[GUIDE] Youme's guide to displacement cliffs

Discussion in 'Tutorials & Resources' started by YM, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

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    Due to demand, this is basically me comentating how I would make a cliff, since I don't have fraps or a good quality mic its not in video form.
    So I'm gunna brush off my English accent and get started...


    So here is the cliff shape we want, well, roughly anyway. I've put in two corners and a tunnel, just to cram pack this with info :D
    [​IMG]


    One thing we have to sort out pretty early on is how your brushes join. Since we are only using the 'front' face of the brush thats the only one we need, this is important because of the way displacements join together.
    [​IMG]


    Either get out your clipping tool and clip the corners off or use the vertex tool to the same effect, personally I prefer the vertex tool
    [​IMG]


    Because displacements need to match up properly any cuts you make for holes need to run through the whole displacement. See how the yellow lines run right round the corners.
    [​IMG]


    Next we need to texture the whole thing in the nodraw texture, then select the front faces and pick a nice cliff texture. I'm using rockwall006. In this picture its at x scale 0.25 and y scale 0.25. see how it repeats notisably every 256 units.
    [​IMG]


    What we really need to do is stretch it a bit so the repeat is less obvious. I've kept the x scale as 0.25 and upped the y scale to 0.5, if you really want you can go for something higher like 0.75
    [​IMG]


    Next comes aligning the texture, if you keep your brushes neatly on the scale you should only need to adjust the x shift by multiples of 128 (sometimes negative)
    [​IMG]


    Select the front faces only of all the brushes and open the displacement tab create the displacement, I start with power 2 and upres to 4 or 4 if I need.
    [​IMG]


    So now I've actually started the displacement and I start by making the corners neat, one axis only
    [​IMG]


    Now I repeat the process almost exactly for the other axis.
    [​IMG]


    Now comes the main displacement, I select the whole lot together so that I don't get any mismatches. The cliffs i've been doing come in waves, each bit that comes out a lot is sandwiched by a bit that goes in a lot. As a general rule of theumb, the top of the cliff should retreat behind the main section, the bit just under it should come forwards, the very botom should also come out and the lower middle bit should be behind the plane of the original brush. Make sense? hope so, heres another pic (only one axis)
    [​IMG]


    Repeated process for the other axis, you may have noticed by now I tend to work one axis at a time.
    [​IMG]


    Now I start on the tunnel, sides first. I have the whole thing selected to stop missalignments. The top and bottom come in slightly and the middle goes out slightly
    [​IMG]


    With the z axis now, middle go up and down (top and bottom displacement respectively) and the sides come down and up respectively
    [​IMG]


    Now I crunch the front displacement into where the tunnel ends and I crunch the second set of points in the tunnel forwards. Once they are close to each other I select the whole lot and hit that handy 'sew' button
    [​IMG]


    A few last tweaks before sealing the areawith nodraw brushes behind the displacements and skybox brushes elsewhere. You might want to note that displacements don't block vvis so that means you will have to put nodraw brushes behind it to prevent leaks.
    [​IMG]


    And here is the final thing in-game.
    [​IMG]


    Hope this helped, Its now 00:45am so if anything is missing/majorly wrong then I'll ammend it later.


    ADDITION(S): The .VMF and .BSP files from this tutorial are here for you to download and examine, I was going to upload these originally, but didn't think people needed them, but it can't hurt for you to have them available.

    ADDITION 3: This tutorial is outdated and in my eyes terrible. I appologise to everyone who has been confused by it, if you find it any easier use this one here, this is the method I currently use for displacements and [I find] much easier.
    http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=10287
     
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    Last edited: Mar 29, 2010
  2. Snipergen

    Snipergen L13: Stunning Member

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    You are awesome. And I read this at 1:58 in the morning lol.

    I am so gonna use this since I hate displacements in hammer ^^
     
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  3. DJive

    aa DJive Cake or Death?

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    A++ and Rep. its great to have a TF2 displacement tutorial. I cant wait to try this when i get home.

    edit: Question though, and maybe explained in a part 2 to this..

    How do you get realistic looking top parts of the cliff. I always start off with a box.. in the end it looks like a cliff..but in the shape of a box, i can never get the top to look "round"
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2008
  4. Narkissus

    Narkissus L5: Dapper Member

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    I love you!
     
