How would one go about creating height maps like the one below? I'm wanting to use a few of these to create some craters - would be used in Mudbox and 3D Max as displacement maps. Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
There are a few ways you can create maps, it really depends on what sources you already have as to which method you use.
Also, where the map is going to be used and for what...I know you've mentioned that already but if the maps are purely for use in Max and Mudbox, as opposed to a game engine, this may also influence how you create them.
Actually I'm having some luck with Bryce - I remembered it had a terrain editor and luckily you can export 2k or 4k height maps from it. This may be the easiest way - you can design the crater then export it out.