View Full Version : How to avoid glitters in complex maps ?

11th Mar 2000, 05:17 PM
Here's my problem :
I'm building a pretty complex terrain and to keep the poly's down and the fps up, I'm using the "drag and drop points technique". For this I made some large brushes which I substracted from the massive block with which you start. Every single point is on the grid and there are no brushes which collide with eachother (some are adjacent though). This part works fine and I have no bsp holes whatsoever (I really checked this in any possible way). But... (you saw it coming didn't you ?) when I substract a new brush (like a hallway) next to the brushes I substracted first, I get some glitters with seems to come from the last brush I substracted. (looks like the unrealengine draws more than it needs). Maybe my explaination isn't that clear : I made a terrain by substracting brushes, in this terrain I have to make an opening in a rock for a hallway and here it is where my problems occur.

I've tried solving this using zones. It does a bit, but not enough. If anyone knows what is causing this and how to fix it, I would be most pleased /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
What things can you do and most important what CAN'T you do ?

BTW. It's not that UT has to draw many poly's : the average polycount is around 30 and the average fps is 90-100 on my cel550 with TNT2 ultra. There are no bspholes (no black parts), only small white glitters in the area where I substracted the hallway.

Please, any help is really appreciated.

12th Mar 2000, 12:20 PM
Hummm, been there done that.... had all those problems etc etc.

Ok... I will try to help, I assume to be no expert but what I do have is 20 months solid experience will dealing with these issues...

I have found that no matter what you do to try too get rid of a specific glitter or xmax tree light effect of bsp hole or the problem I see with my levels because they are massive and a player can see very very fast in the distance, when a mesh walks in front of me they leave behind part of themselves ONLY where these glitter areas are, be they very small and very far away you still see them if you keep still, when you move even a tiny bit the problem for me goes away /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif..

Anyway back to your problem...

Have you tried making a terrain from many brushes then de-intersect them all into ONE brush, this I have found helps a lot.

Please check out the BIG yellow brush which I used in Terrain, I use an image of it as my background image for my web pages /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

This is a complete, 100% perfect brush, BUT then when you cut from it the engine has the problems you mentioned...

Try to correct the problem areas by hiding them, ie add another brush and de-intersect again, if that didn't work try another shape, or hide the glitters with a structure a log, building, a semi-solid rock/boulder..

Sorry if the above is no great help, I can only say... Shhheeeesh if I didn't have to deal with these issues I would be able to make three times the amount of levels than I do.

But when I have an idea of what geometry I want, well I deviate a bit it a problem forces me to, I will stick with it and find a solution, but these solutions take time.

I guess all the effort is worth it...

My HillBase level has the most complex terrain I have ever seen in a level, but as the level is at night (with a full moon for that ambient light effect) I believe you would never ever see the glitters that must be there. The glitters I believe are only the sky box showing though or some bright texture in a straight line behind...

Oh btw, I have never ever seen a perfect level EVER I can always find bsp or glitters or xmas tree effects even in PRO build levels.

But I hate them and will try every trick I know to get rid of them....

Hope this rambling helps... even just to know that other mappers have the same problems that you do... /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif


12th Mar 2000, 12:40 PM
Thanks bastard'o, as_terrain is a great map btw. (as you've heard plenty of times)

Yeah, I really know what you are talking about. I've rebuild my entire terrain about 4 times using every possible technique I could come up with. I guess it does pay off in the end, but it is a long way trying to make that perfect glitter free and low poly terrain.

I haven't deintersected it yet to make it one brush, 'cause I'm still doing some major modifications, but what you're suggesting might just solve my problem. If i combine this with some zones I think it would come very close to glitter free.

Your help is greatly appreciated and now I know I'm not alone /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

BTW. I've thoroughly studied your terrain in as_terrain and your post about how you did it and I can only say : you're the best terrain builder I've ever come across (apart from the terrain in lavagiant or eternalcaves, but i think they use lightwave or so to build their terrain).

I've also learned that when you move the points of a brush and have bsp holes by doing this (and you did nothing wrong, every plane of the brush is drawable), you can make them go away by cutting off the top and bottom planes.


Evil Joe
12th Mar 2000, 03:39 PM
I don't think its the skybox cause I've had it happen on maps where I didn't use a skybox. Personally I don't know what they are. But I have to agree with bastard'o there are no perfect maps and if you look hard enough you can find the beforementioned problems. Have to hand it to Bastard'o though he covers that stuff up pretty damn well.

13th Mar 2000, 08:23 AM
Looks like my watersheet caused the problem. When I remove it, no glitters at all. Has anyone tried to use the 2D shape editor to build a custom watersheet ? I need about 12 points to make it the right shape and it has to be under a certain angle.

Evil Joe
13th Mar 2000, 03:36 PM
yeah I did for a fountain I had. The pool it went into was basically a semi-circle so I used a sheet I made in 2d. Good luck, one trick is to build what is holding the water around what kind of sheet you can come up with, sort of reverse engineer it from the water.

13th Mar 2000, 03:47 PM
So building up the watersheet with triangles didn't cause any problems at all ? Great to hear that, will try it soon.

13th Mar 2000, 10:35 PM
Ah... Water zones and massive planes, yep I've had boat loads of other types of problems with those, Tricky to plan stuff without the thing being there for reference but I remember now with my XX-SubBase level the water plane I had to add it as the very very last brush...


13th Mar 2000, 11:24 PM
Good advice Bastard'o. I'm going to finish everything, make the terrain a solid brush and then add the water plane. Any problems I may experience on the way won't be caused by the waterbrush then, so tracing the problem would be easier.

28th Mar 2000, 04:00 AM
I overheard someone mention that those jaggies have to do with the 16 bit z-buffer that Unreal uses. Or something simular to that. Another reason to push for 32 bit rendering huh?

It's the complex geometry IMO. When you go to a smaller grid scale they seem to show up more. A skybox will appear through them also.

29th Mar 2000, 05:06 PM
It seems that a level which consist in general of substracts has less glitters than when you substract a large cube and add walls and stuff like that. Just something I've experienced so far, so my advice is : avoid adding if you can do it with substracts.

Anybody any comments about this ?