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(05-08-2013, 06:23 PM)Zokrar Wrote: [ -> ]Hey everyone! First post for me, excited to become part of the community. Don't go easy on me for the photo just because I'm new though! Need all the criticism I can get to improve.
<images in spoilers here>

First Image
Spoiler below!

The ceiling tiling is too small; you might want to try making it larger (change the x and z axis stretch from 1 to 0.5 to make them larger). The room is also very, very large. I'd shrink it by quite a lot (probably down to about 4 walls by 3 walls - the three windows with 2 half-walls on either side). It'll make the room easier to decorate. It's great that you used billboards, but they shouldn't be clipping through the walls or extending past the window's edges. This is how I use billboards:
[Image: help3_by_rueppells_fox-d62f73p.jpg]

Aside from billboards, the entire room feels very... mechanical(?). There's no natural change in angle of furniture - only the standard grid-snaps and a few, rare, 45 degree angles. Once you have everything placed roughly where you want, disable grid snapping (by clicking that little red magnet in the bottom left corner of the level editor) and rotate/move a few objects. Your map shouldn't look like a (very horror-esque) doll-house straight from the manufacturer if you want to immerse a player in it; it should look like a conference room/dining room that people have lived in and inhabited.


Apologies, my spare is over so I'll finish what I was saying tonight when I'm done work (if you want to know what else I was going to say) :)
Wow! Your windows look beautiful. It's incredible what attention to detail can accomplish! Thanks for the feedback. Was definitely not expecting feedback of this quality from both you and the other that replied.

As for the room being quite large, I agree with that. This was my first custom story and there's really no point going back to it now fix that up, but I'll keep what you've said in mind for future works.

As for your photo, the lighting is very.. 'warm' and ambient, if you get what I'm saying. Did you add a colour tint, maybe? In my picture it's very dark except for the light directly from the windows and doesn't look too realistic in my opinion. How can I achieve such realistic lighting as you have done? I've tried adding spot lights/point lights around but I've never gotten such a warm feeling from lighting that you achieved in that picture.
It just really bothers me that blue billboards are leaking through a silvery window Sad
(05-09-2013, 01:02 AM)Streetboat Wrote: [ -> ]It just really bothers me that blue billboards are leaking through a silvery window :(

Haha, sorry about that. It's just because I changed them to blue so the layout of them would be more visible (and contrasting to the background) for the purpose of demonstrating :)
(spoilers to reduce post size)

@ Zokrar:
Spoiler below!

(05-09-2013, 12:17 AM)Zokrar Wrote: [ -> ]As for the room being quite large, I agree with that. This was my first custom story and there's really no point going back to it now fix that up, but I'll keep what you've said in mind for future works.
If you intend to release the custom story, I would recommend going back and polishing the first few maps so that they remain quality consistent with the rest of your game. Otherwise just keep it in mind for the future.

(05-09-2013, 12:17 AM)Zokrar Wrote: [ -> ]As for your photo, the lighting is very.. 'warm' and ambient, if you get what I'm saying. Did you add a colour tint, maybe?
I don't edit my pictures in photoshop other than to crop them.

Spoiler below!

(05-09-2013, 12:17 AM)Zokrar Wrote: [ -> ]In my picture it's very dark except for the light directly from the windows and doesn't look too realistic in my opinion. How can I achieve such realistic lighting as you have done? I've tried adding spot lights/point lights around but I've never gotten such a warm feeling from lighting that you achieved in that picture.
I'm glad you asked :D

Well, there are a couple things you can try:
1. Use a boxlight. Pretty self explanitory, just make sure it covers the entire map (you can stretch it by pressing "E" while the light's selected). Spotlights and pointlights are also important for adding interest to a level, but make sure you always have that base boxlight to default on.
2. Make the lights not white. I've noticed that most beginning modders use white lights for absolutely everything - mainly because they don't know how to change the colour of the lights. It's actually really easy:
  • Click on the light you want to change the colour of
  • Select the "General" tab on the right-hand menu (it's the one automatically selected)
  • Click the white box beside the text "Diffuse color" (at the bottom of the menu)
  • Type numbers between 0 and 1 into the boxes OR slide the slidey bar things until you get a colour you like

*side note*
If I mention a decimal number (ie 0.182), I'm referring to the numbers you would type in to those boxes when you're changing the colour of your light.
A string of three, three-decimal numbers (0.099, 0.091, 0.072) followed by "(RGB)" means I listed the values I used for a light in the order of Red, Green, and Blue
*end side note*

There are a couple general rules I use for lighting up a map, you don't have to stick to them, but at least give them a try:

Use a boxlight in every map. Just one boxlight. And make it your dimmest colour. For boxlights, I don't go higher than 0.15 on any of the values unless I want a really bright room or a really saturated colour, and I don't go any lower than 0.035. Alpha seems pretty useless for boxlights (correct me if I'm wrong about that)so I usually set it to 0.

