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Zelda: Wind waker Tech and Texture Analysis *picture heavy*

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  • Daaark
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    Daaark polycounter lvl 13
    warby wrote: »
    Cool. The image of the cutscene made it look like the eyes were following the contour of the head. Your shot proves that not the case!
  • sub_roland
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    sub_roland polycounter lvl 12
    na, he just photoshoped the eye to be correct ;-p just kidding, Great write up warby. and fun reading other peoples thoughts (daaark) Hope for some more of this on the forums.
  • Marshal Banana
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    Marshal Banana polycounter lvl 13
    ErichWK wrote: »
    ii5Toz9lGLsR.gif

    Since the eyes are decals, I wonder how they got the pupils to move so smoothly. It doesn't seem like they're separate.
  • Daaark
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    Daaark polycounter lvl 13
    Same way as in a cartoon? Have a long texture sheet of eye poses, and then render 'in 2s'.
  • hawken
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    hawken polycounter lvl 15
    yeah the eyes are a texture sheet, no moving parts.

    great write up. I played the hell out of this game, it's genius. Later read about the bits they cut and that did give a missing feeling to the game's progression. Was a bit awkward to play on a widescreen telly too, here's hoping they'll re-release on new hardware one day.
  • Sonjool
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    Sonjool polycounter lvl 8
    really interesting post. This post taught me to experience games in a new way.

    And about the letterboxing effect, it's my layman speculation but it might have to do with FOV because motion sickness could be a problem with narrower view.
  • S_ource
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    S_ource polycounter lvl 9
    Thanks for taking the time to write this was an interesting read, always like to see how they technically solve stuff in games. :D cheers
  • AavaChan
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    AavaChan polycounter lvl 6
    Amazing analysis! Really lovely inspiration!
  • Daaark
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    Daaark polycounter lvl 13
    hawken wrote: »
    yeah the eyes are a texture sheet, no moving parts.
    I noticed that the eye texture seems to only change when the head is in motion. It makes it look like the pupil actually moved on it's own instead of just switching preset positions.

    If you wanted a moving eye with no moving parts, you could use the same technique, but render to a dynamic texture. But that's overkill, and no one would notice the difference unless you needed the eyes to move when the head was still.
  • wwtoonlinkfan
    I am a big fan of this game and I have been interested in the technical side of it ever since I noticed that the cel-shading in the game is different from cel-shading in other games. Your post confirmed what I already knew (I thought I was the only one to notice the dynamic cloth) and showed me some new things about the game.
    About the "cute old-school HDR tone-mapping fake," I've always seen it as a digital camera artifact (when a digital camera is pointed towards a bright light source, the image darkens).
  • Habboi
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    Habboi sublime tool
    Haha seems your thread has sparked Wind Waker fever all over the net cause even my video is getting a 1000 views again. I even found this thread where people are arguing and calling you inexperienced :)

    http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=488290&page=1
  • JordanN
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    JordanN interpolator
    I made that thread. :)
  • 16bit
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    16bit polycounter lvl 8
    linkeye.png

    I do believe the eye is part of his model. It seems the just shelled out a mesh from the head to make the eyes. The brows are also like this. I have no clue how they did the Eyeball itself. I think someone suggested the uv's moved the eyeball and I think I'll go with that.
  • bugo
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    bugo polycounter lvl 12
    Ocarina of time had the same IK, just go and test ur self.
  • warby
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    warby polycounter lvl 15
    16bit wrote: »
    linkeye.png

    I do believe the eye is part of his model. It seems the just shelled out a mesh from the head to make the eyes. The brows are also like this. I have no clue how they did the Eyeball itself. I think someone suggested the uv's moved the eyeball and I think I'll go with that.

    how did you rip that model ?!

    and yeah i also think the pupil texture is "clamped" and than moved via uvs
  • 16bit
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    16bit polycounter lvl 8
    warby wrote: »
    how did you rip that model ?!

    and yeah i also think the pupil texture is "clamped" and than moved via uvs

    I didn't, I found it on google warehouse some time ago and downloaded it to figure out how the eyes were rendered above his hair.
  • JamesWild
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    JamesWild polycounter lvl 8
    If it's been taken from Google Warehouse it might not be the original model.
    I believe the eyes atop hair is pretty simple; put Link at the start of the draw order, draw face and hair, draw eyes with backface culling so they don't show through his head but no depth test so they draw over his hair. Everything else gets drawn after so if anything IS in front of his eyes they aren't seen through them.
  • Andreas
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    Andreas polycounter lvl 11
    Warby, I'll say it again, you're a badass for this write-up.

    FYI though even Shadow of the Colossus has IK (on the horse at least) so Uncharted was definitely not the first.
  • Spiffy
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    Spiffy polycounter lvl 9
    I think Doom 3 was actually the first, though very buggy.
  • Arthur Ramazanov
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    Arthur Ramazanov polycounter lvl 8
    Awesome thread thanks for point out all the interesting aspects of the game. Gonna take some time and examine this stuff :)
  • warby
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    warby polycounter lvl 15
    JamesWild wrote: »
    If it's been taken from Google Warehouse it might not be the original model.
    I believe the eyes atop hair is pretty simple; put Link at the start of the draw order, draw face and hair, draw eyes with backface culling so they don't show through his head but no depth test so they draw over his hair. Everything else gets drawn after so if anything IS in front of his eyes they aren't seen through them.

    this is exactly how think its done
  • krisCrash
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    krisCrash polycounter lvl 9
    THANK YOU FOR THIS SWEET THREAD!!

    For those wondering about the iris itself, maybe this rip from Twilight Princess will help...
    zeldatextures.png
    (I composed the images together so the alpha is lost)
    The eye has a few separate polygons cut out of the face mesh (the eye part of the face is not actually used there), behind it is an identical mesh, offset so it doesn't clip, I believe that's where the eye itself goes, and the UVs would be animated to move the iris around. The eye area is relatively flat. I have model rips so I can load that up and show. I'm going to assume the greyscale textures handle some sort of gloss or glow.
    .3ds file and textures for Zelda: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/30439462/Zelda.7z

    OOT outputs more or less the same texture result for the eyes.

    Link has a normal, modern 3D eyes, but he and Midna's imp form are probably the only ones with that, they also have more articulation and screen time than everybody else.
    nluckett wrote: »
    Someone should do an analysis of Skyward Sword like this!

    I don't think Skyward will turn out to be done as craftily as this, judging from the designs in it. It's pretty but it has a clumsy and inexperienced feel to the graphics. I doubt as many tricks were up the sleeves of those who made it, is all.
  • andreasng
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    andreasng polycounter lvl 5
    stop with the IK, it has been around for aalllooooonnng time. I personally remember it in MArio 64, and I can certainly say that that was not the first!
  • JamesWild
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    JamesWild polycounter lvl 8
    The nearest neighbor parts of that texture are interesting. Do you think they did a low-res texture first to check for bleed or something? Or is that some custom compression format?
  • Marshal Banana
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    Marshal Banana polycounter lvl 13
    It may be a technique to prevent lines on the texture edges or something.
  • BobtheGreatII
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    BobtheGreatII polygon
    Take a look at the model of the Hylian Shield from Twilight Princess. The Triforce bracket and Triforce itself are modeled, but if you delete the geometry, the texture is the same. It leads me to believe that they made low poly stuff first, and then went back and added bits of detail.
  • wwtoonlinkfan
    JamesWild wrote: »
    The nearest neighbor parts of that texture are interesting. Do you think they did a low-res texture first to check for bleed or something? Or is that some custom compression format?

