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#1725560 - 04/02/05 04:49 PM LB2 modding - extracting files  
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I decided to open new tread instad of ols "let the modding begins".

Here is short update of my search:

dobjects.obj
-------------------------------------------------
bmp 51 false alarm
tga 1129 false alarm
16 bit fnt 1 false alarm
8 bit fnt 83594 false alarm
Autodesk FLI Animation 1 false alarm
Autodesk FLC Animation 15 false alarm
Playstation TIM Type 2 65 FOUND !
Playstation TIM Type 8 28 FOUND !
Playstation TIM Type 9 73 FOUND !
Standard EXE found 31 false alarm
total files extracted 166

fobjects.obj
-------------------------------------------------
bmp 51 false alarm
tga 256 1129 false alarm
16 bit fnt 1 false alarm
8 bit fnt 83594 false alarm
Autodesk FLI Animation 1 false alarm
Autodesk FLC Animation 15 false alarm
Playstation TIM Type 2 65 FOUND !
Playstation TIM Type 8 28 FOUND !
Playstation TIM Type 9 73 FOUND !
Standard EXE found 31 false alarm
total files extracted 166

dobjects.tex
-------------------------------------------------
bmp 66 false alarm
tga true 24 2 FOUND!
16 bit fnt 486 false alarm
8 bit fnt 1745 false alarm
DSMi Module 11 false alarm
Standard EXE found 16 false alarm
total files extracted 2

fobjects.tex
-------------------------------------------------
bmp 75 false alarm
tga 256 2 FOUND!
tga true 24 2 false alarm
16 bit fnt 507 false alarm
8 bit fnt 2067 false alarm
Amiga OctaMed Module 1 false alarm
DSMi Module 18 false alarm
Standard EXE found 217 false alarm
total files extracted 2


dobjects.LOD
-------------------------------------------------
bmp 12 false alarm
tga true 24 2 false alarm
8 bit fnt 363 false alarm
total files extracted 0

dobitmaps.bit
-------------------------------------------------
bmp 4 false alarm
tga true 256 1 FOUND!
8 bit fnt 8 false alarm
Autodesk FLI Animation 2 false alarm
Autodesk FLC Animation 2 false alarm
total files extracted 1

dobjects.TBL
-------------------------------------------------
Standard EXE found 8 false alarm
total files extracted 0

So in bottom line we have 166 files extracted named 3T ("3" in the filename is rather like power of 3, than regular3) and classified as a TIM files used for PSX. I have tried and trying to search and use TIM2TGA converters but the one I found do not see that 3T file format.

What do you think about those false alarms? Program I am using to comb is looking for characteristic HEX patterns so when it sees them attempts to extract the file. When unsuccessful marks them as false alarm. They still may be there though.

Inline advert (2nd and 3rd post)

#1725561 - 04/03/05 11:36 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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I would believe the program - the false alarms are just coincidence.
Also the Playstation files - I would be amazed if the Longbow developers used PS files.

What program are you looking at the OBJ files with?
It sounds interesting.
Presumably they arent IFF files by another name?

Have you tried running my dechunk program on them?
Just drag a file onto the EXE or run it from a command shell with the filename as a parameter.
The latest version is at my website
- this one actually extracts the file components.
I would try it but dont have access to the OBJ files on this PC.

Cheers,
Keith

#1725562 - 04/03/05 12:55 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Thank you Keith for the program and advice. I 'll try to play with dechunk today.

The program I have extracted some of the files is MultiRipper 3.0. Here is the short description of the program :
web page
and here is the program file:
web page

Originally this tool was suggested to me by fng2k in the older days of Gunship!. I must admit that it works erratically and Playstation files are just pure coincidence. It works by identifying Hex patterns, but it did extract some *.3T files I cannot open now and before it has extracted that tga (clean as a whistle) texture I have posted earlier.

I'll move to dechunk now.

#1725563 - 04/03/05 01:40 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Hey guys, if there's anything I can do to help, let me know. If you'd like to post files, or need some web space, etc..

#1725564 - 04/03/05 02:23 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
Have you tried running my dechunk program on them?
Just drag a file onto the EXE or run it from a command shell with the filename as a parameter.
It gives me runtime error 6 or 52.

#1725565 - 04/03/05 05:25 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Polak apologies - looks like I need to do more testing. It works on my laptop but I'm getting error 53 'File not found' on my games PC.
It creates a CSV file with just a header line, and an a folder named after the IFF file, then terminates.
Is that similar to what you get?

--
But the OBJ and TEX files arent IFF format anyway.
The TEX file looks to be a DLL containing lots of TGA files.

The OBJ file has
a 4-byte header
many 104 byte entries, titled eg LBOW_CPIT_U,
a LOT of data (probably the 104-byte entries define which chunk of data to use to define the 3D-shape of the described object?)
I would guess this to be a proprietary format.

The LOD file is similar, but with 44-byte titled entries

The MIF files are text and may be of use

Cheers,
Keith

#1725566 - 04/03/05 05:33 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
It creates a CSV file with just a header line, and an a folder named after the IFF file, then terminates.
Is that similar to what you get?
That is exactly what I get.


Quote:
But the OBJ and TEX files arent IFF format anyway.
The TEX file looks to be a DLL containing lots of TGA files.
Do you guys know any other "extracting" tool then?

#1725567 - 04/04/05 01:30 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  

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Hey guys,

Since i'm the rookie on this forum, allow me to briefly introduce myself ;-). My name is Mario Brito. One of my big hobbies is game modding, since i love to take things apart and see what makes them tick. I've been active in some capacity on the Wing Commander and Lancer communities, where i'm known as "HCl". After +G's e-mail, i looked around LB2's TRE files and created the detre program based on TRE samples he provided. To cut the story short, my curiosity about LB2 peaked and this is how i find myself in the SimHQ forums today. I hope i'll be able to make a valid contribution to LB2 modding and this community.

Now to my findings: I was able to spend a few hours yesterday looking around LB2 files, and was able to determine a few things..

- 1.10 / 1.11 format: This is a known RLE-like compression scheme, used by Wing Commander and StarLancer for compression of 8-bit sprites. I used a small program on a couple of LB2's SHP files and it seemed to decompress the files perfectly (although the palette is clearly wrong, since the program is set to use StarLancer's palette). You can find a link to this program below if you want to play around with it, although it'll need to be adapted to LB2:
http://eden.dei.uc.pt/~mbrito/lb2/spr2bmp.zip

- TEX files: This file is not familiar to me, and is not clearly understood yet. It doesn't seem to be DLL-based, although there are some strings that would suggest this. These, however, seem to be garbage, resulting from uninitialized memory buffers.

The first 768 bytes seem to be ignored by the game, as i've tried to change this data in every way with no results. The size would suggest a RGB palette, but no valid palette seems to exist there.

In any case, after these 768 bytes, there seems to exist a 4-byte value describing the number of images on the archive, and a structure describing each image, in terms of name (100 bytes), offset (4-byte) and dimensions(4+4 bytes). There are still some unknowns, regarding how the game determines which palette to use for each image, and how this offset is used to access the raw image data.

In short, i'm still looking around... The OBJ format doesn't seem familiar either, so it'll need to be documented as well.

Anyway, i'll keep you informed of any progress.

Mario

#1725568 - 04/04/05 06:17 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Nice to hear from you Mario. And thank you for your detre utility which in fact sparked and revitalised interest in LB2 modding myself including. I am also freshman, but like you like modding. However and unfortunately I am not into programming, neither I have suitable background. I am more into graphics and 3d modeling, however my main interest is always terrain modeling. I will comment wherever I will be able on your post above little later, at the moment let me say only that I will definetely check the linked program and menwhile if you knew any other "extractor" to those files please kindly share.

One thing only I would like to mention now also, and this is currently only my guess, that the terrain looks to me as something "related" to Jane's USAF, which in fact if true could be very interesting to play with. I am in process to gather more informations about it which I will share soon.

#1725569 - 04/04/05 07:43 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
- 1.10 / 1.11 format: This is a known RLE-like compression scheme,.............
I have quickly run shp files found in OBJPICS.TRE with spr2bmp utylity and I confirm that it extracts nicely 2 bmp files from each *.shp file. Each of bmp is 640x480 color bitmap in indexed mode(EDIT)depicting 3-view drawing of 3D object and some kind of rendering of the same object. Sometimes only rendering is avaialable and not 3-view line drawing. Good resource for modeling. As Mario says, the palette is false.

