Technical News 3
17.06.2006 GGS 2.40.5
Auto Green Contour Smoothing is now performed automatically when loading course hole.
Converts this ( looks more like a plough field than a green) ...................................... into this
When using using a low resolution gray-scale height map for the green contour the results can look very coarse. (as shown above)
The new Terrain Editor smooth-out routine can also be called manually anywhere else on the course.
05.06.2006 GGS 2.38.2
New ProTee HTML Help File System
Carry now shown in club swing box when playing game with mouse.
28.05.2006 GGS 2.36.4
As of this version GGS features an Interactive Terrain Editor for course designers.
The Terrain Editor allows you to create terrain interactively while on the course. Create hills and dips of any size and shape anywhere by moving the terrain grid and pressing the appropriate keys. You can also set the slope ratio as required plus minimum and maximum altitudes.
Just as important is the new Terrain Smooth function. When creating terrain with 8 bit gray-scale maps the terrain is quite coarse. This is especially noticeable on the green with the grid set on - although the ball roll itself is not effected as much because of smooth-out routines in the trajectory calculations.
The Terrain Editor's smooth-out routines can now take care of terrain irregularities inherent with 8 bit gray-scale height maps with just one button click.
01.05.2006 GGS 2.33.2
Distance and speed ball is traveling during flight is now shown in real time on screen together with launch data (optional).
When in terrain height scale mode measurements are now shown graphically.
Light Strip Game Controller & Club Selector
This new add-on device is attached to the sensor mat and allows you to control certain game functions with your club from your ball address position saving you the walk to the system console.
Functions include Club Selection, Camera Rotation (ie target change) and Game Yes/No decision making.
25.03.2006 GGS 2.30.1 1280*1024 Screen Resolution
High screen resolution can now be optionally selected for use with 19 inch flat screens and/or high resolution projectors.
18.03.2006 GGS 2.29.1 16 bit Height maps
As of this version 16 bit height maps can be imported and used to generate terrain in GGS. In comparison to 8 bit gray scale height maps that only allow 256 steps to be defined, 16 bit height maps have a resolution 256 times higher allowing 65,536 steps to be defined.
Vue 5 Infinite Terrain Editor
GGS requires the file to be in TGA format whereby the green component of the 24 bit RGB color is used for the low order byte and red the high order byte.
The Vue 5 Infinite Terrain Editor features a 16 bit terrain export function that can be used to create GGS compatible 16 bit height maps.
GGS height map naming convention for 16 bit height map files is as for gray scale maps except that the file type is tga instead bmp. e.g. "AuHeight1.bmp" is for the gray scale map for Augustin course hole 1 and "AuHeight1.tga" is the 16 bit version.
GGS automatically detects if a 16 bit tga height map exists for a particular course hole and will load this instead of 8 bit gray scale map if detected.
Default scaling is 64 RGB values per meter allowing 1024 meter high terrain in 1.56 cm steps. You can change this though using the height scale feature (ctrl/H). ie less height for more resolution or vice versa.
17.03.2006 GGS 2.28.7 Direction of Play
Direction of play settings can now be made for each course hole. Press ctrl/Z to enter this mode.
New Field of View setting in Graphics window. See the Menus section for screen shot examples.
14.03.2006 GGS 2.28.4 Distance ball moved in yards or meters now shown when in manual ball move mode (ie when Shift key down or F3 key pressed).
New Putting mat logic activated. Also Putting mat sensors now also shown in Show Sensors mode.
26.02.2006 GGS 2.26.7 Auto tree shade terrain wrapping
The auto tree / object shades now wrap the terrain. The previous tree shading method produced ghost shadows when the tree or object was on the top of a hill. With the new shadow rendering method the shadows are now glued to the terrain.
17.02.2006 GGS 2.26.1 Sky Domes
As of this version Sky Domes (Hemispherical skies) are now available as an alternative to basic Sky Boxes. Skies are now seamless no matter where you point the camera. (Even straight up).
16.02.2006 GGS 2.25.8
OpenGL Lighting and Shading is now also available for basic designed courses as well as the new 3dModel designs. Press ctrl/L to setup the lighting individually for every course hole. Set Sun position, ambient and diffuse light intensity and mix with standard light maps.
New Reflect map method for basic designed courses. see Water Reflection Models for details.
02.02.2006 GGS 2.30 High Level Detail 3D Terrain Model Rendering
Note for professional GGS golf course graphics designers:
The new advanced GGS golf course design method is a radical change to the current basic method of using a large single texture file for the course hole.
The basic GGS design method required only the use of a normal graphics tool which allowed users with limited graphics experience to create course designs easily. However, for more demanding and professional golf course designers this method was lacking in detail and clarity.
