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Delphinus in Half Life 2
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Spazz
S T E E L


Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Posts: 1265
Location: Chucktown, SC

PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 3:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good to see that you're still working hard at that hull extention issue. If it was me, I would have probably tried to incorporate a visblock somehow to stop the player from ever seeing the back end of the ship, because I'm the kind of person who sweeps poop under the carpet.

Just chiming in again to say that you're doing impressive work.
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Kryslin



Joined: 02 Aug 2005
Posts: 241

PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To answer a few questions...

I've always gone the Yafutoman style buildings when I've played Skies. I think they look neater.

There maybe a few surprises on the topside. Some extra buildings, hidden ladders, perhaps some underground stuff besides the dock. After all, by real world estimates, the Delphinus should have a crew complement of around 1000 people (based on HMS Hood)...

Also, there will probably be an area or 2 where weapons fire will be a definite no-no... The fuel bunker and magazine! Smile (Now, I get to model 14" Naval AP rounds, Harpoon SSM, powder bags, and moonstone drums)

I thought about using the posterboard method - a static texture or shot of the back end of the ship, instead of an actual model, but it didn't look right. I am, however, working on drastically reducing the number of splits that BSP has to make for geometry; I wish there was a way you could split up you map into zones that BSP would only split in...The first delphinus map was down to some 4,000 portals. Smile I'd like ot get that down to around 1000 or so...

Steve
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DigitalAngel



Joined: 03 Sep 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, I don't play the game but this is awesome man. Good luck.
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poweremerald



Joined: 09 Apr 2006
Posts: 113
Location: Only in your mind...only in your mind...

PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kryslin will you check me here?

You wrote:
Quote:

I thought about using the posterboard method - a static texture or shot of the back end of the ship, instead of an actual model, but it didn't look right. I am, however, working on drastically reducing the number of splits that BSP has to make for geometry; I wish there was a way you could split up you map into zones that BSP would only split in...

Means:
You what to make a realistic rear view window. with a image of the back of the ship.
You want to reduce the number of individually skinned pollygons to form the ship.
You wish there was a way to break up action play into zones (maybe to reduce lag as well as singular, large file-sizes.) so that BSP (an organisation system or program) will work better.
Shocked Shocked Shocked
shed some light for me... for I am weak.
Soz
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Kryslin



Joined: 02 Aug 2005
Posts: 241

PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Essentially, I am lamenting about the (apparent) lack of controls over the map compilation process with the source tools.

Now, the explantion:

By posterboard, I mean one flat surface with a static image of the aft end of the ship. When I tried it... The suckage almost pulled me into my monitor (it didn't look very good).

Brushes made in the Hammer Editor get split up by the map compiling utilities, most notably, vbsp. What vbsp generates is what the Source 3D engine (used by Half Life 2) uses. Vbsp breaks up larger brushes into smaller brushes, discards those faces which never get seen, and triangulates the rest of them into a mesh of triangles, then skins them with the textures.

The fewer world brushes you have, the fewer BSP splits vbsp has to make, which makes for fewer portals for vvis to process. Essentially, less it better.

There are many ways to do "optimize" your map. One method, which I will be using extensively, will be to 'panel' textures. Instead of using three textures to paint three seperate brushes, I'll combine all three textures into one, and spread it over one brush the same size. Likewise, the sections of floor underneath the windows on the bridge - each one is 6 brushes. I plan on reducing it to just 3 in the same fashion. Other things will be made into prop_static entities, so brush count drops further. func_detail entities are another means, as are displacement surfaces (for landscaping).

The vbsp program has two nasty habits - the first is a requirement of the source engine, in that the intial splits done by vbsp are on the 1024 x 1024 x 1024 marks. The second is the use of integer coordinates, which makes surfaces like the bridge cowl and lower hull surfaces a real pain to build. You can use hint brushes to tell vbsp/vvis where you'd like to perform a split (and create a vis portal as well), but it's nothing like telling vbsp where you want the first splits to occur, and how far to go with them... Some of the bridge splits go completely through the island on the first version...

Have I made things clearer?

Steve
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poweremerald



Joined: 09 Apr 2006
Posts: 113
Location: Only in your mind...only in your mind...

PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apart from What BSP exactly stands for.
Brush space ..processing?
VBSP
Visual Brush space... p(the actually HL2 used ones)
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Kryslin



Joined: 02 Aug 2005
Posts: 241

PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BSP stands for Binary Space Partitioning, a method of breaking down large, complex 3D scenes into smaller, less complex chunks. This speeds up visibility and illumination calculations, which improves performance at the renderer's end, which results in higher framerates and a smoother picture.

vbsp stands for Valve's (the company who makes Half Life 2) BSP utility.

Google BSP or Binary Space Partitioning for more information.

Steve
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furY_33



Joined: 27 Mar 2006
Posts: 42
Location: Look behind...

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Kryslin, if you think that the valve compilation tools donīt suit you, you could always try other compilation tools like Zoners Half Life Tools (or ZHLT or zoners tools) that have more options and are better overall.

Problem is, I know they work on HL, but iīm not sure if they work in HL2. Anyways if they donīt work in HL2 maybe there are some other tools that do what you want.

EDIT:

Zoners Tools custom build 1.7

http://collective.valve-erc.com/index.php?go=mhlt

(Iīm still not sure if it works on HL2)
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Kryslin



Joined: 02 Aug 2005
Posts: 241

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 4:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I already use Zoner's Tools for HL1 (who doesn't?). They seriously rock, no if's. and's, or but's about it. The Valve tools for the original HL1 were solid, but lackluster. I think that later episodes were built with ZHLT, and not the Valve tools anyway...

the only available tools for the Source engine that I know of are Valve's tools, and the Custom Source Tools, which aren't that much better than Valve's, unless the author has done some serious updating of late.

