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View Full Version : Solution for gaps in large open UT levels ?


Andirez
12th Feb 2000, 09:47 PM
I'm working on a level right now which has very large open areas and some pretty complex brushes in it (a windmill, a farm,...). Framerate is looking fine so far but I have a serious problem with the complex brushes. Whenever the distance between the player and the brush is far (say 1024*3 units in unrealed) small gaps appear between the polygons of which the brush is made. Is there a solution for this ? The windmill I made is pretty complex (I used the 2D shape editor to have some curved surfaces : stat fps says about 250-300 polys, nodes is also pretty much but framerate is acceptable).

Things I have tried so far :
* I made the mill one single brush
* Tried various things with the skybox
* removed the rotating mover of the windmill

Anybody any suggestions ? I would really like to finish this map but I'm not going to if I now that everything is screwed up.

Thanks,
Andirez.

Wanderer
12th Feb 2000, 09:52 PM
This is a hardware limitation and not your fault. I've got the same problem. Since when UT is running in any 3d accelerated fashion it uses a 16bit z-buffer. This determines accuracy of polys. At greater distances though you end up with problems like you've seen. All you can do is either make sure the player doesn't see it by using smaller areas or live with it.

This is one of the reasons for the push for 32bit color/z-buffer, it's not because of prettier pictures.

Andirez
12th Feb 2000, 10:03 PM
Thanks for replying, fastest reply ever !
I hoped that somebody had a solution for this but after what you've told me, I don't see one. Are there direction on how many poly's you can use at certain distances without having these problems ?
With infiltration 2.7x coming up, I was making my walls hollow (so that they are 12 units wide and you can shoot through them) but this only gives more poly's... I guess I could make my walls size 12 but I find that a little thin to be realistic.

BTW. If you use some complex brushes as decoration, would it make any difference to put them in the skybox ? (I tried this once with mountains and it looked pretty nice)

Thanks again for the very useful information ! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Andirez

Billdog
13th Feb 2000, 11:17 PM
Each unit is about an inch to 2cm. Hope it gives you an idear about scale. You can place a pawn in you maps or use the 3rd person view to see if the scaling is right.

Evil_Joe
14th Feb 2000, 04:44 AM
Also depending on the structure you are making a 16 unit wall is pretty damn realistic. Walls that are 32 units or more are like reinforced walls... for houses and regular structures walls should be between 16-24. Also try to keep the p-count bellow 200 any yayhoo can make a complex board with sky high p-counts a good mapper designs his boars so there is detail but the views are in check so the polys are low enough...

bastard_o
15th Feb 2000, 08:25 PM
For me trying to get the correct balance of detail and playablity is possibly the biggest challenge when constructing a level, But I expect that most people would like to be able to play the level and have a good consistance game flow rather than a level that looks gob-smackingly beautiful but is unplayable either stand-alone or server based . I have found that blocking views by adding more geometry sometimes helps also making sure that you hide complex brushes from view that are in a room that can be seen from outside or even from a great distance, but EPIC do say that a 100-200 poly count should be aimed for if possible, don't forget that even if you have a poly count of 350+ and the fps is ok'ish adding a few bots can make a level choppy and unplayable.

I have been building stuff for Unreal for 20 months now and still find this part of level construction very very challenging, good planing, concept drawings can help even before you start editing, Aren't we lucky that we are able to move, reshape, delete stuff when we get stuff wrong, I wish the house I live in was constructed first with UnrealEd, I think they got they design wrong /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

15th Feb 2000, 08:59 PM
Bastard'O - Would you let is in on how you made the outside of Terrain so fast? Even compared to indoor areas, the outdoors just flies. I dont know that I know of a faster, bigger area than the one on Terrain, is it the size of the Poly's? I have a fleeting suspicion that you make it seem that more is going on that really is, which is a compliment, but I'd (and others Im sure) would still like to know
CC

------------------
Want to be an Infiltrator? Get the goods at:

http://www.planetunreal.com/realmaps/

15th Feb 2000, 08:59 PM
Bastard'O - Would you let is in on how you made the outside of Terrain so fast? Even compared to indoor areas, the outdoors just flies. I dont know that I know of a faster, bigger area than the one on Terrain, is it the size of the Poly's? I have a fleeting suspicion that you make it seem that more is going on that really is, which is a compliment, but I'd (and others Im sure) would still like to know
CC

------------------
Want to be an Infiltrator? Get the goods at:

http://www.planetunreal.com/realmaps/

Andirez
17th Feb 2000, 06:01 AM
The tryout levels I made had way too much polygons, I realise that now.
I had the same problem using tools like terraedit. At first I wanted to make a VERY VERY realistic terrain and used a lot of polygons (sometimes +500 !!!), but I have learned from the things I did wrong in the past /infopop/emoticons\icon_wink.gif
Bastard'o, I also would like to know how you did that incredible terrain...

bastard_o
18th Feb 2000, 07:57 PM
Ok, I promise to do tutorials on how I create these brushes plus a tut on ladders.

But to give you a clue with the brush creation I use TerraEdit, but I have discovered some tricks that can be used in conjuction with it plus some rules-of-thumb and some must-not-dos /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

So first off you must have a very clear idea in your head as to what you want to construct, I do make some very rough pencil drawings as a guide.

If you look at the Terrain main brush you will see the circular design to the play area so you can only see so far in one direction this is because of the deliberatly designer central part blocking out everything else.

You need to know in advance the size of the brush, whether it is 32x32 64x64 etc, and also the intended size that each square will be, ie 2048x2048.

With all that in mind the difficult time sonsuming part /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif.

I use terraedit's ability to do HeightField bitmaping, ie create a 256 colour BMP file of the size you want the brush to be ie a bitmap of 64x64 pixels.

A heightfield is where each pixels position maps directly onto each vertices within your grid.

Each vertices height is given by the pixels colour index within the bitmaps palette.

So in a nutshell I use a paint program to constuct the inital brush, then I use normal UnrealEd techniques of getting rid of unwanted polys and unwanted shapes.

Confused... hummm took me a while to work this all out, I am no magician or genius /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
but it seems to work...

Bastard'O