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Drill Sergeant


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During game play your computer slows down, getting slower and slower until it simply locks up.

Though lag is not always this serious it can reduce your chances on the virtual battle field, costing

you those precious seconds in a fire fight. Inevitably lag usually leads the player to a early grave.

Lag can be anything from an annoying stutter to an all out lock up which forces you to restart.

This is caused by the program trying to render poorly structured addons. Rendering poorly

constructed addons causes the system resource demand to skyrocket, straining the system to

the breaking point. User addons usually enhance the game. Some addons are poorly structured

by a combination of texture and polygon Structuring. Addons with poorly structured textures

or models will cause annoying lag.

A poly count is the amount of triangles which are merged onto vertexes which represent

objects on screen. Operation Flashpoint's official 3d editing tool (Oxygen 2 Light) doesn't

count or label these units which mesh over the points or vertexes as polygons, but as "faces".

The reason being Oxygen 2 renders both triangular and rectangular meshes.  Yet both a three point

mesh or triangular face (Imagine playing dot to dot hence three vertexes or dots with a line drawn

from point to point to create a triangle.) and a four point mesh (rectangular) are treated as a single

"face". To understand this further, a shape such as a circle or box is represented in 3d by a

conglomeration of squares/rectangles/triangles combined together.

A box in the shape of a cube has 6 sides, this is where the rendering system comes into play.

If you decide to make a cube you place 8 points in the shape of a cube, then you have the frame or

guide line onto which the mesh will be shaped. There are several types and  ways to render a mesh

onto the square. The default way the mesh will be rendered is as 6 squares placed onto the frame

in succession to give you the shape of a 3d cube. This causes the cube to have 8 points and 6 faces

or sides. Next comes the more complex side of the process. Some computer programs only handle

meshes as triangles, it takes two triangles to make a square and hence 12 triangular faces to make a

square. So this causes the computer to have to render 6 extra faces which will take some extra power.

When it comes to things such as circles and other complex shapes some faces will require 3 point faces

or triangular faces, which is perfectly acceptable. Doing a whole object where 4 point (rectangular)

faces can be used and instead using 3 pointed (Triangular) faces is not acceptable.  It will  DOUBLE

the amount of processing power required. I Suggest you avoid programs which do this. I also suggest

you take the time to learn to properly use Oxygen 2 light, though advanced and slightly hard to learn

Oxygen has much more power. Once you learn to properly use o2 it will take less time and you will

produce much higher quality models.

When you convex or connect certain other shapes you have made to represent an object it will create

faces in between what you have just connected, leaving useless and unseen faces which will cause

the object to draw more system resources. This can be corrected by selecting the face and deleting it

by hitting d in Oxygen. A properly created object should only render the outside mesh. (Out side

meaning any side or part of the object which will be seen during it's use.) Once this is done and the

object is created, you should optimize the shading of the object such as flat (referred to as sharp in

Oxygen) and curved or heavily shaded (referred to as smooth in Oxygen.)

Objects such as circles and very complex boxes will require a large amount of polygons.

As a guide line in oxygen for a medium detail object you would use 16-20 point circles.

For High detail you would use 32-40 point circles, once you have reached a certain level

on most medium sized objects (height/width) 32-40 works perfectly. For extremely large objects

such as municipal water towers or oil storage tanks I suggest a minimum of 40 point circles.

As a rule of thumb when working with 3d models and internal or extra faces, "If you can't see

it, you don't need it." To summarize, Extra unused, internal unused faces will up the amount of

power usage. Rendering a shaded, detailed 3d model without any textures on it takes minimal

computer power.

Once a object has a texture applied to it the computer must render not only the object but the

video card must, find, load, hold, apply and map a texture to the object, the more faces in the

object the more places the texture must be applied. Yet, the more textures the more the computer

will have to do to find, load, hold, apply and map a textures to the object. A simple lesson that can

be learned about this. When doing a high detail/poly object keeping the texture in a single

layout will reduce the amount of work your computer has to do.

As an example a 1,968 polygon M4 carbine with 29 large textures will give you an enormous system

memory hit. Why? Because the computer has to find, load, hold, apply and map each texture to the

model, for each unit holding this weapon. The lag that stems from this has to do with textures not

modeling. A 25,000 polygon Hind that causes a system hit draws it's lag from, Size, amount of units,

polygons, scripts and LOD's.

