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Epi's Many Questions Thread


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#76 RPGista

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Posted 12 February 2016 - 08:24 PM

Im afraid Im quite lost. But that smooth alpha transparency you guys got there seems like something awesome, I was sure only harsh transparency (a pixel is either fully visible or not) was possible with textures (or that 50% translucency in glasses). The way you were able to apply that as texture blending in the terrain geometry looks also like something awesome. All the rest escapes me, but its pretty cool to see that there are still some new ways of using materials, at this stage.



#77 Epifire

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Posted 20 February 2016 - 01:12 PM

 

Here's a flare:

textures/darkmod/sfx/flare_custom
{

    noSelfShadow
    noShadows
    nonsolid
    //sort postprocess
    deform flare 32
    translucent

        {
            blend add
            map textures/darkmod/sfx/candleglow.tga //textures/particles/fbeam
            clamp
            colored
        }


}

Reduce the 32 to make it smaller (32 is pretty big, and I've had trouble with this one clipping through walls in some circumstances). Seen here in a test map as part of another radiator design. (The 'reactor meltdown' effect is more muted against a proper backdrop.) Whether it'll suit your needs is another matter...

attachicon.gif flare.png

 

 

Kinda just moving the topic of deform flares from the, "what are you working on thread" to here. With Vanished One's material reference I'm able to apply that on a model but the results in-game are confusing.

 

So first the id dev resources say that flares need to utilize quads, but I get an in-game error about it not being triangulated and none of the rest of the mesh renders because of it. Just in general quads wont render at all as far as my tests can gather. But just as well if I run this material on the same patch and have it triangulated I get a non-stop error loop in the console.

 

I guess I'm a little in the dark of how the mesh is supposed to be handled in this instance then?


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#78 VanishedOne

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Posted 20 February 2016 - 01:16 PM

Read 'quad' as 'rectangle quadrilateral surface composed of two triangles'.

 

What does the non-stop loop error say? I've tried that material on a patch made in DR (edit: and on brush surfaces) but never on (part of) a model.


Edited by VanishedOne, 20 February 2016 - 01:56 PM.

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#79 Epifire

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Posted 21 February 2016 - 12:47 AM

Oh geez, they really need to term that better. It's reasons like this, why I absolutely despise the way the info site was written.  :wacko:

 

The weird thing is I've thrown any kind of geometry at it that I can think of to figure out what this deform flare likes. I'm not logged onto my main desktop right now so I can't take a look at what the console is saying yet. I'd be interested in seeing how the lantern is setup in both mesh and materials. I couldn't find where that stays in the directories though. I know it uses a light amount of flare on it and that's what I want to shoot for.


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#80 VanishedOne

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Posted 21 February 2016 - 09:25 AM

Which lantern?


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#81 Epifire

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Posted 21 February 2016 - 10:33 AM

Oh the player lantern (the one you see for the lantern entity to pickup). I don't think most mappers use that one as it's usually assigned through the mission loadout.


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#82 VanishedOne

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Posted 21 February 2016 - 11:19 AM

models/darkmod/lights/non-extinguishable/hooded_lantern.lwo in tdm_models01.pk4 according to the entity def. -- but you may have in mind the nearby hooded_lantern_with_flare.lwo

 

In which case the flare material is models/md5/props/lantern/flare

 

It's deform sprite, not deform flare.

models/md5/props/lantern/flare
{

	translucent
	deform sprite
	{
		blend			add
		map				textures/particles/lanternflare
	}


}

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#83 Epifire

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 12:42 AM

Well screw trying to mess with flares then, that seems to accomplish the effect I need just fine. Thank you for digging that up! I'm pretty lousy at navigating the pk4s to find stuffs, so I'm rather in the debt of those who can find me valuable information. Now if you ever need a special detail asset for a map, just tell this kid...  B)


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#84 demagogue

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 01:57 AM

Well I was working on a forest mission... I would really love to model some of my own terrain and trees for that matter and have some vertex blending. Or even better, find a template out there I can tweak to what I need.


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#85 Bikerdude

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 08:47 AM

Well I was working on a forest mission... I would really love to model some of my own terrain and trees for that matter and have some vertex blending.

For a good forest have a look at my Alberics mission and for a good blended patches have a look at A House of Locked Secrets as I made a blended patch for the inner courtyard and used SEED to provide shrubs and such. In fact if I evern make a mission with a forest again I will use the above and improve upon it.

