[EXAMPLE] Backgrounds #1 - Discussion

Continuing the discussion from [EXAMPLE] Backgrounds #1:


Started to look at this, I couldn’t find anywhere in your post or in the included documentation what commandline to use for HODOR to output background HODs as opposed to regular ship HODs.

Secondly, is it possibly to use a skybox instead of a sphere? ie, can HODOR output a working background HOD from something else than the sphere given in the example?

The DAE tells HODOR what format to be. So you don’t have to stress about it - treat them, essentially, like ships. Check out the other thread ( Background Hods ) if you want to see some of that in action.

As for a Skybox - it’s a sphere because the mesh is un-bound from the game’s camera position - so all points drawing from the same eye distance is better. You can use any mesh you want - go crazy. We just gave the example we use, and the tools/helpers we use. I don’t really know or understand what you’d be looking to gain from another mesh shape/layout. We have another background feature that wasn’t covered in this example (parallax cut-outs - like the large monolith elements in some level backgrounds) - I am sure that can be explained.

One more thing (as Cole alludes to in the other thread) is that we have a ‘stars’ processor - because they are so dense a data-set - and really are best just painted over the background texture. In that sense a sphere-mapped image is by far the best way to get that done.

I’ve actually figured that out while you were typing, thanks anyway :b

I’ve also packed the source and the output if it can help other people (for the output, I haven’t touched at all all the lighting and envmap stuff yet). Credit for the original skybox goes to HerraTohtori, used and distributed with permission.


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Quick question, is there a way to enable the testmaps for usage in HWR? I’ve got them in the right place in my mod’s folder, but they don’t show.

You have to use the commandline argument -testmaps to see them. I may have forgotten to add that in the documentation, but we added the ability to add a testmap flag in your levels so you don’t pollute your player vs CPU map list.

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Ahhh, I see! Thanks, that’ll make testing my stuff a bit easier.

(Yes forum, I’m sure I want to revive a 367 days old topic).


So I feed HODOR the DAE with my backgroud source tga rewritten within the file and what I get is that single 40MB background_name_light.hod file.

Docummentation says the bgname_light.hod is the one with the background, the much smaller bgname.hod is only for the stars. So I use any other star hod, say m04.hod, but what I always get in game is the background of that said hod, instead of my bigger _light file.

Also, I somehow though the HODOR will create the reflection cubemaps (the m04_negx.tga), but I take it I have to make them manually. I don’t know why I thought that.

The name inside the smaller .hod says what to load - and I think if it loads nothing, it uses the ‘old’ BG logic. We really need to show people how to use the Stars editing tool in HODOR - it is great. For the next week or so, I am WAY too busy to even think about it.

And no, HODOR doesn’t make the cube-maps. BIG NOTE - In the next patch they MUST be dds, not TGA. Actually, most things have to be DDS to prevent people from shooting themselves in the foot for memory waste.

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I see. So… how do I create the smaller hod then? I’ll read it all again.

concerning the dds format, will you be able to tell us the settings you used on your side, so that we keep the same kind of quality/compression ? (same for some of the UI elements which are also in dds)
Please, pretty please ? :slight_smile:

will the input file be forced to dds instead of TGA? I thought it got compressed if we specified DXT1/DXTA3 etc in the map files and it only did uncompressed if we put things like 8888

It’s a DDS - There aren’t really ‘settings’ of any note - 8888, DXT1, DXT3, DXT5… ?

It won’t search for, understand, or load TGA. And yes, DDS (generally) are compressed, that’s really the whole point. For Reflection Cubes in particular, DXT1 is great. 8888 is super overkill. For the backgrounds themselves, 8888 is common and understandable… But those are in the HOD, and not ‘DDS’.

How do you create the small .hod? Just so I can load the bg texture, I don’t mind the stars ATM.

For all intents and purposes, 8888 is the exact same thing as TGA. So are you saying don’t use 8888 for your DDS (non-)compression?

For the UI, and from the tests I’ve done (comparing the different settings to your dds files), there is at least one setting concerning the mip map filtering which have been set specifically to “Box”.

Using “Box” instead of “Point” for example, will generate differences in the dds file, especially visible on the third level of mip map :

And for the level of Mip Map, always 4 I presume ?

I think what is being said is:

  1. any images that are directly referred to in game must be dds
  2. inputs to HODOR can still be tga
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Does this also apply to Fx file entries in the ART folder?

I would guess so.

No, FX as TGA is fine - you’d want them 8888 most of the time anyway, no?

I wasn’t sure, as I remember the classic HW2 would have a mix of tga, rot, and dxt5 dds