View Full Version : DM-GrandCanyon : BETA by TerOmen

1st Apr 2000, 10:13 AM
Well, since I couldn't find a topic about this map, I thought why don't I start one ?
It's at the betasection of realmaps for your downloading pleasure. www.planetunreal.com/realmaps (http://www.planetunreal.com/realmaps)

Pro's :
- Absolutely marvelous texturing : Really TerOmen, it's great ! Did you use one texture 1024*1024 and scaled it to fit the entire brush ?
- Terrain looks great, sunflare and skybox are cool

Con's :
- Still to many poly's in some areas, certainly with some bots
- Glitters, but you can't do anything about that. You can make them harder to see by using a nightfall setting but inf doesn't have many daylight maps.
- bots seem to see through the treesheets

Ideas :
- An objective would be nice, I don't like simple DM'ing with inf weapons much
- Maybe you can add undergroud connections between the different houses

Great job TerOmen, now do something about those polys /infopop/emoticons\icon_wink.gif !

[This message has been edited by Andirez (edited 04-01-2000).]

1st Apr 2000, 11:33 AM
Just beat me to it Andirez... /infopop/emoticons\icon_wink.gif,

Dm-GrandCanyon(Beta) by TerOmen.

Indeed the texturing skill alone in this level is jaw-dropping, true light fall effect, shadows and shading where you would expect, haze hilighting on the mountain tops, easy to navigate slopes and small hills, non-navigable unpassable slopes where necessary, very real terrain indeed.

Highest poly count encountered within normal player navigation was 412.

I guess I have said enough now on polycount issues in conjuction with many bots 7-11 and mod special effects, I look forward to the day when all gamers can afford PIII600 or higher spec kit, so all of us can enjoy playing levels made in this way, I look forward to that day.

I also look forward to more work from this talented texture artist.

Some fine looking mounted textures indeed.

Any chance of some 260'ish max PC levels my PC is still only driven by a PII350, plus I also only like playing team games with SpawnInTeamArea set 7 or more bot... that would be excellent.


[This message has been edited by bastard_o (edited 04-01-2000).]

1st Apr 2000, 12:01 PM
Thanks, put alot of work into the textures.

I think I know a good way to keep the polys down in my next map.

1st Apr 2000, 06:21 PM
Please forgive my only slighting inaccurate message above,

The highest Normal player viewable poly count was a rather large 533... again the level is a beta and I expect TerOmen to pull off a cunning view blocking brush.


1st Apr 2000, 11:37 PM
In depth view of this beta.

I was curious as you may imagine to find out how the lighting had been done, so as you would expect I opened up the level...

Ahhhhhh BIG shock... What no lighting..

All done with mirrors...

I will try to explain the TerOmen approach..

Four light actors which act as special_lite properties for the four huts, I was wondering why the insides of each hut was so bright..

So the methods used were total level property ambience. 255,0,255, no zoning at all, hence the hut issue, all lighting effect was purely created the 10 or 12 256x256 non tileable textures, must have taken a month of sundays to texture, pan & rotate on each of the thousands of polygons, there must be a auto alignment editor trick for that we don't know about to do that...

Plus I noticed rather a lot of BSP issues and hall or mirrors effects see from (I admit not player viewable) but maybe 40 feet off the ground looked tricky to fix.


2nd Apr 2000, 03:18 AM
Texture auto-alignment trick? Just select all of the faces, align them as floor/ceiling, and open the log window and type "poly texscale relative uu=j vv=j", where j is the reciprocal of the scale that you want to use (i.e. if you want to scale by 2.0, put in 0.5, and if you want 4.0, put in 0.25). Works for me. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I've been working on a map that uses the same trick for the terrain as of late, but my computer crawls when I'm working on the 1024 x 1536 ground texture. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

2nd Apr 2000, 03:27 AM
Very nice map. When I first saw a screenshot it almost reminded me of a Myth level. The terrain and texturing is excellent. On my Voodoo 2 I even get a pretty good frame rate. Best of all this map really looks good when using the darkmatch setting. I have only one suggestion:

Make the team start points more defined. I'm desperate for some more good team standoff maps. This map has potential.

Jon Merriman
The Research Center

2nd Apr 2000, 11:10 AM
Ok, underground tunnels will be in the next release. I need to think of a way to fit a realistic cabin though? Any ideas?

Maybe a big rock or boulder in the right spot will help the fps a lot.

