Mapping Links and Resource thread

Discussion in 'Mapping' started by Kylegar, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. Kylegar

    Kylegar Specstax Rule

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    This thread is a list of links for Mapping tutorials, Resources, etc. The original post is old, but Tama has edited it March 14th 2016 to fix links and add resources.

    Tutorial Links:
    Mapping Resources:
    If you have a tutorial or resource for this thread, make a post, and I will add it to this post. Any other posts will be deleted.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2016
  2. Kylegar

    Kylegar Specstax Rule

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    Updated
     
  3. bitchslap

    bitchslap Member

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    got a new guide for setting up mapping for OB yet ? i know there were a few threads/posts about it.....
     
  4. blizzerd

    blizzerd Member

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  5. Varbles

    Varbles Simply Maptastic. Staff Member

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    updated
     
  6. Silk

    Silk Mapper

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    I'm looking for some sort of online handbook that helps me get the colors of textures and lighting right. I've been applying trial and error for 6 years now, and i'm getting worse at it every year. I want to actually understand something about lighting/colors.

    Not just the basic stuff like red is warm and blue is cold. I want detailed explanations of why lighting should be done in a certain way and preferrably i also want information on using normal maps and selfshadowing bumpmaps correctly to create realistic looking environments.

    If anyone has good links to any of this ... it would be much appreciated.
     
  7. Metal Smith

    Metal Smith Member

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    Valve has one of the best parralax / normal mapping info page i've found.

    https://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Normal_Map_Creation#Creation

    First step is to describe your map, in words, before you even draw it out. It's hard to say what you want your map to feel like unless you've already written out what you want it to feel like.

    Second, design the environment around the feel you desire. Have you heard of warm colors and such?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_temperature

    One thing i've noticed in source in particular is that the color of a texture is hued very differently due to the lighting. Personally, i prefer warm and soft lights for large open areas that are interior, and sharper blue or grayish blue lights for tight corners interior. Places like the sewers in district may benefit from a bluish tone, for example.

    You can also change lighting to signify something significant and specific to the game, like a spawn zone for NF that has reddish lights.

    I'll try and find some more sources of information for you to read through. Generally women know all about this sort of thing though. You could also probably effectively use color in the lighting on maps to effectively help the texture blending as well. If you have a green grass to brown dirt, giving the color saturation a bit of greenish yellow tint would help smooth out the transition. If you want the difference to be very apparent, just stick to lower saturations, one that might be more prone to making the grass stand out by giving it a very tiny bit green.

    but yeah, first step is to definitely go into a detailed description of what your map is. You'll find yourself using words that are tied to specific feelings or emotions, and those things have colors that are specific to them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  8. Silk

    Silk Mapper

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    Thing is while i in general understand the basics, it never seems to work out at all ingame. I immediately see there's something wrong, but i can't tell in what way. Is it the brightness or the color, the ambient, the starting texture ... i can't ever tell, just that my mind knows something is wrong. I can have a hundred combinations of values and settings, but i never manage to fix it or even find the cause.
     
  9. Metal Smith

    Metal Smith Member

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    can you give some examples of the values you are using? It may have something to do with how subtle the effects are, or how unsubtle they are. The natural lighting may have the correct hue, but if there is too much the area will glow, if there is too little, it'll be really sharp and clear. It took me 20 unique compiles on delta to get a color I liked, and even then, no one else really has my tastes :P
     
  10. Silk

    Silk Mapper

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    Arid:
    Brightness 238 213 166 440
    Ambient 207 189 156 100
    Pitch -40

    Bush:
    225 209 170 420
    226 228 219 140
    -50
    (https://dl.dropbox.com/u/234836/mapping/emp_bush/emp_bush_230120110007.jpg)

    Chain:
    221 202 162 480
    196 193 145 180
    -45
    (https://dl.dropbox.com/u/234836/mapping/emp_chain/emp_chain0002.jpg)

    The map i'm currently working on has:
    223 218 176 540
    213 210 187 380
    -70
    (https://dl.dropbox.com/u/234836/mapping/small_comm_map/small_commandermap0030.jpg)

    Chain is the one i failed with the most. Thankfully that map has rather good textures and a lot of detail which makes it much less obvious that the lighting isn't good, but i think it could look so much better if it was. Second worst lighting i have is in Bush.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  11. Metal Smith

    Metal Smith Member

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    i think the problem might be with the textures.

