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Zerafian
11-13-2006, 05:04 PM
Here are a hand full of weapons I did for an up coming mmo. All models done in maya, high res in Zbrush, and textured in photoshop. The weapons range from 80 tris to 400 tris, mainly axes in the 400 poly range. They all have a color(diffuse), normal, and spec map. I choose to post this large image so that you can actually see the detail I put into these.I figured a 1000x1000 image would not do them justice. Of course any comments and critiques are welcome, there is much more to be done. Thanks

http://zerafian.com/frontpageINFO/Allweapons.jpg

JesseMoody
11-13-2006, 05:30 PM
Cool weapons. Not sure if normal maps are really needed though. If they are for an mmo then I would imagine you can't get incredibly close to your character and having details from the normal maps may not be needed. I think they could be painted into the diffuse and give the same effect.

Normal maps can be very taxing on a game engine at times and in an mmo when you have 100 or more people on screen this can really slow things down.

Just something to think about.

Look good though.

Zerafian
11-13-2006, 05:41 PM
jesse: Seeing as how u can get to first person view it can justified. We all know a % of mmo coolness is being able to scope out your gear and stay entertained right ?! From my knowledge though most new mmos in production are using normal maps if Iam correct.Thanks

almaris
11-13-2006, 05:57 PM
Not sure if normal maps are really needed though. If they are for an mmo then I would imagine you can't get incredibly close to your character and having details from the normal maps may not be needed. I think they could be painted into the diffuse and give the same effect.

Normal maps can be very taxing on a game engine at times and in an mmo when you have 100 or more people on screen this can really slow things down.


Something that you need to understand is that there is a delicate balance between video memory usage and triangles per second on the screen. NormalMaps achieve a level of detail that previously was unattainable in a real-time scenario. In fact, they seem to have passed you by, as they are now the de-facto standard in the game developer industry. You do not have to be "incredibly close" to notice the details of geometry deformation that normalmaps provide. If you don't believe me, look at oblivion. EVERY object in oblivion is normalmapped. Try playing the oldblivion mod to see what the difference would be without normalmaps, and then you can render an opinion on the usage of normalmaps in games. Until then, you probably should not give critique someone's work on a method you know little about.

Dupikus
11-13-2006, 06:03 PM
wow, nice stuff :) I really like most of this weapons but i think some of these axes and swords can be better anyway good job!

thrawn83
11-13-2006, 06:12 PM
Very cool. I am really amazed and impressed by the sheer amount and quality of your weapons. I saved this compilation in my reference folder for inspiration.
The normalmaps are working pretty good. Simply make normalmapping optional in the game.

Zerafian
11-13-2006, 10:14 PM
Hey guys I just wanna let you know that I have no control over what is going to be implamented into the game. I just do what they want me to do. I really only have control of the artistry. Thanks again for the comments. Though all the normal map things you all brought up have been addressed in the past for sure :)

JesseMoody
11-13-2006, 10:54 PM
Something that you need to understand is that there is a delicate balance between video memory usage and triangles per second on the screen. NormalMaps achieve a level of detail that previously was unattainable in a real-time scenario. In fact, they seem to have passed you by, as they are now the de-facto standard in the game developer industry. You do not have to be "incredibly close" to notice the details of geometry deformation that normalmaps provide. If you don't believe me, look at oblivion. EVERY object in oblivion is normalmapped. Try playing the oldblivion mod to see what the difference would be without normalmaps, and then you can render an opinion on the usage of normalmaps in games. Until then, you probably should not give critique someone's work on a method you know little about.

A method I know little about? Guy what are you talking about? I didn't say get rid of them or that they don't bring anything to the model. As for being the de-facto standard. Yeah everything has normal maps on it now, but that doesn't make it all look good. I've played Oblivion and it looks great. I've played WOW and that looks good. A little dated now but it is Warcrafts style. I think you should really try to understand what someone is saying before you jump all over them considering you are a new guy to the forums.

Anyways I'm not here to justify what I know and what I don't it was just an opinion. As for me I don't play MMOs I feel they are a giant waste of time and money. I have seen way too many friends sit on WOW for hours on end, but I can understand where you are coming from when you zoom in on your character and check him out and his gear. That makes sense to me. And yes a lot of new MMOs are using normal maps and similiar techniques because they are using the Unreal 3 engine or another newer based engine.

Anyways the weapons are bad ass man. What size textures did you use?

Faust_Dagon
11-14-2006, 03:27 AM
nice :)

I wouldn't bother with normal maps personaly, just my opinion.

