Editing brushes with Notepad

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Higor
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Editing brushes with Notepad

Post by Higor » Fri May 04, 2012 9:39 am

Actually it is entirely possible to do this with any kind of actor but more meaningful with brushes, what allows us to do so?
Simple, Unreal Editor's copy/paste system works by converting the selected actors into a .T3D level when copying and .T3D level into actors when pasting.

Example: the LEVELINFO actor.
Hit copy and paste it on notepad, should end up like this:

Code: Select all

Begin Map
Begin Actor Class=LevelInfo Name=LevelInfo0
    TimeSeconds=5.368258
    AIProfile(0)=157
    Level=LevelInfo'MyLevel.LevelInfo0'
    Tag=LevelInfo
    Region=(Zone=LevelInfo'MyLevel.LevelInfo0',iLeaf=-1)
    bSelected=True
    Name=LevelInfo0
End Actor
End Map
Is you select the text and paste it into unrealed, it will paste the actor.
Not this one, LevelInfo is the one exception you won't be able to paste back into the map.

As you can see, it is even possible to edit UnrealEd locked properties like NAME.
When a property doesn't show up on text, it's because it's at its default value.

When you copy a brush (movers included), you'll also get the polygon information.
The polygon information is actually an object of class Model, subclass of Polys (Mesh and LodMesh are subclasses of Polys), this means that it is possible to reference this object into a property (either Object, Polys, or Model).
Brushes and movers do have one property of class Model and that is it's Brush= property, this brush property is the one brushes and movers use and store in order to display their 3d appearances.
Let's copy the builder brush...

Code: Select all

Begin Map
Begin Actor Class=Brush Name=Brush0
    MainScale=(SheerAxis=SHEER_ZX)
    PostScale=(SheerAxis=SHEER_ZX)
    Group=Sheet
    Level=LevelInfo'MyLevel.LevelInfo0'
    Tag=Brush
    Region=(Zone=LevelInfo'MyLevel.LevelInfo0',iLeaf=-1)
    bSelected=True
    Begin Brush Name=Brush
       Begin PolyList
          Begin Polygon Item=Sheet Flags=264
             Origin   +00128.000000,+00128.000000,+00000.000000
             Normal   +00000.000000,+00000.000000,-00001.000000
             TextureU -00001.000000,+00000.000000,+00000.000000
             TextureV +00000.000000,+00001.000000,+00000.000000
             Vertex   +00128.000000,+00128.000000,+00000.000000
             Vertex   +00128.000000,-00128.000000,+00000.000000
             Vertex   -00128.000000,-00128.000000,+00000.000000
             Vertex   -00128.000000,+00128.000000,+00000.000000
          End Polygon
       End PolyList
    End Brush
    Brush=Model'MyLevel.Brush'
    Name=Brush0
End Actor
End Map
What can we decypher from this text?

First, we see an object definition of (MODEL) starting with Begin Brush Name=ObjectName and ending with End Brush, we also see the keys Begin PolyList and End PolyList.
Inside of it, we see each individual polygon and it's flags, inside of the polygon we see the Origin, Normal, Texture alignment (optional) and Vertexes.
We can deduce this is a sheet polygon, now look at the FLAGS=, start checking the following list in decreasing order.

Taken from Legacy
0 Default , Use settings from Surface Properties for each individual surface of the brush.
1 Invisible , All surfaces of the brush are invisible
2 Masked , Use for palettized textures to make the first color in the palette (in Paint Shop Pro at least) invisible, see Color Blending
4 Translucent , Darker parts of the texture become transparent, see Color Blending
16 Force View Zone
64 Modulated , Greyer parts of the texture become transparent, see Color Blending
128 Fake Backdrop , Parallax SkyBox visible through surface
256 Two Sided , Surfaces display their texture from both sides
512 U-Pan , Texture moves in U direction, change speed in ZoneInfo or LevelInfo -> ZoneLight
1024 V-Pan , Texture moves in V direction, change speed in ZoneInfo or LevelInfo -> ZoneLight
2048 No Smooth , Square pixels
4096 Special Poly , Doesn't do a lot
8192 Small Wavy
32768 Low Shadow Detail , Reduces shadow detail; in conjunction with High Shadow Detail (below), makes extra low shadow detail
262144 Dirty Shadows
524288 Bright Corners , No dark shadows at the edges of the surface
1048576 Special Lit , Surface only gets light from Special Lit lights
2097152 No Bounds Reject
4194304 Unlit , Surface ignores lighting and is fullbright
8388608 High Shadow Detail , Enhances shadow detail
Add this one: 8 = Intangible (used by sheets)

Result is 256 + 8 = 264, this face is a double sided non-solid square shape.
You can add more properties, alter (add or delete as well) polygons or simply tweak their polygon flags.

Ok, we reached End Brush and see something interesting: the BRUSH= property pointing to the previously defined object.
In short, we fist have the object definition, then it's referenced by it's name.

