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Everything posted by Lucky_Strike

  1. I think the newer games have a Data folder outside of the app container. I usual just default to assuming it's inside the app container but I do have one which is in the main app folder, can't remember which one off the top of my head. I usually make an alias to the Data folder somewhere more convenient, like my user folder, saves a lot of clicking.
  2. I can't speak from knowledge other than the SF2 demo, but I generally right click/control click on the application in the installed folder in the Applications folder and select Show Package Contents. This will open a new window in which you can drill down the the game's Data folder. Then create the z folder inside the Data folder. Your path will be something like this: Applications⁩ ▸ ⁨CM Shock Force 2⁩ ▸ ⁨CM Shock Force 2⁩ ▸ ⁨Contents⁩ ▸ ⁨Resources⁩ ▸ ⁨Data⁩
  3. Nice. Do like a snowy scene. Are you porting from other CMs? FR or FB?
  4. Very true. In a lot of respects we are very lucky that the demands of CM are quite modest by modern standards, no RTX 3090 required - the ability to play on relatively light-weight systems is sometimes a blessing despite all our grumbling about lack of optimisation etc. Hehe. So off he went to look at his Christmas trees again. Managed to get snow on the front face and no snow on the back face of my leaf branches, but short of sticking each one individually to the tree the right way up I haven't yet found an easy way to make them work how I'd like. Still does at least give me some food for thought. Now back to playing in the bocage ... or should that be with the bocage ... as you say games within games
  5. Thanks Ben, much appreciated. Yes I have added the extra textures in Blender specifically for the ash sapling and brush undergrowth. The way the bocage was originally constructed actually allows for a lot of flexibility with the extras. I have found so long as I keep to the general naming hierarchy then I can add extra sub objects/meshes. And there doesn't seem to be a need to use the original metadata that is imported with the original model's mdr. I guess that the metadata is pretty generic for these models - transparency, shadows etc always seem the same across all the models other than the 1-bit or 8-bit alpha used in the textures dependent on model category. Incidentally do you know why the bocage has 1-bit alpha channels whereas trees etc have the 8-bit greyscale alphas? Was it done originally to save on processing? I have tried a few winter trees and may have a partial solution for gravity defying snow cover. Some deciduous trees can just have their main branches with snow modelled onto their upper sides, those that lose their smaller twigs with their leaves, like ash. For coniferous trees and those deciduous trees that hang onto their finer twigs I maybe able to use the rotation controls in the hair particle system I'm using for leaf branch distribution in Blender. I think the leaf/twig branch models are mostly, if not all, distributed facing the same way up/down, or at least that might be possible using some of the particle system rotation and phase controls. So the snow could then appear on upper surfaces. PAUSES ... deep in thought - Hmm, just had a thought about the face/backside models for the leaf branches of course which have to be included - for anyone following this who is not aware ... take a close look at a leaf branch when next in game, what you will see is that the branch is actually composed of two identical textures sandwiched together - a front and backside. The game uses these to render, unsurprisingly, the front and back faces of the leaf branches, this is also the case for many other textures. Without the back face the textures look very thin when viewed from behind, in some cases textures actually disappear from view when seen from behind without the back face. Resuming normal service - I wonder if we can have a backside texture and a frontside texture? There's a thought - may have to distract myself AGAIN! Arrrrghhghghgh it's never-ending! Thanks Ben!
  6. Yes, the modelling of this is not very well done and could do with revisiting. IMHO if an engineer were to just chuck a couple of satchel charges into a section of bocage the likelihood is a lot of smoke and debris but not much of a passable hole. As you rightly point out they would have been more liable to at least dig a hole to pack with explosives, taking a few minutes, but honestly digging through the kind of tangle of roots that are under hedges is an absolute nightmare, factor in a couple of MG42s blazing away at you as well ... I'd reckon a minimum of 10 minutes to make it passable to vehicles. Yeah, I think you are right JM, it's really been modelled for the sake of the game rather than what reality is like, which is, to my mind, at odds with the whole ethos of CM. Anyway we should NOT be talking about blowin' up my lovely bocage! Topiary - maybe, but no more talk of satchel charges please.
