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Chunk3ym4n
Nov 11 2009, 08:20
I thought that having a grass layer would be a wonderful idea but after seeing it in action i'm still worried that AI and players will have an unfair advantage with it. Considering how the grass layer works, if you go prone the grass can almost completely conceal you and even completely conceal you if you are at the right angle. I think this is unfair since once someone goes prone at about 200m away they can instantly disappear even though if they rendered the grass at that area it would be easy to see the soldier prone in the grass. One easy solution is to make the player slightly transparent but that would look too awkward. Another one would be to automatically add some "grass" camo if you are at a distance as well on the player so it looks like the unit at the distance is blended in with the enviroment. There isn't a perfect solution out there and I can understand why we have a grass layer but it in my opinion is not the best solution.

CarlGustaffa
Nov 11 2009, 08:38
Probably not the "best" solution, but I can live with it. You *would* be completely concealed by grass in some places, unless you have some elevated vantage point, making you look down on the grass. But those are hard to come by, especially in the Chernarus landscape.

Suggestion, if you suspect that someone is hiding in the grass in a way that you can't see him, force him to move. Suppress the area, use an Mk19 if need be. Hell, drop an arty round if he is making your life miserable. Snipers tend to do that. Make them learn the value of relocation :)

Meaning, it could have been visually better, but I don't think it gives any unrealistic advantages in a way that can't be tackled. So, I'm very happy with how it plays out, and waaaay better than no grass layer.

cm.
Nov 11 2009, 08:43
Grass isn't the *best* solution but it's the most practical. Until PC's are powerful enough to render grass all over the whole island this will have to do.

Alex72
Nov 11 2009, 10:54
It IS a good idea. Without it its just like all the other games with nothing out there. Just flat ground where you see everyone.

It isnt best - but its definatelly good.

markushaze
Nov 11 2009, 12:17
Its defiantly good

it makes the game a little harder, maybe, but for me, it also adds that little touch of realism, which makes this game stand out from all the others:-)

just my 2ct

Paajtor
Nov 11 2009, 12:26
I have a question, as I'm fairly new to the Arma-series, and therefore (not yet) participating in beta-testing.

How does this new grass-layer work?
I remember a game called Joint Operations, where a prone player would vanish (blend-in) in the ground, sortof, when seen in the grass from a distance.
He would only become partially visible again, when he either moved, or used a weapon.

Like that?
If that's the case, then it would be a tremendous improvement, imo.

Is there maybe a YouTube vid somewhere, showcasing the new effect?

bravo 6
Nov 11 2009, 12:29
In my opinion what was done, is not enough. I understand its hard to do what was meant and promised from the start, but i would radder wish if BIS spend some time on the clutter issue instead of leaving the grass layer the way it is.

Please don't give up in fixing the clutter models in order to hide humans in the grass / tall grass (wheat) from AI eyes.

CarlGustaffa
Nov 11 2009, 12:50
@<hidden>: If you're new to Arma2, you should have a look at http://ttp2.dslyecxi.com/. Hmm, oddly it doesn't describe the grass layer effect in version 2, so search for "grass" in this (http://dslyecxi.com/armattp.html) Arma1 version of the document instead. It shows you how pretty much how the "grass layer" effect works.

Btw, it's not a "must read" as such. Nobody will demand that you know all that stuff. But it's a good read nonetheless, and highly recommended especially if you want to team up with somebody. Nice to know that you know what you're doing, kinda.

It doesn't matter if you "beta test" or not. The beta version is available to everyone. I sure don't consider myself one. I try my gameplay, which is mostly as infantry. That means I'll rarely find anything vehicle related. The reason it's public beta, is that it install itself in a mod folder. That way, if any serious problems arise, you can disable it and simply play the official patch. A full new version will overwrite all the original stuff, so it better work.

Paajtor
Nov 11 2009, 14:29
CarlGustaffa, I know about that awesome guide...but thx, anyway :)

I did a search in the Arma1 stuff as you adviced, but couldn't find what I wanted to know (hence my request for a YT vid), sry.

But I can try to describe how it worked in Joint Operations:

Suppose you seen an enemy-sniper running through the grass down a slope, far off in the distance, at let's say 500m.
At that distance - at least in Joint Operations at that time - grass wasn't rendered anymore, for fps-sake obviously.
So what you would see happening, when the sniper went prone, was as if the texture of that slope simply would close over him, like a blanket.
If you would use a good binocs, you could barely see his rifle, and a slight misforming of the terrain, that's all.....IF you knew he would be there.
Otherwise, you would oversee the target.
Once he moved a little, or fire his weapon, you could see him a bit better, just for a few secs.

Fireball
Nov 11 2009, 20:42
I think the grass layer needs to be "observed" by the AI - or properly observed rather. Right now I have the feeling that the AI does ignore the grass layer, or, it just sees any head sticking out equally well as the body wholly exposed.

http://dev-heaven.net/issues/show/5785

Paajtor
Nov 11 2009, 21:43
Could it be the case, that because ArmaII has some form of deformable terrain ("bombcrater", stuff like that), it's hard to make the AI clear, that grass has disappeared on that spot?

In general, it seems fairly easy to me, to tell the AI by means of a trigger: [if] player goes prone in grass[then]grass-layer is ON.
But if a random shell creates a naked surface, this could make things much more complicated.

Or not?

Fireball
Nov 11 2009, 22:11
Not exactly...the grass layer should always be on...if grass is not rendered in distance, well, it's still there, basically. So feet/boots are not shown, for example, or if you kneel, the leg/knee is not visible then...etc., but it should never be off.

JW Custom
Nov 11 2009, 22:12
It IS a good idea. Without it its just like all the other games with nothing out there. Just flat ground where you see everyone.

It isnt best - but its definatelly good.

