Island Icon Generation

The island icon generator gives us the ability to create map icons for the Atlas game. It takes in an existing island landscape and all static meshes associated to that island and procedurally generates an illustrative version of the island. The Tool itself is an HDA, meaning it was created for use with the Houdini Engine. The following steps outline the tools general usage and what each of the current settings does.

Step 1:

To start the icon generation process, load up an island that needs to have an icon generated. You can do this through the “Level” window in Unreal. Load the Island level and all of its near, far, and farthest sub levels so you get access to all the static meshes that are included in the island.


Step 2:

Once you have the Level and all its sub levels loaded, it is now time to add the “kl_island_icon_generator” had to the scene. Navigate to the HDA folder located in the Atlas content folder. Then find the “Procedural Utilities” folder inside of that. There you will find the “kl_island_icon_generator” had to assist you in generating the icon for the level.


Step 3:

Once you have located the HDA, simply drag and drop it into the scene and make sure its location value are set to 0,0,0, for X,Y, and Z. This will instantiate the Had and get it ready for generating the Island Icon.


Step 4:

Before assigning the landscape or the static meshes to the HDA, we should set the main setting of the HDA, such as the icon size and the location of where we want to save the icon. Start by Setting the Icon size using the Icon Resolution dropdown, then by setting the Output Path to a location on your local machine (Can be a networked drive too).


Step 5:

With the Icon resolution set and the Output Path set, it is now time to assign the Landscape or Island, and all the static meshes you would like included in the icon. This can be anything but its mostly meant to render out the Larger rocks of the island. Be careful not to add too many static meshes as this is an icon and we don’t want the icon to be too busy looking when scaled down to small resolutions.


Step 6:

With the Landscape assigned to the HDA, it is time to select all the static meshes we want to be included in the final rendered icon. This is a bit of a weird workflow, but follow along and it’ll get easier the more it is done. To start the process, it is recommended to find the Static meshes you want assigned in the Scene Outliner. Once you are ready hit the Start Selection Button once. This puts the HDA into assignment mode. Shift select all the static meshes you want assigned, the hit the “Start Selection” button again to commit the changes.


Step 7:

with all the preceding steps complete, we are now ready to render out the icon. It might take a few tried to get comfortable with the steps, but the tool itself allows us to control the overall look of the icon using the exposed settings provided. When ready hit the “Render” button at the bottom of the Tools Details panel, and let the icon render out. This can take anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes depending on the size of the island and the amount of static meshes assigned. So give it some time. The tool will display a “Finished” message when complete and you should see an icon at the location chosen for the output path. If you don’t see the icon right away, wait a few seconds and it should pop up.


Tool Settings:

  • Biome Type: Lets you switch from different biome presets (Currently in progress)
  • Rock Color: Allows us to change to the global color tint to the rocks
  • Grass Color: Allows us to change the global color tint to the grass areas
  • Tree Color: Allows us to change the global color tint of the trees
  • Dirt Color: Allows us to change the global color tint of the dirt
  • Ink Color: Allows us to change the ink color of the icon
  • Min Tree Height: Allows us to change at what height the trees start to draw into the icon. (This is in Meters from water level)
  • Foliage Density: Allows us to change how dense the foliage is
  • Water Level A: The depth at which the first shore area is drawn (In Meters)
  • Water Level B: The depth at which the second shore area is drawn (In Meters)
  • Water Level C: The depth at which the third shore area is drawn (In Meters)
  • Icon Resolution: Allows us to change the resolution at which the icon renders out. (Recommended 2K)
  • Output Path: Allows us to set the path the icon will save to.
  • Render Button: The button that starts the rendering of the icon.