"Deathball Desert"

Friendly conversations, and everything that doesn't fit into the other forums.
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Mitovo
Posts: 87
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2015 5:46 pm
by Mitovo » Sat Aug 13, 2016 6:23 am
Hello again,

Was just running around in Deathball Desert, checking out the landscape design, and I got to wondering..

Who created the environment for that? Was that someone at GG, or someone else? It's a really nicely designed environment, and I'm curious what process they used to sculpt the terrain. It looks very hand-crafted, rathter than generated (L3DT, etc). Using T3D's built-in tools, I have trouble getting some of the features they have throughout (smooth ramps, cliffs that aren't completely jagged, and narrow pathways on cliffs, in particular). I'm just curious if there's some particular tricks or processes used that could be shared.

Anyway.. Just thought I'd ask. Thanks!
Duion
Posts: 997
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:51 am
 
by Duion » Sat Aug 13, 2016 11:31 am
Probably some skill and patience is needed, you can try out the other tools in the editor, like smoothing, making ramps, adding noise etc should not be that hard, I hand crafted my terrains as well.
Nils
Posts: 159
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:32 am
 
by Nils » Sat Aug 13, 2016 11:55 am
Like Duion said, the smoothing brush is your friend there, or cover it up with foliage or stones etc.

Combine your terrain with 3d shapes with similar materials as your terrain to blend in (cliffs, large rocks etc.)
Mitovo
Posts: 87
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2015 5:46 pm
by Mitovo » Sat Aug 13, 2016 5:02 pm
Hi folks.. Thanks for the info!

Yeah, I've tried using the various tools mentioned, it just seems to be very difficult to "rein them in", so to speak. Adjusting the strength for the Smooth tool, for example, goes from doing almost nothing straight to overkill, with very little gradient in-between. It's difficult to get very "fine-tuned" control outside of using the "grab" tool, which is great for tweaking local areas (smoothing out jaggies, etc), but way too inefficient for larger areas.

I think the thing with T3D's terrain tools is that they don't function as I'd expect them to, compared to pretty much every other terrain editor I've used, including Commercial and Indie engines alike. For example, trying to smooth out an area tends to result in lowering it instead, without actually smoothing it. It becomes this kinda "smooth staircase" effect, instead of a smooth slope. Same goes for the flatten tool. In other editors, the flatten tool gets the height of your brush at the point you left-click, and then brings the terrain up to that point as you move it around. In T3D it seems to continuously keep checking for the height beneath the brush, and adjusting the terrain to it, so the height it's "flattening" to is always changing as you move it around. The effect is uneven terrain, instead of just flattened.

I know there's the "set height" tool, and that's helpful, except that there's a quirk in the editor where the paintbrush seems to "jump" to other locations on the terrain at random - without you even seeing it. So, I'll be spending time working on an area of terrain. Then, when I move around the terrain, there's holes or mounds scattered all over the place which then have to be fixed. And they're in spots I'd never even looked at, much less edited.

While I could reproduce a similar type of terrain, with similar accuracy in myriad other terrain editors, I just can't fathom how they got that kind of precise control in the T3D editor. That's partially why I asked how they accomplished it - in addition to being really impressed by it.

Maybe people have found some good tricks that provide a good balance of control and intuitiveness with the tools?
Duion
Posts: 997
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:51 am
 
by Duion » Sat Aug 13, 2016 8:02 pm
I cannot confirm your problems with the terrain editor, works fine to me. I don't know how other terrain editors work, but the tools in T3D do their job. Yes the smooth brush lowers the height as well, since it tries to smoothen it out, try a smaller brush and only apply it where needed. What I often do is setup the rough height levels of areas with the setheight tool and then smoothen the cliffs with the smooth tool, a small brush for steep cliffs and a larger brush for smoother cliifs, if you want an even slope or a ramp the player is supposed to walk on, use the slope tool instead.
Jay Copeland
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:13 am
by Jay Copeland » Sun Aug 14, 2016 12:37 pm
I have run into the "brush jumping around the map" bug many times before, but it has never stuck around long enough for me to track the cause. One day I'll be terrain sculpting for 8 hours straight and no issues, the next day I'll load up Torque and the brush jumps around right as I start. I've found no real symptoms or catalysts to the bug, and it all seems very random, but it's there. I'm sure other people have had it too, it probably just hasn't debilitated them enough to prompt a post or bug report.

But as said before ... patience is definitely the main thing needed by whoever made that terrain. It doesn't matter what tools you have in front of you, you can't get that effect in a short time. (Of course, in the game dev world "short" is relative ... a short time to make a level's terrain would probably be less than 10 hours, depending on size and textures, among other things. I'm not stating facts, these are just opinions from my short years as a game dev! :) )
Duion
Posts: 997
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:51 am
 
by Duion » Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:23 pm
It does not randomly jump around, it jumps exactly to the center in a relatively constant frequency. A workaround I use is to move the terrain away so the center of the coordinate system is not on the terrain. But it would be nice if someone actually could fix that bug, it looks like the cursor position gets reset inbetween painting to the center like 0 0 0 for like a split second.
Jay Copeland
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:13 am
by Jay Copeland » Sun Aug 14, 2016 7:42 pm
It does not randomly jump around, it jumps exactly to the center in a relatively constant frequency. A workaround I use is to move the terrain away so the center of the coordinate system is not on the terrain. But it would be nice if someone actually could fix that bug, it looks like the cursor position gets reset inbetween painting to the center like 0 0 0 for like a split second.
Just booted up Torque3D 3.7 on my Linux laptop as I'm out and about to see if I couldn't get the bug to replicate. Duion is right, I was mistaken in my post before. The brush seems to reset to the center of the terrain. I was probably confusing myself because when I play around with the larger levels I create I sometimes use multiple terrains and move them around a lot so it seems random from my perspective. :lol:
Johxz
Posts: 441
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 11:37 pm
by Johxz » Sun Aug 14, 2016 8:10 pm
I'm sure other people have had it too, it probably just hasn't debilitated them enough to prompt a post or bug report.
https://github.com/GarageGames/Torque3D/issues/1284
Jay Copeland
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:13 am
by Jay Copeland » Sun Aug 14, 2016 8:18 pm
I'm sure other people have had it too, it probably just hasn't debilitated them enough to prompt a post or bug report.
https://github.com/GarageGames/Torque3D/issues/1284
Oh my gosh well there you go. Apparently I'm not great at weeding through the bug reports. XD
Or using a search bar.
Or using a computer.
Probably the lack of sleep getting me that I messed up twice now, lol.
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