Terrain Development

ArmA 3 general discussion

Moderators: Snake Man, Lone Wolf

Post Reply
Snake Man
Commander-In-Chief
Posts: 8541
Joined: 2000-07-31, 10:01:01 PM
Gaming Interests: ArmA, ArmA 2, Falcon 4.0 and OFP.
Editing Interests: All, I (try) to edit everything.
Location: PMC

Terrain Development

Post by Snake Man » 2017-03-15, 03:33:01 AM

ArmA 3 PMC Terrain Development

I thought it might be nice to have topic where various terrain development discoveries etc are posted.

To recap whats been happening to my personal arma3 terrain projects; I wrote the PMC Ultimate Terrain Tutorial which has been very successful with newbie terrain makers, then just recently mere weeks ago (well OK might be bit longer time) we at the discord arma #terrain_makers finally figured out after painstakingly testing all sorts of stuff, of how to create real world data terrains.

Here is some PMC Terrain Development footage of heavily work in progress terrains (as you'll see).



I'll try to post anything interesting or major that happens in terrain editing.
PMC since 1984

Editing knowledge, visit PMC Editing Wiki
Addon manuals, visit PMC addons/mods online manuals
View our videos in PMC Youtube channel.

PMC Tactical forum Advanced Search is power.

Snake Man
Commander-In-Chief
Posts: 8541
Joined: 2000-07-31, 10:01:01 PM
Gaming Interests: ArmA, ArmA 2, Falcon 4.0 and OFP.
Editing Interests: All, I (try) to edit everything.
Location: PMC

Re: Terrain Development

Post by Snake Man » 2017-03-18, 01:19:06 AM

Currently I'm running about three (3) different tasks at the same time on the most busiest times, it depends bit how the projects process etc.

- Terra incognita is downloading satellite texture
- pboProject is binarizing terrain
- Global mapper is exporting another set of source files
- Convert layers png fast is processing PNG to PAA

... ooh my! ;)

Yeah its not for the weak minded that's for sure hehe. It starts to put some strain on me as I don't want to miss even a minute of valuable editing time in a day, so I constantly have to watch and keep those processes running.

The problem is my quad core 16gb ram computer which runs out of cores and ram very quickly, I have to slow down in this editing pace as the computer can't handle all that I would throw at it hehe :)

I'm seriously planning on purchasing some multi core like 8+ core and 32gb ram bare minimum system as soon as I get some money. This is crazy stuff man, just crazy ...
PMC since 1984

Editing knowledge, visit PMC Editing Wiki
Addon manuals, visit PMC addons/mods online manuals
View our videos in PMC Youtube channel.

PMC Tactical forum Advanced Search is power.

Snake Man
Commander-In-Chief
Posts: 8541
Joined: 2000-07-31, 10:01:01 PM
Gaming Interests: ArmA, ArmA 2, Falcon 4.0 and OFP.
Editing Interests: All, I (try) to edit everything.
Location: PMC

Re: Terrain Development

Post by Snake Man » 2017-03-20, 04:00:24 PM

Learned valuable lesson when working on the PMC Real World Data Terrain MEGA Project as I chose few terrain locations which ended up overlapping each other. Overlapping is stupid, I mean why do the work twice.

Had to actually re-design locations and even terrain sizes for few of those.

Was interesting to see that I was too enthusiastic when I did the design phase and didn't even notice those overlapping areas.

Obviously this is so called first world problem, I mean normal arma3 terrain developer has nothing like this to worry about as he is working on one single terrain.

Also today I finally completed terra incognita satellite texture downloads for libya, yeah! :)

Now that download finished terra incognita cache dir is 39.8gb with 3.9 million files heh.
PMC since 1984

Editing knowledge, visit PMC Editing Wiki
Addon manuals, visit PMC addons/mods online manuals
View our videos in PMC Youtube channel.

PMC Tactical forum Advanced Search is power.

Snake Man
Commander-In-Chief
Posts: 8541
Joined: 2000-07-31, 10:01:01 PM
Gaming Interests: ArmA, ArmA 2, Falcon 4.0 and OFP.
Editing Interests: All, I (try) to edit everything.
Location: PMC

Re: Terrain Development

Post by Snake Man » 2017-04-01, 06:32:41 PM

Finished all afghanistan terrains, the few syrian terrains and even vietnam terrains are almost complete (just one terrain giving me binarize freeze for unknown reason).

