TerrainEditor Utility

F4Browse, CATE, Tacedit, Terrainview & TheaterMaker etc utility related

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monster
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TerrainEditor Utility

Post by monster » 2010-09-05, 08:52:20 PM

Hi all,

I've been working for a long time on a utility to handle most of the task needed to edit Falcon's terrain system. Finally I've reached a stable enough version for a public release, through the beta testing we did back in EMF group.

The need for this program came from the idea to edit the terrain tiles directly as a whole map and not one segment at a time. It started as a small test utility for exchanging parts of terrain (through importing/exporting) for EMF, and because of the complexity of the terrain system in Falcon, I didn't expect at first to public release it (that's why the current version now is 3.1.2). I kept adding features, until we reached current version, which can handle a lot of stuff.

Firstly, let me clear something: This tool will only work with Open Falcon (fully tested) and possibly Free Falcon (not tested but in theory it should).

The reason will be very obvious once you try it. It doesn't load pcx tiles (texture.zip) at all. All the functions that includes tile manipulation (even fartiles) require only DDS tiles.

The things you can do with the program in general are:
  • Edit the L2 terrain file (tiling, elevation, import/export chunks of it, complicated search function for a tile etc).
  • Edit the elevation data of L0 file (or keep it as raw data - filetype ELV - which is handy for MakeTerrain program [see below]).
  • Display all sort of additional data on top of you L2 file (Areas, Paths, TDFs).
  • Fully edit texture.bin file (complete edit of sets, tiles, areas, paths).
  • Fully edit theater.map file.
  • Create fartiles.pal file.
  • Create THR file.
  • Display and edit the objectives in a tac file.
  • Create a TGA image of the existing PAL offset data in your L2 and the palette of theater.map.
  • Create a new TGA image of what the palette of theater.map should be (according to your tiling) and what the L2 PAL offset should be (can be used by MakeTerrain as well).
  • 3d view of the terrain.
  • Automatic online update of the program.
The above is a rough list of the functionality it provides. Let me say that I think, it's a rather complicated program that needs some time to be familiar with. Also you need to have some knowledge of how Falcon terrain works, for the more advanced features.

Two other command line utilities are shipped with TerrainEditor. The names are ModTerrain.exe and Maketerrain.exe. The first one is used for extracting data from terrain files, save it in a file, editing them and putting them back to the terrain. The second one is used for recreating the entire terrain from a couple of files. Both of them have a GUI built in TerrainEditor for better every day usage (because the command line is a bit complicated).

I've setup a site to hold the documentation for all the above utilities, and I strongly encourage you to go through it.
Here are the links for the documentation: http://docs.sakgiok.gr/manuals:home

Finally here the links for the program:
Primary: http://programs.sakgiok.gr/TerrainEdito ... _setup.zip
Mirror: http://rapidshare.com/files/417263572/T ... p.zip.html (The first link might not work, corrupted downloads were reported.)

The installer above is for the version 3.1.1. Since I discovered some minor bugs, I allready created version 3.1.2 which is available through autoupdate. You can do a manual update to v3.1.2 (after you install 3.1.1 - more info on the online documentation) and the link for the update is: http://programs.sakgiok.gr/TerrainEdito ... 3.1.2.zupd

Of course the program is freeware, and if you want to host it on any site, please feel free to. This is the only site I'm doing this announcement (I don't know so many sites with active Falcon developers). If you think it might be useful to somebody else, please spread the word.

