View Full Version : Game-art related Questions about things to do/not do

11 November 2004, 04:31 PM
ok, so i recently I as highpoly modeler became more and more interested in game-art,
for some reason that's beyond me I really love the look & feel of modernday game-art but PRE-normalmapping.
I don't know it's hard to explain.

but for that very reason I have ventured into the game-art realm purely for selfpleasure, not to obtain a position in it,
for I am perfectly happy with my Archviz Job.

Which brings me to my point.
I have no experience with game-art and there are quite a few things that bug me restrictions wise,
or more preciselly I don't know what those restrictions are.

I mean hair for one is mindbogling, don't know what a good way is to tackle that so that it looks good from all sides. in this case I'm talking about short hair, long hair is probably a lot easier.

and what about doublesided materials.
In this case I'm talking about clothing that hangs freely about the character at parts [think of a jacket that hangs over the croch area

another point related to that is how one goes about modeling that, I mean I know how to model, don't worry, but is it custom practise to have the upper body and lower buddy as seperate mesh or does one weld the verts where the jacket splits of to overlapping and the start of the pants for instance together ?

and what about holes ? Does one close the holes where the eyeballs are or does one leave it open ?

well, quite enough for now if there are any GOOD tutorials about things like this i'd like to hear about them, specially hair because I have NO idea how i would do that [other then trial and error]

oh and eyeballs, geosphere or normal sphere and what is the general number of polies in them

all this offcourse loosely based on todays restrictions :)

To close it of an example of one of my earliest acceptable tries at game-art and painting textures for it :)

1016 faces not even sure how that ranks for a head + hair
if you like you can comment, if not any answer to above questions is highly appreciated

ps. I feel like a newbie all over again LOL

members only hunter
11 November 2004, 05:23 AM
don't worry so much-

much of what you were asking about reguarding the eyes and material is addressed in which game you are modeling for. to which some games require seperate tops and bottoms some don't, some wont let you use non capped objects but most will. as for differing techniques they are like butt holes- everyones got one and they all stink(hey i kidd). they also depend on what you are going to do- for instance i didn't use to model the eyes as a sperate part until i was asked to have them articulte. that is when i started to have all of my models with fully moving eyeballs. accept that is a miss-statement i use gspheres with the non visable polys deleted. hair is another matter. as it turns out long hair is harder to do than short hair because- well there is more of it. the thing to remember about hair is to use opacity maps. most of your modern day engines will easily use the maps and it does wonders.

if you like my advise i can think up more information about your other questions but for right now i'll shut up.

oh and by ther way what you did show is pretty good- i really like the texture , it really has character. but i would loo at the bottom of the neck it doesn't look right...


11 November 2004, 07:03 AM
Yah, dont worry. Game work is so slack... You just gotta stay below the polycount, appropriate texture size, and make it look good :)

11 November 2004, 11:07 AM
MoH, if you're willing to talk, I'm more then willing to listen.

The info you've provided is allreayd of much help, and I'm always eager to hear more.

11 November 2004, 07:00 PM
As far as your other questions regarding game modelling...

You close holes if you're doing stencil shadows. Otherwise, 9 times out of 10, it isn't needed. Check with your game team or engine documentation to find out, or load up the model and test it. If this is just a "look what I can do" portfolio piece, then make your own shit up.

Doublesided materials ALWAYS require a doublesided object. It's possible to get your game to draw a character doublesided, but it means that they'll draw every poly with two sides (which blows your count all to hell) and they'll most likely be changing render states to do it, which is slow as hell. So don't do it.

Short hair, you model it and then texture it. Long hair, you model it and model the long parts with hanging planes (segmented if animated) that get textured with an alpha channel for opacity.

11 November 2004, 08:50 PM
ghostscape, sounds clear enough, but to be sure, what you're saying is that if something would need a twosided material then it's better to actually MODEL it 2 sided so that it doesn't have to calculate all other faces that DON'T have to be two sided.

in case of my example, one would model the inside of the jacket that is hanging over.

it is indeed a 'see what I can do' sorta thing, but that remark makes me feel all dirty, it's more of an exploration of my own abillities rather then showing off to my peers.

