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Re: moonbase map concept

Posted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:14 am UTC
by Veyrdite
Very pretty demo:
  • I love the windy trees. Hopefully someone will get the reference when I say C_A_P
  • You seem to love shininess :P
  • Keep in mind with your rocks: mapping textures at a high density (pixels per metre) is wasted material: you can't get close enough to the surface to see any of the detail.
  • Alpha channels on water plant leaves are a little harsh. Softening them into the leaves slightly may yield nicer results

I do need to make comment on a couple of things that you may not like. Apologies :)
  • What determines whether a map is continued to be used or forgotten is the gameplay, not the graphics. As much effort as you may put into an art piece, you will need gameplay to match for it to be fully appreciated.
  • I'm getting a very low FPS on this map and I expect a lot of other players will too. It's great to be pushing the graphics, but players will not vote in a nextmap they have framerate problems with.

The other screenshots you have provided show a variety of different room layouts, which will greatly enhance the gameplay side. I'm looking forward to seeing what you do next.

Re: moonbase map concept

Posted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:03 pm UTC
by bsp1t
Thank you for proper criticism. Those comments are something i can work with. For the rest of you take a lession, screaming "IT SUCKS" or the equivilant, smart ass comments, etc, at me doesnt help.

As far as fps goes, the terrain has been redone for low poly, along with the models. The small plants are <16 tris and the trees are under 1K polys. I cant knock it down any more. Rocks are detail brushes and they only hit 16 tris ave also. Sure I could drop the spec/normal maps and speed it up, but do you really want me to? Also note that last giant dome sshot its 60+ fps. I can run crysis at constant 30+ fps even on this old bucket ( 7 years out of date), if your computer is choking on this simple map, its time to goto the store and get something newer then 2000.


also, again, thanks for showing the internet how to properly, politely, critique a map - Veyrdite.

Re: moonbase map concept

Posted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:24 pm UTC
by bsp1t

Lets see how many trees it takes to drown the fps..

Re: moonbase map concept

Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:27 am UTC
by Veyrdite
Thanks bsp :)

I'm using a Radeon HD 6790, which isn't that old (less than two years?). Problems I may have (I'll look into these):
  • VRAM running out. I'm unsure how big your textures are, but if my 1GiB of VRAM fills then rendering takes significantly longer (as normal RAM gets used). I'll look into this now
  • I'm on the open source Radeon drivers, which overall has given me better gaming experience (less tearing, lower latency, etc) don't compete in raw framerates.

We need to encourage more professional criticism -- many people here are afraid of giving it and getting it interpreted as personal or emotional attack. A lot of this has a solid footing in experiences people have had in other communities where topics catch fire and the authors never come back, or come back vengefully.

Please, give criticism, but carefully :P

Re: moonbase map concept

Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2013 5:45 am UTC
by bsp1t
Thank you, and Thanks to the supportive irc community. I can continue on geometry now.

The problem was related to too many large tga's and lightmaps. Converting all to png and altering lightmapsize got it working, thanks for the working suggestions and your patience when i was quite fustrated.

Re: moonbase map concept

Posted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:23 pm UTC
by bsp1t
Finished up some models and textures...getting back to mapping. I know they arent perfect but I am only so good. (we need a good texture guy).
This is a simple fast vis. InstaRedPlastic (tm) (c) :D Seals up moonbase airleaks and burns your eyes! 19.95$ a container.


Re: moonbase map concept

Posted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 4:12 pm UTC
by Viech
With regards to technology, you've been playing with quite a few interesting things (apart from the partly modeled environemnt and the portals one can see on the screenshots, I read you digging into the shader system on IRC). However, the visual quality of your map seems low in a number of ways. Let me go over a few things:

  • Some of your models seem to have artifacts, such as the showcases that show a seam on their corners or the rock hallway showing those dark spots. (Is this even a model? If not there's something wrong with q3map2.)
  • The red plastic material you used for the door frame and dome is quite boring and the irregular specularity of the latter doesn't make it any better. If you're using models in your map make use of the higher detail they provide by having a texture entirely of their own and more sophisticated geometry than what you would achieve with brushwork. Your door frame is an example of something that might actually look better if it was just made out of brushes and generic trims.
  • The chairs are interesting as they are somewhere in between good brushwork and a bad model. If you modeled them, you missed a lot of opportunities to make them be actual eye catchers, such as baking in details (and I'm not just talking about normal mapping but also variance in the diffusemap). For a resource saving or placeholder brushwork prop they look quite nice, despite being a bit color-less.
  • Align your textures! Aligning textures has proven to reduce the risks of eye cancer by 90%, especially when they create a strong depth illusion via normal maps. If you can't align a texture properly in some place, don't use it there. Also don't cut off an edge of a texture like your ceiling plate, this instantly destroys the illusion the normal map creates. Use another texture in the relevant places or atleast use trims that create the impression of being on top of the adjacent surfaces to "bandage" the cut.
  • Use trims. That spot where your ceiling frames a window could profit a lot from having a trim at the side of the ceiling plates, as opposed to just wrapping the ceiling texture around the corner as if it was wallpaper (while technically it is wallpaper that's exactly what should be hidden by the mapper). Trims could also improve other areas of your map. Whenever a texture doesn't have a clear edge, such as your tread floor, trims can help make the transition to the next surface look less choppy.
  • All your textures, except for the backrest of your chair and the keyboard, are of far too low resolution. The rock texture looks very washed despite the normal map, the wall texture looks unsettled due to the low resolution specular reflections and the ceiling looks like Quake 2 with shadows.
  • While it isn't uncommon to use a monochromatic texture for trims (since they don't have to be rotated for alignment), I personally find that a bad solution. Both your red window frame and the floor trim in the hallway would certainly profit from a more detailed texture.
  • You seem to be lacking textures (I can relate!) so I'm not going to tell you to vary them more. But what you can do is vary alignment in some places, e.g. of the texture on the blue/red/yellow cables. Speaking of cables and pipes, 1) the pipe to the left of those cables has a texture that should really never be applied to a pipe and 2) just like trims for brushwork, pipes looks much better if they reach into a socket, which is easy to create using another pipe (very short, bigger radius) with a cap.

