Outing Creation Kit ready for beta testing

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Outing Creation Kit ready for beta testing

Postby paul » Tue Oct 30, 2007 8:26 pm

For those of you who are interested in beta testing the creation of custom outings, it's ready for you to start trying it out. I'm now calling in the Outing Creation Kit rather than Content Creation Kit, since this tool is really just for adding new outings.

The first draft of the documentation is now on-line. It may need some cleaning up yet, but it should get you started. It includes links to the files you'll need.

Here's the link to the OCK documentation: http://www.pishtech.com/ock0.html

So who's going to be the first to create a new outing? The race is on. =)

Paul
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Postby Cutch » Tue Oct 30, 2007 8:48 pm

He, he, I'll be the first to download the kit, but I know I won't be the first to have a river ready for the game. :oops: Thanks, Paul :!: :wink:
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Postby dcarp » Tue Oct 30, 2007 9:19 pm

Paul,

The instructions are great. This shouldn't be too hard. I should have some time tonight to get started. This is going to be a great new feature!

Thanks for sharing it with us!

Dave
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Postby Fishin Musician » Wed Oct 31, 2007 12:49 am

:lol: :lol: :lol: This should be fun :!: can't wait to see all the new water to fish
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Postby Pitti » Wed Oct 31, 2007 9:20 am

Hello :)

the new era of RWFF can begins!

Thank you very much :D

Regards Peter
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Postby dcarp » Wed Oct 31, 2007 4:34 pm

Hello,

After spending a few hours on the OCK I can definitely say that the site photography is very important to get right. A tripod is a must! Even with a tripod, I had a lot of editing to do lining up images. I photgraphed 20 or so sites this past month and have worked it down to 15 that are acceptable. Most sites I tried to take at least 5 pictures. So when you do your photography, use a tripod, make sure it's stable and fairly level. Do whatever you can to NOT move the camera in the slightest between shots.

I am currently finishing up the depth and current speed portion of the project. I'm not sure how much is left to do, but I'm very excited to see the end result. If it turns out OK, I'll post a link here on the forum.

Tight Lines and Steady Cameras!

Dave
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Postby paul » Wed Oct 31, 2007 6:35 pm

Dcarp is exactly right - the quality of the outing depends more on the stability of the camera during shooting than anything else, so it's better to shoot extra shots at each site and more sites than you intend to use. The heavier the tripd, the better.

There are still times when you can't hold the camera still, though. Sometimes you've got the tripod in moving water and it's vibrating constantly. And sometimes, the only way to get the shot is to break the rules. Most of the sites in the Kanu were shot without a tripod, from a drifting boat - the worst case scenario for RWFF photography. With a lot of effort you can salvage some pictures taken under such conditions, but it's much easier to take some extra shots and throw out the ones that don't work.

So how can you salvage images with more than a couple of pixels of motion between frames? I use a custom tool that I haven't yet included in the kit, because it's rarely worth using, but it's something I call "Framefix". In your image editor you locate two non-moving points, down to the pixel, preferably one in the upper left quarter and one in the lower right, but at least they should be as far from each other as possible. To be able to pick the points down to a single pixel you need to find high-contrast areas, like the corner of a rock, the tip of a stump, etc. You need to find the coordinates of those two points on all three images, being precise to a single pixel. You enter the coordinates of the reference pixels into Framefix and it calculates how much to rotate and crop one image to line it up with another. I do that from image 1 to 2, then image 1 to 3. I usually do that step before reducing the photos to 1024x768. If they're 3 megapixels or more, the alignment correction is more precise and more effective. After fixing the alignment I reduce the sizes, then copy the land from one image to the others and usually the result is water that appears to move as it should, without hopping around. It's very tedious and challenging to get it right, but it's better than trying to align them manually.

I'll upload framefix later today in case anyone wants to use it. I'll be using it soon myself. I just received some absolutely gorgeous stream photos from Austria, unfortunately shot without a tripod, so each site will need painstaking alignment work. This stream will be worth the work, though.

