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Homer Johnston

Green/summer Chernarus trees

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Has anyone ever started doing something to make summer ArmA2 trees? I ask because several months ago, I started recoloring the trees but never finished. It's a pretty time intensive task. Anyways, I've had the work half-complete on my PC since August and feel like either giving it away, or soliciting help to complete it. I'm at work (and bored) but here's an example of what I was doing:

before_after.jpg

Sample small forest (over 100kb I think):

http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l7/kylewilcox/Fonzo/green-test2.jpg

I stopped working on this because a) I didn't want to have to recolor all the ground of Chernarus to summer colors, b) the tree LOD's aren't all that great in ArmA2, c) it just takes a lot of time. I think I got about 1/3rd of all the trees done though (not bushes or other vegetation).

I'm basically just opening this up to public discussion if anyone's interested; I have a how-to written up on how I did this that I can post here as well. Also, I am not sure if releasing this type of mod would be allowed since BIS hasn't released MLOD's, and it requires a minor hex-edit to change a texture path in the binarized model.

Cheers.

Edited by Homer Johnston

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Same here, I completed ~40% of my "ILuvGreen" addon but didn't get it released. I used couple of trees then for my Island Panthera. This default trees really burn FPS, LODs would need to be optimized, too.

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I think we're gonna see most island makers turn up in this thread!

I recoloured a few too! - rather clumsily... the betula birch trees... not well enough to use, but well enough to think "It's possible - I'll do just the ones I plan on using... when I really need them"... back to Roads... and never took it any further...

B

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Green trees are absolutely needed...

we have every weapon, soldier and vehicle with 25 different skins but if we look on objects etc. to make islands with a different appearance from chernarus there is not so much. I made my wintervegetation from Arma1 plants as that is the only way i know.

If somebody could explain how to make arma2 trees green, maybe we could work together.

Ten trees from everybody who wants to help and then put into one pack for everyone to use.... that would be a solution...?

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Haha, sounds awesome. When making Razoreniya I actually ended up at an African island (originally I was to make Sarajevo) because I didn't have any green trees. I'd certainly love this :)

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I have a how-to written up on how I did this that I can post here as well.

I'd certainly be very interested in seeing this!

and...

I am not sure if releasing this type of mod would be allowed since BIS hasn't released MLOD's, and it requires a minor hex-edit to change a texture path in the binarized model.

I don't think there's a problem with retexturing BIS models... attempting to unbinarise or edit the models themselves would probably be a different matter...

B

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LJF: If you will do another "green" project just lemme know, we can join forces ;)

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LJF: If you will do another "green" project just lemme know, we can join forces ;)

That sounds like a plan ;)

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Maybe we could all contribute whatever "greening" we've managed to accomplish so far and post them here... that would save doubling on work and provide a selection of greenery for everyone... It's all BIS stuff anyway so its not really personal...

I redid the "phragites" reeds to green, and also a version with the "browntops" removed and redefined as "clutter" as a wee demo for Arb and his Afghanistan island... worked nicely... "Big Grass" basically....

I guess everybody knows how to repath, so they should be easily adaptable... I'll post them for starters if I can find the link...

*edit*======

Here we go...

Reeds & ReedGrass

And a couple of pics...

reeds...

Loch_Ashie01_small.jpg

(that birch tree (betula) on the left of the row of 3 has also been (badly) greened, the other two not yet).. They need redone properly I guess...

"Reed grass" (same colour behaves differently as clutter - different RVMAT, so actual texture needs "dirtied" a bit)...

afghangrass_small.jpg

It's a start anyway... maybe someone will find them useful...I'll post a few more as and when I get anything redone to an adequate standard...

B

Edited by Bushlurker

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I would be willing to help if someone tells me how it is done.

Do the green trees have influence on the standard Bis trees?

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Yes, I will look into it too.

Ideal we need some green trees belonging to different ecotypes.

My first priority map, is intented to span semitropical to temperate climate.

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texture paths are embedded in the binarized tree model files; so generally speaking, it's not possible to affect the trees on Chernarus unless you replace the textures inside the chernarus pbo and repack it. Instead, the way I intended to do this was to hex-edit the tree model files to point to a new texture path, and then have them be standalone.

Here is my tutorial I wrote up (for other friends who I had hoped might be able to help me) - split into two posts due to 5 img/post limit:

---

HEX EDITING NEW TEXTURE PATHNAMES:

I opened a tree p3d model file in a hex editor (I use XVI32) and used file-replace to change all instances of:

ca\plants2\

to

HOMJ_Plant\

The important part of this was that my new path had to have the same length of characters, or else the p3d would corrupt (I'm open to help on that). This change caused the p3ds to look into my new folder structure for textures instead of BIS's plants2 pbo. (Note: if BIS releases unbinarized, sample-models of their vegetation it might not be necessary to do the hex editing

HOW TO RETEXTURE PLANTS - PHOTOSHOPPING TIPS

You need:

-Photoshop and a small amount of proficiency with photoshop.

-Kegety's PAA plugin. Find it on google/armaholic. When you load PAA's with it, hit Yes to discard mipmaps.

-plants2_type.pbo files extracted into your P:\CA\Plants2\type\ folders.

-A small (~1x1km) map which Buldozer will load really fast to view plant objects with.

-plants loaded in the map so you can view them.

Texture files:

Prefix_PlantnameVariant_LOD_TextureType.paa

-Prefix is t for tree, b for bush, etc.

-Plantname is the Latin name of the plant. E.g. Acer is Latin for Maple.

-Variants are just variants. Small and big. Some may have an S or F or W; they seem to have different colors (Summer Fall Winter, maybe??)

-LOD - if this is 0 or 1, it will be rendered when the object is close. If it is 3, 4, or 5, that will be a distant texture.

