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meshcarver

Creating new island for ARMA 3 and modelling questions:

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Hi guys,

I'm going to do a complete new island, complete with 100% unique buildings and assets for ARMA3.

I've never done anything like this in the ARMA 2 before, so will have to look into a few tutorials, especially about terrain creation.

My main questions I'd like to ask you are, considering it'll be for the ARMA 3 engine, will I be able to make the buildings and assets higher poly than what we get in ARMA 2, as a fair few of those are pretty low poly.

Eg; Can I bevel (Round off) the edges of things like building corners, metal boxes etc..? I'm not talking insane poly counts, but slightly more to bring it up to date so to speak..?

I'm experienced at modelling environments and objects, so that part's not a problem, but as far as creating terrain for ARMA, I know every game has it's own unique ways, so my next question is, can I model the terrain in ANY 3rd party package, like Geocontrol or something..? Or does it HAVE to be in Visitor? If I can create in 3rd party, how to assure it's correct poly/texel size etc..?

Also, once terrain is done and "in" so to speak, is it still possible to get it back out into Maya say, and tweak vertices/heights, then put it back in?

Also, is there a database anywhere with VERY basic essentials like doorway sizes, fence sizes, ideal terrain texel resolution, window height for crouching hiding/shooting out of etc..?

Any help is muchly appreciated. I've had a fair good look around, but there's SO MUCH and differently dated tutorials out there, it's pretty confusing to know you're looking at the best/most reliable ones from a beginners point of view.

Thanks for your time chaps,

Marc

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May I advice you to not create duplicate threads in different sections?

§8) Post in the right forum & right thread

Please ensure you make new threads in the correct forum, if you're unsure of which forum to post in feel free to ask a moderator. If a thread exists for the topic you wish to post about you must use it, for example all ACE questions belong in the ACE thread. All addon/mod questions belong in the thread for that addon/mod. In the case of DayZ discussions they should be posted on the DayZ forums, this includes problems with the Modification. The troubleshooting forum is not for problems with Addons and Mods!

§9) Do not cross-post

Do not post duplicate threads in more than one forum simply to get an answer quicker or to draw more attention to your post.

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Hi Foxhound,

My apologies- I was trying to hit as many views as possible, and saw i was getting views with no replies so thought it was in the wrong thread.

Again, sorry mate..!

I like this community a lot, and hope to contribute this island to it in the future.

Cheers,

Marc

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I use L3DT for creating the height map for the terrain now. It can also do a basic sat and mask for you. Your terrain resolution depends on the size of the island that you want. There are some limitations to it. I don't know of any databases with the object information that you are looking for but I am also not a modeler so I may just be unaware of it.

For tutorials:

Bushlurker's Tutorial (Under Terrain Resources, Resources and Tutorials)

or

Mondkalb's Tutorial

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Cheers Jakerod,

appreciated man..!

There's also something else I'm confused about. I keep seeing "micro-terrain" etc... is that different from creating normal typical terrain..? What is it please..?

---------- Post added at 08:06 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:18 PM ----------

Ok, I'm trying to follow a tutorial (It's like INCEPTION, tutorials INSIDE tutorials...so complicated..!), and have got as far as:

Import Satellite & Mask

1: Go to Tools -> Import Satellite + Mask.. and browse to P:\TUT\TUT_SampleMap\Source\layer.cfg.

2: Select text mode for saving the rvmats in the next window.

3: Visitor asks now for the SAT file, so browse to P:\TUT\TUT_SampleMap\Source\sat_lco.png.

4: Same with the Mask - point it to P:\TUT\TUT_SampleMap\Source\mask_lco.png.

5: The import process begins right after you hit OK.

6: That may take some minutes and Visitor might not respond until process has finally completed.

7: Point the mouse somewhere in the middle of the map and hit the center mousebutton (wheel).

8: A white square appears right at this position (point of view).

7: Start Buldozer via Project -> Connect to Buldozer (or hit the ! icon in the top bar).

