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Doom III engine


D3adlode

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I haven't done any of it myself, but I'm sure its still heavily brush based in order to flesh out the shape of the level. Like Unreal, it uses a lot of meshes for detail purposes, but you still build the basic level out of brushes in Radiant or whatever.

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i dont even have the d3 editor installed, but from running around i think its similar to souce in the aspect that most of it is brush based, like the walls and crap, but small details (like microscopes and those yellow crates) are models.

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Here's a quick run-down of what's available and how some of it can be used. Probably a little more than you need to know, but hopefully this will be a handy reference for anyone curious how the workflow is set up :)

You have 4 possible means of getting geometry into the editor:

1) Brush Geometry

Basic construction is done with standard additive geometry. Drag in the grid, make a brush. This will be what you use for most walls, floors, ceilings, or any other large objects or pieces of objects that don't require anything more fancy than a slight bevel.

The compiler does handle floating point geometry, though, so if you're detailing a room and start pulling up floor panels or something, you can get away with placing a brush and just rotating it to the desired position.

2) Patch Meshes

Patch meshes are an extension of brush geometry where you take a one-sided face and (usually) bend it to your hearts content. These are used for anything from pipes, curved walls, and bent/broken panels to decals, hanging wires, and any odd shape where you want control over texture alignment.

Patch meshes are extremely useful in that they are automatically smoothed (a la smoothing groups), retain texture alignment as you manipulate them (it uses UV coords relative to the vertices rather than the world as you see on brushes), and, in an improvement from q3, can now be manually subdivided into however many divisions you need. This lets you save tris on faraway detail that won't need 8 division, specify the strength of curves, and break up sections of curved geometry with ease.

Most level geometry is constructed from a combination of brush geometry and patch meshes.

3) Models

Models come in as .lwo and .ase files and are generally dropped into the editor by means of a func_static or func_mover, but a number of other entities (doors, for example) support them as well. Most small detailed objects are models, as well as all terrain. Models support vertex-painted texture blending (textures to blend are set in the material files), which is useful for terrain texture blending among other things.

How heavily you use them is entirely up to you. In some scenes, you may be able to get away with just brush/patch geometry. In others, you may want specialized details or structures where hand-built geometry just won't do. You can also, if needed, dump level geometry out of the editor. This is useful for getting fine per-poly optimization that can't be done in the editor, converting geometry to models for ease of scripted movement or use as a physics object, or just busting the hell out of stuff to make it more broken than it ever could have been in the editor.

4) MD5s

Any animated model that comes into the game is converted to an MD5, consisting of a mesh (.md5mesh) and animations (.md5anim). Each MD5 is specified in a .def file to be its own specific entity (monster_*, env_*, etc. etc.).

These aren't things you'll be making yourself, most likely, but some more general environmental md5s may be useful depending on what you're making. You can call specific animations on these in script or even modify the .def file to add/change frame commands for effects, sounds, script functions, etc.

Oh, and @ mike-o... if you have D3 installed, you have the editor installed. ;)

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I haven't done any of it myself, but I'm sure its still heavily brush based in order to flesh out the shape of the level. Like Unreal, it uses a lot of meshes for detail purposes, but you still build the basic level out of brushes in Radiant or whatever.

Yeah that's pretty much correct. You build the main hull of the level out of brushes, and then use statics when you want to add some detail.

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  • 2 months later...

Yeah I've been using the D3 engine for about a month now and I've really fallen for it. It's amazing how far you can take brush geometry, I was expecting many more models after playing the game.

Trouble is it's totally spoilt Source for me now :( I still like the engine and it's great at what it does, but it's alot more work to get things done.

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Models are still key for the really fine detail or just when you need more than what normal level textures will give you.

Of course, but that goes for every game really, brushes can't be made to detailed, it just don't work out well.

Soon one must learn to model and with a good quality, cause it will soon be impossible to make a 'better looking' map than average without your own models. I even say that to make a level with another theme (or around that theme) than the standard in HL2, you need to be able to model.

I agree. Doom3 has spoiled me from just about any other engine. I absolutely despise working with source now.

Are you working with GTK or just plain D3E?

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