  7. I agree, but sadly this isn't very easy, and definitely not an effiecient way to breach bocage. I did a small test map targeting a road with bocage along it and a couple of adjacent fields. I set up two full battery barrages, one from a 30cm nebelwerfer battery the other from a 170mm cannon battery. They were running concurrently and, despite many direct hits, still only managed to knock out about 3 sections of bocage whilst turning the rest of the landscape into an impassible moonscape. Not really very realistic. Bocage was no doubt difficult to destroy in real life, but a 30cm nebelwerfer shell carried something like 45kg of explosive whereas the average satchel charge was only about 5kg. I know all explosives are not equal but I do think the modelling is just wrong here. Direct hits from a few nebelwerfer rockets would make a mess of most things. But for now the Rhinos and engineers are the only sure way to get through bocage.
  8. Okay here you go guys, a sample of the proposed style of new bocage to try out, grab it here for a limited time ... unzip it and drop it in your z folder, it should override anything else you have installed. Couple of things to point out: this is just one section, the rest of your bocage will still be the same as you normally play with; if you take a look in the extracted folder (I hope you do) you will notice there are some textures with names that are not used anywhere else in game. This is how I am managing to add extra features to the bocage - eg your ash sapling - and NOT affect the game default bocage nor trees and brush etc. If you don't like it delete the folder and your bocage will be back to plain vanilla. Enjoy!
  9. Heh - they are very different. I am just about to upload these so take a peak at the files to see for yourself. They are for most purposes indestructible. I can't change this unfortunately as this is the default behaviour in game, anyway most players are used to it. They can still be blown up by breach teams - do they carry more explosive than a 301mm nebelwerfer shell could deliver - somehow doubt it, but hey ho ... Also your Sherman Rhinos can still batter their way through.
  10. Thanks @Erwin @JM Stuff @slippy @Aragorn2002 your support is much appreciated. I'll bundle this section up so you can try it yourselves. Always in the grand scheme. I have experimented with autumn leaves. It's not so much work to make them and is a natural progression from the summer mods. I will probably finish BN and RT summer mods along with some extras for MG before moving onto the autumn/winter sets for FB and RT. Now that I have some repeatable methodology it's all a bit more straightforward. Finally I will look at what I can do for the sprawling mod set for FI. Side benefit is that anyone who plays BS (I don't and have no inclination to) can easily port this stuff to that for themselves with very little effort. It will also partly work in SF2 and maybe CW, but, again, I won't be supporting those games. For trees I am creating new mdrs and LOD packs, reusing my previous leaf branch texture mods from Hedgerow Hell. LODs for trees need to look like the normal model otherwise there is quite a bit of flickering between LODs over distances. I spent the best part of a week figuring out how the various levels of LOD relate to distance and what is used when, also in relation to game options detail settings. For the Bocage I am making new mdrs except for what are called endcaps in the mdr object groups, whilst again reusing the leaf branch textures I made previously with some minor reworks for practical reasons. There seem to be some quite specific naming of meshes within the various bocage mdrs which I am carefully trying to stick with since I believe these parts are referenced elsewhere. But there are also instances of seemingly random naming schemata which I don't think are referenced. Bocage is unique within the game foliage, they are treated differently in terms of rendering in game, they have a randomisation element which none of the other foliage have, they are treated as walls when adding to maps and can be combined with other foliage, whereas other foliage cannot reside on the same square together. I also did some blowin' sh*t up experiments with bocage to see what happens to the variously named parts if different names are used. With trees if part names are changed then the tree does not destruct in the expected way, disappearing all at once or suddenly going leafless for instance. With bocage it's either there or gone so far as I could determine. I dropped prolonged barrages of 170mm cannon and 301mm nebelwerfer on a bunch of bocage which made one or two holes in it, the rest just stayed intact, even the added ash sapling was unaffected by direct impacts, until it disappeared along with it's associated bocage section. The game does not treat bocage in the same way as it treats trees and bushes in this respect - in my view a partial oversight. In terms of their LODs - the ones that exist in game are basically the most distant and only seem to get used when in God's-eye view, and there is only the one LOD for all types of shapes of bocage. I will probably leave these LODs alone since anything I make will not really impact play or improve the visuals of the game particularly. In summary, and to hopefully give you all something to look forward to, I am now able to magic up new trees, bushes (essentially small trees) and bocage models using Blender, and, importantly, make them work as expected in game, so I can now move on to the making rather than messing about with Blender for interminable hours trying to fathom such an illogical interface.
