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Delphinus in Half Life 2
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LumensAquilae
I get by with a little help from my friends


Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Posts: 798

PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you using any prop models, or just doing all the details with brushes?

Switching to props would help a ton with the rendering and compile times, though you have to use an external 3d modeling program to create the assets.
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Kryslin



Joined: 02 Aug 2005
Posts: 241

PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have very few props - the little globe lights in the upper decks are props. The light fixtures in general are going to be replaced with props as well.

As far as 3D modelling apps... Lightwave, Maya, Blender, Softimage/XSI, Rhino3D, Milkshape, GMax, UltimateUnwrap3D... I think I've got one of those installed. Smile (Not to mention 4 final frame rendering packages)

It's the compilation of the models that gives me a fit. I'll play with a common func_detail - the wall lights in the docking cavern - and see what results. I could probably do the curtains in the galley as a prop-static as well (those are a func_detail!)

I'll be the first to admit, though, the Delphinus is poorly built, as a model, and it needs optimization, badly.

Steve
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The Amigo



Joined: 08 Jun 2006
Posts: 96

PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sadly, I've never taken a stab at map making. Is it the lack of right angles in the geometry? Or is it the abundance of not-right angles?
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Kryslin



Joined: 02 Aug 2005
Posts: 241

PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Crescent Isle map's problems can be summed up as follows:

1) It's Huge.
2) Lots of angled and faceted geometry. Support for patch surfaces would be awesome in the engine, but not likely to happen. Those odd angles make portals.
3) Lots of Geometry, period.
4) 2 distinct indoor and outdoor areas that are HUGE.
5) Use of env_light for the outdoor area.
6) The map was not built systematically; I started with the bridge, and kept adding on to that.
7) As Fina pointed out, I could stand to use more prop_statics in the map. Features of the map that are currently func_detail brushes (lights, doors, curtains, flags, etc.) will probably be converted over.
Cool It's HUGE. Any work on the map takes time.

Steve
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Kryslin



Joined: 02 Aug 2005
Posts: 241

PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In an effort to apply some suggestions, I decided to try something...

This image is the result.

Those are prop_static and light_spot entities. The Material file for the lights are still off, the body of the light fixture is too bright.

Here's the vmt file for the material, if someone can help...
Code:
"VertexlitGeneric"
{
   "$basetexture" "models/light_01/lightmat"
   "$surfaceprop" "Metal"
   "$surfaceprop2" "Glass"
   "$alphatest" 1
   "$envmap" "env_cubemap"
   "$normalmapalphaenvmapmask" 1
   "$envmapcontrast" 1
   "$model" 1
   "$selfillum" 1
}


Steve
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LumensAquilae
I get by with a little help from my friends


Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Posts: 798

PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd look at the vmt files of base HL2 textures and compare them. I have a feeling that the self-lighting part might be the issue there. I think HL2 used light-maps for glowing textures instead of making the whole texture self-illuminating.

Although the self-illum option might be for compiling, since I know with Half-Life 1, textures could have built-in light settings so that you could just place them in a map for automatic light without fiddling with ents for each and every one.

Not sure about HL2 though or how the texture formats work. I never got too much into HL2 modding. I made one map for the short-lived Airboat Racing mod and then fiddled around with a bunch of other stuff some other times.
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Kryslin



Joined: 02 Aug 2005
Posts: 241

PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And, the problems have been fixed...

I have some UV mapping to correct on the model, but that's no biggie...

$selfillum works as advertised; it essentially uses the texture's alpha channel for brightness control - completely black being completely dark, and completely white as full bright, with shades of grey being different levels of illumination.

The GIMP, however, tends to toss out completely transparent areas, so you really can't use 100% black. However, nearly black works just fine...

In the future, I'll probably use $selfillummask, which allows a texture to be used instead of the alpha channel. That way, I can have completely black areas, if needed...



Steve
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The Amigo



Joined: 08 Jun 2006
Posts: 96

PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My friend and I were zooming around the beta of this map in Gmod shooting langing light fixtures everywhere. It made it a lot more lively. We also tricked out the bridge to be a little more modern (PCs, computer racks, graphing machines).
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Kryslin



Joined: 02 Aug 2005
Posts: 241

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Suffice to say, I want screen shots. Smile Ha-ha! The tables have turned! Smile

I've finally got the lights to work with $selfillummask, and they look awesome. I've also discovered something about models in the Source engine that NONE of the tutorials I've read and worked through mentions, though it is in tiny text on the Valve SDK Documentation Wiki...

The name of your $basetexture (not the material) must have the same name as the bitmap you UV Mapped to the model, and it must be stored in the folder <game directory>/materials/models/<model name>...

This isn't mentioned anywhere except in the Valve Wiki.

Anyway, I'm gonna start replacing light fixture with the prop_statics and light_spots...

Now that I'm armed with this knowledge, I'll see what I can do about modeling some hatches and doors...

Steve
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The Amigo



Joined: 08 Jun 2006
Posts: 96

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote











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Kryslin



Joined: 02 Aug 2005
Posts: 241

PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And, I've got results...

...and...


All the lights seen are prop_static and light_spot entities. The lighting looks awesome! I had to add some girders for the upper lights, since fixtures just hanging in space don't look right.