The find is exciting, however I would like to mention that 1.10/1.11 format I feel should be 3D object and not just 2d sprites. But then again name "objpics.tre" title is pretty selfexplanatory after all . So perhaps 3D stuff and textures must be elsewhere.

Slowly peel by peel and we may peel off this sucker ........

#1725570 - 04/04/05 10:13 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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I've updated dechunk.exe on my website with version 0.3, should work ok now.
Any problems, Double-click dechunk.exe, enter the full path to an IFF file, select Debug and click [Expand] - this will give me a clue...

Cheers,
Keith

#1725571 - 04/04/05 10:25 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
Originally posted by HCl:
Hey guys,
Hey Mario, welcome aboard!

You sound very knowledgeable as to how the EXE is performing, would be neat to see if you could determine what's causing a few of the bugs in this one (like the 366 RAM requirement, missle issues, etc. plenty of time for that though).

I'm sure you guys will peel back this onion as Polak mentioned.

I'm a rookie when it comes to modding, but maybe this will be a good excuse to get my feet wet.

#1725572 - 04/05/05 03:55 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Something I came upon today. It may be of some help to us in our quest. Perhaps Mario even knows this site because spr2bmp is here but later version.
Anyway here is the link:
web page

If someone will brave there here is the question: pay please attention while SHPEditor will work first time. Because in my case I have definetely succeded in loading shp file; and even it displayed nothing it did work.
But now I have "load Shp files" greyed out.
Please check and advise.

Later version Spr2bmp does not extract files from shp, but perhaps I am doing something wrong.

#1725573 - 04/05/05 11:29 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  

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After experimenting a bit with spr2bmpv4, i'm fairly sure this is a different SPR format. Besides the differences in the file header, in this format transparency is apparently acheived through an alpha map, while on Wing Commander / StarLancer / Longbow SPRs transparency is provided by the compression algorithm itself (by specifying transparent "runs").

In any case, to clarify, the spr2bmp i linked before was created by me, based on my observation of Wing Commander and StarLancer files. If anyone is interested in the more technical details, there is a small text describing this format which i wrote back then. You can find it on the Lancer\'s Reactor . The decompression algorithm is also described there. :-)

Regarding the bugs on Longbow 2: i'm fairly sure that by examining the EXE it'll be possible to determine the cause of those problems and to come up with a solution. I have to say, however, that i haven't been able to reproduce the 366mb RAM problem so far. My system currently has 384mb RAM and it's running LB2 with no problems to report.

Mario

#1725574 - 04/05/05 12:13 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Mario: Regarding the RAM limit problem, I'm running without a limit (512MB in dual-channel mode), too. Not using any compatibility settings, running Turbo at 35% to achieve a playable rate. The RAM limit problem seems to be system specific on some boards. No idea why that would be a problem. I've hacked the objview.ini file to try and reduce the terrain detail "warping" you see. I think I've improved it a lot, I'll keep testing and modifying it. You might want to try looking at my results at some point and give me an opinion. Thanks for the help.


A7N8X Dlx., 2700+@3200 settings, 9700Pro, Sony 17" Trinitron, Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers. WinXP Pro.
#1725575 - 04/05/05 12:28 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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I will read and try to analyze your notes on WC/SL. But at the moment I would like to bring this link here to your attention:

http://www.simhq.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=30;t=003771

Perhaps for you, being person well versed with file structure and coding, thread linked may be of a help to consider the following hypothetical setup:

* original LB2 graphics are in tga format 32bit allowing for full transparency.
* format then is compressed by using RLE (run length encoding).
* 32 bit is then converted to 16bit (for some reason that is how the graphic card are stored in memory of hardware (LB2 was predominantly 3Dfx game - was there anything specific here?) but this part I do not understand well.

Is in your understanding of how the graphics wok for LB2 any provision for mipmapping?

The above link is from EECH forum. Maybe there and here is similar situation and perhaps we could review them with benefit for both sims. Maybe it is completely wrong direction, but please let us review it.

#1725576 - 04/05/05 12:32 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
Originally posted by HCl:

Regarding the bugs on Longbow 2: i'm fairly sure that by examining the EXE it'll be possible to determine the cause of those problems and to come up with a solution. I have to say, however, that i haven't been able to reproduce the 366mb RAM problem so far. My system currently has 384mb RAM and it's running LB2 with no problems to report.

Mario
Some see it, some don't, it's a very odd problem. The nice thing is there are several work arounds that fix it.

I nailed down the exact M$ compatability setting that "fixed it", so that may give us a clue to what's causing it (I posted that value on my web site).

Unfortunately, once you use the M$ compatability fix, you can't get into the Kiowa training missions. The only real fix is the boot.ini adjustments to limit your RAM globally to the system.

#1725577 - 04/05/05 08:55 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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I'm not doing anything to limit RAM. Maybe we should consider what chipset(s) allow it to run without limiting RAM and which require it, that might get us another step. I'm running NForce2 in dual-channel mode, on-board audio. I don't have any PCI cards installed, just a 9700Pro AGP card. No AV program or other "goodies" running in the background. Perhaps it's not entirely RAM/OS dependent. It IS a very odd problem.


A7N8X Dlx., 2700+@3200 settings, 9700Pro, Sony 17" Trinitron, Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers. WinXP Pro.
#1725578 - 04/06/05 05:02 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
Originally posted by Evil Lurker:
+G
I'm not doing anything to limit RAM. Maybe we should consider what chipset(s) allow it to run without limiting RAM and which require it, that might get us another step. I'm running NForce2 in dual-channel mode, on-board audio. I don't have any PCI cards installed, just a 9700Pro AGP card. No AV program or other "goodies" running in the background. Perhaps it's not entirely RAM/OS dependent. It IS a very odd problem.
When I first wrote that install guide I had no problems either. I discovered that the game worked fine on XP, using D3D mode (lots of trial and error, finding that one setting). This was before we had a stable/reliable Glide wrapper.

Now that I'm on a new system/board, I now have the issue. It might be hardware related (or something in the HAL, DLLs) who knows.

The nice thing is that there are solid work-arounds for it. It would be nice to nail it though.

#1725579 - 04/06/05 06:33 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  

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It might be a good idea to test if this problem occurs using D3D and Glide. WC: Prophecy had a problem which only occurred in Glide mode, so the same could be happening here. I'm running the game in D3D mode at the moment, but i'll try to install a Glide wrapper when i get home.

Polak: I'm not up to speed on EECH modding (in fact i'm just starting on Longbow2), but here are some quick thoughts regarding image transparency. Generally speaking, there's several ways of acheiving transparency on a image. The most usual way these days is to include a separate channel which will specify the transparency level for each pixel, which is known as an alpha map. This can be stored along with the image itself, if the format supports it, or dumped to an 8-bit image with a black-and-white palette, where darker pixels are more transparent. After a quick look at the thread you linked, this is probably EECH's "multiple-alpha" mode, so replacing the texture and alpha map should be enough to import new transparent textures, providing you edit the necessary flags (and the engine supports it).

There are other ways of encoding transparencies, however. For example, you can specify a special color which will be regarded as transparent in the game (color key transparency, iirc). This is usually a horrible pink that no one uses, or something similar. This way, you can get all the information on a single image. This is probably what is called "single-alpha" in EECH modding.
Yet another way to store this information, which is used by LB2 SHP files, is on the RLE algorithm itself. RLE basically codes pixel repetition, so the algorithm codes something like "this color occurs 5 times", "afterwards, the next 3 pixels are transparent, draw nothing". Of course, in these two techniques you can only code "full" transparency, not semi-transparency.

This doesn't have anything to do with mipmapping, not directly, although both techniques can be combined. Longbow 2 does use mipmapping, by the way. You can find in the TEX files a lot of textures with decreasing dimensions (256, 128, 64...)

Anyway, i hope i haven't bored you with all this. Some of what i said should hopefully be useful to Longbow 2 and EECH...

How is texture transparency handled in Longbow 2's 3D models? Haven't quite got to that yet, but i suspect there should be a flag somewhere on the OBJ defining this...

