Hello arma community members.
I've started a little project to see if I could make my own "map" for Arma. I'm Dutch so I figured why not try some Dutch scenery, which I will try to recreate as fateful as possible in the Arma2 engine, sticking close to a 1:1 scale.
I'm posting this thread to get some feedback and advise as I go along. After trying various different tools for terrain editing from the wiki and this forum I've ended up using Blender for pretty much everything and then exporting to a greyscale heightmap. Maybe I could expand on this if someone is interested in using the sculpting options in Blender for terrain editing or is interested in my workflow. Keep in mind this is my first try at terrain making in arma, I am however somewhat familiar with Blender.
I've chosen a small area 8km x 8km around the hill called de Grebbeberg for a couple of reasons.
First it's small (which may make it possible to work at a smaller cell-size), but also because it's a very interesting area. It is pretty diverse terrain (for Dutch standards anyway) with a river, channels, dykes, but also the hill as the main strategic area.
Also it is an historically important area and key part of the Dutch defensive line called the Grebbelinie. In the Netherlands it is most famous from World War 2, where the German army concentrated it's forces on this area and the Dutch even managed to fight them to a standstill for 3 (whole) days. The germans suffered some pretty hefty losses and nicknamed the hill der Teufelsberg (devils mountain) which I'm considering of using as a name.
I'll try to post some screenshots later today.
I need some help with the following:
First up, materials. I have gotten a simple version of the map into visitor3 and copied the materials from the tutorial island of the wiki. The terrain even shows up in buldozer with my crude satellite image as texture, but after packing it in a pbo and running it in arma2oa I get an error message about not finding an rvmat with a lot of zeros and I get a white untextured terrain. Any ideas on how I could solve this problem?
Also when placing a unit in the editor and previewing the map, a couple of seconds after the map has started, my player character suddenly gets injured for no apparent reason, sometimes even dying on the spot. I'd like to know what could be causing this.
Last I've got some questions about cell-sizes and performance. Ideally I'd like to use the smallest cell-size possible so I can add in trenches and gullies and such, but still have a pretty decent framerate albeit with a short view distances. I've searched the net but I couldn't find anything about a limit for cellsizes. Smallest cell-size for this map in a 1 to 1 scale would be 2m in a 4096x4096 grid. Before I waste a lot of time making small details I'd like to know how far I can go, before running into memory problems or something like that. Any insight in this is more than welcome.
Another peculiar thing I've noticed is that framerates seem to be heavily affected by the smoothness of the terrain without changing cell or grid size. My first tests were with a low bit depth grayscale image and not using the full range from black to white, the result was a very ugly blocky landscape made up from flat terraces instead of smooth hills and horrible framerates. Later I managed to produce a better quality heightmap which resulted in a smooth landscape and proper slopes but surprisingly also a much improved framerate. Does that mean that for a decent framerate I'll also have to take into account the number of changes in elevation before deciding on a cellsize?
Google drive link with fairly recent versions of this WIP