Did you know a second brush can reference the previously defined Model (BRUSH=) without defining a new one? This gives us the ability to add multiple brushes/movers and have them use the exact same Model object.
Did you know that if you export the map to T3D, you can change the LevelInfo class to a custom subclass?
Did you know you can remove a bad surface by using a unique texture and then finding that Polygon in the PolyList?
Did you know that when you paste something back into the map, it is moved by an offset of (32,32,32)?
Did you know that with this method you can join 2 brushes without intercepting them thogether? (great for specially constructed movers, reduces cuts drastically)

==============================================================
ATTACHING A SHORT TUTORIAL ON ONE GOOD WAY TO USE THIS.
New Bitmap Image.png

==============================================================
REMOVING UNNEEDED SURFACES
I made a tube goingh through a room, now I want to separate both into different zones, the separator will be visible and must maintain the tube's shape.
The goal is not to waste one surface and keep polygons with matching vertexes.
GripTut1.JPG
I take copies of both tube brushes and de-intersect them with a matching wall, luckily for me, that is right next to the tube opening.
This is how they look after de-intersected and added as non-solids.
GripTut2.JPG
So I copy both brushes into NotePad, find the faces I'm not going to use and remove them.
You can apply a certain, unique texture to the faces you don't want to keep if you can't recognize them directly, then use the NotePad's search function to find this texture name and remove the face using this texture.
Since I'm removing faces, the structure shouldn't be a solid, even if i'm adding it as a green brush, let's just not take any chances and set the flags for all surfaces to 8 (FLAGS=8)
GripTut3.PNG
Once done, copy the brushes back into UnrealEditor, place them where they're supposed to be, build, set the ZonePortal and Translucent flags and build again.
There shouldn't be any BSP oddities if you did the process right.
GripTut4.JPG
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Last edited by Higor on Sun May 06, 2012 1:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Higor
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Re: Editing brushes with Notepad

Post by Higor » Fri May 04, 2012 9:49 am

Examples:
DM-SniperValley > Unfinished, unreleased.
SniperValley.JPG
Hill at one corner:
Snipers-CornerHill.JPG
Monastery hill:
Snipers-Monastery.JPG
Wheel:
Snipers-Wheel.PNG
Notice how the squares, circles and the crossed stuff (can't translate LOL) don't actually cut, they have been added directly via text using 3 different brushes with a same origin point.
So the video card does the job and the collision becomes simpler to process.



LEVEL: HillTest
HillTest.JPG
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Last edited by Higor on Fri May 04, 2012 10:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Higor
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Re: Editing brushes with Notepad

Post by Higor » Fri May 04, 2012 9:56 am

ThePlanet > Unfinished, unreleased.

Description:
Notice the little guy in the first pic, used as size reference.
The map is massive, takes 60 seconds to run from one end to the other (turbo mode), 30 if launching a translocator.
Nearly all brushes are handmade, as it is now it has 1250 polygons (Face has 1000, Orbital 3100; finished map would go up to 5000 if not heavily decorated) so it is playable on any computer.

It is basically a huge turd shaped asteroid :lol: between both bases with an ideal player count of 16-32, since the intention was to make it hollow with technologic hallways below the floor (some parts exposed to the outside, increasing risk of falling), with easy movement between these hallways and the upper paths.

A few extra powerup asteroids were intended as well as jump pads, lifts, and advanced spawn points in the main asteroid that would be enabled if a player from a certain team held control of a special zone, making attacks quicker and flag recovering easier.

Polygon set, hell I can easily distinguish them from here.
ThePlanet.PNG
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Feralidragon
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Re: Editing brushes with Notepad

Post by Feralidragon » Fri May 04, 2012 11:12 am

Very nice tutorial there. You have no idea the crazy ideas that's giving to me for an online brush builder (and sharing), as theoretically an external application of any kind can be built to exclusively build and preview those and then apply directly in Ued (with even UV coordinates and default texturing if we go that far)... :mrgreen:

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Re: Editing brushes with Notepad

Post by JackGriffin » Fri May 04, 2012 12:19 pm

Higor, where the hell did you come from and why weren't you around 10 years ago? Some guys are simply on another level and you are certainly one of them :jealous:
So long, and thanks for all the fish

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Re: Editing brushes with Notepad

Post by Creavion » Fri May 04, 2012 2:31 pm

If I would not have already learned the basics of 3D Modelling last year, I would have surely tried it out myself.
About to be non-active
My very last UT map project: CTF-FacePalm (tropical CTF-Face remake)
Why do I leave? click here
What I want to do next: Joining an UDK team (uncertain however) and improve 3D modelling and texture editing skills
Thanks to those who visibly supported me until/at the end!
My reactivated account on indiedb.com.

Higor
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Re: Editing brushes with Notepad

Post by Higor » Sat May 05, 2012 7:42 pm

Thank you all.

I was thinking in making a thread for sharing movers or brushes, with previews and all.
I made lots of stuff during my learning stages and wouldn't like them to disappear into an old hard drive.

