Making realistic looking houses (Normandy) - COD2

Tutorials for Call of Duty 2 mapping

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Rezil
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Making realistic looking houses (Normandy) - COD2

Post by Rezil » September 11th, 2008, 6:24 pm

Heeey what's up! Fancy doing some mapping? In this tutorial I'm going to try to explain how Infinity Ward did some of their amazing realistic looking houses(they are available in the prefabs map in cod2radiant). If you don't know what I'm talking about, here's a screenshot:

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With my help, you(yes, YOU) can make houses just like this one. Maybe even better ones! I'm going to concetrate on Normandy style houses, although some parts can be applied to any mapping style.

NOTE: This tut is basically written in the same way I do the houses. I don't really know if IW does it the same way but this is as close as I could get. Also, it's a big help if you have cod2radiant with my house open while you are reading this since the steps are briefly commented and you'll get the best result if you look at how I did it and do the same.

Alright, let's begin:

1. The Floorplan

So you've decided to make a house like the pros do it. Before you start opening radiant and making your rooms without any plan, please shoot yourself. Look, anything you want to make in radiant will be ten times easier if you plan it out in your head first. Even make a drawing to help you out. I'm going to use paint because I don't have a scanner and I suck at drawing. :)

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I intended the picture to look ugly. Even the ugliest picture can help you in making your house. You can always erase stuff, change it a bit and simmilar. When you're 50% done with the house in radiant, that's a bit hard. The squares are windows, doors are marked, also the stairs and an X which means that the path to the 2nd floor is blocked(closed door or simmilar). Now you see that I made my stairs so that they end in the outer wall which means there's no room for a door. I will ofcourse make room for that and a bit more space(so it looks real) in radiant.

2. Starting off

After you are satisfied with your picture, it's time to open radiant and convert your scribbles into a good-looking home of a french family. :)
I'm going to use my pic, you use your own.

I'm going to start with checking the game standards(these are for cod4, but apply also to cod2: http://www.infinityward.com/wiki/index. ... _standards) You see that doorways are 56x92, windows are 46x72(pretty loose, depends on the style of the window) and walls are 128 units high.

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This is my basic room structure. Notice how I made the walls so that they are above the floor brush. I also made some room for a door after the stairs. I haven't made any doors and windows yet because I want the whole thing to look good to me before I start making holes in the walls.
By the way, for size reference I also added an actor to the map, I'll delete him after I'm done, he's there just for ref.

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Using the clipper tool, I clipped out some windows and doors, as indicated in my sketch. I used the doorframe already provided by IW(prefabs/newvillers/doors/doorframe_interior_red1.map), but you can ofc use your own.

3. Unique windows and doors

Now this is a step that seperates bad-looking houses from good-looking ones: Making it look realistic! Using the gameplay standards(or using your own but usually it's not wise to deviate from standards excapt for windows since it depends on what kind of window you want.), I am going to make a window and door prefab.

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This is a step that can't really be explained properly. You have to figure out the knack yourself. Open the prefabs provided by IW, search WWII french windows and use all the rules you learned(cut at 45° angle, texture single sides etc.)

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You will need to be very careful with texturing. Make combinations, in this case I used white inner window with grayish outer side and wooden shutters.

After you are done, save two windows: one with open and one with closed shutters(if you are using them at all).

It's the same procedure with the door(I made it a bit wider since I'm using 4 units thick brushes.

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Using the prefabs I made here. I will include them in the .rar along with the .map file of the house. Also, in the screenshot you see that I have covered the floor with a 2size thick brush. This is a bottom stone trim and it's in most IW houses. I have also added steps for the front door.


4. Stairs and detailed work

Now the basics are in place, it's time for some detailed work on the exterior and the interior. I will make the bottom stone trim, the upper stone trim(to seperate floors) and I will make the stairs, along with the 2nd floor altogether.

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Here, I made the stairs(8 units high, 10 units wide, 8 units deep, with a 2unit high rise), along with the 2nd floor(no windows yet).

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Finished the trim(bottom and top-the one dividing the floors), and the stairs. Texturing is usually last, but I wanted to see how the door looks like.

