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Robster

4096 px height maps (struggling with Visitor 3 Personal Edition)

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Since the public release of the enormous PMC Ulah-Yuryakh I went back to pay attention to the most ambitious part of editing terrains... the bigger ones...

Traditionally, as a way to achieve a huge terrain, usually mappers have been using 2048 px height map increasing grid terrain which means that terrain resolution decreases...

As example of terrain with 2048px heights maps we can name 29 Palms or Esbekistan, jut to name the most recently released ... all these terrains use a 10m grid with 20480 square meters area as a result ... whenever you need to go bigger you could increase grid: So if you want a 20m grid you could get an area of 40960 sq.mts. total, and so on...

As that grid value can be increased at will, we have known about some maps with 100m grid, but at some point terrain begin to look a bit "flat" because ground's level of detail is getting lost somehow... for a better understanding you might be interested in reading about terrain grid and terrain LOD-ing

For this very reason it would be interesting to keep a resonable level of detail at ground level as well as a achieving a huge terrain, and

For further reference purposes, and just to stay on topic, I came here to report about known bugs in V3PE when dealing with 4096px height map as the most huge available...

Many mappers have sadly known when trying to edit a map with 4096px height map, Visitor 3 gets stuck and basically you can't directly move objects located at 3/4 of total area...

The most funny thing is that you can place objects wherever you want, but then you can't move them since selection tools doesn't work as expected, it seems to select objects, but it doesn't let you move as usual...

But afaik there are some methods to struggle with it:

FIRST METHOD: REPLICATION AND FURTHER EXPORT

One way to deal with it is to replicate a terrain with same chosen size but using 2048px height map... i.e.:

Terrain size = 40960 sq.mts. -> height map = 2048 px -> terrain grid = 20 m.

Acting like that you could make your 40x40 map with 20 m.grid resolution, you edit everything as usual, place objects, etc, and then you could import/export the whole thing into your final terrain, as this:

Terrain size = 40960 sq.mts. -> height map = 4096 px -> terrain grid = 10 m.

Disadvantages in this approach are:

1- We can't see the very final result till it's finished...

2- We can't export custom size since import/export scripts for V3PE do not manage size values...

3- We can get outplaced objects in the Z - abs height (flying objects some cms above the ground)

SECOND METHOD: PMC STYLE

You can manage some sort of arrangement as a template to be ready to dispose of your objects importing them into Visitor 3...

for these purposes you could use tools such as WorldTools

For PMC Ulah-Yuryakh map Snake Man used his very own utility to spread a template of random objects...

Disadvantages in this approach are quite similar to 1 and 2 stated above

THIRD METHOD: THE BOAT INSIDE THE BOTTLE

As we all can remember the craftman making a boat inside a bottle, we can edit a huge map wherever BI editing tool curently allow us, which means to afford editing process by pieces in non troublesome areas, and once a part is ready then you can move it where they should be placed, where it will be virtually blocked

Additionally, you can use selection panel to redefine or "bind" your selection to some reference object that you can easily move, with one or more of those located at the "dark side of the moon"

Acting like that, you can have some sort of control about what's happening in your terrain... you can still tweak vertices on the fly watching instant results and you will really know the meaning of patience...

Of course, these methods can be combined just to rush things a bit and bringing custom details and close attention wherever it might be needed... such as an airstrip

Personally, I do not have that huge amount of patience but I'm looking forward to new A3 tools to see what we can get, if any at all... and even get some wet dreams about some kind of online multi editor terrain tool... where everyone could edit, import, export and add their own stuff on common grounds... the whole earth naturally ;)

Edited by Robster
Added PMC link

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My own method to make such map as follows :

export.pbl

class cfg

{

PNGfilename="thrompbigtestbig.png";

squareSize=10.000000;

originX=0;

originY=0;

minHeight=12.000000;

maxHeight=390.000000;

};

now with this programme make 4096 Heightmap and name thrompbigtestbig.png

http://directory.fsf.org/wiki/Height_Map_Generator

place ,pbl and .png in source folder and open visitor

make poor satellite and one colour mask so all is very light but ant towns etc you can see.

