Detailer + Corvex

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Detailer + Corvex

Postby [Steve] on Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:38 pm

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Wall Worm tools creator and fellow Interloper Shawn Olson has released two fantastic new plugins, one to aid in custom detail sprite creation and the other lets you quickly block out environments in 3ds max.

Detailer is set of primitives and tools for creating billboards and detail objects. The plugin allows you to quickly create complex foliage and model scattering with rules that match those in the Source Game Engine. This plugin is for 3ds Max and is intended to be used with Wall Worm.

CorVex is a geometry plugin for 3ds Max aimed at quickly building game level layout. It offers convenient planar mapping controls for geometry that is controlled by spline bases.


Check it out Detailer here and Corvex here.
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Re: Detailer + Corvex

Postby vcool on Wed Dec 25, 2013 8:36 pm

Sounds pretty great, except my dirty mind transforms Corvex into cervix.
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Re: Detailer + Corvex

Postby SM Sith Lord on Thu Dec 26, 2013 1:56 pm

Here's some cloudy vague feedback:
I have never tried Wallworm tools, but I have read lots of documentation on them and watched a lot of their tutorial videos. The feature list looks very impressive, but I am still not convinced that I want to use the tool set.

I think you guys should put a little more effort in promoting the tools. Like, without going into too much detail, compare how easy it is to use the tools vs standard ways of accomplishing the various tasks. Try to convince people that they want to invest the time to learn & use the tool rather than continue using the methods that they already know how to use.

I say this because the feature list looks great, yet I have still not been inspired to personally use the tools for reasons that I don't even understand, lol. A little advertising and boasting about how awesome and useful these tools are might be enough to push people people like me over the edge and try it out for the 1st time.

On an unrelated note, do any lopers here want to share how these tools have made their life easier? Anybody have a favorite feature from the tool set that they find themselves using very often & can't imagine living without?
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Re: Detailer + Corvex

Postby shawnolson on Wed Jan 01, 2014 6:59 pm

Thanks for spreading the news Steve!

vcool wrote:Sounds pretty great, except my dirty mind transforms Corvex into cervix.


Ha. When I came up with that name I was thinking more along the lines of "Convex" and "Corvette", etc. But certainly Cervix could be a compelling association... :)

SM Sith Lord wrote:The feature list looks very impressive, but I am still not convinced that I want to use the tool set.

I think you guys should put a little more effort in promoting the tools. Like, without going into too much detail, compare how easy it is to use the tools vs standard ways of accomplishing the various tasks. Try to convince people that they want to invest the time to learn & use the tool rather than continue using the methods that they already know how to use.


This is a tricky thing for me personally. I already spend a good amount of time trying to explain and promote the tools... but it's not a team of people. It's just me, except when I bribe my friend Andrew Penry into helping me solve random math problems. But I am always struggling to balance time between developing Wall Worm, documenting it, using it and promoting it. I also have a family and mortgage... so it isn't always easy to spend a lot of time doing all of them.

Promotion seems to be less and less on my radar for the simple fact that I have met a tremendous amount of resistance from people that don't get it. Those that get it are usually extremely happy--and will probably find Wall Worm the first time the go to Google. But I've been met with barrage of people who seriously subscribe to the religion that believes using anything other than Hammer is either 1) impossible or 2) retarded. The first is flatly false. The second is certainly an opinion--one that I do not share. Here's more on this specific topic.

As for promotion, here are some quotes from people you very likely recognize who have given me permission to use these quotes:
Once again thanks so much for your hard work on this, it's going to make a world of difference to our future ... -- Robert Briscoe


Wall Worm is the only reason I finish projects! -- Rick Underhill


I personally started in Source using Hammer. It was a great resource for me. But as I learned to use 3ds Max, I started to feel more and more limited in Hammer. And when I finally started tipping my toe into making custom assets, I quickly concluded that the Source pipeline is a nightmare. I have been building Wall Worm all along to remove the tedium and needlessly repetitive tasks for Source development so that as much time as possible is spent on the creative side.

I'll try to get some better promotional video out at some point... but my personality is more like a teacher than a marketer... so it will take some effort on my part to compile such a resource.
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Re: Detailer + Corvex

Postby SM Sith Lord on Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:58 pm

Good reads (your post and your links). Regarding the article on your site about Level Design, one point that I was hoping to see addressed was optimization.

The main reason I'm scared to try to make world geometry in 3ds Max is I'm afraid weird verts and edges might be added in my world geometry that could fudge things up. Like, a wall somehow becomes a little angled, which completely murders portal flow and VVIS. While one might assume that a plugin doesn't mess with your geometry, there are a lot out there that do mess with it, and your world geometry being at odd angles or off grid can have catastrophic results. Addressing this issue directly with a paragraph or some screenshots of how accurately your world geometry in 3ds max is transformed into brushes, leaves, and portals in Hammer & the Source engine would help alleviate my fears.

In short, I think if you spent a little more time talking about how using Wall Worm tools is SIMILAR to Hammer (as opposed to all the ways that it's different) might have a good affect on getting people to make the switch from Hammer to 3ds max for designing levels.
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Re: Detailer + Corvex

Postby shawnolson on Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:34 pm

SM Sith Lord wrote:The main reason I'm scared to try to make world geometry in 3ds Max is I'm afraid weird verts and edges might be added in my world geometry that could fudge things up. Like, a wall somehow becomes a little angled, which completely murders portal flow and VVIS. ... Addressing this issue directly with a paragraph or some screenshots of how accurately your world geometry in 3ds max is transformed into brushes, leaves, and portals in Hammer & the Source engine would help alleviate my fears.


