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Amateur UT mapper

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Good work there Odedge! Glad to see your Temple map is still being worked on.

So how did you texture that tricky roof mesh, projection painting or just clone fragments onto the UV map?

All up your meshes look good, so well done. Although on the nit picking side and I'm not too sure if its the angle but the cement blocks on the roof seem a bit too large with respect to the pillars. But hard to tell only seeing form one angle.

Ok so I'll have come up with something next... and you can nit pick ;)



-- Edited by Achernar on Tuesday 31st of May 2011 08:15:14 AM

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@ LPS
Thanks for the kind words.  I happy with the meshes so far and it encourages me to keep working on them.
Achernar wrote:

So how did you texture that tricky roof mesh, projection painting or just clone fragments onto the UV map?

Honestly, I don't exactly remember how I did it.  I say this because I had issue with UV mapping it and when I get into trouble, I tend to find the solution, but usually forget how I found it.  This is especially true when I am not familiar with something.

I think the main faces were done with "Project from View", after I press the "Home" key.  I do this so it should be the same distance from each side + top/bottom.

This seems to work well for a given mesh, so the faces on the UV map have straight edges and are the same size.  I also have been useing the "Average Islands Scale" more and more.

All up your meshes look good, so well done. Although on the nit picking side and I'm not too sure if its the angle but the cement blocks on the roof seem a bit too large with respect to the pillars. But hard to tell only seeing form one angle.

I think you are nit picking correctly and I appreciate the constructive comment.  That's the one thing that eludes me right now.  How to scale the textures so the look the same across multiple textures, especially if they are not in the same file.

Any ideas?

Ok so I'll have come up with something next... and you can nit pick ;)

Ohhh goody!  I will go find my nit picking glasses. biggrin


 



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That's cool about the texturing just wondered if you had used an alternative method.

Your scaling texture issue is abit tricky. All depends on the mesh and UV island %area.  I'll have a think about it - if I find anything I'll get back to ya, sorry.


Some work Ive been doing.

I've spent a little time working on trying to optimize my meshes for in game. Although I tend to just make the one mesh and make simplifications as I'm going. But to take that a bit further I had a look at Meshlab to reduce the number of polygons and I've had a bit of success after running the filter > quadratic edge decimation.  Just testing out the number of target faces against the amount of shape deformation.

Some results:

The Rosetta Stone

Left (un-optimised)  Right (Optimised)
rosettastone.jpg

Tris

Before  vs   After

296             148   = 50% reduction


A cog

Left (un-optimised)  Right (Optimised)cogg.jpg

 

Tris

Before    vs       After

559                  400   = 28.4% reduction

Please not the texturing is very rough on this one - its not the final one.  Just felt I needed to show some work /results.

Sorry for the late response my machine need some maintenance.



-- Edited by Achernar on Friday 3rd of June 2011 03:52:15 PM

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wow...the right rosetta stone is superb...nice job

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+1 to that!
Looks tops M8!

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I think I know a possible "rough" way of getting the scaling more consistent, but I have to do some tests first.

I have heard of Meshlab, but since I haven't done much serious modeling before, I never bothered to look at it.  It would be nice if it could reduce the polygons.  My biggest issue is adding loop cuts and having faces that don't really need it, become more complex for no good reason.

I can't tell a difference betwean the Rosetta stones, so the very polys would help.

The cogs are a bit different, but it's mainly the lighting.  It might just be where the light is placed or the fewer vertices (assuming you are using vertex lighting).  I am sure with a model like this, you can add a second UV map for the light map.

Either way, you are stretching your modeling skills more than me right now as I am building fairly "basic" stuff. wink

Can you post a wireframe picture of the Rosetta stone?  Even if it's just from Blender?  Have you learned anything about rendering and such?  I just helped a friend figure out some stuff, so I may start using that to create some preview pictures.

Keep up the good work and discovering new information.



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@Bli!tz

Thx for the encouragement Bl!tz.  With responses like that I may have to start taking requests.

@LPS

Cheers champ. I'm encouraged you like it.

