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Level Editor Help Make It Realistic!
JesterTone Offline
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#1
Information  Make It Realistic!

What do you do to make it realistic?

Do you add decals of wall grime or floor dirt?
Do you add thousands of cob-webs to an old disused room?
Is it purely lighting techniques that you use to alter the realistic nature of the map?

After all, Amnesia is about immersing oneself into the story, into the world you're in.
The story helps, but if the rooms look dull, the visual side of it will be spoiled.
I'm curious as to what others, from the experienced to the newbies, do to make the map more real.

So let us know;
What do you do?
What do you think I and others could add?
What do you find looks especially good when put together?
Do you add decals, make your own, combine entities together?

All input and advice is welcome!

Thanks so far to;
FastHunteR - General Help - Page 1 Post 2
andyrockin123 - General Help - Page 1 Post 3
Streetboat - Lighting Help - Page 1 Post 4
(This post was last modified: 07-11-2012, 06:19 PM by JesterTone.)
07-10-2012, 07:13 PM
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Cruzore Offline
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#2
RE: Make It Realistic!

Most important things first:
  • Original ideas for your maps. If you include something nobody has ever seen yet, people will keep that in their head and make the overall experience much better.
  • Rooms that actually look real and go together with the story. If you go through several rooms having nothing/very few things in them, it will look bad.
  • Light plays an important role, too. But it depends on which area you're on, of course.
  • Ambience and sounds. Without those, your awesomely designed rooms won't have that...scary touch.
  • Original scripting and organized .hps files. Just a few "useKeyOnDoor" functions won't make your cs perfect, and when someone finds awesome scripting in your cs, they will want to see how you did it and look through the .hps files. Organized .hps files will make them love you.

Think, before you speak Google, before you post
07-10-2012, 07:36 PM
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Adny Offline
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#3
RE: Make It Realistic!

For the very basics, make "oddly" shaped rooms, not the traditional/square rectangle shapes. Same goes for ceilings; instead of a flat ceiling, use pieces that give it depth and height. If a hallway/room is tall enough (i.e. large than 1 wall), you should have some sort of support structure in the ceiling, such as support beams.

As for detailing, its not difficult at all, just time consuming (if done properly). Each individual building set has different furniture/ornaments/decorations that look well with one another (i.e. you won't see a grandfather clock in a dungeon set), here's a quick list of sets to detail with (if you see one you don't normally use, take a look at it in the editor):

Static Objects:
debris
decals
machine

Entities:
bottle
cloth
container
critter
debris
desktop
equipment
furniture
images
lab
lamp
statues
storage
tool

Proper lighting is something that is very difficult to do and isn't done well in many mods. Finding the perfect color match (or gobo) for the window/light source, or proper placement/color of billboards is almost non-existent in the majority of mods I've seen. Those are the little things that can add up to either greatly improve or diminish the immersion in-game.

For decals, a little goes a long way. Although decals can be spammed around the map without having an effect on performance, its not really good (or logical) to do that. Only use decals where they make sense; for example, dirt/dust can build up under furniture (or anything movable that touches the ground for that matter), so a dirt floor decal under it will (usually) look fine. If an area is flooded, use the moist wall decal. I've also noticed many modders don't know how to properly use decals to their full potential simply because they haven't familiarized themselves with the various settings and options. Decals are similar to planes; if you aren't familiar with the settings, the texture will end up looking scrunched up and strange.

Finally, cobwebs. I generally don't use them because they have a weird glowing effect; seeing a bright cobweb on the other side of a dark room just looks strange to me.

I rate it 3 memes.
07-10-2012, 08:07 PM
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Streetboat Offline
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#4
RE: Make It Realistic!

For me, it's lighting. Lighting and billboards go a very, very long way. It's very important to use a mix of spotlights, pointlights, and billboards for your major light sources. I'm gonna post examples from my own work to clarify.

[Image: ruinedhouse12.jpg]
See how I used a single lantern in that room, so I accentuated all the features in the room from that particular angle. There's a pointlight lighting the area directly around the lantern, as well as a spotlight shining at the stairs so they cast a poignant shadow on the far wall.

[Image: ruinedhouse4.jpg]
Same principle, but this time the light from the lantern casts a clear shadow behind it, with just a pointlight lighting the area in front of it, since the single pillar is a central part of the room.

[Image: SoH7.jpg]
The player is trapped in a dungeon, so naturally the retina will be accustomed to the dark. As a result, I placed a very large billboard at the lantern, making it clear that that is the only light source in the room. Also, there is no ambient light in the room, making the contrast between the orange light of the torch and the blackness of the rest of the room that much more obvious.

[Cont'd in next post due to image limit]

[Image: SoH5.jpg]
This one is harder to see unless you're in-game. First, there are two spotlights present, causing the door to cast a shadow as it opens and closes, and the same is applied the the fireplace. There is a billboard with 'halo' enabled in the fireplace, so as the door opens and closes, it flickers while the shadow is cast. A huge point I would like to make to other mappers is, to create pointlights with low light levels but large radii in addition to the main light being cast. This gives a bounce glow to the rest of the room. It's present in this room, but hard to notice with the white background of this forum.

