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Ritalin
20th June 2008, 01:51
I have toyed with mapping on and off for some years now. My biggest problem with the standard editors is how cumbersome and un-intuitive they are, Crytek's SandBox may be the only exception.

I finally started playing around with Googles SketchUp program the other week. There was no need to for dictionary sized insturctions, I just jumped in head first and had the controls and construction methods down in a few minutes. After finding out that the Pro version has an OBJ exporter, I started thinking about using it to create the basic BSP geometry for a map.

As I expected I was not the first to think of this:
http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=654523

The method explained above has its pitfalls in the fact that you need to break everything into orthogonal shapes and group them on your own. If you don't it will break it into polygons. (At least that is what Im thinking is happening) and it gets screwed up when exporting it to a .map file.

Here is what I and other people looking into this are looking for. SketchUp allows for Ruby scripts to be written and plugged in. If anyone can find a Ruby script that will automatically create the proper geometry cuts, or the more likely case of writing a Ruby script to allow this, we would have one hell of a great mapping tool on our hands.

I know that I could spend a few weeks getting use to building with Hammer again. But it will NEVER be as easy to use as SketchUp. If we can get this working it would be much like using Zbrush or Mud in a 3D development work flow. Where Zbrush will not replace 3dMax or Maya it sure as hell makes the bulk of the work easier.

If anyone has a simpler method for exporting from SketchUp to Hammer please let me know.

Edit: Shortly after posting this I found that some one has created a Ruby script for exporting .OBJ files in the free version of SketchUp.
http://sketchuptips.blogspot.com/2007/01/wavefront-obj-exporter.html

I ran across this today and thought that it would be beneficial to anyone that would like to take a crack at writing a Ruby script for SketchUp.
http://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/VMF_documentation

Zabiela
20th June 2008, 02:37
Mmmm interesting. I use sketchup to draw out ideas, and just play around. Im not such a fan of making a whole map in there, but I'd like to be able to import layouts and shapes i've made into hammer as guidelines. Thanks for the links.
Im also learning autoCAD achitecture at my new job, and im constructing some fantastic modern buildings, and I was hoping I could find a way to transfer some geometry into hammer for a possible map.

Ritalin
20th June 2008, 03:24
Im not such a fan of making a whole map in there, but I'd like to be able to import layouts and shapes i've made into hammer as guidelines.


That was the point. I do not want to make the map in SU, I want to create the basic BSP brush work in SU and finish the rest up in hammer. The point being that SU allows for a much faster work-flow then hammer. So if I can get the basic layout of the map into hammer without using hammer to build it, the time from start to finish on a map would be shorter.