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Bush's Geotypical Microterrains (with source files).


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bushlurker
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#1

Posted 03 August 2011 - 22:19

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Bush's Geotypical Microterrains



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

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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 *

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

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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.

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

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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...


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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
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Heightmap - 3D
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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...

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

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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



B

Edited by Bushlurker, 05 September 2011 - 16:20.

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TheCrusader
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#2

Posted 03 August 2011 - 22:47

Sounds great!

Will DL and try, thx Bushlurker!

ArmAriffic
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#3

Posted 04 August 2011 - 06:31

dling now
Spoiler

icebreakr
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#4

Posted 04 August 2011 - 08:48

Congrats on the release.

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CameronMcDonald
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#5

Posted 04 August 2011 - 09:04

Ah, I love new terrains. :)

=kct=blackmamba
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#6

Posted 04 August 2011 - 09:34

looks great wat sector size did u use ?

Brainbug
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#7

Posted 04 August 2011 - 10:21

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.

Falcos
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#8

Posted 04 August 2011 - 12:22

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

miller
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#9

Posted 04 August 2011 - 20:37

Thanks Bushlurker :smile_o:

ArmA2Base.de Mirror:

Afghan Valley, Ghor Province v0.1 by Bushlurker

Kind regards
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bushlurker
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#10

Posted 04 August 2011 - 22:29

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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
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Heightmap 3D
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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...

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

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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... :D


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!)


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Edited by Bushlurker, 08 August 2011 - 20:31.

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kylania
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#11

Posted 04 August 2011 - 23:28

Great work Bush! I'm so happy these are being presented as tutorials as well. Might finally get the nerve up to build an island myself now. :)

Eaglezero6205
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#12

Posted 05 August 2011 - 02:55

BUGS TO REPORT. I installed the map via Main Arma 2 folder and Server keys in arma2 keys I have CO
When I went into the game all was fine. I selected the map and saw the maps banner image on the name of the map I went in and flew around a bit. Then I hit esc to exit and Clicked exit...I got a loading screen saying Afgah Valley Ghor Province like I was loading a mission...??? Then I waited for the screen to go back to where you click editor to go into the editor or click back to go to single player or multiplayer
I see a loading screen and its says loading This town,that town,that other town ect. then I see the map like I'm in game and it shows a cobra flying around then it starts showing in plain white text all the stuff about the map dead center of the screen like a mission intro. Good effort my friend but I'm gonna hold off on running anything on this map till its a bit less buggy and Upgraded. As usually when I click the exit button I exit to the proper screen not load the map again and then load all its towns and display map facts. I'm not complaining Just giving a detailed report. Constructive criticism if you will.

CameronMcDonald
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#13

Posted 05 August 2011 - 06:12

All I need now is a Mako to drive around these areas and a Shepard to make witty comments and I'll be set. :D

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#14

Posted 05 August 2011 - 06:24

@Eaglezero6205

What you were seeing was actually the terrain "intro" or "cutscene"... almost all islands have these - including the BIS ones... To a certain extent you're actually correct - they are missions... special missions that appear at specific times...
These times are - when you've just finished playing a mission on the terrain and you quit back to the main menu, or, when you've been fooling around on a terrain in the editor and you decide you've had enough and you - quit back to the main menu...

What you then see is the intro or cutscene for that particular terrain, usually accompanied by a bit of music...

I spent a bit of time with the weather & music of the cutscenes for these terrains, actually... I'm essentially trying to see if I can "sell" a synthetic terrain as a believable part of a realworld place and it's amazing how you can help that along with some appropriate music and a well-chosen time of day...

When the game starts at first it loads the "default" island - Utes usually... it's cutscene is the sweeping around the aircraft carrier one - so thats what you see when the game starts... you can switch that off and boot directly to an empty world, or boot to a different default island if you wish - via switches in your shortcut I can't instantly remember...
Thats the "default" world anyway - the aircraft hanger one you're used to seeing...

The cutscene that happens when you exit the editor is always the "last island used" in the editor... I guess if you wanted to, you could load an empty mission on Utes before hitting exit - then you'd end up back on the main menu with the Utes cutscene... but... this is normal game behaviour really... not a bug...

Quite a few terrain cutscenes feature a loading title screen - otherwise you'd just be looking at black screen anyway - a title is nice... the other logos and information lines are there partly to display the technique, so other terrain makers can take the islands apart later, see how all these things are done and apply them to their own work...
Having said all that, the cutscene for Afghan Valley is slightly more elaborate than normal... in order to illustrate the often-overlooked BIS Town Generator Module, the cutscene for that particular terrain takes an extra few moments to load two randomly generated towns for the cutscene AI to run around in...

Other terrains in the series leave the Town Generator alone - it really only works for Takistan buildings so on other terrains it just looks odd...

So... standard behaviour rather than a bug - good news for me since it means nothing major to fix... however, sorry if the town generator bit of the cutscene freaked you out slightly - it's making two towns on-the-fly as it loads the music, so it takes an extra couple of seconds and announces what it's doing too...

I'll add a little section to the first post mentioning the intro cutscenes actually... I really should say a few words about them anyway...


B

Edited by Bushlurker, 05 August 2011 - 22:30.

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malkekoen
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#15

Posted 05 August 2011 - 07:49

And add some AT-ATs and snowspeeders!

Devil Dogs SF
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#16

Posted 05 August 2011 - 07:49

Very fun terrains for being so small. Great for small fast paced ground missions, thanks :)

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#17

Posted 05 August 2011 - 12:09

Three words: ICE-STATION-ZEBRA!

Very nice terrains!

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#18

Posted 05 August 2011 - 13:01

Absolutely awesome bushlurker, my jaw hit the ground when I was flying round it, simplicity in itself but even since the OFP days I would say its the best arctic map ever made.

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#19

Posted 05 August 2011 - 16:48

Added to Six Updater Network:

@AfghanValley: http://stats.six-upd...5d-001517bd964c
@EtahPlateau: http://stats.six-upd...5d-001517bd964c

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#20

Posted 05 August 2011 - 19:39

thanks for sharing !

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:laugh:
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