To give an example of a good combination of usage would be a 10,000-15,000 Hind with fewer but

larger textures. It's much easier for a computer to load a 10,000 polygon model and put 3-5 textures

on it then load a 25,000 polygon Hind with 20-40 textures or even say a 4,000 polygon Hind with

50-80 detailed textures. Textures can not make up for lack of model and more model can't always make

up for lack of  texture. A balance must be found. A  2,000 polygon model with 8-15 Good high detail

textures in a large format are equivalent of a 10,000 polygon model with 2-5 Good high detail textures

in a large format.

Paint is not 3d and it has it's limitations when shown on a plane sloping away from the point of view.

3d does not have paint, looks rather bland or un-shaded and is limited by game engine limits. A good

3d model with a good single or plural texture, is just as good as a poor 3d model and many textures.

The trade off can be made with lots of planing and hard work. Computers from 1998 and 2000 have

nothing compared to the machines we use now. Computer power has increased so dramatically within

the past 6 years that a trade off can be done. Content should be developed for the future and not for

the present. We are working in the dynamic and rapidly advancing world of computers. Technology

will not be the same in 2 months or a year when we hope to finish our many projects. If we build for

the future, computer technology will be there to support us when we finish.

-Drill Sergeant Copywrite September 01, 2004

Not to be reproduced without permission of the author.

Please note a revised edition will be made available within the next few days along with

a introduction into o2light for beginners as a separate article. If you must flame or say

something in opposition please email me at drillsergeantofprqs@yahoo.com. Use

this thread to properly discuss the article and it's contents along with your own experiments

and opinions.

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*Applause*....well done, Sergent!...thanks for taking your own time to write this for the community..i am sure everyone will benefit from it. smile_o.gif

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I hope to write also some comprehensive "How to use o2"

tutorials possibly a o2 manual with time saving tips and

tricks. And the next artical will be a "3d thinking in 2d" tutorial.


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its nice article, and all addonmakers should read that.

but when i see who wrote that (Drill Sergeant) i found this article as an attempt to explayn why she makes so damn high poly models  crazy_o.gif

but no matter that everything you wrote here is true, your models are still to high poly !!!  tounge_o.gif

and please dont respond to my post, treat it just like demonstration of my opinion  wink_o.gif

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I hope to write also some comprehensive "How to use o2"

tutorials possibly a o2 manual with time saving tips and

tricks. And the next artical will be a "3d thinking in 2d" tutorial.


noone ever wrote such thing, and someone should.

such thing should be even released with O2

maybe BIS team could provide you with some detailed informations about ofp rendering engine, wouldnt hurt to ask them smile_o.gif

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I don't know the first thing about addon making (well, I know you need a PC smile_o.gif ) but I found this technical article interesting and informative.

Seems like a must-read for addon makers.

Keep up the good work, Drill Sergeant!

(Though I don't see no drill sergeant in that avatar of yours crazy_o.gif )

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Well I do hope to make these as informative and easy to read

as possible. Everyone needs to learn or atleast have

the chance to learn how to model and properly operate o2.

Even if they only use it to privately modify things.  tounge_o.gif

(Fixed the Drill Sergeant situation)


Please note unless I'm writeing for a cause my spelling sucks.


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i especialy like this part about faces constructed out of 3 or 4 points and how game engines handle such cases, and ofcourse part about making faces that arent visible while playng.

i wonder if i could delete few faces on guns in pilot view, this lod always contains highest number of faces.

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Anything faceing the front you won't see. But then when

you use a mortar or some other device you will see a hollow shape or the gun may dissapear. wink_o.gif

So I don't suggest that.

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not every gun uses mortar grenades and such smile_o.gif

and not allowing lags to spoilt fun while playng game is realy important thing...

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Yea its a very good article but this

Quote[/b] ]A 2,000 polygon model with 8-15 Good high detail

textures in a large format are equivalent of a 10,000 polygon model with 2-5 Good high detail textures

in a large format.

is a bit too Teoretically. I mean every people has an other 3d card and every 3d card has its own render technic and whats with the memory, good high detail textures uses a lot of grafik memory the mashine can find and load it faster as many small textures but if you dont have enough memory you will get lags with high textures. But we all know what you mean wink_o.gif . And your right o2 is a very powerfull tool very powerfull only the gizmo mapping part is a bit ahhh naa a bit stupid crazy_o.gif .

I personally can not understand why someone uses 3ds max, cinema, maya, lightwave, softimage, g max or whatever to creating 3d models for ofp because o2 is very good in this point. And why have someone lags ? I mean every game is adjustable if a mashine cant handle for example 2048er textures dont set them, the same with the polycount. The model or addonmaker must only creat some good lods sometimes i see models without them.

