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Elildar

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  1. Like
    Elildar got a reaction from Destruktioner in Tutorial: Voxelmancy Essentials   
    Tutorial: Voxelmancy Essentials
     
    This tutorial was made for Landmark. I didn't make the tutorial or play the game but, since it's based on the same technology, we can assume that it will work pretty much the same.
    It starts with the very basics and ends with some more advanced concepts.
     
    Whether or not you have already tried Dual Universe, this tutorial should be able to help you to understand this awesome (but very difficult to master) technology which is the Voxel.
     
    As a voxel beginner, I think I am not the only one who yelled at these crazy little voxels, "WTF happened?! I didn't ask you to do that!"
     
     
     
    The Inner Space of Voxelmancy
    Voxel Characteristics
    First of all…and this might hurt your brain a bit…a voxel is NOT a shape. It’s not the 1x1x1 cube shape you add with the smallest ADD brush.
     
    Actually, a voxel is a point. The different points (voxels) are connected to each other by lines (vectors). Those vectors form the outlines of the “cubes” that you see in the world when you use the ADD brush. (In other words, it takes many voxels to add enough vectors to make a shape.)
     
    When you use the building tools to change the shape of the cubes you see in the world, what you’re actually doing is dragging one (or more) of those voxel points into a new location…and then all those connecting lines move too, thus changing the outline of the shapes you see.
     
    There are only TWO voxel characteristics that matter to builders.
    The position of the voxel The material applied to that voxel’s cube space Also, for the purposes of this document, there are only four terms that matter:
    Voxel : The point in space that is the end point of one or more vectors. Vector : Any line connecting two voxels together. Shape : Any collection of vectors that outline an area thus creating a contained shape. (The default shapes are cubes, but voxels are easily moved around to create almost any shape. See below.) Cube space: In game terms, the natural "cube space" around a voxel is the same volume of space used by the ADD brush when you place a 1x1x1 cube into the world. Voxels *usually* live within their cube space, but can also comfortably live outside of it. However, the voxel is *always* associated with that cube space.    
     
    What data is in a voxel?

    Imagine a grid of dots. (Each dot is a voxel.)



    Now imagine that each of those dots is connected to its neighboring dots by lines (vectors).



    Now, stack that up so that it’s in three-space. Voila. You have a decent representation of the voxel points in their natural “healed” cube-like state.


    NOTE: The positions of the voxels, in the rigid formation shown above, is the natural “healed” state of the voxels. The resulting shapes created by the vectors connecting them are what we normally see as “cubes” (and which, erroneously, we all have been calling voxels even though those shapes are actually composed of voxels instead.)
    When you move one of the voxels, the vectors connected to it also move. Thus, you change the shape of any cube seen as soon as you move a voxel.



    So just remember…everything is connected. You can’t move one thing without moving another. All the different welding, recopying, and smoothing tricks you may hear about are just different techniques to get these dots to end up in positions that make cool shapes.

    Last but not least: Cube space. The world is gridded out into cube space. (NOTE: Cube space is the same size as the smallest ADD brush when in cube mode.) By default, voxels live along the edges/corners of these cube spaces and the resulting vectors connecting them look like cubes.

    Normally, voxels need to stay within their cube space. However, there are building techniques that let a voxel wander out of its normal cube space. This is how shapes that are bigger than a cube are created. Voxels can also be smashed down into the center of that cube space, which allows the creation of smaller shapes as well. Roaming vectors let voxels wander WAY outside their normal cube space, but that gets pretty hairy to explain so we’ll discuss it some other time.
     
     
    What Material is on the Voxel?

    Material, in this case, is the material you chose from the Element Tray. (Example: Red Lumicite is a material. So is Hammered Gold or Raw Iron.) When a material is specified for a voxel, that changes its appearance in the world.

    That’s it. There’s only two special cases that might not be immediately obvious:
    Air. Yes, air is a material. Air voxels act *exactly* like regular voxels. They are just painted with a 100% transparent material, which is air. Default terrain. Everything in the world that has notbeen changed by a player is designated as “default terrain”. It has less data than a user-changed voxel so that we can optimize the heck out of stuff that players haven’t changed. The important characteristic about this default terrain is that it cannot be copied. (Its data structure is simpler and doesn’t have all the dots/vertices described earlier.) The other important thing to remember is that HEALing a voxel returns it to this “default terrain” material. And that’s why you can do nifty stuff with healed earth. These latter two special cases (Air and Default Terrain) cannot be directly selected with the selection tool. So the only way you can “grab” them is by also grabbing another nearby shape that’s painted with any of the other materials in the game.

    Side Note: What is a Roaming Vector?

    When we added Roaming Vectors to the game (6/26/2014), we increased the precision of lines and shapes quite a lot. This was done by “borrowing” nearby voxels and letting them “roam” outside of their normally allowed cube space. This means that nearby shapes sacrifice some of their own definition so that another shape can get one or more extra voxels added to it, thus providing more possible vectors, which enables that shape to have more detail.
     
     
    Pasting Dominance

    There is one thing to keep in mind as we go through the rest of this doc. Any item that you are pasting into the game is dominant. All the voxels within that copied area will keep their relative positions. This means that any shapes nearby are likely to change shape slightly as their voxels reconnect to these new voxels, and the vectors connecting them are changed.

    This “dominance factor” can be very useful when fixing any warpage that occurs, because any current data is overwritten by a paste. That lets you “re-weld” voxels and vectors by pasting in small bits that are the desired shape.
     
     
    Voxelmancy Techniques

    Okay. Now let’s talk about the various building techniques the community is using.

    Micro-shapes & Anti-shapes

    NOTE: Players have been calling them microvoxels and antivoxels, but that makes this discussion harder to follow when talking about voxels in conjunction with these shapes, so we’ll refer to the microvoxels as micro-shapes, and antivoxels as anti-shapes. (Sorry for the switch.)

    Both of these kinds of shapes are really just normal shapes that appear to be different. (It’s still useful to give them names for easy reference, but the point is…they’re still just normal shapes composed of voxels and vectors.)

    When you smooth a regular shape down into a micro-shape, you’re essentially just taking all the voxels the cube was composed of and squashing them down toward each other so that the resulting shape is a very small cube.

    Side note: Just to expand your mind, you’re also enlarging the air cubes around your brand new micro-shapes because you’re dragging those connected voxels away from the center of those shapes. Right? Everything is connected.

    Still, it’s cool, right? That voxel *looks* smaller and that make it useful for lots of building stuff.

    So what’s an Anti-shape? It’s exactly the same thing as a “micro-shape”. But its material is “air”. So it’s (currently) tricky to make, but it behaves in all other respects exactly as a smoothed-down (micro)shape. You just can’t see it or select it directly, because it’s made of air.

    Why do micro-shapes warp other nearby shapes?

    Remember how the voxels in a micro-shape are squished toward the center? Well, when you copy that micro-shape, you are really selecting the positions for the voxels that constitute that micro-shape.

    When you copy that shape into place near another existing shape, the vectors of the existing shapes are forced to attach to the voxels in your micro-shape. The game knows that what you *want* is for the thing you copied to paste as true as it can, so it connects the vectors from other nearby shapes toward the voxels you smashed into the center of your shape and this can cause warpage on the neighboring shapes. Make sense? Again, everything is connected.

    “Strings”

    So now let’s paste several of those new micro-shapes in a row, one cube space apart from each other. What happens? They stretch into strings! So cool!

    But no, that’s only what it looks like. What’s actually happening is that you pasted one micro-shape down (composed of a bunch of voxels and vectors) and then you copied another identical micro-shape in the cube space next to it. When you did that, the vectors from the previously pasted MV stretch out to connect to the voxels in the new one you pasted, and the resulting shape looks like a line. (Remember, the last shape pasted is dominant and everything else warps to it.)

    There is a convoluted process that force the end points of the string to align to the normal voxel borders. This technique creates “Antivoxel strings” and is Example 4 in the section below.
     
     
    Warping vs Non-Warping Shapes
     
    There’s a bunch of techniques designed to create objects that don’t warp neighboring shapes, but ultimately, there is only ONE way to avoid warping.
     
    That way is to ensure that the voxels in the shape you are pasting are aligned in such a way that they don’t cause the vectors of a neighboring voxel to move.
     
    That’s it. Just don’t make the vectors move and your shapes won’t warp.
     
    To make that seem simpler, here’s a few images. These images don’t show all the voxels. They show the shape instead and the normal “cube space” that the voxels for that shape live within.
     
    Ex 1: Micro/Anti voxel
    Regular “microvoxel” or “antivoxel”: This shape lives in the very center of its normal cube space. It will warp EVERYTHING IT TOUCHES because any neighboring voxel will extend its vectors out to reach the voxels in your micro-shape.
     
     
     
    Ex 2: Microvoxel strings
    Any “string” that is created by pasting two of these centered MVs together will still cause warpage everywhere it touches because the end points of that string are in the center of the cube spaces they represent.
     

     
    Ex 3: Any shape with a “normal border” flat edge
    This shape would not cause warpage *if* it is pasted onto something along its bottom side. (Example: If you pasted it onto a flat floor.)
    It would cause warpage if it was situated next to any shape above, or to the left/right of the shape, because those neighboring vectors would be forced to extend outward to connect.
     

     
    Ex 4: Antivoxel strings
    This is the shape that many people call an “AV string”. This is a useful shape because it still looks like a thin bar, but its ends are exactly at the “normal” cube space border and is in the center of the shape. Because it’s situated properly, any normal cube connected to either end of this string will not cause warpage of the block it’s touching.
     

     
    So What’s a MegaShape?

    Honestly, it’s just the exact opposite of a microvoxel or antivoxel. Players have been calling this a Megavoxel. (And again, for the purposes of this document, we’re going to start calling this a “Megashape” instead to avoid conflict with “voxel” conversations.)

    Instead of crushing the voxels in your shape down toward the center, you’re stretching them outside the normal cube space borders of your voxel instead. (In other words, you’re making all the neighboring air voxels smaller so that your current voxel can seem bigger.)

    That’s it.

    But the shapes are still useful because they create the appearance of behavior that you normally can’t achieve.

    So how on earth do you go about stretching the voxels of a shape outward? Answer: You don’t really. Instead, what you do is you crush in the voxels of a neighboring shape, thus dragging the voxels outward in the shape you want to enlarge. That’s why people create a megashape by pasting micro-shapes nearby. They are forcing the voxels to drag outward toward those micro-shapes.
     
     
    Warpage in General
     
    Isn’t it annoying that you can create a really cool shape, it looks totally awesome, but then it deforms the heck out of stuff when you paste it near anything?
     
    Well, the truth is…you’re just *seeing* the warpage for the first time when you paste it in next to the new shape. That same warpage was occurring originally also. You just couldn’t see it because when you made the shape, it was surrounded by air. Those nearby air shapes *did* warp, but you couldn't see them.
     
    Voxels always connect to other voxels via vectors. When one voxel gets dragged outward or inward, it tends to drag neighboring voxels along with it slightly to smooth out the “curve” of a voxel face as much as possible. And that’s just about it. But it’s happening on EVERY voxel all the time every time you smooth shapes or paste shapes or even when you remove shapes.
     
     
    Inlay Technique

    The last major building technique to cover here is the “Inlay Technique”. This is probably the coolest trick that any builder can learn, as it allows you to do a ton of curvalicious detail that's not possible to do otherwise.

    We won’t take the time to describe applications of this (there are many player tutorials), but here are some details of how the process works:

    Step 1: Select any-sized area of non-air shapes as long as that area is only one cube space thick.
    Step 2: Take any other area of any design and paste it once above your object from Step 1, and then once again below it.

    This forces the “sandwiched” object to realign its vectors and voxel positions to match the object that was pasted above and below.

    Why? Because the game is trying to preserve the data of the object that you are pasting. It’s NOT trying to preserve the shape you created in Step 1. Thus, the sandwiched object in Step 1 gets all its voxels realigned to match the object above and below and when you copy that slice out of the sandwich, you’ll see that it has been transformed accordingly.

    Make sense?
     
    Sources : Smokejumper, forums.daybreakgames.com
     
     
     
  2. Like
    Elildar got a reaction from Keazone in Tutorial: Voxelmancy Essentials   
    Tutorial: Voxelmancy Essentials
     
    This tutorial was made for Landmark. I didn't make the tutorial or play the game but, since it's based on the same technology, we can assume that it will work pretty much the same.
    It starts with the very basics and ends with some more advanced concepts.
     
    Whether or not you have already tried Dual Universe, this tutorial should be able to help you to understand this awesome (but very difficult to master) technology which is the Voxel.
     
    As a voxel beginner, I think I am not the only one who yelled at these crazy little voxels, "WTF happened?! I didn't ask you to do that!"
     
     
     
    The Inner Space of Voxelmancy
    Voxel Characteristics
    First of all…and this might hurt your brain a bit…a voxel is NOT a shape. It’s not the 1x1x1 cube shape you add with the smallest ADD brush.
     
    Actually, a voxel is a point. The different points (voxels) are connected to each other by lines (vectors). Those vectors form the outlines of the “cubes” that you see in the world when you use the ADD brush. (In other words, it takes many voxels to add enough vectors to make a shape.)
     
    When you use the building tools to change the shape of the cubes you see in the world, what you’re actually doing is dragging one (or more) of those voxel points into a new location…and then all those connecting lines move too, thus changing the outline of the shapes you see.
     
    There are only TWO voxel characteristics that matter to builders.
    The position of the voxel The material applied to that voxel’s cube space Also, for the purposes of this document, there are only four terms that matter:
    Voxel : The point in space that is the end point of one or more vectors. Vector : Any line connecting two voxels together. Shape : Any collection of vectors that outline an area thus creating a contained shape. (The default shapes are cubes, but voxels are easily moved around to create almost any shape. See below.) Cube space: In game terms, the natural "cube space" around a voxel is the same volume of space used by the ADD brush when you place a 1x1x1 cube into the world. Voxels *usually* live within their cube space, but can also comfortably live outside of it. However, the voxel is *always* associated with that cube space.    
     
    What data is in a voxel?

    Imagine a grid of dots. (Each dot is a voxel.)



    Now imagine that each of those dots is connected to its neighboring dots by lines (vectors).



    Now, stack that up so that it’s in three-space. Voila. You have a decent representation of the voxel points in their natural “healed” cube-like state.


    NOTE: The positions of the voxels, in the rigid formation shown above, is the natural “healed” state of the voxels. The resulting shapes created by the vectors connecting them are what we normally see as “cubes” (and which, erroneously, we all have been calling voxels even though those shapes are actually composed of voxels instead.)
    When you move one of the voxels, the vectors connected to it also move. Thus, you change the shape of any cube seen as soon as you move a voxel.



    So just remember…everything is connected. You can’t move one thing without moving another. All the different welding, recopying, and smoothing tricks you may hear about are just different techniques to get these dots to end up in positions that make cool shapes.

    Last but not least: Cube space. The world is gridded out into cube space. (NOTE: Cube space is the same size as the smallest ADD brush when in cube mode.) By default, voxels live along the edges/corners of these cube spaces and the resulting vectors connecting them look like cubes.

    Normally, voxels need to stay within their cube space. However, there are building techniques that let a voxel wander out of its normal cube space. This is how shapes that are bigger than a cube are created. Voxels can also be smashed down into the center of that cube space, which allows the creation of smaller shapes as well. Roaming vectors let voxels wander WAY outside their normal cube space, but that gets pretty hairy to explain so we’ll discuss it some other time.
     
     
    What Material is on the Voxel?

    Material, in this case, is the material you chose from the Element Tray. (Example: Red Lumicite is a material. So is Hammered Gold or Raw Iron.) When a material is specified for a voxel, that changes its appearance in the world.

    That’s it. There’s only two special cases that might not be immediately obvious:
    Air. Yes, air is a material. Air voxels act *exactly* like regular voxels. They are just painted with a 100% transparent material, which is air. Default terrain. Everything in the world that has notbeen changed by a player is designated as “default terrain”. It has less data than a user-changed voxel so that we can optimize the heck out of stuff that players haven’t changed. The important characteristic about this default terrain is that it cannot be copied. (Its data structure is simpler and doesn’t have all the dots/vertices described earlier.) The other important thing to remember is that HEALing a voxel returns it to this “default terrain” material. And that’s why you can do nifty stuff with healed earth. These latter two special cases (Air and Default Terrain) cannot be directly selected with the selection tool. So the only way you can “grab” them is by also grabbing another nearby shape that’s painted with any of the other materials in the game.

    Side Note: What is a Roaming Vector?

    When we added Roaming Vectors to the game (6/26/2014), we increased the precision of lines and shapes quite a lot. This was done by “borrowing” nearby voxels and letting them “roam” outside of their normally allowed cube space. This means that nearby shapes sacrifice some of their own definition so that another shape can get one or more extra voxels added to it, thus providing more possible vectors, which enables that shape to have more detail.
     
     
    Pasting Dominance

    There is one thing to keep in mind as we go through the rest of this doc. Any item that you are pasting into the game is dominant. All the voxels within that copied area will keep their relative positions. This means that any shapes nearby are likely to change shape slightly as their voxels reconnect to these new voxels, and the vectors connecting them are changed.

    This “dominance factor” can be very useful when fixing any warpage that occurs, because any current data is overwritten by a paste. That lets you “re-weld” voxels and vectors by pasting in small bits that are the desired shape.
     
     
    Voxelmancy Techniques

    Okay. Now let’s talk about the various building techniques the community is using.

    Micro-shapes & Anti-shapes

    NOTE: Players have been calling them microvoxels and antivoxels, but that makes this discussion harder to follow when talking about voxels in conjunction with these shapes, so we’ll refer to the microvoxels as micro-shapes, and antivoxels as anti-shapes. (Sorry for the switch.)

    Both of these kinds of shapes are really just normal shapes that appear to be different. (It’s still useful to give them names for easy reference, but the point is…they’re still just normal shapes composed of voxels and vectors.)

    When you smooth a regular shape down into a micro-shape, you’re essentially just taking all the voxels the cube was composed of and squashing them down toward each other so that the resulting shape is a very small cube.

    Side note: Just to expand your mind, you’re also enlarging the air cubes around your brand new micro-shapes because you’re dragging those connected voxels away from the center of those shapes. Right? Everything is connected.

    Still, it’s cool, right? That voxel *looks* smaller and that make it useful for lots of building stuff.

    So what’s an Anti-shape? It’s exactly the same thing as a “micro-shape”. But its material is “air”. So it’s (currently) tricky to make, but it behaves in all other respects exactly as a smoothed-down (micro)shape. You just can’t see it or select it directly, because it’s made of air.

    Why do micro-shapes warp other nearby shapes?

    Remember how the voxels in a micro-shape are squished toward the center? Well, when you copy that micro-shape, you are really selecting the positions for the voxels that constitute that micro-shape.

    When you copy that shape into place near another existing shape, the vectors of the existing shapes are forced to attach to the voxels in your micro-shape. The game knows that what you *want* is for the thing you copied to paste as true as it can, so it connects the vectors from other nearby shapes toward the voxels you smashed into the center of your shape and this can cause warpage on the neighboring shapes. Make sense? Again, everything is connected.

    “Strings”

    So now let’s paste several of those new micro-shapes in a row, one cube space apart from each other. What happens? They stretch into strings! So cool!

    But no, that’s only what it looks like. What’s actually happening is that you pasted one micro-shape down (composed of a bunch of voxels and vectors) and then you copied another identical micro-shape in the cube space next to it. When you did that, the vectors from the previously pasted MV stretch out to connect to the voxels in the new one you pasted, and the resulting shape looks like a line. (Remember, the last shape pasted is dominant and everything else warps to it.)

    There is a convoluted process that force the end points of the string to align to the normal voxel borders. This technique creates “Antivoxel strings” and is Example 4 in the section below.
     
     
    Warping vs Non-Warping Shapes
     
    There’s a bunch of techniques designed to create objects that don’t warp neighboring shapes, but ultimately, there is only ONE way to avoid warping.
     
    That way is to ensure that the voxels in the shape you are pasting are aligned in such a way that they don’t cause the vectors of a neighboring voxel to move.
     
    That’s it. Just don’t make the vectors move and your shapes won’t warp.
     
    To make that seem simpler, here’s a few images. These images don’t show all the voxels. They show the shape instead and the normal “cube space” that the voxels for that shape live within.
     
