have nothing more fancy then a basic 2.048km x 2.048km giant piece of paper draped over your land displaying a image that you can change.

3. Finding that little bit of real life land that you would like to model, grapping it, scaling it and adding to the map

Set your screen resolution to 1920×1080

Go to Bling maps Keeping the menu box that is to the left of the page open (Blue box in image 1) as this will help you judge what you can fit into your map.

In satellite view find the location that you wish to model and zoom in to 250m scale (Yellow box in image 1) The pink box (image 1) you can see the size of area that you will be able to fit into a 2kmx2km map size (660×660 pixels) Take a screen shot by pressing 'PrtScn' key on your keyboard. This image will be used for the map PDA view and also used to mark out the placement of fields and roads in the Giants editor. Open your image editing program & paste the image over to it.

Next without moving the map change the view mode to 'Ordnance Survey Map' (Red box in image below) Take a screen shot by pressing 'PrtScn' key on your keyboard. This image will be used to make the hills in Giants editor Again paste the image into your image editing program.

You now have two images open in your image program one satellite image & one ordnance survey map image both are the same size and of the same location The image size of the area that you will be able to fit into the standard size 2kmx2km map is 660×660 pixels. «« This determines the scale of the map, if you think the scale is out when you test it in game then this is the figure you need to change, above 660 will make the fields smaller below will make the fields larger in game.

image 1 gallery.fs-uk.com_179379_12_04_15_8_21_00.jpeg

image 2 gallery.fs-uk.com_179379_12_04_15_8_24_17.jpeg

Using your image editing program crop both images down to 660×660 you now have a real life area of 2mkx2km to use in the Giants editor. Make sure both images are cropped at the same point as they both need to show the same area with in. As seen in the two images below.



At this point if there is anything on the satellite image that you don't like or want on your make now is the time to edit it. Add a farm? add a wood? Remove a whole town?

Now your happy with your images you need to save them in the 'Any sign Any size Any Shape' mod dir where you installed it. The file format you save as is .PNG the two image files you need to overwrite are found at this path …\Make Any sign Any size Any Shape\single_sign_single_pole there you will see two image files keeping the names the same overwrite 'sign' with the satellite image and 'back_of_sign' with the OS map image.

You have now finished with bling maps you can close the window.

Open your map up with the Giants editor and you should now see your satellite image displayed like the image below. Save your map and close the editor.


At this point if you loaded up the map in game you can drive around on top of your little bit of real life land.

4. Making the Satellite PDA.

Using the image program gimp open up your satellite image that you saved as 'sign' in the 'Make Any sign Any size Any Shape' mod folder. In large the image to 2048×2048 and export it as a .dds file using the settings shown in the image below and overwriting the image file found in your map dir here ….\FarmingSimulator2015\mods\map\


***Do not close gimp yet keep your image open you need to test it first

Load up the map & in game you can now drive around on top of your little bit of real life land & you will have a working Satellite PDA map that lines up 100% with then image you are driving on top of.


You might find that the PDA image is displaying upside down, if it is then in gimp flip the image vertically then export it again. This is why you kept gimp open.

If you are not happy with the scale of your map then you will need to resize it going back to step where you used bling maps. If might be a pain at this time but please fix it now as later on you will wish you did.

5. Making the hills, dips and bumps

Open your map up with the Giants editor and you should  see your satellite image displayed. We now need to swap that with the Ordnance Survey Map to do this under the 'Scenegraph' window double click on 'map_images' then click on 'sat_map' in the Attributes in tick the box named 'Visibility' remove the tick. Now do the same with the 'OS_map' this time put a tick in the 'Visibility' box. The Ordnance Survey Map will now be showing.

Looking at your map find the lowest point shown by the Contour lines

You want to change the map height to this number. With the example map this number is 53. To do this we need to use the 'brush' window and the 'Terrain Sculpt mode' button. gallery.fs-uk.com_179379_15_04_15_9_30_44.jpeg

Change all of your settings to the same as shown in the above image, then where I have 53 under 'replace' put your lowest point number. Click on 'map_images' in the Attributes and change 'Translate Y' to this number your OS map will now have changed height but it will line up again in the next step. With the 'Terrain Sculpt mode' button pressed move your mouse curser and the red circle all over your map this will change the height of your map & the OS map should now be showing again.

I will now explain a few things as to how the next part works and the settings you need to change as we make the hills. gallery.fs-uk.com_179379_15_04_15_9_58_05.jpeg Pink boxes x2 this is the tab that is used to control the OS map. Green circle settings that are used to control the brush that adjusts the height/shape of the hills Red circles x3 these are all linked when you change one you need to change the other two. Blue arrow the lines in between are the 10's.

If you follow the method below and take your time the end result will be a map that will display the main bulk of the hills that are in the real location that you are modelling. The hills will be smooth and will need limited smoothing. It will not add small dips and bumps you will need to add these later, but you will have a very good base to start with. I have tested this method about 10 times and the settings that you will be using are what I have found give the best result. Work slowing and carefully do not rush it will take about 30 minutes to a hour.

