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falcon_565

ARMA 3 Engine Handling of Objects at Range

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i remember that one of the addons for OFP:CWC added some kind of micro terrain but with high viewdistances it has still very bad performance even on my 2010 rig, but gameplay wise it was awesome.

the problem with that shadow thing is that many players would just disable shadows at all in PVP and gain a huge advantage in spotting.

thinking about proper simulation of grass i wish the voxel engine back :rolleyes: (seriously, isnt it possible to use a voxel grass layer on the terrain mesh? i dont know.)

anyways great post, i hope the devs will take note of this and think a little bit about whats possible.

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they can use cascaded shadow maps.

three levels ... one to 10 meters, second to 50 meters .. third to .. i don't know where .. now, we have shadows in distance too.

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I agree with DMarkwick, some form of scalable tranparency depending on camo to terrain and shadows etc could be a good solution.

They would just have to add factors to scale it for distance (including whether scoped in or not), shadow coverage and camo match to terrain.

Well when I say just I don't mean it would be easy.

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1. Implement drawing of clutter and grass at range.

2. Implement drawing of shadows at range

these 2 alone would make a huge difference and stop the interior of what is supposed to look like woodland and forests looking like 1999 type graphics with flat jarring lighting.

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Alternative way to create proper concealment.

I agree with DMarkwick, some form of scalable tranparency depending on camo to terrain and shadows etc could be a good solution.

They would just have to add factors to scale it for distance (including whether scoped in or not), shadow coverage and camo match to terrain.

Well when I say just I don't mean it would be easy.

)rStrangelove;1955999']A lot of the distant object problems in ArmA would kinda disappear if BIS would finally implement transparency.

Objects in the distance should have a certain transparency level added' date=' based on distance, weather and their size. No more ugly popups of vehicles, trees, houses and infantry.

A lot of 3D games (young and old) use this tech, why not ArmA?[/quote']

These are the people I agree with and these, I guess, are the brightest ideas. I'll just add my own thought which I had before finding these quotes :p

First of all I'll say what BIS are shy to say. Arma will never, ever gonna render grass at distance. May be in the year 2030 when Arma8 will be released for some 50 core CPU PC's and kids will be having fun playing fully ported Arma3 for mobile phones (which will have Core 2 Duo CPUs and 4 gigs of ram like average PC now).

Why dealing with environment? Why making environment hide a soldier. Let's make soldier melt into environment.

If soldier will get more transparent (not invisible totally but to amount which can look like a concealment) on a certain distance - the problem is solved. If you look more closely you can spot soldier, but it's far harder than seeing the black spot of shadow. The amount of transparency can be tweaked to take grass height under soldiers body. Also I think there is possibly a way to detect if a soldier is having something behind him or not. If nothing behind - do not use transparency.

Another example is to create some blur effect or some more interesting or suitable effect instead of transparency. Totally clientside effect triggered when one soldier looks at another at a certain range. Let's say a soldier's texture and shadow start blending with the texture underneath his position. Shadows become less dark, soldier blends with the surrounding terrain.

Additionally some camo patterns can be filled with different attributes which define the amount of blending with different kinds of terrain. Like, roughly, woodland camo will blend less with desert terrain, and vice versa.

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Uh... one doesn't like to state the bleedin' obvious... so I won't.

bleeding obvious? as in?

The limit of the human eye for distinguishing precise detail and shadows is 50m, after that distance, things blend into each other. That said, trees in a2, over a certain distance don't have any sort of shadow.

While IRL, the backfaces of the leaves are always darker than the front ones. Also, the trees are always perceived as darker at the bottom. All this could be implemented in the diffuse map. Even when in range for shadow, trees will behave just the same.

RL 2 random images:

http://www.desktopwallpaperhd.com/wallpapers/2/2363.jpg

http://hdrwallpapers.com/wallpapers/green_landscape-1680x1050.jpg

A2 radom images(from photo thread):

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y122/sabretron/acrwH.jpg

http://www4.pic-upload.de/20.05.10/7vbsl9u8c3x.png

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I agree with DMarkwick, some form of scalable tranparency depending on camo to terrain and shadows etc could be a good solution.

They would just have to add factors to scale it for distance (including whether scoped in or not), shadow coverage and camo match to terrain.

Well when I say just I don't mean it would be easy.

I made a little mockup, first image is of 3 soldiers composited as normal into a scene. Second image shows same soldiers, but with gradients added to their alphas. It shows that camo can be effective, but it still needs to be appropriate, note how the middle guy still stands out even at distance. The guy on the right, has an easily-spotted pattern on his torso, making him easier to spot than the guy on the left, who has a more randomized camo appearance, apart from his face which is a common identifiable feature, and is why we should wear paint :). All soldiers are composited the same. All compositing is exaggerated for effect.

Neither the soldier image or the background image is mine, I just Googled them :)

Comp2.jpg

Comp1.jpg

Edited by DMarkwick

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bleeding obvious? as in?

Well by 'bleedin' obvious' I was referring to the fact that objects don't cast shadows with the sun directly overhead. Trees of course do act as a parasol but for the most part forests in Chernarus are already arrayed over dark portions of the sat map. This looks better but without an actual shadow to also darken anyone present its use in concealment is marginal at best and might even make the character stand out more.

