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Thread: What are you working on RIGHT NOW? - Community WIP thread

  1. #1376
    Clearinghouse
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Siberia, Russia
    Quote Originally Posted by pwyll View Post
    I'm so glad that there will be new TDS missions soon.
    +1.

    edit: can't wait Abandoned Kingdom by ERH+.

  2. #1377
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Deutschland
    Very nice, this looks somehow unique. But ERH+ should take care about the geometry and design not being too cube-based. A square block in DromEd is a room, but in TDS it's obvious that it's just a square block. That's why the TDS designers put in a lot of vault and rafter meshes to "break" the image of a flat cube-like ceiling or wall. This makes the architecture far more organic, which is what he needs IMHO for this kind of mission.

  3. #1378
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2005
    Location: Billings, MT

    For Mission Authors - Make your mission "Loader Friendly"

    I've written and am currently updating a Mission Loader that supports Thief 3. I have a suggestion to make your mission "Loader Friendly". Rather than re-post here, see the post here.

  4. #1379
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Central Europe
    Trying to make some new set-pieces, getting a new look. Not sure where this is getting but it's fun


  5. #1380
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Deutschland
    This looks like it's getting Baker Streety. In my FM I've tried to create the same fake "beams" with the help of a very small photo-based texture (just a section of a single row). But of course it only works with horizontal rows on walls.

    I'd love to see a mission using these Victorian styles at a greater extent.

  6. #1381
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Central Europe
    Thanks Beleg. I'm afraid it's hard to get such effect without modeling medium or high poly base and then baking it onto low-res model. Even for those small details like flat-surface window grills I made the full 3d model. The whole process is time-consuming but results are, well, as you see

    Last edited by Judith; 17th Sep 2011 at 18:33.

  7. #1382
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Deutschland
    You better make yourself whole facade static meshes or else you'll run into the property limit after a couple of streets. There are in fact more things I can think of of which I'd like to have pre-arranged versions to save properties. Seeing your windows, when will we finally see those great half-transparent and maybe even coloured glass windows in a mission? I mean it's such a pretty thing to show off...

    By the way, little status report, apparently snobel fixed a bug with the hacked T3/T3Ed executables for me which prevented new static meshes or scripts from "leaving" T3Ed and "entering" the actual game. When it works out, I'll probably be able to clean out my multiple T3Ed installs and focus on two working ones (one modified for me and one for vanilla TDS and the T3Gold project).

  8. #1383
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Central Europe
    I plan to use static meshes only, with BSP only to make room for it. Of course it means tons and tons of work.. Meshes are relatively low-poly, 100 max for the facade piece so far. What worries me is, as usual, the texture size and the final filesize. I even thought about refraining from using normals on bigger surfaces, to save the space and get more classic feel.

    Also, I got an idea about making a mission without using dynamic lights at all , getting more T2 vibe. But that requires even more work and a few more experiments. Initially I can only say that it is possible to use lightmapping technique in T3, but as of now the look of it leaves a lot to be desired

  9. #1384
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Deutschland
    Pre-rendered shadows? Moar screenshots!
    Quote Originally Posted by Judith View Post
    I plan to use static meshes only, with BSP only to make room for it. Of course it means tons and tons of work..
    That's exactly what worries me: Unless you can have whole building sections as single SMs, it will probably take more objects (and thus properties) than building with brushes, at least that was my experience, especially when trying to make something organic and twisted. By now we shouldn't even have the technical problems of worse performance with brushes, so I've come to the (very personal) conclusion that the brush/static mesh mixture of the original missions isn't too bad at all. And after all these missions look very organic.

    Oh, and I know that I'm spoiled for life with this property storage count limit.

  10. #1385
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Central Europe
    Screenshots are in order as soon as I develop more systematic approach and find the values suitable for most of the situations you'd want to use that method

    It's true that building with brushes and SMs could be utilized as in OMs, given the current average PC capabilities, but there are a few advantages of using SMs that I find quite favorable here. First of all, when using all the fancy effects like cube mapping (either to fake reflections or specularity), it seems like BSP has problems with points of reference in 3d space. I mean, reflections working on SM suddenly get wonky and unpredictable on BSP. Also I think that the engine somehow applies much heavier mipmapping on BSP surfaces that on SMs, even when you control the mipmap quality within your dds textures for your custom materials. Whenever Garrett moves like 128 uu away from a BSP wall, it looks like the textures get scaled down a half.

    I'm not saying SMs are a perfect cure for everything, actually I'd like to know what's their average property count vs BSP, that might be a valuable for future calculations.

  11. #1386
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Central Europe
    I think I almost nailed it down, just a few tweaks here and there...


  12. #1387
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Deutschland
    Now I'm impressed. Does it use the same atten.dds that T3Ed/TDS uses for creating shadows? I found an altered atten.dds in one of the TDS tweak guides which was supposed to make the shadows more natural but I didn't notice a significantly better effect.

    And it will probably work only with non-moveable lights, right? What about switching it on and off? And the lightgem?

  13. #1388
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Central Europe
    Quote Originally Posted by Beleg Cúthalion View Post
    Now I'm impressed. Does it use the same atten.dds that T3Ed/TDS uses for creating shadows? I found an altered atten.dds in one of the TDS tweak guides which was supposed to make the shadows more natural but I didn't notice a significantly better effect.

