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Thread: Please ask your basic (newbie) questions in here.

  1. #1301
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2007
    Location: The grotto, Virginia
    simple question - is there anyway possible to make a brush an actor?

    let me gues . . . no?


    nevermind, I figure out something that works for what I want to do; it's a little hack&slash, but gets the job done

    Now then, is there anyway to make the attached doorhandle mesh on a door block the player like a fully solid object?
    Last edited by imperialreign; 21st Aug 2007 at 19:13.

  2. #1302
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Deutschland
    Well, finally I have my first real newbie question...or...rather a couple of, I already did a search but I found nothing helpful.

    1. I'm doing Komag's tut, at the moment I am making the City section more "beautiful". A lot of things are a little unclean, next time I'm trying to stick to those 64-128-512 (and so on) values so that everything fits together quite well. But now I have a skybox (i.e. some background walls have that feature) which seems to shine trough a lot of surfaces which are not only flanking the sky walls but should in fact be in front of them. But it's not always the case, sometimes it works in some areas.
    Additionally, I played a little with adding BSPs, instead of subtracting them as usual, and noticed that my columns, which are supposed to support the static mesh arches I did, are somehow accessable so that you can walk through one side and fall down into the sky. They are overlapping the ground a little, but in fact no one should be able to get inside of them, or look inside, which comes along with the problem.

    Here we have one cylinder in a colonnade which should have the amount of usual not-carved-out block behind it before another subtract brush comes:


    And here's a timbered house which has a gap on its left side plus a thin line of light in front of it where no brush overlap should be:


    From some angles even the whole front vanishes, in return this time the columns (you can see them in the 4th picture beneath the arcades) worked. Any idea? I just don't know what to do with the usual "move the brushes around a little bit", that seems unsatisfying.

    2. Is there really no way to resize a brush without vertex editing or using the builder brush again? I'm slowly fed up with all those sloping brushes that sometimes even occur although the vertex snap is on. By the way, whose fault is it when some brushes, meshes etc. even stick out of the 1-UU grid?

    3. It took me a while to recognize that meshes don't "snap to grid" with their borders but with their central point, which makes the alignment a little more complicated (especially with the beams for a timbered house, although it's not the hardest work after all). Do you have any tips for that? I wanted to create my houses from plan (the one above is my first try), but it's getting difficult if you don't know where to put the center of a static mesh to.

    4. Is there a quicker method than cut-and-paste to change the "priority" of added/subtracted brushes? After changing the subtracted brush in front of the house I had to re-create the stairs.

    Please forgive me if I ignored some menus (and of course threads in this forum); I tried some of them but they either did not work or did something wrong.

    When I'm through with the tut I'll ask you about the actability of my plans for a huge City map. By the way, is there no way to open FM maps? My T3Ed always crashes when I try to load a *.gmp (which is however suggested by Komag) and there are no *.unr files in the FM zips.
    Last edited by Beleg Cúthalion; 5th Sep 2007 at 08:41.

  3. #1303
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2005
    Location: Scotland
    The holes in the world are probably because you've either accidentally got BF textured faces in places, or it's the lack of snapped to grid vertices/brushes that is going to cause it with BSP errors. It could mean a lot of work to sort out.

    BSP you can walk through, well, um... Wrong texture or alignment again, I'd guess, unless you didn't full compile the map, and/or the brush order is wrong. Not really sure on that though, it's never something I've had where I didn't want it.

    Reordering brushes: rightclick>order> Whatever you want to do with it.

    Snap to grid (brushes) rightclick on a vertex when the brush is selected, and *that vertex* will snap to the grid, taking the rest of the brush with it (so a cube stays a cube, just with that one corner on the grid because you told it to be, the rest as on/not as their positions relavative to that corner and the grid size dictate)

    Resizing a brush: use vertex editing and marquee-select (ctrl+alt+left-mouse0button to drag a box around the ones you want, I think: the keys are something like that anyway). It's quick and easy, and you can snap those vertices to grid like above (the selected group to grid relative to whichever you rightclicked).

    Meshes don't snap on their centre point, but on their origin. It's not quite the same thing. That useless bit of information aside, you can select *anything* and rightclick somewhere away from it and select Pivot>Apply Pivot here (or whatever it's called) to give you a temporary point for moving things by. Oh, and don't forget, things don't usually snap to higher grid sizes; they keep their original "relative" point in comparison to the grid size, which can be hugely useful when cloning things (ctrl+w) about the place.

    No, you can't open .gmp files in the editor, as far as I know, so you in general can't disassemble the FMs people have made, though you could try PMing people and asking for the .unr files.

