Typical VIS times?

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Gearloose, Dec 25, 2007.

  1. Gearloose

    Gearloose Guest

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    I'm trying to wrap up my first TF2 map. It's a fairly large open-area CTF map - similar in layout to 2Fort but bigger. Up to now I've just been using fast vis and fast rad for previewing it, but now that it's ready for try-out I want to do normal vis and rad.

    Trouble is, normal vis takes forever! I have a 2.4GHz machine. Fast preview only takes about ten minutes to build my map. But I've let it run on normal for 24 hours and it still hasn't got past 80% of the second vis pass.

    I've added some hint brushes - and admittedly I'm no expert at this - and although it seems to be slightly faster it's still looking like a multi-day process. I don't want to dedicate my machine to this for days on end, especially if I have to revise the map.

    So my question is: is this typical? What's the average vis time for your map on normal? Unless "days" is typical, I'm inclined to abandon this map.
     
  2. TheBladeRoden

    TheBladeRoden L7: Fancy Member

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    Have you been func_detailing all the non-visually-blocking brushes?
     
  3. Gonzales

    Gonzales Guest

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    Over a day? That's one hell of a compile time. The beta of the map that I posted a few days ago takes 3.5 to 4 minutes to compile. Granted, it's not fully detailed yet, but I've heard that an hour is the limit for reasonable compile time. Have you read this optimization guide? If not, give it a read and take it's advice, especially the func_detail and visleaf pages.
     
  4. Gearloose

    Gearloose Guest

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    Yeah, I've read that and everything else I could find on optimization. I've been using showbudget and mat_wireframe to check out how the map runs. At first it was drawing pretty much everything all the time and would often bog to 20fps. After adding hints the visibility sets are pretty good - not minimal, but as close as I can reasonably get them - and it runs between 30 and 60fps except for the occasional momentary spike. I don't have enough models or doors that adding occluders and areaportals would help much.

    I have been making detail brushes out of as much as possible but actually most of the brushes in my map are involved in sealing it. I hadn't thought of this before, but maybe I'll add some larger, hidden sealing brushes so I can convert more to detail. Thanks!
     
  5. Snipergen

    Snipergen L13: Stunning Member

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    24 hours lol. Do yo compile on fast? ( not for the final though :p )

    well my maps take at the end maximum 15 mins. So I think your map must be huge?
     
  6. Gearloose

    Gearloose Guest

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    Update: After TheBladeRoden's comment about detailing as much as possible, I went back and started adding some more "hidden" static brushes - there was a few cases where by adding one hidden brush, I could convert five others to detail brushes.

    In so doing, I noticed that I still had the floor of my skybox in place. Yes, I started this map the stupid way - make a skybox and then build inside it. But I shouldn't need that side anymore since the map should be sealed by its own floors and ground surfaces. So I deleted the bottom side of the skybox.

    Boom! Leaks galore. That could explain a few things...

    So now I've got all the leaks patched. I still have a bunch of warnings along the lines of "couldn't find a good match for which brush to assign to a side of a portal", but there don't seem to be any associated leaks, so I don't know what the deal is there.

    Looks like the normal build might finish in under 24 hours now. In 10 hours it got to the 85% mark on the second vis pass. That's still too long, so I'm going to try and find solutions for these remaining warnings.

    Lessons learned so far:

    1) Don't start a map by making a box and building inside it. Do the skybox later.

    2) You don't need a bottom side on your skybox (unless you want to see sky when looking down). And don't enclose your entire map in a giant box, because that will hide leaks.

    3a) Look at the build output and if you see "Leaked!" anywhere, copy the coordinates and paste them into the View/Go to coordinates dialogue in Hammer. The leak messages can be misleading, but the coordinates will help, because what you do next is:

    3b) Load the pointfile (Map/Load Pointfile). You will see a red line that leads from the reported coordinates to the void. Follow the line in the 3D view and eventually it will pass through a hole you didn't know was there. That's your leak. Patch it and rebuild. It sucks that the build will only report one leak at a time, but if your map is symmetrical like mine then finding one probably means you've found two or four.

    4) It's interesting to load the portal file as well. I discovered my map has way more portals in it than I expected, which probably has a lot to do with the long build time. Not sure how to rectify this yet...
     
  7. Gearloose

    Gearloose Guest

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  8. Gearloose

    Gearloose Guest

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    Well, after some thought and selective rearrangement of hint faces, I eliminated my portal warnings and got the build time for my map down under 12 hours. An overnight build is still slow, but at least I can tolerate it.

    I'll upload my map soon as I figure out how.