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Country: uk
Occupation: Arma2Ao Addict
In-game name: smokedog6969

#1 Posted at 2011-03-12 10:37        

ARMA2OA Map step by step Guide using Arma2p tool

I think now is the time for an updated quick and easy guide for making a map for ARMA2 OA with Baf and Pmc content

Now i will go through my process for map making and what's needed tools for set up and making of map

BI Tools

Install is straight forward it will create a virtual hard drive that acts as your work folder for all addon and map making for source material once they have been dpboed and added to the p:\ ca folder this P:\drive is your work space for making maps and addons.

After setting up your BI Tools Drive you need to download some kit from Dev heaven
Mikero @ Devheaven [/h1]these tools are an all in 1 dpbo convert package to change model versions for Vis3 to see and binpbo to binerize easyest way to do it is batch files the whole lot from your game to your P:\

Convertp3d get all the rest from the second link
Make a folder I called mine convert now put all downloaded kit in here for it to work then put the convert folder in P:\ drive

And click the arma2p exe now a dos box will open and delete some folders but will refill them with oa content as well as arma2 now it will convert and rename OA content the p3d models for visitor to see it will also put the arma2oa bulldozer exe in so will work in visitor

Now after some time it will complete now look in the P:\ca folder

make a folder on desktop called textures copy takistan\data folder put in the folder you just made do for
proving grounds\data if you have bought pmc

Also back up the whole p:\ca folder and put some where safe as when binerizing you may need the CA data folder to be dropped in the p:\ for map to binerize so its better to back up then have to use the arma2p tool to convert all files again just for the sake of 1 file

Now we have all the textures we need for map making .
this will be your main texture source folder for ground and sky textures

Now delete all but these files in your p:\ca folder

misc fix


Now if its like mine your buildings and like will show in Vis3 and bulldozer

This is how my whole P:\ drive looks now.
That's the bis stuff and converting models done for now.

These tools are for image capture and manipulation

Google earth full version pref as you have high quality save option 4800x4800
CS5 Photoshop Were you see PS i mean photshop

These are for terrain editing if needed.

L3dt you cant export unless you get the trial 90day key play with this then when ready do the trial key pump out all the maps you need in 90 days.


You need to think about map size not to big to start as you will be there for months 5x5 km will do for a first map for us.

Now open up google earth and select the region you want get out the ruler mark a 5120 square around the map area you want zoom in so that the box fits your screen take out all roads buildings compass and stuff so you just have the google logo.

Save as sat_lco.png Dont write png make sure you save as a .png file and you want quality at 4800x4800 in save options.

Make a note of height above sea level and top height of your terrain on this map it is a flat area so my terrain is 1 meter above sea level and max height is 10 meters.

But for mountains you need a real height for your terrain theres many proggs out there for it but im not going there just google for more info we will need the height later for the terrain.pbl

Now this is the main photo we make 4 others from this 1 pic

1 we need a sat_lco.png
2 mask_lco.png
3 terrain.png
4 background image for visitor3

To make these we use photo shop ill do the order above

Open Sat_Lco.png pic in photo shop resize to 5120x5120 play about with the brightness and contrast till it looks right also get rid of the google badge use magic brush or what ever method you prefer in PS then save as Sat_Lco.png that's the 1'st 1 done

look at my example sat_lco pic 5120x5120

Now we need a mask for the textures to match our sat_lco photo so we make a mask out of the sat _lco.png image

Now put the sat_lco image in PS make a new layer on the sat_lco on my map i will pick yellow for my desert area take down the RGB numbers top right of PS screen these are vital so get it right now colour the areas that are desert on the top layer .

when done move on to the grass areas pick a green take down RGB numbers mask over the green area we will do just 2 as a guide so now you should have this:

Take out the bottom sat_lco delete it from layer now you will have 1 layer like mine here:
flattern the image and check image for size for 5120x5120 then save as Mask_Lco.png file has to be saved in .png format.

Next up is the terrain.png load up your Sat_lco in PS go to image \mode click 16bit then click on greyscale now your image should of turned grey thats good.