    Ex 1: Micro/Anti voxel
    Regular “microvoxel” or “antivoxel”: This shape lives in the very center of its normal cube space. It will warp EVERYTHING IT TOUCHES because any neighboring voxel will extend its vectors out to reach the voxels in your micro-shape.
     
     
     
    Ex 2: Microvoxel strings
    Any “string” that is created by pasting two of these centered MVs together will still cause warpage everywhere it touches because the end points of that string are in the center of the cube spaces they represent.
     

     
    Ex 3: Any shape with a “normal border” flat edge
    This shape would not cause warpage *if* it is pasted onto something along its bottom side. (Example: If you pasted it onto a flat floor.)
    It would cause warpage if it was situated next to any shape above, or to the left/right of the shape, because those neighboring vectors would be forced to extend outward to connect.
     

     
    Ex 4: Antivoxel strings
    This is the shape that many people call an “AV string”. This is a useful shape because it still looks like a thin bar, but its ends are exactly at the “normal” cube space border and is in the center of the shape. Because it’s situated properly, any normal cube connected to either end of this string will not cause warpage of the block it’s touching.
     

     
    So What’s a MegaShape?

    Honestly, it’s just the exact opposite of a microvoxel or antivoxel. Players have been calling this a Megavoxel. (And again, for the purposes of this document, we’re going to start calling this a “Megashape” instead to avoid conflict with “voxel” conversations.)

    Instead of crushing the voxels in your shape down toward the center, you’re stretching them outside the normal cube space borders of your voxel instead. (In other words, you’re making all the neighboring air voxels smaller so that your current voxel can seem bigger.)

    That’s it.

    But the shapes are still useful because they create the appearance of behavior that you normally can’t achieve.

    So how on earth do you go about stretching the voxels of a shape outward? Answer: You don’t really. Instead, what you do is you crush in the voxels of a neighboring shape, thus dragging the voxels outward in the shape you want to enlarge. That’s why people create a megashape by pasting micro-shapes nearby. They are forcing the voxels to drag outward toward those micro-shapes.
     
     
    Warpage in General
     
    Isn’t it annoying that you can create a really cool shape, it looks totally awesome, but then it deforms the heck out of stuff when you paste it near anything?
     
    Well, the truth is…you’re just *seeing* the warpage for the first time when you paste it in next to the new shape. That same warpage was occurring originally also. You just couldn’t see it because when you made the shape, it was surrounded by air. Those nearby air shapes *did* warp, but you couldn't see them.
     
    Voxels always connect to other voxels via vectors. When one voxel gets dragged outward or inward, it tends to drag neighboring voxels along with it slightly to smooth out the “curve” of a voxel face as much as possible. And that’s just about it. But it’s happening on EVERY voxel all the time every time you smooth shapes or paste shapes or even when you remove shapes.
     
     
    Inlay Technique

    The last major building technique to cover here is the “Inlay Technique”. This is probably the coolest trick that any builder can learn, as it allows you to do a ton of curvalicious detail that's not possible to do otherwise.

    We won’t take the time to describe applications of this (there are many player tutorials), but here are some details of how the process works:

    Step 1: Select any-sized area of non-air shapes as long as that area is only one cube space thick.
    Step 2: Take any other area of any design and paste it once above your object from Step 1, and then once again below it.

    This forces the “sandwiched” object to realign its vectors and voxel positions to match the object that was pasted above and below.

    Why? Because the game is trying to preserve the data of the object that you are pasting. It’s NOT trying to preserve the shape you created in Step 1. Thus, the sandwiched object in Step 1 gets all its voxels realigned to match the object above and below and when you copy that slice out of the sandwich, you’ll see that it has been transformed accordingly.

    Make sense?
     
    Sources : Smokejumper, forums.daybreakgames.com
     
     
     
  3. Like
    Elildar got a reaction from Queejon in Tutorial: Voxelmancy Essentials   
    Tutorial: Voxelmancy Essentials
     
    This tutorial was made for Landmark. I didn't make the tutorial or play the game but, since it's based on the same technology, we can assume that it will work pretty much the same.
    It starts with the very basics and ends with some more advanced concepts.
     
    Whether or not you have already tried Dual Universe, this tutorial should be able to help you to understand this awesome (but very difficult to master) technology which is the Voxel.
     
    As a voxel beginner, I think I am not the only one who yelled at these crazy little voxels, "WTF happened?! I didn't ask you to do that!"
     
     
     
    The Inner Space of Voxelmancy
    Voxel Characteristics
    First of all…and this might hurt your brain a bit…a voxel is NOT a shape. It’s not the 1x1x1 cube shape you add with the smallest ADD brush.
     
    Actually, a voxel is a point. The different points (voxels) are connected to each other by lines (vectors). Those vectors form the outlines of the “cubes” that you see in the world when you use the ADD brush. (In other words, it takes many voxels to add enough vectors to make a shape.)
     
    When you use the building tools to change the shape of the cubes you see in the world, what you’re actually doing is dragging one (or more) of those voxel points into a new location…and then all those connecting lines move too, thus changing the outline of the shapes you see.
     
    There are only TWO voxel characteristics that matter to builders.
    The position of the voxel The material applied to that voxel’s cube space Also, for the purposes of this document, there are only four terms that matter:
    Voxel : The point in space that is the end point of one or more vectors. Vector : Any line connecting two voxels together. Shape : Any collection of vectors that outline an area thus creating a contained shape. (The default shapes are cubes, but voxels are easily moved around to create almost any shape. See below.) Cube space: In game terms, the natural "cube space" around a voxel is the same volume of space used by the ADD brush when you place a 1x1x1 cube into the world. Voxels *usually* live within their cube space, but can also comfortably live outside of it. However, the voxel is *always* associated with that cube space.    
     
    What data is in a voxel?

    Imagine a grid of dots. (Each dot is a voxel.)



    Now imagine that each of those dots is connected to its neighboring dots by lines (vectors).



    Now, stack that up so that it’s in three-space. Voila. You have a decent representation of the voxel points in their natural “healed” cube-like state.


    NOTE: The positions of the voxels, in the rigid formation shown above, is the natural “healed” state of the voxels. The resulting shapes created by the vectors connecting them are what we normally see as “cubes” (and which, erroneously, we all have been calling voxels even though those shapes are actually composed of voxels instead.)
    When you move one of the voxels, the vectors connected to it also move. Thus, you change the shape of any cube seen as soon as you move a voxel.



    So just remember…everything is connected. You can’t move one thing without moving another. All the different welding, recopying, and smoothing tricks you may hear about are just different techniques to get these dots to end up in positions that make cool shapes.

    Last but not least: Cube space. The world is gridded out into cube space. (NOTE: Cube space is the same size as the smallest ADD brush when in cube mode.) By default, voxels live along the edges/corners of these cube spaces and the resulting vectors connecting them look like cubes.

    Normally, voxels need to stay within their cube space. However, there are building techniques that let a voxel wander out of its normal cube space. This is how shapes that are bigger than a cube are created. Voxels can also be smashed down into the center of that cube space, which allows the creation of smaller shapes as well. Roaming vectors let voxels wander WAY outside their normal cube space, but that gets pretty hairy to explain so we’ll discuss it some other time.
     
     
    What Material is on the Voxel?

    Material, in this case, is the material you chose from the Element Tray. (Example: Red Lumicite is a material. So is Hammered Gold or Raw Iron.) When a material is specified for a voxel, that changes its appearance in the world.

    That’s it. There’s only two special cases that might not be immediately obvious:
    Air. Yes, air is a material. Air voxels act *exactly* like regular voxels. They are just painted with a 100% transparent material, which is air. Default terrain. Everything in the world that has notbeen changed by a player is designated as “default terrain”. It has less data than a user-changed voxel so that we can optimize the heck out of stuff that players haven’t changed. The important characteristic about this default terrain is that it cannot be copied. (Its data structure is simpler and doesn’t have all the dots/vertices described earlier.) The other important thing to remember is that HEALing a voxel returns it to this “default terrain” material. And that’s why you can do nifty stuff with healed earth. These latter two special cases (Air and Default Terrain) cannot be directly selected with the selection tool. So the only way you can “grab” them is by also grabbing another nearby shape that’s painted with any of the other materials in the game.

    Side Note: What is a Roaming Vector?

    When we added Roaming Vectors to the game (6/26/2014), we increased the precision of lines and shapes quite a lot. This was done by “borrowing” nearby voxels and letting them “roam” outside of their normally allowed cube space. This means that nearby shapes sacrifice some of their own definition so that another shape can get one or more extra voxels added to it, thus providing more possible vectors, which enables that shape to have more detail.
     
     
    Pasting Dominance

    There is one thing to keep in mind as we go through the rest of this doc. Any item that you are pasting into the game is dominant. All the voxels within that copied area will keep their relative positions. This means that any shapes nearby are likely to change shape slightly as their voxels reconnect to these new voxels, and the vectors connecting them are changed.

    This “dominance factor” can be very useful when fixing any warpage that occurs, because any current data is overwritten by a paste. That lets you “re-weld” voxels and vectors by pasting in small bits that are the desired shape.
     
     
    Voxelmancy Techniques

    Okay. Now let’s talk about the various building techniques the community is using.

    Micro-shapes & Anti-shapes

    NOTE: Players have been calling them microvoxels and antivoxels, but that makes this discussion harder to follow when talking about voxels in conjunction with these shapes, so we’ll refer to the microvoxels as micro-shapes, and antivoxels as anti-shapes. (Sorry for the switch.)

    Both of these kinds of shapes are really just normal shapes that appear to be different. (It’s still useful to give them names for easy reference, but the point is…they’re still just normal shapes composed of voxels and vectors.)

    When you smooth a regular shape down into a micro-shape, you’re essentially just taking all the voxels the cube was composed of and squashing them down toward each other so that the resulting shape is a very small cube.

    Side note: Just to expand your mind, you’re also enlarging the air cubes around your brand new micro-shapes because you’re dragging those connected voxels away from the center of those shapes. Right? Everything is connected.

    Still, it’s cool, right? That voxel *looks* smaller and that make it useful for lots of building stuff.

    So what’s an Anti-shape? It’s exactly the same thing as a “micro-shape”. But its material is “air”. So it’s (currently) tricky to make, but it behaves in all other respects exactly as a smoothed-down (micro)shape. You just can’t see it or select it directly, because it’s made of air.

    Why do micro-shapes warp other nearby shapes?

    Remember how the voxels in a micro-shape are squished toward the center? Well, when you copy that micro-shape, you are really selecting the positions for the voxels that constitute that micro-shape.

    When you copy that shape into place near another existing shape, the vectors of the existing shapes are forced to attach to the voxels in your micro-shape. The game knows that what you *want* is for the thing you copied to paste as true as it can, so it connects the vectors from other nearby shapes toward the voxels you smashed into the center of your shape and this can cause warpage on the neighboring shapes. Make sense? Again, everything is connected.

    “Strings”

    So now let’s paste several of those new micro-shapes in a row, one cube space apart from each other. What happens? They stretch into strings! So cool!

    But no, that’s only what it looks like. What’s actually happening is that you pasted one micro-shape down (composed of a bunch of voxels and vectors) and then you copied another identical micro-shape in the cube space next to it. When you did that, the vectors from the previously pasted MV stretch out to connect to the voxels in the new one you pasted, and the resulting shape looks like a line. (Remember, the last shape pasted is dominant and everything else warps to it.)

    There is a convoluted process that force the end points of the string to align to the normal voxel borders. This technique creates “Antivoxel strings” and is Example 4 in the section below.
     
     
    Warping vs Non-Warping Shapes
     
    There’s a bunch of techniques designed to create objects that don’t warp neighboring shapes, but ultimately, there is only ONE way to avoid warping.
     
    That way is to ensure that the voxels in the shape you are pasting are aligned in such a way that they don’t cause the vectors of a neighboring voxel to move.
     
    That’s it. Just don’t make the vectors move and your shapes won’t warp.
     
    To make that seem simpler, here’s a few images. These images don’t show all the voxels. They show the shape instead and the normal “cube space” that the voxels for that shape live within.
     
    Ex 1: Micro/Anti voxel
    Regular “microvoxel” or “antivoxel”: This shape lives in the very center of its normal cube space. It will warp EVERYTHING IT TOUCHES because any neighboring voxel will extend its vectors out to reach the voxels in your micro-shape.
     
     
     
    Ex 2: Microvoxel strings
    Any “string” that is created by pasting two of these centered MVs together will still cause warpage everywhere it touches because the end points of that string are in the center of the cube spaces they represent.
     

     
    Ex 3: Any shape with a “normal border” flat edge
    This shape would not cause warpage *if* it is pasted onto something along its bottom side. (Example: If you pasted it onto a flat floor.)
    It would cause warpage if it was situated next to any shape above, or to the left/right of the shape, because those neighboring vectors would be forced to extend outward to connect.
     

     
    Ex 4: Antivoxel strings
    This is the shape that many people call an “AV string”. This is a useful shape because it still looks like a thin bar, but its ends are exactly at the “normal” cube space border and is in the center of the shape. Because it’s situated properly, any normal cube connected to either end of this string will not cause warpage of the block it’s touching.
     

     
    So What’s a MegaShape?

    Honestly, it’s just the exact opposite of a microvoxel or antivoxel. Players have been calling this a Megavoxel. (And again, for the purposes of this document, we’re going to start calling this a “Megashape” instead to avoid conflict with “voxel” conversations.)

    Instead of crushing the voxels in your shape down toward the center, you’re stretching them outside the normal cube space borders of your voxel instead. (In other words, you’re making all the neighboring air voxels smaller so that your current voxel can seem bigger.)

    That’s it.

    But the shapes are still useful because they create the appearance of behavior that you normally can’t achieve.

    So how on earth do you go about stretching the voxels of a shape outward? Answer: You don’t really. Instead, what you do is you crush in the voxels of a neighboring shape, thus dragging the voxels outward in the shape you want to enlarge. That’s why people create a megashape by pasting micro-shapes nearby. They are forcing the voxels to drag outward toward those micro-shapes.
     
     
    Warpage in General
     
    Isn’t it annoying that you can create a really cool shape, it looks totally awesome, but then it deforms the heck out of stuff when you paste it near anything?
     
    Well, the truth is…you’re just *seeing* the warpage for the first time when you paste it in next to the new shape. That same warpage was occurring originally also. You just couldn’t see it because when you made the shape, it was surrounded by air. Those nearby air shapes *did* warp, but you couldn't see them.
     
    Voxels always connect to other voxels via vectors. When one voxel gets dragged outward or inward, it tends to drag neighboring voxels along with it slightly to smooth out the “curve” of a voxel face as much as possible. And that’s just about it. But it’s happening on EVERY voxel all the time every time you smooth shapes or paste shapes or even when you remove shapes.
     
     
    Inlay Technique

    The last major building technique to cover here is the “Inlay Technique”. This is probably the coolest trick that any builder can learn, as it allows you to do a ton of curvalicious detail that's not possible to do otherwise.

    We won’t take the time to describe applications of this (there are many player tutorials), but here are some details of how the process works:

    Step 1: Select any-sized area of non-air shapes as long as that area is only one cube space thick.
    Step 2: Take any other area of any design and paste it once above your object from Step 1, and then once again below it.

    This forces the “sandwiched” object to realign its vectors and voxel positions to match the object that was pasted above and below.

    Why? Because the game is trying to preserve the data of the object that you are pasting. It’s NOT trying to preserve the shape you created in Step 1. Thus, the sandwiched object in Step 1 gets all its voxels realigned to match the object above and below and when you copy that slice out of the sandwich, you’ll see that it has been transformed accordingly.

    Make sense?
     
    Sources : Smokejumper, forums.daybreakgames.com
     
     
     
  4. Like
    Elildar got a reaction from TannhainRP in Tutorial: Voxelmancy Essentials   
    Tutorial: Voxelmancy Essentials
     
    This tutorial was made for Landmark. I didn't make the tutorial or play the game but, since it's based on the same technology, we can assume that it will work pretty much the same.
    It starts with the very basics and ends with some more advanced concepts.
     
    Whether or not you have already tried Dual Universe, this tutorial should be able to help you to understand this awesome (but very difficult to master) technology which is the Voxel.
     
    As a voxel beginner, I think I am not the only one who yelled at these crazy little voxels, "WTF happened?! I didn't ask you to do that!"
     
     
     
    The Inner Space of Voxelmancy
    Voxel Characteristics
    First of all…and this might hurt your brain a bit…a voxel is NOT a shape. It’s not the 1x1x1 cube shape you add with the smallest ADD brush.
     
    Actually, a voxel is a point. The different points (voxels) are connected to each other by lines (vectors). Those vectors form the outlines of the “cubes” that you see in the world when you use the ADD brush. (In other words, it takes many voxels to add enough vectors to make a shape.)
     
    When you use the building tools to change the shape of the cubes you see in the world, what you’re actually doing is dragging one (or more) of those voxel points into a new location…and then all those connecting lines move too, thus changing the outline of the shapes you see.
     
    There are only TWO voxel characteristics that matter to builders.
    The position of the voxel The material applied to that voxel’s cube space Also, for the purposes of this document, there are only four terms that matter:
    Voxel : The point in space that is the end point of one or more vectors. Vector : Any line connecting two voxels together. Shape : Any collection of vectors that outline an area thus creating a contained shape. (The default shapes are cubes, but voxels are easily moved around to create almost any shape. See below.) Cube space: In game terms, the natural "cube space" around a voxel is the same volume of space used by the ADD brush when you place a 1x1x1 cube into the world. Voxels *usually* live within their cube space, but can also comfortably live outside of it. However, the voxel is *always* associated with that cube space.    
     
    What data is in a voxel?

    Imagine a grid of dots. (Each dot is a voxel.)



    Now imagine that each of those dots is connected to its neighboring dots by lines (vectors).



    Now, stack that up so that it’s in three-space. Voila. You have a decent representation of the voxel points in their natural “healed” cube-like state.


    NOTE: The positions of the voxels, in the rigid formation shown above, is the natural “healed” state of the voxels. The resulting shapes created by the vectors connecting them are what we normally see as “cubes” (and which, erroneously, we all have been calling voxels even though those shapes are actually composed of voxels instead.)
    When you move one of the voxels, the vectors connected to it also move. Thus, you change the shape of any cube seen as soon as you move a voxel.



    So just remember…everything is connected. You can’t move one thing without moving another. All the different welding, recopying, and smoothing tricks you may hear about are just different techniques to get these dots to end up in positions that make cool shapes.

    Last but not least: Cube space. The world is gridded out into cube space. (NOTE: Cube space is the same size as the smallest ADD brush when in cube mode.) By default, voxels live along the edges/corners of these cube spaces and the resulting vectors connecting them look like cubes.

    Normally, voxels need to stay within their cube space. However, there are building techniques that let a voxel wander out of its normal cube space. This is how shapes that are bigger than a cube are created. Voxels can also be smashed down into the center of that cube space, which allows the creation of smaller shapes as well. Roaming vectors let voxels wander WAY outside their normal cube space, but that gets pretty hairy to explain so we’ll discuss it some other time.
     
     
    What Material is on the Voxel?

    Material, in this case, is the material you chose from the Element Tray. (Example: Red Lumicite is a material. So is Hammered Gold or Raw Iron.) When a material is specified for a voxel, that changes its appearance in the world.

    That’s it. There’s only two special cases that might not be immediately obvious:
    Air. Yes, air is a material. Air voxels act *exactly* like regular voxels. They are just painted with a 100% transparent material, which is air. Default terrain. Everything in the world that has notbeen changed by a player is designated as “default terrain”. It has less data than a user-changed voxel so that we can optimize the heck out of stuff that players haven’t changed. The important characteristic about this default terrain is that it cannot be copied. (Its data structure is simpler and doesn’t have all the dots/vertices described earlier.) The other important thing to remember is that HEALing a voxel returns it to this “default terrain” material. And that’s why you can do nifty stuff with healed earth. These latter two special cases (Air and Default Terrain) cannot be directly selected with the selection tool. So the only way you can “grab” them is by also grabbing another nearby shape that’s painted with any of the other materials in the game.

    Side Note: What is a Roaming Vector?

    When we added Roaming Vectors to the game (6/26/2014), we increased the precision of lines and shapes quite a lot. This was done by “borrowing” nearby voxels and letting them “roam” outside of their normally allowed cube space. This means that nearby shapes sacrifice some of their own definition so that another shape can get one or more extra voxels added to it, thus providing more possible vectors, which enables that shape to have more detail.
     
