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LDAsh

101 Clips and friends

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Thought I might mention a handy piece of software that I've started using to complement Radiant...
It's called 101 Clips - https://101clips.com/freeclip.htm

v22.10 - http://www.violationentertainment.com/files/software/101%20Clips%2022.10.zip

It works with both (collections of) brushes, patches and mapobjects.  Likely other entities too.  It's pretty straight-forward to use but one thing I recommend is to go into 'Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts' and swap 'Paste' and 'PasteToCamera' entries, although you might prefer not to, I just find it less confusing that way.  The main reason for this is to use in combination with CTRL+MMB in the orthographic view, usually Z, after getting the camera aligned with the surface you want to paste to.  You can place the camera instantly and paste to that location, instead of pasting in 1 location and then manually moving the object around, it's much faster than that.  You would also want to get a keyboard shortcut for "Floor Selection" in there to hit right after pasting, if the camera isn't perfectly aligned or where you're pasting isn't flat.

The whole point is for decorating a lot of different details like trash, rubble, vegetation, etc, where you want to quickly cycle different objects and paste like crazy.  One downside is that there is no quick preview, each entry shows up as "Version 3" in the list, but you can get used to recognising mapobject names and material headers in the preview that pops up.  If you make copies carefully in a specific order, it's still very usable.

On a side note - you might find it interesting to use this in combination with AutoHotkey and X-Mouse.  If you have a 5-button mouse you'd be able to do stuff like automate the pasting/list-cycling/floor-drop process in 1 click.  This would make the whole technique very rapid and spitfire your details.

So yeah anyway, hope some of you find this handy too...  Happy mappin'.

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(EDIT:  Please be aware that because of the hackety Visual Basic involved, it does get 2 alerts on OPSWAT MetaDefender as a worm/backdoor.  I believe it's a false positive and even why this software does work with Radiant while alternatives don't, but it's up to you if you want to take risks or not...  Just saying, I do know.)

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Edited by LDAsh

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It seems like it doubles the functionality of the SEED tool in DR? I only used it to reduce the drawcall count for stuff like blades of grass, so I'm not 100% sure, but it looks like it from the wiki description.

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There are a few reasons why this is different from SEED.

You can control where you position objects exactly using CTRL+MMB during pasting, not just up to 25 you bring from the clipboard, but collections of objects.  You can then adjust each one individually from within Radiant, as I was doing in the video, just because I accidentally placed objects in the same location.

As far as I understand, SEED operates during the map compile process and each object can't be fine-tuned in Radiant.

It's the same with the concept of bringing terrain in from Blender as individual brushes, so mappers have control over everything right there in Radiant.

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SEED operates when the map runs, actually, or at least some of it does. (You can see its messages in the game console; and heavy use can slow your map load.) That's why http://wiki.thedarkmod.com/index.php?title=SEED#Introduction talks about avoiding the entity limit and having fewer entities doing their own LOD thinking. But I think combining entities in SEED has become less useful now that DR can easily export combined models.


Some things I'm repeatedly thinking about...

 

- louder scream when you're dying

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And in terms of using entities like in that video, you should rather have them on one UV space (e.g. a junk_objects01 material or something similar), and they should be combined into groups that would be like 2-3 models, not 25 smaller ones.

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Well that's true for any bunch of objects and in any real-time engine, regardless of how they're put in. If a mapper is put off using this technique by alarm bells about batches and drawcalls so instead places 50 mapobjects in, one at a time, it's not going to change anything except how long it took them to do it.

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Yup, that's why the best thing to do IMO is to discourage that approach, whether you use an external tool for it or not.

The performance-conscious approach would be to export the ground brushwork with DR, import it into Blender or any other modeling software along with these small models, use tools and modifiers to scatter the objects, save that as 1-2 models, and export them back to DR.

Edited by peter_spy

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But have you actually thought it through?  Scatter _where_?

