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#46 Posted at 2013-01-26 11:32        
     
The cockpit got its own texture on account that it holds little purpose for reskins, and as a result would be wasting a great deal of space. It also affords us more room for the future models such as UK, Netherlands and Israeli.

He's right, polycount isn't the most influential factor, the diffuse maps themselves aren't even..it's moreso those advanced shader maps that get you, supposedly a normal map requires 2x the power of a diffuse of the same size. That and course there is the coding, code can make or break anything..it's amazing what one little typo or skipped step will do.

The cockpit for the AH-64D (the actual pilot LOD) is 14K (all parts unique to the Delta) The frame however (whatever is shared between A and D), is used as a proxy and together they total a count of 23.6K ish and the A model is 28.6, yet it all runs quite well.

Using proxies also adds a secondary benefit in that you can give them shadows and thus project shadows into your cockpit that would otherwise have to be there via shadow LOD in the actual model.

I'd say we're going sort of middle ground in terms of catering, while we do encourage people to play their own style, at the same time there are some things that will be necessary for this particular version, reliance on cockpit instruments as the source of information (no BI HUD) or the helmet display.

Here is a side by side so you can see the differences and draw your own conclusions, oh and please ignore the texture problems, they will be fixed later.
http://i229.photobucket.com/albums/ee200/NodUnit/Cpit2.jpg?t=1359203456
http://i229.photobucket.com/albums/ee200/NodUnit/Cpit1.jpg?t=1359203459

This post was edited by NodUnit (2013-01-26 12:37, ago)


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#47 Posted at 2013-01-27 11:47        
     
hi nod

could you explain a little more about your reasoning for using a proxy for the cockpit? i was considering it myself if i encountered vertex limit tproblems as despite the view lod beibg 20k, i want a high res interioir. i have constructed shadow lods, high and low, about 3k and 500 triangles, but are you therefore saying you can have a detailed shadow lod for the proxy on its own for the cockpit and because it is a prozy not worry about vertex limits?


this is what i dont like about vbs2/arma...if you were to completely model, unwrap and texture a model for the engine uou are only about 30% done as uou need to do all the other lod for it to work propwrly and not to mention the scripting. so far iam on 15 lods for my craft :-)

cheers for the help nod...its helpa getting advice from a arma ninja

whisky


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#48 Posted at 2013-01-27 17:00        
     
Well I've just read the entire forum and all I can say is this is amazing! I've been hoping for something like this to be added to the A2OA community. I am a helo pilot for my clan (JSOC) and this looks amazing. And once the helo is released i will surly show this to my friends. Absolutely amazing! Not to be a total nag but can you give an estimated amount of weeks till your release?


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#49 Posted at 2013-01-28 05:47        
     
# WhiskyDelta :

Pure and simple, polycount. I wanted to make something that we could use for future Arma's if they so popped up and push the best I could. This meant that EVERYTHING was getting modelled, panels, switches, knobs, buttons, the curvature of instruments, buttons, wiring, canopy screws, every bit I could. http://i229.photobucket.com/albums/ee200/NodUnit/Model%20work/AH-64D/Work%20In%20Progress/arma2OA2012-04-0620-34-16-44.png?t=1333763444 I was working off of the theory that cockpit detail can work because a great majority of the rendered scene is blocked by the model itself, and that in theory you would actually me rendering LESS despite the detail.

There is a 25K ish limit (varies on many things, how many hard edges and UV splits) per each model, the proxy isn't counted amongst that however. Think of a transport helo loaded with soldier proxies, with their weapons and configurations, I garuntee you that there are more polies in proxy there than most addons as a whole.

The idea for shadows didn't come until later, during a cruise around I saw the pilots shadow slide across the dash and then it hit me, pilots are proxies... part of the cockpit is a proxy..and as an early result http://i229.photobucket.com/albums/ee200/NodUnit/shot2.jpg?t=1335563155

You technically do not need a proxy model to have a proxy shadow, just a proxy to cast the shadow. It is a method I would without hesitation recommend to anyone working on anything regarding interiors since the proxy is unique to that LOD and not visible from the outside or to those not in that LOD.

However if you do go that route, you MUST NOT use the "inside out" trick, proxy shadows are rendered differently, if you take a cube and turn it inside out, it will render the cube shadow with open holes, the geometry shadow the shadow must conform to the geometry itself. So say you have an analogue gauge, you do not use the box trick, you use the gauge frame.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

# DHarrall :
Glad to hear that you are liking what you see, I'd rather not give out any ETA's at this time. There is still one more major milestone to cross for Arma 2 but we're not fully certain on what all that entails just yet, or if we'll be adding more beyond that. A lot of things popped up as a "Hey lets try this" or "OH, idea!"
I'd rather not get someones hopes up by giving out a date which would most likely prove false.


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#50 Posted at 2013-01-28 12:40        
     
Keep up the good work, really really looking forward to this!