Mario

#1725580 - 04/06/05 07:30 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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I'm using the Glide wrapper and haven't had to limit RAM. I ran it previously under D3D and had no problems, either (other than it looked like crap compared to Glide). We may need to ask the people that experienced problems and needed to limit RAM to post their chipset/video card/OS/RAM specs and see if anything becomes apparent from that. There's got to be a common factor/combination that causes it (or I would think there is). It hasn't really been addressed in a scientific manner yet, that I've seen.


A7N8X Dlx., 2700+@3200 settings, 9700Pro, Sony 17" Trinitron, Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers. WinXP Pro.
#1725581 - 04/06/05 08:01 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  

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Evil Lurker: Good idea there, having that kind of information may provide important clues.

By the way, where can i find your objview mod? Looking forward to give it a try :-)

Mario

#1725582 - 04/06/05 11:56 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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I had Longbow Anthology installed it a few months ago, and got it to work flawless (except for the kiowa/training missions ordeal). I never had to limit my ram.
Then I upgraded my RAM from 512 megs to my current 1GB. I reformatted my HDD and started from scratch. I just tried LB2 again since the upgrade, and get a CTD everytime. I haven't tried the RAM trick yet (havent had time), but I'll try it tonight.
not sure what this means.
anyways, keep up the good work! I wish I had programming skillz so I could pitch in...
I love this game!

Here is my system specs:
Asus P4800 mobo (800 mhz bus)
2.4 ghz pentium4
1gb ram (generic) - 2 512mb DIMMS
Nvidia GeForce FX5900 w/256 mb ram

#1725583 - 04/07/05 12:13 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
Originally posted by HCl:
It might be a good idea to test if this problem occurs using D3D and Glide. WC: Prophecy had a problem which only occurred in Glide mode, so the same could be happening here. I'm running the game in D3D mode at the moment, but i'll try to install a Glide wrapper when i get home.
I'm pretty sure it happens in both modes.

In my case, I get a M$ error displayed once I launch a mission. I see a couple of "bars" on loading of the mission , then a CTD. An error code is then displayed. Digging into the basic details on the error, it's related to an aclayers.dll file. Not sure if that file is the cause of the error or a victim of the issue.


Now the real permanent fix for this error (for those effected by it) is to adjust you maxmem setting to 366, some PCs work fine with 512 or somewhere in between. There's no rhyme or reason to it.

There are two other fixes you can try that also work fine. Some systems use only one, some require both.

I need to use both if not using maxmem (and I loose the Kiowa in any case, maxmem is the only fix where I won't loose Kiowa access).

EmulateHeap is one of these fixes.

"This compatibility fix emulates the functionality of the Windows 9x heap manager. It is is full implementation of the Windows 9x heap manager ported to Windows XP. Applies to: Windows 95, Windows 98"

GlobalMemoryStatusLie is the other.

This compatibility fix modifies the memory status structure so that it reports a swap file that is 400MB in size regardless of the true swap file size.


Again, this was discovered more or less by using trial and error, in conjunction with the M$ compatability tool.

#1725584 - 04/07/05 12:21 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
Originally posted by Evil Lurker:
HCI
I'm using the Glide wrapper and haven't had to limit RAM. I ran it previously under D3D and had no problems, either (other than it looked like crap compared to Glide). We may need to ask the people that experienced problems and needed to limit RAM to post their chipset/video card/OS/RAM specs and see if anything becomes apparent from that. There's got to be a common factor/combination that causes it (or I would think there is). It hasn't really been addressed in a scientific manner yet, that I've seen.
Hmm, now the only difference between the systems I owned (other than the TI-4200 anomaly) is that on one the FSB is faster, the AGP card/slot capable of faster speeds, as well as the RAM being faster. I don't even want to think about documenting this for everyones system! Man that would be some spreadsheet.


System 1.
P4-2.4Ghz.
512MB RAM - 333Mhz RAM.
ATI 7500 AGP card.
Worked fine.
Then I added a Nvidia Ti-4200 128MB card to it (removing the 7500). The game wouldn't run at all. A number of people have issues with this card so I'm not alone.

System 2.
P4-3.2Ghz
1GB RAM - 400Mhz
ATI 9800 Pro
Game CTD issue unless I use maxmem.

#1725585 - 04/07/05 02:11 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Here is what I am currently using in my objview.ini file (it's not the entire file, it overwrites the lower 2/3 or so). You may want to backup the original before you try this, I renamed my original objview.bak. It hasn't caused me any problems, except a possible frame-rate hit (hard to tell as I'm running turbo.exe in the background, but I imagine it's more demanding on the video side)
You'll recognize where to start pasting into the copy. Tell me if this is a big improvement to the terrain "warping" right in front of you, or am I deluding myself. ;\)
Any feedback welcome, I won't take it personally.

[CTS]
Num256Buffers=4
Num128Buffers=2
Num64Buffers=1
Num32Buffers=1
DetailLevelling=1
TextureDLDepth0=70000
TextureDLDepth1=120000
TextureDLDepth2=200000
TextureDLDepth3=350000

[TerrainSystem]
MaxPolys=9000
PerspectiveDepth=40000

[CacheInterface]

[VFXOASystem]
NumLODs=15
EndDepth00=15000
EndDepth01=30000
EndDepth02=45000
EndDepth02=60000
EndDepth02=75000
EndDepth02=90000
EndDepth02=105000
EndDepth02=120000
UseShadows=1
DefaultShadowWidth=64
DefaultShadowRecalcRate=1

[BitmapSystem]

[SkySystem]
NumCols=8
NumRows=8
SkyColor=236
HazeColor=224
SkyFile=polarsky.raw
Coarse=0
HazeWidthAboveHor=37000
HazeWidthBelowHor=90000

There can be as many LODx detail settings as you want, up to 16.
The terrain detail level (0-15) will map linearly from LOD0 to the highest
you go to. This is why, if you have fewer than 16 LODx sections, some of the
terrain mesh detail levels will map to the same LODx section.

[LOD0]
NumLODs=8
NumTransitionsLog2=9
MorphDepth00=15000
EndDepth00=25000
MorphDepth01=30000
EndDepth01=45000
MorphDepth02=50000
EndDepth02=75000
MorphDepth03=80000
EndDepth03=120000
MorphDepth04=150000
EndDepth04=250000
MorphDepth05=300000
EndDepth05=400000
MorphDepth06=450000
EndDepth06=500000
MorphDepth07=550000
EndDepth07=600000

[HField]
Scale=8


A7N8X Dlx., 2700+@3200 settings, 9700Pro, Sony 17" Trinitron, Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers. WinXP Pro.
#1725586 - 04/07/05 07:36 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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I doubt the meory isue is related to the motherboard alone.
An example:
A friend has an identical coputer to mine except he has 1GB RAM and a FX5900u while I have 2GB and a 6800gt.
I run LB2 just by disabling the pagefile while he have to limit his RAM to 366 but can still keep pagefile enabled.
When we moved 1GB from my comp over to his then his LB2 worked without limitting the RAM too, but then I had to limit my RAM to get LB2 to work.

Here's the different specs:
P-IV 3GHz
1GB / 2GB Kingston DDR400
GF FX5900u / GF 6800gt
WinXP SP2
Asus P4C800-E Deluxe (875 chipset)
SB Live / SB Audigy
220GB Seagate / 2x120GB Seagate (all from same series)

#1725587 - 04/07/05 11:20 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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And I have an AMD system with 512M RAM. I don't have to disable my page file or limit my memory with a 9700Pro. I have my page file set at 768M and a single 120G HDD. WinXP Pro SP1 and running Omega 2.5.58 drivers. Task manager shows 364k available memory while I'm surfing and about the same with LB2 /turbo running.


A7N8X Dlx., 2700+@3200 settings, 9700Pro, Sony 17" Trinitron, Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers. WinXP Pro.
#1725588 - 04/07/05 09:06 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  

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I've tweaked a few parameters on my system and was finally able to reproduce a few problems. Thanks to all your help, i think i now have an idea why the game fails to run on the different setups. The only common factor between all the different setups seems to be the high ammount of RAM. Also, the GlobalMemoryStatusLie fix provided an important clue.

The GlobalMemoryStatus call returns various information about the memory present in the
system, including the ammount of physical memory and pagefile. What is happening is that a signed 32-bit number is used to store these values, which means it will overflow after 2GB.