On 03-24-17 PMC after careful consideration and few suggestions I decided to create bis forum topic for PMC Real World Data Terrains, torrent downloads started and was seeding max speed for over 10hrs (utorrent history time limit). Since then Dscha and TeTeT have joined to help me seed these torrents and obviously everyone how downloads and seeds, thanks guys!

I was really surprised how warm welcome these terrains got. I was expecting silence or grunts about object-less / too large terrains, but seems like people are really happy to have large aircraft terrains.

Attempted to create 143,360 resolution satellite texture because Libya Benghazi terra incognita download was made as 1 meter / pixel resolution but the terrain design was set to 143km so... ugh heh. Attempted? Yes because I ran out of hard drive space :(

Hard drive free space is a big problem for me, I've battled against that for what feels like weeks now. I free some space, do couple of terrains and we are back in square one. Extremely frustrating. However there is light at the end of the tunnel as monday (first work day of april) I'm going to order Western Digital 4 terabyte Blue hard drive. It should arrive by the end of the week if I'm lucky. After that the last push of the PMC Real World Data Terrain mega project begins.

Since 03-31-17 its been holding pattern on these terrains because above. I'm trying to do some other smal stuff which doesn't require so much hard disk space but yeah its been pretty relaxed today. Actually this is quite nice breather for the insane terrain developing rythym I've kept on for weeks (if not months).
PMC since 1984

Editing knowledge, visit PMC Editing Wiki
Addon manuals, visit PMC addons/mods online manuals
View our videos in PMC Youtube channel.

PMC Tactical forum Advanced Search is power.

Snake Man
Commander-In-Chief
Posts: 8541
Joined: 2000-07-31, 10:01:01 PM
Gaming Interests: ArmA, ArmA 2, Falcon 4.0 and OFP.
Editing Interests: All, I (try) to edit everything.
Location: PMC

Re: Terrain Development

Post by Snake Man » 2017-04-08, 09:06:20 PM

On friday 04-07-17 the new western digital 4tb blue hard disk arrived, set it up and now I'm back in making terrains and full speed :D

Already got couple of new PMC real world data terrains in-game and lot of source data created with global mapper and terrain builder related tools. Things picking up nicely.
PMC since 1984

Editing knowledge, visit PMC Editing Wiki
Addon manuals, visit PMC addons/mods online manuals
View our videos in PMC Youtube channel.

PMC Tactical forum Advanced Search is power.

Snake Man
Commander-In-Chief
Posts: 8541
Joined: 2000-07-31, 10:01:01 PM
Gaming Interests: ArmA, ArmA 2, Falcon 4.0 and OFP.
Editing Interests: All, I (try) to edit everything.
Location: PMC

Re: Terrain Development

Post by Snake Man » 2017-04-11, 02:59:19 AM

I did it, I broke my own high score! :)

I now have working in-game terrain with 143,360 x 143,360 resolution satellite texture/mask.

First when I tried huge satellite resolutions I thought 71,680 was simply crazy, then I was pushing more boundaries with even number 81,920 and then I thought magical 100k number of 102,400 was demented act of a lunatic... and now I have 143,360 in-game. I'm starting to lose all sense of reality and think there is like no limit what arma3.exe can consume... :o
PMC since 1984

Editing knowledge, visit PMC Editing Wiki
Addon manuals, visit PMC addons/mods online manuals
View our videos in PMC Youtube channel.

PMC Tactical forum Advanced Search is power.

Snake Man
Commander-In-Chief
Posts: 8541
Joined: 2000-07-31, 10:01:01 PM
Gaming Interests: ArmA, ArmA 2, Falcon 4.0 and OFP.
Editing Interests: All, I (try) to edit everything.
Location: PMC

Re: Terrain Development

Post by Snake Man » 2017-04-18, 04:51:33 AM

Yesterday binarized last PMC real world data terrains for its phase 1!

Now I'm going to relax at least for a day, or maybe half a day, or maybe few hours at least.. heh who am I kidding, I'll be editing stuff for phase 2 right away! :D

It has been extremely exhausting doing all those terrains for all this time. Unfortunately I didn't write down the day I decided to start this project, but it was march 13th 2017 when the forum topic was created and it was at least week or two before that when this project started. Actually this project started the day when I begin learning real world data tools in the first place heh.