Rules 1. The brush is always set +5 more then what the map contour line shows, the OS map image is always set as the same as the map contour line. 2. You control the height of the OS map by changing the 'Translate Y' to this number. 3. Start at the lowest point and work your way up each step is 5 meters is real scale. 4. Keep to the setting show in the Green circle do not be tempted to increase them, yes you will get the job done quicker but when it comes to testing it in game you are going to wish you took your time. (The only time you can increase them is if you have a large area to fill I will explain in the next steps.)

Height range The height range within the Giants editor is 0-255 meters. If your map contour lines are above 255 then you will have to make a adjustment and take X amount off. Example your have 435 meters to 575 meters then just change it to 35 meters to 175 meters. Or If you are modelling next to the sea you are going to need below sea level Example your have -10 meters to 95 meters then just change it to 90 meters to 195 meters.

The method

You have set your map ground level to the lowest contour line. Now move the OS map image up to the next contour line number in the example this number is 55 Change the brush height under 'Replace' to -5 of the contour line again in this case it's 60.

You are now all set to start rising the first bit of land, with the brush set as it is you can only raise the land up to 60 it does not mater how many times you go over the same part it will only raise to 60.


The above image should explain most things that you need to do. Start to fill in the area of your first contour line if the area is large you can speed it up by changing the .1 setting to 1 but keep 'hardness' at .1 but don't get to close to the edge of the contour line. Change the settings back to .1 then follow the above image. You will find if you zoom in and change the angle of your view you will be able to see what you are doing better, the raised land next to the contour line will become clearer. When you have filled in all of the land up to the first contour line you need to raise the OS map image to the same number as the next contour line and change the 'Replace' number as well following the rule of it being +5 more then the OS map and contour line numbers. Repeat the whole process until you have done all of the contour lines.

When you have finished you need to lower the OS map out of the way do this by changing the 'Translate Y' number on the OS map to -1000.

Save the map and now test it in game.

If you find it hard to follow the contour lines you could colour each level in as shown by flatlander84 in the post linked below.

You should now have smooth hills if you took your time. But just to make it extra smooth we are going to smooth them out in the editor anyway. This is why the brush 'Replace' number was always +5 so it gave us some free movement to smooth the hills down a little bit.

But as things could go wrong as you could easy over smooth the hills we are going to make a back up copy of the file that holds the hills data. The file you need to backup is found here Documents\My Games\FarmingSimulator2015\mods\map\map\map01\map01_dem Make a copy I just do Ctrl+C then Ctrl+V

Now to smooth the whole map I use the setting shown in the images below. I set the OS map image to just below the highest contour line in this case 75 and I smooth the land until its half way between the contour lines as seen with the arrows.



Save and test in game, if its all gone wrong you have the saved backup file.

Any small dips and bumps you will have to add extra in the editor but the above should get you off to a good start.

Make/Marking out the fields, roads and any other landmarks

Close the Giants Editor. At this point you should now have your main hills in place nice and smooth. Delete your backup copy of the file named 'map01_dem' Now make a new backup copy of the 'map01_dem' file you are going to need this backup copy later so do not lose it.

Open your map in the Giants Editor you know need to flatten the ground to a level of 53 on every part of your map.


We now need to swap the Ordnance Survey Map with the satellite image to do this under the 'Scenegraph' window double click on 'map_images' under the Attributes window change 'Translate Y' to 70 then click on 'sat_map' in the Attributes in the box named 'Visibility' put a tick. Now do the same with the 'OS_map' this time remove the tick in the 'Visibility' box. The satellite image will now be showing.

You are now ready to make/mark out the fields, roads and any other land marks.

Change your setting as shown in the image below this will be a good starting point, you will be using the 'Terrain foliage paint mode' tool to paint your fields onto the map.


Now all you need to do is paint over the satellite image of all the fields using the 'Terrain foliage paint mode' tool you will find it easier if you zoom in your view closer and you can adjust the brush radius to fill in the larger parts faster all make it smaller to work around the smaller fields.

At any time to see how its working remove the tick from the satellite image 'Visibility' box. and you will see your fields marked out.

You can mark out the roads by painting the 'Dirt' Texture layer.

When you have finished your map will look something like this.


Lower the satellite image by changing the 'map_images' 'Translate Y' to -2000 to get it out of the way.

Save your map and close the Giants Editor.

Now to put the hills back delete the 'map01_dem' file and replace it with the backup copy to made. Load up the game and you will now have as the title of this tutorial says [font=Verdana]Real Hills, Fields & Satellite PDA's[/font]


You can still use the satellite image with in the Giants Editor as a guide to where to put major land marks or buildings by adjusting the 'map_images' 'Translate Y' as you see fit.

Finished Post any problems but it should be fine.

Original Author: Dorset | Date: April 12, 2015

Modding Index | Map Making Tutorials