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Modular Building Techniques


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I went back to experimenting with this, and using strictly model facades instead of trying to make an entire map 'block'. The results have been a lot more impressive. I've created a series of facade

Obsttorte was interested in what I learned while making the LQD with the modular building technique, so I'll write some words about it here. What is modular building? It is about reusing every piece

Had a few hours to spare today.   Why not build modules from a reference? It is difficult to invent cool-looking architecture if you are not a trained architect. That's why mappers need to shamelessly

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Biker, I dunno. It just does not z-fight when placed flush on top of brushwork, so I don't get how I would specifically need to avoid z-fighting. Decals don't seem to z-fight when placed on brushwork faces.

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Biker, I dunno. It just does not z-fight when placed flush on top of brushwork, so I don't get how I would specifically need to avoid z-fighting. Decals don't seem to z-fight when placed on brushwork faces.

Got some prefabs..?

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While I wasn't quite enthusiastic about MBT to begin with I have started to use it and see it's advantages on my WIP. Apart from the city area I've used this a lot in my museum. It makes sense for the interior of buildings to have a consistant architecture design so I have re-used a lot of my arches and corridor designs and used different textures and slight variations to avoid boring repetition.

 

I have not however used this method in the city section outside of my museum. This is where I have issues with MBT. While I can see the advantages of using this to create the interior of a building, I cannot see the advantages of outside areas where repeating the same area would be immersion breaking. In real life this would not happen. Especially in a medieval city where wear and tear over time creates holes and bumps in the roads, cracks and structural damage to houses etc. I understand that you would modify each modular piece so as to not be identical to each other. However if you are putting so much time and effort to make each modular piece unique, are you not in theory spending the exact same amount of time that you would in just creating a brand new part of the city from scratch? Would this method even have any benefit at all if you're trying to create a natural looking forest?

 

So I'm not against this method as I have seen its benefits in my museum. I just feel this technique is somewhat limited depending on the theme of the map or area of the map you are working on. Maybe this could work in outside areas and I just dont have the ability to see how it could work. Maybe I just need an example. I'll be more than happy if someone can prove me wrong.

"I believe that what doesn't kill you simply makes you... stranger"

 

The Joker

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For a city this might work:

FA8vJDm.png

 

See how the building facades are interlocking modules. One could have many different types and mix&match them to create the city buildings. Plinth with and without stairs. Wall facades with doors and windows. Wall facades with balconies and other details. Ceiling parts that could be varied. Finally, add model bay windows and gables here and there. I'm pretty sure this would work.

 

In this proposal, there are also modular roads. They would not be models, but premade patches fit together that are placed modularily, and then further modified by dragging the vertices. To make it natural and organic.

 

For a forest, I do not know. Not every method is perfect for everything, of course.

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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@Bikerdude: As far as I noticed it only some decals are causing z-fighting when placed on the surface of a brush or whatever. Some others seem not to cause this problem, as for example the dripping_slime decals.

 

I didn't tested them all, though. But even if the grime modules would be causing z-fighting, you could just place them a bit away from the *clean* modul.

FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

WIP's: Several. Although after playing Thief 4 I really wanna make a city mission.

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

Texture Blending in DR: DR ASE Blend Exporter

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modules1tk.jpg

I have a bit different approach to modules, mine are smaller but I use less of them to build more varied rooms. And Z-fighting depends on grid discipline: when you use same length and thickness of wall everywhere, you don't need any improvisation -only time to make all modules match. It is worth that time because after they are done you will fit whole rooms in seconds, but you will get very homogeneous environment, it would be good for one big castle done in one style.

Edited by ERH+

S2wtMNl.gif

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@ Sotha: It looks like your technique for city building could work. Due to the success I had with using MBT in my museum (I'm amazed it took me only 2 months to build and I credit that to MBT) I might even try it the next time I decide to build a city.

 

My only fear is that mappers will think that this will enable them to build large cities and manors and will just copy and paste modules without regard for details. While this will indeed enable them to build large maps the end result will be repetive and bland to look at. Although this would be the fault of the mapper and not MBT.

"I believe that what doesn't kill you simply makes you... stranger"

 

The Joker

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ST, yep, it is always about how much modules the mapper bothered to make. Actually, I've not had much complaints about LQD appearance, but praise.

 

I have to admit, I was rather lazy about the module building. LQD was made using rather low amount modules. One vault. One wall damage. One niche. One window. Few variants of those paint paper walls. One Grime Module per Actual Module. No complaints about repeating dullness of the modules. Surprising, actually.

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Another thing about MBT that just came into my mind.