Feels so satisfying to complete phase 1 and providing arma3 players so many terrains from real world locations.

Cannot wait to start further tweak these terrains but still I want to remind that these terrains will never be "normally populated" with objects by me alone, but I can add forest vegetation and place objects for important areas like military bases, airfields etc.

Exciting times for terrain development! :)
PMC since 1984

Editing knowledge, visit PMC Editing Wiki
Addon manuals, visit PMC addons/mods online manuals
View our videos in PMC Youtube channel.

PMC Tactical forum Advanced Search is power.

Snake Man
Commander-In-Chief
Posts: 8541
Joined: 2000-07-31, 10:01:01 PM
Gaming Interests: ArmA, ArmA 2, Falcon 4.0 and OFP.
Editing Interests: All, I (try) to edit everything.
Location: PMC

Re: Terrain Development

Post by Snake Man » 2017-05-07, 12:23:13 PM

Now I have a tool pipeline to place vegetation and even buildings (only as placeholders) randomly using openstreetmap shapefiles! :D

This is at least for me major breakthrough, it is so easy now to create more complete real world data terrains as so much of the info comes directly from online and automation goes so far. Only thing left now is the individual object placement like houses and other populated places.

After I refine my tool pipeline and workflow I'll update our wiki with the tutorial parts how to do this.

This is awesome! :)
PMC since 1984

Editing knowledge, visit PMC Editing Wiki
Addon manuals, visit PMC addons/mods online manuals
View our videos in PMC Youtube channel.

PMC Tactical forum Advanced Search is power.

Snake Man
Commander-In-Chief
Posts: 8541
Joined: 2000-07-31, 10:01:01 PM
Gaming Interests: ArmA, ArmA 2, Falcon 4.0 and OFP.
Editing Interests: All, I (try) to edit everything.
Location: PMC

Re: Terrain Development

Post by Snake Man » 2017-08-17, 05:21:50 PM

Good news for terrain downloads! Today I got my internet connection upgraded to gigabit 1000/100 and can now seed the terrain torrents with about 8mb/s speed! That along with Dscha server seeding, there should be no problems for fast downloads.

I will definitely keep torrent's as PMC main distribution method for arma3 addons. It is so much easier for me to handle and everyone has torrent client these days (if they don't they should).
PMC since 1984

Editing knowledge, visit PMC Editing Wiki
Addon manuals, visit PMC addons/mods online manuals
View our videos in PMC Youtube channel.

PMC Tactical forum Advanced Search is power.

Snake Man
Commander-In-Chief
Posts: 8541
Joined: 2000-07-31, 10:01:01 PM
Gaming Interests: ArmA, ArmA 2, Falcon 4.0 and OFP.
Editing Interests: All, I (try) to edit everything.
Location: PMC

Re: Terrain Development

Post by Snake Man » 2017-09-11, 02:17:43 PM

The new western digital 4tb blue hard disk drive that I bought in april... started to break down, heh. So I had to get another new WD 4tb blue. It has now been installed and files migrated there.

It only took three days to copy all those arma3 terrain editing p:\ contents with the millions (yes literally) files including useless PNG/PAA in layers dirs etc.

Now lets hope this another-new hdd wont break right away heh.
PMC since 1984

Editing knowledge, visit PMC Editing Wiki
Addon manuals, visit PMC addons/mods online manuals
View our videos in PMC Youtube channel.

PMC Tactical forum Advanced Search is power.

Colince411
Newbie
Posts: 1
Joined: 2017-09-13, 02:47:13 PM
Gaming Interests: ArmA and ArmA 2.
Editing Interests: Terrains

Re: Terrain Development

Post by Colince411 » 2017-09-13, 04:29:34 PM

Hello everybody!

After seeing the success with the large scale Jets terrains, I thought I'd have a crack at it. I not new to map making and prior to my current project, I was working on a 82km map located in northern Nevada. I got as far as v0.01; importing all of the data into Arma 3. My satellite data was 10m/px, which at the time was super cool and very beautiful looking in-game....at high altitudes. Unfortunately though, I'm one of those guys who tries to please everybody. I figured that if I was going to put a large amount of time and effort into a project, I would not like it to be for select player types.