Yea, there isn't a better way to do outdoor lighting with Ut other than drawing it on the textures. Using spotlights adds alot of glitches, and it's harder on the cpu

I'll add some team starts too. Hopefully they can still be set separately in Ut.

I must mention that in the areas where it has 500 polygons it also has about 700-800 nodes. Most indoor maps with 500 polys can have 900-1000 nodes easily.
Although I wouldn't be surprised to find a spot where the nodes did hit 900.

After that version was released I went back and made some 4x more detailed textures but I don't think they look as good. They also put more strain on the ram so
my 40mb system slows down noticeably. Would everyone want me to release two versions next, one with the old textures and one with the new? That way you can
decide which is better?

Thanks for the impute.


2nd Apr 2000, 06:25 PM
please, NO tunnels. I want to play on the surface.

2nd Apr 2000, 07:45 PM
I agree with Neo. Tunnels aren't the way to go. Perhaps making it a little bigger couldn't hurt though. I'm itching for some good big maps to play some team standoff on.

Jon Merriman
The Research Center

2nd Apr 2000, 08:31 PM
Disturbed, I don't think making it a little bigger is an option. The brush is created with terraedit and all the textures are handmade for this particular terrainbrush.

I don't see what's the problem with tunnels anyway, they enlarge the map and give it better connectivity. You can still have cool battles on the surface and you can escape by diving in to a house and take a tunnel to somewhere else.

The thing you can do TerOmen, is making the level a bit like Sylvester's Les3Vallees (for the old inf). You could have two terrainbrushes opposite to eachother and in the middle a bridge and water. This would be so cool in standoff. (you can change the terrainbrush you already have a bit, so the two camps aren't exactly the same).

Name : Andirez
Status : INFiltrated the messageboard

2nd Apr 2000, 09:02 PM
Again I must completely disagree with TerOmen's comment on lighting a UT level,

The UT light actors if they are NOT dynamic do NOT effect fps at all, spot lights are normal lights and are NOT dynamic and have NO extra effect or hit on cpu or fps.

Glitches also untrue, these glitches you mention are NOT caused by NON dynamic lights.

Please TerOmen when you state what you think are facts, then you had better be correct.

Or another option is to word it to say IMHO or something like that. You stated "there isn't a better way".

I do not want incorrect information posted here, UnrealEd and level design in general is complex enough, you are not helping anybody by posted incorrect information.


2nd Apr 2000, 09:04 PM
Many thanks HunchBack, excellent stuff I just knew that there must be a trick to aligning textures.

Thanks again for your excellent input.


2nd Apr 2000, 11:42 PM
No problem bastard_o, always glad to help a fellow mapper save some time. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Are you sure about the "static light actors not affecting FPS" thing? I was under the impression that the Unreal engine uses multipass rendering; that is, that it makes an initial pass to draw the texturemaps, and then a second pass to apply the lightmaps. I always assumed that if the surface was marked unlit, the engine wouldn't even bother with the second pass. Doesn't "stat fps" (or maybe it's "stat global") display a line saying "light=x", where x is the number of ms it took to draw the lights in the last frame? I'll test it out the next time I boot back to Windows to make sure I'm not way off base here... /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

You're 100% correct on the "lights not causing glitches" statement, though. The glitches are caused by BSP errors, when (not certain about this) UnrealEd divides the brushes into polygons incorrectly, leaving little "leaks" in the walls of the level. If you watch the status bar during the rebuild phase, you can see that the BSP pass comes before the lighting pass.

Oh, and I'm not a big fan of excessive ambient lighting (which I thought DM-GrandCanyon had). The models look pretty damn ugly when they're completely unshaded. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif If you want to get the (assumed) speedup from skipping the engine's lighting pass, just mark the surfaces unlit, but still put lights in your level to shade the actors.

3rd Apr 2000, 05:05 AM
isn't all the lighting done when rebuilding? i sort of assumed that when it says "raytracing" it is, well, raytracing. by this i mean non-dynamic lights are rendered directly into the map.


3rd Apr 2000, 05:32 AM
The lighting is calculated when you rebuild the level, but I'm assuming that it still needs to be drawn over the textures while you're playing the game.

