Dev Diary PMC Ukraine Enerhodar ArmA 3 Terrain

This is dev diary for PMC Ukraine Enerhodar 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).

2022-03-04 Project Started

2022-03-04T05:08:00Z This page was created.

Today I woke up to news of Enerhodar nuclear power plant being under attack by Russian Armed Forces. I was already eyeballing this location yesterday.

Checked the location out in google/maps first as usual, already saw that enerhodar and zaporizhzhia (goodness gracious that spelling) is close but still sort of far away. In Global Mapper its UTM 36N projection I saw that 81.9km terrain would fit both of them and even some of the other cities/towns, but dunno if felt kind of tight, zporizhia international airport (google/maps) would have been almost in the NE corner of the terrain which is the worst place to be in large arma3 terrain floating point precision wise.

Creating 40km terrains for both enerhodar and zaporizhzhia would feel much more focused, compact, overall better choice.

So I decided to go with 40km terrains for both.

Had some problem positioning the user created feature grid, almost felt like switching to larger terrain as the side towns were cut off, but kept the 40km size choice.

Then just started the real world data tool pipeline, saved global mapper project, exported KMZ and started Terra Incognita download.

While that was downloading, I continued importing OpenStreetMap (OSM) shape files and started to work on those.

Got OSM shapes cropped, roads reduced and exported as cropped_* file names. This terrain had less than 9000 OSM road features btw, so technically I wouldn't even need to reduce roads but I removed the useless ones anyways.

Then assigned RGB colors for OSM areas.

2022-03-04T06:20:00Z Started to global mapper export satellite mask in 4 x 4 grid tiles.

It finished, then I used GraphicsMagick to convert Sat_Mask_*.png images to BMP format with background RGB color adjustment. Then did the Latitude / longitude config even though the whole arma3 config.cpp file has not been created yet heh.

2022-03-04T11:38:00Z After a few hours break back in editing, global mapper exported preview-arcgis-17-level.png and started to export satellite texture in 4 x 4 grid tile images.

2022-03-04T12:16:00Z Starting to GIMP clone stamp tool brush painting clouds off from the satellite texture tiles.

There was few of those grid tiles that have smokey-thin cloud layer spanning across huge areas so here is really no way to clone stamp brush it off, ending result would look goofy.

Satellite texture tiles with clouds: A3, C3, D4, D2, D1

Satellite texture tiles with coastline: A3, A2, B4, B3, B2, B1, C4, C3, C2, C1, D1

2022-03-04T12:59:00Z Finished GIMP clone stamp brushing clouds off.

2022-03-04T13:15:00Z Started to GIMP paint ocean (or Dnipro river in this case) satellite texture tiles.

2022-03-04T16:00:00Z Finished painting them waters.

And once again I leap frogged ahead editing while not writing any dev diary entries, heh this is hopeless Smiley ;)

What I'm referring to is that when I'm going through my terrain editing tool pipeline text file list, its extremely hard to stop and write dev diary text. When one task has been complished then I'll jump right into the next one, that is the whole point of this tool pipeline list. I should absolutely create tasks for "write dev diary" between every other line hehe.


2022-03-04T17:38:00Z Got Terrain Builder satellite imported, objects generated and imported. Satellite texture/mask generate layers done and now Convert Layers PNG to PAA Fast bat file is running.

2022-03-04T17:48:00Z Started pboProject binarizing. Hooyah! another terrain in the bag.

2022-04-13 Back To Enerhodar

2022-04-13T06:13:00Z New editing day has started, a bit over an hour ago released PMC Taiwan Taichung terrain and just now finished reading enerhodar dev diary text. Was really surprised how short this dev diary is, wow guess I was not in the chatty mood, eh? Smiley :)

Not sure what to expect in arma3, are there airfield runways, how does the river look like, I remember it was 13m elevation so would probably look silly if I set it to -2.5m elevation for example, but its such a big land feature that you just cannot leave it without a water. And no I'm not going to use any of those fake pond bullshit non working objects.

First thing to do is the usual arma3 in-game check, this dev diary left me wanting more Smiley ;)

But before that was my lunch break...

2022-04-13T06:52:00Z In-game check in progress, right away spotted at expansions menu that mod.cpp is not up to date, homepage link missing.

Really surprising that roads.shp is working, no mentioning it on this dev diary and obviously no recollection among these many many terrains I've edited recent weeks if it was done, well apparently it is heh.

Found some rock quarry or whatever mine thing it is, it was deep, more than -30 meters and in SRTM data it wasn't flagged as ocean so it actually had real elevations, meaning below ocean level, so in arma3 it turns to a deep lake heh. Yeah gotta fix that. This might actually be the first time I encounter this kind of SRTM issue, a spot in real land which is below sea level. Interesting.