Enjoy!

Steve
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The Amigo



Joined: 08 Jun 2006
Posts: 96

PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those look great! The ambient light in the dock area looks better.
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The Amigo



Joined: 08 Jun 2006
Posts: 96

PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just started watching the series Space Pirate Captain Harlock. The flagship, Arcadia reminds me a lot of the Delphinus. I can see how this show inspired much of the content of Skies of Arcadia. In the last episode I watched, they used the main cannons to blast a hole in the huge door protecting a base to escape. Sound familiar?
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Kryslin



Joined: 02 Aug 2005
Posts: 241

PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leiji Matsumoto's work has inspired a couple of generations of anime, manga, and game directors and writers. I can see the similarities between the two. I like Skies of Arcadia better. It doesn't take itself too seriously, which is good.

Work is proceeding nicely on replacing texlights with prop lighting. The results are much nicer looking, and compile much, MUCH faster. I'm even to the point where I can get the model to appear with it's texture on the first try in the model browser!. I've also discovered that light_spots give better looking lighting than point light entities. They don't wash out the texture on the light prop.

I might be tempted to write a simple obj->smd model converter. If I can figure out the API for VTFLib, I'd do texture conversion for the model, too... The SMD format is text based, so it should be doable. XSI mod tool does rude things to something on my system...

I also lost the first light model I made; somehow the SDK and Steam lost it or corrupted it. So, I had to rebuild. I like the new light model better; it's textured better, and looks like the explosion proof light fixtures we have at work. Smile

If I'm real lucky, I'll have an interim compile up on the site in the early AM after I get home from work, read my e-maul and web comics, and crash LightWave 3D a few times. Smile

Steve
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Emana



Joined: 22 Sep 2008
Posts: 11
Location: Somewhere on an Arcadian star

PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My god.........ur good. I dont know squat about HL, but Im fairly certain that there is no better designer of that game than u. No, strike that. Im POSSITIVE there is no better designer of that game than u Kryslin
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Emana
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The Amigo



Joined: 08 Jun 2006
Posts: 96

PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Emana wrote:
My god.........ur good. I dont know squat about HL, but Im fairly certain that there is no better designer of that game than u. No, strike that. Im POSSITIVE there is no better designer of that game than u Kryslin


Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing
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diablo2121



Joined: 31 Mar 2005
Posts: 103

PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This makes a fan-made Skies sequel using the HL2 engine a possibility.
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Kryslin



Joined: 02 Aug 2005
Posts: 241

PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I appreciate the praise, It is undeserved, in my opinion. There are far better map designers than I out there, including the game designers. What I am is persistent, and looking for a rather specific look to the map, rather than playability.

If anything, I'm more proud of some of my textures I've made for this map than I am of the map itself. The grill work in particular I'm proud of, because it looks awesome.

Workflow for textures typically proceeds as follows:

1) Build it as brushwork, to get an idea of the size.
2) Model replacement in a high end 3D package - Rhino 3D in this case.
3) Render using stock shaders. (3Delight is the renderer of choice).
4) Re-write or tweak shader.
5) Re-render. Repeat 4-5 as necessary.
6) Final Render of Texture.
7) Crop and Resize in GIMP.
Cool Load into VMTEdit, convert to texture.
9) Apply texture in map.

Workflow for props typically proceeds as follows:
1) Build it as brushwork.
2) Save whatever it is.
3) Import VMF into XSI/Mod Tool.
4) Export OBJ from XSI/Mod Tool.
5) Unroll OBJ into a single viewing plane, to make Texture Map.
6) Model each face.
7) Render, tweak, repeat until it looks good.
Cool Render final image. Render Illumination Map if needed.
9) Crop and Resize in GIMP, convert to VTF with VTFEdit.
10) Map Texture to Object using UVUnwrap Pro.
11) Import OBJ back into XSI/Mod Tool.
12) Export SMD.
13) Write QC File for model.
14) Compile.
15) See if textured model shows up in Model Viewer.
16) If not, edit QC file, and go back to step 14.
17) Model is ready to use in Hammer and Game!

Of all the steps, Mapping the texture to the model takes the longest, followed by the loop from 13-16.

And then there's learning how to do things, like the elevator outside. Likewise, I'll be playing with prop doors, seeing if I can make them work without having to parent a prop_dynamic to an invisible func_rotating_door...

In the end, I guess the best word to describe me is persistent.

As far as a Fan Made sequel to Skies using the HL2 Engine... It's do-able. Find a good, reliable crew of modelers, animators, programmers, et alia, and a good 2 or three years to work on it, they might do it.

My Crescent Ilse map is meant as a tribute, more or less.

Steve
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The Amigo



Joined: 08 Jun 2006
Posts: 96

PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm thinking of frapsing another, better made video with speech bubble commentary detailing what's left to be done on the map. I might also add a little bonus Wink. I'm wondering if I can get the most recent build; I don't know if it's ready of how it will take to make it, though...
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Kryslin



Joined: 02 Aug 2005
Posts: 241

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got a build with the new lights and such in most of it, I'll bundle it all up and upload it this weekend.

Steve
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