Zerafian
11-14-2006, 04:42 AM
I appreciate all the comments very much, its been a while since I last posted so I feel renewed getting comments. To let yall know, all the shadow detail in any of these weapons was achieved by the normal map. I have tested the results visually of the weapons with and with out....the results are drastic, especially when the weapon is in motion. IMO it would be like saying oblivion doesnt need their bump maps on their weapons or WoW doesnt need their spec maps on their weapons 0_0. But none the less that is just my opinion :/

Faust_Dagon
11-14-2006, 04:47 AM
really just depends on style, and game i think :)

you can always use your normal map greyscaled used as an overlay, to add shading to a diffuse, not saying to do it, just throwing it out there :)

Zerafian
11-14-2006, 04:39 PM
Faust: Fair enough...I have done that before...but dang it.....they just look so pretty with the normal maps on them :)

kyuketsuki
11-15-2006, 01:48 PM
I am still a bit confused about something concerning normal maps. I understand that I can get a viewer or see the normal maps in an engine but my question is.....

I also use ZBrush, Maya and Photoshop. If I generate a normal map in Maya and apply it, it's put in as a bump map. So that being said, how did you render it so that the normal maps were used, not as a mere bump? I understand the generation and application of normal maps, I just don't see how to show that off in a render using only Maya or ZBrush?

Thanks

thrawn83
11-15-2006, 02:48 PM
I dare to answer if you don't mind, because I ran into a similar problem when I was working on my reel...
My search in the CGTalk maya Forums gave me this:
JS_Normalmapper shader by Jan Sandström.
http://www.pixero.com/files/JS_Normalmapper1.2.2.zip
it works like a charm, although you might need to invert the z-value...

You should find an explicit tutorial on how to use and install it in the Maya forums.
good luck.

Zerafian
11-15-2006, 03:25 PM
kyuketsuki and thrawn83: Honestly when it came to "rendering" these images, all I did was take was screenshots of them in mayas workspace. I have always had problems rendering normal maps with maya .I would suggest doing a hardware render instead or playblast other then a software render. Everytime I did attempt it the normal map came out very dull and faded. I have yet to do research into how to render a bump map with mental ray or software render in maya.

Kyuketsuki: You dont actually wanna put the normal map into the bump. What ya wanna do is open the hypershade, put your normap into a file node. Then middle mouse click and drag the file node onto your blinn or whatnot you will find options, select the last one (other). It will then open the connection editor of the shader. you should see an input column and output column. You wanna find out color in the output (click it) and find the out normals (click it) in the input. Oh yea and make sure you turn on high quality rendering.

kyuketsuki
11-16-2006, 11:59 AM
Sweet Zerafian, thank you, I could not find this informaiton on CGTalk (I'm sure it's here) nor in the Maya documentation (MD). I am going to try this today while my students are working on their finals. :) When you read in the MD it just references transfering UV to create the 'normal map' which it promptly puts into the bump channel of the lower rez object. Just to make sure I am doing this correctly, do you generate your normal maps in Maya with the transfer normals function?

Thanks Again

Zerafian
11-16-2006, 02:54 PM
Sounds like your using maya 6, and I correct? I see you mentioned transfer normals option. I havent used that in a long time, but yea thats what I use to use. In maya 7 they have a new option called surface sampler...its abotu 5 or 10 times better then the transfer normals function. But none the less thats right.

MrEric
11-16-2006, 04:38 PM
Some great design here. Models look good. Color map on the hammer need to be tweek a little.

kyuketsuki
11-17-2006, 02:05 PM
Zerafian, thanks for all of the information, but I am still having some issues if you don't mind. They changed the Surface Sampler to a Transfer Maps function in Maya 8. I can get the normal map to output. I am connecting the file node to the Phong via Color Out > Normal Camera. Is this what you were talking about? It seems to be applying but not giving any results. I am using a high quality render in the Maya window (not an actual render render, (I am so technical :) Anyway, I was just hoping there was something I was missing.

Thanks for all of the help.

Zerafian
11-17-2006, 03:24 PM
Only think I can think is to make sure u hit 6 on your key board to show the normal map. I wish I had maya 8 now...I only have 7 at the moment. Youv done everything right from what iam reading.

kyuketsuki
11-17-2006, 08:52 PM
I have the normal map applied and showing in the viewport. Now.....the thing I still don't see is why this is any way superior to bump mapping (I know that it is, but why?)? I can't see any advantage just comparing them in the viewport or in a render.

Thanks for the help.

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