How to create smooth stuff like this?

I am talking about stuff like this:

 

https://ibb.co/co2bQ6

 

https://ibb.co/kHOi56

 

I assume you use patch meshes? But I can't seem to figure out how you are suppose to make stuff like this. Are you suppose to curve/bend the meshes somehow? If anybody has experience creating this type of smooth architecture and could elaborate than that would be cool.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by hardcore_gamer

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Pressing V while a patch is selected will show you some nodes that you can drag to deform the patch in different points. Positioning the patch correctly and then deforming it using diferents views (X,Y and Z) allows you to construct a varaety of curved shapes, using both brushes and deformed patches.

 

It's just a matter of practicing to know how this is handle. Complementary to that, you can also open a vanilla Doom 3 map, select a patch and press V on it so you can see how the said patch is deformed.

Edited by Arl
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Out of curiosity, what graphical enhancements are you using in those shots? I mostly used the 2x sized texture pack or the Parallax mapping mod when I used visual enhancements, but I don't recall either looking that good.

Edited by Caffeine Freak

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3 hours ago, Caffeine Freak said:

Out of curiosity, what graphical enhancements are you using in those shots? I mostly used the 2x sized texture pack or the Parallax mapping mod when I used visual enhancements, but I don't recall either looking that good.

http://www.moddb.com/mods/sikkmod/addons/wulfens-texture-and-sikkmod-12-working

 

Anyway my question has become a bit pointless now since I am fed up with brush based editing. I just utterly hate the workflow. I am however in the process of learning how to use Houdini. My hope is to find some way to use it's procedural modeling abilities to make Doom 3 levels. In the past this would not have been possible because you need the Doom 3 textures but recently somebody actually released a Doom 3 texture pack so now the idea is actually plausable. The idea is to make a level in houdini and then import it as a model into DarkRadiant where entities can be placed.

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A 3D model serving as a whole map is probably a bad idea, 'cause I don't know how the engine would take it, and how visportals/sealing/AI navigation/collitions would work in that circumstance.


If you are reluctant to use Doomedit or Darkradiant I would say that your enterprise of making Doom 3 maps is most likely doomed.

Edited by Arl

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11 minutes ago, Arl said:

A 3D model serving as a whole map is probably a bad idea, 'cause I don't know how the engine would take it, and how visportals/sealing/AI navigation/collitions would work in that circumstance.

 

Can't I just use caulk brushes? They don't appear in game but still function the same as normal brushes.

 

EDIT: Also, you do realize that pretty much the entire hell section of Doom 3 is made out of models right?

Edited by hardcore_gamer

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Yes, you could use caulk brushes, but it's not as simple as it sounds. Note that the Hell level is in fact full of meshes to achieve that organic look, but it's all intensively encapsulated in brushes, and the Hell level is mostly chambers and lot's of unconnected sections. They really put effort in Hell, that maps is abnormal compared to the rest of the Doom 3 campaign, and rightly so.

 

Either way, I encourage you to try your approach, my previous comment is mostly about my uncertainties about using another method than the one the developers of the game used.

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13 hours ago, Arl said:

Either way, I encourage you to try your approach, my previous comment is mostly about my uncertainties about using another method than the one the developers of the game used.

Doom 3 is almost 13 years old now. Technology has progressed A LOT since Doom 3, so I don't really see how it even matters what the original devs intended. The only thing I'm not yet sure of is if Houdini even supports the model format used by Doom 3 (Doom 3 uses md5 or ASA right?) but I'm sure I could find some workaround even if it doesn't.

 

And hey, if this works out you can look forward to seeing a large number of Doom 3 levels thanks to houdini's fast workflow :)

Edited by hardcore_gamer

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6 minutes ago, hardcore_gamer said:

Doom 3 is almost 13 years old now. Technology has progressed A LOT since Doom 3, so I don't really see how it even matters what the original devs intended.

It matters because the engine wasn't updated for the new technologies in mind, newer technologies aren't necessarily going to make the workflow easier, possibly won't even change much.

Edited by dmg_64

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5 minutes ago, dmg_64 said:

It matters because the engine wasn't updated for the new technologies in mind.

 

I have seen people make new models and characters in blender and then put them into Doom 3. This shows modern 3D apps can still be used to make Doom 3 content. At worst I might have to export from houdini into blender in case houdini can't safe models in the type of format that Doom 3 uses.

Edited by hardcore_gamer

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3D Modelling softwares exist since 90s and that's not exactly new technology, id devs wouldn't have been able to create Meshes for their levels without it so I dunno what you mean.

Edited by dmg_64

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14 minutes ago, dmg_64 said:

3D Modelling softwares exist since 90s and that's not exactly new technology, id devs wouldn't have been able to create Meshes for their levels without it so I dunno what you mean.

