brushes converted to models look different

Started by Speedo, August 24, 2016, 10:18:34 AM

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I use hammer for level desing and wanted to make models from some more coplex brush geometry. I'm currently working on the church building and have those curved windows where's gonna be stained glass ( It is built with brushes but it takes a lot of brushsides limit which i want to avoid and make models out of them. So i cut them, imported to 3ds max (here it is -> made every important change to export them succesfully, exported materials and model. But they look kinda dark in hammer (pic here from both sides -> I thought when i compile the map and play the game it won't be that noticeable but it turns out that it looks even worse, there is some weird lighting issues and overall this just looks bad (pics -> - the one looking weird is model, other is set of brushes).

Well tbh I didnt expect it to work perfectly. I knew there'll be some differences between model and brushes but it just looks horrible :/ Is there something i can do? At least to make it berely noticeable and not having this huge ugly square in the middle of the building?



Please note that if this is the free version of WW, these steps might produce a crash if your installation of WW is from the last month--so make sure to update WW to the latest version before taking these steps.

The main issue going on here probably that you are using brushwork.

You should combine all the parts of the model into a single mesh. Then go to polygon sub-element mode and DELETE all of the faces that are not being seen on the outside. Now Weld all the vertices.

Now when you export you might see that it's a little bit better but probably still not great.

Next step is to manipulate the smoothing groups or normal. You'll want the normals to point out consistently. That's a whole topic that I don't have time to explain ATM.

Finally, if the model is using a material with bumpmapping, it cannot be vertexlit--meaning it will only light from the origin. You can either move the model's pivot to a place for light sampling or use the illumination origin in WW. Note that the front and back might have different needs... (one lit from inside and one outside) so you may also need to make two models (on for side facing inward, another for outward).

Hopefully these tips get you on your way.


Thanks for the respond, I'll take a look at those things and hopefully that'll fit my needs. I have no idea about those smoothing groups (Im still kinda new to all this) so I guess I gotta find same good tutorial for it. Thanks a lot once again.


You are welcome.

There is an undocumented feature in WW we made for some work on Black Mesa that might help you. It is for converting imported scenes into single models.

1) Import your VMF
2) Click Wall Worm > Wall Worm Model Tools > Convert Scene to Model

That tool will automate a lot of the functions you are trying to accomplish. You'll need to rework some of the materials if you are not baking it down, but that's a topic for another day.


Ok so I made single mesh, simplified model, deleted unnesesary faces/edges, played around with smoothing groups. Normals seemed to be ok and facing correct directions. Materials do not use bumpmaps, it's just bitmap in tga format.

I ended up with those results:

From outside it looks fine, inside is still kinda messy but better than last time and I actually changed lighting origin with info_lighting entity to be in the middle of the room cause it being in pivot point of model was making it look worse.

I tested it a little bit and this pic ->

Actually model itself looks really good when its placed in you could say constant lighting (if there is such a thing xd) but when its in frame i prepared for it, its like it was shown before. Maybe this has something to do with shadow that brush above is casting on model or there is two different lighting environment on both sides and thats why. I dont know, but i'd like to have this model properly lit from right side on the left side. Is there some baking technique or something? ^^'

Any help will be appreciated


Well it's improving :)

The next thing is the compile parameters for the level. If you are using WW to compile, then you can add these to the RAD field:

-StaticPropLighting  -TextureShadows  -StaticPropPolys

This increases compile times but also makes the lighting better. The Final preset in the VMF exporter also sets these (but pay attention that the preset currently updates the sky name... so you need to change that to the desired sky after clicking the preset. I'll fix that bug soon.)

If in Hammer, then use the Hammer tools for that.


Well i already was final compiling with all parameters and thats what I got


Add an Edit Normals modifier to your window model and make the normals display long enough to view... then screen shot and past that here.


Screen shot with normals from both sides ->

movie with rotations to see more clearly ->

and also i experimented with the model and made it as prop_dynamic and it looks a lot better -
Its a little bit brighter but has proper shadow casting on itself and looks good overall. I wonder what that changes.


There is still geometry I would delete (all of the faces that are not visible like the outer faces that abut the surrounding brushes). Try deleting those faces. Those might help. Also, set WWMT to use Explicit Normals when you export. See if these two steps help any. Then recompile the model then level.


didn't change anything, sorry. I'm over it, prop set to dynamic looks good enough for me, ill cover some imperfections with other things, thanks for all time invested.

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