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mpdugas

Can we have some graphical gemütlichkeit, bitte?

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This is out of bounds. He may be taking things like a personal snub or something, but this isn't warranted. Where he might have preceived just some kind of personal affront, now it really is- and it makes the community here look defensive and just a clique for eccentric, weird people.

I have taken great care to be polite, patient and circumspect in all of my posts, and I have never criticized anyone personally. I have attempted, in every writing, to be thoughtful and offer positive suggestions and solutions.

So much of what has been written in this thread does not seem to flow from what I have actually said in my posts. A great deal seems to be replies written in response to another author's post. It reminds me of the game that children play when they tell a story by whispering into the ear of their neighbor while sitting in a large circle; the story is very different when it returns back to the beginning of the circle.

I think that is the way that flame wars propagate.

However, that said, I have also seen posts that were reflective and thoughtful, too.

Yes, this issue of graphics improvement has been raised before, as a concern and as a request by users of SB. Too often the user requests are just that; someone wants this or that new feature added, or perhaps another model to operate, a scenario, etc.

My suggestion was somewhat different: I offered a request and a practical way to implement it. A request and a potential solution.

It is gratifying to see, out of all of this Sturm-und-Drang, that there has arisen an interest in giving, from the SB user community itself, just the sort of user-based development support that I have proposed.

Of course, many more such resources exist, and I have offered suggestions for ways to access those as well.

I think that something like I proposed might happen now. I think that is a good thing for the simulation.

Thanks for listening to my suggestions.

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Users had to get through a C:\ prompt and mess around with config.sys and autoexec .bat files in the IBM clone era, and computers were probably more exotic and expensive relative to the kinds of disposable cash that people had- that might say something about the kind of person who would first own a machine and then attempt to get software to run on it. Games ran or installed off of floppy discs and were pretty easy to pirate.

The bugets put into your AAA titles are like those of small flims now- they represent a major investment of capital, therefore, they probably aren't going to produce to esoteric interests, they have to really appeal to the broadest demographics possible.

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Personally, I’m very grateful there’s a military grade armour simulation available to the consumer market. I appreciate eSim’s core business is the military training market and that PE is developed and enhanced as and when the opportunity arises and, to some extent, out of the goodness of their hearts rather than as a pure commercial proposition. Yes, I, like everyone else, would like to see some things done differently or faster (and there would be a different point of view on this from each and every member of the forum) but, imagine if eSim chose not to invest in a consumer version of Steel Beasts. If this were the case what would everyone in this community play instead? Certainly not a high fidelity contemporary armoured warfare simulator. Given they’ve invested immense intellectual and financial capital to get the platform to where it is today, I’m happy to be patient and allow them to develop it as they see fit.

Keep up the good work eSim.

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Steel Beasts never was at the top of visual splendor, but we try to avoid becoming butt-ugly either. We're growing our head count while this discussion is still going on, all this with the goal to get more done in a given time. It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone however that while a pregnant woman needs nine months to deliver a baby, having nine women does not cut down delivery time to one month. Software development doesn't work that way. Some things cannot be parallelized, with other things it works very well. Programming more than any other collaborative activity that I can think of, requires a very high degree of coordination among the team members, and it requires some continuity of personnel in order to become highly productive. We can't just hire 50 guys from CodeMart or outsource the work to a programming center in India. Growing in headcount will yield results only a while after you did it (IOW, it requires a substantial initial investment in money and time).

This would be no different if we now took the time to rip apart the code base to make part of it public and then have a group of modders have a go at it. In similar ways, there's also "sales inertia".

Whatever - the point is that even though we hired additional programmers and artists in early 2011, you haven't yet seen the full result of it, just a few indicators. Likewise, if we hire additional people this year (and we will), you won't see the effect immediately. These delays are inevitable, but admittedly it's harder to bear when you're a customer with no insight to the daily work that is done and the progress that is made.

A ground-breaking new feature isn't done in a day. It may actually need the development of certain "auxiliary features" first that are of no use without that major feature, so it can very well require a total development time of well over a year. Seen from the outside, it appears as if nothing happens, and a month or two after a new version has been released the novelty factor already wears off and people start wondering what will be next.

I can but point out that we made good on the vast majority of our promises in the past, which hopefully earns me a bit of credibility when making new promises - like that of an engine facelift. Of course we too would like things to happen faster, but it's like sleeping. If it's supposed to be refreshing, you need the hours, undisturbed. There's no way to sleep faster; shortening periods of rest will eventually - and inevitably! - show its negative effects.

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I think my question got lost in those long replies ... which I'm guilty of too.

What file type(s) are used for object graphics in Steelbeasts?

(since the requst was offered)

I do 3d models of process plants and machinery

I typically work with AutoCAD based solids but also know Rhinocerous well. They produce different types of model files ... can't recall what Acads is called but Rhino uses nurbs.

The Rhino3D site has many images you can look at (even a tank or two and a real nice 88mm, by others)

(please forgive in advance if that answer is buried in on of those long replies)

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I think my question got lost in those long replies ... which I'm guilty of too.

