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Raap

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Hey guys,

 

Since I'm officially done with APB level contributions, I'm more or less free to pick up the occasional small tasks. The first thing I've worked on today was an updated Soviet Airfield, since I really did not like the existing low resolution single black asphalt texture that was on it.

I've had to make sure not to modify the existing geometry much, else complications may have surfaced in various levels. The screenshots below are 100% material/texture work with no geometry changes outside of vertex coloring.

The runway stripes glow, making them easy to spot in night time maps. The runway consists of 11 new textures and ~13 new 3-pass materials.

Snow version:

snowy.thumb.png.1afbd679f97201c316c79b991e2a2ae7.png

Grass version:

grassy.thumb.png.250aaaba468a70a490706ca87b107c89.png

I may do a desert version if @Pushwall requires it, but keep in mind none of the current buildings even have a desert version.

If I end up doing any additional contributions, I'll post them here.

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None of the buildings have a desert version because they all blend pretty decently already. If the airfield can do the same, cool beans. Looks good so far!

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Most buildings start at a 90 degree wall which means things like snow doesn't usually stick to it unless it's some extreme environment. In case of sand, it means you don't really need a special material for walls. The airfield being mostly flat however, doesn't follow those rules... But we only got one desert map and that one might not even receive air units. regardless, I might still produce a 'sandy' texture set for airfields not located in either a grassy or snowy field, it probably wouldn't hurt to have, regardless... I'll look into it another day however.

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That's the idea. Pushwall ran into a few small problems though, but nothing he cannot solve. One of the problems is perhaps worth mentioning as a curiosity; W3D building controller logic only has a limited range before it stops to look for meshes that are supposed to be part of a building. The airfield being quite large, actually could not fit within this check-radius. It has been resolved now by extended some of the runway meshes underground... Not a very elegant solution but it seems to work.

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Now I know you said you're done with level contributions...

But what about the level that has never been conquered...

A TUTORIAL LEVEL!

Dun dun dun!

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Personally I'm a believer of learning on-the-go via transparent gameplay communication. 

It is too bad that the first-purchase pop-up information windows got axed, or that the GUI has a limitation that makes it hard to expand upon it, so adding something like purchase menu unit information is currently impossible.

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4 hours ago, Raap said:

It is too bad that the first-purchase pop-up information windows got axed, or that the GUI has a limitation that makes it hard to expand upon it, so adding something like purchase menu unit information is currently impossible.

Oh it's possible, but with our limited workforce it's just not a priority.

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5 hours ago, Raap said:

Personally I'm a believer of learning on-the-go via transparent gameplay communication. 

It is too bad that the first-purchase pop-up information windows got axed, or that the GUI has a limitation that makes it hard to expand upon it, so adding something like purchase menu unit information is currently impossible.

I often tell newbies to look up the wiki.

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Not really, it says the latest version of the game is 2.1.1 Gamma and links to the Bluehell Productions website, despite having been edited a few times since then, last edited two weeks ago :laugh:

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7 hours ago, ChopBam said:

Do you feel like finishing a Chrono Tank texture? :3

I confess I'm more of an environments guy. I can do buildings (touch them in ways you cannot even imagine, yes), even more difficult tasks like additional foliage isn't something I'll shy away from if I can give myself the time I need to get them right. Vehicles, and specifically unwrapping them, is something I prefer to leave to people either more experienced or have better tools for it.

I don't think there is a shortage of environmental assets that need a revision though... A quick run through all the various levels makes you bump into objects that date back to 1977. Perhaps what I need is a big list of em' and I can run through each of them at my own pace.

Example: Those wooden "bridges" on Bonsai always bothered me, so making a new one would be something I could do... The downside is that, as the airfield has shown me, even if I do not edit the overal shape of an object, individual map alterations to correctly apply the changes are still required. So I am not sure how to best handle something like this.

Remember, I do not do this for a living. My knowledge and experience is limited to what I know of W3D development (and the occasional experimentation in other engines).

To put a number on it, let's say I do the top 20 "most dated looking environmental assets". If the interest exists on @Pushwall's end, anyhow.

Edited by Raap

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That airfield texture actually got me thinking... I've always disliked the grey brick texture for the War Factory, and I've tried several times to get a decent brown one but I'm not very good at it. Would you be able to whip one up, even just as an alt for people like myself?

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Texture swaps isn't something I like to risk doing. I'd need to know where exactly this material is used besides those walls.

More sensible would be a War Factory update if the consensus was that it needed one (not for me to decide). 

As a note, I would never texture a building with just one material.

Edited by Raap

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12 hours ago, Raap said:

Texture swaps isn't something I like to risk doing. I'd need to know where exactly this material is used besides those walls.

As far as I know the only other things that use the WF brick texture are random background buildings on Metro, but I could be wrong. In any case I could always just set the WF to use a different texture without affecting anything else that uses it, that is if one is provided. I would not mind the WF having a more RAlistic browner brick at all.

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54 minutes ago, Pushwall said:

In any case I could always just set the WF to use a different texture without affecting anything else that uses it, that is if one is provided. I would not mind the WF having a more RAlistic browner brick at all.

Totally this.

21 hours ago, Raap said:

Vehicles, and specifically unwrapping them, is something I prefer to leave to people either more experienced or have better tools for it.