-TextureType has the following values:

  • -ca - for close LOD's, this is the detailed 'foliage' texture, i.e. small branches and leaves - in this case you may not need to edit it, it seems to be more of an alpha-map guide than an actual used texture. For far LOD's, this type may be used for the "billboard" version of the tree (crappiest looking LOD)
    -mc - this is a color set for the leaves. It is usually in LOD 1; in other words, plantname_1_mc.paa dictates the close-up color of the tree.
    -non - for bump mapping.

What to change

You don't need to hex edit the .P3D's in order to make new textures. I just need to do it to create a new addon. For each object type there's generally at least 2 texture files that need to change (some need 3). example - Acer tree -This tree has 6 files:

t_acer2s_1_ca.paa

t_acer2s_1_ca.jpg

You can see that this picture has leaves and fine details - the alpha map of this is what shapes the actual foliage. If you wanted to make a winter version of the tree, you would erase the leaves from the alphamap, thus the tree would only have branches (hmm, gonna have to try that sometime). In some cases this texture may have effect on the color of the leaves too - but don't edit it first, the next file is much more important.

t_acer2s_1_mc.paa

t_acer2s_1_mc.jpgt_acer2s_1_mc-1.jpg

This texture is where most of the Fall-red comes from. Changing this to green will cause the 1st LOD of the tree (very close) to look green.

What I did: Looking at a real-looking photograph of trees, I took a color sample and got an olive drab color (maybe RGB 74-92-47 - this should vary depending on the tree you're making. Birch trees are more yellow and lighter, for instance. Oak trees maybe more gray). I created a new layer and changed its overlay mode to "Color". I then previewed it in-game, and found it looked too dark, so I went into Hue/Saturation and increased the lightness a few points. It is impossible to get it right the first time - but the more I do it, the better I get at guessing how much to adjust things.

t_acer2s_1_non.paa

t_acer2s_1_non.jpg

This texture is for bump mapping and can be ignored.

t_acer2s_1_trunk_mc.paa

t_acer2s_1_trunk_mc.jpg

This texture is for the tree trunk and can be ignored. (note - most plants it looks more like bark. Not sure why this one is black & white)

Edited by Homer Johnston

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t_acer2s_5_ca.paa

t_acer2s_5_ca.jpgt_acer2s_5_ca-1.jpg

This texture is the 2D-Sprite version of the tree, at long range. It will have to be recolored.

What I did: First, I had to be careful not to change the color of bark. I use the magic wand tool with a low threshold (~15) and Contiguous OFF and select the most prominent bark color. Then use whatever selection methods I want to add the rest of the bark. I then do a selection-feather of 2 pixels to smooth it out. I invert the selection, and now I have the foliage selected. Create a new "Color" layer and fill in the selection area with an olive drab, just like before. When I viewed it in-game, it turned out to be lighter than the close-textures, so I darkened the side views a bit as you can see.

t_acer2s_5_non.paa

t_acer2s_5_non.jpg

This is the long-distance bump mapping and can be ignored.

After you edit a texture, save it as a .TGA with photoshop (DO NOT use PAAPlug's exporter! It seems to corrupt the files). Then open the TGA with TexView2, and save it as a .paa. Then open Buldozer and check it out!

Before & After:

before_after.jpg

---------- Post added at 08:50 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:35 PM ----------

If there is continued interest, this weekend I will fill out the first post of this thread with the .p3d name of every bush, plant and tree. They will be in red text. Any objects that I have converted will be in green text. If we want to do this as a public-contribution operation, then I can make the effort to update this list as more textures are received.

Really apologize for triple-posting, but due to image limit per post + different post topics which I wanted to separate, I feel it was required. :31:

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Hi Homer,

thats a great idea... as i was thinking the same. I have begun converting it nearly the same way as you some days ago.

My intention was to have a "public-contribution operation" too, so these are the plants i have converted and working ingame:

t_betula1f.p3d

t_betula2f.p3d

t_betula2s.p3d

t_betula2w.p3d

t_fagus2f.p3d

t_fagus2s.p3d

t_fagus2W.p3d

t_malus1s.p3d

t_populus3s.p3d

t_pyrus2s.p3d

b_canina2s.p3d

b_corylus.p3d

b_corylus2s.p3d

b_craet1.p3d

b_craet2.p3d

b_prunus.p3d

b_sambucus.p3d

b_salix2s.p3d

to make it as neutral as possible according to the contributors my path looks like this:

P:\summplants\tree\t_populus3s.p3d

and so on.

summerplants_2.jpg

Maybe you and any other who wants to join could pm me so we can have a better coordination and discuss about the colour which we want to achieve.

In the end we could have this as addon for islands and as a replacement for chernarus maybe...:yay:

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Hi Homer! - thanks for the guide! Easy to read and follow! Great!!

Hi Beton! - Wow! - you really progressed on them since we spoke last! Well Done! Looking excellent!

I'd started redoing the Betulas again for my island, but after seeing Beton's pic and list it seems awful like re-inventing the wheel.... Island-making takes long enough without us all doing the same jobs independantly! I think I'll wait till you guys assemble your list, see whats missing and maybe help fill a gap or two...

B

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I'm doing the same thing for the new Panthera version (one after tommorow's release). I hate the autumn trees now when spring is kicking in.

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Please excuse me if this seems to be necroposting... but I would like to ask if map makers are allowed to do this kind of retexturing A2 tree models job...

In simple words, is this allowed or this is some sort of illegal stuff for any mapmaker?

My pal Minimalaco told me that we could do this, but another guy just told me that using these trees "breach the games' EULA as they are made by hexediting BIS files."

:confused_o:

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I think Bis allow only with permission,

Maybe as Dwarden for email address to submit your request to retextures :) .

I don't think Bis bite

Good luck

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