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Using the Time Value

When you select a brush, in the bottom left corner of the Dromed window you’ll see a Time value and a To End button. To End can be used to give a brush priority over others, but you may only want it to have priority over one or two. Understanding how the Time value works can spare you the hassle of having to use To End on lots of brushes, or using a fussy series of overlapping operation brushes (Flood, Solid → Air etc).

Assumed Knowledge

  1. You can create fill-solid and fill-air terrain brushes.
  2. You can create different shapes. (Cylinder, pyramid etc.)
  3. You can apply textures.

The Tutorial

When Dromed builds your terrain brushes (portalizes), it builds them in a particular order. Without any meddling from you, this is simply the order in which they were created. If you create a fill-air cuboid, followed by a fill-solid cylinder, and then a fill-air brush going through the cylinder, when you portalize you will get a room containing a solid cylinder with a hole in it. That’s probably the effect you were aiming for, but there will be times when you haven’t created the brushes in the right order, maybe because you just hadn’t thought of it at the time, or you’ve only been making the basic geometry and are now ready to add some detail. To reflect this, the features in this tutorial will not be built in the most logical order.

This tutorial will show you how you can change the order in which Dromed builds your brushes, and how useful it can be. For simplicity, when I say “brush” I mean Terrain Brush. You should use the exact dimensions and coordinates that I use.

Start Dromed, or load a new level. There’s no need to create a StartingPoint or load any script modules.

Change the width of the cuboid to 32, then portalize. You can optimize if you want, but in this case it won’t matter. Leave it at the coordinates X=0, Y=0, Z=0. You’re not supposed to build at these coordinates, but this isn’t a proper level so it doesn’t matter.

Load a texture family, say Core_1. Put a brick texture onto the brush, then put a suitable floor texture onto the bottom face.

Next you want to create a doorway in the south wall, near the corner. Create an air cuboid with depth, width, height of 2, 4, 8. Change it’s coordinates to X=9, Y=-12, Z=-4. Portalize the level.

Now you have a very basic doorway, but there’s no frame. Create another cuboid with dimensions of 2, 5, 8.5, and coordinates 9, -12, -3.75. Change it to Fill Solid. Select the default face and change the texture to one that doesn’t have a distinct pattern, such as core_1\asfalt. Portalize the level.

You’ll see that your doorway has been replaced by a slightly larger solid cuboid. To get the doorway back, select the small air brush, and in the bottom-left corner of the Dromed window, click on To End. The number above it will change from 1 to 2. Portalize the level.

To End simply makes sure that the brush is the absolute last thing to be built during portalization. There are currently 3 brushes: the courtyard (Time=0) the door frame (Time=1) and the doorway (Time=2). Before you clicked on To End, the doorway was 1 and the frame was 2. It “filled” the doorway because it was built afterward. To End made the the frame be built before the doorway.

There will be times when To End isn’t so helpful. For example if you’ve created three brushes, but you want the first to be built after the second, but not the third. In this case, you can change the Time to any number lower than the time of the third, but greater than (or equal to) the time of the second. Think of a queue of people, where the fifth person moves into the second person’s place. The “second” person is now the third.

Now create a hallway on the other side of the doorway. Create a fill-air cuboid that has dimensions 8, 32, 16 and coordinates 14, 0, 0. Portalize the level. It’s important that the hallway has a floor texture that is different than that of the walls.

You’ll notice that, when you’re in the courtyard, you can see the door frame, but when you’re in the hallway, you can’t. That’s because the hallway was built after the door frame. You could select the door frame and click To End, but then it would be after the doorway. You’d have to then move the doorway to the end again. It’s easier to make the hallway earlier in time than the door frame.

Select the door frame. Its time is 1. Select the hallway, and change its time from 3 to 1. Select the frame again, and you’ll see that its time is now 2. Again think of someone jumping a queue, from fourth to second (remembering that the time values start at 0). Portalize the level. Now the door frame can be seen on both sides. If you want, change the default texture of the doorway to match that of the frame.

This hallway could do with a protruding window. Create a solid six-sided cylinder at coordinates 10, 8, 0, with dimensions 8, 8, 16. Make sure all faces are using the default texture, which should be the texture of your wall. When you portalize, the cylinder will be protruding into the hallway, which you don’t want. You could use To End on the hallway to chop off the excess, but then you’d have to use move the door frame and the doorway. Instead, select the hallway and note the Time value. Select the cylinder and change its Time to whatever it was for the hallway (and make sure it’s after the courtyard). When you portalize you’ll see that the cylinder can only be seen from the courtyard.

Make a copy of the cylinder and change its dimensions to 6, 6, 16. Change it to Fill Air and give it the same coordinates as the Fill Solid cylinder. Portalize the level.

Now you have a nice little niche in the wall. But look at the floor. The texture isn’t right. Just to demonstrate, set the Time of the air cylinder to the Time of the hallway (which should be 2) and portalize. See how the texture of the hallway is given priority over the texture of the cylinder. This is because the cylinder was built before the hallway. That’s why I said before to make sure the hallway had a different texture for the floor.

Select the air cylinder and Clone it (press the Insert key). This will be the inside of the window. Change its height to 4 and its Z coordinate to -2. Change the texture (Jorge will do) and portalize. A window texture will be needed, so load the City texture family and put the win325 texture on the default face of the new air cylinder. With these dimensions it won’t line up perfectly, but that doesn’t matter for this tutorial.

You’ll also want a texture for the outside of the window. Clone the inside window, change its width and depth to both 8, make it Fill Solid then portalize. You don’t want it to be seen at all on the inside, so you’ll have to find a Time that is before the earliest of the inside brushes (the hallway, the big air cylinder and the inside window) and after the solid cylinder. So if the solid cylinder is 1, then the outside window should be 2.

That is the end of the tutorial. A good way to experiment with time is to select the outside window, change its height to 5, and portalize. Give it different Time values, portalizing each time. Compare these with the times of the surrounding brushes, and note which parts of the outside window are visible on the inside.

When you select a brush and press Tab, you can cycle through the brushes in their order of Time.

dromed/brushtime.txt · Last modified: 2010/11/24 00:00 by telliamed