Dev Diary PMC Taiwan Hsinchu ArmA 3 Terrain

This is dev diary for PMC Taiwan Hsinchu ArmA 3 real world data terrain by PMC.

We have been writing development or developer diaries to PMC Tactical Forums for two decades, these addon dev diaries are spread to many forum topics. One example PMC Tactical Forums: Vietnam: The Experience Neverending development diary 2007-10-13. On 2020 things changed in Farming Simulator 19 editing community when we started to write detailed dev diaries as web html pages because we had no forum, now in 2022 the same dev diary story telling continues in ofp/arma community.

These dev diaries are my current on the fly thoughts and emotions, if I feel shitty I will clearly state that. I try to avoid it but sometimes there might be hilarious profanity rants when things don't go exactly as I planned, so if you are "offended" by few curse words you probably should stop reading now Smiley ;)

Also these dev diaries are written to many addon projects and sometimes repeating the same lines of text or taking exact same screenshots feels stupid so there might be text just listing boring "I did XYZ and then ZYX" type of info without further details. And remember; this is NOT a tutorial, this is entertainment Smiley ;)

Time stamps are Universal Time Coordinated (UTC).

2021-10-10 Project Started

2021-10-10T22:14:00Z Created this page Smiley :)

2021-10-10T22:20:00Z Created Global Mapper project, it has started. Aayeah!

2021-10-10T22:26:00Z Terra Incognita satellite imagery started. So refreshing to download only 40km hehe.

2021-10-10T23:45:00Z Download finished. Then exported 25m/pixel ArcGIS 17 level preview image.

2021-10-22 Global Mapper Editing

2021-10-22T19:03:00Z Its been several days when I was working on other taiwan terrains but now in my real world tool pipeline I reached Hsinchu, its quite late in the day for me but lets see how much editing work could we put in before its bed time.

Started where tool pipeline instructed, merging GEBCO ocean seabed with SRTM heightmap data. Then global mapper assigned PMC_Terrain_Data lyers.cfg RGB colors to OpenStreetMap (OSM) area shapes. Then started to export satellite mask in 4 x 4 grid tiles.

Exported by mistake satellite TEXTURE instead heh, oops, nobody saw nothing... Smiley ;)

Created Terrain Builder project as well and imported ASCII Grid heightmap.asc, while global mapper was exporting satellite texture.

It is a difference like no other when you edit few days on 81.9km terrains and then switch to almost little girlie men alike 40km one, handling "only" 40,960 x 40,960 resolution images is childs play.

Heck with this rate I can start editing third terrain today hehe.

2021-10-22T20:40:00Z GIMP inspected satellite texture tiles and painted coastlines ocean seabed pattern fill after doing free hand selection for the mentioned coastline.

By using GraphicsMagick did the usual Darken Merge Picturemap Satellite Texture Tiles of satellite texture tiles and new satellite mask images preparation to fix RGB colors from global mapper a bit. Then it was just terrain builder importing both satellites.

And satellite is in terrain builder.

PMC Taiwan Hsinchu ArmA 3 Screenshot

2021-10-22T21:04:00Z Started to generate layers.

Used Terrain Processor to generate obj_forest OSM shape objects with our Terrain Processor TPP Templates, it did only 1.348 million objects with hectare density 70, wow how nice it is to work with these small 40km terrains when object generation is now problem Smiley :)

2021-10-22T21:46:00Z Forgot to write down but generate layers finished few minutes ago, editing pace is hectic I constantly forget to write play-by-plays here in dev diary, but at least I keep recording videos of pretty much everything.

Dunno why dev diary writing is so difficult, I just cant stop when editing, its like a piranha biting into piece of cow Smiley ;)

2021-10-22T21:50:00Z Convert Layers PNG to PAA Fast bat finished, lets Separate Data Layers for smaller PBOs next.

2021-10-22T22:02:00Z Just started pboProject binarizing, amazing how quickly this terrain got into binarize ready, I was only hoping to get started one terrain tonight (its very late for me, check PMC Taiwan Taichung dev diary for reference) but now its actually in-game in few minutes, wow very nice.

2021-10-22T22:13:00Z Finished binarizing. And with that... I'll call it a night here, very brief work for hsinchu but been editing other taiwan terrains all day so feeling great, now there is not much I could do today anymore so going to just chill.