Edit:
If there is ONE powerful feature UnrealEd should have had (and maybe could be coded using this as starting point) is selecting an edge and splitting both adjacent triangles into four, that would make these crazy brushes far easier to build.
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Fuzz_Ball
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Re: Editing brushes with Notepad

Post by Fuzz_Ball » Sat May 05, 2012 7:50 pm

JackGriffin wrote:= Some guys are simply on another level and you are certainly one of them
True!
Brilliant skill you have, Higor.
Morevover, when can we expect these maps to be released? :mrgreen:
* * * Image * * *

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Re: Editing brushes with Notepad

Post by Creavion » Sat May 05, 2012 9:08 pm

@this: http://www.ut99.org/download/file.php?id=3334&mode=view

You are MAPPING with DieHards`s highres texture packs in .. UT? I know this works with Unreal 227, but UT??? AFAIK you should not be able to select ANYTHING there? Have I missed something?
About to be non-active
My very last UT map project: CTF-FacePalm (tropical CTF-Face remake)
Why do I leave? click here
What I want to do next: Joining an UDK team (uncertain however) and improve 3D modelling and texture editing skills
Thanks to those who visibly supported me until/at the end!
My reactivated account on indiedb.com.

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Re: Editing brushes with Notepad

Post by papercoffee » Sat May 05, 2012 10:00 pm

Creavion wrote:@this: http://www.ut99.org/download/file.php?id=3334&mode=view

You are MAPPING with DieHards`s highres texture packs in .. UT? I know this works with Unreal 227, but UT??? AFAIK you should not be able to select ANYTHING there? Have I missed something?
What? ...wait WHAT?

ok ...I know not much about mapping it self ...but I did know "avoid the highres textures" for mapping. :shock:

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Re: Editing brushes with Notepad

Post by Creavion » Sat May 05, 2012 10:10 pm

I have not said it is possible, I have only wondered about the highres textures in the editor since you can not make a shit with these textures in UT if you want to use the UT installation for mapping.
About to be non-active
My very last UT map project: CTF-FacePalm (tropical CTF-Face remake)
Why do I leave? click here
What I want to do next: Joining an UDK team (uncertain however) and improve 3D modelling and texture editing skills
Thanks to those who visibly supported me until/at the end!
My reactivated account on indiedb.com.

Higor
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Re: Editing brushes with Notepad

Post by Higor » Sun May 06, 2012 1:37 am

I use my main UT with 2gb on hi-res textures for mapping.
The trick? Load up a second folder of vanilla textures before loading the map... CHAN!

also, EDITED FIRST POST
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Re: Editing brushes with Notepad

Post by Creavion » Sun May 06, 2012 7:48 am

And what is default?

Highres textures in "\textures" and vanilla textures in an other sub directory or other way around or it is completly different meant?
About to be non-active
My very last UT map project: CTF-FacePalm (tropical CTF-Face remake)
Why do I leave? click here
What I want to do next: Joining an UDK team (uncertain however) and improve 3D modelling and texture editing skills
Thanks to those who visibly supported me until/at the end!
My reactivated account on indiedb.com.

Higor
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Re: Editing brushes with Notepad

Post by Higor » Sun May 06, 2012 8:37 am

Since it isn't my online play UT anyways (I have a clean installation for that), I run the hi-res textures by default and manually load the small ones up in the editor.
It's not that big of a problem for me, besides I do sometimes open the maps with the hi-res textures in the editor.

The trick? Two 3d viewports:
-Software viewport on Zone/Portal mode
-D3D9 viewport.
Running on a 23" LCD screen sure has it's advantages.
SHOT.PNG
Fuzz_Ball wrote: Morevover, when can we expect these maps to be released? :mrgreen:
I'm really slow when it comes to mapping but I sure get ideas and like to make progress on all my projects simultaneously.
Another shot of the SniperValley map, notice the half-assed rain effect, that was way before the SDK...
Now I might add an optional feature that autoloads the SDK particle system on the map if the SDK is installed without adding code dependency.

Edit, fixed a typo
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Re: Editing brushes with Notepad

Post by Dr.Flay » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:22 pm

I think the main problem with using replacement textures, is that they don't always match the originals.

For example, the medium sized "High End" package from UTTextures, has completely wrong window textures in it, so if you edit with it, loads of your skyscrapers will look completely messed-up, when played by someone using the smaller pack or the originals.
http://www.uttexture.com/UT/Website/Dow ... ighEnd.htm
DO NOT USE THIS PACK AT ALL !

Use the smaller one. the textures are correct.

You only need to change one line in the UT main ini file, to change all window rendering to DX or GL.
You can then see the textures in the texture browser.

Code: Select all

[Engine.Engine]
WindowedRenderDevice=sdkOpenGLDrv.OpenGLRenderDevice
or
WindowedRenderDevice=OpenGLDrv.OpenGLRenderDevice
or
WindowedRenderDevice=D3D9Drv.D3D9RenderDevice
I have written about this before, with examples. See this part of the thread
http://www.ut99.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t ... ini#p35098