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IanD
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Joined: 29 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2003 3:13 pm    Post subject: Top 20+ Frequently Asked Questions for APCD Use Reply with quote

Most of this was pasted together and put in order by "Lars Rudbeck" I added a view things here and there.

Most of the answers were furnished by the best there is at APCD. I'm sure you will recognize your answers, and Thanks!!
If anyone can think of anything to add, or maybe correct feel free.
I'm going back to work on my course now.
Hope this helps.
Dave

===============

1) SHAPES:

Q: The checklist says, "insert shapes" into the terrain.
A: The basic steps are:
Create shapes and GROUP the back tee and green to the hole. (They will be filled with the crosshatch pattern) Also make sure the proper hole # is in the menu or you will be defining the wrong hole... Define the hole shot path, if you have done your shapes freehand you want to choose "Auto Create Only Hole Boundary" in the options for defining. Insert the shapes you have made, if all is right you should be asked if you want to place the back tee and a pin. The full tutorial is by Chris Perry within this Forum (Layout).

Q: APCD tells me "make sure the pin is on the green and within the specified yardage for the hole. "
A: Did you: Group the back tee and green shapes to the hole before you inserted them? They should have a crosshatch fill when you do this. After grouping the back tee and green, did you define the hole so it has a red line around its perimeter and shotpoints leading from the back tee to the centre of the green?

Q: When I try to copy a shape it just remains selected but doesn't seem to actually create the copy.
A: Make sure you have "Render Course" selected and then group the copied shape to the hole. Now it should be visible when you "Render hole".
Hint: To make a ring of light rough around the fairway you are better off not doing it in the plan tab with shapes. I do it after I have inserted textures into the land, and then I region select the fairway and any shapes (green, fringe etc) that go with it so they are masked in red and then extrude it slightly, scale down the selected area slightly so you can see the white ring around it in the top view, and then pull the edges or verts out in the top view to make your light rough area the distance(s) you want from the fairway, then region select the white ring and add a light rough texture to it.

Q: My shape is a dark purple boundary that I can not change?
A: "remnant shapes" they are left over from inserting a shape. You cannot adjust this shape, and the shape is not "attached" to the surface. It is still floating. The shape can be copied to give you a new shapes that can be moved and adjusted. It can also be deleted if it has no other purpose.

2) EXTRUDING

Q: I'm trying to extrude up the land and APCD doesn't want to. I swear that I have chosen all terrain to be extruded.
A: Extrude works on faces, regardless of what texture is applied to them, you can have lots of different textures in the selected region, they just have to all be selected for the extrude to work. Extrude can not work on complex things over long distances (cart paths winding throughout the course etc) Don’t forget any bunker lips inside the area you are trying to extrude

Q: I have noticed some of the designers have very thin extrusions on their bunkers. Mine only seems to go to one size when I extrude it. Is there a way to set the extrusion so it's a thinner lip?
A: Once you make your extrusions you can do a area select on the verts (like in the bunker) and move them at will in the Z axis to the position you want it.
Hint: What I did was extrude the green 2 inches down, then scale the edges outward at a 45 degree angle and soften the edge to zero. That way you don't get the putt-putt course bounce some courses ended up with if the extrusion is like a wall, you still get the shadow effect

3) ALPHA CHANNEL

Q: How do I make custom objects for APCD.
A: Depending on the software you use the approach is a little different, but a good tutorial for PhotoShop is found by Dan Kilbank (Custom Objects) within this Forum.

A: For Paint Shop Pro users, go to the image and magic wand select the background with the wand set at tolerance 0 and NOT anti-aliased, (I think it defaults at 32 tolerance with Anti-aliased checked so you will have to change them in the top tool panel under the Magic Wand Option tab.) After you have selected the background, go to Selections in the top menu and select Similar, this will select any pixels that the magic wand did not select (generally on the inside of the body image). Now Invert the selection so the image is selected not the background. Now, in the bottom control panel you will see tabs for Layers, Channels and Paths, choose Channels. You should see your image thumbnail in the window.

At the bottom of the panel is a set of icons, you want to click the one that has a grey square with a white circle in it, this is Save selection as a channel, and a thumb will appear in the window with the background black and the image portion white. You are now free to save the TGA and import it.

