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bushlurker

Bush's Geotypical Microterrains (with source files).

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Great addon terrains, Bushlurker. The possibilities are virtually endless. Can't wait to see more.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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I am very impressed and some of your work has inspired me to get back to work on my own terrains, and maybe even drag out some 'cancelled' terrains

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Nice to hear CBFASI all work and projects are most welcome by the rest of community.

I have no talent for this but I encourage others to go on with their work :).

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Your a legend Mr Bushlurker! lol.

May I ask, what are you using these days? still L3DT or another program?

Thanks for the maps mate.

Dark.

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some of your work has inspired me to get back to work on my own terrains, and maybe even drag out some 'cancelled' terrains

Delighted to hear that, CBFASI!! it was one of my hopes that these little "test terrains" whould be interesting for beginners (when I get the source files released), and maybe inspire a few of the old pros to take on visitor again!

May I ask, what are you using these days? still L3DT or another program?

hi Darkxess...

Heightmaps were started in photoshop with a big soft white spraybrush on black - noise & erosion in Leveller and Wilbur...

Sat textures were mostly edited basic L3DT climates with some photoshop layering afterwards...

B

Edited by Bushlurker

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Good 'ol Wolle, my trusty CWR2 Team Leader, has kindly taken a little time off to write me a Mission! - For one of my little islands, no less!

I've tried this a couple of times with a friend and we had our asses quickly kicked!... Might need to try and secure some AT early on...

It's for the Faffindale terrain and here's the mission...

Co06 The Supply Depot BAF.Faffindale by Wolle.

Thanks once again to Wolle!

B

Edited by Bushlurker

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A bit of everything Kimmo...

Terrains - photoshop/leveller/wilbur mostly

Satellite & textures - l3dt/photoshop/wilbur

B

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It's not working for me , i can't load it in the editor ,

Is that the L3dt " antartic " texture you used?

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Just a small update post to mention that the Source Files package for the first of these terrains - Afghan Valley, plus a fairly detailed Beginners Editing Guide, has finally been released over in the Map Makers Section

B

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Here's a bonus pair of matched little terrains...

2km_menu_ca.png

2km x 2km x 2m Terrain Test

2kmx4m_menu_ca.png

2km x 2km x 4m Terrain Test

... so well matched in fact, that they're absolutely identical! ;)

So what the hell are you bothering us with them for then, Bush?

Well... several reasons really.... first, they're cute little terrains, even though they're empty...

1024x2m_02.jpg

2kmTest03.jpg

- that's a Town Construction Kit Module randomly generated town, before you get all excited ;)

OK_at_5km.jpg

Secondly, these two terrains feature pretty hi-res ground meshes - 2m & 4m, as opposed to the rest of the Microterrains series 5m - this level of ground detail can have FPS repercussions, but can also provide tremendously playable ground cover ... is it worth it?... I'm hoping a few of you guys who bother to check them out might post back with your opinions on FPS, playability, etc...

They're both based on this ground mesh....

2km_Lev.jpg

Those "mountains" are around 200m elevation at most, and the whole terrain is only 2048 meters across, so all those little detailed bumps and dents you see translate on the ground and in-game to some fairly convoluted and tricky rises and dips... lots of little gorges to lurk in and knolls to hide behind - like a "Proving Ground+"...

Apart from the fact that one terrain has a 2 meter resolution ground mesh, and the other one has a 4 meter mesh, they're absolutely identical... same Satellite Layer, same ground textures, etc - so it might be interesting to compare them side-by-side...

First have a runaround on the lovely hi-res 2m one, while keeping an eye on FPS, then try the same thing on the 4m one... Do you think that any possible FPS gain by going to 4 m is offset by the reduction in ground complexity? Do you notice an FPS change at all? Can you even tell the difference between the 2m and the 4m? Do you even care?

This sort of feedback is valuable stuff for mapmakers...

Since these terrains are only 2km across, it makes no sense to try to run around with 10k Viewdistance... you may also experience a considerable FPS hit since you're effectively seeing the whole terrain - all the time! :D

A VD of about 3-4km is more than ample and should keep performance fairly smooth...

Likewise - this isn't really a map to hurtle across in a high speed jet! Wandering around on the ground among the hills however, might inspire you to have a go at a little pvp mission making or something - the detail on the hills you can see in the heightmap picture really works well on the ground and provides great hiding places...

