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AerialHeighmap.ahm
cataly63
post Mar 9 2017, 01:33 AM
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Hello guys,

as the subject was not often discussed, therefore I propose a discussion concerning the problems that one may encounter with the behavior of the AI jets in mountainous terrain; Here is already a first view exemple of the aerialheighmap used by the bots to visualize the relief: the aerialheighmap.ahm,, extract from de Aipathfinding, is renamed to .raw file, then opened in the 3D editor (sapphire) of the free version of L3DT.

http://www.bundysoft.com/L3DT/downloads/standard.php



This post has been edited by cataly63: Mar 9 2017, 11:07 AM
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cataly63
post Mar 9 2017, 11:04 AM
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For information, the aerialheighmap is taken from a mountains map in 1024 x 4 with surroundings heighmaps, all textured by orthophot in 4096 pix.





This post has been edited by cataly63: Mar 9 2017, 11:16 AM
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cataly63
post Mar 9 2017, 11:51 AM
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One thing that was very soon noticed by the pioneers of Bfeditor is that the display of the aerialheighmap in photoshop, produces a very black image: which does not allow to modify this one with precision !



doing; "Image, adjustment, autolevel", as well as "flip vertically", we get this:




This second picture makes it possible to distinguish something rather unusual on a heighmap: Dice seems to have created a sort of thin vertical guide that extends over the entire chromatic height of the 16 bit greyscale: which corresponds to 65,536 meters in height: Why this type of heighmap is so black: our map having as height only in the hundreds of meters.


The guide is placed on the edge of a header of 20, this part being only the cut of a slice coming from the other side of the heighmap (clearly visible in L3DT): if one Of you could provide an explanation for this oddity, I think it will be highly appreciated uhm.gif !
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cataly63
post Mar 9 2017, 11:54 AM
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This post has been edited by cataly63: Mar 9 2017, 12:04 PM
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cataly63
post Mar 9 2017, 12:19 PM
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To be able to visualize this aerialheighmap in L3DT, it must be imported as heighmap, after modifying the file extension in .raw: then, horizontal scale 16, new vertical range, max altitude 65536; Width 256 height 256, 16 bit, mode unsigned, header 0 .
Only way to see it in its true dimensions


Then, what I see in game, with jets AI piloted, is that these crash very often on the western mountains side of the map, precisely on the side where the header is:

I wonder if there is not a relationship with the position of this header: is the aerialheighmap seen by the bots, shifted 20, compared to the heighmapPrimary ??

It seems incredible to me that Dice could have done this: why, why this gap? idea.gif

an idea ?
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Dnamro
post Mar 9 2017, 08:14 PM
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Thanks for sharing a way to visualize the AHM in 3d. It's been very hard to visualize without a 3d representation. I have always wanted to be able to visualize them. AI has never been a priority for DICE. They have always wanted to focus on multiplayer. With BF42, DICE spent a lot of development time on singleplayer because broadband internet had not taken off like it has now. BF2 was the big transition between DICE switching singleplayer in favor of multiplayer. This is seen as BF2 being released with only coop on small 16 player sized maps. Because it takes time to develop game engines, DICE, added 3d AI support in the updated version of the Refractor Game engine used for BF2, as the overall evolution of the game engine. DICE could not be sure that the market would be ready for a completely MP focused game that they wanted to create when BF2 would be ready to release, so they kept evolving the AI. Maybe, there was a point where DICE made the decision to stop future development of the AI part of the Refractor Game engine and focus on multiplayer improvements? It may have been, it works well enough -- after all, DICE never expected singleplayer for BF2 to become so popular.

Anyway, one way to adjust the AHM is to raise the height of the ground or water in a copy of the map and generate a new AHM to create an artificially adjusted AHM.



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cataly63
post Mar 10 2017, 07:14 AM
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QUOTE (Dnamro @ Mar 10 2017, 03:14 AM) *
Thanks for sharing a way to visualize the AHM in 3d. It's been very hard to visualize without a 3d representation. I have always wanted to be able to visualize them. AI has never been a priority for DICE. They have always wanted to focus on multiplayer. With BF42, DICE spent a lot of development time on singleplayer because broadband internet had not taken off like it has now. BF2 was the big transition between DICE switching singleplayer in favor of multiplayer. This is seen as BF2 being released with only coop on small 16 player sized maps. Because it takes time to develop game engines, DICE, added 3d AI support in the updated version of the Refractor Game engine used for BF2, as the overall evolution of the game engine. DICE could not be sure that the market would be ready for a completely MP focused game that they wanted to create when BF2 would be ready to release, so they kept evolving the AI. Maybe, there was a point where DICE made the decision to stop future development of the AI part of the Refractor Game engine and focus on multiplayer improvements? It may have been, it works well enough -- after all, DICE never expected singleplayer for BF2 to become so popular.

