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#1725640 - 04/11/05 11:05 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Maybe height from data file * default multiplier in CA.INI = actual height in metres?
Yes, that sounds correct. What I meant was, I don't think the data is presented in meters in the height maps, hence the need for the multiplier. My guess is, they computed the range of altitudes in the map, broke it into increments of 256, and then used the multiplier to scale it to meters. I can't think of any other technique that would work well, given the limited 8-bit format they're working with. (now watch somebody blow my whole theory out of the water) \:\)


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#1725641 - 04/11/05 11:12 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Keith,

I've tried your map file and with both versions you posted, I get an error message "Component 'comdlg32.ocx' or one of its dependencies not correctly registered: a file is missing or invalid"


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#1725642 - 04/11/05 12:09 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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EL - sorry about that, hadn't thought that not everyone would have the MS Common Dialog Control.
I will make an installable version, but you can also doenload the controls seperately, eg from here
-----------
Quote:
Keith and Polak will have light bulbs appear over their heads, and they will post remarkable things about the lessons learned from the terrain construction tools used for Gunship and Strike Fighters. In fact, TK's SF Terrain Editor and the Gunship height and tile maps may well be heading for a new home...
Matt - I think the SFTerrain editor could be used to create terrains that could then be imported into Longbow - the 16 bit height maps have to be converted to 8-bit and the horizontal resolution would need reworking, and a header would need inventing, but its feasible...
I'm not sure if LB uses tiles, from memory I think maybe the PALette files apply directly to the 3D map somehow?
Can't currently run it to check.


Cheers,
Keith

#1725643 - 04/11/05 12:40 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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I'm not sure if LB uses tiles, from memory I think maybe the PALette files apply directly to the 3D map somehow?
LB2 is using tiles, but they are not repeatable tiles. Theay are all unique - the entire terrain 50x50 km sliced into 144 tiles. That is the entire new beauty of this system, because presents the possibility of creating small entire photorealistic pieces of the world to play on.

Higher resoulution of those terrain may still pose some challenge even for most modern graphic cards, but it may be interesting to explore.

More similarities is here with the tank sims than flight sims as far as terrain is concerned.
Does this sound interesting or appealing to use SB or SB2 terrains? Perhaps...

#1725644 - 04/11/05 03:18 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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My guess is, they computed the range of altitudes in the map, broke it into increments of 256, and then used the multiplier to scale it to meters. I can't think of any other technique that would work well, given the limited 8-bit format they're working with. (now watch somebody blow my whole theory out of the water)
EL,
I have reviewed and studied more carefully your way of thoughts about that "Terrain Height" factor. The more I am thinking of it it looks to me that horizontal dimmensions are also involved here.

It looks to me that whats "throws off" slightly logic here is that factor for AZR map is different than NTC. It should not really be different if it was to be in absolute scale. But since there is no connection between those 2 maps and of course real world for that matter, to exagerrate mountains in AZR map the rate vertical/horizontal was increased.

Assuming that what I am suggesting here is plausible, the question still remains : what is the 1(vertical) :1(horizontal) true scale factor?

#1725645 - 04/11/05 09:09 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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I've updated LBMap as there was a 'feature' causing long delays on loading.
It no longer reads the MAP file on selection to find max and min heights.
Available
here
-----
Looking into the MAP files,
_UL is the ultra-low resolution map - 6 x 6 tiles, starting bottom left
_L is low-resolution - 36 sets of 2 x 2 tiles
_M is medium-resolution - 36 sets of 4 x 4 tiles
_H is high-resolution - 36 sets of 8 x 8 tiles
in all cases each set of tiles maps onto the equivalent tile in _UL.
IE the first 64 tiles in _H equates to the first tile in _UL
So the _H file has 64 x the number of heights that the _UL file has.

All these files are simple height maps, I don't see any colour information.
I think thats in the PALette files, dont know how they map onto the terrain though.

EL the sea in Azer6 is the Caspian, the height file maps it at height 68. I know its an inland sea but is it that high?
Has anyone found topological data for Azerbaijan or the Caspian area?

The PVS files are Visibility, dont know the format yet.

Would it be most usefull to visualise the palette files next in LBMap, or work on laying out the _H _M _L files correctly?

Cheers,
Keith

#1725646 - 04/11/05 09:35 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
Has anyone found topological data for Azerbaijan or the Caspian area?
Funny that you asked Keith. Its below the sea level -28.something m below sea level. Which sea? Whichever is nearest I think :rolleyes: .
Let us talk some more that Terrain Height stuff.

Your map tool is INVALUABLE !!!

