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Thread: Bush's Geotypical Microterrains - Source Files & Beginners Guide

  1. #41
    Thank you for the detailed and helpful replies. I finally got everything working - and of course, the solution was something ridiculously easy.

    I was using the latest Arma2P, but apparently not the latest BI tools, even though I downloaded them from the wiki. Suffices to say there was some conflict with the old BI tools and all the config files from ca folder. All I had to do, is download the latest BI tools. Something so simple to overlook! Anyway, thanks again. Luckily everything works fine now. I imagine most people would have given up by now though.

    Hopefully my findings will help somebody else too.

    Binarize.exe has stopped working, binpbo crashing...
    Last edited by Mayrhofen; Apr 23 2012 at 15:15.

  2. #42
    Great tutorial really helpful. I was wondering if you could comment on actually adding a building to this, I know it's not really the scope of the tutorial but I'm using it at a base since it came out correctly.

    I was going through Mondkalb Terrain Tutorial, which touches on it but seems to be incomplete(or outdated). It looks like you only need to add the additional 'packs' in requiredAddons[] field in the config.cpp. While that is enough to get an binpbo log with no errors, ingame it just throws a 'cannot open object' error and loads nothing where the building should be. Could you comment on this or point me in a direction that this topic is covered in a little more depth? Thanks.

  3. #43
    CWR² Developer Bushlurker's Avatar
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    Hi there.....

    Glad you found the tutorial helpful!
    As you've noticed, it's more of an "introduction" than a "complete how-to"... mainly designed to ease people through that initial "set up and have a go" stage... Sooner or later I'll get around to writing an additional chapter or two to cover some of the "next steps", though at the moment and for the currently forseeable future I'm neck-deep in commercial terrain work, so it might be a while....

    Anyhow..... a fast summary.....

    Your primary "objects bank" is of course, the Arma2/OA assets... these were unpacked for you at the initial setup stage by good 'ol Arma2P (hopefully), so you should have a P:\CA\ folder which contains all the standard game objects laid out in the correct folder structure... Don't mess with this structure! - just add the models you want to use into Visitors "Natural" or "Artificial" objects sections and use them on your terrain...
    In game, since that P:\CA\ setup mimics the Game's internal structure, all the objects will be "found" and used no problems...

    External 3rd party model packs work in exactly the same way.... You need to find out what their internal structure is - and mimic that on your P:\ drive... let's pick a popular one and take a look at a practical example....

    Eeeh..... let's look at Berghoff's African Foliage as a popular example of an external models pack...

    OK... you've decided you're going to use these trees in your project, you've downloaded the latest Berghoff pack and the result was a "brg_africa_1.23" zip file..... unzip that, and you find the important stuff - "brg_africa.pbo" and it's associated .brg.bisign file.

    Since you'll be using these trees on your terrain, they're now a "required addon"... you'll need this pack loaded along with your terrain when it comes to game-time, so stick a copy of both files in your terrain modfolder - that way they'll always load with your terrain when it comes to in-game testing/play...
    Of course - when you release your terrain to the public - they'll need a copy of Berghoff's trees too, so you'll either include it in your download, or just tell people it's a requirement... it's a popular pack - they may have it already...

    Finally - and you've spotted this bit in Mondkalb's tutorial already - you need to tell your actual terrain itself that it "requires" the trees pack, so - note the actual name of the trees pack... "brg_africa.pbo" - you'll want to add this to the "required addons" section at the beginning of your config.cpp... like this...

    Code:
     requiredAddons[] = {"Takistan","brg_africa"};
    OK..... now - just like Arma2P did automatically with the main game assets - you need to unpack this addon to your P:\ drive... but... where do you put it??

    Arma2P knew where to put all the main game content - it assembled it in a rigidly correct order - all in P:\CA\subfolders... how did it know where to put stuff???

    Unpack "brg_africa" with whatever pbo unpacking tool you use - such as Mikero's "Eliteness"... you'll get a "brg_africa" folder containing all the models, with a "Data" subfolder containing all the textures... there'll be a config too, but the file we really want to take a look at is called "$PBOPREFIX$...

