Virtual Creations


Bailiwick Instructions

Bailiwick Application Window - Click to Enlarge


Bailiwick is a channel editor for the .raw files that island owners in Second Life can upload to configure their sims. The .raw file has 13 channels, each of which controls a different aspect of the sim such as terrain or divisions into parcels. Bailiwick is designed to make editing these files simpler by providing a more informative and sim-specific interface than a generic image editor. It also supports importing and exporting of Terragen terrain files, as well as images for terrain (such as from Photoshop). More information on the sim .raw format can be found in the Second Life Knowledge Base on the web. Bailiwick is not a terrain editior. It is designed to help in editing the various information in a sim raw file, such as the creation of parcels, setting permissions, water height, and terrain scale.

Main Window

On the left of the main window is a square area where the sim terrain and parcel settings are displayed in a top-down view. On the right are the controls that determine which channels are displayed. One terrain channel is displayed at a time. One parcel channel is displayed at a time as a layer over the terrain. Operations effect whichever channel is currently displayed.


Bailiwick Application Window

There are two terrain channels for a sim. The Height channel determines the current shape of the terrain. The Revert Height channel sets the terrain that is referenced when in-world tools are used to "revert" land back to its pristine shape. Each channel has its own scale which determines both the maximum height possible in the sim and how detailed the shape can be. The .raw file stores this as a number between 0 and 255 which is the Raw Mutliplier; a formula then converts this into a scale setting for the terrain. For convenience, Bailiwick displays both the Raw Multiplier and a more intuitive Vertical Scale. The .raw files stores each of the heights as a value between 0 and 255. You can think of the Vertical Scale as the height increment of each change in value in the .raw file. The Maximum Height possible is 255 times the Vertical Scale. A smaller Vertical Scale allows for a finer resolution and a lower maximum height. A larger Vertical Scale causes a coarser resolution but a higher maximum height.

You can change the scale by editing either the Raw Mutliplier or the Vertical Scale and hitting the Enter button. When one is changed, the other is updated. You can select from a list of friendly scales in the Vertical Scale drop down list, or you can type in a scale directly. Be aware that the display of the terrain will not change when you change the scale because the actual values of the terrain are not being altered; only how they are interpreted is changing. Remember that each terrain channel has its own scale setting. The Current Heights from ..to fields show the lowest and highest points in the currently displayed terrain channel.

The terrain can be displayed in three color schemes : Grayscale, Spectrum and Jet. Select the format you want through theView->Terrain Format menu list. Parcel settings are easiest to see in Grayscale mode. When the View->Max Contrast menu item is checked, the terrain is displayed with the maximum possible contrast. This means that the lowest height will be displayed as black and the highest height will be displayed as white (in Grayscale mode). When Max Contrast is not checked, the heights will be displayed relative to the possible height range of the current scale. This means that a height of 0 will be displayed as black and the maximum possible height will be displayed as white. Sometimes using Max Contrast can make details of the terrain easier to see.

The Water Height field sets the height of the water for the sim regardless of terrain channel. It must be a value between 0 and 255 and it is not effected by the scale settings. To change the water height, type in a new number and hit the Enter button. You can turn on and off the display of water through theView->Water menu option.

Parcel Settings

Parcel Settings Panel

To edit the parcel channels you select rectangular regions in the map with the mouse and set their properties with the buttons in the Parcel Channel panel or with the keyboard (for parcel numbers). Because parcels are aligned along 4 meter boundaries, the selection tool will automatically snap to a grid with 4 meter increments. You can turn on display of this grid with the View->Parcel Grid menu option (Ctrl-P). Parcel setttings are displayed as semi-transparent colors over the terrain channel. You can adjust the opacity of the parcel layer with the Parcel Opacity slider.

The Parcels channel controls the division of the sim into seperate land plots, each with their own identifying number. Two numbers have special pre-determined meanings. A number of 0 means that the land is already owned. A number 0f 255 marks the land as "Linden Owned", which you would use to reserve the land for roads, waterways, etc. The other numbers identify parcels to be sold or auctioned. The number of the parcel being pointed to is displayed in the "Parcel Under Cursor" field. To set a selected region to a number, enter the number in the Parcel # field and hit the Assign # button. As a shortcut, you can assign the parcel numbers 0 through 9 to a selected area just by hitting the number on your keyboard. You can assign the special numbers 0 and 255 in this way also, or use the specific Set Owned and Set Linden buttons. Owned parcels are displayed as gray, and Linden parcels are displayed as red. The other parcels are each displayed with their own color (currently not controllable by the user).

