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Posts posted by Epifire

  1. On 10/16/2022 at 12:28 PM, vozka said:

    Attempting to make a model of a safe for fun and practice. So far it's just hi-poly with PBR materials.

    My modelling skills are quite narrow and this is outside their scope, so I'm looking for criticism, mostly:

    - Is the overall style acceptable, regarding apparent time period etc? (apart from the text in the logo, that's a placeholder and I imagine I'd use some decorative victorian font plus some actual believable names)

    - Would the quality be good enough like this? 

    - Do you have suggestions about how to improve it?


    Heyo! So the render is coming out pretty snazzy so far. My only big criticisms would come down to just maybe adding some extra edge bevels (even if they end up being baked into the normal map), just to make the case/door edges a little more interesting. Now honestly this could be achieved via some crafty texture work, or just hard modeling the details. 

    I did a safe set some time earlier for TDM and I think I went the material route to highlight the edges. Albeit, a bit more edge distressing than I might do now, this is essentially how I handled it for those...



    So while I've tried to refine my detail masks a bit since these two were made, I'd still suggest a tad more on the grunge side. Main reason is that the assets that already exist for TDM are far from clean. While this does come down to the case usage (posh manor vs dock foreman office) is trying to match the current look of the game. I initially had a harder time making assets too clean and just had to develop my own style based on trial and error... or too many complaints :P

    Also, golden inlay can really pop if you highlight it more on the specular channel vs the color itself. Or at least so I found.

    Lastly, just make sure you mind the hinge alignment. I export the individual pieces from the same scene for this reason. As you've gotta remember, the mapper must reassemble the parts in Dark Radiant. So they'll have to line up on the grid somehow, else you might have gaps or little inconsistencies. Same goes for knobs and levers. My suggestion is to try and orient those pieces on your own gridsnap (in whatever app you model with) so that they just turn out this way by design. Nothing feels worse than importing a switch, just to see it clips oddly into the adjacent bezel. So basically, plotting the position of those things ahead of time saves the trouble.


    All in all I think your safe looks pretty awesome. I tend to make my stuff pretty loud but part of that is my own personal style too. Some of the things I like to go off on, are bits about how this mechanism would look with primitive casting & machining techniques. CNC machining is a pretty modern thing, so in the Dark Mod you can imagine a lot of metal details should appear to be cast iron or rolled steel plating.

    Otherwise man, I'd say you're pretty close already. Maybe just some extra detail to tie the door details together a bit more and just some general (natural) wear patterns.

    • Like 4
  2. 23 minutes ago, Obsttorte said:

    Sounds interesting. It would neglect the purpose a bit if all ai could use it (as it is intented to give the player some advantage), though. I need to think this through.

    My thought if QuickDoors became a fleshed out feature, would be to have an optional flag on the NPC that could toggle whether they're capable of turning on the speed. So in the end, you'd have mapper control of that across the NPCs. Maybe only have it so that it's off by default unless checked on. Could be useful in a scenario where you gotta bring some heat for the player to deal with.

  3. This reminds me of the quality of life improvements we did with separating mantle heights to a longer or shorter climb animation, depending on the distance. I'm definitely a supporter of this improvement.

    On a side note, how funny would it be if AI could optionally, also slam doors when running (or in alert state)?

    • Like 2
  4. Oh sure, I get that. I myself just give it the same name (or very close) to the model it's based for (eg. arc_transformer_001). You'll always know an Epi based product in the directory if it ends in the _001 convention. I've never had more than 50 variants of a single mesh, like ever; but I just like seeing those three numbers at the end of every name. I think it's from my time on Source modding, beyond that idk where it started. 🤣

    I understand that with world building textures it's not associated directly with a specific asset. I still think the arbitrary path name was a bit of a over the top choice though.


