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Epic Games & MapCore's Unreal Tournament Level Design Contest Discussion

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Is there anything wrong with keeping the BSP from your level instead of redoing everything as staticmeshes? The only downside I see is that you can't use the mesh paint tool and I heard that BSP is more costly performance-wise than staticmeshes... but my level is pretty much finished visually at this point, and it runs a little faster than the official maps while ~80% of the original BSP is still there. I replaced the parts of my BSP that could easily be turned into modular pieces, but most of my playable area has tons of intersecting paths and shapes, which would not be easy at all to break into pieces and redo in an external 3d application, which I hardly know how to use... :P

So, what am I missing there? Why are you Epic guys obsesively turning everything you can into meshes that can't be used as modular assets?

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22 minutes ago, TheGlecter said:

Is there anything wrong with keeping the BSP from your level instead of redoing everything as staticmeshes? The only downside I see is that you can't use the mesh paint tool and I heard that BSP is more costly performance-wise than staticmeshes... but my level is pretty much finished visually at this point, and it runs a little faster than the official maps while ~80% of the original BSP is still there. I replaced the parts of my BSP that could easily be turned into modular pieces, but most of my playable area has tons of intersecting paths and shapes, which would not be easy at all to break into pieces and redo in an external 3d application, which I hardly know how to use... :P

So, what am I missing there? Why are you Epic guys obsesively turning everything you can into meshes that can't be used as modular assets?

BSP is not more expensive outright, it's just if you start adding equal detail (polygons, shader complexity) to a bsp it will become unworkable for a bunch of reasons, artist would be better off explaining why but it's been phased out from most modern games and engine for that reason above all else. Artists like to use tools designed for their craft, and it's always changing. If you have a flat wall, floor, and you don't need to cut it up into tons of small shapes, then it's perfectly fine, as I said check dm-biotower I use bsp there. It all comes down to the amount of artistic control and workflow, not just performance (but remember that models are LOD'd automatically by the engine which is very important, bsp is not)

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On 22/06/2016 at 0:29 AM, TheGlecter said:

Is there anything wrong with keeping the BSP from your level instead of redoing everything as staticmeshes?

No.

I know the question was directed at Epic, but as indicated on the prior page, you can select all your BSP geometry and convert it into one static mesh. You don't need a modelling program to do this, the engine does it all.

You can also export the level into an FBX file and have all of the geometry split into segments, which perhaps is nicer as you would have more control over the individual segments/areas/bits of the level, and import it all into the engine after using a 3D program, perhaps to round off edges, bevel stuff, add chamfers, indentations, roughness, damage and other randomness as BSP's are a little too geometrically 'prefect'. They are the 'uncanny valley' of geometry, you might say :)

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Mitch Mitchell said:

you can select all your BSP geometry and convert it into one static mesh. You don't need a modelling program to do this, the engine does it all.

I haven't tried it out, but that sounds quite awful to me. I used the 'Convert Brush to Mesh' thing with a simple 5-brush shape, and the resulting mesh had some noticeable lightmap problems, which I could only solve by remodeling the piece in Max almost entirely. I just don't want to imagine how that would turn out with a whole +600 brush level. A huge StaticMesh with all the geometry of a level doesn't sound like a very elegant approach to me, and you would most likely need an insanely high Lightmap resolution to make it look any good...

On 22/6/2016 at 1:56 AM, 2d-chris said:

BSP is not more expensive outright, it's just if you start adding equal detail (polygons, shader complexity) to a bsp it will become unworkable for a bunch of reasons, artist would be better off explaining why but it's been phased out from most modern games and engine for that reason above all else. Artists like to use tools designed for their craft, and it's always changing.

I dunno about the artist point of view, but BSP is totally awesome for level designers and ditching it from new game engines is a bad decision IMO. You just can't focus on creating an interesting playable space by splattering wall meshes here and there... :P

Thanks for the answers BTW! :)

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6 hours ago, TheGlecter said:

I haven't tried it out, but that sounds quite awful to me. I used the 'Convert Brush to Mesh' thing with a simple 5-brush shape, and the resulting mesh had some noticeable lightmap problems, which I could only solve by remodelling the piece in Max almost entirely. I just don't want to imagine how that would turn out with a whole +600 brush level. A huge StaticMesh with all the geometry of a level doesn't sound like a very elegant approach to me, and you would most likely need an insanely high Lightmap resolution to make it look any good...

 

 

Yes, there are two extremes. Meshing an entire level is extreme, but as you point out, with the right LMR; can be achieved. Again, setting this up is very easy to do, as it literally is SHIFT-S and then set the LMR to whatever you want. Then convert it and have a coke and smile.

The other end of the spectrum I illustrated, is exporting the Geometry into an FBX and adding variation to the polygon(s). Now, you don't have to do this - but this will give you the option of separating the surfaces/brushes into individual chunks, whether you alter the geometry or not. From there you can alter the LMR just as you would for brushes, or even do a 'bulk edit' and altering the LMR en masse. I strongly believe this will give you the control you desire.

