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Who says mappers have to be monogomous: Cheating on Dark Radiant with Unreal Ed.


killhour
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Note: This tutorial assumes a working knowledge of Unreal Ed and modeling software.

 

This is a tutorial on how to import concave brushes and complex objects made in Unreal Ed into Dark Radiant. This allows you to do things you normally wouldn't be able to easily do - such as spiral stairs and curved, arched hallways.

 

First, you need to make an empty cube to put your object in. Make sure it's big enough to hold the whole object. 1 grid size in UEd will equal 1 grid size in DR when you import it.

 

emptycube.th.png

 

Next, make your object. I'm making a set of curved stairs with a railing. Don't worry about texturing yet. The origin of the map in UEd will be the origin of your model. You may need to rebuild geometry when you're finished.

 

finishedstairs.th.png

 

After you're satisfied with what you have, export the map as a .obj file.

 

exportobj.th.png

 

saveobj.png

 

Now, import the .obj into your modeling software of choice.

 

importingobj.th.png

 

withouttercube.th.png

 

We need to get rid of that outer box. Delete the polies that make it up.

 

withoutouttercube.th.png

 

Now skin and export your object like you would any other model. Here's the non skinned model in DR:

 

indr.th.png

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Not sure I understand the purpose behind the tutorial. :) Dark Radiant can export as .obj to be used in modeling software too.

 

Really, the point is that some things are extremely easy to do in Unreal Ed and very difficult or impossible to do in DR, since there are no concave brushes allowed. It took me longer to organize and upload the images than it did to make those stairs. Something that would have taken me an hour to do in most modeling software, and be nearly impossible to do in DR.

 

Here's an example of a railing I'm working on that took me about 10 minutes so far in UEd:

 

 

railing.png

 

Could you imagine doing that in DR alone? :shudder:

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Ahh, ok. I see what you're getting at now. Just wasn't sure what the focus was. I don't have enough mapping experience with either DR or UnrealEd to say which one is easier...but it's cool to see that there are some neat work arounds to do things faster. Perhaps there is some way of allow easier manipulation of such things in the future in DR.

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Ahh, ok. I see what you're getting at now. Just wasn't sure what the focus was. I don't have enough mapping experience with either DR or UnrealEd to say which one is easier...but it's cool to see that there are some neat work arounds to do things faster. Perhaps there is some way of allow easier manipulation of such things in the future in DR.

 

Good point. Added a description to the OP.

 

I think if you wanted to integrate this stuff directly into DR, it would be best to allow a more free form set of secondary tools that don't require convex brushes. Perhaps an "Object editor" that lets you design and texture things with more options for primitives, curves, and modifiers (extrusion, revolution, extrude to point, extrude to bevel, etc.). Then, when you put it in your map, it would be treated like a func_static.

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Thanks for tutorial, but seems like you don't how to manipulate DR tools :) Especially second pic is really easy in DR. It won't take more than 10 mins for sure. The first pic is also not hard to do in DR. But to be honest I have some difficulties on some geometries in DR, so I'll definitly check Unreal ed for this purpose. If it handles, I'll be really grateful to you.

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Thanks for tutorial, but seems like you don't how to manipulate DR tools :) Especially second pic is really easy in DR. It won't take more than 10 mins for sure. The first pic is also not hard to do in DR. But to be honest I have some difficulties on some geometries in DR, so I'll definitly check Unreal ed for this purpose. If it handles, I'll be really grateful to you.

 

The fence? Yeah, you could bend cylinder patches into toroids, but you don't get a perfect circle, it always ends up squarish, and it has a diamond cross section instead of a square one. I prefer just to extrude and revolve a square 2d shape. The only reason it took 10 minutes is because I made it in 4 pieces to make it modular. :)

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second pic is really easy in DR. It won't take more than 10 mins for sure. The first pic is also not hard to do in DR.

 

Im tempted to agree here, and theres one other major disadvantage that i wouldn't like. Using models in DR, you can't manipulate the scale or size(in DR itself), and I'm one of those mappers that don't take measurements (for the most part) and do everything by look and feel, constantly resizing and shaping.

Even after something is completed, i usually go back later and tweak or even partially redesign things that are already done, so making models of things like that railing in pic2 would drive me nuts because i'd constantly be wanting to change its length / height or making the rings more ovular or something and i'd have to go back into the other editor and screw with it without having my map to look at.

 

There are some things this might be cool for, but for common articles like a staircase or a railing? i'd constantly want to be modifying it as surrounding areas take shape, and I'd rather use DR directly.

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I think I could do the railing in dark radiant using patches and brushes then converting it to a func_brush, already made some manhole covers, cos the manhole object was the wrong shape, also remade the watertank object in patches and brushes because it was too small for what I wanted to use it for, looks almost identicle to the original object.

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@killhour

I see. You are right on squarish circles. This is my best to make them look like round, but still far from perfect shape. So, Unread ed will be helpful in this case. Could you post some nice tutorial links for it?

