Mass Displacements & Other Large Things.

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Stormcaller3801, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. Stormcaller3801

    Stormcaller3801 L5: Dapper Member

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    Alright, I'm starting to get back to the point of working steadily on my map. And as part of that, I've got very large areas to turn into displacements. This has been done. I've also figured out that I can displace huge areas via Noise, just setting minimum -7.50 and maximum 7.50 and voom! Only looks half bad.

    However, I've now got other problems. For instance, sewing large chunks of the map together. This is not working as well as one might hope. Mostly because I keep getting alpha layer alterations at the seams. Which wouldn't bad, except that I have trouble painting the alpha layer- in that it won't unless I smooth, which just looks bad.

    At this point I've started working on subdividing, sewing, and otherwise dealing with the displacements. There's still a couple places that need fixing (levitating displacements because I didn't hollow the brushes) but at this point my big concern is getting the ground to look right before starting to worry about how I'm going to move onward.

    So how do you quickly and effectively get displacements to match up, get the alpha layers looking decent, and otherwise make large areas of open ground look like large areas of open ground, rather than three-dimensional seismographic charts?
     
  2. Sgt Frag

    Sgt Frag L14: Epic Member

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    Not sure why you would want to hollow a brush before displacing it. That's just gonna give you 6 brushes that have nothing to do with the surface you want.

    You need to plan out displacements a little better. And while noise might be quick and easy it's gonna goive you a seismographic look no matter what.

    First, only put brushes where you need them, small is better than huge. The edges need to align at the verts OR halfway marks.

    If you have a dis that is power of 3 next to one that is power of 4 the alpha wont line up nicely, either put something on top of it to cover it , don't paint that part or keep the values equal.

    If you want it too look good paint it all by hand and forget about the noise filter.
     
  3. Stormcaller3801

    Stormcaller3801 L5: Dapper Member

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    I hollowed the brushes out so that it would give me four sides that I needed that didn't vanish with the displacement being created. Plus with the bottom, my map remains leak-free.
     
  4. Eternal

    Eternal L69: Deviant Member

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    I find a great way to create authentic looking ground variation is to set your radius to around 16 and just click click click click (occasionally right click) all around your displacement, sometimes overlapping spots you already have done before. Then after you have covered the whole field as much as you want go over it with the "smooth" setting, don't use it too much otherwise it will remove all your bumps and waves. But if you just click around on spots that are a little too jagged you will smooth them out into more rounded and realistic looking ground that has been walked over a lot.

    Make sure you have display walkable (the DW button) enabled so that you can smooth out spots that appear in yellow as those will cause players to stop or have hiccups in their movement.

    Also keep in mind that while large displacements are easier to manage for sewing purposes the power level becomes more spread out due to the larger triangles being used to cover the displacement. A smaller displacement can be edited more finely and end up looking nicer and more complex than a larger displacement, of course you want to strike a balance between form and function.
     
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  5. Stormcaller3801

    Stormcaller3801 L5: Dapper Member

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    My principle interest in using the displacements is just 1) making the ground more interesting than a flat plane and 2) distinguishing natural areas from man-made areas. So long as it's traversable, and it doesn't look completely bizarre, I'm not too worried about lack of triangles.
     
  6. Sgt Frag

    Sgt Frag L14: Epic Member

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    One problem with using a hollowed brush for displacements is that the sides wont line up.

    Instead of the edges matching you'll get overlaps and they wont sew.

    Plus you are probably using more brushes than needed.

    For instance you can use all six sides of one brush as displacements. And one brush under to seal the void. (2 brushes)

    If you hollow you have 6 brushes that wont sew.

    It also makes the viewport messier and more stuff to work around.

    Show a screenie of what you have, would be alot easier to help you improve apon it as I can't see any reason to use a hollowed brush for displacements other than a tunnel (in which case the bottom brush wouldn't seal the void anyway).
    And if you are making a tunnel hollowing would give you the brushes you need but you'd still have to reshape them and in the long run would probably take longer than just cloning one brush a few times.
     
  7. Stormcaller3801

    Stormcaller3801 L5: Dapper Member

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    They do sew, likely due to the fact that I mitered all of them after hollowing. Save four that I think I missed. And you can get the .vsf for the area I'm talking about [ame=http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=7892]here[/ame], in the Maps forum.
     
  8. Eternal

    Eternal L69: Deviant Member

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    Well the reason I brought that up is that larger triangles make objects less smooth looking, and typically something that is walked over a lot becomes smoother (thats why we get trails in forests and such from animals).
     
  9. Stormcaller3801

    Stormcaller3801 L5: Dapper Member

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    I've mostly been handling that through subdivision.