Dev Diary PMC Ukraine Luhansk ArmA 3 Terrain

This is dev diary for PMC Ukraine Luhansk 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).

2017 Project Started

PMC Ukraine Luhansk ArmA 3 terrain project was started in spring of 2017 in first few months when I learned HOWTO create and edit (ArmA 3 Real World Data Terrains). Unfortunately only dev diary entries I wrote back in 2017 was mere weekly summaries like PMC Tactical Forums: Terrain Development topic or release note type of PMC Tactical Forum posts.

2022-02-21 Orientation

2022-02-21T23:29:00Z Unpacked pmc_ukraine_luhansk_v0.2.7z into arma3 addons dir and did quick mod.cpp inspection, wrote down some bug reports.

2022-02-22T04:21:00Z After spending some time with PMC Ukraine Donetsk terrain editing, its time to do basic orientation and fixes for PMC Ukraine Luhansk.

Terrain Builder project is 99% sure broken, so I am going to take full backups of the directories, then trying to export WRP to see if it works or not.

Backup 7-zip was 5.5gb heh. Never forget backups.

PMC ArmA 3 Screenshot

Copied all updated bat files into pmc_ukraine_luhansk dir.

Then started terrain builder, loaded project up and did CTRL-E export WRP, as I suspected it didn't work, broken empty WRP was exported. Then I made a mistake and started to generate layers, even though I didn't delete the existing layers files yet and more importantly the pesky .grid file which sometimes helds up generate layers completion for a long time for no reason.

While terrain builder was generating layers I ran _run_delete_project_rvmat_png_paa_files.bat file which I usually never do, hopefully it didn't break anything and if it did, well... that's why we got backups Smiley :)

2022-02-22T05:09:00Z Terrain builder finished generating layers, WRP exported and just started Convert Layers PNG to PAA Fast bat with _run_png2paa-start_14_core_short_burst.bat setup.

PMC ArmA 3 Screenshot

2022-02-22T05:17:00Z Convert layers PNG to PAA fast bat finished, then Separate Data Layers for smaller PBOs by running _run_Separate_WRP_Dir_Move_Only.bat and now started RVMAT re-pathing using moveObject.

Aand it was over before it even started heh, well not really but it went by so fast I got left behind updating dev diary again Smiley :)

2022-02-22T05:18:00Z Started pboProject binarization.

2022-02-22T05:41:00Z Binarize (PMC Editing Wiki: search "binarize") finished some time ago, was on the background. Next is a new arma3 test to see if everything is working OK.

2022-02-22T11:37:00Z Terra Incognita is free so now I'm starting to create lat/lon coordinate rectangles for the 4 grid tiles to download.

2022-02-22T11:43:00Z Terra incognita Ukraine_Luhansk_81km_1_arcgis_17_level started to download. And now we wait (while editing donetsk heh).

2022-02-25 Satellite Texture / Mask

2022-02-25T04:02:00Z New editing day has started, well actually it started about an hour ago already when testing what is wrong with roads.shp file, in short its Global Mapper saving. Had to terrain builder import/export roads.shp so arma3 accepts them, go figure whats wrong with my global mapper export.

Now roads.shp is fixed and normal roads and airfield runways work fine.

Terrain builder loaded the project, then in layers manager objects tab removed all buildings and meadow layers. Saved project and CTRL-E exported WRP.

Was kind of shocked to see the WRP export dialog, it reported 11 million objects, whoah! Now that is whole lotta objects Smiley :)

Then moveObject re-pathed WRP file and started pboProject binarization. I should have done the satellite texture/mask before doing this binarize to save time, add more edits before wasting time binarizing, but oh well I want to confirm that building objects have been removed, also meadow terrain type bushes got removed.

Also I have problem with hard disk drive (HDD) space, got only 78gb free in my editing disk and its very much likely that 81920 satellite texture and mask with all the additional temporary files would eat good portion of that space. So hmm, I might have to delete donetsk temporary files before proceeding, which is kind of scary as what if I needed to go back and do some tweaks before release, but well I dont know what those tweaks would be so I cant sit here and worry about stuff that its not worth worrying.

Edited mod.cpp for v0.3 and formatted it more "clean" heh.

2022-02-25T04:29:00Z In-game test shows there are still bushes on farm fields, damn. In terrain builder there was some grass layer which might possibly be where these bushes are located, need to investigate the Terrain Processor project files.

But at least randomly placed buildings are gone now.

Decided to start working on the satellite texture/mask next.

2022-02-25T04:50:00Z Global mapper loaded luhansk project up, then created map catalog for the 2022 ArcGIS 17 level download satellite imagery, then opened OpenStreetMap (OSM) shapefiles and cropped them to areas and roads.