Novalogic used it in BHD and Joint Operations.

Without any other solutions this will do just fine.

Alex72
Nov 11 2009, 23:52
If your not "into the betas", then just get into it...

The beta is installed by itself as an addon. So you have the standard ARMA2 start icon plus the ARMA2BETA start icon. Nothing gets mixed up or destroyed. Asking how the beta works when you have it downloaded, installed and played within seconds is a bit weird to me.

Paajtor
Nov 11 2009, 23:55
If your not "into the betas", then just get into it...

Asking how the beta works when you have it downloaded, installed and played within seconds is a bit weird to me.
Alex72, was that a respons to my posts?
Sorry, I'm confused.:o

Beton
Nov 12 2009, 08:00
My only problem with the grasslayer atm is in multiplayer. If i use the patch and others don´t they have a big advantage. In my last games i was often not able to see the enemy.

nomdeplume
Nov 12 2009, 10:34
It seems to me a better solution (or an additional solution) would be to make the terrain texture more "busy", particularly when you're zoomed in on it. That way the texture used on character models would be less visible. I don't know if this is feasible or not, but to me the ground texture when zoomed in or looking through a scope looks very sharp which gives me the impression that the resolution is high enough to be able to add more detail to it.

The alternative would be to have a simpler texture for characters which is shown when they're at a long distance, so they better match the simpler/flatter terrain texture.

To me, the "sink into the ground" method is better than nothing but it's still very easy to spot enemies through binocs/scope, because the detailed models and textures really stand out against the simple ground texture. Reducing the contrast would help a lot.

Bouben
Nov 12 2009, 19:16
Joint Operations way seems to me as the best. BIS should take a look on it.

maturin
Nov 12 2009, 19:36
What is the status of the grasslayer, anyways? Has BIS commented on it? Are there mods implementing it?

eenter
Nov 12 2009, 19:39
What is the status of the grasslayer, anyways? Has BIS commented on it? Are there mods implementing it?

It's in the beta patch for a long time.

maturin
Nov 12 2009, 19:51
It's in the beta patch for a long time.

Weird, it's not working for me, and I just downloaded the latest beta.

KeyCat
Nov 12 2009, 21:16
My only problem with the grasslayer atm is in multiplayer. If i use the patch and others don´t they have a big advantage. In my last games i was often not able to see the enemy.

Just stick to official 1.04 or use build 59210 of the beta patches while playing P vs P on-line if you are concerned about being at some disadvantage due to this. When 1.05 final is released this will be a none issue.

I think the grass layer needs to be "observed" by the AI - or properly observed rather. Right now I have the feeling that the AI does ignore the grass layer, or, it just sees any head sticking out equally well as the body wholly exposed.

http://dev-heaven.net/issues/show/5785

After testing build 60091 for a couple of hours yesterday I can say the "grass layer" is indeed affecting the AI. Now snipers in ghillie suits + tall grass starts to make sense, if you stay prone in tall grass at ~250+ m distance they will have very hard time locating you even if you shot at them. I'm sure it may still need some tweaking to some of the CFG-values to be perfected but it sure is a nice step forward IMHO!

It may not be the "perfect grass solution" but it sure beats what we had before in ArmA II 1.00 - 1.04. And the "perfect grass solution" would probably be to resource hungry anyway...

Another thing, now it's not really a "grass layer" as in ArmA I. Instead the soldiers smoothly "sinks" into the ground if hiding in grass. The benefit of this approach is that the nice looking ground textures isn't "degraded" as they where in ArmA I and you can't notice any "grass layer sheet" floating 20 cm in the air while looking thru scope as you could in ArmA I and I like current approach better.

/KC

Paajtor
Nov 12 2009, 21:25
That's good news, thx!

maturin
Nov 13 2009, 16:19
After testing build 60091 for a couple of hours yesterday I can say the "grass layer" is indeed affecting the AI. Now snipers in ghillie suits + tall grass starts to make sense, if you stay prone in tall grass at ~250+ m distance they will have very hard time locating you even if you shot at them.

/KC

Really? That's great, because before the AI would always pinpoint your exact location after two successive shots.

I need to go test this.

Edit: I downloaded the latest patch last night and there is no evidence of any grass layer. I've tested it with friends and enemies, always prone, in areas where the grass should cover at least half of their body. Nothing.

Paajtor
Nov 13 2009, 20:57

I'm sure you mean beta-patch, correct?

maturin
Nov 13 2009, 22:50
I'm sure you mean beta-patch, correct?

Of course.

Shataan
Nov 13 2009, 23:20
"Until PC's are powerful enough to render grass all over the whole island this will have to do."

I call b/s on this. No offence intended. Ya dont need to render grass all over the whole island. I still dont get how most peeps here who agree with you believe this.

Yet you see all the awesome stuff plastered to our screens in the 1st pov, and think nothing of it.

All they gotta do is code the grass we see inscope views. Only in the scope view. Just cause they havent done this doesnt mean it cant be done at all. It just means no ones done it, and it is just easier to do the ol grass layer crap. This is the worst lamest and laziest way to bandaid the real issue ever. When Nova did it to Joint Ops, and nerfed the sniper class, I wanted to line up the whole dev team and kick em in the nads for that.

We had voxel grass in DF 2 that did it best on PII 350s for Gods sakes.

Yet everyone or at least many still feel that our rigs these days cant handle grass done right? Think about it for awhile.

maturin
Nov 14 2009, 00:39
"
All they gotta do is code the grass we see inscope views. Only in the scope view. Just cause they havent done this doesnt mean it cant be done at all. It just means no ones done it, and it is just easier to do the ol grass layer crap.

Has it ever been done? Just because you are in a scope does not mean that you can't see too much area and range of LoD to render. And that doesn't fix the problem because the unzoomed naked eye can pick out gillie suits easily.

