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Author Topic: Blended Schems Across Seamless  (Read 3449 times)

jcsmith562

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Blended Schems Across Seamless
« on: Apr 21, 13, 12:59:15 AM »

We're having an issue with environment schemes and blending of environments across seams.

Our areas use a global Environment and then they blend a global Storm environment in when it is rainy. But you can see a difference where the seam boundaries are in place in the fogging effects, as shown in the attached image. Both areas are using the same environment schemes in this shot with the Storm global environment being the active environment set and the Storm blend value being identical on both sides. But you can see a noticeable difference on each side of the seam.

Is there a way to workaround this? Is this a bug?
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FI-ScottZ

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Re: Blended Schems Across Seamless
« Reply #1 on: Apr 21, 13, 05:54:47 AM »

I don't know if this would apply to you, but in this post
https://community.heroengine.com/forums/index.php/topic,4288.msg23899.html#msg23899
Cooper said that, "Blend values between schemes are unique to the room."
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Scott Zarnke
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CTO, Forever Interactive, Inc.

HE-Cooper

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Re: Blended Schems Across Seamless
« Reply #2 on: Apr 22, 13, 04:57:32 PM »

So you're blending the same 2 global schemes but getting different results in different rooms?
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jcsmith562

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Re: Blended Schems Across Seamless
« Reply #3 on: Apr 22, 13, 11:01:01 PM »

I just checked the spot in that particular screenshot and both sides were in the default room, though we do make heavy use of rooms in some places.

Stadi was playing with this yesterday though and apparently the issue was restricted to fog (everything else looks fine). Making the fog identical in both schemes solved the problem, but of course restricts your ability to use different fogging for each scheme. We did make them identical for now as a temporary fix.
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HE-Cooper

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Re: Blended Schems Across Seamless
« Reply #4 on: Apr 23, 13, 07:24:07 AM »

Yeah, so you were blending a global scheme with a different scheme in 2 adjacent rooms. That's just like having 2 different schemes loaded in 2 adjacent rooms. So anything visually you'd expect to have happen between 2 rooms with envA and envB would be the same as 2 rooms each with GlobalC but one blended to envA and one blended to envB.
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jcsmith562

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Re: Blended Schems Across Seamless
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 13, 01:29:01 AM »

I think the issue is that you would use SetEnviro to blend between schemes but SetEnviro only works on the current area, and not on seamlessly linked areas. Is there a way to blend schemes in neighboring areas? If, for example we had a SetEnviro external function which allowed you to specify a neighboring area by ID and Instance that would make it possible to do.
« Last Edit: May 15, 13, 06:54:34 AM by jcsmith562 »
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jcsmith562

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Re: Blended Schems Across Seamless
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 13, 11:45:38 PM »

Just wanted to clarify what is happening here so there isn't any confusion:

- The issue is caused by SetEnviro which is the client side external function used to blend between environment schemes so that you can have changing weather effects.
- SetEnviro only affects the clients current area, and there is no way to affect the neighboring areas.
- A likely fix would be something like SetEnviroArea which takes an area ID as in addition to the other areas. Then the client could use the list of seamless areas to set it on other areas they need affected.
- This problem will not affect you unless you are using seamless and attempting to blend schemes for things like weather.
« Last Edit: May 17, 13, 11:51:39 PM by jcsmith562 »
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keeperofstars

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Re: Blended Schems Across Seamless
« Reply #7 on: Aug 02, 13, 09:27:32 AM »

couldn't you use a fx trigger to simulate the transition between the two. So as you approach the next area us a fx trigger to start the rain at a lighter value, and as you got closer up it. I know it's not ideal cause having a blend between the two would be wonderful, don't get me wrong.

But another thing to think on is making our own rain effect, like cooper's tutorial for snow, and then utilize the fact it's locked onto the character, then use a trigger to turn on and off the fx. based on any condition you needed. Might work better than trying to blend between everything.

I do though so often wish there was a way to blend a different seamless link area's scheme with the current area's scheme, would make things much easier. I mean there is always some way to trick the appearance, but at times it's just a pain.

