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LOWPOLY (or: the optimisation appreciation organisation)

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  • 9skulls
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    9skulls polycounter lvl 10
    Tigerfeet wrote: »
    BikeWireSpin.gif
    Hey that is looking great! So far I cannot spot any flaws in it, other than it is looking a bit thin to my eyes. Is it intentional? I'd scale it to be a bit wider, and make that rear wheel at least 2x wider than the front wheel. Oh and know what would look so SICK? Change the horn to something more like this (look at the drill) :D AND MAKE IT BLOODY.

    +10 points for the rockets :)
    Tigerfeet wrote: »
    It's 633 tris, and looking at the model that number seems a little low, could Maya be lying to me?
    Well it could be true, if you are sure it is counting as tris and not quads?
    Tigerfeet wrote: »
    I've got a texturing and animation question for you guys too. Have you merged all the pieces into a single mesh?
    Nope. In my bike I got the chassis, engine, fork and both wheels as separate objects. Mostly because of mirroring stuff and making it possible to animate steering and accelaration of the wheels.
    Tigerfeet wrote: »
    - If not, how do you get all the UVs sorted so there's a single texture?
    It was a bit tricky, at least in Blender. I heard there was addons created to make the job easier, but I didn't feel like googling for them. So I went all McGyver with it: I unwrapped and cleaned up every object separately, then viewed the whole model in checker texture to make sure the texel density is about the same in all of the pieces. Then I took a screen cap out of every object's uv-layout, pasted it in photoshop and began to play around the uv-islands to make them fit together as good as possible. Then I saved that image as a reference texture to be used inside the modelling software for the actual UV-layout. It may sound ... well, McGiver-y, but it worked.

    ^ This, or, as the poster below said, if your model allows it, do the unwrapping first and then just slice it to pieces.
    Tigerfeet wrote: »
    - If so, how do you go about animating different pieces of the same mesh, wheels spinning, body vibrating?
    If one was to animate the bike as a one single mesh, I guess the easiest way of doing the wheel spin would probably be using shape keys (that's what it is called in Blender. You'll probably see something like morphing etc in other packages. Though if I remember correctly, at least in 3DS Max mesh morphing needed you to clone the mesh and add modifiers and stuff to make it work... In Blender, shape keys are just part of any mesh on the stage).
  • Rapante
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    Rapante polygon
    Tigerfeet wrote: »
    :poly101: That's gorgeous! Enough to give a girl stage fright.

    thanks :)
    Tigerfeet wrote: »
    I've got a texturing and animation question for you guys too. Have you merged all the pieces into a single mesh?
    - If not, how do you get all the UVs sorted so there's a single texture?
    - If so, how do you go about animating different pieces of the same mesh, wheels spinning, body vibrating?

    well for the texturing I had all of the meshes merged into a single object so I could do the UV layout easily, afterwards I slitted the model into the different parts.

    as for animating, in 3dsmax you can simply link meshed to be a child of another, so I animated my wheels rotating and linked them to the main body which I then scaled to make the wobbly animation. all objects linked to the main body will inherit its scaling animation so it looks consistent without too much work.
  • Tigerfeet
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    Tigerfeet Polycount Sponsor
    Thank you both very much! I think I might do what you did Rapante, merge it all together then once the UVs are layed out separate everything. I'm pretty sure that'll work in Maya. If not then 9skull's way is always there.

    9skull, I like the drill idea! I didn't have anything planned for the horn but that shouldn't be too difficult with texturing.
  • gilesruscoe
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    gilesruscoe polycounter lvl 7
    NIce bikes everyone :p working on mine atm.... will post it tomoz maybe ;)
  • paradise.engineering
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    paradise.engineering polycounter lvl 6
    Rapante wrote: »
    powerbike.gif

    that's perfect! You know a fat guy couldn't ride it tho

    Tigerfeet wrote: »
    BikeWireSpin.gif
    so awesome! 9skulls is totally right, would look better wider and with a wider back wheel
  • Mercury
    @9skulls - Awesome pumpkin, like the animation, i'll be adding knife in mine pumpkin :)

    @Rapante - Grat bike man, I really love it ...



