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Thread: Reducing cell count?

  1. #51
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Dromed Detention Room
    Quote Originally Posted by skacky View Post
    Another thing to take into account as well is that a brush's face that is flush with another face (like a solid face on an air face) will not produce any cells. This is also the case if you have several brushes stacked on top of each other that have the exact same X and Y dimensions for example. This is why almost none of the roofs have a protrusion in The Sound of a Burrick in a Room.
    Quote Originally Posted by R Soul View Post
    If you have any circular buildings or arches made with 10+ sided cylinders, try replacing them with 8 sided, aligned by sides.

    In the OldDark days, when 10 was the limit, I didn't like 10 sided cylinders because they looked like angular things pretending to be curved, whereas an octagon looks nice if aligned by sides.
    Both of these have been helping to reduce cell count a lot. I still have to solid wedge my arches, more roofs to switch to identical X and Y stacks, still playing with the time stamps on brushes, replacing brush architecture with texture instead, using res_cubes instead of air brushes, etc. A lot of stuff.

    Still a lot of work to do, but so far cell limit exceeded has dropped to 22,220 cells.

    I'm quite surprised at how it is going....

    These have all been quite helpful suggestions. Thanks everyone.

  2. #52
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2017
    Surely now you have enough cells to finish the 97% mission

  3. #53
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2018
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    The cells could be used to retain brush furniture, and solid details in rooms. There's really no substitute for solid brush details and trim.

  4. #54
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Dromed Detention Room
    Quote Originally Posted by Psych0sis View Post
    Surely now you have enough cells to finish the 97% mission
    That's what I thought the last time, when Unna taught me the time manipulating trick. I just needed to flesh out the interior of one more building, and make a window entrance into one more apartment room elsewhere. I exceeded the limit again.

    The one I'm working on is previous to that. I started off again with version 1e, the last version before the cell limit crash. If I can get the cell limit sufficiently down, I would like to expand it and not make the same claustrophobic feeling of The Power of Suggestion.

    When I said that 97% thing when my computer stopped running Thief, it was at the point where it could be released, but it would be nice to expand it if I can. I only wish I had started this build in 2013 instead of before NewDark. It is still built the old way. This is why I am still considering not releasing it or releasing it as something else rather than the continuation of Two Fathers/The Time That Has Passed. I'd like to build something with NewDark in mind from the get-go.....

  5. #55
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Dromed Detention Room
    While stacking solids with same X and Y dimensions doesn't increase cell count, I had some wasted time last night experimenting with air brushes.

    In OldDark, frequently I would make the floor brush of a street a couple feet high, slightly wider than the air brush next up in height from the ground. This made it look like the foundations were slightly recessed, and the stone work of the outer walls had a slight protruded overhang.

    Well, last night I experimented in reducing those "floor" brushes of the streets so that they lined up with the walls, leaving no protrusions. I did it only on one street, and the intersecting street. It made the cell count go up several hundred. I didn't expect that.

    On the other hand, one thing I tried implementing last night was based on skacky's earlier comment in this thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by skacky View Post
    Another thing to take into account as well is that a brush's face that is flush with another face (like a solid face on an air face) will not produce any cells.
    I had some window frame solids against an air face, I moved them back so they still showed, but were flush with the air face. This reduced cell count successfully.

  6. #56
    Member
    Registered: May 2017
    Location: USA
    Probably a stupid question, but why is there still such a restrictive cell count? With NewDark, almost all of the constraints got bumped up dramatically, but not cell count. Compared to all the other stuff, is changing the limit a very difficult thing to do (e.g., the engine simply can't support it)? Or is it that the powers that be felt that the cell limit shouldn't be raised much, for other reasons?

  7. #57
    Dóttirin klęšist oft móšur möttli
    Registered: Apr 2015
    It's an old engine and has 16 bit limitations.
    Do they talk about DromEd limitations in his thread?
    https://stackoverflow.com/questions/...-max-is-65-535

  8. #58
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2004
    Location: Ireland/Poland
    Quote Originally Posted by trefoilknot View Post
    Probably a stupid question, but why is there still such a restrictive cell count? With NewDark, almost all of the constraints got bumped up dramatically, but not cell count. Compared to all the other stuff, is changing the limit a very difficult thing to do (e.g., the engine simply can't support it)? Or is it that the powers that be felt that the cell limit shouldn't be raised much, for other reasons?
    As Unna mentioned above - technically, this must be due to the choice of using int16 type to represent a cell id number. But I'd like to know why it's a signed integer as opposed to unsigned, which would give us twice as many cells, without using more memory. Having said that, I believe, that this limit is not set in stone and with some work, it should be possible to use int32 (or even uint32) to represent virtually infinite number of cells.
    The question is how much work would be involved and if Le Corbeau would bother to ever look at it or not. This would potentially change the file format slightly, but almost each version is backwards incompatible anyway, so I don't see a problem there.

    Honestly I believe this is more of an imposed limitation, to keep certain 'discipline' of building. The engine is not very well suited for testing visibility with large number of cells being drawn on screen, so being concerned about overall cell limit makes people more aware of these limitations and focused on optimized building style from start, rather than going crazy with brushwork details and getting stuck after building a few ornate interiors.

  9. #59
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Dromed Detention Room
    Ha! That didn't work for me!

  10. #60
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Dromed Detention Room
    Way back in the early 2000's, when I was having pathfinding problems with a mission, zacharias taught me the method of using area brushes where the AI could go, choosing Show Hot, and then computing pathfinding.

    I was having to use this method in this mission as well.

    Since I've been making adaptations to the architecture to reduce cell count, the pathfinding works without the Show Hot trick.

    Just another benefit of building with cell complexity in mind, I suppose.

