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HarryInk

Using Mapping Mission 112

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Wonder if anyone has tips for using Mapping Mission. I find it's much better than the editor but I'm very crude at it. I don't understand getting it to import map stuff from a topo, for eg.

Any tips... especially with generating the contours of a map (esp from an underlay)?

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Okay, I will give it a try.

First let's see what the manual says:

Load Terrain From Bitmap File: This popup menu contains several related commands. All of these commands prompt the user to select a bitmap (*.bmp) image file. The file can be of any color depth. The bitmap file will be opened and read by Mapping Mission, and the current map will be modified so that tiles corresponding to pixels in the bitmap that are not “white” will be changed to the appropriate terrain type. (“White” in this case is defined as having the sum of the red, green and blue intensity values greater than or equal to 750.) Tiles corresponding to white pixels in the bitmap will be unchanged. The Load Elevations From Bitmap File command works slightly differently: each pixel is examined and its brightness is used to set the tile’s elevation value (from 0 to 255). Note that this elevation value is in levels, not meters. To determine the brightness required to set a given elevation in meters, divide the elevation in meters by 1.25 and round to the nearest integer. Then set the pixel so that the red, green and blue intensity values all equal this value. IMPORTANT NOTE: Mapping Mission inspects only one pixel for each tile in the map; adjacent pixels are not inspected. The specific pixel inspected depends on the width (height) of the bitmap in pixels compared to the width (height) of the map in tiles. For example, if the current map is 50 tiles wide and the source bitmap is 100 pixels wide, Mapping Mission will examine every other pixel when assigning tiles.
Actually it's a bit more complicated then described above. I will explain through below examples.

1. scan or find a suitable topomap. Scale should not be higher then 1:25,000 (see below example of the Bastogne region) The height difference on the map should not be higher then 100 m, otherwise you have to level out. Remember you have only 20 height intervals in CM, even if you you use steep slopes.

bastogne14tu.th.jpg

2. Get an image editor program like Gimp or somefink. You can download it for free and it allows you to work with layers and to create colour palettes.

Since mappingmission will import the pixel values of the colours, I suggest that you create a palette of 20 different colours, where lowest value is e.g. 30 (is almost black) and highest value reads 230 (= almost white) You step up the increments with 10 points for each grayscale in such way that the values of the palette are equally distributed

With this palette you start painting your topomap until it looks like below example.

bastognecontour9in.th.jpg

3. Importing above image, will lead to a distorted mappingmission map. Indeed the spread of the pixel values is much too wide in order to be handled by MM.

You should transform the pixel values in your image from 30-230 down to 1-20. Gimp has a feature, to allow you, to automatically convert. Just make sure you end up with as much different values/colours a you have contours. You end up with a dark image like below, where you hardly can distinct the contours anymore. Doesn't matter, mappingmission can!

bastogne1204xg.th.jpg

4. Start MM up and import the dark bmp.

mapmission8uz.th.jpg

6. Use an aerial view of the same size your topomap as underlay. Maybe you need to crop the aerial picture to match the same surface

croppedbastogne3ru.th.jpg

7. Start adding roads, woods, streams and villages. I abstracted from above image, the modern constructions and open pits. ..and of course, the Mardasson monument was not standing there during the battle ;)

underlay1aw.th.jpg

8. Export map to CMBB/CMBO and tune fine in the CM editor. Especially the roads, railroads and rivers will need some editing to get them straight and flat. (see also Tips and tricks of Scenario design at my homepage.)

Et voilà!

bastognecmak6xn.th.jpg

Admit, above explanation sounds complicated, but I had a lot of fun with experimenting and you get a lot of satisfaction when your result matches as much as possible the real terrain. After all, IMHO, outcome of many battle was determined by occupation of strategic terrain instead of the clash of opposing armour or forces.

Therefore, I like in historic scenarios, that CM terrain reflects as much as possible the real environment.

[ June 27, 2006, 03:02 PM: Message edited by: McAuliffe ]

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Do I worship thee, oh McAuliffe? Yeah verily thou art a great provider. All praise unto thee and thy cotton socks.

Thanks mate. I'll fight my way through my next map project and throw questions up here after I've done the requisite cursing at my puter. Would you mind?

First obtuse querie. The painting in GIMP has to be done by hand/mouse? Ja? Spose I can do that in Photoshop to?...

[ June 28, 2006, 03:07 AM: Message edited by: HarryInk ]

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Never had the funds to procure myself Photoshop, but guess it has same - or even more elaborated - features as GIMP.

I add a transparent layer to the topomap image and start to paint along the contours with a thick pencil and fill up the spaces in between with the bucket tool. Don't worry too much about the accuracy. After all, since MM imports only one pixel value per tile, you have a margin of 20 meters anyway.

Just to a have a visual idea, how MM will interpret your map, try to compress your image as such, that one pixel represents 20 meter on your map. You will see, that unfortunately, a lot of detail gets lost.

e.g. image of 800 x 800 pixels covering 1 square km will be compressed to an image of 50 x 50 pixels.

I have been experimenting with vectorizing analogue topomaps, but in my opinion, there is too much 'noise' on the maps in between or across the contour lines, in order to obtain a decent result. So, I stick to the analogue process.

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OK, next question.

Sorry to be thick, but can you expand on step 2 with GIMP, which I've DLd & set up.

How do I set the colours & graduate them? STarted fiddling but it's too late to be coherent.

