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Mastering Unreal Technology: The Art of Level Design

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Mastering Unreal Technology: The Art of Level Design


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  • Copyright 2005
  • Dimensions: 7-3/8" x 9-1/8"
  • Pages: 984
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-672-32692-2
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-672-32692-9

Let your imagination run wild in the world of Unreal Technology. Mastering Unreal Technology: The Art of Level Design knows no boundaries as it shows you how to build custom mods, maps and levels with the Unreal engine. Its tutorial format will give you immediate results through the tips and demos provided from the industry's top level designers. Learn to create your own characters, weapons and gaming environments, as well as how to go beyond the Unreal environment and export custom elements from 3D modeling applications. A CD that contains the Unreal Engine, graphics, examples and code is also included, giving you everything you need to create custom levels in Unreal or build your own games and virtual environments. Mastering Unreal Technology will help put you on the cutting-edge of gaming technology.

Sample Content

Downloadable Sample Chapter

Chapter 3: Excerpt from Chapter 3, Creating Your First Level with UnrealEd (PDF)

Chapter 14: Creating Scripted Sequences (PDF)

Chapter 19: The Art of Texturing in Maya (PDF)

Table of Contents



1. Unreal Technology: The Big Picture.

    Unreal and Its History

    The Unreal Engine

      Introduction to the Unreal Engine

      The Components

      Overview of Component Interaction

    Engineering New Worlds with the Unreal Engine

      Game Assets

      The Tools


2. The Process of Game Development.

    Building Your Foundation: Before Production

      Developing Your Idea

      The Player's Perspective

      Gathering the Team

      Refining Your Ideas with the Team

      Creating a Production Schedule

    Beginning Construction: During Production

      Maintaining the Schedule

      Dealing with Delays

      Bringing It Together

    Testing and Acquiring Feedback

      Internal Testing: Alpha

      External Testing: Beta

    Remodeling and Closing: Ending Production

      What to Do with Beta Test Info

      When to Stop Beta Testing

      Finalizing and Releasing


3. Creating Your First Level with UnrealEd.

    What Is UnrealEd?

      The Subtractive Method of Level Creation


    The Anatomy of an Unreal Level

      World Geometry


      Some Assembly Required

    A Quick Tour Around the User Interface

      The Main Menu Bar

      The Toolbar

      The Toolbox

      The Viewports

      The Console Bar

      The Browsers

      Property Windows

    Working in 3D Space

      2D Versus 3D

      Positive and Negative Directions

    Creating Your First Room

      Subtracting Out Space: How Tall?

      Brushes in Depth

      Navigation in UnrealEd

      Moving Actors

    Creating Your First Map

      Subtracting the First Room

      Adding Textures

      Texture Fitting

      Making the Level Functional

    Expanding the Level: Creating Objects and Adding Lights

      The Window and Hangar

    Adding Detail: Static Meshes

      The Static Mesh Browser

      Placing Static Meshes

      Decorating with Static Meshes


4. Advanced Brush Techniques.

    BSP Theory


      BSP Trees

    Brushes from Other Brushes

      The Intersect Tool

      The De-Intersect Tool

    Brush Manipulation

      Vertex Editing

      Face Dragging

      Brush Clipping (2D and 3D)

    Freehand Polygon Drawing

    The 2D Shape Editor

      User Interface Overview

      Shape Editing

      Using the 2D Shape Editor to Create a Simple Level

    Brush Solidity

      Solid Brushes

      Semi-Solid Brushes

      Non-Solid Brushes

    Saving Brushes (u3d Files)

    Importing/Exporting Brushes


5. Terrain.

    What Is Terrain?

    The Components of Terrain

      Terrain Zoning with the ZoneInfo Actor

      Using the TerrainInfo Actor

      Controlling Terrain with the Height Map



    Altering Terrain with the Terrain Editing Dialog

    Lighting Terrains with Sunlight

    The Skybox

      What Are Skyboxes?

      How Does a Skybox Work?