     
    Pasting Dominance

    There is one thing to keep in mind as we go through the rest of this doc. Any item that you are pasting into the game is dominant. All the voxels within that copied area will keep their relative positions. This means that any shapes nearby are likely to change shape slightly as their voxels reconnect to these new voxels, and the vectors connecting them are changed.

    This “dominance factor” can be very useful when fixing any warpage that occurs, because any current data is overwritten by a paste. That lets you “re-weld” voxels and vectors by pasting in small bits that are the desired shape.
     
     
    Voxelmancy Techniques

    Okay. Now let’s talk about the various building techniques the community is using.

    Micro-shapes & Anti-shapes

    NOTE: Players have been calling them microvoxels and antivoxels, but that makes this discussion harder to follow when talking about voxels in conjunction with these shapes, so we’ll refer to the microvoxels as micro-shapes, and antivoxels as anti-shapes. (Sorry for the switch.)

    Both of these kinds of shapes are really just normal shapes that appear to be different. (It’s still useful to give them names for easy reference, but the point is…they’re still just normal shapes composed of voxels and vectors.)

    When you smooth a regular shape down into a micro-shape, you’re essentially just taking all the voxels the cube was composed of and squashing them down toward each other so that the resulting shape is a very small cube.

    Side note: Just to expand your mind, you’re also enlarging the air cubes around your brand new micro-shapes because you’re dragging those connected voxels away from the center of those shapes. Right? Everything is connected.

    Still, it’s cool, right? That voxel *looks* smaller and that make it useful for lots of building stuff.

    So what’s an Anti-shape? It’s exactly the same thing as a “micro-shape”. But its material is “air”. So it’s (currently) tricky to make, but it behaves in all other respects exactly as a smoothed-down (micro)shape. You just can’t see it or select it directly, because it’s made of air.

    Why do micro-shapes warp other nearby shapes?

    Remember how the voxels in a micro-shape are squished toward the center? Well, when you copy that micro-shape, you are really selecting the positions for the voxels that constitute that micro-shape.

    When you copy that shape into place near another existing shape, the vectors of the existing shapes are forced to attach to the voxels in your micro-shape. The game knows that what you *want* is for the thing you copied to paste as true as it can, so it connects the vectors from other nearby shapes toward the voxels you smashed into the center of your shape and this can cause warpage on the neighboring shapes. Make sense? Again, everything is connected.

    “Strings”

    So now let’s paste several of those new micro-shapes in a row, one cube space apart from each other. What happens? They stretch into strings! So cool!

    But no, that’s only what it looks like. What’s actually happening is that you pasted one micro-shape down (composed of a bunch of voxels and vectors) and then you copied another identical micro-shape in the cube space next to it. When you did that, the vectors from the previously pasted MV stretch out to connect to the voxels in the new one you pasted, and the resulting shape looks like a line. (Remember, the last shape pasted is dominant and everything else warps to it.)

    There is a convoluted process that force the end points of the string to align to the normal voxel borders. This technique creates “Antivoxel strings” and is Example 4 in the section below.
     
     
    Warping vs Non-Warping Shapes
     
    There’s a bunch of techniques designed to create objects that don’t warp neighboring shapes, but ultimately, there is only ONE way to avoid warping.
     
    That way is to ensure that the voxels in the shape you are pasting are aligned in such a way that they don’t cause the vectors of a neighboring voxel to move.
     
    That’s it. Just don’t make the vectors move and your shapes won’t warp.
     
    To make that seem simpler, here’s a few images. These images don’t show all the voxels. They show the shape instead and the normal “cube space” that the voxels for that shape live within.
     
    Ex 1: Micro/Anti voxel
    Regular “microvoxel” or “antivoxel”: This shape lives in the very center of its normal cube space. It will warp EVERYTHING IT TOUCHES because any neighboring voxel will extend its vectors out to reach the voxels in your micro-shape.
     
     
     
    Ex 2: Microvoxel strings
    Any “string” that is created by pasting two of these centered MVs together will still cause warpage everywhere it touches because the end points of that string are in the center of the cube spaces they represent.
     

     
    Ex 3: Any shape with a “normal border” flat edge
    This shape would not cause warpage *if* it is pasted onto something along its bottom side. (Example: If you pasted it onto a flat floor.)
    It would cause warpage if it was situated next to any shape above, or to the left/right of the shape, because those neighboring vectors would be forced to extend outward to connect.
     

     
    Ex 4: Antivoxel strings
    This is the shape that many people call an “AV string”. This is a useful shape because it still looks like a thin bar, but its ends are exactly at the “normal” cube space border and is in the center of the shape. Because it’s situated properly, any normal cube connected to either end of this string will not cause warpage of the block it’s touching.
     

     
    So What’s a MegaShape?

    Honestly, it’s just the exact opposite of a microvoxel or antivoxel. Players have been calling this a Megavoxel. (And again, for the purposes of this document, we’re going to start calling this a “Megashape” instead to avoid conflict with “voxel” conversations.)

    Instead of crushing the voxels in your shape down toward the center, you’re stretching them outside the normal cube space borders of your voxel instead. (In other words, you’re making all the neighboring air voxels smaller so that your current voxel can seem bigger.)

    That’s it.

    But the shapes are still useful because they create the appearance of behavior that you normally can’t achieve.

    So how on earth do you go about stretching the voxels of a shape outward? Answer: You don’t really. Instead, what you do is you crush in the voxels of a neighboring shape, thus dragging the voxels outward in the shape you want to enlarge. That’s why people create a megashape by pasting micro-shapes nearby. They are forcing the voxels to drag outward toward those micro-shapes.
     
     
    Warpage in General
     
    Isn’t it annoying that you can create a really cool shape, it looks totally awesome, but then it deforms the heck out of stuff when you paste it near anything?
     
    Well, the truth is…you’re just *seeing* the warpage for the first time when you paste it in next to the new shape. That same warpage was occurring originally also. You just couldn’t see it because when you made the shape, it was surrounded by air. Those nearby air shapes *did* warp, but you couldn't see them.
     
    Voxels always connect to other voxels via vectors. When one voxel gets dragged outward or inward, it tends to drag neighboring voxels along with it slightly to smooth out the “curve” of a voxel face as much as possible. And that’s just about it. But it’s happening on EVERY voxel all the time every time you smooth shapes or paste shapes or even when you remove shapes.
     
     
    Inlay Technique

    The last major building technique to cover here is the “Inlay Technique”. This is probably the coolest trick that any builder can learn, as it allows you to do a ton of curvalicious detail that's not possible to do otherwise.

    We won’t take the time to describe applications of this (there are many player tutorials), but here are some details of how the process works:

    Step 1: Select any-sized area of non-air shapes as long as that area is only one cube space thick.
    Step 2: Take any other area of any design and paste it once above your object from Step 1, and then once again below it.

    This forces the “sandwiched” object to realign its vectors and voxel positions to match the object that was pasted above and below.

    Why? Because the game is trying to preserve the data of the object that you are pasting. It’s NOT trying to preserve the shape you created in Step 1. Thus, the sandwiched object in Step 1 gets all its voxels realigned to match the object above and below and when you copy that slice out of the sandwich, you’ll see that it has been transformed accordingly.

    Make sense?
     
    Sources : Smokejumper, forums.daybreakgames.com
     
     
     
  5. Like
    Elildar got a reaction from Sunrider44 in Tutorial: Voxelmancy Essentials   
    Tutorial: Voxelmancy Essentials
     
    This tutorial was made for Landmark. I didn't make the tutorial or play the game but, since it's based on the same technology, we can assume that it will work pretty much the same.
    It starts with the very basics and ends with some more advanced concepts.
     
    Whether or not you have already tried Dual Universe, this tutorial should be able to help you to understand this awesome (but very difficult to master) technology which is the Voxel.
     
    As a voxel beginner, I think I am not the only one who yelled at these crazy little voxels, "WTF happened?! I didn't ask you to do that!"
     
     
     
    The Inner Space of Voxelmancy
    Voxel Characteristics
    First of all…and this might hurt your brain a bit…a voxel is NOT a shape. It’s not the 1x1x1 cube shape you add with the smallest ADD brush.
     
    Actually, a voxel is a point. The different points (voxels) are connected to each other by lines (vectors). Those vectors form the outlines of the “cubes” that you see in the world when you use the ADD brush. (In other words, it takes many voxels to add enough vectors to make a shape.)
     
    When you use the building tools to change the shape of the cubes you see in the world, what you’re actually doing is dragging one (or more) of those voxel points into a new location…and then all those connecting lines move too, thus changing the outline of the shapes you see.
     
    There are only TWO voxel characteristics that matter to builders.
    The position of the voxel The material applied to that voxel’s cube space Also, for the purposes of this document, there are only four terms that matter:
    Voxel : The point in space that is the end point of one or more vectors. Vector : Any line connecting two voxels together. Shape : Any collection of vectors that outline an area thus creating a contained shape. (The default shapes are cubes, but voxels are easily moved around to create almost any shape. See below.) Cube space: In game terms, the natural "cube space" around a voxel is the same volume of space used by the ADD brush when you place a 1x1x1 cube into the world. Voxels *usually* live within their cube space, but can also comfortably live outside of it. However, the voxel is *always* associated with that cube space.    
     
    What data is in a voxel?

    Imagine a grid of dots. (Each dot is a voxel.)



    Now imagine that each of those dots is connected to its neighboring dots by lines (vectors).



    Now, stack that up so that it’s in three-space. Voila. You have a decent representation of the voxel points in their natural “healed” cube-like state.


    NOTE: The positions of the voxels, in the rigid formation shown above, is the natural “healed” state of the voxels. The resulting shapes created by the vectors connecting them are what we normally see as “cubes” (and which, erroneously, we all have been calling voxels even though those shapes are actually composed of voxels instead.)
    When you move one of the voxels, the vectors connected to it also move. Thus, you change the shape of any cube seen as soon as you move a voxel.



    So just remember…everything is connected. You can’t move one thing without moving another. All the different welding, recopying, and smoothing tricks you may hear about are just different techniques to get these dots to end up in positions that make cool shapes.

    Last but not least: Cube space. The world is gridded out into cube space. (NOTE: Cube space is the same size as the smallest ADD brush when in cube mode.) By default, voxels live along the edges/corners of these cube spaces and the resulting vectors connecting them look like cubes.

    Normally, voxels need to stay within their cube space. However, there are building techniques that let a voxel wander out of its normal cube space. This is how shapes that are bigger than a cube are created. Voxels can also be smashed down into the center of that cube space, which allows the creation of smaller shapes as well. Roaming vectors let voxels wander WAY outside their normal cube space, but that gets pretty hairy to explain so we’ll discuss it some other time.
     
     
    What Material is on the Voxel?

    Material, in this case, is the material you chose from the Element Tray. (Example: Red Lumicite is a material. So is Hammered Gold or Raw Iron.) When a material is specified for a voxel, that changes its appearance in the world.

    That’s it. There’s only two special cases that might not be immediately obvious:
    Air. Yes, air is a material. Air voxels act *exactly* like regular voxels. They are just painted with a 100% transparent material, which is air. Default terrain. Everything in the world that has notbeen changed by a player is designated as “default terrain”. It has less data than a user-changed voxel so that we can optimize the heck out of stuff that players haven’t changed. The important characteristic about this default terrain is that it cannot be copied. (Its data structure is simpler and doesn’t have all the dots/vertices described earlier.) The other important thing to remember is that HEALing a voxel returns it to this “default terrain” material. And that’s why you can do nifty stuff with healed earth. These latter two special cases (Air and Default Terrain) cannot be directly selected with the selection tool. So the only way you can “grab” them is by also grabbing another nearby shape that’s painted with any of the other materials in the game.

    Side Note: What is a Roaming Vector?

    When we added Roaming Vectors to the game (6/26/2014), we increased the precision of lines and shapes quite a lot. This was done by “borrowing” nearby voxels and letting them “roam” outside of their normally allowed cube space. This means that nearby shapes sacrifice some of their own definition so that another shape can get one or more extra voxels added to it, thus providing more possible vectors, which enables that shape to have more detail.
     
     
    Pasting Dominance

    There is one thing to keep in mind as we go through the rest of this doc. Any item that you are pasting into the game is dominant. All the voxels within that copied area will keep their relative positions. This means that any shapes nearby are likely to change shape slightly as their voxels reconnect to these new voxels, and the vectors connecting them are changed.

    This “dominance factor” can be very useful when fixing any warpage that occurs, because any current data is overwritten by a paste. That lets you “re-weld” voxels and vectors by pasting in small bits that are the desired shape.
     
     
    Voxelmancy Techniques

    Okay. Now let’s talk about the various building techniques the community is using.

    Micro-shapes & Anti-shapes

    NOTE: Players have been calling them microvoxels and antivoxels, but that makes this discussion harder to follow when talking about voxels in conjunction with these shapes, so we’ll refer to the microvoxels as micro-shapes, and antivoxels as anti-shapes. (Sorry for the switch.)

    Both of these kinds of shapes are really just normal shapes that appear to be different. (It’s still useful to give them names for easy reference, but the point is…they’re still just normal shapes composed of voxels and vectors.)

    When you smooth a regular shape down into a micro-shape, you’re essentially just taking all the voxels the cube was composed of and squashing them down toward each other so that the resulting shape is a very small cube.

    Side note: Just to expand your mind, you’re also enlarging the air cubes around your brand new micro-shapes because you’re dragging those connected voxels away from the center of those shapes. Right? Everything is connected.

    Still, it’s cool, right? That voxel *looks* smaller and that make it useful for lots of building stuff.

    So what’s an Anti-shape? It’s exactly the same thing as a “micro-shape”. But its material is “air”. So it’s (currently) tricky to make, but it behaves in all other respects exactly as a smoothed-down (micro)shape. You just can’t see it or select it directly, because it’s made of air.

    Why do micro-shapes warp other nearby shapes?

    Remember how the voxels in a micro-shape are squished toward the center? Well, when you copy that micro-shape, you are really selecting the positions for the voxels that constitute that micro-shape.

    When you copy that shape into place near another existing shape, the vectors of the existing shapes are forced to attach to the voxels in your micro-shape. The game knows that what you *want* is for the thing you copied to paste as true as it can, so it connects the vectors from other nearby shapes toward the voxels you smashed into the center of your shape and this can cause warpage on the neighboring shapes. Make sense? Again, everything is connected.

    “Strings”

    So now let’s paste several of those new micro-shapes in a row, one cube space apart from each other. What happens? They stretch into strings! So cool!

    But no, that’s only what it looks like. What’s actually happening is that you pasted one micro-shape down (composed of a bunch of voxels and vectors) and then you copied another identical micro-shape in the cube space next to it. When you did that, the vectors from the previously pasted MV stretch out to connect to the voxels in the new one you pasted, and the resulting shape looks like a line. (Remember, the last shape pasted is dominant and everything else warps to it.)

    There is a convoluted process that force the end points of the string to align to the normal voxel borders. This technique creates “Antivoxel strings” and is Example 4 in the section below.
     
     
    Warping vs Non-Warping Shapes
     
    There’s a bunch of techniques designed to create objects that don’t warp neighboring shapes, but ultimately, there is only ONE way to avoid warping.
     
    That way is to ensure that the voxels in the shape you are pasting are aligned in such a way that they don’t cause the vectors of a neighboring voxel to move.
     
    That’s it. Just don’t make the vectors move and your shapes won’t warp.
     
    To make that seem simpler, here’s a few images. These images don’t show all the voxels. They show the shape instead and the normal “cube space” that the voxels for that shape live within.
     
    Ex 1: Micro/Anti voxel
    Regular “microvoxel” or “antivoxel”: This shape lives in the very center of its normal cube space. It will warp EVERYTHING IT TOUCHES because any neighboring voxel will extend its vectors out to reach the voxels in your micro-shape.
     
     
     
    Ex 2: Microvoxel strings
    Any “string” that is created by pasting two of these centered MVs together will still cause warpage everywhere it touches because the end points of that string are in the center of the cube spaces they represent.
     

     
    Ex 3: Any shape with a “normal border” flat edge
    This shape would not cause warpage *if* it is pasted onto something along its bottom side. (Example: If you pasted it onto a flat floor.)
    It would cause warpage if it was situated next to any shape above, or to the left/right of the shape, because those neighboring vectors would be forced to extend outward to connect.
     

     
    Ex 4: Antivoxel strings
    This is the shape that many people call an “AV string”. This is a useful shape because it still looks like a thin bar, but its ends are exactly at the “normal” cube space border and is in the center of the shape. Because it’s situated properly, any normal cube connected to either end of this string will not cause warpage of the block it’s touching.
     

     
    So What’s a MegaShape?

    Honestly, it’s just the exact opposite of a microvoxel or antivoxel. Players have been calling this a Megavoxel. (And again, for the purposes of this document, we’re going to start calling this a “Megashape” instead to avoid conflict with “voxel” conversations.)

    Instead of crushing the voxels in your shape down toward the center, you’re stretching them outside the normal cube space borders of your voxel instead. (In other words, you’re making all the neighboring air voxels smaller so that your current voxel can seem bigger.)

    That’s it.

    But the shapes are still useful because they create the appearance of behavior that you normally can’t achieve.

    So how on earth do you go about stretching the voxels of a shape outward? Answer: You don’t really. Instead, what you do is you crush in the voxels of a neighboring shape, thus dragging the voxels outward in the shape you want to enlarge. That’s why people create a megashape by pasting micro-shapes nearby. They are forcing the voxels to drag outward toward those micro-shapes.
     
     
    Warpage in General
     
    Isn’t it annoying that you can create a really cool shape, it looks totally awesome, but then it deforms the heck out of stuff when you paste it near anything?
     
    Well, the truth is…you’re just *seeing* the warpage for the first time when you paste it in next to the new shape. That same warpage was occurring originally also. You just couldn’t see it because when you made the shape, it was surrounded by air. Those nearby air shapes *did* warp, but you couldn't see them.
     
    Voxels always connect to other voxels via vectors. When one voxel gets dragged outward or inward, it tends to drag neighboring voxels along with it slightly to smooth out the “curve” of a voxel face as much as possible. And that’s just about it. But it’s happening on EVERY voxel all the time every time you smooth shapes or paste shapes or even when you remove shapes.
     
     
    Inlay Technique

    The last major building technique to cover here is the “Inlay Technique”. This is probably the coolest trick that any builder can learn, as it allows you to do a ton of curvalicious detail that's not possible to do otherwise.

    We won’t take the time to describe applications of this (there are many player tutorials), but here are some details of how the process works:

    Step 1: Select any-sized area of non-air shapes as long as that area is only one cube space thick.
    Step 2: Take any other area of any design and paste it once above your object from Step 1, and then once again below it.

    This forces the “sandwiched” object to realign its vectors and voxel positions to match the object that was pasted above and below.

    Why? Because the game is trying to preserve the data of the object that you are pasting. It’s NOT trying to preserve the shape you created in Step 1. Thus, the sandwiched object in Step 1 gets all its voxels realigned to match the object above and below and when you copy that slice out of the sandwich, you’ll see that it has been transformed accordingly.

    Make sense?
     
    Sources : Smokejumper, forums.daybreakgames.com
     
     
     
  6. Like
    Elildar got a reaction from Alsan Teamaro in Tutorial: Voxelmancy Essentials   
    Tutorial: Voxelmancy Essentials
     
    This tutorial was made for Landmark. I didn't make the tutorial or play the game but, since it's based on the same technology, we can assume that it will work pretty much the same.
    It starts with the very basics and ends with some more advanced concepts.
     
    Whether or not you have already tried Dual Universe, this tutorial should be able to help you to understand this awesome (but very difficult to master) technology which is the Voxel.
     
    As a voxel beginner, I think I am not the only one who yelled at these crazy little voxels, "WTF happened?! I didn't ask you to do that!"
     
     
     
    The Inner Space of Voxelmancy
    Voxel Characteristics
    First of all…and this might hurt your brain a bit…a voxel is NOT a shape. It’s not the 1x1x1 cube shape you add with the smallest ADD brush.
     
    Actually, a voxel is a point. The different points (voxels) are connected to each other by lines (vectors). Those vectors form the outlines of the “cubes” that you see in the world when you use the ADD brush. (In other words, it takes many voxels to add enough vectors to make a shape.)
     
    When you use the building tools to change the shape of the cubes you see in the world, what you’re actually doing is dragging one (or more) of those voxel points into a new location…and then all those connecting lines move too, thus changing the outline of the shapes you see.
     