11 November 2004, 04:29 PM
Yes, model the backfaces only where you need them.

Might help to take a look at the sticky near the top.
Sticky: Games modeling...
Lots of info in there, although maybe not that easy to weed through it all.

I'm working on making available some articles that were written specifically for game artists, they outline many of the technical issues about making performance-friendly art. They're the articles I mentioned at the top of the 2nd page. I'll post a link when they're up.

Equinoxx, you might try creating a character model for an existing game. That might help you address some of the technical issues game artists face.

Another thread with some good info in it.
Polygon or triangle count?

Also, I've found it's generally better to use a Longitudinal-sphere than a Geosphere, since the L-sphere has a more regular topology that may work better with tri-strips, depending on the game engine. But then again, the eyes are so small that it probably doesn't matter.

11 November 2004, 11:24 PM
thx for the info Eric, I did read that games modeling thread, but as far as I could see it went really into detail about triangualtion theory and less about common practise of modeling [not saying triangulation isn't an important issue tho] the things i'm looking for in general are just about common practise, like are eyeholes generally left open, how does one handle flat surfaces that need to show 2 sides, you know, general info of good practise for modeling and less engine specific(some of those are now answered tho) since in this case i'm not really modeling with a specific engine in mind altho as you suggested that might not be a bad idea.

will look more in those threads and read between the lines.

trying to get a general idea of game-art and it's issues, limitations and workarounds

and ofcourse what makes something click with the viewer, but that's more of a general art related question LOL



11 November 2004, 02:13 PM
Yeah, I can understand that, it's more the technical end. Although there is some good modeling info about t-junctions and welding vs. not welding.

If you're not interested in the new normal mapping workflow, but rather the lighting-in-your-textures approach, then I think it would be a good idea to examine the textures in games like Quake III. It used .pak files to store the textures, easy to open in any .zip unpacker. There's a lot of good painting and modeling in there, albeit pretty low-res by today's standards. Nonetheless it is quality work, and definitely has hooks that click with the viewer. The models can be imported into 3ds max using free importers, though I'm not sure if they've been re-compiled to work with anything above max4/5.

Good luck with it, I'd like to see what you come up with if you're willing to share.

11 November 2004, 04:16 PM
although normal mapping might be in your best intrest if you are a high poly modeller

not enough normal mapped characters on here ;p

11 November 2004, 05:00 PM
yeah tell me about it, tho I suppose coming from a highpoly background normalmapping should not be to much of a problem. It's just that I want to cover the basics 1st go to the root before shooting for the starts if you know what I mean.

that's probably why we hate a large percentage of the newbie art, they try to shoot for the stars without understanding the fundamentals.

and ofcourse I'm willing to share, that's why I'm on a forum right ? to share knowledge and to learn from eachother [in this case me learning from you rather then the other way around ;)]

11 November 2004, 06:15 PM
Equinoxx have you watched all my low poly tutorials? I talk about alot of low poly modeling theory in them (audio) and go from start to finish on a character. Actually, I recomend all of my tutorials 8-) ( tutorials section.

11 November 2004, 06:56 PM
Actually, I downloaded them last weekend, haven't had time to really look at them but skimming thru them they really looked interesting, so i will definitely be watching them soon.

11 November 2004, 02:29 AM
Hi you guys !

I have the same questions that you have asked Equinoxx, and to many more !
Well, in fact my problem is that I still donīt know which my questions are at all.

Today I finished the modelling and texturing of my first character. Now I have to start with the rigging part.

PIMM, now I found out that one of the tutorials I was using is yours. Thank you man !

All info here is very very usefull. Thank you all,

11 November 2004, 11:15 AM
HEY,MAN,hope this site may help u a lot!

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