Viaduct Snow

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Jetti, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. Jetti

    Jetti L5: Dapper Member

    Messages:
    226
    Positive Ratings:
    96
    Greeting,

    In this thread I ask the question of how to make snow on the roof of buildings; viaduct style. If you have any useful insight for me, please post it! Thank you. Jetti.
     
  2. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

    Messages:
    4,767
    Positive Ratings:
    5,508
    It is modeled specifically to fit the roof. You'll either need to do that, get someone to do it, or do something similar yourself with displacements.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  3. Jetti

    Jetti L5: Dapper Member

    Messages:
    226
    Positive Ratings:
    96
    Hmm. Okay. That seems like quite a hefty task... but not impossible. I think I can do it. Thanks A Boojum Snark (epic name by the way).
     
  4. Jetti

    Jetti L5: Dapper Member

    Messages:
    226
    Positive Ratings:
    96
    How about making a real harsh blizzard? How would I go about doing that? (This includes particles, sounds and whatever else).
     
  5. Engineer

    aa Engineer

    Messages:
    1,166
    Positive Ratings:
    372
    You could do it your self: Tutorial link.
    Or you could find someone who can make particles. You could find sounds online. There are plenty pages with free soundscapes.
     
  6. Seba

    aa Seba DR. BIG FUCKER, PHD

    Messages:
    2,363
    Positive Ratings:
    2,365
    Custom particles are made by adding -tools in the TF2 launch options and then clicking Particle Editor on the right. There are tons of websites that provide free sounds, conveniently in .wav format. The rest is pretty much entity work, like enabling the sounds, making soundscapes, and applying fog or what have you.
     
  7. Jetti

    Jetti L5: Dapper Member

    Messages:
    226
    Positive Ratings:
    96
    Engineer, the particle tutorial you linked was not very helpful; as it used premade, fire sprites. Any idea how to make these sprites?

    EDIT: Actually, the official community map, COLDFRONT, has a similar particle theme as to what I want. However, I do not know how to use the particles found in this map as I do not know where particles are store. It would not be perfect even if I got it working, as for my level, the snow should be much more fierce.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2010
  8. Jetti

    Jetti L5: Dapper Member

    Messages:
    226
    Positive Ratings:
    96
    *bump*
     
  9. UberSprode

    UberSprode L1: Registered

    Messages:
    5
    Positive Ratings:
    4
    You can either decompile the map, and look for the info_particle_system used to make the effect and copy it.
    Or load up the -tools particle editor and go to file>open, then load and look through all the particle systems already included in the game, and once you've found a good one, just load the name of it into an info_particle_system (make sure you mark it as a weather effect).

    After that, you'll want to make sure to create a particle manifest file for your map so the particle system loads properly.

    I myself have been learning to use the particle editor and have gotten pretty good with it. If you find a system close to what you want, you can post what changes you'd like, and I can walk you through what needs to be done to change it.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  10. Jetti

    Jetti L5: Dapper Member

    Messages:
    226
    Positive Ratings:
    96
    Thanks, will do. Probably tomorrow. No time left today :(.
     
  11. Jetti

    Jetti L5: Dapper Member

    Messages:
    226
    Positive Ratings:
    96
    UberSprode, check your inbox.

    Also, on an unrelated note, how would I make a map night time?
     
  12. UberSprode

    UberSprode L1: Registered

    Messages:
    5
    Positive Ratings:
    4
    Allright, here we go.

    When you first open tf2 in tools mode, it will look like this.
    [​IMG]
    What you'll want to do is choose the particle editor by going to the tools menu and choosing it.
    Then you'll want to go to file>open and load the stormfront.pcf
    [​IMG]
    You should now have a screen that looks like this.
    [​IMG]
    Time to get editing!
    There is a preview window in the lower right that shows your system in real time and updates as you edit it. You'll have to zoom out a bit to see the whole system as it's quite large. Use the LMB and ctr+LMB to rotate and zoom the window.
    Select the env_snow_stormfront_001 system to begin editing it.
    First thing is to increase the amount of snow being created.
    To do this we want to go down to where it says properties in the lower left window and choose Emitter.
    [​IMG]
    Select the emit_continuously to edit it.
    What we want to edit here is the emission rate of the particles, this controls how many new particles are created every second.
    [​IMG]
    I'll leave this up to you to decide how much to increase this to. You'll have to experiment with what looks good and what performs well.

