Dev Diary PMC Ukraine Sumy ArmA 3 Terrain

This is dev diary for PMC Ukraine Sumy 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

2022-03-01T08:34:00Z This page was created.

2022-03-01T08:38:00Z Global Mapper project created, switched to UTM Projection.

Then exported KMZ, next is to just wait until Terra Incognita frees up queue for this terrain satellite imagery to be downloaded.

2022-03-02T02:52:00Z New editing day has started, time to download some satellite imagery with terra incognita.

2022-03-06 Global Mapper Editing

2022-03-06T09:32:00Z New editing day has started, today I am hoping to get this terrain binarized, should be doable if I work hard.

Todays goal is to get started on my tool pipeline and do every single short/small/quick task first and leave the long duration ones last because I don't want to be wasting time waiting for example global mapper export when I could be doing something else in the background.

Perhaps this would make me re-organize tool pipeline 00.txt list a bit to optimize it. There should not be any 2hrs waiting times when long processes are completed, tool pipeline should flow naturally so that I have always something to do. Now obviously there is no miracle cure for global mapper satellite texture export or Terrain Builder generate layers not to mention huge terra incognita download time which is the longest process in the whole terrain making tool pipeline.

Really excited to see how doing the short tasks first goes today Smiley :)

2022-03-06T09:53:00Z Blasted through SRTM ASCII Grid heightmap.asc download and OpenStreetMap (OSM) shape file loading, cropping, road reduction and cropped OSM shape file exporting.

Then transformed the OSM shape files to correct UTM 31N 200,000/0 coordinates for terrain builder and arma3 use, including doing roads.shp ID/ORDER feature setup.

Next assigned RGB colors to OSM shape areas, that is always such a fun task... NOT. Ugh after doing several terrains in recent days it is SO boring to type in the same FCLASS names and RGB values as this is precisely the kind of task that computers are built for. Repeating procedure without any variables, just have to go through the steps. I did take a look at global mapper's GMW file format but its some kind of weird "hex in text" type thing that I don't think we could just copy paste the RGB colors from previously made GMW into a brand new one. So yeah, just need to suffer through this utterly boring finger numbing repetitive task.

2022-03-06T10:30:00Z Inspected terra incognita downloaded oziexplorer .map tiles using irFanview, found one (1) single Terra Incognita Black Tiles in one of the grid section 3 JPG images. So now started terra incognita cache -> JPG export to fix that tile.

ArcGIS 17 level satellite source was otherwise pretty good, sure there was few cloud puffs but nothing too bad, considering the large 81.9km size of the area.

Then leap frogged again skipping dev diary writing, was editing too fast. Okay so I did hmm terrain builder project, Terrain Processor obj_forest generation and road smoothing, Terrain Builder Template Libraries import, hmm what else... cant recall Smiley ;)

I'm tellin ya.. writing dev diaries will slow me down a great deal, I cant edit multiple terrains at once when writing these texts. Its really bizarre situation, there is not much point writing these at the end of the day, although guess that would be better than nothing in grand scheme of things. The goal of these dev diaries is to write down all the experiences, plans, successes and failures etc of "what really happened" manner, if you cant write them "live" as it happens, you don't remember much of anything hours later in the end of the day. So yeah, bad situation.

2022-03-06T10:54:00Z Global mapper started exporting satellite mask in 8 x 8 grid tiles and terrain builder was importing obj_forest objects for the next 35min, so now I have absolutely nothing to do, everything else in tool pipeline text list is already done, there simply is no task I can do as I have no files to process until global mapper finishes.

Waiting is the most painful thing in terrain editing Smiley :(

I wanted so bad to continue editing the next terrain on the list, but this would require me to open its "dev-diary-NAME" web page for editing and Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) recording videos would be nightmare to sort when a video clip has footage from two terrains, how do you choose to which dev diary it goes, you cant.

2022-03-06T11:33:00Z Started terrain builder satellite mask import, while global mapper was still exporting satellite texture.

Waiting time was killing me, I had to move into the next terrain on the line, I am simply wasting daylight sitting here waiting for global mapper satellite texture export to finish, especially as its soul sucking 1421hrs ETA while time is now 1152hrs.

So I moved dev diary video clips into their own project dir and started editing brand new terrain, Ukraine Odesa.

2022-03-06T14:26:00Z Global mapper had finished exporting satellite texture.

Then started to GIMP clone stamp tool brush off cloud puffs. This will probably take a while.

Satellite texture tiles with clouds: A4, A3, A8, A6, B3, C3, C6, D1, F4, F3, F7, F6, G4, G3, G7, H2, H1, H7

2022-03-06T16:27:00Z Finished fixing them cloud puffs. Uuuh.