    36 minutes ago, OrbWeaver said:

    While it would be possible to have all material names like "wood_1", "metal_2", "polished_chrome" or whatever, there would be no way to browse or organise these in the editor without the virtual directory system. You would end up with every material in a single flat list, which you'd have to browse by scrolling through the 2D texture grid window. Perhaps some people would prefer this, but it seems rather impractical if you have thousands of available materials.

    I would bunch the organization under one or two keynames. And then a description. This helps me when I do modeled sets for an FM or a project that drives a whole list. This instance is specifically project related but it could be modified for generic assets too.

    "The Mask of Eddius, induction cooler" would then be condensed to, edd_generator_cooler_001

    Normally then anything else related to generators would always start with, "edd_generator" and then tack on the rest. Sometimes it can get a tad longer but at least everything in the title is describing the asset that way. Not just defining an arbitrary path with a vague description at the end. Then when you know your asset base, you'd just type the beginning of that and find everything on that category. Swap edd for tdm if it's a stock, generic asset and that's basically how I'd do it if I had the option to go back in time and change the hierarchy.

  5. Ahhh okay, I wasn't sure if that was a new engine feature or a Blender feature. I'm still waiting patiently for a viable fix to material edges being split by the engine at run time. :P

    I've despised the material naming convention since I joined the mod. At the same time however, I understand how making the path name the same as the material name can simplify things. But to a degree. It's good rule of thumb to just copy and paste material names anyways, but the path length almost demands that to limit typos. I'm just thankful Maya preserves forward slashes in a material name.

  6. Interestingly, my main problem with stock materials had been that slash instead of underscore. Since I used Softimage for a long time, I had problems because it didn't preserve forward slashes. I've used underscores in spaces ever since for my own material definitions. I'd love condensed names but that would be an entire duplicate set of mtr defs just to make that possible. The DR material selection isn't all too fun as is, so if these were standard BSP world textures you'd have two of everything.

    That skin method is something close to what I used for testing materials on a single mesh without re-export. What exactly is FullName?

  7. 41 minutes ago, thebigh said:

    Nice! The lighthouse, detailed rock models, and highlights on the sharper rock edges, give this an almost Dishonored vibe. It looks really cool.

    Thanks! That's the benefit of throwing all the detailing at texture data. There's actually very few (separated) meshes in that scene. Most areas are divided into single chunks to save on the draw calls. Currently with the entire scene in view, it clocks at 454 draw calls and 16,625 shadow count. That's the added benefit of a fully modeled scene and having total control. Downside is that with it being all combined, major changes to the layout a very difficult to do when it's all finished. So it forces you to plan well in advance and anything reworked has to fit in the bounds of what you've already made.

    • Like 3
  8. Considering the fact any of the developers (to my knowledge) interested in adding this save room feature, are just going to bank on adding both difficulty sets; none of the cvar stuff would be necessary. As then people could play the standard difficulties or just stick with the hardcore saveroom mode. Hazard Pay was simply a test bed for this but clearly there would be a different approach were this implemented in future mission releases.

    Let me remind folks, nobody during testing was ever advocating for all out replacing the standard difficulty mode but rather more exploring a new feature. This feature if implemented further, will just be offered alongside existing ones so that nobody is forced to go without.

    • Like 2
  9. Yeah editing the ruleset would be your best bet for that scenario I think. However that does really bring up the idea of different outcomes. It's a lot more gameplay to manage but I know you can set conditions in the level that will only activate, depending on the difficulty you chose (as the FM designer). I always wanted to do one with an RPG choice kinda spin. Where depending on the difficulty you chose, whole areas will either be added or removed; creating a much different experience.

  10. Hello Aosys! I just happened to run past your thread here as I've returned recently to the forums myself. I might be able to help you here with your Substance Painter setup, as I use it exclusively now. You wont get a one to one render preview in Painter, akin to that of the properties you'll see in-game. However you can get pretty close. 

