CaWe newb

A forum about everything related to the Cafu World Editor CaWE: mapping, editing, scripting, making GUIs and fonts, using the BSP, PVS and Light compilers.
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cafufu
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CaWe newb

Post by cafufu » 2017-07-22, 17:44

First of all, as a long-time Linux user I hardly need to express my appreciation for your move to make the Cafu/Cawe project open source (in 2009). My own 3D content creation efforts are from more recent times and since last year I've been looking for suitable Linux tools, expecting only a small subset of the ones available for Windows.

I found several flavours of RADIANT of course but only one had the GTKGENSURF plugin and it lacked support for more advanced engines than IOQUAKE3 (such as IODOOM3 or the 64-bits DHEWM3). Besides, I just can't seem to get the hang of navigating in Radiant. TORQUE3D (distributed with its own Editor) seemed promising but despite trying to tweak the options (specifically my OpenGL display driver) the engine hardly managed to process user input.

Another, OS-independent, stumbling block turned out to be documentation.

As a beginning 3D content creator I imagined one would start creating a Map/Level with the complete stretch of Landscape/Terrain and scale each and every Terrain Entity to what would become this map's "reference resolution": in a 1st Person Game e.g. the resolution of the Bots/Avatars. However, nowhere in the docs I found any mention of the necessity (or needlessness) of this kind of scale issue. Eventually I followed the Cafu instructions and created a 1025x1025 PNG grey-scale file in GIMP and checked it in GEOMORPH for its water properties. Unfortunately I still had hopes for Radiant/GtkGenSurf so it took me a lot of time to figure out in Gimp how to ensure that the grey-scale "palette" was precisely 8 bpp (through the Image->Mode->Indexed menus !!).

I'm now trying to texture this terrain in CaWe but unfortunately my "Deathmatch/TechDemo" distribution contained only one "A_Terrain" texture ("Island-BaseTex.jpg") contrary to what the contents of "Terrain.cmat" seem to suggest.

It's been an unexpectedly time-consuming start, but I'm sure narrowing down my Linux 3D Development Environment to CaWe will make things a lot easier thanks to its Documentation and Forum support.
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Carsten
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Re: CaWe newb

Post by Carsten » 2017-07-24, 09:06

Hello cafufu,
welcome to the Cafu forums! :welcome:

It's great to hear that you've joined us!
If you have any questions, please let us know!
Best regards,
Carsten
cafufu
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Re: CaWe newb

Post by cafufu » 2017-07-24, 17:09

Any comments regarding my (exaggerated ?) concerns about maintaining a consistent mesh- and texture-resolution throughout the World/Map/Level, starting with its terrain? As I mentioned above, my first height map is only 1025x1025 pixels while it's intended to cover a "real-world" stretch of about 500x500 meters !

Is it also correct that most of the textures in "Terrain.cmat" are missing or did I inadvertently delete them ?

Thanks for your welcome !
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Carsten
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Re: CaWe newb

Post by Carsten » 2017-07-25, 09:32

I'm not sure if I understand your question:
Is this about resolution (e.g. number of texture pixels per m^2 of terrain)
or about units, e.g. 1 unit in the game world is 1cm, 1m, 1000km in the game world?

In Materials/Terrains.cmat, afaics, only one file is missing: Textures/Terrains/ps_Texture_1k_a.png.
Note that most texture images are in Textures/Terrains/, with Terrains/TechDemo/Island-BaseTex.jpg
being an exception.
Best regards,
Carsten
cafufu
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Re: CaWe newb

Post by cafufu » 2017-07-25, 13:48

Thanks for your quick response.

I guess it's about "face"-RESOLUTION of entity meshes and pixel-RESOLUTION of textures the meshes get covered with.

