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Necromancer's Tower


bob_arctor
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Getting even better :)

 

Yeah to make a ladder simply have a nodraw brush and the face which you want climbable must be textured with textures/common/ladder. Make sure the ladder is not on a slant as it won't work - it's a pain in the ass I know :(

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No slanted ladders???? Bugger.

 

Will TDM be able to fix that? How are we gunna have ladders leant on walls like they do in real life?

 

Will redo the top (red) floor, maybe tomorrow. I'm not happy with it.

 

Also could you tell me what to improve? Because you say "It's better" each time, however I never really set out to do better, and don't really know what I'm doing better.

 

If you say "More X, less Y", then I'll know where I went wrong/right.

 

I know at the moment that some of the previous textures and texture choices have been off.

Edited by bob_arctor
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You need to vary the size of the textures--in general they're all far too large, as if you set them to fit the brush instead of tiling.

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More detail, less flat texturing and blocky architecture.

 

More subtletly, fewer extremes of light and dark (most of those shots only have one light source, everything in shadow is black).

 

Less garish, cartoony colours.

 

More of a coherent visual impression, less ad-hoc placement of random objects and brushes with no overriding style.

 

HTH.

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"More trim, less flat lighting"

 

Hmm. Trim. What in particular would you suggest, an example please? I can't think of much beyond skirting boards, above window/door work, and cornering.

 

Flat lighting? Sorry I don't understand what you mean.

 

"as if you set them to fit the brush instead of tiling."

 

Urm. They are all on natural pretty much. All the ones that need to match up are, as it makes it way easier. [is probably committing crimes against texturing]

 

"Yeah, I would recommend using ambient lights a little bit, just to soften up the shadows."

 

Welll... that involves creating material files for all my textures with the ambient light tutorial I have. An alternative "ambient" material file with custom shader for each texture. It's kicking around somewhere...

 

"everything in shadow is black"

 

I thought that was the Doom 3 engine. I thought that went without saying. Better start doing them material files sometime.

 

"More of a coherent visual impression, less ad-hoc placement of random objects and brushes with no overriding style."

 

Someone hits the nail on the head of how I do things... :P

Edited by bob_arctor
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Welll... that involves creating material files for all my textures with the ambient light tutorial I have.

 

No it doesn't. You can use multiple light sources, including some with a suitable ambient lightshader applied.

 

I thought that was the Doom 3 engine. I thought that went without saying.

 

Only if you make it so. You can use as many light sources as you wish, although don't go too far above 2 or 3 if you can avoid it for performance reasons. Pitch black shadows do not exist in real life because there is always another source of light.

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"More trim, less flat lighting"

 

Hmm. Trim. What in particular would you suggest, an example please? I can't think of much beyond skirting boards, above window/door work, and cornering.

In the fourth screenshot, notice how there's a hard line between the brick texture and the block texture... it just looks ugly. I would recommend putting a narrow sliver of some sort between those two surfaces... perhaps some wooden boards, or a stone trim. Just something to provide a transition between two such radically different textures. The thing is, both the blocks and the bricks are designed to tile, so they often don't look good at the edges... Trim is supposed to help hide that. Also, decals could help too if used properly.

 

Flat lighting? Sorry I don't understand what you mean.
Keep in mind you can use other shapes of light to better fit things, and simulate soft shadows a little.

 

"as if you set them to fit the brush instead of tiling."

 

Urm. They are all on natural pretty much. All the ones that need to match up are, as it makes it way easier. [is probably committing crimes against texturing]

Regardless, the textures look too large. Try scaling them by a factor of 2. (or whatever factor looks best) If the texturing needs to match up, you should probably use the middle mouse button for that. Or if that doesn't work, then manual shifting.
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Will TDM be able to fix that? How are we gunna have ladders leant on walls like they do in real life?

 

Not sure if it's fixable but you can break the long ladder into small sections of ladder and it should have the same effect. Have'nt tried this though. Basically place it like steps (i'm talking about the ladder texture btw, not the actual ladder)

 

Will redo the top (red) floor, maybe tomorrow. I'm not happy with it.

 

Yeah, it's way to red atm. If I may suggest, the glass globe, try and make a red texture to fit it or something, it seems as if it's meant to be the light source but the globe looks just like a glass ball. Not all too pretty IYKWIM.

 

Also could you tell me what to improve? Because you say "It's better" each time, however I never really set out to do better, and don't really know what I'm doing better.

 

If you say "More X, less Y", then I'll know where I went wrong/right.

 

I know at the moment that some of the previous textures and texture choices have been off.