3rd Apr 2000, 01:58 PM
Bastard_O. I suggest you get your facts right before calling me an idiot. Lighting does hit the cpu. Try high shadow detail and super low shadow detail in Ut with stat global and you'll see what I mean. As you said, not everyone has a 600mhz to spare 5-10% on high detail lighting. As you'll expect the hit on a 350 is alot bigger. I've played levels, that with no dynamic lighting still killed my fps cause the lighting detail was too much.

The glitches I'm refering to are where the polys meet on terrain, there is dark edges. Even when using "bright corners" it still gets the glitches ocasionaly.

"Or another option is to word it to say IMHO or something like that. You stated "there isn't a better way."

Well if Epic releases the outdoor engine with true lighting then there will be a better way. But untill then there isn't. Believe me, i've tried for over a year to get good lighting on outdoor stuff.

That align trick won't work perfect on terrains with custom textures. It will get them initially aligned, but then you have to go through on each texture and set them to a drawscale of something like 8.03(instead of 8) and pan them over a few pixels. Each texture tends to need to be panned seperate amounts. If you don't do this then you'll get lots of blurred lines in your map.

In Grand Canyon I left ambient brightness on so guns still cast light when fired.

I wouldn't make the map any larger(if I could). It's perfect for 3-5 bots imho.

OK, no underground tunnels.

3rd Apr 2000, 02:28 PM
Putting a light into a level costs fps??? Aaaaaargh!!!! My poor sweet level!

3rd Apr 2000, 03:20 PM
It can't be all one 1024x1024 texture because my video card only supports 256x256. BTW, that terrain was done in TerraEdit? DAMN! I'm usin' that proggie for my next Infiltration level.

Jon Merriman
The Research Center

3rd Apr 2000, 03:56 PM
Be sure to check out bastard'o 's tutorials @ www.planetunreal.com/realworld (http://www.planetunreal.com/realworld) disturbed. They cover everything you need about using terraedit to create your terrain.

Name : Andirez
Status : INFiltrated the messageboard

[This message has been edited by Andirez (edited 04-03-2000).]

3rd Apr 2000, 05:36 PM
Ok... I have had enough of this...

I believe I have acted in the best interest of this message board..

I have asked EPIC for their opinion on NON-Dynamic lightly having a significant hit on fps and cpu... note SIGNIFICANT.

I could be wrong about this but I have never ever noticed any cpu for fps negative effect at all with no lighting or lighting,

The unreal engine was designed to be used with lighting, be it dynamic or not... So my work will always have lighting done in the EPIC style...

Second I will not try anymore to steer people to what I believe to be the correct way to build playable fun levels with exciting geometry with many different heights to see down and up over vast distances.

I believe levels should contain stealth, strategy and Gameplay, not like shooting Yogi bear in the park.

Lighting large terrain levels with large open areas with complex geometry, no problems.

Ok I have said enough...

This is taking up far to much of my time,
I may have to stop doing this message board anyway because of Infiltration team work pressures getting 2.8 ready and all that stuff.

Ok... over to you RaekwoN.

3rd Apr 2000, 07:24 PM

Well, I, for one, enjoyed reading your terrain tutorials. There's always more than one way to create something in a level, and I like being able to read how someone else does things so I can see the benefits of their methods (and start using them if I think they're better than what I'm currently doing). I was especially looking forward to seeing how you remove unnecessary polys in the terrain brush. Please let us know if you reconsider and decide to finish the rest of the tutorial. Thanks! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

3rd Apr 2000, 07:33 PM
Regardless of what Epic comes back with, Baastard'O knows UEd, Terra Edit and much much more. DM/AS-Terrain is hands down the BEST running outdoor map made for Unreal or UT. I have yet to see a map that comes close to running as well. So as a mapper and a concerened community member, I want to ask that he does not stop telling people how to make great maps, without the help that he has given myself and countless others, Id still be stumped on how to delete brushed from UEd.

Want to be an Infiltrator? Get the goods at:

3rd Apr 2000, 07:33 PM
Regardless of what Epic comes back with, Baastard'O knows UEd, Terra Edit and much much more. DM/AS-Terrain is hands down the BEST running outdoor map made for Unreal or UT. I have yet to see a map that comes close to running as well. So as a mapper and a concerened community member, I want to ask that he does not stop telling people how to make great maps, without the help that he has given myself and countless others, Id still be stumped on how to delete brushed from UEd.

Want to be an Infiltrator? Get the goods at:

3rd Apr 2000, 09:38 PM
Heh, what about deleting brushes when Unrealed doesn't want to let you delete them (I'm talking about when you select them, hit the delete key, and nothing happens)? Is there any way to do that besides quitting and restarting?

