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Another daft question..

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by boxy, Aug 31, 2005.

  1. boxy

    boxy

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    One of the possible uses of Unity I'm looking into is a movement called Machinima, movie making using realtime tools. Obviously it would be good if your hero characters had a full range of animation abilities including detailed facial animations, which would mean the face would need quite a lot of geometry, so the the stupid question is, how do I work out a polygon budget for any given scene? How do I know if the sample below has too many Polys in the head or whether I could add more? I guess there must be a way of working out a lowest common denominator eg a mac mini - and then trying to figure out how much the basic mini could handle? maybe that info is already out there?
    Cheers
    Boxy

     
  2. DaveyJJ

    DaveyJJ

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    Someone from the OTEE team, I believe it was Nicholas, did once post ideas about polygon count per scene etc but for the life of me I can't find the thread using the forum Search function. Sorry.

    Nicholas?
     
  3. boxy

    boxy

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    OK thanks Davey, it would be worth coming up with some rough guidelines for both macs and PCs, I guess this might get complicated though, would the genre make a difference? etc.
    Boxy Sav
     
  4. pete

    pete

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    might be this thread davey was thinking of...
    http://otee.dk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=469

    though if your doing machinima you'll only need to worry about your machine - no? how long it will take to render all the frames of a movie. the end file is just a .mov right? so you don't need to worry as much about the limits of realtime rendering. more the strength of your machine and your patience level ;).
     
  5. boxy

    boxy

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    Thannks Pete. That is a useful link. As for the Machinima thing - you are right, perhaps I shouldn't quite call it Machinima but I like the idea that as well as creating the movie in realtime you also allow the viewer to watch it in realtime be a 'free roaming camera' if they so choose. Once the Windows web player is released that will become a real possibility. Of course you could also create a quicktime movie - actually, how would you do that? :)
    Boxy
     
  6. robertseadog

    robertseadog

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    Hmm, that is one heavy poly model you got yourself there, I see you model in quads just like me. In unity though It's really an advantage to model in tri's or else Unity will chop it up for you, creating a lot of poly's!

    Anyway you look at max poly count etc it's allways smart to be economic on the poly count for later on (better having a faster game than a slower one).
     
  7. pete

    pete

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    so it's like a non-interactive game where you can move around and watch the AI act out the story? yeah you'll have to worry about optimizing if it's realtime.

    quicktime from unity... i don't have a clue! my demo expired a while ago. haven't had a chance to buy it cause my wife spends all my money! :(
     
  8. boxy

    boxy

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    I'm not sure I could work in Triangles, it really is a horrible experience :) I do have a much lower poly version of it though, guess I'll just have to experiment and see what's what.

    You must find a way to buy it, I will gladly live on stale bread for the next few months if that is what it takes hehe
    Thanks
    Boxy
     
  9. Jonathan Czeck

    Jonathan Czeck

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    Well, you can get a lot of hints from other people's games.

    Unreal 4: (really high system requirements and not even out yet of course)
    http://www.unrealtechnology.com/screens/character_creation2.jpg < 5,287 polygons
    http://www.unrealtechnology.com/screens/character_creation1.jpg < based from a 2 million polygon mesh for the normal map.

    Homeworld 2: (fairly high requirements)
    http://actionvault.ign.com/features/den/homeworld2dia04.shtml
    About 2000 polygons per ship. They shot for no more than 75k polygons on the screen at a time.

    OverWhelmed Arena: Tried to keep the polygon count around 2000 per ship. There seems to still be lots of GPU power to spare on newer computers. Seem to be pushing the CPU more on the machines I've tested with.

    -Jon

    p.s. Nice little model there. :)
     
  10. pete

    pete

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    she's out shopping as i type and i already ate all the stale bread! ;)

    glad aarku mentioned normal mapping... make a normal map form your hi poly and put it on your low... mmm ZBrush... crap i can't afford that either!
     
