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Been toying with an interesting mod concept that would enable me to use many of the aircraft and ground objects I have already made.  In an alternate world, Britain and France honor their treaty obligations and declare war on Nazi Germany over the Munich crisis.  Had that occurred, a lot of the action would have taken place over the French-German border, and First Eagles has two Vogesen maps that cover that region.

 

I've been in touch with Gepard about a second generation upgrade to his game map, and he has graciously sent me his height map to fool around with.  Meanwhile, I keep tinkering with 1930s aircraft and airfield objects suitable for the concept.  Lots of possibilities.  :biggrin:

 

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A few more first line 1938 aircraft.  Perhaps Belgium and Italy can send expeditionary forces?

 

 

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Edited by Geezer
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Fooling around with large artwork in JPEG and DDS format.  Dunno if they will work, but I aim to find out.  The base artwork is somebody's 2048 stuff - Gepard's? - enlarged to 4096, with new hi-res art pasted on top.

 

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More test shots of tile art.  Getting close to what other combat flight sims looked like ten years ago.  Shots show 2024 art pasted to an FE 500meter tile.  Vehicles and buildings are full size, visible from gamer's cockpit on take off.  Objects elsewhere will be 63% of this size and will fit artwork features - such as roads - even better.

 

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are you sure you want to change to size DOWN to 63%??? 

Just curious as to the reason(s) for that.

 

is it because the tiles are so much smaller than the SF/SF2 series (2000m vs 500m)?

 

the objects just look OUTSTANDING!!!!!

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are you sure you want to change to size DOWN to 63%??? 

Just curious as to the reason(s) for that.

 

is it because the tiles are so much smaller than the SF/SF2 series (2000m vs 500m)?

 

the objects just look OUTSTANDING!!!!!

 

Thanks.

 

RE 63%: curious you should say that - you are the one that told me several years ago that TW ground objects should be 63% of actual size.  :biggrin:

 

Experiments with test terrain tiles and models in Max suggest why TK did it that way.  Given the klunky nature of his 1999 game engine back then, a full size game world populated with full size objects would have brought the average simmer's computer to its knees!  

 

As Stary has pointed out, the entire TW series has always suffered from inadequate art direction - this has caused a number of visual mismatches that I am trying to overcome.  Two shots below illustrate sizing problems with full size objects versus 63% objects.  First shot shows ground objects full size, as in the previous shots.  Second shot shows copies reduced to 63%.  Note how they better fit the roads and trees in terms of size and appearance - this results in improved immersion.

 

The alternative - enlarging the ground tile art even more than I already have - is something I would like to avoid.  It's not yet clear if dozens of 2048 and 1024 images will run successfully without reducing the frame rates too much.  We'll see.  The good news is that the tiles and objects can be used in upgrading other maps in both SF and FE.

 

Full size objects, as shown in previous shots.

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Objects reduced to 63%.  Note how they appear more realistic when compared to the trees and road.

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Edited by Geezer

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Geezer, I see your point, but when doing that you´ll screw the whole game, as will be impossible to add ANY object, from planes to a single tree,  without they look gigantic!!!

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Geezer, I see your point, but when doing that you´ll screw the whole game, as will be impossible to add ANY object, from planes to a single tree,  without they look gigantic!!!

 

Nope.  Many stock TW objects are ALREADY 63% of actual size.  Wrench has posted several times about his experiments in trying to compensate for this scale disparity. 

 

"also, not to be forgetting that map is "3rd wire world size", 63% of reality"  http://combatace.com/topic/84865-first-eagles-ww2/page-2

 

Dunno why he overlooked that in his earlier post.

 

As far as your ill-advised comment about "screwing" the game up, I suggest in the future you get your facts right before making any more dumb remarks.  I am one of the few trained and experienced professionals to pay any attention to TW and, when opinions differ, actions speak louder than words.  When you have demonstrated the ability to produce professional level models and graphics, then we can discuss game production.

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Geezer, I have been eagerly anticipating your next contribution to the TW world since you first posted pictures of your pre-WW2 models years ago.  It would seem that my hopes and anticipation were warranted.  You and Stephen1918 have elevated abandonware to a level the original creator never envisioned.  Wow!!!!!!  Thanks for all your efforts.

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now, with the visuals, its MUCH more clear. the 63% object just seem to "look right" against the ground.

There's always been a scaling problem in the 3w games. But, there always seems to be a work around! 

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Geezer, I have been eagerly anticipating your next contribution to the TW world since you first posted pictures of your pre-WW2 models years ago.  It would seem that my hopes and anticipation were warranted.  You and Stephen1918 have elevated abandonware to a level the original creator never envisioned.  Wow!!!!!!  Thanks for all your efforts.