No light is pure white. Ever. The highest I've gone is 1.000, 0.897, 0.618 (RGB) for a spotlight shining through an open door in mid-day. Lights usually have some colour to them (if not, the shadows - boxlights - do) - even in the middle of the day with no clouds or dust in the air.

Choose a colour you want your main source of light to be, then make one light that's brighter, and 2-4 lights that are darker (depending on how white the original colour was). The darkest is your boxlight's colour (which can be dimmed if necessary) and the lightest is your spotlight's colour (which can be brightened if necessary). Do not make the ratio between R:G:B the same for all of these lights! That's almost as bad as just making the entire room white. If they're all the same colour, it's monochromatic - meaning your shadows look the same as your highlights. Not only is this just not something you would ever see in reality (yellow light, blue shadow), but it's also a little bit boring. Then again, I really enjoy painting and changing the colour of my lights, so that's just me.

Aaaaand one last thing. Warm rooms = warm light source and warm objects. The walls, lighting, floor, heck, even the carpet, in the screenshot I posted all follow the same colour theme. That's not to say you can't have contrasting colours - ATDD's main menu screen is an example of that (with the blue light and the orange torch light). The colours I used for the room (with slight tweaking, possibly) were:

R: 0.150 -> 0.300 -> 0.500 -> 0.750 -> 0.847 -> 1.000
G: 0.035 -> 0.121 -> 0.311 -> 0.569 -> 0.694 -> 0.845
B: 0.074 -> 0.189 -> 0.369 -> 0.449 -> 0.564 -> 0.618

The darkest is a maroon-y (is maroon the right colour description even?) purple and the brightest is more of a creamy yellow colour. That was me playing around with colour theory (this is a link for photography, but it applies to level design as well).

Anyways, best of luck! I look forward to seeing what you make in the future :)

What do you guys think of this? Did it in about 15 minutes.

Spoiler below!
[Image: VFqzsak.png]

EDIT: @Kiandra,

Question for box lights. Whenever I place them around the map, I get huuuuge clipping issues. Is this just because I play on low detail? Or am I missing something? Thanks for the detailed reply.
(05-10-2013, 12:16 AM)Zokrar Wrote: [ -> ]What do you guys think of this? Did it in about 15 minutes.
<insert image in spoilers>

Alright, last comment from me today :p (but seriously, I have calculus finals to study for and instruments -flute and piano- that need practicing)

Composition/screenshot-wise:
Spoiler below!

The darkness around the screen edges give a nice effect for a screenshot, not so sure about how it would look playing, though.

I'd direct the camera up higher so that you don't clip off the top of the iron maiden. It only needs a little bit of space above it, but it shouldn't clip out of the image like that.

Rule of Thirds - if you want the body inside the torture closet to be the focus, not his knee cap, tilt the screen view until something interesting is on one of the focal points - perhaps the largest part of the person (torso)?

Map-wise:
Spoiler below!

The overall colour scheme is great!
I'd leave only one of the arms in the iron maiden though; since they're both left hands, it looks a bit awkward.

That's also quite a small amount of blood considering the man was stabbed to death inside a pointy-death-closet. I mean, if there's drains on the floor, there's definitely going to be a lot more blood and, if someone had cleaned up the blood, they probably would have taken the body with them as well.

You might want to consider throwing some decals and particle systems around to create texture and break the patterns in the walls (usually the fog ps and some dirt decals work nicely).

Aand lastly, the light hitting the front of the iron maiden is too white. There's one very, very white light around the face of the thing, and it really destroys the contrast. If you want the same brightness, try making it a warm yellow or orange.


One last thing: 15 minutes isn't really enough to make a really stellar screenshot - not saying it can't be done, but it's almost impossible. Mainly because you'll miss out on a lot of details (cobwebs in corners, blood stains on the floor, neat little lighting effects, composition, particle systems, decals, etc). The screenshot I posted last (I believe it was the restoration room of my library) took me about.... 2 days of work to feel happy with. And I'm still not done with it.

(05-10-2013, 12:16 AM)Zokrar Wrote: [ -> ]EDIT: @Kiandra,
Question for box lights. Whenever I place them around the map, I get huuuuge clipping issues. Is this just because I play on low detail? Or am I missing something? Thanks for the detailed reply.

