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Need help with static meshes

Discussion in 'Level Design, Skinning and Modelling' started by afecelis, Feb 15, 2004.

  1. spatte

    spatte New Member

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    Sorry, I wasn't clear on that one. You can go ahead and copy, but you have to remove the meshes, brushes or whatever actor from the original group by pressing the button with the minus sign on it (when your in the group browser) There's a button with a + sign as well to add actors to a specific group. Hope you get it right, pretty convenient

    PS I downloaded your map, but I haven't had time to look at it yet. Guess I have to wait with the movie since my laptop is running out of discspace...... If you keep it there for a few more days, I can clean it out and give it a try, would be nice to see

    Cheers
     
  2. Spooge

    Spooge Digital Content Creator

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    Wow, another nice looking building Spatte! I want them ALL! hehe

    I increased the server FTP space so you now both have roughly 800MB to a Gig each. Not that you would use all that (unless you need it, just play it cool). But it's there in case you do.

    As for the BSP brush stuff all you need to do is:

    - Be sure that everything (all vertices) stay on grid, no single point should have a number that is to the right of the decimal place. So build to even units rounding off as needed.
    - Texture it, set the desired mapping coordinates, and export it out as an ASE file.
    - Then just run it through the translator found on my site http://www.planetunreal.com/Spooger/Converter.html (shameless plug).
    - Last, load those same texture named files into Unreal and save them.
    - Import the T3D file translated through that utility.

    By doing it this way you not only get the BSP brushes but you also get the mapping coordinates specified in MAX, nice, very nice. :) Also by staying on grid you avoid the engine freaking out and all the errors later. You can even import the textures later if you wanted, manually replacing the default one that will show up on the BSP brush, it will still have the mapping coordinate that you gave it in MAX unless you change it in UnrealEd. So in other words the textures can be assigned automatically if loaded before, or manually if the textures are loaded after the T3D import. Make sense?

    There’s Nothing to it.

    Back to my project, I'll check in on you all later.
     
  3. afecelis

    afecelis New Member

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    You guys are tempting me!!! he he he he
    I'm feeling like re-taking a building we also worked on some 2 years ago. The interesting part it's that it's already built so it would be interesting to take some real shots to compare.

    Here's a render:
    [​IMG]

    you guys are tempting me!!!

    or an architecture graduation project we helped to visualize out. It's an urban intervention for a museum. I think it would also be interesting because of the scale.

    After working on the house, perhaps a building (for vertical scale) or the urban project (for a larger scale) would be interesting proposals, don't you think?
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    ps. Spooge, thanx for the extra space. We really appreciate it.
    ps. Guys, did you get the chance to walk thru the presentation's project? any feedback?
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2004
  4. Spooge

    Spooge Digital Content Creator

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    Dude!! Do the tall one!

    I have not had a chance to D/L either one of your buildings recently, but I'm going to when I take a break later tonight, I'll let you know then.

    I did however take a 5 minute break and create a fake wall geometry in MAX, and turned it into a T3D for import into Unreal... just as an example as to how the textures/UVW maps carry over.

    [​IMG]
    Notice that the virtices are all even units...


    [​IMG]
    And in Unreal the lighting is BSP for the shell of the building (walls).

    The UVW map changed after I took the shot from MAX, you will notice it's larger in Unreal, but the Unreal one does reflect the MAX UVW when it's done(just not in that pic).

    Easy as pie, give it a shot.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2004
  5. afecelis

    afecelis New Member

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    hey hey hey spooge!

    I see you're busy as hell! Man, remember to take a break. R u posting screenshots? I can't see them. I think it's because of the server being up and down these days.
    I had already tried solosnake's ase2t3d converter for the house, but I did it with the whole mesh (same error I made with the hardware brush). So, exporting each ase as a t3d will give me bsp geometry for better lighting? I was reading the udn documents, and it says there that static meshes are better optimized for engine rendering than bsps but bsps handle lighting better than static meshes.

    where did this bsp discussion start? I guess I'll try the bsp stuff with the house and check the differences, but I'd like to know the advantages over static meshes.

    about newer projects: I still want to finish what I said of putting up a showcase house with everything in it, and meanwhile start puttingup the building.... I'd love to create an elevator! hmmmmmm, still need help with those transparent textures. I mirrored the whole UDN site on my hard drive and searched for help on creating textures but couldn't find a tut.

    phewh! ok spooge! keep on working, have fun! Cheers to all of you guys!
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2004
  6. afecelis

    afecelis New Member

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    ok, I tried it out. I used the "walls" ase I imported as a static mesh, but this time I converted it into a t3d. I imported the brush (I noticed it imports with the same insertion point from max) and added it to my level. First problem was that it's huge in size. Only the walls weigh 3.6 MB against 12kb that weigh THE WHOLE HOUSE with all the ases as static meshes. Second problem is that I have to retexture face by face to get the materials I want. The level editor gets laggy as hell; only after rebuilding the level does it speed up again (after optimizing geometry, I guess).