But, when I try to load Number 4; mask_ico.PNG, it gives me an error and says "Error loading///...///map_legend.png."

then it goes into the viewing (Bulldozer?) window and I JUST see the untextured landscape and it crashes out "ARMA2 has stopped working etc..."

If there's any help or advice about this, please could someone let me know.

Also, is all this part JUST to get the VISITOR3 working to create the terrain yes..? So in effect, I could leave this part out if I was going to use L3DT for example..?

Thanks guys,

Marc

Ps; I've done more looking in to all this, and it's just getting more complicated for a newcomer. There's multiple refs to things like "O" drives aswell as "P" drives now..? I mean... is there a SINGLE SIMPLE walk through about how to correctly install these tools please..?!!? ARGHHHHHhhhh..!!! :(

Edited by meanmachine1

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Cheers Jakerod,

appreciated man..!

There's also something else I'm confused about. I keep seeing "micro-terrain" etc... is that different from creating normal typical terrain..? What is it please..?

---------- Post added at 08:06 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:18 PM ----------

Ok, I'm trying to follow a tutorial (It's like INCEPTION, tutorials INSIDE tutorials...so complicated..!), and have got as far as:

Import Satellite & Mask

1: Go to Tools -> Import Satellite + Mask.. and browse to P:\TUT\TUT_SampleMap\Source\layer.cfg.

2: Select text mode for saving the rvmats in the next window.

3: Visitor asks now for the SAT file, so browse to P:\TUT\TUT_SampleMap\Source\sat_lco.png.

4: Same with the Mask - point it to P:\TUT\TUT_SampleMap\Source\mask_lco.png.

5: The import process begins right after you hit OK.

6: That may take some minutes and Visitor might not respond until process has finally completed.

7: Point the mouse somewhere in the middle of the map and hit the center mousebutton (wheel).

8: A white square appears right at this position (point of view).

7: Start Buldozer via Project -> Connect to Buldozer (or hit the ! icon in the top bar).

But, when I try to load Number 4; mask_ico.PNG, it gives me an error and says "Error loading///...///map_legend.png."

then it goes into the viewing (Bulldozer?) window and I JUST see the untextured landscape and it crashes out "ARMA2 has stopped working etc..."

If there's any help or advice about this, please could someone let me know.

Also, is all this part JUST to get the VISITOR3 working to create the terrain yes..? So in effect, I could leave this part out if I was going to use L3DT for example..?

Thanks guys,

Marc

Ps; I've done more looking in to all this, and it's just getting more complicated for a newcomer. There's multiple refs to things like "O" drives aswell as "P" drives now..? I mean... is there a SINGLE SIMPLE walk through about how to correctly install these tools please..?!!? ARGHHHHHhhhh..!!! :(

You probably have the tools installed correctly but the maplegend.png is not being found. Check the layers.cfg. Make sure the path for the maplegend.png is correct and make sure that the maplegend.png is where it is supposed to be. That is probably the issue right now.

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Aloha meanmachine1,

I don't want to sound like a party-pooper, but what you're aiming at is a project of insane size that hasn't even really been done by anyone in the community in many years.

Not only are you looking at learning how to make terrains, you're also looking at

  • making new Buildings + all LODs
  • making new Generic objects + all LODs
  • making new Plants, Trees, Stones + all LODs

What I mean to say with this:

This project is too big for someone alone, let alone for someone who hasn't got any familiarity with the matter at all.

Instead, I ask you to consider this:

Start a small terrain on your own for now. 2x2km in size. Finish this terrain first. That means all the way until it's ingame and working fine with a decent satmap and maybe a mission or two. Take as much time as you need. You will not regret spending more time with the basics before starting on your "real" project.

Golden rule here: DO NOT rush.

Once you mastered terrain making (This'll take at least 2 months, maybe three at a normal Workday-Evening pace to get the basics goind), you can start thinking about creating new buildings for your terrain.

Start by creating a single one-story building. Figure out what all LODs do, what they're needed for, and how you can save time creating them.