    A Closer Look at Terrain Editing

      Terrain Editing User Interface

      Height Map Editing Tools

      The Select Tool

      Applying the Terrain Editing Tools

    TerrainInfo Properties

    Texture Layer Editing Tools




      Tex Pan

      Tex Rotate

      Tex Scale

    Editing Terrain Texture



6. Working with Volumes.

    Concept of Volumes

    Basic Volume

      Volume Properties









7. Lighting in Unreal.

    Light Concepts

      Light Maps

      Light Placement

    Light Classification

      Static Lights

      Dynamic Lights

    Light Properties

      Light Color

      Light Radius

      Light Type and Light Effects

      Directional Lights

    Lighting Workflow

      Light Creation

      Viewing Lights

      Working with Light Effects

      Rebuilding Lights

      Light Map Size

    Lighting Surfaces

      World Geometry

      Static Meshes, Meshes, and Movers



    Advanced Lighting Effects

      Scaling Lights

      Using SpecialLit

      Ambient Lighting

      Emitting Light from Other Actors


      Using a TriggerLight


      Using Projectors

    Common Lighting Pitfalls


8. Creating Materials in Unreal.


      Creating a Texture

      Importing a Texture

      The Texture Properties Window

      Texture Properties


      Diffuse and Specularity Maps

      Opacity Maps

      Self-Illumination Maps

      Other Properties


      The Color Modifier

      The TexOscillator Modifier

      The TexPanner Modifier

      The TexRotator Modifier

      The TexScaler Modifier

      The Combiner Modifier

    Creating Reflective Surfaces with Cubemaps and TexEnvMaps

    Final Blend Material

    Using a ScriptedTexture


9. Interactive Elements.


      Creating the First Door

    Introduction to Triggers

      Creating a MessageTrigger


      A Simple Elevator: UseTrigger

      Complex Elevator Overview

    Jump Pads




10. Creating Particle Effects.

    Particle Theory

      Emitter Types







11. The Karma Physics Engine.

    Karma Theory

      General Karma Properties

      Karma Collision Primitives






    The Karma Authoring Tool (KAT)

      The KAT Interface




12. Advanced Bot/AI Navigation.

    Basics of Bot Navigation

      Design Considerations

    Tools for Debugging

      Diagnosing Problems with the Map Check Dialog Box

      Console Commands


      Jump Pads and Teleporters

      Jump Spots




    Advanced Pathing


      Defense Points and Sniping Points

      Vehicle Navigation


13. Matinee: Creating Custom Cinematics.

    Introduction to the World of Machinima

    Overview of the Matinee System

    The Matinee Interface

      The Scenes Tab

      The Actions Tab

      The Sub Actions Tab

      The Tools Tab

    Creating a Simple Matinee Sequence

    Working with the Scene Manager

    Triggering the Matinee Sequence

    Controlling the Camera Path

    Creating Camera Pauses and Camera Cuts

    A Closer Look at Sub Actions

      Setting Camera Orientation

      Introducing Fades

    Using Matinee to Control Actors

    Adding Text to Your Cutscenes

    Adding a More Cinematic Feel

    Automatically Launching the Movie

    Changing Levels with Matinee


14. Creating Scripted Sequences.

    Using an Actions List

      Using Latent and Non-latent Actions

      Controlling xPawns

    Logical Conditions


15. Level Optimization (Zoning) and Distribution.

    Introduction to Level Optimization



    Distance Fog

    Terrain Optimization

    Profiling and Debugging

      Viewport Display Modes

      Console Commands


16. Gametypes.

    Setting Level Properties

    Deathmatch-Style Gametypes

      Adding Weapons

      Deathmatch Design Considerations

    Capture the Flag (CTF)