#1725647 - 04/11/05 10:25 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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i have a question about the CA.ini. it might have been answered before, but this thread is freakin long now!!
I was looking through it and found the GRAPHICS section, which has 3 options for trees:
Trees=0
TreeDetail=0
TreeSamples=0
does this mean that they might have planned on including trees? or is this something totally different?
also, a lot of options look like simple on/off switches( 1 for on, 0 for off). But then there are several with higher numbers:
SmokeDensity=2
SmokeEffectFx=2
ObjectDetail=2
MeshDetail=2
what if one was to increase these? or are they already maxed out? just curious. I'd try it out, but I'm having some troubles getting lb2 to run right now \:\(

#1725648 - 04/11/05 11:13 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
SmokeDensity=2
SmokeEffectFx=2
ObjectDetail=2
MeshDetail=2
I've already set SmokeDensity=3 and SmokeEffectFx=3 and it increses the realism of the Hellfire and burning vehicle atmospheric smoke effects in-game. I haven't tried changing the other 2 yet, but I will do that tonight. Realize that these parameters are overwritten when you use ALT+O (options screen) and chage graphics settings in-game, the sliders for detail, etc write their state to the CA.INI file when you "accept". I believe the range for all 4 is 0-3, but I'll verify that tonight.
Quote:
_UL is the ultra-low resolution map - 6 x 6 tiles, starting bottom left
_L is low-resolution - 36 sets of 2 x 2 tiles
_M is medium-resolution - 36 sets of 4 x 4 tiles
_H is high-resolution - 36 sets of 8 x 8 tiles
in all cases each set of tiles maps onto the equivalent tile in _UL.
IE the first 64 tiles in _H equates to the first tile in _UL
So the _H file has 64 x the number of heights that the _UL file has.
So, by stacking the 4 tile sets, you actually arrive at a height map with 32-bit resolution, correct? When LB2 is loading a new map set, it describes the process as decompressing 1)High detail texture 2)Medium detail texture 3)Low detail texture 4)Height field 5)Height field min. 6)Height field max. 7)Type field
I have no idea what a "type field" is, maybe you do?
Caspian sea is at -28m as of 2005, Polak is correct.


A7N8X Dlx., 2700+@3200 settings, 9700Pro, Sony 17" Trinitron, Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers. WinXP Pro.
#1725649 - 04/12/05 12:51 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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the trees options did nothing (that i could see). I thought maybe that the "trees" already in the game (really the 2d tiles with 'trees' painted on them) were a layer added on to the terrain; and that the settings would change only their detail. but it looks as though its all one tile-set (as you probably already knew).
as for the meshdetail, it looks like it sets the 'roughness' of the terrain; the higher it's set, the more gradual the elevation changes.
the ObjectDetail just increases the pollys and textures for the objects (kind of guessed that one)

#1725650 - 04/12/05 02:35 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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SmokeDensity=3
SmokeEffectFx=3
ObjectDetail=3
MeshDetail=3
will all work fine in-game. I'm not convinced going from 2 to 3 was any big improvement, but you might find it more to your liking.


A7N8X Dlx., 2700+@3200 settings, 9700Pro, Sony 17" Trinitron, Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers. WinXP Pro.
#1725651 - 04/12/05 02:55 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
Would it be most usefull to visualise the palette files next in LBMap, or work on laying out the _H _M _L files correctly?
Keith,

What exactly you mean here? Each of the post on this forum carries such a load of new things and informations or questions that allow me to slow down and ask again.

#1725652 - 04/12/05 04:07 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Wow guys. I'm with Jane's TSH, and just reading along other forums. Its great to see that LB is on a happy modding road.

Cheers S!

P.S. Hi Polak. \:D

#1725653 - 04/12/05 04:48 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Hi Rudel,
while we're all waiting for something to happen for F/A-18 join in here. Great skinners and 3D artists like you could be neded at any moment. \:\)

LB2 has been waiting quite a while for well deserved upgrade. I looked at manual, oh my 1997, is this possible that pretty soon will be a decade since it was released? Simply unbelievable how this time flies \:\(

#1725654 - 04/12/05 06:49 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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hehe. Has it really been that long?! 1997? Crap...where have I been? I have Longbow 2. I knew there were some talks about the terraina loong time ago, but I never knew it have gotten this far. Great work man.

If skinning ever becomes possible I will definately help out...

As a matter of fact...even though I am deployed to Honduras, I brought all my sims with me. \:D LB2 it sitting on the cup holder as we speak..hehe.

