Art List [Artists look here]

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Re: Art List [Artists look here]

Postby Vino » Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:01 am

I added some shit to the first post. It's a mood board and a color scheme for characters. Also a set of technical guidelines on what we want from models. I'm terrible at this sort of thing, so I would appreciate anybody's help with improving them. The source files are in Dropbox.
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Re: Art List [Artists look here]

Postby racer445 » Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:24 pm

will rewrite the tech guidelines later today
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Re: Art List [Artists look here]

Postby racer445 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:29 am

wrote it up

Technical requirements and guidelines for models:

Models should be within reasonable poly count limits. We won't define a number because graphics cards can handle so much these days, but use your best judgement. Make sure you give round areas enough tris to appear genuinely round.

The end result should have a normal map and any associated specular/env_cubemap maps. For more information on what maps the Source engine is capable of using, refer to Materials for Models on the Source wiki.

We will generally be using heightmap normals on our meshes instead of baked normals. Our process for generating normal maps will be as such:
1. Create the model's base mesh
2. UV the model as usual and create your textures
3. Use a program such as Crazybump/nDo or the Nvidia/xNormal plugins to generate a normal map from a black and white heightmap texture

For mechanical items, the process we will be using is described below.


For complex hard surface prop/weapon/vehicle/etc models:

Don't bother creating a high poly for normal map baking unless you really need to. We are going to try a different approach which should give a similar effect while making it easier for newer developers to contribute...

Let me preface this a little. Tangent-space normal maps are used to modify the lighting direction of a model. By creating a high-poly model and baking a normal map from that, you are essentially "correcting" the vertex normals of the model (lighting direction) by using a texture. In short, the reason for doing this is:

1. Corrects smoothing to look like the high poly model.
2. You can get nice round edge-bevels on models without needing geometry for it
3. You can capture dense, complex high poly details down to a simple low poly mesh.

However, the process of creating a high poly model can be very time consuming, and even most professional 3d artists in the game industry do not fully understand the process of creating a proper, clean normal map. Since this is a mod, we need to simplify so everyone can help out.

So, instead of doing all that complicated stuff, we are going to take a simpler, alternate route which should give us the benefits of baked normals while still being simple to understand for someone who isn't a professional.

Instead, we are simply going to add edge bevels on our low poly models in important locations, then do fine details using a heightmap in photoshop. Below is a quick example that will be replaced once i make a full weapon:

Image


The benefits of this are:

1. Better smoothing where it needs it
2. Attractive edges bevels catching light where it needs it
3. Heightmap normals allow us to give it some extra details
4. Easy to understand
5. Faster

The downsides are:

1. Creates a lot of extra, thin geo.
2. More difficult to UV
3. Only gives better smoothing and edge bevels in the most important areas, not ALL areas.
4. Requires more photoshop work than usual.

Things to focus on:

Make sure your smoothing is very good, though slight warping is acceptable because it will get covered up by the spec map. Make sure your edge bevels are wide enough catch light. Make sure not to add edge bevels where they won't be seen. No ngons or dumb bullshit please, I value a clean mesh over low tricounts any day.

Afterwards we should end up with a nice smooth model which attractive edge bevels catching light. Then to texture it, you can do it like any other "current gen" dynamically lit weapon. If you don't know how, give it a shot! It's a lot of fun representing materials as they actually are.

Here are two good tutorials to help get you started:

http://www.oesterkilde.dk/racer445.php
http://www.marmoset.co/toolbag/learn/materials
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Re: Art List [Artists look here]

Postby Vino » Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:42 pm

Good shit. Instead of pasting all that into the first post I've put it in a google document and linked it. Let me know if you ever want to update it in the future, and thank you for helping me to write it up!
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Re: Art List [Artists look here]

Postby Flakk » Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:44 am

Just as a note, you can sometimes use what some might call "Korean bevels". That way you don't have to "destroy" your mesh with a regular bevel... in case you need to make adjustments or something.
Googled and found this image that explains it. Image

See how it's not really a bevel but just two extra edges along the silhouette? The middle edge is softened.