 

I am happy to help you with this, either providing test maps so you can see how its done or working on the map with you.



#86 Epifire

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Posted 23 February 2016 - 12:35 AM

Well I was working on a forest mission... I would really love to model some of my own terrain and trees for that matter and have some vertex blending. Or even better, find a template out there I can tweak to what I need.

 

Yeah man, having previously picked out textures to blend helps a lot, but that would be easy to help out with. Trick that I use is to export any and everything that I can from DR to denote area bounding. Now it's only brushwork, but surrounding rocks and paths (and other stuffs that stick into the ground) with brushwork, make for a very detailed BSP to work from.

 

The tricky thing is how you light it. I could toss something together for you very quickly with the right resources to go off of. It's very helpful if you establish boundaries early on. So as you know where you're sky light based entities can cover. When you get your area planned out and ready, pass me a PM and we'll git down to business. ;)  


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#87 Epifire

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 03:08 AM

Been up for a while going over this. I don't have my actual material here but this should still suffice. What I'm wanting to do (and kinda talked at this) is to use a height map combined as color contribution to the vertex blend. Basically a two step operation with the height map added last. 

 

{
     blend diffusemap
     map file/path/image_d.tga
     VertexColor
}

 

I know you can use multiple paths in a single blend diffusemap block but it doesn't accomplish what I'm going for. Other blend modes just layer it over the existing effects present. As I'm trying to target the VertexColor directly with a heightmap. Might be possible, might not? 


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#88 demagogue

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 05:35 AM

I've been watching YouTube tutorials on making outdoors/forest areas and this is exactly what they do, the last one I watched just earlier today (nice timing) doing it for Lightwave. Well that one baked one massive texture by the method, which one could do in PhotoShop. The concept is good, but no guarantee the id engine can do it itself.

Also to throw this out there, Id4 technically has basic megatexture capability. If your scenes are just a dozen or so meters square per terrain object, then the photoshop method might do fine as a megatexture on it. Somewhere out there is a demo map of it. The catch of course is they aren't compressed, so could only be so big. What you're trying is more efficient.
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#89 Epifire

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 01:18 PM

Yeah the other method of mapping out high/low areas means a lot more polygon supports layed in to make the terrain more dense. Now this still isn't really a problem as the terrain wont be needed to cast shadows. Not for the major low lying portions anyway. All I know is if our coders (or other well todo knowledge goers) somehow found me a way of combining heightmap influence on top of vertex painted areas, I could transform how terrain currently looks in TDM. 

 

Megatextures would be beastly, but I really would only combine actual terrain elements rather than the rest of the environment. The other thing too is last time I tried to load a Megatexture (in id5's editor) it took me over twenty minuets to load a single map. Not to mention how difficult it was to run after that even (and my hardware isn't too shabby). Sadly I don't think our technology will catch up to Megatextures for at least another five years. Right now we're really only seeing an entry level usage of it and not even it's full potential. To build on that platform of tech and do well, you have to have the elite of the elite hardware to pull it off.

 

So for now I'm still stuck with my different blending methods for multiple textures, to break up noticeable tiling.


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#90 VanishedOne

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 01:43 PM

I'm not sure I entirely follow the objective (as far as I know the engine only knows about heightmaps insofar as it can convert them to normal maps), but if what you want to do involves using a greyscale map besides vertex colours to blend textures then maybe you could call makeAlpha() on it and use a http://idtechforums....msg1928#msg1928 blend (without the timer)...?


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#91 demagogue

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 09:02 PM

I don't know the details either. I thought vertex blending used a greyscale image, and there are plenty of apps or modeling programs that convert terrain to a greyscale image heightmap or vice versa.

The latter is better because it's so much eaisier to draw a greyscale map to do terrain, then Blender or Lightwave converts it to poly terrain, and then the heightmap image serves as the base for vertex blending textures by height on it.

Is there something in that pipeline that id4 doesn't like? I watched the vertex blend tutorial somebody did for it once, but now I'm getting systems mixed up. Can't you just make a copy of the heightmap, make a few tweaks in photoshop, and use the copy directly as a blend map?
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#92 Epifire

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Posted 28 February 2016 - 12:57 AM

 

I don't know the details either. I thought vertex blending used a greyscale image, and there are plenty of apps or modeling programs that convert terrain to a greyscale image heightmap or vice versa.