    There are only TWO voxel characteristics that matter to builders.
    The position of the voxel The material applied to that voxel’s cube space Also, for the purposes of this document, there are only four terms that matter:
    Voxel : The point in space that is the end point of one or more vectors. Vector : Any line connecting two voxels together. Shape : Any collection of vectors that outline an area thus creating a contained shape. (The default shapes are cubes, but voxels are easily moved around to create almost any shape. See below.) Cube space: In game terms, the natural "cube space" around a voxel is the same volume of space used by the ADD brush when you place a 1x1x1 cube into the world. Voxels *usually* live within their cube space, but can also comfortably live outside of it. However, the voxel is *always* associated with that cube space.    
     
    What data is in a voxel?

    Imagine a grid of dots. (Each dot is a voxel.)



    Now imagine that each of those dots is connected to its neighboring dots by lines (vectors).



    Now, stack that up so that it’s in three-space. Voila. You have a decent representation of the voxel points in their natural “healed” cube-like state.


    NOTE: The positions of the voxels, in the rigid formation shown above, is the natural “healed” state of the voxels. The resulting shapes created by the vectors connecting them are what we normally see as “cubes” (and which, erroneously, we all have been calling voxels even though those shapes are actually composed of voxels instead.)
    When you move one of the voxels, the vectors connected to it also move. Thus, you change the shape of any cube seen as soon as you move a voxel.



    So just remember…everything is connected. You can’t move one thing without moving another. All the different welding, recopying, and smoothing tricks you may hear about are just different techniques to get these dots to end up in positions that make cool shapes.

    Last but not least: Cube space. The world is gridded out into cube space. (NOTE: Cube space is the same size as the smallest ADD brush when in cube mode.) By default, voxels live along the edges/corners of these cube spaces and the resulting vectors connecting them look like cubes.

    Normally, voxels need to stay within their cube space. However, there are building techniques that let a voxel wander out of its normal cube space. This is how shapes that are bigger than a cube are created. Voxels can also be smashed down into the center of that cube space, which allows the creation of smaller shapes as well. Roaming vectors let voxels wander WAY outside their normal cube space, but that gets pretty hairy to explain so we’ll discuss it some other time.
     
     
    What Material is on the Voxel?

    Material, in this case, is the material you chose from the Element Tray. (Example: Red Lumicite is a material. So is Hammered Gold or Raw Iron.) When a material is specified for a voxel, that changes its appearance in the world.

    That’s it. There’s only two special cases that might not be immediately obvious:
    Air. Yes, air is a material. Air voxels act *exactly* like regular voxels. They are just painted with a 100% transparent material, which is air. Default terrain. Everything in the world that has notbeen changed by a player is designated as “default terrain”. It has less data than a user-changed voxel so that we can optimize the heck out of stuff that players haven’t changed. The important characteristic about this default terrain is that it cannot be copied. (Its data structure is simpler and doesn’t have all the dots/vertices described earlier.) The other important thing to remember is that HEALing a voxel returns it to this “default terrain” material. And that’s why you can do nifty stuff with healed earth. These latter two special cases (Air and Default Terrain) cannot be directly selected with the selection tool. So the only way you can “grab” them is by also grabbing another nearby shape that’s painted with any of the other materials in the game.

    Side Note: What is a Roaming Vector?

    When we added Roaming Vectors to the game (6/26/2014), we increased the precision of lines and shapes quite a lot. This was done by “borrowing” nearby voxels and letting them “roam” outside of their normally allowed cube space. This means that nearby shapes sacrifice some of their own definition so that another shape can get one or more extra voxels added to it, thus providing more possible vectors, which enables that shape to have more detail.
     
     
    Pasting Dominance

    There is one thing to keep in mind as we go through the rest of this doc. Any item that you are pasting into the game is dominant. All the voxels within that copied area will keep their relative positions. This means that any shapes nearby are likely to change shape slightly as their voxels reconnect to these new voxels, and the vectors connecting them are changed.

    This “dominance factor” can be very useful when fixing any warpage that occurs, because any current data is overwritten by a paste. That lets you “re-weld” voxels and vectors by pasting in small bits that are the desired shape.
     
     
    Voxelmancy Techniques

    Okay. Now let’s talk about the various building techniques the community is using.

    Micro-shapes & Anti-shapes

    NOTE: Players have been calling them microvoxels and antivoxels, but that makes this discussion harder to follow when talking about voxels in conjunction with these shapes, so we’ll refer to the microvoxels as micro-shapes, and antivoxels as anti-shapes. (Sorry for the switch.)

    Both of these kinds of shapes are really just normal shapes that appear to be different. (It’s still useful to give them names for easy reference, but the point is…they’re still just normal shapes composed of voxels and vectors.)

    When you smooth a regular shape down into a micro-shape, you’re essentially just taking all the voxels the cube was composed of and squashing them down toward each other so that the resulting shape is a very small cube.

    Side note: Just to expand your mind, you’re also enlarging the air cubes around your brand new micro-shapes because you’re dragging those connected voxels away from the center of those shapes. Right? Everything is connected.

    Still, it’s cool, right? That voxel *looks* smaller and that make it useful for lots of building stuff.

    So what’s an Anti-shape? It’s exactly the same thing as a “micro-shape”. But its material is “air”. So it’s (currently) tricky to make, but it behaves in all other respects exactly as a smoothed-down (micro)shape. You just can’t see it or select it directly, because it’s made of air.

    Why do micro-shapes warp other nearby shapes?

    Remember how the voxels in a micro-shape are squished toward the center? Well, when you copy that micro-shape, you are really selecting the positions for the voxels that constitute that micro-shape.

    When you copy that shape into place near another existing shape, the vectors of the existing shapes are forced to attach to the voxels in your micro-shape. The game knows that what you *want* is for the thing you copied to paste as true as it can, so it connects the vectors from other nearby shapes toward the voxels you smashed into the center of your shape and this can cause warpage on the neighboring shapes. Make sense? Again, everything is connected.

    “Strings”

    So now let’s paste several of those new micro-shapes in a row, one cube space apart from each other. What happens? They stretch into strings! So cool!

    But no, that’s only what it looks like. What’s actually happening is that you pasted one micro-shape down (composed of a bunch of voxels and vectors) and then you copied another identical micro-shape in the cube space next to it. When you did that, the vectors from the previously pasted MV stretch out to connect to the voxels in the new one you pasted, and the resulting shape looks like a line. (Remember, the last shape pasted is dominant and everything else warps to it.)

    There is a convoluted process that force the end points of the string to align to the normal voxel borders. This technique creates “Antivoxel strings” and is Example 4 in the section below.
     
     
    Warping vs Non-Warping Shapes
     
    There’s a bunch of techniques designed to create objects that don’t warp neighboring shapes, but ultimately, there is only ONE way to avoid warping.
     
    That way is to ensure that the voxels in the shape you are pasting are aligned in such a way that they don’t cause the vectors of a neighboring voxel to move.
     
    That’s it. Just don’t make the vectors move and your shapes won’t warp.
     
    To make that seem simpler, here’s a few images. These images don’t show all the voxels. They show the shape instead and the normal “cube space” that the voxels for that shape live within.
     
    Ex 1: Micro/Anti voxel
    Regular “microvoxel” or “antivoxel”: This shape lives in the very center of its normal cube space. It will warp EVERYTHING IT TOUCHES because any neighboring voxel will extend its vectors out to reach the voxels in your micro-shape.
     
     
     
    Ex 2: Microvoxel strings
    Any “string” that is created by pasting two of these centered MVs together will still cause warpage everywhere it touches because the end points of that string are in the center of the cube spaces they represent.
     

     
    Ex 3: Any shape with a “normal border” flat edge
    This shape would not cause warpage *if* it is pasted onto something along its bottom side. (Example: If you pasted it onto a flat floor.)
    It would cause warpage if it was situated next to any shape above, or to the left/right of the shape, because those neighboring vectors would be forced to extend outward to connect.
     

     
    Ex 4: Antivoxel strings
    This is the shape that many people call an “AV string”. This is a useful shape because it still looks like a thin bar, but its ends are exactly at the “normal” cube space border and is in the center of the shape. Because it’s situated properly, any normal cube connected to either end of this string will not cause warpage of the block it’s touching.
     

     
    So What’s a MegaShape?

    Honestly, it’s just the exact opposite of a microvoxel or antivoxel. Players have been calling this a Megavoxel. (And again, for the purposes of this document, we’re going to start calling this a “Megashape” instead to avoid conflict with “voxel” conversations.)

    Instead of crushing the voxels in your shape down toward the center, you’re stretching them outside the normal cube space borders of your voxel instead. (In other words, you’re making all the neighboring air voxels smaller so that your current voxel can seem bigger.)

    That’s it.

    But the shapes are still useful because they create the appearance of behavior that you normally can’t achieve.

    So how on earth do you go about stretching the voxels of a shape outward? Answer: You don’t really. Instead, what you do is you crush in the voxels of a neighboring shape, thus dragging the voxels outward in the shape you want to enlarge. That’s why people create a megashape by pasting micro-shapes nearby. They are forcing the voxels to drag outward toward those micro-shapes.
     
     
    Warpage in General
     
    Isn’t it annoying that you can create a really cool shape, it looks totally awesome, but then it deforms the heck out of stuff when you paste it near anything?
     
    Well, the truth is…you’re just *seeing* the warpage for the first time when you paste it in next to the new shape. That same warpage was occurring originally also. You just couldn’t see it because when you made the shape, it was surrounded by air. Those nearby air shapes *did* warp, but you couldn't see them.
     
    Voxels always connect to other voxels via vectors. When one voxel gets dragged outward or inward, it tends to drag neighboring voxels along with it slightly to smooth out the “curve” of a voxel face as much as possible. And that’s just about it. But it’s happening on EVERY voxel all the time every time you smooth shapes or paste shapes or even when you remove shapes.
     
     
    Inlay Technique

    The last major building technique to cover here is the “Inlay Technique”. This is probably the coolest trick that any builder can learn, as it allows you to do a ton of curvalicious detail that's not possible to do otherwise.

    We won’t take the time to describe applications of this (there are many player tutorials), but here are some details of how the process works:

    Step 1: Select any-sized area of non-air shapes as long as that area is only one cube space thick.
    Step 2: Take any other area of any design and paste it once above your object from Step 1, and then once again below it.

    This forces the “sandwiched” object to realign its vectors and voxel positions to match the object that was pasted above and below.

    Why? Because the game is trying to preserve the data of the object that you are pasting. It’s NOT trying to preserve the shape you created in Step 1. Thus, the sandwiched object in Step 1 gets all its voxels realigned to match the object above and below and when you copy that slice out of the sandwich, you’ll see that it has been transformed accordingly.

    Make sense?
     
    Sources : Smokejumper, forums.daybreakgames.com
     
     
     
  7. Like
    Elildar reacted to Atmosph3rik in Tutorial: Voxelmancy Essentials   
    I miss Landmark.
     
    A little context for that video.  In case anyone is wondering what a "Mr. Voxel" is.
     
    Mr. Voxel was a machine built by players inside the game Landmark, that helped other players visualize and create unique voxel shapes that would require more advanced voxelmancy knowledge and many more steps otherwise.
     
    It basically did what is suggested in this trello for DU.  https://trello.com/c/wXSJEWVx/35-building-tool-voxel-control-points-edit
     
    It was pretty awesome what people accomplished in Landmark in terms of gaining control over the voxels.  And it was a lot of fun discovering new stuff.  But I do hope NQ just gives us a voxel editor.  It's so silly that we could have had full control over the voxels in Landmark all that time and instead we had to figure it out for ourselves. 
     
    By the end in Landmark we were using huge vector libraries that looked like this to build shapes.
     

  8. Like
    Elildar got a reaction from Atmosph3rik in Tutorial: Voxelmancy Essentials   
    Tutorial: Voxelmancy Essentials
     
    This tutorial was made for Landmark. I didn't make the tutorial or play the game but, since it's based on the same technology, we can assume that it will work pretty much the same.
    It starts with the very basics and ends with some more advanced concepts.
     
    Whether or not you have already tried Dual Universe, this tutorial should be able to help you to understand this awesome (but very difficult to master) technology which is the Voxel.
     
    As a voxel beginner, I think I am not the only one who yelled at these crazy little voxels, "WTF happened?! I didn't ask you to do that!"
     
     
     
    The Inner Space of Voxelmancy
    Voxel Characteristics
    First of all…and this might hurt your brain a bit…a voxel is NOT a shape. It’s not the 1x1x1 cube shape you add with the smallest ADD brush.
     
    Actually, a voxel is a point. The different points (voxels) are connected to each other by lines (vectors). Those vectors form the outlines of the “cubes” that you see in the world when you use the ADD brush. (In other words, it takes many voxels to add enough vectors to make a shape.)
     
    When you use the building tools to change the shape of the cubes you see in the world, what you’re actually doing is dragging one (or more) of those voxel points into a new location…and then all those connecting lines move too, thus changing the outline of the shapes you see.
     
    There are only TWO voxel characteristics that matter to builders.
    The position of the voxel The material applied to that voxel’s cube space Also, for the purposes of this document, there are only four terms that matter:
    Voxel : The point in space that is the end point of one or more vectors. Vector : Any line connecting two voxels together. Shape : Any collection of vectors that outline an area thus creating a contained shape. (The default shapes are cubes, but voxels are easily moved around to create almost any shape. See below.) Cube space: In game terms, the natural "cube space" around a voxel is the same volume of space used by the ADD brush when you place a 1x1x1 cube into the world. Voxels *usually* live within their cube space, but can also comfortably live outside of it. However, the voxel is *always* associated with that cube space.    
     
    What data is in a voxel?

    Imagine a grid of dots. (Each dot is a voxel.)



    Now imagine that each of those dots is connected to its neighboring dots by lines (vectors).



    Now, stack that up so that it’s in three-space. Voila. You have a decent representation of the voxel points in their natural “healed” cube-like state.


    NOTE: The positions of the voxels, in the rigid formation shown above, is the natural “healed” state of the voxels. The resulting shapes created by the vectors connecting them are what we normally see as “cubes” (and which, erroneously, we all have been calling voxels even though those shapes are actually composed of voxels instead.)
    When you move one of the voxels, the vectors connected to it also move. Thus, you change the shape of any cube seen as soon as you move a voxel.



    So just remember…everything is connected. You can’t move one thing without moving another. All the different welding, recopying, and smoothing tricks you may hear about are just different techniques to get these dots to end up in positions that make cool shapes.

    Last but not least: Cube space. The world is gridded out into cube space. (NOTE: Cube space is the same size as the smallest ADD brush when in cube mode.) By default, voxels live along the edges/corners of these cube spaces and the resulting vectors connecting them look like cubes.

    Normally, voxels need to stay within their cube space. However, there are building techniques that let a voxel wander out of its normal cube space. This is how shapes that are bigger than a cube are created. Voxels can also be smashed down into the center of that cube space, which allows the creation of smaller shapes as well. Roaming vectors let voxels wander WAY outside their normal cube space, but that gets pretty hairy to explain so we’ll discuss it some other time.
     
     
    What Material is on the Voxel?

    Material, in this case, is the material you chose from the Element Tray. (Example: Red Lumicite is a material. So is Hammered Gold or Raw Iron.) When a material is specified for a voxel, that changes its appearance in the world.

    That’s it. There’s only two special cases that might not be immediately obvious:
    Air. Yes, air is a material. Air voxels act *exactly* like regular voxels. They are just painted with a 100% transparent material, which is air. Default terrain. Everything in the world that has notbeen changed by a player is designated as “default terrain”. It has less data than a user-changed voxel so that we can optimize the heck out of stuff that players haven’t changed. The important characteristic about this default terrain is that it cannot be copied. (Its data structure is simpler and doesn’t have all the dots/vertices described earlier.) The other important thing to remember is that HEALing a voxel returns it to this “default terrain” material. And that’s why you can do nifty stuff with healed earth. These latter two special cases (Air and Default Terrain) cannot be directly selected with the selection tool. So the only way you can “grab” them is by also grabbing another nearby shape that’s painted with any of the other materials in the game.

    Side Note: What is a Roaming Vector?

    When we added Roaming Vectors to the game (6/26/2014), we increased the precision of lines and shapes quite a lot. This was done by “borrowing” nearby voxels and letting them “roam” outside of their normally allowed cube space. This means that nearby shapes sacrifice some of their own definition so that another shape can get one or more extra voxels added to it, thus providing more possible vectors, which enables that shape to have more detail.
     
     
    Pasting Dominance

    There is one thing to keep in mind as we go through the rest of this doc. Any item that you are pasting into the game is dominant. All the voxels within that copied area will keep their relative positions. This means that any shapes nearby are likely to change shape slightly as their voxels reconnect to these new voxels, and the vectors connecting them are changed.

    This “dominance factor” can be very useful when fixing any warpage that occurs, because any current data is overwritten by a paste. That lets you “re-weld” voxels and vectors by pasting in small bits that are the desired shape.
     
     
    Voxelmancy Techniques

    Okay. Now let’s talk about the various building techniques the community is using.

    Micro-shapes & Anti-shapes

    NOTE: Players have been calling them microvoxels and antivoxels, but that makes this discussion harder to follow when talking about voxels in conjunction with these shapes, so we’ll refer to the microvoxels as micro-shapes, and antivoxels as anti-shapes. (Sorry for the switch.)

    Both of these kinds of shapes are really just normal shapes that appear to be different. (It’s still useful to give them names for easy reference, but the point is…they’re still just normal shapes composed of voxels and vectors.)

    When you smooth a regular shape down into a micro-shape, you’re essentially just taking all the voxels the cube was composed of and squashing them down toward each other so that the resulting shape is a very small cube.

    Side note: Just to expand your mind, you’re also enlarging the air cubes around your brand new micro-shapes because you’re dragging those connected voxels away from the center of those shapes. Right? Everything is connected.

    Still, it’s cool, right? That voxel *looks* smaller and that make it useful for lots of building stuff.

    So what’s an Anti-shape? It’s exactly the same thing as a “micro-shape”. But its material is “air”. So it’s (currently) tricky to make, but it behaves in all other respects exactly as a smoothed-down (micro)shape. You just can’t see it or select it directly, because it’s made of air.

    Why do micro-shapes warp other nearby shapes?

    Remember how the voxels in a micro-shape are squished toward the center? Well, when you copy that micro-shape, you are really selecting the positions for the voxels that constitute that micro-shape.

    When you copy that shape into place near another existing shape, the vectors of the existing shapes are forced to attach to the voxels in your micro-shape. The game knows that what you *want* is for the thing you copied to paste as true as it can, so it connects the vectors from other nearby shapes toward the voxels you smashed into the center of your shape and this can cause warpage on the neighboring shapes. Make sense? Again, everything is connected.

    “Strings”

    So now let’s paste several of those new micro-shapes in a row, one cube space apart from each other. What happens? They stretch into strings! So cool!

    But no, that’s only what it looks like. What’s actually happening is that you pasted one micro-shape down (composed of a bunch of voxels and vectors) and then you copied another identical micro-shape in the cube space next to it. When you did that, the vectors from the previously pasted MV stretch out to connect to the voxels in the new one you pasted, and the resulting shape looks like a line. (Remember, the last shape pasted is dominant and everything else warps to it.)

    There is a convoluted process that force the end points of the string to align to the normal voxel borders. This technique creates “Antivoxel strings” and is Example 4 in the section below.
     
     
    Warping vs Non-Warping Shapes
     
    There’s a bunch of techniques designed to create objects that don’t warp neighboring shapes, but ultimately, there is only ONE way to avoid warping.
     
    That way is to ensure that the voxels in the shape you are pasting are aligned in such a way that they don’t cause the vectors of a neighboring voxel to move.
     
    That’s it. Just don’t make the vectors move and your shapes won’t warp.
     
    To make that seem simpler, here’s a few images. These images don’t show all the voxels. They show the shape instead and the normal “cube space” that the voxels for that shape live within.
     
    Ex 1: Micro/Anti voxel
    Regular “microvoxel” or “antivoxel”: This shape lives in the very center of its normal cube space. It will warp EVERYTHING IT TOUCHES because any neighboring voxel will extend its vectors out to reach the voxels in your micro-shape.
     
     
     
    Ex 2: Microvoxel strings
    Any “string” that is created by pasting two of these centered MVs together will still cause warpage everywhere it touches because the end points of that string are in the center of the cube spaces they represent.
     

     
    Ex 3: Any shape with a “normal border” flat edge
    This shape would not cause warpage *if* it is pasted onto something along its bottom side. (Example: If you pasted it onto a flat floor.)
    It would cause warpage if it was situated next to any shape above, or to the left/right of the shape, because those neighboring vectors would be forced to extend outward to connect.
     