    They are beautiful, but they don't all go together. Particularly the brown and yellow grasses with the very rockey cliffs. Brown dirt would fit in much better there.

    Actually, a little bit more parched would work well for most of those maps. The small commander map could get away with staying more green, it just needs to either have the base grass be a little more withered like the above grass, or the above grass a bit greener. It would also look great with tall grass on the cliffs if you could manage it, having the cliffs filled with sprites and the ground more or less bare. Might even work in a little bit of either a trail from tires or a riverbed look.

    [​IMG]


    that's from FF XI, it had some excellent areas in it, with good color use. Not always the best displacement work, but this was released in 2002 or 3 or something. The blend here is green going a little bit yellow in places, and has a stoney feel to the texture instead of grassy. Also has some random plant things all over for detail props.

    I think that the other issue is that you mix the 'warm' and 'cool' colors in bush in particular. If I'm not mistaken, the red cliffs and bright yellow tops are warm to hot, and the green meadow is much more cool. Possibly if the high areas were also green, this would work great, as the ground would have some great contrast with the walls. You could also use a similar lighting, but much more colorful, less grey in it, and it would work fine.

    In the small command map, the ground feels very open fieldish, bright blue skies and such. I think if you went with a much more earthy texture possibly with a bit of green in it mixed in as well, it would look great. If you wanted it dry you could keep it a bit dull in the color. If you wanted it to feel more alive, you could keep the colors much less dull, and make it feel a bit more like pine forests in the northwest of the US.


    I think you run into your biggest issues when you change textures between the ground and the top of the level. On chain, I think you could get away with adjusting the colors to either make those grey / green / dirt areas on the pathways a bit more like the dark moist earth colors under the pine trees.

    I've been messing with some of your textures included with the game now, I'll go ahead and compile some different color schemes to show the color differences, it's been a while since I played with it.
     
  12. Metal Smith

    Metal Smith Member

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    [​IMG]

    Brightness:
    204 163 100 300
    Ambient:
    190 196 121 200
    Pitch Yaw Roll (Y Z X) -71 350 0


    these are your textures I believe. used the orangish brown color to make the ground a bit more yellowish and the cliffs a bit more brownish. The ambient color is green somewhat, and you really see it in the shadows. With the sun's angle pretty much straight down, it adds a nice bit of color to the cliffs imo.


    [​IMG]


    Brightness:
    185 130 62 260
    Ambient:
    125 155 191 200
    Pitch Yaw Roll (Y Z X): -359 286 0


    I wanted it to be more of a cool night, maybe moonlit here. the sun is actually facing UP towards the skybox roof in this case. The blue really takes over the color on the map, and helps blend in all the colors to it's self.









    Hope these give ya a couple ideas. Brightness tends to affect what is directly hit by the sun, ambient tends to affect the shadowed areas.
     
  13. Trickster

    Trickster Retired Developer

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    Silk, I know this is probably shitty feedback, but I might as well post my opinion anyway.

    If in doubt, go sunny. This isn't my "omg everything should be sunny" thing, it's just the fact that it generally tends to work. The green grass, blue sky thing generally makes the map pleasant to play on. I can guarantee that some maps would be much better received if they were brighter and more "happy". Chain is a perfect example of this.

    I know it feels like a cop-out when you can do so many interesting things, but it is the easy option, and it works 90% of the time. Coast is a really popular map, but if it was grey and miserable, I really don't think it would be half as popular as it is. Very few maps can pull off being anything other than sunny and still be enjoyed. To be honest, there aren't any I can think of off the top of my head.
     

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