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#51 Posted at 2013-01-28 15:47        
     
Hi Nod

Thanks again for the insight....its very much appreciated. Apologies if i am not quite getting this, but as i am indeed one of this individuals who is working on interiors i want to get this proxy idea sorted ahead of curve as i am short of time.

So you have a master p3d file and contains the majority of the airframe, and LODS, with many proxies associated to it, including the pilot proxies, weapons and as we are discussing the cockpit. In the view LODs there is a representation of the cockpit, just without all the buttons and switches and details. In the ViewCargo (or View Pilot) LOD of the master p3d, is it completely empty other than the reference to the cockpit proxy p3d. In the cockpit proxy p3d then, there are no view LODs, just a ViewCargo/Pilot LOD and also its own shadowvolumes? If therefore you have a memory LOD for a moving wheel, inside of the cockpit/cabin, is this in the master p3d or the proxy? Are proxies therefore meant to be completely self contained models so if the model needs its own shadow, view, geometry and fire geoms then you create them and they will get used appropriately, but if it does not have them, it will resort back to the master file. So while the master p3d will have a shadow volume (encompassing the majority of the external airframe), when you enter the vehicle and utilize the view cargo LOD, it switches to the proxies own shadow volume and not the master files?

Sorry if i am not quite getting this but i just want to clear and understand if you go down the proxy cockpit route, what needs to be in the master file and what needs to be in the proxy file.

Thanks again for all the help

Whisky


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#52 Posted at 2013-01-29 05:01        
     
In this case being interior, the proxy becomes part of the master file and as a result abides by its rules. Geometry, fire geometry, etc, the proxy doesn't need its own because the master file has that information.

One thing to always remember about exterior shadows is that they are ALWAYS present, in or out. This is why vanilla vehicles have shadows but not very complex ones.

The proxy is only visible from LODs you place it in, for example if you have a car and a passenger but you only place the proxy in View Pilot and not View Cargo, the passengers will not see it, only the driver.

When you enter it combines the two shadows into one if the proxy is present, and lastly I would recommend that all moving parts NOT be part of the proxy due to proxies animating as a whole, for example if I were to include a switch in my proxy and it was set to be flippable, the whole proxy would flip.

This post was edited by NodUnit (2013-01-29 05:11, ago)


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#53 Posted at 2013-01-29 11:27        
     
Hi Nod...me again...sorry

So just to clarify what you are telling me i put together a simple test, i created 2 p3d's, a master file and a proxy file.

In the master i mocked a very rough pilot position like apache cockpit frame with a cut out for the front top and side for windows. It then had a simple mesh geometry LOD, (without a geometry LOD no shadow gets drawn)a shadow LOD and a View Cargo LOD. In the shadow LOD it had a copy of the view LOD geometry which is essentially the cockpit frame and a proxy file which links to the proxy.p3d. The View Cargo LOD was essentially empty other than the proxy file link and a random box i chose to stick in the view and shadow lods of the master file to check it was correctly fusing the view and shadow lods of the proxy and master p3d file.

In the proxy file i had a view LOD with a simple box to represent the dash, an empty Geometry LOD, a ViewCargo LOD which had the box to represent the dash and a teapot (the teapot was there to represent the extra detail in the View LOD,that is not present in the view LOD). It also had a shadowvolume LOD which i added a second teapot too, just too check it was drawing a shadow from the proxy files shadow volume and not from the view LOD.

And hey presto it seemed to work. When i run the master p3d in bulldozer, the View LOD successfully shows the dashboard, but no teapot, aswell as the shadow volume of master file (cockpit frame) and the extra details from the shadow volume. (However is this not not-efficient? As this was essentially means all the shadow detail from the proxy high res cockpit and the master file is combined and shown when you are viewing the model from the outside. The preferable option is when in the "view LOD" circumstances in game, the extra detail of the proxy shadow is not drawn,but when you hop aboard then the extra shadow details kick in). When i go into the view cargo LOD, the teapot and dash appear and successfully draws both the master and proxy shadows.

I know that is a long winded explanation but is this essentially the same process that you guys have followed and checks works properly?

The only thing i cannot test quickly is something that would animate inside the view LODs and View Cargo LODs such as a trottle or wheel, but from what you have said that needs be in the master file along with the memory LOD.

Reagrds

Whisky

EDIT: i have just noticed that if you have a view LOD in the proxy file there is some sort of confliction so when i go into the view cargo LOD, instead of displaying the view cargo LOD of the proxy it shows the view LOD of the proxy and view cargo LOD of the master combined which is not what you want. Therefore the only work around is not to link the proxy.p3d in the view LOD of the master file?

This post was edited by WhiskyDelta (2013-01-29 11:38, ago)


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#54 Posted at 2013-01-29 14:54        
     
Could you post some pictures? I don't want to give you misleading information and I'm not entirerly certain as to what your asking, if I could see by example I would be able to understand much better.