Everyone who see vbs1 say wow or i see threats about addon making with vbs1 quality. VBS1 has a higher polycount and texture resolution. But on the same time less objects on islands. people who talking about to high polys does not do that in these theats. Many would have the same quality as vbs1 have, but dont accept the polycount of such addons. Or use the old cwc soldier models and not the resi. Civilian models wich are the same as the vbs1 soldier models.

My mashine has 930 mhz gf2mx 768 mb ram and i use weapons with 1024er and 2048er texture resolution with a polycount from 1100 to 3000 polys without problems because i have set the corect setting in the game sure i dont have 60 fps but 25 or 35 are ok. i notice many people who talking about lags or less fps has an activated 4xAA or higher wich i cant understand.

In my opinion dont use addons your computer cant handle and dont use settings your computer cant handle and dont limitate us addon makers because its a limitation of ofp and ofp addon quality. You would like to have vbs1 quality ? Why has vbs1 a better quality ? Better engine ? No ! We have the possibility since OFP:Resistance and why dont we use them ?

hope my english is readable biggrin_o.gif .

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Well thats very interesting and setings do play a big role in

how well something handles.

The statement I made is based on looking at gordys M4's

VRS mine.  wink_o.gif I have put much thought, experamentaiton

and several years of experience into the artical.

Finding is balance is the key. If it runs without lag and has

a high pollie count we have a balance. If it has low pollies

and big skins without lag we have a balance.

I would also like to remind people scripts and other things

such as environment will add to the system load.

Let's try and keep it apples to apples though.  smile_o.gif

As always, find a balance and stick with it.  wink_o.gif

Also the O2 light tutorial is coming allong, though it's hard

to pack 2 and a half years of experience into one tutorial

correctly.   sad_o.gif I can see many drafts of this before It's done.

*edit* First draft of the o2 tutorial.

*EDIT2* Theres more to it I swear I just stoped for tonight

at step 4.

Setting up your oxygen correctly is one of the hardest things. We will start by downloading

Oxygen 2 light and Bulldozer. Next we need to change your standard desktop resolution.

usually computers are ran with a 800x600. Right clicking on your desktop and selecting

properties will bring you to a display properties tab. next select Settings, switch to 1024x

768 or larger if you are comfortable with a larger resolution. The minimum for o2 editing is

1024x768 for maximum efficiency.

With this done open your hard drive. (Ex. My Computer / C: / Program files / Codemasters

/ OperaitonFlashpoint.) With this directory open, right click then select create new folder.

Name the folder OFP_Edit, move the o2 and bulldozer zips to the location. Now select each

one individually, right click and select unzip. Once they are unzipped leave both the zip files alone.

(You may need them later.) Open the file o2_light and click on the o2 exe. Scroll down and read

the license agreement and click accept. Once in o2 click file / Options / then setup o2 as follows.

Changing directories as they are on your computer.

#1 External viewer C:\Program Files\Codemasters\Operation Flashpoint\OFP_EDIT\o2_viewer\

buldozer.exe -noland -dx (Please note you must add  -noland -dx later.)

#2 DLL folder C:\Program Files\Codemasters\Operation Flashpoint\OFP_EDIT\o2light

#3 Allow non linear mapping ON

#4 View background in LOD ON

#5 Start in four views ON

#6 Auto convert .gif and .tga ON

Leave the rest as is unless you want to use it. next go to the window layout bar.

Hit Standard max layout, select the following windows. Status bar, Main tool bar,

View control bar, edit tool bar, named selections, LODS, current position, and History.

Make sure each of the windows appear and drag them into position so they look like this.


Now close the o2 window and restart o2 by clicking on the .exe. Now another window should

pop up on top, this is bulldozer. Once they both load you are ready to learn how to properly use

o2. Alt tab is very handy for switching between o2 and bulldozer. Try it a few times then continue.


3d modeling is not as easy nor as hard as it sounds. Designing something in 3d is much easier

when you open your mind to the 2D/3D principle. The 2D/3D principle is very similar to drawing

dot to dot. Working in oxygen 2 you will have 4 windows. With o2 open and bulldozer running

find the menu create, then select box, select ok.  Box is another name for describing a cube.

A cube is a 3d square, a cube will have 8 points or dots and 6 faces or sides. A box is a very simple

shape to work with and has it's limitations.

Make sure num lock is on, if it is not it's very likely these keys won't work.

With the box now on the o2 screen zoom in on it with the plus and minus keys on the keypad.