 

Yes 3D modeling has existed since the early days of 3D gaming but only recently it's become more feasible to use them for level design. In the past most levels were either made with editors where you used BSP brushes to block togehter a level, or used premade models to piece together a level like legos. That workflow is mostly dead now. The majority of games today are made using 3D modeling packages, though there are still some that use the unreal method of creating a level kit using premade models.

 

The thing is, 3D modeling packages have become A LOT better suited for level design than they were in the past. Here is an example of how houdini can be quickly used to make something that would have taken far longer to do with more old school brush based methods starting at 9:40:

 

 

Edited by hardcore_gamer
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Id Tech 4 still requires the older method of blocking levels from BSP Brushes then "decorating" it with meshes so it's a different case, regardless what 3D Software you use, the procedure is still almost identical.

Edited by dmg_64

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5 minutes ago, dmg_64 said:

Id Tech 4 still uses the older method of blocking levels from BSP Brushes then "decorating" it with meshes so it's a different case, regardless what 3D Software you use, the procedure is still almost identical.

 

Not in houdini it isn't. Did you not watch the video? Houdini is a procedural modeling program. A lot (most?) of the things you would have to spend hours doing manually with brushes can be automated and/or done at only a fraction of the time. This is a huge part of the reason I am interested in seeing if houdini can be used for Doom 3 level editing.  

Edited by hardcore_gamer

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Never used Houdini, I usually build my levels manually using Blender, Basically after exporting my BSP Geos as meshes then cover them with my own sculptures (for size measurement sake), But If Houdini allows you to keep BSPs then sure go ahead and try it, that is if it supports Doom 3 formats of course lol.

EDIT : i'm drunk, just export them to blender like you said before :p

Edited by dmg_64
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Why use current gen development tools for a 14 year old engine? Why not use a current gen engine?

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47 minutes ago, geX said:

Why use current gen development tools for a 14 year old engine? Why not use a current gen engine?

Are you hinting about Doom 4? Does it let you make campaigns as feature-capable as the original id campaign?

 

Otherwise, what modern Doom-like game (with you killing creepy fantasy monsters) do you recommend, that's moddable from scratch?

 

Finally, why do we map for 14-year old Doom 3? Why do we map for 23-year old Doom 2? Why is the game age even a problem in this discussion?

 

Large areas are made from models in some Doom 3 id maps. Not entire levels though. Personally I'd use brushes for artificial constructs, curved patches for uneven terrain and walls, and 3d models for detailed modules and decorations. Having the design modular and not as monolithic feels nicer for the workflow.

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On 11/26/2017 at 6:22 AM, hardcore_gamer said:

 

Not in houdini it isn't. Did you not watch the video? Houdini is a procedural modeling program. A lot (most?) of the things you would have to spend hours doing manually with brushes can be automated and/or done at only a fraction of the time. This is a huge part of the reason I am interested in seeing if houdini can be used for Doom 3 level editing.  

 

His point was that you still need brushes to seal off the level from the void. That is an inescapable fact, regardless of which modelling program you use for your meshes. In Doom 3, the only entity that can be exposed to the void is the worldspawn, and worldspawn brushes are the only thing that seal off the void. 

 

Commenting more on what Arl said about collision, visportaling and such, it's best to separate your meshes at the places where you use visportals, since visportals won't split up models the way they do brushes and patches. Obviously that requires a bit of extra planning with how you construct your models. You also need to clip the AAS for AI navigation, and it would be best to use monster_clip brushes for that as opposed to caulk, since caulk is solid to *everything*, and you generally don't want the player and moveable objects restricted to the exact same collision layout as the AI.

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Hmm. I have two questions:

  • What happens if a visportal intersects model meshes? Total failure (visual or not), or just reduced optimization?
  • Does the AAS generator use the models to build the aas map? Or do you need to add monster-clip brushes to every 3d model placed near monsters? Are func_static brushes subjected to the same restrictions as models in this case, if applicable?
Edited by printz

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16 minutes ago, printz said:

Hmm. I have two questions:

  • What happens if a visportal intersects model meshes? Total failure (visual or not), or just reduced optimization?
  • Does the AAS generator use the models to build the aas map? Or do you need to add monster-clip brushes to every 3d model placed near monsters?

 

1. Nothing happens, it's just that models are totally unaffected by visportals. Visportals intersect models all the time in Doom 3 (pretty much every door is made from a model, and almost all doors have visportals in them). So, reduced optimization. If you make a level from static meshes, ideally you should try to make sure your visportals are placed right between where separate meshes connect to each other.

2. No, the AAS only uses worldspawn brushes to build the AAS map. Patches, func_static brushes and models are ignored. (A func_static brush would become detectable to the AI once you converted it to a plain worldspawn brush, assuming it wasn't a material  totally nonsolid to the AI, like player_clip). I wouldn't say you need a clip brush for EVERY model, just the ones that can potentially obstruct the AI path.