    And as for Huge city areas... I'm working on one: you'll see if/how it works if/when I get it done. In general though, it's going to be messy and very time consuming, but is certainly sort of possible, though you may be better of with the DarkMod for that kind of behaviour. From my experience so far though, you are going to need to have and know how to use 3DSMax5 for new staticmeshes to keep the object counts down: a zillion windows is technically cheaper as staticmeshes, but it's still a zillion windows, so that's going to hurt, as a (poor) example.

  4. #1304
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2005
    Location: Scotland
    Oh, didn't see the older posts:

    Codec - you can change alignments with scripts as far as I remember, but it may be a little beyond the newbie questions thread. Broad strokes of it would be have him start neutral (AIFactionModel property to something friendly/neutral), and have a volume on the outside of the cell with a script "When volume breached, make guy overthere (by link) adopt this (faction model) property".

    Imperialreign - I'm not sure why you'd want a door handle to block movement, but you can change the properties in the staticmesh browser for the collision model, and on the actor properties Movement>Physics>PHYS_Havok if it needs that too (note, this works in reverse too: Movement>Physics>PHYS_None if you want to pass through things, which can be useful with rescaled smeshes)

  5. #1305
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Bucharest,Romania
    First question: It really looks like a bsp error. They usually occur due to bad aligment of brushes. Do not overlap anything, everything should be smooth.Errors can occur due to vertex editing in low grid sizes. You generally don't notice that the wall is straight anymore. Sometimes you can get away with a little thing here and there, but they'll usually cause errors when the level grows.
    edit. didn't notice Ziemanskye's posts.

  6. #1306
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Deutschland
    Thank you very much. I always told myself that I would be more exact with my own mission, let's hope I can keep that. Anyway, thanks for all the little hints.

    But that 3DSMax thing worries me. Well, it's still some time. We'll see.

    PS: But I'd judge from your posts that it is not a problem in general to use added brushes. Komag "told" me that it would be best to subtract piece by piece but I think that could turn out difficult when trying to carve out all the roofs...although they're usually static meshes. .....I'll come back for sure.
    Last edited by Beleg Cúthalion; 5th Sep 2007 at 17:28.

  7. #1307
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2005
    Location: Scotland
    There's no real problem with adding brushes, as long as everything is on the grid properly and all neat. If you find it causing holes in the world though, you can rightclick, find the thing and change it to semi-solid geometry.

    TDS doesn't fully support it, so it can still rip holes in the level, but it does it a lot less, basically by forcing the "semi-solid" additive brushes to the bottom of the BSP queue so they don't break anything else up. You can't subtract back out of a semi-solid brush though: if you find you need to do that, make it normal solid additive again, subtract what you need, then put the builder brush around it and hit "intersect" to shrink-wrap a single brush version of the now subracted shape - delete the "source" brushes, add builder brush, change to semi-solid: tada - new more complex but stilll semi-solid shape.

    As for subtracting roofs, I'm not doing it that way, but I think there's some talented guys over in TMAed-land who do do them that way, so they might be able to help you think about how to do it. (I couldn't get my head around it, I can handle subtractive space for inside things, outdoors though kind of bakes my brain)

  8. #1308
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Deutschland
    OK; thank you again. One more thing: I've noticed that some of my static meshes change their skin back to default after copying or even build all. I hope this time it's not due to unclean brush alignment.
    Last edited by Beleg Cúthalion; 6th Sep 2007 at 15:21.

  9. #1309
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2005
    Location: Scotland
    Nope, that shouldn't be anything to do with the brushes: you just need to make sure it's a real "skin" for the smesh and to compile/save the level before you copy them around the place.

    I've forgotten that a few times and ended up with having to twiddle the smeshes back how I want on a couple of occasions; just another inconvenient TDS thing, I guess.

  10. #1310
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Deutschland
    I just had a look at my little City (quarter) sketch and concluded that it would be app. 16,000 x 9,600 UU; divided in parts and places/plazas not greater than 400ft x 200ft (I'm assuming that one metre is four feet, so that I can keep the (over) size given by the door size and so on). The zones in between would be shiftet so that one cannot look from one big section into another....God willing. I also have planned a Hammerite church and being reminded of old City drawings I'd like the towers to be seen from far away...if that's possible (horizontal zones or something...but I doubt it). I'd give you the sketch but at the moment I'm at some kind of Downwinder villa and I'm glad they have a W-LAN at all.

    It might be hard to judge, but – imagine every zone is filled with houses at it's borders and cobblestones in the middle – I fear it's almost too great for the Unreal engine even if there were not many lights due to daytime...besides other things like accessing (almost all) houses, climbables etc... What do you think of it (apart from "Go back to your brush alignment." )?

    spoiler:
    PS: Hehe, I already had an image of it on the notebook. Attention, SPOILERS:


    It's a rough sketch. The coloured things are the planned zones, the writings just indicate the meanings of all the places (basically untill now it's all about big plazas). It was just the idea after knowing that I would need those zones to calm the UE down.

