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shawnolson

Wall Worm A-Z (Basics)

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Excellent write-up!

It does bring back a lot of nostalgia of the times when I was learning 3DS Max after a big discussion on one of my most favorite communities at the time (PlagueFest). Basically I was tackling a zombie escape map that was way too complicated and ambitious for me to realise, and I used PROPPER at the time (known by most ZE Hammer users). There was someone who basically kicked my ass to the curb and told me that as long as I would not be learning to properly model from A to Z, I would never get optimised models that look better, are more optimised and have complete freedom in UV-controls.

I did not believe him until I was faced with the hard reality that I would never be able to rely only on existing models, many which were also copyrighted and made it very difficult for me to make a map entirely of my own hands. This is when my journey in 3DS Max started, and it is where I stumbled across Wall Worm.

Just as Shawn mentioned, I used the modeling tools first for all my Hammer levels. I actually kept using the model tools ONLY until after Himeji Castle. Then, I decided it was time to venture into the level design tools, and if I'm not mistaken there had never been anyone delving deeply into those tools ever before, so I had to discover tons of stuff on my own. But what really fascinated me at the time was just the idea that you could actually make your level inside 3DS Max (brushes and displacements) and then model right inside that level and just output it into Source directly.

Only that thought really allowed me to push my motivation to learn 3DS Max. Eventually it became the only tool I used, ranging from level design and modeling to even texturing and animating/rigging (things which I had never really done before).

 

"Just imagine you have an idea for a map. You want to design it, but you realise you have no way to get specific models to convey the theme of your concept. I was faced with this reality so many times that at one point, I decided I wanted to learn modeling and texturing so that in the future, if there is something I want to realise, I simply can. This train of thought is what brought me to Wall Worm."

 

At the end of this additional input, all I can say is that once you understand the possibilities of designing your level into 3DS Max, and the limits that Wall Worm removes that are simply impossible to circumvent inside Hammer, you can't really get back. But, it requires a good amount of will to understand 3DS Max, and I say 3DS Max specifically without Wall Worm, because the hardest part is probably learning the program.

Learning Wall Worm once you start to master 3DS Max is actually not difficult because Wall Worm serves mostly as the gateway to output all your work from 3DS Max to Source (not to hammer!). It does offer a number of tools that can create things from scratch as well, which are mentioned above :)

Hopefully this additional read will allow people to see the standpoint of Wall Worm from a different person than the creator himself. Should anyone ever need help with Wall Worm, you can always add me on Steam so I can help anyone on his way should he/she be interested.

Edited by JorisCeoen
Added the single most important information that I forgot

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Great comment @JorisCeoen ! As I've watched you progress over the years, I have always enjoyed your enthusiasm :)

I updated the OP with a new video for using the latest Hull Helper tools. Hopefully the video shows some of the ways to quickly build complex hulls with minimal fuss. If your Hull Helper UI doesn't match the video, just update WW.

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Been getting some great use out of Wall Worm already, can't wait to dive into this fully.

On 5/5/2016 at 5:03 PM, shawnolson said:

Great comment @JorisCeoen ! As I've watched you progress over the years, I have always enjoyed your enthusiasm :)

I updated the OP with a new video for using the latest Hull Helper tools. Hopefully the video shows some of the ways to quickly build complex hulls with minimal fuss. If your Hull Helper UI doesn't match the video, just update WW.

Are you able to talk about any of the work you're doing on Black Mesa? Would be interesting.

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On ‎5‎/‎11‎/‎2016 at 5:11 AM, FMPONE said:

Been getting some great use out of Wall Worm already, can't wait to dive into this fully.

Are you able to talk about any of the work you're doing on Black Mesa? Would be interesting.

Thanks @FMPONE:)

In terms of the Black Mesa work, I'm not really allowed to talk about the details of my work for a while. But I can say that the majority of the updates that have gone into WW the last several months are largely Black Mesa-related updates that make WW work more seamlessly on broad teams or simply more efficiently (including a sizable update to WW/WW Pro just today). In fact, some of the new tools were commissioned specifically by BM needs and were graciously permitted to be released into the general distributions of WW for the benefit of the public. And I am sure that will continue.

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Hey, 

I have just started modeling with no previous experience with it so I thought there must be someone who knows right a way what's the problem with this odd shadow thingy on my hay bale prop.

I'm not a rain maker in modeling. In fact this is my first model. I made this round bale and I tried to add some individual straws on the top of it to stick out and make it look a bit more realistic.

So in the picture there's same texture in the border of the bale and on the top of the bale but somehow those straws that are on the top look all shady. Does anyone know what's causing this and how to fix? Maybe something wrong with prop compiling settings?

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@Dosentti Those darker strips on the top are likely due to the normal on those strips. The first solution to explore is adding an Edit Normals modifier to the prop and point all the normal of the top pieces straight up. There is a function in the WW Normal Tools to do this in a couple clicks. Then make sure the WWMT settings have the Explicit Normals setting turned on (which will use the smoothing groups + explicit normals).

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6 hours ago, shawnolson said:

@Dosentti Those darker strips on the top are likely due to the normal on those strips. The first solution to explore is adding an Edit Normals modifier to the prop and point all the normal of the top pieces straight up. There is a function in the WW Normal Tools to do this in a couple clicks. Then make sure the WWMT settings have the Explicit Normals setting turned on (which will use the smoothing groups + explicit normals).

Thanks. Normals weren't pointing up and I think I fixed that but I can't find that "explicit normals" setting anywhere. Which tab is it suppose to be?

Edit: Never mind, I guess they are on as a default because it works now. Thanks a lot @shawnolson!

Too bad my model sucks :D Any tips how to make those top straws looks more realistic?
 

Edited by Dosentti
problem solved http://imgur.com/XEVSeWb

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So this is a long time in coming. It's not finished, but those of you who own WW Pro and are using 3ds Max 2016 can now test the BETA of a new native MDL loader for 3ds Max. It will eventually be added to all versions of WW (pro and free), but at this moment it's only in WW Pro for 3ds Max 2016 (we will add 2015/2017 next). Among other things, it allows you to load MDL files from VPK (as well as VMT and VTF). Note that to try this, WW Pro users must install the BETA download in the store and not the standard download.

Please be aware that the MDL loader is a joint project of many people including Dave Brennan, Black Mesa and Wall Worm. Credits are in the link above.

Look forward to more updates, additions, fixes and videos on all this on WW forums.

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