Matrix Games Forums

Deal of the Week: Command Ops goes half price!New Fronts are opening up for Commander: The Great WarCharacters of World War 1Sign of for the Pike and Shot Beta!More Games are Coming to Steam! Return to the Moon on October 31st! Commander: The Great War iPad Wallpapers Generals of the Great WarDeal of the Week Panzer CorpsNew Strategy Titles Join the Family
Forums  Register  Login  Photo Gallery  Member List  Search  Calendars  FAQ 

My Profile  Inbox  Address Book  My Subscription  My Forums  Log Out

RE: Now here's a pretty thing ...

 
View related threads: (in this forum | in all forums)

Logged in as: Guest
Users viewing this topic: none
  Printable Version
All Forums >> [Current Games From Matrix.] >> [Discontinued Games] >> Panzer Command: Kharkov >> Maps, Models and Mods >> RE: Now here's a pretty thing ... Page: <<   < prev  1 2 [3]
Login
Message << Older Topic   Newer Topic >>
RE: Now here's a pretty thing ... - 6/8/2008 1:56:47 AM   
SAF_Biffa


Posts: 131
Joined: 4/16/2008
From: Wiltshire
Status: offline
Brush would be low density forest and it would be up to the map maker to colour it in that way...

What about height?

For Stridors programme we are just adding forest and brush regards movable terrain, but we will need some kind of standardisation between all of the modders.

Barricades is another thing I was going to ask about, would really like to do some of those, some pictures I've seen show looted Russian villages full of furniture and belongings out on the street, not that they had many.

(in reply to Mobius)
Post #: 61
RE: Now here's a pretty thing ... - 6/8/2008 4:47:35 PM   
Stridor


Posts: 5077
Joined: 9/8/2007
Status: offline
Just a little update on the UI.

I have reorganized all the games main map assets to make it easier to select them and then incorporate them into your maps.

Here is an example of the textures you can select from by default (note there are more than this, this is just a sample)






Attachment (1)

(in reply to SAF_Biffa)
Post #: 62
RE: Now here's a pretty thing ... - 6/8/2008 4:49:04 PM   
Stridor


Posts: 5077
Joined: 9/8/2007
Status: offline
Here are the trees. Note there are more trees than these but these are the trees which will be user selectable for random forest autogen






Attachment (1)

(in reply to Stridor)
Post #: 63
RE: Now here's a pretty thing ... - 6/8/2008 4:50:07 PM   
Stridor


Posts: 5077
Joined: 9/8/2007
Status: offline
Here are the skyboxes. PCK only really uses skybox1 in its maps so lots more to choose from here




Attachment (1)

(in reply to Stridor)
Post #: 64
RE: Now here's a pretty thing ... - 6/8/2008 4:52:33 PM   
Stridor


Posts: 5077
Joined: 9/8/2007
Status: offline
Finally here is the latest SS of the Map Maker. I keep adding features all the time. It is very flexible in what it can do WRT terrain and forest generation. You have control over every aspect of map creation.




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Stridor -- 6/8/2008 4:54:10 PM >

(in reply to Stridor)
Post #: 65
RE: Now here's a pretty thing ... - 6/8/2008 5:18:13 PM   
Stridor


Posts: 5077
Joined: 9/8/2007
Status: offline
How it works:

