Dev Diary PMC Ukraine Chernihiv ArmA 3 Terrain

This is dev diary for PMC Ukraine Chernihiv 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).

2022-03-01 Project Started

2022-03-01T06:47:00Z This page was created.

2022-03-01T06:58:00Z Global Mapper project created, user created feature grid done, KMZ and ASCII Grid heightmap.asc files exported.

Now we wait until Terra Incognita frees up to download the four grid sections of this terrains satellite imagery.

2022-03-01T11:01:00Z Started terra incognita download, this will take all day and probably until tomorrow.

2022-03-03 The Cloud Nightmare

2022-03-03T06:18:00Z New editing day has started, terra incognita downloads finished without me writing any note about it, today editing continues.

2022-03-03T07:15:00Z And right off the bat I went into editing spree and forgot to write any dev diary entries. "Dev Diary text; optional!" heh.

What I did was load and crop OpenStreetMap (OSM) shape file data. Then prepared them like reducing roads, splitting areas, RGB color assigning areas, place names properly done with PMC OSM Places CSV2HPP Converter tool etc etc.

Then started to export satellite mask in 8 x 8 grid tiles.

While that was running I inspected terra incognita downloaded JPG images and to my disappointment I saw them being really shitty, so many clouds it felt like among all the JPG image tiles there was few which did not have clouds Smiley :(

2022-03-03T10:48:00Z Started GIMP clone stamp brushing clouds off.

When editing it was really painful as there was so many clouds as you can see below. Also to my extreme disappointment in sat_C7.png tile I found couple of Terra Incognita Black Tiles even though I checked the source JPG image using irFanview before I started this GIMP clone stamp brushing process. This area, the satellite imagery, is so "dirty" that guess I missed those few black tiles. I need to study them more careful in the future. Its not a big deal, I could easily clone stamp brush them off this time, but the whole point of the irfanview inspection task is to not have to fix anything.

Terra incognita sometimes fails to save the cached tiles properly into the final image, I have no idea why this happens and it is very rare, in these 2022 Ukrainian terrains this is the first one that I had these black tiles to appear.

Extremely depressing satellite imagery to fix, its not useless but pretty much every other tile has clouds with various degree of coverage, so it is very frustrating with such numbers of tiles to fix. It would be one thing if the source imagery was useless, then it would be easy to just shrug and go "oh well what can you do", but this one is great quality on the tiles that have no clouds or only small easy to clone stamp tool brush ones, but when you get those thin cloud layers which is more like lingering smoke... there is no way in image editing program for you to fix that.

Satellite texture tiles with clouds: A4, A3, A7, A6, A5, B4, B3, B2, B7, B6, B5, C4, C3, C2, C7, C6, D4, D3, D7, D6, E3, E8, E7, E5, F4, F3, F2, F7, F6, G2, G7, G6, H4, H3, H2, H7, H6, H5

2022-03-03T15:54:00Z Fucking finally finished GIMP clone stamp brushing the goddamn clouds off Smiley :(

It felt like it took forever, checking this dev diary it shows from 1048hrs to 1554hrs so roughly 5 hours straight. Good portion of the time was spent GIMP saving the PNG image (XCF is almost instant) which I used to read Ukraine war news.

I love using GIMP for small things, but I hate satellite imagery clouds and clone stamp tool brushing them off, its so sad, frustrating and furiating to have clouds in satellite texture Smiley :(

2022-03-03T15:57:00Z But now, its lunch break Smiley :)

2022-03-03T16:30:00Z Lunch break over, back to editing.

While I was eating Darken Merge Picturemap Satellite Texture Tiles bat finished processing the images. Ran L3DT texture map making bat and then it was all done.

Then started Terrain Builder satellite texture tiles import. Copied pmc_names.hpp and the satellite user interface, L3DT etc images to terrain builder project source dir.

Next did pboProject bat and text file to pack / binarize this terrain (PMC Editing Wiki: search "binarize"). Then created mod.cpp file with google/maps link and up to date terrain specs.

2022-03-03T17:06:00Z Terrain builder finished importing satellite texture tiles, but at this point it started to be very laggy, odd, havent seen such behavior in a long time, so saved the project and exited. Guess terrain builder had been running all day today hmm.

In terrain builder created airfield_runways shapes layer and the actual runway shape poly line, then exported it to data dir under airfield_runways.shp file name.

Edited roads.shp through the global mapper airfield_runway.shp merging and terrain builder import/export shuffle, then started to generate layers which will take couple of hours or so.

2022-03-03T19:26:00Z Terrain builder finished generating layers. Then exported WRP.

After that did WRP data separation, RVMAT re-pathing etc, then started pboProject binarization.

Today was a good editing day.

2022-03-27 Release Day

2022-03-27T12:09:00Z New editing day has started. PMC Ukraine Melitopol v0.1 was just released and now editing continued to chernihiv, no time to waste, got releases to do! Smiley :)

In PMC bugs/issues list there are three for chernihiv; roads.shp terrain builder import/export, abandoned airfield runway needs smoothing and airfields are missing config.cpp class names{} entries. Okay if this is all, it takes mere minutes to fix this all. But there are still binarization to do and hmm new forest objects, so yeah there are few things to edit.

2022-03-27T12:17:00Z Alright burst of activity; added Russian invasion of Ukraine start date to config.cpp 2022-02-24T12:00:00Z. Created Terrain Builder Keypoints for airfields and polyline for the abandoned airfield (not sure if it was a good idea, but its done). Exported airfield_runways.shp file.