Skip about 10 months forward and you get to about 3 weeks ago. I finally got a little break from the army life(currently stationed in South Korea) and decided now was a good time to start gathering data for my new project. Being as picky and selective as I am, I new that wherever I was going to select had to be an island. That way the immersion of players wouldn't be broken when they approach the boundaries of the map. It had to be something with a large variety of terrains and environments; and also had to be similar in type to the maps Altis and Stratis(this would help me with my layers map by giving me a proven and completed point of reference). My final requirement was that the island, had to be large! Obviously under 143km, but big enough to where I could turn some heads and players could really feel surrounded by the game.

Now, thinking big-picture is one of my major flaws because it always keeps me held back with complex thinking, and never allows me to continue with an idea; luckily this was not one of those times. A map 143km x 143km has a total area of 20,449,000,000 meters. Knowing (thanks to PMC) that the max number of objects (with this size) was 6,246,282. Divide the numbers and you get 1 object for every 3.273 kilometers.....you cant really please every body with that population. Luckily my map is an island with the total area of 3,607,393 kilometers. This puts my island object count about 1.7 objects per kilometer....still sub-par. But after a very detailed review of my island, I've come to the conclusion that roughly 5/8 of my island is baron and can be very loosely populated; saving my object budget for the remaining 1,352,773 kilometers to be the main focus. Of which another 3/4 of that are fields and mountain sides that are not highly object taxing.

The current work I've been doing is of course Sat-image acquiring. So far I have all the sat data for my entire terrain from three different sources. This gives me three different images per tile, taken at three different times, allowing my to have three different options when stitching images together. All of my images were selected from a scale of 1m/px making my map Sat-image 1m/px. I've had a lot of issues with clouds and discoloration in each tile, but with the three different options of images and a LOT of Photoshop magic; I have almost completed my whole island. My goal was always to have a high quality and smooth Sat-image without that patchy appearance that some maps have with unprocessed images. It's completely understandable though, the amount of time and effort I've put into just this small portion of the project has been more than enough to make me continue and never think about looking back. lol

Anyways, I just wanted to pop in and introduce myself and let everyone in on my current terrain project. I am very open to criticism and ideas, to the point where I even welcome people to try to lower my confidence. It just ends up as fuel for my intention to succeed. :wink:

Thanks for adding me to the forums- Thanks for pioneering the way with large scale Arma maps- and of course Thanks for the incredible time saving reference data provided on your website!

Snake Man
Commander-In-Chief
Posts: 8541
Joined: 2000-07-31, 10:01:01 PM
Gaming Interests: ArmA, ArmA 2, Falcon 4.0 and OFP.
Editing Interests: All, I (try) to edit everything.
Location: PMC

Re: Terrain Development

Post by Snake Man » 2018-02-11, 01:19:12 AM

We have known for long time that binarize crashes when trying to binarize more than about 6.6 million objects, it always crashes on me when doing 6.7 or more objects.

Was thinking that because binarize is 32bit it might be the limiting factor, I remembered my arma1/arma2 terrain days when sometimes for some odd reason I loaded unbinarized WRPs into arma, so why not try the same here because arma3_x64.exe is 64bit, it should theoretically eat huge number of objects that we throw at it.

So I went and terrain processor generated 10 million objects, heh yes 10,046,778 objects to be precise. Imported these to terrain builder which took 59 minutes heh, then exported WRP.

Now I did not start to binarize with pboproject, but I used armake instead and the "pack as is" option, so the pbo will have unbinarized WRP.

Then went and loaded that terrain pbo into arma3, it loaded very slowly but steadily increasing the green progress bar at top of the screen, it reached all the way to the right but arma3 was still loading or doing something. Memory usage peaked 7.4gb ram which was quite crazy heh.

Finally got into eden editor, it works! :D

Did some testing but unfortunately there is some sort of problem with that many objects as they seem to be loading into one or just few terrain grid at the time, a bit difficult to explain. Also character and weapon LODs were not loading properly, there clearly was some memory usage issues with this insane number of objects UNBINARIZED in-game.

But I was very happy to see my theory come through, 64bit arma3 can load more than 6.6 million objects, its just the 32bit binarize that is our bottle neck now.

