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Author:  phantazm11 [ 12-26-2014 07:29 PM ]
Post subject:  Re: Screenshots

This thread is red hot lately!

dONKEY: Looks fantastic. Wish you would have had time to finish this for the contest. I love the theme...like an abandon WWII site - really cool. You and Hipshot really have a knack for skyboxes and skies! You two could certainly teach me a thing or two about them :)

Pat: Looks awesome man! I really like the style you've got going on: The juxtaposition of angled and curved arches is neat. The textures you chose are old-school, but your use of them brings out a fresh feeling. Personally I would try a different colored sky, but that is a minor nitpick. Can't wait to play this.

Author:  fKd [ 12-26-2014 08:24 PM ]
Post subject:  Re: Screenshots

The sock industrial set is not that old :)

And great stuff pat and donkey! rockin!

Author:  phantazm11 [ 12-26-2014 09:02 PM ]
Post subject:  Re: Screenshots

fKd wrote:
The sock industrial set is not that old :)


Right, but it does have an old school vibe about it...not that it is a bad thing. :)

Author:  Pat Howard [ 12-26-2014 10:21 PM ]
Post subject:  Re: Screenshots

thanks!

@phant: any suggestions on a sky for this map? just wondering if you think it should be a different color or just neutral.



i chose this skybox because i liked the sci-fi feel and how the purple clouds contrasted against the yellow in sock's textures. not really sure yet if it's working or if it's an eye sore though.

Author:  dONKEY [ 12-26-2014 10:54 PM ]
Post subject:  Re: Screenshots

Thanks. It's based on an idea I had on a walk about an abandoned hill side fort over looking the Straits of Jahor.
Pat, that looks great, old school, but thoroughly modern brush work style.

Author:  cityy [ 12-27-2014 02:59 AM ]
Post subject:  Re: Screenshots

Sweet stuff dONKEY! It's a pity you couldn't submit this for the contest.

@Pat: Looks lovely! I'm going to be picky now. I think the overall feeling would be much more immersive if you put some more focus on what elements you are using in which places. The overall composition is cool now but one could feel it better if truss for instance was used as a spanning construction piece. Concrete often acts cooler if you use it as a monolithic piece.

Edit: Sorry, was interrupted while typing.
Did you collect references for this piece?

Author:  Hipshot [ 12-27-2014 05:37 AM ]
Post subject:  Re: Screenshots

Seeing a lot of good things here lately, keep that up Donkey, even if the level wasn't completed in time! I would love to see it finished.

I think that looks very good Pat, it looks like a Quake 2 refined with that first sky, I love that, so don't change it.
I suggest you use a stronger sun and let the light come down from the sky and in through the windows more!
Seems like people are a bit afraid of using strong sunlight? Or am I missing something here?

I've also been working on a new level actually, a much brighter theme and one I never worked with before. It got pretty dark and depressing creating Rustgrad and Solitude, which kinda have the same texture and lightbase =/

Author:  phantazm11 [ 12-27-2014 05:26 PM ]
Post subject:  Re: Screenshots

Hipshot wrote:
I think that looks very good Pat, it looks like a Quake 2 refined with that first sky, I love that, so don't change it.
I suggest you use a stronger sun and let the light come down from the sky and in through the windows more!
Seems like people are a bit afraid of using strong sunlight? Or am I missing something here?


Maybe it is just the lighting that is throwing me off.

Also: I can't wait to see what you are working on Hipshot. Sounds fascinating!

Author:  nitin77 [ 12-28-2014 12:08 AM ]
Post subject:  Re: Screenshots

pat and donkey, looking good!

Author:  Pat Howard [ 12-28-2014 12:12 AM ]
Post subject:  Re: Screenshots

wow, lots of input

@phant: looks like hipshot has the final say on the sky :p. i'll keep working on the lighting.

@hipshot: looking forward to seeing whatever you are working on! the sun brightness is 175 right now. i actually wanted to go higher like you said but it was really washing out the more open areas of the map with blinding light. maybe adding some yellow/orange to the sun will help.

@cityy: i have some industrial reference images for pipe designs and other assets, and then a lot of the architecture is using mayan references. i guess all the curved stuff is just my own doodles and i'm not sure what inspired it. i wasn't really sure what you mean by "a spanning construction piece", so i can't comment on that part unless you are more specific. i guess i will say that although realism is not my main goal here, i would appreciate whatever feedback you have on proper use of materials to make the level design more professional.