Like I said, detailed brushwork takes time and patience and can't just be learnt by reading a tut. You have to study how IW did it, and copy it or atleast make it look simmilar.

Add the windows as in the lower floor, making sure they're 32 units above the floor of the 2nd floor.

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5. Roof

Finishing with the brushes now. All that's left is the roof. Personally, the worst part to make. Partly because the angling and working with patches(which I hate).

I first make a wall, the same width as my outer wall(the smaller one in the rectangle). I see that my wall is 448 units wide and divide that in 2, so I get the middle of it. I then continue to make a triangle,448 units wide and split at the middle, so I know where the top is. I clip it so I have a nice trim as you can see here:

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I then copy it to the other side. Almost done!

To make it look good, I put some trim brushes at the bottom aswell. Now we make the roof itself. Make a brush, the size 1 less then the half of your house(eg if the half is 250x450, you make a brush 249x439). Then make a patch out of it. I use 3x6 mostly, or 3x5, depends on preference mostly).

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I copied it on both sides. Then, manipulate the vericles so you get a 'bend' in the roof:

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And that's it for the roof. You are done with the basic structure of your house, well done! :)

6. Textures and decals

Texturing is the second half of a good looking house(the first half is a good structure) and it's one of the most important parts when making a house, or anything really. Since we're making a Normandy-style house, the textures will be from the 'french' textures part. I chose(after playing with some choices) the textures you see here:

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I usually start with the exterior and go inward to the interior last. I did the same with the interior(you might want to see the .map file on how I did the interior since I cut the walls some more to make the wooden panels).

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Ok, so far, the house looks 'nice'. But we don't want it to look 'nice', we want it to look f***in' great! So we use decals. Decals make the house look old, destroyed and rundown. You make a decal by copying the brush you want to decal, resizing it to 1unit(IW keeps them at 8 units but that makes them difficult to select) and texturing with the 'nodraw decal' texture. Then, select one side and texture it with the decal and place it exactly so that it overlaps the same face of the brush you want to decal. Example:

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I continue and decal the entire outside of the house:

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After I'm satisfied, I decal the entire interior also:

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I'm done with the house. I could just use it as a prefab in a map but I can also improve it by more decals, maybe add some drainpipes, make detail structures and such. But I'm satisfied with the result as it is.

7. The end

Well, that about wrapps it all up. If I forgot something, let me know and if you need any help(this is a pretty advanced tut), contact me via xfire(saberteeth) or this forum. I am including a .map together with the prefabs I used. If you are planning to use it in a map, please take the time to credit me for it.

The final result:

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.map+prefabs: http://www.speedyshare.com/594189681.html

Happy mapping! Rezil


PS: It's my first tutorial so be gentle. :P
Drofder2004: Drofder's rules for reviewing a map
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<LT>YosemiteSam[NL]:
I heard somewhere that the best way to start is juggling 2 balls with one hand, so you will get a feel for it.

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Re: Making realistic looking houses (Normandy) - COD2

Post by Soviet » September 11th, 2008, 10:48 pm

nice work, stickied.
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Re: Making realistic looking houses (Normandy) - COD2

Post by Drofder2004 » September 13th, 2008, 2:27 pm

Much can be improved.

Some things to note.
Houses are built very aligned. All windows on the top floor will match the bottom floor. Especially more so in there basic Normandy style houses.

The 'dip' in the roof of the house is not always present, use it wisely. Overuse will make all your houses look like they are made of paper. The roof is a solid structure, perfects angles and flat surfaces.

Other things to take note of are trim.
Most old style houses have a trim on the outside corners, windows, top and bottom of the house, and even separating the two floors.
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Re: Making realistic looking houses (Normandy) - COD2

Post by Rezil » September 14th, 2008, 11:34 am

Thanks Drofder, this tut is quite old so I think if I wanted to update it I'd probably do something with cod4 instead.

Nevertheless, thanks for the crit, I'll try to make a better one next time. :P
Drofder2004: Drofder's rules for reviewing a map
[...]
#5 If your name is Rezil, minimum 5/5.
---
<LT>YosemiteSam[NL]:
I heard somewhere that the best way to start is juggling 2 balls with one hand, so you will get a feel for it.

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