Nov 14 2009, 02:11
And that doesn't fix the problem because the unzoomed naked eye can pick out gillie suits easily.
Exacly. Grass when zoomed (well obviously restricting it to scope view is a bit... limited) doesn't solve the gameplay issue of distant units not being hidden at a distance because you wont always be zoomed close enough to that spot for the grass to cover them.
Grass when zooming would be a good visual improvement and I'd love to see it added to the game, but it doesn't address the gameplay issue like the grass layer system does.

nicolasroger
Nov 14 2009, 04:21
what about a grass layer with a transparency map. (it is called an alpha map i think)

a good solution would be to use a taller grass layer fully hiding you at the bottom and fully transparent at the top with a linear transparency gradient in the middle.

any modder know where to find that grass layer so we can simply try it ourself?

Nov 14 2009, 04:36
any modder know where to find that grass layer so we can simply try it ourself?
I don't believe there is any 'layer'. The units are just sunk into the ground where there is grass. Notice that it only affects infantry.
Rendering an actual layer above the ground can harm visuals and performance, like the one in ArmA1 did. At least the system now in ArmA 2 doesn't seem to have any negative effects.

Fireball
Nov 14 2009, 09:21
After testing build 60091 for a couple of hours yesterday I can say the "grass layer" is indeed affecting the AI. Now snipers in ghillie suits + tall grass starts to make sense, if you stay prone in tall grass at ~250+ m distance they will have very hard time locating you even if you shot at them. I'm sure it may still need some tweaking to some of the CFG-values to be perfected but it sure is a nice step forward IMHO!

We also did some testing yesterday and came up with that:

Sorry for the little audio desync, but tell me what you think. It's not a ghilie suit and it's also around 250m distance, but it's in the shadow and at the little wood. Potentially the issue is that shadows make you feel too safe, when they are in fact not observed/applied to detection rating.

KeyCat
Nov 14 2009, 18:18
Edit: I downloaded the latest patch last night and there is no evidence of any grass layer. I've tested it with friends and enemies, always prone, in areas where the grass should cover at least half of their body. Nothing.

Sure you started the beta patch with correct shortcut!? You can verify version number on main screen, it should read 1.04.60141 for current beta.

Sorry for the little audio desync, but tell me what you think. It's not a ghilie suit and it's also around 250m distance, but it's in the shadow and at the little wood. Potentially the issue is that shadows make you feel too safe, when they are in fact not observed/applied to detection rating.

Just looked at your video and I agree that the enemy AI seems to detect you a bit to fast there after a single shot.

One thing I noticed is that you are prone in the downslope of the hill and maybe why they pick you up so fast. I agree about the shadows, they can sometimes make you feel "safer" than you actually are, don't know if they are part of the calculation for AI detection but like you I don't think so.

Another thing that play part when comparing AI tests is what value you have on "skillEnemy=" in <username>.ArmA2Profile as well as skill level set in the editor since both of those affects the AI's visual detection range.

My tests mentioned above was done using skillEnemy=0.75; and skill slider at 50% in the editor.

...Yet everyone or at least many still feel that our rigs these days cant handle grass done right? Think about it for awhile.

You and OP are right, current implementation is not perfect and can be improved upon but my personal happiness about latest "grass layer implementation" is that it's a big step forward from what we previously had in ArmA II 1.00 - 1.04 - i.e none.

As a sniper wannabee I would love to see BIS taking it even further but until then this is better than nothing at all, just my 0.20 SEK!

/KC

maturin
Nov 14 2009, 18:54
Sure you started the beta patch with correct shortcut!? You can verify version number on main screen, it should read 1.04.60141 for current beta.

When I join a MP game, it says I'm running the beta, so yes.

KeyCat
Nov 14 2009, 19:29
When I join a MP game, it says I'm running the beta, so yes.

Thats strange... All I can say is that it works for me using 60141, I also played MP yesterday and other clients did get (partly) hidden in the grasslayer if looking at them over distance in scope/binocs.

Could it be related to terrain detail settings? We used Terrain Detail = Very High, hope you find the cause...

/KC

maturin
Nov 14 2009, 21:59
I use Terrain=Normal, so it seems like I should see it.

TimRiceSE
Nov 14 2009, 22:03
just cos your modline when you join a MP server says beta does not mean that you are using the beta executable. Look to the bottom right of the screen in the main startup menu for the build that you are running. If its not 60141 at the end, youre not running latest beta

maturin
Nov 14 2009, 23:55
just cos your modline when you join a MP server says beta does not mean that you are using the beta executable. Look to the bottom right of the screen in the main startup menu for the build that you are running. If its not 60141 at the end, youre not running latest beta

Yeah, I'm not running it.

I am using the beta launch shortcut from the main Arma 2 folder. It has the line the readme reccommends: C:\Program Files\Bohemia Interactive\ArmA 2\beta\arma2.exe" -mod=beta
When I change that to C:\Program Files\Bohemia Interactive\ArmA 2\beta\arma2.exe" -mod=beta; -mod=@<hidden> -nosplash however, I get an error on startup and it is the sound mod causing the problem. This does launch the beta version.

I have -mod=beta; -mod=@<hidden> -nosplash in the Steam launch options, which runs the sound mod but not the beta. Can I make the Steam launcher refer to the beta .exe? Or how do I make the beta launch shortcut handle my mods correctly?

Xeno
Nov 15 2009, 01:26
I have -mod=beta; -mod=@<hidden> -nosplash in the Steam launch options
It is -mod=beta;@<hidden> -nosplash

Only use -mod once and separate the mod folders with a semicolon.

Xeno

maturin
Nov 15 2009, 01:45
It is -mod=beta;@<hidden> -nosplash

Only use -mod once and separate the mod folders with a semicolon.