The other parcel channels control settings which are either on or off, such as whether flying is perrmitted. To change these settings, select a region and hit the Set On or Set Off button. The on setting is displayed as green and the off setting is displayed as red.

Terragen Files

Bailiwick can import and export Terragen terrain files. Terragen is a free terrain editor which can automatically generate terrain and also creates quality 3D renders. For more information or to download Terragen go to: http://www.planetside.co.uk/terragen/.

To export a Terragen terrain file, first make sure you have the desired terrain channel displayed. Then select the File->Export->Terragen Terrain menu. You will be prompted to select a location for the file.

To import Terragen terrain files, select the File->Import->Terragen Terrain menu. You will see the Terragen Import dialog box, which allows you to control the scale of the imported terrain and to preview it.

Terragen Import Screen

First hit the Load button and select a Terragen terrain file to import. Once you have loaded a terrain file, its file path will be displayed in the Terragen File field and the terrain will be displayed in the Preview panel. Now you need to determine the scale of the height channel. The importer will automatically determine the smallest possible scale that will fit the terrain and use that, but you may find it convenient to switch to one of the more regular scales available in the Vertical Scale drop down list. The minimum scale and multiplier that fit the terrain are shown in the fields labeled "Min". The >maximum range of the height channel for the scale you choose is displayed in the Raw File Range fields. The Height Range fields show the actual range of heights in the Terragen file you are importing. The Vertical Scale does not effect the range of heights of the imported terrain, only its resolution and location within the range of possible heights for the sim. Once you have decided on your scale, hit the Import button to overwrite the current terrain channel with the imported terrain.

Important - Bailiwick will only import Terragen terrain files with a unit size of 1 and whose heights fall between 0 and 510 meters (the maximum possible range in a .raw file). Also, you should use a grid of 257x257 points. The default unit size in Terragen is 30 meters. If you create a terrain file in Terragen for import to Bailiwick make sure you set the unit size to 1. To do this, in Terragen hit the Size button on the Landscape window. Find the field labeled "metres point spacing" and change it to 1. You can set the grid size here as well.

Terragen Landscape Settings

To configure the height range of a Terragen file, hit the Modify button on the Landscape window. Change the "from" and "to" fields and hit the Set Height Range button. Be aware that this changes the actual range of heights in the terrain, NOT the potential range of heights (as with sim .raw files). If you set the "from" field to 0, then the terrain will be changed so that the lowest actual height is 0. Say, for instance, you wanted to create a terrain that would fit in a sim .raw file with a scale of .5 (maximum height is 127.5). You know you want a water height of 20 and a hill which extends up to 100 meters. In this case you might set the height range in Terragen from 5 to 100 to provide a water depth of 15 meters and a hilltop at 100 meters (you would NOT set it to 0 and 127.5).

Heightfield Images

Bailiwick can import and export images as heightfields, where the darkness or lightness of the pixels in the image represent the height of the terrain at that point. To import an image heightfield, select the File->Import->Image as Heightfield menu option. You will be prompted to select an image file. Color images can be imported but they will be converted to grayscale so that only the lightness or darkness of their pixels will be used. To export the currently displayed terrain channel as an image heightfield, select the File->Export->Heightfield as Image menu option. You will be prompted to select a file location for the exported image.

Status Bar

Bailiwick Status Bar

The status bar along the bottom of the main window shows information about the currently displayed channels. The X and Y fields display the sim coordinates of the current position of the mouse over the terrain. The Selected Area field shows the area in square meters of the selected region. The Terrain Height displays the actual height of the terrain currently under the mouse. The Water field indicates whether display of water in the terrain view is on or off. The Max Contrast field indicates whether the terrain display is using Max Contrast mode or not.

Undo, Copy, Paste

Bailiwick supports three levels of undo for importing and parcel settings. You can copy and paste between parcel channels and between terrain channels. Settings will be pasted in their original location in the new channel. Copying and pasting the entire channel is probably the simplest way to duplicate the Height channel terrain in the Revert Height channel.

Copyright © Patrick Rutledge, Designed by Alpha Studio