What's the difference between exporting all the mapobjects after they've been placed in Radiant, and exporting large chunks of map (that won't be textured) into Blender, so you can see exactly where each object will be positioned in the map?  Either way it would take the same amount of time, unless you're blindly littering objects on a flat surface.  This is also something that should be done right at the final moment of the creation of a map, so you can always tweak these things right there in Radiant instead of having to go back to Blender and export everything over again.  This is why I ask if you've actually thought this through or not.  In my experience, this is easier to do in Radiant than in Blender, so a better approach is to merge and atlas everything after you have positioned them.  This is mainly because texture features of a map can matter in terms of where small objects would be positioned, along with positions of other entities, and in Blender you'll just be seeing flat grey geometry everywhere and be at a disadvantage.  Some folks are just more comfortable with Radiant than Blender anyway and don't wish to constantly jump back and forth between them.  The other thing is, it would take longer to prep (import and fix material headers, etc) all your mapobjects in Blender, that you wish to scatter around - meanwhile they are already set and ready in Radiant.  I also said in the first post this works with brushes and patches too, and other entities, it's not only concerning mapobjects.

So the argument that it's somehow worse than any other approach has flopped.  All this is doing is making an existing creation process quicker, it's not some bad voodoo that suddenly makes your triangles choke your GPU more.  Once again - this is absolutely no different than any other occasion a mapper copy+pastes large amounts of mapobjects around manually.  This is just quicker and simply just another technique I decided to try and share...

 

 

Edited by LDAsh

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I think you're missed the point of that post (maybe it was too concise). This is a standard gamedev approach, for older engines at least. And this is not GPU problem, but CPU>GPU pipeline issue. With new engines you don't have to bother this much, as you can have like 30k drawcalls per single core in DX11. Here you have around 10% of this at your disposal, so using texture atlases and merging smaller junk objects into larger models is by all means encouraged. Sure, for small rooms and corridors you can have your every object pasted like a hundred times, but in open spaces that approach would fail.

And if someone would have to pick up new tool just for scattering objects, they might as well get a modeling software, as typically they'd have scattering modifiers or mesh painting tools ("painting with models" as opposed to e.g. vertex painting in this case) – and many more features they might want to use in the future as they go (at some points they'd probably want to learn modeling anyway). Also, not sure what's the problem with applying textures to a model to see them in viewports.

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Hmm... I guess that if you really don't want to touch Blender and be safe on the performance side, you could use this tool and then use SEED's watch brethren spawnarg to combine copies of the same model into one (usually per visleaf).

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If I really don't want to touch Blender?:-
http://forums.thedarkmod.com/index.php?/topic/20008-brushwork-generators-mapgen/&do=findComment&comment=438388

 

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This is a standard gamedev approach...


I already agreed with you, batching and atlasing is important.  Where I disagree is the implication that it's something that suddenly became an issue within this thread, because of this technique.

 

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...but in open spaces that approach would fail.


You could still LOD these chunks of details like anything else, but it comes down to TDM not having a very good LOD implementation (from the HDD with limited stages VS from within vertex-buffer using more stages) and/or smooth distance-culling.  You're actually pointing out issues with the engine itself rather than issues with any editing approaches or tricks.

 

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Also, not sure what's the problem...


Takes much much longer, it's not very noob-friendly, and you end up with something that can't be edited in Radiant afterward, which is actually the whooole point of this (and my other terrain thread) in the first place.  To do as much as possible in Radiant.

Anyway, use it or don't, whatever, I just posted it here because somebody else might find it nifty.  Sorry to be a nuisance.

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Edited by LDAsh

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I haven't touched Blender in ages, but what's difficult with putting a diffuse texture in a material slot and toggling a preview in viewport? 😮

 

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I already agreed with you, batching and atlasing is important.  Where I disagree is the implication that it's something that suddenly became an issue within this thread, because of this technique.

High DC count (or rather, very low DC threshold that scales poorly with better hardware) is one of the major problems with this engine. I'd rather educate newcomers about that as early as possible, and help them shape their mapping habits accordingly.

The tools discussion is a bit more academic I guess. I prefer to use as few tools as possible, instead of having separate software for different aspects of mapping, but I agree that that may vary from user to user.

Btw. that brushwork generator seems rather old and produces geometry that doesn't look good (at least in your example). I'd probably look into something newer like World Machine instead.

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