4) TEXTURES

Q: When I try to import an image as a texture the APCD tells me it is an invalid size. I resized it to 256 x256?
A: I had a problem with textures too, when you go to Save As... Click on the options button and check that the options are 24 bit and Uncompressed, the first time I tried TGA's I saved them as Compressed because it was the default setting and they weren't accepted into the APCD. Saving them as Uncompressed worked.

Q: I have just changed the standard textures to custom textures for fairway tee green and fringe, but the ball travels incorrect.
A: Did you go in and set the properties so the fairway is fairway and the green is green? I know when you first create a texture it is set to "Other" and you have to change it yourself. With APCD v1.1 "Other" now plays as fairway.

Q: I cloned the standard water texture and assigned properties to the texture. However, when I re-enter APCD all the properties apart from the Name have reverted to the original Water Properties
A: There's a known issue with cloning terrains and it doesn't save the flags, so just remember the flags are set right before you save it for the last time. (!!!!! Is this fixed with V1.1 if User.lib is deleted and regenerated????)))

(Q)How do I get the textures from the XPAK?
(A)They are in the Stdterrain.lib. If you have the X-pack installed you can pick up those textures by copying the Stdterrain.lib from your Links directory into your Architect directory.

5) IN WHAT ORDER SHOULD I DESIGN A COURSE

Q: What order do you do the different steps in constructing a course (i.e.; layout, insert shapes, clean mesh, elevate, etc.)

Read the thread within this Forum to view how these Designer's Design :
    Mike Jones
    Lacy Gearheart
    Art Patscheck
    Jack Hartt
    Guenter Kujat


6) Z AXIS MEASURE TAPE

Q: How can I see how deep my bunkers are. There is only a measure tape for the top view.
A: We don't have a measuring TAPE for the z-axis, but we do have a tool for it. Marking a vert gives 3 values in the lower right hand corner, the last number being the position in the z-axis. This can be used to measure the distance in the z-axis between two verts.
Hint: You can also plant a tournament official in your bunker to get a visual of the depth.

7) PLAYING FROM THE WATER?

Q: I hit the ball into the water. Select continue, and I am walking on water?
A: If you played in practice mode it will let you continue but shouldn't in regular play mode. When you play in practice mode you can select "Enforce Normal Drop Rules" and the water becomes unplayable

8) MAPPING

see link thanks Chris Perry.

9) TERRAIN SIZE

Q: Is possible to change the size of one's original terrain rectangle or square once several holes have been routed and worked on?
A: Yes it is. The easiest way to add would be to pull the outer verts out further, and then add extra edges to fill in. To remove extra is easy. Select unwanted ground with surface select tool and hit the big red X.
If your really desperate, and need to move a already made hole to somewhere else you can break it free from the plot same way you delete extra. Select it and drag it to the spot you want. Then fill in the gap by joining the 2 separate plots with add face tool found under the "Face" tab. Check out the tutorial (UDOK Gate Creation) if you don't know how to use add face tool.

Q: What shape and density do you have your grid when you start a new course?
A: I will use the Hexagonal Mesh (which I am using now), but I will create a plot 3500 yds x 3500 yds with the “Height of Grid” 50 ft. & “Density of 50 ft. Then do a surface select on entire plot & scale it down to around 1000 yds x 1000 yds. I'm gonna do this for 2 reasons. 1. I'm not going to insert shapes anymore. 2. I can always delete the verts that do not come into play later. It's quicker to delete verts than it is to add and turn them.

(disclaimer: This was one of my answers Lars copied in. I edited it a little. I have not done this yet, because I'm still working on the course that gave me the idea. If anyone has tried this and run into a problem I'd like to hear about it though......end of disclaimer )

10) METERS TO YARDS

Q: Is there a way to change the distance displayed from meters to yards while designing?
A: if you have APCD 1.1 Beta installed you can also try this- fire up your APCD click on EDIT then PREFERENCES then in GENERAL choose ENGLISH units. This saves changing your computer system properties.

11) IMPORTING COURSE LAY-OUT

Q: Is there any other way to make a real course than using overhead plastic in front of the screen?
A: This is covered in the tutorial by Dan Kilbank (Contour Maps) within this Forum.

