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Submitted by Daniel Bröking, posted on March 26, 2002

Image Description, by Daniel Bröking

The images above show some shots from my current project called LC.1 . It's a "level compiler" which reads the ZCB file-format created by Flexporters plugin for 3DS MAX 4. LC.1 reads geometry, lights, cameras and shapes and exports this to an "easy-to-read" file-format which i'm going to use in my planned 3d engine.

I'm going to implement following features (LC.1) :
  • static light- and shadowmapping
  • dynamic lightmapping
  • bsp and pvs calculation
  • scripting
  • At the moment i'm working on light- and shadowmap calculation as you can see at the images above.

    The top row shows the orginal levels in 3dsmax. The images in the middle and at the bottom show the imported zcb files in LC.1 (the left ones are unlit and the right ones are lightmapped)

    At this time there are no demos available, because there are still a lot of bugs in the code.

    Visit for more information.

    Daniel _Dände_ Bröking

    Image of the Day Gallery


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    Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active. It is here for reference purposes. This thread was created on an older version of the flipcode forums, before the site closed in 2005. Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.

    March 26, 2002, 01:19 PM

    Wowy! Looks neat! Keep up the good work!

    Jeff Olson

    March 26, 2002, 01:20 PM

    very spiff!


    March 26, 2002, 01:22 PM

    People need to be more careful about what they put up here, now I have to go change my pants AGAIN.

    :D good job.. I like the existing lightmapping already :D

    Division By Zero

    March 26, 2002, 01:57 PM

    Its nice to see such program which can write book based on 3d model's shape ...

    I see object called unnamed which has n vertices, and n triangles. It is perfectly lit with 10 ligtsources [1]..[10](see description below)

    Love that easy to read hard to write stuff :P


    March 26, 2002, 03:28 PM

    The buildings in the bottom shots remind me of Syndicate Wars...I miss that game. Very spiffy overall.

    Steve Streeting

    March 26, 2002, 04:33 PM

    Hey, nice work indeed. The lightmapping is looking very promising already. Minor issue - it looks like there's a seam problem on the bottom left image where light & shadow are 'leaking' around the pillars. But hey, I'm sure you'll resolve this, it looks great. Well done.

    Alexander Blach

    March 26, 2002, 07:19 PM

    It's amazing how many people can afford to buy 3D Studio MAX...


    March 26, 2002, 07:24 PM

    Steve - The light-seams are not what they seam (pun intended :));
    they're the grid-lines of the application, they're not a side-effect of the lighting-process.
    (At least afaict from the images on his webpage)


    March 26, 2002, 09:08 PM

    Did you even stop to consider that it just might be a legit copy? Your comment here is totally unnecessary and uncalled for. If you wish to discuss the moral and ethical delemas associated with software piracy, please do so on different forum.

    On a different note, rather than assuming that he is in the wrong why don't you take a minute or two to properly inform yourself before making such an accusation.

    Finally, don't even try the "It wasn't sarcasm" game.


    March 26, 2002, 09:48 PM

    Before I begin, I'll just say that I do not mean to imply that the poster of this IOTD in particular has anything but a legit copy of 3DSMax.


    The vast majority of people who post on gamedev type boards are between 14-24. They're in high school or college. Now, most of these people also have 3DSMax. The average student does _not_have that kind of money. Don't be naive; they didn't buy their copies.

    3DSMax is one of the most commonly pirated pieces of software in the world, and it will continue to be until the price comes down - and it never will.

    I, for one, do not have a copy of 3D Studio Max - but most of my friends do (and let me assure you they did _not_ buy their copies). I used to be into 3D art, but quickly realized that I didn't have the funds to buy the necessary tools to get more advanced, so I moved on to programming - all with DJGPP and the free "learning edition" of MSVC++. Whenever I want to do something in 3D, it's procedurally generated - because I can't model it, because I don't have the tools.

    But many people do, and do so illegally. I was for a while in the Quake scene, not as a gamer (I'm really quite bad at Quake) but as a mapper. As such, I associated with modelers and skinners - all of whom merrily did their work with pirated copies of 3DSMax and Photoshop.

    The fact of the matter is Alexander does have a point. I don't know whether or not the original poster has 3DSMax, nor do I care. But I am certain that the vast majority of hobbyists in posession of 3DSMax didn't pay a cent for it.


    March 26, 2002, 09:52 PM

    Wow assumptions on all parts then I guess. Did YOU stop to consider that Alex was commenting on the fact that he couldn't afford 3ds max while others could?

    I think you are even worse than what you accuse him to be, even if you are right. You're hypocritical for judging him in the way you think he is judging others and you said it spitefully.

    You didn't have to post this here and I hope a moderator deletes it.


    March 27, 2002, 12:25 AM

    Really nice, but I noticed that you decided to go with a BSP Tree for this. Just a suggestion, for building shapewise limitless levels, you might want to switch over to an Octree structure. That way you won't be hindered by BSP's shortcomings, and it'll make the levels look less Quakey (if you decide to build them that way ;). Other than that, keep up the good work, cuz that looks like its gonna be one heck of a tool.


    March 27, 2002, 01:49 AM

    Looks nice!


    March 27, 2002, 04:37 AM

    All people in Highschool/college should be able to get a kinda cheap 'learning'/'student'/whatever edition of MAX, that only does not allow selling ones work.

    The same is true for MS-VStudio (I got my copy for ~100$ here in Austria) and I'm kinda sure that I'm not the only student who hates pirate copies...


    March 27, 2002, 05:27 AM

    Looks nice !!
    But why PVS... ?