Only after you've done that, too, I would only now consider even starting such a project of what you mentioned. But It'll soon occur to you/me, that this can't be tackled alone. You will need team mates who like the idea and want to help out with the project and stick around. (IMHO the hardest part).

So, maybe grab a friend of yours and you can start learning all these things in tandem. This way you'll be an inseparable modteam of two already. Something that is insanely valuable!

Morale of this message:

Take it slow, take baby steps first.

Many people have started off like you by biting off too much than what they can chew, which led them to forfeit the project after week 1. Probably forfeiting modding entirely. :(

Please don't make this mistake.

Tutorials on how to do these things I mentioned can be found all over the forum. I wrote some of them, but they're already really outdated already. Time flies...

The Forum itself has many threads about the problems you'll encounter when starting modding in these separate areas. But you will need to do the reading, digging, and trying out of things yoursefl. Don't expect solutions magically presented to you by this great modding community. People will help you with your problems, though. Guaranteed. (Or well, as long as they're written down understandable).

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Hello..!!!

Hey, thank you very much for your replies chaps- Jakerod, I already have a tutorial sample work in the game working now mate cheers!

Mondkalb, aye man, I know what you're saying mate...

I hope I've knocked a FEW of those many months off the timeline, as I can model and texture already as I'm a fellow games industry worker! I've been doing this for over 12 years so have a firm grasp of LODS, textures, poly counts, draw distances etc- BUT, not in this environment of ARMA2 indeed. I'm hoping the transition won't be TOO problematic, but already I've have some amazing help from your fellow community members here who've literally walked me through the tools install thru to getting the sample map ingame!

I am in no hurry, and my plan of attack is to yes, create a small tiny island first and get it in the game, so I know how things should work by then. Once that's done, then I can whittle away at maybe creating LOTS of assets and buildings over many months (These will double up as my portfolio work too so there's extra reason behind this for motivation!), then when they're mostly done, ARMA3 should be out and I can think about creating the terrain for the island.

I agree with all you've said mate- it's sage advice and I will take it on-board.

The things that don't daunt me are modelling assets/terrain creation poly-wise/buildings and texturing them etc. I know these take time including LODS aswell.

The things that do daunt me are creating the terrain process into Visitor 3/mask_icos etc- all the stuff that is particular to VR. That's where I think my time will drag?

Do you think it's good idea to hold off on the TERRAIN until ARMA3 comes out, as it'll probably have a different method of creation/resolution properties..?

But rest assured mate- I'll do as you say and work on a VERY small map, as some of the processes involved are still fresh to me and I need to see how and why things are done like they're done!

Thank you very much for your input mate, and I hope to show you a small island some time from now..!!!

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Heya,

that you have lots of experience in creating 3D assets definitely will speed things up. :)

However you'll still have to learn the basics of O2. This is required to create the needed named selections for doors, label the LODs correctly and to have the correct named properties to work properly in terrains.

I'd still advise you to go through this tutorial to get a grasp of what each LOD needs. Certain LODs have special needs to work properly. That tut also explains how to get a door working. So simple basic stuff that you won't necessarily be able to do in 3DSMax / Maya as they're very engine-specific.

Other things you'll need to wrap your head around include configuring these buildings correctly (The usage of the "LAND_" as prefix is generally forgotten about which leads to ladders/doors/other things not working correctly in a terrain).

You also may want to have a look at the multimaterial to save on the amount of required textures for your buildings.

Terrain editing won't change drastically for A3. Terrains made with the Community Version of Visitor 3 should work fine in A3 already.

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Hey Mondkalb..!

Thanks very much for pointing me in the direction of those tutorials man! :D

Aye, O2 will be a stumbling block for sure- it's the things like that that all add up time wise I reckon... As you suggest, I'll take my time with this and do a tiny little island with some buildings and trees etc on it, including LODs.

At least then I'll be able to learn the system and pathing/naming etc, as that's the biggest learning curve I think?