1. You draw your map in PCK colors on a 1000x1000 bmp (= AI map). 1 pixel = 1 meter. North is up, West is left, South is down and East is right.
2. You construct your heightmap 65x65 grey scale (= Height map). There are lots of ways to do this.
3. You start my Map Maker
4. Load H/Map (height map)
5. Load AI/Map (AI map) note you can use the mouse scroll wheel to change the transparency of the AI map so you can more clearly see the Height map
6. Type in a height (M_Ht0) in meters for a known fixed point on your map, or you can leave it as sea level (= 0.0 m)
7. Type in another reference height (M_Ht1) this sets the height scale.
8. You can then use the eye dropper tool on the heightmap to mark these references points on the map.
Note: Any point lower than sea level will be filled with water automatically
9. Now think about how many different layers your map will have. Usually Grass is a base layer, then forrest, then fields, then snow, the roads, etc. You decide. Try and keep the layers to a minimum if possible for performance reasons. For each layer type the name you want to use in the Masks + Textures name box and then choose the texture you want to associate with that layer. You can also enter in how that texture should be tiled and rotate so as to enhance the visual effect.
10. You can now define your tree (and brush) set. Browse for the trees you want on your map. You can set the alpha (a) which defines how "plump" the tree is, you can also define the density of that tree in # trees / 100 square meters for brush, light woods, medium woods and heavy woods areas. This allows you to customise how your tree ecology will look.
11. Select a skybox appropriate to your map. If you are doing an historical engagement there might be some data on this
12. You can set map lighting strength from total darkness (0) to mid day sun (255). You can also set the compass direction and height of the sun. Again think where the sun would be in the sky for your map.
13. Next set the diffuse and ambient lighting colors using the color picker provided.
14. The zFar plane is the clipping fog plane and defines sighting conditions. It is in meters. It equates to maximum visibility distance for your map. Use this to simulate fog or night conditions.
15. Final give your map a name and then press Build. In about 2-4 minutes depending how complex you map forest geometry is you will have a new map directory and new map ready to go!

All that is needed now is to draw on your masks which the Map Maker will have already created and named for you. You will find these in the map directory.
Example: You had a mask (layer) called Roads. Edit this "Roads.png" file in a paint editor and then draw your roads on it and save. Do the same for any other layers you have defined.

Finally go into scenedit and hand place what ever else is required for your map like houses, fences, foxholes, etc. This should not take long as the forest represents about 99.5% of all map work. And there you have it, a new map for relatively little effort, and zero extra cost

Enjoy

S.

< Message edited by Stridor -- 6/8/2008 5:19:22 PM >

(in reply to Stridor)
Post #: 66
RE: Now here's a pretty thing ... - 6/8/2008 5:32:42 PM   
Stridor


Posts: 5077
Joined: 9/8/2007
Status: offline
Actually I am also toying with the idea of adding an "Urban generation" module to the map maker. You would define rows of streets on the AI map and the Map maker would then fill out whole villages or cities based on user input. You would probably still need to go into scenedit and do some final tweaks, but a lot of the hack work would alreay be be taken care of ????

How about Random craters, farm animals?

Boy the list goes on.

Hopefully someone will make some bush and grass models which I can include as well.

(in reply to Stridor)
Post #: 67
RE: Now here's a pretty thing ... - 6/8/2008 6:13:09 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

Posts: 32881
Joined: 3/28/2000
From: Vermont, USA
Status: offline
Truly phenomenal, keep up the great work!

_____________________________

Erik Rutins
Director of Product Development


For official support, please use our Help Desk: http://www.matrixgames.com/helpdesk/

Freedom is not Free.

(in reply to Stridor)
Post #: 68
RE: Now here's a pretty thing ... - 6/9/2008 6:16:01 PM   
Bil H


Posts: 1981
Joined: 4/24/2003
From: Richmond Virginia
Status: offline
John, you aren't a very good business man, you could have sold this to Matrix for a pretty penny. 

I love your thoughts on town creation... although I think most map builders would want more control over building placement and type of building.  Do I foresee a random map builder in your future perhaps? 

I might be able to do some brush models, but not until next week sometime.  I also would still like to improve the trees... been on my to-do list for quite a while.

Bil

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 69
RE: Now here's a pretty thing ... - 6/9/2008 6:55:08 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

Posts: 32881
Joined: 3/28/2000
From: Vermont, USA
Status: offline
FYI, I got an e-mail from Marc and it seems he knows more about our existing brush models than I do (no surprise there). I'm going to chat with him about these in more detail tomorrow, but we may have something we can add to the mix as well.

_____________________________

Erik Rutins
Director of Product Development


For official support, please use our Help Desk: http://www.matrixgames.com/helpdesk/

Freedom is not Free.

