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thedigitalmonkey
07-16-2005, 01:37 AM
Hey guys-

There's some excellent game work here. I've developed 2D games in the past and am working on one now, but pre-rendered graphics, i haven't ventured into real time 3D yet.

I am almost completely ignorant on the topic.

I started modeling a character and environment and have some very basic questions:

1. Just how much lighting does a game character recieve in a typical situation? I realize every engine is different, but what is the norm for say current generation console titles? What i mean is...clearly, with low poly models, most of the details are painted on the texture, and this usually includes light information. Meaning- the illusion of depth through shading and and shadow in the texture.

When you are doing this do you just assume that the model will be lit by a strong ambient light? Is that how most game engines really work? Or is there some degree of shading applied by directional type lights in the game? If so, how do you compensate for it?

2. Do almost all game engines support/all current game characters include spec maps? How common is bump mapping on characters? How expensive is it? (Processor wise?)

3. Really dumb but- when an engine claims say, that a 3,000 poly character limit is in place for a given platform- this means 3000 tries, not quads right?

4. For environments, is almost all lighting information "baked" into the textures?

5. Does anyone know where to find actual wires from game characters? I'm curious about more stylized games- like the polycounts in say, Jak and Dexter.

Thanks ahead of time everyone!

ArYeS
07-16-2005, 01:55 AM
Hy thedigitalmonkey

Here are my answers:
1. Ok, lets start shadows in real-time engines really made great improvements over past year. Now shadows are really complex (Doom3 and source engine), but you should paint basic bump shadows into textures, because engines are still not so complex like raytracking method.
2. Most of current game engines support specuar maps. I think that these times all pro games use speculars. Bump maps.... are still supported, but todays trend are normal maps. Doom3 still use bump maps, i think Source and FarCry use normal maps.
How expensive? For new graphic cards and CPUs there no problems, but i on my GFFX 5200 and 1333mhz Athlon I just cant run games with normal maps.
3. Game engines use triangles for rendering all geometry in world. So that means 3000 tris. Really not dump question, not for a beginner.
4. That really depends on engine. Older games still use baking, but most of newer games use real-time calculated shadows on environments.
5. You are on right forum, look at some wip threads, you can find all from wires of grass to wires of borg ships :)

thedigitalmonkey
07-16-2005, 02:50 AM
Hy thedigitalmonkey
Here are my answers:
1. Ok, lets start shadows in real-time engines really made great improvements over past year. Now shadows are really complex (Doom3 and source engine), but you should paint basic bump shadows into textures, because engines are still not so complex like raytracking method.

Thank you so much for your fast reply!

This is the only part im still a little confused on. To put it really simply, (sorry if i should know this already) to get the best idea of how it will look in game while i paint my textures, should i be using the standard maya default (i assume max is the same) viewport light? Meaning while i look at it in the editor unrendered, where it's being lit by a spot aimed from the camera? Or should i put an ambient light at 80% or something and use that?

I know theres no self shadowing going and but not sure how much shading to put into a model. I see variations in peoples work here.

Thanks again for your time! Hope to post my WIP tonight!

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