Good news about terrain editing for ARMA3 too..!!! :D

Again- cheers Mondkalb, this is all appreciated!

Marc

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Hi again chaps,

I'm following Monkalbs great tutorial to do a 2km island, but when I came across this part:

You can get grass_co grass_nopx (needed for the parallax ground texture effect) files by unpacking utes.pbo or takistan_data.pbo. Or create them yourself. There are plenty tutorials for that out there. [links?] Search for "trava" or "travajih", it is Czech for grass. I recommend using these for this tutorial:

ut_trava_detail_co.paa

ut_trava_detail_nohq.paa

Also:

Select "Road Networks" from the panel of objects, double-click somewhere. Then select "Straight-Part", select a road object to begin with and confirm. Now press "Enter" and start building your road. The interface is pretty intuitive.

It's not very clear to me.

How do I "Unpack" a.Pbo please..?

Or where are the tutorials for doing this, as I can 't find one..?

The roads part- it really isn't intuitive at all to me..? I might be missing a trick, but the box that come up doesn't make much sense..? "Key part of Road" and "Direction Parts" box..!?

I have no idea what to do , and the tutorial doesn't mention what to do, it just says it's intuitive..?

Thanks for any help guys,

Marc

Edited by meanmachine1

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How do I "Unpack" a.Pbo please..?

There's a Mikero's Tool for EVERY occasion.... ;)

The roads part- it really isn't intuitive at all to me..? I might be missing a trick, but the box that come up doesn't make much sense..?

There's a "Built-In" road tool in Visitor - mostly abandoned by the Community now, definitely abandoned by BIS, who have a posh tool of their own.....

We have a Community Posh Tool now too! - Homer's Road Painter 2.... which, tbh, I think is better than the one BIS currently use..... ;)

For all "country" and "out of town" big long roads at least, you'll be best off with Homers Tool - it really is the latest word in ezee roading...

However - it's occasionally handy to use the inbuilt tool here and there for quick paths, or little sections of road - I also still use it for little regular "city streets" and stuff...

It is intuitive.... sortof.... but you might want to have a look at "Alliex's Roads Tutorial" - Allie ain't been around for a while, but I have his permission to host his stuff, so you can find that in the "Resources & Tutorials" section of my website...

That tut covers the basic installation and usage of road pieces - though I suggest the latest Road Painter 2 from Homer's thread - (watch the video too!) - for most road work.....

*edit*----------------------

You can get grass_co grass_nopx (needed for the parallax ground texture effect) files by unpacking utes.pbo or takistan_data.pbo.

You unpacked EVERYTHING - including Utes & Cherno and Takistan - automatically - when you ran Mikero's "Arma2P" - so everything is already unpacked inside P:\CA\Somewhere\...

Or create them yourself. There are plenty tutorials for that out there. [links?]

While you're at that "Resources & Tutorials" page on my website - grab "Beton's Groundtextures Tutorial" while you're there - that'll give you a basic idea of what's involved in making your own groundtextures - though I suggest you just rename and reuse some BIS ones to begin with.....

B

Edited by Bushlurker
...additional info added.....

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Guys- Just a quick broad question:

Do you know when I model a, say, 2 storey building in Maya/Max whatever, then from there get it all (Lods, collisions, nametags, spec, normals etc) fully working and finalized into ARMA2 proper... Doe the process take absolutely LOADS of fiddling around and awkward actions in O2/Visitor 3 etc, or is it relatively straight forwards once it's out of Maya/Max please..?

Again, this is a VERY general question so any answers would be appreciated, even if not entirely accurate.

Also, does the modelling/construction/texturing process BEFORE it even gets out of Maya/Max/PS have to be done differently to accommodate any ARMA2 methods, or can you pretty much model/construct/texture as you would for any other game/mod..?

That's a really important question I think- for us newbies anyway, as it could put some minds to rest worrying about it..!!! :D

Anyway, cheers lads- this is a fantastic community, never seen anything like it tbh.