     
    Ex 4: Antivoxel strings
    This is the shape that many people call an “AV string”. This is a useful shape because it still looks like a thin bar, but its ends are exactly at the “normal” cube space border and is in the center of the shape. Because it’s situated properly, any normal cube connected to either end of this string will not cause warpage of the block it’s touching.
     

     
    So What’s a MegaShape?

    Honestly, it’s just the exact opposite of a microvoxel or antivoxel. Players have been calling this a Megavoxel. (And again, for the purposes of this document, we’re going to start calling this a “Megashape” instead to avoid conflict with “voxel” conversations.)

    Instead of crushing the voxels in your shape down toward the center, you’re stretching them outside the normal cube space borders of your voxel instead. (In other words, you’re making all the neighboring air voxels smaller so that your current voxel can seem bigger.)

    That’s it.

    But the shapes are still useful because they create the appearance of behavior that you normally can’t achieve.

    So how on earth do you go about stretching the voxels of a shape outward? Answer: You don’t really. Instead, what you do is you crush in the voxels of a neighboring shape, thus dragging the voxels outward in the shape you want to enlarge. That’s why people create a megashape by pasting micro-shapes nearby. They are forcing the voxels to drag outward toward those micro-shapes.
     
     
    Warpage in General
     
    Isn’t it annoying that you can create a really cool shape, it looks totally awesome, but then it deforms the heck out of stuff when you paste it near anything?
     
    Well, the truth is…you’re just *seeing* the warpage for the first time when you paste it in next to the new shape. That same warpage was occurring originally also. You just couldn’t see it because when you made the shape, it was surrounded by air. Those nearby air shapes *did* warp, but you couldn't see them.
     
    Voxels always connect to other voxels via vectors. When one voxel gets dragged outward or inward, it tends to drag neighboring voxels along with it slightly to smooth out the “curve” of a voxel face as much as possible. And that’s just about it. But it’s happening on EVERY voxel all the time every time you smooth shapes or paste shapes or even when you remove shapes.
     
     
    Inlay Technique

    The last major building technique to cover here is the “Inlay Technique”. This is probably the coolest trick that any builder can learn, as it allows you to do a ton of curvalicious detail that's not possible to do otherwise.

    We won’t take the time to describe applications of this (there are many player tutorials), but here are some details of how the process works:

    Step 1: Select any-sized area of non-air shapes as long as that area is only one cube space thick.
    Step 2: Take any other area of any design and paste it once above your object from Step 1, and then once again below it.

    This forces the “sandwiched” object to realign its vectors and voxel positions to match the object that was pasted above and below.

    Why? Because the game is trying to preserve the data of the object that you are pasting. It’s NOT trying to preserve the shape you created in Step 1. Thus, the sandwiched object in Step 1 gets all its voxels realigned to match the object above and below and when you copy that slice out of the sandwich, you’ll see that it has been transformed accordingly.

    Make sense?
     
    Sources : Smokejumper, forums.daybreakgames.com
     
     
     
  9. Like
    Elildar got a reaction from Destrin in Tutorial: Voxelmancy Essentials   
    Tutorial: Voxelmancy Essentials
     
    This tutorial was made for Landmark. I didn't make the tutorial or play the game but, since it's based on the same technology, we can assume that it will work pretty much the same.
    It starts with the very basics and ends with some more advanced concepts.
     
    Whether or not you have already tried Dual Universe, this tutorial should be able to help you to understand this awesome (but very difficult to master) technology which is the Voxel.
     
    As a voxel beginner, I think I am not the only one who yelled at these crazy little voxels, "WTF happened?! I didn't ask you to do that!"
     
     
     
    The Inner Space of Voxelmancy
    Voxel Characteristics
    First of all…and this might hurt your brain a bit…a voxel is NOT a shape. It’s not the 1x1x1 cube shape you add with the smallest ADD brush.
     
    Actually, a voxel is a point. The different points (voxels) are connected to each other by lines (vectors). Those vectors form the outlines of the “cubes” that you see in the world when you use the ADD brush. (In other words, it takes many voxels to add enough vectors to make a shape.)
     
    When you use the building tools to change the shape of the cubes you see in the world, what you’re actually doing is dragging one (or more) of those voxel points into a new location…and then all those connecting lines move too, thus changing the outline of the shapes you see.
     
    There are only TWO voxel characteristics that matter to builders.
    The position of the voxel The material applied to that voxel’s cube space Also, for the purposes of this document, there are only four terms that matter:
    Voxel : The point in space that is the end point of one or more vectors. Vector : Any line connecting two voxels together. Shape : Any collection of vectors that outline an area thus creating a contained shape. (The default shapes are cubes, but voxels are easily moved around to create almost any shape. See below.) Cube space: In game terms, the natural "cube space" around a voxel is the same volume of space used by the ADD brush when you place a 1x1x1 cube into the world. Voxels *usually* live within their cube space, but can also comfortably live outside of it. However, the voxel is *always* associated with that cube space.    
     
    What data is in a voxel?

    Imagine a grid of dots. (Each dot is a voxel.)



    Now imagine that each of those dots is connected to its neighboring dots by lines (vectors).



    Now, stack that up so that it’s in three-space. Voila. You have a decent representation of the voxel points in their natural “healed” cube-like state.


    NOTE: The positions of the voxels, in the rigid formation shown above, is the natural “healed” state of the voxels. The resulting shapes created by the vectors connecting them are what we normally see as “cubes” (and which, erroneously, we all have been calling voxels even though those shapes are actually composed of voxels instead.)
    When you move one of the voxels, the vectors connected to it also move. Thus, you change the shape of any cube seen as soon as you move a voxel.



    So just remember…everything is connected. You can’t move one thing without moving another. All the different welding, recopying, and smoothing tricks you may hear about are just different techniques to get these dots to end up in positions that make cool shapes.

    Last but not least: Cube space. The world is gridded out into cube space. (NOTE: Cube space is the same size as the smallest ADD brush when in cube mode.) By default, voxels live along the edges/corners of these cube spaces and the resulting vectors connecting them look like cubes.

    Normally, voxels need to stay within their cube space. However, there are building techniques that let a voxel wander out of its normal cube space. This is how shapes that are bigger than a cube are created. Voxels can also be smashed down into the center of that cube space, which allows the creation of smaller shapes as well. Roaming vectors let voxels wander WAY outside their normal cube space, but that gets pretty hairy to explain so we’ll discuss it some other time.
     
     
    What Material is on the Voxel?

    Material, in this case, is the material you chose from the Element Tray. (Example: Red Lumicite is a material. So is Hammered Gold or Raw Iron.) When a material is specified for a voxel, that changes its appearance in the world.

    That’s it. There’s only two special cases that might not be immediately obvious:
    Air. Yes, air is a material. Air voxels act *exactly* like regular voxels. They are just painted with a 100% transparent material, which is air. Default terrain. Everything in the world that has notbeen changed by a player is designated as “default terrain”. It has less data than a user-changed voxel so that we can optimize the heck out of stuff that players haven’t changed. The important characteristic about this default terrain is that it cannot be copied. (Its data structure is simpler and doesn’t have all the dots/vertices described earlier.) The other important thing to remember is that HEALing a voxel returns it to this “default terrain” material. And that’s why you can do nifty stuff with healed earth. These latter two special cases (Air and Default Terrain) cannot be directly selected with the selection tool. So the only way you can “grab” them is by also grabbing another nearby shape that’s painted with any of the other materials in the game.

    Side Note: What is a Roaming Vector?

    When we added Roaming Vectors to the game (6/26/2014), we increased the precision of lines and shapes quite a lot. This was done by “borrowing” nearby voxels and letting them “roam” outside of their normally allowed cube space. This means that nearby shapes sacrifice some of their own definition so that another shape can get one or more extra voxels added to it, thus providing more possible vectors, which enables that shape to have more detail.
     
     
    Pasting Dominance

    There is one thing to keep in mind as we go through the rest of this doc. Any item that you are pasting into the game is dominant. All the voxels within that copied area will keep their relative positions. This means that any shapes nearby are likely to change shape slightly as their voxels reconnect to these new voxels, and the vectors connecting them are changed.

    This “dominance factor” can be very useful when fixing any warpage that occurs, because any current data is overwritten by a paste. That lets you “re-weld” voxels and vectors by pasting in small bits that are the desired shape.
     
     
    Voxelmancy Techniques

    Okay. Now let’s talk about the various building techniques the community is using.

    Micro-shapes & Anti-shapes

    NOTE: Players have been calling them microvoxels and antivoxels, but that makes this discussion harder to follow when talking about voxels in conjunction with these shapes, so we’ll refer to the microvoxels as micro-shapes, and antivoxels as anti-shapes. (Sorry for the switch.)

    Both of these kinds of shapes are really just normal shapes that appear to be different. (It’s still useful to give them names for easy reference, but the point is…they’re still just normal shapes composed of voxels and vectors.)

    When you smooth a regular shape down into a micro-shape, you’re essentially just taking all the voxels the cube was composed of and squashing them down toward each other so that the resulting shape is a very small cube.

    Side note: Just to expand your mind, you’re also enlarging the air cubes around your brand new micro-shapes because you’re dragging those connected voxels away from the center of those shapes. Right? Everything is connected.

    Still, it’s cool, right? That voxel *looks* smaller and that make it useful for lots of building stuff.

    So what’s an Anti-shape? It’s exactly the same thing as a “micro-shape”. But its material is “air”. So it’s (currently) tricky to make, but it behaves in all other respects exactly as a smoothed-down (micro)shape. You just can’t see it or select it directly, because it’s made of air.

    Why do micro-shapes warp other nearby shapes?

    Remember how the voxels in a micro-shape are squished toward the center? Well, when you copy that micro-shape, you are really selecting the positions for the voxels that constitute that micro-shape.

    When you copy that shape into place near another existing shape, the vectors of the existing shapes are forced to attach to the voxels in your micro-shape. The game knows that what you *want* is for the thing you copied to paste as true as it can, so it connects the vectors from other nearby shapes toward the voxels you smashed into the center of your shape and this can cause warpage on the neighboring shapes. Make sense? Again, everything is connected.

    “Strings”

    So now let’s paste several of those new micro-shapes in a row, one cube space apart from each other. What happens? They stretch into strings! So cool!

    But no, that’s only what it looks like. What’s actually happening is that you pasted one micro-shape down (composed of a bunch of voxels and vectors) and then you copied another identical micro-shape in the cube space next to it. When you did that, the vectors from the previously pasted MV stretch out to connect to the voxels in the new one you pasted, and the resulting shape looks like a line. (Remember, the last shape pasted is dominant and everything else warps to it.)

    There is a convoluted process that force the end points of the string to align to the normal voxel borders. This technique creates “Antivoxel strings” and is Example 4 in the section below.
     
     
    Warping vs Non-Warping Shapes
     
    There’s a bunch of techniques designed to create objects that don’t warp neighboring shapes, but ultimately, there is only ONE way to avoid warping.
     
    That way is to ensure that the voxels in the shape you are pasting are aligned in such a way that they don’t cause the vectors of a neighboring voxel to move.
     
    That’s it. Just don’t make the vectors move and your shapes won’t warp.
     
    To make that seem simpler, here’s a few images. These images don’t show all the voxels. They show the shape instead and the normal “cube space” that the voxels for that shape live within.
     
    Ex 1: Micro/Anti voxel
    Regular “microvoxel” or “antivoxel”: This shape lives in the very center of its normal cube space. It will warp EVERYTHING IT TOUCHES because any neighboring voxel will extend its vectors out to reach the voxels in your micro-shape.
     
     
     
    Ex 2: Microvoxel strings
    Any “string” that is created by pasting two of these centered MVs together will still cause warpage everywhere it touches because the end points of that string are in the center of the cube spaces they represent.
     

     
    Ex 3: Any shape with a “normal border” flat edge
    This shape would not cause warpage *if* it is pasted onto something along its bottom side. (Example: If you pasted it onto a flat floor.)
    It would cause warpage if it was situated next to any shape above, or to the left/right of the shape, because those neighboring vectors would be forced to extend outward to connect.
     

     
    Ex 4: Antivoxel strings
    This is the shape that many people call an “AV string”. This is a useful shape because it still looks like a thin bar, but its ends are exactly at the “normal” cube space border and is in the center of the shape. Because it’s situated properly, any normal cube connected to either end of this string will not cause warpage of the block it’s touching.
     

     
    So What’s a MegaShape?

    Honestly, it’s just the exact opposite of a microvoxel or antivoxel. Players have been calling this a Megavoxel. (And again, for the purposes of this document, we’re going to start calling this a “Megashape” instead to avoid conflict with “voxel” conversations.)

    Instead of crushing the voxels in your shape down toward the center, you’re stretching them outside the normal cube space borders of your voxel instead. (In other words, you’re making all the neighboring air voxels smaller so that your current voxel can seem bigger.)

    That’s it.

    But the shapes are still useful because they create the appearance of behavior that you normally can’t achieve.

    So how on earth do you go about stretching the voxels of a shape outward? Answer: You don’t really. Instead, what you do is you crush in the voxels of a neighboring shape, thus dragging the voxels outward in the shape you want to enlarge. That’s why people create a megashape by pasting micro-shapes nearby. They are forcing the voxels to drag outward toward those micro-shapes.
     
     
    Warpage in General
     
    Isn’t it annoying that you can create a really cool shape, it looks totally awesome, but then it deforms the heck out of stuff when you paste it near anything?
     
    Well, the truth is…you’re just *seeing* the warpage for the first time when you paste it in next to the new shape. That same warpage was occurring originally also. You just couldn’t see it because when you made the shape, it was surrounded by air. Those nearby air shapes *did* warp, but you couldn't see them.
     
    Voxels always connect to other voxels via vectors. When one voxel gets dragged outward or inward, it tends to drag neighboring voxels along with it slightly to smooth out the “curve” of a voxel face as much as possible. And that’s just about it. But it’s happening on EVERY voxel all the time every time you smooth shapes or paste shapes or even when you remove shapes.
     
     
    Inlay Technique

    The last major building technique to cover here is the “Inlay Technique”. This is probably the coolest trick that any builder can learn, as it allows you to do a ton of curvalicious detail that's not possible to do otherwise.

    We won’t take the time to describe applications of this (there are many player tutorials), but here are some details of how the process works:

    Step 1: Select any-sized area of non-air shapes as long as that area is only one cube space thick.
    Step 2: Take any other area of any design and paste it once above your object from Step 1, and then once again below it.

    This forces the “sandwiched” object to realign its vectors and voxel positions to match the object that was pasted above and below.

    Why? Because the game is trying to preserve the data of the object that you are pasting. It’s NOT trying to preserve the shape you created in Step 1. Thus, the sandwiched object in Step 1 gets all its voxels realigned to match the object above and below and when you copy that slice out of the sandwich, you’ll see that it has been transformed accordingly.

    Make sense?
     
    Sources : Smokejumper, forums.daybreakgames.com
     
     
     
  10. Like
    Elildar got a reaction from GunDeva in Tutorial: Voxelmancy Essentials   
    Tutorial: Voxelmancy Essentials
     
    This tutorial was made for Landmark. I didn't make the tutorial or play the game but, since it's based on the same technology, we can assume that it will work pretty much the same.
    It starts with the very basics and ends with some more advanced concepts.
     
    Whether or not you have already tried Dual Universe, this tutorial should be able to help you to understand this awesome (but very difficult to master) technology which is the Voxel.
     
    As a voxel beginner, I think I am not the only one who yelled at these crazy little voxels, "WTF happened?! I didn't ask you to do that!"
     
     
     
    The Inner Space of Voxelmancy
    Voxel Characteristics
    First of all…and this might hurt your brain a bit…a voxel is NOT a shape. It’s not the 1x1x1 cube shape you add with the smallest ADD brush.
     
    Actually, a voxel is a point. The different points (voxels) are connected to each other by lines (vectors). Those vectors form the outlines of the “cubes” that you see in the world when you use the ADD brush. (In other words, it takes many voxels to add enough vectors to make a shape.)
     
    When you use the building tools to change the shape of the cubes you see in the world, what you’re actually doing is dragging one (or more) of those voxel points into a new location…and then all those connecting lines move too, thus changing the outline of the shapes you see.
     
    There are only TWO voxel characteristics that matter to builders.
    The position of the voxel The material applied to that voxel’s cube space Also, for the purposes of this document, there are only four terms that matter:
    Voxel : The point in space that is the end point of one or more vectors. Vector : Any line connecting two voxels together. Shape : Any collection of vectors that outline an area thus creating a contained shape. (The default shapes are cubes, but voxels are easily moved around to create almost any shape. See below.) Cube space: In game terms, the natural "cube space" around a voxel is the same volume of space used by the ADD brush when you place a 1x1x1 cube into the world. Voxels *usually* live within their cube space, but can also comfortably live outside of it. However, the voxel is *always* associated with that cube space.    
     
    What data is in a voxel?

    Imagine a grid of dots. (Each dot is a voxel.)



    Now imagine that each of those dots is connected to its neighboring dots by lines (vectors).



    Now, stack that up so that it’s in three-space. Voila. You have a decent representation of the voxel points in their natural “healed” cube-like state.


    NOTE: The positions of the voxels, in the rigid formation shown above, is the natural “healed” state of the voxels. The resulting shapes created by the vectors connecting them are what we normally see as “cubes” (and which, erroneously, we all have been calling voxels even though those shapes are actually composed of voxels instead.)
    When you move one of the voxels, the vectors connected to it also move. Thus, you change the shape of any cube seen as soon as you move a voxel.



    So just remember…everything is connected. You can’t move one thing without moving another. All the different welding, recopying, and smoothing tricks you may hear about are just different techniques to get these dots to end up in positions that make cool shapes.

    Last but not least: Cube space. The world is gridded out into cube space. (NOTE: Cube space is the same size as the smallest ADD brush when in cube mode.) By default, voxels live along the edges/corners of these cube spaces and the resulting vectors connecting them look like cubes.

    Normally, voxels need to stay within their cube space. However, there are building techniques that let a voxel wander out of its normal cube space. This is how shapes that are bigger than a cube are created. Voxels can also be smashed down into the center of that cube space, which allows the creation of smaller shapes as well. Roaming vectors let voxels wander WAY outside their normal cube space, but that gets pretty hairy to explain so we’ll discuss it some other time.
     
     
    What Material is on the Voxel?

    Material, in this case, is the material you chose from the Element Tray. (Example: Red Lumicite is a material. So is Hammered Gold or Raw Iron.) When a material is specified for a voxel, that changes its appearance in the world.

    That’s it. There’s only two special cases that might not be immediately obvious:
    Air. Yes, air is a material. Air voxels act *exactly* like regular voxels. They are just painted with a 100% transparent material, which is air. Default terrain. Everything in the world that has notbeen changed by a player is designated as “default terrain”. It has less data than a user-changed voxel so that we can optimize the heck out of stuff that players haven’t changed. The important characteristic about this default terrain is that it cannot be copied. (Its data structure is simpler and doesn’t have all the dots/vertices described earlier.) The other important thing to remember is that HEALing a voxel returns it to this “default terrain” material. And that’s why you can do nifty stuff with healed earth. These latter two special cases (Air and Default Terrain) cannot be directly selected with the selection tool. So the only way you can “grab” them is by also grabbing another nearby shape that’s painted with any of the other materials in the game.

    Side Note: What is a Roaming Vector?

    When we added Roaming Vectors to the game (6/26/2014), we increased the precision of lines and shapes quite a lot. This was done by “borrowing” nearby voxels and letting them “roam” outside of their normally allowed cube space. This means that nearby shapes sacrifice some of their own definition so that another shape can get one or more extra voxels added to it, thus providing more possible vectors, which enables that shape to have more detail.
     
     
    Pasting Dominance

    There is one thing to keep in mind as we go through the rest of this doc. Any item that you are pasting into the game is dominant. All the voxels within that copied area will keep their relative positions. This means that any shapes nearby are likely to change shape slightly as their voxels reconnect to these new voxels, and the vectors connecting them are changed.

    This “dominance factor” can be very useful when fixing any warpage that occurs, because any current data is overwritten by a paste. That lets you “re-weld” voxels and vectors by pasting in small bits that are the desired shape.
     
     
    Voxelmancy Techniques

    Okay. Now let’s talk about the various building techniques the community is using.

