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WOV - Target Object Placement Interface Tool WIP

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LONG OVERDUE STT UPDATE - NOV 2010

 

After quite a very long absence, I have returned with a vengeance … LOL! I’ll probably get the tool just perfect and then TK will update everything, but at least so far it’s been relevant over multiple patches… :lol:

 

This functionality in a way is a tribute to the true trail blazer and object placement guru who really pioneered “lay-outs” – the one and only Kevin/Wrench! In addition, I would like to honor one guy that has stepped a little further away from the community to spend more time with his family. Steffen/Tannethal was always my go-to guy every step of the way - to test, make improvements and encourage me to push the limits. Without him, I would not be where I am today – Steffen, I salute you! :salute: Finally, one more guy that has really jumped in and kicked this tool around pouring his time, support and pokes for improvement (ok, ok I’ll make airfield parking support for ya!) I wish thank is Umut/PureBlue whose Anatolia project is really coming to life now!

 

So here I share what in my humble opinion for me is an absolute break-through on the STT too. Leveraging some heavy use of complex geometric formulas and modified Pythagorean Theories (that others helped me with…LOL), I have really “revolutionalized” the tool in a way I never dreamed possible.

 

Imagine having just one target object. Think about this one target object as being a box. This one single but very special target object “box” is technically referred to as a 'SOC'. ‘SOC’ stands for "STT Object Collection." But let's give this box a more meaningful name, maybe "SOC-SmallUSArmyCamp." Now, within this box are many individual target objects such as jeeps, M113s, tents, barracks, etc. that of course make up the small US Army Camp. Furthermore, assume these individual objects are neatly arranged exactly how I want them within the box: the tents and barracks are in a row, the jeeps are guarding the perimeter, watchtowers in the corners, etc.

 

In the past, we would have to manually calculate all the offsets to these objects, or always place them at a pre-determined position in order to not disrupt the pre-defined offsets. Well, instead of having to move and manipulate the 100s of items in the box, what if I could just move the whole damn box where I wanted? And what if after I moved the box, it would automatically update ALL the individual target offsets depending on where I moved the box? Are you still with me…? If so, that’s the capability I can deliver!

 

One macro can now represent 100s of objects - think of the possibilities everyone!!! Imagine having pre-defined SOCs for "AAA" emplacements where you have the AAA shelter, FireCans, SAMs, etc. already laid out! You just simply drag and drop the box wherever you want on the grid, and in one click you have just created a complete AAA site exactly where you wanted, made up of dozens of the respective target objects already aligned exactly as you wanted! Imagine entire villages added by placing a single macro! Imagine taking entire airfields and replicating them to any new location that you want - all by just adding a single ‘SOC’ macro!

 

But wait, there’s more! You can also create any custom SOC collection you want! You can use FSSC or modify any one of my base template designs. And it’s easy to do, because you’re working with a graphical system, not an .ini with offset values. Want to move the truck park further south…? Just group the 10 red square trucks and drag them that way, save your SOC file and presto, you’re new object collection is ready. You can literally build your own custom boxes to hold anything you want! When the tool recognizes one of your special SOC objects / boxes, it automatically converts everything to it’s proper offset positions. Holy moly, talk about a real time saver! I can’t even begin to describe how much this has forever personally changed the way I think and perform target placement! Now it’s NOT perfect, it’s still in a beta state and right now there are some slight rotation limits, but I’m confident I’ll be able to work through those.

 

Anyway, here’s a quick working example…probably not the best example but you'll get the idea.

 

Here I create my custom SOC “Box” which is a small U.S. Army camp which primarily consists of trucks and tents…

SOCBOX.jpg

 

Here, I’m working with the default Da Nang Airbase.

SOCWOV3.jpg

 

I use the graphical editor, and select my “SOC” macro.

SOC1.jpg

 

Next, you can see how I’m placing the small U.S. Army Camp “box” just west of the Da Nang airfield. The default Da Nang airfield has about 95/96 objects. Notice also how the box encompasses the proper width/length dimensions of the furthest objects.

SOC2.jpg

 

Next I just save my file and load up the STT tool. When I convert, the tool detects a SOC object, and translates the one “box” into it’s respective individual targets. Look here how the count went to 213 objects and each is properly displayed with it’s updated offset coordinates based exactly on where I placed the box.

SOC5.jpg

 

I’m done – no more tweaking or updates needed! Run the game, and here is an example of what I get. Start to finish time – about 5 minutes for me… Now imagine having predefined boxes for just about anything you might need, and the flexibility to put them exactly where you want them, create your own custom ones, etc. It really makes the modder's job a lot more manageable, and just might even be friendly enough for the average user to grasp. Well, more to come again soon but thought I'd share the latest updates since it's been a long time, and I really appreciate all the guys that PM me and ask what's been going on with this thing...!