Author:  Hipshot [ 12-28-2014 12:52 AM ]
Post subject:  Re: Screenshots

What are your light compile settings btw? I was looking at the sun strength of some of my previous levels and it's off the scale compared to yours 175. I like the "blinding" light, but I mean, look at these values from Crescent:

Code:
textures/hipshot_m13/sky2
{
   qer_editorimage textures/hipshot_m13/env/color.jpg
   q3map_lightimage textures/colors/m13skysstrong.jpg
   q3map_lightmapFilterRadius 0 8      
   q3map_sunExt 1 .7 .2 450 -150 60 3 32   
   q3map_sunExt 1 .79 .3 75 -151 61 3 32
   q3map_sunExt 1 .79 .3 75 -149 59 3 32            
   q3map_skyLight 125 6 //175
   q3map_noFog
   surfaceparm sky
   surfaceparm noimpact
   surfaceparm nolightmap
   skyparms textures/hipshot_m13/env/sky - -
   nopicmip
}


These are the settings I've been using for several years now: -light -patchshadows -fast -samples 6 -gamma 2.5 -compensate 3 -v -bounce 100, I started using gamma and compensate when (I think) Ydnar suggested it a long time ago.

Author:  cityy [ 12-28-2014 04:27 AM ]
Post subject:  Re: Screenshots

Quote:
i guess i will say that although realism is not my main goal here, i would appreciate whatever feedback you have on proper use of materials to make the level design more professional.


Well I don't want to claim I'm professional when it comes to appropriate reflection of construction in maps. :D
Basically, the main difference between a truss and a standard beam is that a truss only contains normal forces, perpendicular to the material profile while a beam is stressed parallel to the material profile. This is due to construction of the truss with the top chord, bottom chord and the vertical/diagonal shafts.
Horizontal profiles (bottom and top chord) are better at "absorbing" horizontal forces and vertical profiles (vertical shafts) are better at absorbing vertical forces. Diagonal elements can do both, that's why the truss contains no bending moments, it steadily transforms between vertical and horizontal stress and that's why it can span further distances than a normal beam (the deformation is smaller due to no bending moments). Trusses can be active on compression or on traction, depending on the construction.

Just like trusses, each construction element has its own functional reasoning. Just like the gothic architecture started to deploy pointed archs instead of roman round arches because they are better at redirecting pressure forces (rounded = higher radius = greater horizontal component = worse at taking vertical forces) and enabled them to build higher churches.
The same way concrete was used for faster (or prefabricated) and cheaper and more robust building compared to brick until gardening taught us that it can do even more.

I haven't cared a lot about this in any of my past work, simply because I had no idea at all, but I think restricting yourself by involving physics and functional construction can make a scene feel a lot more authentic than not doing so and in the end it can be an enrichment. I would recommend anyone to grab one or two good books on construction (maybe even focused on a single material) from your local lib before starting off with a design. It surely isn't a necessity but I feel like it can make a difference and I keep getting unhappy that I did not pay attention when I made all my maps. :)

Edit: Just to get back to that truss... I was referring to this image: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/330 ... ot0017.jpg
The truss does not seem to make sense here because it's apparently part of a monolithic wall. It should be used to cross a gap and bring forces down to the bearing.
Also what about the ventilation grating? Is it an air intake for a sealed off room above? It certainly can't be cooling or air supply for the room we are in because it's an exterior area. If you get clear what the purpose of that vent is, it might enable you to build another detail that belongs to it. This might sound like asshole moaning right now but I think those details are what turns good into great. :)

Author:  Theftbot [ 12-28-2014 11:11 AM ]
Post subject:  Re: Screenshots

Might be a dopefish hiding in there!

Author:  Pat Howard [ 12-28-2014 03:21 PM ]
Post subject:  Re: Screenshots

@cityy: nope, you are not bitching - this stuff is important. i like your suggestions a lot. do you learn about all this stuff from construction books, or other places too? i could definitely use to be brought up to speed with a lot of material use and architectural understanding. it seems like the main three things i could work on right now are the following (in order of importance):

1. my misuse of some of the support textures like the truss. i actually just used the texture thinking along the lines of, "hey, this area needs something to break up the yellow, here's a cool shape." i can start thinking less in terms of shape and color and more in terms of realism to guide my design ideas.

