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Author Topic: Potential interest in an fps-friendly palm tree mod? Now available.  (Read 984 times)

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WxTech

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[Added in edit, Jul 16, 2019]

Here's my fps-friendly palm tree mod. Readme included, and posted below:

This mod does three basic things for the original Pacific Fighters stock palm trees:

1) Improves frame rates via:
- slimming down the meshes by omitting the formerly highest LOD, going from 4 to 3 LODs.
- Removing the collision boxes.
- Removing the shadow vertices.

2) Converts the date palms (type B) to coconut palms (type A), by simply replacing the latter meshes with the former.

3) Re-colors the textures so that better blending into the general terrain is achieved. Judicious LOD distances in the mesh files were set so as to further this aim.


If you wish to retain the original date palms (appearing more so on desert maps), simply delete the eight type B files, or rename them by placing a '-' (minus sign) in front of each file name.

I elected to convert date palms to coconut types because some pacific maps incorrectly use the date type at times.

---------------------------------------------

The file names decoded.
A/B - coconut/date
g/s - group/single
1/2 - two different variations

For example, LiveAg1.msh constructs a coconut type, group of trees, variation 1.
LiveBs2.msh constructs a date type, single tree, variation 2.

The .sim files merely point to the mesh to use. You could use any other mesh you care to. For instance, LiveBs2.sim could point to "Mesh LiveAg2"! In this fashion you could trim down on palm tree numbers by turning groups into singletons. Quick and easy!

--------------------------------------------

I include also the original meshes. By comparing to my altered ones, you can figure out how to create your own. Such as, for example, removing only the collision data. Or retaining the shadow vertices. Etc.


Enjoy!

WxTech
July 16, 2019 (Anniversary of Apollo 11 lift-off)

Anyone may use this work for any purpose, without restriction.

https://www.mediafire.com/file/s9w8f17d6jh1tpd/fps-friendly_palm_trees.7z/file

[end of edit]

======================================================================================


As we all know, lots of palm trees is an fps killer. Back in '14, I fairly aggressively altered the coconut palm (Pacific) tree meshes so as to squeeze out more frames per second. In the most trimmed down version:

1) Removed the highest LOD data, retaining the three lower LODs.
2) Removed the shadow data.
3) Removed the collision meshes.
4) Reduced the texture sizes.
5) Altered the LOD values for a decent transition, while also retaining a fairly long visibility distance.
6) Re-colored the textures so as to better blend into typical landscape textures.
7) Added some specularity, which makes for a neat shiny leaf aspect observed in reality.

Now, I know that in static.ini one can enter a line that says to ignore shadow data. I figured that by omitting this data in the first place it might help just a bit more. ;)

Anyhoo, the result is a pretty decent improvement in fps, with a nice blending during transitions and with no very obvious popping into and out of visibility.

Important note. This would be horrible for screen shot and movie makers! Missing the most detailed mesh, and having no shadows, would be not particularly pleasing. But for those who put the emphasis on playability, it could be of interest.

I've not thought to offer this before because of the notable simplification that would put many folks off. But the recent release of the Green Hell map (E. New Guinea/New Britain), with its liberal sprinkling of palms in some areas, got me to thinking that such a trimmed down palm tree mod might be of use to someone else.

The question of the moment is this:

Anyone think they might like to check it out?
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WxTech

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Re: Potential interest in an fps-friendly palm tree mod?
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2019, 06:37:23 PM »

By the way, in the multi-page thread on the Green Hell map, in reply #169 (if memory serves), I posted a link to a replacement tree texture for that map. It's for just the so-called pop-up trees, which I've made darker (and of a slightly bluer hue) and thus better blend with the general green of the landscape textures. The result is much reduced obviousness when popping into and out of visibility.
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SAS~vampire_pilot

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Re: Potential interest in an fps-friendly palm tree mod?
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2019, 10:32:43 PM »

sounds interesting, sure!
It would be a mod that goes over the existing palms, not add new palms, right?
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SAS~Epervier

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Re: Potential interest in an fps-friendly palm tree mod?
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2019, 10:40:45 PM »

By the way, in the multi-page thread on the Green Hell map, in reply #169 (if memory serves)...
#165 !  ;)

sounds interesting, sure!
It would be a mod that goes over the existing palms, not add new palms, right?
+1 !