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In the main interface (the tall thin one), look under all the tool icons where you should find the foreground and background colour button (remember to have tool tips enabled). Double click on it and the colour palette interface will open. The rest should be obvious.

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Indeed, go in the dialog menu and click palettes or just press CTRL+P

Click create new palette

gimp12ig.th.jpg

Specify number of columns. 6, 7..whatever, you can change later.

Click edit color and change RGB values. They should have all the same value in order to generate a pixel value with same RGB.

gimp29ve.th.jpg

Do not forget to save your palette. I called it digital elevation

Create an extra, transparent layer on top of your image and start painting along the contour lines with pencil or click N. Fill up space with the bucket tool or press SHIFT+B

gimp30bo.th.jpg

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One more thing.

Make up your mind up before, if you will use the default height interval in the CM editor (=2.5 m) or the steep interval (=5 m).

If you will use the latter, you can jump 1 colour for each contour line on your map (Default west-european topomaps use 5 m contour-lines, although in the more flatter regions, sometimes a dotted line shows an intermediate contour line at 2.5 m)

If you will use the 2.5 m interval in the editor, you will have to paint yourselves an intermediate contour-line based on your own judgment.

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Originally posted by George Mc:

Excellent post. Any chance of putting the above info into a word document? I'd be happy to host it at my website?

Cheers fur noo

George

Doh! Just saw you have your own webite. Any chance you could publish it on yours! :D

Cheers fur noo

George

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Originally posted by McAuliffe:

If you will use the 2.5 m interval in the editor, you will have to paint yourselves an intermediate contour-line based on your own judgment.

I never go into that much detail within Mapping Mission, I only add them once it has been exported to Combat Mission. The interval is decided by Mapping Mission, and I can't be bothered to calculate it first.

Oh, I just realized that you use the CM level mode (0-19). I just let MM do all the dirty work.

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Originally posted by George Mc:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by George Mc:

Excellent post. Any chance of putting the above info into a word document? I'd be happy to host it at my website?

Cheers fur noo

George

Doh! Just saw you have your own webite. Any chance you could publish it on yours! :D

Cheers fur noo

George </font>

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I try my luck with an add-on question in this thread:

Is there any limitations to the size of the underlaying Bitmap picture. I try to start a 6x6 km map in MM, but when I hit Ctrl+U to see the imported underlying map it was only white. Is it my PC or is it the program?

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Originally posted by Sgt AA:

Is there any limitations to the size of the underlaying Bitmap picture.

No. Haven't met any such, at least - and I've used some biiig pictures.

I don't know what your problem might be about, but I might dare to suspect a non-standard BMP file. If that's not the case, then it could be a video adapter drivers issue, or user error, or Something Else. I think that covers all the possibilities, but don't ask me how you fix Something Else...

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Originally posted by McAuliffe:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by George Mc:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by George Mc:

Excellent post. Any chance of putting the above info into a word document? I'd be happy to host it at my website?

Cheers fur noo

George

Doh! Just saw you have your own webite. Any chance you could publish it on yours! :D

Cheers fur noo

George </font>

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Sgt AA

Is there any limitations to the size of the underlaying Bitmap picture. I try to start a 6x6 km map in MM, but when I hit Ctrl+U to see the imported underlying map it was only white. Is it my PC or is it the program?
I think it's your computer and it loves you. 6km x 6km. Are you MAD man? Your CPU isn't worried about melting down, it's worried YOU will!!

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Sorry if this question is dense. And I don't have the manual open right in front of me but I have read it. For a lot of good that did me. :confused:

I want to take an image from google earth and use it as an underlay map.

Where do I start? From my minor bit of reading retention I need to have a jpg or gif? I poked around goodle earth and did not see a ready tool to "save the image as".

Thanks

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Bannon,

Did you download the viewer Google`Earth already?

If you open this up and you go to your preferred location, you just press CTRL+ALT+S .

In order to use it as an underlay image in mapping mision, you have to transform it in a .bmp image though.

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Originally posted by Sergei:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Sgt AA:

Is there any limitations to the size of the underlaying Bitmap picture.

No. Haven't met any such, at least - and I've used some biiig pictures.

I don't know what your problem might be about, but I might dare to suspect a non-standard BMP file.... </font>

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Hi, all -- Sgt AA just alerted me to this thread (from purely altruistic motives, I have no doubt), and it's cheering to see some of the cool results people have generated. BTW, if someone has actually put McAuliffe's tutorial into document form, I'd be happy to host it along with (or as part of) the Mapping Mission download.

Things are pretty busy for me, and I haven't looked at the code in a long time, but some recent events have made me think again about returning to the code to look at adding CM:AK support. We'll see if that happens. I will at least try to replicate Sgt AA's problems and see if there's anything that can be done.

Regarding your questions, my initial thought (based on hazy memory) is that you should be able to open 1.10 files in 1.12 and vice-versa, but I will investigate. Your question about 16-bit vs 32-bit -- are you asking about bitmap color depth for underlays? If so, I would expect that if anything posed a problem, it would be 16-bit; 32-bit bitmaps should always work.

Regards,

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Wow!

A bug-free MM 2.0 including CMAK is really something to look forward to! tongue.gif

Best "announcement" since CMC.

smile.gif (I know, no promises made but just the thought of it.... ;) )

Thanks for your quick answers.

Regards,

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