What file type(s) are used for object graphics in Steelbeasts?

(since the requst was offered)

I do 3d models of process plants and machinery

I typically work with AutoCAD based solids but also know Rhinocerous well. They produce different types of model files ... can't recall what Acads is called but Rhino uses nurbs.

The Rhino3D site has many images you can look at (even a tank or two and a real nice 88mm, by others)

(please forgive in advance if that answer is buried in on of those long replies)

As I recall SB uses Polygonal 3D models so Adobe 3DS Max is what your after. (All 3D model to be subitted in triplicate and subject to DejaWolf's criticism/contempt)

Other software pacakges maybe avaliable

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I think my question got lost in those long replies ... which I'm guilty of too.

What file type(s) are used for object graphics in Steelbeasts?

(since the requst was offered)

I do 3d models of process plants and machinery

I typically work with AutoCAD based solids but also know Rhinocerous well. They produce different types of model files ... can't recall what Acads is called but Rhino uses nurbs.

The Rhino3D site has many images you can look at (even a tank or two and a real nice 88mm, by others)

(please forgive in advance if that answer is buried in on of those long replies)

AutoCad and Rhino uses Nurbs-based modeling techniques. these are high-end modeling techniques specialized for movies and CAD-drawing. and typically means a model comes out to millions of polygons. games require polygonal based modeling techniques, and even for the most high-end games, a polygonal model rarely exceed 20 000 polygons, to keep framerates high.

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Thanks for the info.

I'm almost positive Rhino can write a .3ds file. You can set the polygon density.

For the price Rhino is great. I have to use Acad at my day job because of client requirements even though Rhino can write to dwg formats.

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Rhino won't do, and .3ds is a horrible format, it breaks up a model based on smoothing groups, and sometimes bugs the model. but there's a variety of other things that needs to be done. the pivot points of each object must be set correctly,

so that the turret, gun, roadwheels, etc spin around the correct axis, each object needs to be named correctly, and all of the objects needs to be UVmapped so that the model utilizes as much texture space as possible, and are mapped to a single texture., afaik, Rhino does not have any efficient UVmapping tools, and you have to create a texture for each surface.

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Oh well, those are the only two systems I am qualified to work in. As far as axis of rotation; I got that one down.

thanks and have a nice day

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Oh well, guess I'm not qualified to help out. 35 years of uninterrupted successful design engineering in process plants and machine design is not good enough. I guess I led someone (a very smart person) to believe I don't know what a proper axis of rotation is. ... even though there's hundreds or thousands of things (I've lost track now) out there spinning and doing their jobs that I designed through the years.

thanks but no thanks

in nearly all the models i've received from prospective modelers, the axis of rotation have been screwed up, UVmaps have been inefficient or completely missing, and generally causing more work than neccesary.

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As you can see I had a moment of defensiveness and I apoligize. Obviously I did not edit out my rant quick enough (shame on me).

But, my curiousity is still unsatisfied.

What package is best for the kind of models used in SB?

(if packages like 3D Studio, Acad or Rhino don't work well ... I also have used Lightwave but its seemed to be a lot like 3DS.)

I've heard of Maya, Poser, SolidEdge, Solidworks, Sketchup, Quest3D, ... and numerous CAD oriented packages I researched a few years back trying to find a more economical alternative to AutoDesk software. There's a whole bunch of 3d model packages out there.

I can learn about any graphics package. Just want to see what's needed and evaluate whether I would want to try if possible.

Thanks

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Because at it's heart, SB is a simulation and for lack of a better description ( and one that epitomizes political incorrectness) the unwashed masses aren't interested in simulations which require actual thought and time invested learning the thing to ever be successful at it. All they want is a beer in one hand and a mouse/joystick/gamepad in the other and ohhhhhhh loook at the purty pictures and they be haaaaapy!.

This seems to be universal. My old Flight Sim squadron broke up because the 'next big thing' sim turned out to be useless and non one wanted to go 'back' to the old one. Many of these guys were definitely (I thought) simmers, not gamers. Their individual IQs were way above room temperature. They studied aircraft specs, air combat manoeuvring etc, and as a result the squadron was a big hitter on several IL2 open servers.

Then one of them discovered WoT - and that's where they've been ever since. I don't understand it. :(

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As you can see I had a moment of defensiveness and I apoligize. Obviously I did not edit out my rant quick enough (shame on me).

But, my curiousity is still unsatisfied.

What package is best for the kind of models used in SB?

(if packages like 3D Studio, Acad or Rhino don't work well ... I also have used Lightwave but its seemed to be a lot like 3DS.)

I've heard of Maya, Poser, SolidEdge, Solidworks, Sketchup, Quest3D, ... and numerous CAD oriented packages I researched a few years back trying to find a more economical alternative to AutoDesk software. There's a whole bunch of 3d model packages out there.

I can learn about any graphics package. Just want to see what's needed and evaluate whether I would want to try if possible.

