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View Full Version : how do pros do textures - next gen games


Rockviech
08-23-2005, 09:55 PM
Hi guys

im totally new to 3d stuff, texturing and all that stuff
so im asking myself how do artists do the textures for the next gen games?
photo textures or drawing ?

http://playstation3.gaming-universe.de/screengalerie/20.jpg

when i look at this or at games like ut2007 or gears of war i cant belive it how to do textures that look that awsome

are this really textures or shaders?

it would be great if someone can show me such texture maps or tell me something about it

Keiyentai
08-24-2005, 02:19 AM
There Hi-Res textures placed on Normal Mapped chars. The base chars for UT2007/Gears of War is between 7000-13,000 polys with normal maps as high as 4million polys. So the level of detail is just insane. Have you seen the E3 reel for the Unreal III engine? It explains some of the detail of the normal mapped chars. THe dragon they show is amazing. Hope this helps.

ArchangelTalon
08-24-2005, 03:19 AM
The picture you've linked there, the Killzone 2 one, is pre-rendered, not in-game ;)

As far as I know, the textures are, while not neccecarily harder, somewhat different to create, as you don't have as much baked-in lighting due to it all being done real-time. Therefore it's just flat colour with all the other various shaders (normal, spec, gloss, parallax, etc... I think UE3 even has a cheap SSS shader) to bring it to life. So while the individual components are less complex, there's more of them and you have to be aware of what each will do to the final product.

But that's only as far as I know, I've not dabbled in it myself yet, just been having a look around things :)

Augh
08-24-2005, 04:01 AM
Daaaamn. What game is that/is that gonna be? The pointing dude is just awesome :love:Seems to be a near standard bob type chara too o_O Jeez.

While I have no idea whatsoever about next gen stuff, that shot seems to really be benefitting from lighting/shading effects and probably a bunch of specularity, normal etc maps. While this all probably seems v obvious the thing about stuff like bump/normal and reflectivity specularity etc maps is the ludicrous effect they can have on a simple colour map, even if the map and/or model are really high quality. From what I've been able to tell so far, the best textures are based on "proper painting" with skilful use of real pictures to add multiply effects such as grime and random discolouration, wear and tear etc, with the use of extra maps like spec, bump, normal, gloss giving the "nearly real" icing on the cake.

For current texture stuff I usually point people at Bobo the Seal, that dude really knows what he's doing.

Cheers!

Bazooka Tooth
08-24-2005, 04:14 AM
Here is how you do it:

Open Photoshop --> ? --> Profit

Hazardous
08-24-2005, 06:05 AM
ArchangelTalon: While it is pre-rendered, its not in the sense that most people think. It is scripted ingame footage running at about 4 - 5 frames per second on an alpha PS3 dev kit.

Of course thats not fast enough to show, so it was pre-rendered frame by frame.

So the point is - it can run real time. Just at this point in time, its very slow - something that will be worked out in the coming months / years.

As for the question, Its becoming a balancing act with the right choice of texture maps and shaders. SSS & HDRI shaders are adding a whole new light on how environments and creature skins and things of a nature that can absorb light and disperse it like, plants, skins, hairs, plastics etc etc.

For characters, Diffuse texture maps are common place broken up into 'Skin' sheets and 'Material' sheets - even the material sheets are being broken up into, Cloths / Metals / Plastics etc. So essentially you have characters that have been unwrapped with certain surface types unwrapped to a single sheet - this is to allow easy processing of shaders on a common surface. Like applying SSS to all of the skin. Or applying some Metal shader to all of the metals on a character.

Essentially this means the lighting could effect each of the models materials in a different way = Really nice.

Specular maps, Reflection Maps, Emmisive Maps, Normal Maps , Bump maps all still used. Ones to look out for that may be useful in the future:

Silhouette Mapping: Gets rid of the jaggy low poly look around the tell-tail silhouette of a low polygon model that has been normal mapped, so in effect - you no longer have any jaggies at all. - a perfect replica of the high polygon model at a fraction of the polygons.

VDM ( Virtual Displacement Mapping ): Creates an illusion of detail without it being there ( more or less ) For example: Unlike a Normal mapped brick wall which still looks flat if you can look at a plane from close to side on, VDM would 'project' the bricks out from the mesh, giving you an actual bumpy brick wall, even from side on, while still only using 2 triangles.
This creates some texture smearing along the edges of the projected parts however, still useful for many aplications though.