12) PLANTING NOT VISIBLE IN TOPVIEW AND WHITE DOTS

Q: I'm using APCD 1.1 and most of the time when I try to plant things I get one dots instead of the object I'm trying to plant. What's the story?
A: It's part of the speed up for planting mode. To get it to render the objects, do something to force a viewport refresh (like clicking your middle mouse button in the viewport) and it will render the objects. Of course, if the objects are too far away, you won't see them until you zoom in some.

Q: I've created many new objects, can anyone tell me what the specifications are for the top view representation?
A: They are the same as the regular images, though 100x100 would be a good size to make them, there are (should be) tops you can use in the APCD/Objects/TopViews folder. In Planting/planting set you need to go to Object Library and find the tree/tree's you want to give top views and click on one Bottom left you will see 'Change Top View representation'

Q: The bushes that I've planted have top views associated with them. They show up in the APCD but not in the top view in the game?
A: My best guess is that this is a size rendering issue. from what I can recall the top view will only render the top view of objects that are of a certain size. So bushes will not show but trees will.

13) WORKING WITH DEM's

Q: Is there an updated procedure for importing the DEMs or can someone enlighten me as to the best procedure to follow?
A: You now have the ability to import terrain data into APCD to create a mesh with which to work. This information is available, but can be costly to obtain. There are sites which offer this information as a free download. We'll walk you through obtaining this data from one such site. If you obtain the data from somewhere else, it needs to be 7.5-minute, 1:24000-scale digital-elevation models (DEM) in either 30x30 or 10x10 meter resolution to be able to import it into APCD. For this example, we'll download a set of datafrom the GIS Data Depot which offers DEM data for the United States of America as a free download. To Do this, go to:

http://www.gisdatadepot.com/dem/demdownload.html
Once on this page, you will see a map of the United States. Click on a state on the map to bring up a list of counties in that state. Click on the county you want information from. On the next page, click "Digital Elevation Models (DEM) - 24K" to list the different sets available in that county. Find the set you want, and click the green "arrow" button next to it. On the next page, click on the link to download your data set. (Note: The data set will have a .TAR.GZ extension. The file with the .SDTS.TXT extension is a readme listing various information about the data set.) Save the file to disk. Once your file is downloaded, you must convert its format from SDTS to USGS DEM. To do this, first unzip the file you downloaded into a directory. (Note: You must extract ALL files in the archive into that directory) Then go to:

ftp.blm.gov/pub/gis/sdts/dem/win95/sdts2dem32.zip.
Save the file, unzip it into a directory, and run the sdts2dem.exe. This will bring up a window allowing you to specify a source directory and a destination file (*.dem). Click "Select Input SDTS" and browse to the directory where you unzipped your data set and select one of the .ddf files in there. Then click "Select Output DEM" and sepcifiy a name and location for the converted DEM file. Then click convert and let the converter do it's job. Once you've run the converter and have your .DEM file, you are ready to import it into APCD. Start APCD, and click File -> Import. Then click Select DEM(s). Highlight the DEM you wish to import. If the area you want to import spans across the dividing line, you can specify up to four DEMs to import (if it spans the corner across four separate areas). IMPORTANT: When trying to import from multiple DEMs, all DEM files MUST be the same resolution (10 meters or 30 meters). If one is substantially larger or smaller than the other, your files are not the same resolution. Additionally, the seams will match better if they all have the same version number. Once you've selected your DEM(s), click OK and APCD will import the images and pull up a screen that displays the data as a grayscale map. To specify the plot you wish to import, click and drag the image to set the rectangular boundaries of the plot. The Selection Info section on the upper-right corner of the dialog tells you the length and width of the area you've selected, and how many verts will be present on the plot once it is created. You can adjust the image's Gamma, Brightness, and Contrast to make distinguishing elevations easier.
NOTE: You cannot import a mesh if there are more than 100,000 vertices on it; APCD will warn you if the total vertex count is greater than 20,000. Once satisfied with your selection, click Import and APCD will import the information and create a terrain based on your selection. If you're having trouble figuring out which data set to download, try going to
http://www.topozone.com
and on the bottom left there is a small section titled "Place Name Search". Try typing in the name of the place you need data for and selecting the state. If it finds that place, it will give you state, county and "Quad Name" which is the name of the data set you need to download.