Wall Worm exports VMF geometry as accurately as Hammer. Each polygon side is only defined by three points regardless of the number of sides on the polygon. The accuracy of those points is up to the user's knowledge of Max, generally. There is an option in the VMF exporter to have higher-precision decimal values for vertex locations, but the default is to truncate at 6 digits.

Generally speaking, as long as you are snapping your vertices to the grid, your geometry should be the same as in Hammer. In other words, I've not seen any problems with geometry. Of course, the more you know about Max AND the more you know about Source AND the more you understand the Wall Worm approach, the better results you'll get. Although Hammer users have been slow to migrate to Wall Worm for level design, I prefer WW users to know Hammer first because all of the principles/limitations of world geometry are identical... and many new users do not understand the basic principle of world geometry vs models.

Just a quick example. In Max, you can make a Box() primitive and tag it as world geometry. It will export perfectly into Source if it is kept to a value of 1 for length segments /width segments /height segments ... but doing more will create invalid geometry. Understanding world geometry makes that obvious, but not understanding this can create the misunderstanding that the process is flawed.

SM Sith Lord wrote:if you spent a little more time talking about how using Wall Worm tools is SIMILAR to Hammer (as opposed to all the ways that it's different) might have a good affect on getting people to make the switch from Hammer to 3ds max for designing levels.


I've started a series of videos on this many months ago... but I already need to ditch it and start over because I've added several new features that make the videos out-dated. Indeed I'll work on some of this kind of content in the near future.
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Re: Detailer + Corvex

Postby SM Sith Lord on Sun Jan 05, 2014 12:02 pm

Thanks for the reply Shawn. Just wanted to let you know I've been messing around in WW, and so far it seems very useful. I converted/imported my material library and can compile maps right from 3DS max without even opening Hammer at all.

The main things slowing me down right now are grid snap and texture stitching.

I've been moving my brushes around 1 polygon at a time because grid snap defaults to the pivot point, and it takes too long to adjust the pivot point every time my brush changes shape.

Texture stitching/aligning is also a little annoying for me so far (I probably just haven't figured out the easy way to do it). To accomplish it I have been assigning a planar UVW Map modifier and using the Acquire button to choose the surface I want to align to.
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Re: Detailer + Corvex

Postby shawnolson on Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:59 pm

The snaps in Max are definitely something that Hammer users struggle with. I've had this topic on my TODO list for a video for a couple years...

Once you understand snaps, grids and the related controls in Max, you will likely learn to love the way Max handles them as you have far more versatility. I suggest the following video from the Autodesk Learning Channel on Snaps:



Take note of the 3d/2.5d/2d snap modes and the snapping settings. I have the snaps toolbar out in my workspace. I use the snaps tools obsessively.

Regarding moving objects: when you have snap to grid enabled, any grid-point that highlights is the starting point for the movement and will be the point that gets snapped to the finished snap-point. The same with other snap settings, like snap to vertex (on of the most useful snap settings). With snap to vertex, you can highlight the bottom vert on a box and quickly drag it up and snap it to the top vert of another box, for example. This is briefly demonstrated in the video above.

Do not think of the pivot point as the only point for your transformations--learn to use the snaps instead. It will open up your world to new methods.

I'll share more feedback on texturing later.
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Re: Detailer + Corvex

Postby shawnolson on Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:52 pm

CorVex is now Updated to version 1.3. Here is a demonstration of the new Wall Mode feature and extended UV controls:



Version 1.3 (See Known Issues if Upgrading)

* Added Wall Mode and Wall Width values.
* Removed step spinner.
* Separated CorVex parameters into the following parameter blocks: Parameters, UV Controls, Material IDs and Cutters.
* Added Wall UV Tops selection for how to UV the top of walls. Default uses a global world space.
The alternate method is to use the same UV as the first side of the wall block.
* Added Bake to Geometry button. When pressed, creates an Editable Poly snapshot of the CorVex object
and hides the CorVex. If the Export as World Geometry is on, deactivates it and tags the clone to export.
* Added Material ID controls for wall ends and wall side 2.
* Added button to get spline bases from another CorVex.
* Added button to get properties from another CorVex.
* Added button to generate a multimaterial for the CorVex object.
* Added UV Side Method called Reset Each Face.
* Fixed Bug where SplineShape() objects were not used in mesh generation, even though they worked in 1.0.
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Re: Detailer + Corvex

Postby shawnolson on Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:35 pm

CorVex Version 1.42 is now out. Since above post, new features include:

* Open End angle spinners to control wall end angles.
* Many new UVW controls.
* Selection Stack rollout to send specific parts of the object to the Modifier Stack Face selection.
* More...

Also, I've made a new video that demonstrates some basic concepts about Parametric Level Design. This video is not so much a complete How-To (though it does quickly cover some steps) but mainly a discussion of what Parametric Level Design is and why you may want to use it.



Also, the introductory price of $4 is ending on February 15th. After that, the permanent price will be $10.
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Re: Detailer + Corvex

Postby shawnolson on Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:51 pm

Bug-fix release out today. And this new video on some of the methods for UV flow in CorVex.

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Re: Detailer + Corvex

Postby shawnolson on Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:43 pm

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Re: Detailer + Corvex

Postby DoxC on Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:08 am

Hey Shawn
About the vtf export in wormwall tools, just wanted to know if you could make it export map slots that have jpegs or bmp images just to make it more easier for the user
Thanks in advance
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Re: Detailer + Corvex

Postby shawnolson on Sat Feb 15, 2014 12:17 am

DoxC... this thread is more about the commercial plugins than WWMT. But in terms of your request, feel free to discuss in more in the art board... or over on WW forums.
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