[TUTORIAL] The right ways to do Displacements

Discussion in 'Tutorials & Resources' started by Daedalus, Nov 3, 2007.

  1. Daedalus

    Daedalus Guest

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    Hi everyone,

    I just thought I'd show you all a short movie I created a while back to help my friends with their displacements (previously, they had been creating massively large maps because they didn't create them properly.)

    http://files.filefront.com/the+right+wayavi/;8953522;/fileinfo.html

    The first way is the correct way to make a displacement; the second way is the way people should avoid, unless you really need to be able to see the displacement from all sides.
    If you need to see multiple sides, simply use Ctrl+Select to select the sides you need, THEN click Create.

    If you find it helpful, please let me know!

    Also, if anyone needs some tips on any aspect of mapping, let me know!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 3, 2007
  2. drp

    aa drp

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    cool post.
    from the video i gathered that displacements dont need really massive brushes and can be done with the thinest possible setting. what about cliffs and walls (tf2 has a lot of cliffs)?
     
  3. Daedalus

    Daedalus Guest

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    Cliffs will generally have 2 sides or so, depending on which part of the cliff you're working on.

    If you want to do a wall, just select the side, and make a displacement out of that. Try to plan ahead and work out what side of the displacement will be viewable, and use ctrl+click to select the sides that need to be made into a displacement.

    One thing to remember with displacements, is that they'll have a set number of triangles, regardless of their physical size. You can raise or lower the triangle amount via the 'Power of' option when creating a displacement, but you have a very limited range.

    If you're wishing to make a large displacement, say 1024x1024, to maintain a realistic looking surface it's best to use 4 lots of 512x512 displacements, and select them all using ctrl+click before painting the geometry. If you just create a large 1024x1024 single brush for your displacement, the triangles become huge and can look pretty unnatural.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 3, 2007
  4. Dox

    Dox L8: Fancy Shmancy Member

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    Good info, thanks. I was using alot of triangle brushes and and vertex editing them all individually :)
     
  5. Shazam0527

    Shazam0527 Guest

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    Ok, umm.. I didn't understand what I was looking at in the movie.. it was so small, no sound, and too fast..
     
  6. Swift

    Swift Guest

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    It is actually not a tutorial. It's more of a tip. Deadalus had some friends who where creating displacements out all of 6 faces of a brush, while selecting just one face to create into a displacement was the way they should of gone.

    There are many things you can do with displacements; many ways to propperly edit/manipulate/shape them. It would ofcourse be fantastic if someone would capture a movie of all he knows about how he 'works' displacements. Show us some advanced rockformations. Some kick-ass stuff! Defenatly looking forward to that.

    Btw, don't shoot the pianist for posting this topic.
     
  7. Snipergen

    Snipergen L13: Stunning Member

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    displacements are still a bitch to sew but well its logic, vertices and edges, thats how it works :(
     
  8. drp

    aa drp

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    QFT........
     
  9. sodalish

    sodalish L1: Registered

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    Clarity

    If you notice in the first version he clicks on only the top face of the brush to apply the displacement map to. In the second all four sides of the brush were selected and turned into four displacement maps.

    I'm old skool in my habbits, I fill all sides with nodraw first then select the face I want to apply the displacement to, apply a texture to that face only, then create the displacement map on it. Since the other 3 sides have nodraw on them they take less resource. Also remember that displacements don't stop vis (correct me if that is wrong).
     
  10. Vig

    Vig L2: Junior Member

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    Also know that if you do happen to create extra displacements you don't need, you can click on the offending faces and hit destroy, it will only destroy the selected faces not the entire brush.

    Another tip to creating displacements that sew, is to build them out of blocks. So if you need to cover a 1024 wide by 256 tall create 4 256x256 blocks not one 1024x256. The trick to getting the pieces to sew, is that the edges must be identical when created.

    Doing it in copied blocks allows you to sew ever edge. You can copy/drag a displacement brush after its been created and it will sew to the original, provided you don't scale it.

    Sodalish, you're right they don't block vis and create leaks if you don't fill in behind them. Which is another bonus to only displacing one face, if you fly around outside your level you'll see right through the back of the displacement.

    I've seen some people make a copy of the brush and only push away from the surface, which works but I like to be able to push out and pull it in. What I like to do for tunnel walls is create a thick brush for the wall say 64 deep, hallow it to 8, and convert the face in the hallway to displacement. That way you have some room to push and pull the faces and its sealed.
     
  11. psihomir

    psihomir L4: Comfortable Member

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    I'd like to ask something. I've heard that non-displacement faces on displacement brushes are discarded during compile.

    Say I've made 2 of a brush's faces into displacements. At a later moment, I need a third face of the same brush to be displaced, but it's too late to destroy the first two and recreate them (too much work, etc). Are there any downsides to creating a new brush, exactly the same size as the original, and turning the desired face on it into a displacement? If my understanding that the non-displaced faces get discarded is right, it shouldn't make a difference.
     
  12. Sgt Frag

    Sgt Frag L14: Epic Member

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    That's OK. The main issue is 'sloppiness'. Just makes it harder to select things and see things in editor. Since you have 2 brushes on top of each other you might have to move one to select the one you want.
     
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  13. psihomir

    psihomir L4: Comfortable Member

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    I'm not worried about that, since they will be completely separate and easy to pick in the 3d view ;) What was worrying me was performance. Thanks for the info.
     
  14. dirtyminuth

    dirtyminuth L5: Dapper Member

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    Whoa whoa whoa, you don't have to do that. You can reveal non displacement faces of a brush by toggling the 'Displacement Solid' button in the toolbar (highlighted below):

    [​IMG]

    After that, select the face and create a displacement. Tada!
     
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  15. Apom

    Apom L6: Sharp Member

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    This is actually useless, since non-disp faces of disp brushes are discarded when you compile your map.

    Discarded during compile means they don't make it into the .bsp, but you don't lose them in your .vmf ;)
     
  16. psihomir

    psihomir L4: Comfortable Member

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    Well, well! I guess we really do learn something new every day :) Thanks a bunch mate!
     
  17. Sgt Frag

    Sgt Frag L14: Epic Member

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    Awesome, had no idea what that tool did. I've become pretty meticulous and careful with displacement creation lately but never know when that can come in handy.
     
  18. Sgt Frag

    Sgt Frag L14: Epic Member

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    For awhile I had been deleting and recreating displacements if I wanted a higher or lower power.

    I realized that you can always change the power of a displacement at any time. Just bring up the tex tool, select the power you want and hit OK (or whatever the button says).

    Can be a good way to make a rough lump (power 2) then smooth it (power 4). It's easier to pull up a few verts into a rough shape with power 2 than 4. Increasing it afterwards is like using tessalate (mesh smooth) in 3d programs.
     
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