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Using Springheel's 2.05 Modules [download in OP]


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#1 Springheel

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 07:50 PM

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Inspired by Sotha's excellent mapping videos, I decided to create some videos detailing how to use the new modules I created for TDM 2.05.  If you're new to mapping, watch Sotha's videos first (I don't go into detail about what modules are or how to create a map).  Afterwards, or if you're already familiar with TDM mapping, you can watch these to get a sense of what the new modules look like and how much they can speed up mapping.

 

New Models

 

As I add new models to the existing module sets, I will make them available to mappers until they are released in 2.06.

 

This package includes the new models created since 2.05, as well as the entire set of existing prefabs:  http://www.mindplace...els206stuff.zip

 

===============================================================================================================================================================

 

First, an introduction to modules:

 

 

Step 2; starting to build a simple street:

 

 

Step 3:  adding rooftop access:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJZshJg-JpM&feature=youtu.be

 

Step 4:  finishing the street with detail models

 

https://youtu.be/RRIY0K_8B2A

 

Step 5:  using LOD models and other performance tricks

 

https://youtu.be/hyXOG94lkXQ


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#2 AluminumHaste

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 09:30 PM

Excellent!

 

EDIT: I love your voice, you sound very much like some of the people in the Gambit podcasts, did you ever work for LGS? :P


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I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

#3 grayman

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 09:40 PM

Nice!



#4 HMart

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 09:52 PM

Fantastic work, congrats. 


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#5 Petike the Taffer

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 09:53 PM

Just finished watching the video. I love all the new object variety that's now available for modular building ! :)

 

This exact style of piecing together smaller sceneries reminds me a lot of what Frictional did with their level editors for Amnesia and SOMA. I have experience in both, so I welcome we'll now have further accessories like this for smaller-scale building in Dark Radiant. I always fret creating bigger buildings from scratch, after already mucking about with the base level. This will help alleviate that minor "wish I could do this a bit swifter" annoyance. B)


Edited by Petike the Taffer, 26 February 2017 - 09:53 PM.

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#6 Springheel

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 02:20 PM

Part 2 is available in the OP.


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#7 Destined

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 02:21 PM

The video is set as private.



#8 Springheel

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 02:42 PM

Does it show up now?



#9 Bikerdude

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 02:46 PM

I can see all of them, what resolution to you screen capture at originally and I think maybe youtube is blurring them..

 

Bloody youtube, I was a 1/4 of the way it before it unblurred the video..

 

Created a discussion thread on the steam page -

 

http://steamcommunit...58092253366416/



#10 Destined

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 02:57 PM

Yep, I can see it now. Thanks a lot!



#11 Judith

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 05:29 PM

I started fiddling with building pieces and mansion parts, and the first impression is... kind of messy. Pivots for walls seem to be in a wrong place, they should be at one of the wall edges, or even better, at a corner, to facilitate rotating. Mansion walls are impossible to snap to grid. When I align them with the ground brush, the pivot is somewhere in the air. Such big architectural parts should be easily manipulated within grid of 16 or 8, in all directions.

 

Clipboard02.jpg

 

 

The other problem is the meshwork, there seem to be unnecessary polygons and crossings here. Frames on the other hand, are long and have too few polygons. Lightning on long faces with only two triangles will look ugly, especially with specular.

 

Clipboard03.jpgtut_2017_02_28_00_02_59.jpg

 

And, assuming that I'm using those meshes correctly, they're not flush with each other as well. Column base trim texture seems to be inverted and the geometry of columns is off at every wall section.

 

Clipboard04.jpg

Clipboard05.jpg

 

 

Also, quite a few of these walls have faces on the other side that won't be visible. None of these walls is thicker than 8 or 12, so I assume wall thickness was left to mappers decision, as it should be.


Edited by Judith, 27 February 2017 - 05:53 PM.


#12 Bikerdude

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 06:14 PM

I started fiddling with building pieces and mansion parts, and the first impression is... kind of messy. The pivot is somewhere in the air.

