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HeroEngine Support => Design & World Building => Topic started by: Charlizd on May 28, 13, 05:01:10 AM

Title: [Resolved] Mass Tree placement?
Post by: Charlizd on May 28, 13, 05:01:10 AM
Hi all,
I don't want to compare Hero to other engines but my time using Unity a feature i loved was Mass placement of trees, you basically selected your tree and input the amount you want and BAM!!! your heightmap is populated with that amount of trees, making Forest was such a breeze, of course you had to delete some here and there but 95% of the time it worked out perfectly, MY Question now is Does hero support a function like this or can it be done, I have not done alot with Hero for over 12 months so there has been some improvements i am sure.
I have tried googling an answer and come up with nothing.
Any help would be appreciated.
Title: Re: Mass Tree placement?
Post by: PN-Dwight on May 28, 13, 05:27:43 AM
We have a current Asset Placement Tool in place, and it is very much so doable to create it.

We basically select the tree's we want to place, how many of them, what their minimum scale should be, their maximum scale, as well as their rotation over the 3 axis, and in what area (depicted as a lightblue circle) they should be placed randomly. Placing either goes by using the heightmap-normal or just the random rotation.

Lastly, we have the ability to create "presets" for all developers to use by using the spec system.

All in all, it's a great time-saver :)
Title: Re: Mass Tree placement?
Post by: Charlizd on May 28, 13, 07:31:58 AM
We have a current Asset Placement Tool in place, and it is very much so doable to create it.

We basically select the tree's we want to place, how many of them, what their minimum scale should be, their maximum scale, as well as their rotation over the 3 axis, and in what area (depicted as a lightblue circle) they should be placed randomly. Placing either goes by using the heightmap-normal or just the random rotation.

Lastly, we have the ability to create "presets" for all developers to use by using the spec system.

All in all, it's a great time-saver :)

Can you explain in detail how this is done? I know how to use the tool to place the trees but do not know how to select the amount of trees, height e.t.c?
Title: Re: Mass Tree placement?
Post by: PN-Dwight on May 28, 13, 08:11:03 AM
This is a custom tool we built. HeroEngine is natively not able to place trees massively and randomly (talking about 100's and 100's per click)
Title: Re: Mass Tree placement?
Post by: Charlizd on May 28, 13, 08:27:08 AM
This is a custom tool we built. HeroEngine is natively not able to place trees massively and randomly (talking about 100's and 100's per click)

Yeah i thought as much :) i have come up with a temp solution of grouping a bunch of them and adding the group to the library, cannot randomize, scale, or rotate them tho till after the fact
Title: Re: Mass Tree placement?
Post by: FI-ScottZ on May 28, 13, 08:57:45 AM
Dwight,

Out of curiosity, did you guys end up leveraging the library commands that can be attached to library assets for that placement?

Charlizd,
Check out this forum topic for some insight:
https://community.heroengine.com/forums/index.php/topic,948.msg4459.html#msg4459
Title: Re: Mass Tree placement?
Post by: PN-Dwight on May 28, 13, 09:03:31 AM
Dwight,

Out of curiosity, did you guys end up leveraging the library commands that can be attached to library assets for that placement?

Charlizd,
Check out this forum topic for some insight:
https://community.heroengine.com/forums/index.php/topic,948.msg4459.html#msg4459

No, we do nothing with the library. This tool uses the spec system.

There are no commands attached to the library; I will post a video about the APT. Will upload within the hour for you to check it out :)
Title: Re: Mass Tree placement?
Post by: Charlizd on May 28, 13, 09:08:34 AM
Dwight,

Out of curiosity, did you guys end up leveraging the library commands that can be attached to library assets for that placement?

Charlizd,
Check out this forum topic for some insight:
https://community.heroengine.com/forums/index.php/topic,948.msg4459.html#msg4459

I was just looking at that thanks :)
Title: Re: Mass Tree placement?
Post by: PN-Dwight on May 28, 13, 10:02:19 AM
This is how we do it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6rFnxsOKOA
Title: Re: Mass Tree placement?
Post by: Charlizd on May 28, 13, 11:57:19 AM
That is an awesome tool, exactly what i was after :) Let me know if you guys ever decide to license it out to other developers :)
Title: Re: Mass Tree placement?
Post by: HE-Cooper on May 28, 13, 03:04:58 PM
The library and random rotation and scale tools will let you place any amount of randomized objects like forests. And provides far more detailed control than many other "make my game for me" solutions in some engines. :-)
Title: Re: Mass Tree placement?
Post by: Jrome90 on May 28, 13, 05:35:08 PM
This is how we do it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6rFnxsOKOA

You can can use all assets if None are selected.
If you select one asset then you can use page-up, and page-down to select the next/previous.



Title: Re: Mass Tree placement?
Post by: Charlizd on May 29, 13, 01:58:58 AM
The library and random rotation and scale tools will let you place any amount of randomized objects like forests. And provides far more detailed control than many other "make my game for me" solutions in some engines. :-)

Are you referring to the Tool PN-Dwight is talking about or Hero's Native tools? because i don't see anything within hero that can allow you to do that, sure i know how to grab selected items and group them in the library but how do you randomly scale and rotate them at the same time as placing them? and if there is then maybe a Tutorial would be handy.

I don't see it has a "make my game for me" tool, i see it as a tool to help take the boredom out of placing tree after tree, and tbh i think some of the maps i made in Unity using that said tool has produced some of the better game environments i have made to date, but meh that's unity and this is hero so who cares right :)
Title: Re: Mass Tree placement?
Post by: HE-Cooper on May 29, 13, 02:57:21 AM
Make distributions of trees as auto snap groups in the library.
You can either randomize their scale and rotation before adding them, or you can use the asset panel or editor selection to later select them and randomize.
you can use the dynamic placement tool to spam placement, or use the standard tool and be able to rotate them as a group in world space as well, or you can rotate them all in model space.

Personally, forests are a bad idea to just plunk down and randomize, as you are either sacrificing gameplay or performance, if you aren't making specific decisions, but that's just my experience.
Title: Re: Mass Tree placement?
Post by: Jrome90 on May 29, 13, 03:19:20 AM

Personally, forests are a bad idea to just plunk down and randomize, as you are either sacrificing gameplay or performance, if you aren't making specific decisions, but that's just my experience.
I agree .
I wouldn't recommend randomly placing trees either.
Title: Re: Mass Tree placement?
Post by: PN-Dwight on May 29, 13, 03:40:08 AM
Make distributions of trees as auto snap groups in the library.
You can either randomize their scale and rotation before adding them, or you can use the asset panel or editor selection to later select them and randomize.
you can use the dynamic placement tool to spam placement, or use the standard tool and be able to rotate them as a group in world space as well, or you can rotate them all in model space.

Personally, forests are a bad idea to just plunk down and randomize, as you are either sacrificing gameplay or performance, if you aren't making specific decisions, but that's just my experience.

I am agreeing with Cooper and Jrome90 here as well. Placing large number of random trees might sound as a very good solution, but there are factors to consider.

When using this tool, I spent also time on re-ordering and cleaning the area up when used. In the end, it DOES save us time, and is a wonderful addition that made my life a lot easier. But use with caution, it's easy to place 800 trees at the same time, but it doesn't mean you should.

Depending on the heightmap and visibility, I am manually even adjusting the LODs of all trees. Hence why the name of this tool is "Asset Placement Tool" and not "Massive Placement Tool".
Title: Re: Mass Tree placement?
Post by: Charlizd on May 29, 13, 04:01:43 AM
Well i'm not talking about making a dense forest per say just want to limit the amount o f time i have to spend with being nit picky and placing trees 1 by 1.
Purely just to save time.
Title: Re: Mass Tree placement?
Post by: keeperofstars on May 29, 13, 11:56:44 PM
I think a simple ability to plop down speedtrees in quick session would be a bit nice.

You already have the random scale and rotate, albeit limited in ability (some additional configurations would be nice sorta like the configu for snap to grid.

Anyways, but being able to select a speed tree then click on the ground as you move around and have it plop them down, quickly would be nice, kinda like how painting dynamic meshes works, but with speed trees / library assets.

The random assets placement tool does this nicely. Build your "template" spec and then start laying trees down in a quick point and drop fashion. I can build a whole forest area (note not carpet bombing it, but placing trees where I need them to build a forest appearance, very quickly. Cause I just run around the area tapping enter when I want a tree, and it's done move on.