14) KEYBOARD SHORT CUTS

Q: Are there any keyboard shortcuts?
A: Look in the back of the APCD manual from Microsoft. I tend to use some shortcuts while turning edges and adding extra verts. I use the keyboard: 4 (edges), t (turn), 5 (verts), a (add), m (move). It's much faster once you get the sequence of keys to press/rhythm.

Q: Can you use the keyboard for functions like raising verts or scaling faces? If I want to move something every so slightly then hitting a key like the down cursor for down and the up cursor for up would make things easier.
A: I believe that the answer is no. I sure would like to see that implemented as I believe you could achieve finer control.

Q: Is there a better way to navigate than using the keyboard and icons?
A: You can move around freely in the 3d view without having to use all the icons etc to do so. You need to have a wheel mouse( if not why not ?) You can move around the 3d view as such: Press the middle mouse button and move the mouse up or down or side to side to move the 3d view. If you want to rotate the view press the Ctrl button on the keyboard and move the mouse up/down or side to side to rotate the view. If you want to zoom in or out, use the mouse wheel forward and back . To make the movements quicker you can press Shift on the keyboard so you can move around quicker.

15) APCD RENDERS SLOW

Q: I have the hole laid out, when I zoom in to start adjusting, adding verts, turning edges.. etc. MY Computer slows way down. Everything is in slow motion. I try to move a vert and the mouse icon moves.. then 2-10 seconds later the vert moves.
A: Try to set the APCD to render only the hole you're working on. If you zoom in too far, it doesn't matter how fast your computer is, it will slow down. In the display options (the little icon looking like an eye), you can turn many things on and off. Having shapes showing in the Perspective view can slow things way down. Try to turn off all objects, panorama, etc. You might even need to turn off textures to work on the shapes.

16) I HAVE PLANTED MY COURSE, NOW IT CRASHES

Q: I forested the heavy rough with pines and grass - fine - played ok. I planted the 1st mostly with stock items I had used before - Jap Violation - IS SOMETHING BEING DONE ABOUT THIS?? "Access violation in LSInterface::IsJapaneseVersion()+0x10939C"
A: It is caused by objects winding up off the terrain or by custom textures imported, where the TGA file has some "extra info" that doesn't harm APCD, but crashes Links. So if you get the Jap Crash, check for any Objects not on the terrain, and check for any new Textures you may have added. Most of these problems were fixed with APCD 1.1 patch.

17) FLOATING TREES

Q: On two of my holes on my course there are floating trees. When I go into the APCD the trees are no where to be find. Any suggestions on what to do here?
A1: When this happens it can by due to changing the elevation of the the terrain below the trees or other objects. It happens if only you move a nearby vert or adjust a shape in the general area. You can correct this by simply going into planting and move the object. It will once again "ground" itself and you can then reposition it back to where you wanted it.
A2 (for custom objects): The way the flashing yellow and green dot (in objects properties) should work is that where you place that flashing dot is where the object 'anchors' itself to the mesh. You can change that point after planting the object by moving the object around after it is planted. But, when you initially plant the object, the flashing point is where it should anchor to the mesh. If you plant some objects of the same exact object, then change that point, it only affects objects planted AFTER you changed the point, it doesn't affect any objects planted previously.
Trying to find floating objects in APCD can be a pain.

18) OTHER OBJECT PROPERTIES

Q. How do you change the area around a tree that causes the ball to impact with the tree for a custom object?
A. The Collision Properties consists of a solid collision rectangle (the red and white rectangle you can adjust) and the sliders for density and dampening and the Options for all pass through and Flat Object
The solid collision rectangle is fairly self-explanatory - all object pixels in the rectangle are treated as a solid collision - meaning the ball will bounce off
Pass through collisions are a little more complicated. If a ball passes through a pixel defined as a pass-through collision, the density defines the chance of the ball being slowed down, and the dampening is the amount it will be slowed by.

