Jump to content

Structures and Vegetation  

184 members have voted

  1. 1. Is there a real need for custom (themed) structures pack?

  2. 2. Is there a real need for custom (themed) vegetation pack?

  3. 3. Which should have priority



Recommended Posts

I have always wondered why there is a minority that chooses to create custom structures (buildings, bridges, roads, props etc) opposed to units, vehicles and weapons, hence this particular thread. There are very few people (more than the usual in recent months, i agree) that get in game HQ buildings, and i have not seen anyone create vegetation since A2 days.

Maybe there is simply no real need for any of that, from users to custom squads and terrain makers, so is not worth the (considerable) effort in the end.

 

This topic has been on my mind for quite some time, wondering if it's worth getting into such a (long term) project or not - so yes, there is a pragmatic reason to it, besides my own curiosity

 

Please be so kind and provide some feedback if possible. 

 

EDIT:

There was suppose to be a poll as well with this thread, it seems something went the wrong way, and of course i cannot edit either title or add a poll after creation of the OP...pity

EDIT2:

before anyone asks, this has no relation whatsoever with RHS

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

EDIT:

There was suppose to be a poll as well with this thread, it seems something went the wrong way, and of course i cannot edit either title or add a poll after creation of the OP...pity

EDIT2:

before anyone asks, this has no relation whatsoever with RHS

If you use the full editor in the opening post, top right hand corner you should see the option to add a poll. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you use the full editor in the opening post, topic right hand corner you should see the option to add a poll. 

cheers, i did that when i created my post, seems the poll was missed somehow. works now ;)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having done both plenty of structures and vegetation (unreleased for a reason), I feel this topic speaks to me.

 

First of all making new content is always time intensive. Making new environment art however carries another extra requirement:

It takes also a terrain artist to first of all use the new content in a meaningful way. Usually the people who create batches of new structures are also the terrain makers themselves, so time is rare.

 

Then making just one new building is seldom enough. What's needed is a set of 10-15 new structures of the same style/theme to allow for anything meaningful on the terrain. A single new house of a particular style will stick out like a sore thumb unless you manage to match the surrounding content's level of quality.

 

This level of quality nowadays also requires your structures to be (fully) enterable, so this only adds to the amount of time and work required to complete a single structure.

Making these rough observations alone gives you already an impression that a new set of buildings is on par with the work required for making a couple of new vehicles (not variants of) for a specific nation. Even though a single structure is definitely created faster than a single new vehicle, the time still adds up to be respectable effort.

 

Vehicles, weapons and the like however often have more exposure, more "reusability"-value, as they are terrain independent. They are simply easier to expose ingame.

 

As for vegetation:

This is a very difficult technical area to make, as you are fighting the engine on every bit. Random/Early LOD switching, simply bad or inferior LODs that are noticeable, the shaders themselves, differences between Buldozer preview and ingame preview just make the entire process very tedious and tiresome.

There are indeed various tree-creation software packages out there, but those will only help you with the shape, not with the integration into the game.

 

Again one must look at the "package size" to make this meaningful: 2-3 variants per tree, 3-4 different trees? Then what about shrubs, grass, flowers and rocks?

Easily you reach another project scope worth years of time when done alone, including the research and "figuring out" phase.

 

Currently I have something on the backburner going that includes 15 new living houses, two pubs and some industrial buildings. I'd say I'm half way done with that but currently lacking time and motivation to tackle it again: I found myself doing character art and weapons now. Just as you suspected. :)

For the vegetation it looks the same: My plan was three variants of four different trees and then some shrubs as I feel like.

I'm about half way done but absolutely unhappy with the ingame results, which also grinds on the motivation.

 

In essence:

New structures and vegetation will always require a large-scale effort. And these large projects are definitely not newb-friendly and will require a dedicated team with a unified vision and knowledge exchange.

So you wont be dealing with the technicality, but also with people politics. :O

 

I'll try to monitor this discussion for a bit and I'll see how I can contribute.

 

Cheers.

  • Like 25

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having done both plenty of structures and vegetation (unreleased for a reason), I feel this topic speaks to me.

