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NTTR Map Work in Progress


Wags
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Now that we are getting very close to integrating EDGE into DCS, I can share a few more details.

 

1- DirectX 11 / DirectX 11 Windows 8 based.

2- Can support up to four GPU (either SLI or CF).

3- Uses clip maps.

4- Two cloud layers can be created with options for none, cumulous, cumulous nimbus, and stratus.

5- Terrain shadow projection is supported.

6- World can be as large as the designer wishes them to be, it is more of a question of development time / map detail.

7- Option to project map on globe surface.

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Attached is an image that displays the area covered by the NTTR map for DCS. This is a 360x360 km area that includes three functional airfields: Nellis AFB, Creech AFB, and Groom Lake (aka Area 51 / Dreamland). The focus of this map is the NTTR. I've attached an image of the new lights being worked on for the airfields.

 

The immediate areas around these three airbases use 1 meter texture resolution. The outlying areas of the map are 16 meter resolution, and the areas in between are between 2 and 4 meter resolution. While we would love to cover the entire map in 1 meter resolution, there needs to be a balance of resolution vs. map file size. Even with the use of lower resolution textures in places, the map is already 26 GB (this will be reduced to a degree once the map is within DCS).

 

After the map is released, it is quite possible that we will expand it, add additional detail, new airfields, etc. as we did for the Black Sea map.

 

As mentioned earlier, we are close to moving EDGE and this map into DCS. Once this is done, we can start the process of debugging and tuning. Given that this is the first EDGE-based map to be in DCS, we are not sure exactly how long this process will take.

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Edited by Wags
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  • 2 weeks later...

A little update:

 

A couple of weeks ago myself and the other producers got access to the current build of the map within the terrain viewer (hence the new images recently). In the process, we were able to identify half a dozen areas that did not meet our visual quality goals. We are now in the process adjusting the visual quality, while balancing it with file size and game performance. Once these improvement efforts have been completed, I will post some new images.

 

Matt

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Update:

 

Today we incorporated the new trees and high elevation forests into the map (once the map is in DCS, we can evaluate the performance impact of tree collision and decide what we will do). We are also in the process of now converting the 100 meter per pixel elevation mesh to 10 meter. Once that is done, we will recalculate all the terrain shadow projections, normal maps, and object shadows. Today the team also started to set up the ground shading and sun lighting color parameters that we believe will start to give the world a much more natural look. The biggest challenge has been finding the right balance of ground textures between visual detail and map file size.

 

Not a promise, but if all goes well, I hope to have some new images or a video for you all on Friday.


Edited by Wags
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Unfortunately, we were not able to incorprate the new mesh, lighting and shadows this week. However, I have included a video I created earlier that you might find interesting.

 

This video is captured from the terrainviewer of the work in progress Nevada Test and Training Ranger (NTTR) Map being build for DCS. This is not running in DCS at this time though and many elements are not complete and require tuning. Please note that we are creating Las Vegas in a "representational" level and it is not our intent to model it building for building.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's always that last 10%...

 

Over the last few months, the team has made tremendous progress on both the NTTR art assets and getting EDGE working in DCS. Although we had hoped to have this wrapped up by the end of the year (never promised), I don't see that happening. There are half a dozen art issues that need to be resolved, EDGE integration into DCS will probably not be completed until Mid-December, and beta testing of the map within DCS has of course not been able to start yet.

 

Nevertheless, progress is being made... just not as fast as we all would like.

 

I've attached a short video showing some of the areas outside the airbases and downtown Las Vegas.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

9 December 2013

 

Work proceeds well on the Nevada map with the last of the updated ground textures being integrated today (goodbye 16 meter textures!). We just have two major items to clean up: complete airbase lighting at Nellis and Creech, and fix an elevation error around several lakes.

 

The biggest issue now is not so much the art and geometry assets of the map, but the more technical task of completing the integration of the map into DCS.


Edited by Wags
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  • 1 month later...

Since the last update, the NTTR map undergoes refinement, but the big gating item is currently setting up the DCS code structure to handle EDGE-based terrain data (textures, objects, DTED, etc.). In the meantime, I've uploaded some new images. The sharped eyed of you may be able to see some new changes/improvements.

 

Matt

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  • 2 months later...

With the completion of the airbase lights at Nellis and Creech, all major art and geometry components of the NTTR map are now complete. We are now waiting for the integration of EDGE and the new map data system into DCS to allow the importing of new maps such as the NTTR.

 

- Now with full lighting on.

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1372339648_Nellis-fulllights.thumb.jpg.9a41aab6456fa164dcba553d4be8eecf.jpg


Edited by Wags
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  • 2 weeks later...
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