There's also a couple of reasonably level little plateaus which should provide sufficient flat areas for a couple of randomly generated towns... (as you'll see in the in-game intro cutscenes)...

Downloads

2km x2m Terrain Test

2km x 4m Terrain Test

Sign files & Serverkey included...

Guess that's all for now... I'd appreciate any and all feedback on these ones!

PS - Source file packages will be available just shortly...

B

Edited by Bushlurker

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Gday Bush

I can't believe I'm the only person who's downloaded and tried these experimental maps. In fact I've tried all your microterrains and think they're great. I really appreciate you trying to push the limits of what the Arma terrain engine can do, and also sharing the knowledge (even though I'm not a map maker).

My mid spec box will run an "empty" terrain like the OA desert map at 60fps no worries with a 2000m viewdistance, yet gets about 40fps on your 2m map. So that's quite the performance hit for a map with no other features on it. I'd imagine that a 2m map populated with building, trees, additional clutter, cars and civilians would underperform on my rig.

I'm in 2 minds about these really high res maps. Sure they look beautiful and offer the potential for interesting and varied terrain and ground cover. But then again there are maps with larger meshes that offer plenty of cover and excitement due to artful placement of non terrain features. I'm guessing that the idea is to give the illusion of detail and complexity so as to keep performance acceptable, rather than hardwire it into the terrain.

I'm not trying to be a wet blanket here! And in a couple of years time, our computers will be powerful enough that you'll be able to make maps with 10cm meshes....

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This still makes we wish, BIS wouldn't have dropped that procedural terrain bumpiness from good old OFP/Resi completely. On it's highest level, the terrain offered a lot and all by itself (not only cover, bumpy terrain is so much more fun in all sorts of ways, hehe). And where could we be now, if this would have been continously improved? Sure, the different levels of bumpiness caused lots of various problems, but that could have been dealt with by other means, no?

I'm no map maker either, but wouldn't it be extremely useful if one could define certain areas (not all!) that should procedurally deform the terrain on a much finer scale?

And maybe, instead of a user-definable bumpyness-level, let the map maker decide for each defined bumpy-area individually...

Anyway, great work bush! and keep at it!

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I really don't like that terrain mesh is a CPU/GPU hog. There are big engine limitations right now, so I'm not going under 7-8m grid anytime soon (summer 2012 that is).

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I really don't like that terrain mesh is a CPU/GPU hog. There are big engine limitations right now, so I'm not going under 7-8m grid anytime soon (summer 2012 that is).

at end of 2012/start of 2013[they talk about "fiscal year" if im remember correctly, which isn't fit to calendar one]both CPU's vendors promised 12-core and 16-core CPU's. desktop, not server ones, already supplied/sold, ie inexpensive/affordable. so why bother in crippling engine if problem dematerialize in year or about ?

personally im more concerned about unused caps of already used CPU's, like SSE4.x or AVX or FMAx[boost FMA execuation in FMA4 case up to fiften times compared to old FMA's batch] or x64-bit binaries benefits[aside throughput boost and RAM size available, even integer math can get up to 4.2x/2.5x depend particular instruction]

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Hi guys!!

My mid spec box will run an "empty" terrain like the OA desert map at 60fps no worries with a 2000m viewdistance, yet gets about 40fps on your 2m map. So that's quite the performance hit for a map with no other features on it.

Mine too! a fairly significant FPS hit! :(

I'd imagine that a 2m map populated with building, trees, additional clutter, cars and civilians would underperform on my rig.

Yet Prowler's "Battle of the Bulge" 2m terrain is ok??.... it's a quarter of the size though, @ 1km x 1km....

But then again there are maps with larger meshes that offer plenty of cover and excitement due to artful placement of non terrain features. I'm guessing that the idea is to give the illusion of detail and complexity so as to keep performance acceptable, rather than hardwire it into the terrain.

That's the usual procedure, yeah... CWR2 terrains, for example, are a whopping 12.5m groundcell, "disguised" by super-high over-res satellite layers... works pretty well generally, and gives excellent framerates! - though there's no small "ground features" as such....

wouldn't it be extremely useful if one could define certain areas (not all!) that should procedurally deform the terrain on a much finer scale?