Exported WRP so I can get the airfield config.cpp info. Then copied that info into pmc_ukraine_chernihiv_cfg/pmc_names.hpp file.

Used L3DT to smooth out the abandoned airfield, the main one was already done.

Then used global mapper to open airfield_runways.shp, added ID/ORDER feature umm things to them, then merged them to existing roads.shp in _data\roads\ dir. Then imported roads.shp into terrain builder and guess what, exported it right back out again, fun ain't it!? Smiley ;)

Now bugs/issue list is empty. But still have editing to do heh, the new vegetation. Copied new Terrain Processor TPP Templates file and the LBT deleting and roads.* copying bat files in TerrainProcessor/ dir. Edited the road copying bat and ran it, now we have road shape file in this dir. Then was eyeballing the vegetation creation TPP file and thinking that if the previous objects were aready over five million, the new ones will be much more and that means I need to split the obj_forest.shp into the 2 x 2 grid tiles. But first I'm going to just try how many objects it creates, who knows maybe I don't have to, but I have suspicion that this is just waste of time and I have to split them up. We'll see...

2022-03-27T12:45:00Z Started terrain processor vegetation task and went to catch up on Ukraine war news again while waiting.

While it was running I imported the new roads smoothed heightmap into terrain builder and rebuilt terrain. Terrain processor felt like working on a long time for the forest objects, I bet its going to be some crazy number of objects and I have to do the shape file split to optimize shizzle.

Decided to save time and already do the split in global mapper side, as I'm just sitting here waiting, might as well keep my hands busy. If its wasted time, then so be it but somehow I think it is not.

Got the global mapper slice & dice work done JUST as terrain processor went into saving mode, meaning generation was complete and now it just saves whats she got in memory Smiley :)

2022-03-27T13:00:00Z And I was right, terrain processor finished saving and total number of objects is 11.272 million, yeah you wont be importing that into a single terrain builder object layer anytime soon Smiley ;)

Okay so now just need to do those split _A1, _A2 etc forest shape and TPP files.

2022-03-27T13:05:00Z All done and terrain processors are running...

PMC Ukraine Chernihiv ArmA 3 Screenshot

Wicked! Smiley :o

2022-03-27T13:12:00Z Finished generating forest objects.

PMC Ukraine Chernihiv ArmA 3 Screenshot

Millions of objects generated A1: 2.973, A2: 2.301, B1: 4.486, B2: 1.495 Smiley :)

Then started to import that object load into terrain builder. And now its waiting time again ... but instead of just waiting, I'm starting to create the web pages already, those take quite a while to create, mostly for screenshots and this dev diary proof reading and link adding, but at least I get good portion of them done while waiting.

2022-03-27T13:44:00Z Basic web page backbone is done, actually dropped in most of the changelog info to that page as well.

2022-03-27T14:37:00Z Terrain builder finished importing objects.

Before saving I exported WRP, just in case. In some extreme object counts terrain builder fails to save the project but you might be able to still export WRP first, so its kind of like dead end project.

PMC Ukraine Chernihiv ArmA 3 Screenshot

Saved project and all was good, 11.257 million objects is kidz stuff Smiley ;)

2022-03-27T14:40:00Z Started pboProject binarization, this will take a while again.

While I was having some lunch binarization finished. Then tested in-game and saw that roads.shp is still broken, umm am I hallucinating or didn't I terrain builder import/export it already, hmph. Otherwise terrain looked pretty nice.

When investigating why the roads.shp is broken I discovered that in pmc_ukraine_chernihiv_data\roads\ has no roadslib.cfg present heh. Okay running the symlink bat file was a quick fix. Quickly binarized only _data addon. Then another quick in-game test to see roads.shp is working properly.

2022-03-27T16:03:00Z In-game check complete, roads.shp is working OK. No other bug/issues to report. Terrain is looking good as any for a release.

At this point I still had good 5 hours of this day left, but I started to wonder if the next step is to start release procedures or leave it for tomorrow. Overall idea is not to spam several releases in a day, but seeing how slowly I'm getting these releases done even after the terrain itself is already packed in 7-zip, I don't think there is any need to hit the breaks.

So I'll keep pushing on, lets start the release procedures Smiley :)

2022-03-27T16:34:00Z Added chernihiv to PMC "worldSize" mission pack terrain list and compiled new missions.

Then created bisign keys for the addon PBOs. Created readme.txt and edited release packing bat file, started the packing bat. While it was running I deleted global mapper work files, freeing some precious hard disk drive (HDD) space.

2022-03-27T17:16:00Z Screenshots taken, sorted, renamed and edited.

2022-03-27T17:18:00Z Moved localhost dev diary text into this official dev diary page you're reading right now. Next is proof reading and link adding, as well as sorting screenshots (not that there was many), it should take a good while.

2022-03-27T17:47:00Z And done adding links, images and proof reading. Alright, we are pretty much ready for release here Smiley :)

Uploaded web pages and everything was looking good, html checks out OK. Then it was just the release news and PMC Tactical forum post writing before pressing the evil big red button Smiley :)

2022-03-27T18:15:00Z PMC Ukraine Chernihiv v0.1 has been released! Smiley :D

PMC Ukraine Chernihiv: Changelog, Dev Diary, Screenshots. Back to PMC Terrain's page.