      CTF Design Considerations

    Double Domination

      Design Considerations for Double Domination

    Bombing Run

      Design Considerations for Bombing Run


      Design Considerations for Onslaught




17. Overview of Maya.

    Y-Up Versus Z-Up

    Maya Theory

      Nodes and Connections

      Construction History

    Overview of the User Interface

      The Viewports

      The Main Menu Bar and Menu Sets

      The Status Line

      The Shelf

      The Channel Box and Layer Editor

      The Attribute Editor

      The Time and Range Sliders

      The Toolbox and Layout Selection

      The Hotbox

    The Hypershade

    The Hypergraph

    Object Manipulation

      Object Mode

      Component Mode


18. Polygonal Modeling Tools.

    Modeling Terminology

    Modeling Methods

      Box Modeling

      Polygon Creation

    Understanding the Tool Options and Display Settings in Maya

    Polygon Modeling in Maya

      Creating Polygons

      Adding to Existing Polygons

      Combining Objects

      Using Booleans


      Smoothing Versus Averaging Vertices


      Cleaning Up Your Polygons

    Editing Polygons

      Subdividing Polygons

      Splitting Polygons


      Chamfering Vertices and Beveling Edges

      Cutting Faces

      Wedging Faces

      Merging Vertices

      Flipping Triangle Edges

      Adjusting Surfaces and Hard Edges


19. The Art of Texturing in Maya.

    UVs and the UV Coordinate System

    The UV Texture Editor

      The Menu Bar

      The Toolbar

      The Viewport

    Mapping Uvs

      Mapping Methods

    Creating UV Layouts

    Creating Textures from UV Layouts

    UV Layouts for Characters

    Considerations for UV Layouts


20. Static Meshes.

    The Importance of Static Meshes

    Preparing to Model

      Adjusting the Grid

      Creating a Project

    Modeling the Catwalks

      Creating the Base Catwalk

      Constructing the Straight Catwalk

      Making a Ramp

      Making a Turn

      Building a T-Intersection

      Building a Four-Way Intersection

    Collision Models

    Exporting Models to UnrealEd

      Texturing Your Static Meshes in UnrealEd


21. Character Modeling.


      Concept Art

      Image Planes

    The Modeling Process

      Modeling and Animation

    The Character

      Modeling the Torso

      Modeling the Legs

      Modeling the Arms

      Modeling the Feet

      Modeling the Hand

      Modeling the Head


22. Importing Characters into UnrealEd.

    What Are Skeletons?

    Introduction to Maya Joints


      Joints and Parenting

      Joints and Rotation

      Using the Joint Tool

      Joints and Local Rotation Axes

      Manipulating Joints

    Binding a Character to a Skeleton: Skinning

      Introduction to Smooth Bind

      Adjusting Joint Influence

    Importing a Character Without Custom Animation

      Importing a Skeleton

      Skinning a Character

      Adjusting the Skin Weights

      Exporting the Character

      Getting the Character Ready for Gameplay

      Creating the Character's Portrait

      The UPL File and Testing the Character In-game


23. Character Animation.

    Introduction to Animation

    Popular Animation Methods in Maya


      Reactive Animation

    Animation Choices-FK Versus IK

    IK Solvers

      Single Chain IK Solvers

      Rotate Plane IK Solvers

      IK Spline Solvers


    Selection Handles

    Character Rigs: What They Are and Why We Need Them

      Creating the Character Rig

      Skinning the Character

    Animating the Character

      Pose-to-Pose Animation

      Creating Custom Animation Cycles

    Exporting Custom Animations into UnrealEd


APPENDIX A. The UnrealEd Manual.

    The Main Menu Bar

    The Toolbar

      File Options

      Undo and Redo

      Search for Actor





      Play Level


    The Toolbox

      Camera and Utilities Area

      Brush Clipping Area

      Brush Primitives Area

      CSG Operations Area

      Selections and Movement Area

      Mirroring and Miscellaneous Area

    The Viewports

      Viewport Controls

      Viewport Control Bar

      Viewport Control Bar Context Menu

    The Console Bar

      The Text Field

      The Log Window

      Lock Selections

      Vertex Snap

      Drag Grid

      Rotation Grid

      Maximize Viewport



      The Actor Class Browser

      The Group Browser

      The Music Browser

      The Sound Browser

      The Textures Browser

      The Mesh Browser

      The Prefab Browser

      The Static Mesh Browser

      The Animation Browser

    Editor Windows

      Search for Actors

      The 2D Shape Editor

      The UnrealScript Editor

    Property Windows

      Actor Properties

      Surface Properties



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