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Heaven & Earth: Project discussion thread

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3 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

I'd imagine that he has to tune his setting for each different map TBH.....What works well in one environment, won't always look so good in others.

I can understand that when changing regions.  But, if all the maps are of one type/region eg: jungle, wouldn't a single setting work for all?

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I can't believe I haven't given this project a go yet!  Downloading it now...

I have some pre-set tweaks I use for time-of-day mostly.  Mostly to darken nighttime properly.  I generally use the same setting on different maps though.  I'll port it over to CM:SF and give it a go :)

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3 minutes ago, HerrTom said:

Now this is seriously cool B)  Unforgivable that I haven't played it yet.  

+1.  And some seriously cool screenshots of the seriously cool mod.  :) 

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44 minutes ago, HerrTom said:

Now this is seriously cool B)  Unforgivable that I haven't played it yet.

Amazing pics!

@Hapless discovered that first Ikke scenario is a little iffy at the moment... just remember that I've designed that concept campaign so that a ceasefire will always advance you to the next mission.

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And the last map ('The Road') of the People's Army campaign...

TPoH9HP.png

ykoarGL.png

kmZV1rV.png

PJ0bKcf.png

... which means it's time to get back to the People's Militia campaign (IIRC I have about 11 maps good to go for that... however I need 15).

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These well-made maps very much help with the immersion - remind us of photos of real places.  Thanks for all the work and looking forward to the final implementation.

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Posted (edited)

That M-48s looking pretty impressive too.....Have you revamped the skin?

@37mm  I f you need a tester for these, it would probably help with my mapping mojo and general morale.  ;)

PS - have to second what @Erwin says too, you're making some proper eye candy for this project, I'd be pleased with any of those.  B)

PPS - @HerrTom  Give the 'Year of The Rat' campaign a look mate, it's pure infantry but it really is a great campaign.....I'd love to see some of your atmospheric shots of the fighting from the battles @puje has created, they really do feel both authentic and very different.

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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14 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

That M-48s looking pretty impressive too.....Have you revamped the skin?

@37mm  I f you need a tester for these, it would probably help with my mapping mojo and general morale.  ;)

PS - have to second what @Erwin says too, you're making some proper eye candy for this project, I'd be pleased with any of those.  B)

PPS - @HerrTom  Give the 'Year of The Rat' campaign a look mate, it's pure infantry but it really is a great campaign.....I'd love to see some of your atmospheric shots of the fighting from the battles @puje has created, they really do feel both authentic and very different.

Nope, that's still the 0.96 skin for the m48a3.

Technically there's nothing to test yet however all the hard work has already been done by others (for the People's Army campaign it was done by @Fredrock1957)... once the terrain has been altered & a few tags added all I need to do is slot in a few different forces, tweak a few things here & there, rewrite the breifing &, hey bingo, a "new" scenario is born.

It's a poor mans method of creating content... but it seems to work out more often than it doesn't and my Mother always said "quantity has a quality all of its own".

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Posted (edited)

I've been playing a lot of stuff by @Mr.X recently, so I suppose it was only natural that I used his "teaser battle" for the Zawiya Uprising campaign to trial out the latest version of the "ME soundscape "...

... of course, then I wondered what would a "proper" H&E conversion look like?

So I played around with the map & came up with this...

... i'm fairly happy with it, it needs some tweaks, but i'll certainly end up adding this converted "teaser battle" to the single scenario content for 0.97.

 

Earlier in the week, I also converted another scenario "In the Fields" although I'm not too sure who originally made this...

G33z8Em.jpg

Edited by 37mm

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Posted (edited)

Although content creation remains the focus for 0.97, we've also been working on a few aspects of the modpack itself.

I noticed there were a few missing ground textures (ground brush red, hard ground brush red, gravel & heavy rock)... this has now been fixed.

Also, because @EZ's Normandy terrain mod was used as a base for the modpack, the distant bitmaps were smaller & less detailed than need be (CMSF2 has much large distant bitmaps compared with the other CMX2 games)... that's now been resolved, so things look a little nicer & clearer outside your 'high detail bubble'.