 

Clipboard02.jpg

@Springheel I can also confirm this, as I have spent as much time as Grayman working with these modules. So if and when you start work on the Builder modules, could I humbly request that you have a look at all the current modular models and set the pivot point as Judith has suggested..? I would do this myself but don't have or know how to use lightwave,

 

@Arcturus/Judith - 

  1. can Blender work with .LWO models and
  2. can it do so without mucking said models beyond us wanting to change the pivot points..?


#13 grayman

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 06:29 PM

Origins for models shipping with 2.05 can't be changed.

Origins for new wall/door/window modules to be added to already shipped module sets should match those of the already shipped modules.

Origins for future models not part of the shipped module sets can be set at more optimal locations.
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#14 Springheel

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 07:03 PM

I started fiddling with building pieces and mansion parts, and the first impression is... kind of messy.

 

 

 

Feel free not to use them if they aren't up to your standards.


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#15 Judith

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 01:21 AM

 

 

Feel free not to use them if they aren't up to your standards.

 

I didn't mean to offend you, the whole initiative is a great idea. But, I'd send those meshes for a peer review and listen to feedback before publishing. E.g. my work is rarely a result of a first try. Stuff I'm really happy with is usually the second or third version, often made from scratch after hitting a dead end and receiving a valid critique from my architect friend (who also plays a lot of games). I mean, players probably won't notice that. Fellow mappers and modelers, they will be much, much more harsh in their judgement.

 

 

@Springheel I can also confirm this, as I have spent as much time as Grayman working with these modules. So if and when you start work on the Builder modules, could I humbly request that you have a look at all the current modular models and set the pivot point as Judith has suggested..? I would do this myself but don't have or know how to use lightwave,

 

@Arcturus/Judith - 

  1. can Blender work with .LWO models and
  2. can it do so without mucking said models beyond us wanting to change the pivot points..?

 

 

I haven't tried blender, but 3dsmax won't import lightwave files. I tried to convert it to ase or export to obj, but apparently this script works only with brushwork.


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#16 Sotha

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 02:07 AM

Peer review won't help, because like grayman said, it is too late to change them.

*If* someone makes new modules to TDM core, perhaps then it would be a good idea to do some team peer reviewing.

But my personal experience is that whatever you do, and no matter how well you do it, and no matter how much others helped you to perfect it, someone else *will* find some component of your hard work, which they can (rightly or not) criticize.

And that is of course irritating, and it burns out unpaid voluntary workers ultra-fast.
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#17 Judith

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 02:29 AM

That kind of depends on your goals, and the so-called peer culture. If you value self-imprevement most, you will receive even the most harsh critique. You might be angry at first, but you know it's valid, even if poorly-phrased.

 

Some communities (like Thief community in general sense) are very polite and encouraging, there's barely any critique. On Polygon forums, people are usually polite, but they will point out your errors, one by one. Last but not least, there are forums like max3d.pl, where people are merciless ;) They will tell you your wireframe is shit when they see it, and they will find every unnecessary polygon you may have missed, every wrong seam, and every distorted UV.

 

And that is good too, as long as you realise they point their critique at your work, not at you personally. You always release your work for at least three audiences: the general public, which is typically the most generous in their appraisals; your "specialist colleagues", who will analyse your work at every angle, and try to learn your technique, if it's good (or tear it to pieces, if it's shoddy); and finally yourself, to fulfill your creative needs or find answers or solve problems nobody else even thinks of. The first audience is nice to have, but the other two are true source of your self-improvement and development as a craftsman, artist, whoever you think you are.


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#18 Melan

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 03:16 AM

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As I understand, these modules were already a massive commitment of time and effort on Springheel's part, and ended up burning him out real bad - so much so that he has effectively stepped back from directing the mod's progress in the way he had done since the beginning. It may not be apparent, but many of us have struggled with burnout issues over time. It is why you can't play The Crucible of Omens campaign, it is why Shadowhide's excellent city map remains unfinished, it is why Skacky has a whole mission lying abandoned (although it is rather different from his usual style), and it is why Jdude, one of the most talented TDM mappers, has one released mission out of several half-finished projects (St. Lucia, which should give you an idea on how the rest is like).

