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Way to fix Forest Zig-Zags?


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#1 Panthercules

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 02:19

It's been a while since I saw this effect and I'd just about forgotten about it, but I encountered it again while flying some test missions in PWCG last night:

 

Attached File  RoF - Map zig-zag test 1 before.jpg   492.86KB   3 downloads

 

I know absolutely nothing about how the maps in RoF are made or how to modify them, but I gotta believe that there must be some way to fix these areas so that this visual atrocity goes away.  If anybody could give me or point me to a tutorial on how to play around with maps, I'd be happy to take a stab at trying to get rid of this weirdness - I'm thinking maybe just pushing the forests back from the trenches should help (I only remember seeing this along the front - not in areas away from the front), and if possible maybe including some strip of new land texture that would basically be cut down/blown down tree stumps or something like that as a buffer between the front line textures and the forests.

 

Of course, it'd be even better if some of the folks who actually know what they're doing around these maps would just take care of this, but failing that I wouldn't mind the challenge of trying to fix this thing if someone can point me in the right direction.


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#2 JG1_Vonrd_J10

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 03:45

Waaay above my pay grade... but sure hope something can be done regarding the Zigs. It's in several of the Wargrounds maps as well.


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#3 steppenwolf_

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 14:31

In trying to tackle my own tree woes I got some advice from Paf. The 'global_forest' file handles the larger forest cuts. The 'mask' files handle the texture that goes underneath the forests. Both can be switched from 'indexed' to 'RGB' mode in PhotoShop, altered accordingly, then changed back to 'indexed', then restart the editor to verify your changes. Should work...I think. I also read on one of the threads that the blue color handles the cratered shell texture of the front and that the edges could be faded to make the transition a little more gradual. Hope this helps.


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#4 Panthercules

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 19:22

In trying to tackle my own tree woes I got some advice from Paf. The 'global_forest' file handles the larger forest cuts. The 'mask' files handle the texture that goes underneath the forests. Both can be switched from 'indexed' to 'RGB' mode in PhotoShop, altered accordingly, then changed back to 'indexed', then restart the editor to verify your changes. Should work...I think. I also read on one of the threads that the blue color handles the cratered shell texture of the front and that the edges could be faded to make the transition a little more gradual. Hope this helps.

 

Still talking way over my head in terms of anything I'd actually be able to start playing with if I were going to try to work on this myself, but it's good to see that maybe some progress is being made in terms of finding out where this issue might be able to be addressed by someone who knows what they're doing.


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#5 BaronVonMyakin

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 08:35

Hey guys!

This zig-zag forest line happens because of features of the forest mapping on the map. The forest map is a some graphic file where different colors determine different types of the forest trees. This forest map has resolution 200m/px. That means every type of the trees has square block 200x200 meters (1px). This zig-zag appears at the boards between two different trees' types. In this case, these are burned trees of the front-line and normal trees of the forests.

You can see same situation (but not so visible) at the huge areas of the trees. If you look at the forest by the special angle of view at the low alltitude you can see sometimes some strange dark square blocks on the forest overlay - these are blocks with other types of the leaf-trees in the current forest.

 

I see two ways to correct this pity zig-zag-situation:

1. to make smooth transition from the one type of trees to another one. I guess but that zig-zag can be a bit visible nevertheless

2. to move/detele/correct forest near the front-line.

 

I'm sure both methods will allow to start corrected Map only as Mods-On.

S!


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#6 Panthercules

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 14:24

It'd be nice to have some blasted/cut-down trees near the front lines with intact trees further back, but if that doesn't get rid of the jaggies then I'd be fine with just moving all the forests back further away from the trenches.  And Mods On wouldn't be a problem, since I would imagine the vast majority of SP flyers are flying with mods on anyway.


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#7 BaronVonMyakin

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 14:39

That's the easiest way to cut-down trees near the front.

I'll check it at home and then inform you about results.


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#8 Panthercules

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 02:25

That'd be cool.  If there is some easy, repeatable process that someone could teach/show me how to do I'd be happy to take the map and just go all along the front moving the trees back a bit or whatever works to get rid of these things.


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#9 Panthercules

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 23:43

Bump - got some time blocked out next week and would love to take a whack and revising the map file(s) to try to get rid of these zig-zag forests, but I still don't know how to do it or even where to start learning how to do it.  Can anybody who has worked with these maps or knows how to do it steer me to the right files and/or the right tools needed to make these modifications to the maps?

