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Foliage cover and drawing distance?

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One thing I really disliked (game ruiner imho)with ARMA2 was the short range of the foliage cover.

It was much easier to spot people 500m away, as there was NO graphical foliage there; than lets say 50m away, where the foliage was drawn.

It was way too easy to spot people lying on the ground hiding in the distance: In real-life there is no way you would see someone with camouflage clothing hiding behind a tree/bushes whatever 500m away.

In ARMA2 they stick out like......................<-fill in something suitable;)

Any improvement there in ARMA3?

Is ARMA3 using same graphic engine as ARMA2? Upgraded version? Different engine?

Looking forward to it!

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Take a look here and see for yourself :)

They are working on improving the light engine,effects colors etc, but no news on scalable vegetation draw distance as of yet.

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There will be little done with foliage draw distance because if it was to be drawn even 200m out videocards would burn and people would cry again that a futureproof game doesn't run well on maximum on their top system (because if it's a top system today it should handle everything totally no matter the detail. Derp)

BIS will increase the draw distance of bushes and other small objects akin to what McNools did at Hazar-Kot though. Oh and FYI in ArmA2 it's nigh to impossible to see anyone 500m away unless with optics.

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Maybe they'll add different draw distance settings for the different categories of objects. If not in the GUI, then in the config files. Who knows? :)

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There is no need for increasing draw distance of grass in order for effectively camo units in distance. There is a need for some kind of workaround - for example a shader that will be applied on units in distance and distort their models enough so that human eye would not notice them. Maybe even some kind of gradual model transparency would work.

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There is no need for increasing draw distance of grass in order for effectively camo units in distance. There is a need for some kind of workaround - for example a shader that will be applied on units in distance and distort their models enough so that human eye would not notice them. Maybe even some kind of gradual model transparency would work.

Could be that coupled with some kind of blurring, so that you can't recognize the model's edges. Because, even if the model is semi-transparent, you would likely still be able to see the edges, and thus clear distinction between a semi-transparent model and the terrain. Serious blurring (kind of like depth of field, but just around the model) would help to mask the unit in the distance. Now, that'd make camo a whole lot more useful. Cuz if you didn't have a uniform that has proper camouflage for the terrain, then you'd stick out.

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Could be that coupled with some kind of blurring, so that you can't recognize the model's edges. Because, even if the model is semi-transparent, you would likely still be able to see the edges, and thus clear distinction between a semi-transparent model and the terrain. Serious blurring (kind of like depth of field, but just around the model) would help to mask the unit in the distance. Now, that'd make camo a whole lot more useful. Cuz if you didn't have a uniform that has proper camouflage for the terrain, then you'd stick out.

Not necessary, if one could work out an opacity map system, they could easily create a gradient for it. No need to blur the image, just to make sure it blends a bit better with the background, especially when there's no movement...

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BIS will increase the draw distance of bushes and other small objects akin to what McNools did at Hazar-Kot though. Oh and FYI in ArmA2 it's nigh to impossible to see anyone 500m away unless with optics.

Not true, have your draw distance set to something more then 1000 and all you have to do is hold down the right mouse button. I've shot at things 500meters away,(IRL) salt block for horses to be exact with iron sights and could see it fine.

in this second half of video you can see me engaging ai at 500m with iron sights and killing them.Here also

---------- Post added at 04:43 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:38 PM ----------

There is no need for increasing draw distance of grass in order for effectively camo units in distance. There is a need for some kind of workaround - for example a shader that will be applied on units in distance and distort their models enough so that human eye would not notice them. Maybe even some kind of gradual model transparency would work.

Hell no I don't want pcs or AI to go invisible because they're a certain distance away, that's so fail specially in a arma game.

Edited by lsp

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It's a fact that your eyesight degrades with distance in a way that isn't reproduced on a screen. Some sort of distortion is far from a 'fail,' it's a bare minimum compensation for unrealistic advantages. Camouflage doesn't work in ARmA, at all.

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Not necessary, if one could work out an opacity map system, they could easily create a gradient for it. No need to blur the image, just to make sure it blends a bit better with the background, especially when there's no movement...

Oh, yeah. I was thinking of a straight transparency value for the entire model. A gradient would help. But that's about the same as blurring. Essentially, that's what blurring does (edges blend more into background). It'd produce the same effect, but the opacity map would probably be easier on systems.