    Here's something from me ... It's still a WIP, i have to work on texture some more ... It's pretty blurry right now ...


    1cd53.png
  • 9skulls
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    9skulls polycounter lvl 10
    @Mercury Sweet colors mate :D



    Working on something new, WIP:
    ac-turntable-v1.gif
    _______________________
    Can you tell what it is?
  • paradise.engineering
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    paradise.engineering polycounter lvl 6
    arcade or jackpot

    Mercury is that for the Lowpoly Haloween Contest? cause if it is you also need to post it there.
  • Baddcog
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    Baddcog polycounter lvl 9
    It's a team fortress 2 arcade game
  • ima
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    ima polycounter lvl 8
    @Rapante amazing bike, but you could also make the hubs and inside of the wheels alpha textured quads instead of actual geometry(?) That's 30 less tris I think.
    PS. I don't know a lot about low poly stuff, so tell me if I'm being silly.
  • Delko
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    Delko polycounter lvl 12
    puch.png
    Puch Magnum
    puchpic.png
    technically a moped but...it looks cool.
  • leilei
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    leilei polycounter lvl 12
    toach2.jpg

    Made quickly (23 minutes) to replace a very ugly 310 polygon 512x512x24 torch someone else made. and then i got a sudden bad headache :(
  • wildmax
  • Rapante
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    Rapante polygon
    Mercury: nice one!

    9skulls: man you're pumping out assets like a squirrel on dope :) can't wait to see it finished :D

    wildmax: nice bike! keep it coming!
    ima wrote: »
    @Rapante amazing bike, but you could also make the hubs and inside of the wheels alpha textured quads instead of actual geometry(?) That's 30 less tris I think.
    PS. I don't know a lot about low poly stuff, so tell me if I'm being silly.

    note: this is just my personal opinion, so don't take it as a definite in low poly modelling :)

    I think it's working against the style using alpha planes for that as to make them really look round you'd need a larger texture than the single 128x128px diffuse. (which was my goal because 9Skulls kind of set the benchmark here :D :angel:)

    to make it look really good it would need to be a texture with soft alpha - which is a performance hit for most lower end devices; as a plus a soft alpha adds quite a lot of a memory impact for those devices (somehow not true for some PowerVR based chipsets :shifty:). so it'd both lower the FPS (and I had my fair share of shit coming along when doing UIs with alpha on iOS devices) and impact the amount of memory available for things more important than the wheel hub!

    And now for the cake of the icing, I just like it better that way :poly121:
  • hawken
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    hawken polycounter lvl 14
    9skulls wrote: »

    Riding - Isometric:
    v3_riding.gif

    Heh I'm liking the bounce to this! And the scarf is looking much better. Spinning the hubs with the wheels might help to make them smoother, or you could go the DS mariokart route and place one quad over the sides with a circular texture on.

    You most certainly might want to move the mudguards up a touch to stop them clipping with the tyres.

    GIF seems a bit screwed to me, last frame is all garbled, what are you exporting them from? I tried fixing it in Photoshop; removed the first frame and equalised all the frames to run on the same delay, exported with no transparency, lossy to zero, lets see: (It may be because there's transparency in the original that the artefacts appear, or that there's a lossy setting on)

    v3_riding2.gif
  • hawken
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    hawken polycounter lvl 14
    Delko wrote: »
    puch.png
    Puch Magnum
    puchpic.png
    technically a moped but...it looks cool.

    Nice work! (yes I have a soft spot for low poly motorbikes!).

    You might want to reduce the cuts on the crossbar to make it fit in with the rest of the bike. Also a few other angles of this bike wouldn't hurt, the seat is most definitely too thin, along with the wheels, crossbar etc.

    A very cool bike when they have been minimalised, much like the fixie of the moped world.

