Solid Brush Blocks vs Hollow Boxes

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Stormcaller3801, Jul 12, 2009.

  1. Stormcaller3801

    Stormcaller3801 L5: Dapper Member

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    Yup, another question that likely has little or no actual effect on things.

    Is there any reason to use hollow boxes with mitered corners instead of solid blocks, assuming that when the map is compiled you'll only see the outside faces anyways? I've noticed that people seem to do a lot of things with 8 or 16 thick walls around empty space, whereas my tendency is to create a bunch of solid brushes that I arrange as needed and then clip if it seems necessary.

    My understanding is that anything you can never see will get thrown away, so the only incidences where mitered corners will really come into play would be displacements. But as I understand displacements, you only need a common edge to sew two pieces together, making mitered corners more or less superfluous.

    At the same time I'm looking at my map and getting the sneaking feeling that I've gone and screwed up again, and will be replacing a lot of brushes.
     
  2. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    By mitered i assume you mean two egdes of 16 thick walls meeting at a 45* angle. This reduces visible faces by 1 per outter corner of an inner wall and generally makes your map neater in wireframe view. Going by the Tesco slogon "every little helps", since a single face doesn't make a whole lot of difference on it's own (to the source engine); but everything mounts up to a much bigger picture. Sometimes having your outter wall of a corridor-corner barely meet at the corners of the brushes can cause leaks, particularly when you have large props that abut particularly thin walls (of say 16). To mitergate outter walls is usually down to habit and ease of use. It's not exactly necassery in that circumstance.

    They would have no benefit to displacements other than again, making things look neater in your wireframe view.

    If i misinterpreted your use of the word "mitered" then just ignore everything i just said.
     
  3. Stormcaller3801

    Stormcaller3801 L5: Dapper Member

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    Well, yes and no. On the one hand, you've explained it in ways that makes sense, and I can entirely understand it given that in a sealed, should-be-entirely-dark room, the light_env leaks through the corners. This explains why.

    On the other hand I already discovered the reason why hollow boxes are a good idea: creating a displacement eats all but one face on a brush. So those nice, neat little blocks I had that were going to form the sides of the ditches while the tops were made into displacements?

    Not so much. Ctrl+H it is then. Over, and over, and over...
     
  4. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    Light shouldn't leak through your displacement seems unless they overlap and/or are not sewn properly. This is an issue to do with how light is rendered ontop of the face of a brush in general, IE lightmaps. Particularly if you have large lightmap scales applied to the face in question. In a manner of speaking shadows are 'drawn' onto the face of a brush, not by the brush caster (like dynamic props are). If a lightmap grid section is rendered as partially lit but exists on two egdes of a displacement edge/seem then it will appear as if light is seeping into your unlit room at the seems.

    edit: Nodraw blocks light, and vis, or you could just utilise the block light material in your tools/ material selection of your texture browser. To help prevent any lighting 'leaks'.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2009
  5. Nineaxis

    aa Nineaxis Quack Doctor

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    For the box vs. hollow question, hollow is much better (especially when blocking out), because when you start detailing, having that chunk of wall as one brush will cause you a ton of pain if you, say, decide to put in a garage door with some boxes behind it, or maybe a window, or make any modifications to the geometry. Having it as three/four individual brushes lets you easily make modifications to the geometry on any side.
     
  6. StoneFrog

    StoneFrog L6: Sharp Member

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    Back in the Goldsrc days, it was suggested that that could substantially help the compilers. I don't think it has much of a use anymore, but I do it anyway - it's certainly easier for aligning wall textures.

    As for rooms, I always make them individual brushes. While we're at it, I have a miscellaneous question to ask as well.

    When you place a floor for a building, do you have it large enough that it goes under the walls, or just large enough to cover the surface area of the floor? Does one or the other have any affect on the engine when it's clipping away the outside faces?
     
  7. Stormcaller3801

    Stormcaller3801 L5: Dapper Member

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    I'd imagine that extending it past the edges of the walls would mean that the excess (the part that goes past the walls) would remain, as that's all one face.

    In other news, my first try at displacement:

    [​IMG]

    Sewing. Yes. Need that (done after the screenshot, actually). But not too bad otherwise, I think. Should add some color to the map as a whole, having the 'ground level' not looking like dirt. Sides are squared, but that's intentional, as these are supposed to be man-made trenches dug out with some sort of large machinery.
     
  8. Psy

    aa Psy The Imp Queen

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    Faces along the same plane and with the same texture get merged together. So mitered corners, whilst neat, don't do much in the final map. The all-knowing Booj can confirm this. :p
     
  9. Ninjilla

    Ninjilla L7: Fancy Member

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    Every mitered corner is one less face to select when you want to change the texture of 2 joining walls, thats a time saver atleast :p
     
  10. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

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    Yes

    But then it's a bigger bother to resize the walls if needed. Not worth saving a rightclick or two.
     
  11. Sgt Frag

    Sgt Frag L14: Epic Member

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    Like BS said.

    mitered = easier texturing
    unmitered = easier editing

    ----------
    With your displacements you can use the sides of brushes too. A displacement can use all 6 sides of a brush, you just have to either select all the faces you want THEN displace OR with the 3d button on the top menu displace tab and it will let you see the other faces that are 'gone', you can now select them and displace.

    So you can leave the tops of those trenches as they are and still use the sides of those brushes for the walls.
     
  12. Open Blade

    Open Blade L7: Fancy Member

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    I think mitered brushes are a waste of time unless you are wanting a certain look from it, such as you would find in a door frame. A door frame with straight ends where either the sides or the top will look sloppy unless you mitered the ends. That makes it a nice clean look. Other then that, aside from some beams, trim and some roofs, I really don't use them often at all on major walls at all.
     
  13. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    Interesting. My ingame wireframe's would seem to suggest otherwise. What's up with that then?
     
  14. Samuel Hall

    Samuel Hall L1: Registered

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    I miter my edges because I'm ocd like that :|