    I inserted some lights, and shadows are in fact more interesting, but I think a good question would be: what's best? look or performance? It was weird though creating geometry the old days' way. Once you get accustomed to the static mesh stuff you don't want to create a level in a different way ever in your life! mmmmmhhhhh. It's not as simple as I thought.

    I know bsp geometry is necesary, I just wish collision and lighting were more optimized with static meshes.

    I'll keep on searching for the perfect combination, h aha ha ha ha h a =)
     
  7. Spooge

    Spooge Digital Content Creator

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    The trick is to use both as they are meant to be used. Nothing wrong with using static meshes for everything if all you need is a fast VR model, but the lighting on the walls will never look as good with the SM brushes as they would with a BSP brush, unless you prepare them right in MAX/VIZ first. The BSP walls will look nearly perfect every time but yes they render a little slower and carry more overhead (or so I have found as well).

    Not sure why you are having to assign all the texture again if the textures are all loaded first and saved in a pack prior to importing the T3D file.

    Also, did you refreash the page, the images should show up, the server has been a little buggy for the last couple days, but mine are showing now.

    Also... try importing one of those car models you have there as a static mesh in the runtime, I have done a few and they looked great. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2004
  8. afecelis

    afecelis New Member

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    I agree that lighting does look better, but I also think size does matter, specially speaking of performance.

    About the textures: Since the t3d is added to the scene, you get a blue brush with only the texture selected in the browser applied to it so, in the case of my walls that are brick outside and white inside, I have to make everything white and retexture the outside with bricks or viceversa, which is a bit tedious.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Vito

    Vito New Member

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    Yes! Do the tall one! :)
     
  10. afecelis

    afecelis New Member

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    h ehe , I agree. I gotta do that elevator stuff!

    Ok, spooge, I got my bsp version of the house up and running, now here r the qs:
    1. Why use solosnake's ase2t3d to then import the t3d as brushes in the editor if you can import an ase as a brush as well? I mean, why not just import brushes from the ases and add them?
    2. Lighting looks better, but some of the added brushes show up void-empty triangles after rebuilding. How can I avoid this (Or should these brushes be replaced by static meshes?
    3. Contrary to what I expected, I got better collision response from the static meshes. With the bsp version, I'm walking on the road and when I get on the sidewalk I fall wayyyyyyyyy down to never never land! I thought collision with bsp brushes was more accurate.
    4. After rebuilding and shadows are mapped I get this little rainbow color-like faces around my map (specially in the shade). This didn't happen with static meshes.

    ok, no more q's. All this workshop will be of great experience to begin any new project (like the building =) )

    I still like static meshes a lot...more.... they make life easier... a lot...... more

    h aha ha ha
    ps. I'll get some screenies on all the problems I commented above tonight.

    cheers!
     
  11. spatte

    spatte New Member

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    About the lighting.....try setting it to rgb8 instead of dxt1 in the build options, that helped me.
     
  12. afecelis

    afecelis New Member

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    thanx spatte, I'll try it out.

    one last thing: I tried mixing my bsp brushes with some of the static meshes (both of which come from the same ases) but the static meshes show up 180 degrees rotated (backwards) so you have to do everything in bsps or everything in static meshes. No mixing.

    cheers
     
  13. afecelis

    afecelis New Member

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    Thanx a lot Spatte, that really smoothed shadows, nice!

    now here are the bsp shots (flipped normals-errors)
    holes:
    [​IMG]

    more holes:
    [​IMG]

    falling down !!!
    [​IMG]

    cheers, and thnx!
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2004
  14. afecelis

    afecelis New Member

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    ok guys, just re-took the tall building model just to notice all the mistakes I made 2 years ago so I'll start by rebuilding all the geometry more unreal-oriented in order to make it a nice VR experience.

    I think I'll definitely put it up with just static meshes. Any final words on bsp brushes would be welcome, but so far static meshes are unbeatable!

    ps. Spatte, just wanted to know: I found a transparent (glass) texture in your utx. May I use it in my project? I found it nice.

    ok guys, will be posting screenshots of the progress of the 2 projects (building-showcase house). Cheers!

    [​IMG]
     
  15. ridenho

    ridenho New Member

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    Interesting Architecture

     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2004
  16. spatte

    spatte New Member

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    Hey Afecelis, go ahead and use the transparent texture if you like it!

    And to add to the Static Mesh VS BSP discussion, I still belive that you would be better of in the long run if you give BSP a try. You will never be able to get a good result with shadows using just Static Meshes. But I do agree that it is very convenient to just convert your whole MAX/VIZ model into a mesh and explor it in the Runtime.

    I checked on the server space, but I didn't find any updates. If yoy could upload your BSP experiment, I can check it for you.

    Cheers
     
  17. afecelis

    afecelis New Member

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    hi ridenho, thanx for the comments. The building is located in my hometown (Bucaramanga) here in Colombia. I'll try to take some pictures of the real thing to post them as well. The only difference is that the white parts were changed for a yellowish stone. And yes, I'm an architect and I got my own firm. I have a partner and we design for several construction firms (locally and Nation-wide). Right now our city is growing a lot, mostly we are having condo developments in the outer side of our city (in teh country) so it's been an interesting experience to change from doing shopping centers and buildings to a nice "country"house. All this is after a long recesion period of almost 7 years in which construction was almost dead. Those were hard days for us architects. The building I posted was not designed by us though, we made all the renders and videos for them to sell it but we got involved in the design process as well. Thanx for the comments. Welcome to this forum. Feel free to contact any of us here for anything regarding with architecture. Spatte, vito, will, and of course.... Spooge are excellent people (as well as the others in this forum). It's great to see other architects heading for the same goals.

    Spatte: thanx for the texture! I'll try it out today. I'll give bsp a final try. Although it's going to be a bit more difficult since I got these empty triangles showing up. I'll upload the bsp map tonight so that you can check it.

    many thanx man! Just downloaded your latest version..... sweet! loved the particle systems. keep it up!

    ps. ridenho, if you're interested in downloading the material we're developing you'll find it here:
    http://www.danielpatton.com/afecelis/wip/march05/mn300.zip

    there's a video here:
    http://www.danielpatton.com/afecelis/video/presentation.zip

    and you'll find Spatte's stuff here:

    http://www.danielpatton.com/spatte/Work In Progress/

    cheers!
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2004
  18. spatte

    spatte New Member

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    Getting into detail

    Just another screenshot. It's a test with a terrain and a fluidSurface. Haven't made an original cubemap for the water reflection yet - better wait a while as things constantly are changing. The egg chair has too many polys (around 3000) to fit in an optimized level, but I couldn't resist it ;) They have a lot of nice designer furniture at www.fritzhansen.com.

    Check back later, cheers
     

    Attached Files:

  19. ridenho

    ridenho New Member

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    Eggchair

    Spatte,

    Thanks for the link, I am always looking for good furniture. I took that eggchair and applied an optimize modifier to it in max and was able to get it down to 1300 polys. I also downloaded your map and took a tour. Looks pretty good. It is a fairly good sized structure. I was missing a package though when I opened it up and had to rebuild it, which took a long time. What is the concept of your architecture?
     
  20. spatte

    spatte New Member

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    Ridenho, thanks for your comments. I originally made this piece of architecture for my masters in Architecture. It is a proposal for the relocation of the major fishmarket in Tokyo. The area under the two wings will host selling floors, while the middle area will be the place of offices and also water treatment facilities and other stuff. It is just a spare-time project, a way for me to learn what you can do with the engine. You can find more detail in my report:

    http://www.danielpatton.com/spatte/Tokyos Kitchen_Web.pdf

    I use a lot of lights in my map together with a lot of static meshes and I guess that is what takes so long time to rebuild. As it is now, it feels like you're a 4 m tall guy walking around. Does anybody now the dimensions of the pawn in the runtime (eyeheight, collisionradius and so on??) I will try to scale the pawn, but I've been told it takes some programming skills to be able to make your own custom pawn. A work-around would be to scale the whole map. I tried to do that inside the editor with the scale Map command in the Tools menu, however, nothing happend with the level. I have also downloaded the ScaleMap utility which I found at the Wiki. Exported my level to a t3d, scaled it and reimported it into an empty level. At this point UnrealEd crashes all the time.

    I would also love to see more of the work your office have done with the engine and I am also in the workflow. I can see a whole lotta of possibilities in the engine for architects, but the tool is still not perfect though ;) With some scripting, you could add a lot more interactivity to your presentations as well. For example you could change the wallpapers in an apartment in game.

    Afecelis, you still haven't uploaded anything?
    Spooger, how's your project going?

    See you guys around, cheers
     

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