Difference between revisions of "Uberlod Vegetation Documentation"

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<div class="mw-parser-output"><div class="xcontent"><div class="row"><div class="col-xs-12" id="xwikicontent"><p>This article is about our system for distant tree lods in general and especially how to create it.&#160;
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<div class="xcontent"><div class="row"><div class="col-xs-12" id="xwikicontent"><div class="xcontent"><div class="row"><div class="col-xs-12" id="xwikicontent">
</p>
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This article is about our system for distant tree lods in general and especially how to create it.&nbsp;
<h2> <span>Vegetation BB LODs</span> </h2>
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<p>Uberlod node for single vegetation has to be a BB LOD.
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== <span>Vegetation BB LODs</span> ==
</p>
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<h3> <span>What does it do?</span> </h3>
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Uberlod node for single vegetation has to be a BB LOD.
<p>This system uses Vertex deformation of shader to expand small square into sizes of big trees and makes them face the camera. The usual billboarding solution wouldn't work because we need this to work and uberlods that has multiple elements that needs to face the camera separately. To achieve this we create tiny squares of geometry with the desired vertex position data in 2nd UV channel and then expand them in realtime in the engine by shifting vertices for the amount specified by 2nd UV position times per material constant.
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</p>
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=== <span>What does it do?</span> ===
<h3> <span>Semi-automated pipeline</span> </h3>
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<p>You have to do three things on:
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This system uses Vertex deformation of shader to expand small square into sizes of big trees and makes them face the camera. The usual billboarding solution wouldn't work because we need this to work and uberlods that has multiple elements that needs to face the camera separately. To achieve this we create tiny squares of geometry with the desired vertex position data in 2nd UV channel and then expand them in realtime in the engine by shifting vertices for the amount specified by 2nd UV position times per material constant. &nbsp;
</p>
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<ol><li>Editor side </li>
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=== <span>Manual approach (worse)</span> ===
<li>Photoshop side </li>
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<li>Max side </li></ol>
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==== <span>3DS MAX side</span> ====
<h4> <span>Editor side</span> </h4>
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<p>Open Data\Levels\_art\tree_uberlod_texture_baking\tree_uberlod_texture_baking.cry in editor. Unhide and unlock appropriate layer and you will see some trees here. These are base for the texture. You can arrange any trees or bushes here in trees layer. You should maintain square ratio of the bounding box of all the trees there as they will be baked to a square texture and we want to use the space as effectively as possible.&#160;
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This is what you need to do in 3ds Max so this system works for you. Bake lod0 into plane using CryENGINE's LOD Generator:
</p><p><span class="wikiexternallink"></span>
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</p><p>Search for cvar WH_Commandexecutor_File and put there text value "render_vegetation_lod_atlas" – for more info, read bellow
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[[File:Uberlod Vegetation Documentation image5.jpg|RTENOTITLE]]
</p><p>Change viewport resolution to 2048x2048.
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</p><p><span class="wikiexternallink"></span>
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Do that for all the trees that shares the same lod material:
</p>
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<div class="wikimodel-emptyline">&#160;</div>
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[[File:Uberlod Vegetation Documentation image6.jpg|RTENOTITLE]]
<p>Make sure you have on your harddrive script file W:\WH\Editor\Scripts\WH\get_cgf_and_positions.py
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</p><p>Start game mode (Ctrl+G) and you will see rotating trees and the process of making the screenshots. All the trees will be captured from 8 different angles covering 360° view, that makes 24 textures (8 diff, 8 normal, 8 height) . After it automatically finishes, exit game mode.
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Once you have it, create second UVs for all of them together:
</p><p><b>render_vegetation_lod_atlas.xml</b>
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</p><p>This is the file which controls the process of making screenshots. All it does is to set some control variables, then set rotation of the trees, take screenshot, rotate tree, take screenshot etc. And at the end, it sets some cVars to default value.
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[[File:Uberlod Vegetation Documentation image7.jpg|RTENOTITLE]]
</p><p>&#160;&#160;&#160;&lt;Console command= "e_LodMin=2"/&gt; - because the BB LOD comes after the LOD2, we should generate it based on LOD2
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</p><p>Generating good-looking height map could be tricky, you can add try this cVars at the beginning of xml file:
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The vertex shader will expand the vertices by the value measured from the center of the uv space with y axis flipped. So first of all mirror everything horizontaly and place it so it is centered on the drawn X axis with bottoms aligned on the Y axis. The uvs for the largest tree of those should touch the bottom of the uv space. Just like on the picture.
</p><p>&#160;&#160;&#160;&lt;Console command= "e_lods=0"/&gt;<br /> &#160;&#160;&#160;&lt;Console command= "e_MaxViewDistance = 210"/&gt;<br /> &#160;&#160;&#160;&lt;Console command= "cl_DefaultNearPlane = 150"/&gt;<br /> &#160;&#160;&#160;&lt;Console command= "cl_nearPlane = 150"/&gt;<br /> &#160;&#160;&#160;&lt;Console command= "r_ShowDynTexturesFilter = $ZTarget"/&gt;<br /> &#160;&#160;&#160;&lt;Console command= "r_ShowDynTexturesMaxCount = 1"/&gt;<br /> &#160;&#160;&#160;&lt;Console command= "r_ShowDynTextures = 1"/&gt;<br /> &#160;
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</p><p><del>To render SSDO:</del>
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[[File:Uberlod Vegetation Documentation image8.jpg|RTENOTITLE]]
