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Author Topic: Little things of a big thing  (Read 999 times)

josem75

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Little things of a big thing
« on: December 02, 2017, 11:54:06 am »

Now that we are close to some of the majors outerra updates, and being clear that NOTHING can be compared with how great is outerra as a global engine. and i tested for example the famous "A Boy and His Kite", and for me outerra is still much better.. (while this unreal engine thing is still even not global, just bigger).

I wanted to open this topic where i will be listing some little suggestions tools, that after years of user experience i think would make the gameplay much more perfect.
(note: Not for be implemented now, i know how stressful get the big udate days for all the outerra team).

1 - Terrain quality switch fast keys.
A fast keys where we can move terrain quality up or down (Ideally while outerra show a line with the current value when we touch those keys up or down).
I love to play at 1080 terrain. And i can do in most of the places. But we know other like mountains are imposible. But the necesity of go into menus for change it, make you just play always at 720 or 600. And its a pity. The solution could be "easy" ( sorry Pasto :) ).

2 - Outerra Speed bar.
Lets suppouse we are walking, or flying, and we like the experience but we need to boost the speed for connect with another scenary. So we must go out from plane and move faster in ufo. Or we want just fly faster for improve the feellings with the engine.
Why not a speed bar where we can boost the general game speed? x1,25, x1,5 , x1,75,x2.. Etc, until x32 or x64, or more.  Ideally a long bar that appear with some key with VERY detailed steps of speed up or down.
Because maybe for some person, the Mig 29 experience can be more funny at x1,8 speed, or x1,9. Or x2.1.
Thats why i see better little steps than x2 , x4 , x8 (as i saw in others famous simulators).
Besides that Bar appearing, would be a great adition having keys programmed for speed up and down where you also can program the quanty of steps (every 0,1, or every 0,2, or 0,5, etc). While outerra also show the current value when you touch.


3 - THOSE NEXT ARE RELATED WITH VISUAL CONFIG IN ATHMOSPHERE.

3 - A - This first is very simple. Just Save button for athmosheric settings.
Sometimes you want to test the overal experience changing some settings. You can go back to reset changes, but the idea is test the settings outside first without needing write your current settings for not loose.
*More complex, with the posibility of fast keys with my config 1,2,3, and change on game fast. This would be great.


3 - B Something very silly but very useful. (dont know if technically posible) Diference snow from terrain in ground reflectance value.  I personally love to play with very high value here. But the problem sometimes is snow places get so burn.

-The simple way, a simple diferent bar where you can put 18 value for example in ground reflectance, but only 12 for snow, for example.
note: I would do same with roads, which are also overexposed looking a bit fake sometimes and would look greater darker, as long as affected with this value. Coveral in shadows areas with high reflectance values.

-The complex way. Suppouse you love how snow look also in 18 value in general (also totally my case), but in some areas with a lot of snow, or in some hours, get also over-expossed. So a value with some resistance to overburn snow not when is still good, but when begining to burn (i dont know how to do technically, its like a brake point so snow cant go more burn from determinated point).
Lets call that a fixed value acting like that brake. Which can be both in terrain and snow. So if you move bar up, those are more dificult overburn while circunstancies are making them overburn (the more hard light hours, places with a lot of snow, etc). Its like a fixed value that corrects overexposition of whites.
(Dificult to explain, i dont know if i am explaining good so people can und, i hope yes).


I suppouse fixed bars and values that prevent that kind of visual things, can go as comlex as programmers want. But basically avoid overexposed situations. In snow and also terrain. Coz sometimes terrains are abnormally white in some mountains, and also get burn.


3 - C -  Alive Atmosphere configuration.
Where you can move values depending on the hour of the day, and record your config. 
This would be also useful for prevent overburn, or overdarkness, etc.  So you have a timeline bar over the settings, and if you activate option, you can record the secuence when you change settings in diferent hours. For example. I move expossure down while those hours in the day the sun is in the top and burn terrain more. Or i move ground reflection, or whatever.
Ideally, The value from one hour to another make a smooth transition, here again this would be more complex technically, than make a manual transition, which is another option, adding more detailed values manually for make changes smooth.


All those options can make the gameplay experience more detailed. Some of them can be complementary.
For example if cant fix overexposure as i explained in 3-B, the 3-C posibility can do the trick. But personally i like two points both together.
The more options, the greater engine.


