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Rabbit
2015-03-29, 02:15
This Tutorial will go over the advanced placement of overgrowth in a woodland setting in terms of both realism, gameplay and optimization. First and foremost I would like to say that this is simply one technique to achieving quality OG (Overgrowth) settings and can be dependent on size of the map and location. This tutorial is also missing a detailed explanation of elevation and overgrowth types.

Traditional techniques are to make one or two settings, and paint it down. Painting it down can be done in several different ways, either high density settings with small patches painted around the map (Kham as an example here) or large areas painted with a low or medium density settings (Hades Peak as an example). For this tutorial we will see a mix of both painting techniques.

Let us start with a picture (outdated) of fool's road as it will cover two of the main aspects we should look at. To start off our comparison with will be between Fools Road and Nuijamaa we need to look at overgrowth counts, which I will remind you have throughout this tutorial. Fools Road contains 23,194 objects of OG as of PR 1.3, Nuijamaa on the other hand contains 10,059 objects of OG, yet still feels extremely forested. Now some screenshots to overview the visual difference.

Fools Road
http://i.imgur.com/587Fp49.jpg

Nuijamaa
http://i.imgur.com/1D0hfB5.png

As you can see Nuijamaa feels much more forested with less than half of the OG use, caveats being I used fir clusters on Nuijamaa and mine might have a bit more space that is unused. However, mine remains less than half, so I suggest continuing with this tutorial. Looking again at the Fools Road picture you can see several areas I wish to highlight.

http://i.imgur.com/587Fp49.jpg

You can see the woods end with fields next to them, and also separation between these forest "islands" from unimproved roads. Now I want to bring up something not only from a natural point of view, but gameplay. These next pictures will show exactly what I am talking about. The first picture is of grasslands surrounding one of these forest "islands".

http://i.imgur.com/U3hMF0X.jpg

Here you can see that along these edges shrubs are growing, this is because of how sunlight is reaching these forest islands. As you can see if you moved the sun from right to left (east to west) sunlight would be exposed to areas underneath these trees along the edges of the forests. However the deciduous trees are branching out, thus covering the area inside of the forest to block sunlight causing less shrubs. What this will do in terms of gameplay is create pockets of safety for infantry for the outside, thus allowing them more freedom of maneuver. Also because of these shrubs being only on the outside, it prevents the enemy from simply hiding in one and preventing infantry to move, so now you get the best of both worlds. Next I would like to highlight small roads cutting through the woods. While it's not hugely important or far off from the previous example, I will still talk about it as another option.

http://i.imgur.com/Nk5Sn4j.jpg

Here we have a corridor through woods, commonly in games an unimproved road. Here you can see the Overgrowth from the other side will help block out sun, but not as completely has normal woods, thus you get lower shrubs at the edge than you would a field being next to woods. So an idea here is to use low shrubs are opposed to the huge ones, though again, not that important. As you can see from the original picture of Nuijamaa posted and the one below you get a nice block for infantry to move. Another caveat here is that the height of the trees/spread of the foliage and distance between islands can effect how many/if any shrubs grow in this area. On top of this there are exception to this all around the world, and doesn't have to be done, yet I recommend it.

http://i.imgur.com/2gKUaDo.png


In-game Creation

How to recreate this is fairly simple and only slightly more time consuming than the "easier" ways. Now comes the advanced portion of this tutorial.

type 1: woods
Overgrowth.addMaterial woods 1
Overgrowth.setActiveMaterial woods
Overgrowth.addType fir1
Overgrowth.setActiveType fir1
OvergrowthType.geometry fir_mixed01
OvergrowthType.density 4
OvergrowthType.normalScale 0.05
OvergrowthType.rotationScale 0
OvergrowthType.minRadiusToSame 0.15
OvergrowthType.minRadiusToOthers 0.35
Overgrowth.addType fir2
Overgrowth.setActiveType fir2
OvergrowthType.geometry fir_mixed02
OvergrowthType.density 4.5
OvergrowthType.normalScale 0.05
OvergrowthType.rotationScale 0
OvergrowthType.minRadiusToSame 0.2
OvergrowthType.minRadiusToOthers 0.3
Overgrowth.addType shrub
Overgrowth.setActiveType shrub
OvergrowthType.geometry deciduous_bush_1
OvergrowthType.density 1
OvergrowthType.normalScale 1
OvergrowthType.rotationScale 0
OvergrowthType.minRadiusToSame 1
OvergrowthType.minRadiusToOthers 0
Overgrowth.addType birch1
Overgrowth.setActiveType birch1
OvergrowthType.geometry birch_green_1
OvergrowthType.density 1.5
OvergrowthType.normalScale 0.05
OvergrowthType.rotationScale 0
OvergrowthType.minRadiusToSame 0.35
OvergrowthType.minRadiusToOthers 0.35
Overgrowth.addType log
Overgrowth.setActiveType log
OvergrowthType.geometry nc_deadlog01
OvergrowthType.density 1
OvergrowthType.normalScale 1
OvergrowthType.rotationScale 0
OvergrowthType.minRadiusToSame 0.4
OvergrowthType.minRadiusToOthers 0