Mr. T
3rd Apr 2000, 09:44 PM
Rebuild the map.

3rd Apr 2000, 10:34 PM
Thanks for the advice, but what I'm talking about is an interface bug, where the delete key and delete menu item stop doing anything. I'm pretty sure that I've tried rebuilding the map, but if I remember correctly, the only way I could get the delete key to work again was by restarting Ued. It's only happened to me a few times in all the time I've been using Ued, so it's not something that I can reproduce at will. I'll try rebuilding the next time it happens, though. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Or maybe by "rebuild" you meant "start the map over from scratch", which isn't going to happen. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Mr. T
3rd Apr 2000, 10:42 PM
No, I meant the former. I just know brushes don't disappear right away until I rebuild. Also make sure the brush is getting highlighted in one of the little 2d windows before you delete. Sorry if it doesn't work.

[This message has been edited by Mr. T (edited 04-03-2000).]

4th Apr 2000, 02:37 AM
Oh, you're talking about brushes not disappearing from the 3D window, right? I was talking about selecting one in the 2D window, pressing delete, and having nothing happen (i.e. it still remains in the 2D window). Thanks anyway; I guess it's just one of Ued's many bugs. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Mr. T
4th Apr 2000, 03:19 AM
Yeah, must be. I haven't experienced that weirdness. Sorry for my confusing ignorance. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

4th Apr 2000, 10:28 AM
Ok, i'll make a terrain in unrealed to show what I mean. I'll leave it at the normal lighting settings to show what glitches i'm talking about. And a copy with the optimized settings. Be online in a little while.

4th Apr 2000, 12:30 PM
Here are some screenshots displaying regular lighting and ambient lighting with buildings set as special lit. Keep in mind that imo ambient lighting looks better overall. The second shot is just ugly cause the textures don't have caluculated lighting(grandcanyon has it). I have a k62 400, running on a 75mhz front side bus, 512k of cache, 40mb of edo ram and a 16mb voodoo banshee. If anyone could get stats from a 300mhz or less that would be greatly apreciated.

Notice not just the light time on world geometry but the lighting time on meshes.

The glitches are apparent in the first shot. See the lines where the polys meet?

The frame rate doesn't show vast improvement cause this was run in software mode. Use Glide and you'll see a bigger advantage.
Render times of 197.0 with ambient lighting and 203.7 with real lighting.
And notice a mesh stat of 10.1 with real lighting and 8.1 with ambient lighting.
Now as far as I can see, using ambients on landscapes looks better and runs faster. Do you see a reason to use regular lights?

For the time being trees will have to look bad in Ut, i'm learning 3ds and as soon as possible i'll make some trees that are realisticaly lit by light.

Here's all the files I used to make this landscape. The heightmaps, terrain files etc. http://www.geocities.com/i2ruthless/lightterrain.ZIP

Btw i'll try and fix the lighting on the buildings in GrandCanyon so it looks more realistic.

4th Apr 2000, 12:39 PM
A true level designer should be able to get every little fps out of a game that they can. One thing I see most unreal level designers not doing is to learn and make levels less ram dependant. Or look at other areas than the fpu on a cpu. Or even take advantage of the LODBias(level of detail) on meshes. 1.0 is the default while .75 tends to look just as good on opened up levels. And in that light testing map it took the mesh count from 300 polys to 250. A big advantage when you're running on a computer that's having enough troubles handling 2-4 enemies on screen. Like my own for instance.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

4th Apr 2000, 12:43 PM
I'm just wandering everyones opinions on a ctf forrest type map. With terrain that is kept mostly in 512 or 768 unit widths. Lush forrest are possible in Ut if the level was kept tighter. I'll make a test to show what i'm talking about if anyone wants.

4th Apr 2000, 02:18 PM
Yeah, a CTF Forrest setting would be very nice, very nice indeed. I always thougt it was near impossible to create a realistic playable forest setting with the unrealengine.
I've read this entire post again (hey I did start it /infopop/emoticons\icon_wink.gif) and it has tons of usefull information. The discussions between Bastard'o and TerOmen are really good to finaly learn some more about the terraincapabilities of UT.
Hunchback, thanks also for giving truly helpfull information !

This post rocks !