[Image: sewers2.jpg]

[Image: sewers1.jpg]

This is a clear example of the last point. There is a huge billboard in the ceiling, attracting the eye to its origin, but it is still possible to see the rest of the room due to the large radius of the pointlight underneath it. There is also a spotlight with the water gobo at the bottom of the room.

In short, the best way to achieve realism in your rooms is with contrasting and believable lighting. I never let a lamp go with no attached light entity, the default lights Frictional put on their lamp entities just looks bad. They're very bright in the middle, and then they fade to pure back very fast. It looks bad. Real lights go for much farther than you'd think.

Good luck and happy mapping! Wink

[Image: signature-2.png]
(This post was last modified: 07-11-2012, 03:43 AM by Streetboat.)
07-11-2012, 03:43 AM
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Mine Turtle Offline
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#5
RE: Make It Realistic!

(07-11-2012, 03:43 AM)Streetboat Wrote: For me, it's lighting. Lighting and billboards go a very, very long way. It's very important to use a mix of spotlights, pointlights, and billboards for your major light sources. I'm gonna post examples from my own work to clarify.


See how I used a single lantern in that room, so I accentuated all the features in the room from that particular angle. There's a pointlight lighting the area directly around the lantern, as well as a spotlight shining at the stairs so they cast a poignant shadow on the far wall.


Same principle, but this time the light from the lantern casts a clear shadow behind it, with just a pointlight lighting the area in front of it, since the single pillar is a central part of the room.


The player is trapped in a dungeon, so naturally the retina will be accustomed to the dark. As a result, I placed a very large billboard at the lantern, making it clear that that is the only light source in the room. Also, there is no ambient light in the room, making the contrast between the orange light of the torch and the blackness of the rest of the room that much more obvious.

[Cont'd in next post due to image limit]


This one is harder to see unless you're in-game. First, there are two spotlights present, causing the door to cast a shadow as it opens and closes, and the same is applied the the fireplace. There is a billboard with 'halo' enabled in the fireplace, so as the door opens and closes, it flickers while the shadow is cast. A huge point I would like to make to other mappers is, to create pointlights with low light levels but large radii in addition to the main light being cast. This gives a bounce glow to the rest of the room. It's present in this room, but hard to notice with the white background of this forum.





This is a clear example of the last point. There is a huge billboard in the ceiling, attracting the eye to its origin, but it is still possible to see the rest of the room due to the large radius of the pointlight underneath it. There is also a spotlight with the water gobo at the bottom of the room.

In short, the best way to achieve realism in your rooms is with contrasting and believable lighting. I never let a lamp go with no attached light entity, the default lights Frictional put on their lamp entities just looks bad. They're very bright in the middle, and then they fade to pure back very fast. It looks bad. Real lights go for much farther than you'd think.

Good luck and happy mappin
streetboat; you really need to make a start-to-finish lighting tutorial. why? because those screenshots look absolutely stunning!

[Image: 201107142327000.gif]
07-11-2012, 11:22 AM
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Streetboat Offline
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#6
RE: Make It Realistic!

Heh, I practically just did. ;P

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07-11-2012, 04:30 PM
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JesterTone Offline
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#7
RE: Make It Realistic!

Well firstly, thank you very much for all your help. I set the thread up solely with the idea of newbies and perhaps even those with experience of making maps coming and finding information to help them. Because I like to think most people want to make a convincing looking map, mainly build-up scares though maybe it will help even those who make purely jump-scare maps to make them at least.. realistic.

So thanks to everyone so far for your advice; FastHunteR and especially andyrockin123 and Streetboat who have given excellent help.

Please keep it coming!

Oh, and I agree Streetboat, if you could do a short 5-10 minute video of just how you do certain types of light - particularly torches and candles - then it would be immensely helpful. Just a box room with a torch or candle and showing how to work the shadows and effects would help alot of people.

Though whether you do or not, thanks very much for the help and advice!!
(This post was last modified: 07-11-2012, 06:15 PM by JesterTone.)
07-11-2012, 06:14 PM
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Streetboat Offline
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#8
RE: Make It Realistic!

I can give it a shot, yeah. I don't have a microphone, so it might not be a video. Plus FRAPs makes my computer run horribly. Tongue

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07-11-2012, 06:21 PM
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Acies Offline
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#9
RE: Make It Realistic!

Nice organization of your thoughts streetboat!

I often too think of how light behaves and try to spend much focus on it. Hadn't thought of this though;
"The player is trapped in a dungeon, so naturally the retina will be accustomed to the dark. As a result, I placed a very large billboard at the lantern,..."

Impressive!

[Image: mZiYnxe.png]


07-11-2012, 07:20 PM
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