 

NP - its actually a fun hobby for an old retired geezer.  :biggrin:

 

It will take a long time for me to develop the new ground tile artwork, but the results will eventually trickle out to other FE and SF modders.

 

An explanation will be useful here, so there won't be any hurt feelings in the future.  Attending a first rate art school is a bit like military boot camp.  In both cases, the trainees are carrying around in their heads faulty ideas that must be pounded out of them.  This training is then reinforced by experience in the real world, and results in the artist/designer looking at a task differently than an average person views the same task. 

 

Simply put, TW set a mediocre graphics standard with SF and FE, and modders quite naturally used what they were given.  As Stary accurately said, TW sims are right out of 1999......and it shows.  With some exceptions, most of the existing graphics must be scrapped to drag the sims' appearance into the 21st century.  Towards that end, I will also develop new trees, buildings, etc.  It will take a while, but its a fun hobby and will give other modders baseline material that does not look like klunky 1990s graphics.

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I think Wilches is right.

Don't scale the ground objects. They wouldn't match the stock objects. I think the stock objects are all 100% scale. (Or can  someone show me a stock object that is not 100% scale?)

Rather scale your tile art textures so that they match the 500m size (FE Terrain).

 

The ominous ~60% map scale isn't caused by the game engine itself. This scaling is caused by the terrain editor while importing GOTOPS30 height data.

TK explained it here:

 

Well, if you're just importing the DEM the terrain scaling comes from the GOTOPS30 dataset - its spacing is angle based, not distance based (i.e, they have height data at every 30-sec arc rather than fixed distance). When this shperical data is put into a flat map, distance between each data point is about 900 m at around equator, about 500 m distance between each point at around 50-deg latitude, and 250 m at 75-deg latitude (and convering down to 0 m at 90-deg) The scaling is different vertiacally and horizontally, vertical distance should always be 900 m (or about 55% if you use 500m resolution).

If you want terrain thats scaled correctly to some 2d map you have, you have to scale the height data spacing distance. Easiest way to do this is to export the height map and scale it using photoshop or something, and import it back in, but you have to calculate the scale needed for horizontal scaleing based on your lattitude (vertical scale, which is different, should always be constant).

For a small map, that should be pretty close to the real thing, but for a larger map, you can't get terrain map that's 100% accurate on a flat map... Just remember that the shortest distance between two points on a sphere is not a straight line on any 2d map, you'll need a globe and string to measure that.

 

 

I think the tile textures and the tod and lod objects are not scaled. Only the imported height field data is scaled.

 

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The ominous ~60% map scale isn't caused by the game engine itself. This scaling is caused by the terrain editor while importing GOTOPS30 height data.

TK explained it here:

 

I think the tile textures and the tod and lod objects are not scaled. Only the imported height field data is scaled.

 

Thanks for clearing that up.  Understand I have done this before with other game systems, I am just not familiar with the TW system, so I am grateful you have clued me in about the process and its limitations.  It sounds like the objects will have to be scaled to fit the gameworld after the TE gets done creating the mesh.

 

My comments about Wilches stand because I have no intention of using the stock objects.  Do not interpret my rejection of the stock objects as criticism of modders' efforts - they were doing the best they could with what they were given.  The problem is what they were given was many years behind the state of the gaming art, even when brand new.  Ten years later, TW looks even worse when compared to ROF, CLOD, BOS, etc.

 

I have stated repeatedly I am out to push the envelope and see what can be done with TW's system.  Using the existing objects is perpetuating mediocrity.  If this seems harsh, see my comments above about untrained students need to have faulty ideas pounded out of their heads.

 

That's how it works in the real world....and that's how you achieve professional results and improve the hobby.  By NOT doing things the same old way as before.

 

Again, thanks - I appreciate your help.

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The more I think about the downscaling, the more I'm of the opinion that's a bad idea:

 

1.)The visual appearance is deteriorated.

Say you have a 2048px texture that represents a 500m tile in real life. Thus you have a resolution of 2048px / 500m = 4 pixels per meter.

If you downscale (say 60%) then the tile represents 833m (500m / 0.6) in real life. Then the resolution is 2048px / 833m = 2.5 pixels per meter. So the resolution has deteriorated.

I don't see how downscaling should help to improve the visual appearance? Maybe you can elaborate.

 

2.)The downscaled terrain textures and objects don't match the full scale physics of the game engine. E.g. if you fly low over the terrain the velocity appears to be 1.666 (1.0/0.6) times the real life velocity.