Thanks

Unfortunately it MUST be a requirement that artists used 3ds Max. It really couldn't work well any other way. You also have the be able to texture your own model, so Photoshop would probably be better for that (3ds and PS go hand in hand).

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What package is best for the kind of models used in SB?

Despite its deficits, I think all our artists are working with a more or less current version of 3D Studio Max (and Photoshop).

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The Difference is that there are "Engineering" 3D CAD packages

Solidworks/Edge, Inventor, Pro E/Wildfire, Catia etc

Whose focus is on FEA, Heat Transfer and other stress calculations of the models produced.

And there are "Art" 3D CAD Packages.

3DS/Maya, Poser, Rhino.

Whose Focus is on enhancing the visual aspects, so things like UVM Maps and a more detailed rendering engine (sometimes)

Although the same area can be covered by the 2 disciplines

Things like rotating Roadwheels, Tracks & suspen, er... .Turrets :)

But Like Ssnake said the best one to use is 3DS and Photoshop (though there are other image editing packages avaliable)

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As you can see I had a moment of defensiveness and I apoligize. Obviously I did not edit out my rant quick enough (shame on me).

But, my curiousity is still unsatisfied.

What package is best for the kind of models used in SB?

(if packages like 3D Studio, Acad or Rhino don't work well ... I also have used Lightwave but its seemed to be a lot like 3DS.)

I've heard of Maya, Poser, SolidEdge, Solidworks, Sketchup, Quest3D, ... and numerous CAD oriented packages I researched a few years back trying to find a more economical alternative to AutoDesk software. There's a whole bunch of 3d model packages out there.

I can learn about any graphics package. Just want to see what's needed and evaluate whether I would want to try if possible.

Thanks

we're mostly on 3ds max 8, and various versions of photoshop.

as for low-poly modeling, it's a different mindset from CAD modeling.

you're not trying to make the most detailed and accurate model possible, because you can't. you try and make the most accurate model within the limitations that you've been given. which means you might have to leave out itty bitty details on the model like latches, bolts and such, and instead try and implement these things in the texture. you can't make all of the cylinders and tubes 20-30 sided, instead you might have to go as low as 3-6 sided cylinders, depending on how large it looks on the screen, or you'll find yourself running out of polygons quickly, and having to make unneccesary detail compromises in other parts, like reducing the roundness or detail on roadwheels and such.

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While i think that the grafics for vehicles, buildings and vegetation are still more than satisfying i am often kinda dissappointed by the terrain itself. In SB1 we had wonderfull "rolling" landscapes which had a beautifull natural feeling. SB2 often has problems with changes in elevation which results in unnatural "rough" terrain. Often if i drive to a hulldown position i can see that the "crest" is not soft change but a sudden drop in elevation which looks essentialy like a linear function.

Take a look at these:

sb1.jpg

sb2.jpg

What imho is urgently needed is some kind of algorithm to "soften" such elevation changes.

I even had suspensions damageges while driving on a road!

Another point i dont realy like is the look of roads, paveways and such.

sb3.jpg

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While I think that abig stake in the landscape quality comes from the height data that stands behind, I second that.

Esp. the way roads and buildings are embedded into the terrain, there is some space for improvement. Also I think this is a known issue...and on the list (***all hail the list***) somehere

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Yes, it's pretty high on the priority list. Unfortunately it's been there for quite a while now because there's always something that pops up which seems to have even higher importance. :redface:

It's not totally trivial to do - a higher terrain mesh resolution is needed which however should also be efficient and not bog down LOS calculations which are done on a per-triangle basis. Simply quadrupling the mesh density would also quadruple the amount of time that's wasted on these LOS calculations, and they ultimately are THE bottleneck for real-time applications.

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"Nicer" roads might also offer an incentive for vehicles with unstabilized guns to stay on the roads.. channeling traffic etc..

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...a higher terrain mesh resolution is needed which however should also be efficient and not bog down LOS calculations which are done on a per-triangle basis. Simply quadrupling the mesh density would also quadruple the amount of time that's wasted on these LOS calculations, and they ultimately are THE bottleneck for real-time applications.

Supporting CPU's like the i5 and i7 with multiple internal processors and OS's that recognize more than 4G RAM would go a long, long ways towards making that problem a non-issue.

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Yes, it's pretty high on the priority list. Unfortunately it's been there for quite a while now because there's always something that pops up which seems to have even higher importance. :redface:

It's not totally trivial to do - a higher terrain mesh resolution is needed which however should also be efficient and not bog down LOS calculations which are done on a per-triangle basis. Simply quadrupling the mesh density would also quadruple the amount of time that's wasted on these LOS calculations, and they ultimately are THE bottleneck for real-time applications.

Well, SB Mapper Pro levels roads -- maybe all we need is a similar technique built into the Map Editor. :diable:

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Got it. 3DS and Photoshop. I used 3DS many years ago when it first came out. I never touched PS. In machine design you model every detail. When modelling a proces plant its similar in concept to what your saying. You don't model bolts and nuts, that would be crazy when you got thousands or millions of them. You model as simplistic as possible but absolutely accurate dimensionally.

Thanks for the input

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