TTP Map Tutorial: Architecture Part 1

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In this part of the tutorial we will

  • create an outer wall (40mx40m) to define a sigil puzzle area and therefore
  • use many different ways to manipulate position and orientation of entities.

Adding Standard Architecture

Like terrain, architecture is also added with Simple models. Fortunately, architecture for The Talos Principle does not have to be created and shaded in the mesh editor (even though that can be done). You can resort to the models that Croteam used in the standard campaign because all of them are at your diposal in Serious Editor.

1. Switch to world editor.
2. Add a new Simple model by moving your mouse over the viewport and pressing Ins.
3. Activate the Entity panel of the Property group. If you don't see the tab at the bottom of the Property group window press Alt+1 and the panel will appear.
4. Make sure the Simple model you just added, and only that entity, is selected.
Model property of Simple model.
5. Find the 'Model' property right at the top of the property list in the Entity panel and, with resource control, browse for the file
Content/Talos/Models/TilePresets/Egypt/Wall_8x4.mdl.

That's it for creating architecture. The position of the model does not matter for the time being, we'll position it later together with other models.

Info 16x16.png Note: With respect to Simple models, there is one more thing: Name it! If you're building big maps naming Simple models will greatly facilite your work at a later stage because you can easily find/select great amounts of entities with just a couple of clicks.

Because the wall tile is part of all walls in the map I call it 'Wall' in the Name property of the Simple model which is the fourth last entry in the Entity panel for every entity.

Copy/Paste

If you recall, in The Talos Principle most of the puzzle areas are built with wall tiles like the one we just added. And two or more wall tiles are connected with a column. So let's add such column with copy/paste:

1. If the wall tile is not selected anymore, select it.
2. Press Ctrl+C. This copies the selection to the clipboard.
3. Move the mouse pointer where you want the wall to be pasted and press Ctrl+V. Don't worry too much about the position but on one of the sides of the wall tile would be the easiest for aligning both models in the next step.

Now there are two wall tiles potentially overlapping. Let's change the Model property of the pasted Simple model with resource control to

Content/Talos/Models/TilePresets/Egypt/Wall_05x4_25.mdl.

Common Guide

Common guide for SimpleModel.

To translate (move) or rotate the selected column model you can hold Ctrl which displays the common guide in the viewport. Now, by clicking/holding LMB.png on one of the guide elements and dragging the mouse you can do the following:

  • Arrows: translate selected entities along the specified axis.
  • Planes: translate selected entities along the specified plane.
  • Circles: rotate selected entities around the specified axis.

The common guide also works for multiple selected objects. However, in this tutorial we are barely going to use it because there are better ways to position a multitude of entities so that they perfectly align with each other (which is next to impossible only with the common guide).

Drag/align

It is preferable, to align these two models to each other with the drag/align tool:

1. Make sure the column model is selected.
2. Press and hold Alt. The outline of the selected column model will become partly pink indicating the drag/align tool.
3. When you move your mouse over the outline so-called snap points will appear. Every entity has 27 of these snap points. They are spread on the bounding box of the selected entity:
  • one on each vertex;
  • one at the center of each edge;
  • one at the center of each plane;
  • one at the center of the bounding box.
4. Move your mouse to the snap point at the bottom plane of the column model. Since it is also the origin of the model it should appear as a star-like shape.
Drag/align tool snapped to position.
5. Click and hold LMB.png on that snap point. All snap points disappear.
6. Move your mouse towards the model of the wall tile. An orange outline will appear that displays the bounding box of that model. When you move the mouse close to one of that models' snap points it will appear. If the mouse is moved to one of the snap points, the column model will snap into that position.
7. Find the snap point on the bottom edge on the side of the wall tile and move the mouse there. Once the column model snapped to position (see screenshot on the right) let go of LMB.png and Alt.

This way you can make sure that two models are perfectly aligned. We could extend the wall only with copy/paste and the drag/align tool. But there is an easier option:

Clone

We have a wall tile element with a column element aligned to it. For a wall of 40m we need these two elements 5 times. So the simplest way is to use the Clone tool:

1. Make sure that both SimpleModels, and only those two, are selected.
2. Press Ctrl+⇧ Shift+O or switch the Command bar group on the right of the editor to the 'Misc' tab and select 'Clone'. In the top right corner of the viewport it will say 'Tool.CloneEntitiesTool'.
3. Toggle the Tools panel with Q.
4. Set 'Number of clones' to 4. The viewport will now show four clones of the selected entities. All we have to do is position them correctly with the offset values.
Clone tool.
5. Expand 'Offset' and set the x value to 8 (assuming that you have not changed the orientation of the model). It should look like on the screenshot on the right now.
6. Move your mouse over the viewport and press D to exit the clone tool.

The clone tool is very handy for adding and positioning many entities in one go.