 

Ok, I'll go through each shot and tell you what I think is ok and what's not:

 

shot 1:

*The globe - it's the glass texture and looks not to be releasing any light, I would recommend using non translucent textures for light sources, you'll see it looks better.

*The inset panels don't look too great (imo) because they have no visible change of wood grain or whatnot, I would recommend putting in a frame or just using a texture with a normal map for that. Remember that there is a parallax plugin for doom3 which uses the normal maps as parallax maps and can make things like the inset panels (when they use a texture and normal map, not actual geometry) look actually 3d and generally more detailed then a simple cut in.

*there are white lines at the top of some of the inset panels - this is where two faces intersect which are textured. This is where you apply caulk. You can do it manually or just press shift+ctrl+a (or shift+alt+a, not sure which one) and it will autocaulk, retexturing those kinf of things with caulk. But the two surfaces have to match in size etc (ie: you must'nt be able to see the face from either side of the panel - outside or inseid).

*you have a trim near the floor which is ok (not all too great texture, but you'll be able to make it look much better with proper resources) but no trim at the roof, which makes it look a bit too blocky.

*looks very plain atm but again, with better resources it'd look better, so that's not your fault.

*ceiling does'nt look too great with wooden planks, perhaps some plaster or something instead?

 

shot 2:

*same story with the globe

*you should try and rescale the planks on the floor (select the surface and press s to bring surface inspector. Then put in 2 to scale in x and y and press enter in each to scale it etc. I'm saying 2 because I think that should be enough, just try whatever.

*the window looks nice but could use a blue shade rather then green imo.

*the window frame is ok but looks too plain, again better resources would help here so yeah, I'm nitpicking

*the roof texture is good imo but could use a trim for a transition from wall to ceiling.

*doorway is good :)

*the pole to the left of the image has a too low res texture, suggest scaling here.

*ladder looks good, but remember that when tdm comes out the Ai won't be able to climb ladders (pity I know but someone will probably code it in eventually anyways). Good to see you have patches under control :)

*the light from downstairs is very bright on the floor there and is making it look notsogreat. Plus the floor is too thin (nitpicking). Could also use a transition like a frame around it or something, anything but the planks.

*overall looks very nice considering the above aspects. :)

 

shot 3:

*too blocky walls - use patches to make it smoother - unless you wanted it blocky in which case I'd put maybe poles in between each block to make it look better - wooden poles or something I think.

*same thing with globe

*window is extremely bleeded out in the shot, I recommend making the light darker, in fact if it was darker it would look more eerie and less cheap or quickly done (not trying to offend mind)

*very plain room - again you could use better resources so I'm not expecting full chairs and everything, but yeah I think a table to the right with some readables and goblet etc (necromantic shit) would fit well.

*the walls and floor look very plain - they're both white textured and no details or whatnot. Maybe some altar for the dead body would be better, guess it'd need experimentation.

*I'm guessing that wierd object to the left is the horns from the outside - does'nt look too great there imo, I'd leave the horns just being there from the outside, or have a more eerie source from inside like a pool of something or whatever.

 

shot 4:

*skybox is the doom 3 one and looks pretty bad, try using the doom 3 skyboxes (I think you'll need a mod for that) rather then cubemaps, or just download a nice looking cubemap.

*the transition from the bottom floor texture to the second floor texture looks really bad - either have a trim to hide it or put a straight texture from the outside.

*the bricks on the second floor up are friggin gigantic lol, scale them down imo.

*globe thing again

*the bricks on the entrance look good (dunno what they look like up close)

*overall the outside bit here looks kind of plain

*the tower looks too blocky, again I suggest using patches for that.

*windows look strange lit like that - I suggest making a new material and making them unlit and specifically coloured - right now it looks like you've just placed a light to illuminate them from the outside, which is obviously what you've done, but the problem is that they don't look like there's light coming from the inside, just outside.

 

shot 5:

*not too much to see here, but I'm guessing you just wanted to show the other side as well.

*same story with windows

*shape here looks ok (roof etc) but I suggest making the tower round, as mentioned before.

 

 

 

I was being brutal there so don't take it hard, just trying to help you :)

 

Just try and fix up the things mentioned by everyone and yeah I think it'll look much better. If you need specific help like making the walls round or whatnot, I can help you, just pm me.

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Not sure if it's fixable but you can break the long ladder into small sections of ladder and it should have the same effect. Have'nt tried this though. Basically place it like steps (i'm talking about the ladder texture btw, not the actual ladder)

Then it's going to behave like actual steps as you walk up, forward, up forward. I wouldn't worry about having sloped ladders for now. It could be changed, but it's probably not going to be considered a high priority for the amount of work it would involve.