create wrp as normal and binarise and open inside game , in game use town constructions module, write own script to use any buildings and make your kind of town in mission editor.

then use small script.

something like :

getnearest houses

 objects = nearestObjects [position player, ["HOUSE"], 200]; 


                              {[_x] Execvm "spitoutresults.sqf"} foreach objects ;

put in arma.rpt all the houses nearby

spioutresults.sqf

obj =_this select 0;


_name = gettext (configFile >> "CfgVehicles" >> (typeof obj) >> "model");
_dir = getDir obj;
_height = (getpos obj select 2);
_posx = (getpos obj select 0);
_posy = (getpos obj select 1);

 //hint format ["'%1';%2;%3;%4;%5",  _name,(_posx),(_posy),_height,_dir];

diag_log format ["'%1';%2;%3;%4;%5;", _name,(_posx),(_posy),_height,_dir];

make some slight adjustment to fit import V3 script using text editor (replace some syntax with new )

so endup with

"ca\structures_e\housea\a_villa\a_villa_ep1";5343.31;4956.27;10.1;-0;

Remember always Lowercase all text in visitor import

import village or town in visitor using import scripts and remake wrp.

Madness we must do things like this :(, when aalready sooo much work

for people with fantastic PC only way i ever got 8192* 8192 map is to change in Visitor.cfg

BaseWdth=8192;

BaseHght=8192;

Haha my pc went crazy , however if i try put in Heightmap from .pbl like this from start it wont like it :(

Edited by Thromp

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3- We can get outplaced objects in the Z - abs height (flying objects some cms above the ground)

One way around this, kind of, is to reimport your terarin as an xyz after you import your objects. This should set all their heights back down to their normal ones. I'm not 100% sure if this works but in theory I feel like it should. The disadvantage to that is that if you intentionally had things at different heights that creates a problem. However, you can use the set absolute height script to get things back to where you want them although this would be a pain.

Or we can just do it the easy way by going to Tools>Object Manager (Bushlurker just reminded me of this. I completely forgot about it since I haven't used it since the OFP days)

Additionally, you can use selection panel to redefine or "bind" your selection to some reference object that you can easily move, with one or more of those located at the "dark side of the moon"

I'm not 100% sure what you mean by this. Do you mean selecting the objects in the deadzone and then selecting one that isn't in the deadzone and then moving the one outside of the deadzone around so that it changes the locations of all the others? If that isn't what you mean, then the way I just stated works. If that is what you mean, then you obviously know it works.

Edited by Jakerod

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@Jake: That's exactly what I was trying to explain. Let's think about this 4096 map as four 2048 areas... But you can only move in your top left area... then pick any ref object on your working corner and then pick your deadzone objects -keep pressing CTRL to add more objects to your current selection-, then go to selection panel and choose add or redefine and then you can move your valid reference aswell as your other far distance objects... that's why I referred to making the boat inside the bottle, cause it reminds me moving things but keeping some distance at the same time...

Just for the record, a

FOURTH METHOD = PATCHWORK

could be to work in those four 2048px height maps separately and then do the export into a bigger one... but that sounds more affordable using some utility to move stuff... maths shouldn't be a big problem since your coords are mereley duplicating their corresponding values in the x and/or y axis...

We need a code sorcerer who understand how this stuff works... to get some tool just like a "map blender" or something like that...

Anyways, what if we start a poll to call every available mapper to make an allstars community terrain? Something quick: 10 days and nothing more than 1 km per capita, just to get 5x5 map and explore feasibility of experiencing multi-editing, of course the only condition would be authoring some map, to be considered as a community mapper... and 25 guys focused in one common project ... nah! perhaps it's a bit too much

EDIT:

@Thromp: Many thanks for your tips and that terrain app.. I hadn't heard of it before... I will try to follow your explanations to see how it goes... so far it looks like a lot of automated stuff... which may be good to gather some draft or enviroment to begin with...

EDIT2:

Many thanks Raptor, perhaps this reading is not easy readable, but I'm glad to share my thoughts about doing better stuff!

Edited by Robster

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