#1725655 - 04/12/05 07:49 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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EL,
Quote:

So, by stacking the 4 tile sets, you actually arrive at a height map with 32-bit resolution, correct?
Sorry, no. The heights are still 0-255.
The tile sets sub-divide, so the first tile set in _H ( 8 tiles by 8 tiles, 4194304 data points) overlay the first tile in _UL (65536 data points).
The height-points are much closer together horizontally.
If you open ter_h.map in LBMap, and display just the first 8*8 tiles, the image is the same as the very first tile in ter_ul.map, just 64 times bigger.
If each map is 50KM by 50KM, the UL file would be at 32Metre resolution, the H file at 4Metre resolution.
I suspect the maps may be larger than 50*50, do we know for sure?

1)High detail texture TER_H.map?
2)Medium detail texture TER_M.map?
3)Low detail texture TER_L.map?

Isnt there an ultra-low texture?
And a visibility file?

4)Height field
5)Height field min.
6)Height field max.

I think the height fields are abstract variants of the first three, maybe for use in collision detection, visibility calculations etc

7)Type field
May be used in deciding which palette to apply to an area.

Quote:
Caspian sea is at -28m as of 2005, Polak is correct.
We need a max height for the mountains to compare, then we should be able to calculate the constant factor.

-------
Polack, my plan for LBMap next is to unravel the tiling described above, so we can get a complete high-resolution map as a mono-bitmap.

The next step would be to reverse the process, ie turn mono-bitmap into a set of tiled MAP files that LB2 can use.
For that to work we probably also need to decode the other terrain files though.

Cheers,
Keith

#1725656 - 04/12/05 08:19 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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1)High detail texture TER_H.map?
2)Medium detail texture TER_M.map?
3)Low detail texture TER_L.map?

Isnt there an ultra-low texture?
And a visibility file?
Yes, there is an Ultra-Low Detail message, it just went by so fast I missed it the first time, sorry. It loads after Low Detail Texture, so it would be #4. I did not see a visibility file message, maybe just when you start the campaign, instead of replacing maps? I'll try doing that and see.
Quote:
High detail texture TER_H.map?
That's what I'm thinking, too. It's logical.
Quote:
I suspect the maps may be larger than 50*50, do we know for sure?
The decompressed map, as used in the game, is 50kMX50Km at any one time, but as you progress in the campaign, it erases from the left and adds to the right, replacing ~8kM per advance. Therefore, the entire DEM should be ~66km East-West and 50kM North-South. Does that sound right? I put up a Web page with screen shots of the Nav Map, but only the first 4 are correct, the last 2 are just placeholders for now. Look here:
Nav Maps
Quote:
7)Type field - May be used in deciding which palette to apply to an area.
Yes, I think there must be a data set determining that, due to the fact that near some of the towns you have fields that are planted in rows. I'm thinking the snow patches are also coded in, due to the way they hug the shaded side of the valleys. We really might learn something by replacing a map with a dummy that contains all zeros (or 28) and see what the effect is. Have you tried anything like that? Good stuff, I wish I had you experience with this. Let me know if I can do any grunt work for you, the family's on vacation and I have pretty much nothing to do for a while.


A7N8X Dlx., 2700+@3200 settings, 9700Pro, Sony 17" Trinitron, Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers. WinXP Pro.
#1725657 - 04/12/05 08:32 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Polak:
Quote:
It looks to me that whats "throws off" slightly logic here is that factor for AZR map is different than NTC. It should not really be different if it was to be in absolute scale.
Does the NTC map also update as you advance in the campaign? (I haven't flown that in so long I can't remember).
In Azr, as the campaign progresses, more of the East side is revealed (and the West side is suppressed) as your forces advance. If the NTC campaign does the same thing, ignore this. If you see the entire NTC map from beginning-to-end, it may explain the size difference. From what I'm seeing, the "strips" added are close to 8kM wide, so your previous calculations look to be correct. Is the ratio of NTC to AZR about 1.32:1 horizontally?


A7N8X Dlx., 2700+@3200 settings, 9700Pro, Sony 17" Trinitron, Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers. WinXP Pro.
#1725658 - 04/12/05 11:59 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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LB2 has never left my harddrive. *NEVER* since I bought it in 1998. Of course it has been transferred from one harddrive to another as they improved.

So that is a testament to the quality of this sim. All it needs is a good tuneup hopefully you guys can do it. There's alot of folks, and I mean ALOT of folks who would happily reinstall or rebuy this sim.


"College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life" - Paul Ryan
#1725659 - 04/12/05 12:32 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
Does the NTC map also update as you advance in the campaign?
Yes, I believe it advances as you fight (and win \:\) ) from west to east. In fact I have put together this 3 part map and each overlaps itself 50% with the other adjacent part.

NTC is just a single map theater, but size of the single map in each case is the same 50x50 km. Are they not? Where is that 8 km strip?

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