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Quake 2 Curves (Phong Shading)
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In this tutorial we will cover the following:

- Curves (like codctf3)
- Working with Arghrad

After this you should be able to create very cool curved looking lighting on the old quake2 engine. While these tricks may not be new in game engines like Quake3. But with the eyecandy that today's game engines demand from maps, it's a way for us who map for q2 to keep up with the competition.

The reason I wrote this is because I believe lighting makes or breaks the mood of the enviornment. To get the knowledge of how to make those enviornments a reality (in quake) then you'll have to know the techniques involved in creating the enviornment. It just means a better looking quake for the player, and that's always what us mappers dig. :)

This was the first lighting trick that I learned in mid 2000. It's really a pretty old trick (came out in early '99), but very underused in maps. What makes the curved lighting effect is the compiler. So your old quake2 qrad3.exe (lighting compiler) isnt gonna do. You need a new compiler, a better compiler. And that compiler is Arghrad. Find it at www.planetquake.com/arghrad/ or visit our Download page for it.

Now that you have the compiler downloaded. Extract it to your folder where you compile your maps, but dont worry about renaming it, Arghrad.exe will do just dandy. Now point your handy compiler to use that instead of qrad3.exe. Now were in business!

First of all, a little lesson on how this "Phong Shading" works. Here's a little quote outta Arghrad's manual. "Phong shading is a process which simulates the effect of smoothly curving lighting across surfaces which are actually flat. It is done by modifying the surface's angle at each step across the surface to smoothly blend in to the surrounding surfaces."

That basically means. Err look at the picture below to see what's it's doing then re-read the paragraph above. (click to enlarge)

Now open up your editor (I'll use Qeradiant for this tutorial because it's the most standard editor and it roolz!:) So lets make a curved room for demonstration purposes. For this demo im gonna use the blume textures in e3u3 and an overhead (top) view. Now make a box about 320x320x256 (length, width, height). Now make a 16 Sided cylinder inside that and CSG subtract it. Be warned that CSG subtract is a very deadly tool if not used right. It'll cripple your r_speeds if your not careful. Now you should have this. Note: I added in walls around the cut out square and a floor and ceiling.

Select the surface texture of any wall. Like this:

and apply a value to it like this.

That's it! But not quite! :) Of course it would do nothing with a regular compiler but Arghrad sees that it needs to "Phong Shade" the surface and every surface with that same value. That means set a value of any # to the walls (not the floor-ceiling) and that value has to be the same going all around. So I'll use number 1. I'll apply that value to each wall surface. Which is 16 times.

Now put in a light entity, set the light value to about 250. Stick it about the midway point between the floor and ceiling. Now Put it up against a wall and compile (with arghrad). But don't forget to stick in a player start position! You should have something like this. (Click to enlarge)

Okay now if this tutorial didnt help or make sense :). Hopefully this will. I've included a zip with a .map of the room and two .bsp's of a compile with arghrad and phong shading and a compile without arghrad. Have fun and good mapping! :)

Curved.zip - ~15.6k

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