The Chrono Tank is already completely unwrapped and mostly textured. Just needs a few small details to spice it up. It just looks too clean and I ran out of ideas to make it better. Here's a preview of the texture and its blue variant we have now:

4d5d388ca4.jpgecbf534b4a.jpg

If it still isn't your thing, I understand.

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3 hours ago, ChopBam said:

Totally this.

The Chrono Tank is already completely unwrapped and mostly textured. Just needs a few small details to spice it up. It just looks too clean and I ran out of ideas to make it better. Here's a preview of the texture and its blue variant we have now:

4d5d388ca4.jpgecbf534b4a.jpg

If it still isn't your thing, I understand.

Looks too "factory new" to me. Using a chrono ability I'd wager would put some wear and tear on the chassis, maybe a scratch or two.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but does that vehicle not have a shader covering up most of the actual mesh/material anyway?

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5 hours ago, Jeod said:

Looks too "factory new" to me. Using a chrono ability I'd wager would put some wear and tear on the chassis, maybe a scratch or two.

This is exactly what I said needs fixing, and the reason it needs to be touched up.

3 hours ago, Raap said:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but does that vehicle not have a shader covering up most of the actual mesh/material anyway?

Not sure what you mean. In its phased out state, you don't need the texture, but that's its special ability. The rest of the time it's a normal vehicle and will need a texture.

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I wasn't really informed on how it is supposed to behave. :)

Anyhow, while I could try to work on it, I'm not going to be able to promise a guaranteed good result. Texturing an unwrap of this complexity is unexplored territory for me.

One potential deal breaker though: I presume a layered working file exists? If this is in Photoshop, I cannot help as I do not own it, I use GIMP for all material work. And if all you got is a DDS file then it will take awhile to pull it apart to make sure all changes I apply properly link up seamlessly. I still recommend moving this to someone with more experience however since I cannot guarantee anything.

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Sorry, peasant people like me use GIMP, since it's free and for me it gets the job done. Terrain materials are a few layers at most... The only thing I hate about GIMP is having to merge all layers before being able to produce a valid DDS file. Happened a few times that I merge the layers, export, and close the file... Losing the layers permanently. It actually occurred on the airfield runway files as well, but fortunately those were 'done'.

Speaking of the runway, specifically the snowy one... Does APB even feature air-enabled maps with a snow environment (besides HW)? I only seem to remember grassy maps with aircraft enabled...

Edit: For what its worth, I created the dirt on the Gem Silo 'trim' texture using two separate sub-layers (using one at a time) and utilizing mask editing to blend the layers, and then topped it off with some shading via alpha layer drawing with a large painting tool (black) using low coverage strength... And a few more things like that.

rhKeqj3.png

Edited by Raap

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The airfield is looking good so far. :) Although personally I think the lines are too many and too bold, giving it an overall too modern look. AFAIK WWII airfields tended to have a much simpler appearance, but I could be wrong. It's hard to find good photos of runways from back then, and even more so for Soviet ones. :p

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On 2/14/2018 at 5:24 AM, Raap said:

Example: Those wooden "bridges" on Bonsai always bothered me, so making a new one would be something I could do...

Funny, those same bridges were on my to-do list too :v I was hoping to make a nice wood-and-stone bridge of identical size and shape to possibly replace the one currently in use, but I haven't had time yet.

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I made edits to the demo truck textures using GIMP with no issues. You do know that when you export a file from GIMP, you can save your work as a .xcf as well to preserve the layers and open the .xcf if you need to make corrections?

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10 hours ago, Ice said:

Funny, those same bridges were on my to-do list too :v I was hoping to make a nice wood-and-stone bridge of identical size and shape to possibly replace the one currently in use, but I haven't had time yet.

Perhaps a good use of resources would be to use the concrete animated bridge and re-texture it with some other woodifications modifications, that way more maps can utilize a destructible bridge, which I think is a good mechanic to have in more maps to spice up secondary attack routes.

Regarding runway stripes, I made them bold and light up in-game for GAMEPLAY purposes. Now you can have night time airfield level and the players in the planes can actually see the runway now. Obviously a real runway has some more details... But real runways are also a lot longer and have the space for it. This particular setup was calculated for optimal space usage on the usable runway space (each segment is the same size).

I look forward to a night time snow level with air units enabled... @Pushwall :v

1 hour ago, Jeod said:

I made edits to the demo truck textures using GIMP with no issues. You do know that when you export a file from GIMP, you can save your work as a .xcf as well to preserve the layers and open the .xcf if you need to make corrections?

Yes of course. But when you export a DDS file from GIMP all layers must first be merged. Sometimes I save and close the file at that point, losing the layers... When instead I need to undo the layer merge, save, and then close. It's an annoying extra step, I'm thinking of sending them a feature request for solving this, because otherwise GIMP is a good tool to have.

Edited by Raap

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7 hours ago, Raap said:

Perhaps a good use of resources would be to use the concrete animated bridge and re-texture it with some other woodifications modifications, that way more maps can utilize a destructible bridge, which I think is a good mechanic to have in more maps to spice up secondary attack routes.

The problem with that is that the destructible bridge is massive, so it would need a majorly downsized variant in order to replace the Bonsai bridges. This variant would also require modifications to its design to allow for sensible implementation of wood components.

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