So, as far as i can tell, if you have more than 2GB of RAM or more than 2GB of pagefile the game won't run. I've ran a few tests that seem to confirm this on my system (with only 384MB of RAM i never set my pagefile so large until now). This explains the need for GlobalMemoryStatusLie. I've made a small test program to test the values returned by GlobalMemoryStatus, let me know if anyone wants it.

The Kiowa training missions still fail with this alone. However, after changing a heap creation parameter on tutor.dle the problem seemes to be solved. The easiest way to edit this parameter is to add the following to CA.INI:

[Backdoors]
HEAP_PERCENT=0

(this will override a default value on tutor.dle)

And this is all i have discovered so far going through the EXE and DLLs. Of course, what worked for me may not work for everyone, so let me know if you have any problems and i'll try to reproduce the issue here. I'll have some spare time this weekend to look into it in some detail.

Mario

#1725589 - 04/07/05 11:44 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
Originally posted by HCl:
The Kiowa training missions still fail with this alone. However, after changing a heap creation parameter on tutor.dle the problem seemes to be solved. The easiest way to edit this parameter is to add the following to CA.INI:

[Backdoors]
HEAP_PERCENT=0

(this will override a default value on tutor.dle)

And this is all i have discovered so far going through the EXE and DLLs. Of course, what worked for me may not work for everyone, so let me know if you have any problems and i'll try to reproduce the issue here. I'll have some spare time this weekend to look into it in some detail.

Mario
Excellent!!!

The built in Windows XP compatability modes (selecting Windows 95 or 98 Compatability settings) once selected for the game, provide the EmulateHeap function.

EmulateHeap
"This compatibility fix emulates the functionality of the Windows 9x heap manager. It is is full implementation of the Windows 9x heap manager ported to Windows XP. Applies to: Windows 95, Windows 98"

Now with one CA.INI file adjustment, the same functionality is provided.

[Backdoors]
HEAP_PERCENT=0

I've tried the game using just the GlobalMemoryStatusLie option, NO XP compatability settings and NO MAXMEM.

The game now works with the Kiowa training missions, removing this setting from CA.INI and the game doesn't work for the Kiowa.

This fix seems to cause other issues with the noCDROM EXE. I'd suggest we all use the original EXE for now, while testing.

To be honest, I've seem to always have issues exiting the game or finishing a mission. When I ALT+Q to leave, the program stops responding and I have to ALT+TAB out and kill it manually, works fine in game though. Does this in either the 3DFX Glide Wrapper or the D3D mode.



#1725590 - 04/08/05 01:25 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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HCl at that rate in 2 months LB2 will be a complete new game.

#1725591 - 04/08/05 03:49 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
at that rate in 2 months LB2 will be a complete new game.
So perhaps let me add some to that progress too.
It appears that all map files in LB2 terrain folder can be opened "as RAW" with this or similar results. TER_hm.map below:



The trick is to figure out the size of the picture, channel # and possibly header size. Could be perhaps probed with Hex Editor prior to opening each file.

Anyone is making out some resemblance to any of the terrain in LB2? Desert? It got to be desert, because that is what I had played lately. I hear, the last map loaded remains in the terrain folder until it is overwritten by the new terrain during decompression. Is this the case?

Anyway not much but always litlle by little.
Predictably this one and perhaps the others are greyscale hight map.

#1725592 - 04/08/05 04:33 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
the last map loaded remains in the terrain folder until it is overwritten by the new terrain during decompression. Is this the case?
Yes, if you shut down the PC and restart, you have the last map loaded instantly without decompressing anything. If you move from NTC to Azer, you need to decompress an entire 3 sector set, and vice-versa. In campaign, it only moves you 1 sector at a time (until you complete and restart, then it's a 3 sector decompression).
If you got that map from your terrain folder, it's either one sector of the last mission you flew, or it's all 3 sectors (the entire flight area you last flew in).


A7N8X Dlx., 2700+@3200 settings, 9700Pro, Sony 17" Trinitron, Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers. WinXP Pro.
#1725593 - 04/08/05 04:35 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
Originally posted by Polak:
Anyone is making out some resemblance to any of the terrain in LB2? Desert? It got to be desert, because that is what I had played lately. I hear, the last map loaded remains in the terrain folder until it is overwritten by the new terrain during decompression. Is this the case?
You're right...the last terrain that was decompressed stays in the terrain folder. Thats why whenever you choose instant action, it loads whatever map is decompressed (to save on load times). And that map does look like the desert since there isnt much elevevation change. So does this mean people can possibly create their own maps? obviously the tiles might not match up...but still, that's kick ass!!

#1725594 - 04/08/05 04:48 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Polak,
The more I look at that picture you posted, the more I'm convinced it's a close-up of Pamela Anderson's chest X-ray. You wouldn't be doing something like that, would you? :rolleyes:


A7N8X Dlx., 2700+@3200 settings, 9700Pro, Sony 17" Trinitron, Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers. WinXP Pro.
#1725595 - 04/08/05 05:02 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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well...HCI, you just saved the day! you're little .ini edit fixed EVERYTHING...now I get the Kiowa, Training Missions, Janes Reference, and the Navigation Map!!! Now I can play the game just like the old days, hehe. keep it up!

#1725596 - 04/08/05 09:15 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
Originally posted by HCl:
The Kiowa training missions still fail with this alone. However, after changing a heap creation parameter on tutor.dle the problem seemes to be solved.
Is it possible to take a look at wrapper.dle?
I know if I enable my pagefile again and wether I limit my RAM or not I always get "this program wil close bla-bla-bla... in wrapper.dle". When I have my pagefile disabled I don't need to limit my RAM.
I'm using 2GB RAM and WinXP SP2.

#1725597 - 04/08/05 12:59 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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First, big kudos for HCl for this masterstroke little edit. It is sometimes really awsome to see how such a little thing can change so much. I wonder how many other things can be changed in all those ini files.

Quote:
The more I look at that picture you posted, the more I'm convinced it's a close-up of Pamela Anderson's chest X-ray. You wouldn't be doing something like that, would you?
I was asking to pinpoint resemblance and now I got it. That is it! Wait to fly it over in 3D

#1725598 - 04/08/05 01:51 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
I have quickly run shp files found in OBJPICS.TRE with spr2bmp utylity and I confirm that it extracts nicely 2 bmp files from each *.shp file. Each of bmp is 640x480 color bitmap in indexed mode(EDIT)depicting 3-view drawing of 3D object and some kind of rendering of the same object. Sometimes only rendering is avaialable and not 3-view line drawing. Good resource for modeling. As Mario says, the palette is false.
This I can confirm: OBJPICS.TRE contains:photos, 3-view line drawing and small model which can be rotated - and all used in "Read Janes section". Likwise OBJTEXT.TRE - that text and technical spec database.

Eventhough I still have a problem to convert palette used by shp2bmp I can clearly identify photos and drawings, 3D models and text in the data spec windows.

PS. Anyone knows how to make full screen screenshot of anything from LB2 running?

#1725599 - 04/08/05 02:37 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
Originally posted by Polak:
I was asking to pinpoint resemblance and now I got it. That is it! Wait to fly it over in 3D
I thought it was her brain. It looks so.... empty
Quote:
PS. Anyone knows how to make full screen screenshot of anything from LB2 running?
Fraps or just use print screen and paste in any image editor.

#1725600 - 04/08/05 02:51 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:

PS. Anyone knows how to make full screen screenshot of anything from LB2 running?
I did a search and also found a little util called MultiGrab http://www.mnwright.btinternet.co.uk/index.htm
You can take multiple screens at once without over-writing the previous one, save in different formats, and some other little goodies.

#1725601 - 04/08/05 04:00 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
Originally posted by Polak:
Quote:
I have quickly run shp files found in OBJPICS.TRE with spr2bmp utylity and I confirm that it extracts nicely 2 bmp files from each *.shp file. Each of bmp is 640x480 color bitmap in indexed mode(EDIT)depicting 3-view drawing of 3D object and some kind of rendering of the same object. Sometimes only rendering is avaialable and not 3-view line drawing. Good resource for modeling. As Mario says, the palette is false.
This I can confirm: OBJPICS.TRE contains:photos, 3-view line drawing and small model which can be rotated - and all used in "Read Janes section". Likwise OBJTEXT.TRE - that text and technical spec database.

