Displacement based geometry tutorial

[R8]DJBourgeoisie[R8]DJBourgeoisie Members Join Date: 2007-09-05 Member: 62176Posts: 151
edited October 2007 in NS2 General Discussion
In response to some requests to my post regarding displacement based geometry on page 2 of the 4th podcast thread, I went ahead and recorded a video tutorial explaining how I use displacments to create things like collumns, rounded walls etc. The video zipped with 7-zip http://www.7-zip.org is 20.8 megs and unzipped 283 megs. I did not go into extreme detail but enough to get anyone interested started in creating some nice smooth rounded architecture. If anyone is left with questions I will try and answer them but my time is very limited and just casually check this forum. I do not currently have any webspace so I uploaded this to a free host (yousendit.com). The download is good for 7 days or 100 downloads so I ask if anyone could host it for me I would appreciate it.

Heres the link to the tutorial. *edit* original link expired, thanks corporal fortier for hosting.
http://www.louisfortier.ca/upload/displacement_tut.7z
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Comments

  • MaxMax Technical Director, Unknown Worlds Entertainment Super Administrators, Retired Developer, NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, NS2 Developer, Constellation, Subnautica Developer, Pistachionauts, Future Perfect Developer Join Date: 2002-03-15 Member: 318Posts: 1,737 admin
    Nice tutorial. I hope we can get even more flexibility out of the displacements by being able to accurately manipulate the control points, but it's neat to see how the existing tools can be effectively used. The results you posted in the other thread were very impressive.
    Max McGuire
    Technical Director, Unknown Worlds Entertainment
  • MasterPTGMasterPTG Members Join Date: 2006-11-30 Member: 58780Posts: 283
    Awesome tutorial. Wish you could make more...for random other things =D.
  • ozbirdboyozbirdboy Confirm Email Join Date: 2007-08-07 Member: 61827Posts: 222
    Great work mate, until now i had never used the sub divide tool. You learn something new everyday smile-fix.gif
  • pSyk0mAnpSyk0mAn Nerdish by Nature GermanyMembers, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Silver, NS2 Community Developer Join Date: 2003-08-07 Member: 19166Posts: 1,730 Advanced user
    Since I did some mapping for II, I'm quite familar with displacement brushes.
    I agree that you can make some awesome things with them, but I always had problems with the lighting of displacement maps.
    First of all there is a lower limit on the scale of the lightmap, if the displacement-face is to wide or long.
    Then there seem to be some issues with bouncing light and displacement maps, maybe because they aren't treated like the usual faces. I always had to add multiple lights in certain locations to get rid of unnatural looking, black shadows. Of course you can also add the displacement texture to the lights.rad, but that would took ages to compile, if it's often used.

    It might work for ns2 though, because bouncing light isn't that necessary for a rather dark and creepy indoor enviroment, but there would still be some ugly transitions and edges in lighting from displacement to ordinary face.

    Do you use any special compile options to increase lighting quality considering a mix of displacement and ordinary faces?


  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Join Date: 2003-11-28 Member: 23688Posts: 0 Advanced user
    NS2 shouldnt be plagued by the lighting issues if mappers use displacements for tubes or whatever, they tend to only appear on larger disp' surfaces in outdoor enviornments.

    Although pretty cheap, id still recommend models over disps for that type of thing, they crank up the file size rather quickly.
  • [R8]DJBourgeoisie[R8]DJBourgeoisie Members Join Date: 2007-09-05 Member: 62176Posts: 151
    I'd like to address a few of the issues mentioned and reply with my workarounds.

    For lighting issues, I rarely experience this, on my collumns I usually place a playerclip around the pillar so the players do not actually contact the displacement and give you those shadowing problems.

    As for bsp size, bsp size does not really matter when we are talking about a mod or retail game like ns2. File size is really only an issue for custom maps for obvious reasons, and while I would not recommend using displacement based geometry everywhere you can think of the performance gains more than justify using them here and there.

