Low Poly Rocket Base

polycounter lvl 6
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PogoP polycounter lvl 6
Hey guys,

Don't really want to clog up the lowpoly thread with my WIPs, so thought I'd make my own thread for some feedback.

I'm working on a low poly handheld environment for the DS for a university assignment. The theme is 'superheroes' so I'm doing a villain's volcano rocket base lair! It's sort of inspired by the SPECTRE base in some of the Bond films.

This is the piece as of yesterday.

scene_4.jpg

I was happy with the style, but it wasn't particularly optimized for DS spec, so I've decided to re-do the entire scene from scratch, paying close attention to texture sizes and using more vertex colouring to texture this scene.

I'm aiming for around 1,000 tris for the entire scene, and I'm taking on a few people's feedback from the lowpoly thread in that I should be aiming for 16/32* tileable maps and using floating geo for trims.

Here's an update on the floor texture, currently using a mirrored, 8x8 metal trim texture, and a tileable, 8x8 metal floor texture.

example_floor.jpg

I don't know whether it's worth mirroring, by making the trim texture 16x16 I'm not particularly adding a lot of texture memory. What do you guys think?

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  • Snader
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    Snader polycounter lvl 9
    Yeah I'd make those trims out of single quads. Looking at the other pic you don't even need a separate texture for it but you can just use the texture from the roof pillars. (or rather, as this is a clean start, you can reuse the trim for the pillars =P)

    What I would also try is pulling up the outermost vertices and pulling in the innermost vertices, to create the appearance of the bar floating and/or having actual thickness.

    Does the grating use alpha transparency? It could look cool, but you'd have to spend a pinch of triangles on some geometry underneath.
  • Acumen
    This one sure will be pretty interesting to follow. Lately I've been slowly shifting away from whatyouworkingthread to the mobile gaming direction.
    I hope you'll be posting the textures as you go along to each and every piece for me save in the folders :)
    Be sure to bombard this thread with pictures and pictures and pictures as you go along !
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 6
    Snader, could you explain a little more about pulling the vertices up? I don't quite understand.

    The grating doesn't use transparency, but it could very easily do. I'll see how it looks and I might add it later on.

    Thanks Acumen, I'll be sure to post as I'm going!
  • gsokol
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    gsokol Polycount Sponsor
    So the tan colored section of the wall is supposed to be rock correct? It looks like the pixel density on this texture is lower than the rest of the scene, which makes it standout. Try upping the pixel density here, may make your texture tile more.

    I really like the rocket.
  • ScubaSteve
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    ScubaSteve polycounter lvl 10
    16x16 is smallest texture I used on goldeneye and Call of duty: Black ops ds
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 6
    Here's an update of the scene. Just been blocking in base colours, pretty much everything is using a 16x16 texture at the moment.

    scene_redux1.jpg

    Edit - Ummm, don't know why I didn't crop that image. Sorry! Heh.
  • StealthSilver
    Reverse the colours of the sky. It should be lighter on the bottom, and get darker as it goes upwards.

    1223_09_34---Big-Blue-Sky--Montana--USA_web.jpg?&k=Big+Blue+Sky,+Montana,+USA
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 6
    Thanks, I was actually thinking that when I was watching something on TV tonight! Done :)

    I haven't really looked at many Nintendo DS environments as I can't find any on the internet, I can just find handheld environments. Does anybody know of any good examples? I loved ScubaSteve's Goldeneye stuff but he had to take it off!

    Here's an update from tonight. I really need to re-do that rocket and fill this scene out some more.

    scene_redux2.jpg

    And here are my textures, all using tileable 16x16 maps except the world map which is on a 64x32 map as it is a unique texture.

    textures_redux.jpg

    My current issue is that it looks rather bland and boring, but I'm constantly worrying about tri counts and I'm not sure what to aim for! Could I add a lot more props and stuff in this scene to populate it? The DS is a struggle to design for! :D
  • Snader
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    Snader polycounter lvl 9
    DSrocket.PNG
    This is rescaled to roughly DS resolution - you'll definitely want a larger texture for the rocks. Perhaps it's a good idea to have a single viewport resized to approximately 256x192, with the VP rendering set to mimic the DS.

