Seeking landscaping advice

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Seeking landscaping advice

Postby DavidN » Fri Feb 12, 2016 12:34 pm

I've recently been looking into creating outdoor/natural-looking environments - rocky outcrops and caves - using triangular sectors and slopes. GZDoomBuilder makes it easy to pull vertices around from the 3D view, but I think my method of making them is rather... cumbersome:

- Draw the main sector for the cave floor.
- Encapsulate it in another sector.
- Zig-zag between the inner and outer sectors to create triangular sectors as a border.
- Use the Make Sector mode to split any of the triangular sectors that didn't get split off automatically.
- Go into 3D view and knock the heights of the vertices at the edge of the floor around, tilting them up to slope against the wall.
- Do all that again for the ceiling.
- Add pillars/dips/rises and irregularities with the same sort of method, creating triangles and then manipulating their vertices one by one in the 3D view.

Are there any shortcuts or better ways of doing this that I'm missing? I'd wondered about the "randomize" function on vertices, but it looks like it only supports moving them on the X and Y axes randomly. Vertices also seem to get confused if they're butted up against another sector, merging into its ceiling/floor height unless you create them in a specific order.
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Re: Seeking landscaping advice

Postby Nash » Fri Feb 12, 2016 12:55 pm

Use the "Draw grid" tool (left side bar) and then tick the "Triangulate" checkbox (right sidebar). You can also specify the grid resolution in the right sidebar.

What I'd really like in GZDB is a terrain height painter tool though, that'd make making hills much faster. :D
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Re: Seeking landscaping advice

Postby Kappes Buur » Fri Feb 12, 2016 2:53 pm

While it is a fairly unintuitive and unwieldy method to create maps with it, I still use Grubber's ZTerrain

Spoiler:


Once the map is generated, it is relatively easy to manipulate the terrain in combination with the Height Levels View Mode plugin.

Spoiler:


Spoiler:
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Re: Seeking landscaping advice

Postby Nash » Fri Feb 12, 2016 7:27 pm

Kappes - why though? ZTerrain is horribly outdated and uses an obsolete way of doing the slopes (not to mention sometimes the results are not clean, you get splits and gaps in the slopes - evident by those gray cracks in your second screenshot).

You can do it natively in GZDB with the draw grid tool and vertex height editing in the stock 3D mode (no extra plugins required).
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Re: Seeking landscaping advice

Postby Reactor » Sat Feb 13, 2016 6:41 am

Some tool would do the trick, like in Simcity 2000 or Red Alert 2. You know, raise terrain, lower terrain, level terrain, only this would be smooth, not that angular.
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Re: Seeking landscaping advice

Postby Kappes Buur » Sat Feb 13, 2016 11:19 am

Nash wrote:Kappes - why though?


The grid option in GZDB would be perfect if there were also a command like Autocad's ARRAY, where rows and columns could be specified
for things like Vertex Slope Floor/Ceiling things.

    Image

Although, one could prebuild arrays of various things and save them as reusable prefabs.

On the other hand, there is also the wavefront option viewtopic.php?f=3&t=32392&p=799815#p799815
which I never was able to master.
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Re: Seeking landscaping advice

Postby MaxED » Sat Feb 13, 2016 3:40 pm

There is "Place Things" option in the Vertex and Sectors menus, which will do what you want, but a bit differently.
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Re: Seeking landscaping advice

Postby Kappes Buur » Sat Feb 13, 2016 4:48 pm

MaxED wrote:There is "Place Things" option ...


I had tried that in the past without success.
Now that you mention it, I read the manual and you know what ..... now I know what I did wrong.
This is even better than Array. :thumb:

Teaching an old dog new tricks. :D
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Re: Seeking landscaping advice

Postby DavidN » Sat Feb 13, 2016 9:46 pm

Thanks a lot for these thoughts - I'm wondering about checking out the SVN myself and seeing if I can add a "randomize vertex heights" function to make things a bit easier, but the links to the quick builder seem to be long dead... something to think about.

Is there a difference between using the Vertex Slope objects and adjusting the vertex heights manually? Kappes, if you could share the secret to the Place Things option that would be great, because I looked it up in the help and I'm not having much success with it either... :)
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Re: Seeking landscaping advice

Postby Kappes Buur » Sun Feb 14, 2016 12:03 am

DavidN wrote: Kappes, if you could share the secret to the Place Things option that would be great, ....


This is the part of interest in the GZDoom Builder Manual

Image

So, as initial steps for terrain I drew out the triangulated sectors.
Image

Then I selectred all vertices and placed Vertex slope floor things
Image
Image

which resulted in this
Image

Of course, you can then randomize the height of the Vertex slope floor things, for example
Image

but, unless chosen maticulously, this results in a chaotic floor
Image
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Re: Seeking landscaping advice

Postby Nash » Sun Feb 14, 2016 3:11 am

DavidN wrote:Is there a difference between using the Vertex Slope objects and adjusting the vertex heights manually?


Precision. You see those cracks in the slopes from the ZTerrain slope thing method? That's because the thing heights are not fine enough and are being quantized to map units, so you see those cracks/gaps.

Vertex height is really the only proper way to do these things in 2016 IMO. Draw grid natively inside GZDB, or model a terrain in Blender and export as .obj looks to be the most sane way to go about these features.

(MaxEd, falloff radius for adjusting vertex heights please... :3)
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Re: Seeking landscaping advice

Postby Reactor » Sun Feb 14, 2016 6:31 am

Uneven chaotic floor is extremely good in certain landscapes - such as caves, or mountainous areas. Well it's MUCH MUCH better than having a big flat nothing between them hills.
I wonder, is it also possible to use the same tool to make bigger, wider, but flatter hills, for desert landscapes for instance. My level "Out in da fieldz" could also use it.
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Re: Seeking landscaping advice

Postby enderkevin13 » Sun Feb 14, 2016 12:07 pm

Is there a quick way to draw the grid there?
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Re: Seeking landscaping advice

Postby Mikk- » Sun Feb 14, 2016 12:28 pm

Yes, in GzDOOM Builder there is an option on the left hand panel, fifth icon down.
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Re: Seeking landscaping advice

Postby DavidN » Sun Feb 14, 2016 1:52 pm

And! After selecting that ("Draw Grid"), go over to the right and pop open the "Draw Settings" tab there to select the option to create triangles - its settings change when Draw Grid is highlighted. That threw me for a while.
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