Consideration should be given to things like the LandTex mod, very popular, widely accepted on servers but while making things prettier it actually removes visual noise that, combined with the grass layer, should offer a measure of concealment. And before calling for a deeper grass layer thought should be given to its effect on hit registration, doesn't it render the character lower than the actual model? We wouldn't want to make that situation any worse than it is already.

Personally I don't find this a huge issue when spotting with the naked eye, seems about right to me. Where it is very jarring is when using a magnifying optic and I've never understood why, when the magnification essentially moves the viewpoint closer to the subject, grass is still rendered (or rather not rendered) according to the viewer's distance from the subject rather than the viewpoint distance from it. Seems to me that if you're zoomed in the game should be able to render grass at roughly the distance you're focussed on especially given a narrower FOV.

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@DMarkwick: nice demo

Btw are we only talking about how human players see targets in the game? Cause any transparency doesnt mean anything to the AI obviously, it adds/swaps just another thing in AI code. It wouldnt solve anything about the 'AI sees your foot underneath the bush on 200m and shoots out your left eye' behaviour.

Edited by ])rStrangelove

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bleeding obvious? as in?

The limit of the human eye for distinguishing precise detail and shadows is 50m, after that distance, things blend into each other. That said, trees in a2, over a certain distance don't have any sort of shadow.

The maximum resolution of the human eye is around 50 CPD (cycles per degree). Which would for example mean that at a range of 1 km the human eye can distinquish between objects of the width of around 35 cm.

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Realy nice Demo DMarvick, this looks really good. BIS should definately take a look at this.

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I think the AI's performance at range needs fixing more than improved camo integration with background (although that would be great too). The AI is simply too accurate, enough to hit moving choppers in midflight at whatever altitudes through the winshield at speed. It can be worse to be in a vehicle than on foot sometimes. Vehicles like tanks will mince infantry at range, and you are right that infantry lacks the camoflauge to survive against those threats, but the second there is a windshield on said vehicle, the game of cat and mouse flips. I like that a .50 could break through a tough windshield and destroy the occupant, but it shouldn't be that easy a shot to pull at range.

And nice idea with the transparency. Maybe would be better if it also affected the center of each unit, but at a lesser degree than the edges. As for the AI's ability to spot at range, I would propose an MGS4 style system where the player is checked with patch of ground underneath and around them to determine the degree of match and that this ultimately limits how far away AI can see you from. Maybe a bit more complicated than this, but along those lines. And without the exclamation mark over their heads when they spot you XD

Edited by Uberduderofdoomer

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point 2. is WIP :) ...

i will not tell more but i will try get some exclusives from TOH and A3 on this subject ;)

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point 2. is WIP :) ...

i will not tell more but i will try get some exclusives from TOH and A3 on this subject ;)

Well this is obviously good news! I'm pumped :yay:

Just to add something about fighting positions etc I was doing a little digging and ran across the feature list for VBS 1.50 which included this:

Underground spaces:

Full support for underground spaces placed in Visitor 4, OME or RTE

Trenches, basements, sewers, caves, tank ditches are all now supported

Seems like BIS has implemented object phasing with the terrain grid that allows you to move within models that have been phased under the terrain level. Seems like the perfect solution for trenches and foxholes. Really hoping this gets added to ARMA 3.

Edited by Falcon_565

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Seems like BIS has implemented object phasing with the terrain grid that allows you to move within models that have been phased under the terrain level. Seems like the perfect solution for trenches and foxholes. Really hoping this gets added to ARMA 3.

The vision of a Nam mod for ArmA3 where you can actually crawl into VC tunnel systems is making my mind explode in delight! :D

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If you'd like to see an idea of what kind of impact distant shadows can have, take a look at this directory of comparison screens taken in VBS2 on Sahrani.

http://dslyecxi.com/screens/VBS2/distant_shadows/

VBS2 has had this ability (defined via the config) since 1.32.

Seeing similar in A3 would go a long way towards making the infantry experience more enjoyable. This, and some method to portray distant clutter, are at the top of my list alongside the general "animation system"-style improvement desires.

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Well, I'd go for making grass viewable at longer ranges when you zoom as the FOV is smaller and it should make it computationally equitable. However, making it thicker might also complicate shooting from prone. Its hard enough to see through even the lowest grass sometimes.

Nice comparison shots with shadow range, I can really see how distant shadows would amp the difficulty of discerning infantry.

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point 2. is WIP :) ...

i will not tell more but i will try get some exclusives from TOH and A3 on this subject ;)

Dwarden, you made my future brighter! Thanks for giving hope! I'm happy!

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It looks like in those images the shadow map resolution is significantly deceased. I don't know what the default "close" shadow map resolution so I couldn't give you a guesstimate.

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If you'd like to see an idea of what kind of impact distant shadows can have, take a look at this directory of comparison screens taken in VBS2 on Sahrani.

http://dslyecxi.com/screens/VBS2/distant_shadows/

VBS2 has had this ability (defined via the config) since 1.32.

Seeing similar in A3 would go a long way towards making the infantry experience more enjoyable. This, and some method to portray distant clutter, are at the top of my list alongside the general "animation system"-style improvement desires.

Totally agree and love those images!

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