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#55 Posted at 2013-01-30 10:38        
     
Hi Nod

EDIT: Scrap all that, the issue i have out standing which if you would be good enough to help me with i would be most appreciative.

I cant seem to get the detailed cockpit shadows to appear in the View LOD and only the View LOD. I have a shadowvolume LOD in the master file which is the majority of the external shape of the craft, with no proxy reference. I then created "shadowvolume - view cargo" LOD in the master file and linked the proxy reference. The proxy sufferance is also in the view cargo LOD of the master file. In the proxy file i have a geometry lod which is empty, a view cargo LOD and the "shadowvolume-view cargo" LOD which has all the extra detail. The problem is, althjough this seems a logical correct solution, no shadows get drawn at all when i run the master view cargo lod in bull dozer. If i switch to the main view 1.000 lod the normal shadows from the master files shadowvolume gets drawn, but go back to the view cargo lod and there are no shadows at all.

Ultimatly if i try and use the shadowvolume - viewcargo LOD, the geometry in the proxy file and the referance in the master file, both having shadowvolume - viewcargo LODs, no shadows are cast. If i switch the "viewcarego shadowvolume" LOD to just a standard "shadowvolume LOD" the shadows get drawn correct in the View cargo LOD, but they also get drawn in the main view 1.000 which is not ideal.

Any ideas as to where i am going wrong?

Regards

Whisky

This post was edited by WhiskyDelta (2013-01-31 12:01, ago)


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#56 Posted at 2013-02-02 14:05        
     
Firstly don't bother with shadow volumes outside of the basic shadow volume, view cargo, pilot, etc do not work which is why you get the shadow when you change it back.

The proxy file should have no LOD's save for 0 and shadow, here are some pictures of my setup as reference.

http://i229.photobucket.com/albums/ee200/NodUnit/PART1_zpsbf9d1356.jpg?t=1359813835
http://i229.photobucket.com/albums/ee200/NodUnit/part2_zps9e9c1a49.jpg?t=1359813837


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#57 Posted at 2013-02-02 18:58        
     
Hi Nod

Aahhhh....i see where i was going wrong, in my proxy file i wasn't using the 0.000 LOD for the cockpit detail, i was using the View Cargo LOD instead, and thanks for the shadow info, i thought there was something up, but i put it down to user error. So one final question, as i am conscious i have high jacked your thread (apologies but you have been very helpful), in the master file you have the reference to the proxy file in the View Pilot/ Cargo LOD and the Shadow 0.000 LOD? I found when i referenced the proxy file to the Shadow LOD of the master file, the combined shadows were visible not just when viewing the model(in Bulldozer) in the View Cargo LOD, but also when viewing the "external" 0.000 LODs. I would have thought this is not ideal, as you just want the extra detail (including shadow detail) to be visible when in the View Cargo LOD?

Regards

Whisky


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#58 Posted at 2013-02-02 20:10        
     
Not at all, I like helping those interested in pursuing these kinds of things.

You shouldn't be referencing the file to the shadow LOD 0, the way it works is you create your proxy file, add a shadow LOD 0 and that's it for that part.

Then you create proxy from it, save the file, paste the proxy triangle into your cargo scene. (double click the proxy selection and open the p3d file if it's not showing correctly) and that's all, it will generate its own shadow, if you add it to the master files shadow lod then it will display on the exterior shadow and thus, the whole thing.


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#59 Posted at 2013-02-02 21:48        
     
This is looking really cool so far!
One question, one post suggested many futures like lasing and radars, I was wondering if it will be compatible with ACE's FCS for helicopters and/or be compatible with adscititious laser designators such as a SOFLAM or ULB.

This post was edited by Rick (2013-02-02 21:56, ago)

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#60 Posted at 2013-02-03 01:27        
     
Haven't used it with ACE yet and I can't say for sure, right now it's not on the priority list to see how these things add up, once the helicopter is finished we may look into it.

In regards to the polycount I wanted to add that I made another aircraft frame as a test, no unwrapping and very minimum of sharp faces. One frame is worth 2886 faces, with the above rules bulldozer was able to render nine frames, a total whopping 25974 faces, well above the 20K limit.

I suspect this is due to two things. A the amount of sharp faces (for those of you that don't know, a sharp face is rendered with splits to the adjacent face, what appears as a plane with 4 points connecting to a face on each end actually has 2 vertices per point.

Secondly UV splits, the apache is full of em because I wasn't aware of this at the time, but each isolated point counts as another polygon split. Take something as simple as a cylinder with 8 sides, 16 vertices untill you sharpen the ends, then it becomes 32. Now you unwrap it, due to the splits (top and bottom plus side) leaves you with 32 points.

So basicly if you take a cube and not join the UV points, even if smooth shaded, it's the same thing as having the whole thing sharp shaded, which makes each face it's own separate entity and duplicates the points on each end.





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