Edited by Caffeine Freak

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Second point sounds bad for the workflow. I hope DarkRadiant has visual filters to hide the huge amount of monster-clip brushes from you.

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Never much used Dark Radiant. D3 Radiant has an option to toggle clip brush visibility on/off, though.

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CTRL + L is the handy shortcut

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4 hours ago, Caffeine Freak said:

 

His point was that you still need brushes to seal off the level from the void. That is an inescapable fact, regardless of which modelling program you use for your meshes. In Doom 3, the only entity that can be exposed to the void is the worldspawn, and worldspawn brushes are the only thing that seal off the void. 

After watching the video it seems houdini generates BSP aswell, not sure if it can be used for Doom 3 though.

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1 hour ago, dmg_64 said:

After watching the video it seems houdini generates BSP aswell, not sure if it can be used for Doom 3 though.

 

I guess I'd be surprised if that were the case. If it is, that's pretty cool.

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Okay, so what he's talking about is creating simple volume instances as dimensional guides for the rooms. Houdini was specifically tailored for level editors like UE4 and Unity. I have no real Unity experience, but my experience with UE4 tells me that even if Houdini does create simple BSP geometry that you can use in levels, it's of a different format than Doom 3.

 

Aside from that, I don't know if Houdini would be the best method of creating mesh levels for Doom 3, as certain tools couldn't be used at all---namely, the ability to instance-copy and then physically manipulate models that is used so frequently in the Unreal engines. In Doom 3, scaling up or down a model means using an entirely new mesh. The same goes for any other changes to the model geometry. 

 

You could still use Houdini for Doom 3 I suppose, but it certainly wouldn't be quite as simple and free-flowing as the demonstration in that video.

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56 minutes ago, Caffeine Freak said:

You could still use Houdini for Doom 3 I suppose, but it certainly wouldn't be quite as simple and free-flowing as the demonstration in that video.

 

Indeed.

 

My concern was that making something in a 3D program to serve as a map in Doom 3 would still require many steps to make it work, and you will not be able to dodge the usage of Doomedit much in the end.

 

It's better to just surpass the learning curve of the game editor.

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13 hours ago, Arl said:

 

Indeed.

 

My concern was that making something in a 3D program to serve as a map in Doom 3 would still require many steps to make it work, and you will not be able to dodge the usage of Doomedit much in the end.

 

It's better to just surpass the learning curve of the game editor.

You guys are missing my point. I am well aware that DoomEdit/DarkRadiant is still needed to make the map. It is still needed to import the model and to place down such thing as entities, lights, scripts etc. And as someone else pointed out I might still need to place down some brushes (albeit ones that can't be seen by the player) to seal the map.

 

But point is, this is still a million times better (assuming this will work) than traditional brush based editing. There is as reason that type of workflow is mostly dead among pro-game devs. It's slow and cumbersome. Tools like houdini make the level design process a lot faster and easier.

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While I would definitely love to work with better tools (and a better engine), I don't really feel that the tools are holding me all that much back. Unless the tools are completely retarded (and D3Edit really isn't. It may be simplistic, but it's pretty transparent and powerful still) what is going to hold the developer back is usually the challenge of building something interesting, unique and worthwhile. Most of the time is spent planning, staring at the screen or a piece of paper while trying to come up with something that isn't just a collection of triangles, but comes together to create something more.

 

I definitely see the usage and potential of something like what we see in the Houdini video, but it's not like the hallway there is anything more than a random generic hallway. Given the same assets that the tool relies on, I could build that scene in D3Edit in an hour or so. Sure, it's not the measly 5 minutes Houdini pulls off, but it's not really a problem. A side benefit of spending more time on it is that I would have early-outed on such a generic and boring hallway and made something interesting instead ;)

 

I'm not at all opposed to offloading more work to the computer (After all that is what it's there for), but it's by no means a holy grail and I would definitely start with something more basic like Doom3Edit to get a much much better understanding of the fundamentals. Especially if I plan to use the engine.

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5 hours ago, Shaviro said:

 Given the same assets that the tool relies on, I could build that scene in D3Edit in an hour or so. Sure, it's not the measly 5 minutes Houdini pulls off, but it's not really a problem.

 

It becomes a problem once that 1 hour turns into 15 hours.

 

5 min in houdini x15= 1.15 hours

1 hour in Doom3Edit x15= 15 hours

 

Houdini also allows manual editing so it's not like you have fewer tools anyway. In fact since it's also a 3D modeler you have even more power to create what you want.

 

5 hours ago, Shaviro said:

I would definitely start with something more basic like Doom3Edit to get a much much better understanding of the fundamentals.

 

I already know how to use the program. I have even made maps with it. I just utterly hate it. Even simple tasks seem to take forever to do. It's just not intuitive. Even editors like Trenchbroom which are far more modern and have plenty of nice time saving features still are very slow to use. Fact is brush based editing is by nature just a cumbersome method of making levels.

Edited by hardcore_gamer

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