2. my gratuitous use of vent textures without thinking about a practical function for them. i actually just looked at the thicker vent texture as sort of a secondary support type of texture more than a true ventilation grate. i noticed sock kind of used that texture in a similar way in some places in his "Bridge Crane" doodle, but less extensively than i have done here. i guess i don't really know how vents would be used in an exterior industrial environment like this one. i was thinking they could let out heat from interior pipes/machinery, but i don't even know if that really makes sense :confused:. i can look into this by researching reference images more.

3. my use of multiple concrete colors. i think what i will do here is just replace the yellow concrete with yellow metal plating.

thanks for all the feedback so far, guys. i've learned recently that the best way to get good feedback is to follow a tip i picked up on sock's website: the first thing you should do when establishing a theme is to pick a small, manageable area and detail it to completion before touching any other parts of the map. people are paradoxically way more inclined to give feedback when a map looks final than when it looks like a half-assed doodle with bad lighting or incomplete detail/texturing, so it makes a lot more sense to release something small but finalized and to work on problems from there.

@hipshot: i'm not shader expert, but are you sure you can use multiple suns like that? probably obsidian is the best person to ask about this. i would have thought the shader would just pick the last line of sunExt parameters and ignore the others, which may be why your Crescent sun isn't actually a 450 sun. the only time i've seen suns work well at such a high intensity is indoor maps that have only a few windows. take fKd's latest competition map for example. in maps that have both windows and open ceilings, i think a compromise probably needs to be made between dramatic window lighting and pleasant outdoor lighting. this just gave me a neat idea, actually. why not just use two shaders: one 450 sun for my windows and another 175 sun for my ceilings? i'll give it a try!

Author:  Hipshot [ 12-28-2014 03:57 PM ]
Post subject:  Re: Screenshots

Sure you can, as seen in this example I just made. There's a red and a blue sun, no skylight, it mixes and becomes purple where they both hit the surface, but the true colors can be seen in the shadows, the red and blue.

In reality, the light that hits the ground in crescent is 725, from all the suns and the skylight. I used several suns to try and see if I could get a round and smooth, still high quality shadow.

Author:  Hipshot [ 12-28-2014 04:03 PM ]
Post subject:  Re: Screenshots

On that feedback note, totally true, usually people won't comment on an design with screens if there's really nothing to show except for some blank stairs and a railgun on the top.

Me and Aeon had a little parlay just now on steam, about level creation and when to put graphics on a level. But that's a whole other discussion I guess.

Author:  Theftbot [ 12-28-2014 09:21 PM ]
Post subject:  Re: Screenshots

Would that of been in a steam group chat?

Author:  obsidian [ 12-29-2014 08:22 PM ]
Post subject:  Re: Screenshots

Yes, you can use multiple suns if you're trying to simulate Tatooine.

Though I'm not sure what Hipshot is trying to accomplish with his shader. I understand that in a lot of other engines (idTech 4, for instance) you would use multiple infinite light sources to simulate radiosity. However, Q3Map2 sun shaders already do radiosity, coloured shadows, penumbra, filtered shadow edges, etc. I can't see any real advantage unless you actually want your sky to look as if it has more than one light source.

Author:  Hipshot [ 12-30-2014 03:43 AM ]
Post subject:  Re: Screenshots

obsidian wrote:
Yes, you can use multiple suns if you're trying to simulate Tatooine.

Though I'm not sure what Hipshot is trying to accomplish with his shader. I understand that in a lot of other engines (idTech 4, for instance) you would use multiple infinite light sources to simulate radiosity. However, Q3Map2 sun shaders already do radiosity, coloured shadows, penumbra, filtered shadow edges, etc. I can't see any real advantage unless you actually want your sky to look as if it has more than one light source.


When I look back at it, I think it was a bit strange, I didn't even remember that I did that.
But I think, that I could produce a softer still high res quality shadow, but I'm sure that can be done using other settings and maybe that's why I only tried this once =)

Author:  cityy [ 12-30-2014 04:41 AM ]
Post subject:  Re: Screenshots

Pat Howard wrote:
do you learn about all this stuff from construction books, or other places too?