@Odedge

I think I know a possible "rough" way of getting the scaling more consistent, but I have to do some tests first.

Yeah does seem a bit tricky. Kinda need a numerical UV island to mesh density value to use as a factor to scale your texture.  The only other thing is to bring up the properties panel in the UV image editor and check the stretching. Other than eye balling your islands that's all I've can think of atm.  I wonder how the 3ds max crowd approach this issue.

I have heard of Meshlab, but since I haven't done much serious modeling before, I never bothered to look at it.  It would be nice if it could reduce the polygons.  My biggest issue is adding loop cuts and having faces that don't really need it, become more complex for no good reason.

Meshlab will take the strain out of using loop cuts. So I just use it for the Filter > Re-meshing simplification and reconstruction > Quadratic edge collapse decimation.  Then just do some trial and error with the target number of faces untill I find a good compromise. Reloading in the mesh between trials as I could'nt find the undo button.

I can't tell a difference between the Rosetta stones, so the very poly's would help.

Yeah the Rosetta stone was made using lots of loop cuts so there was alot of wasted faces on that mesh.

The cogs are a bit different, but it's mainly the lighting.  It might just be where the light is placed or the fewer vertices's (assuming you are using vertex lighting).  I am sure with a model like this, you can add a second UV map for the light map.

Nar I don't think its the lighting so much as those ones are light mapped form memory.  Having a second look at it I may have chosen a too rough a compromise.  Yeah I always create a second UV map for all my meshes for this reason.

Either way, you are stretching your modeling skills more than me right now as I am building fairly "basic" stuff. wink

Hopeful I'm not missing any of the necessary basic skills and end up climbing into a culdesac.

Can you post a wire frame picture of the Rosetta stone?  Even if it's just from Blender?  Have you learned anything about rendering and such?  I just helped a friend figure out some stuff, so I may start using that to create some preview pictures.

296 Faces                                                             148Faces

296faces.jpg   149faces.jpg

So the first one (296 faces) shows the top faces are equal too the bottom faces so the mesh is more complex.  The second one (148 faces) looks more complex but your seeing both the top and bottom faces at once.

On the rendering front nothing too much but hears a quick memory dump. 

-Getting to the camera view hit 0

-For composition move in the camera view by using Shift F and wasd to control it along with the scroll wheel or just reposition the cursor and the camera will track towards it.

Alt

-Find a angle you like and hit ctrl alt 0 to position the camera to where your facing.

Rendering speed

-Under world properties > Gather > choose Approximate over Ray Tracing to get a faster render of your scene when working out lighting / shadowing settings.

These are the things that seemed highlight from my awareness. Hope that help a little.  I'm only really scratching the surface at the moment so still heaps to learn.

Thanks champ wink




-- Edited by Achernar on Saturday 4th of June 2011 10:35:46 AM

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Dunno if these are useful at all for yaz, but there's some Blender tutorials here!



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Lord_PorkSword wrote:

Dunno if these are useful at all for yaz, but there's some Blender tutorials here!


 It took me a second or so to find them as most of the page focuses around the UDK. 

While I personally appreceiate the thought, these are very basic tutorials (which can be found on the net) and they use 2.49.

There is actually more tutorials on the net than I care to watch/read!  For me, I just have to go through enough of them and learn as I go.



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No probs M8! :)
I didn't look at the tutorials myself so I wasn't too sure on how basic they were.
He's started a tutorial on spawning bots..but alas...hasn't gotten to the part I need.... :(


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Time to resurect this thread biggrin and my attempts at learning Blender...

Got some inspiration recently to make a pillar after seeing this:

Alien_Vs_Predator_III_DLC_Cavern_05.jpg

So I thought I'd have a go. 

This really a WIP >

decopillarc.jpg

Top view showing off some of the BreakingThrough level

decopillarb.jpg

Full profile view

decopillara.jpg

Stats:

800 Tris

648 Verts

I know not very close on the texture side, but I'm still learning Gimp.

Still to do:

correct UV alingment on top face

re-layout grove faces for better texture support. (get rid of scaling issues).