Sorry for the lengthy post. For any comments or suggestions, feel free to contact me.
Last edited by monster on 2010-09-05, 10:42:13 PM, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by Sherlock » 2010-09-05, 08:58:26 PM

Excellent work. Would you be willing to convert it for use in AF for pcx files? We could definitely use a tool like this for our development work. :) I know it would be more work for you but I can't program myself out of a wet paper bag! ;)
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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by monster » 2010-09-05, 09:04:50 PM

Sherlock wrote:Excellent work. Would you be willing to convert it for use in AF for pcx files? We could definitely use a tool like this for our development work. :) I know it would be more work for you but I can't program myself out of a wet paper bag! ;)
It is a lot of work and I can't promise anything. I've been thinking it some time now and I might be able in the future, to add some functionality for AF.
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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by Snake Man » 2010-09-05, 09:43:54 PM

What a shame this wont be any use for most theaters including PMC theaters, which use normal texture.zip in PCX format for FF and OF letting seasonswitcher do the pcx -> dds conversion.
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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by monster » 2010-09-05, 10:13:50 PM

Snake Man wrote:What a shame this wont be any use for most theaters including PMC theaters, which use normal texture.zip in PCX format for FF and OF letting seasonswitcher do the pcx -> dds conversion.
Well, that's my point. There is no need anymore for any pcx, texture.zip and seasonswitcher. You can create your new tiles directly to DDS, edit the tiling and texture.bin and then convert the tiles to pcx to add them to texture.zip if you want to use them for AF.

Up to now, the procedure was to first build a theater for AF (using pcx etc) and then convert it to support OF/FF. This tool was made having in mind OF and DDS format so the procedure should be reversed. First build the theater with DDS and if needed convert it to support AF.

The only difference with AF (except the obvious dds/pcx difference) is that tiles in the same set should have the same palette, which doesn't apply for OF/FF since dds files don't have palettes. All tools should work with AF as well (provided you have a folder with all pcx files converted to dds and put them in a folder named texture, under theater's texture folder). You should open AF theaters using the manual method.
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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by Polak » 2010-09-05, 10:35:08 PM

Monster , many thanks.
I have PM you and have spread the word on FF forum. I am going to give this serious road test. Thanks again.
2nd link with updated executable not working .

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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by monster » 2010-09-05, 10:44:51 PM

Polak wrote:Monster , many thanks.
I have PM you and have spread the word on FF forum. I am going to give this serious road test. Thanks again.
2nd link with updated executable not working .
Thanks Polak. Link with update fixed, you should get this update from Automatic Online Update when you run the program (and select to enable online update). I just posted the link in case the online update doesn't work.
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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by demer928 » 2010-09-05, 10:51:07 PM

:shock: ................!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Just for Info, FFViper.exe does'nt use l or M tile's anymore.Just Htile's.
This is way 8-) you may want to contact Baldeagle for help with FF\OF\Falcon4 and Batch convert back to .pcx maybe for AF !!!

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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by demer928 » 2010-09-05, 10:57:41 PM

monster wrote:
Snake Man wrote:What a shame this wont be any use for most theaters including PMC theaters, which use normal texture.zip in PCX format for FF and OF letting seasonswitcher do the pcx -> dds conversion.
Well, that's my point. There is no need anymore for any pcx, texture.zip and seasonswitcher. You can create your new tiles directly to DDS, edit the tiling and texture.bin and then convert the tiles to pcx to add them to texture.zip if you want to use them for AF.

Up to now, the procedure was to first build a theater for AF (using pcx etc) and then convert it to support OF/FF. This tool was made having in mind OF and DDS format so the procedure should be reversed. First build the theater with DDS and if needed convert it to support AF.

The only difference with AF (except the obvious dds/pcx difference) is that tiles in the same set should have the same palette, which doesn't apply for OF/FF since dds files don't have palettes. All tools should work with AF as well (provided you have a folder with all pcx files converted to dds and put them in a folder named texture, under theater's texture folder). You should open AF theaters using the manual method.
Duh..Just saw this post....Sorry!!!!!!!