  11. boxy

    boxy

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    Thanks Jon
    hellfire looks like there's a lot of leaning to be done in the optimizing dept!
    I dug the wee fella out from a while ago, might try and use him in something, maybe even in a collaboration if anyone can think of a use for him...
    Cheers
    Boxy
     
  12. DaveyJJ

    DaveyJJ

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    Couldn't you also do what the latest version of Studio Max does? That is, create a high-res/poly model, create an associated UV/bump/texture maps for the high-res model, then export the maps and apply it to a much lower res version of the same model, thus giving the appearance of a highly detailed model but using much fewer polygons? Or did I explain that correctly?

    Yeah, waht aarku said, normal mapping.
     
  13. boxy

    boxy

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    Well have you looked into declaring yourself a charity ;)
    I know how you feel, it is so frustrating, but this is why I applied for an Arts Council grant (UK), maybe there is something similar where you live? Basically, I was always too skint to invest in the kind of kit that I knew would help earn me more money, so I applied for a small business grant and quite unbelievably, got it. Now for the first (and possibly last) time ever I have exactly the kit I wanted (minus Unity but that is a temporary thing!)
    Boxy
     
  14. boxy

    boxy

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    I am a clutz - I have Zbrush, I totally forgot about looking into the normal map possibility - never done any normal map stuff before so I guess it didn't register!
    There are way too many learning curves going on now, its starting to freak me out hehe...
    Boxy
     
  15. pete

    pete

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    lol... time to break out the ol tin cup!

    i'll have to look into grants. thanks for the idea! zbrushcentral should have some good tips/tuts on creating normal maps with it. lucky dog!

    edit... here...
    http://206.145.80.239/zbc/zb_quicklinks.php?q=7
     
  16. boxy

    boxy

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    Thanks for the links, its funny whenever I go to the ZBrush forums with something in mind I always get side tracked by something else and end up forgetting why I went there! it is an astonishing bit of kit.
    Shake that tin cup baby :p
    Boxy
     
  17. pete

    pete

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    yeah i usually wind up losing an afternoon in the gallery when i could be out beggin for coins!
     
  18. boxy

    boxy

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    lol. apologies in case that sounded insensitive - not meant to!
    boxy
     
  19. pete

    pete

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    :?: not in the least - i'm laughing too. I really do get stuck looking at all the cool art for hours on end! or did you mean something else to someone else?
     
  20. boxy

    boxy

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    lol no, I suddenly thought it might be insensitive of me to make a joke of your financial woes!! I see my communication skills are coming along nicely - where's my dummy... ;)
     
  21. pete

    pete

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    no worries. i'm not exactly financially woed. just joking about it and my wife. 3d is a hobby for me at the moment and right now there's other stuff to spend on before hobbies that's all...

    oh yeah... zb2.5 coming out by december... woohoo!
     
  22. boxy

    boxy

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    Ah my sense of humour did a runner yesterday, there is nothing worse I find ;)
    ZBrush, way exciting - plugins look awesome too, can't wait!
    Boxy
     
  23. hsparra

    hsparra

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    ZBrush looks neat. However, for us slow people, how would I use it in relation to Unity? Would it be along the same lines as Wings3D and Cheetah3D, or would I use it for a different purpose?
     
  24. boxy

    boxy

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    The basic theory is that you can sculpt insanely highly detailed characters/objects on a mesh containing millions of Polygons. From that physical detail, you can then create a normal map which is mapped to a much lower polygon version of the object. So there are still very few polygons in your Unity game object but the normal map makes it look like it is highly detailed.
    Not something I've actually tried yet in relation to unity but I have used the same technique to generate displacement maps for rendering in C4D
    Boxy
     
  25. guategeek_legacy

    guategeek_legacy

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    So can Unity do the normal maps thing. I was just reading about it in the Unreal 3 Engine page and it seemed like a cool tecnology. If Unity can do this I realy want to try it out or see some examples. Jeff
     
  26. pete

    pete

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    i'm pretty sure there are some normal maps in the standard assets. i remember a tree trunk had one at least. your vid card needs to support extra textures though.
     
  27. boxy

    boxy

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    Actually, isn't parallax bump mapping supposed to be better than normal mapping? Could I just use a ZBrush displacement map in a Parallax Bump material?
    Boxy
     
  28. pete

    pete

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    see the woweeee! job that peter did here
    http://otee.dk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=456

    i think for static things your good with paralax but for animated characters normal maps are probably the way to go.

    i think you could use a zb displacement map for paralax - it's just a height map...

    but then again... i'm a hack! don't know much about much...
     
