Author Topic: Becoming Ec-static!  (Read 3311 times)

Offline Roughbeak

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Becoming Ec-static!
« on: 15-02-2015, 16:02:14 »
Hello and welcome back to another Forgotten Hope 2 dev blog!

After finishing a challenging developer application for at least three solid months, I got accepted into the team! Excitement to the highest peak, I get to be on my favorite mod that I always dreamed of and work alongside talented developers! The ones who guided me were mainly Toddel & Kraetzer. Many thanks to them again!
My primary job is to create statics, namely buildings, props, and the like. Also, for today, you are going to get a flavor of the upcoming Eastern Front buildings that I made and a brief process of creating them!

To make our 3d models work properly in the BF2Engine, we use 3ds Max 9 (not 2009) & Poe export tools plugin for creating and exporting respectively. Also, gaining reference photos of what you will work on is essential, because we need to get those creative juices flowing; mainly for getting those details in or just simple motivation!

Going back to the Poe export tools plugin, it is very necessary for 3ds Max 9 and our developer work. It allows us to texture our models and export them properly to the BF2Engine. It also comes with two texture materials, “BF2 BundledMesh” material which allows us to place textures on a tank from Photoshop, for an example. Additionally, it includes just what we need for statics, the “BF2 StaticMesh2” material. It grants us to uv map our four principle texture layers:


-Base (color)

-Detail (main texture, brick for an example)

-Dirt (adds extra spice to our model, stains or such)

-Crack (slaps on nice detail, such as exposed brick overlaying on plaster)

-Normal/bump maps for Detail & Crack (a technique that is used to “fake” lighting of bumps or impressions into the surface without using more polygons)


At first, I only just used the modifier “Uv map” in 3ds Max 9 for texturing my models, but after a while, I am a changed man! “Unwrap UVW”, is seriously the best choice to use. For instance, I create a log house ruin, I had some difficulty uv texturing the layers just right with “Uv map” modifier. Once I tried “Unwrap UVW”, things started to look much better; planar mapping works like a charm for the walls or such.

After texturing our statics, I usually lightmap next. The word “lightmap” is to signify shadows or casting light onto our object. As a static artist, we attempt to make the UVs as clean as possible in Unwrap channel 5, as an added benefit for the mappers. After some time, lightmapping does get tedious at times, but it really does “make or break” your model.

Then the lods or “level or distance” come into our scene. Lods, are basically added objects, which involve decreasing the amount of polygons or complexity of your object. Long story short, as you move farther away from the 3d model ingame, its complexity gets lessened. Most of the times, we usually work with three of them, lod 0 as the most detailed and up to lod 3 being the less detailed.

Next up, we setup our cols or “collision meshes”; in the BF2Engine, we work with four of them. Col 0 being the decal mesh or what the projectile you fire onto it, the col 1 prevents vehicles from advancing (this is usually the less detailed of the bunch), col 2 is what soldiers walk on or moving into the static, and last but not least, we have our col 3 bot mesh, this is what helps the bots to navigate through maps.




Hopefully I will create another blog soon in the modding section about creating statics to their fullest, setting up all this stuff - main 3d object, lightmap, lods, cols, exporting, etc., but just keep in mind, all of us developers started out small. Most of you have a chance at getting to be a developer, just always keep trying to improve. If you take an interest in it, never quit at it! The starting out phases are always the toughest; if you have any questions, please ask, we are here to help!

Now, you are going to take at some of my statics in the Eastern Front that I promised you before. Take care and enjoy!







Offline jan_kurator

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Re: Becoming Ec-static!
« Reply #1 on: 15-02-2015, 21:02:00 »
Great job Roughbeak!

Offline LuckyOne

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Re: Becoming Ec-static!
« Reply #2 on: 15-02-2015, 21:02:36 »
Congratz Roughbeak, those statics look really nice, and your work has certainly improved a lot since your beginnings! I'm sure with you now on board the Eastern Front can finally get rolling, I reckon that static creation is a big part of making a completely new theater, with totally different culture, architecture and geographical setting.

Keep it up!
This sentence is intentionally left unfinished...

Offline Hjaldrgud

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Re: Becoming Ec-static!
« Reply #3 on: 15-02-2015, 21:02:02 »
Congratulations!

"Generous and brave men live the best" -Hávamál

Offline hitm4k3r

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Re: Becoming Ec-static!
« Reply #4 on: 15-02-2015, 22:02:51 »
Really nice and informative read and it shows what can be done with enough patiance and the will to learn and keep improving. It was a pleasure to follow the application and the progress.

Now we only need to place those beauties *somewhere*  ;D

Offline Oberst

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Re: Becoming Ec-static!
« Reply #5 on: 15-02-2015, 22:02:31 »
Out of curiosiy: when did you start 3d modeling?

Offline Roughbeak

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Re: Becoming Ec-static!
« Reply #6 on: 15-02-2015, 22:02:41 »
Thanks guys!


@Oberst I did not start modeling that long ago, two years at the most. I gained a liking towards it only since last September. :)


Online Matthew_Baker

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Re: Becoming Ec-static!
« Reply #7 on: 16-02-2015, 02:02:13 »
Great Job Roughbeak! 8)

Offline valleyman

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Re: Becoming Ec-static!
« Reply #8 on: 16-02-2015, 03:02:43 »
Congrats!  Everything is looking good and I look forward to your post in the modding section.

Offline elander

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Re: Becoming Ec-static!
« Reply #9 on: 16-02-2015, 19:02:36 »
Nice and informative!

Looks like FH2 standard - High Quality.

I used to do mapping alot, i liked it. But i just stopped doing it. I never took the next step like snoox and some others..

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Offline kettcar

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Re: Becoming Ec-static!
« Reply #10 on: 16-02-2015, 19:02:54 »
great job  :)

Offline RAnDOOm

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Re: Becoming Ec-static!
« Reply #11 on: 17-02-2015, 13:02:48 »
Interesting read.

Thanks Roughbeak .

Offline Turkish007

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Re: Becoming Ec-static!
« Reply #12 on: 17-02-2015, 15:02:50 »
Congratulations Roughbeak! Those look very nice.

Offline Michael Z Freeman

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Re: Becoming Ec-static!
« Reply #13 on: 15-03-2015, 20:03:24 »
Congratulations !  8)

It looks so easy to make those, I think because they look so right. These kind of statics you tend to pass over in the game because its "just a destroyed house" but they all add to the immersion effect.

Offline Roughbeak

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Re: Becoming Ec-static!
« Reply #14 on: 15-03-2015, 21:03:27 »
Thanks!

For the thread in the modding section regarding statics, I apologize for not getting it done sooner; just developing and rl takes time. Good news is that writing the thread is half done. :)