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Metal Chain Catwalk

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    Metal Chain Catwalk

    I suppose this is probably a simple one, but this has always eluded me. For a map I am working on, say I wanted to have a Catwalk, what tend to have metal links, what you can also see through. I was wondering how to get that effect, and if possible have it so that a player underneath it could attack a player on top as well.

    At the second I am tempted to build the thing as a Static Mesh, but that I could foresee would require quite alot of pologons, and if I can save on using so many pologons as needed for such a creation then that would be better .

    #2
    Alpha channels If it's like UT2K4, all you do is import an image with an alpha channel defining the opaque/transparent areas of your mesh, and the engine does the rest! There might be a bit more to it, like making surfaces double-sided and setting the right flags to ensure people can shoot through it but don't fall through it... but as far as visually defining a complicated surface like metal grillwork, go with alpha mapped textures.

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      #3
      so like importing a .gif with white sections and then defining white as the transparent colour... UE3 picks that up automatically I take it. Sounds not too hard to do then , thanks. Should cut down the pologon count of that static mesh alot then XD.

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        #4
        I'm not too sure if the editor prefers TIFF or TGA, but you should use whichever of these formats is supported. Photoshop (or the Gimp if you're on a reduced budget) allow you to manually create/edit an alpha channel and embed it into the file. The GIF format only supports up to 256 colors in a texture. Indexed formats used to be preferred due to memory constraints, but these days you're better off working with 32bit images (24 bits of color, 8 bits of alpha).

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          #5
          Player/Projectile collision is based on polygons, not material alpha channel.
          So to have people shoot through it from below means that it has to be done in mesh, which for a grating or metal link walkway is too many polys.

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            #6
            Hey DG, is there a way to define whether a surface randomly blocks projectiles? ie. allows a percentage through but blocks a percentage? I'm guessing the answer is no, but asking anyway

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              #7
              You could do that with a custom actor and some scripting.
              Alternately you can also block specific classes of projectiles (eg. allow bullets but block rockets).

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                #8
                Does not sound like a bad idea, so disable collisions on the static meshes and then use volumes to cover it, could then script custom volumes for it. I haven't learnt Unreal Script yet, well I have started looking at it, but haven't got into it much since went off on a tangent learning blender, hee.

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                  #9
                  Why not have a flat mesh with the alpha texture on with no collision and use blocking volumes so the player can walk on it but weapon fire will pass through it.

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                    #10
                    Even easier, set up your static mesh's collision to Collision_BlockAllButWeapons...

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                      #11
                      But if it doesn't block anything at all you won't get the occasional nice 'twang!' of a bullet ricocheting!

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                        #12
                        In my map I just used the chain link fence mesh. Its in the HU_Deco package. Just lay it down horizontally.
                        To shoot though it, go to the mesh properties and set the collision to Collision_BlockAllButWeapons like ShadeMistress said. It means all weapons can shoot through it, so it seems kind of strange with big projectiles like the RL and Bio when they do. Yeah you wont get the "twang" but tis the price you pay

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                          #13
                          Since the player won't have any possibility to see the blocking volumes bar shooting at them, you can always just lay down some rather random blocking volumes inside the grill bit and set them to block weapons as well. If you don't model everything but just enough so you get the occasional "twang" anyway, it'll be more than enough to let the player feel it blocks on a smaller scale, unless he specificially starts shooting at bits to find the blocking volumes, and if you make them small enough he won't get the idea to look for them - and it won't impact performance too much. Games are about illusion anyway...

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