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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by ccc » 2010-09-06, 01:41:27 AM

GREEEEEAT JOB!!

do you plan to make a NEW Campaign Editor/TacEdit too? :wink:

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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by monster » 2010-09-06, 02:01:13 AM

ccc wrote:GREEEEEAT JOB!!

do you plan to make a NEW Campaign Editor/TacEdit too? :wink:
Thanks ccc. Interesting idea there, no plans for now . I'm not ruling it out though...
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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by Polak » 2010-09-06, 10:04:43 AM

After my first gulp of manuals and "kick the tires" ride of this new TEU I have to apploud the well done job. It must have taken long time to create such a extensive, complete and well polished tool. Just manuals alone are the piece of art.

I have loaded terrains and played with them for a good while without a glitch in 2D and 3D mode alike. It obviously reminds the TerrainView, but I think there are some substantial differences and improvement. Just let me mention the Tile Creator, where you can quite painlessly take and apply any reasonably sized photoreal swath of Google Earth and slice it to tiles. Imagine the possibilities now.

If you do not mind, Monster there will be some questions and perhaps some suggestions. However, just at this stage let me return to this toy and reread manuals. There are quite a lot Falcon 4 revival projects around and I think that this surprise wonder tool will be tremendous incentive and help.

It truly deserves, if not Nobel prize, then for sure Falcon4 Community prize :D . Or just our thank you.

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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by Luk » 2010-09-06, 03:34:47 PM

It is amazing Monster.
It is amazing in spite of I spent 4 hours trying to install it, but failed(was not able to update my msimg32.dll).
Solely ModTerrain.exe utility in command line mode is amazing!
This is something I dreamed of.
I am just worried, I will not outlive the rage when everything works. :D
Thanks!
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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by monster » 2010-09-06, 04:26:27 PM

Luk wrote:It is amazing Monster.
It is amazing in spite of I spent 4 hours trying to install it, but failed(was not able to update my msimg32.dll).
Solely ModTerrain.exe utility in command line mode is amazing!
This is something I dreamed of.
I am just worried, I will not outlive the rage when everything works. :D
Thanks!
Luk
Sorry to hear about the problem. You got an error from the installer that msimg32.dll is locked or something? Still not able to install it?

There is a little tool that is called Unlocker (http://ccollomb.free.fr/unlocker/) which can tell you if a file or folder is locked, by which program and unlock it if you want (I'm using it for a long time now and is very good). I can't thing of anything else right now...
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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by Luk » 2010-09-06, 05:32:09 PM

Sorry to hear about the problem. You got an error from the installer that msimg32.dll is locked or something? Still not able to install it?
Yes, at first it told me "error 1931" The windows installer service cannot update the system file : "path"msimg32.dll. The file is protected by windows.
Installator continued to copy files then. But it did not work - I got:
"RUN-TIME ERROR '76':
Path not found"
when started already installed program.

I tried "unlocker" util, you posted. It is great util.
I tried to unlock desired dlls, but it was not enough. So I had to delete them (also in win cache folder). Then I coppied your newer dlls (msimg32.dll,scrrun.dll) into system32 folder. It still did not work. So I tried to restart, but it did not helped. I realized, I should register new dlls. I was able to register scrrun.dll file but not msimg32.dll library file(it told me:"msimg32.dll was load, but was not find entrance point DllregisterServer.This file cannot be registered"). Without registered msimg32.dll I can not run the program.

Thanks for your support very much.
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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by Polak » 2010-09-06, 06:27:00 PM

I am also truly exciting by this program.
I was going through the manual and I think I am grasping the basics. Not the Make and Mod Terrain modules, not yet , but it sure looks promising. The Tile Lab Window is truly revolutionary and long dreamed of. Imagine the possiblities now to include photoreal cities, islands as they really are, airports and airbase bakgrounds. It should really change how the things look in Falcon terrain.

I know that is perhaps early for suggestions but few of them come to my mind already. :oops:
One of them would be perhaps inclusion of the module which would allow auto replacement of the block of tiles with another identically configured block. If you look at little but ingenious program by Phoenix called ATAP available in the PMC library you will perhaps see what I mean. I started to use ATAP , but it works only with those tiles where areas and paths are not specified. Do not know why. I would like to replace some of the repetitive shore tiles by substituting blocks of 4 , 3 and 2 identical tiles with preprepared variances. I will present what I mean in more detail and with pictures later.