As a newb, the first entity you think you ought to start with (at least I did !) is the terrain and you think your heightmap's low pixel-resolution (mine was 1025x1025) gets converted into an equally low "face"-resolution of the terrain mesh ("low" for my intended 500x500m world... I know, I'm a bit ambitious! ). Then a secondary concern would be the pixel-resolution of the textures the mesh gets "covered" with and these two concerns ought to CONSISTENTLY apply to every entity subsequently placed upon the terrain, including the "reference"-avatar as seen by its 3rd person pursuit camera (in a 1st person world this would be mute until the avatar happens to look into a mirror ;-)).

As to the "Terrains.cmat" contents, I downloaded "Textures.zip" again and the latest "cafu-cafu-485a17d425a1.zip" but neither contained the "Grass.png", "Grass2.png", "Sand.png" and "Rock.png".

Sorry for any newbie misconceptions and misnomers.
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arfur9
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Re: CaWe newb

Post by arfur9 » 2017-07-25, 14:56

try the 2013 build, I think that has all the textures (I have "Grass.png", "Grass2.png", "Sand.png" and "Rock.png")
I'm assuming that's how I got them
Cafu-bin-2013-04-27-9e48f96-linux2-x86_64.tar.gz
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Carsten
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Re: CaWe newb

Post by Carsten » 2017-07-26, 11:07

arfur9's reply reminded me of what I should have asked first: How did you get Cafu? Which download did you use, or is it a repository checkout?

About the resolutions:
At this time, we have no mechanism to "stream" huge terrain meshes or textures as would be required to cover large worlds with high detail / high resolution. See the island in the TechDemo map for how the engine currently handles large terrains. In the TechDemo, we use detail maps as a trick to visually suggest higher resolution than there actually is. There is certainly room for improvement, but it may require additional programming to achieve it.

In other words, if I understand you right, you want to cover the (large) terrain with both a hi-res heightmap and a hi-res texture, hi-res enough to have sufficient detail so that the same resolution can be used with meshes and textures for player characters and similar objects?
Best regards,
Carsten
cafufu
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Re: CaWe newb

Post by cafufu » 2017-07-26, 18:53

Thanks, the 2013 distribution did indeed contain the missing terrain PNGs.

I cloned the sources in January form Bitbucket and "scons-ed" them successfully. Building a big Gtk/Qt/Wx source package is hardly ever straightforward in Linux but Cafu turned out to be a rare and pleasant exception.

Yes, and if tricks are required to "suggest higher resolution" then that's "all right with me" (to quote Philip Marlowe)!

I guess my main concern boils down to whether or not there is or should be a specific sequence of steps to be followed in creating and developing a world and in maintaining visual consistency within this world so as to avoid hitting a wall further down the road and having to start all over again. In my case this world would be a 500x500m stretch, primarily with buildings (some up to 20m tall) and water.

Thanks for all you help.
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Carsten
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Re: CaWe newb

Post by Carsten » 2017-07-27, 08:52

cafufu wrote:I cloned the sources in January form Bitbucket and "scons-ed" them successfully. Building a big Gtk/Qt/Wx source package is hardly ever straightforward in Linux but Cafu turned out to be a rare and pleasant exception.
Thanks!

Depending on when exactly you cloned the repository, using the --recursive option should have downloaded all the textures as well, including the terrain PNGs (see viewtopic.php?f=14&t=1833).
I guess my main concern boils down to whether or not there is or should be a specific sequence of steps to be followed in creating and developing a world and in maintaining visual consistency within this world so as to avoid hitting a wall further down the road and having to start all over again. In my case this world would be a 500x500m stretch, primarily with buildings (some up to 20m tall) and water.
There is no sequence of steps known to me that can give guarantees in this regard.

What I would do in the beginning is to make quick drafts: Work grossly with quick prototypes, but from everything a bit. Thus, get a feel of everything that is involved early, fill in the details and fine-tuning later.
Best regards,
Carsten
cafufu
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Re: CaWe newb

Post by cafufu » 2017-07-28, 08:21

Many thanks for the pointers Carsten and Arfur9 !
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