Now as there is a river it gets tricky firstly the river we need it white so magic brush or paint it do what ever to make the river white once you are happy with it go to the invert colour button and click.

Now your river will go black great thats what we want should be like mine.

Now Resize to 512x512 save image as terrain.png

Now install Wilbur and import your terrain.png image and adjust terrain as needed save as terrain.png . Then place back in your terrain folder.

Again load up the Sat_lco image in PS Now save as terrain.bmp file this will be your guide for placing stuff in Visitor 3 its just a copy of the sat_lco laid over the grid area in Vis3 good visual check

This map is sangin so ill make a folder called hellskitchen this is my main map\work folder make and name a map\work folder in your new p:\ drive call yours what ever you want dont copy mine.

Now make a folder called source and another called data put them in your work folder the 1 you just made also make a terrain folder put that in the source folder so now folders should be like this.

P:\YOUR MAP NAME \source\terrain \data
Put the sat_lco and the mask_lco image in the source folder P:\YOUR MAP NAME\source\Sat_lco Mask_lco

Then put the terrain.png and terrain.bmp images in terrain folder inside the source folder of your map\working space folder
P:\YOUR MAP NAME\source\terrain\terrain.png

We still need some bits for folder set up we need


These are below we will do these just before binpbo for binerize our map for testing

All files config and .hpp can be opened with note pad for altering later in my tut just copy paste from below when needed.

Map legend basic colour chart for game get 1 from here.

A Terrin.pbl file for telling vis the heights from the greyscale image Use mine below

Also going to need a config.cpp for the map and a cfgclutter.hpp and cfgsurface.hpp file
Use mine below just open note pad copy paste then save as cfg clutter.hpp

cfg surface.hpp

Terrain.pbl here's mine below
class cfg

Copy the terrain .pbl above remember the min and max terrain height enter heights into the bottom field were min height and max height are save file then place in the terrain folder in your work space. P:\source\terrain

So in the terrain folder now you will have


Right now we need to know what textures to use and how to set their paths.

All textures will be in your texture folder on desk top inside them there will be 1 rvmat and 4 others files relating to that rvmat all named the same we need to change all names to that of your ofpec tag before we use them.
look in the takistan\data folder on your desk top.

cr = cheranus
ut = utes
tk = takistan

Texture Description
cr_sterk Sand/dirt, rocks poking out of ground
cr_asfalt Packed gravel and dirt, roadside texture
cr_beton Large concrete paving blocks (runway, etc.)
cr_hlina Humid earth with small weeds and cracks
cr_les1 Ratty grass, with leaves and rocks poking out of ground
cr_les2 Forest floor with forest floor debris and rocks in background
cr_oranice Plowed earth with stones
cr_skala Large-scale rock face with moss
cr_strniste Trampled, bleached grass
cr_trava1 Fairly lush grass
cr_trava2 Lush grass
cr_travad1 Dying grass with stones and earth showing
cr_travad2 Long grass, slightly brown
cr_vres Large, angular rocks and stones poking out of ground, some brown grass in cracks

ut_hlina Packed dry earth with gravel and stones
ut_trava Large rocks, sticks and forest floor debris
ut_valouny Packed black rocks in dry earth/dirt
ut_vres Angular rocks jutting out of ground, green & brown grass in cracks

tk_asfalt Asphalt poured over gravel, with dirt
tk_beton Fragments of stone/cement pavement packed in dirt and stones
tk_dlazba_old Rock pavement packed in cement
tk_forest Large rocks and stones in dirt, some plants
tk_hlina Dirt with stones
tk_mountain Lots of stones and rocks in dirt, some plants
tk_plevel Green plants mixed with brown grass in brown earth
tk_pole Lush, patchy grass, intense green
tk_polopoust (Same as tk_mountain)
tk_skala Large-scale rock face, light brown rocks
tk_skalni_sterk Average rocks poking out of ground with lots of stones and dirt
tk_sterk_na_dno Flat dirt with lots of stones on top
tk_trava Very patchy browning grass in dirt
tk_valouny Few large rocks in dirt with lots of stones

To check the texture you can use the tex view to look at the type of texture just drag the paa of texture and drop in tex viewer once happy with texture note its name down.