    I do use the non-pbr mode but once you've got the settings and layers optioned correctly, it'll work. Firstly, are you using current versions? This is important as shaders and various versions of Painter have broke in the past (especially since Adobe bought them). I normally bake my Ambient Occlusion into my diffuse texture. Until (or really if ever) we get PBR in game, this shouldn't be changing; however baking the AO really helps if you're wanting dramatic lighting for cheap.

    If you can, try to multiply the AO over the diffuse texture in Photoshop and then save that to DDS. Personally I don't much like how powerful (and plastic like) specular effects are in TDM, so I usually will just end up with a final diffuse and normal texture. The only time I'd recommend blending the AO via mtr file is if you needed to preserve the UV's for the diffuse but had to multiply that over a tiling texture independently. Otherwise we can just cut down on the file consumption and go without the mask.

    Also, Greebo just made a file converter to take FBX to LWO. I use MayaLT now, so if you have to pull anything in from FBX; that can now be handled directly. It also handles vertex paints and smoothing options! This was a big requested feature from me and I'm really excited to start using it here myself. Greebo made it to work with his Dark Radiant upgrade project but it's also directly accessible via a batch file! So what this means is we'll be able to just save FBX to a mirrored directory and then run the batch file and it'll convert/copy the new LWO files to your chosen models destination. 

    If you want, I can show you how I've got my Substance Painter setup for TDM too. I could probably best do that via screenshare over Discord, so lemme know if you'd like to do that at some point.

    • Like 1
  11. 19 hours ago, revelator said:

    is actually possible but not very easy to play half-life alyx without VR :) you need https://github.com/r57zone/Half-Life-Alyx-novr

    and some stuff can be rather hard to do.

    Yeah man, I was able to play the game for a bit on a friend's Index and I'd definitely say some puzzles would be near impossible to do with mouse/keyboard inputs. I had to cancel my Index order (twice) due to the fact it only charges you the 1k, 8 months later when finances might want to say otherwise. Otherwise, I'm still planning on picking up VR gear to play it; just PC rebuild + car projects kinda took priority.

  12. If you're running advanced (I think it's maps?) lighting mode, you will actually have alpha tracing on your leaf-alpha cards unless it's disabled in the mtr. Topiary garden bushes are still a good bit of work in any engine, as it's hard to get looking 100% right without a lot of polys thrown at it. The only problem I myself had with this kind of modeling, is I never had a populate/scatter system to automate my leaf cards across the surface. Doing this by hand sucks but your poly count really starts to go up when you're using two sided planes for those tasty, tasty shadows.

    If you use decent sized leaf cards, they don't have to be as dense to fake the details. But one thing I'd recommend is to do your shape hull (stupidly simple) do a cage over that (running alpha leaves) and then your individual randomized cards on top of that. The dual cage method, if running a good material, will help soften the hard non-seethrough edges you'd get otherwise. Also, if the texture for the cage has really loose alpha, you could maybe have the two cages running shadows and noshadow the expensive leaf cards. Your dropshadow will capture those see through edges and still breakup your plant silhouette but at much less performance cost.



    Old old proof of concept here (not enough leaf cards either) but it gets away with less because of that dual hull method. With a better alpha texture for the secondary hull it would look even better. I think this one also had baked ground plane occlusion as a blend multiply and then in a separate layer tiled the leaf texture separately for the detail pass. Don't discount baked occlusion on stuff like this either. Just because we have SSAO now, doesn't mean it will create as dramatic of visual effect. The reason I'd do baked AO is to help contrast otherwise, featureless plant shapes. So my method would have two texture resources, a tiling base (with and without alpha) for the two primary hulls and one leaf set for the cards. Best of luck in any case, I'm just tossing my two cents out there! 😊

  13. Half-Life 2 is definitely one I'd love to play again with no prior memory of it.

    EDIT: So I feel more obligated to explain my feelings as to why. HL2 was first and foremost something I played much later after it's release (with the Orange Box set) but I ran into it because of the want to mod something more accessible. At the time I was cutting my teeth on trying to learn Softimage XSI for models in the original Star Wars Battlefront. I wasn't a fan of needing some program called "Steam" to run it, however at the behest of a friend; I took first just grabbed the demo.