    This is the file that Arma2P reads,,, the main Game reads it too... take a look at it in notepad... it reads "brg_africa" and nothing else...

    Now.... imagine a "P:\" tacked on to the beginning of that.....

    ...this is where you MUST put the unpacked folder on your P:\ drive!

    So - place the "brg_africa" folder directly on to your P:\ directory, so you have "P:\brg_africa\<all the tree models>"

    Now you can launch Visitor, add the trees to your "Natural Objects" selection - from that location - and use them on your terrain as normal...
    When it comes to in-game testing, the terrain will find all the correct assets in the expected places and everything should be fine....



    B
    Last edited by Bushlurker; May 20 2012 at 04:54.


  4. #44
    Hi....

    Bushlurker you go well beyond the call of duty in helping us all..... really superb tutorial.....Thankyou....

    I too have been having the binarizing problems that others had (still to work out my problems, but I have a few ideas now).

    I wanted to let everyone know of a source of terrain files for the whole UK.... for free.... legally..... legit...

    (http://www.mapmaker.com/downloads/gb/Download.htm#start)

    In each .zip file you will discover 7 files all geo-coordinated to the OS GB national grid.

    One of them is a .ter file which is the terrain file (contour height map).

    I used the mapmaker free trial version (30days)

    (http://www.mapmaker.com/download.asp) to convert them from .ter to xyz. format, then use L3DT

    (http://www.bundysoft.com/L3DT/downloads/) to export a .bmp (convert to greyscale and 16bit , make a .pbl file) and import into Visitor 3 .... simples ????

    A bit convoluted, perhaps someone will find a more direct route....

    Then you can use the .tif file (or bmp or jpg, maps of the area) from the same .zip as a satellite drape.... I also took satellite screenshots from google maps and draped those over as well.

    VERY quick once you have worked out all the resolution/ import issues.... I can do a 20km x 20km terrain (USING REAL DATA) in half an hour; and imported (without any objects of course) into ARMA2. Seriously freaky to fly a Merlin over your own house, while sitting at the PC....

    I only hope that all this terraining will be useful for ARMA 3 when it comes out.

    Anyways... thanks again Bushlurker

  5. #45
    CWR² Developer Bushlurker's Avatar
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    Glad you found the tutorial helpful!

    I too have been having the binarizing problems that others had (still to work out my problems, but I have a few ideas now).
    Most problems are something simple... triplecheck everything from start to finish and if you're still stuck - ask! Someone will almost always be able to help if you post a reasonably coherent question.....

    I wanted to let everyone know of a source of terrain files for the whole UK.... for free.... legally..... legit...

    (http://www.mapmaker.com/downloads/gb/Download.htm#start)
    Impressive find! Well done! And thanks very much for sharing the link!

    Coincidentally, just days after your post, I was asked to prep a little chunk of British coastline as a "feasibility study" terrain demo - an ideal chance to try out this fast access, minimum fuss basic data.....

    First thing I did, after downloading a few relevant grid subsections, was to load all the data into Global Mapper.... that worked fine in all cases - from there following my usual routine, same as yourself, I had a "here you go - have a fly around" demo working in-game within an hour! Brilliant!...

    However, as I usually do, I tried the same data direct to some of the "free options" software - not everyone has access to GM...

    The ".ter" heightmap files seem to be some sort of variation on the "terragen" format, however, Terragen itself doesn't seem to like them, neither does L3DT, Leveller, Qgis, or any other normally ".ter" compliant program I tried - apart from Global Mapper, which seems to load just about anything...
    Since they load fine into Mapmaker demo itself, I suspect the headers for these files have been tweaked - something which most other programs trip over, but GM simply ignores...

    Still - Mapmaker itself is available as a demo, so if you wanted to use this data that'd be your best bet - for these slightly odd .ter heightmaps at least...

    I used the mapmaker free trial version (30days)

    (http://www.mapmaker.com/download.asp) to convert them from .ter to xyz. format, then use L3DT

    (http://www.bundysoft.com/L3DT/downloads/) to export a .bmp (convert to greyscale and 16bit , make a .pbl file) and import into Visitor 3 .... simples ????