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3017/2690007295_d2c5a309c2.jpg
  • hawken
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    hawken polycounter lvl 14
    Here's a monkeybike I did a few years back (in gmax!) for a bit of fun, if it helps anyone.
    I should definitely revisit this!

    mkb_left.png
    mkb_wire.png

    more:
    http://dadako.com/forums/mkb_right.png
    http://dadako.com/forums/mkb_scale.png

    Although I made it a while back some of the key principles to budgeting your triangles still count: (the budget was 1024 tris)

    1. Maximise your detail on the tyres, spend as many polygons as you can here. Beg borrow and steal geometry from around the bike to feed these hungry beasts. This is the area that will get the most attention, as they move and the eye is naturally drawn to them as they spin.

    2. Remove any detail that doesn't add to the silhouette of the bike or can be done just as well in a texture. You don't need to model that brake cable when a 6 tris plane can do the same job. That tiny bit of metal that connects the shocks or pedals, is it ever seen?

    3. Floating geometry is king. Stick pipes into planes, tubes into tubes. Geo doesn't need to be connected, you can save huge amounts of triangles here. The focus is the end shape and not the geo flow.

    4. Try to remove as many curves out of your pipes as possible. Only curve when it adds to the silhouette. As you can see above, I could have collapsed that one loop in the middle of the long part on the handlebars and saved a whole bunch of tris without changing the models appearance.

    5. Reference regularly, make sure it can be ridden by your player model.

    6. Try to avoid "dirty modelling" - the bike is not a table, it will fall over. If the under part of your seat was deleted due to saving 2 triangles, that's going to look weird when seen.
  • Tigerfeet
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    Tigerfeet Polycount Sponsor
    Rapante wrote: »
    it would need to be a texture with soft alpha - which is a performance hit for most lower end devices; as a plus a soft alpha adds quite a lot of a memory impact for those devices (somehow not true for some PowerVR based chipsets :shifty:). so it'd both lower the FPS (and I had my fair share of shit coming along when doing UIs with alpha on iOS devices

    O-oh.... :shifty::shifty::shifty: *ninja-delete-headlight-shine*

    In other news, I love seeing these low-poly bikes! I don't know much about bikes, but I do definitely appreciate sexy machinery. :D
  • Fomori
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    Fomori polycounter lvl 8
    Damn! Think I might have to join in with this low poly motorbike thang. Inspiring.
  • 9skulls
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    9skulls polycounter lvl 10
    Delko wrote: »
    puch.png
    A moped, awesome! Have you thought of what kind of style you're aiming for with the rider model? If I may suggest points of improvements, as hawken said: you should try to make the bike a bit more wider, too. Especially the tires look too thin.

    Are you going get rid of that mirror line in the middle of the chassis when you get your model finishded? Because I think you should do that. The middle line is giving nothing to the profile of your bike, so it would save tons of tris there and you could spend them to something more important.

    Also I'd prolly do something for these:

    fffvk.jpg

    And first I thought I saw some unnecessary edges in the engine department, but then I realized the engine is just made of overlapping parts, am I right?

    Good work anyways!

    __________________________________________

    @leilei That torch is looking good :) It's yelling for animated fire!
    __________________________________________

    @wildmax Nice solid start there! I'd triangulate the sides of the petrol tank to make the shape more natural (that one quad there seems to "stretch" out a bit too much).
    __________________________________________

    @Rapante Haha, squirrel on dope.. And I'm messing up all my nuts 'cause of dat.

    Oh wait, what was the analogue again... :poly141:

    About the cabin, I may have some kind of texture to show later today.
    __________________________________________

    @hawken Thanks for the comment! And yea I should raise the fender – again. Last update wasn't 'nuff I see.

    And what browser do you watch the gif with? One other dude also complained about not seeing the gif properly (on dA). I'm using Firefox 7-something it is working as supposed to. I also tested it on IE8 (eeeeeeeeeew, I had to use IE! I had to watch porn for like 2 hrs just to clean up my head from that kind of carbage >_>) which seemed to work "fine" if you don't count in the slooooooowwww FPS of ~8-10 or something.

    Guess I should do another test with Google Chrome.
    __________________________________________

    @hawken Oh and about your bike: is that your entry for this bikefest? It's looking good... Wait! Is that... Is that...

