Game Art Mini Challenge #2 - Gate to a Tomb (alexyork)

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Old 09 September 2004   #1
Game Art Mini Challenge #2 - Gate to a Tomb (alexyork)

My "Gate to a Tomb" entry WIP thread:

Hey all.

Here's my entry WIP.

Currently about 800 polys - I'll be cutting it down a lot soon.
I havn't embarked on the prelighting method yet.. I assume that just means texture baking?

So here's a quick render in MAX, with bump maps, the two alpha-tga's and the 128x128 bmp. There are three lights and a little GI to pop the background a bit. It's composited over a simple BG, just cos I like it like that ehe



Cheers and please let me know if I'm doing totally the wrong thing here. This is my 1st challenge

Alex
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Alex York
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Bespoke London-Based Architectural Visualization
 
Old 09 September 2004   #2
looks good, though one thing wrong, dont think we can use bump maps
nice texturing
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Old 09 September 2004   #3
No bumps either????

Man you'd think this was being made for a mobile phone with all these limitations.... I can understand 128x128 textures, but for a complex scenery prop like this the object would more than likely be covered in lots of 128x128 textures, not just 1 repreated over and over..... This isn't a gun or a crate or any other small prop, it's a full scenery prop structure.... i finished a game level project for university a few months ago, and we had 128x128 limitations as well, but we could use as many textures as we wanted - and yes we could use bump maps.......

what's the big deal with bump maps? No 3D games in the last few months have been made without bump maps....... and no games from now on will. So what's the point?

Well. screw it then lol. I'm making this for fun.

Progress:

I've got it down to 580 faces. So it's working out great. I'm trying to figure out how to bake it all now.

Ps. glad you like it Hexodam
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Alex York
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Old 09 September 2004   #4
Update:

572 polys (will find the extra 28 for something funky soon)



I'm still using bumps..... grr
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Alex York
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Old 09 September 2004   #5
CoOl!
Am I being too picky if I say I can see the repeating pattern on both sides of the door right away? I know there's limitations but isn't there a way to mix the rock up?
Plus: watch out for the seams on the inner left side of the rocks.
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Old 09 September 2004   #6
Hey that looks nice. The sharpness works pretty good here. Seems like you've gotten a lot out of those textures. How much of that is lost without the bumps enabled?.. they're explicitly not allowed, but maybe it's not too bad without them.


Also, I'm a little confused about the shadows. Can we use lights casting shadows like that? I was under the impression that with these challenges the textures are fullbrighted and the only shadowinformation allowed are either burnt directly into the textures (tricky with the tiny tiled textures obviously) or made through vertex coloring.. but that is not the case?
 
Old 09 September 2004   #7
You can't use shadows or lightsources, from what i've understood, your final entry should be a viewport image, not a rendered image. So, no true ligthing (but you can make a vertex lighting), no GI, no photoshop filter etc...

Keep working mothermachine, it's looking good.
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Old 09 September 2004   #8
Monkeybot: thanks mate. you're right about the repetition. it's SO hard to make anything look half decent with (arrrrg) a single 128x128 texture. it's a nightmare tbh.

gaggle: it kinda looks like crap without the bump maps thing is... the bump map is the diffuse map for this object. so.... I'm still only using 3 textures as is allowed b the rules. so, I dunno... I'll just have to bake em out with loads of sharpening. about the shadows, well no i don't think we are allowed to use any kind of lighting (woohoo such fun!) so we have to bake everything. joy!

DjinnShadows: yup. nightmare... thanks for confirming it. I'm gonna do the cooking thang and bake this biatch. I'mm bake everything you can possibly bake. eheh

so far:

nothing is baked
im still using bump

those are the only two technical rule problems as far as I can see.

but i'll be damned if I can get it to look any good without those...

cheers for the c&c guys
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Alex York
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Bespoke London-Based Architectural Visualization
 
Old 09 September 2004   #9
btw it's one single solid welded mesh at the moment.

i will upload some wires and in-app screen shots tomorrow.

I've PM Dargon about all these problems and will leave an answer in this thread when I find out
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Old 09 September 2004   #10
I was typing up all this as your answer to your queries, but I thought other people could benifit from this too, so I'll post it here instead:



Modeling - Meshes don't have to be all merged into one. Intersecting geometry is not only fine, but recommended.

Lighting - No realtime lighting. All lighting must be baked into the vertex information, and/or faked using one of the alpha textures. (you can be clever, I noticed on yours the shadow cast from the gate. This can be faked by using the same texture you used for the gate, making the vertex colour black, and the vertex alpha at about .5, fading out at the edges. These are the kinds of tricks we use when making PS2 games to make them look more technically complex than they really are)

Texturing - no bump maps. Sorry, but this is for 3 reasons.

First, realtime shaders are not all that common on PS2, or even on Gamecube. They are fairly common on XBox, as that probably about 30-40% of games on the XBox use bump maps or normal maps. Nearly none on the PS2, a format that still has about a year's worth of life to it.

Second, I'm asking people to try and do this without dynamic lighting, and without that, bump maps are pretty pointless, because you would barely be able to tell that they were there, and maybe not be able to tell at all, considering it's the lighing that allows the bump maps to be seen.

Third, this is a mini challenge, and the focus was to do a challenge that could be accomplished in a matter of a few days, not weeks. That's why the really low stats.

That, and these are very close to the stats that the game I am just finishing working on will release in early 2005, for the PS2. I wanted people to get a chance to work on real limitations for real systems, rather than the suppositions that everybody comes up with.

Post work - GI renders are OK and all, but we want to see your model as in might look in a game. No game has global illumination, and it'll be a few years yet until any game does. Show a Fancy render, but show a screenshot from your modelling software as well. We'd also like to see some wireframes!!

In theory, the PS2 can handle a lot. In practice, once you account for storing around 70 animations for the main character, plus his 2000 polys, and 2 256's, about 20 animations each for the 40+ AI in a level, plus their geometry and textures, hundreds of special effects waiting in memory, just in case you need them, hundreds of sound effects, 60 or 70 textures for the level, a second and third level waiting in memory for uninterrupted gameplay, and all the secrets and menus that you could unlock at any time, it really eats things up.

I know it sounds harsh, and it seems the limitations are high. The fact is though, that is where the art of game art lies. What comes with experience is figuring out just how little you can get away with, and how much you can fake all those fancy effects, and how much people won't miss them if it looks nice enough.

Good work on the model, keep it up!
 
Old 09 September 2004   #11
Thanks Dargon that answers everything clearly.

Now I just have to figure out how to bake everything
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Alex York
Founder of Atelier York
Bespoke London-Based Architectural Visualization
 
Old 09 September 2004   #12
I'm not exactly sure, but I think you can use bump maps to bake in the extra detail for the lighting.
 
Old 09 September 2004   #13
Well that's what I'm thinking... but I have no idea about this prelighting/vertex lighting malarky.

I've posted a reply in the main Tomb thread. Hopefully we will know soon.
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Alex York
Founder of Atelier York
Bespoke London-Based Architectural Visualization
 
Old 09 September 2004   #14
Here's an in-app screenshot



Sorry about the size
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Alex York
Founder of Atelier York
Bespoke London-Based Architectural Visualization
 
Old 09 September 2004   #15
i ought to mention,

that tga + alpha at the top of the structure with the crest logo is actually a blend map with the background being the stone texture and the foreground being the tga+alpha.

is this allowed?

i dont see how it can be, since blend maps still dont display realtime in MAX..... you need to render them.
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Founder of Atelier York
Bespoke London-Based Architectural Visualization
 
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