 

(I tried looking into the files Steppenwolf mentioned above, but there seem to be several global_forest  files and tons of mask files, and while I can open them and convert them to RGB in Photoshop I have no idea how/where to try to modify the files or what to do with them once I've modified them (e.g., what editor should I restart to look at them?).

 

I feel like there must be some sort of map-making/modifying tutorial thread I'm missing here, but so far my searches have been in vain.


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#10 Panthercules

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Posted 21 November 2016 - 00:42

OK - figuring that the "editor" was probably the RoF mission editor, I found an area on the map that shows the zig-zags:

 

Attached File  RoF - Map zig-zag test location.jpg   490.12KB   0 downloads

 

Of course, at this point I have no idea what to do next, or how to get to the underlying map file(s) to start addressing this part of the map, but it's a start I guess.

 

Any hints as to next steps would be greatly appreciated.


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#11 =HillBilly=

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Posted 21 November 2016 - 01:15

I don't think you can do that kind of editing in Mission Editor, you could look in the graphics numbered files.

Attached File  trees.JPG   177.97KB   4 downloads


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#12 Panthercules

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Posted 21 November 2016 - 01:44

I don't think you can do that kind of editing in Mission Editor, you could look in the graphics numbered files.

attachicon.giftrees.JPG

 

Yeah - that's where I found all those global_forest and mask files I mentioned above (that Steppenwolf had mentioned before), but I can't make heads or tails of all those different files, or figure out which of the dozens/hundreds of them correspond to the zig-zag portion of the map being shown in the mission editor (or game itself), or what to do with them (in PhotoShop or whatever) once I manage to find the right ones.

 

I'm assuming that the mission editor might contain some clues as to where this particular area is on the map - there seems to be some sort of coordinate system in play here, though I don't know what they mean or refer to and I don't know if there's any sort of legend or map for the map that would identify which files are relevant to what parts of the map


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#13 O_WolfPac

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 14:06

the edges of the forest line zig zag can be fixed but the process it massive and made extra difficult because rof devs made it difficult by mixing up the cards in which they cut away the treeline.

 

not played rof in in easy 2-3 yrs and im still amazed the knitted woolen jumper effect of the trees is still not fixed , look above your red arrow at the forest and look up across the trees to see the nit1 pearl 1 woollen jumper :0) 

 

Wheres my Hanriot !


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#14 Panthercules

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 18:08

the edges of the forest line zig zag can be fixed but the process it massive and made extra difficult because rof devs made it difficult by mixing up the cards in which they cut away the treeline.

 

not played rof in in easy 2-3 yrs and im still amazed the knitted woolen jumper effect of the trees is still not fixed , look above your red arrow at the forest and look up across the trees to see the nit1 pearl 1 woollen jumper :0) 

 

Wheres my Hanriot !

 

Maybe once I figure out how to get rid of the zig-zags I can take a look at the knitting, but one thing at a time - I find the zig-zags way more distracting/de-immersioning than the knitting while actually in flight, so I'd like to focus on fixing those first.  Just still need some help learning how to fix them.


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#15 Panthercules

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 21:26

Ok - spent some time on Teamspeak earlier today with Baron, who was kind enough to take his time to walk me through some of the process for getting started.  There's a lot to it and I've only just scratched the surface at this point, so it's going to take me a while before I get any decent results.

 

Thought it might be interesting though to give a peek at my first, very rough cut at this, with just a brief before and after shot:

 

Before (stock version):

Attached File  RoF - Map zig-zag test 1 before.jpg   492.86KB   0 downloads

 

After one small bit of tweaking (compare area to the right of my Fokker D.VIII):

Attached File  RoF - Map zig-zag test 1 after.jpg   467.29KB   1 downloads

 

Although this obviously still needs work, I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome of this one first little step - I'm not even too bothered by the relatively ragged/uneven edge of the tree area this produced, as I can easily imagine this as the result of the troops cutting down the closest trees to help shore up their trench lines.

 

May be a while till I figure out the intricasies of how all these map files relate to each other, and once I figure this out for this one little patch there will certainly be a lot of work to deal with this up and down the entire front lines, but hey, it's a start  :icon_e_biggrin:

 

Thanks again Baron for all the help  :icon_e_salute:


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#16 unreasonable

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 02:03

That looks so much better! And I think you are right - some straight edges would be fine, the edge was man made after all.