    Do you mean the color banding? I think that's a result of Nintendo's compression format, which takes advantage of the fact that Twilight Princess runs in the GameCube's 18-bit color mode (really a disadvantage in my opinion, as it makes the game look uglier than it should be) to lower the texture file size without reducing the apparent image quality. Besides, if the textures were 24-bit color, the extra colors wouldn't show because the game does not support 24-bit color.

    I honestly think that Nintendo's compression system is horrible, because it sometimes introduces JPEG-type artifacts into textures (Zelda: Skyward Sword is an example.
  • JamesWild
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    JamesWild polycounter lvl 8
    3gjJN.png
    These are the areas I'm talking about specifically.

    I can see where they're coming from if the texture was displayed unlit (might as well match 1:1 with the output buffer's colour depth) but given on lit surfaces it's going to be scaled up and down I'd honestly want the extra colour depth to maintain clean gradients and such.
  • Facepalm Ranger
    I've bean reading this thread and it's blown me away. One think I would like to know is this talk about decals!

    what are they in video game terms? are decals for the use of eyes used commonly in japanese/stylised games?
  • DMGregory
    JamesWild wrote: »
    3gjJN.png
    These are the areas I'm talking about specifically.

    Here's my best guess, from working on the Wii:

    Wii textures can be saved using a variant of S3 Texture Compression, similar to DXT1. This is a block-based scheme where all the pixels in each block get assigned a linear blend between two endpoint colours.

    You've probably seen what happens when a sudden colour change happens across a block - the compressor chooses a compromise between the two extremes, making the colours super-muddy and the block edges glaringly obvious.

    To reduce these artifacts, the Nintendo-supplied compressor finds areas where the colour doesn't matter (0 alpha), and fills them with a representative colour from the rest of the block before compressing. That way the unseen colour of the 0-alpha areas won't pollute the desired colours for the opaque texels.

    I think the GameCube used the same tech. So, those squares you're seeing are probably S3TC blocks along the edge of an opaque piece, and either fully-transparent or otherwise not visible in the resulting render. (eg. outside of the model's UVs)
  • jermaineb
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    jermaineb polycounter lvl 9
    thats some really cool information. you definitely should do so more games/hardware spec breakdowns :P
  • allaze-eroler
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    allaze-eroler polygon
    blizzard entertainment did the same trick for their textures which you can see there :

    15.png

    the model will look like this :

    cow.JPG

    i was wondering how they managed to do that such trick... aside that, your thread is so interesting to read ! it will help me greatly for to make my game :D
  • JamesWild
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    JamesWild polycounter lvl 8
    DMGregory wrote: »
    snip

    Thanks that clears that up. I had suspected it might have something to do with DXT's blocks system, but I hadn't seen obvious DXT artifacts in any of the games I had on the Cube or Wii, so I thought they were using another format.
  • krisCrash
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    krisCrash polycounter lvl 9
    DMGregory wrote: »
    I think the GameCube used the same tech. So, those squares you're seeing are probably S3TC blocks along the edge of an opaque piece, and either fully-transparent or otherwise not visible in the resulting render. (eg. outside of the model's UVs)

    Yes, those areas are all totally alpha'ed out. Plus, most of the textures have only 1-bit alpha, only the "eyelids" have a soft alpha channel. Locally variable compression is a hella good thing, where can I get it?
  • Neox
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    Neox ngon master
    warby wrote: »
    @nix my money would be that it was just too lowres to see/notice

    I just play it on gamecube, and Link only has to shadowblobs linked to his feet, not such shadows as you show them here :O
  • Ashaman73
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    Ashaman73 polycounter lvl 6
    My two cents of the block artifacts:
    I don't think that it has to do with DXT1 like compression, because these compression algorithm are always based on 4x4 blocks, which do not influence neighbor blocks. Therefore it would be senseless to fill complete blocks with some color, especially the wow texture have larger and uneven blocks.

