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Author Topic: Problem with JENX Willow tree  (Read 1196 times)

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Offline evarburg

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Problem with JENX Willow tree
« on: September 17, 2018, 09:28:23 PM »
I made a park with that gorgeous tree, (which I have tinkered with so it's not seasonal anymore) ; and by day it works as I hoped :



But I am a nitelites bug, and by night... argh, the boxes on those trees are killing my buzz big time. (It's a problem with all JENX Trees in that series)



Is it fixable ? (I have that sinking feeling....)

Offline mgb204

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Re: Problem with JENX Willow tree
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2018, 03:35:17 AM »
Quite possibly you can do something about this, it all comes down to space. Not the space you can see, but that which the game sees. Imagine every item in-game is encased in its own box, this is known as the Bounding Box. The idea being, if two such boxes collide (share the same space), the game will prevent one or the other from showing. When making a model for SC4, by default this Bounding Box will encompass the fullest extremes of each edge of the model. But trees especially have lots of parts that stick out, only the trunk really needs its own dedicated space.

Every Prop or Buildings Exemplar has a property, "Occupant Size", this represents the size of the Bounding Box. However we can alter this property, making the reserved space of a Prop / Model smaller. For trees, in fact I use this for almost all props, .5,.5,.5 is a good setting to use. This means an object reserves only 50cm of space in width, height and depth. You know in the Lot Editor, those Yellow or Blue boxes you move around, they are the same size as the Occupant Size. So when you see big squares overlapping each other, you can see that the Occupant Sizes could do with some tweaking.

Simply open the Prop Exemplar in Reader, find the Occupant Size property and edit it to the aforementioned .5,.5,.5 for each of the three values. The one problem is that this information is "embedded" into a Lot when you make it, it's not dynamically read from the Prop. Put simply, that means in order for the changes to have any effect, you must re-edit the lot by removing and replacing any Props where the Occupant Size was changed. Having done this however, you should find the game more forgiving in terms of the space it can make use of.

You may have read about making Lots more MMP friendly before? Essentially this is how it's done, reduction of the Occupant Size gives more free space to work with. There are some caveats to consider though. First, Occupant Sizes and Bounding Boxes are there for a reason, you wouldn't want two buildings sitting in the middle of each other. Second, Bounding Boxes are absolute, they can not be changed without re-making the model, if these collide, editing the Occupant Size may prove ineffectual. Sometimes it takes some trial and error, but not every Model will benefit from this approach. However for trees, I'd be reasonably confident you can make improvements.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2018, 03:37:33 AM by mgb204 »

Offline evarburg

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Re: Problem with JENX Willow tree
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2018, 10:24:40 AM »
Robin to the rescue ! Thank you. I did think it was the Bounding Box, and vaguely remembered it has something to do with Occupant Size, but I wasn't sure, and with my luck recently, I was afraid this problem wouldn't have a simple solution that I could apply myelf. Relief !!!  ;D.

Offline evarburg

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Re: Problem with JENX Willow tree
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2018, 12:29:45 PM »
And of course the relief was short-lived and the sinking feelin returned. But it wouldn't be fun otherwise, would it ? I applied your directives, but it seems to be one of the cases you allude to in your last paragraph. The bounding boxe (best  materialized with lights, see below) seems intractable if the model is not changed (or something). I then thought of Mattb325's Jenx Willows for Water Courses lots, whose 1x1 is very amenable to MMP. But for some reason it makes the Lot Editor CTD (uh ?) and I couldn't open it. In the Reader, however, I found that the occupant size he used are 8, 0. 8, I applied those and the result is a bit better. But still not the solution for my lighting problem, alas... I suppose it cannot be shrunk any smaller for that specific tree... (but I might be able to shrink the BB of the other, less expansive ones :-)

.5-.5-.5 :



8-0-8 :




Offline mattb325

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Re: Problem with JENX Willow tree
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2018, 03:06:55 PM »
When Alex made these trees, he used an experimental technique in 3DS. Without getting into too much heavy detail, the results were extraordinary in terms of modelling (especially considering their age - they are 11 years old), the downside was that the technique interfered with the negative space that usually exists around the image and the LOD Box such that the game had difficulty displaying it as such. The willow tree wasn't too bad, but others encountered the issue even in the day time, making them unusable.