The Unreal Engine is supremely flexible in these areas, and even keeps the nomenclature correct.

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Just in case anyone is having packing issues, I finally had the dreaded FAIL today. It took a while picking through my cook.txt, but scrolling up from the bottom I found the two errors. Both errors are "filename is too long".   I've seen others have this issue and it's a bit silly since it's a stock asset.

They are both related to the following asset:

C:/Program Files/Epic Games/UnrealTournamentEditor/UnrealTournament/Saved/Cooked/DM-UC-Maelstrom_A1-23/WindowsNoEditor/UnrealTournament/Content/RestrictedAssets/Environments/Chill/ProtoType/Materials/Banners/Distressed/MI_Banner_GChannelDesign_BLACK_GDistress2.uasset

The error is "filename is too long" but I believe it is actually "path length too long" since I haven't changed the length of the filename and this asset is fairly new in my map. I'm going to rename my map something shorter (which I was going to do anyway). I will report back if that doesn't fix it.

By the way, if you are new to the cook.txt file, the word "error" occurs quite frequently and is not an issue. This makes doing a word search for "error" a non-starter. Try searching for either "CookResults:Error: " or "LogCook:Error:" to find the offending errors.

 

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4 hours ago, MauL said:

Just in case anyone is having packing issues, I finally had the dreaded FAIL today. It took a while picking through my cook.txt, but scrolling up from the bottom I found the two errors. Both errors are "filename is too long".   I've seen others have this issue and it's a bit silly since it's a stock asset.

They are both related to the following asset:

C:/Program Files/Epic Games/UnrealTournamentEditor/UnrealTournament/Saved/Cooked/DM-UC-Maelstrom_A1-23/WindowsNoEditor/UnrealTournament/Content/RestrictedAssets/Environments/Chill/ProtoType/Materials/Banners/Distressed/MI_Banner_GChannelDesign_BLACK_GDistress2.uasset

The error is "filename is too long" but I believe it is actually "path length too long" since I haven't changed the length of the filename and this asset is fairly new in my map. I'm going to rename my map something shorter (which I was going to do anyway). I will report back if that doesn't fix it.

By the way, if you are new to the cook.txt file, the word "error" occurs quite frequently and is not an issue. This makes doing a word search for "error" a non-starter. Try searching for either "CookResults:Error: " or "LogCook:Error:" to find the offending errors.

Others will humbly correct me, but I believe that is the 'windows string length'. If you copy/replace in the content browser and get all actors using that asset, reference themselves to the new asset location, it should solve it.

Copy it to a location with less characters in front of it, like your own developer folder. So instead of:

Content/RestrictedAssets/Environments/Chill/ProtoType/Materials/Banners/Distressed/MI_Banner_GChannelDesign_BLACK_GDistress2.uasset

It could be:

Content/Developers/MauL/MI_Banner_GChannelDesign_BLACK_GDistress2.uasset

Much shorter string length. Yum.

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Common logic is to keep custom content out of RestrictedAssets. Personally I put everything in Content/Maps/[Mapname], including any new assets (including new material instances).

I'm not entirely sure what you're saying. You shouldn't get that error with stock assets since it has no need to pak them. If it is custom then, as Mitch suggested, move it to somewhere with a shorter url (as it were). Everything will be prefix with [install location]/content/etc, if this gets too long then it'll break.

I might be misunderstanding, or just be flat wrong. I'm really tired after staying up all night watching election coverage XD

Edited by NATO

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2 hours ago, Vilham said:

To be fair the organisation of the assets in UT4 is a bit of a mess. There clearly aren't any consistent standards.

I was actually very disappointed when I found that out. It's pretty hard for a newcomer.

By the way, can someone tell me what "RK" means? There are some Materials and Meshes inside such folders.

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6 hours ago, Mitch Mitchell said:

Others will humbly correct me, but I believe that is the 'windows string length'. If you copy/replace in the content browser and get all actors using that asset, reference themselves to the new asset location, it should solve it.

Copy it to a location with less characters in front of it, like your own developer folder. So instead of:

Content/RestrictedAssets/Environments/Chill/ProtoType/Materials/Banners/Distressed/MI_Banner_GChannelDesign_BLACK_GDistress2.uasset

It could be:

Content/Developers/MauL/MI_Banner_GChannelDesign_BLACK_GDistress2.uasset

Much shorter string length. Yum.

 

Yeah, I think you misunderstood NATO. It's the actual location of the stock asset - it's not a custom asset. Since it is likely due to my filename length, the reason I put this post in here was to alert others since a stock asset, all on it's own, is dangerously close to causing pak errors. For people new to the process, it can be nightmare.

Mitch:  I try to minimize duplication of stock materials if I can help it since it seems to make the filesize larger. I'd much rather use the MI that I'm currently using. Sure, if I can't get it to work I will have to duplicate it and put it in a shorter path location but I try to use duplication sparingly.  Am I wrong on that?

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