Then used GraphicsMagick with Darken Merge Picturemap Satellite Texture Tiles _run_graphicsmagick_darken_and_picturemap_tiles_8x8_green.bat to prepare tiles for terrain builder import. After that ran _run_graphicsmagick_l3dt_8192_texture_map_tiles_8x8.bat to generate the L3DT_texture_map.png image.

2022-03-06T16:42:00Z Started terrain builder importing satellite texture.

Created proper latitude/longitude config.cpp values.

2022-03-06T17:10:00Z Terrain builder finished importing. Now I need to milk everything I can in terrain builder before generate layers gets going which takes few hours again.

Then L3DT smoothed out the airfield in this terrain and exported heightmap.asc out again.

Next did airfield_runways.shp and roads.shp merge in global mapper, exported out to roads.shp which I still have to shuffle through terrain builder because for some reason global mapper saved SHP is not working in arma3, no idea why.

2022-03-06T17:28:00Z Started terrain builder generate layers, this will take some hours...

2022-03-06T19:25:00Z Terrain builder is done generating layers, finally, uah.

Then usual shuffle; terrain builder export WRP, it had five million-something objects, moveObject re-pathed WRP file and then started Convert Layers PNG to PAA Fast bat.

2022-03-06T19:49:00Z PNG's converted, but now I'm busy editing berdyansk and need to finish that task before continuing Smiley ;)

2022-03-06T20:05:00Z Did the Separate Data Layers for smaller PBOs, RVMAT's re-pathed, only thing left to do is to terrain builder import/export shuffle roads.shp to make it arma3 compatible.

2022-03-06T20:09:00Z Started pboProject binarizing, we are done here Smiley :)

2022-03-10 Location Names

2022-03-10T17:12:00Z Added airfield name label to config.cpp class names{} and updated picturemap_ca.tga with the actual satellite image. Those were the only issues I discovered in first in-game test. No other edits planned / needed today.

2022-04-03 Back To Sumy

2022-04-03T22:57:00Z New editing day has started. Today I have already released two other terrains, PMC Ukraine Kherson and PMC Poland Hulskie. Still got plenty of time today so going to start editing third terrain for today which is PMC Ukraine Sumy. It would be somewhat miracle if I could get it to release ready tonight, but hey never say never Smiley ;)

Just read the above dev diary in full, have to say it was super boring, there was nothing which is the core of dev diary (thoughts and such background info), it was just dry boring list of stuff I did heh, oh well need to add more beef to it now then heh.

As usual getting back to a project I like to take a glance in-game arma3 first to get my bearings.

In-game arma3 check shows that roads.shp is working (read other dev diaries and you know what I'm talking about heh) which is great, glad to see that, but at the same time this terrain is using the old Terrain Processor TPP Templates files for forest tree lines object generation, those are somewhat okay-ish, but they wont do for me, I want to re-generate objects using the latest cool TPP tech wizardy which creates great looking forests.

Work in progress development video settings LOW screenshot, not a finished product!

PMC Ukraine Sumy ArmA 3 Screenshot

So at least one long object generation, importing and binarization process is waiting for me, this is a somewhat relief as most likely this terrain is not release ready tonight, so I can do some chill editing from this point on before bed time Smiley :)

Sumy has interesting heightmap elevations, there are no mountains not even hilltops I would say, but there are a lot of small elevation changes in the forest areas which are great if you are walking through them.

A lot of forests, this terrain will eat so many tree objects, when I'm going to re-generate them it has to be with 2 x 2 grid tile shape file setup, definitely.

Several roads which ended at terrain edge were carved into the heightmap because some terrain processor bug. If a roads.shp poly line ends outside the terrain coordinate range terrain processor freaks out and carves a huge canyon. I talked about this on poland hulskie dev diary just mere moments ago, I need to come up with some way to automatically cut roads.shp poly lines -5 meters inside the terrain area in global mapper.

Work in progress development video settings LOW screenshot, not a finished product!

PMC Ukraine Sumy ArmA 3 Screenshot

2022-04-03T23:20:00Z Lunch break, gotta get some chow.

2022-04-03T23:48:00Z Feeding time over, back to inspecting PMC Ukraine Sumy terrain.

P:\ was subst/mounted to poland so switched it back to ukraine. Then took terrain processor TPP template file for CUP Chernarus and copied it along with road smoothing TPP into sumy TerrainProcessor/ dir. Also took LBT deleting and roads.* copying bat files there, copied roads.* files there so these new TPP projects work.

Started global mapper, loaded sumy project up, but then realized that hey cropped_areas.shp has already been exported I only need to load those in order to get new forest shape files, so loaded cropped_areas.shp file.