The advanced method will require the use of a 3d modeling tool. (ie Vue 5 Infinite, WorldBuilder, 3d Studio, Maya, MilkShape etc.)
Note: 3d Studio and Maya are professional 3d graphic modeling tools costing upwards of $3000. Fortunately there are very good alternatives that cost a lot less or are free of charge. MilkShape is a very good example that is free of charge and can be downloaded from the web at www.milkshape3d.com
Main Basic / Advanced design method differences include:
1. All surface textures are now assigned to the terrain within the modeling tool. The method generates very clear textures and texture mapping boundaries and eliminates the need for the large texture map file so that course loading in GGS is also now very much faster.
2. The complete terrain is made within the 3d modeling tool. This allows you to apply as much detail as you like to the terrain. (Especially helpful with bunkers and greens etc). However, you can still use a gray scale height map for the basic terrain and import it into the modeling tool and then add the detail later. The gray scale map is not used or loaded into GGS though so again course loading time has been improved.
3. The water reflection maps are also now done within the modeling tool and eliminate the need for a reflection map file. The new rendering method for this is not only far more detailed and exact but also much faster .
4. Lighting and shading are now an integral part of the GGS graphics engine eliminating the need for a light map. Light source (sun) position can be user set.
30.01.2006 GGS 2.30 High Level Detail 3D Terrain Model Rendering
This new version (available mid February) represents a quantum leap in detailed terrain rendering for the GGS graphics engine.
All terrain textures, surface borders and water reflections are now vastly clearer and crisper compared to the older version and even allow you to see each blade of grass. Terrain and object Light and Shading are now implemented automatically in the GGS graphics engine
In short, High Level Detail 3D Terrain Model Rendering takes the GGS graphics engine on to a whole new level.
21.01.2006 GGS 2.24.2
Target and view can now be set with the mouse directly in the course overview window.
Distance to target and path to target are now always shown and animated when next player is up or when mouse dragging the target to a new position
16.01.2006 GGS 2.24.1 3D Object Model Rendering
As of GGS version 2.24 3D object model rendering will be available. This great new feature will allow you to import high quality 3D object models created with professional object modeling tools such as Maya, 3D Studio Max, MilkShape etc. Up until now all objects (trees, buildings etc) were billboard rendered in 2D which meant that no matter where you positioned the camera, the view of the object was always the same because the object would always face the camera. As far as trees are concerned this is not a great problem because a tree looks similar from any angle on the ground but objects like a Bench, Foot Bridge or the Club house suffer greatly with the billboard rendering method.
3D object rendering eliminates this short coming completely. e.g. not only will you be able to view the club house from any angle with all it's fine masonry and architecture but you could even take a walk inside, check out the decor or who's sitting at the bar!
24.12.2005 GGS 2.20 Release 5
De-activate / Re-activate sensor function. I the rare case of a single sensor not properly functioning you can now de-activate the sensor in the Show Sensors window by right mouse clicking over the sensor image. The image will then turn red and the sensor status won't be used in the trajectory calculation.
Fly with ball rendering improved.
14.12.2005 GGS 2.18 Release 5
Improved trajectory calculation routines.
Main carry flight time now shown in after shot analysis window.
Improved valid swing detection. This has been implemented for users not using ball track sensors in which case it was previously possible that the ball image would occasionally launch when the users head or hands passed over the striking mat sensors during ball placement.
When using ball track sensors this occasional problem did not occur.
12.11.2005 Putting mat add-on. The putting mat is designed specifically for putting where the club head moves only a short distance and at slower speeds. Featuring 98 of the latest technology low profile SMD optical sensors, the mat captures putter face angle, path and speed. As opposed to the regular hitting mat which features medium high grass fibers to simulate fairway grass, the surface of the putting mat is low profile putting green grass which allows the ball to roll more naturally. The add-on putting mat is placed in front of the regular mat.
07.11.2005 GGS 2.15 Release 4
For golf course designers: Tree and other object shades are now rendered automatically from the original tree or object image. No need to tediously reproduce these in the light map anymore. Just plant the tree in the interactive tree planting mode and the shade (depending on the sun height and position) will appear automatically. The shades can be switched on or off individually for each tree or object.
Flag shade is also now animated. Shade follows smooth waving flag animation exactly.
05.10.2005 GGS 2.10 Release 3
More New Graphics features:
Trajectory line traces are automatically shown after every shot. On the driving range your last 4 shots are now shown by default (Press Esc key to clear).
Ball visibility factor. This new user adjustable factor is used to increase the visibility of the ball on long carry shots.
04.10.2005 New product update:
Vertical Launch Monitor.
Now featuring 128 sensors, the system detects vertical ball launch angles to within 1 degree from 0 to 52 degrees, ball height above ground from -10 mm (low lie) to + 35 mm (on tee), club-head angle of attack and club-head height to 60 mm above ground.
