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ArmA 3 Terrain Processor

Terrain Processor is basically object placer. Its like enhanced version of Shezan74's World Tools (no relation though).

Project Templates (TPP)

PMC has provided full project templates for download, see Terrain Processor templates.

TPP Naming Rules

TPP is terrain processor project file.

TPP Naming Rules:


For example:


Searching for Settings

In order to find project settings that are suitable for your shapefiles / terrain, you should always start with hectare density 1. This way it doesn't take long time to generate the objects so if there are problem with later task or something like this, it wont take long for you to discover it.

Also the object list you selected is quick to tweak with very small project generation time. Generate, check, and do it all over again. If you have huge project that takes half an hour to generate, its no fun going back and forth with that kind of waiting time.

You can take the hectare density 1 generated objects number and double it for every time you increase the value by one. Like if you get 1000 objects with value 1, then you should expect to get 2000 objects with 2 etc.

Mask: Linear

Can be used with road shapefiles to clear a path into already placed objects within this TP tasking session.

Add task, choose mask: linear, then pick your roads shapefile, configure how wide area it would clear and its done. Make sure this is the LAST task to run in your TP project.

Forest Settings

Hectare Density Result
5 Few trees here and there
30 Still not looking like a forest
100 Looks like average forest

Bushes for forest, not sure if this fits with pine trees: b_betulaHumilis

CUP A1 sahrani Palm trees for iraq, libya and syria region does not look good with hectare density 100 as somehow palms are not same as pine trees which create thick forest, palms need to be more sparse. Use less than 100 for middle eastern palms, maybe 50 or less.

Line: Regular

Use this to place walls. Use terrain builder to create polylines for walls, export the shapefile. Then in terrain processor create Line: Regular ask, add your wall object and make sure its distance is correct in parameters tab. Select shapefile and run it.

User Guide

Terrain Processor (TP for short) is a bitch, you make one slight wrong configuration and BANG it crashes or freezes without mercy :)

Project *.TPP files are XML format, you can edit them but as bis TP manual states its not advised as its easy to make mistakes and again TP will crash, so be very very careful.

You should name every TPP project file with very descriptive file name (normal rules apply, no spaces, no stupid characters) so you can re-use them with other terrains in the future.

It is cumbersome to add object template names into the projects so once you do it, save the tpp file that you don't have to type in all those templates next time you want to place forests etc. Also inside <ObjectPrototypes> you can use text editor to copy paste from area random into high density cluster.

Area: High-density Cluster, if you drop object probability to 2, it starts to really slow down the object creation.

Road Smoothing

Heightmap: Road integration

Does terrain processor (TP) place your smoothed out roads 500m below ground? Shapefiles must be within the mapframe bounds before using TP to flatten the road surfaces or you will end up with super deep valleys carved into your terrain heightmap.

If your road smoothing will carve almost tunnel like pathway to the terrain even though it is not even that steep, you can fix it by increasing Road Maximal Slope.

If you have problems loading terrain builder exported road shapefiles, try loading and saving them in global mapper (or QGIS?) first.

Road Type

If you want TP to handle different road types with different width values, you better to separate your wide and narrow roads at terrain builder and export the shape files individually so you can use individual tasks in terrain processor.

Using the DBF to handle polyline widths is not recommended.

Object Placement Statistics

This is nice reference read of how many objects some configs place and how long time it takes to import these to terrain builder. Computer used to create these statistics is CPU: AMD Athlon FX-4170 4.2Ghz Quad Core Black Edition, RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB PC3-12800 1600MHz.

Task: Area Random

Trees 12, probability 100%, minimal distance 5m.

Polygon size about 20km x 20km, just slightly below that size but otherwise square area.

Hectare Density Objects Placed
1 41,000
10 413,000
20 827,000
30 1,240,000
40 1,654,000
50 2,068,000
60 2,481,000
70 2,895,000
80 3,308,000
90 3,722,000
100 4,136,000
110 4,549,000
120 4,963,000
130 5,376,000
140 5,790,000
150 6,204,000

Terrain builder imports 2 million object LBT file in about 10 minutes, 3,3 million objects 17 minutes. 4,1 million objects 22 minutes. 5,3 million objects 26 minutes. 6,2 million objects 30 minutes.

Polygon size about 40km x 40km, everything else the same as above.

Hectare Density Objects Placed
1 167,000
10 1,674,000
20 3,348,000
30 5,023,000
40 6,697,000
45 7,535,000

Terrain builder imports 7,5 million object LBT file in 37 minutes.

Polygon size about 81km x 81km, everything else the same as above.

Hectare Density Objects Placed
1 670,000
5 2,681,000
9 6,033,000
10 6,704,000

Terrain builder imports 6,7 million object LBT file in 32 minutes.

Multiple Tasks


HOWTO place trees, bushes and rocks with different “task”.

TPP files don't have to have single task with everything spammed into one set, for example you can have task for trees at 85 density and then you have task for bushes for 30 density and finally task for rocks at 10 density, all these in the one TPP file which also checks road cleaning etc.

It might be easier to get bushes and rocks right if they are probability 100 and the density controls how dense they are placed.

Every different object type you put into single task limits the tasks flexibility.

No matter how many tasks you have in one TPP, only one LBT file is exported / saved.

One example is to first place trees, then bushes, then rocks and last run a road and other shape cleanup tasks. You can setup so that the trees take bulk of the object space and rocks are sprinkled very sparsely if there are some random empty spots in the shape area. This creates excellent overall forestry look with your objects.

arma3/tools/terrain-processor.txt · Last modified: 2020-01-01 06:09 by snakeman