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Slope Mapping and Shaping Greens


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#1 BrianZ111

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 09:21 PM

While working on my entry for the TrackMan Par 3 contest, I developed a technique for mapping slopes to assist in siting greens and tees, shaping green sites, and placing pins.  As far as I know this is a novel approach (unless I missed it somewhere, if so my apologies) so I wrote a tutorial about it.

 

There is nothing worse than a beautiful course ruined by bad greens or pins.  This is not as much of a problem here as in other golf games but nevertheless I hope that this technique helps others make great greens and pin locations on their courses and saves time by avoiding repeated testing and fixing.

 

The tutorial is available here:  http://www.zagerdesi...ope_mapping.htm

 

Feel free to leave any questions in this thread and I’ll try to answer them as best as I can.
 

slope_mapping.jpg


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#2 Kablammo11

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 11:28 AM

And I thought I've seen everything... yet you have brought something new and surprising to CF, BrianZ111, and invested a lot of thought and effort into this. Thank you very much, you fully deserve respect and recognition for this.

 

After perusing your tutorial, I however conclude for myself (just myself, mind you), that the current tools at my disposal in CF, the shaded wireframe view and the CF BLI indicator for pin positioning are sufficient for me. I do not feel the need to jump through some extra hoops to add your new method to my design arsenal. Surely, if there were a handy CF icon in some next CF allowing me to toggle this on or off during work, I most certainly would use it. 

 

I'm sure others will be more receptive to your ideas and I really think it's great that you have offered us something genuinely new and useful. Since there's nothing worse than complete non-response to a thread such as this, and more than half a day has past since your post, I could not stand it going unanswered any longer, even though I can only thankfully decline your proposal. What's sure is that we need more fresh ideas such as this around here.


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#3 NoPutt

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 12:13 PM

And I thought I'd seen everything...Not sure how I missed your

post BrianZ111, but I did, until now.

A novel approach to seeking the flattish areas,

and should come in handy for those with PPS (Pin Placement Syndrome).



#4 Kablammo11

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 12:39 PM

Thank you for picking that nit and helping me to improve. 


>>>>>>> Ka-Boom!





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#5 BrianZ111

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 05:13 PM

One of the great things about using Unity over a proprietary game engine like past games is it opens up the possibilities more to the community modding the course designer.  Yeah it would be great if it was something built into CF that you can just turn on and off easily.  Probably someday.  I like to help push progress along if I can.  If you look at the history of tracing shapes, people were pasting print outs on their computer monitors and then I was the first (as far as I know) to use Ghost It to trace shapes in PGA 2000 but it was still a major pain to use.  That evolved to Chet creating Terrain Assist which besides the landmark of importing elevation data also improved shape drawing because now you didn't have to move your image every time you moved your view.  Then blueprints in CPG/WGC built it into the designer for greater convenience and now with Unity/CF the image is part of the Terrain and improves visibility over the transparency approach.  I'm sure Links probably had an impact on the evolution as well but since I never designed in the APCD I can't speak to it.

 

The first time might be a bit slow but I think once you know how to do it, it's not bad at all and makes up for any extra time by saving time fixing and testing pins.  I like the assurance than when I test the pins there is likely very few if any I'll have to fix.  I hope others get use from it but if not that's OK.  The tutorial was still worth writing to remind myself how to do it in case it ends up being awhile before I do my next CF/Unity course.



#6 Sliceapottomus

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 07:45 PM

Very good post Brian, I am glad you bring this up as this is most important in real world recreations....

"There is nothing worse than a beautiful course ruined by bad greens or pins.  This is not as much of a problem here as in other golf games but nevertheless I hope that this technique helps others make great greens and pin locations on their courses and saves time by avoiding repeated testing and fixing."

Problem is some designers think that their pin placements and green smoothness should not be smooth or follow usga guidelines set forth in pin placements recommendations. 


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#7 Joe Habiger

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 07:22 PM

I talk to you on Discord Brian so I feel no need to come in here..lol

 

Very smart man though!!


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#8 BrianZ111

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 03:23 PM

Thanks Joe, if I haven't remembered to thank you, your tutorial for getting the LiDAR into Unity helped me get going quickly on my par 3 contest course.



#9 pctyoyo

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 05:16 PM

Great idea, Brian.  I tried using Gaia to create the slope colors on two different plots of land, and came up with this:

 

https://imgur.com/Ei0CKsv

https://imgur.com/VntCMSO

 

The first plot has more "natural" green sites, while the second plot is more rugged.  Gaia allows you set both minimum and maximum slope values for each texture, so it worked really well.  Here's my color code, along with the settings in Gaia:

 

Tan - 0 degree slope.  Gaia - Min = 0  Max = 0.5

Yellow - 1 degree slope.  Gaia - Min = 0.5  Max = 1.8

Orange - 2 degree slope.  Gaia - Min = 1.8  Max = 2.8

Red - 3 degree slope.  Gaia - Min = 2.8. Max = 3.5

Brown - 4 thru 7 degree slopes.  Gaia - Min = 3.5  Max = 7

Purple - 8 thru 90 degree slopes.  Gaia = Min = 7  Max 90

 

The values in Gaia were determined thru trial and error.  The Brown zone is an area that is too steep for a pin, but ok for a fairway cross slope.  You'd probably have a hard time keeping a drive in the fairway that is steeper than around 7 degrees.  Regeneration of the colors after making terrain changes takes 30-60 seconds.

 

I also like how it inspires the drawing of unusual shapes, to match the actual terrain.

 

As a side note:  Gaia allows you to spawn textures based on height, so here's the color concept applied to that:

 

https://imgur.com/B9neEgg

https://imgur.com/J53GvBn

 

The first image is just a 0-100 meter slope, showing my color scale, while the second image shows a hilly plot of land.  I wish Course Forge could generate topo lines from any given terrain, but until that happens, this color map will have to do.

 

David 

 

 

 

 



#10 BrianZ111

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 04:22 AM

Cool, thanks for sharing.  You can do height based textures in Terrain Splatmap Generator as well but again no ranges, only less than or greater than a certain height so your limited to 4 textures with the opacity trick before they start blending.  If you can do ranges in heights and an unlimited number of them in Gaia then you might be able to simulate a topo map.  Have a texture that is the color you want your line and set a bunch of narrow ranges like 1.0 to 1.1, 2.0 to 2.1, etc. and a base texture underneath for the area not covered by a range or if that's not possible with Gaia then set up the middle ranges with a different texture.  Tedious to set up but if you can save your set up and reload it on another plot then a one-time setup wouldn't be so bad.

 

If you have Global Mapper you can generate a topo map and load it as an image on your Terrain as well.  That wouldn't reflect any changes to the terrain that you make in Unity though without exporting the terrain back to a format Global Mapper can read, regenerating the topo lines, and recreating the image, which you wouldn't want to do too often.



#11 pctyoyo

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 02:39 PM

It appears that only one minimum and maximum slope value can be set for each texture in Gaia, so using it to create topo lines is not going to work.  Oh well.  I am also finding that switching back and forth between a colored slope view and a colored height view can be problematic, so I'll just stick with the slope view, which is great!  

 

Global mapper looks amazing, but is way out of my league LOL.  Plus, I'm on a Mac.

 

David





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