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Author Topic: WxTech's bushy palm trees, pacific and desert, shadows option; all in one  (Read 13997 times)

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WxTech

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IMPORTANT: If you've already obtained any prior version, this is the one you want. And the only one I'm making available, for simplicity. It contains both the pacific and desert themed palms, with or without shadows.


#################################

Coconut palms on New Guinea.






Desert 'date' palms on the MTO map.





Get it here:

https://www.mediafire.com/file/tojgit45zfvbfy1/00_WxTech_bushy-palms_lo-rez.7z/file



##################################
From the included readme:

-------------------------------------------------
Bushier palm trees, not super resolution (but quite adequate), for both pacific and desert maps, WITH OR WITHOUT shadows. These replace the basic stock palms that were first introduced.



This mod expands upon my earlier fps friendly palm tree mod. It does result in an fps decrease, as expected when adding extra elements. Depending on your computer's capability, this may or not be satisfactory.

This mod does four basic things:

1) Perhaps most importantly, it fills out the fronds with simple textures, to give a fuller, more realistic appearance. This involves only 8 additional polygons per tree!

2) Keeps frame rates from dropping as much as otherwise via:
- slimming down the meshes by omitting the formerly highest LOD, going from 4 to 3 LODs.
- Removing the collision boxes.

3) While the same 3-D model is used, and the coconut palm is the type most closely represented, different textures give a decent enough impression of a desert type palm. These files are named like this: *_d.tga, the "d" meaning "desert" or "date".

4) 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.

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

Includes versions of the meshes either with shadows or without shadows. You will find the shadows-based version in the sub-folder [\Meshes WITH shadows].

Also in a dedicated sub-folder, [\Meshes NO shadows], are the meshes having NO shadow vertices/faces.

The default set of meshes supplied in the [\Palms] folder are those WITHOUT shadows.

You can simply copy files from the appropriate folder and over-write the files in the \Palms folder. In this way you can easily enough to choose or reject shadows, depending on the map's palm tree density. Just remember that after any such change the game must be restarted.

This means you do not have to edit static.ini by adding the parameter "IgnoreShadowData" for each of the palm tree entries.

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

Included are versions of the textures for the coconut palms having a lighter hue, in sub-folder [\Lighter coconut textures]. Not all maps are on the dark side, and for lighter maps the default coconut textures can seem awfully dark indeed.

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

With no collision boxes present, you cannot collide with these palms (just like you can't for the so-called pop-up trees). Nor can they be destroyed. But that's not a bad thing. It used to be annoying when bomb blast would set a million of these things on fire; that really doesn't happen.

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

If you find frame rates slower than you prefer, you can fiddle with the LOD values near the top of the meshes. You can view and edit the meshes with any text editor. Just be sure to not alter the file name or extension (.msh)! Note this string of characters: "//40 70 170 800". These are the stock LODs, the smallest value applying to the now deleted highest detail LOD. The other three numbers can be compared to the active values preceding. You could try altering these to match the old stock values. If you try changing a value, type it ahead of the current one, add one or more spaces, the type "//"; these characters signify a 'remark' that the game ignores when reading the file. For example, if you want the intermediate LOD to pop into view closer, you might have this:

100
300  //400
700
//40 70 170 800

The new value of 300 means the middle LOD of the three appears when within 300m instead of 400m (this changes based on the FOV.) By 'REMing' out the old value with "//", you still have it handy to go back to if you don't like your alteration.


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

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!

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


Enjoy!

WxTech
April 27, 2020

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

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Re: WxTech's bushy palm trees, low rez, no shadows
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2020, 10:18:13 AM »

[EDIT] No longer valid. Things have evolved. ;)
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Re: WxTech's bushy palm trees, low rez, no shadows
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2020, 11:59:46 AM »

I'm getting a significant drop in FPS with your new trees.

With yours I get only 22 FPS .....



With older ones I get 60 FPS on the same map....




Not a complaint. Just letting you know. I do like the way yours look better than the older ones.
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WxTech

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Re: WxTech's bushy palm trees, low rez, no shadows
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2020, 12:28:06 PM »

Bombs,
The only real difference between my older fps friendly mod and this one is the addition of the new texture. On my computer, there's hardly a difference in fps.

In your case here, are you comparing with my older fps friendly palm tree mod released last July 16th?
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WxTech

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Re: WxTech's bushy palm trees, low rez, no shadows
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2020, 12:35:49 PM »

For the edification of all, I make available some small changes to the .mat files for three palm fronds textures. It's not at all necessary to implement them, for the changes in appearance are quite slight.