Other would be to have zones where that replacement is to take place. Say... I would like to replace banks of the large rivers (Nile) with different tiles than ocean shores. Zone would be handy there. Of course all that above could be and perhaps would be done by hand, but in future editor upgrades, I would strongly suggest batch and automization of tile replacement. 3D View window is perfect for that sort of experiments.

Other big suggestion for future would be looking into vMap0 and other digitized sources of info for Terrain edit. There are enormous posibilities for someone who can hammer out such an elaborate and elegant editing toy. That is you Monster.

But sure forget that for now, it is a LOT which you gave us already ....Thanks again.

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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by Luk » 2010-09-06, 06:29:48 PM

Here is an advice from MS support:

The module ""msimg32.dll"" was loaded but the entry-point DllRegisterServer was not found.\n\nMake sure that ""msimg32.dll"" is a valid DLL or OCX file and then try again

Regsvr32.exe was unable to find the required entrypoint in the module specified in the command line. This can occur if the entrypoints are not properly exported from the module or if the module is not a .DLL or .OCX file.

Huh, I guess it is a DLL file and not EXE :P
______________________________________

Sorry I disturb you with such a bullshit. :mrgreen:

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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by monster » 2010-09-06, 07:01:06 PM

Looks like it might be the Windows File Protection feature of windows. Take a look at this: http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/archive/wfp.mspx

Furthermore, not all dlls can be registered and I think msimg32.dll cannot. What OS are you running?
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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by Luk » 2010-09-06, 07:39:14 PM

What OS are you running?
WinXP SP2
Yes,I have SP2 and I have SP3 disabled for Win update service. I red SP3 could pork my sound device drivers.

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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by monster » 2010-09-06, 09:21:15 PM

For Luk and possibly any other has problems with the installer, I compiled an installer without packaging the system files (they should exist on a XP machine anyway).
Here is the link (sorry only rapidshare):
http://rapidshare.com/files/417499173/T ... p.zip.html

Try it Luk and let me know if it solves the problem.
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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by monster » 2010-09-06, 10:57:15 PM

Polak wrote:I am also truly exciting by this program.
I was going through the manual and I think I am grasping the basics. Not the Make and Mod Terrain modules, not yet , but it sure looks promising. The Tile Lab Window is truly revolutionary and long dreamed of. Imagine the possiblities now to include photoreal cities, islands as they really are, airports and airbase bakgrounds. It should really change how the things look in Falcon terrain.

I know that is perhaps early for suggestions but few of them come to my mind already. :oops:
One of them would be perhaps inclusion of the module which would allow auto replacement of the block of tiles with another identically configured block. If you look at little but ingenious program by Phoenix called ATAP available in the PMC library you will perhaps see what I mean. I started to use ATAP , but it works only with those tiles where areas and paths are not specified. Do not know why. I would like to replace some of the repetitive shore tiles by substituting blocks of 4 , 3 and 2 identical tiles with preprepared variances. I will present what I mean in more detail and with pictures later.

Other would be to have zones where that replacement is to take place. Say... I would like to replace banks of the large rivers (Nile) with different tiles than ocean shores. Zone would be handy there. Of course all that above could be and perhaps would be done by hand, but in future editor upgrades, I would strongly suggest batch and automization of tile replacement. 3D View window is perfect for that sort of experiments.

Other big suggestion for future would be looking into vMap0 and other digitized sources of info for Terrain edit. There are enormous posibilities for someone who can hammer out such an elaborate and elegant editing toy. That is you Monster.