01.09.2005 / GGS Version 2.07 Release 6
When experimenting with trajectory parameters and using a sensor mat to launch the ball, you can go into a Bench Test Mode which allows you to generate high speed swing trajectories without having to actually swing fast. Just a relaxed wave of the club will produce Tiger Woods type full swings. ( The club-head speed is multiplied by a factor of 14 when in this mode.) Press ctrl/shift/F8 to enter this mode with either the Trajectories window open or on the course.
28.08.2005 / GGS Version 2.07 Release 1
For systems not using ball launch angle detection sensors, the ball launch angle is now set to 89% of the club loft.
Loaded and unused system image and object image files are now listed in files in the \data folder. These listings can be used to identify and remove any old or unwanted system image files.
20.06.2005 / GGS Version 2.00 Release 1
Production of ball track and vertical sensors now underway.
Due to demand for Pro sensor mats, the base (home) sensor mat has been discontinued.
A number of improvements to the sensor mat data capturing routines have been made in this version/release plus new read and write functions for the preferences file - that is now in a human readable format - have been implemented. The new preferences file is written and read in the “\data” folder and is not compatible with the old one. If the new one doesn’t exist in the \data folder then a new one is created from the old one.
15.06.2005 / GGS Version 1.99 Release 21
New Putt Mode allows slower putts to be detected with the ball placed between the mat horizontal sensors instead of on the normal (rubber tee) hole position.
New Chip Mode allows you to set separate carry and ball roll distance factors for chipping and automatically selects your preferred chipping club. Camera view is now set back in this mode so that the ball is always in camera view during it's trajectory.
When moving ball (shift key down with arrow keys) the camera is now automatically set to the new ball position.
09.06.2005 / GGS Version 1.99 Release 20
New: Go back one stroke andreplay shot now possible.
To do this, open Score Card (press ‘G’ keyboard short cut) and press replay button next to players name.
Work-around for course designers: Occasional fine black lines appearing above objects can be eliminated by ensuring that the object in the bmp image file is 1 or 2 pixels above the bottom of the image (or by drawing a 1 pixel thick pure black line along the bottom of the image).
08.06.2005 / GGS Version 1.99 Release 18
Object/Tree planting mode: Scaling is now immediately visible. Object detection (for scaling and deleting) improved.
Tab key steps thru Help Win tabs
New System Administrator mode: Only in this mode can changes made to the system (ie trajectory parameters) be saved.
New Screen shots in this site from Pro Tee United
02.06.2005 / GGS Version 1.99 Release 15
New: Putt Ball in Hole is an alternative to Auto Putt that allows you to set a distance from the pin where the ball is guaranteed to go into the hole no matter how bad your putt was. (40 feet from the hole? Impress your friends and just tap it in).
Fixed: Occasional valid swings not being detected. (also the spooky "System occasionally plays on it's own when I leave the room" problem should be fixed with this update.)
30.05.2005 / GGS Version 1.99 Release 11
New: Swing Analysis window now shows Club-head images for left-handed players
24.05.2005 / New products
Base Ball Track / Vertical sensor package.
64 ball track sensors (24 cm sensor strip) plus 16 bit ball velocity timer in separate casing.
18 tee height sensors + 38 vertical club height and club head attack angle sensors in separate casing.
1 control unit in 3rd FiberBuilt panel.
Pro Ball Track sensors
128 ball track sensors (48 cm sensor strip) plus 16 bit ball velocity timer in separate casing.
1 control unit in 3rd FiberBuilt panel.
Pro Vertical sensors
16 tee height sensors + 42 vertical club height and club head attack angle sensors in separate casing.
1 control unit in FiberBuilt panel.
08.03.2005 / GGS Version 1.97 release 3
Terrain Height Map Scaling
Your gray-scale height maps can now be scaled to suit your requirements and/or match up with any maps you have already generated on other systems. Press Ctrl/H to go into this mode. The settings are individual for each hole and the driving range and are stored in the new courseInfo.ggs file.
New: 4 image Panoramas
Panoramas can be optionally made up of either 4 images or just one. All panorama images should be 2048 * 512 (instead or 1024 * 256 ) pixels in size (24 bit rgb bmp) to improve image quality.
If just using a single panorama image, it’s name must be pan%.bmp where % is the panorama number you freely assign.
ie pan1.bmp, pan2.bmp … etc. The image is automatically wrapped (repeated) to make up the 360 degree panorama.
When using 4 images the names must be pan%_front.bmp, pan%_back.bmp, pan%_left.bmp, pan%_right.bmp. Where % is the panorama number you freely assign.
ie pan6_front.bmp, pan6_back.bmp, pan6_left.bmp, pan6_right.bmp.