We need 2 textures desert and grass so tk_hilna tk_pole are the textures ill use also note that we need all sky and cloud textures from the takistan data folder to be copied as well to our data folder

Now we need to copy the required texture from our desk top textures folder takistan\data

Put it in P:\ (yourfolder name) data folder we now need to rename these textures for no conflicts with other maps and tags.

Ofpec tag get 1 here by registering

My ofpec tag is smoke so my tag is smoke_ now rename all files you just copied to what ever your new ofpec tag is.

So my texture name now shows smoke_hilna. for desert and smoke_pole for my grass now you have renamed your textures you see the top 1 is an rvmatt now you have to edit its path so it no longer looks to the game engine for texture but looks in your work\map folder

So double left click on the rvmat and it opens an editor scroll down till you see the 2 texture source paths we need to change them to that of our named associated textures in our work\map folder so it will look here for the textures named in the layers config that we do later.

Look at this:
it is an editor when you double left click on the rvmatt

Before texture path looks like this ca\takistan\data\tk_hlina_nopx.paa ca\takistan\data\tk_hlina_co.paa

After it will look like this now YOUR NAME MAP\dataYOUR OFPEC TAG_pole_nopx.paa
butwill be your ofpec tag YOUR NAME MAP\data\YOUR OFPEC TAG_pole_co.paa
Smoke is my ofpec tag

Now bulldozer and visitor will load the textures from your map data folder but not yet more todo first

Now copy the layers config.cpp from below and edit all the smoke_tags to that of your own tag and textures like this.
class Layers

class YOUR OFPEC TAG_pole
texture = "YOUR MAP NAME\data\YOUR OFPEC TAG_pole_mco.png";
material="YOUR MAP NAME\data\YOUR OFPEC TAG_pole.rvmat";

class YOUR OFPEC TAG_hlina
texture = "YOUR MAP NAME\data\YOUR OFPEC TAG_hlina_mco.png";
material="YOUR MAP NAME\data\YOUR OFPEC TAG_hlina.rvmat";

class Legend
picture="YOUR MAP NAME\Source\mapLegend.png";
class Colors
YOUR OFPEC TAG_pole[]={{12,118,0}};
YOUR OFPEC TAG_hlina[]={{235,208,0}};


Notice at the bottom an RGB scale this is where the RGB numbers from PS come into play mine are already in this sample. You need to write in the numbers you took earlier not mine
pole was grass which was our green colour on our mask 12.118.0

hilna was desert which was our yellow colour on our mask 235.208.0

These colour numbers match our mask so have to be right for the texture to mask on our map doesnt matter what colour you use just take down the numbers for each texture your going to use.

Max is 4 textures you can have more but thats another topic involving breaking down the mask into squares then using for colours in that square so can have many squares on mask but only 4 colours in 512 tile area at a time and also have overlap conflicts well leave that here and carry on .

Thats the layers config out the way next step is to actualy load all bits we have made in to visitor.

Let's do a folder check so your drive will look like this.

P:\YOUR MAP NAME\data\ all sky textures and renamed rvmat and texture files
\Source\ layers.cfg Sat_lco image Mask_Lco image map legend
\Source\ terrain\terrain.pbl terrain.png image terrain.bmp image

If yours are set like that your good to go

Start with your new Visitor 3 project
1: Open Project -> New (or press Ctrl+N).
2: In the next Project parameters window select the values for:
Terrain grid size 512x512
Terrain cell size 10

3: Go to Tools -> Project parameters.
4: Open the Calculator.
5: Set Image Size (Pixels): 5120.
6. Hit apply and close only the calculator.

7: Open Tools -> ProjectPreferences.
8: Enter the path to your data folder (textures), like: P:\Yourmap\Data\.
9: Click ok and close.

10: In the Project parameters window click on Base (active) and press the Edit button.
11: Choose 40x40m texture size.
12: Apply and close the Project parameters window.