 

3.)The downscaled terrain textures and objects don't match the stock objects (including aircrafts, cockpits,...). I know you don't want to use stock ground objects, that's ok. But what about flying with stock aircraft over your terrain? The aircraft and cockpit appears to be 1.666 times larger than the terrain. 

Furthermore your downscaled objects can't be used in other terrains.

 

I really think, it's better to scale your tile texture art to match the 500m tile size and not to downscale the objects to match your downscaled tile texture art.

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MUE -

 

I expect stupidity from Wilches, but not from you.  No SF modder, with the possible exception of Stary, knows anything about art direction.  That's why SF still looks so bad despite many years of effort.  You're ignoring the obvious evidence, and presuming to tell an expert - me - how to make realistic looking gameworlds. 

 

Its called art direction for a reason, and is the aesthetic equivalent of system integration.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_director Bottom line in the REAL WORLD is that everyone is entitled to their opinion, but not every opinion has value.  No professional cares if you disagree.

 

The core of your objection is the road size?  I'm a professional designer so I can make the road any size I want!  Indeed, what you see is just a test iteration - if any of you were professionals, you would know that multiple variations are required to gradually identify the correct relationships.

 

Your objections are noted, but I am the one doing the work - and I know more about visual design than ANYONE modding TW games.  If you don't like it, TOUGH SHIT!!!!

 

I've had many associates from my working days ask me why I wasted my time working on TW stuff.  They pointed out that nearly ALL the modders were amateurs who knew next to nothing about professional design, which is why it looked so bad and would never get any better.  They were right. 

 

I now take my leave of these forums because I have better things to do than listen to dumb shits who will never produce anything of professional quality.

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Geezer,

I don't understand why you are so offended. Maybe you find my post too harsh or direct? Then I apologize, that was not my intention. English isn't my first language.

I only wanted to express my opinion about the downscaling and back it up with arguments. Not because to criticize your work, quite the contrary, your models are fantastic and thats the reason I want them to be usable with other (not downscaled) tiles and objects.

 

You write a lot about professionalism, but instead of responding to my arguments you insulted me (calling me stupid and dumb shit). That's not professional, is it?

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Let the guy build what he wants and if it's wrong you have the option of not using it. Why anyone would try to stifle someone's creativity is beyond me.

 

I suggest that anyone who feels differently grab your thinking cap and build a better option to make your point. Otherwise it's time to relax, shake hands, and walk away friends agreeing to disagree.

 

Continuing along these lines isn't going to get anyone anywhere. I think that point has been made abundantly clear.

 

Erik

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Let the guy build what he wants and if it's wrong you have the option of not using it. Why anyone would try to stifle someone's creativity is beyond me.

 

I suggest that anyone who feels differently grab your thinking cap and build a better option to make your point. Otherwise it's time to relax, shake hands, and walk away friends agreeing to disagree.

 

Continuing along these lines isn't going to get anyone anywhere. I think that point has been made abundantly clear.

 

Erik

I agree with you - Always think the same way. If anyone don´t like to receive any criticism is beyond my undestanding. Geezer work is outstanding. I won´t give any comments from now on - good or bad.

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I'm going to resume this thread with some recent test shots over gterl's revision of Gepard's Vosges map.  In regard to the SF fanboyz who posted earlier, I point out two things:

1) It is a FACT that FE objects are 63% of actual size because TK designed the sim that way.  Gterl - a superb FE map maker - and I have discussed this.  He uses whatever objects he can find, and laments that many of them are NOT the required 63%.

2) True professionals don't ignore facts.  Interpret them, yes.  Ignore them, no.

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Conversations with Gterl revealed a problem he has to deal with when making his excellent maps - the building models vary in size.  He uses a combination of 100% actual size models and 63% size models - the size intended by TK for FE/FE2 - and has to make numerous adjustments to prevent visual clash between the different sizes.  

So I have been experimenting with building entire villages and small towns in 63%.  Shots below show first effort.  The concept is to develop big models of towns and then paint a corresponding street grid base for them.  Dunno if this will work, but it's worth looking into if there is a possibility of improving future game maps.

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Great concept. Could one make square or oblong units that could be conjoined to create towns and cities of varying sizes, possibly with irregular units on the edges to minimise the overall excessively square outline?

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Below are a few shots that may prove to be good patterns for future models of factory complexes and rail road yards.

willys19.jpg

zepellin gran via 1930.jpg

test-6.jpg

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2 minutes ago, Sky High said:

Great concept. Could one make square or oblong units that could be conjoined to create towns and cities of varying sizes, possibly with irregular units on the edges to minimise the overall excessively square outline?

Maybe.  Good idea.  :smile:

I'll keep it in mind when I fool around with the concept in the future.

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