</p>
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<ul><li><del>Total Ilumination must by active, set Cone max length to 2 and Difufse Amplifier to 10 and Sky color multiplier to 32</del> </li>
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Now that we have the position and size data safely stored in second UV channel, we can discard it from the geometry. Just shrink the geometry to the tiny rectangle:
<li><del>set up SSDO cvars</del> </li></ul>
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<p>Created screenshots to be found in <i>"user_editor\screenshots\"</i>. Also needed is xml containing the positions of those trees and some other data regarding them, to be found in file <i>"Data\Objects\vegetation\trees\tree_sprite_pos.xml"</i>. Only important thing in there is the MaxHeight attribute that tells you what to set later in material in editor.
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[[File:Uberlod Vegetation Documentation image9.jpg|RTENOTITLE]]
</p>
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<h4> <span>Photoshop side</span> </h4>
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Make sure that it sits in correct relation to the pivot:
<p>Textures used for tree uberlods are located in W:\WH\Engine\EngineAssets\Textures\BillboardAtlas
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</p><p><del>On normal map the green channel should be inverted so make sure the layer is under the adjustment layer called "invert green"</del>
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[[File:Uberlod Vegetation Documentation image10.jpg|RTENOTITLE]]
</p><p>Just replace them with latest screenshots. You can also do some modification – for example emphatize spherical volume of the tree crown by overlaying spherical normal map over it. Add some shadow inside to tree in diffuse map (we tried to render SSDO, but the results were kind of poor).
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</p>
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And you should end up with something like that:
<h4> <span>MAX side</span> </h4>
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<p>Open one of the max files with trees (you'll have to go through all of those that changed position inn the texture).
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[[File:Uberlod Vegetation Documentation image11.jpg|RTENOTITLE]]
</p><p>Open WH Tools/Model/Trees/ZSpriteCreator
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</p><p><img src="http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/Screenshot_5.png" alt="Screenshot_5.png"/>
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Just export it and remember to check Additional UVs channel 2 in exporter.
</p>
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<div class="wikimodel-emptyline">&nbsp;</div>  
<div class="wikimodel-emptyline">&#160;</div>
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==== <span>Engine side</span> ====
<p>You should see a rollout with list of all trees that were placed in editor when you executed the <i>get_cgf_and_positions</i>.
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</p><p><img src="http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/Screenshot_6.png" alt="Screenshot_6.png"/>
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Now in the engine it's pretty simple. Just set the material vertex deform correctly and you're good to go.
</p>
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<div class="wikimodel-emptyline">&#160;</div>
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[[File:Uberlod Vegetation Documentation image12.jpg|1000px|RTENOTITLE]]
<p>Now select the LOD object you want to remap in viewport (usually lod3 or uberlod) and the tree type in the list that corresponds to it and hit Process button.
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</p><p>The object should now be remapped to the new texture. Second UVs are remapped as well so the object will be rescaled properly in respect to all the other it was captured together with.&#160;&#160;
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== &nbsp; ==
</p><p>That's all.
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</p>
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== <span>Creating uberlods from BB LODs</span> ==
<h3> <span>Manual approach (worse)</span> </h3>
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<h4> <span>3DS MAX side</span> </h4>
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Run script ''WH Tools -> Misc -> UberlodImport''
<p>This is what you need to do in 3ds Max so this system works for you. Bake lod0 into plane using CryENGINE's LOD Generator:
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</p><p><a href="http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/1.jpg?width=577&amp;height=483" alt="http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/1.jpg?width=577&amp;height=483" title="http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/1.jpg?width=577&amp;height=483">http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/1.jpg?width=577&amp;height=483</a>
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[[File:Uberlod Vegetation Documentation image13.jpg|RTENOTITLE]]
</p><p>Do that for all the trees that shares the same lod material:
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</p><p><a href="http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/2.jpg?width=651&amp;height=309" alt="http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/2.jpg?width=651&amp;height=309" title="http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/2.jpg?width=651&amp;height=309">http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/2.jpg?width=651&amp;height=309</a>
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=== <span>'''Export uberlods from folder and sub'''</span> ===
</p><p>Once you have it, create second UVs for all of them together:
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</p><p><a href="http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/3.jpg?width=740&amp;height=582" alt="http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/3.jpg?width=740&amp;height=582" title="http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/3.jpg?width=740&amp;height=582">http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/3.jpg?width=740&amp;height=582</a>
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Path From – path including subfolders where to search for max files in order to export them into FBX
</p><p>The vertex shader will expand the vertices by the value measured from the center of the uv space with y axis flipped. So first of all mirror everything horizontaly and place it so it is centered on the drawn X axis with bottoms aligned on the Y axis. The uvs for the largest tree of those should touch the bottom of the uv space. Just like on the picture.
+
 