Import the terrain data
1: Go to Open -> Import Terrain from Picture.
2: Browse to P:\YOUR MAP NAME\Source\terrain\terrain.pbl.
Mine is P:\hellskitchen\Source\terrain\terrain.pbl
Be sure you set the view to elevation color style (hit the 5th button from the left) to see the contours.

Save after each step
Goto Poject -> SaveAs and save your map as YOUR MAP NAME.pew.
Try to keep all names the same for 1 map
I.e hellskitchen is my map folder also my hellskitchen.pew is my save name
Add .pew to your filename. Otherwise Visitor 3 will not recognize the file in the future.

Import Satellite & Mask
1: Go to Tools -> Import Satellite + Mask.. and browse to P:\YOUR MAP NAME\Source \layer.cfg.
2: Select binerise mode for saving the rvmats in the next window.
3: Visitor asks now for the SAT file, so browse to P:\YOUR MAP NAME\Source\sat_lco.png.
4: Same with the Mask - point it to P:\YOUR MAP NAME\Source\mask_lco.png.
5: The import process begins right after you hit OK.
6: That may take some minutes and Visitor might not respond until process has finally completed.
7: Point the mouse somewhere in the middle of the map and hit the center mousebutton (wheel).
8: A white square appears right at this position (point of view).
7: Start Buldozer via Project -> Connect to Buldozer (or hit the ! icon in the top bar).
8: Buldozer will now automatically convert the textures from png to paa (shown in the command line window).
9: After the conversion process has finished you should be able to see the landscape in buldozer.
If your map is all pointy and unuseable close bulldozer open terrain menu make a box over the whole map and press on erosion button reopen bulldozer and check to see it erode down to some thing useable some times it takes 3 goes for it to be right on this map i only done the erosion 1 time
10: The textures will appear so more you zoom onto the surface.
11: Switch back to Visitor by hit Alt+Tab (don't close buldozer).
12: Go to Project -> Export World.
13: Save your world as P:\YOUR MAP NAME\YOUR MAP NAME.wrp. mine is P:\hellskitchen\hellskitchen.wrp

Now we need to alter our main config use mine just copy and paste to note pad and alter to YOUR NAMED MAP folder also you can take out sangin in the descript part call it your world name same for author and email and enter required addons if needed

units[] = {};
weapons[] = {};
requiredVersion = 1.03;
requiredAddons[] = {"Utes"};
version = "2009-9-1";
fileName = "YOUR MAP NAME.pbo";
author = "SmokeDog[3PARA-GU]";
mail = "";
class CfgWorlds
class CAWorld;
class Utes: CAWorld
class Grid;
class DefaultClutter;
class hellskitchen: Utes
description = "Sangin Afghanistan 5x5 km";
worldName= "\YOUR MAP NAME\YOUR MAP NAME.wrp";
pictureShot = "";
centerPosition[] = {2720,2462,500};
seagullPos[] = {2720,2462,500};
longitude = 30; // positive is east, in degrees?
latitude = -45; // positive is south, in degrees?

class Clutter
#include "cfgClutter.hpp"
class Names
#include "YOUR MAP NAME.hpp"

class CfgWorldList
class YOUR MAP NAME{};

class CfgMissions
class Cutscenes
class hellskitchenIntro
directory = "YOUR MAP NAME\data\scenes\Intro.YOUR MAP NAME";

#include "cfgSurfaces.hpp"

Now its time for clutter.hpp

Use mine just alter yours as needed the clutter is arma2 clutter so you will have to look in your ca\plants_e folder for the oa Clutter models change to the new p3ds of your choice and enter them in where the plants 2 bits are below also use the ofpec tag you have not the map name folder here in naming

class YOUR ofpec tag NAME_AutumnFlowers: DefaultClutter
affectedByWind = 0.4;
swLighting = true;
scaleMin = 0.7;
scaleMax = 1.0;

classYOUR ofpec tag NAME _GrassCrooked: DefaultClutter
affectedByWind = 0.3;
swLighting = true;
scaleMin = 0.7;
scaleMax = 1.4;