I experimented with adding a new helmet model into the game but ultimately decided that "the juice wasn't worth the squeeze"... however @puje has come up with some new helmet textures for our "Imperial Cavalry" so he's bailed me out there.

Tree 2 is now less vibrant & fits in with the rest of the foilage better... oh & there's some additional variations between Highland, lowland & flatland foliage/doodads.

All in all we're still chugging along...

rmcX2WM.jpg

al5ID7M.jpg

ad4pe4u.jpg

Edited by 37mm

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Per some of the pics posted where the distant terrain is more hazy/blurred/less detailed - that is what gives the pic depth and makes it look more realistic.  One can tell a video game image cos everything is so unrealistically crisp/sharp.   

My suggestion is to maybe provide the alternative lo res bmp's for distant terrain in case players want a more realistic look to the game.

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47 minutes ago, Erwin said:

Per some of the pics posted where the distant terrain is more hazy/blurred/less detailed - that is what gives the pic depth and makes it look more realistic.  One can tell a video game image cos everything is so unrealistically crisp/sharp.   

My suggestion is to maybe provide the alternative lo res bmp's for distant terrain in case players want a more realistic look to the game.

I try to stick to the resolutions that BFC use for CMSF2... and I've never heard anyone complain that vanilla CMSF2 is too sharp.

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7 hours ago, 37mm said:

I've never heard anyone complain that vanilla CMSF2 is too sharp.

It's not something to complain about.  It is an observation that images look more like RL when distant objects are faded with haze and a bit blurry as that is how the eye/brain perceives the information and provides us with a sense of distance. 

A problem with computer graphics is that designers have always aimed to get the sharpest images no matter the distance from the observer - and that breaks the immersion as it's not realistic.  It has been a problem in movies as well.  These days they put in grain and distortion to make digital images look more realistic.

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1 hour ago, Erwin said:

A problem with computer graphics is that designers have always aimed to get the sharpest images no matter the distance from the observer

Heaven & Earth is not a modpack for a theoretical game... it is a modpack for CMSF2 &, for 0.97, it'll be using the distant bitmap sizes of stock CMSF2.

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Erwin said:
22 hours ago, Erwin said:

  My suggestion is to maybe provide the alternative lo res bmp's for distant terrain in case players want a more realistic look to the game.

It is an observation that images look more like RL when distant objects are faded with haze and a bit blurry as that is how the eye/brain perceives the information and provides us with a sense of distance. 

A problem with computer graphics is that designers have always aimed to get the sharpest images no matter the distance from the observer - and that breaks the immersion as it's not realistic.  It has been a problem in movies as well.  These days they put in grain and distortion to make digital images look more realistic.

Thats not really how distance vision and visual acuity is working. I´ve had contact with real military simulators and shortcomings are described on exactly the opposite. Due to limitations of most in-use displays - thus videogames and recordings - may have a limitation of proper farsight and distant stimulus aquisition in a visual busy environment when compared to the capabilities of the human eye. This is the reason why games like Arma provide the player with an artifical zoom in order to try simulate proper eye capabilities.

Its the eye feature called accomodation that is shifting the lens in order to adapt the focal point on the retina/fovea centralis in context to distance. Thats how we manage to accomodate close and distant focus. A healthy eye without lens, bulbus, retina, muscle anomalies is able to accomodate into the infinite. What you´re describing sounds more like what shortsighted individuals may experience who can´t accomodate their focal point to distance properly. Also there is often haze which becomes more noticeable on distance.

Low resolution textures don´t make it more realistic. Grain doesn´t make it more realistic, (radial) blur and field of depth are resembling this but are nowhere realistic as this effect appearance and strength is tied to the videogame POV and not player eyes´ fixation and accomodation.

Nevertheless the screenshots you´r e mentioned look good. It looks like the Tilt Shift effect in Reshade. I would like to use some sort of depth of field effect alongside @37mmScreenshots profile. Problem is that it is tied to screen position and not ingame distance. Not sure if there is a way for Reshade to "read" CM´s ingame distance... would be definitely great.

