Dev Diary PMC Ukraine Mariupol ArmA 3 Terrain

2022-03-15 Heightmap Ocean Editing

2022-03-15T20:24:00Z New editing day has started, todays first task is GEBCO ocean seabed heightmap data.

2022-03-15T20:32:00Z Got the new heightmap.asc done with GEBCO ocean elevations. Now its time for days first meal Smiley :)

2022-03-15T21:08:00Z Feeding time over, back to editing. Next need to terrain processor smooth roads for GEBCO heightmap, import into terrain builder and see how bad the coastline looks like.

When GEBCO heightmap was on terrain builder there was a lot of coastline areas underwater, as I was afraid of. Could not see any big issues with the coastline in general but what I recall those only show up in-game, its hard to tell from 2D simple color heightmap view.

Used L3DT to import heightmap and texture map PNG, then started to raise elevations to 1m on the coastline where I could see them being close or lower than 0m. Well it didn't take many minutes before I made a mistake. In L3DT you can either see satellite texture (L3DT_texture_map.png) or the actual heightmap. So it is extremely difficult to fix the coastline as it feels like you're doing it blind or one hand tied behind your back or some equivalent expression.

I just hate this shit, ofp/arma water has always been an issue with the current toolset. The only tool that would show the actual genuine arma3 heightmap and water level is a tool that is completely useless (buldozer).

Oh well I just need to suck it up and fix the most offending parts of this coastline, saving the L3DT project after each edit is complete and proceed really carefully.

2022-03-15T21:51:00Z Yeah I'm done editing in L3DT, it goes nowhere. Extremely frustrating situation with the coastline. I'll binarize the terrain and bring it in-game to see how bad the coastline looks, if its horrendous then guess I'll have to suffer through the L3DT crap.

I could already see in terrain builder 2D heightmap view that there was few big issues, looked like I messed up something but judging by the elevations it was not me (mine was 1m and -2m but these were various smooth elevations).

Just overall shitty situation. Hell it almost makes me feel GEBCO heightmap messes up more things than it fixes, what is the point of having super realistic ocean bottom in general if the coastline is all fucked up Smiley :)

Anyways, pboProject binarization and in-game test next, we'll see how bad it looks before stressing more about this subject.

2022-03-15T22:36:00Z Got it binarized.

During in-game testing I was walking across forest tree lines, I'm not totally happy how they turned out as first of all they are way too thin, they need more standard tree objects, then some of the more rarely used trees were not spruce/pine which looked a bit off, but dunno maybe they would still be OK as they are so extremely rare, their terrain processor probability is 10 so they are placed very rarely, maybe I'll bring that to 5 now. Also somehow the forests were not believable, dunno how to explain it. Guess its just the thickness missing, there was gaps in the tree lines you could drive column of vehicles through without an issue, that is not a forest in my view.

Coastline was, lets make it short; broken. It just need so much more work to make ocean look nice, painstaking L3DT careful editing which sucks so much.

Forgot to L3DT smooth airfield runway too.

Overall though... terrain looks nice.

Was driving with ATV quad bike around a bit and discovered a huge boulder rock which was partly on the road. Terrain processor mask linear will clear objects from the roads but the objects are mostly for small width trees instead of these huge probably 20-30 meter wide massive boulders.

So looks like I simply have to leave out the boulders from the terrain processor forest task, it was questionable in the first place to have them there, I think they were with probability 1 and mindist 30m which I thought was sufficient and in the FOREST it is... but apparently issue comes up with road objects cleanup.

2022-03-15T23:45:00Z Oops I leaped forward in wild editing excitement, lets recap; discovered that terrain processor obj_forest task objects were on roads and further investigation shows the damn road cleanup mask:linear task was DISABLED haha moron. So I enabled it and increased main forest density from 100 to 125 and decreased tree mindist from 10 to 7, this should beef up the forest tree line density. Then I generated new objects and just now started to import them into terrain builder after first having deleted the old layer in windows file explorer (quicker than in terrain builder).

After some task fiddling got the Smooth_Roads.tpp project working and generated heightmap_smoothed_roads_airfield_runways.asc heightmap. Really interesting to see if my 40m road with 42m smoothing will work or just makes a mess of things. I assume it makes a mess, but hey who knows maybe I can find some sort of settings to have all this done in terrain processor, it would be the best option for sure.

2022-03-16T01:07:00Z In-game test complete, unfortunately airfield_runways.shp smoothing with terrain processor does NOT work. This is because terrain processor only fixes that one coordinate spot in the poly line and then moves forward, it does not take into consideration the "total whole" of the poly line, so basically it levels the poly line horizontally. My airfield runway was level horizontally but it was a roller coaster up and down elevations because all that was smoothed was the "left and right" elevations if that makes any sense.

In short; doesn't work Smiley ;)

So back to L3DT 3d sapphire heightmap tools with big brush and large nCycle smoothing option.

2022-03-16T01:35:00Z Finished L3DT editing the heightmap coastline and arma3 underwater land areas, it looks good enough in L3DT and will have to do, no more edits for v0.3 release.

2022-03-16T01:39:00Z Started pboProject binarization, last for today.

2022-03-16T02:30:00Z In-game test done, airfield runway is smooth, coastline is ... "acceptable" and forest tree lines are, heh almost too thick now Smiley :)

Overall, I cant think of what else could I edit before v0.3 upgrade release...

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