map-pin Tutorial: Curves using Pie Slice (Trimmed curves included)

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05 Dec 2015 21:41 - 05 Dec 2015 23:49 #1 by Three
Hello level builders!
Before I get started with this tutorial, make sure you have the Pie Slice plug-in for Constructor. If you have Constructor 1.0.6, you should be fine, but if you don't, you can download the plug-in here: bit.ly/1PJKSmu
Just place everything in the .zip file into the Constructor/plug-ins directory.

In case you couldn't tell from the title, in this tutorial, I will show you how to create curves with trim. This may be a bit complicated for some newer builders, so I recommend at least a basic understanding of how Constructor works before trying to utilize this tutorial.

We're going to connect these two platforms together with a nice smooth curve.


First, select the Create Pie tool, located under the User section of the Tools menu. IMPORTANT: Don't select anything in any menu until I tell you to do so.


Your cursor will turn into a crosshair and you will notice a variety of options appearing in your properties menu. Drag the crosshair anywhere in the level to create your pie. Next, switch to a top-down view. In this view, use the white, red and green dots to stretch your pie and align it with the two platforms. The cyan dot in the middle will move the whole thing without scaling the pie. Make sure you align the pie with the tiles, not the trim!


That's a bit small for this curve. However, all we have to do is multiply the pie's X and Y size by 2 to get the correct size pie. We can do that in the Properties menu.

NOTE: You may want to change the thickness of your curve to the thickness of a standard platform (0.5 units) in the Properties menu by adjusting the Z value in the Size field.

Once we adjust the location of the pie, it will look odd but fit perfectly.


Now, in Properties, check "Hollow Center." Change the X and Y values for the size of the hole until it looks the way you want it to. Tip: making the hole ≥ the radius of your pie will cause the whole thing to disappear. The formula for finding how big the hole should be is this:


Now our pie looks like this.


There's one last thing we need to do before we hit the Make button -- this pie looks a bit choppy. That's simple to fix -- just change the number next to Segments in the Properties window. I have more luck converting pies with slices that are a power of 2, so I recommend that you stick with powers of 2. In this example, I will set Segments to 32. Hit the Make button, and switch back to the Perspective view. You may have to move your pie on the Z axis to meet up with the platforms.


Delete all the segments that are not nessecary...


Now, select all the faces on the top of the pie and hit the Unify button under Texture: Alignment in the Properties menu.


Now you can edit the texturing on all of those faces at once. Scale the texture to 0.5, 0.5, and align it using the arrow options in the previous screenshot.
Do the same on the bottom, if you wish. Our pie now looks like this and is ready for trim.


Now, switch back to a top-down view and hit Create Pie again. This time, don't drag on the canvas to create the pie -- simply add 1 to the X and Y size. I recommend you switch your active texture to a trim texture for this to save time.


The formula for the hole size is now


So calculate that, hit the Make button, and delete any unnecessary brushes. You can use the Stretch and Size tools in various ways to make the texturing a bit neater, but I won't go into that on this tutorial. Use the normal mbu_edge_white instead of edge_white2 if you wish, that's a much easier option.


Now, create one more Pie. This one you can drag onscreen, and make sure to align it to the inside trim. Make sure you turn the Hollow function off while you're aligning or else you won't be able to see what you're doing. The formula for this hole is the same as the previous trim.


Delete any unnecessary brushes and move it to the same vertical level as the other pies...


Oh, that looks bad. We can fix it, though. Select the four leftmost faces and hit the Unify button you used to texture the top of the first pie.
Select "stretch to fit width" and then divide the new X axis size by the nearest rounded number, for example, if you get 11.4805, divide by 11 to get 1.04368 in the X axis field, or if you get 5.1, divide by 5 to get 1.02 in the X axis field. Now that half should look better, so do the same for the other 4 segments and...


Now, getting pie slices to convert in map2dif is somewhat of a gamble. Sometimes it works fine, other times... "not so much" is a massive understatement. It won't permanently affect your map file if it doesn't convert, so you can easily open the file up and make changes if you need to.
If your .map file doesn't convert, try using HiGuy's .map splitter tool available on his website.


I hope this tutorial was helpful for you all. If you have questions, just leave them in this thread.

Example .map download: bit.ly/1R1T2qp
*NOTE that your texture album may need to be called "MBPMultiplayer" for this to load correctly.


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Last edit: 05 Dec 2015 23:49 by Three.
The following user(s) said Thank You: HiGuy, Jeff, Endy, Lee, Kalle29, Ralph, Regislian, Enigma, Frostfire, Nature Freak, Rock, Xedron, CylinderKnot

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05 Jan 2016 10:41 #2 by Ralph
The following is just my opinion.

I have another formula to use when doing the hollowing : (size of the pie)/2 - (tiles you want between the inner and outer edges of the pie). It works pretty fine and it's childish to texture.

Also try to use as less segments as possible, so that the texturing doesn't take an eternity to do (especially with the trims) and also because it can get you a "Vislink cannot be coplanar with a node" error when converting.

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05 Jan 2016 14:26 #3 by HiGuy
When I make curves, I generally set the # of segments to however many is needed to line up the inner brushes exactly with the trim textures. This way, there's no need to spend a while retexturing. For the outer brushes, I use the same spacing, just select all and just align the textures to left/top. Resize if needed, but generally it works out cleanly.

Aligning the textures on top of the path is super easy if you (shameless plug) use my pie slices plugin addition . Just a checkbox and bam everything is aligned, no matter how many segments you have.

PQ in a nutshell
function clientcmd12dothepq() {
    commandToClient(LocalClientConnection, '34onthedancefloor');
}

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28 Jan 2017 02:24 #4 by Frostfire
Where can I find the other constructor plugins seen in your user panel next to the Pie Slice one? (looks like a house, an obelisk, a donut, etc)

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28 Jan 2017 03:29 #5 by Nockess
I believe those plugins come with version 1.0.6.

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28 Jan 2017 05:40 #6 by Three
I think Rozi's correct here. However, note that the more complex ones (like Create Torus) will instantly kill map2dif unless by some miracle it slips through, so... be careful with that.

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