Cave tips and advice
Hey I have a general question that I was wondering if anyone could answer, I'm currently working on my third year project and I'm modeling a cave system in which the game is suppose to take place in. I was wondering if anyone now of a good way to model a cave system, there seems to be a lot of mix views on how it should be done. Some threads that I've read say that you should model the cave system as separate meshes that you import in and then later place. Others say to use BSP brush's and then just add in some static meshes to fill out the level. Lastly I've also read about using the terrain either, which to me seems to make no sense because wouldn't it just slow down the program.
Anyway I've been told by my tutor that he thinks I should just model the cave system using BSP brush's and then add in static meshes to then further fill out the level. I'm wondering if anyone could tell me the best way about going around doing this, or possible provide another way that I haven't found.
Any help, tips or advice would be great. Thanks.
I use the terrain then duplicate it. make a mirror then add stalagtites and such. Put one on top of the other. Remove unneeded quads. Easy as 123
I think that if you want to make a really good cave, while you could model everything it would be inefficient to try and model the ground beneath the player. I seriously disagree with using BSP for a cave system as well because BSP is rather volatile; it has great potential for corrupting things. Also BSP is somewhat clunky and would not allow you to vertex paint very well, if at all; I haven't tried it. BSP would only be able to use a tileable texture which is not so interesting. And creating nice shapes with it is rather irritating, I think.
I've tried creating a cave out of very few meshes and used tileable textures on the main peice, I do not recommend this; collision becomes a nightmare and texturing is limited, just like using BSP. After creating a couple of caves myself, I have decided that it is best to create a hole in the terrain, assuming there is an above ground terrain. Create a second terrain sheet and sculpt it to create the ground for your cave. To create the walls and ceiling I used a small variety of large rock shapes. So I recommend a terrain sheet and separate meshes imported and placed to form the space.
Although, if you are trying to create a very round dirt tunnel I would recommend creating a variety of separate meshes that assume the desired shape of the ground, walls and ceiling respectively. Make the meshes full and chunky around the edges and back so that you can rotate the dirt chunks to create interesting and different shapes while limiting the number of meshes.
Good luck with the project whatever you choose to do!
Also, where do you go to school? I too am in my third year of a Game Dev program, I'm about to graduate soon
I've made a ton of caves in so many games, it's silly. First, I'd discredit anyone suggesting BSP for organic structures.
I recently posted this. It might help, since it's the steps for making a cave http://forums.epicgames.com/threads/...1#post30130880
If I had the neccessary skills I would model the entire cave in a program such as Maya, or 3ds max. With my current skillset, I would resort to using terrain. Bsp only works for industrial structures. And even then it is terribly outdated.
I remember a while back Hourences sites had a great tutorial on cave systems here it is http://www.hourences.com/tutorials-cave-modeling/
Hey thanks everyone for all the tips.
I had original though of actually modelling the entire cave system and then simple splitting it up into different pieces, however when I tested this none of the parts would match back up at all. I'm still looking into though and if it works I'll post it up on here and let people now.
I also look at the Hourences cave tutorial, that’s actually were the idea van from seeming as it made the most sense to model a cave his way, however as I said above lining the parts back up for some reason just didn't work. I am working on trying to fix it though, also 'MaxPower' I looked at the guys link you gave me and I must say it is really cool looking. I just don't see how his cave system would work in game though, collisions and shadowing would be crazy but on the Hourences tutorial it seems to be how the industry create a cave system.
When it comes to BSP brushes I must say I complete agree with what everyone is saying, I remainder when I was just starting out and my tutor would also say to try and not use to main BSP brushes because it would slow down the editor, etc. So I can't really understand why my tutor would tell me to use then now, but I can see his point somewhat. If I just modelled assets to fill out the level and created a small enough cave system then there shouldn't really be any problem. Do's anyone else agree with that or am I just talking nonsense?
Also I wouldn't be so sure about the terrain editor, though it makes a lot of sense and to be honest do's seem to be the best option I would of thought though that it would slow the editor down? or have they improved on the terrain since Unreal 3 because that was the last time I used it, and that was over 4 years ago.
Oh and Marvin.Star I'm studying in Swansea Metropolitan University, BA in games design if you’re wondering. What about yourself? Because to be honest I've never meet anyone on this that was actually still in university, or at least’s no one has said they are.
I was thinking about this a little while ago. If you had the programs. I would think doing the cave shape desired in 3DS Max. Invert that surface and export to mudbox, then get an impression/style to paint for the cave surface, texture map, invert back ,make some stalactites bake texture map..or something along that line. I'm still very new in certain areas of 3D programs..Shouldn't this be quick with optimum results? Have not heard of anyone doing it this way...
Agreed. I would avoid trying to make caves with BSP/Terrain tool. Just make a hole in terrain and place a custom made 3D cave mesh in it, made in your 3D software of choice (blender is a good free alternative).
Originally Posted by Whiteout