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Thread: Bush's Geotypical Microterrains (with source files).

  1. #1
    CWR² Developer Bushlurker's Avatar
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    Bush's Geotypical Microterrains (with source files).


    Bush's Geotypical Microterrains


    The "I can't be bothered reading, just give me the addons already" section


    Afghan Valley, Ghor Province v0.1
    Armaholic Mirror
    Arma2Base.de Mirror
    ArmedAssault.info Mirror
    Also available on the Six Updater Network
    * Source Files & basic Beginners Guide Now Available Here *


    Etah Plateau, Antarctica v0.1
    Armaholic Mirror
    Arma2Base.de Mirror
    ArmedAssault.info Mirror
    Also available on the Six Updater Network


    Faffindale, North Yorkshire v0.1
    Armaholic Mirror
    Arma2Base.de Mirror
    ArmedAssault.info Mirror
    Also available on the Six Updater Network
    Missions
    Co06 The Supply Depot BAF.Faffindale by Wolle.


    Chimalpopoca, Central Andes v0.1
    Armaholic Mirror
    Arma2Base.de Mirror
    ArmedAssault.info Mirror
    Also available on the Six Updater Network


    Lolo Nai'a, Hawaii v0.1
    Armaholic Mirror
    ArmedAssault.info Mirror
    Arma2Base.de Mirror
    Also available on the Six Updater Network
    * Required For Lolo Nai'a - Berghoff's African Foliage *

    Or view the whole collection with additional info on ArmedAssault.info

    A Big Thanks to Big, Miller, Old Bear & Sickboy for download mirrors for all terrains!



    Background
    There's been an increasing trend towards higher-resolution ground terrains recently, both among the Community terrainmakers, and also with BIS themselves...
    I recently got around to wading thru the PMC campaign in MP with a friend, and we had a helluva time (in a good way!) creeping around on Proving Grounds, which, as most of you will have noticed by it's "fairly demanding" performance requirements - not to mention the moonscape microterrain - features a very high-res ground terrain mesh...

    Hi-res ground meshes are a Good Thing for terrainmakers - you can do a lot more with a landscape when it's basically gridded in finer detail... even features as small as trenches become possible... (prowler.wolf ahead of the pack there, as usual )
    On a slightly larger scale - more natural hillslopes, bays and beaches, erosion features - they're all easier to make in better detail and more convincingly with a hi-res ground mesh...
    Not to mention how much more fun they can be to play on, with all those smaller scale and more frequent & natural dips and hillocks and ground cover...
    The price for all of these Good Things is, of course, those previously-mentioned "fairly demanding performance requirements"...

    Since I've been known to fool around with a landscape or two I've been interested in "smaller cell sizes" for a while, and since my current Lord & Master - the Mighty Wolle - conveniently buggered off on holiday for a few weeks recently, I grabbed the opportunity to learn a few new tricks & techniques, and to test for myself what sort of performance you can expect from a higher-res terrain or two...

    A primary stumbling block with making these ultra hi-res terrains is a lack of suitable source material... Freely available DEM's (realworld ground meshes or "heightmaps") are really limited to a maximum res of around 32m/pixel, whereas a true "microterrain" in the Arma 2 sense would require 5m/pixel - or less...
    There is some data available here and there at 5m resolution... for the UK for example... but it's really only available as Contour Line data, which can be a terrible fuss to translate into a useable ground mesh...

    The other alternative, of course, is to abandon the Real, or geoSpecific world, and make purely synthetic heightmaps at the required hi-res, using simulated geology to mimic the realworld with a geoTypical landscape...

    So that's what I did!
    and... it all worked out pretty well...
    I ended up with a bunch of fairly different heightmaps, all at 5m/pixel ground resolution - all 5.12km x 5.12km...

    Sadly the holidays are now over, my experiments are done, I learned a whole bunch of good stuff... time to return to my Major Projects...

    ... but it seemed a pity to waste such... typical little terrains... so I figured I'd polish them to release standard - even though they're essentially "wilderness" locations with no settlements - and release them on an Unsuspecting Public (that's you guys!)
    Since my Other Commitments mean I have no time to pursue these terrains further, I thought I'd also release the complete development source files for each... these will be of interest mainly to beginning terrain makers I guess...