Saliency Mapping: Looks a bit like topographical map, with blues detailing cool spots through to green , yellows and red detailing hotspots on a model. Thes maps would be able to help decimation facilities help deconstruct the mesh while retaining polygons in certain areas to keep the animation behaviour from going to hell when decimation algorithms break your lovely well-deforming mesh into a heap of boxes with no polygonal flow or topology.
Basically its a big help for LOD modelling and will have a good impact on games like Rome Total War, where thousands of LOD characters are on screen.

There is plenty more, some research into next gen games will pull out alot of things. The key thing to remember is that the artists that are working on the stuff you see from e3 etc, have already been playing with this stuff for 12 - 18 months now. Its not 'new'. So imagine what they are up to now :)

I hope that helps a little.

Rockviech
08-24-2005, 10:56 AM
thank you guys very much

Headless
08-24-2005, 02:12 PM
Hazardous: Checked out you're company's website. You've got some great work on there.

About silhouette mapping: I'd considered this idea before, but wondered how it would work exactly because as I see it you either have to take away from the solhouette or add to it to ger rid of jagged edges. Since adding to it would mean adding actual colours that match the adjacent geometry, which raises all kinds of issues when it comes to lighting, so I guess the best way to do it is to clip any jagged edges away. Thing is, the way I see it that would also produce kind of a weird effect once you start moving around the model as detail would appear within the silhouette that may not have been accerately represented at the edge of the silhouette. Sorry if i'm not explaining this very well but it's kind of tough to put into words. I may be misunderstanding the process.

I guess my question is how does it work exactly so that you don't get a "weird effect" around the edge of your character?

Hazardous
08-24-2005, 04:27 PM
Headless: Thanks for checking it out - the work you see on the website is about 6 months old, weve been working on really high spec stuff for some 18 months now and unfortunately the only high res stuff weve been able to release is what you see there. :sad:

Silhouette Mapping is really only in the testing stages - For the tech minded:

http://research.microsoft.com/~hoppe/silmap_tr_text.pdf

And for the less tech minded:

http://people.deas.harvard.edu/~xgu/paper/Silhouette_Map/silhouette_intro.html

The bottom link will give you some idea of what they are trying to achieve - and the top is moe or less some theories on how to actually go about it.

Wont be too long before they figure it out!

ArchangelTalon
08-24-2005, 09:31 PM
ArchangelTalon: While it is pre-rendered, its not in the sense that most people think. It is scripted ingame footage running at about 4 - 5 frames per second on an alpha PS3 dev kit.

Of course thats not fast enough to show, so it was pre-rendered frame by frame.

So the point is - it can run real time. Just at this point in time, its very slow - something that will be worked out in the coming months / years.
Ah, I was sure it was just an animation to show off what they wanted (and could realistically get, but not at that time) the game to look/play like.

headengine
08-25-2005, 03:48 PM
ArchangelTalon: While it is pre-rendered, its not in the sense that most people think. It is scripted ingame footage running at about 4 - 5 frames per second on an alpha PS3 dev kit.

Of course thats not fast enough to show, so it was pre-rendered frame by frame.

It is in fact pre-rendered, entirely (Killzone, anyway). One of my team saw it being made ;) And there wasn't a PS3 dev kit in sight... cracking stuff though nonetheless!

Thanks for some of the links and info Hazardous - very useful!!

Hazardous
08-26-2005, 09:24 AM
headengine: The info I recieved regarding the intro about it comes from an extremely reliable source, though I think all oppinions will be conflicting and there will be much speculation, smoke and mirrors until the reckoning day, All il add is im loving it - artwork in games is finally arriving at a point I used to imagine way back when playing Hunchback on C-64.

Thanks for taking a look - theres definately alot of interesting things on offer, and some really crazy stuff in development. The majority of the force in next generation is a focus on tools development. And there is some amazing things in the works for helping us artists make the most of our end results.

If anyone wants more information or interested in general chit chat about next gen stuff feel free to drop me a message :) Happy to shed some light on anything that we do know about or have worked with in the past and perhaps on whats coming up!

vrapp
08-26-2005, 09:59 AM
Hazardous: Always nice to see some more industry folks over here at the game art forum, I hope you'll like it here. :)

Intresting points already made in this thread that I think can't be stressed enough is the research and techniques that will make a large impact on the look and feel of next-gen games. This of course alters the way we look upon game art and the methods we use when creating assets for future games.

Keiyentai
08-27-2005, 08:07 AM
Welcome to the board Hazardous. Good info too :)

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