2022-04-13 New Editing Year

2022-04-13T20:33:00Z New editing day has started, actually new editing YEAR! Smiley :)

Woke up hour or so ago, did the morning chores, checked Ukraine war news, ate days first meal, now just finished reading this incredibly short dev diary which kind of disappointed me, should have written more details in here.

Yesterday (UTC earlier today) I released PMC Ukraine Enerhodar and hmm some other terrain way earlier in yesterday morning time or so, forgot already what it was, this is all a big blur as I've done it for one a month straight every single day 17hrs a day.

Was looking at real world data terrain tool pipeline 00.txt file of mine, nothing out of the ordinary there, need to re-save roads.shp, smooth out airfield runways, basic stuff like that.

As usual I'll begin by inspecting taiwan hsinchu in arma3 as this is "new" terrain for me, it was october 22nd 2021 last time I spent any time with this. Lets take a fresh 2022 look of how this terrain looks like.

When I clicked on mission editor terrain select I remembered this terrain, it is one of the odd ones, just a very small piece of land in SE corner, well NE to south central coastline, heh quite weird terrain selection indeed.

As my tool pipeline text indicated roads.shp are broken and need terrain builder import/export to fix. Ocean coastline has the water creeping to land issue, which I can now fix not exactly easily but its doable. Airfield runways are not smoothed, hell they even had water in them.

Would you land an aircraft into this airfield?

PMC Taiwan Hsinchu ArmA 3 Screenshot

Hehe! neither would I Smiley ;)

Ocean seabed bottom is done with GEBCO data which mean the actual coastline is garbage, but it will be fixed. Overall quite familiar view in arma3, much of what I expected.

Went to global mapper dir hoping there would be satellite texture and mask tile PNG images still present, unfortunately they were NOT Smiley :(

So started global mapper, loaded hsincu project up, started to export satellite mask in 4 x 4 grid tile image setup.

PMC Taiwan Hsinchu ArmA 3 Screenshot

Took a look at Satellite.Texture/ dir and it was empty, umm okay so was there NO clouds or coastline to fix at all, why on earth is that dir empty. Did I accidentally delete all GIMP XCF images for satellite texture? Oh my Smiley :o

Well at least I have the satellite mask XCF images with accurate coastline selection so I never have to do that again, satellite texture did look fine in arma3 but because this terrain has a coastline going across it, I cannot imagine why wouldn't I have the texture XCF images as well. Just very strange.

2022-04-13T21:02:00Z Started working on the ocean coastline heightmap now, got the initial heightmap.asc clipped to above ocean level 0m setup where no water creeps to land. Next need to get the coastline and ocean bottom done.

Then had to make a bat file to copy Sat_Mask_A1.png over to all the other full ocean grid tile images. Used GIMP to paint _A1 as RGB 0,0,150 blue for ocean mask color, then ran the bat to generate the other tiles.

Next used GIMP to load all Satellite.Mask/ XCF images and merge the ocean selection parts with blue color to global mapper exported Sat_Mask_??.png images. This took a while.

Then more global mapper steps.

PMC Taiwan Hsinchu ArmA 3 Screenshot

And waiting... Smiley ;)

2022-04-13T21:49:00Z Finished global mapper editing by exporting heightmap-final.asc file.

In L3DT imported heightmap-final.asc and L3DT_texture_map.png which is the 8192 x 8192 pixel resolution darkened satellite texture. Used 3D sapphire to fly by the airfield.

PMC Taiwan Hsinchu ArmA 3 Screenshot

And then did the heightmap tools smooth ncycles 10 and big 20 pixel brush/pencil smoothing operation.

PMC Taiwan Hsinchu ArmA 3 Screenshot

There we go! All smooth as little girlie men terrain lovers bum Smiley :D

Copied roads.* files copying and *.LBT files deleting bat files into TerrainProcessor/ dir, edited the roads bat and ran them both, then ran road smoothing TPP project file.

Started terrain builder and first thing I see is no keypoints, so added one for the airfield.

PMC Taiwan Hsinchu ArmA 3 Screenshot

Then created poly line for this airfield runway so planes can operate normally in arma3.