    The Boring Bit
    Spoiler:



    Small Credits & Thanks Bit
    BIS - For Arma 2 of course!
    Tupolov - Map Intro Script (So simple even I could use it!)
    Kronzky - Urban Patrol Script (Instant intelligent wandering AI)
    Foxhound & Armaholic - Invaluable dev-space hosting!
    JR Walker - I finally read the instructions!!
    Shezan74 - World Tools!!!
    Wolle - He went on holiday!


    Final Bit
    Since these are largely empty landscapes - though there's vegetation & trees & stuff where appropriate - performance is likely to be pretty good on the whole, but all feedback is welcome on any aspect of the terrains... these guys were texture-practice playgrounds as well so feel free to unleash your criticisms about anything... it's all good to know...

    B

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Terrains
    First one below - I'll add others in subsequent posts as I package them properly...


    Afghan Valley, Ghor Province. Afghanistan.



    5.12km x 5.12km Terrain
    5m Ground Resolution



    This synthetic terrain represents a small eroded valley in central Ghor Province, Afghanistan.

    Heightmap - 2D


    Heightmap - 3D


    Ghor Province occupies the end of the Hindu Kush mountains. It is 2,500m above sea level and heavy snowfalls often block many of its rugged passes from November to April. It is also a drought-prone area in the summer.

    In this simulated terrain, continual ground rock freeze/melt cycles combined with annual snow melt has caused classic Sheet erosion, bringing surface material down from the hillslopes into the valley below - leaving characteristic exposed bedrock ridges above...



    Additionally, further Rill erosion is evident along the central valley floor - the result of spring snow melt runoff streams.




    I had great fun on this terrain using the BIS Town Generator module - for which it's ideal! - it's used in the in-game island "cutscene" too - a different town every time!
    You can also just about make out another random hillside town in one of the pics above...

    Using the BIS Town Generator Module
    In the Editor - place a player unit on the map, then place a "Town Construction Kit" module... press preview...
    Autogenerated towns are automatically named and act like "city centers", so an additional Ambient Civilians (expansion) module should produce not only a randomly generated but also inhabited town!

    For more information and additional module user parameters - read the Wiki Page

    Requirements
    * ArmA2 & Operation Arrowhead or Combined Operations

    Download
    Afghan Valley, Ghor Province v0.1
    Armaholic Mirror - thanks Big!
    Arma2Base.de Mirror - thanks Miller!
    ArmedAssault.info Mirror - Thanks OldBear!
    Also available on the Six Updater Network - thanks to Sickboy!

    Heavily Recommended Addons
    One of the side effects of creating these terrains was to force me to take a serious look at the BIS "infinite terrain" procedural land thingy...
    After a bit of messing about I've begun to think that it somehow looks at the edge or profile of the edge of the landscape and sort of extrapolates that with variations... Occasionally it does wierd stretchy things, but on the whole it works well, and in one or two cases such as a forthcoming Andes Mountains terrain - hugely impressively...

    For this reason, plus a few others, you DON'T need artificial hills painted on the horizon!
    On Takistan these actually work really well, and are embedded in the island, but since these terrains are based on Utes, you're going to see inappropriate hills where in some cases there shouldn't be any, and in other cases, there's pretty impressive procedural hills going off nicely into infinity... in either case you really don't want painted ones...

    JTD Clear Horizons removes those ugly painted mountains, so everything you see actually IS there...

    A permanent fixture in my "always on" addon folder, I heavily recommend it for viewing these terrains!



    *edit*
    I've just realised that although I credited the cutscene music in-game, I missed the details from the readme file...

    Some encouragingly rock sounds from Mirwais Sahab
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0d5E...K1sKYU&index=2


    B
    Last edited by Bushlurker; Sep 5 2011 at 17:20.

  2. #2
    Sounds great!

    Will DL and try, thx Bushlurker!