type 2: woods-edge
Overgrowth.addMaterial woodsedge 2
Overgrowth.setActiveMaterial woodsedge
Overgrowth.addType fir2
Overgrowth.setActiveType fir2
OvergrowthType.geometry fir_mixed02
OvergrowthType.density 6
OvergrowthType.normalScale 0.05
OvergrowthType.rotationScale 0
OvergrowthType.minRadiusToSame 0.28
OvergrowthType.minRadiusToOthers 0.3
Overgrowth.addType birch
Overgrowth.setActiveType birch
OvergrowthType.geometry birch_green_2
OvergrowthType.density 5
OvergrowthType.normalScale 0.05
OvergrowthType.rotationScale 0
OvergrowthType.minRadiusToSame 0.35
OvergrowthType.minRadiusToOthers 0.35
Overgrowth.addType oak
Overgrowth.setActiveType oak
OvergrowthType.geometry nc_oak02
OvergrowthType.density 3
OvergrowthType.normalScale 0.05
OvergrowthType.rotationScale 0
OvergrowthType.minRadiusToSame 0.35
OvergrowthType.minRadiusToOthers 0.35
Overgrowth.addType bigshrub
Overgrowth.setActiveType bigshrub
OvergrowthType.geometry shrub_01
OvergrowthType.density 8
OvergrowthType.normalScale 1
OvergrowthType.rotationScale 0
OvergrowthType.minRadiusToSame 0
OvergrowthType.minRadiusToOthers 0

type 3: low play
Overgrowth.addMaterial lowplay 3
Overgrowth.setActiveMaterial lowplay
Overgrowth.addType fir1
Overgrowth.setActiveType fir1
OvergrowthType.geometry fir_mixed01
OvergrowthType.density 1.8
OvergrowthType.normalScale 0.05
OvergrowthType.rotationScale 0
OvergrowthType.minRadiusToSame 0.15
OvergrowthType.minRadiusToOthers 0.35
Overgrowth.addType fir2
Overgrowth.setActiveType fir2
OvergrowthType.geometry fir_mixed02
OvergrowthType.density 1.6
OvergrowthType.normalScale 0.05
OvergrowthType.rotationScale 0
OvergrowthType.minRadiusToSame 0.35
OvergrowthType.minRadiusToOthers 0.35
Overgrowth.addType bush
Overgrowth.setActiveType bush
OvergrowthType.geometry deciduous_bush_1
OvergrowthType.density 0.7
OvergrowthType.normalScale 1
OvergrowthType.rotationScale 0
OvergrowthType.minRadiusToSame 0
OvergrowthType.minRadiusToOthers 0

Here are my 3 Overgrowth types and in order of which they are presented they go Dark blue (woods), light blue (woods edge) and green (low play areas). For this please refer to the picture below.

http://i.imgur.com/r3iwwji.png

Here you can see all the colors represented along with wood islands and the map edge. First I started painting large wood islands as per my reference I used for the location. After that I painted over the edges with my overgrowth layer "woodsedge" that had more deciduous trees and shrubs mixed in. Finally areas that have the "woodsedge" painting close as seen near the center of the image I replaced the normal "woods" with "lowplay". This is due to the high density settings from woodsedge that I only needed a few pieces of OG between the two lines. I also used "lowplay" along the map edges are any areas I figured players would not travel through often, or areas I didn't want players to go through. Map edges are popular travel points as it limits the areas you can be attacked from, to counter this I used a thinned out overgrowth layer there to try and keep players away from the edges.

Using this technique along with the fir clusters will cut down on your overgrowth numbers while feeling the keep of a dense forest, which I suggest you do. Thank you for reading the tutorial, I appreciate that you want to want to keep your map at high fps even for lower end computer users. But again I also want to reiterate that this is only one technique out of many.