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nice start

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That's looking very solid there Achernar. It's nice to see some more rounded objects being made as they can't be done with BSP (very well). How final is the lighting in your map as this should effect the look for the better.

I have been in a mapping slump for a bit, which typically happens once a year. I am getting refocused now and watched 2 tutorials that are very inspiring and instructive.

Create a Grungy Brick Wall

Create a Sci-Fi Panel

You should check them out.

Keep up the good work.



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Cheers Bl!tz and Odedge

I will give texturing another go - still feels very fragmented atm.

It happens to us all; and at the odd times. I too have had lots of trouble tying to find a design solution for several areas - kinda brings the whole enterprise undone sometime. Just gotta keep looking out for design ideas. I'm glad to hear your finding some more inspiration. I sometime just browse through photos on flicker or DeviantArt on one a couple of topics just to try and find just the right motif to use. Sometime it helps...

Those are some interesting tutorials. I found the Sci-Fi Pannel very good - had wondered how that sorta thing was made. The new instructor is very good too, BlenderCookie is becoming quite a hub.



-- Edited by Achernar on Sunday 24th of July 2011 02:12:42 AM

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Looks interesting! Is it going to become a real playable map at the end of your learning progress? I hope so!

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Yeah that's the aim, just like Odedge.

An early alpha is in in the Beta section

Please note theres been a few layout changes since then...



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I gave a shot at the Sci-Fi Panel tutorial I just linked.  Here is my normal map.  The bolts need some work, but you get the idea!

 blender_practice_011.jpg

I am still using 2.57b and for some reason I had to place my low poly mesh above the high poly meshes. 

I sort of made a cube of it in the editor and applied the "color" map the tutorial suggests to make, just to give it some contrast.  After part 2, I will make an effort to do some honest work in GIMP to make it look better.

blender_practice_012.jpg



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Oh I forgot to respond to your lighting question - basically, the answer is nothing, still trying to sort out some design issues before I approach that.

Hehe good work there Odedge. Looks very true to the tutorial. Only thing I'd point out is the 'relief' or grove on the handles - as the grating touches the grove. Seems tooclose - the grove is thinner in some places. Sry for the clumsy explanation I can post a pic if ya need. Nice work overall. Blender is shaping up to be very versatile - once you know how to use it!

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Achernar wrote:

Only thing I'd point out is the 'relief' or grove on the handles - as the grating touches the grove. Seems tooclose - the grove is thinner in some places.


 This is what I sort of meant by the bolt work needs some work.  I will fix when I do the textures.  I was having issue with the bolts showing up correctly and getting the whole thing to work, so I sort of rushed it. biggrin



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nice ode ... i ll have to try me on that but for now i m just impressed by achernar and you...good job!

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I gave a semi-honest work at creating a decent looking texture. I am a bit rusty with GIMP, so be kind. Here is the the same sci-fi panel with a diffuse and emessive texture applies.

I know, I know... I didn't fix the bolts by the lights.  smile

blender_practice_013.jpg



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I like the blended scratches on the grating and I see you managed to transition in some variegation on the green metal, subtle but nice. The radiation symbol just sold it for me. Great work!

Yikes I'd better get my imagination fired up to use blender. Anyone wanna challenge me to make something - famous last words...

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Achernar wrote:

I like the blended scratches on the grating and I see you managed to transition in some variegation on the green metal, subtle but nice. The radiation symbol just sold it for me. Great work!

Yikes I'd better get my imagination fired up to use blender. Anyone wanna challenge me to make something - famous last words...


 If you want to do a friendly "competition", just let me know.  I can always use more motivation to practice.  We chose an object or such to make and we do our best to make it.  We would need some room for creativitiy though so we aren't really making the exact same thing.

This is why I like this type of tutorial (sci-fi panel).  It shows you what to do, but you can always do your own version of it and learn as well.



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Sounds like good idea. Perhaps to keep it relevant and not too inward looking we could aim to make a UOF asset pack for the group. If we can get some input form the others we could get a list of candidate props to focus on. This way its less like were making the same thing. But I'm open a comp so this is just an alternative idea.