  11. #61
    Dóttirin klęšist oft móšur möttli
    Registered: Apr 2015
    Max AI path cells is 131070 (from 65534 in OldDark). I doubt anyone will ever hit this limit. A huge 2000x2000 DU mission might have it. Some other limits will be hit earlier.

  12. #62
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Dromed Detention Room
    Do you have any suspicions about why the pathfinding works without the Show Hot trick after making these changes? That was just the first thing that I thought might be the reason. It would be nice to know what fixed it, just for future builds......

  13. #63
    Dóttirin klęšist oft móšur möttli
    Registered: Apr 2015
    Big missions have big issues. Compiling pathfinding can stop because of many reasons-

    A room brush inside a room brush inside a room brush inside a room brush will cause a lot of trouble.

    Or many Apparent cell cycle in portal_traverse_scene errors (light issues).
    Always watch the monolog for warnings and errors and try to fix it.
    How many pathfinding cells do you have? It will be displayed in monolog after pathfinding.

  14. #64
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Dromed Detention Room
    In the changes I've recently made, I did delete 2 torches and move two, and I also had to lower many ceiling lights since eliminating the crown moulding airbrushes on the ceilings. Perhaps that may have fixed a light issue? Hard to say at this point, since I only checked pathfinding out of curiousity just last night.

  15. #65
    Dóttirin klęšist oft móšur möttli
    Registered: Apr 2015
    Light in tiny narrow spaces is always prone to errors, that's another reason why light radius is very important. You want to control the light.
    It doesn't hurt to run pathfinding now and then and watch the monolog.

  16. #66
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Dromed Detention Room
    Quote Originally Posted by marbleman View Post
    But the real cell saver is the time value. I recently reclaimed about 1000 cells but "to end"-ing just eight narrow but tall brushes. The general rule here, as far as I can tell, is that you want your biggest brushes to have the lowest values and the smallest one to have the highest values.
    Just for the heck of it, I experimented by doing the opposite. I saved first, but experimented just to see what would happen. I saved a lot of cells earlier by making big airbrushes earliest in the time sequence. In this experiment, I took one large tall fill solid brush and moved it to 1 in sequence. On optimizing, the cell count had increased by 2,638 cells!

  17. #67
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Dromed Detention Room
    One thing though, taking this OldDark mission and trying to "retro-fit" it for NewDark shows me a lot of weaknesses of the OldDark.

    For one example, moving forward with the camera in 3d window, I travel through one "section" of air to the distant background...just a facade. I proceed through into solid, then when air shows up again, I immediately stop and turn the camera to look around. I see a building that, had I started in NewDark, the polycount increase would easily have been able to handle showing the actual building in the distant background.

    Not only would it look more realistic and less claustrophobic, but it would have given a better sense of orientation in-game for the player.

    I sort of lament that I'm doing a patch job here.

    At any rate I've worked sufficient changes to get cell count down to 20,038 so far. At least I have a decent chunk of building potential now.

    Yandros, thank you so much for your simple but versatile res_cube. What a useful thing it has been.

  18. #68
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Dromed Detention Room
    Taking out air cylinders where I run into them in arches and replacing them with solid wedges, bringing down cell count.

    Am I kind of stuck with air brushes where I've made intersecting arches though? Filling solid would be wonky solid where they intersected at the "t" spot.

    I don't want to waste a lot of time in the sewers for nothing, maybe someone has already experimented with this in the past. If I put cube fill air "nodes" where the arches intersect so that fill solid wedges still work, will I end up with a net change in cell count? If it wouldn't save cells, I wouldn't even bother.

    BTW I've got the cell count down from crash to 19,330 so far.

  19. #69
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2018
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    It depends on what kind of arches you mean, but check out Sound of A Burrick In A Room -- skacky made all kinds of intersecting arches using corner-apex pyramids and/or wedge brushes

    e.g.


    It doesn't come across well in images, so I recommend checking them out yourself in DromEd.

  20. #70
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Dromed Detention Room
    Quote Originally Posted by DirkBogan View Post
    It depends on what kind of arches you mean, but check out Sound of A Burrick In A Room -- skacky made all kinds of intersecting arches using corner-apex pyramids and/or wedge brushes

    It doesn't come across well in images, so I recommend checking them out yourself in DromEd.
    Don't have TDP installed, but I get it from the image. Thanks DB....

  21. #71
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2018
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by uncadonego View Post
    Don't have TDP installed
    That's a real pity! Many of the TDP20AC missions are absolute masterclasses in efficient design. There are so many examples of intelligent brushwork that are hard to grasp with pictures.

  22. #72
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2017
    All the Anniversary contest missions were actually made for thief gold, but even then I'm certain you can look at TDP missions using the Gold Dromed.

    I assume you meant Gold though so :P

  23. #73
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2006
    Location: On the tip of your tongue.
    Quote Originally Posted by DirkBogan View Post
    That's a real pity! Many of the TDP20AC missions are absolute masterclasses in efficient design. There are so many examples of intelligent brushwork that are hard to grasp with pictures.
    Just don't look too closely at my pagoda. It ate so many cells I had to split the mission in two.

  24. #74
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Quote Originally Posted by nicked View Post
    Just don't look too closely at my pagoda. It ate so many cells I had to split the mission in two.
    Worth it.

  25. #75
    Member
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: Texas
    Quote Originally Posted by DirkBogan View Post
    It depends on what kind of arches you mean, but check out Sound of A Burrick In A Room -- skacky made all kinds of intersecting arches using corner-apex pyramids and/or wedge brushes

    e.g.


    It doesn't come across well in images, so I recommend checking them out yourself in DromEd.
    I never was able to get corner apex pyramids to sit flush with the wall, so I just used identical cylinders to ensure that the corresponding faces lined up with each other.

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