What’s a Splat Map?

By | January 19, 2016

I recently saw a game dev youtuber give out bad info when asked what a splat map is, saying that “the splat map is the base texture that covers the entirety of the terrain. The texture map (image) is literally placed (splatted) over the terrain (in the video a satellite image of several city blocks was placed unceremoniously onto a plane).” This, as I understand it, is incorrect.

splatmap

A splat map color codes information for the purposes of terrain detailing. Typically the colors will inform texture placement and layering/blending. Most often they contain 4 channels, RGBA, with each channel corresponding to a different texture slot.

I use Terrain Toolkit to procedurally generate my splat maps according to height and slope data. At some point I’d like to play around with World Machine. If I remember correctly, there is a workflow involving World Machine and Marmoset Skytools that is linked through a shared use of splat maps.


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