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Author Topic: The Truth About The BSP
tourist.Tam
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Since: Feb 2, 2007
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Category: News Around the Web
Posted: Saturday, Sep. 12, 2009 08:09 am
This is more a general gaming topic, but a very interesting reading for someone who's just new to the whole portaling and bsp technique. Recommended. Just bear in mind that Call of Duty is not mentioned, but still use comparable technique for creating the maps.

Quote:
Posted by Shamus on August 31st, 2009

Warning: The following 2,400 words attempt to take very complex 3D rendering problems and reduce them to simple language so that you can peer into the polygon-based sausage factory that is the videogame industry. I’m not sure if I pulled it off.

Yesterday I promised a writeup on “BSP technology”. Except, I was using BSP the sloppy way to mean “general level-optimizing type stuff”, which is not really correct. BSP is a technique of level optimization. What I should have said is “how BSP technology is being marginalized in favor of other optimization techniques”. BSP stands for “Binary Space Partitioning”, which is obtuse programmer talk for “dividing space in two”. We love doing that because it lets us pretend our dull technical skills are a potent form of arcane magic. It’s the same reason we “launch applications” instead of just “running programs” like you simple folk.


rest of the article

Tam
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Welshy
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Posted: Saturday, Sep. 12, 2009 11:42 am
Great article Tam (I am assuming you wrote it). Makes for interesting reading.
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tourist.Tam
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Posted: Saturday, Sep. 12, 2009 12:11 pm
Welshy writes...
Quote:
Great article Tam (I am assuming you wrote it). Makes for interesting reading.


I wish I was that clever. :p

No it is originating from Shamus Young's blog. He is the smart guy. Worth checking. ;)

Tam
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Welshy
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Posted: Saturday, Sep. 12, 2009 12:22 pm
Oh lol...well in that case...Good find tam, And Great article Shamus.
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playername
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Posted: Saturday, Sep. 12, 2009 12:42 pm
Nice find Tam! I think I have a better understanding of portaling than I already did. I am going to have to remember this for portaling help!
nullFew tips for coding.
1. Keep the script as short as possible.
2. Don't comment every line. Only comment portions where they may be needed to point something out.
3. Don't over complicate the script, keep it organized and easy to read.

These help you find simple errors and makes it easy to make changes.
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voidsource
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Posted: Saturday, Sep. 12, 2009 10:41 pm
yea this is a good article. I already had the idea down of how portals worked but didnt know all that info as to the bsp and now i know....lets just hope it stays in my brain lol.
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techno2sl
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Posted: Sunday, Sep. 13, 2009 02:43 am
It's good reading but if your working with games like Call of Duty where you have a heck of a lot of detail and large open spaces mixed with small spaces with many entrances then you have to apply some different techniques. You can often come across certain dilemmas and challenges. Portalling in houses is usually applied in a simple and non-effective way.

In COD you might have room A for instance which has a doorway into room B and another into room C, all 3 rooms could be very detailed and the door ways all look through each other, there could also be windows looking into each room.

Now you have a choice, if you have room C opening into an outdoor area then being able to look from room A through B and C and straight outside is not a good idea as your calculating all 4 zones. You could detail the dividing walls of the rooms and have 3 rooms become 1, so now your calculating 2 zones. (1 large room and the outdoor area)

The problem you have then is your loading 2 highly detailed areas. But you are saving your CPU from needless calculations.

The best idea however is to break up the rooms so they don't look directly into each other, so room A can see into room B but from room A you can not see through to room C.

(this next bit relates to a part of the article which should have been removed - as it depends on the game and you level)

If you have a window and a door in room A that look into B then you wouldn't want to make a portal brush in the doorway and in the window, you simply make 1 portal brush across them both and make the door frame and window frame 'detail'. Basically why calculate two separate openings when one will do just fine as of course if you can see the door and there is a window next to it then you can see the window as well.

I like the article but it should be taken as a crash course, the actual placing of portals and how you divide space is reliant on you, the game, the level AND the detail in each area.
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tourist.Tam
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Posted: Sunday, Sep. 13, 2009 07:57 am
I have to agree with what you are saying techno, but I think the article is, like you said, more of a strait forward explanation of the current state of how those engine based on the BSP technique are working than a practical tutorial of what to do and what not to do; like the fact that we have no longer to compile the visibility set, and instead use portal and detail brush to resolve the part of the map that needs to be rendered (drawn).

So in that regard, if you have trouble understanding or simply want to understand why one need to go through the trouble of setting the portals and setting some of the world brush as details, this article is quite relevant on a theoretical level. :)

Tam
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