Transformed them into UTM 31N 200,000/0 coordinates for terrain builder to understand. Then exported usual "obj" file name using FCLASS split and did them in 2 x 2 grid tile files.

Had a little mixup in global mapper export once again, if you do not double check in which directory global mapper offers to save... it most likely will be the wrong one Smiley ;)

And it was this time, it decided to save into PMC_Ukraine_Kherson_40km/ directory instead of sumy where I intended. Well yeah sure, open your eyes bitch if you don't wanna make mistakes, sure but yeah anyways.

Then moved the obj_??_forest.* shape files into terrain processor dir and copy-pasted TPP files for all the new shape files, A1, A2, B1 and B2.

Then ran all four terrain processor TPP files, whee.

PMC Ukraine Sumy ArmA 3 Screenshot

Objects generated, A1: 751,081, A2: 3,002,532, B1: 3,037,151, B2: 4,305,307.

Nice set of objects Smiley :)

Then deleted terrain builder objects layer file with windows explorer, I just don't want to delete large object layers from terrain builder itself as its clunky and slow. Then loaded the project up and started to import new objects.

Another waiting game begins, importing those three plus million object files times three will take quite a while...

PMC Ukraine Sumy ArmA 3 Screenshot

Uuh the waiting game is no fun Smiley :(

While waiting started to create web pages, nothing else to do right now.

2022-04-04T01:09:00Z Web pages basic php files are done, added changelog info too. Cant do much else, I could move dev diary there but I find it easier to write in this plain text localhost mode until its finished. Currently ETA for the last object import file is 32min, Zzz ...

But... had to move dev diary over to the actual web page, start to proof read and add links to it, just cant sit here waiting while doing nothing.

2022-04-04T01:41:00Z Terrain builder finished importing all object LBT files, finally. Didn't manage to proof read and add links to this whole dev diary page yet, kind of sucks actually now it was left partial work heh.

Exported WRP. Objects count 11,096,071 nice Smiley :)

PMC Ukraine Sumy ArmA 3 Screenshot

Then ran moveObject re-pathing WRP.

Added Russian invasion of Ukraine beginning date to config.cpp startDate values. Set them to noon so its easier for mission editing or just fly around in camera.

2022-04-04T01:47:00Z Started pboProject binarization, lets get these new objects in-game arma3 to see how they look.

Its a bit too early to say the least, but already prepared release news and forum topic text. Then took copy-paste of the release procedure list too and started to go through it for anything I can do now when binarize is running. For example added pmc_ukraine_sumy class name to PMC "worldSize" mission pack terrains list.

In mod.cpp did a simple google/maps link fix, just the altitude change which doesn't really matter.

2022-04-04T02:33:00Z Binarize finished and did in-game check, forests and tree lines are looking good, everything is just about release ready.

However now I'm just over an hour away from my bed time and I simply cannot risk it to do third release today, being tired already and would be even more tired when the release moment would arrive that I'm definitely leave releasing for tomorrow. Besides whats the rush, I already did two releases today that is more than great. Heck it would be good to do one release every other day to space them out a bit, give players time to download and try them Smiley :)

I'm going to crank up arma3 video details to ULTRA and take screenshots now, then work on those and web pages for the rest of the evening before crashing to bed. Shut down OBS already since there wont be any editing footage and it just adds strain to the GPU for no reason while taking screenshots.

2022-04-04T03:08:00Z Screenshots taken, sorted, renamed, edited and converted. Added to screenshots and this dev diary page as well.

Technically I still would have about hour before my bed time, making the release torrent and posting it easy... but I'm still going to leave that for tomorrow, two releases is fine for one day heh.

2022-04-04T03:11:00Z Calling it a night here, going to chill before going to bed, today was awesome editing day! Smiley :)

2022-04-04 Initial Release Day

2022-04-04T12:19:00Z New editing day has started. Last night got everything done now its only running the bisignatures, 7-zip release packing, torrent creation and uploading. Should take no time.

With my release procedure list its very easy to just flow through getting release done. Did the bisign keys, 7-zip packed, inspected the .7z file just in case (never had any issues so far like some unwelcome files etc). Actually had a sligh typo in the release readme, I created the filename as "pmc-ukraine" instead of "pmc_ukraine" heh so had to decipher why my "addon" was missing when it actually was readme missing, got that figured out and improved my release packing bat file so this will never happen again (well it can happen but error tells me exactly what I did wrong). Nothing out of the ordinary in torrent creation and uploading to our "seedbox" linux shell. In the mean time I uploaded screenshots and web page php files to our web server, checked that all image links work etc.

2022-04-04T13:02:00Z PMC Ukraine Sumy v0.1 has been released! Smiley :cool:

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