 

They might be restrictive, but Doom 3 ladders are also the most reliable ladder implementation I've ever seen in any game. Wouldn't want to upset that.

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Then it's going to behave like actual steps as you walk up, forward, up forward. I wouldn't worry about having sloped ladders for now. It could be changed, but it's probably not going to be considered a high priority for the amount of work it would involve.

 

They might be restrictive, but Doom 3 ladders are also the most reliable ladder implementation I've ever seen in any game. Wouldn't want to upset that.

 

True, they are really good. But one thing I just noticed - you can't jump off the ladders and when you turn more then 90 degrees away from the ladder you let go. If you turn back towards it you grab on again but yeah.

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Wow cheers Dram. I couldn't resist seeing what the replies were, and they're really helpful. I'm gunna print this page.

 

A few things: The floorboards look okay to me because I've got massive floorboards in my house. Proper old style. From whence the images came. So for me they are about right. However I'll scale 'em down nonetheless.

 

The "Bricks" on the outside aren't bricks. It is lumpy whitewashed render, with delicate sandstone underneath, with lines carved into it. It's the outside of my house. It still definitely needs scaling to half size though. And my normal map makes it look like bricks, it's over the top.

 

I was considering an outside patch, but I thought it'd be hard because of the extension. It'd have to be some combo of end caps, and that 1/4 circle one. And you can't carve patches.

 

"suitable ambient lightshader applied"

 

Lost me there!

 

The fact I didn't put in ceiling trim, though I considered it, is that my house doesn't have any. Skirting boards a plenty, but at the ceiling there is a join showing!

I will put in small triangle trim on the ceiling joins. Not like a big skirting board.

 

And I realise the panels are pointless and much better done with good wood textures and normal mapping. I just set myself a challenge with them.

 

Will be away from Sunday (tomorrow) to August 2nd though in France, so don't expect much soon.

 

Edit: Yay scale now works! You have to press enter!

 

Sorted the outside, scaled textures, trimmings on the lower bit, reduced the lights on the windows, hopefully will look better. How the hell would doing an endcap to make it round work? It'd stick through the level in my doors and stuff wouldn't it?

 

Tried using a cylinder made spherical with an opaque texture for the globes. Looks rubbish I think. All I need for the globes is a particle in the inside, a little glowing thing. However when I load the particles media D3ed crashes, so I have no idea how to do it.

Edited by bob_arctor
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I like the outer appearance of tower much more now. :) Don't forget that you can use the surface inspector to control how many polys the patch mesh uses.

 

I think you should give more thought to ambient lighting... Go into the light inspector, select one of the ambient light materials.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Right. Back. Worked on what Dram said.

 

ambientlightandtrimtu8.th.jpg

things to note: Ceiling trim. Taken from actual ceiling trim. Plus ambient lighting throughout tower means there are no longer black shadows.

 

downstairsfy3.th.jpg

things to note: no black shadows now, use of grille lighting on the grille lamp in the little storage room.

 

outsideca8.th.jpg

things to note: ambient lighting on outside of tower. The porch lamp flickers, but you can't see that. The windows are more low key so as to appear to be lit from within as opposed to lit from outside.

 

towerze7.th.jpg

things to note: "necromatic shit" as someone put it, wooden poles in corners (brilliant idea Dram, works a treat!) looks better. Altar and more low key horns, with organic flesh sac. Yum. Lighting is better.

 

Okay. So I've done all that was asked of me for that map. What do you think?

 

Beta mapper material yet?

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MUCH better :)

 

I'd still change the globes to an opaque texture so that they look like a light source, but whatever.

 

As for beta mapper material, I'd say with your level of improvement you'd get better along the wway so I guess I'd say yes. That is of course providing that you keep trying to get better (hell, even me and Sneaksie do, I'm just trying to point out so that you don't get yourself comfortable at a certain level, always aim higher. But this is obvious I guess). Now it's just up to the rest of the team to consider it and say their vote too I guess.

 

But please, if you do get into a beta mapper position don't disappear like a lot have, it's just a waste of time that way.

 

Perhaps we should make an applicant thread? I guess that'd get things underway. Then we can tell you all the things that we'd expect from you blah blah blah (basically we need feedback on the tools :) )

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I'm not in the mapping dept so I can't say anything about beta mapper status, but I just wanted to say that looks great! Great improvement!

 

Also with regard to scaling things like ceilings and doorways in future maps: I've heard from the mapping team that, when starting out on a map, it helps to temporarily place a hazmat suit character (forget the exact name, char_hazmat maybe?) in the map and scale it based on that, since that is about right for making things at a scale that "feel right" with the D3 camera height.

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