Zoom in until the box is clearly visible. To switch view planes (Front, Side, Top 3d) move the mouse

cursor over the area and right click this activates the editing in this area and places black ring

around the window.

Once the box is visible alt tab into o2. View the box by using your mouse and the right clicker on it.

To reset your view hit the 5 key on the keypad. The corresponding arrows will move the camera and the

W.A.S.D. keys will walk you around in the view, the mouse rotates the object in view.

Alt tab back into o2 and select the object by left clicking and dragging the red lasso over the box. Now drag

the red over the center of the box to deselect it. Hit the single side select button at the top which is the

second button from the FP button directly under points. With this drag the lasso over one side. Now with the

side selected hit the u key and alt tab. Notice one side is different from the others now. It's smooth. Switch

back to the select all (Left to the select single side) and select one corner of the box, hit u and then f5.

Alt tab back into o2, check to make sure the whole box is square shaded.

With this complete move over to the LOD section. Right click on 0.000 and click new. Double click on

1.00 and you will see a yellow outline of the box. Next go to the "Front" window and put your cursor over

the one corner of the square. Hit the insert key on your keyboard so a black dot appears. Now lock

the view in at  X. Press Ctrl C then Ctrl V, right click and move your mouse side ways until the new dot

is over the other corner. Now select these two dots and paste them, lock in the Y axis and pull them down.

until they align with the bottom corners. Unlock the view back to XY. Switch to left view, select the points,

lock in the x axis and slide them to the left. Copy paste the points and slide the new ones to the right.

With the points aligned correctly you select them all in your current view. Select Structure menu, convexity,

Convex hull. Now all 8 points have formed 6 faces to become a cube. Select the cube and move it so there's

roughly one cube's distance between the yellow cube. Copy your cube, then double click on 0.00 LOD

and paste it in. Next select each side of the two cubes in the middle of them (using single side select)

and convex them together. Using select just one side in the middle of the two cubes. now hit d and

remove this unused face. Do the same to the other side. Select the cubes with select all, hit u and F5,

Alt tab into bulldozer. View the pretty gray rectangle you have just made...

That's the very basics of O2 light. Now without the tutorial repeat the process until you can do it very quickly.

The lesson of this is the pre made objects can be very handy for doing basic objects such as signs or

fence posts. More complex objects are easier to draw out then put together square by square.

Feel free to save and manipulate your square, by shrinking it and making it larger. To do this select and

individual side, right click and drag. View it in o2. Get a feel for how things move. Finally try selecting

individual points and moving them.

Step 3

Something more advanced is the rotation of objects, this can be done two ways. By selecting the

object, hitting Ctrl and moving the mouse. The second way you can rotate is by using the rotating

button in the command bar and entering a number. You can also scale your wonderful rectangle by

hitting the scale button. Entering 2 in the scale button will DOUBLE the size of your rectangle.

Entering .2 will make your rectangle tiny. Once you understand how to use these keys continue on.

Step 4.

Making a cylinder is best done by going to create menu, circle when the menu pops up change the

10 into 20. Hit ok, now copy this circle, paste and pull it out until it's a ways away from the other.

Select both of them and hit D to remove the faces. Convex the two circles together. Copy the cylinder

and paste it a short way away from the other circle. Shrink the newer circle by .9 and convex one end to

the other circles end. With this done move the two closes sides into each other and then move the

farthest into the bottom. Select the opening and hit U. Alt tab and look in o2 to make sure you have

your model. If it's correctly done you will have a nice little open barrel. Continue to play with this

until you can do it quickly.

Copywrite drill sergeant Thursday, September 02, 2004

Not to be reproduced without permission of the author.

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My mashine has 930 mhz gf2mx 768 mb ram and i use weapons with 1024er and 2048er texture resolution with a polycount from 1100 to 3000 polys without problems because i have set the corect setting in the game sure i dont have 60 fps but 25 or 35 are ok. i notice many people who talking about lags or less fps has an activated 4xAA or higher wich i cant understand.

yes but there is line that DS is talking about.

you will know this line when you will take best PC avariable on market (for average gamer ofcourse) and you will spot that you cant run your addon on best ofp settings.

then you will see that there is no point in making too advanced models becouse noone will be able to play big mission without lags using this addon. And we all love ofp becouse of possibility to play missions with huge number of forces.

there is also no point in making addons so complicated that becouse of this one addon you need to lower your settings loosing quality on other not as much advanced addons like this damn one made by some crazy addonmaker.

i believe that is this ballance we should talk about.

