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Model entire level in 3DS Max

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  • replied
    Originally posted by Dudders View Post
    Ok, so im a 3d modeller working with some folks using UDK. I'm modelling the level and it would be alot easier for tm to model the entire level in 3ds max, rather than learn CSG modelling. My problem is that i would then need to deconstruct the level, and ensure that each part had unique Material IDs.

    As you can imagine doing this for an entire level is very time consuming an di am wondering if there is a better way around it. I thought that there might be a "convert Static Mesh to CSG" button that would solve my problem but it seems not.

    Any ideas on a way around this?
    This is a very old plugin utility (max V4-V8) Not sure it would even work but for what it's worth...

    Go to http://maxplugins.de and search for jamlander (be sure to check "all versions" checkbox in the search window)

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    More specifically, there is no need to export and import the entire level as one piece. It is highly beneficial to have the level broken into multiple sections, the smaller and more instanced, the better. If you have, for example, a detailed ceiling for a room, it should be broken down into instanced parts like the moulding which can be reused for not only saving time on asset creation for multiple projects (or even similar themes in the same project), but also for runtime optimizations associated with instanced meshes. The BSP aspect of the UDK is not really used for much outside of floors or 'prototyping'. (The BSP/CSG has faster collision checks iirc, but that can be directly related to mesh densities as well)

    The CTF-Sandstorm map should give you a good idea of what to look for in your 3d app in terms of 'how much I should model here'. In terms of material IDs, there is no need for that unless you export as a single mesh with multiple base textures. Obviously a proper UV map would be ideal, but also more time consuming.

    A) 1 Mesh, 1 Material - Good for small things like players and vehicles where texture space can be a real priority due to many unique instances in large encounters. Most detail static meshes are also on this for the same reason.

    B) 1 Mesh, n Materials - Good for things that need different effects on the same object, like lights, or other 'tech' detail meshes.

    C) n Meshes, n Materials - Good for large objects like terrain, cliffs, certain buildings, but mostly things that are big and seen from far, usually the 'bounds' of the level. These should be chopped based on needs to have them 'cull out' properly to avoid 'popping', or just for more optimization. Most of these tend to use the same material still to save on memory size.


    It will be up to the person making the levels to recreate the level in UDK by combining multiple instances of the objects you export from your 3D program. There are ways to assist this like having all of the meshes have the same or similar origins. They will still have to place the detail meshes by hand, since they will be the largest sources of polygons in the environment (usually) and thus should be as instanced as possible while still maintaining the desired style.

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    hi,
    there is no need to convert the static meshes into CSG, as a matter of fact you could model your level entirely without brushes, only using static meshes. CSG is way to slow to be used for complex models, I use the brushes to roughly shape my level and later I refine it with static meshes. You might want to take at look at modular level design, building your level with smaller static mesh pieces will help the engine to cull the scene thus improving performance. have a look at Hourence's tutorial, for example this
    http://www.hourences.com/book/tutorialsspire.htm
    helped me quite a lot.

    regards

    Leave a comment:


  • started a topic Model entire level in 3DS Max

    Model entire level in 3DS Max

    Ok, so im a 3d modeller working with some folks using UDK. I'm modelling the level and it would be alot easier for tm to model the entire level in 3ds max, rather than learn CSG modelling. My problem is that i would then need to deconstruct the level, and ensure that each part had unique Material IDs.

    As you can imagine doing this for an entire level is very time consuming an di am wondering if there is a better way around it. I thought that there might be a "convert Static Mesh to CSG" button that would solve my problem but it seems not.

    Any ideas on a way around this?
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