What are the top 10 props you wish you had in UT3?

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nice job ode

lol... it smells the gimp/blender duel around here

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I got a couple of iron props that I'd like created. aww

These props are more for the map(s) I was thinking of creating in UDK and one is a simplish hollowed column that I'd like to have either fire or something else in the middle of it.

I'll try and do a 3D 'simplemesh' model up in UE3 sometime soonish after I've had a think about it. 

I've downloaded Blender myself but haven't looked up any tutorials yet, so I may even make an attempt to try and model them myself.(that is, if I have time and can be motivated enough)


 



-- Edited by Lord_PorkSword on Saturday 6th of August 2011 12:55:03 AM

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Arhh my first victim, eh um, candidate...

Ok if you give me some reference to what your thinking about and any special features you'd like then I can get to work. You'll have to work with me to get it right though - as it may take a few iterations.

Alternatively if you want I'm sure Odedge and myself can help walk you through the process - if your interested in learning.

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Achernar...

I think a single object, that's not too complicated, would help each of us practice a bit and we can compare "notes" per say.

If a member has an object they need created, we can always try that object (like what LPS mentioned). Granted, we would need some reference pics, to get us started. At worse, it's good practice, at best, we can help each other out.

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Sound good to me. I'll wait for some references...

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Random thought of the moment...

Blender has the ability to do paint textures.

You can actually use vertex painting (which is basically the same thing as terrain painting in the editor), but the problem is that you need a lot of vertices for it to work well. This might work well with a cave model as you may want to use multiple high resolution textures (dirt, moss, rock).

With Texture painting, you can use basic colors or other textures and sort of mix them together to form a new texture (which can be saved to a separate file).

With this technique, you could create a section of terrain and apply a grass texture to the entire mesh. Then you can take a dirt texture and paint on a trail. The painting doesn't require a lot of vertices to work well (compared to vertex painting). This texture can then be saved to a separate file, then imported into the editor.

When practicing this feature with some textures from CGtextures.com, it was working way too slow to actually use it, like it was lagging. After watching a tutorial, it's because the textures aren't in a power of 2. I used some textures that were and the performance was really good.

/random thought

ADDED: You can use any power of 2 in combination (256x512).  Also, you combine a texture with the color wheel and paint that on as well.  I added some green to my dirt and painted green dirt.

/added



-- Edited by Odedge on Saturday 6th of August 2011 07:16:34 AM

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Amateur UT mapper

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The texture painting is something I've been meaning to play with. It seems good for getting rid of seams that occur around corners of UV islands. This is very tricky to do else way. Thanks for the tip about power of 2 I hadn't realised factor applied.

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Some of my early attemps of using blender...

 

wooden barrel

 

short sword (unrealistic hilt)

 

simple round shield

 

first attempt of rebuilding this tower (work in progress)

 

mushrooms

 

simple chain for my ut2k4 map

 

rune for my ut2k4 map

 



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Nice work on those models! :)

How many tris are they?

Personally I find modeling 10x easier than texturing.

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Hi,
data taken from UDK:

barrel - 1216 (448+768) tris

mushroom1 - 704 tris (way to much vertices for the stem)
mushroom2 - 1088 tris (way to much vertices for the stem)


xardas tower - 5582 tris for now
but thats because of the 'horns' which can be optimized alot. I just modeled them out of the blender cylinder mesh ^^


sword (2032 tris) and shield(1326 tris) were my very early results and have therefore much room for improvement. For proper usuage I would rework them significantly : )



I like both, texturing and modeling but I have problems with uv unwrapping, espacially with big and complex meshes like lanscapes for example.






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mAlkAv wrote:


I like both, texturing and modeling but I have problems with uv unwrapping, espacially with big and complex meshes like lanscapes for example.


 A  quick (and Dirty) Way to UV-Map Landscapes would be an averaged planar map.

This is good for prototyping and even final mapping.