    A bit convoluted, perhaps someone will find a more direct route....
    Once you've exported your .xyz from Mapmaker, technically you could go direct to Visitor if you like - it accepts .xyz imports, though L3DT's a good choice for coastline tweaking, etc...

    Depending on the resolution you exported the .xyz from Mapmaker in, you might also want to do some cell-size resampling in L3DT... these basic .ter files seem to be derived from British Ordnance Survey data - approx 50m res...

    Once you're done in L3DT, again, you can use .xyz as your export format - it'll load directly to Visitor3 without any need for the .pbl file stage....

    The other enclosed files with these "tilesets" are handy too - basically they're raster "street/topo" maps in two different scales... most useable is the ".tif" file which is roughly comparable with ready made Open Streetmap level-of-detail... very useful for roads planning, etc...

    These .tif files DO load quite happily in Qgis and most other suitable programs - no messing with headers there... They come with .tfw "worldfiles" which plant them where they're supposed to go in GIS programs - no problems at all...

    (But no matching ".prj" projection file however.... use "British Grid" on import, with your project configured for "UTM WGS1984" for best results...)

    VERY quick once you have worked out all the resolution/ import issues.... I can do a 20km x 20km terrain (USING REAL DATA) in half an hour; and imported (without any objects of course) into ARMA2. Seriously freaky to fly a Merlin over your own house, while sitting at the PC.
    Once you get your head around the basics, if you have data available it's surprising just how fast you can throw a terrain in-game! Impresses people no end...


    I only hope that all this terraining will be useful for ARMA 3 when it comes out.
    Basic structures and procedures, the basic fileset you're learning to use - none of these will change substantially in Arma 3, so pretty much everything you're learning right now will be relevant and will be handy in the future....

    And it's fun too!.....


    B
    Last edited by Bushlurker; Sep 24 2012 at 12:46.

  6. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by Bushlurker View Post
    Once you get your head around the basics, if you have data available it's surprising just how fast you can throw a terrain in-game! Impresses people no end...
    Oh you sly fox you, you make it sound so easy. It were remarks like these that got me in the howhardcoulditbe-mindset, now look at the mess I'm in.

    Got to hand it to you though, there are worse ways to spend your time.

  7. #47

    file*.log

    HI! Congratulations for tutorial.É the best I found, very explanatory.

    I wish I could explain these lines of log file (after bin):

    1 -Cannot register unknown string STR_STATE_HEALSOLDIER (many lines)

    2 - Warning: CfgVehicles missing in PreloadConfig - may slow down vehicle creation (many lines)

    3 - Updating base class ->UAV, by p:\bush\ca\air2\mq9predatorb\config.cpp/CfgVehicles/MQ9PredatorB/ (many liness)

    4 - bush\afghanvalley\data\layers\p_004-012_n_n_l02.rvmat->P:\Bin_Temp\bush\afghanvalley\data\layers\p_004-012_n_n_l02.rvmat (many lines lol)

    5 _ Warning: Embedded material ca\plants_e\clutter\data\c_grass_desert.rvmat differs - repack data
    source used: ca\plants_e\clutter\c_brush_hard_ep1.p3d
    source ignored: ca\plants_e\clutter\c_plants_white_ep1.p3d
    hint: ca\plants_e\clutter\c_brush_hard_ep1.p3d is older


    This is the ingame map. I think you're missing some clutters....(or not?)

    This is the AfghanValley unchanged. I do not see all the clutters .. (something wrong?)





    tks!
    Last edited by VovoNauta; Sep 28 2012 at 16:27.

  8. #48
    CWR² Developer Bushlurker's Avatar
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    Oh you sly fox you, you make it sound so easy.
    It is pretty easy, you should know that by now Joe!

    It were remarks like these that got me in the howhardcoulditbe-mindset, now look at the mess I'm in.
    And look at the fun you're having!

    there are worse ways to spend your time.
    No kidding!
    I do this stuff for a living nowadays, so - I make terrains all day and then, in the evenings, I... make terrains!

    As a result I've got quite practised with the "basics" but, some things never change...