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The main problem I see right now in arma2 is simple shadow draw distance. Of course foliage drawing distance and total new lightning engine are also part of this, but simply drawing shadows for any object on any distance will drastically improve things. Don't know how much GPU intense it will be, but that's a massive drawback personally for me right now. You can very easily spot targets on long-range, because they are shining against the background. In close combat it's a lot more harder (even without grass). Also one should be able to force them on dedicated server, otherwise any person can disable them and gain tremendous advantage over other people.

Screenshots for comparison:

shadowsc.jpg

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The ability to see people so easily from far away in arma is definitely something that needs to be improved. To me there are two problems.

At far distances units seem to loose there colour and turn from green or brown camoflauge to a dark blob of pixels which stands out against most backgrounds.

and

Foliage is not rendered from far distances so people thinking they are safely hidden behind tall grass, a bush or combination of the two will actually be very easy to see.

To fix the first problem I think some sort of gradient or blur, as mentioned already should be applied to make it harder to see units especially if they are stationary. I think the reason the characters seem darker at ranges is because the game tries to show the shading and shadows on the character even at far range, which results in some of the character appearing black and the some appearing normal coloured. Maybe disabling this shadowing effect at long ranges could help? Also, the ground needs to have better more complex textures. For me, the ground looks very plain; light green with large spans and swirls of slightly darker and lighter greens. It is easy to pick out something that doesn't fit in on this type of backdrop. If the ground textures had more variety and randomness at range I think that it would be harder to spot characters and would be closer to reality.

The second problem could be fixed by simply making the parts of characters covered up by grass slightly or fully transparent depending on the grass height and what not. I think this would be a much better solution than lowering the whole characters so he appears to be half under ground, which is what is implemented now. The entire character would never go 100% invisible however.

I think these changes or other similar changes would really be benificial to the game and they are one of the key things I think need to be improved in arma. It will lead to more realistic and interesting fights and tactics.

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Your vision may degrade but things don't go invisible, specially not at 500m. The above solution is a little better thought out, but it will still look funny having half invisible men walking around the battlefield so no thanks. Things like DOF and blur(better textures) would be more acceptable to me and maybe some form of super low res grass lod for distances. Honestly the way it is now isn't a huge issue for me it can be annoying yes, but there's other things in the game that are far worse(yay for arma3). Plus I don't play much pvp and if I did I would just exploit it anyway and turn the grass off.

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There is no need for increasing draw distance of grass in order for effectively camo units in distance. There is a need for some kind of workaround - for example a shader that will be applied on units in distance and distort their models enough so that human eye would not notice them. Maybe even some kind of gradual model transparency would work.

Not distort. A mere 75% transparency shader will be enough.

That way the soldier will keep the human form majorly and some background texture will also be added to it. That it's some unnatural shader won't be noticed at that distance.

Of course when looking through optics/coming closer - the shader should be removed.

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Speaking of optics, I really hope that when zoomed in, grass will appear farther away. especially when using high magnification weapons. it looks really ugly right now when you are shooting at a guy who appears to be on a totally grassless green plane and is half submerged in the ground. When zoomed in these shaders, gradients, transparencies, etc would need to be toned down or completely turned off depending on the magnification level.

but it will still look funny having half invisible men walking around the battlefield so no thanks.

It wouldn't be much different from what happens now where people are half sunk into the ground. and in most cases it would only be the feet of the character that are transparent. If prone it would be just the bottom few inches of the guys body missing. at the ranges these things would apply (200m+) you wouldn't be able to necessarily recognize that half a guy is magically invisible without some kind of optics. it would simply look like he is concealed behind some grass and only certain parts of him are visible through it. It would look bad if you zoomed in with a scope on him but like I said, hopefully grass and what not can be rendered further away if zoomed in.

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It's easy to say: yes, let's put 10000km distance view with all details. But when any computer can't handle it, then cry and says that this is not optimized...

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... that increased variation based on mipmaps could be worthy of deeper look. Aside of maybe even providing better looks overall, always found the ground textures, at distance, lacking in that department.

Hum...

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... that increased variation based on mipmaps could be worthy of deeper look. Aside of maybe even providing better looks overall, always found the ground textures, at distance, lacking in that department.