I'm always interested in things that allow me to earn SPF!
For example: in my game I removed all the shadows from the big ships!
When I torpedo one of these big calves I don't have time to admire the shadows of an aircraft carrier or a battleship!  :D
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WxTech

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Re: Potential interest in an fps-friendly palm tree mod?
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2019, 01:11:42 AM »

Indeed, this affects existing stock palm trees of the type found on Pacific theater maps.

Now, there has been created another very similar palm tree more recently than the old stock ones, as I discovered with the new Green Hell map. There we see them scattered among the much more numerous stock ones, these new ones using a different texture (very light yellow-green, compared to my darker texture.) I'll see about identifying, extracting and modding them, presumably from one of the Boomer object SFS files. It would be preferable to erase them from the map (replacing with the stock equivalent, ideally, for some are placed next to buildings and we'd not want to lose their presence entirely.) But it might be much more difficult to selectively eradicate these new palms than to alter their meshes and tga's.

I'll probably upload my current stock palm mod tomorrow, supplying an update once the new palms have been dealt with. At least you'll see the positive impact already on frame rates. (Those other, yellow palms will, until grappled with, stand out in horrid prominence! ;) )
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WxTech

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Re: Potential interest in an fps-friendly palm tree mod?
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2019, 01:19:59 AM »

Just in case I cannot load this huge map (Green_Hell) in my unlocked FMB game, can anyone in the meantime try to identify these palms? A good place to look is at Salamaua, where some are placed immediately next to buildings beside the strip. Hopefully their different texture will make locating them easy enough--there are what appear to be the representations of coconuts at the base of some leaves. And the leaf (and trunk?) color might be different enough to make them stand out to some extent.
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vpmedia

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Re: Potential interest in an fps-friendly palm tree mod?
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2019, 08:34:41 AM »

I've spent considerable amount of time removing these palms from all my maps :)

Code: [Select]
//===========================================================================
[***]
Title Egypt Palms
//===========================================================================

[buildings.House$Egypt_palm_01]
Title           Egypt_palm_01
MeshLive        3do/flora/palms/Egypt_palm_01/mono.sim
MeshDead        3do/Buildings/Pacific/DeadTree1/dead.sim
Body            WoodSmall
Panzer          0.20

[buildings.House$Egypt_palm_02]
Title           Egypt_palm_02
MeshLive        3do/flora/palms/Egypt_palm_02/mono.sim
MeshDead        3do/Buildings/Pacific/DeadTree1/dead.sim
Body            WoodSmall
Panzer          0.20

[buildings.House$Egypt_palm_03]
Title           Egypt_palm_03
MeshLive        3do/flora/palms/Egypt_palm_03/mono.sim
MeshDead        3do/Buildings/Pacific/DeadTree1/dead.sim
Body            WoodSmall
Panzer          0.20

[buildings.House$Egypt_palm_04]
Title           Egypt_palm_04
MeshLive        3do/flora/palms/Egypt_palm_04/mono.sim
MeshDead        3do/Buildings/Pacific/DeadTree1/dead.sim
Body            WoodSmall
Panzer          0.20

[buildings.House$Egypt_palm_05]
Title           Egypt_palm_05
MeshLive        3do/flora/palms/Egypt_palm_05/mono.sim
MeshDead        3do/Buildings/Pacific/DeadTree1/dead.sim
Body            WoodSmall
Panzer          0.20