Re: moonbase map concept

Posted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 5:38 pm UTC
by bsp1t
The black spots and artifacts are due to fast vis as noted in the first post. A proper vis makes those go away.

Of course the red will be gone eventually, its just a placeholder. However dont expect magic, it will probably end up some sort of shiny metal. I'll try to keep it at a minimum.

Moonrock/rocks are now fixed. (New normalmap utilities). I would love to spend days and weeks in blender tweaking every single normalmap and baking it, however for a simple leather texture for a chair, its close enough..- noone is gona care when your getting eaten by an alien. I do take note that some (or all) of the textures may suck. Im just one man, and if i spend weeks tweaking every texture for every tiny little whatever this map will never be done. Want better? Find a good texture guy to help me out :D

Yea i know about the seam, no matter how i unwrap it..grrr. I have a final solution for that and it will get fixed best i can.

the water pipe was a test, however the engine wont eat multiple maps in a shader and use the normal/spec on the outside. It was just a test, it will stay in in some form, in a small way. Was experimenting with piping water around the map, ill work on that. There is another pipe set not included in those sshots.

I like the chairs, and 2 shiny metals.. dont know how much further to take them. I mean, really? How much can you modify a simple office chair and is it worth the time? I could bevel the armrests i suppose.. I need something shiny for the railings and pure metals. Eventually I will grunge up and destroy the map because its the 2nd team finding out what happened to the colonists...

As far as texture alignment goes, remember this is a test map. I was more concerned about seeing if it worked and fit the scene then perfecting the alignment. That comes at the final stages. The techwall will be dropped in the end i think. The pipes etc were just slapped with the texture to see how they look. Remember this is just a spam room of test models/textures/shaders. Alignment/layout was not taken into consideration, as it will all be redone when mapping starts.

The pda/screen/laptop arent doom3 quality but meh they do the job, again - i can only do so much modeling/textureing/mapping/etc as one person. I dont think the models are *that* terrible. You can only detail a simple desk/chair/monitor only so far....

Of course the pipes will have some sort of not that stupid...

Yes, of course trims will be fixed, they are placeholders. Of course i wont leave the hall windows that bland. (did it even need to be mentioned? Am i that bad?) Biodome gets retextured, but will not be remodeled. There are 2 more with same themes, different layout.

Trees had to lose normalmaps and specs. Too many problems. Adding the normal is nice up close but makes them occlude too much and makes it look worse, specmaps go all sparkles even when full black and no amount of specmin/max fixes it. PLus the added bonus of fps. You will appreciate it when you go into the jungle dome and dont drop to 5 fps. When you have 100 of them all having to vis alpha chans thru each other, you will see what i mean.

Finally, thank you for the critique. You did point out some larger issues i need to address, mainly textures. I'm well aware of the RED MAKING EYES BLEED (lol) its been mentioned before :D. Expect colors though, this will not be a dull grey id software monocrome map. (purple pda - not sure it may stay) .

Again, Thanks for the reply and advice, it will be used. Those kinds of post help more then you know, a 2nd pair of eyes really helps.

Re: moonbase map concept

Posted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:50 am UTC
by bsp1t
I humbly admit i have been doing my normal/specs wrong. I humbly admit gimp is not a total solution. Thank you IRC.

Trees are now normal/spec'd and no more sparklies. Yes, I know specmaps need tweaking, but its working now. Also one tree trunk is broken, its currently under repair.


Re: moonbase map concept

Posted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:43 pm UTC
by Spiney
Colorize all those grey textures a little. Color variation doesn't need to be in your face, some off-greys already can do a lot.
Same for the lighting. Specmaps need to be much more subtle, but you know that.

The outside of the moon is very gray. So you might want to contrast that with a more colorful inside, otherwise it'll look a bit depressing.

Analytic specular and deluxemapping are a fragile combination, since you can only encode one lighting vector (the average of all incoming lighting directions) the specular tends to behave strangely, compounded by the fact you can only have one lobe. So you need to be aware of the limits of the specular model when lighting. Cubemaps are an alternative worth considering, though those might have visible occlusion issues. Just saying, because I see a lot of deluxemapped maps that use straightforward phong/blinn specular in ways that makes everything look plastic.
One way to avoid the plastic look in those cases is to use brighter diffuse color maps and turn down the lights (quake texture sets tend to be ridiculously dark). You can also tone down the spec maps, but I found the former tends to work better in practice, less likely to run into precision limits... Ymmv.