Agreed. Not only does the current map textures look bland and ugly but it doesnt really match the look of ground with clutter drawn on it.

In my opinion the ground needs to Be much more varied, random looking and detailed from far away. And it would be great to get rid of the big dark blotches that surround every piece of vegetation.

This will help with camoflauging units as well.

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Another idea I have is that the transparency (or something) could be applied on a model only where grass provide an obstacle between player and a unit in distance. I don't know if its technically possible in ARMA, but this way only some parts of a model would be affected exactly where grass is covering the model. The visible rest should be only distorted in order to simulate imperfections of human eye under circumstances of temperature, wind and so on (hard to simulate, I know). In real world human eye could have some real trouble in order to focus on a particular object while a cluttered surrounding is moving or have insufficient contrast between light and dark or contrast between colours etc. There is also a need for better simulation of perspective on units = objects in distance have more pale colours than objects near to you. This will also bring more depth to the picture.

All of this would make things more real (in terms of behaviour, not visuals) while not sucking our GPU power dry (no need for more textures and objects in the picture).

As for the grass suddenly visible while zoomed in, while I understand the purpose, the contrast between non-zoomed and zoomed state may be so distracting that it may be hard to realize where are you looking actually, but I don't have any idea for a workaround right now.

Anyway, there should definitely be something implemented in A3 in order to deal with this problems. It is a real PITA sometimes in both singleplayer and multiplayer games. It would make a combat much more thrilling and engaging.

(sorry for my non-native English)

Edited by Bouben

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Hi, in my opinion it can't be very improved for the general public because it depends on your machine's power; draw shadows over the distance will improve the game not only on this field that we're talking about, it'll also improve the general shape of the enviroment making it more realistic far away than the 50m of the grass & shadows drawing distance that we've now on the ArmA2, but as i've said... i think that this depends only of the hardware that you've. Let's C ya

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The hardware people have now should generally be much better than that 2 years ago. GPUs are still developing at a pretty good rate. Comparing the speeds we have now with what was top notch a few years ago I really hope they put more details for distant objects into the game - not just push more polygons and details etc into objects.

Getting more detailed ground texture when looking through scopes would be a good start. Now the far-away-textures vanish, while the people stick out just as clear as an object 10m away.

No way you can see a camouflaged person 300m away, through scope or not...

Look at this guy 2m away;) :

original.jpg

Also the 'people-turn-down-shadow-and-details' MessiaUA mentioned is a problem - but mostly for online gaming.

Same problem in Red Orchestra 2 - people get an advantage because they turn down detail level, shadows etc.

Looking at the videos it still seems Arma3 lack distant details imho...

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As for the grass suddenly visible while zoomed in, while I understand the purpose, the contrast between non-zoomed and zoomed state may be so distracting that it may be hard to realize where are you looking actually, but I don't have any idea for a workaround right now.

I think this is actually a good thing. Right now optics are very over powered imo and are to easy to spot with. and in real life the same thing happens when looking through any type of magnification. You are usually a bit disorientated at first because you are seeing things in so much detail. I think that adding the foliage to zoomed in images would be great because it would

increase immersion - imagine sniping. no longer would you be looking at a plane smooth green surface looking for the little piece of head sticking out of the ground, but rather scanning through actuall grass to find someones head just peeping out. In my opinion the latter sounds much better.

make spotting harder - the more varied grass clutter would make it much harder to pick out enemies, because there is not so much contrast between the ground and the unit. as of now looking at the flat grassless plane it is very easy to see the unit because he clearly stand out.

make optics a bit less overpowered - as I stated, optics will be a bit less powerful because there insane spotting advantage is toned down a bit.

IMO there would be no downside to implementing this type of thing. And if the RO2 style optics are implemented in arma 3 it would help you not be quite so disorientated while using magnification.

And as for hardware requirements, I think that the gradients, blurs transparencies etc. are a good work aoround that will not really require much better hardware and represent the clutter and shadows at a distance well enough.

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I think this is actually a good thing. Right now optics are very over powered imo and are to easy to spot with. and in real life the same thing happens when looking through any type of magnification. You are usually a bit disorientated at first because you are seeing things in so much detail.

I actually like the idea of disorientation now! You have a good point there. :)

Edited by Bouben

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