Xeno

"C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common\arma 2\beta\arma2.exe" -mod=beta;@<hidden>;@<hidden> -nosplash

This is the line I have and it does not work.

FDF_Sounds and CBA are both modfolders, and properly named. I've tried adding spaces after the semi-colons and a semi-colon after CBA, but no luck.

Does it have something to do with the fact that I'm running the beta .exe directly, and adding the mods to it, rather than running the normal .exe and adding the beta to it like another mod? I tried the latter in Steam and it did not work, however.

TimRiceSE
Nov 15 2009, 02:30
Make sure the "start in" directory of the shortcut is your arma2 dir, not your arma2/beta dir. i.e.

shortcut points to : "C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common\arma 2\beta\arma2.exe" -mod=beta;@<hidden>;@<hidden> -nosplash

HOWEVER the 2nd address in a box lower down on the shortcut properties should be:

"C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common\arma 2\"

maturin
Nov 15 2009, 15:50
This is what I have, and it sounds exactly like what you're describing and nothing like BI's terrible readme.

http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r162/obscreens/Capture.jpg

Again, with this arrangement the beta patch works fine, but the mods crash the startup process.

With the an automatically generated Steam shortcut with the same mod entries, the mods work but the beta does not run.

---------- Post added at 10:50 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:38 AM ----------

*sigh*
Now it works and I didn't change anything except to erase the shortcut and re-write the target manually. Now my computer doesn't recognize the publishers, but the mods work.
I'm thoroughly confused but I guess I shouldn't complain.

Anyone know how to get Steam to launch the beta?

Dwarden
Nov 15 2009, 16:14
tried use full path to the mod like -mod=beta;drive:\path\@<hidden>
?

markushaze
Nov 16 2009, 10:46
@<hidden> maturin

Sorry to go off topic, Just to give a heads up:

use this

There are other launchers out there, but this one works great for me :-)

Perun
Nov 16 2009, 12:00
I'd like to write something about the original topic. Yes maybe it is not looking like a best solution, but it definitely is the best solution, because there is no other solution except then render grass at higher distances. You must count with capabilities of DirectX.

nomdeplume
Nov 17 2009, 03:57
I don't believe there is any 'layer'. The units are just sunk into the ground where there is grass. Notice that it only affects infantry. [...] At least the system now in ArmA 2 doesn't seem to have any negative effects.

The only issue I've noticed is that you now you have to aim higher than where you see the enemy, because visually they're sunk lower than their actual position. If you put a shot right on to them, it'll actually impact the ground in front of them. This gets a bit confusing because when it kicks up dirt, the impact puff is right on top of your target so it looks like a perfect hit; but the puff will be brown rather than red.

If you aim a bit higher, then the red impact puff will be floating in the air over your target - but in the game world it'll be a direct hit. Primarily an issue with scoped weapons at longer range.

It's not a major issue once you're accustomed to it and remember to offset your shot, but it is a little immersion-breaking.

maturin
Nov 17 2009, 05:43
It's just an issue of dust vs. blood plume, isn't it? I'd be shocked if they actually made the units appear lower than the actually were.

Alex72
Nov 17 2009, 07:30
@<hidden> Kind Of Guy:
Your right about that they now sink down into the grass. Its not just "there" and the AI walk through it, but they sink down when walking on grass. Specially noticeable when they lay down (prone). They lie down on top and then sink through the grass.

I didnt know there would be a problem with this, but it sounds like the AI is still there - his mass - but the visual body slides down in the grass.

Im off to test this right away.

nomdeplume
Nov 18 2009, 06:41
It's just an issue of dust vs. blood plume, isn't it? I'd be shocked if they actually made the units appear lower than the actually were.

Well that was the big difference between the 'distant grass layer' implementation in Arma 1 and the one we have now in Arma 2. In Arma 1, the grass was on top of the ground, so the units were drawn where they actually were and there was a bit of 'fuzz' added on top. Apparently some people didn't like the look of this, particularly on hilltops.

So the new version doesn't add a grass layer on top, but instead lowers the unit into the terrain a bit. Achieves more or less the same visual effect, but without the fuzz.

It's a subtle effect, which took me a while to start noticing. Now I can't un-notice it.

If the video isn't clear enough or you just can't be bothered, here's the final round fired in the video:

http://mirror.quex.org/arma/screens/grasslayer.jpeg

Alex72
Nov 18 2009, 09:45
Yep i have started to notice this more and more. Its the next step that BIS needs to fix before this feature is solid. Good report. Make sure you report it over at DevHeaven as well (link in my sig). Thanks.

Alex

dogz
Nov 18 2009, 10:22
so from that video what you guys are unhappy with is the fact that instead of a visual layer covering the Ai target, they are actually below and behind the ground and therefore you can only hit any exposed parts?

Does this mean the "other" style of grass layer could be penetrated with rounds?

Nov 18 2009, 11:20
so from that video what you guys are unhappy with is the fact that instead of a visual layer covering the Ai target, they are actually below and behind the ground and therefore you can only hit any exposed parts?
That's not quite right.

They aren't actually sinking into the ground, just getting drawn lower. The problem is that their geometry is still in the same place it was before, so the soldier will appear to be lower than he actually is. Basically, in order to hit the head, you have to aim at the air above where you see the head - because that's where it really is.

dogz
Nov 18 2009, 13:50
@<hidden> ok I understand that now, the vid only shows the last shot is perhaps hitting above and I cant play A2 to test it.

It is really bad implementation of the "grass layer" fix if the invisible body model can still take hits if aim is above visible model....

I hope you guys are wrong or that it gets improved soon.