 

A huge effort to do the whole map though. 


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#17 Oliver88

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 02:58

agree does look much better


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#18 Panthercules

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 04:12

Well, been through a lot of cycles trying to come up with a better result, but while I might try a little more this is looking like it's about as good as it's going to get using the one specific approach I've been testing so far (compare to the "before" pictures in a few posts above):

 

Small area to left of D.VIII in the "before" picture:

Attached File  RoF - Map zig-zag test 3 after-1.jpg   442.69KB   0 downloads

 

 

Larger areas to the right of the D.VIII in the "before" picture:

Attached File  RoF - Map zig-zag test 3 after-2.jpg   435.73KB   0 downloads

 

 

I think it looks pretty decent from higher altitude (about 3,000m), as shown below:

Attached File  RoF - zig zag fix - from 3km.jpg   536.82KB   1 downloads

 

 

The tree-related work seems to have gone pretty well, and I tested by flying below tree-top level and the trees are really gone, so hopefully this won't cause "invisible tree crashing" problems.  So the next thing I have to figure out is how to deal with the dark green shadow areas between the trees and the trenches (red arrows above) - that must be controlled by some other files I haven't found or touched yet.  Any hints on where to start looking/tweaking for those would be greatly appreciated.


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#19 JG1_Vonrd_J10

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 05:06

Looks WAY better Panther! Will this work in MODS off? Thanks for all the work. S!


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#20 Panthercules

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 06:10

Looks WAY better Panther! Will this work in MODS off? Thanks for all the work. S!

 

No, it only works with mods on.  


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#21 BaronVonMyakin

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 08:24

So the next thing I have to figure out is how to deal with the dark green shadow areas between the trees and the trenches (red arrows above) - that must be controlled by some other files I haven't found or touched yet.  Any hints on where to start looking/tweaking for those would be greatly appreciated.

 

All is possible  :icon_cool:  See PM


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#22 Plank

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 08:38

Hmm, can you fill the forest out to the mud rather than cutting it back?

 

If you remove the "shadow" you will then have a gap between the forest and the mud which may, or may not, look a bit odd.

( If I recall the mud of nml is cutting through the forest so you would expect trees right up to the edge...)

 

Nice work though! ( I cannot unsee the forest zig zags now...drat.)

 

Salute!

 

Plank.


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Captured again!

 


#23 Panthercules

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 14:29

Hmm, can you fill the forest out to the mud rather than cutting it back?

 

 

Not using the techniques I've been testing so far - I tried that but it just makes the zig-zags worse for some reason.  Still, hope springs eternal :)


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#24 Panthercules

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 03:41

OMG, Baron is amazing.  Been playing around with another technique he suggested, and I think the results are really super:

 

In case you've forgotten - original/stock:

Attached File  RoF - Map zig-zag test 1 before.jpg   492.86KB   0 downloads

 

Latest test results:

 

Left-side forest patch:

Attached File  RoF - Map zig-zag test 3 after-1.jpg   442.69KB   1 downloads

 

Right-side  forest patch:

Attached File  RoF - Map zig-zag test 3 after-2.jpg   435.73KB   1 downloads

 

 

 

This is not going to be a quick process to work my way up and down the entire front line, but I think the results are going to justify the effort.  I'm so pumped!   :icon_e_biggrin:


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#25 Der.Mo

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 22:36

I REALLY wonder why this ZigZag thing actually exists because I've never ever seen it before on my PC and my rig is a pretty old Intel2 with Asus4850. I mean its not that I've never noticed this in my 6 years of playing RoF because i did not pay much attention, its just not there. Is this a Nvidia Card issue?
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#26 Panthercules

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 02:19



I REALLY wonder why this ZigZag thing actually exists because I've never ever seen it before on my PC and my rig is a pretty old Intel2 with Asus4850. I mean its not that I've never noticed this in my 6 years of playing RoF because i did not pay much attention, its just not there. Is this a Nvidia Card issue?

 

Hey Der Mo - do me a favor, OK?