    What I meant about moving the vertices, is to make the floating trims actually float a bit - have them intersect slightly higher in the rings, to add a bit of silhouette instead of just looking like part of the texture.

    As for reference:
    final-fantasy-crystal-chronicles-echoes-of-time-20090218100450351_640w.jpg
    FF Crystal Chronicles appears to use 64x64 for the floor tiles, which are rendered considerably smaller than your rocks.

    Scuba, how many textures and at what sizes were loaded simultaneously, approximately? Also - any news on the goldeneye images?
  • ScubaSteve
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    ScubaSteve polycounter lvl 10
    well in are engine we had all the textures were loaded up at the beginning. My textures ranged from 16x16 32x32 64x64, and rare 128 was used but it has to be important. Like i said early about the floor with those dark and light lines you will get crawling lines on screen. Try to stay away from dark and light lines close to easy other. The ds doesn't like that.

    As for the images I got them cleared with legal. They just don't want me posting it up on any public forums. I have no idea why? Because there is no ds screens out there like those. So with that said you can take a look at my site. Just don't post them anywhere else or i will have to take them down again.
  • Snader
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    Snader polycounter lvl 9
    *Downloads and saves immediately*

    For the floor, you mean moir
  • ScubaSteve
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    ScubaSteve polycounter lvl 10
    yes ds doesn't like that...
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 6
    Thanks guys, I'll have another update in a few days time! :D
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 6
    Here's an update on the scene. Changed the bland concrete texture to a metal panel wall, and added Silo doors and the rocket again. Some textures are looking really low resolution, such as the rocket and the rock wall, I need to look at them again. I'm using a total of 16kb of texture memory, from 11 tileable textures.

    scene_redux3.jpg

    The rocket texture is a little skewed at the moment, as the texture itself is square. Anything I can do to alter the 'skewing'? Or will I have to changed the texture shape?
  • Minos
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    Minos polycounter lvl 9
    Pogo!! That rules man!

    One thing you can definitely do to improve this is to bake ambient occlusion to vertex colors. Maybe even better, you can go and add gradients by hand. Radiosity alone probably won't give stellar results because you don't have enough tris.

    I worked on a similar scene as this while @ Ubisoft (you can see it on my portfolio) and I used a radiosity setup + hand-painted AO on another layer for the lighting. It worked pretty well!

    Snader: I envy you!! Your goldeneye levels are exactly what I thought I'd work on @ Ubi but unfortunately never had the chance :(
  • SHEPEIRO
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    SHEPEIRO polycounter lvl 10
    what minotaur said plus... add a main light to the scene using maxes RT lights casting a shadow... now use this to trace a cut round the main shapes splitting the mesh into two parts a directly lit part and a non directly lit part add a paint modifier and add a blueish m tone to multiply wherever the sun doesnt shine... fix the peices back together and blend any bits that should be (ie across smooth shapes)... will leave a nice sharpe ahdow to the scene...

    be carefull not to add too many polies simplify the shadow nicely

    also double the res of that rock and maybe add a touchmore depth to them towards the bottom
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 6
    Sounds like an interesting technique Shepeiro, is that how a lot of handheld scenes are lit? I haven't got a clue how to go about lighting this scene. The lighting in Goldeneye for the DS is awesome.
  • Minos
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    Minos polycounter lvl 9
    PogoP wrote: »
    Sounds like an interesting technique Shepeiro, is that how a lot of handheld scenes are lit? I haven't got a clue how to go about lighting this scene. The lighting in Goldeneye for the DS is awesome.


    http://www.urgaffel.com/tutorials/vptut/index.html
    http://docs.autodesk.com/3DSMAX/12/ENU/3ds%20Max%202010%20Tutorials/files/WSf742dab04106313373c293b3112a19e3d72-7fdc.htm
    http://www.scriptspot.com/3ds-max/scripts/vertex-color-tools-0

    Follow the first tutorial to understand the technique.