    ... AN N-GON ON YOUR BIKE'S GAS TANK!? My god :D

    Also is there somekind of fancy reflection stuff going on with the shiny parts of your bike, or is it just cleverly textured?

    ALSO, I agree with the points you made in that post. Especially the 1. and 3. one. My first thoughts were when I started modelling my own bike was "I seriously got to make those wheels look chubby".

    Cuz I looove it chubby.
    __________________________________________

    @Tigerfeet You are just like the ninjas from old movies. They always yell right before they perform the sneak attack :D

    __________________________________________

    @Fomori You are OBLIGATED to do so! Now at least.
  • Delko
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    Delko polycounter lvl 12
    Thanks for all the crits guys, I think Ive got it sorted out now. I still haven't removed the symmetry lines tho, so just that into account.
    puchm.png
    9hpglf.jpg
    @9skulls
    haven't really thought about that yet. Its a pretty small bike IRL, so ill probably have to go with lankier proportions compared to what everyone else is doing.
  • Rapante
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    Rapante polygon
    Delko wrote: »
    Thanks for all the crits guys, I think Ive got it sorted
    I was going to post a nice turn table animation, but apparently 3dsmax cant do a shaded wireframe render without having vray installed, so meh.

    it can! but unfortunately not by rendering it. Go to your "animation" dropdown menu and choose "make preview"

    you won't be able to render directly to a gif, but you'll be able to render single frames and put them together in your image manipulation app of choice!
  • Delko
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    Delko polycounter lvl 12
    thanks, that did it!
  • 9skulls
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    9skulls polycounter lvl 10
    @Delko Looking great :)


    Here's the texture WIP for my arcade cabin:
    ac-turntable-v3.gif

    Oh what's the inspiration behind that, you ask? I'm glad you asked! I am trying to combine – succesfully – this, this and this.
  • felipefrango
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    felipefrango polycounter lvl 9
    Ooh, I like the glow effect on that turntable 9skulls, how did you do it? Also, great bikes everyone, specially Rapante, awesome texture work as usual.
  • renderhjs
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    renderhjs sublime tool
    nice stuff on the last 2 pages- maybe I should make a bike as well
  • 9skulls
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    9skulls polycounter lvl 10
    Ooh, I like the glow effect on that turntable 9skulls, how did you do it?
    It's just some Blender magic with nodes. I may get rid of it for the final version since it doesn't really add as much to the overall look as I tought it would.
  • Harry
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    Harry polycounter lvl 13
    are the bikes part of an event or challenge? I'd like to participate, and i know just the bike i'd like to make.

    as for me i'm doing some tweaks to lighting and environment in dicta. I think it's starting to look more natural.

    Since i've posted in this thread we've also implemented morph targets, so the early planes without ailerons properly warp their wings :D

    Cloud distribution still sucks. That's the next thing I hope to revisit.

    natch.jpg
  • hawken
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    hawken polycounter lvl 14
    9skulls wrote: »
    And what browser do you watch the gif with?

    Just webkit (safari / chrome) - I think it would be safer to remove any transparency & loss on export)
    9skulls wrote: »
    Oh and about your bike: is that your entry for this bikefest?
    What bikefest? Nah, I modelled that back in 2003... I have the file in MAX format but am now on a mac, no way to open it.


    Maybe it's time for a bike challenge.
  • hawken
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    hawken polycounter lvl 14
    bike and rider? Budget 2048 tris for the lot?
    Textures? nothing over 256x256?

    or Strictly 1024 tris for the bike?
  • Harry
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    Harry polycounter lvl 13
    1024 tri bike 256x256 texture sounds grand to me
  • Maph
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    Maph polycounter lvl 8
    Great work on the last few pages guys! Rapante, you sir have some serious low res texturing skillz. Did you make that texture the olde pixel painting way (ie. one pixel at a time)?

    9skulls: Gorgeous bike and cabinet! I'm actually building an arcade cabinet for reals so I'm biased, but yours rocks mah socks.