I will be puting some more when have some time free.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2017, 12:11:42 pm by josem75 »
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cameni

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Re: Little things of a big thing
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2017, 03:36:07 am »

Likely won't be doing anything with the terrain reflectance now, since there's going to be an update to terrain materials adding some PBR parameters (primarily adding the roughness) that will change the lighting quite a lot. Also the snow will eventually go away in its current form painted on the terrain.

Speed bar is a good idea, though there are limits and differences in hardware performance that need to be handled.

I actually want to remove 1080p terrain quality until we can tune the limits better or solve the occlusion problem in mountains, because right now many people would set it and understandably not realize later that the unrefined terrain is caused by it.
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josem75

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Re: Little things of a big thing
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2018, 08:27:27 pm »

Likely won't be doing anything with the terrain reflectance now, since there's going to be an update to terrain materials adding some PBR parameters (primarily adding the roughness) that will change the lighting quite a lot. Also the snow will eventually go away in its current form painted on the terrain.

Speed bar is a good idea, though there are limits and differences in hardware performance that need to be handled.

I actually want to remove 1080p terrain quality until we can tune the limits better or solve the occlusion problem in mountains, because right now many people would set it and understandably not realize later that the unrefined terrain is caused by it.

Thanks Cameni. So great things incoming!

1080 is very problematic. But i must to admit, i enjoy a lot in lplaces with less requeriments, for example my place, where work nicely.
For that, the suggestion of change resolution fast with a key would be nice. With some kind of advertise about performance. Can be 600 by default, and when you change to 1080 you put the info keys and the advertise of problems if you go higher. (just a idea of how).
I think that 1080 is also related of how detailed you see not only near but also far distance, and even trees (this im not totally sure but i remember something like that doing some tests).

I will be adding new sugestions.
For example, GLACIERS.
I think is something very doable with the things you are doing in the engine (snow, rocks, craters), coz glacier would be a bit of the mix between those. Playing with parameters making a "highway" of blocks of ice, with some more blue colors mixed with some sand (making some ways tipically) and all changing randomly, etc.

For example https://www.google.es/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fc8.alamy.com%2Fcomp%2FBWKWX8%2Fswitzerland-europe-aletsch-glacier-swiss-alps-aletschhorn-fusshorner-BWKWX8.jpg&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.alamy.com%2Fstock-photo-switzerland-europe-aletsch-glacier-swiss-alps-aletschhorn-fusshorner-33014192.html&docid=hNldAfxD-MvcUM&tbnid=FzxekPbDe7bF2M%3A&vet=10ahUKEwi5g5656ZzaAhWMOxQKHVyaBH4QMwhBKAkwCQ..i&w=1300&h=924&itg=1&safe=off&bih=805&biw=1706&q=glacier%20swiss%20alps&ved=0ahUKEwi5g5656ZzaAhWMOxQKHVyaBH4QMwhBKAkwCQ&iact=mrc&uact=8

I think there are some Vector Gis coverage for Glaciers already:

In a fast search:  https://www.gislounge.com/gis-data-worlds-glaciers/

And from America can be downloaded: http://glaciers.research.pdx.edu/Downloads
« Last Edit: April 02, 2018, 08:36:49 pm by josem75 »
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josem75

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Re: Little things of a big thing
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2018, 09:39:41 am »

Here is another Idea.
I know 3d trees is the target, but this will need time.
Meanwhile, i think Outerra quality provide nice trees even beeing 2d.
That said, in those 2d trees i still see a big big path of improve until 3d trees arrive. Resolution when you get near the tree could be higher. And also models could be even better. IN Mediterranean lack a lot of trees, Olives, Pinus, etc. And in america good accurate Deciduous, etc.

I found a great page with lots of great trees, and every kind of tree with more than one model (diferent shapes, etc). And in extremelly high quality. In the average of 3xxx x 4xxx Pixels.  So the higher quality could be the one when you are just close to the tree. And then going lower while going far. So the performance would not be very affected.
Also those are better quality in colors and definition for me, than used in Outerra. species, coveral deciduous, mediterranean, etc, are very accurate and high quality, great trees models.

This would jump Outerra a lot with not much effort in $.
I dont know what need the Engine to change resolution of trees textures. Maybe technically also not a big job.
And they are ready to use (png with layers or totally white backfround).

I can even buy some groups for Outerra and prepare them or help in it.
I can also prepare snow version (i did in the past, i can look for my files and snow layers and tricks i use).
I made in some stages, a little snow, and a lot of snow.



Every tree price is about 0,70 €..  One entire collection, for example Deciduous, its like 7 €. Mediterranean the same. This is a present for the quality..