All Pass Through removes the solid collision rectangle, meaning the entire object is treated as pass through collision

Flat Object means any solid collisions will also take into account the density and dampening, meaning it will bounce off, but if you have a high dampening set, it won't bounce as far (useful for things like cacti and animals that are solid, but don't impart that nice, wood/cement-like bounce to the ball, but rather thud off the object)

19) INSTALLING EXPANSION PAK OBJECTS

Q: When I installed, I asked for a full install, but I did not get the new objects installed. What gives?
A: When you install the Xpack, you HAVE to do the Custom install. The install process doesn't add the new objects to your planting set, however. In order to do this, you'll need to open APCD, click Planting tab, 2D sub-tab. Click the object library button. Click the Objects tab. Make sure the 2D Radio button is selected (in the top-right of the object library window) In the object type drop-down, select one of the new types. All the new objects will be listed. Highlight them and click the "Add To Current Planting Set" button. Repeat for as many new objects as you want to add, then close the Object Library window. When it asks you to save changes, click Yes. Then in the object type drop-down on the 2D Tab Command Panel, scroll down to the bottom of the list to see the objects you just added. They are as listed below
    Category # of Objects Added
    -------------- -------------------------
    3DXpack1............................. 12
    Agave.................................... 05
    BallWash.............................. 03
    Benches............................... 01
    Buildings.............................. 14
    Bushes................................. 72
    Cacti...................................... 22
    Carts..................................... 01
    Evergreen Trees................. 15
    Fences.................................. 01
    Flowers................................. 89
    Grasses............................... 09
    Markers................................. 02
    Medium Trees..................... 71
    Misc....................................... 13
    Palm Trees.......................... 16
    Rocks.................................... 41
    Shrubbery............................. 12
    Signs..................................... 04
    Small Trees......................... 25
    Statues................................. 01
    Succulents........................... 07
    Tall Trees............................. 26
    Trash Can............................ 03
    Wildlife.................................. 04


20) Q. WHY DOES MESH NEED CLEANING AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

With the help of Ron Jenkins(Drogo007) I have discovered this hiccup in the APCD program. You cannot have more than twenty edges joined at a single vert. It causes a rift or a tear in the fabric of reality which you can lose your ball in. He has told me that they don't know why it happens and only reducing the number edges to a single vert will fix it. I discovered it because I am using extra control points when adjusting shapes. It is the only way to get everything perfectly shaped. Well, each control point becomes a vert on the perimeter of that shape when it is inserted. They usually then converge to a small number of interior verts, which is when the situation occurs.

21) Q. I HAVE SOME BAD SHADOWS ON MY HOLES. HOW DO I GET RID OF THEM?

A. Bad shadows can be due to a couple of reasons one being that there's a severe slope, or that a vert very close to another vert is lower than the other (check the Z-axis values for the verts and try to flatten the area). The other thing I know that creates bad shadows are edges needing to be turned. If I zoom out in the top view window I will sometimes see shadows appearing where the fairway bends sharply for example. Zooming in on the area the shadows will disappear. In this case turning a few edges will make the shadows disappear.

22) Q. HOW DO I PLANT TREES SO THAT IT LOOKS NICE?

A. Mike Jones has a very good tutorial on planting (see the Mike Jones Tutorials)

23) Q. HOW DO I MAKE A SCREEN CAPTURE OF MY COURSE?

A. Ctrl key, & F10 will create a jpg in your C:FilesGames2001
Alt key, & F10 will create a bmp in your C:FilesGames2001
specs for import into course:

Splash Screen: 1280x1024 Jpeg
Course Logo: 256x256 32-bit Tga

A. by Mike Jones :-) I use a few different ways to get screenies. Sometimes its just a x1 reverse view of a shot into the green. This tends to now show the close planting though.

I might take a pic of some planting in the APCD but it never looks as good as in game(textures look blurry) but at least I can pick the exact position I want for the picture.
Other times if I want a screen shot of something without the golfer in the way I do this - Bring up the preferences in game, move the whole preferences sub screen to the right hand top corner of the screen. Select the graphics button and then just as I do that, press the print screen key a time or two. The timing has to be good but when you get it right it takes a screenshot without the golfer! Dont ask me how I found that out!
I then load the screenshot into Photoshop and select the part of the pic I want to use and then just cut it out and resize it to whatever I want, usually 800x600ish.
Resizing makes the pic blurry so I sharpen it using the filters. I then use a soft omi lighting filter on the pic to make the areas around the outside of it slightly darker and focus the attention on the centre of the picture.
Might seem like a lot of trouble to go to but It doesn't take too long once you have the hang of it.

You can d/l a free trial version of Paint Shop Pro at www.jasc.com. http://www.jasc.com Good Luck.


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