  11. #1311
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2005
    Location: Scotland
    Well, daylight if done with actual lights if going to kill the level. Outright.

    Daylight done with a high-ish minimum light, well, it doesn't give normal maps anything to react with so things look a little flat and it makes gameplay a bit more difficult because you can't hide in the shadows, anywhere.

    Daylight with fog wont help (performance, not sure about gameplay): fog doesn't block engine visibility at all so even if the player can't see it because of the fog the engine is rendering it.

    Other than that: based on that map, which probably isn't to scale anyway, your big areas are too big to be able to see any visible lights in, and that's likely to screw up most of the insides of things. Also, if every building is accesible, you're going to A) kill performance with how many objects you have, and B) kill it with how many portals you have.

    I'm not saying a big town area map isn't possible (since I have a vested interest in proving otherwise), but you *will* need to scale the ambition back a bit and learn what the engine can/can't do.

    On the daylight issue at least, DarkMod *I think* can more or less cope, because you can fake it much easier with texture effects that should still affect the light gem, and it's "unlimited" in terms of how big and how complicated you want to build apart from the limitation of anyone being able to run it, at least according to some of the boasts they've made.

    Other than that, the area/volume you're trying to fill is roughly what I'm aiming at so I can tell you this simply from practical experience: it's a lot harder to fill that much space than you might think.

  12. #1312
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Deutschland
    It is a little defiance of me to stand by TDS....because few do so. I'm thinking of something at dawn so maybe there's something possible with a couple of lights and a little minimum light. But not sure at all.

    I just took "The Bridge" as an image for the possible size of plazas, but after all str8g8 didn't have a lot of things around them. Hm...I'll have to try it out. And I have to convince one special second person to try out T3Ed, too. Thanks again for your advice.

    By the way, any interesting...facts about your semi-experiment...?

  13. #1313
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2005
    Location: Scotland
    Interesting facts?

    Not that I'm allowed to reveal, since it's part of the Cabal campaign thingy. It is going to include rooftops, a large play area, a lot of new smeshes, but other than that, we'll all have to see once it's done: hopefully it'll work out, and be kind of fun, but as one of my missions you can at least be pretty sure it'll look good

    You might find some of my Cathedral staticmesh pieces useful if you go ahead with your plan.

  14. #1314
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Deutschland
    I already found str8g8's packs on his homepage, but nothing of you in here. Well, there's a lack of time now anyway, so it's not urgent.

  15. #1315
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: Shalebridge
    Hey Beleg, so you've gotten the map building bug, eh?

    What Z says is true, it is possible to do large city areas, but you may have to scale back some of your initial aspirations. Large open spaces are a killer because of the number of lights (or the size of lights) that need to fill it. I found in the Bridge that the large open spaces really suffered, and had to turn off most of the shadow-casting lights in those places

    If I were doing a large city section I would think more of a warren of narrow twisting streets, with just a few open places. Something like the Ambush! map in TMA for instance.

    So rather than subtracting a large brush and filling it with houses, think of streets as corridors and squares as rooms, with portals in each doorway. Unreal is basically designed with corridor shooters in mind - that is what it is good at.

    Anyway, good luck!

  16. #1316
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Deutschland
    So, but how big (or rather long) is your Bridge?
    Seems like I "just" have to inflate the building sections and shrink the streets and places. By the way, is there any possibility to make a view across some rooftops without forcing UE to render all the lights? Since the game doesn't crash when you climb on top of SQ or OQ, it should generally be possible. Has anyone tried to create horizontal zone portals on...maybe...upper floor level to keep UE from rendering everything below in case Garrett's standing on some rooftop? Or would they appear as glowing white surfaces (I once had that issue with my tutorial mission when a zone portal was short in front of a doorway instead of being inside of it)? Untill now this is no essential part of my concept (I'd rather prefer some small...shortcuts...on the way), but I just wanted to know.

    I don't really care for mere system performance since I would not reproach myself if someone hardly hitting TDS's minimum requirements would not be able to play it...but it's just the engine. Call me mean.


    PS: If you could give me a link, please, Ziemansyke...? I did not find one. But I spelled your name correctly at once.
    PPS: What about NPCs? Are they somehow treated like lights so that they don't affect performance too much if they stay out of sight? I fear I would need a lot of them, too.
    Last edited by Beleg Cúthalion; 14th Sep 2007 at 10:37.

  17. #1317
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2004
    Location: Dunno. What week is it?
    Building a castle area now. I wanted my towers to be visible from long distances, but it was a disaster. I'm rebuilding for the third time. I don't recommend it. Best to keep your lines of sight short.