Edited by Aquila-SmartWargames

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Posted (edited)

I understand your comments re the physiological capabilities of a healthy eye.  My point is that perceptually, we/our brains recognize/interpret an object being in the distance due to haze which causes a blurry/shimmery effect - I think that is largely due to air molecules being agitated by heat from the ground (think of looking into the distance in a hot desert - which is the effect I am most familiar with).  Freezing cold "arctic" environments do allow for crystal clear images without haze/shimmer/blur.

That is why the two dimensional still CM screenshots simply look better/more realistic when distant objects are blurred/seen thru some haze.  In terms of what players prefer, it may simply be a matter of taste when one looks at a still screenshot.  But, I get the impression that most folks here like the screenshots that show the distant objects and terrain to be "hazy/blurred" as that looks more "realistic" cos that is how our brains interpret distance.

Edited by Erwin

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12 minutes ago, Erwin said:

I understand your comments re the physiological capabilities of a healthy eye.  My point is that perceptually, we/our brains recognize/interpret an object being in the distance due to haze which causes a blurry/shimmery effect - I think that is largely due to air molecules being agitated by heat from the ground (think of looking into the distance in a hot desert - which is the effect I am most familiar with).  Freezing cold "arctic" environments do allow for crystal clear images without haze/shimmer/blur.

That is why the two dimensional still CM screenshots simply look better/more realistic when distant objects are blurred/seen thru some haze.  In terms of what players prefer, it may simply be a matter of taste when one looks at a still screenshot.  But, I get the impression that most folks here like the screenshots that show the distant objects and terrain to be "hazy/blurred" as that looks more "realistic" cos that is how our brains interpret distance.

It would be great to have some haze effect. There is something like this in CM depending on weather conditions and only when very close to ground level. If there would be a way to inject a distance related haze/depth of field post processing into CM in order to make it look similar to those screenshots... it could tremendously boost visual fidelity for those who prefer it that way.

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Perception, environmental factors, and visual acuity- requiring a distance blur on the background isn't really useful across all situations (that the game must depict)- it depends on combinations of these factors. Plane of focus adjustment on-the-fly is something that you wouldn't want in a video game. It is involuntary in life, so it would be unsettling in a game. I mess around with these things with the shader injectors, but nausea is to be expected once the camera starts moving with a limited plane of focus.

The tilt/shift effect, and people's fascination with it is instructional- the plane of visual focus is close in this effect, which limits the available focal range. Sharp where focused, blurry in front and back. The visual cue to the viewer (due to the visual replication of being close) is things as miniature. Conversely, much of what we view is in the 3-20 foot range (depending on surroundings). The range of "sharpness" is extended far versus near, but the distance will have some aspects of the same lack of sharpness that we see in the closer objects- just less pronounced.

It is easy enough to look at something about 20 feet away, and compare the focused area to the background (without readjusting the focus)- the perception is as much at play as the the pure optics. The background doesn't look "blurry"- more of a mis-matched stereo view, attempting to correct itself, under instruction of the brain- if anything, a slightly blurred, doubling of the image would be more realistic. And vomit-inducing.

Making the background blurry might work for certain times when the camera is in certain place, but not in others (in terms of perception). It also depends on the weather simulated, and so on. One fix does not cure all here, so sharper is better than a visually frustrating, un-sharp image.

People have persistent, insistent visual associations. Look closely at how different video games use those. Lots of interesting strategies.

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Posted (edited)

We may be getting too technical here.  What was pointed out was that the posted images that showed the far distant BG as "faded/hazy" etc looks more realistic than when everything is is sharp focus with non-degraded color. 

I do not wear glasses and when I look out my own window I can see the same exact color terrain a few dozen feet away and a couple miles away.  Atmospheric conditions makes the terrain two miles away look faded and hazy.  That's what I mean by blurred.  But, that may be the wrong word to use.

If one wants a more realistic-looking graphic image, as we have seen in the recent pics that were posted, haze and desaturation of color for objects in the distance is what needs to be achieved.

Edited by Erwin

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