  11. Have been doing some more work on our beloved Bocage this week, trying to remember how far I'd gotten and how to do stuff in Blender. The good news is I have now got a good solid technique going which I can repeat for all the various sections of bocage. I can now make bocage that is very different from the original game stock and will hopefully give us a more naturalistic gaming environment ... ... this image shows the one section model that I have reworked thus far - bocage-straight-1.mdr - repeated three times on a straight run of bocage. What you can see immediately is that it has a much more ragged profile with a bit of light coming through the underside and NO beanpoles, those you can see are from other unmodified sections. Here is the Blender render of the model ... ... fully clad ... ... leaves removed from the main body. Blender tends to give a smoother render than the game engine. As you can see from the last image we have a large ash sapling to one side which gives immediate height, the supporting branches are now more bush like and there is a good layer of undergrowth at the bottom. The ash sapling and undergrowth are fixed, extra textures whilst the body of the bocage is variable. So depending on the number of boccage textures present in your Z folder, there are an almost infinite number of combinations that can appear in-game. This is just one section remember, by the time I have reworked the other fifteen section types for tall bocage alone the variations will be legion. With different extras textures for the other sections along with variations on height and depth we can finally have a representation of bocage that gets us closer to what I envisioned when I started this project last year. If anyone would like to take this for a spin let me know and I'll make a little bocage bundle to drop in your z folder.
  12. Thanks, and thanks for taking the time to make these packs.
  13. Hehe. Love that film, who'd have known that scene was filmed in Surrey! Also can't believe it's twenty years old now!
  14. Thanks @slippy. Answer to your first question, it's a completely new model but has to take the slot of one of the existing trees. So for BN there are five trees, for FI six, for RT eight, this one will take the slot of one of them, probably for most situations the existing Christmas Tree, but it could work in any of those five slots with a little file renaming. Incidentally, when a model is initially created the textures for the model are tagged in the model code so that the model always calls for those particular textures when it's rendered in game. Consequently renaming the model to a different slot will not change the look of the model. So if a pine tree type e is renamed to tree type a it will still look like a pine in every respect. One would then have two identical pines in game. The only way to completely alter what a tree looks like is by remodelling. New textures will only change the bark and leaves. For your second wish Aladdin ... about a page ago I showed what I will probably do with bushes as an option. I am still using both in my test maps and don't really see any issues with them. I'm thinking that I may also do one other that is more like a thicket or bramble patch. You Englanders will know what I mean if you've ever been out foraging for wild blackberries ...
  15. Thanks @Vacilllator, your support is greatly appreciated. I will bundle the Scot's Pine up when I have corrected a few file names and made sure it's ready for beta. @JM Stuff remember to breathe, it's important ! Thanks as always for your support
  16. So does this mean that if we downloaded the all in one pack when the patch was already available then we don't need the patch, I downloaded both at the same time, so can I discard the patch. ta
  17. I can see it's been a while since I gave my fellow tree-huggers an update so ... I'll start with the bocage, or rather sunken lanes. I've been doing some experiments with other ways of creating sunken lanes. Previously I had just put two rows of tall bocage on adjacent, parallel rows of tiles. This provided a not too bad version of the sunken lanes we see in Normandy, but I felt it could be improved upon, or at least made differently. So starting with the same two rows of tall bocage what I tried was to ditchlock the bocage in ditches of 1-2m depth running their length, any more and the ground becomes very distorted whilst surroundings become harder to manage. The ground texture is, at the moment, just plain old dirt, but other textures might well be useful, forest light can look effective, but does introduce quite a bit of vegetation so the path becomes less distinct. A custom tagged ground texture might be the way to go on these. The result, with lots of heavy bocage, is a tunnel-like experience that I would imagine provides almost total concealment, and which induces a real sense of claustrophobia. They are just about wide enough for smaller vehicles though corners are likely to stop movement. Probably best treated as footpaths. Here's a little sample map with trees off ... At left a zigzag path running uphill south to north, forking at the top, the other down the middle running along a field edge. As you can see they are somewhat narrower than the regular dirt road, at left and right. At ground level ... ... the track through the middle, just about wide enough for a 250, probably navigable, but a bumpy ride ... ... hunting through the dappled shade further up the path ... ... it's dark in there, even on a sunny day! Now back to trees ... As it stands I have now done enough exercises and experiments in Blender to successfully export tree models, new or modified, with proper wrapped bark texture on the trunks and nicely swaying leaves for windier conditions. I've learnt some more of the limitations of the game engine. I've figured out an approach to making LODs that works in both the same way as the originals but also, I hope, enhances the look of them somewhat. I can pretty much make any tree that I desire to see in the game, and have it appear in pretty much all seasons, though winter is