 

SOCWOV4.jpg

 

SOCWOV0.jpg

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Swambast,

 

All I can really say is,,, Wow!. That is a great concept. The mere fact that you can create stock groupings will speed placement of targets. I think for many, myself included, the frustration is the long slow process of placing and then trying to see if I got it right. The community will certainly benefit from this tool. Thanks to you and your mentors for your continued efforts.

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Guys, to respond to the many emails I've received... CombatAce I consider my home turf and so this should not be perceived as some mysterious tool with a secret following. All my updates are exclusively posted only here and I intend to keep it that way. I will go out in the open to say yes, the tool was attempted to be recruited for commercial purposes but at the time I decided against that. Quite frankly, if you are a CombatAce modder or anyone associated with my current project team, you are always given first priority and an open invitation. Other than that, if you're interested in trying the tool out, just drop me a PM and we can go from there on a case-by-case basis. I hope that clears some things up...

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Steve: a question....

 

how does it handle the facing the terrain objects, in particular buildings? I ask because there are some "oddities" on how some of the stock items were built in MAX. Meaning: what looks like the front on some, isnt.

 

Here's a short list of what faces which way, assuming a North/South orientation

 

all stock hangars -- the doors are the 'front' (if you have a n/s runway, the hangars will face West)

building1, building2 building3, barracks 1 & 2, -- the narrow ends are front/back (dosen't matter with them)

tent1, bunker1 & 2 - the side with the 'door' is the front

HQbuilding1 - when facing the flagpole, the LEFT side of the building is the front

warehouse1 - the side with the LARGE wooden crate-thingy is the front (not the overhaning roof)

 

and there are even more oddities, in particular with the buildings in The Factory Place, some of Diego's rail curves, and several others.

 

wrench

kevin stein

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This is my favorite modding tool of all times. Swambast has really done a magnificent job here.

He's been very helpful and fun to work with and I'm very proud to be a part of his project. Thank you very much buddy :salute:

 

 

@Wrench: I don't think STT really knows which direction an object was modelled.

So the terrain developer must take note and have an object rotated to face the correct way. Not that I've done any documentation of such, I keep placing them the wrong way all the time :grin:

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Kevin, did you mean have we addressed issues like that below...? :acute:

This is from our ReadMe file:

 

There is a known issue with some specific .LOD objects in which the object was designed with an offset center (not directly aligned to the x/y/z 0,0,0 coordinate). This means that when these specific objects are placed in FSSC and translated into the game, even though the x/y placement coordinates will be correct, the actual placement of the object will not. Example, if you placed the vVehiclePort at 0,0 facing North, the game will actually render the object at 28,0 – which means it is 28m offset on the x-axis in this particular example. This means it will appear 28m to the east of where you originally placed the object! Other objects impacted by this include VBridgex and Pit8. This issue is currently under further investigation to assess other objects impacted, and to explore possible solutions. If you experience this issue with other objects, please provide your feedback!

 

Hmmmmmm, we were off to a good start with updating these especially with help from Steffen leading the charge, but we were unaware of all the impacts and which objects were affected. Then, other things took priority... But anyway, yes we actually coded the relative offsets right in each of the very few individual macros we updated, and it was a total pain, but here is an example:

 

offsetexample.jpg

 

So when you place some of the objects we did fix, they already represent their respective offsets... But, in all honestly I can't recall if I updated the translation piece on these macros....but at least from a placement perspective using the FSSC macros they are clearly accounted for. Here in the example below, you can see the centerpoint at 0,0 but the actual macro is displaced 38M to the east, just like it should be...

 

vvehicleport.jpg

 

Ah well, it was certainly a good start!

 

Swambast

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:blink: :blink: Fantastic!!!

Such a cool tool is missing since 7 years .. :skull:

:ninja:

 

GREAT INVENTION!!!! 7 Years!!!!! 2003 - 2010!!!!!!

When is this coming out?

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Yeah Dave, guys have used it on all flavors of the Thirdwire sims. I had to add in ActiveYear capability which helped to improve the compatibility, but for the most part it works well from the reports I received.

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What forms do we need to fill out to get this uploaded here for use? Will the forms need to be done in triplicate?

 

After the first disapproval how long must I wait to re submit said forms for further disapproval? :lol:

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Nothing's changed from before...??? See above post or this one below:

 

"Quite frankly, if you are a CombatAce modder or anyone associated with my current project team, you are always given first priority and an open invitation.

Other than that, if you're interested in trying the tool out, just drop me a PM and we can go from there on a case-by-case basis. I hope that clears some things up..." :this:

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Sorry Panama Red for the late response - answer is that I truly don't know. I just recently purchased a SF2 Vietnam series title and have not been all that enticed with it right now, especially due to the terrain glitches. However, I thought my rusty memory recalled a few Beta Testers trying this with the series 2 titles successfully, but that is completely unconfirmed. Sorry I can't give you a better answer right now...

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