 

First of all making new content is always time intensive. Making new environment art however carries another extra requirement:

It takes also a terrain artist to first of all use the new content in a meaningful way. Usually the people who create batches of new structures are also the terrain makers themselves, so time is rare.

 

Then making just one new building is seldom enough. What's needed is a set of 10-15 new structures of the same style/theme to allow for anything meaningful on the terrain. A single new house of a particular style will stick out like a sore thumb unless you manage to match the surrounding content's level of quality.

 

This level of quality nowadays also requires your structures to be (fully) enterable, so this only adds to the amount of time and work required to complete a single structure.

Making these rough observations alone gives you already an impression that a new set of buildings is on par with the work required for making a couple of new vehicles (not variants of) for a specific nation. Even though a single structure is definitely created faster than a single new vehicle, the time still adds up to be respectable effort.

 

Vehicles, weapons and the like however often have more exposure, more "reusability"-value, as they are terrain independent. They are simply easier to expose ingame.

 

As for vegetation:

This is a very difficult technical area to make, as you are fighting the engine on every bit. Random/Early LOD switching, simply bad or inferior LODs that are noticeable, the shaders themselves, differences between Buldozer preview and ingame preview just make the entire process very tedious and tiresome.

There are indeed various tree-creation software packages out there, but those will only help you with the shape, not with the integration into the game.

 

Again one must look at the "package size" to make this meaningful: 2-3 variants per tree, 3-4 different trees? Then what about shrubs, grass, flowers and rocks?

Easily you reach another project scope worth years of time when done alone, including the research and "figuring out" phase.

 

Currently I have something on the backburner going that includes 15 new living houses, two pubs and some industrial buildings. I'd say I'm half way done with that but currently lacking time and motivation to tackle it again: I found myself doing character art and weapons now. Just as you suspected. :)

For the vegetation it looks the same: My plan was three variants of four different trees and then some shrubs as I feel like.

I'm about half way done but absolutely unhappy with the ingame results, which also grinds on the motivation.

 

In essence:

New structures and vegetation will always require a large-scale effort. And these large projects are definitely not newb-friendly and will require a dedicated team with a unified vision and knowledge exchange.

So you wont be dealing with the technicality, but also with people politics. :o

 

I'll try to monitor this discussion for a bit and I'll see how I can contribute.

 

Cheers.

Hey mondkalb,

i dont know if u are following our Map project right know, but u definitly should have a look at it  ;) 

https://forums.bistudio.com/topic/185055-wip-terrain-x-cam-taunus/

We are using a lot of your buildings and know the effort u have put into them..

BUT yeah...arma need more people/teams like u for new vegetation and building/structure packs

 

Regards

Chaser

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

i have not seen anyone create vegetation since A2 days.

 
The mod "hell in the pacific", over arma3 I made everything about the palm trees,
 
 
Still on arma3 also tropical greenery, not completely finished, but well advanced.
 
some examples :
 
 
 
 
I can not end this now, because I'm too busy with the creation of the mod "face of war", but I think one day optimize this and probably make it public.
 
While the creation of vegetation is time consuming, but provides a great pleasure to its realization, much more, in my case, the design of a weapon.
 
For a long time I dream of doing a complete environment (vegetation, rocks, surprising decorative elements, etc.) in accordance with the rise of arma 3 game engine and I think that after the WW2, the time will come to realize this kind of project.
 
I tried the CryENGINE, which, at the time, there are about two years, allowed to make beautiful natural environments, but I see the shaders and opportunities arma3 with more and more interest and if the developers, with the arrival of tanoa, allowed us to make rivers, waterfalls, I do not ask more ... (we can dream, right ^^!);
 
The modding on arma3 focuses mainly on the contents of the original game, ie a war game, but I think he is "ready" to upholster another form of creation and in any case, I continue looking for what I can do with differently.
 
The land created by Bushlurker have always made me want to populate them with vegetation which invented from scratch.
A new world, with a pandora style vegetation, for example? :)
 
  • Like 21

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 
The land created by Bushlurker have always made me want to populate them with vegetation which invented from scratch.
A new world, with a pandora style vegetation, for example? :)
 

 

 

I had exactly the same thought and tried a few things with the vegetation from Lost Dragons!