  5. ZargonX

    ZargonX L3: Member

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    Excellent write up!
     
  6. Milktoast

    Milktoast L1: Registered

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    Very well done! It's really great that you've taken your time to do this!


    One very minor simplification: you don't have to texture everything with nodraw first. According to the Valve wiki at http://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Displacement:


    Since it doesn't matter what texture they have, you can skip the extra step of texturing the original brushes with nodraw... just texture everything with your rock texture.
     
  7. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

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    Hmm, your brush construction technique is totally different from what I've always done. I don't miter corners as overlaps don't matter since non-disp faces are trashed, and I usually make hole openings with trapezoidal faces.
     
  8. Irksome

    Irksome L1: Registered

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    Excellent tutorial.
     
  9. timberghost_paintball

    timberghost_paintball L2: Junior Member

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    Great Tutorial
    I converted it to word and pdf files for easy clean printing if its cool with Youme I'll post them in a zip in the download section
     
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  10. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

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    Oh nice, good idea :D
     
  11. MacNetron

    MacNetron L5: Dapper Member

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    lol, I started the same process, because I figured out I don't want to go to imageshack all the time, but when pasting all pics in the doc, imageshack beated me back by not showing me the picures anymore. So you beat me to it, timberghost_paintball :p

    Advantage is I now only have to download the doc/pdf instead of cut and paste and aligning text, aligning picture, add line break, realign text, ... :)
     
  12. timberghost_paintball

    timberghost_paintball L2: Junior Member

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    The file is 1.6 megs and the downloads section is capped at 97k for zips in the tutorial section so I can't post it for now. PM me if you want the file and I'll e-mail it to you.

    *edit problem resolved follow link in post below
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2008
  13. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

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    could you not find some free file hosting site? there are many out there.
     
  14. timberghost_paintball

    timberghost_paintball L2: Junior Member

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    Good idea here's a link
    http://www.mediafire.com/?8dmhdxijxny

    Note: i did scale down the photos quite a bit to make it more printer friendly, sorry if this bothers people. I can still read it but it may be confusing to some.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2008
  15. VelvetFistIronGlove

    aa VelvetFistIronGlove

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    Youme, this made so much sense. Thanks a million and a half for posting it. I'd been approaching displacements in my map more or less individually, but the idea of focusing on the whole cliffside (or whatever), one axis at a time makes so much sense from a practical perspective, without hindering the implementation of the design.
     
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  16. MacNetron

    MacNetron L5: Dapper Member

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    Nice job. But I have a nice printer at work I can abuse :)
    So I made a 9 page pdf. Scaled the pictures down so 2 fit one page.
    youme's guide to displacement cliffs.zip (1,71 MB zip, 2,33 MB pdf).

    Youme, I took the liberty to let OpenOffice correct some typos. If you take offensive to all this duplicating of your work, please let us/me know. Taking it offline is even faster then putting it up :)
     
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  17. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

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    nah its all ok, I'm, suprised at how many people think its good. After all its only one type of cliff that I made and it wasn't exactly complex.

    Perhaps I'll do a tut for one of these arches:
    [​IMG]
     
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  18. DJive

    aa DJive Cake or Death?

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    Its awesome. Plus i believe its really the only one out regarding TF2 displacements. The Half Life one that everyone knows is well.. for half life looking cliffs, while it gives you a general idea, it doesnt break it down piece by piece TF2 style which is whats great about yours.
     
  19. Scotland Tom

    Scotland Tom L6: Sharp Member

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    It's an excellent guide, Youme. It took me quite some time to actually figure out this very process on my own. I wish I would've had this tutorial to start with.

    Further tutorials for more advanced formations would be excellent. That archway would be a good one, along with anything else you could think of. Many displacement tutorials out there really only go over the basics and it would be nice to see some that delve more deeply into other cool things that can be done with displacements.
     
  20. MacNetron

    MacNetron L5: Dapper Member

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    Biggest advantage of your tutorial Youme, is that the contest is partly about mines. Most of us probably need an entrance...

    So: Good timing! :thumbsup: