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Trees - anyone tried this?

Discussion in 'Infiltration Development' started by GreyMouse, May 24, 2001.

  1. GreyMouse

    GreyMouse Its whats for dinner!

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    In a outdoor map Im working on I would like to put in a large number of trees (over 100 for sure)
    Im using the decoration from class files with a smattering of the jungle type trees (most of them) I then tested it on my p4 1300 with a 64 Mb vid card and 256 mb ram, then on my P3 300 with 32 Mb ram video and 256 Mbram. The P4 ran it just fine, but the P3 system got a bit chunky when a large number of the trees were veiwable at once.
    has anyone tried this in the past, and if so what did you do to get around the slowdown for older systems?
    I dont really want to use sheets with tree textures on it as this will drop the realism of the map down. The trees are placed throughout the map in a jungle type setting with buildings, and hills blocking the majority of the map from any veiwpoint except a few highspots on the tops of the hills.
    I would post a screenshot or two but Im at work now not at home. If anyone want to see a visual of it I will post some screenshots later.
    If anyone has ideas please let me know.
     
  2. Starstreams

    Starstreams New Member

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    100 trees..lol

    Maybe if we all had alpha-dec processors :)

    Can you make a border with pictures of trees going around the parameter, and just use less trees. If the picture is made correct, it can really look real. If it were only trees then a hundred wouldn’t be too bad, but with buildings too…
    You could probably try reducing the textures to low shadow detail, but I don’t think it would make a huge difference. You can also maybe try to reduce the amount of textures from different packs, or at lease use ones that all shear the same color pallet. I notice one thing for certain, if all you brushes, or at least most of them are is sizes of 2 Even numbered sizes, your map will play so much faster. It really helps the rebuild process too. If it’s a forest it will probably be dark, so you can use less lights, so there is an advantage right there.

    Ya if you have some shots, I would like to see them. Forests are cool.
     
  3. GreyMouse

    GreyMouse Its whats for dinner!

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    Nice idea Starstreams, I already put a tree boder texture around the map to free that up and give the illusion of the jungle continuing. the sizes are all in incriments of 2 (thats an old trick)
    low shadow details are applied where possible (you cannot change the texturing on a actor class brush that already has textures applied that I know of or change them for that matter, if you know a way please share) the map is a dusk map so lighting is shady to dark shadows in all areas.
    I will be happy to post some screenshots later tonight when I get home to give everyone a better Idea of what Im talking about.
    thanks for your input!
     
  4. SoSilencer

    SoSilencer Harry Goz (1932 - 2003)

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    Your map runs slow because you are missing one vital peice of information with how the game handles decorations. They do not occlude. What that means is even if your standing right behind a tree the game is still drawing everything behind it. As far as the game is concerned the tree is NOT blocking your view, even if it is. Because of this you cannot use any large amount of mesh trees to create a jungle or forest.

    You CAN still make your map though, and you can make it run fast and smooth. Use cylinders for the tree trunks and then use meshes or sheets for the leaves. The key to doing this is that you have so many trees you can't see very many at one time. However, adding TOO many trees will increase the occlusion rates to terribly high levels and the game will take far longer to figure out what you see than it takes to actually draw that. You must strike a balance between blocking the view and keeping occlusion low. In my jungle map (beta in realmaps beta section) there are roughly 450 trees give or take. It's still a beta as I need EAS to finish it but if you open it up in UED you can see how I made it.

    The same techniques should work for you with one exception. The main reason the jungle works is because you are always inside of it, there is never a time in my map when you can view the jungle from outside. If you could you would get a broadside of the trees and the polygon count would skyrocket into the thousands. As long as your in the jungle it usually stays under 100 though. If you have buildings and such you would have to be really careful about letting people see too much from within clearanings. As long as you keep the buildings close together and positioned well it shouldn't be a problem but I wanted to warn you about it because it's a pain in the butt to move around hundreds of trees once you place them (btw the fastest way is to make one then dupliate and move it to the new spot, then repeat several hundred times).
     
  5. Los Pescados

    Los Pescados Infiltration Team Member

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    I'd hold off on that. It's a good idea, but the technology to make it possible isn't readily available yet. Try something else.

    Also, although people will tell you that mesh trees are the way to go because they don't add to the poly count, they are the devil in disguise. When you're in-game, instead of STAT FPS, use STAT MESH to get a view of what kind of polys are REALLY being added to the scene with these mesh trees.

    Mike
     
  6. Slava(Spetsnaz)

    Slava(Spetsnaz) Spetsnaz clanleader

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    I'm not a mapper pro, I'm more into Uscripting. But wouldn't it be possible to use that visible range option on tree meshes?
    I assume that it isn't possible to view the map in question from above (That's always a FPS-killer), so you could have it that trees deeper in the forest isn't rendered at all when players are in the outskirts of the forest. It might work good for a pinetree forest (But pretty far away from a jungle hehe). The main problem I see with those tree sheets are that UT renders a lot of stuff the player really can't see because the sheets are masked. I know GreyMouse won't use sheet trees, but surely they must be better to render than a complete tree with branches and all.
    Perhaps you can show us those renderings you talked about, it might be easier to make suggestions then.
     
  7. Slava(Spetsnaz)

    Slava(Spetsnaz) Spetsnaz clanleader

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    Oh yeah a question for the mappers. How evil is that fog zone thing? It would be a nice thing to use along with visibility range of tree meshes.
     
  8. -Lost-

    -Lost- Local Bad-ass

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    do you volumetric fog? it doesn't occlude and it effectively adds the equivalent of about 100 polys to the view. so it's not really a viable option to speed up a jungle map.
     

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