View Full Version : what are the biggest problems when creating 3d assets for games??

Dark Soldier
12 December 2006, 12:53 PM
hi everyone

just wanted to see what you think are the biggest problems when making 3d game assets? not just for next gen but any platform ( DS, PS1, XBOX, WII.......)

thanks, any response appriciated

12 December 2006, 01:51 PM
Well the easy answer to that is of course the polygon budget and texture space budget. Especially if you are new to this, getting used to working around and with these can become a real bear.

But suprisingly another thing that I hear alot is that people get tired creating stuff from concept art that they had no input on. They feel as though the creativity is being drained from them and that they are doing mindless drone work after a while. Unfortunately in games now, originality is kinda taken out. And this makes doing assets for games kinda bad in a way because you are expected to recreate what a concept artist has drawn for you 100% and from what you have seen on every other videogame.

This may not be true in other studios, but from what Ive seen it is.

But yeah if you are just starting out, concentrate on creating good looking models with great textures in a reasonable polygon budget.

Dark Soldier
12 December 2006, 01:59 PM
thanks for reply

do u think the biggest problem lies when you actually bring the asset into the engine for the first time?

do you have to have a good understanding of your engines capabilities? and every time you work somewhere else they might have their own engine or a different pipeline, how you prepare yourself for this ?

12 December 2006, 02:28 PM
Well personally I dont have to deal with importing my assets into an enginge. That is for the producers and programmers to do. All I am expected to do is create my assets according to the specs I am given (ie: X# triangles, X# of # x # texture sheets) Then it is up to the people putting my assets into the game. If anyone has any questions with me they just ask.

Now for smaller studios, you may have to put your assets into the engine, but from what I have noticed, it isnt so hard. And if you have to do this from one comapany to another, I would hope that they would teach you any differences in engines. Just get good at doing the models, textures, and lighting and you'll be fine with anything else they throw at you. Any good company wouldnt expect you to walk in with how to deal with an engine, they would teach you that if you didnt know.

But like Ive said, just worry on creating the assets first, then you can go about learning the different engines and how to work them later on.

Dark Soldier
12 December 2006, 02:48 PM
thanks for reply broli

i'm asking because i'm trying to do my dissertation. i wanted to make some video tutorials on how to make a character for games. they would not be step by step so you end up as the same character as me but more about getting you to think about yourself. they would include modelling techniques and considerations, zbrush, texturing techniques and considerations, photoshop, UV theory and editing, normal maps ...... using 3ds max. it would be aimed at students.

the problem is my teachers don't think i'll have time to do it. and they would rather i concentrate on a particular area. i'm doing a BSC degree so has to be technical, not like a BA were u can pretty much just make an animation or something. we have to have reasons for everything we do.

what do u think would be helpful for people trying to get into games industry and what technical aspect of 3d game assets do think has the most problems


12 December 2006, 03:45 PM
here's somethings I've had trouble with:

getting assets into the engine, broli4000 is lucky enough to have other people doing it for him and most likely an engine that his company knows well. I'm more of a one man army for game production where I work and we are currently evaluating many engines. That means I have to go through the exciting (sarcasm) quirks of getting a textured cube in there for test purposes. But man, after fooling around with .qc files and steam's bizarre file structure and getting that cube in hammer...a cube never looked so good. Maybe I'm just a n00b, but I've always had problems with pipeline issues, so I make sure that works before I work.
I haven't done much with normal maps yet, but I tried one time and got some seams. You may want to specify how to get rid of these seams. (Could be that I was using mental ray and not a realtime shader)
That brings me to another one, shaders. I hardly talked to a single company at siggraph this year that wasn't interested in hiring some on that could do shaders. Making a tutorial on how to set up good looking shaders would be awesome. You could go through and make something like a head with a helmet that is made of two or three materials and show us how to make the shader work on flesh, metal helmet, leather straps, etc.
Another thing that would help are the little things you do after a model is complete that make it ready for the game. By this I mean, how do you make something like an attachment point? How do you tell the game where to put that shiny new pistol you just acquired?

12 December 2006, 04:20 PM
its depending on the asset (char vs prop vs env) and the engine, here are some problems i recall off the top of my head i run into often

transperancy sorting issues
ghosting on your alpha textures
node overhead
frozen-transforms (maya) issues
rig restrictions
size/scale relations on ALL projects
collision only (body-doubles)

the most frustrating thing i encountered was how important it gets to create your assets in a smart process that allows for easy editing down the line. A race track seems like an easy thing to create, then you realize 40 hours later they dont like the layout and you have to start over bc no one expected (or told you) that the course layout could dramatically change. and this CAN happen after uving, texturing... it does happen

each engine (especially older stuff) is going to have limitations or specific issues. Its really upto a company to xfer the information to you.

12 December 2006, 07:30 PM
Putting them in-game :D

12 December 2006, 01:51 PM
well yes, I have to deal with just environments. So this is probably alot easier than dealing with characters with normal maps and insertion points. All I would hav to do is just put it in the engine and do a quick walkthrough to make sure there arent any missing polys and that everything came through ok. But aside from that I know that when they put in the characters and props into my level, they have to go on where my level was built at.

Any place Ive had to deal with, if they want you to put stuff into an engine, they will spend some time and teach you the engine before you do anything. I havent met a company yet that expects you to know some weird engine. Now i have seen some companies that expect you to know a bit about the big engines like Source and the Unreal engines, but other than that, even those companies will deal with you if you dont know how to run the engine entirely. So Id say go and read some Hammer tuts on its editor and maybe get some brief knowledge of the new Unreal Engine.

Dark Soldier
12 December 2006, 04:26 PM
thanks for replies

well i'm kinda stuck with my dissertation. its a BSC degree so needs to have a strong technical asspect that solves some kind of problem. i wanted to make a small series of video tutorials on how to make a character for games - the considerations and the processes.

i like the idea of doing a project on HLSL shaders but my programming has always been very weak. plus i'm not sure what my purpose would be.

i'm really stuck, i hate the fact that i'll mess up my degree because i don't know how to do a dissertation. my brothers doing a BA course and they can do wot ever they want for their final project.

CGTalk Moderation
12 December 2006, 04:26 PM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.