    What i usually do when working with vertex colors and radiosity is to use a very dark Skylight (this will result in ambient light information AND AO information) + add light sources (point usually looks better than spot).

    A direct light works too if your mesh has enough density. But cutting the shadows by hand like Shepeiro said gives better results.

    Check this out:
    http://www.thiagoklafke.com/images/thiagoklafke_kirsten2_ingame.jpg

    The evironment in the top uses radiosity, the environments in the bottom use "hand-painted AO".
  • Acumen
    Apart from the shadow thing, these guys mentioned, what strikes me the most is the not unified color scheme. To me, there's a lot of strong color that clash really harsh. And it's not too cohesive or unified. And they also look kinda "dead" and dull.
    As a base it's really good, imo. Now I'm interested to see what your next steps will be !

    edit: I'm not artist whatsoever, I'm just bored :/

    pogo_p.gif
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 6
    In response to the harsh colouring, I really agree with you! On my laptop the colours were quite dull but on my computer it's mindblowingly red, so that's been toned down now! Thanks.

    Also, Mino, thanks for the lighting tips. I'm going to explore baking some lighting information to vertex colour in a bit.
  • SHEPEIRO
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    SHEPEIRO polycounter lvl 10
    heres a lighting tip too if your going to bake in the lighting... if you roughly cut the shadows in then give them seperate shading groups to the unshadowed polys next to them... they will keep the sharpe edge when using radiosity
  • ScubaSteve
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    ScubaSteve polycounter lvl 10
    the only thing i did for my ds work on goldeneye is place lights around and assign vert color to them. I never used the radiosity thing. I also did some vert color by hand. Another trick is to get shadows is to cut it into the geometry.
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 6
    I've had a quick go at this tonight, and it's going to be great for this scene. However, I'm having trouble with omni lights not lighting up my geometry at all in parts. It's not even that it is just rendering dark, no matter where I place these lights, certain faces don't light up. Anybody got any idea what I'm doing wrong?

    question_lighting.jpg
  • ScubaSteve
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    ScubaSteve polycounter lvl 10
    you might need more verts for it to pick up your lighting. I also use the far attenutation setting in the lighting panel to setup.
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 6
    I figured out the issue: some of my verts are hidden from view by floating geometry, so they weren't being picked up by radiosity. This is a real issue!

    I can hide the floating geometry and it bakes ok, but then the floating geometry does not have radiosity baked. Is there a way to bake radiosity in layers? Failing that I'm going to have to hand paint the vertex lighting on the floating geo.

    Also, I can't get far attenuation to work! No matter how I set it up, it doesn't affect my lighting in the slightest. Any idea what's going on?
  • SHEPEIRO
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    SHEPEIRO polycounter lvl 10
    you can turn shadow casting off in the objects attributes (right click) for advanced lighting
    attenuation will be working but maybe your exposure controls are nuts... otherwise for more real but harder to control use photometric lights or advanced material overides on some polies that you use as emmisive surfaces
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 6
    I've had a stab at lighting. I'm hoping to call this final for now, got so much work to do on my other modules eeee!

    I've added more props around the level, and I've made a new handpainted rock texture (64x64 for extra detail)

    scene_redux4.jpg

    textures_final.jpg
  • SaferDan
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    SaferDan polycounter lvl 7
    I really like this, its awesome :)
  • Hawt Koffee
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    Hawt Koffee polycounter lvl 6
    Love the TF2 style world map
  • ScubaSteve
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    ScubaSteve polycounter lvl 10
    SS_help_01.jpg

    this is how i would of made the textures for ds style. On the light you can cut it into 4ths and then you can make that texture larger giving you more detail. You have to pick and choose your battles. Every little saving in your textures the more you can use. Overall looks good. For me id like to see a little change in the light from room to room. It will help a player to identify other areas(like your hallway) but that is just me.
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