View Full Version : Low Poly Environment info needed

01 January 2003, 06:46 AM
Me and some friends are starting a small "game" project. My main wonder here is, without committing to any 3D engine or anything yet for the game, I have decided to make very surreal looking landscapes with a lot of alpha mapping and such for really low poly bushes, features, whatever.

My prob is, I have NO idea where to start with the initial ground plane that will probably be either have a displacement modifier at first (max 4.2) or will just be a pulled mesh to get the shape and whatever. I mean, what size? whats too hight poly, whats too low poly? any help would be good. Im thinking like SOCOM level if you know that game for PS2. That game has a lot of alphamapped bushes and stuff and the trees are VERY low poly but everything looks wonderful!

01 January 2003, 10:24 AM
There is no universal answer for that, it all depends on your Game Engine. Normaly, you would start by modelling single Objects (Trees, Bushes, Rocks, Powerups but also whole parts of solid ground). Then, at some stage you would arrange them in some kind of a level editor so that they look like a level. Most Levels in common games are built out of singe objects rather then having one huge mesh. This is especially (but not only) suitable for indoor levels. The advantage of this system is, the higher performance, since you can easily hide objects, which are not in the viewfield. Also, you are able to reuse whole parts of a level in different Places, so you don't have to model that much.

There are, however, games which use a displacement map to form a ground plane (for example "Starsiege: Tribes"). This is normaly not done in Max but real time in the game itself. Even these games have singe objects which are modelled and exported first and then placed around in the level (normaly done by some level editor tool).

I'd suggest you get in touch with your programmers and ask THEM. ;)

01 January 2003, 11:27 AM
Yeah I agree with Krystman you shouldn't model out the landscape. The landscape is usually generated by a level editor with a black n white alpha map (most cases anyway).

This making an advantage of performance (just as Krystman said).

Good Luck! :) :cool:

01 January 2003, 04:01 PM
How do you accuratly map the ground without knowing where the textures will stretch or haveing an accurate representation of the stretching and UV mapping it? I mean, if the ground is generated in game how do you go about this?

01 January 2003, 08:12 PM
This, again, also depends. There are a few scenarios:
- The texturing could be done in-game too, which means you make a map, edit a certain *.ini file, launch the game and look if it fits. If it doesn't you make your adjustments and launch the game again.
- You could use some kind of Tool, that shows the level how it would look in-game and allows to apply textures on the ground. This can be a stand-alone application or just a plugin fpr your 3d package.
- The diffuse map and the displacement map can be applied at the same time. This means, if you got a displacement map of your level, you would texture the ENTIRE LEVEL the same way too, by using a huge texture mapped from above just like the displacement map. Mostly, the texture resolution can't exeed certain limits so you must do some programming tricks or you apply a detail-tetxure as well which tiles a few times but adds some details.

Theese are just examples, are other possibilities, of course..

Keep in mind that this displacementmap technique isn't very common. It is used mostly by RTS-Games. In FPS-Games, it lacks the flexibility to form interesting enviroments. For example, you have to do complicated tricks if you want to make a cave in your level or a building. Even Jump & Run games like "Jak & Daxter" or "Super Mario Sunshine" use Object-based levels ALTHOUGH they have mostly outdoor scenarios.

01 January 2003, 08:13 PM
ARG! Damn Server. I posted the same post two times. Just ignore this Post here ok? The one right above is the interesting one.:wavey:

08 August 2005, 06:47 PM
Nothing really to add, the first game (PC) i worked on used an in-house editor. The game was based on various islands, each island was created with a B/W image, a bit like Bryce. I think (it's a few years ago now) each image was 256X256 and painted in Photoshop. The editor built the landscape in even sized quads, you could import tiled textures, pick a quad(s) and apply a texture, you could blend them, turn them etc.

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