Anyway, one way to adjust the AHM is to raise the height of the ground or water in a copy of the map and generate a new AHM to create an artificially adjusted AHM.


Hi Dnamro

The story is interesting; And so, if I understand correctly, we are lucky to have had Bfeditor with Bf2; If Dice had concentrated his energy on the MP only, then we would have stayed, only with the editor of Bf42: it would have been a big loss: I dare not even imagine!

On the other hand, there is surely an editor for bf3 as well as for bf4; But surely hidden in a secure safe, which one will never see laugh.gif : Diceleak? One can dream ....

If only we could have the Bf2 source code: even that, it seems impossible sad.gif

maybe you have some news, Dnamro ?

QUOTE
...Anyway, one way to adjust the AHM is to raise the height of the ground or water in a copy of the map and generate a new AHM to create an artificially adjusted AHM.



Yes, I tried this technique some time ago: actually, the aerialheighmap moves upwards, but the planes and especially the helicos fly higher; Which poses a problem for the capture of flags on the ground in the case where the map proposes only a dogfight version, and no infantry; And therefore no navmesh

Another thing I tried was to artificially enlarge the mountainsides on a copy of the map: and transfer the AHM that comes from it to the original map: and it works; The jets crash much less; But I do not find this solution very elegant
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cataly63
post Mar 10 2017, 12:23 PM
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In the last video I posted on youtube, we see distinctly the Ai jets crashing on the flanks of the mountains; But, curiously, this is not always the case; Often even, the jets follow the mountainous terrain, very precisely!

It is to understand nothing about it

https://youtu.be/bypt7Cc5hbo

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Dnamro
post Mar 10 2017, 08:08 PM
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You need to be aware that the AI engine gives each a small part of the overall processing time, with bot - player interaction having priority. If the there is a lot going one elsewhere in the game, the bot pilots are not going to have as much processing time to change direction. On the other hand if not as much is going on with the map, then they the AI engine can devote more time to helping the bots navigate the map. What is probably happening when a bot crashes into the side of mountain is that the AI engine did not give them enough priority to be able to avoid crashing. If you want to make bots better pilots the place to make changes is not the AHM, but the mods's AI\Aibehaviors.ai file.

I wrote this tutorial to try to help explain how they work for BF42, which is very similar to BF2:
http://classic-battlefield-modding.wikia.c...viors_Explained

I just put together this short tutorial on how to customize the Plane and Helicopter AIbehaviors:

http://classic-battlefield-modding.wikia.c...enotify=created


As far as DICE releasing Source Code, that will never happen as long as DICE is owned by EA. EA is obviously run by business men and it does not do anything unless it can make A BIG profit.

Also, be aware that DICE developed the Refractor engine as moddable because it make it easier to tweak the game, which make it faster to develop BF1942 and add expansions. There were no mods until DICE released a patch for BF1942 that supported the release of the Road to Rome mod. It was the community that started releasing mod tools before DICE released an editor and Mod Development toolkit. DICE only added community modding tools in an effort to extend the life of the game in order to be able to continue to sell more copies. Singleplayer support was never added to Battlecraft, the editor for BF1942.

With BF2, the editor was released after the initial release of the game, but the singleplayer support was not added until later, and only after there was a huge community request for it. Even so, the navmeshing process is very clunky.






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cataly63
post Mar 11 2017, 05:26 AM
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QUOTE
... If you want to make bots better pilots the place to make changes is not the AHM, but the mods's AI\Aibehaviors.ai file....


Well, Dnamro:

that's exactly what I feared: modify the mod Bf2: which means that the map can never be loaded in the original game with all the AI effectiveness; It would be necessary to create a new mod, which is above my strength and the time I have!

But, you are right, it is indeed a problem of Aibehaviors and not of AHM: after analysis of the behavior of the flying bots, I come to the same conclusion as you;

The ahm is out of the question:It makes me think of the bots, on the ground, which, when they do not receive orders, stop on the spot or move randomly (it seems to me); In this case, no problem: on the other hand when this lack of order occurs in flight, obviously, no way to stop and wait: they continue on their trajectory until ..... biggrinangelA.gif !

what makes me Think about this is that when the jets bots crash, it is as if they suddenly become blind!

Thus, I will rather see the behavior side, as you propose:

Small parenthesis ( rolleyes.gif Remember you, many years ago now, of the joy of Mschoeldgen applying the "move to" to his bots ? a little thing that remains to me in memory)

Thank you again for your explanations

Much appreciated

cat
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MasterChiefRulZ
post Mar 11 2017, 08:15 AM
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Moving to "Mapper's Delight" since this is related to mapping.


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