SwiftyBoy
Nov 18 2009, 13:52
Hmm, tricky one this. Noticed it in earnest last night playing a quick SP mission near the dam - and I've got to say, now that I've noticed it, it's somewhat breaking the immersion...

The only way I could even begin to think that BIS could tackle this is for the engine to generate occluding grass objects dynamically in the small part of the world you're currently fighting in... but given the problem of long range magnification etc, I'm not sure that'd work either. And then there's possible effect on the frame rates... oh the humanity etc.

maturin
Nov 18 2009, 19:20
So we could hit the lowered image but actually be shooting dirt? That's terrible. I hope they change it to a transparency system later on. Just make the legs disappear.

ruebe
Nov 18 2009, 22:17
I'm not really happy either with the current solution. IMHO it's just wrong to simply sink units into the ground. Besides the mentioned problems, it looks like bumpy ofp:resistance terrain is back and not like grass/foliage (just that old bumby resistance terrain was really fine, whereas this "grass"-layer just pops in/get's applied to the single units.. quite terrible if you ask me).
It just doesn't work. IMHO this approach is doomed to be halfassed and pretty useless/ineffective since it's still easy to spot such units, unless they are completely burried into the ground, haha. (plus new awkwardness like mentioned).

I wouldn't elaborate this "solution" (though others probably might not agree with me). Instead I'd look for a better solution or live with things as they are. I hope they look rather into the direction of actually spawning very low-cost grass at distance.

Nov 18 2009, 22:53
Maybe they will just lower the fire LOD to compensate...

Would be better if some kind of grass shader could be applied to distant units, where the colour of the terrain would be layered onto the lower part of them that should be obscured by grass. Don't know how hard that is to implement, and if BIS would be happy to throw away the current system and start again :lookaround:

Paajtor
Nov 18 2009, 22:55
It's a subtle effect, which took me a while to start noticing. Now I can't un-notice it.

If the video isn't clear enough or you just can't be bothered, here's the final round fired in the video:

http://mirror.quex.org/arma/screens/grasslayer.jpeg
Thank you for that! Now I get an idea, about the current status of this.
The original idea is good, but the aiming needs to be fixed.

And still I gotta say, that the sinking-in looks odd...in particular, when viewed through a sniper-scope.
And that's imo the view that counts most, in this case!
Maybe it's an idea, to make the units (AI or human) also become a bit transparant, when they go prone?

KeyCat
Nov 18 2009, 23:04
The original idea is good, but the aiming needs to be fixed.

+1

Nice catch, haven't had much time playing and I agree this need to be fixed before final.

/KC

b00n
Dec 2 2009, 12:04
That's not quite right.

They aren't actually sinking into the ground, just getting drawn lower. The problem is that their geometry is still in the same place it was before, so the soldier will appear to be lower than he actually is. Basically, in order to hit the head, you have to aim at the air above where you see the head - because that's where it really is.

If the model is simply drawn lower than the actual bounding geometry, might that explain why the AI is still able to spot and kill prone players far too easily? I imagine the AI uses the bounding geometry for detection and in that regard it seems the grass layer hasn't changed anything.

Regarding the feasibility/infeasibility of rendering 'real' grass discussed earlier in this thread: there is certainly no reason why such high quality rendering couldn't be done while in zoomed views, where there is a narrow viewing frustrum. The problem, as correctly stated, is that prone players would still be visible at distance while the grass is not rendered. The way to reconcile this seems pretty simple to me; just don't render players who are prone in grass at long distance. After all we're going for realism with these changes aren't we? You're never going to spot someone lying in foot-high (or higher) grass, barely moving or not moving at all, a couple of hundred metres away with the naked eye. You can still render muzzleflashes etc. which give their position away, and then the enemy would use their scopes/binoculars to locate and engage the hidden target.

Thoughts?

Dec 2 2009, 12:19
If the model is simply drawn lower than the actual bounding geometry, might that explain why the AI is still able to spot and kill prone players far too easily? I imagine the AI uses the bounding geometry for detection and in that regard it seems the grass layer hasn't changed anything.
I can't be sure, but I'm assuming (and hoping) the AI visibility check works differently - or at least is supposed to work differently - than lowering the view geometry. There are some far more nifty ways to do it than that.

KeyCat
Dec 2 2009, 12:31
Anyone tried the latest build 60718 to see if this (http://forums.bistudio.com/showpost.php?p=1492047&postcount=49) issue was looked into (nothing mentioned in the log tho)?

/KC

alef
Jan 19 2010, 10:58
...http://mirror.quex.org/arma/screens/grasslayer.jpeg

Added to CIT (http://dev-heaven.net/issues/show/8285). Thank you for the image.

zGuba
Apr 28 2011, 22:16
There was suggestion of having grass raised when zoomed in. I thought reverse; what if we relate the grass effect not only to distance, but also linearly to field of view?

The reasons are simple:
- the better zoom, the lesser FOV.
- the lesser FoV, the lesser visible area can be "revealed" to our eyes at time.
- the better zoom, the more details we can see.

This would make "sniper rifles", "optical devices" and especially "precision shooting" more meaningful again.

http://dev-heaven.net/issues/18841

==

For picture worth 1000 words:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/15584944/zGuba/grass_idea.png

Liquidpinky
Apr 29 2011, 14:57
Grass shouldn't move whether zoomed in or out.
If I am lying in 1 foot of grass, then whether you are looking at me from 1 mile away or stood next to me, I am still lying in 1 foot of grass.

