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Homer Johnston

Script / Tool suggestion box

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Following the preview developments of my road tool and shezan74's "Fence Generator" tool, I thought it'd be interesting to see what other aids for Visitor people would like to see. When I tried to make an island last year, I quickly concluded that I didn't have the time to use Visitor as-is... but I do have time to make tools to speed things up, and maybe eventually there'll be enough helper-tools that I actually can make an island :p

Post any "this process is annoying" or "I wish there was a tool which did ____" type of thoughts in here, and with some luck it may become someone's "rainy-day" project this summer...

I'll start:

  • I'd like to see development of MaskMapper continued (although I haven't worked with it much so don't know its main limitations - feel free to expand on this)
  • I'd like it if we could create roads by drawing splines in the editor, and auto-generating a best-fit road. Spline points could be shifted to 'bend' and re-route sections of road in real time. (This idea might require a new Visitor which was capable of handling more than the basic 10deg, 25/50/75/100m curves...)

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One point that immediately springs to mind with MaskMapper in it's current form is it's tendency to place trees awful close together sometimes... some sort of "minimum safe distance" check when object density>1 might be handy... it doesn't really matter if this slowed .txtfile generation - it's not something you do on a frequent basis...

Actually - another point is the current usage of masks corresponding to Heightmap res as opposed to Satmap res...

I've been "dumbing down" mask layers which correspond to forest areas from 20480 to 2048 in order to make masks for maskmapper - however, I use the full res version as a ground textures mask - sometimes this means I'll have, say - an 8x8m area which has forest texture - but no trees - since during the dumbing down process, any area smaller than 10x10m gets lost completely...

Then again - that would mean MaskMapper would have to handle some fairly hefty sized bitmaps... plus, I've just thought... how it calculates tree density/placement would have to be rewritten since essentially it would now be working on a per m^2 basis... hmmm... might cause more problems than it solves...

The trees too close together one IS a valid point though...

B

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Will be taken into consideration thnx! But due to real lack of time please dont expect anything too soon.

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One point that immediately springs to mind with MaskMapper in it's current form is it's tendency to place trees awful close together sometimes... some sort of "minimum safe distance" check when object density>1 might be handy...

B

Try with a smaller BMP. I've used a 1024x1024 bmp for my 10240meters map and result was fantastic (and really optimizable).

If map is ugly cluttered with 1 tree/meter try with a mask import bmp smaller. Even 512x512!

It worked for me, that i've had my original map so tree spammed that i was unable to move in the forests :)

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With maskmapper I would love to see it be expanded in being able to place more then one object type per BMP image. Of course in a perfect world you could just load the satellite image in and select which pixels(by color like magic wand in photoshop) you want for which objects.

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If you use a 24bit BMP you can use the RGB facility - maskmapper will use basically the same image for all three channels - so you can generate 3 different object types for the same image...

B

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What about a new forest creation tool where rather than using a gray-scale image to represent population of trees you could paint a line on the edge of a forest, if the line doesn't connect to the start point it just creates a straight line. then within that shape it fills it in with trees which you can define the type of and the density, So similar to shezan74's tool except it would fill the whole circle in the pic on his thread not the line. essentially it would work exactly like photoshop's lasso tool and fill it in with your defined objects/trees. only downside may be that if there was an empty space in the middle of a forest that you would have to manually delete.

Edited by trezza

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Trezza, I have thought about that too... but I think if MaskMapper could be improved to work with a higher resolution (1m?) then it would work alright (as long as you have a good image editor). If we did have a way to control a "shape-area", could there be any other uses for it?

Another idea, again for MaskMapper;

- As an option, have object size also be dependent on the greyscale intensity. Sometimes, the very edge of a forest contains younger, smaller trees.

Edited by Homer Johnston

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This isn't really related to anything, but I've been working on this for the past couple of weeks during my lunch breaks at work... today I finally brought it home and plugged it into ArmA:

arma2-spline_test.jpg

The blue points are "anchor-points", selected by mouseclicks ... there are also auto-generated "tangent-control points" not shown. The entire red-line is auto-generated. With a little work, these anchor & tangent-control points could be dragged around to "bend" the spline... anyone want to think of some uses for this ability? :cool:

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anyone want to think of some uses for this ability? :cool:

Yes, of course, you can easily make a snake simulator, or a software that will autogenerate spaghetti dishes by placing tomato objects on the dish...

or you can stop eating, work hard and give us this nice tool :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :D

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I just had a quick try... especially the 3d version is cool...i simply redefined some pipelines as pink roads and used the corkscrewgeneratormodule ... and voila.. this previewversion of my secret V4 is able to fire 7 whole trains filled with explosive at once over 1000 miles. Maybe we need some bigger maps soon.