Rotate

To finalize our outer wall we will just copy/paste and rotate the entities we created by now:

1. Select all ten wall models. Since all of them are called 'Wall' we can simply select one of them and press Ctrl+E to select all entities with that name.
2. Press Ctrl+C to copy the selection to the clipboard.
3. Move the mouse pointer where you want the clipboard content to be pasted and press Ctrl+V.
4. Note that pasted entities are selected by default. To rotate them 90° counter-clockwise press Tab ↹. This rotate function is preferable over the rotate function of the common guide when you want to rotate entities exactly 90°.
The first corner with the drag/align tool.
5. Use the drag/align tool to align one entire wall with the other, creating the first corner of the outer wall. Just make sure that you are aligning a column end with a wall end. To do so you may first have to zoom out a bit. It may also be helpful to first translate the selected entities with the guide (Ctrl) so that the ends of the two walls are close to each other. In the screenshot on the right you can see what the corner should look like with the drag/align tool.

Now all wall parts (20 entities) can be

  • selected Ctrl+E,
  • copied Ctrl+C,
  • pasted Ctrl+V,
  • rotated twice Tab ↹, and
  • aligned Alt+LMB.png

to form the entire outer wall. It should look like this (the terrain model is hidden in this screenshot):

TTP Tutorial 18.png

You can check whether you did everything right by looking at the values in the Tools panel (Q). Select all 40 wall entites and

  • Width should be 48,
  • Height should be 4.25,
  • Length should be 40.75.

If one of these values is not correct you probably did not use a correct snap point in one of the above steps. If you want to follow this tutorial step-by-step try to undo and correct your steps.

Position

Now the only thing left to do is to position this wall structure so that it is centered on our floor model. This is easily done with the Tools panel in the world editor because if you select more than one entity, the Tools panel will show you the combined weighted position for all selected entities. Since our wall structure is perfectly symmetrical the X, Y, Z position data of all 40 selected wall entities in the Tools panel is the excact center position of the wall structure.

So with all 40 wall models selected switch to the Tools panel and type 0 for X, Y, and Z. The outer wall is now perfectly centered on our floor.

Data

For completeness sake, here is the final position and orientation data for each model that was added in this step. Note that orientation data depends on how you created the first corner and, thus, may be different.

Back Wall
Model Resource X Y Z B P H
Wall_8x4.mdl -16 0 20 180 0 0
Wall_05x4_25.mdl -12 0 20 180 0 0
Wall_8x4.mdl -8 0 20 180 0 0
Wall_05x4_25.mdl -4 0 20 180 0 0
Wall_8x4.mdl 0 0 20 180 0 0
Wall_05x4_25.mdl 4 0 20 180 0 0
Wall_8x4.mdl 8 0 20 180 0 0
Wall_05x4_25.mdl 12 0 20 180 0 0
Wall_8x4.mdl 16 0 20 180 0 0
Wall_05x4_25.mdl 20 0 20 180 0 0
Front Wall
Model Resource X Y Z B P H
Wall_8x4.mdl 16 0 -20 0 0 0
Wall_05x4_25.mdl 12 0 -20 0 0 0
Wall_8x4.mdl 8 0 -20 0 0 0
Wall_05x4_25.mdl 4 0 -20 0 0 0
Wall_8x4.mdl 0 0 -20 0 0 0
Wall_05x4_25.mdl -4 0 -20 0 0 0
Wall_8x4.mdl -8 0 -20 0 0 0
Wall_05x4_25.mdl -12 0 -20 0 0 0
Wall_8x4.mdl -16 0 -20 0 0 0
Wall_05x4_25.mdl -20 0 -20 0 0 0


Right Wall
Model Resource X Y Z B P H
Wall_8x4.mdl 20 0 16 -90 0 0
Wall_05x4_25.mdl 20 0 12 -90 0 0
Wall_8x4.mdl 20 0 8 -90 0 0
Wall_05x4_25.mdl 20 0 4 -90 0 0
Wall_8x4.mdl 20 0 0 -90 0 0
Wall_05x4_25.mdl 20 0 -4 -90 0 0
Wall_8x4.mdl 20 0 -8 -90 0 0
Wall_05x4_25.mdl 20 0 -12 -90 0 0
Wall_8x4.mdl 20 0 -16 -90 0 0
Wall_05x4_25.mdl 20 0 -20 -90 0 0
Left Wall
Model Resource X Y Z B P H
Wall_8x4.mdl -20 0 -16 90 0 0
Wall_05x4_25.mdl -20 0 -12 90 0 0
Wall_8x4.mdl -20 0 -8 90 0 0
Wall_05x4_25.mdl -20 0 -4 90 0 0
Wall_8x4.mdl -20 0 0 90 0 0
Wall_05x4_25.mdl -20 0 4 90 0 0
Wall_8x4.mdl -20 0 8 90 0 0
Wall_05x4_25.mdl -20 0 12 90 0 0
Wall_8x4.mdl -20 0 16 90 0 0
Wall_05x4_25.mdl -20 0 20 90 0 0


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