PMC Ukraine Enerhodar ArmA 3 Screenshot

Dnipro river is 13m elevation, but this big lake is only 4m... it just might be doable to lower the lake to -2.5m elevation or so making it actual water in arma3. I think that 13m is way too high, if you drop it below zero its insanely large drop, would look just silly. However I have to try it, the river is such a big land feature that if its ground, it just almost ruins the whole terrain as you can drive vehicles over it etc.

PMC Ukraine Enerhodar ArmA 3 Screenshot

First edit was to fix the terrain config.cpp startdate to Russian invasion of Ukraine day, 2022-02-24.

Copied latest Terrain Processor TPP Templates along with roads.* copying and *.LBT deleting bat files, edited and ran the roads bat, then same for forest generation TPP project file. Lets get some new forests and tree line objects generated.

Terrain Processor generated pitiful 577,317 objects, pfft didn't break even a million Smiley ;)

Object import time, terrain builder is sucking up some good objects.

PMC Ukraine Enerhodar ArmA 3 Screenshot

Once done exported WRP, but hmm still would like to check out the ocean coastline river water thingy...

2022-04-13T07:45:00Z Moments ago started working on the ocean coastline, in this case dnipro river shore line, really don't think the 13m to -2.5m drop will look anything but horrible, but, hey I wanna see. At least it gets documented, with screenshots, how bad such drop will become in arma3.

Used GIMP to load all Satellite.Mask/ XCF images and merged the ocean blue RGB selection with Sat_Mask_??.png images. This is somewhat painful task, I really need to come up with a way to automatically do this merge, hopefully it would be doable using ImageMagick and graphicsmagick, would be so nice to have just a bat file which would process all these ocean coastline tiles.

2022-04-13T08:00:00Z GIMP satellite mask tile merge shuffle done.

Work continues in global mapper to get that water fixed.

PMC Ukraine Enerhodar ArmA 3 Screenshot

2022-04-13T08:17:00Z Finished global mapper ocean heightmap editing, now just need to terrain processor road smoothing, although I have suspicion this dnipro river wont work so might be wasted time, but lets go through that step anyways.

But uh oh when I opened heightmap-final.asc in text editor, it was mostly -9999 elevations meaning "no data". Hmph, wonder where I messed up.

2022-04-13T08:33:00Z Got everything done, binarizing (PMC Editing Wiki: search "binarize") started. Lets see how terrible ocean coastline (river) there will be...

I semi forgot (not really), the lake elevations, but most likely this current edit have to be reverted because I just cant imagine how 13m to -2.55m would look anything but BAD heh. Yeah I set the dnipro river depth now to -2.55m which is pretty OK shallow arma3 water.

Binarization took 11 minutes hehe, gotta love little girlie men terrains Smiley :p

Well 40km is not small, but yeah don't go boasting about big terrain either when editing this size.

PMC Ukraine Enerhodar ArmA 3 Screenshot PMC Ukraine Enerhodar ArmA 3 Screenshot

Oh hell no! That looks hideous Smiley :evil:

But... does it look worse than having dnipro river just brown sand land mass of 13m elevation? Dunno Smiley :?

For now... I'm going to leave it like this, we'll see if any ideas etc come along for first upgrade perhaps.

And with that, real world data tool pipeline 00.txt text list is done, no other pending issues. I believe its time to break out the release procedure list Smiley ;)

Going to take it easy here, hmm don't know what the sleeping schedule time is but most likely don't have enough time to get release done today, but tomorrow early morning we are ready for release.

2022-04-13T08:58:00Z Release procedures on way, just added pmc_ukraine_enerhodar class name to PMC "worldSize" mission pack compilation bat terrain list.

Generated bisign keys for the addon pbo's and then 7-zip packed the release.

2022-04-13T09:24:00Z Screenshots taken, sorted, edited and converted. All ready for web pages.

2022-04-13T09:35:00Z Dev diary moved from localhost page to this actual web page, now begins the painful proof reading and link adding. But lets not make it painful, just chilling and reading/pasting as much as I feel like, no rush, no worries.

2022-04-13T10:03:00Z Proof reading and link adding is done, now still need to get changelog content added and homepage corrected.

2022-04-13T10:32:00Z Created torrent file/magnet copy-paste, got torrent files and text added to downloads page. Then uploaded web pages to our site (what you're reading right now). Hmm starting to run out of things to do, nothing much left than release Smiley ;)

I was doing the release full speed and then suddenly realized that my eyes are sore for a full day of staring at computer screens, even though I'm not tired yet. Hopefully wont goof up this release Smiley :p

Feels like I'm pushing forward with pure muscle memory... oh man, these are ideal conditions for mistakes hehe. But hey, gotta get it done, things are in motion, its go time.

2022-04-13T10:45:00Z PMC Ukraine Enerhodar v0.1 has been released! Smiley :cool:

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