A Pandora style map would certainly have a lot of potential, although I do love the barren lands Bushlurker made. ;)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, the good thing is that we will get tropical assets with the Tanoa expansion but that still leaves areas like middle european/north american/etc. almost untouched (besides Life mod centered buildings and Arma 2 ones)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 
The mod "hell in the pacific", over arma3 I made everything about the palm trees,
 
 
Still on arma3 also tropical greenery, not completely finished, but well advanced.
 
some examples :
 
 
 
 
I can not end this now, because I'm too busy with the creation of the mod "face of war", but I think one day optimize this and probably make it public.
 
While the creation of vegetation is time consuming, but provides a great pleasure to its realization, much more, in my case, the design of a weapon.
 
For a long time I dream of doing a complete environment (vegetation, rocks, surprising decorative elements, etc.) in accordance with the rise of arma 3 game engine and I think that after the WW2, the time will come to realize this kind of project.
 
I tried the CryENGINE, which, at the time, there are about two years, allowed to make beautiful natural environments, but I see the shaders and opportunities arma3 with more and more interest and if the developers, with the arrival of tanoa, allowed us to make rivers, waterfalls, I do not ask more ... (we can dream, right ^^!);
 
The modding on arma3 focuses mainly on the contents of the original game, ie a war game, but I think he is "ready" to upholster another form of creation and in any case, I continue looking for what I can do with differently.
 
The land created by Bushlurker have always made me want to populate them with vegetation which invented from scratch.
A new world, with a pandora style vegetation, for example? :)
 

 

Is this Tanoa already? :D 

Looks awesome! Keep going

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WOW ... very nice looking tropical vegetation !

 

@Mondkalb: I'm in LOVE with your buildings :wub:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

god. i think i have seen those screens somewhere before (i think skype channels) but forgot how good they actually look. real shame they didn't make it into public realm yet. are they in any way tied to HIP or would you consider just releasing them as stand alone addon?

 

also, what would be the issues that kept you from releasing them? is it the fact they were initially made for HIP or are there technical issues or simply artist's pride and perfectionism? i'm just curious, if what we see there is just a "what if" dream that has hardly solvable problems (like performance) or if it's something i can look forward to in the future :lol:

 

on the poll. the reason i picked vegetation as a priority over structures is that with CUP we already have a great variety of structures. additionally those transfered way better into the "new" engine and current times compared to the vegetation (imho). while Chernarus pine trees are totally fine i feel the leave trees are a level below what BI achieved with the Altis/Stratis vegetation. feels like a big leap to me. but that's of course just my personal perspective.

 

that being said. structures would still be awesome :D especially stuff like mondkalb showed. simple and effective stuff that seems as generic as possible without looking artificial/fictional. while what he showed has a very european touch, at that it's not very specific as opposed to those cute little half wooden huts on Chernarus. increases the range of possible use cases.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always wondered if someone would take structures or vegetation. I was hoping at some point to see maybe some more modern structures, a change from the current broken, post-Apocalyptic structures and cold war buildings. Perhaps modern canals, modern buildings like that you'd see in places like Singapore, and Hong Kong or something unique like that. Would be a cool change.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anything you make is greatly appreciated by map makers, I find it a constant battle to find/make assets to put on the map. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
@bad benson

 

Yes, on Skype, there's more than a year, but they were not as advanced. :)

 

I had undertaken it before knowing the HIP mod, but they can use it, day or it will release (if they wish, as there will also tanoa of vegetation).

 

So I would give them one day, but only when they are completed, ie, currently, when lods have been optimized (perfectionism, yes), but also when "bis" will be released tanoa and (hopefully) a sample of a tree with the necessary lods to simulate the coverage provided by the dense foliage, to disappear in the eyes of other people / bots / players.

 

But these are mere suppositions, which can not be verified before long.