    Next we want to change how fast the particles move.
    Go back up to where you chose Emitter and select Operator.
    Then select the Movement_Basic.
    [​IMG]
    What we want to edit here is the gravity, it may seem counter-intuitive, but most systems use "gravity" to do more than just have the particles fall down.
    This variable needs three numbers to work, one each for the x, y, and z axes.
    As you can see from what is already entered here, the 1000 is what is making the particles move horizontally, you can increase this number to your liking. The -200 is what makes the particles move at a downward angle, you can set this to 0 to have your snow move perfectly horizontal.

    Next we'll want to adjust the lifespan of each particle.
    This may not seem necessary, but now that you're having much more particles moving at a faster rate, they will be covering a larger distance before they die.
    In order to bring this back down to about its original length, you'll have to have them die sooner. This will also help reduced the strain on your computer because there will be fewer particles alive at any given moment.
    So go back up to the drop down where you chose Operator, and select Initializer.
    Then select Lifetime_Random.
    [​IMG]
    Here there is two variables we'll want to edit, lifetime_min, and lifetime_max.
    In order to introduce some randomness, tf2 will choose a random number between these two numbers to set the life of each individual particle in seconds.
    Again, reduce these numbers to what works best for your map.

    Next, you can repeat all the same steps for the env_snow_stormfront_mist system.

    Next it is time to save your custom system to a new file.
    You won't want to just save this system with the same names in case you run into conflicts.
    Select each system that you've edited and hit the copy on the right side of the particle browser window and give your system a unique name.
    [​IMG]
    It can be whatever you want, but should be descriptive and easy to remember.
    Next you'll want to save your group of systems to a a new .pcf file.
    Go to file>save as and name your system.
    [​IMG]
    Again, short and descriptive, typically including the name of the map it'll be used in.
    In the end it should look something like this.
    [​IMG]

    Now for the last step, getting the particles to actually work in your map.
    First you'll need to make a manifest file to tell tf2 to load the system along with your map.
    go to the team fortress 2\tf\particles folder and create a new text file, in it add something along these lines.
    Code:
    particles_manifest
    {
    	file	"particles/error.pcf"
    	file	"particles/fire_01.pcf"
    	file	"particles/burning_fx.pcf"
    	file	"particles/explosions.pcf"
    	file	"!particles/muzzleflashes.pcf"
    	file	"!particles/rockettrail.pcf"
    	file	"!particles/achievement.pcf"
    	file	"!particles/whatever_your_file_was_named.pcf"
    }
    Then save it as yourmapname_manifest.txt

    Then in your map, create a info_particle_system and under particle system name, enter the name of the system you want (not the name of the .pcf file).
    Then set both Start Active? and Flag as Weather? to Yes.
    Compile your map and it should work.

    Also, now that your map is set up with the system in it, you can run the game in tools mode, edit your system, then load your map in the engine (using f10/f11) and edit while running the map (you may have to reload the map to see changes though).

    Also, there was one bug I seemed to run into, where I'd have to hit Save and/or Save and Test on the browser window before going to file>save whenever I made changes in order for the system to load properly in the map.

    I think that covers everything. It's my first time writing a tutorial so let me know if I missed something or if something needs clarification.
    If there's something you wan to do that I didn't cover, poke around a bit, now that you know some basics, you can experiment with some of the other variables in there and see what they do. If you want more help though, just ask.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2010
  13. Jetti

    Jetti L5: Dapper Member

    Messages:
    226
    Positive Ratings:
    96
    Thanks Ubersprode. You were incredibly helpful!