Eventhough I still have a problem to convert palette used by shp2bmp I can clearly identify photos and drawings, 3D models and text in the data spec windows.

PS. Anyone knows how to make full screen screenshot of anything from LB2 running?
Do you think that these objects are also used withing the 3D GAME or only for the Janes Manual?

#1725602 - 04/08/05 05:00 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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The map files all appear to contain a set of 256 * 256 8-bit height maps, with a 2124-byte header.

I'm working with the Demo files, will check tonight if the real files are the same.

The file TER_hm.map contains 36 such hi-definition maps, as do TER_hx.map etc
but TER_l.map appears to contain 128 lower resolution maps.

Probably we need to print out the maps and play jigsaws.

My sfmap program should be able to import the files and turn them into bitmaps, will look at that.

Cheers,
Keith

#1725603 - 04/08/05 05:14 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
The map files all appear to contain a set of 256 * 256 8-bit height maps, with a 2124-byte header.

I'm working with the Demo files, will check tonight if the real files are the same.

The file TER_hm.map contains 36 such hi-definition maps, as do TER_hx.map etc
but TER_l.map appears to contain 128 lower resolution maps.

Probably we need to print out the maps and play jigsaws.

My sfmap program should be able to import the files and turn them into bitmaps, will look at that.
This information we need. I would love to look into those maps too. Do you think that RAW in Photoshop would do the trick, or your SFMap is the easier tool for that?

EDIT: Keith, would you care to give some short hint/tutorial how do you find size of the pic and header? I would love to learn that.

#1725604 - 04/08/05 05:23 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Some time ago I asked about any tools to help crack the files open. I guess judging form the lack of response there are not so many then.
But, there is one tool out there which is pretty popular. It is MultiEx Commander found here:
web page

After opening *.tre format I do not even think that we have any more "container" files to deal with in LB2. So perhaps then only 65-page manual accompanying the MultiEx could be very good source of "know how" in this matter and could be of some interest.

Any other similar tool? One never knows when such a find may come handy in modding.

#1725605 - 04/08/05 07:03 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Polack,
following your lead, I opened a map file as raw and guessed the width.
The actual width can be deduced from the tiling of images, the header length by counting the lines of random noise before an image starts.

Then a bit of arithmetic on file sizes etc.

The problem with opening a tiled raw image in PSP is you get a long thin ribbon of images - I was planning to create a 4-tile wide image for easy printing.
And programmed-manipulation shold be possible

Cheers,
Keith

PS the files I'm using come from the downloadable demo, the ones on the CD are compressed but much larger, I suspect when I get to the real files my numbers may be incorrect.

#1725606 - 04/08/05 08:19 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
PS. Anyone knows how to make full screen screenshot of anything from LB2 running?
Fraps will run in the background and let you take screenshots or movie clips, plus give you a FPS counter in most (maybe all) games. Since the default keys are used by Longbow, I changed mine to ; for screenshot and ' for movie. The screenshots/movies are saved in the directory selected in FRAPS in the format you choose (BMP,JPG,PNG). It does a good job, but I have a hard time seeing the framerate counter under Glide at 1600X1200 for some reason.
FRAPS
I think you would like this method vs. copy/paste a bitmap.


A7N8X Dlx., 2700+@3200 settings, 9700Pro, Sony 17" Trinitron, Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers. WinXP Pro.
#1725607 - 04/08/05 08:29 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  

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Quote:
Is it possible to take a look at wrapper.dle?
I know if I enable my pagefile again and wether I limit my RAM or not I always get "this program wil close bla-bla-bla... in wrapper.dle". When I have my pagefile disabled I don't need to limit my RAM.
I'm using 2GB RAM and WinXP SP2.
I took a quick look at wrapper.dle and didn't detect any problematic issues, other than the usual GlobalMemoryStatus call. No suspect Heap calls that i can see. Are you applying the GlobalMemoryStatiusLie fix? Looks like this should do the trick here... If nothing else works, i can give you my little testing program to help determine if GlobalMemoryStatus is the one to blame here.

Great work with the terrain files guys! \:\)

Mario

#1725608 - 04/09/05 08:32 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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I've put a zipped BMP image of TER_hx.map from the demo on my site

The map data is tiled 6 x 6, my program turns it into a single coherent image and saves as a BMP.

Need to test it on the retail files, then I'll upload the program.

Next step will be manipulating the data.......

Cheers,
Keith

#1725609 - 04/09/05 10:52 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
Originally posted by Keith Bedford:
I've put a zipped BMP image of TER_hx.map from the demo on my site

The map data is tiled 6 x 6, my program turns it into a single coherent image and saves as a BMP.

Need to test it on the retail files, then I'll upload the program.

Next step will be manipulating the data.......

Cheers,
Keith
Nice! I have a stupid question, if this is the "skin" for the terrain, what files hold the 3D wire frame (if that's the concept)?

Has anyone determined how the objects in the game are placed? Like buildings, etc.

I'm curious if we can add more buildings and perhaps thousands of trees!!! ;-)

#1725610 - 04/09/05 11:45 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
Nice! I have a stupid question, if this is the "skin" for the terrain, what files hold the 3D wire frame (if that's the concept)?

Has anyone determined how the objects in the game are placed? Like buildings, etc.

I'm curious if we can add more buildings and perhaps thousands of trees!!! ;-)
G+,
I am afraid it is the other way around, those geyscale maps ARE the hights. Intensity of grey in each pixel represent the hight, black being min, white max and shades of grey all in between.

All of the 3D objects must carry coordinates which allow them to be placed in LB2 world. This data yet to be uncovered.

The last one may be a pretty "tall" order. How to place the tree, if there is no tree model here (AFAIK). And yet, you want thousands of them.

But as they say "if there is a will ... there is always a way". Hopefully.

#1725611 - 04/09/05 12:04 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
I've put a zipped BMP image of TER_hx.map from the demo on my site

The map data is tiled 6 x 6, my program turns it into a single coherent image and saves as a BMP.

Need to test it on the retail files, then I'll upload the program.

Next step will be manipulating the data.......
What are parameters of raw and what about all other terrain files? What is 6x6?

Manipulating data in this setup (rasterized hightmap) is really blessing...

web page
web page


#1725612 - 04/09/05 12:33 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
Originally posted by Polak:
Quote:
Nice! I have a stupid question, if this is the "skin" for the terrain, what files hold the 3D wire frame (if that's the concept)?

Has anyone determined how the objects in the game are placed? Like buildings, etc.

I'm curious if we can add more buildings and perhaps thousands of trees!!! ;-)
G+,
I am afraid it is the other way around, those geyscale maps ARE the hights. Intensity of grey in each pixel represent the hight, black being min, white max and shades of grey all in between.
OK.

I thought there was already replacement terrain where everything is higher (from Hatchet and Flexman)? So that would mean that smeone's already figured this part out and may already have tools available to mod the terrain.

I wonder if they'd share.

So it appears we have terrain getting sorted out.
The Janes manual sorted out.

What would we really like to see changed?

I'd like to see better looking skins on the targets, maybe a new terrain set, something mountainous, with lots of trees (maybe a ficticious Russian campaign). Higher polycount objects, etc. Less shake in TV mode (when heads down), something to even out the flow of the game (i.e.no Turbo mode required, etc).

It's fun to dream..

Maybe since I'm no where near being able to actually hack this game like you guys, I'll try to be your beta testers for any "fixes" you come up with. In the meantime, I'll look into documenting multiplayer TCP/IP communication for Recluse.

#1725613 - 04/09/05 12:38 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
It's fun to dream..
O yeah , man .... I agree.

web page


#1725614 - 04/09/05 01:47 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
Originally posted by Polak:
Quote:
It's fun to dream..
O yeah , man .... I agree.

web page

Now that's dreaming in technocolor. It would be too cool if LB2 opened up enough to include just a fraction of that terrains quality!

#1725615 - 04/09/05 02:15 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
Originally posted by HCl:
[QUOTE]
Great work with the terrain files guys! \:\)

Mario
Yes, great work.

I have a quick question Mario, what would cause the game to "hang" when you exit missions or exit to the OS?

I'm usually lucky and can ALT+TAB out, start
task manager, then kill the LB2.exe process.