(in reply to Bil H)
Post #: 70
RE: Now here's a pretty thing ... - 6/9/2008 6:58:29 PM   
Mad Russian


Posts: 12396
Joined: 3/16/2008
From: Texas
Status: offline
One thing that hasn't been mentioned yet is map labels. Especially for historically based fights. Map labels give a great setting and immersion factor.

As to the rest of this whenever YOU say something is easy again I'm out of there!! 

This has been the amazing transformation I've ever watched take place.

You don't walk down here on the ground like the rest of us! 

Good Hunting.

MR

(in reply to Bil H)
Post #: 71
RE: Now here's a pretty thing ... - 6/9/2008 7:05:31 PM   
SAF_Biffa


Posts: 131
Joined: 4/16/2008
From: Wiltshire
Status: offline
I would start on brush if it wasn't for this problem with buying/registering MS3D with Share It, I don't have a credit card, don't believe in them, I have a Debit Card but ofc they don't take those, the other options are a pain and will take forever 4-7days.

I have the time just not the programme atm.

If someone else does the brush then cool, I'll happily carry on with finishing the first pack and starting the second with 3dsm until I can find a way for them to accept my money. I'm still not sure about the best way of modelling grass/brush anyway.

Note: Correction ofc, brush has it own colour, correction from my dumb comment earlier.

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 72
RE: Now here's a pretty thing ... - 6/9/2008 7:15:41 PM   
Mad Russian


Posts: 12396
Joined: 3/16/2008
From: Texas
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: SAF_Biffa

I would start on brush if it wasn't for this problem with buying/registering MS3D with Share It, I don't have a credit card, don't believe in them, I have a Debit Card but ofc they don't take those, the other options are a pain and will take forever 4-7days.

I have the time just not the programme atm.

If someone else does the brush then cool, I'll happily carry on with finishing the first pack and starting the second with 3dsm until I can find a way for them to accept my money. I'm still not sure about the best way of modelling grass/brush anyway.

Note: Correction ofc, brush has it own colour, correction from my dumb comment earlier.


They should be able to charge it to your debit card. Restaraunts do that if I understand it right.

Good Hunting.

MR

(in reply to SAF_Biffa)
Post #: 73
RE: Now here's a pretty thing ... - 6/9/2008 7:16:09 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

Posts: 32881
Joined: 3/28/2000
From: Vermont, USA
Status: offline
How about I buy it, transfer the license to you and then you can mail me a check to reimburse? If you're intereste, e-mail me at erikr@matrixgames.com and we'll work it out.

_____________________________

Erik Rutins
Director of Product Development


For official support, please use our Help Desk: http://www.matrixgames.com/helpdesk/

Freedom is not Free.

(in reply to SAF_Biffa)
Post #: 74
RE: Now here's a pretty thing ... - 6/10/2008 12:10:46 AM   
SAF_Biffa


Posts: 131
Joined: 4/16/2008
From: Wiltshire
Status: offline
Literally just got it to work with another friends card....

Very kind offer Erik, that's what I call customer support!

I'll try and pay back your kind thought with some decent models.

When they reject your card/details sometimes they leave it 24hours to let you know, so frustrating.

Sorry about deflecting the thread a bit, I was going mad...again.

Just back to my burning question- can you billboard foliage like explosions in PCK? It would save performance massively.




Secondly....

The trees in PCK seem to be a 'x' shape so from above they don't always look great see silhouette 1 and inset pic. It's ok because the game isn't a flight sim so rarely do we see them directly from above. Problem is you do/will often see brush from above and it won't look very good if we use the same layout. Now the main pic is from Operation Flashpoint and here you can see the trees are laid out with angled planes holding the textures which mostly look great but sometimes from some angles look weird like the one in the foreground. This shape is silhouette 2.

Anyway I'm planning to do the brush planes/textures like silhouette 3, if we can't do a billboard effect then this must be the most efficient layout for the brush models. Hopefully this will be better for low end systems and also visually since they are basically a '#' shape with a hollow centre.

I took a degree in modding but it was primarily project management so the rest of my knowledge is mainly self taught so I'm sorry if this isn't a very technical way of explaining it since I'm sure to most of you it looks like an idiot rambling...

