Making flowmaps for Source.

Valve added Flowmaps in the L4D2 and later versions of Source.  Valve used Houdini to create theirs, but most people don’t have access or experience in Houdini to create flow maps in the fashion that Valve did.

This guide will teach you how to author your own flowmaps for Source, I am using the Portal 2 branch, but Alien Swarm, and CS:GO will work too.

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Working in a ‘non destructive’ way.

Or: Keeping your source files.

Working on large texture sets, and texture sets that involve multiple elements being changed per “base” background I’ve learned to work in a much more modular way, I keep all of my textures in two forms: a TGA and the Source file from the editor of my choice.

This gives great flexibility to not only use while making texture sets, but when you come back to inspect your previous work: you can quickly roll back into your editor and fix or change anything you please.

Postmortem: Water.

Or: More technobabble.

Since my starting time working on the HL2 Enhancement team over at Facepunch (Link) I’ve had to dabble quite a bit, and one thing I really touched heavily upon, was water.

Water, somthing source … sorta’ does well, view the page here, mind you that’s an older version, as it covers the “old” shader, it’s fairly simple and straightforward, But I had to jump head-first into the new one.

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Terrain Generation.

Or: Throwing ridiculous amounts of CPU at pointless amounts of detail.

I’ve played around with procedural terrain generation software for quite awhile now, you use a node-based editor, plug things into one another, change settings: and hope / play around with it until it looks good.

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High power rendering & updates.

Or: Where I talk about internet, Amazon EC2, and my brief absence.

(This post was written whilst listening to “Bookworm” on Klippa:“I knew a little bookworm”)

So recently I’ve been playing with Eyeon fusion, ontop of my normal video processing: and I must say, freaking love it soo much, the only issues I have is the amount of RAM it eats (not as bad as AfterEffects, but still devours a ton) & the huge processing requirement (Depending on situations, I’ve been doing full 32bit HDR color, so its a TON of processing).

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Updates / The future soon!

Or: I need to get to work.

 

So, since this site uses WordPress and nobody is perfect,  AND packages / CMS(s) aren’t too good at optimizing per website / user’s hosting setup.  So I’m going to go through all the style-sheets and PHP of the theme I use and optimize everything so it should load faster.

This includes:

  • Compressing CSS / Combining JS.
  • Uploading the CSS / JS / Other static files to S3/CloudFront.
  • Adding Thumbnails for things (Portfolio is guilty of eating bandwidth)
  • Various other things (Such as removing much of the “auto” sizing in the CSS)

Going to be doing this, HOPEFULLY within the next month, depends on how school is, and the project I’m working on for somebody.

Image formats.

Or: What I think is good, What is ACTUALLY good, and What is bad.

Putting out out there now, if you haven’t already noticed, I love the PNG file format, its a loss-less compression format developed for the web, and allows me to post high-quality images without eating bandwidth (or atleast AS much) and to not cause page-bumping (when an image suddenly loads and the page has to accommodate it)

So; I’m going to talk about these formats:

(A)PNG, JPEG, WebP, GIF, TGA

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SFM.

Or: Source Film Maker 

Or: Or: How VALVe loves the community.

Have a screenshot.

 

This tool / game is freaking awesome, its so powerful, and useful for anybody into Machinma.