Just wondering why it's doing this. Has anyone else seen this issue?

#1725616 - 04/10/05 04:10 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
I thought there was already replacement terrain where everything is higher (from Hatchet and Flexman)? So that would mean that smeone's already figured this part out and may already have tools available to mod the terrain.
I think that the terrain base height is set by this parameter in the CA.INI file:

[NTC]
TerrainHeight=28

[AZR]
TerrainHeight=50

I believe this is an offset from "sea level", so it rises and lowers the map set. I'll try changing it to something else and see if I can determine how much 1 unit is. Let me get back to you on this after UFC is over. ;\)


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#1725617 - 04/10/05 04:59 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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i think updated models/skins/buildings is something I would like to see; maybe some new vehicles/aircraft too. Also, a new cockpit!! Since we can run the game in hi-res, there should be room for all of the guages, dials, etc. And the Up-Front Display wont be a tiny box that can only display one line of text, hehe

#1725618 - 04/10/05 07:06 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Okay, I was off on the parameter effect in the CA.INI file. It is actually a multiplier ratio for the terrain height data. Here was the effect:
TerrainHeight=0 sets you to 0 (sea level) and the terrain is totally flat (like water)
TerrainHeight=1 sets you to 38 and the terrain is flat (though I'm sure it has SOME height variability)
TerrainHeight=2 sets you to 75 with (visibly) flat terrain
TerrainHeight=50 (default) = 1893 with normal mountains
TerrainHeight=100 = 3786 with doubled height of mountains.
That makes me conclude that the data point for the FARP I was testing from is a value of 37.86 and the multiplier is used to scale the elevation of the terrain to correspond to the (8-bit?) range of the Digital Elevation file without clipping. The one thing that seems missing here is the parameter that sets the minimum level in the map (what happens to the data that is < the lowest elevation in the height file, I'm fairly sure they don't discard the use of their full range by not using it). For example, if the file IS 8 bit, 0-255, you would want to use 1 to correspond to minimum map elevation and 255 to correspond to max map elevation, plus helicopter or Hellfire ceiling, I would think. Make any sense?


A7N8X Dlx., 2700+@3200 settings, 9700Pro, Sony 17" Trinitron, Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers. WinXP Pro.
#1725619 - 04/10/05 07:58 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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EL,
I think you are on the right track.
The .map files are 8-bit heights, ie 0 to 255.
Not sure how values of 1893 and 3786 are derived unless there is a magic fractional number applied globally too?

I've written a program to display the heights as a relief map and save as a bitmap file that can be opened in a paint program.
The height files are 'tiled' in 256 * 256 byte tiles. The data for the upper left-hand tile comes first, then the next tile. Most of the files have 36 tiles in a 6 x 6 array, the bigger files are 2 x many or 8 x many, maybe some others.
I suspect Longbow keeps a single tile in memory at any time, or maybe 9 tiles?

The program is easy to use and can be found here on the Longbow page.

I'm thinking of adding a height manipulation capability, it would be easy to change the height files, but any objects placed on them would presumably be misplaced.

I cant run LB2 yet to investigate. Need to get it working on Win2K!

I think we need to identify an exact point on a map and compare its height in-game with the data from the map file. I can make a version of the program that displays point heights if that helps.

Cheers,
Keith

#1725620 - 04/10/05 08:49 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
Not sure how values of 1893 and 3786 are derived unless there is a magic fractional number applied globally too?
That's the value of the bitmap data at my test point (FARP 1 with AZR map 6 loaded, I can see to the eastern border in NavMap view) X a 50 height multiplier, if I'm figuring this right. The question is, does the height data in your table span the range of 0 to 255, or does it start at some higher number? Give it a quick look at see what the range of the AZR maps are, if you would be so kind. I don't think a magic fractional number can be applied, or setting the multiplier to 0 would not give me an altitude of 0 in the game. See what I'm saying?


A7N8X Dlx., 2700+@3200 settings, 9700Pro, Sony 17" Trinitron, Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers. WinXP Pro.
#1725621 - 04/10/05 12:48 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
Not sure how values of 1893 and 3786 are derived unless there is a magic fractional number applied globally too?
I may be off here, but it looks to me that that 1893 is the length in meteres to one side of the horizontal grid. Generally in order to determine how "mountaneous" your terrain is going to be you have to relate it to the horizontal dimensions. Hight to area size ratio.

I believe each grid suppose to be representing 2km, but from some reason that 2km becomes 1.893 km. Someting to do with with nautical miles or else?

I really do not know here and just guessing which is no way it suppose to be.

#1725622 - 04/10/05 01:18 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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1893 and 3786 are the altitudes displayed on the HUD while the Apache is on the ground at FARP 1 with TerrainHeight=50 (default) and TerrainHeight=100. I don't believe it would in any way be linked to the size of the tiles. Try it yourself and you'll see what I'm talking about, it's interesting. Set TerrainHeight=0, too, and look at the flat terrain. If we changed the graphics to ocean/waves we'd have a water mission (probably be pretty boring).


A7N8X Dlx., 2700+@3200 settings, 9700Pro, Sony 17" Trinitron, Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers. WinXP Pro.
#1725623 - 04/10/05 01:45 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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I'll try EL as soon I am done with this below.

Thanks to Keithb and his ingenious program allowing extraction of the pictures of the terrain I made immediate use of it.

Below is the "lb2 terrain puzzle" on the left, at the moment in the lowres version. I am pieceing it together to see the sequence of the scramble. By reversing the proces I am hoping that ANY terrain photo material (as long as in scale) can be converted into new lb2 terrain and edited hightwise in grayscale as described in one of the earlier links. There is an issue of higher resolution maps, color palette and resolution of photo material for the new terrain to look at its best.

Again, thanks to Keith who made it possible.

It is yet early stage, but looks pretty (at least in my book). Progress and news are really unexpectedly rolling here fast at least at this stage. Sometime I feel, it would be well advised to take deeper breath and organise research and further digging in order for the important things not to get lost.

But in general .



#1725624 - 04/10/05 02:13 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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That's the NTC terrain, right, not Azer terrain? I really need to load up NTC right now and see if I can get a handle on this. Good job, buddy! Keep in mind that the Nav map displays a 50X50 kM view, so that's the scale of what is loaded at any one time.


A7N8X Dlx., 2700+@3200 settings, 9700Pro, Sony 17" Trinitron, Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers. WinXP Pro.
#1725625 - 04/10/05 03:09 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  

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Quote:

I have a quick question Mario, what would cause the game to "hang" when you exit missions or exit to the OS?

I'm usually lucky and can ALT+TAB out, start
task manager, then kill the LB2.exe process.

Just wondering why it's doing this. Has anyone else seen this issue?
I haven't had this happen yet, i always can ALT+Q and ALT+X without any problems. Could this be related to the noCD patch? I have the ISOs on my hard drive and mount them with Daemon Tools on a virtual CD drive, so i never used the noCD patch. I will look into this further and see what i can find. Afterwards, i'll resume my work on OBJ and TEX files :-)

Mario

#1725626 - 04/10/05 03:09 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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50 x50 km is covered by 12x12=144 tiles 256x256 pixels. So each tile 4166m /256pxls is of resolution 16.27 m /pxl. This is rather very low resolution, as MSFS uses 4.8 m/pxl and it is very blurry from close up. So for us to reach 4 would require to "pump up" each tile to 1024 pxls. That is too large size for the graphic memory even by todays standards.

And I was hoping for 2pxl/meter or even 1 pxl/meter because this is what is available nowadays in free satellite photography.

Perhaps we could come up with something later ...

#1725627 - 04/10/05 03:39 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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I'm using the noCD patch and I can exit the program just fine, every time, running the Glide wrapper. When I exit I do get a screen showing credits and a Strike Eagle advert, I hit ESC a couple of times to skip those and it exits clean to the desktop. Maybe something to do with those splash screens not being supported? What exactly do you mean by "exit missions"? Doesn't it allow you to complete a mission and start another one, or do you mean exiting to the campaign screen?


A7N8X Dlx., 2700+@3200 settings, 9700Pro, Sony 17" Trinitron, Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers. WinXP Pro.
#1725628 - 04/10/05 05:49 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
Originally posted by HCl:
Quote:

I have a quick question Mario, what would cause the game to "hang" when you exit missions or exit to the OS?