I don't know of any other willow tree model that rivals his, so as a work around I would suggest using the 8-0-8 occupant size and arranging the lot in such a way as to minimise the effect.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2018, 03:08:30 PM by mattb325 »

Offline evarburg

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Re: Problem with JENX Willow tree
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2018, 03:17:02 PM »
Ah. I did what you suggest. I suppose with only one willow, the effect would be minimized -- but the lot looks so much better with two ! :) How did you ever manage to make your 1x1 lot MPPable ?!?

PS : While I was crying over my day-only lot, I had a thought : at some point, JENX put a lot of his Gmax models on SC4D.SO if he uploaded his willow, perhaps someone could tinker with the model etc. But ALL JENX content deems to have disappeared ? He's not longer listed in the creators' list, neither is Porkissimo. WHAT IS HAPPENING ?

Offline Andreas

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Re: Problem with JENX Willow tree
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2018, 03:26:07 PM »
The JENX stuff is listed under Alex' screen name, xannepan. :) Not sure about Porkissimo, but if it's not on the LEX, you should find his work on the STEX instead (as well as some of xannepan's work, too).
Andreas

Offline mattb325

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Re: Problem with JENX Willow tree
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2018, 03:42:44 PM »
He never uploaded his tree files, if I recall correctly. It was a long time ago, but I think I made the lot MMP-able by changing the occupant size of the building to match the tree model and sitting it directly under said tree model...voila, slope tolerant and mmp-able  ;)

Offline evarburg

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Re: Problem with JENX Willow tree
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2018, 04:55:39 PM »
Sneaky !!! I'll remember that !  ;)

Offline evarburg

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Re: Problem with JENX Willow tree
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2018, 04:59:18 PM »
The JENX stuff is listed under Alex' screen name, xannepan. :) Not sure about Porkissimo, but if it's not on the LEX, you should find his work on the STEX instead (as well as some of xannepan's work, too).

Darn, I'd forgotten that it was Xannepan, the other JENX name ! So he was not Porkissimo ? Since PK also had Paris buildings and such, I'd assumed...

Offline mgb204

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Re: Problem with JENX Willow tree
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2018, 09:54:40 AM »
Just a forewarning, when I said you'd need to "edit the model", let me be more specific. You'd need to find the original 3D modelling files, then edit the LOD so that it didn't encompass the entire tree, but only the specific extremities. This is really complex with such a complex shape as a tree, to the point it's almost impractical. I think the willow trees suffer this more than most because of the drooping branches. If the LOD isn't big enough for the model, the textures can not be mapped to it, i.e. there will be missing parts in-game. Honestly, I think you need to find another solution, such as moving the lights so that they aren't interfered with by the tree.

Offline evarburg

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Re: Problem with JENX Willow tree
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2018, 02:31:24 PM »
(yes, Mattb explained how he did it for his 1x1willow lot ; I won't attempt anything like that ! esp. as the 3D modelling file is not available !) I chose the 50% solution : I changed the trees for Girafe birches, but will add the Willow Trees lot with a warning : “For Day Use Only”... ;)

Offline evarburg

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Re: Problem with JENX Willow tree
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2018, 05:15:52 PM »
Well, I did apply Matt's ratio to all Jenx Trees, and they are now eminently MMPable !  :bnn: (if not lightable,  :'( )

 

I uploaded en evergreen version of those trees, earlier in the summer. ANd I think I now have a problem : I changed all trees in the JENX trees vol1.BSC.dat ; people who use that original dep for my evergreens wouldn't have the changed ratio, would they ? So what should I do ?

Offline mgb204

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Re: Problem with JENX Willow tree
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2018, 05:38:07 PM »
The occupant size is baked-in to the Lot, it doesn't matter what setting the Prop or Building has, only the one that was used when you last added those props onto the lot. So it shouldn't matter in the slightest.

Offline evarburg

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Re: Problem with JENX Willow tree
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2018, 08:57:57 PM »
OK, then. And thank you all !