2022-02-25T05:01:00Z Finished reducing road lines feature count. This was another odd feature set, it was something like 10k features and the next removed feature type in line plummeted it to 1000 features heh, oh well at least its light weight roads.shp now but honestly its kind of big drop. Might need some tweaking.

2022-02-25T05:19:00Z Global mapper satellite mask OSM areas have been painted, started exporting Sat_Mask_*.png 8 x 8 grid tile images.

2022-02-25T05:47:00Z Global mapper finished exporting Sat_Mask_*.png images. Now started exporting satellite texture tiles.

ETA for this task to finish is whopping 2hrs 30min roughly. Uuh we wait ...

2022-02-25T08:49:00Z Global mapper finished, ran graphicsmagick darkening (Darken Merge Picturemap Satellite Texture Tiles) and satellite mask fixing, then started terrain builder and now importing satellite mask.

2022-02-25T09:00:00Z Now started to import satellite texture (Sat_Tex_*.bmp images).

2022-02-25T09:29:00Z Finished, then saved project and started to generate layers.

Forgot to write it but got everything done and terrain addons binarized.

2022-03-05T08:42:00Z New editing day has started, quick edit to add latitude/longitude config.

2022-03-21 v0.3 Release Day

2022-03-21T23:27:00Z New editing day has started, hopefully longer than what the previous day was hehe.

Only got one bug/issue on my list, that is airfield runways heightmap not smoothed. Okay easy job in L3DT.

First started terrain builder and exported heightmap.asc file. While doing that I noticed objects layer still had all kinds of bad layers in there, farm, etc which surely put ugly bushes on farm land. So went and deleted all the object layers, going to terrain processor generate brand new obj_forest anyways.

Terrain builder went into some bad mode, the deleting object layer "please wait" type dialog was on forever, otherwise terrain builder worked fine, I tried to save the project but that also got stuck, so eventually had to task manager kill the task.

I was really worried that now when I load the project back up, its going to be broken. Luckily it was working OK. Objects layer obj_forest was still there, it did not get deleted, so I saved the project and exited.

Then deleted obj_forest in windows file explorer, loaded project back up again, removed Terrain Builder Template Libraries, copied new CUP template library files in, then loaded them into terrain builder, save and exit.

On terrain processor dir deleted all files except obj_forest.*, then copied the latest forest generation and road smoothing TPP files there (Terrain Processor TPP Templates), also copied roads.* files copying bat there (a lot of copying going on oh wow).

Started terrain processor to generate obj_forest and road smoothing.

PMC ArmA 3 Screenshot

But uh oh, this obj_forest was huge, it generated way too many objects, 9.572 million, yikes! Smiley :o

PMC ArmA 3 Screenshot

Yeah 9.572 million objects is so much that I highly doubt terrain builder would import them into a single object layer.

Hmm not sure if I should split the OSM natural/landuse areas into 2 x 2 grid tile setup to lower that amount or just try to import it, hmm hmm. Okay lets try to import it and see what happens, my recollection is that 10 million objects is pretty much the limit you can import into a single objects layer.

2022-03-21T23:59:00Z Started importing objects, ETA shows 1h 10min heh.

While terrain builder was gagging on that object LBT file, I went and L3DT smoothed out airfield runways in the heightmap.asc file.

Then it was again a waiting game, at this point terrain builder object import ETA was 49min, uuh..

2022-03-22T01:07:00Z Terrain builder finished importing objects and I saved the project, no issue, wow I am amazed.

Next imported the roads and airfield runways smoothed heightmap.asc in and rebuilt terrain. Then exported WRP (CTRL-E) and it worked fine too, nice.

Objects count 9.572 million in the WRP now.

2022-03-22T01:12:00Z Started pboProject binarization.

Switched mod.cpp files actionName and name properties so that name is first line, apparently if it is not then bis arma3 launcher uses the actionName as addon name Smiley ;)

2022-03-22T07:08:00Z After a break did extremely fast arma3 in-game check, it wasn't more of a check than to see it loads without crashing and that airfield runways are smoothed out. Both were OK.

2022-03-22T08:18:00Z Took another more careful look, yeah forests look good, everything else looks fine too, seems this terrain is good to go for release.

2022-03-22T11:02:00Z Started to create PMC Ukraine Luhansk new web pages.

2022-03-22T12:14:00Z This dev diary page was set with the content it had up to this point, including screenshots. Also I took the regular in-game arma3 screenshots for Screenshots page.

2022-03-22T13:12:00Z Finished adding links and small tweaks to this page, this is pretty much good to go for a release Smiley :)

2022-03-22T15:16:00Z PMC Ukraine Luhansk v0.3 has been released! Smiley :D

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