I really want to see at least some broader map generation options, but a heightmap importer would be a great option, especially if it ends up being the only one.
I’m not sure people are quite factoring in how massive a heightmap this will need to be though 🙂 I *think* the terrain grid scale is 1m per square, which means that for a full-resolution heightmap to make a large map, you’ll need a 16384×16384 image! (a 4096×4096 one just for a small map)… add to that what electricmonk2k brings up above – that 8-bit images won’t contain enough colours to define height properly without making your map look like it has farming terraces everywhere – you’ll need a 16-bit 16k image (not so bad as a single-channel greyscale image… conventional RGB would need 48-bits-per-pixel)
There are plenty of free image editing and 3D rendering packages that fully support 16-bit-per-channel colour these days though. Being a vfx artist, I’d really like to try and build some procedural terrain inside SideFX Houdini and render it out to a 16k heightmap image.
In fact… yeah! Give us that heightmap importer Urban dudes! 🙂