Wall Worm Displacement Tool

Modelling, Textures, Animating and other general engine asset topics.

Re: Wall Worm Displacement Tool

Postby shawnolson on Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:15 pm

OK... loaded new version. This version IS NOT COMPATIBLE with the previous versions. I have no docs on it but here is changelog:

To get WW Displacement Tool Version 2.0 in your menu, you must go to WWMT Settings and click the Add to Menu button as the old version may still be linked in the menu! The previous version is temporarily still available in the package just for people who may currently be using that version.

Updates:
◦ Use Plane base meshes instead of Cube... optimizing vertex calculations for most displacements. This change is primarily why the new tool is incompatible with previous versions.
Changed default power to 2. Previously it was set to 4. (Hammer, incidentally defaults to 3... but until I finish the optimization speeds of the sculpt mesh process... I am keeping the default at 2 to increase speeds).
◦ Sculpt meshes are now broken into tris to match those in Hammer.
Added Display Walkable button that hilights in green all faces that are not walkable on the currently selected objects (must be editable poly). Serves same purpose as the DW button in Hammer. (Only works in 3ds Max 2010+) Works best on single mesh (like the sculpt mesh) as it sometimes shows incorrect results if you select a bunch of displacements.
Added Grid and Snap button that will set the home grid spacing to match the currently selected Length setting. Also, turns on Snapping and turns on Use Pivot Point Center.
Added Lock/Unlock buttons to lock/unlock the displacement transforms for all displacements in scene. When locked, displacements cannot move, rotate or scale.
Added two new displacement presets: Tunnel and Tube. Tunnel makes inverted displacements and tube does the opposite.
Updated the placement of some presets if using rows/columns so that sides that butt up against each other aren't confusing to locate. For example, if you make rows and columns of hills, there will now be spaces between them matching the length/width of the hills.
Added support for copying displacements. You can now copy a displacement and it will be recognized as a displacement for Edit Mode and Export.
Updated the Edit Mode button to use only the selected displacements for creating a sculpt mesh if there are more than one displacement currently selected. If no displacements are selected, or only one displacement is selected, then all scene displacements are used in the sculpt mesh.

Please share feedback and any bugs.
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Re: Wall Worm Displacement Tool

Postby shawnolson on Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:35 pm

Version 2.1 is out. Fixes some features that were not working in Max 2010 & 2011 (display walkable). Also catches an error that caused the tool to fail in Max 2009 and older.

Added new placement helper.

Some of the 2.0+ features are demonstrated here:



As demonstrated in video... the Display Walkable function is buggy if you have multiple objects selected. It is accurate if a single object (like the control mesh) is selected... but if you select a bunch of displacements with Display Walkable on, it will not show accurate results. I am looking into a fix for that.
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Re: Wall Worm Displacement Tool

Postby shawnolson on Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:29 pm

When I loaded this file yesterday it was supposed to fix an error in Max 2009 and older... but in reality I loaded it with the wrong version number to check against. I've updated the files in the latests download... but didn't bother to make any version number changes. You should now be able to use it in Max 2009.
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Re: Wall Worm Displacement Tool

Postby MrTwoVideoCards on Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:08 pm

I'm a fan of your other tools for smd exporting and such, but I don't really understand why people would go and want to make displacements in 3ds. Or why you're spending time on something like this. I mean hey not saying you shouldn't make it. Obviously editing there is easier, but you still have to move to an actual separate program, do the editing there, and then export, and load up the vmf in hammer, grab that and copy it, and paste it into your main vmf. That takes some time, and uses a lot of system resources.

I think from a perspective of saving time this really doesn't do that. It gives you more features and control over bending and moving around disp faces. I think the process you should heavily concentrate on the idea of moving to a separate program. I'd even go as far as to suggest making a displacement generator and editing program. Something a little more lightweight. I would see a lot more use for that, and users wouldn't have to own 3dsmax.
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Re: Wall Worm Displacement Tool

Postby shawnolson on Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:39 pm

MrTwoVideoCards wrote:I'm a fan of your other tools for smd exporting and such

Thank you :)

MrTwoVideoCards wrote:I don't really understand why people would go and want to make displacements in 3ds... but you still have to move to an actual separate program ...[and] that takes some time, and uses a lot of system resources.

I have heard that from others. I don't necessarily agree (obviously, or I wouldn't be doing it :) )

There are several advantages by using this tool inside 3ds Max:

1) You can design your landscape and props in the same environment. In fact, when this tool exports the VMF, it also exports the prop locations of your models if using WWMT. And because WWMT has a batch model compiler, you can literally design all the props where they go, export them all at once and the displacement tool will export displacement and prop entities into the VMF (and the sky if you are using Sky Writer).

2) You do not have to re-design anything in Hammer if you are using Convexity. At the moment, you do have to merge the Convexity exported VMF with my tool's VMF, but either I or Maple 3D will make them export at once in the future. Merging the files is not really much effort, and certainly isn't re-designing.

In my opinion, these two things really are time savers. At least for me they are.

3) As you pointed out... Max has much better design tools than Hammer. That is one of the main reasons I've wanted this.

MrTwoVideoCards wrote: I think the process you should heavily concentrate on the idea of moving to a separate program. I'd even go as far as to suggest making a displacement generator and editing program. Something a little more lightweight. I would see a lot more use for that, and users wouldn't have to own 3dsmax.


That is unlikely. The amount of time and effort it takes to do things like this is prohibitive. There really isn't an incentive. All of the Wall Worm tools are pushed along because of my own passions--I love 3ds Max and the Source Game Engine. There is no money in it, though. It just so happens that not only do I enjoy Max and Source, I also have some weird trait that also loves teaching, collaborating and promoting creativity... which has also prompted me to share these tools with everyone. I get great satisfaction knowing that others benefit from what I do. Even so, it is far beyond my intention to move the tools to any other platform as the cost to me (in time, effort) far outweighs the benefits.

I understand that many people don't own Max. But there are student versions you can get for free if in school. For me, it's just one of those things that I had to get once I was exposed to it; it may seem expensive, but if you are passionate about 3D, then the cost isn't really that much--I see it as a lifelong tool/asset that has paid for itself time and again via sporadic commercial projects (financially) and creative outlets (a creative environment that literally removes any boundary for visualization and storytelling).

Anyway, don't feel that I am criticizing your input, as I'm not. I'm merely sharing my perspective. I do appreciate your feedback and ideas.
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