Paul
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Postby Cutch » Wed Oct 31, 2007 10:42 pm

Wow, I can't believe this "old poop" is catching on to this. Since I can't get out to take pictures like Dave has,.....I've faked it so I can learn how to use this tool. :oops:
With FRAPS , Paint Shop Pro 7, and Animation Shop 3 programs I have, I've created pictures from the Deschute river in our game. (I'm pretending this is The McKenzie River which I will do with my digital camera when the weather gets better.) :wink:
So far, with all the great description and pictures Paul has given us, I'm to the point of setting the depths, currents, etc in my make believe Outing. :wink:
Of course if and when I compete this, I'll delete it. For now I just want to learn HOW to use the tool so when I do take pictures, I'll know what to do. :wink:
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Postby dcarp » Thu Nov 01, 2007 1:40 am

Hello,

I hope by now I'd be posting a new outing, but I've run into a snag setting the depth and current speed. It's almost as if the base image at 640x480 doesn't mesh well with the 1024X768 game image. The depth map get distorted and I have not current whatsoever.

Any tips Paul?

Dave
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Postby paul » Thu Nov 01, 2007 2:17 am

Can you send me your current and depth maps? I'll take a look. One possibility is that the mapbase.bmp isn't the right format. It's got to be 256 (8 bit) color using the standard system palette. The outing tool copies that to make the mapdepth.bmp and mapcur.bmp files, and then strips out the reserved colors. If the image is in some other format (like RGB 24 bit color) it won't know how to interpret the depth and current maps. I'll try to get the tool to detect format problems and report them in a helpful way. Better yet, I'm hoping to make the tool build the mapbase.bmp file automatically from one of the site photos. If I can do that we can get rid of mapbase.bmp altogether and have it make the other two bitmaps directly.

Also, I've just uploaded framefix. You can get it from http://www.pishtech.com/framefix.zip. It's undocumented except that my earlier post should pretty much explain how to use it. Your two points on the image are point A and B, and it has places to enter the X and Y coordinates for those two points from image 1 and image 2. It tells you how many degrees and in which direction to rotate, and it assumes your image editor will expand the image to make the rotated rectangle fit. If it says to crop at a negative position, that means you have to expand the image left or up and then crop at zero. For example, if it says to crop at -2, 5, expand your image 2 pixels to the left and (just for good measure) 5 to the bottom. Then crop at 0, 5, taking a rectangle the size of your original image. The resulting "image 2" should line up nicely with "image 1".

Tight lines and crisp pixels,

Paul
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Postby Cutch » Thu Nov 01, 2007 4:37 am

Paul,
The Framefix.zip gets a " The page cannot be found".
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Postby dcarp » Thu Nov 01, 2007 4:40 am

Cutch,

Get rid of that period at the end of the link and you'll be ok.


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Outing creation kit (beta)

Postby GV » Thu Nov 01, 2007 10:11 am

Can a stitching program be used to create the panaroma affect in the outings creation kit.
Something like "panoramafactory" from Smoky City Design?

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Postby paul » Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:43 pm

That's an interesting thought. A panarama stitching tool solves a similar problem. Perhaps if you crop one image keeping just the top (most but not all of the stationary landscape) and cropped the opposite part of a second image, a stictching tool could rejoin them, giving you a new version of the second image that's aligned with the first. The stitching program would likely expand the width of the image to accomodate the second, but you could easily crop based on the position of the location of the portion from the first image. That might work very well.

The cases in which it might struggle would been when much of the landscape is moving slightly. It's often the case that vegetation blowing in the wind causes motion in most of the image. If the stitching tool lets you pick your reference points so you can identify something truly stationary, that may not be a problem.

I see that Panorama Factory requires all the images to be the same size. You could expand after cropping to get around that. You might need to rotate the images 90 degrees if it always expects to stiching images together horizontally.

All in all it might be worth a try. I see it's free to try for 30 days. 8)

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