I'm hoping that we can contact bis devs and ask them to release 64bit binarize so we can pack more objects into our terrains.
PMC since 1984

Editing knowledge, visit PMC Editing Wiki
Addon manuals, visit PMC addons/mods online manuals
View our videos in PMC Youtube channel.

PMC Tactical forum Advanced Search is power.

Snake Man
Commander-In-Chief
Posts: 8541
Joined: 2000-07-31, 10:01:01 PM
Gaming Interests: ArmA, ArmA 2, Falcon 4.0 and OFP.
Editing Interests: All, I (try) to edit everything.
Location: PMC

Re: Terrain Development

Post by Snake Man » 2018-02-18, 09:04:34 PM

PMC Iran Jahrom 163km terrain

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTsa10eJjAk

This is at today the largest ever terrain for arma3 as in complete package of heightmap + satellite texture / mask + objects (we all know you can and people have made 400+ km empty objectless terrains with basically no satellite texture). This terrain has 163,840 x 163,840 resolution satellite and 532,796 objects.

I wanted to add more objects (half a million is not enuff muhaha), but there are literally no forests so its all about buildings and small clusters of trees around them.

Anyways I'm really happy to get this terrain in-game and working, also updated https://pmc.editing.wiki/doku.php?id=ar ... ain-limits
PMC since 1984

Editing knowledge, visit PMC Editing Wiki
Addon manuals, visit PMC addons/mods online manuals
View our videos in PMC Youtube channel.

PMC Tactical forum Advanced Search is power.

Snake Man
Commander-In-Chief
Posts: 8541
Joined: 2000-07-31, 10:01:01 PM
Gaming Interests: ArmA, ArmA 2, Falcon 4.0 and OFP.
Editing Interests: All, I (try) to edit everything.
Location: PMC

Re: Terrain Development

Post by Snake Man » 2018-03-13, 05:42:15 AM

Here is footage from terrain with massive 16,339,874 objects in-game.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alf3Czs9m5U

We are living in exciting time at terrain development community :)
PMC since 1984

Editing knowledge, visit PMC Editing Wiki
Addon manuals, visit PMC addons/mods online manuals
View our videos in PMC Youtube channel.

PMC Tactical forum Advanced Search is power.

Snake Man
Commander-In-Chief
Posts: 8541
Joined: 2000-07-31, 10:01:01 PM
Gaming Interests: ArmA, ArmA 2, Falcon 4.0 and OFP.
Editing Interests: All, I (try) to edit everything.
Location: PMC

Re: Terrain Development

Post by Snake Man » 2018-04-19, 07:31:44 AM

After some thought I made a decision; no more populated place shape file terrain processor random placement, I'll do populated places using compositions / prefabs in eden editor / map builder etc.

That doesn't mean that the populated places look great or even good, but at least they don't look as crap as the random method result you can see today from existing PMC real world data terrains.

It will be a lot of work to make the compositions / prefabs and stamp them down (and often rotate), but the way I see it every composition / prefab you create, you are making progress instead of hammering your head to a brick wall with shapes + random placement.

The more your composition library grows the better final product you can achieve. Also I plan on adding my eden compositions and map builder presets into github for everyone to download, sharing all the way.

We had fun with OSM shape files for populated places, but from now on its all manually placed prefabs.
PMC since 1984

Editing knowledge, visit PMC Editing Wiki
Addon manuals, visit PMC addons/mods online manuals
View our videos in PMC Youtube channel.

PMC Tactical forum Advanced Search is power.

Snake Man
Commander-In-Chief
Posts: 8541
Joined: 2000-07-31, 10:01:01 PM
Gaming Interests: ArmA, ArmA 2, Falcon 4.0 and OFP.
Editing Interests: All, I (try) to edit everything.
Location: PMC

Re: Terrain Development

Post by Snake Man » 2018-04-22, 02:46:19 PM

Here I'm using ObjectPlacementTBH tool by Adanteh to stamp in some compositions and making one brand new one.

Iraq Al Qaim Placing Objects https://youtu.be/G56VfyCEVjc
PMC since 1984

Editing knowledge, visit PMC Editing Wiki
Addon manuals, visit PMC addons/mods online manuals
View our videos in PMC Youtube channel.

PMC Tactical forum Advanced Search is power.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests