Background Hods

(Siber) #62

The question has been posed to me in private as well, but I think I’d like to answer it in public for general knowledge, what are all those extra files next to the background hod files? Well, those are pretty important, they’re the environment cubemaps maps for the background, or envmaps. Ships that are at all shiny have to reflect the background to some extent, and rather than render using the actual background for that, these cube maps are used for that.

The exact ins and outs of this are tricky and I don’t have a complete grasp of the process, and it’s been a while since I got my hands dirty with it to boot, but Gearbox posted some about it in my old background threads, at HODOR Skybox Adventures. Also, shows the effect of them somewhat. I actually originally created these objects to troubleshoot problems with my own envmaps and inspect their effects. The far object has max reflect and no specular. You can see some hints of the background reflected on it. the right object has min reflect and specular. The near object has max specular and min reflect, and is pretty heavily influenced by the color but has no details. And the right has max specular and reflect both, so you see everything there.

@Nathanius, regarding your issue with one light, I’d bet the engine creates two lights and then loads their values from the files. So if you leave a light undefined, it just has junk data in it. You could try just making a second directional light with zeros for it’s lighting value. I don’t recommend a single light setup though, in the past I’ve found continuum maps with similar lighting quite frustrating and unappealing. Generally I try to emulate(or at least think about) three point lighting in my maps, with ambient standing in for the back light. This is largely based off wikipedia and conversations with amateur CG artists rather than any professional training, but it seems to work out well. More or less, one strong light coming from the map’s primary light source, then a second softer light coming in at roughly right angles to it, and a weak but definitely present ambient. That lets shadows and the play of light bring out shapes without being overbright. On maps where I’ve allowed myself to play with other things, like parallel lights from opposite sides, I find the results might be novel, but not as pretty, and somewhat flattening of the ships. Along similar lines of thought, you might try on strongly colored maps to have the primary/key light and the ambient be neutral colored and then the secondary light have a noticeable color tone, so the ships are colored from one side but still show their normal colors from another side.

On another track, if anyone has good advice on how to balance the diffuse and specular light values on the background lights, I’m all ears.

(Herbyguitar) #63

I like your ideas on light sources. I think this technique could benefit a good majority of STC maps. It fits with the theme of system (islands in space) encounters of races. This is where the vast majority of resources would be and where battles would take place. :+1:

(Nathanius) #64

Having cubic backgrounds would help with making those a lot no doubt… Hmm… Luckily the Trek maps are mostly black space.

[quote=“EatThePath, post:62, topic:128409”]
try to emulate(or at least think about) three point lighting[/quote]

None of what I’ve done so far has had this in mind, and it’s a slow process guessing numbers in Max, exporting, HODing, loading and eyeballing each time you make a change.

I have only done a few backgrounds though, so before I continue making more I’ll have to go back and change the lighting on the maps… I could never exact fine enough control over the lighting to be able to accept a secondary or ambient light source though. But I’m not going to accept anything less than perfect for HWRM :wink:

The best result I’ve had is to put specular at 0.1 for all three values in the primary light source and 0 for everything else.

Hopefully I can make @herbyguitar proud with some of my background efforts with guidance from more knowledgable community members :smile:

(Taiidan Republic Mod) #65

@sastrei @EatThePath @Nathanius

Any chance of a background tutorial?

(Nathanius) #66

Not a high chance from me, I didn’t do much except reuse the examples though

(Sastrei) #67

I can try to make a Blender-centric video tut in a week or two.

(Chimas) #68

Once I was able to convince an artist in dA (Deviant Art) to create a background for HW2, but I lacked the knowledge to provide support:

  • Is there any list of requirements that I could provide to an artist next time I do that again?
  • Does anyone volunteer to provide support, if I happen to convince another artist?
  • Is there any modder that wants background pictures to its maps, so I can intermediate in the name of the MOD with the artist?

I think I can do that again, but we would have to be able to help the artist port the art to the game and grant to him/her that their art will be in the credits of the MOD. It won’t be easy, neither quick, but it doesn’t harm to try. What do you think?

Meanwhile, stick with the ART gallery I created for the kind of art I want to see in-game -> check here

(Christoph Timmermann) #69

Most of the skyboxes on that gallery have objects (asteroids, planets, etc…) in them.
So the artist would have to create these as 3d objects and not just draw the background itself, if you want it to look “remastered”.

(Chimas) #70

Don’t worry, in most cases just the background is enough, they are just examples. Like M15 in HW2 is “just” a background with no objects.

(Sastrei) #71

Here’s the tutorial I promised.

Modding tutorials Master Thread
[TUTORIAL] Blender - Basic Backgrounds
(Taiidan Republic Mod) #72

Nice! I’m still flattered that your desktop wallpaper is a screenshot of the Taiidan Republic Corvette!

(Chimas) #73

I WANT TO PLAY HERE !! rsrsrsrs


(Christoph Timmermann) #74

Can you please upload your cubemap renderer setup?

(REARM V2) #75

A camera with 90 degrees FOV and 1:1 screen ratio (1024x1024 px).

(Christoph Timmermann) #76

That was clear already, I just set it up myself. :smile:
I thought it would be a bit easier for people…
Thanks for the tutorial though, it helps alot.

(Taiidan Republic Mod) #77

Putting this here for the record…

(Sastrei) #78

(Taiidan Republic Mod) #79

FYI when you post drop box links change that final 0 to 1 to make it a direct download.

(Pandorazero) #80

I’m trying to create a modified Tanis.
I encountered such a problem, did everything according to the rules
I used the right materials, simply can not understand why black objects ?

(realshiftzero) #81

Good morning everyone !

I have to dig up this thread (Sorry if this post is misplaced, I was not sure where to post it) because I’m encountering some strange results with my background attempts.
I used @Sastrei’s video tutorial (it actually helped a lot) and his cubemaps as well (available inside this thread) but I get few differences during the process.
I’m using [Homeworld Remastered Toolkit for Blender v1.1.3] from @DKesserich to export my blender file to dae format. But I noticed it doesn’t have the same name that the one used by @Sastrei in his video…
I’m goind to try to illustrate with screenshots

Blender issue in details

So, I have the good material well named

texture too

My preview seems ok

My exporting module has a different name, mine is

instead of something like “better collada collision:HW” in @Sastrei’s video, but his version of blender is 2.78 when I use 2.79 and as his video is from Nov 2016, I guess this exporting tool must have gone through changes too since that time. I downloaded the last version from “release” tab (1.1.3) so it has to be ok from this angle.
Anyway, after exporting the file, I applied all modifications for ambient and directional lights in my tutorial_light.dae file as shown in the video. Here’s what I get

and then, I run this hodor script to generate my .HOD file

= -$HWRM_BASE=C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Homeworld
= -$SHIP_NAME=tutorial_light
= -$HOD_SAVE_OPTS=ForceScars FilterScars=thruster,bay
= -$CONVERT_IN=C:\Users\Toqup\Desktop\test\tutorial_light.dae
= -$CONVERT_OUT=C:\Users\Toqup\Desktop\test\tutorial_light.HOD
= -do=convert
= -action=null
= -wait

and it gave this result

So there, I could notice a huge difference, there is no mention of my background file nor its resolution as it is supposed to be displayed (at least in @Sastrei’s video)

and in game, I get this

I just can’t see my background image at all and the further I go from objects the more they get this weird red tainted aspect. it doesn’t look like my ambient light is working either…lens flares and stars are there but I think they are in other files I simply copy/paste from a working background and renamed them to match mine.
So this is where I’m stuck, I tried again and again, I even found the “Phong” shader trick but still, it doesnt “want” to work…
Since I’m a total rookie with Blender and making background, it feels like drowning every half an hour because of all this parameters everywhere :crazy_face: and if there is something really obvious that I missed, feel free to point that out to my attention guys :wink:

Hoping to read you soon fellows !

ps : I know this is another very long post, but I needed to be the most understandable to others for them to be able to help. My english not being very academic, it would have been a nightmare to explain all this with only very specialized terms, so I decided to go for screenshots, hope it will help you to help me :sweat_smile:

edit : I forgot to link my background folder content, to show that everything is in place. Cubemap views have been captured in 512*512, as shown in the video tutorial

edit 2/3/4
I just add my “tutorial_light.dae” file if you eventually need to check it in

By Grabthar’s Hammer, by the Sons of Warvan, you shall be avenged. :alien:

Last edit : to make this post shorter ^^