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CryEngine 3 SDK: Placing Objects/Models Into Your Map

Category: CryEngine 3 SDK
October 25, 2011
Full Text Tutorial and Notes:

We continue with CryEngine 3 SDK tutorials. If you are just starting to learn and use CryEngine 3 SDK, start here.

In this tutorial we cover how to insert/place objects/models into your map.

Topics covered:

  • How to insert/place models into your map
  • Moving, rotating and scaling these models
  • How to align objects/models to terrain
  • How to duplicate objects/models
  • Few important and very helpful shortcuts to make it easier to populate the world with objects/models

Make sure to check this page for all the tutorials on CryEngine 3 SDK.

HOW TO PLACE OBJECTS/MODELS

Inside CryEngine, models are called Brushes. Which is a bit different if you are coming from Hammer Source or UDK, where brushes are BSP geometry.

To access and begin placing brushes that come with CryEngine or imported go to RollupBar --> Objects --> Brush

Open up the objects folder and find the model you want to place within each folder category.

On the bottom there is also a preview window of what the object looks like.

To place the model in the world, Left Click + Drag from the RollupBar into perspective viewport.

TERRAIN OBJECT ALIGNMENT

To make sure that objects align to terrain enable Follow Terrain or Follow Terrain and Snap to Objects in the Menu Bar.

You may also want to enable Align Objects to Surface Normals. This will position the object according to terrain normals, which will look more natural.

OBJECT/MODEL PROPERTIES (BRUSH PARAMS)

Select the object and in the RollupBar you will have object properties or Brush Params.

MOVE, ROTATE AND SCALE

Rotate, Scale and Move tool are common tools to manipulate the objects in the world.

Use hotkeys for faster workflow:

1 = Move

2 = Rotate

3 = Scale

4 = Select

5 = Select Terrain Area

Snap to Grid and Snap to Angle are two very useful grid settings for placing objects. You can set the angle to snap on rotation and grid spacing for movement.

Constraint movement to a specific axis. You will only be able to move the objects according to specified axis.

DUPLICATE

Select the model and press Ctrl + C. This will duplicate it. Move it where you want to place it and press Left Mouse button to finalize the location placement.

USEFUL SHORTCUTS PLACING AND MOVING OBJECTS

Here is a very useful and quick shortcut placing and moving objects within the scene to another part of the terrain.

Select the object and then:

Ctrl + Shift + Left Click = move the object anywhere on the terrain where you left click

Ctrl + Shift + Alt + Left Click = move and align the object to surface normals where you left click

SELECT OBJECTS BROWSER

Good way to see what objects you already have in your scene is to use Select Objects Browser.

You can search, select, freeze, hide objects within the scene a lot easier.

ASSET BROWSER

Another way to look at various objects within CryEngine is to use Asset Browser.

Go to View --> Open View Pane --> Asset Browser

This is a more detail view of each object and various properties for each object including lod, triangle count etc.

CREATING NEW LAYERS FOR ORGANIZATION

You can create New Layer and place objects within your level into those layers. This will allow you to turn on and off those layers and objects within them. Great way to keep your scene organized and clean.

Go to RollupBar, Layers Tab.

Click on New Layer:

Name the Layer. Keep everything else at default. But you do have few options for that layer in the boxes below.

Select the object you want to place on the layer and in RollupBar choose the layer to place it.

You can also select the layer first in RollupBar Layer Tab and when you drag objects into the perspective viewport, those objects will be placed on the selected layer automatically.

Updated & Revised - Preproduction Blueprint: How to Plan Your Game Environments and Level Designs

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