 

Please try doing a QMB mission at about 1,000 m altitude starting at point "1" on the screenshot, and fly NNE to the front lines (not far) as indicated by the red arrow, and then look at the edges (facing the trench lines) of the two forest areas marked "L" and "R" and see if you don't see the zig-zags (those areas are the two featured in my test screenshots in the posts above, to the left and right of the plane in my shots):

 

Attached File  RoF - Map zig-zag test location.jpg   490.12KB   0 downloads

 

If you don't see them, please post your graphics card specs and graphics settings (game and driver) - would be really interesting (and maybe save me a ton of work) if somehow this turns out to be related to graphics settings somehow and they can be fixed that way instead of by map file changes.


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#27 Oorpii

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 07:32

Had to check out of curiousity since I never noticed any ZZ forests and indeed they were there (I've got GTX 980 TI). From now on I have to keep an eye on the forests as well.... :icon_e_smile:

 

 

Attached Files

  • Attached File  ZZ.PNG   2.83MB   0 downloads

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#28 Der.Mo

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 12:33

Checked it and yes the zigzag is there. Sorry buddy, my fault
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#29 SYN_Bandy

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 13:08

I applaud your effort Panthercules, you are addressing something that should have been accomplished by the developers of the game a long long time ago, in fact, when they were creating the map in the first place.  What the __k were they thinking?  "Is good enough" comes to mind, but I digress.

 

While your solution to eliminate the dark forest shadow between the forest edge and NML seems to make sense visually, in fact it does not.  Generally these forests are supposed to continue across the 'mud', but of course they were blasted away.  These forests appear on the large scale game map as such, so cropping their shape (getting rid of the shadow) is really not the best solution.

 

I'm not sure what your process is, but the image below leads me to believe there is an alternative.  Near the red arrow to the right are small bits of isolated forest and trees not connected to the main forest and away from the edge.  Rather than make an unrealistic 'edge' to the blasted forest, and then deleting the dark shadow, is it possible to make the transition zone between forest blasted edge and NML mud include more of these bits of forest and tree?  I suspect this may involve just painting spots (or making random irregular holes?) on the mask, but correct me if wrong.  S!

 

RoF%20-%20Map%20zig-zag%20test%202%20aft


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#30 BaronVonMyakin

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 14:05

Bandy, the forest on the NML is not blasted away, it has just another type of trees - so called burned trees. I don't think that we lose much after Panther's correction, because it was enough unclear to compare forest on the game's map with the forest on the NML.

Your suggestion about using small isolated forests and trees is unfortunately impossible to realize. These forests are generated according to the landscape textures and you can't correct them localy. Of course we can make it on the global forest map but that means it's needed to correct map of the trees' types too. And that means already to much work.

Let's wait firstly the first result from Panther.


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#31 Panthercules

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 15:16

Interesting discussion (and thanks Der Mo for confirming that it isn't just a graphics settings thing after all).  I will probably make one more attempt at moving the trees closer to the front instead of away from it (have one more idea I haven't tried yet), but as Baron indicated I'm not real hopeful for that result, and I think a little bit of difference from the large scale map's forest placement is a small price to pay for the elimination of the zig-zags, especially since the front line areas already have caused a much bigger difference in the way those mapped forest areas look.   (I do wonder if it might be possible to "mod" the large scale map to reflect the differences created by moving these forest areas back, so there wouldn't be as much difference between the map and the way things look on the ground - may have to check into that somewhere along the way).

 

I've completed the first preliminary step of my project (preparing a map overlay guide to show which specific mask files correspond to which areas of the map all along the front lines), so that should help speed up the eventual editing tasks.  I've still got at least one other preliminary step to complete (trying to see if I can figure out how to use the Mission Editor well enough to create a more efficient way for me to check the results of my map tweaks) before I start mass productions of the edits themselves, but I dodged a bullet of having to travel out of town for the next few days so I hope to make some real progress on this over the weekend if possible.


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#32 SYN_Bandy

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 16:23

Please do not get me wrong by what I meant to be a supportive and constructive comment. I am just unaware of what the details and limitations are here.

 

Looking at your image I reposted, I saw those isolated bits of forest and trees and thought there was hope for a more gradual transition to the mud, but perhaps those trees were only bits of the zig-zag mask that you didn't get resolved or erased or whatever you are doing?

 

That said, even just breaking up the ugly zig-zag edge by making those 'corners' into irregular isolated bits of forest IMHO would be better than a more straight edge to the forest.  Just another thought.

