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WIP: South Farallon Islands

Discussion in 'Showroom' started by ProfessorKhaos, 6/11/05.

  1. ProfessorKhaos

    ProfessorKhaos

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    WIP: Southeast Farallon Islands

    Howdy all,

    Noticed that the Farallon islands (north, middle, southeast) are missing from the default scenery so I decided to do something about it.

    Tried making the island as a terrain but even at LOD11 there just wasn't enough detail to do them justice. They're very rugged but small islands.

    Anyway, I decided to make them out of a scenery object instead. The beta version was pretty simple. I took a 10 meter DEM and trimmed the edges to the shoreline using a program called trueSpace. Turns out the 10 meter DEM was actually a 30 meter DEM with interpolated points... slightly disappointing.

    That version is still available over at www.avsim.com Search for s_farallones.zip

    (comparison: real vs beta version)
    [​IMG]

    I'm substantially reworking it given that I've found a really decent topo map.

    Preview of the updated work. Just some of the smaller islets so far.
    [​IMG]

    :cat: Prof K.
    Last edited: 6/11/05
  2. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    Hi,

    Looks very nice those pictures. But are you going to export all these rocks as one 3D object? Would that not give you trouble with the visibility range? Or are they that small :D.
  3. ProfessorKhaos

    ProfessorKhaos

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    The way I've built them they're going to all be a part of the same object.

    The first version seems to show up at a reasonable range given the average visibility from San Francisco so I'm hoping the second will work smoothly as well.

    Right now, the new model is pretty high poly, but I can already see where I can simplify the model. Kinda hard to do from the topo map alone given that some of the lines are very steep and thus hard to interpret. Much easier to delete unnecessary faces later on.

    Should be able to work in some simplified models for LOD purposes.

    One advantage to making an object surrounded by miles of water is that there's not too many other polygons and textures to compete for resources. Hard to tell the final performance though. Once I'm ready with the new one I might ask for a few volunteers to test it out.

    I guess as a side question that's been bugging me a little bit, I know you can make a polygon landable, but how hard would it be to make several hundred polygons landable within the same model. The only reason for going away from a purely terrain approach had to do with poor detail even when remeshing in Ground2K4 at LOD11.

    Still lots of work to do but I'm enjoying it. :)

    :cat: Prof K.
  4. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    It is possible. Just clone the object in GMax and run the attach tool script on it. Then it will make a platform of them all. But FS has a bug that causes a crash when you exit while in an area with too many platforms, so it does not work perfectly.
  5. perisher

    perisher

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    Great

    Stoooopppppppppp Alll


    Wonderful would be the perfect solution for mi Small philippine islands!!!

    Please Please explain me how you are making it!
    Also How add surface texure to it??

    Great

    cheers
  6. ProfessorKhaos

    ProfessorKhaos

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    I'm making the island the way you would make a scenery object (not a terrain).

    The texture is made with the help of photoshop and a 3D modeller/rendering program called trueSpace. I use planar UV mapping from above in the first example and a 512 x 512 bitmap for the texture. This allowed me to get a nice darker rim around the island, simulating the darker color of wet rock.

    The next version is going to be far more enhanced. I'm working off of topo maps and I doubt I'll be able to get away with planar UV mapping if I want to make the most out of the terrain.

    This approach should only be used with relatively small islands. A couple of drawbacks I've noticed...

    1. Airplane's shadow doesn't show up on the object.
    2. If you want a landable surface, you'll have to do so yourself (not a built in feature)

    I plan to limit the landable area of the island to the relatively flat area to the southeast. This is also where the helicopter pad is supposed to go so that will work in quite nicely. The rest of the island is rugged, thus you shouldn't be able to land there even if you wanted to..
  7. ProfessorKhaos

    ProfessorKhaos

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    I may be able to put together a very short and simple tutorial on how to build an island. I haven't tried this in Gmax, but it shouldn't be too hard.

    Basically you draw a curve for the shoreline, extrude the surface upward by an increment equal to the topo line spacing, reposition the curve, and repeat until you get to the top. You might have to weld a few points together as you go or the top will get pretty crowded with tiny polygons.

    The task is simple enough... just tedious if you've got more than one peak or if the contour lines are really close together in the case of steep hills.

    The better your topo map, the better the results.

    Prof K.
    Last edited: 9/11/05
  8. ProfessorKhaos

    ProfessorKhaos

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    first version looks like the following in FS2004. I anticipate the 2nd one will look much better.

    [​IMG]

    picture of 1st model with topo map projected on it (planar UV)
    [​IMG]

    1st model was not very polygon efficient...
    [​IMG]

    Second one, once I get rid of non-essential faces, should be far better. Still, the above version seems to render well on my screen.
  9. perisher

    perisher

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    island building

    Great info here

    Yep a mini tutorial woud be wonderful

    and if you have time i have 3 tiny islands waiting for your genious


    cheers


    luca davide
  10. ProfessorKhaos

    ProfessorKhaos

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    I'll work on putting together a quick tutorial then...

    Here's a small update... filled in more of the little islets around the main island...
    [​IMG]
  11. ProfessorKhaos

    ProfessorKhaos

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    Minor update... most of the small islets are done. Now on to the big ones.
    [​IMG]

    Once built, the polygons will be thinned back down a bit where they're mostly flat. Right now I'm just trying to get the model in without worrying about optimizations yet.

    Prof K.
  12. ProfessorKhaos

    ProfessorKhaos

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  13. Geiger.Daniel

    Geiger.Daniel

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    Looks really nice. Can't wait to see it textured. May I ask: Whats the poly count so far?
  14. ProfessorKhaos

    ProfessorKhaos

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    At the moment the vertex/poly count is as follows:

    3812 vertices
    3655 polygons

    A majority of the polygons are modelled as quads right now. They will be triangulated for the final version.

    A few of the islets will get a slight overhaul to reduce the poly count once the rest of the project is done. Turns out it's far easier to visualize the places to cut back detail wise with the actual model than trying to guess off of the topo map.

    Finished product is targeted to be about 10K polys triangulated... or about the same as a well detailed aircraft. Should be roughly equivalent framerates to my original version, which I had no issues with. Hopefully no one else will either.
    Last edited: 13/11/05
  15. ProfessorKhaos

    ProfessorKhaos

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    Smaller of the two big islands done.
    [​IMG]
  16. ProfessorKhaos

    ProfessorKhaos

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    On to the big island...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Last edited: 15/11/05
  17. ProfessorKhaos

    ProfessorKhaos

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    test run in FS2004 to make sure model works well so far...
    [​IMG]

    I check to make sure that contour lines truly appear horizontal on the model (which they should do if I mapped everything right....)
  18. CenturyHangar

    CenturyHangar

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    I'd say after you are done it's worth paying for it...
    excellent job!

    I am feeling like a student all over again ;)
  19. ProfessorKhaos

    ProfessorKhaos

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    Thanks CenturyHangar :)

    I think that's the best compliment my work has ever received :)

    Crossing my fingers hoping the rest goes as smoothly...
  20. CenturyHangar

    CenturyHangar

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    Let me add a little bug in your ear..

    love the work so far but it made me think/realize that by having an object instead of terrain will eliminate the water textures around the islands.
    Therefore I might suggest thinking of an effect to add... it could 'prolly' add that nice white bubbly water effect around your object...

    just my thought ;)

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