Journals

Rimrook14 years ago2005-10-13 08:16:58 UTC 0 comments
Since hints are becoming quite an issue of mine, this is what I figured out over the last week.

When we see hints, we usually see them like this
http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/8516/hint13mr.jpg

Pretty stereotypical, yet effective to a point. But what if (for some reason) you stumble across a rather difficult section of the map to hint. Like in this picture.
http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/704/hint23rv.jpg

Notice that the player can see the hint side of two hints. This can get ugly because too many undesired sections of the map can be loaded at once. How do we prevent this? I found the most effective way. As seem here.
http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/5149/hint33tp.jpg

Since Hints can block hints, this guarentees that the section is properly cut. Also, another issue is if you have multiple floors layered ontop of each other. This also affect hints. This "X Method" also blocks that. I've found no flaw with this method and I wanted to show everyone how easy it is to use. It may slice into your map at funny angles, but the results are amazing.

Glad I could help :D
Happy Mapping!!! ...and use hints from now on! geez...
Rimrook14 years ago2005-09-24 09:36:00 UTC 0 comments
I found out some interesting info about clipping nodes and r_speeds.

First, there is something in the HL engine that subdivides planes and creates tension on the the r_speeds. With the Batch Compile, you can control this. The default setting is 240 (or 240 X 240). If you scale a texture on a plain, it stretches the subdivide thusly. However, if you change the number of the subdivide from 240 to a higher number, it will cause errors in the CSG stages of the compiler. If you increase the number and downscale a texture, it WILL NOT compensate the numbers. I tried it with hopes and failed. If you lower the Subdivide, it simply raises r_speeds. Why is this important? Simple, making textures that are 240 X 240 gives you direct control over the polygons. Also, terrain brushes that are 240 X 240 in planar sizes does not create extra planes to add to the r_speeds count. So whether you have a smooth surface or a rough terrain-like surface, if done right, the r_speeds stay exactly the same. As long as you remember that textures adjust and cut into the subdivision of planes.

Clipping nodes. Heard of them? I bet we've all used them. Since we don't know how to hint properly, most of us rely heavily on clipping nodes. Also in the Batch compiler, you can adjust the Maximun Node Size. What this does is creates map sections by default to be loaded and unloaded when seen or unseen. Simply increasing this number doesn't chop up the entire level into bitsy pieces. The default is 1024. You can easily predict how these will break up your map. All you have to do is look at the grid in Hammer. You can even measure out where they will apply. The start of any clipping node starts at the center of the world. (coord. 0, 0, 0.) Clipping nodes are also 3d so you have to consider the Y axis as well. If a section of your map is too large for a single clipping node, it will simply snap to the next node and combine with it. This could leave you with more than what you want, so plot your map's layout carefully and obey the laws of the grid.

So what's better? Good Clipping Nodes? or Hint Brushes? the answer is both. Hint brushes allow you to clip clipping nodes in half in mostly angles. The definition of a hint brush is a angular brush covered with the SKIP texture and only one side is HINT textured. ok... so how exactly do we use this? When you make a hint brush there are a few things to keep in mind.

1: The hint blocks areas if the hint is out of sight completely and the side of the brush that is textured with the hint is facing away from the player and the player cannot see it.

2: The hint will not block an area if the brush can be seen, regardless of the side the player views. If a hint brush cuts into 2 different clipping nodes that are applied, the hint brush will be ignored. This can get ugly.

3: A hint brush does not need to be one piece cutting a corner at 90 degrees. It can be two brushes at much more skewed angles if you want, or even straight edges if they apply. As long as the side of the hint brush with the hint texture is out of sight until seen properly.

4: A hint brush can block another hint brush if the area it applies to is clipped.

That's all i know at the moment. :D
Rimrook14 years ago2005-09-23 06:55:43 UTC 0 comments
Great benefits from the single texture mapping style, get this...
First you map your ass off neglecting the texture crap.
Then you look at your environment and pick out or make textures that fit your archetecture and light things perfectly. Consider it like a preview of what your working with when making textures. Then you spend the rest of your time texturing crap like you normally would, only it's like painting on a blank canvas. Add your details like {mask_textures and !water since these are hard to apply without the actual textures. once you're done, replace your starting texture with null textures. This should cover all of the places on the func_walls and such you may have missed. Compile and play :D

I also discovered that in the professional world, two different people do the textures, and the map. I guess this is the method they would go about doing so. It makes much sense to me. I always mapped applying textures and details as i went along. Usually a process of overloading detail, then cutting detail to fit within the limits of the engine. I never really liked this part cuz it threw things off. With the single texture method, it's easier to add and subtract brushes.

i hope this helps someone, cuz i'm sick of listening to myself... :glad: :heart:
Rimrook14 years ago2005-09-06 04:07:21 UTC 11 comments
From the MV comments of dm_crete

"but with only one texture there is only one question... why?"
~The Hunter
I noticed that i try very hard to crispen up my textures so they look sharp and detailed, but they look blurry all of the time and i seem to never be satisfied with the result. However, the single texture idea frees up the tediousness of adjusting textures, making textures, making it try to look right with textures, etc. the element of that was taken out in this map, and utilized the sharp edges of the archetecture to define the detail as well as the contrasty ambient lighting. It was fun to ignore the textures and have some fun mapping for a change. it didn't feel like work and it tuned up my brushing skills in terms of design. I did notice that people don't get detailed with small brushes and edges very often, but this adds so much flare to a map in terms of detail. So many people are worried about their map looking good that the basics of design are being forgotten. I would gladly suggest everyone at TWHL to map something like this, it's a very good excercise for source and non-source mapping alike. Don't worry about the r_speeds too much either, just keep them under 2000 :P