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Composition resources?

Kawe
polycounter lvl 8
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Kawe polycounter lvl 8
So, I'd like to know if anyone got some nice "composition" resources out there. By resources I'm thinking tutorials, examples and so on... but anything goes. I've been seeing people talk about composition when it comes to 2d paintings but I never really thought it carries over well to 3d but apparently it does. After reading Hourence's level design book I realized there's A LOT that I don't know about composition that I really should know.

Uhm, ya.. hand it over! :)

If you're a resource yourself then please put yourself into a box and mail yourself over. I'll pay for shipping. lol :poly142:. Or you can do it the easy way and make a post!

Replies

  • Kawe
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    Kawe polycounter lvl 8
    Well, I guess I had to do some googling around. Here's an entry on wikipedia. Not particularily helpful though.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Composition_(visual_arts)

    Some entries on About.com
    http://painting.about.com/od/composition/Art_Composition_and_Perspective_in_Paintings.htm

    It'd be nice with some that are applied for 3d art though.
  • Eric Chadwick
    I don't know about you, but the wikipedia article lays it out pretty well.

    The PSG art tut also has some composition sections.
    http://itchstudios.com/psg/art_tut.htm
  • Kawe
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    Kawe polycounter lvl 8
    Well, I'm not sure how to apply all those things in 3D really.

    What I mean is.. composition is kind of.. leading the viewer around the image. But for a level it'd be leading the player around the level... (well, it is more than leading people around but that was the easiest way to explain it I think).

    So I guess what I'm really looking for is resources for composition in level design.

    Maybe it is the same thing as for 2D images? I don't know :)

    An example from Hourence's book is how people used vertically aligned structures to make buildings look taller than they are. Not sure if that counts as composition though?
  • Tumerboy
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    Tumerboy polycounter lvl 12
    Dunno, I always figure you can't compose every shot the player will ever see. So you pick a few key places that you KNOW most people will see, and try and make those as superfuckintastic as you can. (and you use standard 2d composition techniques for those)
  • Sage
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    Sage polycounter lvl 16
    Just use the rule of thirds, I think that is what it's called, and place the important things with that in mind. Maybe reading some photography books might give you ideas, the ones that attempt to show the reader how to frame a shot.

    Alex
  • Eric Chadwick
    No, he's talking about level design, which is an entirely different kind of composition from the rules used in 2D painting and drawing.

    Hourences has some good guidelines in his book. It's all essentially about flow... helping the player understand what to do, where to go, and how to get there. And wowing them along the way. :)

    http://wiki.polycount.net/CategoryEnvironment
    Read the links here, you should get a good idea of what it's about. Also helps make a few levels, and -very important- watch how other people play them.
  • Sage
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    Sage polycounter lvl 16
    I was thinking more about how it applies to film and using a view finder and not so much drawing and painting. A lot of photography book also mention how light and placement of things with in the frame can cause the viewer to feel different emotions. You can design the level so it makes the player see certain things as well or just have it be fluid and whatever is in the frame be interesting.
  • Eric Chadwick
    Film composition doesn't apply unless the game takes over control of the player's viewpoint, at which point it's not a level design issue but a cinematics one.
  • MoP
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    MoP polycounter lvl 16
    Yeah as Eric says, composition for gameplay/level design is quite different to cinematic composition or illustrative composition.

    Lighting can be a pretty important part of gameplay composition - especially if you are consistent with stuff. If you're in a room, the exit of the room should be immediately obvious, so that a player will never get lost or cornered (unless you WANT them to be lost or cornered).

    You can also use "hero" assets (memorable/unique models and textures) as focal points and landmarks in a level, so players will know exactly what happens around a specific area (oh, the powerup is in the mouth of the giant skull!).

    Also try and differentiate each room and corridor in some way, even if they're basically the same, you never want a player to be confused about exactly where they are in a level. Use lighting, props or unique textures to do this.
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