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I would like to remind you this crazzy addon maker is also

doing a 02 tutorial. Also this line that Totmacher is talking

about is just about the one I'm standing on. This is not about

your system specs. This is about how addons can be made.

People need to learn how to balance the load of the addon.

How to improve layouts and how to creat addons that look

good and don't tax the system.

If this requires an example I will give one.

Gordys M4 has roughly the same amount of pollies as

earls best. Gordys lags on mine and Earls doesn't.


Earls M4 uses at maximum 5 texture layouts.

Both rather large. Gordy's M4's use 29+ texture layouts.

If gordy put all his textures on one laout as Earl did,

gordy could up the pollie count and make it look beter

without a system hit. Not that gordy has to add allot of

pollies, but there is room for improvement...

I had hoped to get out of this without skining anyone

for an example but I was forced to. blues.gif

Once again it's about balance. The o2 tutorial will cover

textures or atleast there layouts.

The tutorial will make things PAIN FULLY clear on how to

ballance, hower you balance, model or texture is up to you.

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Hehe no thats not true i think you does not know what resolution lods are for example one weapon has a polycount from 2117 polys and a maximum texture resulotion from 2048x2048 so. My texture settings are 1024 because gf2 mx. If you are an officer in group of 12 man and you are in the middle of the group you will maximal see the left and the right soldier in the 2117 lod the other are to far away the engine will use the next lod with 380 faces and less texture resolution. But my experience shows mostly the left and the right solder uses the lower lods too that means the weapon my soldier have are the onlyone with the lod of the 2117 polycount. And i think the community will never get the 2048 texture version because peaple have fear but this is the decision of the mod leaders. But this is what i mean sure vbs1 dont have weapons with such high textures but soldier vehigles and many more. And you must know you all playing with weapons who have the same polycount but you doesnt know this  tounge_o.gif .

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This isn't expressly about VBS1 but, I don't think people

understand. OFP was designed in 1998-2001. The

computer technology it was based on is any where from

6-3 years old. They had balance then but a new balance

must be found.. I have been comeing very close to makeing

this personal but it's not.

This has nothing to do with me, my seals, my SWP pack,

past arguments, or VBS1. This is about Finding a balance

in edeting. There are two balances. Small models and

many textures or Large models and few textures.

Gordys M4's and Earls weapons are proof of that.

I am teribly sorry to have to skin these two

wonderful addon makers over it but it's yout choice.

The "Balance" can be acheived in two ways,

with difering results. The sooner that is seen the sooner

we can advance OFP instead of siting here treading water

and slowly drowning.



Now about the 02 tut, it look good so far? tounge_o.gif

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Yes the tut looks good smile_o.gif . But its not intresting for me at this point biggrin_o.gif . And i think it is better to describe how you get the bis textures and models loadet i mean if you edit a demo model how you can see this with textures and loaded proxys.

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tounge_o.gif This is basic, supposed to work for anyone off the street

later on we'll cover those bases in the tutorial. What else

would we like to see in the tutorial?

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(Zay reading feverishly) wow_o.gif

...........yes basic is a good start..........

(still reading tutorial feverishly).....good start is basic.....


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First of all, good comment on "Lag".

But i would like to know what's the balance all about. How does this balance look like in Polygons, vertices, faces or what ever smile_o.gif. Because for a 3d workin' guy like me it would be nice to know where i should stop so then i could plan how much details i can use and i can't use. Perhaps u can give me a hind.

And i also made a experiment smile_o.gif You all should wink_o.gif know the Ebud (seb) map "Rumble in the Jungle".

On this map i places 40 Blackhawks made by BAS and 12 Soar pilot units again made by Bas. I don't know the polycount on those Hawks but i think the polycount is between 4000-8000 (or even more i don't know). Same with the pilots (perhaps 2000 or more)

So i thought maybe it starts to lag but nothing unnormal happened. During the time i was in ofp playin' i had listened to music on the media player. And ps was also runin'.

I also had the DXDLL(?) tool runin'.

I have a Cpu with 1.92 Ghz, a Gf4 with 128 Mb ram and 768mb ddr ram.

So nothing really new at the moment.

Here are two screenshots:

Exp. 1

Exp. 2

P.s.: These screenshots aren't fake. They are made on the same ofp session. If you want to count the hawks and units have fun and use the second picture biggrin_o.gif

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@ Sep. 02 2004,17:21)]Perhaps u can give me a hind.

Did you mean to say a "hint"?

Because if you want a Hind, make your own! smile_o.gif

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