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Prefabs - How to Create Them in RuneEd
Author: Steve "SoulSaver" Maisch
Last Updated: April 26, 2001 at 07:32:46 PM

First of all let me introduce myself. My name is SoulSaver, and I am an avid Level Designer. I have been using both UnrealEd and RuneEd for the last year, and would like to share some of my growing experiences with these editors with you. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.

What is expected
This tutorial will cover importing and exporting prefabricated (prefabs) brushes into and out of the Rune editor, along with how to create custom Prefabs. Basic knowledge of the editor is necessary and will not be covered here. Basic understanding of Unreal Editor terminology (add, subtract, rotate, texture, etc.) is also required, but not covered here.

Custom Prefabs
First off, we need to decide what Prefab we want to create. This is obviously dependant on what type of map you are creating. For the sake of the tutorial, we will keep it fairly easy.

Let's make a chair. I have decided to make it a nice plushy, comfy chair. One fit for a Sunday morning football marathon.

Start by creating a square brush 512x512x512, then subtract it from the world. Since we arenít worrying about this as a possible map, just leave the cube untextured.

One of the most important tips Iíll give you is when creating Prefabs it's always easier (at least I find it is) if you put a player pawn into the world so that you can get a good idea of how large you want the object to be in relation to world.

To do this, switch to the Classes Mode, and drop down to Pawn. Choose Player pawn, then RunePlayer. It doesnít matter which you choose, so I'll use my old buddy Sigurd for this demonstration.

Drop the Sigurd pawn into the middle of the room. To do this, place the cursor on the floor of the 3D view and right click your mouse. Go down to Add SigurdPlayerPawn and click on it. Now you should see Sigurd in the middle of the room in all of his glory.

Now, let's start making our chair. It is very important to keep the models you make low poly intensive. This basically means keep it simple. It's good to let your textures do the work for you, and keep the poly count low.

Click on the square brush and go to its properties. Change the Height to 34, the width to 40, and the breadth to 30. Move the cube to the floor of the room, right behind Sigurd. As you can see below it is just to the back of his knees so itís the perfect height if he were to sit on the block.

Add this brush to the world. Now we will work on the back of the chair. You can make a prefab as elaborate as you want, but for this exercise we are staying real simple. Make another cube brush. This time go to its properties and make them height 64, width 60, breath 10. Align it exactly behind the first block and center it. Then add the brush.

Now we add the arms. Same basic idea as the seat and the back. Click on the cube brush then go to its properties. Make it height 42, width 10, breadth 30. Align it to the side to make the arm of the chair. Add the brush to the world. Now either duplicate that arm and move it to the other side, or move the brush to the other side and add another arm.

Note: if you duplicate the arm, it will not show up in the 3D view until you rebuild the geometry. Since we havenít added any lights, if you rebuild, the 3D view will be pitch black.

Now add a light to the center of the room. Do this by clicking on the ceiling in the 3D view, right clicking, and clicking on "add light." Move it to the center of the room and rebuild the geometry.

Ok, we have a very primitive looking chair. Now we need to make a prefab brush out of it. Let me stop for a second and explain something. You can make a prefab non-textured, or make it so that the prefab is already textured when you use it.

We will start with the untextured version, and then I'll explain how to make a textured prefab.

Now select all four parts of the chair we made. To do this you need to click on the brushes in the 2D view. When you click on it, it will turn bright blue. Holding down the Ctrl key, you can click on multiple brushes to select them all at the same time. Now drag the brushes up to the middle of the room. Rebuild the geometry (Important: You have to rebuild now, or this will not work). After the rebuild you will have a chair floating in mid air. Neat huh?

Make another cube brush. Make the properties height 100, width 100, and breadth 100. Move it so that it completely encloses the chair, but does not touch anything else. It must not touch anything. Just have it enclose the chair.

Now hit the intersect button. The red cube brush will now look like a wire frame chair. Go to the brush option menu at the top and click on Export brush. Save it as Chair1 and save it in a directory that you have set up for Prefabs. Ta Da - you have made a prefab chair.

Now youíve made your prefab, and you want to import it into one of your maps. Open your map (the test area we have been working in will do for now), and click on the brush option. Scroll down to Import brush and click on it. Find the Chair1.t3d file and click ok. You will be faced with two choices.

On the first choice keep it as Solid Mesh. On the second choice switch it to keep original polygons intact. Now click on any of the 2D views and Viola! Your chair will appear. Simply add the brush to the world and texture it. You can copy this as many times as you like.

We have one more thing to discuss. Let's say you found a great texture and you want to save the chair with the texture on it. Simply follow the steps above to create the prefab chair, and then texture it.

After intersecting the cube with your chair, right click on the red wire frame and click on copy polygons. A second option menu will drop down. From here click on "to brush." Then simply Export the brush. Now you have a chair prefab with a nice texture to it.

I used a custom texture I made of a floral pattern. You can see my two chairs below.

Well weíve done it. Thatís basically all there is to it. The only limits to this method are poly count, and your imagination. I have to warn you. This may not be the perfect way to create prefabs, but it works, and itís fairly easy to grasp.

Thank you for your time, and let's see those prefabs.

[ Click here for printable version ]


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