    When I think ns2 maps I would hope they are less blocky looking, and that really was the whole point in my posting this tutorial. As heavily model based source engine mapping is I try and create as much from bsp as possible and save the models for finer details such as equipment, lighting, etc.
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  • Corporal_FortierCorporal_Fortier Members, Constellation Join Date: 2005-03-22 Member: 46079Posts: 409
    Very nice tutorial! This reminds me I should start playing with Hammer again (too bad it doesn't run under Linux sad-fix.gif) Oh and I've hosted the file for you here:

    http://www.louisfortier.ca/upload/displacement_tut.7z

    Just ask me if you ever need to host something again wink-fix.gif
    image
  • RedDragonGeckoRedDragonGecko Members Join Date: 2002-12-11 Member: 10564Posts: 71
    Can displacement be used in hammer only, or could it be used on models as well?
    -]RedDragonGecko[-
  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu Anememone Members Join Date: 2002-03-23 Member: 345Posts: 10,499
    QUOTE(RedDragonGecko @ Oct 6 2007, 05:59 PM) »
    Can displacement be used in hammer only, or could it be used on models as well?


    It's a Hammer only thing. You can just make a model like that without using "displacements" or anything though.
    QUOTE (MOOtant @ Sep 21 2012, 11:06 AM) »
    What is wrong with being a racist?

  • NEX9NEX9 Members Join Date: 2005-03-08 Member: 44299Posts: 1,642
    You could use displacments on your imported models, it would save on surface count, but it really is a weigh up between the time it takes you to make the displace map texture's vs's the extra model detail. plus if its really worth it. minus the amount of times the model will be used.

    Hum 2 hours in photoshop vs's 2 minutes with a split face tool, to avoid a increased surface count of 12.

    If the the model is a pillar and will be used 80 times, sure go the extra distance. If the model is a single use static engine or other complete model. your wasteing time.
    Stop by see some of my latest works in maya, ill even evently host my WIP's and old old works.
    http://nex17.deviantart.com/
    search under digital art works
  • RedDragonGeckoRedDragonGecko Members Join Date: 2002-12-11 Member: 10564Posts: 71
    QUOTE(NEX9 @ Oct 6 2007, 11:16 PM) »
    You could use displacments on your imported models, it would save on surface count, but it really is a weigh up between the time it takes you to make the displace map texture's vs's the extra model detail. plus if its really worth it. minus the amount of times the model will be used.

    Hum 2 hours in photoshop vs's 2 minutes with a split face tool, to avoid a increased surface count of 12.

    If the the model is a pillar and will be used 80 times, sure go the extra distance. If the model is a single use static engine or other complete model. your wasteing time.


    I mean like using displacement on some alien buildings like the hive for a more rounded organic look.
    -]RedDragonGecko[-
  • CrispyCrispy Jaded GD Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-08-22 Member: 30793Posts: 3,225
    This needs to be in the mapping forum imo. Good tutorial, but maybe worth briefly outlining the limitations of displacements (i.e. what they shouldn't be used for, or what they cannot do).
  • NEX9NEX9 Members Join Date: 2005-03-08 Member: 44299Posts: 1,642
    if you wanted to make some form of custom pack, with a modifyed hive model and so on yes you could use displacements, you could as a mapper use brushes around possable hive area's with infestation textures that have displacement maps but from what we have heard from ns 2 it wont be nessacery, as infestation wouldnt be used in or by the map creators.
    Stop by see some of my latest works in maya, ill even evently host my WIP's and old old works.
    http://nex17.deviantart.com/
    search under digital art works
  • XeZoXeZo Members, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2006-11-14 Member: 58597Posts: 149 Advanced user
    As soon as i get a new computr I'll make some smooth marine bases.... with heavy infection ofcourse! >:D

    *evil laughter*
    io9u.png
  • moultanomoultano Creator of ns_shiva. Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Gold, NS2 Community Developer, Pistachionauts Join Date: 2002-12-14 Member: 10806Posts: 4,219 Advanced user
    Is there any chance you could upload it again? I missed it the first time around and I'm interested to learn.
  • Corporal_FortierCorporal_Fortier Members, Constellation Join Date: 2005-03-22 Member: 46079Posts: 409
    QUOTE(moultano @ Oct 12 2007, 02:15 AM) »
    Is there any chance you could upload it again? I missed it the first time around and I'm interested to learn.

    I made a post about that right right up here, but here's the link wink-fix.gif : http://www.louisfortier.ca/upload/displacement_tut.7z

    Enjoy!
    image
  • hazardhazard Members Join Date: 2007-11-15 Member: 62926Posts: 1
    I would really love to know how you got the void in the 3d window to be grey instead of black. I know you could set the color in the goldsrc VHE, maybe just in that last beta, but I've never seen the option in Source SDK.

    Coolness.
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