    Edit: this bike thing is pretty tempting, I've been dying to do some more LP work!
  • hawken
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    hawken polycounter lvl 14
    OK I'll set up an official thread in the challenges forum, however that part of polycount gets very little love so you're fine to post here too.
  • Mr_Drayton
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    Mr_Drayton polycounter lvl 8
    Oh snap, is this bikefest going to be a contest? Awesome, polycount me in.

    Well, there's already the "manifesto" of it... :D
    9skulls wrote: »
    Hey, YOU!
    __________________________________________________

    Feeling lonely?

    Don't quite have as many vertices as your neighbors?

    Don't know what to do with your polys you got when your
    ex-wife left you for another bandit?

    Then you might just be the badass outlaw
    prospect we have been looking for!


    EdgeSplitterzMotorClub-gif1-v3.gif

    Join US!
    __________________________________________________

    Join us, the most hardcore 1% low poly motorbike club ever,
    EDGE SPLITTERZ and get ready TO CAUSE SERIOUS MAYHEM!
    Compared to us, Garmageddon is going to look like a sunday
    trip to grandma's!

    YOU MAY NOT HAVE AS MANY POLYS AS YOUR NEIGHBOR,
    BUT GOD HELP US, THE LITTLE YOU HAVE,
    THEY ARE ABOUT TO KICK ASS MORE THAN MUHAMMED ALI EVER DID!
  • Fomori
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    Fomori polycounter lvl 8
  • Rapante
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    Rapante polygon
    Maph wrote: »
    Great work on the last few pages guys! Rapante, you sir have some serious low res texturing skillz. Did you make that texture the olde pixel painting way (ie. one pixel at a time)?
    !

    thanks Maph! Yep, I did the texture the old way :) though I "cheated" a little with some gradients for shading, but the main detailing is all hand pixeled :)
  • 9skulls
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    9skulls polycounter lvl 10
    Maph wrote: »
    I'm actually building an arcade cabinet for reals so I'm biased, but yours rocks mah socks.
    WAAAAT, for real? You're making some kind of MAME cabinet? Do you have WIP blog or anything where I could follow your progress? I've had the same idea for about 6 years now of making my own cabin, I just never got the time to design it :/

    __________________________________

    @hawken It's a great idea, but I am afraid that as soon as you make this "official" ppl will fleet the same second :D You know, Murphy's.

    But if you are going to set down some rules, I think 1000-1100 tris for the combined biker + motorbike is about the correct limit. That and texture size of MAX 256² for each model.

    :poly145:
    __________________________________

    Mr_Drayton wrote: »
    Oh snap, is this bikefest going to be a contest? Awesome, polycount me in.
    HAHAHAHAHA I love what you did thar :poly142:

    __________________________________

    @Rapante Yeah but the gradient trick was brilliant. It added so much depth to the texture without making it look too hi-res or anything.
  • skylebones
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    skylebones polycounter lvl 10
    hawken wrote: »
    OK I'll set up an official thread in the challenges forum, however that part of polycount gets very little love so you're fine to post here too.

    I would be so down with this!
  • Harry
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    Harry polycounter lvl 13
    so are we shooting for 1024 tri overall? rider required? I'm not so keen to do a rider 'cause the bike i'm doing will look better without one but...
  • Maph
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    Maph polycounter lvl 8
    9skulls wrote: »
    WAAAAT, for real? You're making some kind of MAME cabinet? Do you have WIP blog or anything where I could follow your progress? I've had the same idea for about 6 years now of making my own cabin, I just never got the time to design it :/

    [THREAD HIJACK]
    Yip, for reals. And it's a MAME cabinet based on the MK2 design. It's actually my mate's cabinet, but we've talking about this since our childhood basically. I also started building custom joysticks for the PS3 as well whenever I can find the time.
    We can only work on the cabinet sporadically, but the side panels are all cut out, next up are the back, front and top panels and the control panel.