I'm usually lucky and can ALT+TAB out, start
task manager, then kill the LB2.exe process.

Just wondering why it's doing this. Has anyone else seen this issue?
I haven't had this happen yet, i always can ALT+Q and ALT+X without any problems. Could this be related to the noCD patch? I have the ISOs on my hard drive and mount them with Daemon Tools on a virtual CD drive, so i never used the noCD patch. I will look into this further and see what i can find. Afterwards, i'll resume my work on OBJ and TEX files :-)

Mario
I'm using the CD (put away the No-CD exe).

I'll try LB2 on a second PC to see if it's just mine. Might get a Network trace of a good LB2 Multiplayer session. From there I can use that as a baseline while I try hosting behind a Firewall. This will be a good bug to fix, once you guys get the game "expanded" with new terrains, etc., we'll all want to start flying them! :-)

#1725629 - 04/10/05 05:56 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
Originally posted by Evil Lurker:
I'm using the noCD patch and I can exit the program just fine, every time, running the Glide wrapper. When I exit I do get a screen showing credits and a Strike Eagle advert, I hit ESC a couple of times to skip those and it exits clean to the desktop. Maybe something to do with those splash screens not being supported? What exactly do you mean by "exit missions"? Doesn't it allow you to complete a mission and start another one, or do you mean exiting to the campaign screen?
OK, let's say I'm in an "Instant Action" mission.
I put the helo on however hold. Press ALT+Q, select NO, game goes back into play fine (slight delay for the sound to catch up). ALT+Q select YES this time. Game goes to a black screen, doesn't move. I then have to ALT+TAB into task manager (running previously). LB2.EXE isn't responding, I have to "kill" it manually to get back to the desktop.

Now if I just start the game, and I'm at the BASE screen (which would be cool to mod by the way), and exit to the OS, it works fine.

It's like the game can't get to the locker/chalkboard screen on mission exit!

It used to work though, so I've done something.

I'll do a fresh install, and see what happens.

#1725630 - 04/10/05 06:03 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
Originally posted by Polak:

Is the one on the left upside down as well as jigsaw puzzled?

The picture on the left looks exactly like the extracted c:\Janes\DATA\ART\NTC.BMP image.

#1725631 - 04/10/05 06:44 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Fantastic work, guys.

Very shortly, 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...

Carry on. ;\)

#1725632 - 04/10/05 07:02 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Incredible isn't it.

What map would people like to see if we're able to create them? What area could we build a new expansion on? Korea? Russia? North America?
China? India?

Longbow 2 may even get it's own forum soon on SimHQ!

;\)

#1725633 - 04/10/05 07:33 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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EL,
I suspect the HUD readings are in feet, and the 'height map' file in Metres?

3786 feet would be 1154 M
1893 feet " " " 577 M

Next version of LBMap ready tomorrow, will display min, max and current heights.

Early test shows minimum of 28, maximum of 238 for demo map

Cheers,
Keith

#1725634 - 04/10/05 10:31 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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I think a map with more rivers/canyons; maybe central europe or afghanistan/packistan would be excellent! I still think that the current maps are kind of flat

#1725635 - 04/10/05 10:56 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
Originally posted by No Use For A Name:
I think a map with more rivers/canyons; maybe central europe or afghanistan/packistan would be excellent! I still think that the current maps are kind of flat
Hmm, maybe a BC/Alberta map? :-)

Afghanistan/Pakistan might be good.
Bosnia?

#1725636 - 04/11/05 12:03 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
I still think that the current maps are kind of flat
Set the TerrainHeight in your CA.INI to 60 or 70 and it will be more mountainous. The down side is that the poor resolution of the height map starts to become apparent as the terrain begins to show some pretty sharp angles. At a setting of 100, I could still fly the mission, but it was starting to look like the Micro Machines version of Longbow. All of the vehicles were still able to navigate the terrain, but I saw enemy tanks sitting on 70 degree slopes, etc. Kinda humerous. \:D


A7N8X Dlx., 2700+@3200 settings, 9700Pro, Sony 17" Trinitron, Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers. WinXP Pro.
#1725637 - 04/11/05 12:09 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
I suspect the HUD readings are in feet, and the 'height map' file in Metres?
The HUD reading is in feet, I have no idea what the "height map" file is, I suspect it's neither feet nor meters.
Quote:
Early test shows minimum of 28, maximum of 238 for demo map
The AZR map, on the far right edge, has a piece of seawater, I believe. It may be interesting to see what the altitude of that is, both in-game and in the height map. My guess is, if it's ocean, the data = 0.


A7N8X Dlx., 2700+@3200 settings, 9700Pro, Sony 17" Trinitron, Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers. WinXP Pro.
#1725638 - 04/11/05 02:47 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
Fantastic work, guys.

Very shortly, 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...

Carry on.
Thanks Fng2k for the kind words. Most of the credit for my education about Gunship! and in fact SF:P1 goes to you, Sir. And guess what, just today in my mail to Keith I'd mentioned that it would be so cool if you could be around with us here.You are foremost Gunship! person but I know that you would never hesitate to help and generously share knowledge and information no matter where.

So if you can, then please try to be, because it looks it is going to be fun and quite interesting ride.

#1725639 - 04/11/05 08:15 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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New version of LBMap is up at my web site

Includes height display,
optional vertical flip,
can display maps in other folders
stuff I've forgotten....

EL - assuming they used satellite data for the terrain, that will have been in metres.
Maybe height from data file * default multiplier in CA.INI = actual height in metres?

Matt - Hi, long time no see!

Cheers,
keith

#1725640 - 04/11/05 11:05 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
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) \:\)


A7N8X Dlx., 2700+@3200 settings, 9700Pro, Sony 17" Trinitron, Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers. WinXP Pro.
#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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Quote:
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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Quote:
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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Quote:
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?

#1725660 - 04/12/05 12:38 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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I think the tactical map you see in the game is a Window into the full map as contained in the Map files.
The window moves (in 8KM strips?) as you progress.

Now I've got the game running again will check that.
Cheers,
Keith

#1725661 - 04/12/05 01:38 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
I think the tactical map you see in the game is a Window into the full map as contained in the Map files.
The reason I don't believe that is, each time a new "strip" is added, LB goes through the decompression routine (for example - Decompressing AZR 3,0 > 4,0).
It takes about 25% of the time to do this as it does to go from NTC to AZR, where it requires decompressing an entire map from scratch. Since the game won't let you fly all the way to the edge of the tactical map screen, I can't tell if there is everything decompressed that is shown on the Nav map or not. I can see out there past the point where I get halted, but not as far as the edge of the Nav map. I assume they do this so you don't see the edge of the world and go insane. ;\)
Do you see what I'm getting at with the decompression routine, or am I off base here?


A7N8X Dlx., 2700+@3200 settings, 9700Pro, Sony 17" Trinitron, Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers. WinXP Pro.
#1725662 - 04/12/05 02:05 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
I think the tactical map you see in the game is a Window into the full map as contained in the Map files.
The window moves (in 8KM strips?) as you progress.
I can confirm that. It has to do with the campaign and so called "phase lines". They change according to the progress of the battle and dynamic campaign engine updates this window moving about the map. I have those infos from "Strategy Guide".

In AZR & NTC phase lines are E-W and sectors N-S. AZR has three maps ,but because of the overlap its practically only 2. NTC is only 1 map and was meant for multiplay playground.

Which brings little "heads up". Changing terrain may affect how campaign is played out. I know only from the book that movement of armor and therefore campaign progress depends largely on how flat the terrain is. We need to consider those mechanics too.

#1725663 - 04/12/05 02:08 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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This thread is really quite long. How about splitting subjects and categorising them according to the game files or folders?

#1725664 - 04/12/05 08:27 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
Originally posted by Polak:
This thread is really quite long. How about splitting subjects and categorising them according to the game files or folders?
Excellent idea, these could then become stickys.

#1725665 - 04/12/05 09:00 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Re map sizes - it seems the full map is actually 50 KM by 50 KM.
Comparing a printout of ter_ul.map for azer6 with the in-game map for the 1st mission they are identical.

Cheers,
Keith

#1725666 - 04/12/05 09:11 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Keith, I have finaly put that puzzle map ter_?.map together. Do you need a sequence of that scramble?