</p><p><a href="http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/4.jpg?width=658&amp;height=645" alt="http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/4.jpg?width=658&amp;height=645" title="http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/4.jpg?width=658&amp;height=645">http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/4.jpg?width=658&amp;height=645</a>
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Path To – Where to put exported FBX files
</p><p>Now that we have the position and size data safely stored in second UV channel, we can discard it from the geometry. Just shrink the geometry to the tiny rectangle:
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</p><p><a href="http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/5.jpg?width=547&amp;height=569" alt="http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/5.jpg?width=547&amp;height=569" title="http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/5.jpg?width=547&amp;height=569">http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/5.jpg?width=547&amp;height=569</a>
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=== <span>'''Import uberlods FBX'''</span> ===
</p><p>Make sure that it sits in correct relation to the pivot:
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</p><p><a href="http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/6.jpg?width=705&amp;height=469" alt="http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/6.jpg?width=705&amp;height=469" title="http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/6.jpg?width=705&amp;height=469">http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/6.jpg?width=705&amp;height=469</a>
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Directory from which to import FBX uberlods (same as "Path To"?)
</p><p>And you should end up with something like that:
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</p><p><a href="http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/7.jpg?width=765&amp;height=525" alt="http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/7.jpg?width=765&amp;height=525" title="http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/7.jpg?width=765&amp;height=525">http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/7.jpg?width=765&amp;height=525</a>
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=== <span>'''XML direction'''</span> ===
</p><p>Just export it and remember to check Additional UVs channel 2 in exporter.
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</p>
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Path to the exported vegetation data XML.&nbsp;
<div class="wikimodel-emptyline">&#160;</div>
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<h4> <span>Engine side</span> </h4>
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==== <span>How to export vegetation data XML:</span> ====
<p>Now in the engine it's pretty simple. Just set the material vertex deform correctly and you're good to go.
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</p><p><img src="http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/8.jpg" alt="8.jpg"/>
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In Editor, run console command ''wh_veg_ExportUberlods Foldername'', where Foldername is path relative to WH ("testfolder" represents path "WH/testfolder")
</p>
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<h2> &#160; </h2>
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[[File:Uberlod Vegetation Documentation image14.jpg|RTENOTITLE]]
<h2> <span>Creating uberlods from BB LODs</span> </h2>
+
 
<p>Run script <i>WH Tools -&gt; Misc -&gt; UberlodImport</i>
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Generated XML files have name in the format:
</p><p><i><img src="http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/panel01.jpg" alt="panel01.jpg"/></i>
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</p>
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''uberlod_node_<CELL_Y>_<CELL_X>_<BOUNDS_MIN_X>_<BOUNDS_MIN_Y>_<BOUNDS_MAX_X>_<BOUNDS_MAX_Y>.xml'', where:
<h3> <span><b>Export uberlods from folder and sub</b></span> </h3>
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<p>Path From – path including subfolders where to search for max files in order to export them into FBX
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*CELL_Y, CELL_X - coordinates of vegetation cell
</p><p>Path To – Where to put exported FBX files
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*BOUNDS_MIN_X, BOUNDS_MIN_Y, BOUNDS_MAX_X, BOUNDS_MAX_Y - axis-aligned bounding box of vegetation cell
</p>
+
 
<h3> <span><b>Import uberlods FBX</b></span> </h3>
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Vegetation cell index could be calculated: ''VegetationCell = (CELL_Y * (TerrainSize / wh_e_vegetationCellSize)) + CELL_X'', where
<p>Directory from which to import FBX uberlods (same as "Path To"?)
+
 
