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Thread: Reducing cell count?

  1. #76
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2018
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    @john9818a, if you are having trouble aligning pyramids and cylinders, try selecting either 'Align By Vertices' or 'Align By Sides' in the Shapes dropdown menu when making a new brush. This will change how that one brush snaps to the grid (importantly, it doesn't affect any of your previous brushes). I only discovered this after a few months of building, and wish I had known about it sooner.

    As for using cylinders, it is the simple solution, but it is very costly in terms of cells (unless you meant solid cylinders?). Don wanted to know if he could make intersecting arches without using cylinders . The approach used in that screenshot is only for authors trying to push the limits.

  2. #77
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Dromed Detention Room
    Not all of my sewer lines intersect at 90 degrees though. More x's than t's sometimes.

  3. #78
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Dromed Detention Room
    That was actually meant in the form of a question. Do funky angles on the x and y, and sometimes the z, with respect to intersecting sewers, lend themselves to "align by vertices", or will it *$!? it up?

  4. #79
    Member
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: Texas
    DirkBogan no I haven't had any trouble aligning pyramids with cylinders, but then again mine are stacked on top of each other... In one case a building and another as a pyramid. I haven't tried to use the apex pyramid since before new dark came out, and I tried it in the same manner as your example. Back then I couldn't get the apex pyramid to sit flush so it was obvious that the oddball brush was sticking out.

    My current sewers use cylinders and I haven't had any issues with them so far.
    Last edited by john9818a; 13th Sep 2019 at 04:48. Reason: Fixed typo

  5. #80
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Dragonsreach
    And you won't unless your mission is very large and approaching the cell limit. But that is what this thread is focused on.

  6. #81
    Member
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: Texas
    Mine is getting to be pretty big. I started with the map from my first mission and I've been revamping it like crazy.

  7. #82
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Dromed Detention Room
    Quote Originally Posted by Yandros View Post
    And you won't unless your mission is very large and approaching the cell limit. But that is what this thread is focused on.
    Mine isn't very large, it was just too bumpy. Unnecessary details made of brushes etc.

  8. #83
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Dromed Detention Room
    I saved a lot of cells by simply changing flower beds. Boxes or garden curbs with a fill air in the center, bottom texture flowers. Just change the fill air to fill solid, make sure the line up flush and it save a lot of cells.

    I have an unrelated question.

    I did a search but came up not finding the thread I was thinking about. It was a thread, not about cell count but on frame lag I think. Yandros, I think, mentioned to use size 16 or greater for textures whenever possible, and set skyhack to 24 to save resources.

    My question is this, which the mods can move from this thread if they want, to the right one:

    Does it suck up any resources rendering the backs of architecture the player is looking at?

    Say Garrett is looking at a building, is the opposite side being rendered or calculated at that time?

    Would it help or do nothing useful if I took every place Garrett will never see the back of, or the top of cliffs he can't climb, or areas I know for a fact even Tom Brady couldn't throw a deflated scouting orb, and set it to 24?

  9. #84
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2006
    Location: On the tip of your tongue.
    Use the command render_backward to show what is being rendered behind stuff.

    I don't think texture scale has any impact at all on cell count.

    Texture scale is only really useful, from a performance point of view, if you're getting slowdown somewhere. It won't make a difference to your frame rate if you change texture sizes in non-rendered areas.

  10. #85
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2004
    Location: Ireland/Poland
    I believe render_backward renders in the backward order, not the back facing polygons.

    The back facing polygons are culled - that's the main optimization procedure in portal-based engines.

    The only advantage of assigning large scale textures to faces you will never see would be reduced light map size on those faces, as light maps size is always proportional to texture size. That means smaller file size and faster light map calculations. Potentially it may reduce polycount of the generated world mesh, as fewer splits need to happen. (large polygons get split, due to limited light map size, so the larger area a single light map cover, the fewer splits of polygon faces are required).

    Unless you have a lot of these unreachable faces, I believe the savings would be minimal, if noticeable at all.

  11. #86
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2011
    Location: Montpellier, France
    GORT experienced an increase in cells while working on his TDP20AC mission when he made all lightmaps across his mission much smaller than default. Texture scale (and lightmap scale) might have a small impact on cells but it should be fairly negligible I think. I'm not 100% sure on this and haven't done much testing.