So the question is, before I spend ages on it... is this the best way of doing it or is there a better way?

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 75
RE: Now here's a pretty thing ... - 6/10/2008 1:03:55 AM   
Stridor


Posts: 5077
Joined: 9/8/2007
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Bil H

John, you aren't a very good business man, you could have sold this to Matrix for a pretty penny. 



Really? Hmmm?

quote:

ORIGINAL: Mad Russian

One thing that hasn't been mentioned yet is map labels. Especially for historically based fights. Map labels give a great setting and immersion factor.



Labels and arrows etc could be added by my map maker however they would be permanently part of the map, you couldn't turn them off or on. Perhaps Erik can talk to K about support for labels which would need to be part of the engine (Much like hitting F12 to turn trees on/off perhaps f11 could do the same for labels?)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Mad Russian

As to the rest of this whenever YOU say something is easy again I'm out of there!!



Steve even you will be able to work this one I hope. If you can't work at least a paint program you will be stuck. You will have to then wait for my next version of the Map Maker which will have a mind reading function

quote:

ORIGINAL: SAF_Biffa

So the question is, before I spend ages on it... is this the best way of doing it or is there a better way?



Biffa, I haven't tested it extensively and I will, but Billboards are possible. So your brush would be a small square plane with 4 vertices and 2 triangles. The you slap your unidirectional brush texture on it. Then in the xml it gets defined as isfacingcamera="yes", but you don't need to worry about that bit as the Map Maker will take care of it. That should help the performance quite a bit.


Now just a point on the map maker design. I have made it pretty modular so that it is easy to add new sections. For example I have now added a random battle damage crater module and cows in farms module (other farm animals to follow once they get 3D models ). I am working on incorporating foxholes into the system as well (so you paint where you want the foxholes to go).

I have ideas for other modules to add as well (like the urban module, dead tanks/bodies module, etc) but I think I will release this at some stage soon to a select group of beta testers before I add too much stuff which might break it.

More points:

The system gives a final breakdown on map complexity so you can see how it is likely to perform on different machines. You can have it set to geneate a million trees if you want, but that will kill most machines Things which will affect performance is setting too many terrain layers and generating too many trees.

The forest system allows you pretty tight control on exactly what type of trees you want and where. I made it this way because most real forest only have one or two predominate tree types. Totally random forest with 15 different types of trees with exactly the same distribution don't exist in RL!

ATM the sytsem works only with the current game assets, if modding takes off and we get lots of cool new map content I will add the ability to support that in the map maker.






Attachment (1)

(in reply to Bil H)
Post #: 76
RE: Now here's a pretty thing ... - 6/10/2008 1:23:15 AM   
Stridor


Posts: 5077
Joined: 9/8/2007
Status: offline
quote:


Do I foresee a random map builder in your future perhaps?


Possibly, but that would be far in the future as I would have to write an auto template maker for the RBG system as well.

To do all that *WELL* is a huge job, I would need to look at the type of alogrithms they use in computer vision systems like 8 way Connected Component Labeling + others in less than total O(n^3) proc time + mem alloc (and we have a 1000x1000 map, it will get worse with larger maps! note some of these in a more light weight form are already in the map maker it needs to identify regions from a bitmap at least in a basic way) That is why I used the human template system for the RBG as the human occiptal cortex has massive parallel hardware designed for just such a task !

I would also have to migrate away from my current development tools for the same reason. People think I am joking when I tell them I wrote the very first useable scenario editor for PCOWS in less than 5 evenings of after work programing. Well I got the guts of the map maker done in about the same time. Most of my programing time now is spent on making the UI look nice and pretty *and* idiot proof. Part of that development speed is due to the tools, if I move to .Net it will hurt that speed.

S.

(in reply to Stridor)
Post #: 77
RE: Now here's a pretty thing ... - 6/10/2008 1:43:53 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

Posts: 32881
Joined: 3/28/2000
From: Vermont, USA
Status: offline
There's a "Cow Type Selector"? Classic.

_____________________________

Erik Rutins
Director of Product Development


For official support, please use our Help Desk: http://www.matrixgames.com/helpdesk/

Freedom is not Free.