    Micro-shapes & Anti-shapes

    NOTE: Players have been calling them microvoxels and antivoxels, but that makes this discussion harder to follow when talking about voxels in conjunction with these shapes, so we’ll refer to the microvoxels as micro-shapes, and antivoxels as anti-shapes. (Sorry for the switch.)

    Both of these kinds of shapes are really just normal shapes that appear to be different. (It’s still useful to give them names for easy reference, but the point is…they’re still just normal shapes composed of voxels and vectors.)

    When you smooth a regular shape down into a micro-shape, you’re essentially just taking all the voxels the cube was composed of and squashing them down toward each other so that the resulting shape is a very small cube.

    Side note: Just to expand your mind, you’re also enlarging the air cubes around your brand new micro-shapes because you’re dragging those connected voxels away from the center of those shapes. Right? Everything is connected.

    Still, it’s cool, right? That voxel *looks* smaller and that make it useful for lots of building stuff.

    So what’s an Anti-shape? It’s exactly the same thing as a “micro-shape”. But its material is “air”. So it’s (currently) tricky to make, but it behaves in all other respects exactly as a smoothed-down (micro)shape. You just can’t see it or select it directly, because it’s made of air.

    Why do micro-shapes warp other nearby shapes?

    Remember how the voxels in a micro-shape are squished toward the center? Well, when you copy that micro-shape, you are really selecting the positions for the voxels that constitute that micro-shape.

    When you copy that shape into place near another existing shape, the vectors of the existing shapes are forced to attach to the voxels in your micro-shape. The game knows that what you *want* is for the thing you copied to paste as true as it can, so it connects the vectors from other nearby shapes toward the voxels you smashed into the center of your shape and this can cause warpage on the neighboring shapes. Make sense? Again, everything is connected.

    “Strings”

    So now let’s paste several of those new micro-shapes in a row, one cube space apart from each other. What happens? They stretch into strings! So cool!

    But no, that’s only what it looks like. What’s actually happening is that you pasted one micro-shape down (composed of a bunch of voxels and vectors) and then you copied another identical micro-shape in the cube space next to it. When you did that, the vectors from the previously pasted MV stretch out to connect to the voxels in the new one you pasted, and the resulting shape looks like a line. (Remember, the last shape pasted is dominant and everything else warps to it.)

    There is a convoluted process that force the end points of the string to align to the normal voxel borders. This technique creates “Antivoxel strings” and is Example 4 in the section below.
     
     
    Warping vs Non-Warping Shapes
     
    There’s a bunch of techniques designed to create objects that don’t warp neighboring shapes, but ultimately, there is only ONE way to avoid warping.
     
    That way is to ensure that the voxels in the shape you are pasting are aligned in such a way that they don’t cause the vectors of a neighboring voxel to move.
     
    That’s it. Just don’t make the vectors move and your shapes won’t warp.
     
    To make that seem simpler, here’s a few images. These images don’t show all the voxels. They show the shape instead and the normal “cube space” that the voxels for that shape live within.
     
    Ex 1: Micro/Anti voxel
    Regular “microvoxel” or “antivoxel”: This shape lives in the very center of its normal cube space. It will warp EVERYTHING IT TOUCHES because any neighboring voxel will extend its vectors out to reach the voxels in your micro-shape.
     
     
     
    Ex 2: Microvoxel strings
    Any “string” that is created by pasting two of these centered MVs together will still cause warpage everywhere it touches because the end points of that string are in the center of the cube spaces they represent.
     

     
    Ex 3: Any shape with a “normal border” flat edge
    This shape would not cause warpage *if* it is pasted onto something along its bottom side. (Example: If you pasted it onto a flat floor.)
    It would cause warpage if it was situated next to any shape above, or to the left/right of the shape, because those neighboring vectors would be forced to extend outward to connect.
     

     
    Ex 4: Antivoxel strings
    This is the shape that many people call an “AV string”. This is a useful shape because it still looks like a thin bar, but its ends are exactly at the “normal” cube space border and is in the center of the shape. Because it’s situated properly, any normal cube connected to either end of this string will not cause warpage of the block it’s touching.
     

     
    So What’s a MegaShape?

    Honestly, it’s just the exact opposite of a microvoxel or antivoxel. Players have been calling this a Megavoxel. (And again, for the purposes of this document, we’re going to start calling this a “Megashape” instead to avoid conflict with “voxel” conversations.)

    Instead of crushing the voxels in your shape down toward the center, you’re stretching them outside the normal cube space borders of your voxel instead. (In other words, you’re making all the neighboring air voxels smaller so that your current voxel can seem bigger.)

    That’s it.

    But the shapes are still useful because they create the appearance of behavior that you normally can’t achieve.

    So how on earth do you go about stretching the voxels of a shape outward? Answer: You don’t really. Instead, what you do is you crush in the voxels of a neighboring shape, thus dragging the voxels outward in the shape you want to enlarge. That’s why people create a megashape by pasting micro-shapes nearby. They are forcing the voxels to drag outward toward those micro-shapes.
     
     
    Warpage in General
     
    Isn’t it annoying that you can create a really cool shape, it looks totally awesome, but then it deforms the heck out of stuff when you paste it near anything?
     
    Well, the truth is…you’re just *seeing* the warpage for the first time when you paste it in next to the new shape. That same warpage was occurring originally also. You just couldn’t see it because when you made the shape, it was surrounded by air. Those nearby air shapes *did* warp, but you couldn't see them.
     
    Voxels always connect to other voxels via vectors. When one voxel gets dragged outward or inward, it tends to drag neighboring voxels along with it slightly to smooth out the “curve” of a voxel face as much as possible. And that’s just about it. But it’s happening on EVERY voxel all the time every time you smooth shapes or paste shapes or even when you remove shapes.
     
     
    Inlay Technique

    The last major building technique to cover here is the “Inlay Technique”. This is probably the coolest trick that any builder can learn, as it allows you to do a ton of curvalicious detail that's not possible to do otherwise.

    We won’t take the time to describe applications of this (there are many player tutorials), but here are some details of how the process works:

    Step 1: Select any-sized area of non-air shapes as long as that area is only one cube space thick.
    Step 2: Take any other area of any design and paste it once above your object from Step 1, and then once again below it.

    This forces the “sandwiched” object to realign its vectors and voxel positions to match the object that was pasted above and below.

    Why? Because the game is trying to preserve the data of the object that you are pasting. It’s NOT trying to preserve the shape you created in Step 1. Thus, the sandwiched object in Step 1 gets all its voxels realigned to match the object above and below and when you copy that slice out of the sandwich, you’ll see that it has been transformed accordingly.

    Make sense?
     
    Sources : Smokejumper, forums.daybreakgames.com
     
     
     
  11. Like
    Elildar got a reaction from huschhusch in Tutorial: Voxelmancy Essentials   
    Tutorial: Voxelmancy Essentials
     
    This tutorial was made for Landmark. I didn't make the tutorial or play the game but, since it's based on the same technology, we can assume that it will work pretty much the same.
    It starts with the very basics and ends with some more advanced concepts.
     
    Whether or not you have already tried Dual Universe, this tutorial should be able to help you to understand this awesome (but very difficult to master) technology which is the Voxel.
     
    As a voxel beginner, I think I am not the only one who yelled at these crazy little voxels, "WTF happened?! I didn't ask you to do that!"
     
     
     
    The Inner Space of Voxelmancy
    Voxel Characteristics
    First of all…and this might hurt your brain a bit…a voxel is NOT a shape. It’s not the 1x1x1 cube shape you add with the smallest ADD brush.
     
    Actually, a voxel is a point. The different points (voxels) are connected to each other by lines (vectors). Those vectors form the outlines of the “cubes” that you see in the world when you use the ADD brush. (In other words, it takes many voxels to add enough vectors to make a shape.)
     
    When you use the building tools to change the shape of the cubes you see in the world, what you’re actually doing is dragging one (or more) of those voxel points into a new location…and then all those connecting lines move too, thus changing the outline of the shapes you see.
     
    There are only TWO voxel characteristics that matter to builders.
    The position of the voxel The material applied to that voxel’s cube space Also, for the purposes of this document, there are only four terms that matter:
    Voxel : The point in space that is the end point of one or more vectors. Vector : Any line connecting two voxels together. Shape : Any collection of vectors that outline an area thus creating a contained shape. (The default shapes are cubes, but voxels are easily moved around to create almost any shape. See below.) Cube space: In game terms, the natural "cube space" around a voxel is the same volume of space used by the ADD brush when you place a 1x1x1 cube into the world. Voxels *usually* live within their cube space, but can also comfortably live outside of it. However, the voxel is *always* associated with that cube space.    
     
    What data is in a voxel?

    Imagine a grid of dots. (Each dot is a voxel.)



    Now imagine that each of those dots is connected to its neighboring dots by lines (vectors).



    Now, stack that up so that it’s in three-space. Voila. You have a decent representation of the voxel points in their natural “healed” cube-like state.


    NOTE: The positions of the voxels, in the rigid formation shown above, is the natural “healed” state of the voxels. The resulting shapes created by the vectors connecting them are what we normally see as “cubes” (and which, erroneously, we all have been calling voxels even though those shapes are actually composed of voxels instead.)
    When you move one of the voxels, the vectors connected to it also move. Thus, you change the shape of any cube seen as soon as you move a voxel.



    So just remember…everything is connected. You can’t move one thing without moving another. All the different welding, recopying, and smoothing tricks you may hear about are just different techniques to get these dots to end up in positions that make cool shapes.

    Last but not least: Cube space. The world is gridded out into cube space. (NOTE: Cube space is the same size as the smallest ADD brush when in cube mode.) By default, voxels live along the edges/corners of these cube spaces and the resulting vectors connecting them look like cubes.

    Normally, voxels need to stay within their cube space. However, there are building techniques that let a voxel wander out of its normal cube space. This is how shapes that are bigger than a cube are created. Voxels can also be smashed down into the center of that cube space, which allows the creation of smaller shapes as well. Roaming vectors let voxels wander WAY outside their normal cube space, but that gets pretty hairy to explain so we’ll discuss it some other time.
     
     
    What Material is on the Voxel?

    Material, in this case, is the material you chose from the Element Tray. (Example: Red Lumicite is a material. So is Hammered Gold or Raw Iron.) When a material is specified for a voxel, that changes its appearance in the world.

    That’s it. There’s only two special cases that might not be immediately obvious:
    Air. Yes, air is a material. Air voxels act *exactly* like regular voxels. They are just painted with a 100% transparent material, which is air. Default terrain. Everything in the world that has notbeen changed by a player is designated as “default terrain”. It has less data than a user-changed voxel so that we can optimize the heck out of stuff that players haven’t changed. The important characteristic about this default terrain is that it cannot be copied. (Its data structure is simpler and doesn’t have all the dots/vertices described earlier.) The other important thing to remember is that HEALing a voxel returns it to this “default terrain” material. And that’s why you can do nifty stuff with healed earth. These latter two special cases (Air and Default Terrain) cannot be directly selected with the selection tool. So the only way you can “grab” them is by also grabbing another nearby shape that’s painted with any of the other materials in the game.

    Side Note: What is a Roaming Vector?

    When we added Roaming Vectors to the game (6/26/2014), we increased the precision of lines and shapes quite a lot. This was done by “borrowing” nearby voxels and letting them “roam” outside of their normally allowed cube space. This means that nearby shapes sacrifice some of their own definition so that another shape can get one or more extra voxels added to it, thus providing more possible vectors, which enables that shape to have more detail.
     
     
    Pasting Dominance

    There is one thing to keep in mind as we go through the rest of this doc. Any item that you are pasting into the game is dominant. All the voxels within that copied area will keep their relative positions. This means that any shapes nearby are likely to change shape slightly as their voxels reconnect to these new voxels, and the vectors connecting them are changed.

    This “dominance factor” can be very useful when fixing any warpage that occurs, because any current data is overwritten by a paste. That lets you “re-weld” voxels and vectors by pasting in small bits that are the desired shape.
     
     
    Voxelmancy Techniques

    Okay. Now let’s talk about the various building techniques the community is using.

    Micro-shapes & Anti-shapes

    NOTE: Players have been calling them microvoxels and antivoxels, but that makes this discussion harder to follow when talking about voxels in conjunction with these shapes, so we’ll refer to the microvoxels as micro-shapes, and antivoxels as anti-shapes. (Sorry for the switch.)

    Both of these kinds of shapes are really just normal shapes that appear to be different. (It’s still useful to give them names for easy reference, but the point is…they’re still just normal shapes composed of voxels and vectors.)

    When you smooth a regular shape down into a micro-shape, you’re essentially just taking all the voxels the cube was composed of and squashing them down toward each other so that the resulting shape is a very small cube.

    Side note: Just to expand your mind, you’re also enlarging the air cubes around your brand new micro-shapes because you’re dragging those connected voxels away from the center of those shapes. Right? Everything is connected.

    Still, it’s cool, right? That voxel *looks* smaller and that make it useful for lots of building stuff.

    So what’s an Anti-shape? It’s exactly the same thing as a “micro-shape”. But its material is “air”. So it’s (currently) tricky to make, but it behaves in all other respects exactly as a smoothed-down (micro)shape. You just can’t see it or select it directly, because it’s made of air.

    Why do micro-shapes warp other nearby shapes?

    Remember how the voxels in a micro-shape are squished toward the center? Well, when you copy that micro-shape, you are really selecting the positions for the voxels that constitute that micro-shape.

    When you copy that shape into place near another existing shape, the vectors of the existing shapes are forced to attach to the voxels in your micro-shape. The game knows that what you *want* is for the thing you copied to paste as true as it can, so it connects the vectors from other nearby shapes toward the voxels you smashed into the center of your shape and this can cause warpage on the neighboring shapes. Make sense? Again, everything is connected.

    “Strings”

    So now let’s paste several of those new micro-shapes in a row, one cube space apart from each other. What happens? They stretch into strings! So cool!

    But no, that’s only what it looks like. What’s actually happening is that you pasted one micro-shape down (composed of a bunch of voxels and vectors) and then you copied another identical micro-shape in the cube space next to it. When you did that, the vectors from the previously pasted MV stretch out to connect to the voxels in the new one you pasted, and the resulting shape looks like a line. (Remember, the last shape pasted is dominant and everything else warps to it.)

    There is a convoluted process that force the end points of the string to align to the normal voxel borders. This technique creates “Antivoxel strings” and is Example 4 in the section below.
     
     
    Warping vs Non-Warping Shapes
     
    There’s a bunch of techniques designed to create objects that don’t warp neighboring shapes, but ultimately, there is only ONE way to avoid warping.
     
    That way is to ensure that the voxels in the shape you are pasting are aligned in such a way that they don’t cause the vectors of a neighboring voxel to move.
     
    That’s it. Just don’t make the vectors move and your shapes won’t warp.
     
    To make that seem simpler, here’s a few images. These images don’t show all the voxels. They show the shape instead and the normal “cube space” that the voxels for that shape live within.
     
    Ex 1: Micro/Anti voxel
    Regular “microvoxel” or “antivoxel”: This shape lives in the very center of its normal cube space. It will warp EVERYTHING IT TOUCHES because any neighboring voxel will extend its vectors out to reach the voxels in your micro-shape.
     
     
     
    Ex 2: Microvoxel strings
    Any “string” that is created by pasting two of these centered MVs together will still cause warpage everywhere it touches because the end points of that string are in the center of the cube spaces they represent.
     

     
    Ex 3: Any shape with a “normal border” flat edge
    This shape would not cause warpage *if* it is pasted onto something along its bottom side. (Example: If you pasted it onto a flat floor.)
    It would cause warpage if it was situated next to any shape above, or to the left/right of the shape, because those neighboring vectors would be forced to extend outward to connect.
     

     
    Ex 4: Antivoxel strings
    This is the shape that many people call an “AV string”. This is a useful shape because it still looks like a thin bar, but its ends are exactly at the “normal” cube space border and is in the center of the shape. Because it’s situated properly, any normal cube connected to either end of this string will not cause warpage of the block it’s touching.
     

     
    So What’s a MegaShape?

    Honestly, it’s just the exact opposite of a microvoxel or antivoxel. Players have been calling this a Megavoxel. (And again, for the purposes of this document, we’re going to start calling this a “Megashape” instead to avoid conflict with “voxel” conversations.)

    Instead of crushing the voxels in your shape down toward the center, you’re stretching them outside the normal cube space borders of your voxel instead. (In other words, you’re making all the neighboring air voxels smaller so that your current voxel can seem bigger.)

    That’s it.

    But the shapes are still useful because they create the appearance of behavior that you normally can’t achieve.

    So how on earth do you go about stretching the voxels of a shape outward? Answer: You don’t really. Instead, what you do is you crush in the voxels of a neighboring shape, thus dragging the voxels outward in the shape you want to enlarge. That’s why people create a megashape by pasting micro-shapes nearby. They are forcing the voxels to drag outward toward those micro-shapes.
     
     
    Warpage in General
     
    Isn’t it annoying that you can create a really cool shape, it looks totally awesome, but then it deforms the heck out of stuff when you paste it near anything?
     
    Well, the truth is…you’re just *seeing* the warpage for the first time when you paste it in next to the new shape. That same warpage was occurring originally also. You just couldn’t see it because when you made the shape, it was surrounded by air. Those nearby air shapes *did* warp, but you couldn't see them.
     
    Voxels always connect to other voxels via vectors. When one voxel gets dragged outward or inward, it tends to drag neighboring voxels along with it slightly to smooth out the “curve” of a voxel face as much as possible. And that’s just about it. But it’s happening on EVERY voxel all the time every time you smooth shapes or paste shapes or even when you remove shapes.
     
     
    Inlay Technique

    The last major building technique to cover here is the “Inlay Technique”. This is probably the coolest trick that any builder can learn, as it allows you to do a ton of curvalicious detail that's not possible to do otherwise.

    We won’t take the time to describe applications of this (there are many player tutorials), but here are some details of how the process works:

    Step 1: Select any-sized area of non-air shapes as long as that area is only one cube space thick.
    Step 2: Take any other area of any design and paste it once above your object from Step 1, and then once again below it.

    This forces the “sandwiched” object to realign its vectors and voxel positions to match the object that was pasted above and below.

    Why? Because the game is trying to preserve the data of the object that you are pasting. It’s NOT trying to preserve the shape you created in Step 1. Thus, the sandwiched object in Step 1 gets all its voxels realigned to match the object above and below and when you copy that slice out of the sandwich, you’ll see that it has been transformed accordingly.

    Make sense?
     
    Sources : Smokejumper, forums.daybreakgames.com
     
     
     
  12. Like
    Elildar got a reaction from CoreVamore in Tutorial: Voxelmancy Essentials   
    Tutorial: Voxelmancy Essentials
     
    This tutorial was made for Landmark. I didn't make the tutorial or play the game but, since it's based on the same technology, we can assume that it will work pretty much the same.
    It starts with the very basics and ends with some more advanced concepts.
     
    Whether or not you have already tried Dual Universe, this tutorial should be able to help you to understand this awesome (but very difficult to master) technology which is the Voxel.
     
    As a voxel beginner, I think I am not the only one who yelled at these crazy little voxels, "WTF happened?! I didn't ask you to do that!"
     
     
     
    The Inner Space of Voxelmancy
    Voxel Characteristics
    First of all…and this might hurt your brain a bit…a voxel is NOT a shape. It’s not the 1x1x1 cube shape you add with the smallest ADD brush.
     
    Actually, a voxel is a point. The different points (voxels) are connected to each other by lines (vectors). Those vectors form the outlines of the “cubes” that you see in the world when you use the ADD brush. (In other words, it takes many voxels to add enough vectors to make a shape.)
     
    When you use the building tools to change the shape of the cubes you see in the world, what you’re actually doing is dragging one (or more) of those voxel points into a new location…and then all those connecting lines move too, thus changing the outline of the shapes you see.
     
    There are only TWO voxel characteristics that matter to builders.
    The position of the voxel The material applied to that voxel’s cube space Also, for the purposes of this document, there are only four terms that matter:
    Voxel : The point in space that is the end point of one or more vectors. Vector : Any line connecting two voxels together. Shape : Any collection of vectors that outline an area thus creating a contained shape. (The default shapes are cubes, but voxels are easily moved around to create almost any shape. See below.) Cube space: In game terms, the natural "cube space" around a voxel is the same volume of space used by the ADD brush when you place a 1x1x1 cube into the world. Voxels *usually* live within their cube space, but can also comfortably live outside of it. However, the voxel is *always* associated with that cube space.    
     