still to be worked on just because how snow looks on trees can vary tremendously depending on the amount of precipitation, so coming up with a single solution for all snowy conditions is unlikely to give the best results. This will also apply to bushes. This all assumes that BF DON'T change the way trees work in all the existing WW2 games since I discovered SF2 has a quite different approach that I think will be more difficult to mod in such a pleasing manner. So, introducing the Scot's Pine (Pinus sylvestris) or my take on it. It's the tall ones centre left. (These are in BN) I have made these deliberately taller than the stock pine trees. They stand head and shoulders above other trees and are more like the type that might be seen in a mature plantation rather than the more twisted forms that are also commonly seen. Pines are generally used in game to represent plantations or vast forests so it seemed appropriate. Going forward I will probably increase the height of some of the other trees a bit as they're on the small side IMHO. Any tree can of course be made to represent whatever tree we want by reworking the model and a little tagging or renaming. We can even have a set of say just pines and conifers to represent a heavy coniferous forest seen in more northerly or mountainous regions. A small plantation. Scot's Pines are found throughout much of mainland Europe so are a good species to represent. The models are a bit more complex and natural than the game originals but they seem to work without problem in game. Running the game at balanced or improved which are the recommended setting means that LODs are used more often. What I discovered is that the LODs are actually used a lot more than I originally suspected. So long as a tree isn't moving then it's probably a LOD, usually LOD level 1 but more often LOD 2 or LOD 3 are used. What this means is that the lower detailed models are used even when quite close to them. LOD 1 will be in view at ranges of less 50m commonly, and in some cases when it's almost right next to the viewpoint, LODs 2 and 3 are commonly seen from about 100m out to 400m, whilst LOD 4 (the star-shaped trees viewed from high above) are seen at anything from 100m to a few km depending on quality settings and how many trees are featured on the map. Incidentally LOD 3 is the model used for bare tree trunks when trees are toggled off. What I've tried to do is make the detail levels of the first three LOD levels a bit closer to the detail level of the normal model, reducing it as the LODs become more distant. I have also tried to make LOD 4 look a bit more like a tree in the distance but also, importantly for very large dense forests, allowed it to work when viewed from a bit closer. I can't control when LODs kick in, but I can make the models a bit more detailed to compensate for this. Morning on the edge of the Zon Forest near to the town of Best (MG Outstanding Gallantry). The distant trees are LOD 4. At the edge of the forest - a lot of trees! The foreground is Normal and LOD 1 but the scene quickly starts to use LOD 4 models because of the sheer number of trees rendered. Of note, the LOD 4 models don't cast or receive shadows. The other side of the forest in sunlight, the trees in the middle are LOD 4, notice how the light doesn't affect their trunks, can't alter this ... ... but, IMHO, they do blend quite well, especially considering they are used relatively close up, as on the right here. Another benefit of the extra details, hopefully, is that the jerkiness and flickering associated with trees won't be so noticeable when transitions between LODs are a little smoother, but this is yet to be demonstrated with multiple new models. Things like the lack of shadows on LOD level 4 are stuff that I can't influence. Increasing ones quality settings in-game pushes the point at which LODs are introduced further form the camera, but at a serious cost in render speed and frame rate. The shadows under the trees move back a bit but they are still missing in the distance. A mistake in my opinion since the shadows at that distance bind the trees to the ground and create a sense of distance and depth, they're what makes it look three dimensional, makes it pop! Look at a landscape with distant woods and you'll notice that the underside of trees and the ground below, even on dull days, is much darker, whereas in game it's light and indistinct. I know that there are compromises with how the game has to work and what is rendered, limited by consideration for hardware, but I do believe this one is an error in judgement ... IMHO. If I could fix one thing it might be this ... The Rhone Valley as appears in game on a bright day but not full sun (with my mods) Artist's (huhhum) impression with shadows under distant trees. Perhaps a consideration for the next engine ... As always your feedback is greatly appreciated. And remember to plant a tree
  18. Yes, I've seen some evidence that the trend can be reversed for the good. Ironic that we have town centres crying out for an injection of life and yet we (the nation) all too often seem content to build faceless, sprawling, crappie housing estates all over useful farmland so that everyone can be home-owners. Whilst at the same time we destroy our assets and would rather import our food than be more frugal with what we have and closer to self-sufficient. Will we ever learn rant rant rant
  19. Well, we can have both. It's easy enough with these textures as there is only one to make for ground dirt road. I can put them into options folders and everyone can choose their own personal favourite. Heck we can even have original game resolution and high resolution just for the hell of it. They are found textures so credit to the original maker. Later on I may do a complete pack of revised roads which will include these as well as other textures that take in all the sage advice that Falaise has given us. Then we can move on to discussing what colour they turn in the rain, how many puddles there should be and whether there should be differences between the surfaces when just damp and very wet ...