    Blog wise, that mate of mine started a blog about it yes, but it's in Dutch. I'll look into creating an english one when we're done. :)
    But here are two pictures anyway!
    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7460156/MameSidePanels01.jpg
    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7460156/MameSidePanels02.jpg

    (edited by hawken - I won't delete this but links for pictures please)

    As far as plans go, you can find a whole slew of plans online for arcade cabinets. http://wiki.arcadecontrols.com/wiki/Cabinet_Plans Just take any one to base yours off or re-create it as is. :)
    The hardest choice to make is what kind of monitor you're going to use imho. Depending on the cabinet specs, you'll need at least a 21" and preferably a 25". But the latter only comes in the arcade monitor variant, and those don't come cheap.
    We opted for a television with a VGA to SCART (EU standard) cable I still need to make at some point to translate the VGA to RGB signal combined with using some software driver hacks to get the refresh rates good.

    If you ever get started on one, it ain't cheap. Unless you already have the proper powertools available already (table and circular saw, sander, jigsaw, heavy duty drill, router, etc...), which we did not. :D

    If you want some more infos, shoot me a pm. ;)
    [/THREAD HIJACK]

    Rapante: Are you telling me you did not dither those gradient yourself? Shame on you! :D

    Fuck, I'm gonna try to get some action of this contest as well! Do FX and all that stuff count for the tri budget?
  • Rapante
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    Rapante polygon
    Maph, I'll do it next time, I promise :poly142:

    ok here she is, little blue riding hood :D

    powerbike_rider.png

    tris: 1023 combined

    will unwrap and texture her later because I literally have to catch a train in an hour or so, my bro's wedding is tomorrow :)
  • Mr_Drayton
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    Mr_Drayton polycounter lvl 8
    Rapante wrote: »
    Rad rad rad!

    Tell the truth. t's a future model of a Kawasaki Ninja. And they'll sell Ninjas bundled with motorbikes!
  • Harry
  • Tigerfeet
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    Tigerfeet Polycount Sponsor
    Rapante wrote: »
    ok here she is, little blue riding hood :D
    Oh she's super cute I love it! Great line on those hips too. Definitely saving this for edge loop inspiration! :D
  • VPrime
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    VPrime polycounter lvl 9
    Maph, that is awesome. I built my own arcade fight stick for street fighter over the summer. My plan is to build an arcade cabinet next year :)
  • Nick Carver
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    Nick Carver polycounter lvl 10
    I fucking love this thread. Always so much inspirational stuff.
  • hawken
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    hawken polycounter lvl 14
    9skulls wrote: »
    It's a great idea, but I am afraid that as soon as you make this "official" ppl will fleet the same second.
    Can't say I agree with you. Challenges usually have a high turn out.
    9skulls wrote: »
    But if you are going to set down some rules, I think 1000-1100 tris for the combined biker + motorbike is about the correct limit. That and texture size of MAX 256² for each model.

    Hmm, don't really agree with this. To be fair Rider should be optional, and separate budget. It's a much more modular approach surely?

    1024 is a nice round number we usually use.
  • Fomori
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    Fomori polycounter lvl 8
    hawken wrote: »


    Hmm, don't really agree with this. To be fair Rider should be optional, and separate budget. It's a much more modular approach surely?

    1024 is a nice round number we usually use.

    Let's have the rules clearly outlined then and get the challenge started. What's it gonna be?

    I've already started in mind to keep bike+rider below 1100 tris.
    but would like to know asap if I can go higher.
  • Baddcog
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    Baddcog polycounter lvl 9
    I like the bike/rider combo. And at 1024 it's a good challenge. We make it 1024 bike alone and not quite the challenge.
  • 9skulls
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    9skulls polycounter lvl 10
    hawken wrote: »
    Hmm, don't really agree with this. To be fair Rider should be optional, and separate budget. It's a much more modular approach surely?
    Well, in my original post I stated that I wanted to see bikes with bikers. Since some people wanted to go for it and have so far done both bike and biker, I don't really see any reason why one should go and change it.

    But then again, I never started it out as a competition or anything that formal, so yeah, whatevs. Start a bike competition if you like :)
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