    March 27, 2002, 05:39 AM

    Why do you not have any modeling tools, eh? I know a few (milkshape3D, q3radiant, qoole, QuArK, etc etc) that can import / export all kinds of formats, and you could even import their own formats. Most of them are shareware or freeware...


    March 27, 2002, 06:24 AM

    Why? You piss yourself laughing? =]


    March 27, 2002, 06:51 AM

    I'm 20, a student and have a legit copy of MAX (only 3.1) and Character Studio. Before that I had a pirate version and bought a legit copy just to get the SDK.

    Mind you I'm not rich or anything, I just got the ACADEMIC version (same as normal apart from nag-screen at startup - plus it includes the freakin' manuals!!!) for less than the price of a copy of Windows XP. Apparently you have to be doing a computer graphics course fulltime, but I just told the place I bought it from that I wanted to learn how to write plugins and stuff for it - they said that they'd never heard that reason before and promptly printed me an invoice. =]

    Only problem with it though was that the dongle was dodgy - MAX would randomly quit because it couldn't find the dongle anymore. After trying it out on another computer I determined it wasn't mine then found out on Discreet's website that it was part of a faulty batch. I simply phoned up the place I bought it from, they sent out a courier who picked it up and dropped off a new one. To me, that sort of service (expensive, since I live on the edge of the city) isn't required for someone who paid $AU200 for his copy of MAX, $150 of that price was in the manuals I suspect =].

    When/if I make money from something I used MAX for, I'll fork out for the commercial version since it's only fair.


    March 27, 2002, 07:00 AM

    yeah, i guess the prices isnt that high anyways!

    Neither is Visual Studio,Maya,Photoshop,Quake3,CounterStrike etc etc ... :)


    March 27, 2002, 07:26 AM

    Nice pics...
    I'm working on a similar tool, I origionaly intended to make a full level editor but now it is going to be more of an importer exporter that allows you to add various game elements like doors, ammo, health, special fx, sound enemies etc. I will also allow you to do basic editor like features to create simple levels but mainly to adjust complex level created in other packages like worldcraft or unrealEd. Maybe in the future I can exapand it...

    Good luck


    March 27, 2002, 08:58 AM

    Well I'm not saying piracy is right, but if it wasn't for copying we just wouldn't have the tool and the financial situation for the creators would still be the same.

    HOWEVER! - companies are more inclined to spend cash on legitimate copies because the risks are much higher. Furthermore, they're more inclined to buy the tools which allow the user to do the best job which will usually be the one they have experience in and are comfortable using.

    Imagine this - Little Jimmy gets a pirate copy of 3D studio, he learns his art and is quite amazingly good at it. Later on some gamedev company take him on based on the strength of his work. what are they going to do? Force him to retain using Maya/Cinema4d/whatever or get 3D studio? That's right folks, they get 3D studio and there's a sale made keeping the developer in pocket.

    It'd be nice to see a cheap student version going though. Beats the hell out of the cover CD version of Cinema4D I'm currently struggling to produce coders art in:)


    March 27, 2002, 10:12 AM

    Well, on the ground plane, you are right :)

    But, notice the pillar-like thingies in this image . For example, the middle 'pillar' ... do you see the edge which should be shadowed? There's a light 'seam' ... on the right side you have a bunch of shadow seams which shouldn't be there as well. It is quite hard to get rid of these without having

    - Marco

    Nicolas Lelong

    March 27, 2002, 11:34 AM


    I was wondering why you chose to read the Flexporter's ZCB format to translate it into yours ?

    I would have chosen to create a custom plugin for Flexporter to directly create my format, Pierre Terdimans's structures are pretty clear & well documented ... It sounds less work to me, but maybe I'm just too lazy ;)



    March 27, 2002, 11:46 AM

    Hi there.
    The reason for these 'leaks' is the resolution of the lightmaps.
    i calculated the scenes in a ratio of 1 lightmap-texel per meter. because the textures and lightmaps are linear interpolated you can't see the correct light/shadow line.
    tomorrow i'll put another screenshot on which shows the scenes with increased lightmap-resolution.


    -go on coding-


    March 27, 2002, 12:56 PM

    there are cheap student versions of VC. i got one of these for example.


    March 27, 2002, 12:58 PM

    nice stuff (i dont say that too often). good luck for finishing your project. tracking bugs can be very hard :).


    March 27, 2002, 01:53 PM

    I have the student edition of Visual Studio and it was about $100.00. That's not too bad. I do know they have student versions of 3DS Max also, but I'm a programmer and my artwork will suck whether I'm using 3DS Max or Anim8tor(free 3D modeling tool that can export to 3DS format). So I use Anim8tor to do my crappy test models in and I'm a happy camper.

    Alexander Blach

    March 27, 2002, 08:05 PM

    Rest assured, before I posted this I had a look at his homepage. I saw that it was his private homepage. He is from Germany, so am I. (not that it matters).

    I'm pretty sure that his financial situation doesn't allow him to buy a copy of 3D Studio MAX.

    I didn't say that his copy is illegal, although I think that.

    The point is:

    It is not a good thing, that students can't afford it. There should be _cheap_, _fully functional_ academic versions of popular software like this.

    (I'm a computer science student myself. I bought a copy of VC 6.0 Professional for students.)

    It's not that I'm generally against software piracy. I know that companies who really need a piece of software are going to buy it. Companies like discreet won't lose much to students copying their software as they are not able to buy them legally. The only way to make them buy for it would be selling it for less.

    My post was just showing something to think about. I think it achieved that goal - it had a lot of response postings.

    This thread contains 28 messages.
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