Using L3DT

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About L3DT

L3DT can be used to generate terrains. The program runs natively under Windows, and can be run under Linux using the Wine compatibility layer (Only with the development version which is now L3DT Standard Edition - v13.01 dev build 0) Link: [1]

Quick intro on creating a terrain with L3DT

      • This article was completly updated in February 2013 by Wordfromthe Wise @ OSGRID.

Here are the instructions for the latest version of L3DT

In the example below i use the Create Fractal heightmap as it gives you a nice random landscape. The important parameters like "Horizontal Scale 1" or the size of 256x256 of a terrain map for a single region must be used with all other type of maps you can create in L3DT (like the Blank Designable Map and the Designable Map and more where you can directly "paint" your terrains withing L3DT).

To create a terrain for a single region:

01. Start L3DT
02. Create a NEW MAP by clicking on that + icon in the menu bar.
03. Select Fractal Heightmap and click the next button
04. Set the size to 256x256
05. Choose your terrains minimum and maximum altitude (20 is the waterline in opensim; Higher values for the maximum results in high mountains). So for a start and to get hills and riffs use values like 10 as minimum and 80 as the maximum altitude.
06. Set the horizontal scale to 1 (important)
07. Check the Edge wrapping option and click Next
08. In the calculation queue (step 3 of 3) only select the Heightfield. (Selecting the other options like Water map gives you a nicer view in L3DT build in Preview but will not be used for opensim.)

Now the calculation starts and you will be presented with a grayscale picture of your heightmap. If you want to see how the terrain looks, click the 3-D Button in the menu bar. You can look/move around with the in the 3D preview (Hold the left mouse button to cam around). To get out of the 3D preview just hit the ESC key.

If you like to make adjustments to this map , click on the EDIT button in the menu bar. You get some opensim like land tools for creating hills or cliffs or you can lower or elevate parts of your map. If you are done with your changes hit the ESC key again to proceed with the map export.

Now for the export

09. Choose FILE / EXPORT / EXPORT ACTIVE LAYER MAP (STRG +E) or use the corresponding icon in the menu bar.
10. Select R32 in the File Format Dropdown.
11. Name the terrain file whatever you want, and click OK to save it or click the .. button to select a directory where your maps should be saved. Now click the OK button.

Now you are finished and ready to upload that terrain file to your simulator.

To load the terrain into opensim:

Assume your file is called "terrain.r32".At the region console, type:

terrain load terrain.r32

You now have your new terrain! You can at this point use the terrain add, terrain scale, or terrain multiply commands in the opensim console to rescale it to your liking. Link: [2]

      • Tutorials: Here is the link to a in-depth tutorial for these steps with pictures and comments [3]. A enhanced tutorial will follow.


The new Terrain system requires L3DT export files to have a file extension of .r32. You need to choose a file type of "R32" in step 10. The (old) function to use a .raw file and change it to " MODE COMBOSED = "32-bit-floating-point(meters)" in the EDIT format option is no longer needed.

Using your new terrain files

You can now also create terrains in some multiple of 256x256 to load to multiple regions at one time with the terrain load-tile command.

For example, if you create a 768x768 terrain.r32 file, you can load it to a set of 9 regions centred on 1000,1000 as follows:

terrain load-tile terrain.r32 3 3 999 999

The terrain generated by L3DT seems to use 0 as sea level (perhaps not surprising :-) but OpenSimulator uses 20 for the sea level, so after you have loaded your terrain you will probably want to adjust it's elevation:

terrain elevate 20

See: for some more information.

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