08 August 2005, 01:38 PM
Most of those questions would be answered based on the game engine and its requirements. In regards to Lightwave or any other 3D application making game characters isnt that much of a (this app specific) unless your dealing with custom animation files.
To get some info on creating game characters along with controlling polycount and what types of texture maps are best suited for what, I would try the game art forum here at CGTALK.
Hope that helped :)
08 August 2005, 06:04 PM
The way to model is the same as common character modeling, you can use whatever technique you want except the final result must not be too heavy for your engine. There is several rules to make your characters. Let's take the example of DooM3.
The zombies you see in the corridors may attack by waves of 3, 4 or - maximum - a ten. Let's say they are 10. If they wieght 4000 triangles, you will have to deal with 40 000 triangles in your scene, but if you can make them around 1000 or 15000 it will be considerably lighter and easier for your GPU and CPU to handle !
If you make a model for a boss that will run in a close and simple area map, with only a few monsters to help him, this means you don't have a lot of triangles and effects to render, then you can make the boss' model more detailed, let's say 4000 - 5000 triangles. This is typically the ratings in DooM3. Don't forget : only triangles are supported ;)
You can of course use normal mapping and techniques you develop by yourself (you can implement steep parallax mapping if you want ;) ). Normal mapping is the best way to make a ow poly model to look like a HiPoly model !
Next : UVMapping. Well, the technique is simple : lightwave as something beautiful called Endomorph. You first finish your lopoly model, and then you create an endomorph in which you carefully flatten your model. Your are not obliged to make it absolutely flat : this endomorph will be used to create an UVMap in planar mode, then you will be allowed to make a nearly "one-island" UVmap that will no have all the problems of an atlas. Then you can delete the endomorph and merge the vertice if needed.
For the texture creation you can make everything in the HighPoly model, if you want, but you will need a projection engine to recover the textures on the low poly one. I know of 2 good engines :
- Microwave (for lightwave, thought I don't know if it projects the color channel)
- Kaldera (for 3dsmax, projects a lot of stuff ! )
Both are not free :\
For animation ... well ... good luck. I work on a game with a friend, we will write an LScript that will convert the *.lws file into several formats that will enable us to make a file containing the object (converted in our format from the modeler), its texture informations, its animation infos, etc.
Everything can depend of your engine ! be absolutly sure of what you want in the game, regarding animation, textures, polycount, lighting, ... THEN you have 2 solutions :
1- You choose an already existong file format, but you will be limited in some ways
2- You make your own one
Don't forget that a lot of formats you can see don't support more than one texture coordinate by vertex, that means you can't make a color texture applied with planar coords and the bump applied with UV coords ! (this is not tha case of lwo files, you can do what you want with lwo files).
Good luck !!
08 August 2005, 07:03 AM
great thanks a lot for your reply
08 August 2005, 07:03 AM
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