I'll probably learn how to seriously optimize my map before the Custom Source Tools for HL2 are on par with Zoner's Tools for HL1.

Steve
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poweremerald



Joined: 09 Apr 2006
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Location: Only in your mind...only in your mind...

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanx Laughing K
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Chris170



Joined: 08 Sep 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 6:07 pm    Post subject: next.. Reply with quote

Next, Vyse skins Laughing
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Kryslin



Joined: 02 Aug 2005
Posts: 241

PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 5:42 am    Post subject: Re: next.. Reply with quote

Chris170 wrote:
Next, Vyse skins Laughing


Been there, done that. Seriously - Kyyp has skinned models of all 6 of the main characters, just waiting on figuring out how to ragdoll the crazy things and compile 'em for the Source Engine.

Steve
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Kyyp



Joined: 07 Aug 2005
Posts: 1011

PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just recently found actual video tutorials on how to make ragdolls for HL2 using XSI, which is EXACTLY what I needed.
Got 'em off the Garry's Mod forums so I know they will work in GMod.
I just have to find the time to go do the stuff now (just got a job a little while ago, so I don't have as much free time as I used to).
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Kryslin



Joined: 02 Aug 2005
Posts: 241

PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats or My most profound sympathies on securing employment (The first is for a good job, the latter is for Job != Good).

Work (and plowing through Disgaea 2, but mostly work) is keeping me from getting farther along on the HL2 side of things than I'd like to be.
An overload of business and mismanagement has the pace at work Frantic. It's better than last month, where things were "Oh My God, Hurricanes David(1980), Fredrick(1980), and Katrina(2005) are all headed this way!" Insane...

Steve
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The Amigo



Joined: 08 Jun 2006
Posts: 96

PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm starving here.
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Kryslin



Joined: 02 Aug 2005
Posts: 241

PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Call for take out. Razz

Between my job, a dying( now very dead) heavy duty keyboard, familial problems, pets dying, and difficulties with Steam (and my mesh modelling programs), very little work has been done. As I have said before, I don't have a lot of free time to devote to this under the best of circumstances. Be patient, and don't bug me about it, please. I'll post screens when I'm ready, and not before.

Steve
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Kryslin



Joined: 02 Aug 2005
Posts: 241

PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2006 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, no screen shots this time. Sad

Since it's been about 3 months, I though I'd pop in and say something about what's going on with this. On one front - the reference model - it's going great; Having finished an Intro to Renderman course, I'm now armed with all the knowledge needed to do some Photorealistic Shots of the Delphinus. On the other front, I had a major Steam corruption, probably not wholly Steam's fault, but due to some wierd interaction between dlls. I lost most of the Steam Directory on F: Drive, including most of the work on the HL2 Delphinus Map (and other maps as well). I'm still doing recovery work, so I've managed to get most of the source images for the textures back, plus I'm fooling around with making my own textures, rendered with 3Delight (free Renderman Compliant Renderer, though I would like to get nVidia's Gelato running with Rhino3D - it's awesomely fast, because it uses the GPU as a fast Vector Processor...!)

Does anyone know of a good utility that verifies the versions of all DLLs on your system...?

***More computer woes***

The PSU on my main computer did a pretty good imitation of an arc welder just after it cut the power to the motherboard. I won't know what else got clobbered until the new PSU (A 1Kw SLI certified server PSU) arrives tomorrow morning...

Anyway, that's what's going on...
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poweremerald



Joined: 09 Apr 2006
Posts: 113
Location: Only in your mind...only in your mind...

PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, and well done not matter what. (if you can't retreive all you want; cos you did an amazing job.)
Overworks would be proud.

Have a good new year, and don't let this project ever get 'in the way', I'm sure you have that in hand anyway..

Wink
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Kryslin



Joined: 02 Aug 2005
Posts: 241

PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I'm going to do something rather insane, and attempt to zip up the last full map and it's source material (with directory trees intact), and make it available for those who want to go through and either wander around the map, or optimize chunks of the map and e-mail them back to me...

Included will be :
usr_delphinus.vmf
usr_delphinus.bsp (hopefully, with everything zipped into it...)
all used textures (from 4-5 different sources).
my little light fixture model (and textures),
some of my notes...

While there may not be much that can be done with the original map, I would like to avoid the same mistakes in the rebuild. So far, it looks good, but I have yet to add any of the complex geometry of the bridge cowling or hull. those of you interested, let me know. I think it will be able to be e-mailed, zipped up, but you never know...

I may have to bit-torrent it out to people.

Edit : It's a large file, even zipped - a hair over 10MB. Many things compressed nicely, but it's still a lot of stuff. . I'm going to need an alternate method of distributing it (instead of e-mail)...


Steve
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Kryslin



Joined: 02 Aug 2005
Posts: 241

PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Work progresses slowly, as I am troubleshooting problems with lighting and the sheer number of portals and portal clusters.

With the last update, they changed something with vrad, in that it only lights the first face of a multi brush func_detail entity, when several faces on different brushed have light emitting textures. Most of my large lights that illuminate the cavern are in groups of 4, so, only one light out of the lot is working correctly.

The passages have been re-modeled and lit, so now I can see where I'm going. Outside buildings are being developed; Right now, I have 2 - the bunk house and the seating area, along with a basic fountain.

I should have new screen shots soon, I want to get the lighting issues fixed first, because the map is way too dark...

Also, my offer of the all the map stuff is still open for any who want to play around with it...

Steve
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