I learn a lot of it at university. Getting taught is always easier than teaching yourself but if you can get a book on basic statics for architects that will be good. I'd recommend something but I use pretty much only german literature.
The Detail construction atlases are great and some of them are available in english. However, they are also super expensive. I usually pick up my books on ebay; maybe you can find something.

Pat Howard wrote:
1. my misuse of some of the support textures like the truss. i actually just used the texture thinking along the lines of, "hey, this area needs something to break up the yellow, here's a cool shape."


This is exactly what I have done in my maps and today I wish I didn't. :) However, don't start thinking less about color and shape, just try to make the two aspects join. Anything we see in great science fiction movies today is functional and based on the tech we know today. Making up detail is a lot easier if the first step is to think about how it works and what it does. Getting that detail in shape is the cherry on top! Maybe some of Dieter Rams' thoughts can get you on the track!

Pat Howard wrote:
2. my gratuitous use of vent textures without thinking about a practical function for them. i actually just looked at the thicker vent texture as sort of a secondary support type of texture more than a true ventilation grate. i noticed sock kind of used that texture in a similar way in some places in his "Bridge Crane" doodle, but less extensively than i have done here. i guess i don't really know how vents would be used in an exterior industrial environment like this one. i was thinking they could let out heat from interior pipes/machinery, but i don't even know if that really makes sense :confused:. i can look into this by researching reference images more.


Generally, ventilation can be used for heating, cooling, humidifying, dehumidifying and removing contaminants from an area. If your ventilation opening is on the outside, it certainly wouldn't be cooling or heating because that would be a huge blowout of energy - so a waste air opening would make sense as you say.
What you can do now to establish your environment is build up on that. If there is a waste air opening, there must be an air intake somewhere to avoid low pressure in the ventilated area. Ventilation always has lines. Fresh air and waste air openings are never exactly next to each other. You position them to create a cirulation.
Why is there a ventilation in the first place? Machinery that heats up the area? Chemicals that release pollutants? Are there windows that could be opened? The ventilation doesn't make sense then. It's actually a fairly simple topic once you warpped your head around it. :)

Pat Howard wrote:
3. my use of multiple concrete colors. i think what i will do here is just replace the yellow concrete with yellow metal plating.


Nothing wrong with using colored concrete. Concrete is a mix of gravel, cement and water. You can colorize it using additives while making it or just paint it. The thing to think about here is, why is it painted? What is it indicated? Is it some sort of innovative measure to improve orientation in your map and can that harmonize with your theme? That would be neat.
Have you looked into how concrete is made? It can be prefabricated or founded on the construction site. Different ways of making it create different looks. Different formwork has to be fixed in different ways and creates different surface structures (you can form concrete with metal formwork, wood, stone... the list goes on). That process results in joints between concrete elements that can be considered in the design. Tadao Ando's work is probably most famous for its use of concrete.

I could recommend the Taschen Basic Architecture Series. Lots of short books on different architects for a decent price. However, you need to decide for yourself how useful they would be for you. :)

This turned out to be quite a text! Take everything I say here with a pinch of salt though. I'm not actually as eligible to write essays about this topic as other people would be! :D

Author:  AEon [ 12-30-2014 04:56 AM ]
Post subject:  Re: Screenshots

Inspirational names and links:
    Niemeyer (Taschen's Architecture Now!) by Oscar Niemeyer
I used his designs in AEarcs... or tried to... way way back.

The simplest truths and logic is usually indeed the best. Once one reads about ventilation and why it is used, it all makes sense... and that logic can then inspire to rethink where to place ventilation... I'll probably be adding some of that to my "planned" map AEindus.

The same logic can also apply to tubes... technically, IMO, most of them do not really make much sense in Sock's Industrial map... they look cool... but I really wonder why they would be all over the place. Or maybe I am just not imaginative enough to understand them. The usual pipes would be water (so colouring them blue) for cooling purposes or as some form of "manufacturing ingredient" could make sense. Sometimes gases are also pumped through them... cannot think of their use though presently.

Anyway, there seems to be a lot of merit in placing "deco" that makes sense... the player will often subliminally catch on to such things, thinking "looks real" or "makes sense" or "convincing detail".

Author:  Hipshot [ 12-31-2014 05:15 PM ]
Post subject:  Re: Screenshots

Although I agree with most things Cit are saying, I must however state that one shouldn't go overboard with thoughts about what makes sense and not, I mean, still you are making a Quake level and some pipes and whatnot doesn't always need to have a logic explanation.

