Soften / Harden Edge?

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  08 August 2006
Soften / Harden Edge?

I noticed this question was posted over a year ago, but the thread is closed. It was said that this made it into the feature request list, but does anyone know if it is in? I have been searching through the docs and forums and have only found one solution, setting multiple materials on an object and adjusting the Smoothing Angle.

I use Maya for game modeling and animation and have been looking into Modo for modeling and texturing. In Maya you can just select an Edge and completely soften or harden it, or adjust the smoothness. This is very useful for game modeling were you want to maximise the effect of real-time lighting.
 
  08 August 2006
You mean adjusting the smoothing angle or smoothing strength, right? Not subdivision edge weight. Currently, it can't be done. However, I recomend you to model a high-resolution subdivision surface mesh instead and then bake that into a normal mapped low-poly mesh.
 
  08 August 2006
If you work on a subdivided mesh than you can try a sdge weighting , for a low poly mesh try the edges bevelling , for an even lower poly-count (using the smoothing angle) you have to work on materials (as you said before)

Anyway the edge bevelling is very effective


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  08 August 2006
Thanks for the comments. I understand how to get the harder looking edges in hi-res models, I'm just focusihg on the low-res game art. I will have to test if the multiple materials will export to the game engine in DirectX format, otherwise models will just have to go through Maya.

As for the art pipeline of doing hi-res, creating low-res, then baking in the normals, that is being used for our game characters. However for environment art a combination of normal-mapped tiled textures and low-res models are being used to save memory and improve content creation turnaround time.

In fact, I think if you consider all platforms from portables, consoles, to PCs, the majority of titles being produced are not using the pipeline you mentioned. Not everyone is making a Doom3 clone. Being able to control the normals manually on low-res art is a powerful technique for game environment artists.
 
  08 August 2006
Originally Posted by inneractive: In fact, I think if you consider all platforms from portables, consoles, to PCs, the majority of titles being produced are not using the pipeline you mentioned. Not everyone is making a Doom3 clone. Being able to control the normals manually on low-res art is a powerful technique for game environment artists.


Being able to control the normals manually on a pixel level, ie. a normal map, is a lot more powerful technique than cheating the edges of polys.
 
  09 September 2006
Originally Posted by Buzzoff: Being able to control the normals manually on a pixel level, ie. a normal map, is a lot more powerful technique than cheating the edges of polys.


I acknowledge that, but you think complete environments are getting modeled at hi-res then normal-mapped? How much video RAM do you think most gamers have? How much time do you think environment artists get to create content? Our environments are using seamlessly tiled textures with seamlessly tiled matching normal maps. This allows us to reduce memory usage and avoid using compressed normal-maps, which look pretty bad in most cases.

Now I looked into doing seperate materials for adjusting normals, but apparently in DirectX each material is split into its own object adding additional engine overhead.

Anyway it is a moot point now. I am done evaluating Modo.

A) Modo is too unstable on my NVIDIA Quadro, even with VBO off.
B) I prefer the Bodypaint/Maya combo for texturing and modeling.
C) No direct control of normals.
 
  09 September 2006
Originally Posted by inneractive: I acknowledge that, but you think complete environments are getting modeled at hi-res then normal-mapped? How much video RAM do you think most gamers have? How much time do you think environment artists get to create content?


Trick question. Most people that call themselves "gamers" are stupid enough to spend 2-3 thousand on an "gaming system".
 
  09 September 2006
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