Displacements

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Irksome, Jan 27, 2008.

  1. Irksome

    Irksome L1: Registered

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    They have been my Achilles heel since I began mapping back in 2002; I normally avoid them like the plague, opting instead for indoor, or urban/industrial outdoor themes. I tried to break this habit, with cp_cavein, having about 35-45% of map being made up of displacements, while I was somewhat happy with the results, like the caves, the major outdoor arena felt too boxy, and not organic enough.

    I've tried various schools of displacement construction from projection, to rough outlines with BSP brushs but I either get fugly results, displacements that wont sew together, or non-organic looking environments.

    To the point: What I want to know about displacements...
    - Best method of construction.
    - Ways to make cliffs feel less boxy.
    - Essentially anything that can help me improve the look of my displacements.
    - How do you do your displacements?
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2008
  2. phatal

    phatal L6: Sharp Member

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  3. JTG

    JTG L2: Junior Member

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    Great tutorial. Excellent find, Phatal.
     
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  4. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

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    One thing that tut doesn't say is that its almost always a good idea to start with a lower power than the one you intend for the final thing, I'm workingo n a map right now and all the displacements are power 2. whilst this is enough to give a reasonable displacement and low enough to be editable really easily, its not high enough for the final thing, so once I'm happy with the layout of all my displacements I will make them power 3 to make them smoother.
     
  5. ZargonX

    ZargonX L3: Member

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    That's a very helpful tutorial! I've been having a heck of a time trying to get my cliff areas to look, well, good.
     
  6. Ganon11

    Ganon11 L1: Registered

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    So this tutorial says it is for intermediate to advanced mappers - any good tutorials for a first time mapper? Like, I know what a displacement will do and that's it. This tutorial seems to be more about refining your displacement technique, how about one for getting a technique?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  7. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

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    I'd personally say that that tutorial is for beginer to intermediate level.
    For a first timer - You should know that a displacement is anything that isnt a bog standard shape, So thats cliffs, outside ground, piles of gravel, the dish in hydro(it is, I checked and was amazed)
    You should create your displacement brush roughly the size of the area you want to displace, make it about 16 units deep, although as you only use one face it doesn't matter really.
    say you have a room, 4 walls and one of those is a cliff (odd room I know, but its good for a beginner)
    Select the brush you want for your displacement and make it all nodraw, put the texture you want on the front and select the front only then make it a displacement. Now start painting geometry, start with a largeish scale and moving 2-8 units at a time. Use one axis to begin with (X or Y depending which way it is facing and Z for up/down)
    Left click for forwards/up rightclick for backwards/down
    create the shape of your cliff in rough and make the size of the tool smaller and make it a little more detailed (I avoid the smooth tool, it seems to totaly destroy my displacements)
    If you want to join two displacements you have to make sure they have a shared edge that has to be the same length, you can work on both together by selecting both then the material tool thing.
    If you accidentaly make it so they don't line up, select both and then hit "sew" in the displacement tab.

    The thing you need most is patience, I've just finished working on a displacement and its taken me about 7 hours total (not solid of course, I started it yesterday afternoon)
    But those 7 hours make it look good :D
     
  8. Tobias Greenich

    Tobias Greenich L1: Registered

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    The dish in Hydro? Wow.

    Great find with that tutorial! I'll keep that thing handy... my map might be changing settings as I refine it to flow better.
     
  9. Jive Turkey

    Jive Turkey L3: Member

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    It's a real shame you can't do plugins for Hammer. It would be a simple matter to create shapes like the dish with a script. My Wacom tablet would love to get at some displacements.
     
  10. DJive

    aa DJive Cake or Death?

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    GTKradient was WONDERFUL at displacement.. i mean it was everything you could want. It had heightmap plug-in which was great as well. I could map in photoshop and import hehe

    I agree though.. i hate displacements in Hammer... mostly because im bad at "realism" my rocks always are wicked round or sharp and pointy
     
  11. Ganon11

    Ganon11 L1: Registered

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    Thanks for the explanation; I'll try it out on my own map (which is about 40% cliff, tunnel, rocks, bare ground, etc.) and let you know how it goes.

    In hindsight, planning my map to have so much outdoor space probably wasn't the best idea for a beginner.
     
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  12. phatal

    phatal L6: Sharp Member

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    Glad so many were able to make use of this tutorial. I looked long and hard for something exactly like that. Like Youme said, you don't have to really be intermediate to advanced. It's a good walkthrough that just about anyone can follow.

    So much interest in the cliffs tutorial thought I'd add in a good building block for working with displacements.

    If either of these were helpful spread some Karma. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2008
  13. Jive Turkey

    Jive Turkey L3: Member

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  14. Jive Turkey

    Jive Turkey L3: Member

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    Actually here's another one that can import heightmaps. Appears there's a lot of neat little utilities in the wiki third-party section.
     
  15. Dox

    Dox L8: Fancy Shmancy Member

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  16. Keir

    Keir Guest

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    ahhh its all so clear now. I was a bit iffy to add so much noise, but it just looks so much better.
     
  17. jyrma

    jyrma L1: Registered

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  18. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

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    Covered that on the 4th page of the displacement guide I posted, its a good way to make pipes but its not perfect because the pipe doesn't acutally end up round..
     
  19. phatal

    phatal L6: Sharp Member

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    Not exactly. Yours is just a tunnel through a cliff. The interlopers is actually a pipe.
     
  20. Bonafide

    Bonafide L6: Sharp Member

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    useful cliff guide. I was really struggling to make half decent looking cliffs for the edges on my map.