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LDAsh

(Requests) Import-Multiple / Random-Scatter / Random-Rotate

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In working on things like debris, junk/litter and all kinds of organic scenes with rocks and bushes, I think it would be great and save a lot of time to have some tool that can import a number of something at once, randomly "scatter" and randomly rotate (with axis-restriction) large collections of mapobjects.
For example, a mapper would load in a bunch of such objects in one spot (even overlapping) with one operation, select the multiple objects, then perform the operations separately.

 

"Import #" ('import multiple') would be an extra feature of "Choose Model" dialog, I imagine to the left of Cancel/OK a field where the mapper can input the number of these objects to bring in at once.
"Scatter" would have a value that represents extent of area, so say the mapper types in "512", it would relocate/redistribute the group of objects in a 1024x1024 unit area. ...(if this could be done while also snapping to whatever geometry is connected below it, that would be a huge plus, but also much extra coding work, I imagine.)
"Rotate" (or 'randomize-rotation', for disambiguation) would take a simple X/Y/Z option and rotate everything at random (uniquely) by that axis only.

At the end, creating such random mess for organic scenes and dirty/destroyed urban scenes would be much quicker, and hopefully these tools wouldn't be difficult to implement. What do mappers think of these ideas? If you agree they are worthy requests (or not) please chime in.

Edited by LDAsh
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I had completely forgotten about SEED :-/ Yes, it is pretty much exactly, what LDAsh suggested. Good to be reminded that it already exists, though.

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I just played around a bit with SEED and have to say, it needs some getting used to. Also, I found amistake in the help text of DR: For the Density spawnarg it says "Only used if 'max_entities' is > 0, then it is used as a factor to influence the entity count. Higher values => more entities, smaller than 1 => less entities. Try 0.2 .. 3 as a starting point.". However, it should be "Only used if 'max_entities' is = 0". I also found a discussion about entities only working with specific surface types, that I did not see on the Wiki, which is why it also first did not work for me. The instructions are a bit lacking here, but it is generally a very nice system, that not only can avoid manually placing each entity, but also saves recources, when LOD models are used.

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That's really awesome. I had read about it briefly before but obviously not carefully enough. :P I thought it was more for bunches of LOD'd objects that already existed in a map.

 

After playing around with it a little, it seems like this performs its magic at the DMAP stage, so my question/request now becomes:-

Is it possible to force this into unique entities (entries) into the actual map file so that seed can be initially used but then objects can be manually manipulated afterward? It would also allow these objects to be exported into something like Blender for extra tricks and then imported back into Radiant via OBJ format. I realise this defeats the purpose of the density settings, etc., but I still think it would be handy to have complete control over every object individually.

Edited by LDAsh

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If you want more finite control over it and you're planning on using Blender anyway you might as well forego SEED altogether. You can quite easily replicate the functionality of SEED by using groups and a particle system.

 

Here's a video for demonstration...

 

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Another idea that came to mind was to convert the PROC file to something that can be imported back, and I swear there was a way to do that, but I can't remember if it keeps the material headers and UVs enough in tact or not. Probably not. Never really needed to do this before, but I do remember it was possible as I compared how PROC files are carved up compared to idTech3 BSPs.

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(edit): I believe "Noesis" was what I had used to do it:-

http://richwhitehouse.com/index.php?content=inc_projects.php&showproject=91

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(edit): Ah yes, Noesis can convert PROC files to OBJ and keeps all material headers and UVs in tact. It separates by materials and Blender can easily separate further by "loose parts". Lovely.

Edited by LDAsh

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