 

When you start creating your modules you are going to use in form of ase models later on, you can start with very simple not detailed out ones. After you are done building your mission, you can then start detailing the modules and use the new gained models as a replacement for the old ones. This way you can decide where to put details in the end, but will change big parts of the map as once. This way you can save time from detailing areas where it may not be needed in the end, too, because of lighting or anything else.

FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

WIP's: Several. Although after playing Thief 4 I really wanna make a city mission.

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

Texture Blending in DR: DR ASE Blend Exporter

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Another thing about MBT that just came into my mind.

 

When you start creating your modules you are going to use in form of ase models later on, you can start with very simple not detailed out ones. After you are done building your mission, you can then start detailing the modules and use the new gained models as a replacement for the old ones. This way you can decide where to put details in the end, but will change big parts of the map as once. This way you can save time from detailing areas where it may not be needed in the end, too, because of lighting or anything else.

 

True. But note that you have to be super-extra careful with the origin. If the origin moves, the updated module will be misplaced. Ase exporter can be tricky. Either the origin is in the center of the new object (can be even off-grid for some strange shaped modules) or you create the module so that it's core is at the map 0,0,0 coordinates and then use the option in the exporter to leave the origin at the MAP center, not the model center. That way you can choose the position of the origin for your module model.

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Got some prefabs..?

 

Ok, i was working on my map and drink some beers at the same time. After read this topic something get my attention!! prefabs!

So what you are talking about is doing prefabs, right? or not...

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Ok, i was working on my map and drink some beers at the same time. After read this topic something get my attention!! prefabs!

So what you are talking about is doing prefabs, right? or not...

Well, it's a bit more. Of course one could understand the act of creating the single modules as making prefabs. But what is more important is that you divide your map into smaller parts, which repeats. Instead of building the whole map you build the modules, and than create your map out of them.

 

A good example would be if you are working on a castle mission. On each level of the building you would suppose the floors to look nearly the same. If you look at the floors more in detail, you may also think that most things like supports or arches repeat every few meters. So now you just create for example a hallway segment for a straight hallway, a T-segment, a curve and so one and use these to create any type of hallway geometry you are aiming for. Then you just have to fill in the rooms, which you may be able to split up as the hallways.

 

So the basic idea is to reduce the mapping time by avoiding to build things again and again and again by thinking first of were they will appear, create the specific thing only once and then reuse it.

 

The downside of this approach is that it requires a lot of planning, so it's just about changing experiences.

FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

WIP's: Several. Although after playing Thief 4 I really wanna make a city mission.

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

Texture Blending in DR: DR ASE Blend Exporter

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So we are talking about a cryteck engine, but in the end we can change the modules easily, like change textures and architecture... etc..so it will be easy to make some changes to the modules...!!!!

Edited by Capela
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Erm.. We are talking about TDM mapping with DR and building reusable pieces, which in turn are used for quick mapping on a larger scale.

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Erm.. We are talking about TDM mapping with DR and building reusable pieces, which in turn are used for quick mapping on a larger scale.

 

I think you do not understand what was my thought....maybe its my fault. Never the less i think you get my attention to this method.

Edited by Capela
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True. But note that you have to be super-extra careful with the origin. If the origin moves, the updated module will be misplaced. Ase exporter can be tricky. Either the origin is in the center of the new object (can be even off-grid for some strange shaped modules) or you create the module so that it's core is at the map 0,0,0 coordinates and then use the option in the exporter to leave the origin at the MAP center, not the model center. That way you can choose the position of the origin for your module model.

I've once made an error fix for that script where I included the option to take the origin of a fuc_static as the origin for the model, as long as only one func_static is selected for export. Strangely it only seems to run under linux. I'll see that I can add this option for the windows version, too.

FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

WIP's: Several. Although after playing Thief 4 I really wanna make a city mission.

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

Texture Blending in DR: DR ASE Blend Exporter

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@ Capela: Here is an example of the Modular Building Technique

 

rightful20130524061206.jpg

 

rightful20130524061236.jpg

 

What I've done is create a corridor with some detailed arches inside it. I new I would need another corridor later on in my map so I cloned it. In theory I now have two corridors for the time and effort of one. To avoid bland repetition I have given each corridor different textures, furnishings and decorations. This only took a few minutes. As you can see all the furniture and decorations are just copy and paste jobs.

 

I have also tried to keep all modules the same size so they fit together perfectly eg 150x150. However in the examples shown the modules are rectangular. So all I did was double the length so it is now 300x150.

Edited by Sir Taffsalot

"I believe that what doesn't kill you simply makes you... stranger"

 

The Joker

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