    I probably played that demo six times through before my copy of the Orange Box arrived at my buddy's house, I loved it that much. Up to that point I hadn't played anything that took it's physics or it's world experience that seriously. I think what still sells it for me today is how it feels like a single take experience, start to finish. It tries to realize it's environment as an actual place and continues to handle it as such. It both rewarded or punished the player if they did (or didn't) think ahead, so while being linear it still gave way to this feeling of play-it-how-you-want. Dishonored continued and expanded on that whole world realization in gaming, and given the heavy influence of Antonov; really explains that connection. You can probably imagine my disappointment when I couldn't continue the experience (Half Life Alyx) for my lack in VR gear.

    • Like 2
  14. It really is true then, I'm so sad to hear the news. Grayman was always very open to working/advising with big and strange gameplay features I was throwing around. He was skilled in his craft but never placed himself over anyone else, and struck me as a very humble man. Be it the case, I am glad to have worked with him for the time that I did. He was always great to collaborate with and was very direct with any kind of models he needed from me. His presence will most certainly be missed here.

    • Like 3
  15. I think what you would need to set the tone for a mission like this is to have new scary/irregular enemies that are creatively introduced. The biggest working component of what makes the Cradle work as good as it does is uncertainty. If you can get a new enemy that is brooding with unpredictable animations/pathing, you could do a lot right there. One way I always thought this fear factor could be done, would be through the means of making the enemy combatant more illusive and mobile than the player. In Thief games you normally have a vastly superior ability to outwit the dumb NPCs in the game. If that could be changed up or even leveled, I think it would be winner.

    In a separate project we talked about the possibility of seeing an NPC that could use a code/script, that would actually teleport it around the map. The attempt would be to paint an enemy that understands the area better than you. Trying to convey the undertones that you're in his domain. It would likely have to be some kind of behavioral controller (separate from the specified NPC) that would kick into gear in a alert state. We'd command the NPC to run to different targets (a trigger teleport door/vent).

    I don't think it would be easy but what you'd have is an NPC that can run through a panel behind you and emerge from another panel on the opposite side of the room.

    The theory would go that the controller would create a path target to the nearest tele region. The controller would then change that region's teleport target to the one closest to the player. The caveat would be that you'd have to find a way of reliably enabling/disabling the controller so that the NPC can go back to searching for the player as soon as the tele is done. That and you'd have to find a good distance value to the player that would toggle the control state again if the NPC gets alerted but is too far.

    Lotta mumbo-jumbo to some but man if that could be implemented, to me would be a crazy scary enemy. In my head I imagine something that looks kinda like the puppets, but would be able to navigate in the walls and play a deadly game of peekaboo.

  16. On 7/27/2020 at 2:48 PM, pusianka said:

    Hi there, I picked up blender a week ago(having a little bit of experience with modelling in the past) and I am trying to recreate a building from my home town.



    I wouldn't mind some tips on keeping clean topology like straight lines and stuff like this... It actually drives me nuts.

    [EDIT] Also I am still thinking how to deal with the lower level brick sculpting, would love some suggestions.

    Also congrats on the updates, I haven't been here for years but you guys really haven't been just sitting on your asses all this time :D Really nice to see all that.

    Older post I know, but my recommendation (from the modeling aspect) would be to use tiling materials for the large faces and model/bake out unique details for pillars, frames and corners on a single UV texture. What you basically could have is a three or four texture building that way, you only would want to focus on the cool detail bits as unique and then use a tiling texture for the upper and lower portions where the wall changes color/features. 

    Otherwise it's an easy project for burn out if you don't prioritize what should be left as unique details and what can be fudged with tiling materials. I like to think of it as, frame the thing in with hand crafted details and fill in the gaps with tiling. Very cool building nonetheless, I do hope you push that to completion because it's a very unique and interesting design.

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