class YOUR ofpec tag NAME_GrassCrookedGreen: DefaultClutter
affectedByWind = 0.3;
swLighting = true;
scaleMin = 0.9;
scaleMax = 1.3;

class YOUR ofpec tag NAME_WeedDead: DefaultClutter
affectedByWind = 0.3;
swLighting = true;
scaleMin = 0.75;
scaleMax = 1.1;

last of all we need our surface.hpp use mine just alter to your map name

class CfgSurfaces 
class Default {};
class YOUR ofpec tag NAMEgrassSurface : Default
files = "YOUR ofpec tag NAME_pole_";
rough = 0.1;
dust = 0.1;
soundEnviron = "grass";
character = "smoke_grassClutter";

class CfgSurfaceCharacters
class YOUR ofpec tag NAME_grassClutter
names[]={_YOUR ofpec tag NAMEGrassCrookedGreen,YOUR ofpec tag NAME_GrassCrooked,YOUR ofpec tag NAME_AutumnFlowers,YOUR ofpec tag NAME_WeedDead};

Now we have a working config.cpp a working cfg clutter.hpp and a working surface.hpp

Lets do another folder check

P:\YOUR MAP NAME\config.cpp cfgClutter.hpp cfgSurfaces.hpp $pboprefix$ YOUR MAP NAME notepad file and YOUR MAP NAME.wrp
inside \data\ all sky textures and renamed rvmat and texture files
inside \Source\ layers.cfg Sat_lco image Mask_Lco image map legend
inside \Source\ terrain\terrain.pbl terrain.png image terrain.bmp image
if there all right then lets binerize

Next step is binarizing your world

1: Start BinPbo O:\BIS TOOLS 2\BinPBO Personal Edition\BinPBO.exe.
2: Choose the P:\YOUR MAP NAME in the addon/source directory field.
3: Now go to your ArmA2 Main folder and create a new folder called @YOUR MAP NAME. Open this one and create another one which is called Addons (F:\Games\ArmA 2\@YOUR MAP NAME\Addons).
4: Back in BinPbo we set F:\Games\ArmA 2\YOUR MAP NAME\Addons as destination directory.
5: Open the BinPbo options and remove *.wrp out of the list of files to copy directly
6: In the path of temporary folder we set P:\BIN_TEMP
7: Now remove the hook from use source path and enter p:\YOUR MAP NAME
8: We are ready to binarize our Island. Close the options tab and click on Pack. That may take a while, wait until Ready appears at the bottom of BinPBO.
9: After BinPbo has finished you should see in your F:\Games\ArmA 2\@YOUR MAP NAME\Addons\ folder the tut_samplemap.pbo and the logfile.
10: Add the @YOUR MAP NAME Mod folder to your ArmA2.exe shortcut ("F:\Games\ArmA 2\arma2.exe" -mod=@YOUR MAP NAME -window -nosplash) or use one of the meanwhile available ArmA2OA launchers.
Check out your map Ingame :-)

Then just add buildings roads and vegataion and your there check out the roadpainter tool and world tools for an easier way to populate your map
if you need to redo heights that's were L3DT or wilbur come in Export terrain to them then alter what you need then pop them back in visitor reload textures and see the difference this is for larger earth movement as visitor is only good for smoothing roads and small riversnot altering mountains .

going this way will get your map in game and work with OA Baf and Pmc Content just need to sort ladders and doors will add to this when ive cracked thanks all hope it helps you out

Thanks to Sgt Ace guide half helped me and also pasted a bit of his tut to save time hope he dont mind

Also Allies guide so simple.

Thanks to the guy that made this link couldn't find a name but check out his site for a more detailed way to alter and change stuff after we have made a map

1 more thank you to Bushlurker who helped me get my map working it took 4 weeks to work out the set up and config and bin process as arma2p copys things you don't need that mess binpbo up as you can read in my posts

PM me if any thing is missing or wrong but it worked this way for me

I Do get big fails from vis3 and bull and binpbo from time to time I always keep fresh back ups religiously as ive lost loads of hours of work now its saved all the time also if errors happen don't panic 9-10 it can be brought back to work in game and bulldozer

Most common Faults that I/ve found and how to fix them

Bulldozer cant load blah blah.rvmat and shows no texture on your land mass simple the rvmatt and or associated files have not been renamed to the right paths or visitor is not set to look in your map data folder for them
rename or check path in Visitor reimport sat and lco start bull to see it load.