 

asdjy.jpg

 

 

@ungoliant

I advise you to place an AI nearby what you build. Then you can compare the size if it's realistic or not. When you completely sure that it's finished than you should use Unreal Ed if neccessary. Otherwise it'll be pain as you said.

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@killhour

I see. You are right on squarish circles. This is my best to make them look like round, but still far from perfect shape. So, Unread ed will be helpful in this case. Could you post some nice tutorial links for it?

 

I learned using these tutorials, but they're for UEd 1.0 and are WAY out of date.

 

http://unreal.gamedesign.net/tutorials/ued.shtml

 

Here's a bunch for the most recent version that came with UT3:

 

http://waylon-art.com/LearningUnreal/

 

And here's some for UT 2003 & 2004:

 

http://wiki.beyondunreal.com/Category:Legacy_Tutorial

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It seems to use far more sides to get that non-circular shape than what unrealEd used, Although I'm pretty sure it's just coincidental and could easily be made less polygon intensive.

Although, the concave things bothers me a bit, and really tells me how little I know about computers, it was a real hassle working with that in hammer I remember (unsuprisingly as last time I worked with hammer was something like yesterday.)

And this the Half-Life 1 hammer I'm talking about, I don't know this, but I think it was fixed for Source hammer, and to me it seems rather primitive not to have concave brushes, but perhaps it's a limitation of the BSP compiling system that these games use.

Although, source Hammer has a great system for displacements, so what would you need concave brushes for?

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IMO it would take the same amount of time to make this stuff in DR as it would take to do this entire process. You may have also forgot that DR has a csg subtract and merge functions within it which helps me personally speed up mapping. But I find shortcuts like this to be somewhat of a waste of time because not only will the vertecies likely be off the grid which is really annoying but the time you 'save' is minuscule in the grand scheme of a map.

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I dont think the point of this thread was to say one tool is better than another or that one method is faster than another; more that its important to look for different avenues to use in your workflow, people who are used to UEd will find it easier and might not know that they can move work between the two fairly easily (ok well, not brushes ;)).

 

Like graphics tools, map editing and modeling doesnt have to be a single suite only, individually people find different tools better than others even if the end result is slightly different.

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Serpentine has it: it's just another option for workflow. There's no reason to force someone to use a particular set of tools. I'm comfortable in Unreal Ed. If you're comfortable in Hammer, you can work in that and export it. If you're comfortable in DR, you can even use it to make content for OTHER mods. I was just pointing out that its relatively easy to mix and match your tools.

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Serpentine has it: it's just another option for workflow. There's no reason to force someone to use a particular set of tools. I'm comfortable in Unreal Ed. If you're comfortable in Hammer, you can work in that and export it. If you're comfortable in DR, you can even use it to make content for OTHER mods. I was just pointing out that its relatively easy to mix and match your tools.

 

....but...but...you said..

 

Really, the point is that some things are extremely easy to do in Unreal Ed and very difficult or impossible to do in DR...

 

lol Don't worry. I'm just teasing. ;)

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Just to put something hopefully obvious out there for anyone reading and/or not knowing: Doom3's circles are not restricted to looking squarish; that's just the default shape that's made by making the patch adjustment points on the edges and corners of a square (I forget the term for that type of curve... I think it's a bezier approximation?). They can be moved, of course, to any point on whatever grid size you choose, to make them pretty much whatever shape you desire.

 

post-58-126927610125_thumb.jpg

 

The cylinder on the left is the default one created by the editor. On the right, I adjusted the control points a little (by eye, so it's probably not perfect).

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Just to put something hopefully obvious out there for anyone reading and/or not knowing: Doom3's circles are not restricted to looking squarish; that's just the default shape that's made by making the patch adjustment points on the edges and corners of a square (I forget the term for that type of curve... I think it's a bezier approximation?). They can be moved, of course, to any point on whatever grid size you choose, to make them pretty much whatever shape you desire.

 

post-58-126927610125_thumb.jpg

 

The cylinder on the left is the default one created by the editor. On the right, I adjusted the control points a little (by eye, so it's probably not perfect).

 

The problem with this is that the pink points are going to have sharp edges. As far as I know, there is no way to get a perfect circle out of bezier curves as implemented in DR.

 

Edit: Also, that messes with inverted end caps. You need triangular brushes to fill in the gaps. I actually don't like the patch system at all. It's frustrating to get good results.

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The problem with this is that the pink points are going to have sharp edges. As far as I know, there is no way to get a perfect circle out of bezier curves as implemented in DR.

 

Edit: Also, that messes with inverted end caps. You need triangular brushes to fill in the gaps. I actually don't like the patch system at all. It's frustrating to get good results.

 

it does mess with the inverted endcaps for arches and such. on some of my arches, i just thickened them upwards, to create some depth, then clone one of the new side arches, move it up, align the bottom verts to the top of the thickened arch, then drag the new top verts flush with eachother and you can resize it up and down by dragging all the top verts up and down. example:

 

th_simulated_endcap.jpg

 

works good even on circular towers. once you know how to do it, its a simple drag drop and drag operation, with no crazy brushwork required.

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