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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    3,944
    Some optimization tecniques that i found very usefull:

    Keep an eye out
    While designing your map keep an eye out for your rendering statistics. Make sure you keep it all acceptable or that with the optimization it will be acceptable. With acceptable i mean the framerate offcourse. It's very usefull to try to keep an eye out on how it runs and how it will run, a little difficult if you just started the map. But as you go along and add more and more detail you'll get a better idea on how it will eventualy be, so you can geuss more accuratly if it runs well.
    Use these console commands ingame to check "stat none", "stat render", "stat hardware", "stat all", "stat fps". Without quotes offcourse.
    I usely use the stat render command. Other usefull commands are "rmode 1" which put everything in wireframe mode, good for checking antiportals and visibility. Just walk around your map and look around to see what is rendered and what not. Go back to normal with "rmode 5".
    Some reads about console commands:
    http://udn.epicgames.com/pub/Content...nsole_Commands

    In general about antiportals
    Make them as big as you can make them. As you may know only if a SM is completly behind a antiportal it is not rendered. So the bigger the anti portals the more change ithere is that it will not be rendered. Don't use to many of them in your map about 20 max will do.
    Some reads about anti portals:
    http://udn.epicgames.com/pub/Content...portal_Volumes
    http://udn.epicgames.com/pub/Content...tiPortalActors
    http://wiki.beyondunreal.com/wiki/Antiportal

    In general about zones
    if you are in one zone and can look into another that one is rendered too. Only the zones that you can't see will not be rendered. So make the zone portals as small as posible and make sure that the change is slim that you can look from one zone into another. So it's useless to zone a hallway in 10 zones if you can look down the whole hallway. They still all be rendered then. Also if your zoneportals are small there is less change that you can look into antoher zone or the one beyond that for that matter.
    Some reads about zoning:
    http://udn.epicgames.com/pub/Content...es_and_Portals
    http://wiki.beyondunreal.com/wiki/Zoning

    Distance fog
    Distand fog is a good way to cut off rendering after the maxdistand of the fog. It will look better too if you set the bClearToFogColor to true. Might not be pretty in your indoor map so i would avoid using it, but it's a powerfull tool nontheless.
    Some reads about distance fog:
    http://udn.epicgames.com/pub/Content.../#Distance_Fog
    http://udn.epicgames.com/pub/Content...s/#DistanceFog

    Culldistance
    One very powerfull tool that is overlooked i think is the culldistance of SM's. In it's display properties look for this setting, you can put a valeu in it, for instance 8000. If you do that the static mesh is not rendered beyond 8000 units. So this one is extremely powerfull even in indoor maps, but also in outdoormaps in conjunction with distand fog. Just watch out that your scenery won't pop up in indoor maps or in outdoormaps without distandfog. So make the culldistance is far enough.

    Cull static meshes in zones
    There's also a way to make sure that SM's are not rendered if you are in a particular zone, but i never used that. So i don't know how you would set that up.

    Terrain specific teqniques
    You can pull out layers that are not really visibile anyway. The more layers on a terrain the more performance it will take. Expecialy if they are drawn upon each other. So in the terrain tool, goto the layers tab and press the grid icon ont the right side. Choose a layer, for instance layer 1. Now there will be a grid dispayed in your map for that particular layer. the grid only shows where that layer is painted, so know you can use the painting tool to remove that layer or make it show again. If you remove the layer the complexity of the terrain will be reduced and it will help the framerate. Only drawback is that your terrain might be looking a little bit dull if you pull out to much. But you can do this for every layer you have and it's a very usefull tool.

    Use the visibility tool, Extremely powerfull and usefull tool. Make terrain you don't see anyway invisibile. So if you have a mountain and the player cannot see or get to the other side of the mountain, make it invisible so the polys won't get rendered. Again, use this tool alot.