The other way we could do some investigation about the original content of the maps is to see and compare what size are the files of equal size as maps, but in different formats and modes (index, rgb etc.) This lack of color is intriquing. Looking at textures in the game I do not think that hight method computation was used.

Is there any compression found in *.map file format.?

#1725667 - 04/12/05 09:45 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Have you guys read page 1.14 in the manual?

Those images look familiar! ;-)

What do you make of the "profiler" map function?

I also see that the Kiowa has a minimap/GPS thingy. Wonder how that's drawn?

#1725668 - 04/12/05 09:53 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Polak,
I think I've worked out the sequence.
Each MAP file is divided into 36 areas.
......
......
......
......
GHIJKL
ABCDEF
For UL there is one tile per area
for L there are 4 tiles per area
CD
AB
for M there are 16 tiles per area
IJKL
EFGH
ABCD
for H there are 64 tiles per area
........
IJKLMNOP
ABCDEFGH

What do you think?
---------------
I think the colours are generated by relative height - the valley floors are sandy, the slopes are scrubby, there are no repetitions that you would see with tiles.
Roads and rivers seem well implemented, I've seen much worse when tiled textures were used.
For 1997 I'm impressed!
There just isnt anywhere for colour data to be hidden in the files, just the palettes which are very small, enough to be used in code but nothing else.
The headers in the MAP file may define which palettes apply to which parts of the file?

The maps in the terrain folder are not compressed, the ones on the CD are.
They are also approx 1.6 times bigger than on disk - I guess the file on disk is a window in to the one on CD, as we were discussing earlier about decompressions during campaign play.

Cheers,
Keith

#1725669 - 04/12/05 10:51 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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I'll address that map code later because I am still at work. I think there is small discrepancy in what I have came up with. But I wonder why they scrambled those maps?

As far as the color, perhaps you are right, but lets wait for someting on "field type" data.
If you guys go and register with gamasutra.com (nice name no?)and search the archive articles about texturing you may come up with pretty interesting ones. I'll search first and post titles later because do not remember now.
Multitexturing maybe, but we need to find yet those textures somewhere. There are textures because close by they are blurry. Programatically painted pixels would be I think rather pretty sharp. And there are visible edges of the tiles where pixels of different color do not allign.

I am combing files with hexeditor to search for *.tga, *.bmp, *.jpg strings. Anything else should I look, while I am at it? Anyone perhaps willing to do this "dirty" work too?
That may speed things up and bring us to the point that we really be repainting those pictures.

#1725670 - 04/12/05 11:24 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
Originally posted by Polak:

I am combing files with hexeditor to search for *.tga, *.bmp, *.jpg strings. Anything else should I look, while I am at it? Anyone perhaps willing to do this "dirty" work too?
That may speed things up and bring us to the point that we really be repainting those pictures.
Sure give us a list of tools to use and what files to look at and what data to look for, and we'll help.

Many hands make light work!

#1725671 - 04/13/05 07:37 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Best way to look for strings is to use a program like Textscan from Analogx
Its free and extracts all types of strings for you nice and quick.
Has other good features too.

---
I guess the reason the LB2 devs coded the height tiles the way they did is to minimise memory use - just the set of high-resolution tiles around your location may be in memory?

Cheers,
Keith

#1725672 - 04/13/05 09:06 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
I guess the reason the LB2 devs coded the height tiles the way they did is to minimise memory use - just the set of high-resolution tiles around your location may be in memory?
I'd bet you're right, the hot video card at the time was the VooDoo2 with a whopping 8M of video memory. This would also explain why you see the terrain "warping" into shape around you as you fly. Now, what setting adjusts the range at which the detail chages from Medium detail texture to High detail texture, and can we modify it so it's not so noticable?
Do you think it's related to these settings in the OBJVIEW.INI file:

[Haze]
NumHazeTables=32
MaxHazeDistance=400000
HazeChunkBase=CM_HAZ__

[CTS]
Num256Buffers=4
Num128Buffers=2
Num64Buffers=1
Num32Buffers=1
DetailLevelling=1
TextureDLDepth0=70000
TextureDLDepth1=120000
TextureDLDepth2=200000
TextureDLDepth3=350000

[TerrainSystem]
MaxPolys=9000
PerspectiveDepth=40000

I kind of think that's what determines it, but what is a unit (i.e. 40000 = what distance?).
There are a lot of interesting-sounding settings in that file, I just wish I could change them on-the-fly for comparison, because I'm having a REAL hard time picking out the change once I exit and re-enter the game.


A7N8X Dlx., 2700+@3200 settings, 9700Pro, Sony 17" Trinitron, Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers. WinXP Pro.
#1725673 - 04/13/05 11:46 AM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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EL,
we have 4 levels of terrain height detail, which would point to TextureDLDepthn maybe,
high detail up to 700 M
medium up to 1.2 KM
etc
just a guess...
But assuming DL stands for DetailLevelling then maybe not?

What could CTS stand for?

Haze has the same 40000 distance so it might be possible to measure the distance to where an object disappears into haze?

Good Luck,
Keith

#1725674 - 04/13/05 12:18 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Quote:
Originally posted by Keith Bedford:
Best way to look for strings is to use a program like Textscan from Analogx
Its free and extracts all types of strings for you nice and quick.
Has other good features too.
Thanks Keith, I downloaded it. I can actually use this at work too!

#1725675 - 04/13/05 01:25 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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+G
Man, I've hacked on those values to no end. While it does have an effect, it's sure hard for me to pinpoint exactly WHAT it is effecting. I guess I don't have a very good eye. I wish I could multiplay with my 2 PCs here, I have identical systems and monitors, maybe if I run one with the hacked .ini and one with the original, I could tell better what the heck is going on. If anyone is interested, I've posted copies of my modified OBJVIEW.ini and CA.ini files on this Web page. They don't cause any problems with the game, but backup your original first, just to be safe.
Link


A7N8X Dlx., 2700+@3200 settings, 9700Pro, Sony 17" Trinitron, Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers. WinXP Pro.
#1725676 - 04/13/05 03:14 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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EL - I'll give those new settings a go this week.

#1725677 - 04/13/05 03:56 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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Here is the TER_l.map code. I call it scramble code. TER_l.map is 144 textures 256x256 each which are loaded in sequence 2matching tiles a the time. Top row indicates original sequence, the bottom are the positions on the grid they have to be moved in order to became legeable picture. All of them need to be vertically flipped too.

So to make new map reverse process needs to be applied. The question is are the other maps scrambled the same way and from what if any reason? Looking at the Keith's post above the answer appears to be - no. And your sequence for TER_l.map was correct.


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
123 124 127 128 131 132 135 136 139 140 143 144

13 14 5 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
121 122 125 126 129 130 133 134 137 138 141 142

25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36
99 100 103 104 107 108 111 112 115 116 119 120

37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48
97 98 101 102 105 106 109 110 113 114 117 118

49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60
75 76 79 80 83 84 97 88 91 92 95 96

61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72
73 74 77 78 81 82 85 86 89 90 93 94

73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84
51 52 55 56 59 60 63 64 67 68 71 72

85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96
49 50 53 54 57 58 61 62 65 66 69 70

97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108
27 28 31 32 35 36 39 40 43 44 47 48

109 110 111 112 111 114 115 116 117 118 119 120
25 26 29 30 33 34 37 38 41 42 45 46

121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132
3 4 7 8 11 12 15 16 19 20 23 24

131 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144
1 2 5 6 9 10 13 14 17 18 21 22

#1725678 - 04/13/05 04:29 PM Re: LB2 modding - extracting files  
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+G
Don't bother replacing the OBJVIEW.INI file, I'm now convinced it didn't improve the game any visually, and I reverted back to the original. Now, the CA.INI (which is the file that has values set when you enter the "Custom Graphics Settings" screen in-game) has some values that I was able to set higher than was possible with the slider bars, and it does improve the visuals (things like smoke effects and mesh detail). Just give that one a go and see what you think. Note that if you use the custom graphic sliders in-game, CA.INI will get modified and you'll need to re-load my file. I couldn't get the terrain mesh to quit "warping" no matter what I modified, the distance must be set by the .exe. I had such hopes. \:\(


A7N8X Dlx., 2700+@3200 settings, 9700Pro, Sony 17" Trinitron, Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers. WinXP Pro.
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