Over the last couple of days I’ve spent a long time using the Designer tool in Cryengine.
The first model i made was the half finished foundations for the Beach Resort, then i moved onto the Town and started importing objects so i could approximate the layout and start building the outer walls and sidewalks. I then made a very basic model of the Dam, but after running into some trouble with it, i decided to knuckle down and really learn to use the Designer tool properly.
I decided to start with the most difficult model in the game. Hammond’s House.
This model has a huge amount of textures. So many in fact, that in order to import it in the past, i had to delete the interior and only import the outer shell. Cryengine has a limit of 32 textures per model, and Hammonds house has around 72-73, so i had to make three separate material files and split the model up into parts as i texture it. Some textures were left out as they were too similar or replaced by others.
I started by importing an untextured model of Hammonds house, then using the Designer tool, I built over it until every surface was exact.
The above shot just uses the original low res textures and a very simple normal map for the floor tiles, to help give it some shape
So why use the Designer tool and not just make a new model that’s split into 2 or 3 parts?
Cryengine does not light the interior of building models properly unless you spend some time adding VisAreas and portals to control the light. But VisAreas have limitations, the worst being your models disappearing if not designed perfectly to work with them. VisAreas can be any shape, but you cant modify the horizontal profile. So for example, you couldn’t make it fit the shape of the Church’s roof, it just passes through it.
You can add occlusion surfaces inside your model, such as walls within walls to tell the engine not to draw whats on the other side, but i dont know if these occlusion surfaces block light, and even if they do, the Designer tool still has a huge advantage.
It allows for instantaneous edits in the editor. So rather than having to exit to another editing program to make the changes and then re-import the model, you can do it instantly and have the game world and other objects to reference for scale and shape.
I’m about 99.9% finished with this model, so ill move onto finishing the town walls, sidewalks and then probably some other Town buildings.