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Surface Editing Manual


AEthelraedUnraed
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AEthelraedUnraed

Hello fellow pilots,

 

Hereby, I release a first version of my Surface Editing Manual. It explains all the basics of surface editing inside the Mission Editor, and has step-by-step guides on how to do the following and more:

  • Add villages
  • Add airfields
  • Add roads and railways
  • Pack the above with a mission file without using mods

 

Note that it is still a work in progress, and that additional content will likely be added in the future.

 

Also note that the above definitely works on singleplayer, but that I do not know to what extent multiplayer missions can also include custom surface files. If you've tested it, please let me know if it works or not!

 

Many thanks go to @LizLemon, @Hamaha15, @JimTM and many others that I’ve forgotten to mention for their excellent work in researching and describing the Mission Editor. In many ways, this guide is simply a collection of all the info that's already on the forums somewhere, hidden deep within other threads.

 

If you find any errors, if something is unclear or if you would like something else explained, please let me know by posting a message right here or by sending a PM. I will try to respond as soon as I can, but as I’m tied to a busy real-life schedule, I can’t make any promises ;)

 

See the attachment to download the guide (the .pdf is inside the zip file; the forum doesn't allow direcly attaching .pdf files anymore. Thanks @JimTM for compressing the pdf :)). Alternatively, you can find the original, uncompressed version with higher resolution images, but a *much* larger filesize, behind the following link: https://www.mediafire.com/file/fcfelylqmcx6jmb/IL2SurfaceGuide_v0.5.pdf/file

IL2SurfaceGuide_v0.5.zip

Edited by AEthelraedUnraed
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Hamaha15

Many thanks, even without having seen the manual yet. In any case it's a great job to pull together all information dispersed in the forum.

 

Cheers

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IckyATLAS

I downloaded it and I am just in awe about this manual. Just fantastic.

I cannot imagine that this is just compilation of what existed already on the forum and trial and error. Probably some help from the dev team maybe?

Anyway thank you very much. There is a lot of stuff to try.

 

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AEthelraedUnraed
2 hours ago, IckyATLAS said:

I downloaded it and I am just in awe about this manual. Just fantastic.

I cannot imagine that this is just compilation of what existed already on the forum and trial and error. Probably some help from the dev team maybe?

Anyway thank you very much. There is a lot of stuff to try.

Thank you!

 

Nope, the Devs didn't help with this manual, although they do deserve credit for making the tools in the first place! Most information was already published in some way or another, although there's a couple of previously unpublished things of my own as well.

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Is it possible to save changes to the height map too? The height map editing menu allows saving a .raw file, but I am not sure what to do with it.

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AEthelraedUnraed
2 hours ago, Juri_JS said:

Is it possible to save changes to the height map too? The height map editing menu allows saving a .raw file, but I am not sure what to do with it.

Nope, regrettably not. The heightmap files are locked, meaning that if the game detects they've been changed, it'll refuse to load the map.

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Hamaha15

Followed the instructions of the manual to pack updated surface files for a specific mission. It works perfectly well - without activating the MOD option.

It'll make sharing the scenery updates much easier e.g. by creating generic editable reckon missions for specific regions and battle scenarios that could be adapted to individual missions. Looking forward to further improve the sim...

 

Again, many, many thanks to @AEthelraedUnraed for this fundamental work.

 

Cheers

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Fantastic job done!!!

Outstanding and so helpful to all who want to update the map for their missions and campaign.

 

Many, many thanks for that

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  • 4 weeks later...
Imperator_TFD

G'day.

I really appreciate that you've taken the time to do this and I'm excited at the possibilities this will open up for mission designers.

 

I have one question relating to 4.2 section 4 about .tini files.

You mention that they can be found in the Unpacked Map directory however I cannot find that or how to unpack map files.

 

Can you please provide some assistance in how to do so?

 

Disregard, I've found out how to use ungtp-il2 to extract the map data.

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AEthelraedUnraed
On 9/13/2021 at 7:38 AM, Imperator_TFD said:

G'day.

I really appreciate that you've taken the time to do this and I'm excited at the possibilities this will open up for mission designers.

Me too :) There's some kind of a "showcase campaign" on its way, with which I intend to show what can be accomplished regarding battlefield detail, and what this can mean for certain missions.

 

On 9/13/2021 at 7:38 AM, Imperator_TFD said:

I have one question relating to 4.2 section 4 about .tini files.

You mention that they can be found in the Unpacked Map directory however I cannot find that or how to unpack map files.

 

Can you please provide some assistance in how to do so?

 

Disregard, I've found out how to use ungtp-il2 to extract the map data.

Glad you found out how to do it by yourself. I've added a short section to the manual that explains how to do it, which I will publish along with a couple of other changes when I've got the time.

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Many thanks for what I suspect are many hours of intense map building to be able to produce this guide.

 

A thought just occurred to me...(without actually looking in the manual...RTFM) but...

 

With these tools and the files they generate, would we as a community be able to go on an invisible object hunt* and generate a precise location table for the devs, hopefully making it easier for them to remove?

 

*If you are reading this and do not know what I mean by this you have probably never played Tank Crew (you really should by the way) - when playing Tank Crew we can "bump" into objects that are invisible, usually around the edge of forests and woods. They can cause lots of damage if you are moving at any speed.

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AEthelraedUnraed
Just now, DD_Friar said:

Many thanks for what I suspect are many hours of intense map building to be able to produce this guide.

 

A thought just occurred to me...(without actually looking in the manual...RTFM) but...

 

With these tools and the files they generate, would we as a community be able to go on an invisible object hunt* and generate a precise location table for the devs, hopefully making it easier for them to remove?

 

*If you are reading this and do not know what I mean by this you have probably never played Tank Crew (you really should by the way) - when playing Tank Crew we can "bump" into objects that are invisible, usually around the edge of forests and woods. They can cause lots of damage if you are moving at any speed.

No, unfortunately trees (which the invisible objects are supposed to be) cannot be edited.

 

Although, I suppose, you could add some kind of grid texture to the map, and then use that to exactly locate an object, e.g. "there's an invisible object in the middle of grid A10".

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