RunForrest
Apr 29 2011, 19:44
i just discovered this: http://dev-heaven.net/issues/show/8285
i never noticed it before,i always thought im a bad sniper/shooter, until the last days i dug through sniper manuals and stuff and really focused on sniping on distance with accurate shots.
tbh this issue makes arma for me unplayable, now that i noticed it, i see it all the time
in this so called "simulation" everytime when a target is on grass the visual model is somewhere else than the hitbox. even on 300m its impossible to hit accurate headshots, in fact on 300m its a difference off 1 mildot!! ARE U F... SERIOUS?
i wish i have never started trying accurate sniping in arma and discovered this, it breaks the game for me :(

maturin
Apr 29 2011, 19:59
You shouldn't be aiming for headshots anyways.

I don't think this (rather unfortunate) system impairs my accuracy.

Zipper5
Apr 29 2011, 20:45
Snipers being wrongly "calibrated"...

... Breaks the game for you.

All you do is snipe?

RunForrest
Apr 29 2011, 23:10
300m distance is not really sniping, is it?
do the test urself in the editor, place urself on utes airfield exactly 300m away from 2 AI units. place one unit at the concrete of the runway, the other 2m away standing on the the grass. take a m24(zeroed at 300m by default), aim 1 mildot above the head of the unit standing on concrete > u will miss, as it should be. reload the mission and do the same shot on the unit standing on the grass and u will get a perfect headshot, although u aimed 1 mildot above. SIMULATION MY A..

if the grass clutter is such a problem i would prefer having none at all - at least it works and is consistant vs AI AND in PvP

im really upset about this, its a NOGO that the hitboxes r not there where they should be and i hope this will be changed or arma is unfortunately dead for me

Defunkt
Apr 30 2011, 02:24
I've never understood why the actual clutter can't be rendered when scoped in, you're scoped in, it doesn't have to be rendered nearby just at the distance you're looking at and as your FOV is narrower (and the reticle cuts out even more of it) surely there's going to be less than usual.

zGuba
Apr 30 2011, 19:28
Grass shouldn't move whether zoomed in or out.
If I am lying in 1 foot of grass, then whether you are looking at me from 1 mile away or stood next to me, I am still lying in 1 foot of grass.

Currently it's not grass, it's refraction. :mad:

http://webphysics.davidson.edu/faculty/dmb/edibleopticalmaterials/glass_of_water.jpg

You seem not to understand my point in 100%: I'm talking about very high magnification levels, which would then make no difference if You're half hidden in grass or not - you're sitting ducks then anyway. When somebody spots you directly with 10-20x magnification level below 1000 meters, Your concealment is worth as much as your skin and suit camo.

Besides, I wonder if it's possible to render the small foliage directly in such condition. Following Defunkt:

I've never understood why the actual clutter can't be rendered when scoped in, you're scoped in, it doesn't have to be rendered nearby just at the distance you're looking at and as your FOV is narrower (and the reticle cuts out even more of it) surely there's going to be less than usual.

Guess that there are technical implications beside that, but who knows...

Snipers being wrongly "calibrated"...

... Breaks the game for you.

All you do is snipe?

I don't snipe because sniping is apparently broken ;)

=KCT=BlackMamba
Apr 30 2011, 19:39
i snipe allot in multiplayer games i love it..
using the M107 or specialy the AS50 first to kill the artillary dudes, one shot trough the armour plating to kill the operator, making headshot from atleast 1200/1600 mtrs distance without a problem.
hell ill shoot a turned out tank commander from that distance only thing is visible is his head. just never forget to bring a range finder.

zGuba
Apr 30 2011, 19:43
OK, but that's not dismounted infantry shooting which is "special".

RunForrest
May 1 2011, 01:00
exactly
do my described test in the editor, it proofs that this concept of "fixing" or "improving" the problem with the grass clutter makes this game a bad joke, especially when theres so much focus on "realism" or "simulation"

Zipper5
May 1 2011, 07:47
Jesus, a flaw such as this (which I've honestly not noticed until you pointed it out, and I've been playing Arma 2 since release) does not stop this from game from being realistic nor a simulator.

Have you reported this to the CIT (http://www.dev-heaven.net/projects/cis/wiki)? If not, go do so. If you have, good, all you have to do is wait for it to be fixed (if it can be).

RunForrest
May 1 2011, 13:49
this is the ticket: http://dev-heaven.net/issues/show/8285
ive also didnt noticed it until the last days, as i already described, and im also a big fan of ofp/arma since the beginning (fanboy suits me better :D), and when i discovered this it was a shock tbh and i am still shocked
sigh
sry when i sound a bit agressive, but this issue really gets my blood boiling
i can not understand how someone can even think about that the hitbox model isnt fitting with the visualmodel, thats INSANE especially in the arma context ... theres so much talk about realism and accurate simulation of so many things... and than the most basic stuff ... like hitting accurately on 300m distance IS NOT POSSIBLE! HELLO??? i dont understand how someone can not be upset about this. in a S-I-M-U-L-A-T-I-O-N
if i was responsible for the CIT(thank god im not) i would have set a deadline for BIS to change this, and if it wouldnt, BAM finito end of arma and end of CIT because its not worth it when most basic things dont work

im aware that the the grass clutter is a big problem and not easy to solve, but why in all heavens "fix" it and create a new problem that really breaks the very basic logic of shooting = seeing something,shooting on it where u see it and hit it, when done right

maturin
May 1 2011, 17:22
like hitting accurately on 300m distance IS NOT POSSIBLE!

YES IT IS, OTHERWISE EVERYONE WOULDN'T BE DOING IT

That is all.

metalcraze
May 1 2011, 19:11
Well the flaw is there and needs to be fixed.

But it certainly doesn't render the game unplayable. You just have to aim a few pixels above whatever body part of enemy you want to hit.

Was the ticket for this created? Because I will make one if it wasn't.