 

 

Regarding the performance related to a virtual world representing the rainforest, I think the answer will come from both the development team of the game engine, which suggests that the new version of Direct X will do wonders, but also in how to achieve this vegetation in its lods away, obviously, but also in the design of the foliage and the representation of fairly dense thickets, with polygons economy;

 

Personally, subject to optimize a vegetation of this type, in order to truly represent the green hell, fascinates me and makes me do a lot of experiments, research, comparisons with other game engines, to other representations of other environmental artists (I had to exhaust the subject and myself ^^).

I noticed and that might be one reason why the vegetation is not attracting many creators on arma3, that representation is not easy transitions between lods, especially with a game engine which brightness varies often, is a real headache.

 

Examples of tree samples of "bis", are very useful for understanding the creative process, but I think (sorry, but it is a constructive criticism), too polygons and whose base of leaves on the card diffuse does not cover enough surface, relative to the hardwood mass of the tree.

 

Therefore, the polygon cost rises at breakneck speed in order to achieve the desired visual form. (@ Bis environment artist: you have the right to get off my work to the Kalashnikov, I would not say anything ...)

 

For cons, the last lods of trees on ATLIS / stratis are really very well thought out and the making of 3 vertical planes (and therefore three different planar textures), instead of the usual two, can rotate the object without a "fracture" with other visual lods.

 

So much for this long post that still remains on the original subject, since talks creation of vegetation.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think any modder contemplating such assets is bound to qualify the question. Do I see a need for Middle-Eastern Town locations? (Opteryx) Do I see a need for CQB locations? (emoglobinsky) Do I see a need for Suburban locations? (mattaust)  Do I see a need for African locations? (Mondkalb).

 

A more interesting/informative poll might be; what locations do you feel aren't well-provided for in terms of buildings and vegetation?

 

EDIT: To answer, there's a growing interest in WW2 for A3 but likely not a lot of quality (enterable) buildings from that period.

 

The toil and effort of modding is almost always motivated by a desire to see something new/better/different realised in-game only with buildings and vegetation you then either have to create a map yourself (and master multiple disciplines) or wait for others to utilize your creations which has got to make the end goal seem that much more distant. On the flip side your creations will likely be used more widely and for a much longer time than your typical weapon or scope.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mondkalb you're unhappy with this?! http://imgur.com/a/wlzu6 ... it looks smashing imho. I've had like 5 guys trying to do buildings for a new map of mine and they all left me with 0(!) p3ds to use. :/

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@lodu Beautiful work!


For me, vegetation is where its at, though inconsequential objects and clutter come a close second.

 

As a gamer from back in the times of Zork, I understand that visuals alone don't make a game. I've seen a lot of beautiful games that were utter garbage to play. What visuals do bring, is an increased sense of believability or in Arma's case a bit more immersion. I enjoyed OFP, but I was blown away when BAS released Tonal. The vegetation was like nothing I had ever seen before (in OFP). I would walk slowly through the water filled swamp, M-16 at the ready, scanning for rebels. Or would crouch through the tall grass, clutching my FAL, attempting to outflank the checkpoint, while at the same time hoping I didn't come face to face with a wild animal. These experiences couldn't have been replicated with a building or even a group of buildings. While playing FarCry 3 recently, I experienced a similar sense of immersion. When walking through dense vegetation, I could hear the grass brushing against my trousers or the big palm whoosh as I pushed through it. In this instance, environmental sounds contributed to the experience, but the result was the same. 

A model maker could make 100 Roman buildings, but they would look out of place without olive trees, Stone Pines or vineyards. But, I do think that vegetation and objects are linked. German buildings would look odd in a terrain with Caribbean vegetation and so on.
 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@lodu.... wow amazing - looks like a new game trailer !

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@mondkalb's post is pretty much spot on.

 

We have created a ton of structures for 2017mod, all custom for our terrain and our mod's theme. 

Generally we use our existing library of assets, but every now and again we hit an area that needs something that little bit more special and suited to that area so we create something for it and getting your structures looking, behaving and textured the way you want takes time, time away from editing the terrain itself.

 

If you were to release a pack or a series of structure packs, I'd stick with mondkalb's suggestion of a themed pack's of say 4-5 structures with a similar style, you can always expand those at a later date. 