 

S!


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#33 Panthercules

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 18:57

@SYN_Bandy - I'm not yet sure exactly what is causing those stray trees to still be there, as based on what I've been doing so far I can't find any reason that they should still be there.  But I will be taking another look at that in my final testing before I start my "production run" all up and down the front lines. (I've got another idea that I want to test about whether I can create a bit more varied/undulating edge structure for different tree areas so they all won't just look like straight lines).


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#34 BaronVonMyakin

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 21:39

Don't forget to show us a resuld of this experiment, Panther.

I have tried already to make edges of the forests not so "nice cut" but more "wild" like one in BOS. Unfortunately, the global forset map's resolution is too small for that.


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#35 Panthercules

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 23:34

Don't forget to show us a resuld of this experiment, Panther.

I have tried already to make edges of the forests not so "nice cut" but more "wild" like one in BOS. Unfortunately, the global forset map's resolution is too small for that.

 

Yeah - the resolution of that file is less than ideal, and as you'll notice some of the other forest areas nearby my test spots have some pretty straight-looking lines and I didn't touch them, so I'm not real hopeful about the prospects here but I do want to try a couple more things before I give up (although, again, TBH I'm not too unhappy with the relative straight but somewhat ragged/rough edges of my latest shots above for these particular areas given their proximity to the front and the likelihood that enterprising soldiers may well have taken some whacks at them to gather wood for their trench structures).


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#36 Panthercules

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 04:22

Well, I wasn't having any luck trying to implement my ideas for an improved/more efficient work flow, so I decided to play around with the idea of moving the mud toward the trees.

 

Mixed results:  Yes, I can move the mud toward the trees, with generally OK results, BUT No, I can't figure out how to get rid of the stray trees, so the result is a bit weird-looking:

 

Attached File  RoF - Map zig-zag test 4 after-1.jpg   461.75KB   1 downloads

 

Unless I can figure out how to get rid of those stray trees, I'm going to have to go back to my previous cycle, 'cause the stray trees on normal land don't look as weird as stray trees in the bombed out mud areas.


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#37 Panthercules

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 05:17

OK - went back to my previous methodology and did some minor tweaks - I think this is about as good as it's gonna get, and I'm pretty darn happy with it.  Screenshot below shows the larger of the two areas that I've worked on (the one on the right, both below and in the "before" and earlier test pictures), and also shows a nearby area farther along the front to the left that I haven't touched yet (so, stock/"before"):

 

Attached File  RoF - Map zig-zag test 5 after-1.jpg   329.77KB   0 downloads

 

I also discovered during some additional test flights that the stock zig-zags are a lot less prominent at noon - I guess when the sun is high there are no shadows to emphasize the zig-zag effect (and maybe less reflection off the trees as well, not sure), but they really start to pop out later in the afternoon (the shot above is at about 3:30PM).


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#38 Panthercules

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 00:03

OK - small progress report.  Things are still pretty slow going, but I have managed to make a few small improvements to my work flow and the last session a few minutes ago went much more quickly. Still going to take a while, and the results aren't perfect, but I'm just aiming to make these areas much less noticeable/more ignorable as you're flying around near the front so you don't get jarred out of the immersion by the zig-zags, and so far I think it's working well enough to be worth the effort.

 

Also, from reviewing the affected files it seems there are probably relatively fewer of these troublesome areas up on the northern end of the front lines, so that should help speed things up a bit at least compared to what I was expecting.

 

OK - back to work :)


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#39 Panthercules

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 17:12

OTG - as slow as the production work has been going, I was really getting worried that I was going to have to do this two more times (one for autumn map and again for winter map), but I just ran some tests and fortunately the work I've done on the summer map also works just fine on the other season maps as well.  Phew - dodged a big bullet there :)


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#40 Panthercules

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 05:43

Minor progress report - the following screenshot shows (in green) the portions of the front that have been completed:

 

Attached File  RoF - Zig-Zag progress status 1.jpg   579.35KB   1 downloads

 

Some portions (like a lot of the northern-most section) are going pretty quick (few forests near the trenches), but others are a bear.  I wish I could figure out what it is about the front lines that are causing this problem, as maybe that would speed things up, but this seems to be working pretty well so I guess I'll see it through.

 

Will keep plugging away, though it will be a while depending on how things go IRL for the next few weeks.


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