Hi friends! Not sure if i'm correct here, but my issue is heavily technical - but of course about game art. Anyway this is pure self-advertisment. I write an articles about...
"Fakes & Tricks of games which impressed me"
It goes about crazy ideas or awesome tech fakes which made an cool effect. I write about this in my blog and collected everyting i can remember. Feel free to comment about my stuff, explain what i didn't understood or tell me about what stuff impressed you.
Hi Guys! Just wanted to say that i'm on GamesCom on 21. August and it would be awesome to meet some of you guys there!
Maybe i just invade you in Würselen, that´s shorter for me anyway
Oh cool, you live in the near of Würselen?
#42 Company of Heroes - Flamethrower
I just discovered Journey which is for me a very beautiful game concerning the graphics.
But I am wondering how the sand and snow wave effect is done when the player walks...
Here is the video of the effect from 0:50.
Is it some ground surface/mesh tessellation ? Any idea ?
How about making an article about the special effects used in Journey ?
Unfortunately I don't have a PS3.
Thank you very much! Yes, journey looks really good but i don't have ps3 either The only thing i can offer you, is this link: http://www.thatgamecompany.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=11191
After a long time of moving the blog from blogger to my own wordpress here comes a new small article. Crafted especially for you
#43 World of Torch Siege - Blended Trunks
Here's a related technique we used on a recent project (well, a couple years ago). We used vertex color on the terrain to soften the transition to all the prop meshes. After vs. before, click for bigger:
Glad that you like it!
Thanks man! Good to see you again Oh thanks for the screenshot! Looks good! What is this game called? Is it still running?
That was hand-painted vertex color, but I've heard of some studios adding tech that does a vertex color bake, automated color sampling from the props onto the terrain, or vice-versa from the terrain onto the grass for example so the grass is colored the same as the ground.
i bake stuff into vertex color some times (e.g. occlusion) but auto-baking is new to me - but sounds like a very "natural" next step.
GDT #1 Super Hot - Turn-based Action
what happens with the content of all those cancelled games? does it get deleted or shelved and forgotton or recycled in other projects?
Typically the hard drives just get archived, and sit in a box somewhere. The assets are made with particular tech, which was known intimately only by that one team, so it's too much work for a new team to figure out how to get the assets working in a new engine. Also there are issues with style, the "not made here" syndrome, etc. It's cheaper just to make new assets. Feel free to use the image in your article, with attribution.
Thank you! I hope it's OK how i made it: http://simonschreibt.de/gat/world-of-torch-siege-blended-trunks/#update1
i tried it lately and it worked pretty well (only problem was then when multibe layers of objects with the same transparency are drawn, only the nearest one is shown (since it overdraws the same subpixels)
i think with fxaa one could even use screen space stripple again to increase the alpha range without big loss of quality
but that is just some random thought
one layer using alpha to coverage
two layers using alpha to coverage (as you can see, the colored planes of the window in the background are not drawn, because the window in the front overwites the values in the coverage mask)
it seems, with the right amount of thinkering alpha to coverage can be used to draw semitransparent objects , probabaly even things like reflection and refraction, with using normal + fresnel + cubemap as alpha in forward rendering and then draw the cubemap as reflection or something like that
i have atc only seen used for things like foilage or other things that was usually alpha tested before atc existed
The tech is great and worth talking about
i assume you can see that the colored shapes on that abused fence image are transparent. i was just thinking about using alpha to coverage for transparent planes
Obviously you could just use alpha-blending but then you have to solve the sorting problem. Although on dx11 hardware there are techniques to do that in real-time quite nicely, they are still quite expensive.
With alpha to coverage you basically "cheat" a bit by saying your triangle's inside pixel is not fully visible but you take the alpha value also into account. That alpha-value will be interpolated just fine going from 1 to 0 based on the texture.
Now as multisampling stores fixed amount of samples we get that dithered look in the end, as we only have a fixed amount of "coverage" bits. Hence you get that 25%, 50%... in the end (assuming 4xAA)
We also store the depth value per-sample still, which means anything that is closer to us with the same opacity (means same coverage bits used) will overwrite the old stuff.
It is important to note that in the above image the -> operation, which produced the tinted red, doesn't happen as we render a triangle. We do store color + depth per sample, depth/stencil-test also per-sample, and then later there is a resolve step that turns the full msaa sample image into a regular pixel image, typically by averaging the samples stored per pixel, though you can do this in your own shader, too.
@SimonT: cool blog you have there, was always a fan of the kind of technical "cheaper" tricks to pull off stuff
#44 Oblivion Territory Tree vs Palm
Good to hear I hope the information was alo a bit interesting and not only fun to read
Game Design Trick #2
Sacred 2 - Floating Point Numbers
Handmade Normal Maps
I don't really understand why'd you need a tool for that anyway. If you're painting 4 maps already by hand, that's all you need to make a normalmap in photoshop.
And while the effect is cool, it's not really practical considering you need to paint 4 maps for every frame you have in your animation...
Thx for the links!
I think the biggest advantage is the fast preview. It's like doing tileable textures in Photoshop. How do you test them? You can store them as "pattern" and fill a new document with them or use the texture in a 3D program as texture on a plane which uses it in a tiled way. But (at least as far i know) there's is no way for doing a fast-preview and this could make a good time saver IF you want to do stuff like this.
But you're right: you would have to paint a lot...but isn't that like in 3D? Making the Highpoly is also extra work in comparissio with "just" the low poly. But at the end, the result is worth it.
"we got bogged down because it was a bit too much of the artist thinking in vectors instead of colours. Sprite Lamp lets you tweak your normals in ways that make sense for vectors instead of colours (such as rotating them towards the camera), and see what effect that has in various lighting conditions as you do it (because of the preview window)"
Anyway, I'd want to see if it'd be possible to paint normalmaps to get a Blizzard/Torchlight etc. kind of style hand painted textures that actually reacted to light... If the program allowed artist to create those in somewhat timely manner... I definitely wouldn't mind seeing those in games.
Too bad my painting skills are pretty much limited to render -> clouds... Does anyone feel like trying it out? :P
It might also nice to know that you don't paint the Normal Map directly. Instead you paint 4 different light situations (light from up/down/right/left) which might be more understandable than have to paint both information (up/down & right/left) at the same time in the same channel.
I guess the only way to find out how good it is, is to model a retro-char in 3d (and render out a normal map), try to paint the same in photoshop and then try to do it in Sprite Lamp.
Thank you very much! I didn't play MP3 but when i do i'll have an eye on it. I like the movement of the leather jacket even in MP1+2! Thanks for the hint!
NEW Game Art Trick
#46 Tomb Raider - Laras Hot Secrets
I have an old tutorial that explains how to loop an animated texture like this, might give you some ideas. Generally, the longer the cross-fade, the smoother the loop will be. http://www.ericchadwick.com/examples/tutorials/looping_a_procedural_texture.html
You can find more information about tech art and vfx at http://tech-artists.org/ in case you need it. Cheers!
Thanks mate! Feel free to drop a link of your re-creations Oh this tech artist forums looks good. Do you think i should mention my blog there? Or does this someone else?
Good point. I'll see that i create a thread there too - maybe more like a "beta"-thread where i ask more and work together with them to get some tech details. Thank you
#3 Prey - Evil Buttons
#47 Don’t starve, Diablo – Parallax 7
#48 Windows AC / Row / Infinite