Just got this, good thing I'm an internet addict (and you're welcome, I'm glad I can be of use! Big Grin).
You can fix the clipping issues by making one boxlight that covers the entire map and stretches out past the walls by at least 0.25 (one grid space) on each side. So if your room is 3x4x1 walls (X, Y, Z), your boxlight should be 12.5, 16.5, 4.5 (X, Y, Z) Like this one: http://fc04.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2013/0...5qs6ro.jpg except for the entire map instead of just the one room (and yes, that is an excessive amount of pointlights per window - it's an old map).
To fix the left-hand thing, I think you can just scale it to -1.
Here's a little storage room I made (please note that I'm horrible at mapping) and I'd like to know your critics:

[Image: ZYj0bHD.jpg]

You are in a mansion in
Spoiler below!
"The world of Madness"
. That's how I later explain the body parts and things, but I mainly need advice about lighting.
(05-10-2013, 10:14 AM)The chaser Wrote: [ -> ]
Spoiler below!

Here's a little storage room I made (please note that I'm horrible at mapping) and I'd like to know your critics:

[Image: ZYj0bHD.jpg]

You are in a mansion in [spoiler]"The world of Madness"
. That's how I later explain the body parts and things, but I mainly need advice about lighting.

I would say that the room looks a little bland to be in a 'Mansion of Madness'. My suggestions would be to fill up the shelves with books/other stuff, put some of the boxes/barrels on their sides/use some broken boxes, add decals/cobwebs/particle systems to give the area a more spooky/realistic feeling (if that's what you're going for,)
and change the lighting up. Perhaps extinguish one of the lanterns, and make the colour of the other too slightly orange by changing the RGB.

Quote from Kiandra about lighting:

Spoiler below!
Well, there are a couple things you can try:
1. Use a boxlight. Pretty self explanitory, just make sure it covers the entire map (you can stretch it by pressing "E" while the light's selected). Spotlights and pointlights are also important for adding interest to a level, but make sure you always have that base boxlight to default on.
2. Make the lights not white. I've noticed that most beginning modders use white lights for absolutely everything - mainly because they don't know how to change the colour of the lights. It's actually really easy:
Click on the light you want to change the colour of
Select the "General" tab on the right-hand menu (it's the one automatically selected)
Click the white box beside the text "Diffuse color" (at the bottom of the menu)
Type numbers between 0 and 1 into the boxes OR slide the slidey bar things until you get a colour you like

*side note*
If I mention a decimal number (ie 0.182), I'm referring to the numbers you would type in to those boxes when you're changing the colour of your light.
A string of three, three-decimal numbers (0.099, 0.091, 0.072) followed by "(RGB)" means I listed the values I used for a light in the order of Red, Green, and Blue
*end side note*

There are a couple general rules I use for lighting up a map, you don't have to stick to them, but at least give them a try:

Use a boxlight in every map. Just one boxlight. And make it your dimmest colour. For boxlights, I don't go higher than 0.15 on any of the values unless I want a really bright room or a really saturated colour, and I don't go any lower than 0.035. Alpha seems pretty useless for boxlights (correct me if I'm wrong about that)so I usually set it to 0.

No light is pure white. Ever. The highest I've gone is 1.000, 0.897, 0.618 (RGB) for a spotlight shining through an open door in mid-day. Lights usually have some colour to them (if not, the shadows - boxlights - do) - even in the middle of the day with no clouds or dust in the air.

Choose a colour you want your main source of light to be, then make one light that's brighter, and 2-4 lights that are darker (depending on how white the original colour was). The darkest is your boxlight's colour (which can be dimmed if necessary) and the lightest is your spotlight's colour (which can be brightened if necessary). Do not make the ratio between R:G:B the same for all of these lights! That's almost as bad as just making the entire room white. If they're all the same colour, it's monochromatic - meaning your shadows look the same as your highlights. Not only is this just not something you would ever see in reality (yellow light, blue shadow), but it's also a little bit boring. Then again, I really enjoy painting and changing the colour of my lights, so that's just me.

Aaaaand one last thing. Warm rooms = warm light source and warm objects. The walls, lighting, floor, heck, even the carpet, in the screenshot I posted all follow the same colour theme. That's not to say you can't have contrasting colours - ATDD's main menu screen is an example of that (with the blue light and the orange torch light). The colours I used for the room (with slight tweaking, possibly) were:

R: 0.150 -> 0.300 -> 0.500 -> 0.750 -> 0.847 -> 1.000
G: 0.035 -> 0.121 -> 0.311 -> 0.569 -> 0.694 -> 0.845
B: 0.074 -> 0.189 -> 0.369 -> 0.449 -> 0.564 -> 0.618

The darkest is a maroon-y (is maroon the right colour description even?) purple and the brightest is more of a creamy yellow colour. That was me playing around with colour theory (this is a link for photography, but it applies to level design as well)
@The chaser
You can actually light up one area using just one lantern in real life. I would stack some boxes, break some stuff, add some decal or PS maybe.