(image source article just to give credit: http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=101306 )

I think Racer's idea is a very good one. Even recent big titles haven't even used baked normals for guns. Like BF3.
Last edited by Flakk on Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Art List [Artists look here]

Postby Vino » Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:21 pm

Cool, added to the tech document.
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Re: Art List [Artists look here]

Postby Black_Stormy » Thu May 16, 2013 2:22 am

That colour palette for character models is... kinda shitty. You want all characters to have the same colour palette? Are you SURE? I was kind of hoping for it to be more like TimeSplitters 2 MP with heaps of different characters conforming to the same art direction, but vastly varied in design. With "open development" you're likely to get a whole lot of different artists contributing different styles and you might as well take advantage of that. I understand the desire for a grimey noir look but that strikes me as a boring and muddy palette.

Also the gun list is vague. Are you hoping for a modeller to pick the gun they want to model? The whole idea of a mod is that you can use the assets from other games since you're not claiming artistic license. Why not poach the CS guns? Custom weapons are a bonus for mods I think. I'm not a big gun person (or a big concept person) so I like to have a well set out goal in mind when I tackle something as big as a working gun model. I've made three other guns for the source engine, but they are unfinished or belong to someone else now. I probably won't make any guns because I have other stuff I am working on but I'd like to see suggestions for the guns you do want to include. You know. Just in case.

I also have a dildo replacement for the crowbar model that's gathering dust. Only highbrow content from Stormy.
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Re: Art List [Artists look here]

Postby Vino » Thu May 16, 2013 10:17 am

The color palette is just a guideline. If someone wants to break the rules, that's great.

We need guns with sources so that we can add stuff later if we need to.
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Re: Art List [Artists look here]

Postby Black_Stormy » Mon May 20, 2013 7:54 pm

I'm no good at modelling guns, and I don't really see the point since they are possibly the most modelled item after cars. You can get gun models off the internet en masse. It would take me a month or two to model a gun from scratch, whereas it would take a few days to rig up, animate and compile a pre-made model, for instance one of these bad boys. There's pros and cons. It feels like a cop out since it's not your own work but in reality the end product is going to be better than anything you could produce in the same time frame. And you are only taking the mesh and a texture - the animations, materials, sounds, particles and engine specific functions are still created and handled by you. Licensing is open enough provided you don't distribute source files. I think it comes down to whether or not you would prefer to wait and see what the community can turn out. Using premade models would result in a nicer product sooner, but at the cost of a slice of... integrity, I guess. I'm not particularly for the idea, just putting it out there - it's a legitimate procedure.
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Re: Art List [Artists look here]

Postby Flakk » Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:49 pm

They look decent enough for DA. Some more decent than others maybe...
It's a good idea I think... If the project really takes off and gains a little momentum one could always go back and replace them with something better.
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Re: Art List [Artists look here]

Postby Doktor haus » Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:43 pm



Don't mean to pop in out of nowhere, but I like how DAB is developing, got bored and compiled this.

Edit: Forgot the link. MediaFire
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Re: Art List [Artists look here]

Postby Dementei » Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:28 am

Whoops sorry forgot to reply to this, I saw it a week ago but anyway, nice video I really like those colts and the sounds. Do you do any modelling/animating/texturing/sound engineering?
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Re: Art List [Artists look here]

Postby Doktor haus » Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:50 am

Dementei wrote:Whoops sorry forgot to reply to this, I saw it a week ago but anyway, nice video I really like those colts and the sounds. Do you do any modelling/animating/texturing/sound engineering?


I animate a little, though strictly on a beginner level. I can do a melee and that's about it. Compiling and sounds are more my thing.
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Re: Art List [Artists look here]

Postby Dementei » Wed Jul 24, 2013 5:39 pm

Oh okay cool, well do definitely need lotsa sounds to be redone, especially like footsteps and some gun sounds, maybe even stunts too.

In the video who made the colt model? We currently have our own colt made and we will only put in what has been made exclusively for our mod, although I really would like to see these in DA maybe only as the akimbo version.
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Re: Art List [Artists look here]

Postby Vino » Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:04 pm

A different idea: Maybe we can have two different types of colts, and ship them both side by side. The player can select the colt model that they want.
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