Marc

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Lol, oh my god- the more I'm going into these tutorials the more freaked out I'm getting...

Is it safe to say creating materials and models for ARMA2 isn't as user friendly as something like Cryengine2..?

This isn't sarcastic- it's a genuine question to you vets out there please..?

I'm just trying to create a ground texture from scratch using Betons Ground texture tutorial and it's defeating me... :(

There's so MUCH swapping/renaming/exporting/re-exporting/saving/copying of FILES it's insane..!?!?!? All for a single texture..???

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Guys- Just a quick broad question:

Do you know when I model a, say, 2 storey building in Maya/Max whatever, then from there get it all (Lods, collisions, nametags, spec, normals etc) fully working and finalized into ARMA2 proper... Doe the process take absolutely LOADS of fiddling around and awkward actions in O2/Visitor 3 etc, or is it relatively straight forwards once it's out of Maya/Max please..?

i won't comment on the island creation process, as it is something i have very little experience with, visitor included.

regarding 3d modelling (o2 included here). i'll say this: there is NOTHING straight forward when it comes to addon creation in Arma engine. You can do as much outside O2/Visitor before you need to use it to finish the addon. For the visual LODs, as well as all the other special LODs, one could use max (especially using MAX toolset) and maya (or any other proper modelling software for that matter), just fine. You will need to setup anims, selections and configs (model.cfg and class config) before it is of any use ingame.

Again, this is a VERY general question so any answers would be appreciated, even if not entirely accurate.

Also, does the modelling/construction/texturing process BEFORE it even gets out of Maya/Max/PS have to be done differently to accommodate any ARMA2 methods, or can you pretty much model/construct/texture as you would for any other game/mod..?

That's a really important question I think- for us newbies anyway, as it could put some minds to rest worrying about it..!!! :D

It is pretty much as with any other game out there. Normals RGB channels might be different from some (i think those are inverted on G chnl than CE3, but that is easily fixed).

Lol, oh my god- the more I'm going into these tutorials the more freaked out I'm getting...

Unfortunately, the little info available (and props for the ones who took their time to write down tuts) is spread between this forum, biki, armastack and other 3rd party forums. Guess that is expected without someone hired specifically to gather the info available, as well as with the size and complexity of this sdk.

Is it safe to say creating materials and models for ARMA2 isn't as user friendly as something like Cryengine2..?

not a lot more complicated when it comes with RVMAT and 3d meshes, no. Setting them up, a bit more yes.

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Hi PuFU..!

Thank you very much for your reply mate.

I've redone the Mondkalb Terrain Tutorial twice now, just to hammer it into my head tbh. It's already STARTING to make sense in some parts.

I think with these tools- they don't really make a lot of sense at first to a newbie like me, so using them again and again breeds familiarity, and that's where the process can benefit. It's the only way to get fluent at this I think..?

I'm taking it one little piece at a time. I haven't even STARTED to look at modelling/materials properly yet- just rounding off the terrain aspect for now.

I'm relived that modelling and materials won't be overly complicated, creating them anyway, in a 3rd party 3D suite- and it's fine that setting them up IS a bit more complicated as that's the part where trial and error makes you learn more.

I was worried that you have to take ARMA2 into account when actually CREATING the props/buildings, as that'd interrupt your normal work practices and cause a lot of slowdown...

Again mate- thanks for your reply..!

Marc

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You probably have the tools installed correctly but the maplegend.png is not being found. Check the layers.cfg. Make sure the path for the maplegend.png is correct and make sure that the maplegend.png is where it is supposed to be. That is probably the issue right now.

i have a similar issue however mine is not with the maplegend but with the layers.cfg itself, it will not load at all and its copied direct from the tut with a few directory modifications.

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i have a similar issue however mine is not with the maplegend but with the layers.cfg itself, it will not load at all and its copied direct from the tut with a few directory modifications.

Did you save it as a .cfg or is it possible you accidentally saved it as a .txt ?

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