Name : Andirez
Status : INFiltrated the messageboard

4th Apr 2000, 02:21 PM
BTW. Hunchback, I also noted the delete malfunction a couple of times. The only solution seems restarting Ued ... and we all know how long it takes to exit and restart Ued. For exiting, I use ctrl-alt-del most of the times and just end the task.

Evil Joe
4th Apr 2000, 02:55 PM
weird bug I've never encountered it and I run unreal ed. on average 5 hours a day and have pulled a dozen or so all nighters with it...

suggestions to terraomen on his level (great terrain by the way but you knew that when you made it right) so I'll spare what we all know is good and go right to what I thought needeed work.

the trees perhaps just the textures but they where not up to par with the rest of the map... too light in color. The buildings (totally redo them they stick out like a sore thumb), the building textures don't use those they don't fit... try log cabins maybe or just better stone and brick textures... although I think log cabins would fit the feel of your map better. The map is too big for dm... ctf sounds good though, actually the map needs some structures to have some point to be any good (I'm sure you have this in mind though); to be a good rl map it has to have a decent rl story behind it. why people are their slugging it out. You don't even have to write anything (cause that's lame anyways) but people should get some theme as to why they are fighting there from the feel of the map etc.

just my two cents...

4th Apr 2000, 07:25 PM
I'm going to have to back up on what I said about lighting in regards to frames-pre-second earlier; after looking at the screenshots that TerOmen posted, it looks like it really doesn't make any difference at all.

The render times for the statically-lit and ambient-lit frames are 203.7 and 197.0 ms, respectively. Ignoring all the other stuff the engine has to do before drawing the frame, this is a difference between 4.9092 and 5.0761 frames-per-second; not noticeable at all. Granted, the difference gets bigger as the frames-per-second increase, but if you scale it up, it's still only a difference between 29.0136 fps and 30 fps; not anything worth worrying about.

TerOmen, if you still have the level, would you mind tagging all of the surfaces unlit and deleting all of the lights and taking another screenshot so we can see if that has a noticeable effect on the render times?

The forest idea for a level sounds great, as long as you put in a lot of tall hills all over the place to keep the user from seeing too many trees at once. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Oh, and I agree that the trees need new textures, too. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

4th Apr 2000, 11:44 PM
Loving the map. I think it works great for team DM. If you could add water somewhere, it would be even better. Maybe a waterfall around the bend from the shotgun? The only reason I suggest it is because the ambient sounds sound like water, and I think it would fit well. Of course, if it would slow the map down, never mind.

BTW, I wouldn't mind if you ported DM-Greenland over w/INF weapons. I've been having fun with that level the past few days, and I think it'd be even better in UT.

5th Apr 2000, 01:25 AM
This will be my last post for a long time because these issues have cost me a lot of building time.

I didn't realise that the job of message board moderating takes so much, especially having to deal with people who IMHO shouldn't be posting such dubious, or unrelated messages here away.

I only have my evenings available for all things Infiltration, holding down a full time programming job in the day, trying to build and all of this **** I have had to try to get straight has to be honest completly pissed me off... BIG TIME.

Sadly I can't repeat here the message I received back from EPIC because I wouild have to moderate myself straight away, all I can say is that my gut-feeling or educated guess was between the eyes, ON TARGET so to recap the issue.

The use of NON-Dynamic standard lighting of any kind HAS NO SIGNICANT EFFECT AT ALL ON FPS OR CPU, only memory, so I expect that sadly TerOmen will have to buy some more memory, this may have lead him to think the way he did... ho hum

Anyway in the end I believe we all learnt a lot from this encounter, so hey thats fine with me...

So from me over and out for the time being fellow Infiltration level designers, I will be busy doing what I should be doing... creating levels for the Infiltration mod.

Anybody is welcome to email me if they think I could help with a complex building issue, and if I can help at all I will, if not I may know someone that can, this much I believe I can still do.


5th Apr 2000, 01:26 PM
Of course you do realize memory is the unreal engines biggest problem? And you're telling people they shouldn't do something that decrease the memory load ...

I guese since you have 256mb ram in both of your systems Bastard_O you'll never have a problem.

I'll try the level is hardware mode and see the differance.

12th Apr 2000, 04:14 PM
I posted a lighting test on my website. http://www.unreality.org/outdoors

It was tested on a Celeron 300a o/c 450mhz, 192meg PC100, Diamond Stealth3 (S4 chip), and Vortex1 soundcard.