There's a bit of an improvement in the appearances at longer view distance. The main change involves NOT using a MipMap, which technique creates a lower resolution texture and thus somewhat 'fattens' up the result. Not creating a MipMap keeps maximum crispness, and naturally causes a slight 'trimmimg and slimming' with view distance that works well for irregular textures like foliage.

palm1o_fronds.mat
Code: [Select]
[ClassInfo]
  ClassName TMaterial
[General]
  tfDoubleSide 0
  tfShouldSort 0
  tfDropShadow 0
  tfGameTimer 1
[LightParams]
  Ambient 1.0
  Diffuse 1.0
  Specular 0
  SpecularPow 16
  Shine 0.0
[Layer0]
  TextureName palm1o_fronds.tga
  PaletteName
  Frame 0.0
  VisibleDistanceNear 0.0
  VisibleDistanceFar 10000.0
  TextureCoordScale 0.0 0.0 1.0 1.0
  ColorScale 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0
  AlphaTestVal 0.5
  tfWrapX 1
  tfWrapY 1
  tfMinLinear 1
  tfMagLinear 1
  tfMipMap 0  //1 //no real fps difference
  tfBlend 0
  tfBlendAdd 0
  tfTestA 1
  tfTestZ 1
  tfUpDateClear 0
  tfModulate 1
  tfNoTexture 0
  tfAnimatePalette 0
  tfAnimateSkippedFrames 0
  tfNoWriteZ 0
  tfDepthOffset 0
  tfTranspBorder 0
  tfTestZEqual 0

palm1p_fronds.mat
Code: [Select]
[ClassInfo]
  ClassName TMaterial
  BasedOn palm1o_fronds.mat
[Layer0]
  TextureName palm1p_fronds.tga
  tfBlend 1

palm1q_fronds.mat
Code: [Select]
[ClassInfo]
  ClassName TMaterial
  BasedOn palm1o_fronds.mat
[Layer0]
  TextureName palm1q_fronds.tga
  AlphaTestVal 0.9
  tfBlend 1
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WxTech

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Re: WxTech's bushy palm trees, low rez, no shadows
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2020, 12:43:02 PM »

As an experiment, I just disabled my mod, going purely to stock trees. Using the Green Hell map, where the Milne Bay airfields have a gazillion palms plunked all about them, the fps numbers are essentially not different than they are with my mod.

[EDIT] Oops! the stock trees do use shadows, and so that aspect should impose an fps hit. I'll have to compare with shadow data ignored in the static.ini...
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Re: WxTech's bushy palm trees, low rez, no shadows
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2020, 12:44:32 PM »

I worked on that map a long time ago and placed those palms there. I don't think they are one of your older ones.
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WxTech

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Re: WxTech's bushy palm trees, low rez, no shadows
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2020, 01:07:11 PM »

One can play with the LODs, as laid out in each .msh. Here's what appears in each and every one of those files. (The //35, //500 and //1000 are ancient values I once used; I should have removed them.)

[LOD]
100  //35
400  //500
700  //1000
//40 70 170 800

The last line (//40 70 170 800) is the stock LODs for the original 4 LODs. As noted, I removed the highest detail part, or LOD0. And so instead of 4 LODs there are now 3. What was LOD1 is now the new LOD0, and the old LOD2 has become LOD 1, and the old LOD3 is now LOD2.


The stock LOD values, followed by my values for that part of the mesh:
LOD0  40;  N/A
LOD1  70;  LOD0  100
LOD2  170;  LOD1  400
LOD3  800;  LOD2  700

You'll see that I've increased the threshold for the two lowest (more detailed) LODs. You could try out the stock numbers (70 and 170, vs 100 and 400, respectively) to see how this does.

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WxTech

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Re: WxTech's bushy palm trees, low rez, no shadows
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2020, 01:34:23 PM »

I just specified IgnoreShadowData for the palm trees in static.ini, which puts matters on a more even playing field. In the FMB, and going to the busiest part of the Green_Hell map, with stock trees the fps is 26. With my new trees fps is 20. A not insignificant difference, representing a loss of 6 out of 26, or nearly 25%. To take the inverse, going from my palms to the stock ones, the gain is 6/20, or 30%.

One thing I'm wondering about...

I elected to keep the new fronds texture separate from the stock texture, the latter containing the trunk and coconut and date palm fronds for the 3D. I wanted to keep the textures separate because of the need (or desire, at any rate) to use different .mat file parameters for lighting and such.

Could it be that using two separate textures is less efficient than combining both into a single texture? Intuitively, I don't think so when the total pixel count is the same. But I could be wrong on that. If anyone knows, please pipe up!
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WxTech

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Re: WxTech's bushy palm trees, low rez, no shadows
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2020, 02:19:53 PM »

Just did another test, again on the Green_Hell palm-busy area, *using my bushier trees*:

Without shadows enabled: 20 fps.
With shadows enabled: 15 fps.

Another 25% decrease. You can see why I preferred to disable shadows all these years.


To remind, the stock trees *without* shadows yields 26 fps.

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WxTech

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Re: WxTech's bushy palm trees, low rez, no shadows
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2020, 03:25:56 PM »

I've updated the top post.

You can elect to stick to the original NO SHADOWS mod.

Or you can now get a version that allows to have shadows or not. Identical, except for the inclusion of a version of the meshes that contain the shadow vertices/faces. You copy/overwrite files from two repository folders that contain one or the other version of all the meshes.
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WxTech

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Re: WxTech's bushy palm trees, low rez, no shadows
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2020, 09:54:40 AM »

Another update. The 'shadow options' version has been updated with larger .tga's for better detail. Go to first post for d/l. Still not 'high resolution' by the expected standards. ;) But better, at very little cost.

I'd be curious to know what frame rates (or more importantly, drops relative to stock or other mods/repaints) others are getting.

As I noted earlier, compared to my own long-standing mod, this update with the additional frond textures has resulted in only a quite small fps hit of no real consequence.
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