The latter is better because it's so much eaisier to draw a greyscale map to do terrain, then Blender or Lightwave converts it to poly terrain, and then the heightmap image serves as the base for vertex blending textures by height on it.

Is there something in that pipeline that id4 doesn't like? I watched the vertex blend tutorial somebody did for it once, but now I'm getting systems mixed up. Can't you just make a copy of the heightmap, make a few tweaks in photoshop, and use the copy directly as a blend map

Yeah the Vertex Blending relies on color paints directly on the mesh rather than an actual image sadly. At least within Id4 anyway. This is pretty much what your mesh looks like before export (seen in vertex paint mode)...

 

vertex-painted_sml.jpg

 

Heightmap info is the most helpful for what I'm trying to accomplish. This is easier to process (in theory anyway) as we're not relying on select RGB channels as most painting methods utilize in modern engines. Instead with the black and white coverage we control the blending. Both the Vertex Paints and Height map use black and white. The Vertex Paints shouldn't see any change in my process. Alright, so note in my example the dirt path surrounded by grass...

 

grass_2016-02-10_21.04.34_zpsbhvccc2n.jp

 

The dirt is within my InvertedVertexColor block. So that part of the mesh is painted black. The downside is that there is only linear blending at the geometry edge loops. The second step I want to do is assign the B&W height map as a last step on top of the vertex blend. So then the white would contribute to the coverage in the black painted areas giving a refined edge based off your heightmap info. What I'm trying to customize is the B&W coverage down to the pixel rather than a Vertex Color. It would be very precise and since I make sure the tiling all lines up, so would the heightmaps.

 

I may make a visual example to define this further as it's difficult to explain the power it gives the designer. Here's an instance I could use with this. If I had a stone floor that was supposed to have loose tiles. I could blend a different dirt texture in between the tiles. Now this could also be done with a duplicate texture with a different color of dirt in between, but it's still more restrictive. I could pair several tiling dirt textures for most my needs rather than having similar alternate tile floors with the desired dirt in between the tiles.

 

 

I'm not sure I entirely follow the objective (as far as I know the engine only knows about heightmaps insofar as it can convert them to normal maps), but if what you want to do involves using a greyscale map besides vertex colours to blend textures then maybe you could call makeAlpha() on it and use a http://idtechforums....msg1928#msg1928 blend (without the timer)...?

 

This may be just the break I need, as that's exactly what I need to accomplish. I'll have to save that and try to use it when I get back to my desktop.


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#93 VanishedOne

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Posted 28 February 2016 - 12:54 PM

Having thought about it some more I suppose light interaction is the main problem, since what I suggested isn't a diffusemap blend. I know it's possible to make a shadowable diffusemapless decal as per http://forums.thedar...me/#entry382948 though...
 
That, and the surface type limitation noted in http://bugs.thedarkm...iew.php?id=3135 (I imagine you'll be using tdm_nodrawsolid_<surftype> patch overlays or something...?)


Edited by VanishedOne, 28 February 2016 - 01:15 PM.

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#94 rich_is_bored

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Posted 28 February 2016 - 04:31 PM

I recently read a blog post about how the backgrounds in Homeworld 2 were done using nothing but vertex colors. The article can be read here and a tool to create suitable models can be found here.

 

It doesn't sound immediately applicable however what this example demonstrates is how you can "pack" texture data into a mesh. It's a trick that would cost you additional geometry, but if it isn't shadow casting it might be worth looking into. I don't imagine it carries much if any performance penalty.

 

The tool linked above supports exporting a plane; a shape not too far removed from being a terrain mesh. It shouldn't require much tweaking to yield a model suitable for use in game.



#95 Epifire

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 12:18 AM

This brings up a lot of different points. What I think of in reference of what I want to do is what you have in the Unreal for Vertex Paints. 

 

 

Pretty awesome results, but I know we're much more limited in what we can do. I think what I'll try to do is take it back a bit and not over-complicate my methods. Can achieve some pretty good results with some more strict methods but fleshing all this out has done me a lot of good to think on. The thing is I'm considering some pretty over the top ideas along the lines of the mega texture theory.

 

Can you make a terrain mesh and have it use a single mega texture only? I don't know how that is implemented within id4 (but some have been saying it's possible). I'm not fully convinced of using it but I'm interested in using smaller (less mega) texture sizes for smaller but intricate outdoor scenes. The production of such a texture would be the interesting part, as I don't think I have any software exactly suited for the job currently.


