Incandescence - lava, clouds, fog and glowing rocks

Incandescence - lava, clouds, fog and glowing rocks

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qray
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Incandescence - lava, clouds, fog and glowing rocks

Post by qray » 24 May 2015, 21:50

For those who like steam baths and saunas: sizzling lava, steamy fog and glowing rocks.
Image

The map combines several great widgets/gadgets from other people:
The Lava Shader Drop In Package (thread) using a custom texture, the Volumetric Clouds shader widget (thread) and the dual_fog gadget from the map blueprint.

Overall ground design relies heavily on normal and light emission map.
The normal map is also one of the reasons why the file size is a bit bigger than usual: the PNG for this is nearly 26MB. But at lower resolutions I started to loose too many details.

Inspiration on how to do cracks came from a tutorial video by PenguinTutorials.

The geovent effect has been adjusted to match the overall look and feel of the map (includes using a modified version of the ceg from the lava gadget).

Overall size is 16x16, the rock island is a bit smaller than 14x14. 12 start positions and adjustable metal income in map options to fit different team sizes.

Link to Springfiles: DOWNLOAD


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Silentwings
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Re: Incandescence - lava, clouds, fog and glowing rocks

Post by Silentwings » 25 May 2015, 08:59

That looks awesome. I guess you've made the heightmap with SME? Only way I can think to improve it would be to run some World Machine erosion on the hills, or suchlike, and give them more of a craggy look.
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qray
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Re: Incandescence - lava, clouds, fog and glowing rocks

Post by qray » 25 May 2015, 18:21

You're putting the finger on the weak spot :wink:

The height map was done in Inkscape(*) and then I used Krita to do smoothing on some parts and and adding noise to others (in 16bit).
I tried a bit in Blender to improve, but even though enetheru made a great video tutorial, Blender always drives me crazy - one accidental click and I am stuck and don't know how to get back/undo. One day if I have a lot of time and frustration tolerance ... :-)

I agree, if I see other maps done with world machine, this would most probably improve the look of the hills (maybe even using a bit baked in shadows?). But I have neither a running Windows ATM nor world machine here.
I never worked with world machine, so I can't judge how much work it is. But if it's just a few clicks, maybe someone could jump in? Just in case, a PNG of the height map is attached to this post.


(*) here I learned this time that extensive use of filters on many objects to do ragged borders slows Inscape down to an unusable state even on a decent machine :shock:


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Orfelius
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Re: Incandescence - lava, clouds, fog and glowing rocks

Post by Orfelius » 26 May 2015, 22:13

Map looks very nice. The representation in ZKL once again fails to recognise the superb quality ofc (bacause its the shaders that give it great looks).

I don't really like is that with LoS on the map is super dark :(

Mexes could be more noticeable somehow. Perhaps feature mexes + diffuse mexes would work nicely on this map?

It is kinda hard to figure out where the main terrain starts to drop etc. Ramps are significantly dark but it also creates a poor vision of fake shadows. I can't really think of a way to have the differences of the terrain more visible.

Also I feel that the rocks should not have this molten cracks but instead be dry.

Oh and there is this very weird issue with Zero-K that the music it plays gets changed all the time. I don't know why does it do that on this map :| are you using Klon's ambient sound widget?
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qray
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Re: Incandescence - lava, clouds, fog and glowing rocks