 

I am not writing this to claim anyone's work should be above criticism (in fact, we need good constructive criticism). Rather, I am drawing attention to the practical considerations of developing a total conversion project and the missions for it. It is better to have eight completed, tested and released missions of average quality than two unfinished masterpieces. Yes, the latter are a sad loss, but the world belongs to the living, not the could have beens. The same goes for textures, models and everything else. Not everyone is as talented a modeller as Epifire or nosslak (and where it comes to AI, the long-gone oDDity), but people somehow filled the gaps. Not always perfectly, but in a way that made for a functional game with a solid asset base.

 

I am on the opinion that if people come to the mod, they will do good work even with imperfect pieces, and some of the results will be outstanding. Last year's crop of missions included The Accountant 2King of DiamondsFull Moon FeverVolta and the Stone and Down by the Riverside - well beyond the call of duty, and a testament to their makers' creative energies. (If anything, I would have welcomed more small, less ambitious missions, but I can't be greedy). Now, they were made with imperfect assets, and affected by constraints we all experience. But they could still use those assets to deliver something outstanding maps. And I am sure the same goes for these modular assets - if people use them.


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Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

#19 Judith

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 03:43 AM

I fully subscribe to what you just said. That is the main reason I never finished three TDS FMs I had in progress, at least one GoW map, and two UT3 maps ;) But I still value that experience, It helped me grow, even if noone really saw it. I know your job, home, and other adult responsibilities leave little time for editing.

 

But, things like properly placed pivots are kind of minimum requirement to meet, if you want the modular system to work. There are free resources on the web to help you, like this one: https://docs.unreale...LevelDesign.pdf

 

Also viewing and analyzing meshes in other game editors may help as well, like UT3 is pretty cheap now, it comes with the editor and mesh libraries.

 

Anyway, despite the language barrier or tone problems, my attitude is always "here, let me help you improve this", not "your work is shit".


Edited by Judith, 28 February 2017 - 04:04 AM.

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#20 Sotha

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 03:45 AM

(If anything, I would have welcomed more small, less ambitious missions, but I can't be greedy)


Cough cough coercion cough cough... ;D

Anyhow, well said. If everything we do was honed to absolute perfection, we would not have finished anything.

Good enough is good enough. That's good rule. Then next time, we can do it a bit better if it is not too much extra work.
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#21 Melan

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 04:04 AM

Judith: Some people can cope better, but I'd be pretty heartbroken if I had multiple large, abandoned maps (that had little possibility of eventual publication).

 

Sotha: I wrote "more", with Coercion and Mother Rose duly noted. ;)


Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

#22 Judith

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 04:31 AM

Heartbroken? I think that's way too dramatic :) Me ≠ my work. I don't feel like that time was wasted, quite the contrary.

 

Me = my job, that's probably more like it ;)


Edited by Judith, 28 February 2017 - 04:41 AM.


#23 Bikerdude

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 08:13 AM

@Judith, another thing to be aware of is the available userbase we have at our disposal is far smaller than ttlg.
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#24 grayman

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 08:39 AM

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I've completed the architecture on 2 large WIP missions (city streets, bank) and am halfway through a third smaller one (mansion), all using the new modules.

 

I've learned to use the modules as delivered and am completely happy with the results, which were achieved in a fraction of the time it would have taken me had I not had them available.

 

Since I'm also planning a 'Builder church' mission, I'm looking forward to a nice set of Builder modules.

 

(signed) A Happy Mapper.  :D


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#25 Springheel

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 09:09 AM

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I make no claims that the modules are perfect.  I'm not a professional modeller, nor is that a goal I'm pursuing.  I created these because I wanted to encourage new mappers to try mapping, and allow existing mappers to create impressive looking missions in far less time, with the hope that this will draw more players to the game.

 

Yes, the origin is not ideally placed on most of the sets, and there are certainly flaws, but I've used them to map with already, and the results are far more detailed than almost anything we've seen in TDM thus far, and faster than anything that could be done with brushes and patches.  Since no one is forced to use them, I'm convinced the result is a net positive.

 

This scene, for example, could be created in under an hour using the modules.  Without them I suspect it would take several days.  Are there places where the trim doesn't match up perfectly?  Absolutely.  Will players care?  Maybe, but I suspect not.
 

post-9-0-87263700-1480263760.jpg


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