Displacement Caves

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by dookiebot, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. dookiebot

    dookiebot L1: Registered

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    First off let me say I started this thinking making "outside" levels would be easier than "inside". (Points and laughs at myself now)

    But displacements are a pain to sew. Has anyone kind of given up on sewing and just manually making the seams close?

    The problem I am having is with caves. I have a cave this is actually an incline and splits into two caves that go out in opposite directions. I am having to put a lot of work to making sure there are no gaps.


    Anyone else done thing similar and can provide any tips?

    I looked at the caves in Hydro and it really seems Valve used a lot of trapazoid shaped brushed and manually connected those (they may have been sewed I just can't tell).
     
  2. l3eeron

    l3eeron L8: Fancy Shmancy Member

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    IMO displacement have to sew... manually making the edges close to each other is not only a pain in the ass, but looks crappy. Your solution is to better plan out how all the edges are going to match up.


    The way I do it is to make the tunnels out of straight brushes. Make it roughly the shape you want. Keep all the edges that are going to sew touching and matching in size (or 1/2 or 1/4 sizes) Then create displacements on the faces that are showing, its easy (and fun) to paint the geometry when you plan it out right.



    lol @ "Sum of a whole!"
     
  3. phatal

    phatal L6: Sharp Member

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    You are exactly where I was about a month ago. I gave up on my outdoor level for just this reason.

    THIS is the key. The edges of the brushes you plan on sewing MUST match up perfectly. That is key. If brush A is 512 tall and brush B is 384 tall attached to brush C is 128 (B + C = 512) they won't sew. Brush A and B must be 512 each or the edges will not match perfectly therefore the sew will fail.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2008
  4. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

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    What you need to do is construct the area using normal brushes making sure everything lines up. then once the area is made up like that convert the outer faces to displacements, now, because you've already made sure they will sew you should have no problems
     
  5. TotalMark

    TotalMark L6: Sharp Member

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    That's what I did, just make it out of nodraw brushes (or with one sided textured) and make sure everything lines up. Use the biggest grid size you can. (8-64)
     
  6. Koei

    Koei L4: Comfortable Member

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    Pff. On my first map I have a cave with displacement walls, ceiling and floor, all sewed together. It's a bitch though :cursing:. But it looks very nice now :sleep:
     
  7. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

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    heh I didn't even know what a displacement was for my firstseveral months of mapping, and even then I refused to touch them untill about a month before TF2 cam out. cp_station was the first time I really used a displacement, then cp_bloodstained was the second.
     
  8. Koei

    Koei L4: Comfortable Member

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    It's a nice thing to master though. I'm glad I figured it out for the map (my first) I'm working on, because I really needed it to make it look good. I redid the cave 3 times now, and finally I'm happy with it. Learned a great deal about displacements and how to work with 'm now. It takes some practice that's for sure. The most important thing is to make everything fit/sew together.
     
  9. VelvetFistIronGlove

    aa VelvetFistIronGlove

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    My main gripe about displacements is that they are four-sided -- because I'm trying to do some fairly complex slopes/ramps that blend into cliffs, and it's really hard to get the base brushwork right while trying to keep the brush faces planar (flat) after vertex editing them. And if the faces aren't flat, the brushes are invalid, and you can't make displacements from them. Whereas if displacements worked on triangular faces, it'd be trivial, because triangular faces are *always* flat (which is why triangles are used all the time in 3d).

    This particular case: Imagine you're looking at the side of a cube. I want the top of the cube to be a ramp that goes up from right to left, so the two top vertices on the left need to be shifted up. And I want the ramp to get narrower as it ascends, so the closed top left vertex is shifted away slightly. These are both fine. But I want the front of the cube to not be a sheer cliff, but to slope towards you, so I pull both the front bottom vertices closer. And now the brush is invalid :(

    Edit: and I just go to check the link that Youme posted about the Black Mesa dev blog, and the latest post is about identifying and avoiding invalid brushes for displacements! /me goes to read it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2008
  10. Koei

    Koei L4: Comfortable Member

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    This is what I'm working with atm. All the nonselected rocks you see are different displacements. Selected is 100% sewed. The ramp will have wooden walls.

    [​IMG]

    Not bad for a first map I think :) (been mapping for 1-2 months now?)
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2008
  11. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

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    Why havent you made that column, the bit in the background and the bit front right line up? it doesnt look that bad a displacement.
     
  12. Koei

    Koei L4: Comfortable Member

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    Because it looks better this way. Atleast the column does. The other bits are to make my life easier, the front one is located around the entrance/exit. I did it this way so I still got some freedom to change that bit. In the back was pure pratical. I forgot I needed a backway there and didn't make a hole in the displacements for it. So instead of cutting everything up (i need to cut up the entire cave to make 1 thing align) I just deleted a small part and covered it with a displacement :p. It doesn't look bad and only sticks a bit in the wall ( I know the entire displacement will be rendered). Are there other problems next to everything begin rendered?
     
  13. phatal

    phatal L6: Sharp Member

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    Why haven't you used smooth on some of those?
     
  14. Koei

    Koei L4: Comfortable Member

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    Because it's not even in alpha :confused1:. And even then I will not smooth it completely flat, might as well have left the entire cave the way subdivide left it....