=KCT=BlackMamba
May 2 2011, 13:46
yeahhh thats because the enemy was lying on the ground at 728mtrs instead of 700 mtrs pffff.... wich u would have known when u use your range finder...
oow yeah but the second is lying 40 mtrs further away and have ive spend 6 bullits to take him out...
thats why u are a sniper, calculate the trajectory bevore u shoot.. re adjust your scope and whait for the right moment. JOKE

BasileyOne
May 3 2011, 02:12
yeah, remind me world deadliest sniper story/tactic/equipment - 90% kills with ironsight, 24% made my SMG.
YOU're weapon, not iron, you handling in hand.
BE deadly[not realy on hardware] !!

NkEnNy
May 3 2011, 04:25
yeah, remind me world deadliest sniper story/tactic/equipment - 90% kills with ironsight, 24% made my SMG.
YOU're weapon, not iron, you handling in hand.
BE deadly[not realy on hardware] !!
Sniping during World War 2 didn't happen at thousands of meters. Think something in the nature of 150 to 300 meters-- with very odd shots out to 500+.

According to interviews with the best (and surviving) german snipers they had about a 50% accuracy record. ie: Approximately every second shot proved deadly... and still they spent an inordinate amount of time setting up that shot-- and this was for the very best.

Certainly there technology (and methodology) has improved since those days-- but this doesn't change the facts. And there are still some rather romantic views about sniping.

On topic:
Certainly having a grasslayer is better than having none at all?

-k

=KCT=BlackMamba
May 3 2011, 08:14
in real life there is nothing fancy abouth being a sniper..
imagine lying on the cold floor for hours maybe even days in the same position to recognize the, and go up in your surroundings.
looking trough your scope for hours waiting for that one shot if u are even tasked to shoot it might be just a reconaisance mission but lets say i get the task to kill
after hours maybe even days u have to evade while your enemy is on full aware cause u just killed a high ranked oponent.
your bones and muscles are all cold and stiff and u do not want to get caught now
u must have balls of wolfraam to be cool at this moment

ok on topic its just a game sitting in your armchair clicking mouse buttons :)
let it be as is right now it would look even worse if there wasnt a grasslayer like we have right now.

i think when u let the enemy dissapear in clutter u get negative fps aka stutterfest when u move your scope to the next target i think it would be pretty cpu intensive to calculate the position and amount of clutter where your looking at while there is allready going on so much around u.

Brainbug
May 4 2011, 01:12
I always think back to the old DeltaForce 1 and 2 (not 3!) that was based on the VoxelSpace engine by Novalogic.

Crappy graphics maybe (and a CPU hog), but the main advantage was the grass. It had different depths, so at some spots it was just ankle deep and at other it was deeper, and you could prone into it and not be seen, regardless if the opponent that was looking at you was 10m away or 1000m.

Never ever found anything like that in a (polygon based) video game. I think if the next big step in the Arma engine fully exploits all DX11 possibilities, maybe something like that would become possible again. But then again, we'll probably never loose the LOD problem. Maybe only with a pure raytracing engine, but that's certainly a thing for the next decade.

Dwarden
May 4 2011, 12:33
voxel based engine / grass was really one of things which we will remember about DF 1 and 2 ;)

maturin
May 6 2011, 19:25
voxel based engine / grass was really one of things which we will remember about DF 1 and 2 ;)

So Dwarden, is it doable to make the lower part of a soldier model invisible? Then it would look the grass was covering them.

Otherwise you will have to raise the apparent position of low-LoD landcape, or spawn low-res grass locally around units. Edit: Nevermind, this would just give away their position.

Velocity
May 6 2011, 21:14
Just to satisfy my curiosity - what would be the performance hit (approximately) regarding low-res grass?
In conjunction with this topic, may I ask your opinion about the so called "unlimited detail technology", which is promoted via various sources (e.g. HERE (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THaam5mwIR8)) - I'm by far no expert related to these topics which is why I'd like to share and have your thoughts/knowledge on this.

mr.g-c
May 9 2011, 01:05
.....but the main advantage was the grass. It had different depths, so at some spots it was just ankle deep and at other it was deeper, and you could prone into it and not be seen, regardless if the opponent that was looking at you was 10m away or 1000m.
Its funny that this was exactly what Maruk (BIS CEO) promised us in the first Interviews before Arma2 was released.
The more disappointed i was, seeing there was no grasslayer in the first-place at all after buying the game and it had to be introduced way way later after community made a lot of pressure and voted this issue as #1 in the Community-Issue-Tracker. Issue Resolved? Partially only... :o

I think this should be something high-priority for BIS to optimize. Even in a next big engine update, wheter this will be DLC or Expansion2.

maturin
May 9 2011, 03:17
The bugtrackers makes it look like the grass layer will switch off in scope view.

zGuba
May 9 2011, 11:03
Well, not totally. It's about decreasing the effect significantly when soldiers pretty much fill up the screen - thus the cover would be gone anyway.

Wonder if it could be optional (difficulty options - serverside?) so one could choose between more realistic sniping or more realistic grass cover all the time.

Sorry, I don't buy the story like below.

http://mirror.quex.org/arma/screens/grasslayer.jpeg

rexehuk
May 10 2011, 21:11
There is a map config option... but not tried it its affects on FPS.

clutterGrid = 1.61;
clutterDist = 120;
noDetailDist = 40;
fullDetailDist = 10;
minTreesInForestSquare = 3;
minRocksInRockSquare = 4;

Anyone tried maxing these out and seeing what a fully grassed world does to FPS?

**Edit**

Just trying putting them to 1000, I crashed the rendering buffer, lmao :D.

"RENDERING BUFFER TOO SMALL"

**EDIT 2**

Just tried it on Razani... has some interesting results, maybe its the solution for FORCING it on users, but yeah... as you can imagine this will probably murder 95% of the Arma communities machines.