    And it will probably work only with non-moveable lights, right? What about switching it on and off? And the lightgem?
    It's not a shadow generated by the omni or spotlight, and that's the point, these are most CPU-heavy and it would be great to replace them. This is a lightmap, generated on a similar basis, as in typical unreal engines these days. I had problems with finding the best material to do it but basically a "decal mesh" will do. Or a SM 1 UU smaller than your room, if you need shadows all over the place.

    All you need is just a simple "use alpha" material, with one dds diffuse texture: shadow is a solid color and the shadow shape is stored in the alpha channel. Basicaly a gradient, so no need for huge textures and DXT5 compression works great here. This room is 512x256x192 and the all shadows fit nicely on a 512x512 texture. I think it would still look good on a texture twice as small.

    Of course this is just a visual feature now, but I already made a nice, volume-based system for my snow map, where you could hide in the bushes and be "invisible". Basically it uses LightWeight parameter and two scripts. You'd just have to align a volume with shadows and the lightgem would respond as it should.

    If you want such shadows for torches and other switchable lights, you may tweak the parameters so the shadow is almost unnoticeable in the dark, although I never got to eliminate it completely. But, you could make it go away using scripts, as usual.

    I'm just wondering whether it's worth the hassle in terms of performance. These shadow-casting lights eat up a lot of CPU power, but multiple transparent shadow meshes might have some impact as well, and will add a bit to the file size (not much though, if you keep reasonable texture size).

    Anyway, those shadows look much better than dynamic ones and might be an option. The problem is, as always, additional workflow. You have to bake these in external 3d app, basically recreating particular scene from your level. It's not that much of a hassle if your map is 90% custom content though

    By the way, this method is pretty much all-purpose, since you have to use 3dsmax, Maya, Modo or something similar, so The Dark Mod folks could use it as well, since they have similar problems with performance and lightning.

  14. #1389
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Central Europe
    All this starts to look quite decent, I need to fix some tiling / mipmapping issues here and there.


  15. #1390
    IronEagle
    Guest

    hi, surrealistic cathedral.

    Hi.
    hello
    I am continuing to work on an old work left incomplete

    but I need some help with this. I need someone good to resolve some errors like crazy brushs and scripts. and a brave moviemaker...like scorzese to make a briefing.
    I have no patience to think about these things i want dedicate more time to map and the architecture and history, if anyone wants to help me complete the mission is welcome

    I'm a musician and a painter, I love surrealism


    http://darkfate.org/view/simple/file...le/screenshots


    IronEagle

  16. #1391
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Central Europe
    Wow, looks promising but I guess it would be better to use this as a test layout and rebuild the map with static meshes.

    There's a scene manager so you could make an intro using camera paths, but typical matinée controls don't work (no fade ins or outs, no effects, etc.), so your best option will to record the in-game sequence and then edit it in Movie Maker, Sony Vegas etc.

  17. #1392
    IronEagle
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Judith View Post
    Wow, looks promising but I guess it would be better to use this as a test layout and rebuild the map with static meshes.

    There's a scene manager so you could make an intro using camera paths, but typical matinée controls don't work (no fade ins or outs, no effects, etc.), so your best option will to record the in-game sequence and then edit it in Movie Maker, Sony Vegas etc.
    the briefing is not a problem...
    but the scripts..i have no patience

    do you wanna help me judith?

  18. #1393

  19. #1394
    IronEagle
    Guest
    the map is ok
    continue...


    thanks
    Last edited by IronEagle; 12th Oct 2011 at 14:33.

  20. #1395
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2004
    Location: Dunno. What week is it?
    I'll try it. I've been off-line too much since the Cabal. Time to get back into action!

  21. #1396
    IronEagle
    Guest
    I want make my congratulations to nomad, judith, tiens for FM the cabal.



    harmonic map.
    nice textures ,

    good job friends...
    Last edited by IronEagle; 13th Oct 2011 at 11:37.

  22. #1397

  23. #1398
    Clearinghouse
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Siberia, Russia

  24. #1399
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Deutschland
    This looks like an impressive mess of brushes and static meshes, no wonder T3Ed gets quirky. Good luck, though, Ironeagle and Nomad, I think artistic approaches like this would be a useful or even necessary addition for FM making in general
    Last edited by Beleg Cúthalion; 30th Dec 2011 at 14:18.

  25. #1400
    Sneaky Upgrader
    Registered: May 2007
    I'm working on a new ibt/cbt optimizer. Not "RIGHT NOW" though, this was a while back. I assumed there wouldn't be much interest, but the subject of mission archive file size came up recently.

    With this optimizer, if a resource can't be stripped because no matching stock resource can be found (i.e. it's a custom resource), then it's added to the pool of resources available as replacements. So if later in the optimizing process a similar custom resource is found, then that resource can be stripped.

    For a single ibt file there's only a small benefit from this, but for missions with two or more ibts sharing custom resources, there can be a significant saving. I tried it on a couple of the Cabal missions, and the reduction in zip file size was 100-120 MB.

    The resulting cbt files are compatible with existing loaders, although a new rebuilding dll may be needed.

    If there's any interest I'll post about it more in a week or so.

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