    What data is in a voxel?

    Imagine a grid of dots. (Each dot is a voxel.)



    Now imagine that each of those dots is connected to its neighboring dots by lines (vectors).



    Now, stack that up so that it’s in three-space. Voila. You have a decent representation of the voxel points in their natural “healed” cube-like state.


    NOTE: The positions of the voxels, in the rigid formation shown above, is the natural “healed” state of the voxels. The resulting shapes created by the vectors connecting them are what we normally see as “cubes” (and which, erroneously, we all have been calling voxels even though those shapes are actually composed of voxels instead.)
    When you move one of the voxels, the vectors connected to it also move. Thus, you change the shape of any cube seen as soon as you move a voxel.



    So just remember…everything is connected. You can’t move one thing without moving another. All the different welding, recopying, and smoothing tricks you may hear about are just different techniques to get these dots to end up in positions that make cool shapes.

    Last but not least: Cube space. The world is gridded out into cube space. (NOTE: Cube space is the same size as the smallest ADD brush when in cube mode.) By default, voxels live along the edges/corners of these cube spaces and the resulting vectors connecting them look like cubes.

    Normally, voxels need to stay within their cube space. However, there are building techniques that let a voxel wander out of its normal cube space. This is how shapes that are bigger than a cube are created. Voxels can also be smashed down into the center of that cube space, which allows the creation of smaller shapes as well. Roaming vectors let voxels wander WAY outside their normal cube space, but that gets pretty hairy to explain so we’ll discuss it some other time.
     
     
    What Material is on the Voxel?

    Material, in this case, is the material you chose from the Element Tray. (Example: Red Lumicite is a material. So is Hammered Gold or Raw Iron.) When a material is specified for a voxel, that changes its appearance in the world.

    That’s it. There’s only two special cases that might not be immediately obvious:
    Air. Yes, air is a material. Air voxels act *exactly* like regular voxels. They are just painted with a 100% transparent material, which is air. Default terrain. Everything in the world that has notbeen changed by a player is designated as “default terrain”. It has less data than a user-changed voxel so that we can optimize the heck out of stuff that players haven’t changed. The important characteristic about this default terrain is that it cannot be copied. (Its data structure is simpler and doesn’t have all the dots/vertices described earlier.) The other important thing to remember is that HEALing a voxel returns it to this “default terrain” material. And that’s why you can do nifty stuff with healed earth. These latter two special cases (Air and Default Terrain) cannot be directly selected with the selection tool. So the only way you can “grab” them is by also grabbing another nearby shape that’s painted with any of the other materials in the game.

    Side Note: What is a Roaming Vector?

    When we added Roaming Vectors to the game (6/26/2014), we increased the precision of lines and shapes quite a lot. This was done by “borrowing” nearby voxels and letting them “roam” outside of their normally allowed cube space. This means that nearby shapes sacrifice some of their own definition so that another shape can get one or more extra voxels added to it, thus providing more possible vectors, which enables that shape to have more detail.
     
     
    Pasting Dominance

    There is one thing to keep in mind as we go through the rest of this doc. Any item that you are pasting into the game is dominant. All the voxels within that copied area will keep their relative positions. This means that any shapes nearby are likely to change shape slightly as their voxels reconnect to these new voxels, and the vectors connecting them are changed.

    This “dominance factor” can be very useful when fixing any warpage that occurs, because any current data is overwritten by a paste. That lets you “re-weld” voxels and vectors by pasting in small bits that are the desired shape.
     
     
    Voxelmancy Techniques

    Okay. Now let’s talk about the various building techniques the community is using.

    Micro-shapes & Anti-shapes

    NOTE: Players have been calling them microvoxels and antivoxels, but that makes this discussion harder to follow when talking about voxels in conjunction with these shapes, so we’ll refer to the microvoxels as micro-shapes, and antivoxels as anti-shapes. (Sorry for the switch.)

    Both of these kinds of shapes are really just normal shapes that appear to be different. (It’s still useful to give them names for easy reference, but the point is…they’re still just normal shapes composed of voxels and vectors.)

    When you smooth a regular shape down into a micro-shape, you’re essentially just taking all the voxels the cube was composed of and squashing them down toward each other so that the resulting shape is a very small cube.

    Side note: Just to expand your mind, you’re also enlarging the air cubes around your brand new micro-shapes because you’re dragging those connected voxels away from the center of those shapes. Right? Everything is connected.

    Still, it’s cool, right? That voxel *looks* smaller and that make it useful for lots of building stuff.

    So what’s an Anti-shape? It’s exactly the same thing as a “micro-shape”. But its material is “air”. So it’s (currently) tricky to make, but it behaves in all other respects exactly as a smoothed-down (micro)shape. You just can’t see it or select it directly, because it’s made of air.

    Why do micro-shapes warp other nearby shapes?

    Remember how the voxels in a micro-shape are squished toward the center? Well, when you copy that micro-shape, you are really selecting the positions for the voxels that constitute that micro-shape.

    When you copy that shape into place near another existing shape, the vectors of the existing shapes are forced to attach to the voxels in your micro-shape. The game knows that what you *want* is for the thing you copied to paste as true as it can, so it connects the vectors from other nearby shapes toward the voxels you smashed into the center of your shape and this can cause warpage on the neighboring shapes. Make sense? Again, everything is connected.

    “Strings”

    So now let’s paste several of those new micro-shapes in a row, one cube space apart from each other. What happens? They stretch into strings! So cool!

    But no, that’s only what it looks like. What’s actually happening is that you pasted one micro-shape down (composed of a bunch of voxels and vectors) and then you copied another identical micro-shape in the cube space next to it. When you did that, the vectors from the previously pasted MV stretch out to connect to the voxels in the new one you pasted, and the resulting shape looks like a line. (Remember, the last shape pasted is dominant and everything else warps to it.)

    There is a convoluted process that force the end points of the string to align to the normal voxel borders. This technique creates “Antivoxel strings” and is Example 4 in the section below.
     
     
    Warping vs Non-Warping Shapes
     
    There’s a bunch of techniques designed to create objects that don’t warp neighboring shapes, but ultimately, there is only ONE way to avoid warping.
     
    That way is to ensure that the voxels in the shape you are pasting are aligned in such a way that they don’t cause the vectors of a neighboring voxel to move.
     
    That’s it. Just don’t make the vectors move and your shapes won’t warp.
     
    To make that seem simpler, here’s a few images. These images don’t show all the voxels. They show the shape instead and the normal “cube space” that the voxels for that shape live within.
     
    Ex 1: Micro/Anti voxel
    Regular “microvoxel” or “antivoxel”: This shape lives in the very center of its normal cube space. It will warp EVERYTHING IT TOUCHES because any neighboring voxel will extend its vectors out to reach the voxels in your micro-shape.
     
     
     
    Ex 2: Microvoxel strings
    Any “string” that is created by pasting two of these centered MVs together will still cause warpage everywhere it touches because the end points of that string are in the center of the cube spaces they represent.
     

     
    Ex 3: Any shape with a “normal border” flat edge
    This shape would not cause warpage *if* it is pasted onto something along its bottom side. (Example: If you pasted it onto a flat floor.)
    It would cause warpage if it was situated next to any shape above, or to the left/right of the shape, because those neighboring vectors would be forced to extend outward to connect.
     

     
    Ex 4: Antivoxel strings
    This is the shape that many people call an “AV string”. This is a useful shape because it still looks like a thin bar, but its ends are exactly at the “normal” cube space border and is in the center of the shape. Because it’s situated properly, any normal cube connected to either end of this string will not cause warpage of the block it’s touching.
     

     
    So What’s a MegaShape?

    Honestly, it’s just the exact opposite of a microvoxel or antivoxel. Players have been calling this a Megavoxel. (And again, for the purposes of this document, we’re going to start calling this a “Megashape” instead to avoid conflict with “voxel” conversations.)

    Instead of crushing the voxels in your shape down toward the center, you’re stretching them outside the normal cube space borders of your voxel instead. (In other words, you’re making all the neighboring air voxels smaller so that your current voxel can seem bigger.)

    That’s it.

    But the shapes are still useful because they create the appearance of behavior that you normally can’t achieve.

    So how on earth do you go about stretching the voxels of a shape outward? Answer: You don’t really. Instead, what you do is you crush in the voxels of a neighboring shape, thus dragging the voxels outward in the shape you want to enlarge. That’s why people create a megashape by pasting micro-shapes nearby. They are forcing the voxels to drag outward toward those micro-shapes.
     
     
    Warpage in General
     
    Isn’t it annoying that you can create a really cool shape, it looks totally awesome, but then it deforms the heck out of stuff when you paste it near anything?
     
    Well, the truth is…you’re just *seeing* the warpage for the first time when you paste it in next to the new shape. That same warpage was occurring originally also. You just couldn’t see it because when you made the shape, it was surrounded by air. Those nearby air shapes *did* warp, but you couldn't see them.
     
    Voxels always connect to other voxels via vectors. When one voxel gets dragged outward or inward, it tends to drag neighboring voxels along with it slightly to smooth out the “curve” of a voxel face as much as possible. And that’s just about it. But it’s happening on EVERY voxel all the time every time you smooth shapes or paste shapes or even when you remove shapes.
     
     
    Inlay Technique

    The last major building technique to cover here is the “Inlay Technique”. This is probably the coolest trick that any builder can learn, as it allows you to do a ton of curvalicious detail that's not possible to do otherwise.

    We won’t take the time to describe applications of this (there are many player tutorials), but here are some details of how the process works:

    Step 1: Select any-sized area of non-air shapes as long as that area is only one cube space thick.
    Step 2: Take any other area of any design and paste it once above your object from Step 1, and then once again below it.

    This forces the “sandwiched” object to realign its vectors and voxel positions to match the object that was pasted above and below.

    Why? Because the game is trying to preserve the data of the object that you are pasting. It’s NOT trying to preserve the shape you created in Step 1. Thus, the sandwiched object in Step 1 gets all its voxels realigned to match the object above and below and when you copy that slice out of the sandwich, you’ll see that it has been transformed accordingly.

    Make sense?
     
    Sources : Smokejumper, forums.daybreakgames.com
     
     
     
  13. Like
    Elildar got a reaction from LittleJoe in Tutorial: Voxelmancy Essentials   
    Tutorial: Voxelmancy Essentials
     
    This tutorial was made for Landmark. I didn't make the tutorial or play the game but, since it's based on the same technology, we can assume that it will work pretty much the same.
    It starts with the very basics and ends with some more advanced concepts.
     
    Whether or not you have already tried Dual Universe, this tutorial should be able to help you to understand this awesome (but very difficult to master) technology which is the Voxel.
     
    As a voxel beginner, I think I am not the only one who yelled at these crazy little voxels, "WTF happened?! I didn't ask you to do that!"
     
     
     
    The Inner Space of Voxelmancy
    Voxel Characteristics
    First of all…and this might hurt your brain a bit…a voxel is NOT a shape. It’s not the 1x1x1 cube shape you add with the smallest ADD brush.
     
    Actually, a voxel is a point. The different points (voxels) are connected to each other by lines (vectors). Those vectors form the outlines of the “cubes” that you see in the world when you use the ADD brush. (In other words, it takes many voxels to add enough vectors to make a shape.)
     
    When you use the building tools to change the shape of the cubes you see in the world, what you’re actually doing is dragging one (or more) of those voxel points into a new location…and then all those connecting lines move too, thus changing the outline of the shapes you see.
     
    There are only TWO voxel characteristics that matter to builders.
    The position of the voxel The material applied to that voxel’s cube space Also, for the purposes of this document, there are only four terms that matter:
    Voxel : The point in space that is the end point of one or more vectors. Vector : Any line connecting two voxels together. Shape : Any collection of vectors that outline an area thus creating a contained shape. (The default shapes are cubes, but voxels are easily moved around to create almost any shape. See below.) Cube space: In game terms, the natural "cube space" around a voxel is the same volume of space used by the ADD brush when you place a 1x1x1 cube into the world. Voxels *usually* live within their cube space, but can also comfortably live outside of it. However, the voxel is *always* associated with that cube space.    
     
    What data is in a voxel?

    Imagine a grid of dots. (Each dot is a voxel.)



    Now imagine that each of those dots is connected to its neighboring dots by lines (vectors).



    Now, stack that up so that it’s in three-space. Voila. You have a decent representation of the voxel points in their natural “healed” cube-like state.


    NOTE: The positions of the voxels, in the rigid formation shown above, is the natural “healed” state of the voxels. The resulting shapes created by the vectors connecting them are what we normally see as “cubes” (and which, erroneously, we all have been calling voxels even though those shapes are actually composed of voxels instead.)
    When you move one of the voxels, the vectors connected to it also move. Thus, you change the shape of any cube seen as soon as you move a voxel.



    So just remember…everything is connected. You can’t move one thing without moving another. All the different welding, recopying, and smoothing tricks you may hear about are just different techniques to get these dots to end up in positions that make cool shapes.

    Last but not least: Cube space. The world is gridded out into cube space. (NOTE: Cube space is the same size as the smallest ADD brush when in cube mode.) By default, voxels live along the edges/corners of these cube spaces and the resulting vectors connecting them look like cubes.

    Normally, voxels need to stay within their cube space. However, there are building techniques that let a voxel wander out of its normal cube space. This is how shapes that are bigger than a cube are created. Voxels can also be smashed down into the center of that cube space, which allows the creation of smaller shapes as well. Roaming vectors let voxels wander WAY outside their normal cube space, but that gets pretty hairy to explain so we’ll discuss it some other time.
     
     
    What Material is on the Voxel?

    Material, in this case, is the material you chose from the Element Tray. (Example: Red Lumicite is a material. So is Hammered Gold or Raw Iron.) When a material is specified for a voxel, that changes its appearance in the world.

    That’s it. There’s only two special cases that might not be immediately obvious:
    Air. Yes, air is a material. Air voxels act *exactly* like regular voxels. They are just painted with a 100% transparent material, which is air. Default terrain. Everything in the world that has notbeen changed by a player is designated as “default terrain”. It has less data than a user-changed voxel so that we can optimize the heck out of stuff that players haven’t changed. The important characteristic about this default terrain is that it cannot be copied. (Its data structure is simpler and doesn’t have all the dots/vertices described earlier.) The other important thing to remember is that HEALing a voxel returns it to this “default terrain” material. And that’s why you can do nifty stuff with healed earth. These latter two special cases (Air and Default Terrain) cannot be directly selected with the selection tool. So the only way you can “grab” them is by also grabbing another nearby shape that’s painted with any of the other materials in the game.

    Side Note: What is a Roaming Vector?

    When we added Roaming Vectors to the game (6/26/2014), we increased the precision of lines and shapes quite a lot. This was done by “borrowing” nearby voxels and letting them “roam” outside of their normally allowed cube space. This means that nearby shapes sacrifice some of their own definition so that another shape can get one or more extra voxels added to it, thus providing more possible vectors, which enables that shape to have more detail.
     
     
    Pasting Dominance

    There is one thing to keep in mind as we go through the rest of this doc. Any item that you are pasting into the game is dominant. All the voxels within that copied area will keep their relative positions. This means that any shapes nearby are likely to change shape slightly as their voxels reconnect to these new voxels, and the vectors connecting them are changed.

    This “dominance factor” can be very useful when fixing any warpage that occurs, because any current data is overwritten by a paste. That lets you “re-weld” voxels and vectors by pasting in small bits that are the desired shape.
     
     
    Voxelmancy Techniques

    Okay. Now let’s talk about the various building techniques the community is using.

    Micro-shapes & Anti-shapes

    NOTE: Players have been calling them microvoxels and antivoxels, but that makes this discussion harder to follow when talking about voxels in conjunction with these shapes, so we’ll refer to the microvoxels as micro-shapes, and antivoxels as anti-shapes. (Sorry for the switch.)

    Both of these kinds of shapes are really just normal shapes that appear to be different. (It’s still useful to give them names for easy reference, but the point is…they’re still just normal shapes composed of voxels and vectors.)

    When you smooth a regular shape down into a micro-shape, you’re essentially just taking all the voxels the cube was composed of and squashing them down toward each other so that the resulting shape is a very small cube.

    Side note: Just to expand your mind, you’re also enlarging the air cubes around your brand new micro-shapes because you’re dragging those connected voxels away from the center of those shapes. Right? Everything is connected.

    Still, it’s cool, right? That voxel *looks* smaller and that make it useful for lots of building stuff.

    So what’s an Anti-shape? It’s exactly the same thing as a “micro-shape”. But its material is “air”. So it’s (currently) tricky to make, but it behaves in all other respects exactly as a smoothed-down (micro)shape. You just can’t see it or select it directly, because it’s made of air.

    Why do micro-shapes warp other nearby shapes?

    Remember how the voxels in a micro-shape are squished toward the center? Well, when you copy that micro-shape, you are really selecting the positions for the voxels that constitute that micro-shape.

    When you copy that shape into place near another existing shape, the vectors of the existing shapes are forced to attach to the voxels in your micro-shape. The game knows that what you *want* is for the thing you copied to paste as true as it can, so it connects the vectors from other nearby shapes toward the voxels you smashed into the center of your shape and this can cause warpage on the neighboring shapes. Make sense? Again, everything is connected.

    “Strings”

    So now let’s paste several of those new micro-shapes in a row, one cube space apart from each other. What happens? They stretch into strings! So cool!

    But no, that’s only what it looks like. What’s actually happening is that you pasted one micro-shape down (composed of a bunch of voxels and vectors) and then you copied another identical micro-shape in the cube space next to it. When you did that, the vectors from the previously pasted MV stretch out to connect to the voxels in the new one you pasted, and the resulting shape looks like a line. (Remember, the last shape pasted is dominant and everything else warps to it.)

    There is a convoluted process that force the end points of the string to align to the normal voxel borders. This technique creates “Antivoxel strings” and is Example 4 in the section below.
     
     
    Warping vs Non-Warping Shapes
     
    There’s a bunch of techniques designed to create objects that don’t warp neighboring shapes, but ultimately, there is only ONE way to avoid warping.
     
    That way is to ensure that the voxels in the shape you are pasting are aligned in such a way that they don’t cause the vectors of a neighboring voxel to move.
     
    That’s it. Just don’t make the vectors move and your shapes won’t warp.
     
    To make that seem simpler, here’s a few images. These images don’t show all the voxels. They show the shape instead and the normal “cube space” that the voxels for that shape live within.
     
    Ex 1: Micro/Anti voxel
    Regular “microvoxel” or “antivoxel”: This shape lives in the very center of its normal cube space. It will warp EVERYTHING IT TOUCHES because any neighboring voxel will extend its vectors out to reach the voxels in your micro-shape.
     
     
     
    Ex 2: Microvoxel strings
    Any “string” that is created by pasting two of these centered MVs together will still cause warpage everywhere it touches because the end points of that string are in the center of the cube spaces they represent.
     

     
    Ex 3: Any shape with a “normal border” flat edge
    This shape would not cause warpage *if* it is pasted onto something along its bottom side. (Example: If you pasted it onto a flat floor.)
    It would cause warpage if it was situated next to any shape above, or to the left/right of the shape, because those neighboring vectors would be forced to extend outward to connect.
     

     
    Ex 4: Antivoxel strings
    This is the shape that many people call an “AV string”. This is a useful shape because it still looks like a thin bar, but its ends are exactly at the “normal” cube space border and is in the center of the shape. Because it’s situated properly, any normal cube connected to either end of this string will not cause warpage of the block it’s touching.
     

     
    So What’s a MegaShape?

    Honestly, it’s just the exact opposite of a microvoxel or antivoxel. Players have been calling this a Megavoxel. (And again, for the purposes of this document, we’re going to start calling this a “Megashape” instead to avoid conflict with “voxel” conversations.)

    Instead of crushing the voxels in your shape down toward the center, you’re stretching them outside the normal cube space borders of your voxel instead. (In other words, you’re making all the neighboring air voxels smaller so that your current voxel can seem bigger.)

    That’s it.

    But the shapes are still useful because they create the appearance of behavior that you normally can’t achieve.

    So how on earth do you go about stretching the voxels of a shape outward? Answer: You don’t really. Instead, what you do is you crush in the voxels of a neighboring shape, thus dragging the voxels outward in the shape you want to enlarge. That’s why people create a megashape by pasting micro-shapes nearby. They are forcing the voxels to drag outward toward those micro-shapes.
     
     
    Warpage in General
     
    Isn’t it annoying that you can create a really cool shape, it looks totally awesome, but then it deforms the heck out of stuff when you paste it near anything?
     