    Miro, Earl, Richard_K... these people are the Giants of pro terrain-making... I read their tutorials, apologise for disturbing them then ask them totally dumb questions on Skype or via PM.... Sound familiar???

    ----------------------
    HI! Congratulations for tutorial.É the best I found, very explanatory.
    You're very welcome - delighted you've found it useful....

    1 -Cannot register unknown string STR_STATE_HEALSOLDIER (many lines)
    Ignore all these sort of messages - they aren't "errors" as such... it's just the "P:\drive version" of the game not recognising lines in.... your buldozer.profile file probably... no matter - autoignore string errors like these...

    2 - Warning: CfgVehicles missing in PreloadConfig - may slow down vehicle creation (many lines)
    Same as above - Development tools hiccup - it doesn't slow things down afaik - ignore these too...

    3 - Updating base class ->UAV, by p:\bush\ca\air2\mq9predatorb\config.cpp/CfgVehicles/MQ9PredatorB/ (many liness)
    Once again - this is just the Dev Tools not quite agreeing with the more up-to-date game content you have unpacked onto P:\ - don't worry about this sort of message either - you'll see a lot of them... Safe to ignore...

    4 - bush\afghanvalley\data\layers\p_004-012_n_n_l02.rvmat->P:\Bin_Temp\bush\afghanvalley\data\layers\p_004-012_n_n_l02.rvmat (many lines lol)
    No kidding! - there will be many - this is more "reporting" than "error or warning" - it's just saying what it's doing.... no problems here... if there weren't such messages you'd have cause for concern...

    5 _ Warning: Embedded material ca\plants_e\clutter\data\c_grass_desert.rvmat differs - repack data
    source used: ca\plants_e\clutter\c_brush_hard_ep1.p3d
    source ignored: ca\plants_e\clutter\c_plants_white_ep1.p3d
    hint: ca\plants_e\clutter\c_brush_hard_ep1.p3d is older
    I see this one all the time too - not absolutely sure of the exact cause for this one... dodgy OA model I suspect... however, in practise, it seems to make no practical difference, so I ignore this one too - so far without noticing any ill-effects...

    So - you're in luck... there's no actual showstopper "errors" here at all - nothing to be concerned about... Good that you noticed them though - and asked!... The .log is a Handy Thing... when real errors do occur - that's the first place to look...

    One point I should mention....In several of the paths above it says "P:\bush\etc\etc"... this betrays the fact you have the sample files in a P:\"Bush" namespace...
    That's cool as a "quick check" of the source files (they work fine), but it's no substitute for actually following through the tutorial - actually doing the laborious line-by-line renaming and repathing... In the future you'll usually just mass-rename, or search-'n-replace to do this sort of job, but first time around, its a good idea to do it manually... it makes you look at the files you're using line-by-line, and as a by product you start to gain an inkling of what they do and how they work, which in turn will stand you in good stead when you "go freestyle" and have a go at your own first project from scratch...

    Anyhow... good luck with that - any issues, ask here!

    *edit
    This is the ingame map. I think you're missing some clutters....(or not?)

    This is the AfghanValley unchanged. I do not see all the clutters .. (something wrong?)
    Actually - I'm pretty sure that IS all the clutter there's supposed to be... it's pretty sparse... you can change that of course - see "CfgSurfaces.hpp" in the Guide...

    B

  9. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by Bushlurker View Post
    It is pretty easy, you should know that by now Joe!
    Touche. I have indeed nobody to blame but myself for making things hard by making a map riddled with waterways.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bushlurker View Post
    Miro, Earl, Richard_K... these people are the Giants of pro terrain-making... I read their tutorials, apologise for disturbing them then ask them totally dumb questions on Skype or via PM.... Sound familiar???
    It does sound familiar indeed and I'm still very grateful for your patience and help. I bow my head to the new master of pro terrain-making.

  10. #50
    CWR² Developer Bushlurker's Avatar
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    It does sound familiar indeed and I'm still very grateful for your patience and help
    .... didn't mean that personally or anything.... just meant that I'm a beginner all over again myself!


    B

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