NoDraw and Building Edge-to-Edge

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by cherplunka, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. cherplunka

    cherplunka L1: Registered

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    Hello!

    Forever ago I was taught that:

    1) I should try to build my brushes so only the edges are aligned rather than laying flush against each other.
    2) Always, always use noDraw for areas the players do not see.

    I've noticed in some newer Valve maps there doesn't seem to be as much importance placed on this. Particularly in Portal 2 maps. Can anybody tell me if these two practices are still important or if they are hold overs from older engine versions?

    Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2014
  2. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

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    The first one doesn't matter much. Brush joints do have an effect, but it is neither constantly predictable nor a better outcome with one.

    For nodraw, it depends on if it is void-touching or not. Any face that touches the void is removed by the compiler and doesn't matter. If it is a face the player will never see, but is inside the map, you may wish to nodraw it. But it still depends on the situation. The faces of two different brush entities that touch will not be culled, and would never be seen (and will be rendered, since entities don't block vis), so it would be good to nodraw. However if you have an inaccessible detail area visible through a window, you might nodraw all the stuff on the "back" sides of brushes that cannot be seen but this can have the adverse effect of making light cast strangely in the room because nodraw won't bounce/reflect it.
     
  3. Fish 2.0

    Fish 2.0 L6: Sharp Member

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    Never done this. I think it would slow down the whole process and make changes more annoying. I tried it once, didn't see any benefits.

    Eh, kinda on an off about this one. Something I'm getting into is making all brushes create with the nodraw texture and then texturing only the sides as I need them. that way I don't need to go around after my map has been finished nodrawing little things here and there. It's not majorly important you're picky until you hit beta on your map, I would imagine.
     
  4. Snowbat

    Snowbat L4: Comfortable Member

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    Also, brush faces that touch each other don't need to be nodrawed as they will also not be shown.
    For the rest, nodrawing anything that faces the vois is not needed. Only nodraw faces that would be visible if the player could walk over there.
     
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  5. Lampenpam

    aa Lampenpam

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    I always make rooms liek this that only the edges of the brushes touch eachother. (unless its like a small house which can be soon from outside as well)
    It made editing this rooms actually easier and I try to avoid that parts of brush faces are rendered behind a wall.
     
  6. cherplunka

    cherplunka L1: Registered

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    Thanks everybody! I appreciate it.

    For new people just starting out, is it at all important to teach them this? I'm attempting to teach somebody without instilling any of my bad habits.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
  7. UKCS-Alias

    aa UKCS-Alias Mann vs Machine... or... Mapper vs Meta?

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    Another note on nodraw. At specific areas its still better to have some nodraws even if the player cant see it 'When he is alive'. During the ragdoll phase people are more likely to spot the outside area. So having everything just out of range as nodraw can give bad results. I would say that anything under 256 units should still have visible faces (unless they cant get their ragdoll there).
    For mvm this even might be 512 units (ragdolls can fly much harder and further). However, on mvm maps optimizing is slightly diffirent aswel. That is because the skybox is a low detail one and the area just before that has to blend into it. Meaning that closer to the skybox edge there already is less detail.
     
  8. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    It's important for optimisation. But not really much more. A bit of laziness that results in some rendered, but not visible faces wont increase your file size to a degree where it is undesired, even if you're a messy new comer. Mostly it'll just increase compile times, which is more of an issue for you as the designer and the time you'll have to spend troubleshooting between releases than an issue for the players.

    It's a good idea to start brushes as nodraw because cutting brushes can duplicate a texture from one face onto the new faces and create said unseen faces, so doing so will solve a problem before it occurs. It also saves hassle if you have any experience with lightmaps. As a single face with a x2 lightmap grid can cause a lot of light data problems. But i imagine you've not progressed that far?
     
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  9. Snowbat

    Snowbat L4: Comfortable Member

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    It's defenitely important enough. Optimization is an important part of making a good map and it's best to learn a new mapper the right habits from the very start. Like for example not to use the big hollow cube for a skybox.