Post by qray » 27 May 2015, 21:19

Thanks for the feedback.
Orfelius wrote:The representation in ZKL once again fails to recognise the superb quality ofc (because its the shaders that give it great looks).
Yep, minimap is a compromise and a mixture between ingame screenshot and parts of diffuse with a slightly higher contrast. Screenshot itself was much too dark in ingame minimap. Even the diffuse was and showed not enough contrast to give a good overview. Since ingame is more important than webpage/lobby representation, it was rather adjusted for this.
Orfelius wrote:I don't really like is that with LoS on the map is super dark :(
Oh, I did not test with LOS. But now that I checked, you're right. But I guess this just comes from the map being rather dark overall. I see no way to fix this without changing the complete look (which I do not intend do to :wink:).
Orfelius wrote:Mexes could be more noticeable somehow. Perhaps feature mexes + diffuse mexes would work nicely on this map?
In an earlier iteration, mexes had more light emission and a bit more blue color component. They were well visible, but I felt this looked rather out of place and disturbed overall impression. I don't think it's too big a problem, since in F4 metal view, they are visible very well...
Maybe tuning them just a bit more brighter/blue could help. Will have a look.
Orfelius wrote:It is kinda hard to figure out where the main terrain starts to drop etc. Ramps are significantly dark but it also creates a poor vision of fake shadows. I can't really think of a way to have the differences of the terrain more visible.
Actually I didn't go for fake shadows, but rather a good contrast between planes and ramps. Maybe ramps are a bit too dark now?
The texturing did go though many iterations and so far I haven't found sth. for the ramps that makes height steps more clear. I could try to make the difference between different plane heights stronger (they actually have each a different texture color). For the two lowest levels, the fog shows it already OKish, I think.
Orfelius wrote:Also I feel that the rocks should not have this molten cracks but instead be dry.
The molten look was actually what I was going for; sth. like cooled down lava. So I don't think I will be changing this :wink:
Orfelius wrote:Oh and there is this very weird issue with Zero-K that the music it plays gets changed all the time. I don't know why does it do that on this map :| are you using Klon's ambient sound widget?
The only sound thing that this map uses comes from the lava gadget. Since it's the same as used in Violence I would have thought it does not disturb ZK. Or does Violence have the same problem? Would be thankful for tips how to fix this.


A friend also pointed out that metal distribution is too porky. I have to admit he has a point, so this will need some rearrangement, too.

To sum up my todo list:
- diffuse texture contrasts
- hills heightmap
- metal distribution and look
- redo normal map from scratch (I accidentally destroyed the input image)
- adjusted light emission, splat detail

Since I will have to touch/redo every input file, I might take a few days :wink:
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Orfelius
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Re: Incandescence - lava, clouds, fog and glowing rocks

Post by Orfelius » 27 May 2015, 23:53

The fog of war shader is much darker in newer versions than it used to be. Darker maps like this or Calayo for example seems to have the same problem with it.

I just find that it is hard to distinguish ramps from the flat terrain. But I can't really put my finger on the issue.
In an earlier iteration, mexes had more light emission and a bit more blue color component. They were well visible, but I felt this looked rather out of place and disturbed overall impression. I don't think it's too big a problem, since in F4 metal view, they are visible very well...
Maybe tuning them just a bit more brighter/blue could help. Will have a look.
Perhaps they could be given specular? Like this purple reflection that would make them more visible. The problem is that this purple very easily blends in with the color of the lava cracks.
We had a talk about at Zero-K (dont remember where exactly) once, that maps that require a go-around to be fully experienced (like forced use of the metal view) are a nuisance. So I say that this is fairly important but obviously if you don't want to do anything with it I can't really force you to do it you can I? :P
The molten look was actually what I was going for; sth. like cooled down lava. So I don't think I will be changing this :wink:
I guess I just failed at communication. By "rocks" I meant "hills". So the more elevated the ground are the cooler it should be. Because the stuff at the top cooled down earlier. Yet there is sameish amount of lava scraches on the hills as in the lower grounds. My point is that hills should be cooled and low grounds have more molten look.

Regarding the changing music: yes it seems like lava shader causes problems with ZK music for some reason. Hopefully Yak or some other person can fix this.

Oh and please don't take it too harshly I give all this critique because I really like your map :-)
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Silentwings
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Re: Incandescence - lava, clouds, fog and glowing rocks

Post by Silentwings » 28 May 2015, 00:21

My point is that hills should be cooled and low grounds have more molten look.
This is not how volcanoes work - the hot bit is at the top.
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qray
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Re: Incandescence - lava, clouds, fog and glowing rocks

