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View Full Version : Vertex Colors, what are they for?


Starstreams
25th Aug 2003, 06:22 PM
Iím not too clear on the description of how or why you would use Vertex colors?
Can someone give me an example of how vertex colors work or what you use them for? do they work the same as a hightmap?

Radiosity
25th Aug 2003, 08:02 PM
If you're talking about within the Unreal Ed environment you will never need to use vertex colours except at one remove; if you're importing a mesh that uses vertex colours.

Have a look at the meshes for magma. Notice the nice way the different textures fade into each other, much like layers on terrain? That's done using Vertex Colours.

Have a read through this:

http://www3.sk.sympatico.ca/kelbeau/max2ued/html/15.html

for how it's done.

Starstreams
25th Aug 2003, 08:46 PM
Hay whats up Chainsaw :)

Thanks for that link

Isnít this the same as using a hightmap? There is a new map that Andy from Fordyís places just finished and I emailed him and he said that he used Vertex Colors in his map but I diden't know what he ment. He also said he spent a lot of time making changes to lightmaps.

If light maps work the same as Vertex Colors, then iI'm guessing it's just a matter of doing the same things differently: right?

Here is that Map he made
http://www.planetunreal.com/fordy/work_in_progress.htm

http://www.fileplanet.com/dl.aspx?planetunreal/fordy/ctf-eternalcaves2k4.zip

personally what really amazes me is how he made all the terrain out of meshes in Max then broke it up and imported it.
How the hell do even layout something like this? or model the tunnels? He even did the cut out for the steps for visibility which I don't get because I thought you could only perform visibility on terrain made from terrain tool in the ED.

I wouldnít know where to start but I sure as hell would like to know.

Radiosity
26th Aug 2003, 05:42 AM
He's done the same as Epic did for Magma, meaning he used vertex lighting to merge the textures on the rock/ lava meshes.

Lightmaps are your best friend with large and complex meshes like Fordy is using, as Static meshes look like crap when you light them at the best of times, so by adding a custom lightmap to the mesh you can give it the effect of being properly lit without having to worry that it'll look rubbish because of the bad way meshes are lit (vertex lighting sucks).
I haven't got a link to any lightmap tuts I'm afraid, but I'd say somewhere like 3DBuzz.com would have tuts, or do a Google for it :)

It's best to lay something like that out on paper with good and precise measurements so you've got something to work from in max. As long as you've got your grid set up correctly for the UT2003 scale, you shouldn't have any problems (that link I gave you has info on how to set this up, on the very first page).

And lastly, there's no such thing as 'visibility' in Max, not in the way you think (like the terrain tool in Ued), Fordy has simply cut out the section for the stairs to cut down the polys used in the map - no point having those polys there when they're being covered by another mesh :)

Two other good maps for you to look at are CTF-DE-ElecFields, and DM-Flux2; they're both build exclusively in max with very little BSP work and Flux has no terrain, even though it looks like it has, it's all meshes.

When starting something like that, it's good to plan ahead and know where you want to seperate the meshes, as a number of smaller meshes is a load easier to optimize than one big mesh would be.

Starstreams
26th Aug 2003, 06:49 PM
Hi Chainsaw

Iíll tell ya, you sure seem like youíve got a handle on this stuff. I guess the real problem is I just donít know how to shape the stuff. Andy said he started off with a plane. As far as the materials, thats something I can tackle later. The real problem for me is that I just donít know how to make these shapes.
I mea do you have to start with a box and put the flat-plain in the box or do you just shape a flat plain out in the open. There are tons of little questions like this thatís keeps me from drawing a starting point.

Btw, Check your PM

inio
3rd Sep 2003, 03:04 AM
Flux has no terrain, even though it looks like it has, it's all meshes.
The ground around the outside is definitely terrain. The ice walls around it are one big custom mesh though.