  3. #3
    Master Gunnery Sergeant ArmAriffic's Avatar
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    dling now
    Spoiler:

  4. #4
    Congrats on the release.
    IceBreakr, C/O [SBP] - Slovenian Black Panthers (www.vojak.si)

    Island Panthera v3.1 for Arma 3 - OUT NOW

  5. #5
    First Lieutenant CameronMcDonald's Avatar
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    Ah, I love new terrains.

  6. #6
    looks great wat sector size did u use ?

  7. #7
    If there's only too low-res real world heightmaps, it might be worth a try just to inflate them to the desired resolution and maybe add a random noise in order not to let it look too smooth. Then one would have to manually adjust only some details like road edges, ditches etc.

  8. #8
    Nice work man you still working on Scotland map am looking forward to playing and living on it

  9. #9
    First Sergeant Miller's Avatar
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    Thanks Bushlurker

    ArmA2Base.de Mirror:

    Afghan Valley, Ghor Province v0.1 by Bushlurker

    Kind regards
    Miller
    German ArmA News Pages


  10. #10
    CWR² Developer Bushlurker's Avatar
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    Author of the Thread

    Etah Plateau, Western Antarctica.


    Etah Plateau, Western Antarctica.


    5.12km x 5.12km Terrain
    5m Ground Resolution




    Next stop on the microterrain World Tour, this synthetic terrain represents a small area of Western Antarctica.

    Heightmap 2D


    Heightmap 3D


    Geologically, West Antarctica closely resembles the Andes mountain range of South America. (which comes later on the tour!)
    The most common rocks in West Antarctica are volcanics formed during the Jurassic period. There is also evidence of volcanic activity, even after the ice sheet had formed.

    From a landscape erosion perspective, this area of Antarctica is fairly inactive, the major factors being cliff-face shearing due to the extreme low temperatures, plus of course glacial movement of the ice-sheet... Everywhere else, it's a thick blanket of permanent snow.

    This simulated terrain attempts to capture all of these aspects within a small area... cliff-shearing terraces, ancient volcanics (there's a big crater), some directional glacial erosion and thick wind-drifted snow everywhere else...



    One interesting aspect of this terrain which I can take no credit for is the beautifully implemented geographic Latitude & Longitude variation built into the Arma 2 engine... with authentic Western Antarctica lat/long coordinates implemented on the terrain, for several months of the year the sun never fully sets...


    ...and at the other end of the year it never fully rises - occasionally with wierdly beautiful skies...



    Good 'ol BIS once again!


    Download
    Etah Plateau, Antarctica v0.1
    Armaholic Mirror - thanks again Big!
    Arma2Base.de Mirror - thanks to Miller!
    ArmedAssault.info Mirror - thanks again to OldBear!
    Also available on the Six Updater Network

    Heavily Recommended Addons
    JTD Clear Horizons removes those ugly painted mountains, so everything you see actually IS there...
    A permanent fixture in my "always on" addon folder, I heavily recommend it for viewing these terrains!
    ------------------------------------

    Requirements
    * ArmA2



    A few final words.....

    Firstly regarding the Source Files for these terrains... I've had a few quite detailed questions already - and I haven't even released them yet! which makes me think a more detailed read-me file will be required... not a tutorial by any means, but since a few of these terrains use World Tools, for example, in a very basic way, it'd be nice to package the appropriate files for that too, plus a few words on how everything fits together... Tup's excellent and totally idiot-proof (I use it!) map intro script needs a few words on implementation, etc...

    So I've decided I'll reserve this thread here in A&M Complete for just that - my version of the complete terrains... I'll open a seperate thread over in the Mapmakers Section sometime soon for the source files... all the terrains are based on the same template, so discussion about one is applicable to the others, plus it'll remove all that inevitable terrainguys-only technobabble to a Safe Place, where we won't confuse Casual Browsers...


    Secondly - Big Thanks to everyone who's downloaded and or commented, both here and elsewhere! Next stop on the Tour sees us back in the Northern Hemisphere and very close to home! (but not Scotland!)


    B
    Last edited by Bushlurker; Aug 8 2011 at 21:31.

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