    Well, the truth is…you’re just *seeing* the warpage for the first time when you paste it in next to the new shape. That same warpage was occurring originally also. You just couldn’t see it because when you made the shape, it was surrounded by air. Those nearby air shapes *did* warp, but you couldn't see them.
     
    Voxels always connect to other voxels via vectors. When one voxel gets dragged outward or inward, it tends to drag neighboring voxels along with it slightly to smooth out the “curve” of a voxel face as much as possible. And that’s just about it. But it’s happening on EVERY voxel all the time every time you smooth shapes or paste shapes or even when you remove shapes.
     
     
    Inlay Technique

    The last major building technique to cover here is the “Inlay Technique”. This is probably the coolest trick that any builder can learn, as it allows you to do a ton of curvalicious detail that's not possible to do otherwise.

    We won’t take the time to describe applications of this (there are many player tutorials), but here are some details of how the process works:

    Step 1: Select any-sized area of non-air shapes as long as that area is only one cube space thick.
    Step 2: Take any other area of any design and paste it once above your object from Step 1, and then once again below it.

    This forces the “sandwiched” object to realign its vectors and voxel positions to match the object that was pasted above and below.

    Why? Because the game is trying to preserve the data of the object that you are pasting. It’s NOT trying to preserve the shape you created in Step 1. Thus, the sandwiched object in Step 1 gets all its voxels realigned to match the object above and below and when you copy that slice out of the sandwich, you’ll see that it has been transformed accordingly.

    Make sense?
     
    Sources : Smokejumper, forums.daybreakgames.com
     
     
     
  14. Like
    Elildar reacted to Atmosph3rik in Any LANDMARK builders here ??   
    So this was a project i started in Landmark right at the end of Beta.  I was going to get back to it eventually after the last wipe but never got around to it.
     
    It was meant to be a sort of Scifi condo that would be part of a modern city in a hostile icy environment.  I know weirdly specific.
     
    https://imgur.com/a/bZobv
     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     
     
  15. Like
    Elildar reacted to Damian_Firecaster in Any LANDMARK builders here ??   
    Hello Alpha team
    I am Damian Firecaster legat of the Core worlds Coalition. I am a former Everquest LANDMARK builder,  Current Space engineer and second life resident. I wanted to see How many Alpha team members are also former LANDMARK voxel mancers (Master voxel builders). You guys are going to show JC/novaquark just what a voxel engine is capable of doing. Also we need to test this engine to see if we can do micro voxels and negative voxels. so sound off. gentlemen and Ladies. we know what our job is, we have been down this road before ( Everquest Landmark) stress test, find every bug in this game and get it fixed, as with landmark we will find Some bugs that we like and that can be turned in to features such as the a fore mentioned micro voxels and negative voxels. we might find others. but our job is to get this planet / game ready for the other colonist that are asleep on the Arkship. My job will be to explore this planet and find resources. I look forward to meeting you guys again, some of you I know from landmark. It will be great to get back to building in voxels like we did in landmark. but this time our creations will FLY !!!! If you see me in game please say hello, I enjoy meeting people. to all other Members of the Alpha team, if you need assistence with building tools or building I will help some. the Ships I will be building are the S.S. Ram (Luxury yacht/Mobile Home (unarmed)), CWC Wolverine (Science-Command ship (ARMED)), CWC Amazon (Runabout(armed)).
     
    Good luck to all of you.
    Damian Firecaster
    Core Worlds Coalition
  16. Like
    Elildar reacted to NQ-Nyzaltar in r0.10 and beyond: improvements not related to gameplay mechanics   
    Hi everyone,
     
    A few weeks ago, we’ve discussed about the major content coming in the r0.10 build planned for the month of May. If you haven’t read it yet, you can find the DevBlog article here on our website! 
     
    However, we want to give you a little more information about what’s coming beyond and not related to gameplay mechanics. For the r0.11, you can expect considerable voxel loading improvements on loading speed as well as on frame rate. The new character models you may have seen on the Social Media will also be implemented in the r0.11 with new basic - and more realistic - movement animations. 
     
    However, you won’t see the scanning animations we published in January 2017, at least not now, and not under this form. These animations were made at a time where we didn’t have a nearly final version of the 3D Character model. Moreover, the middleware we used at that time for UI isn’t the same that we are currently using now. For all these reasons, these animations and FX need a lot of reworking.
     
    We also plan to implement a setting parameter that will enable players to customize the maximum distance where the voxels are loaded, to let you find the best compromise between voxel display precision and playable frame rate, depending of your PC config specs. This will give opportunities to make “high definition” sceneries like the recent saturday screenshots we’ve released in the past few weeks. We can’t give you (yet) a clear ETA for this feature, but it’s definitely coming!
     
    Best Regards,
    The Novaquark team
     
  17. Like
    Elildar reacted to NQ-Nomad in Building Contest & AMA Event   
    Hi guys, 
     
    The Outpost Building Contest is over and now is the time to announce the winners!
    We had a hard time to pick the best contributions!
     
    1st place:
    Croomar's team (Objective DriveYards)
     

     
    2nd place:
    Tango_Lima (Gallia Gemina)
     

     
    3rd place:
    UnderHandAerial's team (Hyperion)
     

     
    Congratulations and thank you to all the contestants who entered the competition! 
    We'll release a video next week to showcase the work accomplished here and it's impressive! 
     
    Cheers, 
    Nomad
  18. Like
    Elildar reacted to NQ-Nyzaltar in [DevBlog Feedback] Our thoughts on Territory Protection Mechanics   
    Hi everyone! 
    Here are some answers to your questions and additional information to your feedback

    @FleetAdmiralCoke
    We are not sure to understand what you call "safe building zones to very small areas in very specific places". Moons having MSA will have thousands of territories each. Arkship Secure Areas will also contain thousands of safe territories. Those are not particularly "very small" areas. Planets will be huge, and safe areas, while limited, will be huge too.
     
    About choosing the location of a city outside the MSA and the ASA, it has never been confirmed that we will let players choose a place for a city, then make it officially invulnerable. The idea may have been mentioned somewhere, but it was just an idea and with this idea comes a lot of issues of game balance. The most obvious possible abuse is the following: 
     
    If we let players choose which location should become permanently safe, then you will have very big organizations, able to mobilize hundreds or even thousands of players installing invulnerable cities just next to their smaller opponents, giving endless possibilities of harassing theme easily. That would give an unfair advantage to big organizations. Abuses can be made by installing invulnerable cities on high value resources with no revert that once it has happened. Unless we find a reasonable way to prevent such issues, it's unlikely that the Secure Areas location could be decided by players.
     
    Now, all the explanations above are for MSA and ASA, for areas 100% safe with no exception.
    However, that won't prevent players to build heavily protected cities in Unsecure Areas. A city built in an Unsecure Area will still have a chance to be attacked and destroyed. We won't start to give details here of what could be reinforce defense for such cases (cities in Unsecure Areas) but it could be the topic of a new DevBlog in the future. The present DevBlog was released mainly to answer the recurrent questions of "Will Dual Universe be a complete Free For All game ?", the answer is "No, there will be room for very different player types, but it doesn't mean it will appeal to everyone either."

    @Lethys
    - If we were to use domes instead of bubbles, what would happen if an agressor starts to dig a tunnel under the dome?
    - About DPS saturation and the risk of player blobs, we will take that into consideration. For now, it's still too early to confirm how PvP Mechanics will work.
    - MSA can't be placed anywhere as those will be located on specific moons, decided by Novaquark.
     
    @Hades
    It's still too early to give details on the final mechanics for the Protection Bubble. As said to FleetAdmiralCoke, this Devblog was meant to address recurrent questions from newcomers. We won't give right now the details regarding the protection bubble.
     
    @AeonReign
    Well, for game balance reason, basic protection (protection bubble mechanics) should be affordable and not that expensive, otherwise playing in Unsecure Areas will be only viable for people that never disconnect from the game (and we don't want to encourage such behavior).
     
     
    @Takao
     
    Thanks for reporting the typos.
    1) In Arkship & Moon Secure Areas, you CAN'T claim an already claimed territory, for obvious reasons.
    2) If you install Forcefields in a certain manner, it may lead to a situation where you can prevent people to enter a territory.
    3) MSA won't be on every moon. There will be MSA only on moons decided by Novaquark.
    As said to Hades, we won't go into details for now.
     
    @PerksPlus
    Moons with MSA won't be next to planets with valuable resources.
    Or else, it would nullify the concept of "risk vs reward".
    Moons with MSA will be near planets with ASA, or with low valuable resources.
    That means that if some pirate want to ambush miners gathering valuable resources, he will need some time to go back to the safest area (and plenty of time to be intercepted). Moreover, we are considering also game mechanics that could discourage greatly the behavior "Go In/Go Out" from a Secure Area abusively, just to ambush people without taking any risk.
     
    @Shadow 
    @Ben Fargo
    We won't go into the details of the Protection Bubble mechanics yet.
    As said to Hades, this Devblog was meant to address recurrent questions from newcomers.
    There will be another Devblog later giving more details on that aspect, and it will most likely be when we will talk about PvP
     
    @Zamarus
    The difference between ASA and MSA:
    - ASA will get have basic, low-value material in the ground. Players who just want to build things without being bothered by PvP (and aren't interested to compete with other players in terms of construct optimization or combat) will be advised to stay in this type of safe area.
    - MSA are Safe Areas with no other perks than being a safe place. So yes, if you want to build in Sanctuary Areas, it will necessitate to bring resources from outside.
     
    @lethak
    @yamamushi
    @LittleJoe
    Of course, we have considered APIs.
    But as already said before, it means additional development time (far more than just an email alert) and we want to stay focus on the features promised during the Kickstarter first, for the official release. However, there is a high chance that the dev team plan something on this topic once the game will be launched (we prefer to take the proper time to develop one if we want to avoid issues)
     
    @mrjacobean
    @Kurock
    - There will be MSA only on moons decided by Novaquark, nowhere else.
    - If a moon has a MSA, it will cover the whole moon (unlike ASA, which will cover only a part of the planet where it's located).
    - No, "Sanctuary tile" can't be taken by military means, just like territories in an ASA.
    - Moons with a MSA will be always near a planet having an ASA (there might be reasons for that reccuring "coincidence") so only near no to low value resources, nowhere near high value resources.
    - Yes, We plan some means to gain ownership of a Sanctuary tile that is occupied by a owner inactive for a long time (and one of the current idea considered is that inactive user assets will be archived but not lost. The inactive user would just lose the ownership of the territory).
     
    @supermega
    Sending a notification to a Discord in case of agression has been added in the Feature Suggestion list and will be discussed with the developer team. However, depending of the feasibility and the amount of time to develop such a feature, it may or may not be implemented. If the idea is validated, it may also be implemented after the official release.  In any case, thanks for giving the idea!
     
    @Setzar
    the "Force Field" Unit doesn't create a "Safe Zone" (if we stick to our definition of Safe Zone in Dual Universe), it's indeed more like a barrier that prevents entry from unauthorized entity. 
     
    @CyberCrunch
    This is a bit too soon to talk advanced game mechanics regarding cities located in Unsecure Areas.
    Let's just say that the dev team is currently thinking of something that has similar points with what you suggested (not to the point to make permanent Safe Areas decided by the players though), but again, we will talk advanced mechanics in another DevBlog. This one was made to give only the basics
     
    @Fins_T
    We have several Ogame players among Novaquark staff so we know (and understand) what you're taking about
    We totally agree that needing to check regularly if you're attacked is tiring (even if there are fleetsaving strategies and the use of moons to temper that) and that's why Protection Bubble mechanics, with email alert/notification will be put in place: to inform you only when necessary without having to check constantly in-game if you're attacked or not, and giving you the opportunity to manage your real life without being permenanently worried of what's happening to your assets in-game.

    However, in terms of gameplay, combat mechanics will far more similar to EVE Online than Ogame: You can't just assume in advance what will be the strength of the defense, the number of player coming to defend a territory, etc. Moreover, one player can't have an overwhelming force built by himself alone. So, a combat result will be far less predictable than in Ogame. Player numbers, the involvement, and the skills of each of them are all factor that will impact victory or defeat, because no matter how much spaceships has... it can only use one at a time, and even a huge battleship with lots of weapon turret won't be used efficiently by a player alone.
     
    We don't plan to copy Ogame much in this regard, because in Dual Universe, you play a colonist, not a governor managing an empire with many planets and a whole fleet at your command from the start (unless you achieve the difficult goal of having many real players accepting your rulership to colonize planets and pilot the said fleet under your command, but even then, there will be natural limits of how much firepower you will be able to bring to take down opponent bases).
     
    Best Regards,
    Nyzaltar.
     
  19. Like
    Elildar reacted to CyberCrunch in [DevBlog Feedback] Our thoughts on Territory Protection Mechanics   
    That DevBlog is a great expansion to the existing save-zone system. I was never really happy with the Arkship-only-system.
     
    Considering the recent posts, I’d like to add that safe zones should ALLWAYS be rare…. Otherwise it would just take away the need to cooperate with others! It should be up to the players to build yourself a safe place, and NQ shouldn’t spoil us too much with safe zones.
     
    But besides that those MSAs will really be a crucial incentive to spread the playerbase outwards to other planets.
    They could act as seed for a civilization center around them; however there is also the potential that they will just be used as a resource-bank by rich players, who are able to just buy a territory there with DACs. It seems to me that NQ already considers this by providing special Sanctuary Territory Units. The information in the DevBlog is extremely vague. But based the topic of the post (“home sweet home”) my theory is that every player will be allowed to claim 1 Sanctuary Territory for free (or very cheap). Thereby preventing that multiple sanctuaries are occupied by a single player, which would e.g. give him a total monopoly on a certain moon.
    However with potentially millions of players I think not everyone should be able to find one! I hope MSA territories will still be extremely rare, like <10 territories per moon, so it’s more of an org-effort to get one. To spread the rare MSA zones more equally, and make them more rewarding for dedicated players they should also be hidden. It should require at least 1 week of dedicated scanning of the moon to discover one MSA territory.
    To me this sort of territory-hunting would sound like a very engaging endgame activity.
     
     
    Regarding organization territory I can actually agree with coke about the problems with building up large city areas. This made me thinking if we actually have a good system to promote these kind of projects:
     
    And to my understanding the protection bubble (force field) system would only work well on smaller scale, like for protecting a couple of important constructs inside one territory. But for a large city area, or even half a continent, using hundreds of little individual protection bubbles would simply not make for good gameplay in my opinion!
     
     
    Therefore I'd like to propose a system where large orgs can basically create their own safe zone:
     The idea is to reward people cooperative efforts by essentially upgrading normal territories to semi sanctuary level, once enough conjuncted territories are claimed in an area.
    Even if a war with another org is going on the buildings inside this upgraded territories cannot be destroyed so no force fields are required, however the territory can still lose its sanctuary status, if the org loses its claim on the surrounding territories.  This would even make large scale wars more interesting, as they would have a real frontline at the border, while the center of large cities still remain relatively safe. Battles would be drawn out around the fortified border territories, and not around where in the orgs territory someone has triggered another 48 hour bubble.
     
    Ok, having that many 100% no-PVP safe zones may be a bit drastic, so there should probably be a variety of gradations of “safer” zones without ever fully disabling PVP:
    - When a territory is fully enclosed by other territories it should gain tier 1 save-zone status, which would create an overall 150% defender bonus, and immediately flag any PVP going on in this area.
    - A territory enclosed by 2 layers of territories should gain tier 2 save-zone status, which would be almost sanctuary level of protection. However it should always allow limited AvA combat, so assassins and thieves could still operate in a huge city. But it will obviously be very hard to actually snipe a player there. Similar to EVEs system in high-sec, where you can still attack someone if you really want to.
     
    Here's a little reference to visualize how the border of a large organization territory would look with the different safety layers:

     
    This system would force players to work together even more, and make it very difficult to maintain a small org with just 1 claimed territory. It may annoy some people that they can’t achieve that much with their small org of friends, but I’m sure it would be very beneficial for the overall atmosphere of the game. Small orgs can still be a legit playstyle if they move to some very remote area, and find a MSA territory. This should basically be like winning the lottery for solo-players/explorers.
    The goal for the safe-zone system should be to avert any possible Pay2Win mechanics, while actually rewarding cooperative efforts of players/organizations.
    I think my idea would fit very well to the already existing territory protection mechanics. It’s obviously hard to balance all this, and player generated safe zones should really have other drawbacks (which I didn’t come up with jet), so they are not totally op… But I definitely think NQs current 100% safe, or 0% safe approach is way too simplified to properly facilitate all the political dynamics that should be going on in the game.
     
    PS: sorry for the wall of text, it started out much shorter when I first started formulating the idea. :|
  20. Like
    Elildar reacted to SirJohn85 in [DevBlog Feedback] Our thoughts on Territory Protection Mechanics   
    Very good dev blog! There were a few things presented and put right.
     
    I do not need a "real" creative mode ...
    but a holographic blueprint mode? I'm in  for that.
  21. Like
    Elildar reacted to Mafoon in [DevBlog Feedback] Our thoughts on Territory Protection Mechanics   
    That actually sounds very cool, if the protection costs resource to run, you get notified how much you have stored when invading forces trigger it and how long that will last. If you can get more there you can just keeping topping it up. This could make for some really interesting game play with groups performing sieges to 'starve' out the protection of large bases while the owners try to war with the blockading forces to end the siege or line break vital resource through to hold out longer. 
     
    If it worked this way it should be prevented from just switching it on and off to maximise it's run time. It should have a cool down period proportional to how long it was on. 
  22. Like
    Elildar reacted to yamamushi in [DevBlog Feedback] Our thoughts on Territory Protection Mechanics   
    - Particle Deflector Grid
  23. Like
    Elildar reacted to NQ-Nomad in Happy Holidays!   
    Hi guys, 
     
    A quick post to thank you all for your involvement in the community and to wish you Happy Holidays! 
    We had an amazing year and you help us shaping Dual Universe every day. You give us the strength and motivation to work hard to make this game a reality. The team is kind of exhausted right now, though ^^.
     
    Like last year, it's time for us to take some vacation. We'll have some rest and will spend some time with our families and friends. 
    We'll probably be less active on the forum and social media during that time, so thank you for your understanding. 
     
    But don't worry, we'll be back in the beginning of January to continue what we started: developing the game of our dreams. Thank you for sharing that with us and Happy Holidays again! 
     
    Cheers, 
    The Novaquark Team
  24. Like
    Elildar reacted to NQ-Nomad in New Novaquark logo   
    Hi guys, 
     
    Behoooooooold, the new Novaquark logo! Theatrical announcement aside, we hope you'll like it. 
     

     
    Thanks to you and our partners the company's growing and hiring. We felt we needed to reflect that with our logo. 
    We're more dedicated than ever to make Dual Universe a reality and we thank you for helping us shape this game every day. 
     
    The new www.dualthegame.com website is coming tomorrow and we hope you'll like it too!
     
    Cheers, 
    Nomad
  25. Like
    Elildar reacted to KurockNotabi in DU Discover DU   
    Who are the Dual Universe Wayfarers?
    A group of explorers that share a passion for discovering what secrets Dual Universe has to offer.  This stretches from discovering new planets in the farthest reaches of the galaxy to diving through the deepest seas. If there is something to discover, we will find it.
     
    For the Individual:
    Currently there is a space program with one of our sponsor organisations that will provide ships during alpha and beta for the avid explorer. Don't like building ships but want to go to another planet? Come be part of an exploratory crew.
    Don't want to leave Alioth?  Do you prefer discovering the secrets of the planet chosen as the destination for the Novark? We have a place for you too.
     
    Membership in this organisation won't have any impact on your other organizations. You can be member of multiple groups and leave this one anytime, as you wish.
     
    But I don't want to join!
    In the future, DU wayfarers will support those that don't want to join any organizations by giving those lone wolves access to job boards. You DU you.
     
    For Organisations:
    DU Wayfarers is a neutral organisation, accepting sponsorship's by other organisations.  A great test-bed for more experimental craft.  Information gathered in exploration missions will be shared with the sponsor. Also organisations will be able add their jobs to DU Wayfarers job boards.
     
    Sending a representative early is best.
     
     
    Dual Universe Wayfarers

    Chat on Discord: https://discord.gg/mRzveVU
    Community Site: https://community.dualthegame.com/organization/dual-universe-wayfarers
     
    Instead of counting quanta, we'll be finding stars.
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