Also this allows to use tileable textures instead of a unique skin



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calculating Pi by hand

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Can you give me a hint how to do this in blender? Just for information, I'm not creating heightmap-like terrains but landscapes with overhanging rocks ans caves - no idea if this makes difference ^^

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HERE is a link to a step by step tutorial ;)



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It's nice to see another Blender user. Nice variety of models. I have stuck to the basic shaped models for now.

Also, I have a blender tutorial page on my website for 2.5x, which may help you out.

I have tried UVmapping/texturing a landscape of sorts (except for a basic ground). I tried a rock, which came out ok, but if you looked closely, you could see the seams.

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lol...you guys are on the way to build UT4
simply impressive!

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@Bl!tz to a UT4 but I think it will take me a decade with out substantial help aww ...  Epic wink

Blendercookie just shown a light on a little add-on that generates castle walls - so versatile!

Addon: add_mesh_masonry.py

Now just have to figure out how to texture this thing...



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Achernar wrote:

@Bl!tz to a UT4 but I think it will take me a decade with out substantial help aww ...  Epic wink

Blendercookie just shown a light on a little add-on that generates castle walls - so versatile!

Addon: add_mesh_masonry.py

Now just have to figure out how to texture this thing...


 I watched that and it looked very interesting.  There might be a problem with it as it may created way too many faces that wouldn't never get seen.

It didn't seem like it created the "grout" between the walls, but I may have missed that part.  If it doesn't, that will be a problem.

You could possible use this to make a high ploy mesh and bake the normals to a texture, then just apply it to smooth wall, which would be easy to make.



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Hm yeah it is pretty high poly but not too bad for creating section of wall. I reckon a 256uu side wall would be 1500 -2000 verts (unoptimized) High, but not too bad when you consider the model dimensions in DM-Gardenia.

Very true, there are no gout so there are some faces that aren't strictly necessary. But with a bit of work I reckon this could pump out some very impressive game assets. It would take some time but doing a full re-topology of a section of wall wouldn't be too hard.

Definitely get some nice normals baked out of it!

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I have found a new ability in Blender that might help us out. Remember this is a "proof of concept" and I don't know how useful it can be.

Blender has the ability to bake stuff onto a texture. You can use this for creating normal maps and such. You can also do this for textures, which I have tested a little bit.

In my current Temple map, I am using stock Epic materials. On 1 mesh, I am using 4 different "base" textures, which makes the static mesh have 4 material slots. This isn't the ideal way of doing things as it's more efficient to use 1 texture.

The problem is I can't "legally" create 1 texture from Epic's, even though I have the actual texture on my hard drive (I just use these for aligning the UV maps). If you are creating your own textures and are reusing some of them (walls, floors, trims, etc), it would be tedious to re size them for each static mesh that would use them.

I thought it would be great if you could create a mesh using multiple materials, UV map it so it looks correct. Then you could duplicate the mesh, redo the UV maps (using Smart Project method), then bake the textures from the original multi-textured mesh to the new single-texture mesh.

Technically, you can!

blender_practice_015.jpg

The left mesh has 3 textures applied to it.  The one on the left has 1 texture (see below) applied to it.

 

blender_practice_016.jpg

The baked textuers are all in the correct place and orientation.

I tested this on a more complex mesh (with angled surfaces) and it had some texture bleeding.  So that is one issue to be concerned about.

The other issue is the quality of the textures.  Most of the textures in the picture above started out as 1024x1024 or 1024x512.  On the original mesh, they will look great. 

But when you bake them, the image has to be resized to a smaller resolution, which will effect the quality.  The other issue is that if you are using the same texture over and over again, there is no point and having it twice on your texture.

Blender and Unreal allows normal UV maps to overlap and in the case of my example, it would better to have only 3 samples of the original images and not 6.

Time will tell if this will actually be useful, but if you have any thoughts on the matter, pleas share.

Here is a copy of blend file with the textures packed, if you want to check it out.



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I haven't tried baking onto a single texture like you describe. However if the UV islands are the same shape and use the same texture you can place them on top of one another - saving UV space. The texture will be projected onto the both faces / UV islands. I'll have to try this to see if it works in practice.

