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 Forum index » Modding Central » Red Alert 2 Editing Forum
XCC Normal Tables?
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Zorbung
Medic


Joined: 04 Jun 2021

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2021 4:23 pm    Post subject:  XCC Normal Tables? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

what are these tables all about
https://xhp.xwis.net/documents/normals_tables.html
maybe something related to vpl but I have no clue what all that data stands for, anyone care to explain?

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Mig Eater
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Joined: 13 Nov 2003
Location: Eindhoven

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2021 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The table lists the normals used by TS & RA2 voxels, the numbers on the top row & left column of each table are spherical grid coordinates, with the numbers in the table being the normal to use at that coordinate.

The VPL uses a separate table that takes the normals number & then changes the colour of the voxel depending on the direction it's facing.

You can find more information about the VPL in this thread.
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Zorbung
Medic


Joined: 04 Jun 2021

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2021 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I already looked into VPL and it's quite an ingenious system, but Olaf's tables I just don't get. Can you give some examples how to read them? And why are there 4 tables for Normals mode = 4?

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G-E
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Joined: 09 Feb 2015

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2021 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I don't know the math involved but it's basically a spiral from bottom to top, and thus there will be regions (the columns of numbers) which line up with the axial directions, with everything else falling between. It looks like the tables you linked are just showing you different ways of arranging the data for possible differences in how you compute them.

Note that mode 2 is for TS normals, a very restricted set of shine directions, mode 4 is RA2 which has far more directions, and why RA2 voxels have so much more contour flexibility. Though much of RA2's shine increases happen above the VPL pages of TS, which is what makes them extra-shiny in RA2. It's for this reason people make a customized VPL to reduce some of that excessive brightness.

It should be clear that RA2 normals are not compatible with TS, but TS normals will work in RA2, if you don't mind the limitations.

For the editor's rendering it's not hugely critical to load VPL values for colour display, you could just use the normals to increase or decrease the brightness of whatever colour is drawn, it isn't entirely representative of how it would look in the game, but perhaps better for visibility?
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Zorbung
Medic


Joined: 04 Jun 2021

PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

G-E wrote:
For the editor's rendering it's not hugely critical to load VPL values for colour display, you could just use the normals to increase or decrease the brightness of whatever colour is drawn, it isn't entirely representative of how it would look in the game, but perhaps better for visibility?

True, that's how it is atm, but I was like why fake it when there's already a system in place. VPL looks easy but those xcc tables always puzzled me so I was wondering if I'm not missing some basic info. Maybe they're lookup tables for choosing the correct vpl section somehow instead of doing expensive math?

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G-E
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Joined: 09 Feb 2015

PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

You're going to have to do math to derive the normals anyway, but I don't think anyone would object to using the VPL for rendering.

Have you taken a look at the sources of the other tools like HVA Builder or VXLSE?
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Mig Eater
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Joined: 13 Nov 2003
Location: Eindhoven

PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Zorbung wrote:
Can you give some examples how to read them?

Sorry I only know what they are but dont know how you would use them. Banshee wrote a university paper on the application of RA2 normals so he would probably be the best person to ask.
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MadHQ
Commander


Joined: 07 Nov 2003

PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2021 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

For funz:

I did a web based VPL editor not sure it works anymore... But if you know enough about JavaScript you look at what I did.
http://zombapro.ppmsite.com/index.php?page=Tools


I also set up web based point cloud render for any vxls on my site. I do have a very close match to RA2/YR VPL/Normal rendering system, Though I do not take into consideration of the rotation system, I really should finish version 3 which has more improvements... And may include a VPL rotation system.
http://zombapro.ppmsite.com/vxlrender/vxlrender.php?zipName=nukcn.zip

I have not touched anything TS related with VXLs, only RA2/YR
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