  20. Thanks @Falaise, a great resource. I will now indulge in hours of map browsing. I know what you mean. Just to the south of the area you show in the link to Remonter le Temps one can see how many orchards have been lost Who makes all the cidre and calvados now!? We have suffered the same here in southern England. What is slightly encouraging, at least here, is that there is now a realisation of how important the hedgerows are as part of a diverse environment and that monocultures are not a good thing, let's hope it's not too late to save all the hedgerows. Hehe, I like them both as well, it is difficult. 2 is a real favourite as it reminds me of the chalk roads here, but it's less manmade/manufactured and a bit more worn down by years of traffic. The first one looks more like an aggregate rollered flat, so is perhaps more accurate in that sense. The third one has some nice textures, but is more gritty and does sparkle a lot in game. We have all been told now! Everyone, go and play and stop being so anal about roads. I will notice the difference which is why I make these things, no one is making anyone use them, nor read these threads. Horses for courses ...
  21. Which mod is that Mikey? (someone was going to ask )
  22. Thanks for your insightful notes M. Falaise. Incredibly useful as ever. It does still leave a few questions in my mind though ... ye spake: In 1944 only the RN, national road were tarred Falaise Caen; Cherbourg Caen. It was 2 lanes road. George MC in his "Wittman Demise" is perfectly right to represent it as the RN 158 near Cintheaux So really we won't see this type of road very often in maps/scenarios, but rather more of the RD, RC type and smaller dirt tracks? This does make me wonder what would be the best approach to modelling this in game since the current narrow RC type/dirt road is rendered in game with just the one tile ie ground dirt road. Would a better approach be to use ground dirt road for dirt tracks, the lowest grade of surface, and perhaps ground gravel for RC type roads? Or somehow mod the paved road 1 textures to make it appear narrower for use as RC roads and mod paved road 2 to become RD type roads. This would then leave the highways style roads for RN which could then appear tarred as well, rather than cobbles that we have now? which segues into my next question ... Ye spake: The other roads, which are called departmental roads (RD), were not much narrower but were covered with white macadam. In this aerial photo from the 1950s, in vertical, the RN 158 (Caen Falaise) is dark because it is tarred. We see departmental who join it in white, covered with macadam I've seen plenty of photos of these chalky-looking surfaces and have even found a few nice textures that depict them quite well. In game we don't really have a chalky-looking texture, so would we benefit from having something like this for our RD roads? It's the mix of lime and stone ground up and rollered that you mentioned previously, sets a bit like a loose concrete I would imagine, but not very durable and dusty as hell in the dry months I should think. We have quite a few old tracks like this in the south of England, across chalk downlands, used in the past for moving cattle to markets etc. These three are some that I have tried in the past - are any or all suitable? Who knew that playing a game would turn us into road surface nerds ... And finally ... ye spake thus: In the communes according to their importance and their wealth, the roads and streets were either paved, or tarred or covered with macadam. So there is probably a bit too much emphasis on cobbled/paved streets in villages. Towns, just from looking at period photos, would have main streets and squares that were often cobbled or paved with stone. Others would be tarred (do you mean with just black tarmac or tarred with macadam rolled on, or both?) - we don't really have a basic tarmac in BN. For villages should we have more macadamised roads and plain RC type surfaces? With perhaps just the village square with cobbles? Or would that be most often macadamised as well? I'm sorry for all these questions but I do think that the balance of road surface is a little off in the game. We have a lot of hard surfaces - cobbles and paving, but perhaps too few of the less durable surfaces. I would personally like at least one more rough surface and could happily have one less paved stone/cobble surface - which gives us a chance to change the balance in game a little. Thanks Ooh, and @George MC's maps are da bomb, and what you've done to is also da bomb! Leonardo reimagined by Picasso!
  23. Just done some quick exercises in generating clouds of dust ... ... they last for about thirty seconds but are very obvious ... The proviso is that dust clouds only seem to appear on dirt roads (and presumably open dirt ground) as opposed to roads that look like dirt as in our favoured paved road 1 texture ... ... no dust The moral of this little tale, don't trust a mod.
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