Post by qray » 28 May 2015, 00:22

Orfelius wrote:Perhaps they could be given specular? Like this purple reflection that would make them more visible. The problem is that this purple very easily blends in with the color of the lava cracks.
Specular is already in use; but obviously it doesn't suffice as it is :wink:
My feel is that the glowing cracks take away a lot of focus from other shiny things on the map ...
Orfelius wrote:We had a talk about at Zero-K (dont remember where exactly) once, that maps that require a go-around to be fully experienced (like forced use of the metal view) are a nuisance. So I say that this is fairly important but obviously if you don't want to do anything with it I can't really force you to do it you can I? :P
In principle I agree. On the other hand, spots should also "blend in" the overall look of the map; if they stand out too much, they just look alien. I'll keep it in mind in the re-design and try to find a better compromise between the two sides.
The geovents had the same problem which could be lessened a bit by using a ceg effect.
Orfelius wrote:By "rocks" I meant "hills". So the more elevated the ground are the cooler it should be. Because the stuff at the top cooled down earlier. Yet there is sameish amount of lava scraches on the hills as in the lower grounds. My point is that hills should be cooled and low grounds have more molten look.
Ah, OK. Since hills height map will anyway be worked over, the look of the hills will most probably change anyway. I already have an idea... but I'll look at some more RL images of lava and volcanic rocks before I decide which direction to try...
Orfelius wrote:Regarding the changing music: yes it seems like lava shader causes problems with ZK music for some reason. Hopefully Yak or some other person can fix this.
Hmm, I can have a look where there could be interference. But I am not too confident about my Lua skills :|
Orfelius wrote:Oh and please don't take it too harshly I give all this critique because I really like your map :-)
No prob. I might not follow everything, but always happy about constructive input :-)
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Anarchid
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Re: Incandescence - lava, clouds, fog and glowing rocks

Post by Anarchid » 28 May 2015, 11:03

Specular is already in use; but obviously it doesn't suffice as it is :wink:
My feel is that the glowing cracks take away a lot of focus from other shiny things on the map ...
On the other hand, spots should also "blend in" the overall look of the map
The way is unanimous, solution - instantaneous: have metalspots represented with glowing circular cracks formations and remove cracks elsewhere!
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Floris
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Re: Incandescence - lava, clouds, fog and glowing rocks

Post by Floris » 28 May 2015, 14:08

The volumetric clouds looked a bit too dramatic here.
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qray
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Re: Incandescence - lava, clouds, fog and glowing rocks

Post by qray » 28 May 2015, 15:50

Anarchid wrote:The way is unanimous, solution - instantaneous: have metalspots represented with glowing circular cracks formations and remove cracks elsewhere!
I won't change overall map look just for metal spot visibility. But the idea to do sth. with crack patterns around them sounds good :-)

Floris wrote:The volumetric clouds looked a bit too dramatic here.
Oh, that really looks bad :shock:
What kind of graphics card do you use?
Maybe Anarchid can comment; he probably has much more insight in problems with the volumetric clouds widget.
For now, as a quick solution: since it's a widget you can simply switch it off.
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Floris
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Re: Incandescence - lava, clouds, fog and glowing rocks

Post by Floris » 28 May 2015, 16:19

Using a GTX 970. All settings maxed out. Yes already turned off that widget. Also I don't see any glow animation on the cracks if that is supposed to be there. Just the particle effects of lava spurts.
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Anarchid
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Re: Incandescence - lava, clouds, fog and glowing rocks

Post by Anarchid » 28 May 2015, 17:37

The volumetric clouds looked a bit too dramatic here.
Looks like your GPU, GPU settings, or Spring settings do something interesting with textures (e.g. the texture used to generate pseudorandom noise cheaply is missing or damaged).

Care for infolog?
I won't change overall map look just for metal spot visibility. But the idea to do sth. with crack patterns around them sounds good :-)
There's overall and less overall, e.g. you can keep the style and even have cracks be sufficiently huge while also denoting metalspots and drawing attention to them.

Unless of course you mean like "not regenerating the emissive and diffuse and specular and evertythingular". I can totes understand why someone would not jump at the idea.
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PicassoCT
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Re: Incandescence - lava, clouds, fog and glowing rocks

Post by PicassoCT » 28 May 2015, 17:40

Infolog beggars everywhere.. spare the log sir, desperate dev falling on hard times...
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Orfelius
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Re: Incandescence - lava, clouds, fog and glowing rocks

Post by Orfelius » 28 May 2015, 19:08

Floris you have a titan wannabe! No wonder it doesn't work properly :twisted:
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Re: Incandescence - lava, clouds, fog and glowing rocks

Post by The Yak » 29 May 2015, 19:33

I made a big gif.
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Re: Incandescence - lava, clouds, fog and glowing rocks

Post by qray » 29 May 2015, 20:37

The Yak wrote:I made a big gif.
Very nice! :-)

... and big. I hope nobody with a 56k modem is following this thread :mrgreen:

Anarchid wrote:There's overall and less overall, e.g. you can keep the style and even have cracks be sufficiently huge while also denoting metalspots and drawing attention to them.

