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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 06:09 am 

Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 06:32 am
Posts: 35
Instruction of FA Map Bmp Converter 0.1b
Author: Kuo-Yi Chen, kuoyichen@gmail.com, hawke at Zephyr forums

1. Background

Editing FA Map is very interesting, that means you can fly on everywhere you want, such as your neighborhood, Grand Canyon and Mount Everest. However, the Map editing could be bored and tired with FATK map editor. Thus I want to develop a visual tool to edit terrain. This tool is called FAMapBmp. This program is credited a lot of pioneers. Radical_d, who describes the fields of T2 files, and make a tool to arrange map tiles. The Southwest USA Map which is proposed by MiG Slayer and Wedge, modified by Zephyr. All information of this tool can be observed in https://sourceforge.net/projects/fash/, and in Zephyr forums. This tool is can be used free and improved, but please release your improvements back to FA community.

2. What you need.

You only need any one image processing software, such as Photoshop or Mspaint. I choose Paint Shop Pro to do Map editing.
It is worth noting that FA Map Bmp Converter 0.1b only focus on terrain, not map tiles currently.

3. Setup of FaMapBmp, and T2 extracting

The steps of FaMapBmp setup are shown as follows (BAL.T2 for an example).

1. Create a directory, put famapbmp.exe and your terrain files (*.T2) into it.
2. Turn on command prompt, change to the directory which contains your T2 files and famapbmp.exe.
3. Type a command, ‘famapbmp e BAL.T2’.
4. All terrain data will be extracted to a temp directory, tmp_BAL.T2.
5. Four files will be found in tmp_BAL.T2 directory, they are TER_BAL.T2_.TXT, TER_BAL.T2_COLOR_.BMP, TER_BAL.T2_HEIGHT_.BMP and TER_BAL.T2_TYPE_.BMP
6. Map extracting is done.

4. Quick terrain modifications

1. Find a terrain picture; it has to be colored, like this one. However, I like to use Google satellite map, just cut the area that you are interesting.
2. Open TER_BAL.T2_HEIGHT_.BMP in your graph editor, and resize or cut your satellite map as big as 256x256.
3. Paste satellite map on TER_BAL.T2_HEIGHT_.BMP.
4. You might need to change palette color to match your satellite map, the sequence of color means height. For example, 5th color means 256x5=1280ft.
5. Save TER_BAL.T2_HEIGHT_.BMP. Your new terrain is done.
6. Type a command, ‘famapbmp b BAL.T2’. Your T2 file is modified as your satellite map.
7. Build this T2 with FA toolkit, and then try it in FA. Enjoy your new terrain.

5. Further instructions

This tool is based on each BMP pixel can be used to present particular field of T2. Moreover, editing a BMP is very easy with any tool visually. Furthermore, you can apply any picture as your terrain, such as satellite map. Thus you don’t need any hard work, just pasting and fly.

Three T2 Maps are used to explain, they are BAL, NSK, WTA

TER_BAL.T2_.TXT is a txt file records all xyz information of Map, you can use Fashion with Google Sketchup to open it.
TER_BAL.T2_COLOR_.BMP is including color information, but I don’t know what they mean. All Maps seem only have two color, maybe only sea and land?


TER_BAL.T2_TYPE_.BMP includes type information of a map, as shown as the page of Radical_D, there are only 17 types. Thus you can only use 1st to 18th color to paint TER_BAL.T2_TYPE_.BMP. The most of area is nothing, thus we can add something on them (just don’t leave them blank).



So, if you want put a lot of forest on BAL.t2 to replace nothing, just change white color (0th) to green color (4th). Now you have a great forest instead of nothing.


TER_BAL.T2_HEIGHT_.BMP is the most important file for terrain height. There are examples of three maps.


As shown as above, the most of FA terrain is black, which means 0 ft. What you need to do is choose the color (height) you want, and then draw a whole new terrain. For example, I want to build a straight Grand Canyon, the steps are as follows.

A). The height of Grand Canyon is 7000 ft approximately, thus pick color 28th. (7000/256=27.34) as the top of Grand Canyon.

B). choose color 2nd as the bottom of canyon (512 ft), and draw a line only one pixel wide. Now you have a weird straight Grand Canyon.


C). What it looks like? You can load to Sketchup and see it. (Don’t forget that build map with ‘famapbmp b BAL.T2’).


D). Now you can draw your own terrain visually and easily.

6. Apply satellites pictures

For test, here is a modified BAL map and a test mission. This terrain is based on this satellite map of Google as follows. This map has to be adjusted as 256x256 and 256 colors. Remember adjust the palette to fit the height of the satellites pictures.


What you need is build this map, the terrain is shown as follows.
You will see terrain in cockpit like this.

The Map2Bmp converter, FAMapBmp 0.1b can be downloaded here, http://sourceforge.net/projects/fash/fi ... r/download

PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 19:10 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2003 19:00 pm
Posts: 763
Nice work, I'll be sure to try this out. Not only are new maps one of the most requested things for FA, but all the bland default maps could use some work as well.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 22:01 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 06:32 am
Posts: 35
Sorry, forget to metion this, FAMapBmp 0.1b only support 256x256 maps.
That means APA,BAL,CUB,GRE,IRA,LFA,NSK,PGU,SPA,WTA are supported.
Other maps, EGY,FRA,VLA and TVIET are not support now.

PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 15:21 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2003 18:54 pm
Posts: 3909
I tried to figure this out but your instructions are so convoluted and the image links are all broken that I found it impossible to use...

Can you redo your instruction set to make more sense and add back the images?

CAG Hotshot
"FAF Shape Meister"
FAF/FA-2 Design team
Team SuperHornet Developer


FA Futures/FA-2 is Still Being Worked On and Will Be Released...

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