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salman-fas
04-21-2007, 07:58 PM
hi
i have recently seen some of the amazing environments being done here on cgtalk forums so it
inspired me to try to make environments.so i started on this. I don't usually do environments,
any advice or help would be great:)(i have lots of overlapping geometry.is
that gonna be a problem or no?) .Also how do we take enviroment to the engine?
here are some of the renders its on early stages.
http://www.salman3d.com/wip/factoryfront.jpg
http://www.salman3d.com/wip/inside.jpg
http://www.salman3d.com/wip/out2.jpg
http://www.salman3d.com/wip/out1.jpg

WesleyTack
04-21-2007, 09:59 PM
Since it's for Half-LifeČ I think you'd be better of making a set of textures and props that would fill the map with your vision, and make the level in HAMMER. Making the whole level as a mesh would only limit you in your final result and you would need to make it like 100 models for the collision to work alone. Most of what I can see in the render would be better made as displacements with blending textured on it. And how to compile it all is explained here:

http://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Main_Page

Also, Half-lifeČ has an almost exact same dumpster, why copy it and not make something more custom? To give you a quick example of how I would do it,

- make fence texture with alpha maps
- make one container prop with multiple textures
- make one barrel prop with multiple textures
- and so on...

Then compile them for the engine using the above link, and then make the environment in HAMMER (Source SDK) and place the props in the maps. Mind you that all this will take you most likely a few weeks to learn, Source isn't the most user friendly of SDK's around... So good luck!

salman-fas
04-22-2007, 05:51 AM
Thanks Simon,

at this point the question that comes in my mind is that, will it be worth
learning how to model in HAMMER. as I read through the "your first map"
the process seems really strange and the camera movement is a big
trouble.How much is HAMMER used in industry.
I love maya's modeling. will I be acceptable in industry if i don't have
to mess with Hammer.
thanks again

F3D
04-22-2007, 05:19 PM
I'd say that you should probably learn one or more leveleditors if you want to work with leveldesign.
I mean sure, modelling crates and other props is probably a larf, but you'll still need to know your way through a editor to get those meshes into the map - which you've created within the editor.

As far as I know, I'd say that Hammer is a editor used to create bsp levels within Valve's engines (say the ol' Half Life 1 engine, or the overrated Half Life 2 engine).
Then we have my two favourite editors, GtkRadiant (as far as I know, ID Software related engines) and UnrealEd (Epic's unreal engines).

I've only used those three editors. But I've always taken the path where you create the location in the editor, and then fill it with meshes from another 3d app.

I rarely model the whole level in a 3d application and I have yet to see anyone do this at a professional level (using one of the above editors, or the one I am using at Avalanche).

So I'd sugest that you learn atleast one, I don't see why you wouldn't want to really, you mentioned the camera....well, if you're gonna let camera controlls get in your way... :)

CGmonkey
04-22-2007, 05:29 PM
I'd say that you should probably learn one or more leveleditors if you want to work with leveldesign.
I mean sure, modelling crates and other props is probably a larf, but you'll still need to know your way through a editor to get those meshes into the map - which you've created within the editor.

As far as I know, I'd say that Hammer is a editor used to create bsp levels within Valve's engines (say the ol' Half Life 1 engine, or the overrated Half Life 2 engine).
Then we have my two favourite editors, GtkRadiant (as far as I know, ID Software related engines) and UnrealEd (Epic's unreal engines).

I've only used those three editors. But I've always taken the path where you create the location in the editor, and then fill it with meshes from another 3d app.

I rarely model the whole level in a 3d application and I have yet to see anyone do this at a professional level (using one of the above editors, or the one I am using at Avalanche).

So I'd sugest that you learn atleast one, I don't see why you wouldn't want to really, you mentioned the camera....well, if you're gonna let camera controlls get in your way... :)

In Urban Terror while I worked with them constructed whole levels inside of max and imported the mesh as a level format in GTKRadiant.. It worked out particular well since you had greater control over each individual brushface instead of the tedious way in gtkr.

Also, there are plenty of professional studios out there doing models right of the bat inside of Maya for example. If you watch behind the scenes stuff in God of War you'll see complete levels with triggers, enemies and collision meshes right inside of maya.

I agree with F3D to the fullest extent. If I were to hire anyone to my fictional company, I would chose the one who shows the biggest thirst and curiosity of game engines / tools.

DingBat99999
04-23-2007, 03:14 PM
Sorry to sidetrack further, but is it not true that BSP is going to play a much reduced role in next gen games such as UT2k7 and that most of the level will be static mesh?

G0st
04-23-2007, 07:48 PM
I think you're right DIngbat. When I did level art for my Star-Wars PSP game i created the whole level basically in max and only used BSP for rooms (Subtracts)

PharCyde
04-23-2007, 08:43 PM
Hey salman-fas,

On a side note at some developers, Level Designers don't create the actual 3D environments at all, that's left to Environmental Artists. The Level Designers are only responsible for the initial concept and flow of the level and are then responsible only for the gameplay content within the level and work with Environmental Artists to bring the level to fruition. Keep this in mind in regards to which you want to do if you choose to pursue Level Design / Environmental Art as a profession.

If you choose the Level Design path, the most important and non-optional factor you must ALWAYS keep in mind is that your level must be fun to play regardless of the engine being used. That comes first above all else and will increase your desirability to a company more so than how many engines you know.

Making everything in Maya or Max or whatever 3D program you're using isn't necessarily a problem. Some game companies use their own in house engine and it's possible you can create just about every aspect of an environment in whatever 3D program they are using, Maya for instance. This will also determine if having overlapping geometry is a problem or not. Being well versed though in various engines, you could stick to the more well known engines if you wanted, is indeed handy and will only serve to increase your over all experience.

As far as I know HAMMER (Source Engine) can import objects from Max or Maya. It general though you want to try and limit the amount of work you have to do. Use the strengths of the engine you decide on, in this case HAMMER. Check out other environments being created with HAMMER on this forum and others and see what that person did.

Here's a link that might help you answer your question(s): Maya and the Source Engine. (http://www.chatbear.com/unity2/4990/780,1176512396,22705/1038452/0#19)

Well that's enough out of me for now, hope some of this was useful to you. Good luck in creating your level!

madmenno
04-23-2007, 10:36 PM
If making a complete level inside a 3D app. I would recommend not making it 1 whole piece. You should break it up, so if your in 1 room and can't see the rest of the map you can tell the engine not to render these and improve performance significantly.

Hate working with bsp's, they work so anoying and you can't add real detail either. A simply detailed structure is created within seconds in a 3D app, but in a bsp editor it takes a while + you have way more controll over your textures in a 3D app.

salman-fas
04-24-2007, 05:42 AM
Thanks for the usefull information.

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