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Good start, must have been a pain making the BSP surfaces at exactly the right angles. There has been a thread on Polycount of someone making the same map, so you might want to look into it for inspiration:
Thanks man, yea the map done by Vincent Mayeur right? That looks epic!! It was my inspiration when I started this. Since he didn't release it as a map, I thought I'll give it a try. :)
Actually I started off with BSP brushes in the beginning, but then I heard static meshes are the way to go and then finally ended up making all the models myself. Was a big pain while learning 3D modeling. :P
Bevel Edges! The engine can take it and it will look much better on your models than those extremely sharp edges! I didn't know these were actual meshes, because they are at blockout resolution.
It depends what you want to do here. Do you want to have something that looks remotely like Helm's Deep (but is playable). Or do you want an extremely polished map (like that Polycount one) which proabably takes months in the making, as it uses tons of custom textures and highpoly. The latter can get pretty depressing, while the playable (and quick) map will probably look a little bit lacking in comparison.
I just thought about Chivalry. The game doesn't have "Helm's Deep" in it, as far as I know. So you could figure out how to get that map ready for the game. It's always nice to have a little success and see people play the stuff we create.
Thanks I'll try to bevel those edges. I wasn't sure how many polygons I should restrict it to and since beveling adds a lot more to the original mesh, I didn't apply it to all the meshes. And as for the map, I'm not just making it as a portfolio piece. I want to make it playable so I can't exactly use high poly meshes. But I'll try to optimize it more and then add beveling. And I'm planning to make a floor texture once I'm done with modeling. I'm not satisfied with the current one as it doesn't have much depth even in the default texture. So I need to learn how to make one first.
I had seen the Chivalry forum post regarding Helm's Deep. Maybe once this is more presentable and optimized, I can do something to add it to the game.
From all my XP with UDK so far I can safely say that it were never the models that made a scene lag, but the materials and particles. You can have millions of polygons in a scene without experiencing lag. But if you have too many materials and too high res textures, it can bring a scene to its knees. It is very wise of you to think about optimisation early, however there is much more optimisation possible with shared materials and material instances than by cutting down on polycount. I made so many too lowres models, before I realized this myself. If you want to win with Unreal Engine, learn all you can about its shaders and material composition. Half the work of an environment artist can be done in Unreal Engine Editor itself. Vertex Paint/Vertex Deformation, modular texture (Atlas), animated textures, Master Materials, Material Instances are just a few examples.
And the highpoly I referred to where the ones used for baking normal maps. Rarely actual highpoly models are used. I think one of the early Far Cry games used optimised, yet still highpoly weapon models. That looked good, but is a rare thing. Usually the baked version is good enough anyway.
So there is a Helm's Deep map for Chivalry. I thought I had an idea there, but of course there is already a map.
Cool, I've started remodeling some of the meshes. I'm not going too high poly as UV unwrapping becomes a pain after that. Also baking is not possible for many of my wall meshes as the UV unwrapping goes outside the 0,1 UV space. I've gone through these issues earlier when I started out with this project.
I'm not using very high res textures.. mainly 1024*1024 and 512*512. And I'm using material instances everywhere, there are only 4 materials for architecture and one for landscape so far. But as you mentioned about the uses of material editor, there's a lot more for me to learn about using material editor more heavily.
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Helm's Deep UDK work-in-progress close-up front view