I think it's much more important if you do a level for CS, or Battlefield - games like that.

Author:  obsidian [ 12-31-2014 08:29 PM ]
Post subject:  Re: Screenshots

Your architecture and design should tell a story about that place. How it was constructed and how it is used. But just remember that it is just a story, and that as the author, you can accentuate it with a few lies.

Author:  Hipshot [ 01-01-2015 12:22 AM ]
Post subject:  Re: Screenshots

Tada!



Very early, I forced out one of those average layouts in two days and now I'm working on the theme.

Author:  cityy [ 01-01-2015 07:26 AM ]
Post subject:  Re: Screenshots

I agree with what both of you said Obsidian and Hipshot. I haven't actually had a chance yet to project my bla bla onto a map so I don't know how much I would stick to it eventually. :) Hopefully soon!

Screenshot looks promising Hipshot! Chinese fortress in the hills?

Author:  fKd [ 01-01-2015 01:28 PM ]
Post subject:  Re: Screenshots

Lookin real good hipshot!

Author:  obsidian [ 01-01-2015 01:41 PM ]
Post subject:  Re: Screenshots

I think Tibetan would be more suitable with the background. Do some research on prayer wheels, prayer flags, painted trim and other architectural elements.

Author:  dONKEY [ 01-01-2015 04:49 PM ]
Post subject:  Re: Screenshots

Hipshot, that looks great. Cherry blossom and a really nice mountain panorama.

Quick update from me. I have just about completed all the geometry I had planned. I think it's time to move on to tidying things up. For some reason it only just occurred to me I could export multiple models with q3map2 so as to combine them into a single model. I have no idea why I never realized that before.


Finally arrived at the right blend for the bottom of the cliffs and the bottom of the skybox backdrop




Thank you Hipshot for making your assets available. I've made use of your vine and earth textures. I've also made a retextured return for my overhead crane, to help come up with a solution to adding cover to a line of sight that was too long.

Author:  Hipshot [ 01-01-2015 06:00 PM ]
Post subject:  Re: Screenshots

Hmm, I was going for something Japanese, like this, kinda what you see in Overwatch.
Right now I have Fuji on one side and a random mountain on the opposite, I think the blue/white backdrop looks very good towards the colors in the level, however I don't know if I will keep it like that... hrm. Well, I'm gonna finish the level first and then see what I do with the backdrop, the level isn't a complete floater, just some parts of it where you can fall out.

@ Donkey, glad you find use of the assets, I see you are using at least the ivy there! I'm probably gonna dist all my source files from now on with my levels, no need to keep it for myself if others find it useful.

Author:  dONKEY [ 01-01-2015 06:45 PM ]
Post subject:  Re: Screenshots

@Hipshot,
Is that a sky box, or a sky box with a backdrop?
I've got a little problem with one of my backdrops, I wondered if you had come across a similar issue.
I'm getting very faint lines around the top of the projected back drop. I am absolutely sure the alpha channel is clean. It's only happening on one back drop not the other. Any ideas?

Author:  Hipshot [ 01-01-2015 06:52 PM ]
Post subject:  Re: Screenshots

It's a low quality generated tg2 skybox and then just two mountain images in a _skybox scene. Very basic.

Have you tried just removing the upper units of the brush that's giving you these issues, if possible?

Author:  Pat Howard [ 01-01-2015 07:07 PM ]
Post subject:  Re: Screenshots

omg, that looks amazing, Hipshot. i LOVE the colors. almost like something from my favorite developer, ThatGameCompany.

what's that boardwalk in image #2? looks like it wouldn't be very good gameplay.

Author:  Hipshot [ 01-01-2015 07:18 PM ]
Post subject:  Re: Screenshots

It's just a little sloped pathway leading upwards and yes, that's probably not a very good thing for gameplay, it will most likely be one of the first things I redesign when I'm more done =)

Author:  fKd [ 01-07-2015 12:46 PM ]
Post subject:  Re: Screenshots








Author:  Pat Howard [ 01-07-2015 02:07 PM ]
Post subject:  Re: Screenshots

looks really nice, fKd :up: but, man, that sky shader is looking outdated as ever. it would be interesting to see how the gothic theme would look under a modern skybox and crisp lighting.

keep it up, looking forward to testing this.

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