(in reply to Stridor)
Post #: 78
RE: Now here's a pretty thing ... - 6/10/2008 1:52:28 AM   
RyanCrierie


Posts: 1076
Joined: 10/14/2005
Status: offline
Hm you know, I could try making a slightly higher poly tree, as a break from working on the King Tiger...

_____________________________

My Website with cool bits and pieces!

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 79
RE: Now here's a pretty thing ... - 6/10/2008 1:54:21 AM   
Rick

 

Posts: 12098
Joined: 4/20/2000
Status: online

quote:

ORIGINAL: Stridor

Now just a point on the map maker design. I have made it pretty modular so that it is easy to add new sections. For example I have now added a random battle damage crater module and cows in farms module (other farm animals to follow once they get 3D models ). I am working on incorporating foxholes into the system as well (so you paint where you want the foxholes to go).

I have ideas for other modules to add as well (like the urban module, dead tanks/bodies module, etc) but I think I will release this at some stage soon to a select group of beta testers before I add too much stuff which might break it.




Sounds like you've got the basics already in it Stridor. I'm no modder, but I'd be glad to test the map maker. I don't know 3D stuff too well, but I've done just a little editting of existing map to make Balta sceanrio (in the mods list). So I've used scenario editor and Scene Edit.

quote:



The system gives a final breakdown on map complexity so you can see how it is likely to perform on different machines. You can have it set to geneate a million trees if you want, but that will kill most machines Things which will affect performance is setting too many terrain layers and generating too many trees.



Excellent feature! I'm one of those with low-mid system and I appreciate you keepsing us laggards in mind (in fact being able to run this on my even older and more low end laptop is one of things that sold me on this game).

Better make a cutoff though, or you'll never stop adding "features"!

Thanks again for your work!

Rick

(in reply to Stridor)
Post #: 80
RE: Now here's a pretty thing ... - 6/13/2008 4:01:43 PM   
Stridor


Posts: 5077
Joined: 9/8/2007
Status: offline
Sunrise.

Notice how all the map placeables conform to the underlying terrain for all face and vertex normals. Not even scenedit does that

Just a few more tweaks and I should have something out to the beta testers soon.

Added the ability to save and load all map maker options to an xml file in the map directory. This is because you have the ability to tweak so many things, I thought it a shame to have to redo them all over if you wanted to modify your map.

The large lettering you see is the default mask telling you it is a placeholder (so you don't forget to edit it).







Attachment (1)

(in reply to Rick)
Post #: 81
RE: Now here's a pretty thing ... - 6/13/2008 6:21:39 PM   
Rick

 

Posts: 12098
Joined: 4/20/2000
Status: online

Very nice work!

And I thought maybe those letters was a field near Universtiy of Dusseldorf, and those were just field carvings done by the local Frat.

Looking forward to seeing it. And thats nice about conforming. I know in scen edit sometimes things looked a little strange, until I learned to go in and mess with yaw and pitch and roll (just trial and error though) to get them lining up.

Thanks again,
Rick

(in reply to SAF_Biffa)
Post #: 82
RE: Now here's a pretty thing ... - 6/14/2008 7:42:20 AM   
Stridor


Posts: 5077
Joined: 9/8/2007
Status: offline
The MM is now beta (see new thread)

I have added a mod system so that any mods will get picked up by the MM and used during map generation.

(in reply to Rick)
Post #: 83
Page:   <<   < prev  1 2 [3]
All Forums >> [Current Games From Matrix.] >> [Discontinued Games] >> Panzer Command: Kharkov >> Maps, Models and Mods >> RE: Now here's a pretty thing ... Page: <<   < prev  1 2 [3]
Jump to:





New Messages No New Messages
Hot Topic w/ New Messages Hot Topic w/o New Messages
Locked w/ New Messages Locked w/o New Messages
 Post New Thread
 Reply to Message
 Post New Poll
 Submit Vote
 Delete My Own Post
 Delete My Own Thread
 Rate Posts


Forum Software © ASPPlayground.NET Advanced Edition 2.4.5 ANSI

0.102