Unless of course you mean like "not regenerating the emissive and diffuse and specular and evertythingular". I can totes understand why someone would not jump at the idea.
Ah, misunderstanding. I understood I should get rid of cracks altogether except at metal spots.
After all the iterations, redoing this and that, throwing some stuff over, trying different options -and in the end doing everything multiple times- it's doesn't feel too bad redoing all the single maps. Somehow you develop a work flow :wink:


Progress:
New heightmap with a bit(!) more craggyness on the hills is done. Found a nice PDF Tutorial for doing sth. like erosion in Gimp. Had to combine it with some baked in shadows to get it at least a bit visible (though in principle I do not like baked in stuff too much).
After I had some 2v2 games on it yesterday, I also have some ideas for a more spread out metal spot layout (with less metal per spot, but more spots between bases). Probably also one or two vents will appear at exposed places where BA Core could use Behemoths - if they manage to conquer that area :wink: .
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Re: Incandescence - lava, clouds, fog and glowing rocks

Post by qray » 31 May 2015, 22:42

Since I won't be able to do much the next 4 days, here's a before/after image with white texture / no fog to show height map better, including highlighted metal spots:
Image
The modified metal spot layout should drive teams a bit more outside their bases, I hope.

Diffuse background (hills and stuff) is done; cracks, lightning and normal still need some work as well as more visible metal spot design.
Would be faster if Gimp wouldn't crash every now and then - 8192^2 diffuse image with 17 layers is stressing it a bit, I guess, especially when using layer masks :-(
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Re: Incandescence - lava, clouds, fog and glowing rocks

Post by The Yak » 02 Jun 2015, 22:18

qray wrote:
Orfelius wrote:Oh and there is this very weird issue with Zero-K that the music it plays gets changed all the time. I don't know why does it do that on this map :| are you using Klon's ambient sound widget?
The only sound thing that this map uses comes from the lava gadget. Since it's the same as used in Violence I would have thought it does not disturb ZK. Or does Violence have the same problem? Would be thankful for tips how to fix this.
Friendly reminder that lava shader is now on github and anyone could make a pull request. Music widget is simple and should in theory be easy to fix if there was a problem. I haven't had any issues but haven't played much recently.
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Re: Incandescence - lava, clouds, fog and glowing rocks

Post by qray » 13 Jun 2015, 14:50

Version 1.5 is on springfiles now (same URL as above). Most visual changes are more or less subtle and overall theme hasn't changed much.
As usual, it took me a bit longer to finish the update :mrgreen: Several iterations of metal spot layouts, detail textures, diffuse textures and height maps etc. jumped in my way :wink:

Heightmap at hills is a bit more ragged (lights and diffuse changed a bit, too). This leads to very slight changes in pathing since hills got a bit bigger at some places.
The metal spot layout should be now less porky and is more centered around the imaginary line separating map sides (also 2 geos moved from the the bases to the diagonal center line). This also led to the removal of 2 start positions. So max is now 5v5 which should be enough given the size of the map.
Metal income / spot went from 2.5 to 2.3 since there are a few more spots now.

The metal spots should be a bit better visible now (more light/specular) and the geo vents got a new icon. I was again torn between metal spots standing out too much and not being visible enough... see the current setting as compromise I made with myself :|

Overall the diffuse texture got a bit lighter. I don't know if this helps the ZK LOS problem - it's still overall a rather dark map theme.
Normal, light and splat detail also got some changes, but I guess the usual player won't notice :-)


What I didn't change/fix:

Volumetric clouds. I wouldn't even know where to start. Since no infolog was posted, it also doesn't seem like an important problem to me.

Music and ZK: didn't spot anything obvious. Since ambient sound is a widget, people can turn it off easily (I moved it from gui to gfx category). But I am also not sure if the ambient sound IS actually causing the problem? Anybody tested this?
I set [bool enqueue] option in Spring.PlaySoundStream explicitly to true, but I doubt it changes anything.

If anybody makes an update that matters to one of the 2 effect packages (lava, clouds) I will update the map accordingly.


tl;dr:
I tried to incorporate most suggestions - changes more or less subtle. Metal layout changed significantly. Posted widget effects problems not fixed.
Download here.

IMHO overall the map improved. Thanks for all the comments!
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