  18. #1318
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Deutschland
    Str8g8 had some nice chimneys visible from far away but I'm not sure if one can do this with giving the chimneys their own little zone so that only a little part would be rendered.

    Too many zones. One day I'll start zoning my environment.

  19. #1319
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: Shalebridge
    The chimneys were in the skybox If you want to create a long view over the rooftops then this is the way to do it.

  20. #1320
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Deutschland
    But there were three giant chimneys...you could even reach them and touch their bricks. I swear it! And I saw them from far away.

    By the way, it's difficult to use two different textures inside the skybox, isn't it? In The Bridge the background chimneys were smoking in different directions but I fear that one would need precisely made images to make the edges disappear. I guess I won't have any bad weather.

  21. #1321
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: Shalebridge
    But there were three giant chimneys...you could even reach them and touch their bricks.
    Smoke and mirrors You saw the chimneys from far away in the skybox and then came across the "real" ones in another part of the level.

    It it fine to use different textures on the skydome, you just have to make it that way (in 3dsmax). I was just too lazy and didn't think anyone would notice.

  22. #1322
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2005
    Location: Scotland
    Okay, just in case you care: I've been away a few days, not ignoring people deliberately.

    Links? If you mean to my smeshes, there aren't any (yet) - though the hope/plan is to release them all for people to use once the Cabal comes out; it might just kind of lessen the impact of things if other people were using our "unique" stuff before we were.

    Horizontal portals? Perfectly possible. They seem to harm performance rather more than normal "vertical" ones, but they still work okay. Experiment and be careful with them - or not, if you don't care about performance much.
    And yes, they can hide lights as normal, so if you have a horizontal portal above the third level, but only lights on the ground floor (and small enough radius, obviously) they shouldn't impact things too much. Hopefully: the engine is a bit weird about lights and portals at times, but if you cut the brush work and things too you should be able to reduce that some. As in, try a single brush per floor, rather than one for all the floors with repeated/stretched texture - that way the lower floors are more likely to get portalled out rather than hitting performance though being touched by a light, and if you similarly use multiple small smeshes rather than big ones so that there's more objects (bad) but less "distance" being hit by the light (erm, like you render the whole smesh on the lighting if it's touched by one: ergo a 4 floor beam being hit by a ground level light still hurts performance even if you only see it barely from the top, where a three floor not even being touched by the light and a one floor being portalled out shouldn't hurt as much)

    NPCs? They affect performance less with distance: they still take a bit of a tick even when you can't see them, but there's no point wasting time on hearing checks when they're on the other side of the level or vision checks beyond the likes of "are they in a zone I can see (and so affect)", and beyond a certain radius (I forget what, but I think it has a property anyway) they get fazed down in being stupider anyway.

    And if you're doing things in 3DSMax anyway, you can kind of cheat: make part of the smesh a giant simple 2-triangle sheet which can cover the whole level at the roof level - any time you can see the sheet (as in it enters a zone you want it in, and you're looking in that kind of direction) the building/roof/whatever it's attached too gets drawn too. Saves a lot of headaches with portals and things stretching far enough to actually "see" the object in the traditonal sense, though it is a shame you can't associate any smesh you wanted to a giant sheet and have that force it to display (did that experiment ).

    Brush work and longer distances, well, that's either smoke and mirros (which you need to be good at for level designing anyway ) or a nightmare balancing act between art and performance *even if you don't care about the performance*

  23. #1323
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2001
    Location: Orlando, Florida

    Unreal Version

    Hello to all in the TTLG community,

    Does anybody know what version of the Unreal engine T3 is using? I know its not 2.5. UT2004 is using 2.5, version 3, if im not mistaken. Is it a modified 2.5 or perhaps a modified U3 engine? I'm hoping you say modified 3.0!

    Thanks for your help!

  24. #1324
    Administrator
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: above the clouds
    I think it's pretty much based on 2.5, but the lighting engine was replaced and a lot of it was extensively modified. You can see from the editor that it's been thoroughly hacked up, for want of a better phrase.

    I know it appears to have some of the features that UE3 has, but it definitely isn't new enough to use any of the UE3 technology. Licensees have not had it for that long, as far as I know.

  25. #1325
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2005
    Location: Scotland
    Best quote I heard was "UE1.8" - this was pre-feature-lock on UE2, but they stripped the renderer off the top and beat Havok into it (possibly even before Karma made it to core). The code-drops for full UE2 became too hard to negotiate with in regards to getting that part compliant with all the stuff they changed/added, so it never made it that far up the evolutionary ladder.

    Beyond that though, it's the Flesh Engine: it's too hollowed out to really think of as Unreal apart from (similarities in) the editor.

    (But it's also an XBox game, not a Xbox360 one, and came out in 2004, I think, so it's definately not UE3)

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