</p>
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*TerrainSize is 4096 for Rataje
<h3> <span><b>XML direction</b></span> </h3>
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*wh_e_vegetationCellSize is cvar with defaul value of 64 (i.e. TerrainSize / wh_e_vegetationCellSize = 64)
<p>Path to the exported vegetation data XML.&#160;
+
 
</p>
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=== <span>Process</span> ===
<h4> <span>How to export vegetation data XML:</span> </h4>
+
 
<p>In Editor, run console command <i>wh_veg_ExportUberlods Foldername</i>, where Foldername is path relative to WH ("testfolder" represents path "WH/testfolder")
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From, To - pick square between coordinates
</p><p><img src="http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/03.jpg" alt="03.jpg"/>
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</p><p>Generated XML files have name in the format:
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Save Frequency - how often to autosave (every nth square)
</p><p><i>uberlod_node_&lt;CELL_Y&gt;_&lt;CELL_X&gt;_&lt;BOUNDS_MIN_X&gt;_&lt;BOUNDS_MIN_Y&gt;_&lt;BOUNDS_MAX_X&gt;_&lt;BOUNDS_MAX_Y&gt;.xml</i>, where:
+
 
</p>
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&nbsp;
<ul><li>CELL_Y, CELL_X - coordinates of vegetation cell </li>
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<li>BOUNDS_MIN_X, BOUNDS_MIN_Y, BOUNDS_MAX_X, BOUNDS_MAX_Y - axis-aligned bounding box of vegetation cell </li></ul>
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=== <span>Troubleshooting</span> ===
<p>Vegetation cell index could be calculated: <i>VegetationCell = (CELL_Y * (TerrainSize / wh_e_vegetationCellSize)) + CELL_X</i>, where
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</p>
+
If generation process gets frozen, there is probably problem with vegetation max files – there is missing GrowFX plugin. How to fix it: open "broken" max file and run script <span class="wikicreatelink">[http://www.scriptspot.com/3ds-max/scripts/removemissingplugins http://www.scriptspot.com/3ds-max/scripts/removemissingplugins]</span> and then save max file.
<ul><li>TerrainSize is 4096 for Rataje </li>
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<li>wh_e_vegetationCellSize is cvar with defaul value of 64 (i.e. TerrainSize / wh_e_vegetationCellSize = 64) </li></ul>
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[[File:Uberlod Vegetation Documentation image15.jpg|RTENOTITLE]]
<h3> <span>Process</span> </h3>
+
<div class="wikimodel-emptyline">&nbsp;</div>  
<p>From, To - pick square between coordinates
+
== <span>Exporting uberlods into engine</span> ==
</p><p>Save Frequency - how often to autosave (every nth square)
+
 
</p>
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Sync and assign material \Objects\vegetation\trees\uberlod_veg.mtl
<h3> <span>Troubleshooting</span> </h3>
+
 
<p>If generation process gets frozen, there is probably problem with vegetation max files – there is missing GrowFX plugin. How to fix it: open "broken" max file and run script <span class="wikicreatelink"><a href="http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/create/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/RemoveMissingPlugin/WebHome?parent=Teams.EnviroArt.Documentation.Assets.Uberlods.Vegetation+uberlods.WebHome" alt="http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/create/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/RemoveMissingPlugin/WebHome?parent=Teams.EnviroArt.Documentation.Assets.Uberlods.Vegetation+uberlods.WebHome" title="http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/create/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/RemoveMissingPlugin/WebHome?parent=Teams.EnviroArt.Documentation.Assets.Uberlods.Vegetation+uberlods.WebHome">http://www.scriptspot.com/3ds-max/scripts/removemissingplugins</a></span> and then save max file.
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Export cgf files, make sure you check on Additional UVs: Channel 2:
</p><p><img src="http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/04.jpg" alt="04.jpg"/>
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</p>
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[[File:Uberlod Vegetation Documentation image16.jpg|RTENOTITLE]]
<div class="wikimodel-emptyline">&#160;</div>
+
<div class="wikimodel-emptyline">&nbsp;</div>
<h2> <span>Exporting uberlods into engine</span> </h2>
+
Select Scene node in 3ds Max:
<p>Sync and assign material \Objects\vegetation\trees\uberlod_veg.mtl
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</p><p>Export cgf files, make sure you check on Additional UVs: Channel 2:
+
[[File:Uberlod Vegetation Documentation image17.jpg|RTENOTITLE]]
</p><p><img src="http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/05.jpg" alt="05.jpg"/>
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</p>
+
In property click to Export Scene:
<div class="wikimodel-emptyline">&#160;</div>
+
 
