Trouble with a double helical, ramped hill

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by ebo, Aug 4, 2009.

  1. ebo

    ebo L1: Registered

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    I'm working on a hill, as alluded to in the title, for a sort-of proof-of-concept Payload Race King of the Hill map. Thanks to ABS to confirming that such a game mode is possible.

    The thing is, I'm having a heck of a time even working on 1/8th of the thing and having it stay intact when I reload the VMF in Hammer.

    What I start off with is a cylinder with 24 sides measuring 1160x2320x192. I copy that in order to make an inside cylinder later. I then, using the vertex scaling tool, select all of the bottom corners and scale them by 1.2 for an even 1392x2784. This is the bottom tier. I take the copied cylinder, scale it by .6 on the x and y axes and double its height for the bottom tier to 'wrap' its path around. However, the x and y dimensions leave the cylinder unsuitable for use of the vertex scaling tool, so I manually scale them to 700x1400, make a copy of this cylinder, and use the vertex scaler and scale the bottom by 1.4 to 980x1960. This is the middle tier.

    I take the copy of the second cylinder, scale the x and y by .6 again, the z is already the size I want it, and scale them manually to 420x840. I use the vertex scaler tool on the bottom again and scale it by 1.5 to 630x1260. This is the top tier. I switch to the clip tool and clip the bottom piece into 4 696x1392x192 pieces. I halve the middle tier horizontally to have two pieces 192 units in height, the bottom of which I won't touch at all, and quarter the top half of the middle tier like I did the bottom tier.

    Originally I tried cutting one of the bottom quarters diagonally(as seen in image 2), in order to have a wedge-like shape with a ramp, but this unoptimally removed vertices. However, now when I try to edit the whole quarter it ends up unloaded due to errors in the VMF.

    This is an example of what I'm trying to do. This particular example is unloaded on VMF reload:

    [​IMG]

    This is what happened to another go at the quarter that meets the second tier, as well as a go at moving the bottom of the ramp edge out in order to, well, act as a ramp:

    [​IMG]

    I'm guessing this is what happens when two faces 'merge' into one, as I was getting this with the bottom of the ramp edge in the above image. Though I'm not sure why the inner face is a red color:
    [​IMG]

    This is an approximate restoration of what the previous image's distortion was. As you can see, there are some things missing(I was getting 16ish face ID filled messages when selecting this), unfortunately I wasn't using the grey texture for the top face so I have no idea where it is or where it went:

    [​IMG]

    Now what I'm asking is, what am I doing wrong? I think it has something to do with concave objects, but I'm not really sure how that applies. Also, is there a better way to accomplish what I'm doing? Displacements seem like they would be incredibly difficult to work with to accomplish what I'm aiming for. Also, when I turned the quarter that meets the second tier into displacements the top face completely disappeared. Then I messed up and had no way to undo the displacement or have a backup save. I'm learning to keep those pretty quickly.
     
  2. Vigilante212

    Vigilante212 L7: Fancy Member

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    Hammer doesnt like complex shapes. YOur best bet is to get it made into a model.
     
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  3. Void

    aa Void Local Man Unable To Map, Sources Say

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    Jesus H. Christ that's a lovely hill!
     
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  4. III_Demon

    III_Demon L2: Junior Member

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    i'm doing something similar.. but i'm just making a square pyramid. very easy. =]

    you could try messing with the arch stuff in the block tool, you can set things up so it becomes a spiral staircase creator.... you could also try making a crude spiral staircase, like an octagon, and turn everything to displacements, maybe use the subdivide tool to round it all out... you could try making a big cone out of displacements and kinda carving the ramp surface into it... however you do it, it'll be a pain in the ass. even if you make a model in a 3d app, you still have to make the collision mesh, and that'll be almost as difficult as anything you'd do in hammer.
     
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  5. Cameron:D

    Cameron:D L6: Sharp Member

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    That




    Is some nice work.
    Lucky hammer hasn't yet exploded on you.
     
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  6. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    Out of curiosity, if I had, say, a Python program which would output all the right vertices and round everything to whole units, is there an easy way to get that kind of stuff into Hammer?
     
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  7. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    It's not that it doesn't like complex shapes, it's that it can't compute particular shapes that don't confirm to the 4x4 grid and concave restrictions. Making it a func_detail then further allows you to distort a shape beyond the grid limitations, as it does not interfere with your vis leaf creation (causing long compiles/crashes). You will still need to conform to flat faces however.

    What it looks like is that your slopes are not flat faces and/or don't abide by the 4x4 system. Unfortunately i can't find the words to explain right now but your whole brush will have to conform to certain rules, which you appear to be breaking somewhere along the lines.

    But still, either way, this would best be completed either as a displacement or a model.

    This could be completed using the triangular method employed in HL1 to create more dynamic scenary before displacement technology existed.

    Try:
    displacement techniques
    old skool triangle method 1
    part 2
    part 3

    Now i would recommend using displacements as the triangle method is completely out dated and.. not as friendly to your frame rate/rendering as displacements.

    But considering you had difficulty comprehending the limitations of the engine when it comes to the vertex tool, it would be a beneficial read none-the-less.

    Hopefully you'll see the pattern in your mistake in making this hill to realise where you are going wrong.
     
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  8. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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  9. Sgt Frag

    Sgt Frag L14: Epic Member

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    Yeah, you could always make a simple pattern of that hill, turn it into displacements and paint that geometry into shape.
    Could take awhile but would look good in the end and have proper collision.

    A model would be easy enough as you don't have the face restrictions brushes do, but collision probably wont be quite as good and would probably take longer to model than the model itself would.
     
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  10. psihomir

    psihomir L4: Comfortable Member

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    VMF files are plain text, so you might try figuring out how to format the program's output properly to write it into a VMF.
     
  11. ebo

    ebo L1: Registered

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    Thanks for the replies, everyone. I haven't licked it yet and it's getting more and more intimidating the more things I try.

    @grazr: I see what's meant by concave objects now, though I'm not sure what you mean by the '4x4' rule.

    @Terr: Thanks for the links to the displacement editor, I didn't know about that one. The problem I'm having using that and Twister is that I could make the ramps but then I'd have the problem of making the side slopes.

    @Sgt. Frag: Displacements aren't my friend, I've found, as the top/ramp face refuses to be turned into a displacement - it just disappears. I'll just have to butter them up some more, I think.