 

The reason I say theme'd pack's of similar structures is that when setting up a townscape all the buildings feel & look more natural to the surrounding area, rather than mixed structure type's with texturing that doesn't group them together.

 

 

Vegetation wise, again themed style of packs with 3-4 different tree types with variations + associated bushes/clutter. 

If something like that were to be created, not to mention the serious amount of time it's going to take to port into the engine and get behaving/looking the way you want,  I would be tempted to stick to theatre's of operation that have a lack of existing vegetation.

 

Although I do agree that custom vegetation is the one area that modders tend to shy away from due to the timescales and diffculty involved in creating them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@fallujahmedic(fm)

 

Indeed, quite agree with you: the atmosphere is a set that encompasses many different components and the vegatation and the architecture are often linked.

 
Similarly, I think that yes, there are some stunning visuals in games, but not enough to make a good play.
The problem, in my view, not from the environment, but the gameplay (it cites no game, not to make controversy, but I think you will understand what I mean), which renews absolutely not.
 
And that is what causes this disastrous mess of printing: why have such beautiful decorative graphic elements, which are constantly adapted, embellished, thanks to the release of dedicated software on the painting in 3D, for example (no name ... ^^) if it is to be used consistently with gameplay that boils without carricaturer, destroy without nuance or scenario.
 
And with the constant progress in terms of visual, the gap is widening more and more.
 
The look "realistic" of gameplay arma3 mitigates this, fortunately, and that's what made me decide, after having tried the CryENGINE, EU4, I preferred to do all this in arma3 because, I think it has potential which could enable it to break even this vicious circle.
 
I do not really know what it would like ingredients (a return to a well-crafted campaign, but not only focused on military matters, with more "adventure"?), But I know which ones to avoid take ... ^^
 
What I mean, in the end it is the immersion through a balanced set
and that the armed game engine is a field where we can achieve this, sometimes despite the constraints of the engine.
 
Sorry for the off topic section, but I think that the problems related to the creation of structures and vegetation is still present :).
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have always wondered why there is a minority that chooses to create custom structures

Simple, its a pain in the ass!

 

As for vegetation:

This is a very difficult technical area to make, as you are fighting the engine on every bit. Random/Early LOD switching, simply bad or inferior LODs that are noticeable, the shaders themselves, differences between Buldozer preview and ingame preview just make the entire process very tedious and tiresome.

There are indeed various tree-creation software packages out there, but those will only help you with the shape, not with the integration into the game.

Again one must look at the "package size" to make this meaningful: 2-3 variants per tree, 3-4 different trees? Then what about shrubs, grass, flowers and rocks?

Easily you reach another project scope worth years of time when done alone, including the research and "figuring out" phase.

I can only underline this, the effort and time needed to create a usable amount of environment objects is huge, especially for the vegetation.

One strong aspect of arma is its terrain and environment, without it, there is no place to use your m4s, t80 ect.

So i hope and wish more people jump on the object train ;)

Bi set the bar high when it comes to detail and polycount, i for myself tend to more performance and gameplay friendly objects.

some old low poly tests

2d0z53n.jpg

2lo0xtj.jpg

w8n9qx.jpg

2jdgu88.jpg

vo0v43.jpg

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you everyone who contributed so far to this thread and adjacent poll. Your insight is really appreciated, especially coming from some of the most knowledgeable guys in this area around in Bi community at large.

 

Just to make a few things clear: firstly, i do have a pretty clear idea about what it takes to make a structure pack (being part of the work that was done for an announced yet unreleased (yet) BI title :P), and secondly, the overall scope of this thread so far is just to get a feeling of what the community at large (from users to other content creators alike) feel about such content being worked on.

Since, as i said, i know quite well the amount of work needed, i would not jump on such a train without some idea if such content would be needed and used. 

 

Either way, the entire idea would be to have (as per poll) themed packs (eastern industrial, western commercial, central urban residential, US suburbs, south american slums etc) rather than singled out buildings and structures elements. Same would go for vegetation.

 

Keep these coming!

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×