Do you have any control over where the UV islands are placed - that might get around those bleeding issues you were telling.

I'll have to make some test and get back to you.

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Achernar wrote:

I haven't tried baking onto a single texture like you describe. However if the UV islands are the same shape and use the same texture you can place them on top of one another - saving UV space. The texture will be projected onto the both faces / UV islands. I'll have to try this to see if it works in practice.

I wished it work that way, but as far as the technique I am using, it doesn't.  Each faces that shares the same texture is sharing the same UV coordinates.

The way the process works is it basically takes an "picture" of what it sees on one mesh and copies it to the other mesh.  The bigger the image you are copying to, the lbetter the texture should look, but it seems 1024x1024 is the biggest size you should use for most meshes.

Do you have any control over where the UV islands are placed - that might get around those bleeding issues you were telling.

You have to redo the UV islands for the second mesh, so they don't overlap to begin with.  I used the Smart Project, which usually doesn't overlap UV islands.

You could resize some of the islands that are going to be seen by the player more, so the quality is better?

The bleeding wasn't an issue with UV placement though as there was enough space between the islands.

I'll have to make some test and get back to you.


 Another quick tip of the day regarding UV mapping (which is still the hardest part in my opinion).

You can select an edge, press the "W" key, and select "Align Augto", "Align X", or "Algin Y" and it will "snap it to the axis.  Align Auto works well in most cases.

I tried selecting all of the edges and selecting "Align Auto", but it just snaped them all to the X axis and destroyed them all.  I wish there was a way to quickly snap them all to the nearest axis.

Also, if you are aligning an edge that there is actually 2 there (the faces next to each other don't share an edge), you should be able to press the "Alt" button while selecting them and it will automatically select both.

Also also, MCampagnini says he should be able to update the exporter so it works with 2.59 correctly.  He says he has plans for version 2.0, which he might get done this weekend.

I don't think he will be adding any new features (don't think it's possible with an ASE file), but I think he will finalize how he wants Smooth Groups to be assigned, if I remember correctly.

Yes, I am on a little Blender kick at the moment! biggrin



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Arh thanks for your description of the baking process I think I get where it coming form. So it seems you'll still have to work around that bleeding issue.

About aligning UV islands I think one can also select a row use Scale 'S' Axis eg 'Y' '0' This will straighten them along one edge. Thx for your little tip that looks like it will come in handy.

Wow that's great new about the exporter - Mike is legend! I think exporter is pretty good for my purposes but extra work on smoothing groups sounds very promising.

Thx for sharing your progress Odedge!


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Achernar wrote:

Arh thanks for your description of the baking process I think I get where it coming form. So it seems you'll still have to work around that bleeding issue.

The funny thing is it didn't happen in other similar areas (same angle and such).  I will test a bit mroe to see what kind of results I get.

About aligning UV islands I think one can also select a row use Scale 'S' Axis eg 'Y' '0' This will straighten them along one edge. Thx for your little tip that looks like it will come in handy.

This is correct, but the way I mentioned is a bit faster.  I would like to really understand how to control UVs more.

I saw some preview videos of the changes they are making in the Google SOC and it looks promising, but I don't know when it will be added.

Wow that's great new about the exporter - Mike is legend! I think exporter is pretty good for my purposes but extra work on smoothing groups sounds very promising.

Thx for sharing your progress Odedge!


 



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I just tested the "beta" version of MCampagnini's exporter (version 2.0). The original issue I had (with collision boxes not being in their correct place) has been fixed. Also, the smoothing group function is working fine (in the simple test cylinder mesh I made). Hopefully it will be released this week.

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MCampignini just released ASE Export v1.3: http://campagnini.net/2011/04/16/blender-to-udk-ase-export/



-- Edited by mAlkAv on Tuesday 6th of September 2011 09:01:30 PM

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I was able to do some beta testing of it over the weekend and had very good results. Determining smoothing groups is simpler and more straight forward. If you have a Epic account, give him a "thanks" at his thread. biggrin



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