I get errors now and again from bulldover saying cant load kamaez text this is a new texture from the addons pack if this happens take out the backup data folder from your copy ca folder place in P:\ca folder then reload bulldozer and will show but when it comes to binpbo take that data folder out or binpbo will crash.

Do not place any clutter directly on map use cfgclutter as this will hang your map in game when you bring a scope up.

will add to this as im sure to be messin it up again soon and have to fix it again lol

This post was edited by smokedog6969 (2011-03-13 20:27, ago)

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Modsaholic Founder

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#2 Posted at 2011-03-12 11:29        
This is an awesome put together thread and a job well done, I map maker myself can just say
thank you for this, hopefully it will help a lot more people out there hoping to make maps.

This deserves a sticky too 8-)

1st - Check The Rules! 2nd - Use The Search!


Author Message

Posts: 57

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Country: uk
Occupation: Arma2Ao Addict
In-game name: smokedog6969

#3 Posted at 2011-03-12 11:47        
Thank's DarkXess as you well know the setup and convert is a night mare if you get it wrong I spent days going round in circles un install reinstall for it to do the same thing crash.

Hope it does help as im knackered from weeks and weeks of 14- 17 hour days working on my map once its released be nice to take it easy and hopefully there will be some more new maps to use and makers to keep the community going with there ARMA2 Fix know im an Arma2 junkie lol

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I'm a stable whore

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#4 Posted at 2011-03-12 14:48        
Be even better if you can make it into .pdf; just so say limited users of the interweb can use it as they please.... good job though :-)

Author Message

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In-game name: smokedog6969

#5 Posted at 2011-03-12 15:39        
Hi viper that's the way to go mate good idea when I get a chance ill do a pdf that way i can set and structure it a bit better using office thank's mate ill get on it. :-)

@ Fox hound Cheers Mate for sorting the post out looks good now.

This post was edited by smokedog6969 (2011-03-13 08:58, ago)

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#6 Posted at 2011-07-14 18:59        
Hi smokedog6969: Where is this mapLegend.png? You make no mention of making or placing it into the source folder untill step 10, in you layer.config code.
I get to this step
Import Satellite & Mask
1: Go to Tools -> Import Satellite + Mask.. and browse to P:\YOUR MAP NAME\Source \layer.cfg.
2: Select binerise mode for saving the rvmats in the next window.
3: Visitor asks now for the SAT file, so browse to P:\YOUR MAP NAME\Source\sat_lco.png.
4: Same with the Mask - point it to P:\YOUR MAP NAME\Source\mask_lco.png.
and get and error loading mapLegend.png
I guess it was suposed to come from here This is a bad link please post a new one.

OK, I have everything qworking properly now.
Then just add buildings roads and vegataion and your there check out the roadpainter tool and world tools for an easier way to populate your map
Do you do this in the editor? and if so where do I get all the roads, buildings, trees, everything missing in the editor?
Ok, Above problem solved, next problem
Still seems to see the 49 and 50 models on binerizing but if i un tick the clear temp folder it works with no errors.
If i do have it ticked it wont see the weather in configg or model configs and get the bad model
no mater what I tic or un tic I get bad model error?

When I finally get something to load in the map in the vis3, I go back to the buldozer and it says can not load this texture paa, that texture paa. GRRRRRRRRRRR lol

This post was edited by SpectrumWarrior (2011-07-15 06:42, ago)

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#7 Posted at 2012-10-30 02:51        
im lost around step 2. I can not make heads or tails of what you are saying in Step 2. I use Gimp mostly and can make a GreyScale image no problem. I have scaled the image to 5120x5120px but then you lose me. can you rephrase Step 2 into more simple language for those of us who are not PS pros.

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#8 Posted at 2013-12-02 19:03        
where can i get the Convertp3d which I need for the amra2p?
I can't find it here: