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 Using Grome 3 as an extern Level Editor! « View previous topic :: View next topic » 
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Lillarpy
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:57 pm    Post subject: Using Grome 3 as an extern Level Editor! Reply with quote



Joined: 09 Jan 2012
Posts: 9

Hello.

I am interested in your Grome 3 and have some questions. We are not looking to implement it in our engine but more having it as a Level Editor tool on the side of it.

1) Can you combine meshes into a single group. For example if I have 23 Tree's of the same kind can I combine them into one group using 1 material and one name for them all ?

2) What formats is it possible to export in ? Can you export the whole map as a OBJ.file and keep having all meshes as unique objects in the file ?

3) How is the actual Terrain mesh exported ? Is it divided into smaller parts with a unique material on it ?

4) It don't seem you can export anything with the trial-version, can I by any chance get an exported test-level in OBJ from Grome 3 and test in our engine ?

Thank you for your time.
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ALicu
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 1326

Hello,

Quote:
I am interested in your Grome 3 and have some questions. We are not looking to implement it in our engine but more having it as a Level Editor tool on the side of it.


Grome main function is as a level editor. It is not restricted only to terrain generation, but also placement of objects, assign of custom properties per objects, editing of roads of network, detail and vegetation layers, water surfaces etc.

It has a well documented C++ SDK that allows you to define plugins for:
- reading of complete scenes from custom formats
- reading and browsing of meshes
- writing to custom formats
- doing general processing
- have your code call at various editing events
- place objects, assign properties from code etc.

It also has a scripting language similar with C++.

Quote:
Can you combine meshes into a single group. For example if I have 23 Tree's of the same kind can I combine them into one group using 1 material and one name for them all ?


You can select multiple objects from scene and create groups. You can then transform, assign properties, name etc that group as a whole. You can create multiple levels of groups (groups in groups), temporary open groups and regroup. You can also save groups to libraries for later use and share between projects.

Also, when you browse and use, for example, a collada file, you can choose individual meshes or you can treat the entire collection as a group.

Quote:
What formats is it possible to export in ? Can you export the whole map as a OBJ.file and keep having all meshes as unique objects in the file ?


We don't have support for OBJ (but you can easily create it with the SDK). But you have support for lots of other formats:

http://www.quadsoftware.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=20

Collada, for example, can be save and imported to and from various other packages: Maya, Max, Blender, Modo etc. So you can transform your obj to collada dae files.

Quote:
How is the actual Terrain mesh exported ? Is it divided into smaller parts with a unique material on it ?


Terrain is usually edited as multiple terrain zones. For each terrain zone you can work with multiple layers of heightmap or you can generate multiple levels of simplified meshes. You can also create global normalmaps.

Export of terrain with default built-in plugins is done in various forms:
- 16 bit raw files, one per zone or one global file
- geotiff files
- collada files

Terrain texture can be save as multiple texture layers (and their masks) or you can choose to bake the layers into one single high res file.

Quote:
It don't seem you can export anything with the trial-version, can I by any chance get an exported test-level in OBJ from Grome 3 and test in our engine ?


Please send me an email at licu at quadsoftware dot com and I will try to get you a trial version for test.

Kind Regards,
Adrian L.
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Lillarpy
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 09 Jan 2012
Posts: 9

Thank you for your answers! We are now happy owners of Grome 3.

I have one more question.

Can I export from Grome 3 to 3D studio 2012, by Collada, and get the materials in Grome 3 listed in 3D studio's Material Editor ? And if yes, how ?

Thank you for your time!
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ALicu
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 1326

Hi,

You can export your terrain in Collada and have it loaded in 3DS Max. But there are many limitations on the terrain textures. Because Grome is using multiple layers of textures, Collada and 3DS Max don't really know how to contain and render those (Collada and 3DS are generic mesh data format and editing application, they don't deal with heightmapped terrains with multiple layers).

So you can import the terrain mesh in 3DS Max but working with multiple layers is a problem. If you just want to apply some generic processing on the meshes and you want to just see the textures in 3DS Max you can bake the Grome layer into a single image per terrain zone. For this you use the Grome Bake tool to generate a layer containing all the layers collapsed. Then enable only this new baked layer and export as collada. Now your terrain will be visible in 3DS Max both as geometry and texturing.

If you really need multiple layers of textures you will need to create a FX material in 3DS Max that replicates the Grome layers operations (the actual shading operations are described in the Grome SDK documentation).

Kind Regards,
Adrian L.
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Lillarpy
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 09 Jan 2012
Posts: 9

ALicu wrote:
Hi,

You can export your terrain in Collada and have it loaded in 3DS Max. But there are many limitations on the terrain textures. Because Grome is using multiple layers of textures, Collada and 3DS Max don't really know how to contain and render those (Collada and 3DS are generic mesh data format and editing application, they don't deal with heightmapped terrains with multiple layers).

So you can import the terrain mesh in 3DS Max but working with multiple layers is a problem. If you just want to apply some generic processing on the meshes and you want to just see the textures in 3DS Max you can bake the Grome layer into a single image per terrain zone. For this you use the Grome Bake tool to generate a layer containing all the layers collapsed. Then enable only this new baked layer and export as collada. Now your terrain will be visible in 3DS Max both as geometry and texturing.

If you really need multiple layers of textures you will need to create a FX material in 3DS Max that replicates the Grome layers operations (the actual shading operations are described in the Grome SDK documentation).

