Hi, I'm new to BoB2; having just started flying some instant action missions, I've only seen flat land. Am I right in assuming that you will be adding height to BoB2 with your heightmap? Will it be part of 2.08 or later?
We've been slowly upgrading the terrain since we started wrestling with it on BoB1 in 2004. There is usually at least a bit of terrain upgrade to add to each patch release. Elaborating the landuse is much easier than tweaking the heightmap, so much more of the former has been done.
Is it possible to smooth out the terrain with an interpolation and noise filter, or will the whole thing have to be done by hand as you said?
The problem is the opposite. We don't have a source of height data with sufficient detail - SRTM is one height value per rectangle on that image I posted above. The rectangles are 60x90m. You can't make cliffs or seacoasts with that sort of resolution. Here's a nice explanation (from WorldWind): http://www.worldwindcentral.com/wiki/Wo ... _should.3F
Also, while the Rowan data has an even lower detail, typically having perhaps only 6-10 data points per sq. km, it must be pointed out that the regions of SE England and NE France are rather flat to begin with. Most of it is below 60m, which from typical WWII operational altitude looks dead flat. The area I'm working on is one with a bit more relief, which is why I'm doing it. It will look much more interesting when you fly low over it, but you won't be able to see any of my height work from most of the altitudes you find yourself at in game.
A median noise filter at 2 or 3 pixels really smooths the whole thing out, adding detail while maintaining shape. I've got no idea how the BoB2 engine works though, so it probably won't work. And you'll probably be doing something like this anyway.
Here's an example of what I mean using your heightmap in 3dsmax, the resolution of both the heightmap and the mesh are the same for each; the right half has a median noise filter at 2 pixels:
It appears from your image you've misinterpreted the coding method, and the image I posted doesn't contain the correct data anyway, as it's been jpegged (even at 100%, jpeg corrupts colour value integrity). The SRTM data generates a very smoothly varying heightfield. BoB height data is coded by a hex count of colour data - 4cm per LSbit - red is the low bits, then green=256xLSbit. The original of the map I posted has SRTM data from 0 to 200m in one metre steps, while the original Rowan map shown above it has lower spatial resolution, but the height is in 4cm increments over approximately the same height range.
Awesome work, I really appreciate the dedication you and many others have shown to improving this game. You've done an enormous emount of work.
It's just a tiny fraction of what could be done with this engine, given more manpower. As the engine is quasi-open source (see Buddye's post regarding our relationship with Shockwave), it is truly unlimited what an ambitious volunteer could accomplish.