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#96 demagogue

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 10:35 PM

Search "Doom3 megatexture" on YouTube and Google to see what's been done. There's at least 3 YT videos. Unfortunately since Doom3World is down it's hard to track people and files down.

The tutorial about making the texture I saw above is here --
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#97 VanishedOne

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Posted 01 March 2016 - 10:25 AM

http://forums.thedar...d-system/page-9 links to a 'megatexture tool' but the other link seems not to work now, so you might need to ask around for someone to upload the necessary .vfp.

 

By the way, you might also be interested in these, though the technique sounds pretty hacky:

 

http://forums.thedar...o-hell/?p=92590

http://forums.thedar...files/?p=201216


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#98 Epifire

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Posted 04 March 2016 - 10:41 PM

Some interesting reading Vanished one. Though sadly I can't get any of the links for the tool to work. But as I can see id4 can import huge texture resolutions correct? If so I may do some smaller (slightly less mega) textures for unique building sections. I think I may try to demo some of these themes into my new level I have in mind. Let's just say to start with I'll need to create a lot of stonework and structural details from scratch. 

 

The theory is extensive so I'm not sure how well this will work but I have to try. The goal is to create mesh sections as I always do, highpoly with lowres baked finals.

 

1: The repetitive pieces shall be created from modular assets, then positioned in XSI to their respective places and all saved with their unique world positions for a final export scene. Then I'll load each connected space (within reason as there's a considerable performance hit) into Substance Painter. There I'll work my magic and do all the detailing I need.

 

2: Once finished with all the required sections I will then export (with as large and compact sections as possible in separate maps) depending on the size of the space I will do for TDM. Here's the tricky part. If my tools are exact enough I'll go back into the final versions of each level section in XSI and move the whole UV sheet to only take up a portion of the final sheet. For instance if I have four 8k textures, I would therefore split the UV space into fourths. Each mesh section would occupy one of the four sections. 

 

3: The last step would be to combine my four texture sheets into a single 16k image in Photoshop. Not sure what a 16k DDS texture would look like but any kind of file compression would probably help this instance immensely for file sizes.

 

For a whole unified level structure I think it can work, permitting the engine can load larger textures with no problems. Now for my current project I may only section out floors for this usage and try to keep the rest as individual assets. This is largely due in part to my lack in tools to batch process/bake my whole level into a single sheet.


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#99 Epifire

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Posted 04 March 2016 - 10:44 PM

Some interesting reading Vanished one. Though sadly I can't get any of the links for the tool to work. But as I can see id4 can import huge texture resolutions correct? If so I may do some smaller (slightly less mega) textures for unique building sections. I think I may try to demo some of these themes into my new level I have in mind. Let's just say to start with I'll need to create a lot of stonework and structural details from scratch. 

 

The theory is extensive so I'm not sure how well this will work but I have to try. The goal is to create mesh sections as I always do, highpoly with lowres baked finals. 

 

1: The repetitive pieces shall be created from modular assets, then positioned in XSI to their respective places and all saved with their unique world positions for a final export scene. Then I'll load each connected space (within reason as there's a considerable performance hit) into Substance Painter. There I'll work my magic and do all the detailing I need.

 

2: Once finished with all the required sections I will then export (with as large and compact sections as possible in separate maps) depending on the size of the space I will do for TDM. Here's the tricky part. If my tools are exact enough I'll go back into the final versions of each level section in XSI and move the whole UV sheet to only take up a portion of the final sheet. For instance if I have four 8k textures, I would therefore split the UV space into fourths. Each mesh section would occupy one of the four sections. 

 

3: The last step would be to combine my four texture sheets into a single 16k image in Photoshop. Not sure what a 16k DDS texture would look like but any kind of file compression would probably help this instance immensely for file sizes.

 

For a whole unified level structure I think it can work, permitting the engine can load larger textures with no problems. Now for my current project I may only section out floors for this usage and try to keep the rest as individual assets. This is largely due in part to my lack in tools to batch process/bake my whole level into a single sheet.


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#100 Epifire

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 02:20 AM

Doing up some rather large scale level textures to go into this new level and I gotta ask... does id4 support parallax effects of any kind? I have some good heightmaps to use (if it does) but I don't recall it being talked about. My brick wall I'm working on would make great usage of that if it exists in the system.


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