New keyboard shortcuts:
F = Fly with ball On/Off,
G = Show Scorecard on/off
B = Ball Trace On/Off
C = Show Photocells on/off
Tree/Object planting now allows you to position the flag, tee ball positions and initial target position.
These entries override the pixel dot entries in the surfaceOjects file for the course hole.
05.03.2005 / GGS version 1.97 Release 1
Interactive Panorama Selection
The new interactive Panorama Select Mode allows you to select and insert up to 128 different Panoramas individually for each hole on the course. The new panorama rendering method now processes hi-definition bit map files and creates 360 degree panoramas from a single image. The base image is automatically wrapped so that you don't have to create the back, front, left and right images manually anymore.
The panorama file naming convention has changed and are now just called pan1.bmp, pan2.bmp - pan128.bmp etc.
As only a single image is now required you can increase the image's size for better resolution. 2048 * 512 pixels seems to suffice though
Press ctrl/P to enter this mode..
New Interactive Distant Terrain texture selection.
You can now define and select up to 16 different textures for the terrain outside the main playing area. (Press ctrl/D to enter this mode)
This file and the routines that use it have been updated to save the new panorama and distant terrain texture information. I’ve also made it a lot easier to edit. (Now with titles).
The file is automatically generated when you load the hole if it
is not present but only with default values. You will have to edit this file to
set the tee yardages properly for each hole. It is in the courses\(course name)
Tree Planting bugs.
A couple of bugs in this routine had been causing problems (Trees not appearing, disappearing etc) . They have now been fixed.
Also, you enter tree planting mode now by pressing ctrl/T and not ctrl/Shift/F6
(T = trees).
02.03.2005 / GGS version 1.96 Release 11
Keyboard short-cuts to select club
Use keys: '1 to 9' for Irons, 'W' key to loop thru Woods, ( press key again for next)
'D' key to loop thru Drivers ( press key again for next) 'P' for Putter/Pitching wedge ( press key again for next)
'S' Sand wedge, 'A' Approach, 'L' Lob wedge.
01.03.2005 / GGS version 1.96 Release 9
Number of User Objects increased to 128
The number of User defined objects (trees, plants, rocks,
buildings etc) has now been increased to 128.
All User defined objects should now only be placed in the main object directory (images\trees\) and be named user1.bmp, user2.bmp ... etc.
When the system loads a specific hole, only the planted objects defined for that hole will be loaded. (If they have already been loaded on a previous hole then they will not be reloaded again).
User objects are bmp images of trees, buildings, or any other object that you define yourself and want to appear on the course. The image should be square and the size dividable by 8. Normally 256*256, 512*512 or 1024*1024 pixels.
All parts of the image that should not be visible should be pure black (rgb = 0).
24.02.2005 / GGS version 1.96 Release 8
Ball falling in cup hole, ball impact with club face, swing whoosh sound, splash in water, singing birds and insects, intro music, commentary etc, etc.
24.02.2005 / GGS version 1.96 Release 7
Interactive Tree Planting and Object Scaling.
Up until now planting trees and other objects on the course meant putting appropriate color pixels in the SurfaceObjects map – a very tedious fiddly task – and the only way to scale the objects was to adjust the image itself with a graphic tool. (Who's stupid idea was that anyway?).
As of this release, planting and scaling trees and objects is a
pure pleasure. (comparatively speaking)
Now you can walk the course hole directly in GGS and plant and remove trees as you go and see the results immediately.
Pressing ctrl/T puts you in tree/object planting and scaling mode and opens the object palette.
In this mode the left/right/up/down arrow keys move the planting pole which is used to position the point where the new tree should appear. (Press the Space bar to move the camera to the pole if getting too distant).
Select the tree/object from the palette with the page up/down keys. When the desired tree / object appears in the window, just press the Ins (Insert) key to plant and the tree will immediately appear.
To remove, press the Del (Delete) key. If you want to remove an existing tree, move the pole close to the tree until the Tree Detected pop up window opens. Pressing the Del key will then remove it.
The only danger is that you might get carried away and plant too many trees for the real time rendering to work satisfactorily. So don’t go planting thousands of trees for the forests. You can check with the Frames per Second display open to see if you are still getting good rendering times.
To scale the objects, hold the ctrl key down and adjust with the page up/down keys. When releasing the ctrl key the objects scale will be set accordingly.
The new scale factors are individual for the particular object but global for all the same type objects in all courses.
PS If you want shade under the trees you will still have to do this manually in the light map. Note the x, z co-ordinates to know where to put them or paste in the shades first and plant trees afterwards. Or paste the shades first in the light map and then interactively plant an appropriate tree.