Usermade waters?

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Usermade waters?

Postby Pitti » Fri May 18, 2007 12:20 pm

Hello Paul,

Can you imagine, that a new version of RWFF would be able to allow the user build own waters for the game (like in Fishsim)?

Thank you
Regards Pitti
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Postby paul » Fri May 18, 2007 3:00 pm

Yes, I can imagine it. =) In fact I've given it a great deal of thought. The biggest challenge would be to document the process and the tools clearly enough. To give you an idea what it's like to integrate a new location, here's the general process:

1 - Do the site photography. Set up the tripod in a stream, take 4 or 5 shots, then move and repeat. Usually shoot 20-30 sites on a river. See the site photography document previously mentioned here for the details, and the details are very important.

2 - Make a new outing folder and an outing definition file (similar to a fly.def or ftc file for those of you getting into the nitty-gritty with new flies and materials.) Put the images from each site in a separate site folder in the outing folder. Create an menu image for the new outing, and a highlighted version of it.

The rest of the steps are repeated for every site:

3 - View the images of each site in a slide show, quickly stepping through the frames to see how well they animate. Pick the best 3 frames and delete the others. Delete the whole site if it didn't turn out (some won't.)

4 - Edit the images. If there's a little jitter between them you've got to determine which way and how many pixels to move each image to get them to line up better. In some cases rotation is required, and I've written a tool for helping to calcuate cropping and rotation. Copy the land area from frame (with a feathered mask) and pasted onto the other 2 if there's still a little motion. When they look good scale them down to 1024x768.

5 - Copy one frame of each site and convert it to a 256 color system palette image. Run it through a custom tool to remove certain colors that are reserved. It also creates a copy for mapping the depth and a copy for mapping the current.

6 - Map the depth. Using a set of reserved colors, draw the depth contour onto a photo of the site. Use one color to draw the shoreline, another to draw where it's 6 inches deep, another for 1 foot, 2 feet, etc.

7 - Map the current. Using a set of reserved colors (different shades for different speeds of water) draw lines on an image of the site showing how the current flows. Mark the starting point of each line with a pixel of a special color.

8 - Run a special tool that processes the depth and current maps, converts the bottom to a 3D model, builds the site map data file.

9 - Create a site definition file, similar to a fly definition file. It tells RWFF what images to use and a few other things.

9 - Run a special tool that will link together all the files involved and activate the site, which also encrypts the definition files to keep from giving away all the secrets of the sites. Test the site. Make sure the currents and depths look like you expected. If not go back to step 6 and repeat. There are some ways you can adjust the overall depth or overall current.

10 - Create a fish definition file saying how many of which species of fish are present, their size range, prefered depth, how actively they're feeding, how selective they are, how easily spooked, etc.

11 - Create a hatch definition file saying what bugs are present, how big they are, how abundant, and how interested the fish are in them.

12 - Run the link tool again. Test again. Check the hatches and the fish.

When that's done for every site, make a new copy of the whole outing folder and remove all the intermediate files (depth and current map images, etc.) Zip it up and share it with the world.

I've done enough of this that I can usually do an outing of 20 sites in 8 hours or so (plus two to four hours on the water for the site photography.) If the sites need a lot of cropping or rotating, or if there are lots of rocks jutting from the water like in the Ebony River it can take much longer. Mapping depths and currents takes practice, though. And of course you need to have a good image editing tool and be pretty proficient with it. I'd figure 40+ hours for the first time you build an outing. And you might do the site photography several times before you get the results you're after.

OK, so if you're still reading this post, you must be fairly interested in creating new locations. So how about an informal survey at this time:

If I published the custom tools and documented the stuff above in much greater detail, would you build new outings?

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hi paul

Postby jcroc36 » Fri May 18, 2007 3:11 pm

Hi Paul

I would gladly give it a go, but i dont think it would be very good.

One question for you though, What type of camera gives you the best results fot the pictures?

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Postby Pitti » Fri May 18, 2007 3:39 pm

Thank you for the explanation. :)

Yes, I would try to build some outings. And of course, I would hope that I'm not the only one.
If I look at the fishsim usermade addons, there are tons of waters and news come every day/week, although the game is very old and graphical not up to date. This illustrated the big community of them. People like it to expand their games. I will hope it would be the same with RWFF.

Of course, a nice documentation would be important.

Thanks again
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Postby kgrinda » Sun May 20, 2007 4:04 pm

I would love to build my own waters. I thing for us who love to compute it would be a worth while thing to do. Thanks Kevin.
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Building Custom Waters

Postby dcarp » Mon Jul 09, 2007 9:07 pm

New user here..... downloaded a couple days again and have to fight the kids to have a turn using it. I'd be very interested in being able to build custom waters. Didn't see many West Coast waters in the game, although I admit I haven't explored it completey yet.

We live on the Little North Fork of the Santiam River a little ways upstream from where it dumps into the North Fork of the Santiam. Catch and release trout (to protect the steelhead smolts) lots of steelhead and a hit and miss spring chinook salmon run (main North Fork). Would be able and willing to take photos, document depths, flows etc.

Also travel to Puget Sound area occasionally and might be able to document some of that area's rivers as well as a few other Oregon rivers - Siltez, Nehalem, etc.
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Postby kerrye » Mon Jul 09, 2007 11:08 pm

Go for it Dcarp. The photo shoots are a bit of work but well worth it to see your home waters in the game. I think I will try to do a couple more shoots this year. :D
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Postby Cutch » Tue Jul 10, 2007 1:08 am

My younger Bro lives just above the Point Restaurant (on Rigg's Road) in Foster, Oregon. You can look out over Foster Lake just above the dam from his house on the hill.

We've caught many Summer Steelhead on the South Santiam and a few Winter Steelhead.
It would be fun making your own outings,...if it isn't too complicated for an old fart like me. :wink:
Within an hour's drive of our home, we have the Willamette, McKenzie, N. Umpqua, Siuslaw, N. & S. Santiam Rivers. All have good Steelhead and Salmon runs plus several species of trout. :wink:
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Postby dcarp » Tue Jul 10, 2007 3:26 pm

Cutch and Kerrye,

Thanks for the encouragement! :D I'd really like to see some of the local rivers on this game. I hear that Paul (?) is working on some Pacific Northwest waters, that's so cool. We are very fortunate to have so many big fish waters out here.

What a great game. I'm definitely going to at least take some site pictures on some of the area steelhead/salmon holes. We'll see how the outing development kits work out.

Tight lines guys - real and virtual.................
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