  12. #87
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Dromed Detention Room
    So far, I've tweaked it down to 18,326 cells. Still working on it. I'm starting in on the intersecting arch areas. I've started with the easiest one. Took out the fill air cylinders and filled in just cubes. Made tiny wedges around the arch doorways more as "placeholders" for now.

    I am just substituting two wedges on each side of the doorways to imitate a ten sided cylinder arch. I'm assuming you use a 3 sided corner apex pyramid upside down at the intersection points.

    Once I get the hang of it in this simpler area, I'll work on the sewers.

    Ok so my question is whether or not there is math to make this easy, or if you wing it by sight.

  13. #88
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Dromed Detention Room
    Working day after day on reducing cell count. I have so far worked it down to 16,420 cells.

    But what about the sewers, the question in my previous post. Anybody have any advice? I've been saving that for last because it seems like a royal pain.

  14. #89
    Member
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: Texas
    It would be nice if there was an archway object with replaceable textures.

  15. #90
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Dromed Detention Room
    especially at the intersection of two arches. That's the kicker.

  16. #91
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Dromed Detention Room
    Hey, is there a read me file or thread that lists all the new maximums? Brushes, polys in view, objects, etc.?

  17. #92
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2018
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Check out the modders-notes.txt file in the doc folder. Key limits are as follows:

    Max concrete object IDs: 8192 (from 4096)
    Max visible objects: 1280 (from 128)
    Max texture dimension: 4096 (from 1024)
    Max texture animation frames: 99 (from 20)
    Max drawn terrain polys: 20480 (from 1024)
    Max ambient sound objects: 1024 (from 256)
    Max cells for bounding sphere spatial queries: 1024 (from 512)
    Max cells a dynamic light can reach: 1024 (from 512)
    Max portal clip regions: 20480 (from 2048)
    Max characters per cfg-file line: 8192 (from 80)
    Max display resolution: x4800 (actual limit depends on HW) DX9 / 2048x2048 DX6 (from 1024x768)

    Max brushes: 16384 (from 7068)
    Max regions (/ worldrep (WR) cells): 32760 (from 28672)
    Max active regions: 20480 (from 768)
    Max rooms: 4096 (from 1024)
    Max AI path cells: 131070 (from 65534)
    Max texture families: 32 (from 16)
    Max family textures: 1024-ish (from 256-ish)
    Max application data handles: 4096 (from 2048)
    Max model handles: 2048 (from 1024)
    Max static lights: 2016 (from 736)
    Max cells a static/anim light can reach: 32760 (from 512)
    Max anim light to cell pairings: 49152 (from 16384)
    Max brush faces/sides: 28 (from 12)
    Max decals per page on Thief maps: 256 (from 64)
    Max pages per mission on Thief maps: 32 (from 8) [where visited area functionality works correctly]
    Max world size: configurable up to +/-2000 (from +/-1000) [only increase if absolutely necessary]
    MAX_TJOINT_EDGES: 131072 (from 65536) [internal processing buffer]
    MAX_TJOINT_DIRS: 32768 (from 16384) [internal processing buffer]
    MAX_GLOBAL_RENDER: 32000 (from 8000) [internal processing buffer]
    MAX_GLOBAL_PLANES: 65536 (from 16384) [internal processing buffer]
    MAX_GLOBAL_POINTS: 256k (from 128k) [internal processing buffer]

    New image formats: PNG, DDS, PCX 32-bit, BMP 24/32-bit, BMP RLE, TGA RLE

    Full 32-bit rendering pipeline support, from 32-bit textures to 32-bit render surfaces.

  18. #93
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Dromed Detention Room

  19. #94
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2018
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Just remember, some of these limits are theoretical, not necessarily practical for gameplay -- good luck wringing a decent framerate out of an FM that frequently has >128 objects onscreen. Even if it doesn't crash, you might wish it did.

  20. #95
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Dromed Detention Room
    I have actually added a bit of architecture here and there while I'm working on reducing cell count. Timing, placing objects instead of brushes, making the mission less "bumpy" (eg. flush mouldings and trim with solid walls, etc.) I haven't even got to the sewer cylinders yet, and so far I have it down from not opening because of exceeding cell count to 15,713. Sometimes some good cell save leaps, but usually somewhere from 2 to 11 cells at a time.

    Some mistakes too. Two nights ago (thank goodness I save a lot), one wrong timing change rose cell count by 2327 cells! There is definitely some hit and miss involved....

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