But sure forget that for now, it is a LOT which you gave us already ....Thanks again.
Thanks Polak,

as far the automatic replacer is concerned, there is no such feature in the program right now, but is a very good idea. Something similar is the search function provided right now, that let you search for patterns of tiles of 3x3 at maximum. As I said no automatic replacement is made, but you can do it right now manually after the search.
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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by Luk » 2010-09-06, 11:42:29 PM

Try it Luk and let me know if it solves the problem.
I tried it, but unfortunally it did not hep.
The install process was smooth, but I got "RUN-TIME ERROR '76':Path not found" again.

I tried uninstall everything, then installed both versions. I have still error no "76".
Furthermore, not all dlls can be registered and I think msimg32.dll cannot.
I think you are right Monster. I think my new msimg32.dll works fine. I looked at it using "unlocker" utility and I saw the same number of proceses asociated to this new dll library(firefox, visagesoftPDF,Explorer...etc).

I dont know what path is missing.
--------------------------------
I tried to install TerrainEditor on my old desktop PC running Win2K.
I started with TerrainEditor_v311_No_System_Files_setup.zip version. Install process was clean and fast.

But I got this error message when started installed program:
An Entrance point of the EncoderPointer procedure was not found inside dynamic library Kernel32.dll.

So I tried full(first) version of TerraiEditor. I got the same report during install as in the beginning:
"error 1931" The windows installer service cannot update the system file : "path"msimg32.dll. The file is protected by windows.
I guess I will not be able to run it in W2K environment
--------------------------------------
Finally I left my office and tried to install it on my wife's laptop (quite old notebook, but winXP SP3).
Install process was fast and clean. I started program, auto-updated to last version. I converted PCX to DDS. I just viewed UI, flied over the terrain. It looks excellent.

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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by Ed_1 » 2010-09-07, 12:29:04 PM

How about trying any DLL files not in systems folder but root of the app (where the exe is) that fixes some issues of compatibility with OS DLL .
PS : Just throwing this out there, did not try program but have done this on few systems with other apps and it works .

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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by Luk » 2010-09-07, 05:18:41 PM

How about trying any DLL files not in systems folder but root of the app (where the exe is) that fixes some issues of compatibility with OS DLL .
PS : Just throwing this out there, did not try program but have done this on few systems with other apps and it works .
Thanks for advice Ed_1.
But it was the first thing I tried to do.
It helped few times.

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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by monster » 2010-09-07, 06:02:31 PM

Sorry Luk but it seems SP3 is needed. At what point does the error occur? Do you see the splashscreen at all?
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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by Luk » 2010-09-07, 07:08:33 PM

Sorry Luk but it seems SP3 is needed. At what point does the error occur? Do you see the splashscreen at all?
Yes, I saw the splashscreen. I also saw the tab asking me to update or not. Does not matter whatever I choose - I get the error.

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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by monster » 2010-09-07, 07:46:38 PM

Ok, trying to isolate the problem here...

Open TE.ini and find the entry AUTO_CHECK_FOR_UPDATES (should be under the section [LAST_SETT]). Set it to 0 (no auto update), save it and run the program. Let's see if auto update causes it.
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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by Luk » 2010-09-07, 07:54:29 PM

Open TE.ini and find the entry AUTO_CHECK_FOR_UPDATES (should be under the section [LAST_SETT]). Set it to 0 (no auto update), save it and run the program. Let's see if auto update causes it.
Autoupdate is not the reason why it srashes. I got it again.
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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by Fighting Falcon » 2010-09-08, 08:14:34 PM

hello beautiful program.
I have some questions 2
1 runs on Windows Vista?
2 to create the tiles crasc goes into the program.
3 I believe that this utility will become the software of the year .. congratulations you are really good :D
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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by Naldo » 2010-09-11, 07:47:55 AM

Hi Monster,

Great job on the program,

Were do you want me to send problems/bug reports to?

Cheers.

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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by Polak » 2010-09-11, 11:35:38 AM

Were do you want me to send problems/bug reports to?
Obviously cannot answer for monster, but why don't you post them here. We all can read them as to not repeat them unnecessary , if encountered.