    When creating your heightmap, try not to go beyond the standard heightmap size of 256 * 256, it might be difficult to optimize otherwize. You can get away with higher resolutions but you'll make it yourself a whole lot harder. The amount of polys on your terrain is determent by the size of your heightmap.
    Some reads about terrain:
    http://udn.epicgames.com/pub/Content/CreatingTerrain/
    http://udn.epicgames.com/pub/Content...ngTerrainMaps/
    http://udn.epicgames.com/pub/Content...TerrainLayers/
    http://udn.epicgames.com/pub/Content...alTerrainTips/
    http://wiki.beyondunreal.com/wiki/Terrain_Mode
    http://wiki.beyondunreal.com/wiki/Creating_A_Terrain
    http://wiki.beyondunreal.com/wiki/Terrain_Texture_Layer
    http://wiki.beyondunreal.com/wiki/Te...coration_Layer
    http://wiki.beyondunreal.com/wiki/Us...e_Terrain_Tool
    http://wiki.beyondunreal.com/wiki/Manipulating_Terrain


    That's most of what i know of at the moment about optimization, but if those are not enough you are propably doing something wrong in your map design.

    Cheers
    Last edited by Mr. SlackPants; 08-11-2003 at 07:07 PM.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    2,153
    WOW....thanks for all the tips Mr Slackpants....I haven't really gotten into optimaization yet but this will help a lot!

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    492
    Yeah thx man, I never really understood what all those antiportal things were until now. Probably because I've never really made a real map yet, I've just been experimenting a lot.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    13
    Damn those error messages! I've saved my map to c:\map.un2 so there's so spaces, but every time I load it up, it periodically pops up telling me I can't have spaces in my filenames. This is in UnrealEd v3.


  5. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    3,944
    You've probably installed in C:\program files\ut2003. That's a space too and gives you the error. Re-install in C:\Ut2003 and all should be fine.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    77

    Talking Hey, fine fellows.

    Wow. Some cool tips! Nice one on the terrain (Kudos, Mr. Slackpants)

    On the topic of inspriration. If you are fortunate to live in a city (I live right in the heart of Manhatten, NY), I have found that the best inspiration is not only in other maps, but just wandering around outside with a sketchbook. (I know we all don't get much sun )

    Everytime I see some really cool architecture, I quickly sketch it out. Even if it's just a small junction peice that's supporting a column or something. This really helps me get out of the "box" sindrome people are talking about.
    I saw this really weird-looking light the other day in the villiage and now it's in my map

    Also keep in mind that unlike "actual" architect blueprints, Unreal Ed doesn't care about the laws of physics so you can get all crazy with the designs and not have to worry about the foundations of your buildings and all that.

    I was extremly lucky that I was fortunate to study illustration at the SCHOOL OF VISUAL ARTS here. I used to regret that I didn't take Computer Art as a major instead back in '93 but then realized later on in life that drawing skills were much, much, more important in the field of 3d Design.

    Good luck all! Hope to download some more really cool maps. Anyone check out the finalists maps for the NVIDIA contest? I'm totally digging CTF-HAUNTED.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    3
    Well here comes my first post.

    For when u get design block

    Whenever I'm designing a map 1 thing I find that helps is just building a huge cube like room out of the way (call it a play room). Then I use this to play around with textures and meshes and lighting when I get stuck. When you finish your map you can just delete it and everything in it. Typically I use a size of 7680 *7680 * 4096 and make it well lit.

    Hope that helps some 1

    Seth

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    2

    Unhappy Help with Textures

    Hey I'm a noob mapmaker and I was wondering someting about textures. Whenever I add or subtract a brush, the texture that is supposed to be displayed is not, there is only a solid block of color. Anyone know how to fix this or am I just a moron?

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    2
    Nevermind I figured it out...and yes, I am a moron.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    germany
    Posts
    100
    for beginners:

    don't try to kick out big maps when you are just beginning... it's always better to make 5 very small (even 5 cubes maps) instead of 1 big CTF map.

    Instead of being busy with BSP lighting modeling pathing item placement etc. for about 1 weeks for each... you get a shorter but MUCH more intense feeling about what is right and what is wrong.

    Making small maps will gain you experience much faster and of course will motivate you a lot more.
    Save the bigger stuff for a time when you are a bit more experienced, nothing kills your levels better than a lack of motivation.

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