PMC Taiwan Hsinchu ArmA 3 Screenshot

Next exported airfield_runways.shp out from the same name shape layer, did this into pmc_taiwan_hsinchu_data\roads\ directory. Then in global mapper opened airfield_runways.shp and added ID/ORDER feature value things, exported it back out again. Then imported roads.shp to merge with airfield runway, then as you guessed it, exported roads.shp right back out again.

And then, heh these steps... then imported roads.shp into terrain builder.

PMC Taiwan Hsinchu ArmA 3 Screenshot

Aaand exported roads.shp right back out again.

Now we are done with this shuffle Smiley ;)

Then just imported the new heightmap ASC file, rebuilt terrain, removed new heightmap layer, saved project, exported WRP and exited. We are done. Next usual moveObject re-pathing of WRP file.

2022-04-13T22:23:00Z pboProject binarization (PMC Editing Wiki: search "binarize") started, getting close to arma3 time Smiley :)

Well binarization was fast, gotta love these medium size if not small terrains.

*** pmc taiwan_hsinchu
Start time: 2022-04-13T2223
pboproject pmc_taiwan_hsinchu_data_layers_08
pboproject pmc_taiwan_hsinchu_data_layers_07
pboproject pmc_taiwan_hsinchu_data_layers_06
pboproject pmc_taiwan_hsinchu_data_layers_05
pboproject pmc_taiwan_hsinchu_data_layers_04
pboproject pmc_taiwan_hsinchu_data_layers_03
pboproject pmc_taiwan_hsinchu_data_layers_02
pboproject pmc_taiwan_hsinchu_data_layers_01
pboproject pmc_taiwan_hsinchu_data_layers_00
pboproject pmc_taiwan_hsinchu_data_layers
pboproject pmc_taiwan_hsinchu_data
pboproject pmc_taiwan_hsinchu_cfg
pboproject pmc_taiwan_hsinchu
End time: 2022-04-13T2236

Hmm why does that batch file echo output have empty character between addon tag and country name I have no idea, unfortunately its on 100+ bat files so quite task to fix and also, obviously, completely meaningless hehe.

Alright, time to go arma3 and see what we got...

PMC Taiwan Hsinchu ArmA 3 Screenshot

Yeah buddy, looking very nice, roads.shp fixed and coastline looks good too in 2D mapview.

PMC Taiwan Hsinchu ArmA 3 Screenshot

Airfield runway is in working order too, nice.

Updated mod.cpp with accurate google/maps link and also new terrain homepage link.

Been thinking of adding something more "in-game useful" info to the mod.cpp which can be read from options -> expansions menu, maybe link to missions/campaigns page because if user has gone through all the effort to find, download, unpack and install this terrain addon, there honestly is very little reason FROM ArmA 3 to go into homepage again to look info about the terrain. Now obviously there might be some cases where some lamer unpacks the terrain and distributes to his friends without a readme text file and person in arma3 then is clueless of what terrain this is and who created it, so official homepage link of course is essential info, first things first, so to speak. But yeah.

This reminds me of some of the imbeciles I've seen in various gaming communities over the decades, who pack bunch of screenshots into a addon release, like... what the fuck for, the player has already downloaded the addon, what possible reason would there be for him to be interested in screenshots inside the release packet, heh some people just have no fucking brains at all. Actually I remember one idiot who packed 800 megabytes, yes you read that correctly, 800mb of screenshots in BMP image format into his release packet, heh that is hilarious, but hey its people around the world, fucking morons...

Anyways.

Hmm tool pipeline text file shows no pending issues, guess its time to start release procedures Smiley :)

First thing was to add pmc_taiwan_hsinchu class name into PMC "worldSize" mission pack compilation bat files terrain list, that gets us bunch of missions to play with.

2022-04-13T23:08:00Z Generated bisign keys and 7-zip packed the release .7z package. Next is the dreaded screenshot taking, sigh.

2022-04-13T23:43:00Z Screenshots taken, sorted, edited and converted.

2022-04-13T23:51:00Z Basic web page php files created, just needs content added.

2022-04-14T00:21:00Z Finished dev diary proof reading and link adding, everything looks good.

2022-04-14T00:30:00Z All web pages looks to be working as expected, next is just uploading them online to our website and preparing the news/forum post template text :)

2022-04-14T00:52:00Z PMC Taiwan Hsinchu v0.1 has been released! Smiley :cool:

PMC Taiwan Hsinchu: Changelog, Dev Diary, Screenshots. Back to PMC Terrain's page.