Trying to remember if Hero lets you "repeat" place library assets without double clicking from the library or spawning a new instance.
Title: Re: Mass Tree placement?
Post by: PN-Dwight on May 30, 13, 05:26:05 AM
I think a simple ability to plop down speedtrees in quick session would be a bit nice.

You already have the random scale and rotate, albeit limited in ability (some additional configurations would be nice sorta like the configu for snap to grid.

Anyways, but being able to select a speed tree then click on the ground as you move around and have it plop them down, quickly would be nice, kinda like how painting dynamic meshes works, but with speed trees / library assets.

The random assets placement tool does this nicely. Build your "template" spec and then start laying trees down in a quick point and drop fashion. I can build a whole forest area (note not carpet bombing it, but placing trees where I need them to build a forest appearance, very quickly. Cause I just run around the area tapping enter when I want a tree, and it's done move on.

Trying to remember if Hero lets you "repeat" place library assets without double clicking from the library or spawning a new instance.

Exactly how the Asset Placement Tool is being used; I prefer it greatly over the library functionality, as it is faster, gives me more options automatically, and allows me to make groups of trees or objects that belong together. Did I mention that if you right-click, a new random scene is being created?

You can make certain commands iin the library to also have this made possible, and maaaaaybe with certain objects [Once they are duplicated, randomize scale and rotation again]. Not sure though, I love this tool so I cannot be bothered anymore :D
Title: Re: Mass Tree placement?
Post by: Chromehound on May 30, 13, 12:31:36 PM
While still a bit of work, I just use the duplicate function while in dynamic placement mode.

I click on the random scale/rotate buttons, then click on an already placed tree (or other asset), and instead of left clicking to place, I hit ctrl-D for duplicate........this will place a tree in the spot, as well as keep another tree queued up. 

Move a bit, ctrl-D, move, ctrl-D, move, ctrl-D (don't left click or else you'll need to select the asset again).  Keep a decent distance, and grab a different tree and you can fill in more gaps.  Once you have a nice section going, grab em all and duplicate the whole bunch and slap them nearby.  Don't forget bushes and other forest materials and can do this same process with any asset.


Auto ground snap set to True, though dynamic place will snap it there - just a precaution if you choose.
Title: Re: Mass Tree placement?
Post by: Charlizd on Jun 03, 13, 06:36:03 PM
I think a simple ability to plop down speedtrees in quick session would be a bit nice.

You already have the random scale and rotate, albeit limited in ability (some additional configurations would be nice sorta like the configu for snap to grid.

Anyways, but being able to select a speed tree then click on the ground as you move around and have it plop them down, quickly would be nice, kinda like how painting dynamic meshes works, but with speed trees / library assets.

The random assets placement tool does this nicely. Build your "template" spec and then start laying trees down in a quick point and drop fashion. I can build a whole forest area (note not carpet bombing it, but placing trees where I need them to build a forest appearance, very quickly. Cause I just run around the area tapping enter when I want a tree, and it's done move on.

Trying to remember if Hero lets you "repeat" place library assets without double clicking from the library or spawning a new instance.

You nailed it on the head, this is what i am reffering to, just like painting with the dynamic mesh :)
Title: Re: Mass Tree placement?
Post by: HE-Cooper on Jun 03, 13, 07:20:38 PM
Yes, that exists, using the dynamic placement tool and CTRL D.
Title: Re: Mass Tree placement?
Post by: Charlizd on Jun 03, 13, 07:29:55 PM
Yes, that exists, using the dynamic placement tool and CTRL D.

I am familiar with this method as this is how i have been doing it, but i think what we mean is say picking a tree and just painting like we do with the grass, so for example we would pick say a Pine tree, adjust the size of the placement tool (smaller or larger) and then paint and it would place several trees at once (dependant on how big we made the sizing tool) as opposed to using Ctrl-d and still placing one tree at a time. we could even further that with adjusting variations e.t.c, exactly like the paint dynamic mesh tool but with trees.
Title: Re: Mass Tree placement?
Post by: HE-Cooper on Jun 03, 13, 09:07:03 PM
Yeah, you don't want to do that for large things like trees or buildings. Paint brush application there would be bad. It would create far too much overhead. Be selective about where to place large complicated models, you'll be glad you did when it comes time to actually ship and tune a game.