<p>Select Scene node in 3ds Max:
+
[[File:Uberlod Vegetation Documentation image18.jpg|RTENOTITLE]]
</p><p><img src="http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/06.jpg" alt="06.jpg"/>
+
</div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfloats">&nbsp;</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfloats">&nbsp;</div>
</p><p>In property click to Export Scene:
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[[Category:Documentation]] [[Category:Kingdom Come Deliverance]]
</p><p><img src="http://xwiki.warhorse.local:8080/xwiki/bin/download/Teams/EnviroArt/Documentation/Assets/Uberlods/Vegetation%20uberlods/WebHome/07.jpg" alt="07.jpg"/>
 
</p>
 
</div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfloats">&#160;</div>
 
</div><span class="fck_mw_category" contenteditable="false" _fcknotitle="true">Documentation</span> <span class="fck_mw_category" contenteditable="false" _fcknotitle="true">Kingdom Come Deliverance</span>
 

Latest revision as of 15:59, 10 March 2020

This article is about our system for distant tree lods in general and especially how to create it. 

Vegetation BB LODs

Uberlod node for single vegetation has to be a BB LOD.

What does it do?

This system uses Vertex deformation of shader to expand small square into sizes of big trees and makes them face the camera. The usual billboarding solution wouldn't work because we need this to work and uberlods that has multiple elements that needs to face the camera separately. To achieve this we create tiny squares of geometry with the desired vertex position data in 2nd UV channel and then expand them in realtime in the engine by shifting vertices for the amount specified by 2nd UV position times per material constant.  

Manual approach (worse)

3DS MAX side

This is what you need to do in 3ds Max so this system works for you. Bake lod0 into plane using CryENGINE's LOD Generator:

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Do that for all the trees that shares the same lod material:

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Once you have it, create second UVs for all of them together:

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The vertex shader will expand the vertices by the value measured from the center of the uv space with y axis flipped. So first of all mirror everything horizontaly and place it so it is centered on the drawn X axis with bottoms aligned on the Y axis. The uvs for the largest tree of those should touch the bottom of the uv space. Just like on the picture.

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Now that we have the position and size data safely stored in second UV channel, we can discard it from the geometry. Just shrink the geometry to the tiny rectangle:

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Make sure that it sits in correct relation to the pivot:

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And you should end up with something like that:

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Just export it and remember to check Additional UVs channel 2 in exporter.

 

Engine side

Now in the engine it's pretty simple. Just set the material vertex deform correctly and you're good to go.

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Creating uberlods from BB LODs

Run script WH Tools -> Misc -> UberlodImport

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Export uberlods from folder and sub

Path From – path including subfolders where to search for max files in order to export them into FBX

Path To – Where to put exported FBX files

Import uberlods FBX

Directory from which to import FBX uberlods (same as "Path To"?)

XML direction

Path to the exported vegetation data XML. 

How to export vegetation data XML:

In Editor, run console command wh_veg_ExportUberlods Foldername, where Foldername is path relative to WH ("testfolder" represents path "WH/testfolder")

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Generated XML files have name in the format:

uberlod_node_<CELL_Y>_<CELL_X>_<BOUNDS_MIN_X>_<BOUNDS_MIN_Y>_<BOUNDS_MAX_X>_<BOUNDS_MAX_Y>.xml, where:

  • CELL_Y, CELL_X - coordinates of vegetation cell
  • BOUNDS_MIN_X, BOUNDS_MIN_Y, BOUNDS_MAX_X, BOUNDS_MAX_Y - axis-aligned bounding box of vegetation cell

Vegetation cell index could be calculated: VegetationCell = (CELL_Y * (TerrainSize / wh_e_vegetationCellSize)) + CELL_X, where

  • TerrainSize is 4096 for Rataje
  • wh_e_vegetationCellSize is cvar with defaul value of 64 (i.e. TerrainSize / wh_e_vegetationCellSize = 64)

Process

From, To - pick square between coordinates

Save Frequency - how often to autosave (every nth square)

 

Troubleshooting

If generation process gets frozen, there is probably problem with vegetation max files – there is missing GrowFX plugin. How to fix it: open "broken" max file and run script http://www.scriptspot.com/3ds-max/scripts/removemissingplugins and then save max file.

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Exporting uberlods into engine

Sync and assign material \Objects\vegetation\trees\uberlod_veg.mtl

Export cgf files, make sure you check on Additional UVs: Channel 2:

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Select Scene node in 3ds Max:

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In property click to Export Scene:

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