  29. guategeek_legacy

    guategeek_legacy

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    Just a coment, but the "bump" maps that all the otee guys have in there screenshots look like normal maps, not bump maps at all. Jeff
     
  30. robertseadog

    robertseadog

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    I think you just use your normal maps in the paralax slot. It's basicly just an improvement to normalmaps.. Or that at least is my impression.
     
  31. pete

    pete

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    yeah jeff those do look like normal maps.
     
  32. NicholasFrancis

    NicholasFrancis

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    Yeah, assign your normal map.

    One thing: You need to make sure your normal map has the height as greyscale in the alpha channel...

    If you make a greyscale heightmap in photoshop, in the texture importer settings you should:
    Enable 'Build Alpha From Greyscale'
    Enable 'Generate Bump Map'
    The bumpyness slider controls the shading, whereas the parralax amount is controlled from the material
     
  33. boxy

    boxy

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    Ah thanks Nicholas, Hopefully I'll get to try that once I have finished UV mapping.
    Boxy
     
  34. pete

    pete

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    thanks nicholas - that clears things up...
     
  35. boxy

    boxy

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    Ah, I thought it seemed clear, but now it comes to putting things into practice..not!
    The image shows the results of a quick progress check I'm doing. Below the line is a ZBrush displacement map and the results of applying that displacement to the model in Cinema 4D. This is roughly what I expected both displacement and normal maps to do as the centre character appears to have more detail than it actually has.
    Above the line is the same low res model in Unity with a parallax/diffuse material applied. The top normal map is generated in ZBrush. That didn't work out, so I converted it to grayscale and applied that, the results of which are shown in the editor - clearly not what I am expecting. I wonder if you could tell me where I'm going wrong with this?
    Thanks
    Sav

     
  36. freyr

    freyr

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    You can't just convert a normal map into greyscale and use it as a displacement map.

    A normal map encodes the normal vectors as the R, G and B components in a texture image. Converting the RGB image into a grayscale image (which is basically an average of the R, G and B components) does not make any sense.

    As the input normal map is already generated by Z-brush, you should disable the "generate bump map" option. That one is only used for greyscale displacement bump maps.
     
  37. boxy

    boxy

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    well it didn't feel right and it didn't look right :)
    So there is something I'm not getting here, I apply the original normal map to the bumpmap channel of a Parallax/Diffuse material. What next? I am not getting anything like a model which appears to have more detail.
    Also Nicholas said "You need to make sure your normal map has the height as greyscale in the alpha channel..." How exactly do I achieve this? ZB has not generated any height info in any alpha channels as far as I can see, though my guess is I am just not understanding ;)
    Thanks
    Boxy
     
  38. NicholasFrancis

    NicholasFrancis

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    Hi Boxy...

    Let me see if I can clear a bit out for you...

    The normal map you've got from ZBrush looks lika an object space normal map. Unity uses tangent space normal maps (they're the blue ones). I'm 'pretty' sure ZBrush can generate those as well.

    As an alternative, try taking the displacement map (as that is basically a greyscale height field) and using Unity's generate bumpmap / alpha from grayscale (the exact settings you have above) - this should be another way to go around it, although you'll probably get more precise results by letting ZBrush generating the tangentspace normal map.

    Btw: Great with those images... It's a lot easier to debug when I can see what's going on... Guys - follow this example.
     
  39. boxy

    boxy

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    There's a button in ZBrush under 'Normal Map' titled 'Tangent', if I press it it creates a blue normal map. Do you think that might be it? :D
    Thanks Nicholas, now things are getting a bit clearer - I was just reading about studio max and tangent maps on the ZB board. It still hasn't done what I thought it would, but that just might be because I need to go back into ZB and create the subD detailing a different way. Hopefully the boy will get chubby little cherub cheeks eventually hehe.
    I'm glad you prefer looking at images to debug because words just don't cut it sometimes!
    Thanks for the help
    Boxy