Heck last night I spent 30 minutes screwing with a light, just to get a transition from an above ground area, to a cave system which needed to lose all light. so had to try and make a transition area where the light between was blended enough. Or if it was in same area, I just move a slider around, and done. lol
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jcsmith562

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Re: Blended Schems Across Seamless
« Reply #8 on: Sep 12, 13, 09:57:24 AM »

You can but the problem is the seams themselves. It looks terrible how it is now if you have fog enabled when you go near a seam (we don't use it right now or any darkness changes as a result) because you can see a line where the seam is at. On one side of the line you might have thick fog, but on the other side of that line there's no fog. The fog changes are only affecting your current area, not the neighboring area. Once you get to the other side you can easily make it run or stop raining. But the visible borders is the snag.
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keeperofstars

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Re: Blended Schems Across Seamless
« Reply #9 on: Sep 12, 13, 10:37:17 AM »

Well my poorly made point is you just have to blend the two together smoother.

So in zone A on the seam setup a room or two that takes your fog from zero to lets say 30%, then on the other zone B have it start at 30% and work up.
since both zones at the seam have 30% fog you can't tell the difference.

Now one issue with that is when making script adjustments to fog or such. Not to mention a royal pain.

I would also be worried slightly about long distance variation for example you are in Zone A at the room along the seam and zone B seam looks fine with above manual blend, but the room next to Zone B's seam takes the fog up another notch it's possible that would look off but I would have to test it. Also depends on your room sizes, etc.

But in testing it's what I had to do to smooth the seam issue, which was basically take the normal heightmap node and split it into like 2 rooms / nodes, then add a stepped approach to the fog / rain / effect. Granted my nodes on the Zone B side remained large so the player wasn't seeing past them anyways in most aspects. Which is why I'm not sure how that will play out with Zone B's rooms, but they should be ok to blend.
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HE-Cooper

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Re: Blended Schems Across Seamless
« Reply #10 on: Sep 12, 13, 01:50:26 PM »

I suppose the common answer to most area based game engines would be, you can't easily change from one type of fog or color to another one without staged or obscured transition areas. Normally that's accomplished via the standard transition environment elements. Tunnel, s bend, door, low rise to drop in, tree cover, etc.

But it sounds like if you just have an open world with no real definitions between areas, that staged transitions are your best bet. I suppose the other option is to trigger a transition upon crossing into the new area, which is the most common method I see in open world games, but then you don't see that sever weather when looking into the second area from the first.



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jcsmith562

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Re: Blended Schems Across Seamless
« Reply #11 on: Sep 19, 13, 02:14:59 AM »

Yes. The main thing I'd like to see here would be to be able to alter the scheme blend amounts for neighboring areas. Currently if we dynamically change it we can only use SetEnviro on our own local area. Because we change the local areas environment scheme blends though it makes the neighbors (which match perfectly before the blends) noticeably different. If we didn't have a wide open outdoor area this could be covered up as mentioned above with blends on each edge, but in our case (and likely the case of most users using Seamless 2.0) your often going to be able to see beyond the seamless edge and it will stand out.

If there were an alternate version of it which also allowed us to SetEnviro on the neighboring areas then it would work fine. We'd just use SetEnviroArea (or whatever the new function was called) on each neighbor any time the weather changed.
« Last Edit: Sep 19, 13, 02:19:42 AM by jcsmith562 »
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keeperofstars

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Re: Blended Schems Across Seamless
« Reply #12 on: Sep 19, 13, 07:07:31 AM »

Yeah I totally agree it would be lovely in seamless 3.0 if environment schemes worked to blend across areas. Would save tons of time, and let us build things a bit more effectively. Some type of proxy forward, or perhaps we get an area transition tab which takes the environment scheme between the two areas and lets us blend them?
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Stadi3-RP

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Re: Blended Schems Across Seamless
« Reply #13 on: Sep 20, 13, 03:40:48 PM »

It worked fine before, one of the sapphire builds broke it is the main point here ;) . No use in beating a dead horse/thread, the fact is it worked and now it's broken. I am guessing it was around March/April when it got broken as that's when we noticed it stop working. Hope that helps. Thanks,
« Last Edit: Sep 20, 13, 03:44:13 PM by Stadi3-RP »
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Stadi3-RP

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Re: Blended Schems Across Seamless
« Reply #14 on: Sep 20, 13, 04:03:23 PM »

Yeah I totally agree it would be lovely in seamless 3.0 if environment schemes worked to blend across areas. Would save tons of time, and let us build things a bit more effectively. Some type of proxy forward, or perhaps we get an area transition tab which takes the environment scheme between the two areas and lets us blend them?

This worked with seamless 2.0 already, you just had to setup a trigger area and program the blend. We used it for a swamp environment  transition, worked perfectly back in the day. Blends are not working properly across seamless area anymore, it's not just the fog, lighting and other environmental perimeters dont work either.
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