Kind Regards,
Adrian L.


Thank you for your answer!

I was more thinking more of Objects/Units in Grome 3 than the actual terrain.

What I need is give a Material-name to Objects I imported into Grome 3 that also Collada exports to 3D studio.

We export one large file from 3D studio to our engine and our engine uses the material-name of each object to find its textures in the engine so it is very important for us that we can export the level from Grome 3, with the correct Material name on each object so we don't have to reassign every material to every object later in 3D studio.

Is there any way of doing this ? Most preferable even giving the right material to a group of objects. For example say I have 22 Objects that is all "three A", then I want to group them together, and give them one material name, the "three A" Material name.

Again, thank you for your time.
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ALicu
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 1326

Hi,

To solve this you can:

1) assign the proper names to the objects in collada files. You can do this only once and you have the name kept per object template. If your objects are made in 3ds max, for example, just give the proper names before exporting to collada.

or

2) You can assign a custom property table to your objects. This property table you can define with your own variables and you can have one string named Material. Then in Grome you select your objects and change the material name to the desired one. Because you can have property tables per instances, you can even vary the name of the material per different instances of the same mesh.

The problem with variant 2 is that you will need to export your scene into a different format than Collada (which by default doesn't know how to contain these custom property tables). So you will probably need to either modify the existing collada plugin and recompile it (C++) or you can create your own plugin and save to another format.

Custom property tables per objects are a powerful customization tool. Check Grome help for details.

About the units of the scene, Grome doesn't impose any unit (it is using generic units). You can consider them anything you want. The exporters will not touch your data (transform it from one unit to another). It will keep the same values for heightmaps, object placements and other data depending on units.

Kind Regards,
Adrian L.
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Lillarpy
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 09 Jan 2012
Posts: 9

Again thank you for your fast answers.

Got everything up and going now but it seems all my UV-coordinates have been moved when I open the exported level in 3D studio. It is units I exported from 3D studio which already was unwrapped and now when I open the exported Level all UV-maps have been moved. Any idea why that is ?
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ALicu
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 1326

Hi,

What you do mean by UV coordinates being moved? Are they flipped, biased etc?

Can you post a screenshot?

Kind Regards,
Adrian L.
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Lillarpy
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 09 Jan 2012
Posts: 9

Its Flipped.

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ALicu
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 1326

Hi,

Are you referring to UV of terrain or of objects? Also are these exported from Grome to Collada?

I know that in collada exporter you have some option to select the coordinate system. You should choose 3ds Max coordinate system. Is the level in collada, once exported from Grome, appearing correctly in 3ds max?

Please provide more infromation about your pipeline. From what I've understood you export from Grome to Collada, then load in 3ds max and re-export to your engine. Is this correct?

Kind Regards,
Adrian L.
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Lillarpy
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 09 Jan 2012
Posts: 9

ALicu wrote:
Hi,

Are you referring to UV of terrain or of objects? Also are these exported from Grome to Collada?

I know that in collada exporter you have some option to select the coordinate system. You should choose 3ds Max coordinate system. Is the level in collada, once exported from Grome, appearing correctly in 3ds max?

Please provide more infromation about your pipeline. From what I've understood you export from Grome to Collada, then load in 3ds max and re-export to your engine. Is this correct?

Kind Regards,
Adrian L.


Hi.

It is the UV of objects, and not the terrain. Yes, from Grome to 3D studio by Collada.

The map seems to be correct in 3D studio, except for the UV of objects! But will test change the setting.

We export Units from 3D studio with Collada, Import them to Grome and build the map, then we export the whole map with Collada. We load it into 3D studio again and then last step is to export it to our game.
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ALicu
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 1326

Hello,

I see. Please try to use 3D Studio Max coordinate system in the collada exporter from Grome and let me know if the error is still there. We never had problems with the UVs. Did you also tried in other collada viewers to see if the UV is flipped?

Kind Regards,
Adrian L.
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Lillarpy
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 09 Jan 2012
Posts: 9

ALicu wrote:
Hello,

I see. Please try to use 3D Studio Max coordinate system in the collada exporter from Grome and let me know if the error is still there. We never had problems with the UVs. Did you also tried in other collada viewers to see if the UV is flipped?

Kind Regards,
Adrian L.


Hi!

It worked! Thanks, I truly appreciated the quick answers!

Another question. It seems when we export the Terrain to Collada from Grome3 to 3D studio that I get an huge amount of Vertices which not seem to be connected to anything.

I have an terrain based on 490.000 Polys, but 9.9 million vertices. I can just delete them with "Remove isolated Vertices" but it would be better if there was a way to export the level without them.
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ALicu
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 1326

Hi,

Good, I am glad that it worked out in the end.

About the additional vertices. Is your scene containing only terrain? Or does it have roads, objects etc too?

Does it have multiple layers of heightmaps? Simplified meshes for terrain?

Kind Regards,
Adrian L.
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Lillarpy
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 09 Jan 2012
Posts: 9

ALicu wrote:
Hi,

Good, I am glad that it worked out in the end.

About the additional vertices. Is your scene containing only terrain? Or does it have roads, objects etc too?

Does it have multiple layers of heightmaps? Simplified meshes for terrain?

Kind Regards,
Adrian L.


The scene is containing both terrain and objects. It don't have any roads.

It do have multiply layers of height maps and they are not simplified meshes. The Simplified meshes we export do not have un-used vertices.
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