[buildings.House$Egypt_palm_06]
Title           Egypt_palm_06
MeshLive        3do/flora/palms/Egypt_palm_06/mono.sim
MeshDead        3do/Buildings/Pacific/DeadTree1/dead.sim
Body            WoodSmall
Panzer          0.20

[buildings.House$Egypt_palm_07]
Title           Egypt_palm_07
MeshLive        3do/flora/palms/Egypt_palm_07/mono.sim
MeshDead        3do/Buildings/Pacific/DeadTree1/dead.sim
Body            WoodSmall
Panzer          0.20

[buildings.House$Egypt_palm_08]
Title           Egypt_palm_08
MeshLive        3do/flora/palms/Egypt_palm_08/mono.sim
MeshDead        3do/Buildings/Pacific/DeadTree1/dead.sim
Body            WoodSmall
Panzer          0.20

[buildings.House$Egypt_palm_09]
Title           Egypt_palm_09
MeshLive        3do/flora/palms/Egypt_palm_09/mono.sim
MeshDead        3do/Buildings/Pacific/DeadTree1/dead.sim
Body            WoodSmall
Panzer          0.20

[buildings.House$Egypt_palm_10]
Title           Egypt_palm_10
MeshLive        3do/flora/palms/Egypt_palm_10/mono.sim
MeshDead        3do/Buildings/Pacific/DeadTree1/dead.sim
Body            WoodSmall
Panzer          0.20

[buildings.House$Egypt_palm_11]
Title           Egypt_palm_11
MeshLive        3do/flora/palms/Egypt_palm_11/mono.sim
MeshDead        3do/Buildings/Pacific/DeadTree1/dead.sim
Body            WoodSmall
Panzer          0.20

[buildings.House$Egypt_palm_12]
Title           Egypt_palm_12
MeshLive        3do/flora/palms/Egypt_palm_12/mono.sim
MeshDead        3do/Buildings/Pacific/DeadTree1/dead.sim
Body            WoodSmall
Panzer          0.20

Plowshare

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Re: Potential interest in an fps-friendly palm tree mod?
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2019, 08:39:17 AM »

Important note. This would be horrible for screen shot and movie makers! Missing the most detailed mesh, and having no shadows, would be not particularly pleasing. But for those who put the emphasis on playability, it could be of interest.

There may be a way to have the cake and eat it too.

First, a question: Would inserting your textures in whatever-MODS-folder (#SAS; #WAW; #UPS; etc...) over-ride the stock texture in the SFS files? If so then simply swap out the folder for either FPS or screenshots.

Okay, as I was writing this up vpmedia showed another way. Expanding on that thought: One could have two static.ini files that would be swapped out for FPS or screenshot priority.

Is the feasible?
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SAS~Poltava

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Re: Potential interest in an fps-friendly palm tree mod?
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2019, 10:53:31 AM »

Sounds most interesting. When you build a mission the most used object by far is always different trees. Probably a lot of FPS to be gained by fixing those!
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WxTech

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Re: Potential interest in an fps-friendly palm tree mod?
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2019, 11:18:25 AM »

Istvan,
Yeah, those Egypt palms are fugly. ;) One of my tricks in the early days (for the then few stock models) was to simply swap out the original meshes for the coconut palm meshes. While not accurate, the appearance was better to me.
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WxTech

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Re: Potential interest in an fps-friendly palm tree mod?
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2019, 11:26:24 AM »

Plowshare,
The textures I made will replace those for all palms (both coconut and date) using them. Note that there are some later palms which use their own textures. Those I want to identify so as to apply my treatment.

Either approach to having and eating one's cake is fine:

Swappable static.ini files or interchangeable mods. It would only require to restart the game between switch-overs, whichever scheme is adopted. JSGME users might be able to ease this process (I don't use JSGME, for I desire the most direct control at all times.)
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Fresco23

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Re: Potential interest in an fps-friendly palm tree mod?
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2019, 12:16:29 PM »

i for one welcome any FPS improvements, particularly those involving trees and large towns.

Fresco
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