    I think that mipmapping is the reason. Mipmapping always consider 2x2 texel of the upper level, therefore it would explain to fill power of 2 blocks (2x2,4x4,8x8,16x16...) with a similar texture color to avoid muddy colors at lower mipmap levels and especially at seams.
  • Neox
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    Neox ngon master
    okay i found a tool to extract the files from windwaker and look closer into it.

    Link has 2874 tris, the mesh showed earlier from google3dsomething looks like the one i extracted. He uses 42 bones. with a total of 323 animations for the body (not all can be opened with an error that they use 5 instead of 42 bones, so its for some item he can use, say a bow or something like that. Also he uses 155 of facial animations.

    http://airborn-studios.com/nonpublic/Steffen/link.jpg
    **ADMIN NINJA EDIT**
    Removed hyperlink, due to site asking for login/password.


    i was surprised to see such wonky texture sized on him, a lot of those are not the classical power of 2 multiples of 16. Also i'm not sure what the vertex mask is used for, i can only assume it is for wind animation in some of the parts.
    As you can see, the mystery about the iris is solved, they placed and animated the iris in shader.
  • Armageddon
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    Armageddon polycounter lvl 5
    Sorry for the noob question, how do you hack games like this and decompile the models and see the game in wireframe view and find the textures and such?
  • Neox
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    Neox ngon master
    took me five minutes to find on google, you'll need an emulator to dump the archives, a tool to open and extract the files. really easy.
  • 16bit
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    16bit polycounter lvl 8
    Neox wrote: »
    okay i found a tool to extract the files from windwaker and look closer into it.

    Link has 2874 tris, the mesh showed earlier from google3dsomething looks like the one i extracted. He uses 42 bones. with a total of 323 animations for the body (not all can be opened with an error that they use 5 instead of 42 bones, so its for some item he can use, say a bow or something like that. Also he uses 155 of facial animations.

    i was surprised to see such wonky texture sized on him, a lot of those are not the classical power of 2 multiples of 16. Also i'm not sure what the vertex mask is used for, i can only assume it is for wind animation in some of the parts.
    As you can see, the mystery about the iris is solved, they placed and animated the iris in shader.


    One mystery solved, but now a new one comes up about the vertex mask. I don't think it has anything to do with the wind, because it's also applied weirdly on his boots. It almost looks like it could be a vertex based AO, but its not applied in a way that shows that to be true.
  • SirCalalot
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    SirCalalot polycounter lvl 8
    Are the parts in red vertices that animate in the shader?
  • magarcan
    Hi!

    I'm trying to download the file for taking a look but server is not working. http://minus.com/mjCoPOaox/

    Could anyone upload it to another server?

    Cheers!!
  • warby
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    warby polycounter lvl 15
    still works for me are you sure you clicked on the download "text" and not on the big green ZIP icon ?!??!
  • Azure
    Sorry to say, the link is not working.
    Could anyone be so kind as to setup a new link?
  • warby
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    warby polycounter lvl 15
    in case somebody missed it the cutting room floor page has a bunch of unused windwaker assets on display to me this is RIVETING SHIT !

    TWW_HyruleCastle1.png

    >>>>>>>>>>>>CLICK HERE J0 >>>>http://tcrf.net/Wind_Waker <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
  • SirCalalot
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    SirCalalot polycounter lvl 8
    Well, that was a pretty cool read.
  • jermaineb
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    jermaineb polycounter lvl 9
    Idk who has heard the news, but i found it interesting theyre re-releasing it for the wii-u. It looks amazing though.
    The-Legend-of-Zelda-Wind-Waker-en-HD-para-Wii-U___3.jpg
  • Neox
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    Neox ngon master
    i wonder how much of it is real atm. the geo and textures are the same, nothing is in movement, so they could easily just slap the old files in any 3d renderer with GI
  • ZacD
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    ZacD polycounter
    I hope they wouldn't be that lazy, the game does have a day/night cycle.
  • 16bit
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    16bit polycounter lvl 8
    So did anyone ever figure out what that vertex mask was for?
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