You people see by yourself. And imagine those trees in Outerra.
https://www.cutout-trees.com/collections/deciduous-trees
« Last Edit: April 11, 2018, 09:49:13 am by josem75 »
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cameni

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Re: Little things of a big thing
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2018, 10:06:03 am »

The problem is that these often have baked in hard lighting and it's problematic to do anything with it in engine. Our trees are rendered from Xfrog library http://xfrog.com/product/XB-59.html under neutral lighting. There are many more of them there, we just added a subset that we could manage. Some areas are really missing their species, we plan to add a few more but need to assess the priorities - adding the ones making most impact.

Btw our new release will have option for higher res trees, not sure if we should make it default because it now consumes 4x more VRAM too.
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2eyed

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Re: Little things of a big thing
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2018, 12:14:59 pm »

500mb for hi res trees if all are loaded in vram at once. Is this already too much load nowadays?
The unlit xfrog textures are clean and quite regular or uniform, which helps when displaying many instances but they look a bit sterile and synthetic aswell.
I experimented with own (and self-photographed) tree images and I found they could look indeed better, but the whole process was very time consuming.
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cameni

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Re: Little things of a big thing
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2018, 02:06:08 pm »

We have to fight memory constraints all the time; this may not seem much but when we also multiply the number of species, it will become a problem together with all other data we need to stuff into the GPU. But in this case we can relatively easily make it skip the hires mipmaps when loading, if needed.

In the long term I don't see any other way than going fully procedural with trees, not just for reasons of memory but also the variation.
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josem75

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Re: Little things of a big thing
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2018, 06:45:50 am »


Btw our new release will have option for higher res trees, not sure if we should make it default because it now consumes 4x more VRAM too.

Great. At the moment this should be enough for test other tres in higher resolution by myself. I can buy one from the page and try. Some tweks can be made in photoshop for solve the lighting problem.
If i get some good result with some specie, then i can give it to you. I know many textures can be tricky when they have half tree in light and the other half in shadow.. Textures trees always a problem for big population as you said. But i looked some trees seem good for use, with similar light in all.
I am coveral interested in the great Pinus Pinea they have in the page, also Olives, and in the big deciduous.

The way to change a tree texture is changing the old one by another. But i need to look for a similar original tree in shape (width and heigh).  IF not, the new texture will be crushed.
Or is there a way to reconfigure the shape of the box to fit the new texture resolution ratio? This would be very interesting for tuning some trees.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2018, 06:49:47 am by josem75 »
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josem75

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Re: Little things of a big thing
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2018, 07:01:16 am »










« Last Edit: April 21, 2018, 07:06:00 am by josem75 »
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josem75

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Re: Little things of a big thing
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2018, 07:14:00 am »

There are real foto trees that Fit great in Outerra when well worked and well cut (without ghosting). Which not easy.  And tweaking a bit the shadows and lights parts in photoshop.


I am working on a lot of trees. Those are four examples. I want to push Outerra to the fotoreal place. Those trees can have more tweak to fit in saturation, etc. In many things is almost raw colors from photo, tweaked for quit very light and shadows zones.
Put a bit darker and quit saturation would fit better with actual other trees. Which are more washed up.
But i wanted remain almost raw as example to see potential how they look.
Also still didnt blur the borders.

And this is with the actual resolution. Only 512 pixels in width. Which is so low. But even with that, a real photo well worked looks great in Outerra in that low.

Cameni, is there a posible to change aspect ratio in the trees boxes? I have many trees that are more width than long. But the box for trees are all same 512 - 1664 pixels.
Maybe would be great having 2 or 3 diferent boxes. Onw longer than Width, Other more width than long. And other with same long and width. So we have 3 options for feet trees. and 3 diferent resolutions. What do you think? Dont know if a nice solution to fit more kind of trees shapes without loose aspect and resolution. Because actually i cant test the trees more widt without strech then and destroy how they really look.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2018, 07:24:45 am by josem75 »
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josem75

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Re: Little things of a big thing
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2018, 11:07:00 am »

I love this one. Olea Europa.
This was the most dificult too. But fit finally.

Now end of my trees party for now.. You do computer things until computers want.. This is the first lesson i learned since nineteen and began..
After one day making trees with dds texture photoshop.. Now i have some shit i cant change. I see my new tree in the first meters. Then if i go far ten meters tree begin to dissappear....
Edit: FIXED  :D


« Last Edit: April 21, 2018, 11:37:02 am by josem75 »
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