It will be available in 255 different versions.

secret_weapon.jpg

Edited by Beton

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I just had a quick try... especially the 3d version is cool...i simply redefined some pipelines as pink roads and used the corkscrewgeneratormodule ... and voila.. this previewversion of my secret V4 is able to fire 7 whole trains filled with explosive at once over 1000 miles. Maybe we need some bigger maps soon.

It will be available in 255 different versions.

:D:D:D

How about asking a ticket for the pink rollercoaster?

We can create a new fund "for retired developers" :D

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OK... here's a wild and vague idea for a small utility... or maybe just a moan about another Visitor-related chore that one of you code-wizards might find tempting...

Mask_lco's...

Now, OK - BIS probably DO have some cunning procedure for cramming more than 4 ground textures to a segment... but for us mere mortals - for the moment - 4 is the limit...

The limit per what?... per segment... and a segment is???... well, that depends on terrain size/cell size/satmap size/etc... it's explained in the Biki and makes the usual vague sense if you reread it often enough...

Keeping to 4 colours or less per segment is a bitch...

I borrowed a trick from a DMarkwick post and I've been working with a grid overlay... this helps a lot... but it's still tricky finding problem areas...

OK - here's the "what if" part...

What If there was some sort of utility... you loaded your mask_lco... fed it all your appropriate terrain/cell/etc stats... it then displayed the mask with a grid overlay representing your texture limitation "segments"... then, it analysed the colour diversity within each cell of the grid - and "highlighted" areas where there were more than 4 colours...??

Better still if it would then output some sort of simple gridded bitmap - along with the highlights - which could be loaded into your usual art-package as a layer along with your mask to be used as a guide for hand editing those problem areas...

a "Mask_lco Analysis Tool" if you like...

Crazy idea?

Just a thought...

B

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Idea is good

Do you have a reference for the segment issue? calculations and so on?

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Well, that sounds like it has to be a plugin for Photoshop or Gimp. If someone has knowledge about that... do it please.

Maybe this kind of calculation could be done best with masklayer in bmp format, i heard the data from bmp is quite easy accessible.

I don´t think visitor3 is capable to handle more than 4 textures per segment... bis is using some kind of transparency for this... just have a look at the chernarus mask_lco...

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maybe i missed out something but a tool that allows "n00bs" to place objects, like trees inside the editor. Save the mission and email it to me, then allow me to import it much like the road painter tool to visitor.

Why?

Because that way even people that doesn't use visitor and so on can help build villages, add objects and then just send. As well i find the editor faster then visitor in many ways.

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You mean creating objects in ArmA2 mission creator and export them Visitor 3 in order to make them "stable" into the island?

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This reminds me of the 3de editor which was released by mapfact for arma 1. It would be very nice to have this working for Arma2 and OA.

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This is probably too much work for a trivial benefit, but it'd be nice to have a "clutter simulator" tool. It would let you define clutter objects and set their probabilities (ensuring they add up to 1.0 or less), and then generate a sample clutter distribution for a small area that could be imported into Visitor, just for checking it out in Buldozer without having go through the compile process for every change.

It could then either spit out a surface character config or you could just pop the values into your config by hand. I don't know whether the algorithm that BIS uses for clutter is simple or customized in some way, but having to recompile to see the changes leads to not really wanting to fiddle with it. I imagine this could reuse code from the mask mapper applications that are already available.

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Theoretically world tools could be able to do this using percentages. The problem is the highly reduced scale of the area and the lack of infornations about the number of plants on each square meter.

Also i never noticed the objects that produces clutter (better, never searched for them)

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The clutter objects are regular 3D objects (with slightly different lodding, I think), and they can be placed in Visitor. They're in plants2_Clutter.pbo.

It's also worth noting that there are some variables in the island configs that can affect the clutter placement, like the "clutterGrid" variable (which is 1.0 for Chernarus, but 1.5 for Takistan).

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