Image 1- http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/9341/arma2oa2011051021205202.jpg
Image 2 - http://img196.imageshack.us/img196/426/arma2oa2011051021204626.jpg

Someone feeling not lazy and wants to try it on Chernarus?

maturin
May 10 2011, 21:44
Whoa. That is the solution for making maps that actually look like Afghanistan, not the blurry grey moonscape that is Takistan. And on a map with Arma-level details and visuals we could get away with it. Did that destroy your FPS?

rexehuk
May 10 2011, 21:54
Hmm... FPS was okish, but it definitely has an impact. Trying the same method on things like chernarus end up with a LARGE increase of ram (was hitting 4GB a minute ago).

Not sure how much RAM razani used, shall give it another test and post the config here.

Some stats for you:

Editor = 350K MEM util
Ingame = 950+k MEM util
CPU = 15-25%
GPU = AMD 5850 @<hidden> 30/35% (50% ish when zoomed on mountain)

Config:

clutterGrid = 1.11;
clutterDist = 850;
noDetailDist = 900;
fullDetailDist = 700;

FPS:

Around 30 with NO units down on the map

More screenies (Skybox is a temp solution - ignore it)

1: http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/9045/arma2oa2011051021555474.jpg
2: http://img843.imageshack.us/img843/9615/arma2oa2011051021554473.jpg
3: http://img848.imageshack.us/img848/2683/arma2oa2011051021553976.jpg

zGuba
May 11 2011, 15:05
wow, that looks amazing. Shame my rig won't keep this up due to shitty GPU :>

Defunkt
May 11 2011, 21:39
Does look very good, something to look forward to in a year or two when I have a PC that laughs at ArmA.

rexehuk
May 12 2011, 07:53
I don't see it being a usable method. That would mean anyone who doesn't have a few gigs of ram couldn't play the map. All depends on settings ofcourse.

The defaults for the maps are like 100 distance, even 40 in some cases... no idea why they are so low! I've pushed it 8-10X in this Razani one, but still get 30 FPS, I imagine if you moderated it slightly you could achieve a nice balance.

Brainbug
May 17 2011, 16:49
The "few gigs of RAM" are not the problem, atm most PCs of Arma players have more RAM than the game uses. I think an improved version of the engine is what we need.

PuFu
May 17 2011, 16:51
arma2.exe doesn't use more than 3.5gb of ram anyways. At least from my experience

rexehuk
May 20 2011, 23:55
arma2.exe doesn't use more than 3.5gb of ram anyways. At least from my experience

Mine got up to 5GB before it died in flames :p. Obviously it wasnt very happy trying to cache a few miles of textures.

velebrz
Nov 29 2011, 00:24
Someone feeling not lazy and wants to try it on Chernarus?

greetings all...sorry for bumping this up again

Im more than interested in researching this thing. The grass issue has always been an enigma for me

I am not a master of the editor by all means, if anything im a newb, but I have some edxperience with scripting and modding, so if you give me pointers on how to edit the map config quickly, ill do the test on chernarus and other maps too, and post the results with ram, cpu usage and screenshots

James2464
Nov 29 2011, 00:57
Those results look great! So the fix is just a matter of changing the config?

Also will this ticket be fixed for 1.6 Beta?

Can computers really not render grass over the whole map yet? (sorry im new)

On_Sabbatical
Nov 29 2011, 07:41
Very good images,but as stated above it needs a powerful comp,and i don't think there is something on the market that can handle that easily.

maturin
Nov 29 2011, 17:08
I very much doubt that.

The only thing the game has to render is a few hundred little green blobs.

Compare this to a machine running a Chernarussian forest. The game then has to render a comparable number of highly detailed tree models.

I think the developers could optimize the engine quite easily to render vegetation like in that shot. Of course, if you loaded Chernarus with those settings, your GPU would probably liquify.

froggyluv
Nov 30 2011, 18:21
clutterGrid = 1.11;
clutterDist = 850;
noDetailDist = 900;
fullDetailDist = 700;

I'm not seeing this in my -Documents/Arm2/Name Profile nor ArmaOA config :confused:

Nov 30 2011, 18:45
I'm not seeing this in my -Documents/Arm2/Name Profile nor ArmaOA config :confused:
You won't find those values there, because they're in the map config. :)

metalcraze
Nov 30 2011, 19:56
Can computers really not render grass over the whole map yet? (sorry im new)

And won't be able for a long long time.

More grass = more polys + more transparency and it hurts

VBS2 has a much better solution. Its maps have a lot of detail like bushes and rocks which doesn't hurt FPS compared to grass on the same scale at all - and telling a helmet of a lying dude from one of the hundred rocks visible is really hard.

velebrz
Nov 30 2011, 22:02
You won't find those values there, because they're in the map config. :)

and how can we open this config ?? Im eager to try the tests on Cherno

velebrz
Dec 2 2011, 22:33
and how can we open this config ?? Im eager to try the tests on Cherno

bump :bounce3:

Dec 3 2011, 12:27
The config values are inside the PBO. In order to change them, you need to unpack the Chernarus PBO, unRap the config.bin, look for the values and change them, then repack the PBO again.

Just make sure to backup the original PBO and not to play online with the modified one, because it will be considered "hacked".

velebrz
Dec 4 2011, 16:19
hi Maddog, thanks for the response and the guidelines...

heres a screenie of the current search, am I in the right vicinty ??

http://i44.tinypic.com/2r4nzmr.png

BasileyOne
Dec 5 2011, 04:41
im actually LOT more concerned about AI ignoring grass, seeing THRU it, than approach to visual appearance or minor tweaking.

metalcraze
Dec 14 2011, 19:20
Check this out:

http://i41.tinypic.com/eq82q.jpg

Looks like grass layer is fair enough solution after all, considering that it covers more soldier in the distance than the grass itself up close.