I am currently also work with TEU finding it more appealing and elegant. This program seems to be best editing tool for Falcon4 Terrain, but has obvious a potential to become even better.
I know also that many features in TEU are not so new and they were already implemented in the earlier tools like TerrainView etc. So it would not be fair to go about TEU so :shock: and not to mention those others. However, TEU if and when supported can be really more fun to work with and many exisitng Theaters could get big time facelift.

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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by Fighting Falcon » 2010-09-13, 12:05:09 PM

polak hello,
if you have to understand how the program works to make fartiles?
for rest and a really great program.

rudy.
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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by Polak » 2010-09-13, 02:50:48 PM

if you have to understand how the program works to make fartiles?
Make Terrain module shoould take care of your fartiles. Here:
http://docs.sakgiok.gr/manuals:make_terrain:home
But finish all your tiles first.

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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by Fighting Falcon » 2010-09-13, 03:17:38 PM

polak sorry that you're all good, but I do not understand what strinche usre and how?
am attaching a picture:

Image
Image

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monster
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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by monster » 2010-09-14, 05:07:29 PM

The MakeTerrain GUI is just a GUI for the command-line program MakeTerrain. I just included it to make the command line options of the MakeTerrain (and ModTerrain) more easy to set and use.

Fighting Falcon, it seems that MakeTerrain.exe is missing from the folder that TerrainEditor is installed to. That's why the Run command is disabled and the message appears there. Nevertheless, you can still set the options you want, copy the text that appears on the bottom of the window (the one that looks funny with all the special characters) and run the MakeTerrain.exe from a command prompt, adding a space and the text you copied above as command-line parameters, then it should work.

Keep in mind that there is no option to make only the fartiles (although it is the lengthiest process) but the program will create all theater.Lx, theater.Ox files and theater.mea file and modify the theater.map file, so if you need to keep the originals, make a backup first.

I will make a tutorial for creating the terrain and fartiles as well in the docs website.
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Fighting Falcon
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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by Fighting Falcon » 2010-09-14, 10:04:20 PM

Thanks monster,
will contact you as promised.
I think I know someone of the forum, I really appreciate what you do. :wink:
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monster
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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by monster » 2010-09-14, 10:30:54 PM

Tutorial is up at http://docs.sakgiok.gr/tutorials:rebuil ... aketerrain. Hope it clarifies things a little.
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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by Fighting Falcon » 2010-09-15, 08:00:15 AM

monster wrote:Tutorial is up at http://docs.sakgiok.gr/tutorials:rebuil ... aketerrain. Hope it clarifies things a little.

Monster thanks you are a friend. ... this is what I wanted but I think it will be so many to thank. :)
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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by Polak » 2010-10-18, 12:39:07 PM

New version 3.16 of this wonderful Terrain Editor tool has been posted with really increadible new features incorporated in very short time upon our requests. Congratulations and thanks. Here they are:
[v3.1.6]
■Added Feature: Tile replacer function with a lot of features…
■Added Feature: Zoom function in Theater preview window.
■Added Feature: Enhanced Custom Category handling. Move Up/Down and Rename functions added.
■Added Feature: Add to new category option added in right-click menus on tiles/sets.
■Added Feature: Option to display a L0/ELV file in Theater Window, while working on L2.
■Added Feature: Ability to define an offset, horizontally and vertically, to where tdf features are plotted.
■Fixed bug in Objective Lab when saving an empty tac.

I can only say WOW!
I hope the editor is going to be in use by many F4 terrain moders to make new and improve PMC and other theaters. It has to be used in order to appreciate what tricks can be now accomplished with this extraordinaire tool.

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Re: TerrainEditor Utility

Post by derStef » 2010-10-18, 01:17:06 PM

Polak wrote:New version 3.16 of this wonderful Terrain Editor tool has been posted with really increadible new features incorporated in very short time upon our requests. Congratulations and thanks.

WHERE to get it?

regards Stef

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