It's perfectly possible to build-in runtime procedural/fractal ground distortion, set to avoid wrecking roads, etc... that adds a little "OFP-style" bumpiness.... it's implemented on the CWR2 terrains... part of the "compensation" for that 12.5m groundcell... It can only work within the limitations of the actual groundcell res though, of course...

Actually.... now I come to think of it... I'm not sure these two demos were an entirely fair test... The Sat Layer is truly ridiculously over-res...

This, in part, stems from the CWR2 islands mentioned above... when we were starting them out and resampling from the originals we settled on that fairly hefty 12.5m groundcell - for techie reasons... so, in an attempt to compensate for that I started fooling with "over-res" sat layers...

The "standard" approach (Sahrani, etc) is to use a sat layer which has 10pixels for every ground cell... with a 10m groundcell this gives you a satellite coverage of 1 pixel per meter - that's nicely hi-res and gives a pretty good look - a lot of user terrains conform to that standard...

For Everon - (which is currently released, so you can go take a look if you want ;)) - I used a 20k (20480x20480) Sat Layer over that 12.5m ground mesh... that works out at about 1.6 pixels per meter! (Nogova is even higher at 2 pixels per meter!)...

To test these, I made two Everons, one "standard" and one "hi-res" and got people to test 'em - at worst, they reported a 1-2FPS hit - so we went with hi-res... and it looks very nice too! :)

So clearly - it's ground mesh which is the real killer, rather than Sat Layer res...

However, with these little demo terrains, I went for a 10240x10240 Sat Layer for both.... but..... they're tiny terrains in comparison with the above examples...

Following the same calculations as above, the 2 meter demo terrain (1024x1024x2m) with a Sat Layer of 10240 = 5 pixels per meter!

That's just ridiculously over-the-top!

I wonder if that's a contributing factor to the pretty massive FPS hit?

A "Sahrani-level" Sat Layer would be 2048x2048 - not 10240x10240!

I might try quickly making a "Lite" version with a more sensible-sized Sat Layer - see if there's any improvement....

Anyhow.... that might have to wait until later... currently we're all suddenly up to our kilts in snow here in Scotland... I'll have to go outside and dig us out before it gets dark! :(

Thanks for the feedback and discussion guys - I will throw that "Lite" version together, just for interests sake, though, for now - if I'm aiming for a "microterrain" I think I'll be sticking to the cumfy 5km x 5km x 5m size, like the rest of the microterrains series... they were mostly pretty smooth, yet still allowed reasonable ground detail....

Cheers!

B

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Hi Bushlurker, sorry for not responding sooner, but I'm currently having some time consuming and extremely tiring issues in real life.

I find the reported framerate issues very strange, my core2duo system which is a couple of generations old now runs my 8x8km 2m cellsize WIP-map with 2km viewdistance at 60 fps easily. I'll try finding some time to download your map and test it, but in the mean time I may have a suspicion about what's killing the framerates.

I did a couple of tests before and noticed that performance is highly affected by the "smoothness" of the groundmesh. My guess is that when the heightdifferences between vertices's gets beyond a certain threshold instead of getting smoothshaded those areas are split in two. You see where that happens if you turn off grass and look for sharp edges in the terrain instead of round looking slopes. Where that happens the vertex-count is doubled, which also doubles the workload for the gpu. Might even be more if you use stuff like screen space ambient occlusion (setting postprocessing to normal and up in Arma2OA) and possibly things like shadow-calculations.

The reason why this isn't a problem with larger cell-sizes could be because of extra the room for interpolation between vertices for smoothing and because less of the groundmesh is visible within the same viewdistance.

Normally it's the textures that will kill performance long before vertex-count becomes problematic. Smoothshading was also one of the reasons I decided on sculpting my map in 3d, because it then shows those sharp angles in real time so I can polish them out.

I'd be happy to share my current WIP-terrain (can't stress the WIP part enough) in case someone is interested.

Btw for the textures it should be a simple enough math equation. It looks to me that Buldozer renders out paa-texture-files for each cell. If you take the viewdistance and cell-size definition into account you should be able to work out how much cells Arma2OA needs to stream and multiply that with the size of those .paa files. That should give an indication how much texture-data the engine needs to process when comparing one map to another.

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