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How does one get a game to look as good as blacksmith?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by MammothINC, Oct 1, 2015.

  1. MammothINC

    MammothINC

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    Does unity come with everything to make a game that looks as good as blacksmith.

    It's an impressive demo. Im thinking that if you want to make a game that looks as good as blacksmith you have to do the following

    1. Make higher poly models
    2. Use really large and detailed textures
    3. Get some fantastic shaders.

    I feel like I am missing something in the process. What am I missing?
     
  2. Teila

    Teila

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    Maybe have the experience that the Unity guys have making games? Seems to me that is critical.
     
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  3. MammothINC

    MammothINC

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    I would say that's a given. I am looking more for technical reasons.
     
  4. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    An artist. A real one that does high quality work. Raising poly count or texture res is seriously missing the point.
     
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  5. MammothINC

    MammothINC

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    That also makes sense. I guess what I am looking for is that this tech demo looks as close as possible to the unreal engine. If one were to start from scratch, what would be the steps to take in order to achieve the same production quality.
     
  6. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    1. Get an AAA artist, probably from polycount or wherever.
    2. Use Alloy shaders.
    3. Use scion post fx.
    4. Actually be a good art director. << be surprised just what a colossal difference it is.

    That'll get you there, pretty much.
     
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  7. Tomnnn

    Tomnnn

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    So what you're saying is that live gameplay can't look good? ;)
     
  8. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    No :)
     
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  9. MammothINC

    MammothINC

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    What would you say makes a good art director
     
  10. ippdev

    ippdev

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    Experience, a good eye and technical knowledge of the platform or media to understand benefits and limitations. Portfolios can show you what you need to know if you are not one of those that cannot artistically tell the difference between a Faberge Easter Egg and a hard boiled egg.
     
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  11. SunnySunshine

    SunnySunshine

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    Weren't they using tech that isn't available in Unity right now? Like temporal AA and stuff.
     
  12. Nubz

    Nubz

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    Money and skills I would imagine.
     
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  13. spryx

    spryx

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    I think the fact that experienced artists produced these assets is more telling. Unity is certainly capable of it.
     
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  14. Deleted User

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    I've said this many times, but here's one for the road.

    Firstly define "artist", it's a bit of a broad field and some are technical / scientific experts as well. If were talking about "meshes" in 3D art, some of the simplest scenes (not far above cubes) have won the OMG graphics awards. Like Koola's arch viz for example..

    What you need to make things look good and / or realistic.

    • A heavy understanding of colour composition.
    • In depth knowledge of lighting and PBR.
    • Deep knowledge of shaders / rendering pipelines.
    • Decent understanding of post effects and it's effect on levels.
    • A good understanding of level design and architecture.
    Once you're familiar with the above, essentially sky's the limit (performance dependant of course).. Again just for reference below shows how a scene comes together. Finally finishing off with what you could achieve..
    koola_breakdown_01.gif

    16434187458_8c2b2f0c79_o.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 1, 2015
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  15. Steve-Tack

    Steve-Tack

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  16. goat

    goat

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    Ah, it's nice the see the example progression of lighting on the koala gif. Saves me in one picture from reading dozens of pages of explanations.
     
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  17. antislash

    antislash

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    in addition > lots of money
     
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  18. Deleted User

    Deleted User

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    Why?
     
  19. antislash

    antislash

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    Hiring AAA artists + coders is money...or am i wrong ? even if you do it yourself it's about money, if you have enough, you can spend more time on it, if you don't, you have to earn some, meaning less time available for the game ...
    btw i think the BS demo was by paid persons...
    but i'd be curious to read your POV tough.
     
  20. djweinbaum

    djweinbaum

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    1. Be a good artist.
    2. Be a good artist.
    3. Be a good artist.

    Its not your texture res.
     
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  21. Deleted User

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    BTW, I was interested in your POV wasn't saying you were right or wrong :)..

    The whole AAA art thing is a bit of a fallacy IMO, by technical standards generally the art isn't that good for many reasons. But they sure know how to make it cohesively impressive and that's the key. As long as you stay a certain distance from it..

    To pull off top end graphics (like really next gen) you'll need a tech artist that knows the pipeline from end to end. Which of course I agree will cost a pretty penny, although generally they are awesome coders too. Or you can learn to do it yourself which of course costs time. Generally dev's going for the next iteration have quite a bit of money, especially for cohesions sake..

    There are tool costs etc. also to consider..

    What made me change my mind dramatically on how things should be done is going on an arch viz sabbatical. It's hard to describe really, beautifully simple yet elegantly complex would probably do.. Like with PBR don't always use textures, NM's and noise masks / V3's with a blend overlay (detail) in a lot of cases will do. Then get the lighting / post to sit pretty..

    I struggled with it, because from an old "box" modeller and diffuse texture dude. I didn't originally "get it"..

    If anyone works with V-ray, I think they'd understand.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 1, 2015
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  22. torbjorn

    torbjorn

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    @indigopocket a LOT of information related to The Blacksmith's development has been shared directly from the source, both through blog posts and packages made available through the Asset Store.

    Reading through the blog posts should give you a fairly good insight into what went into making the demo, and nearly every bit of tech and tools used in the project is available in the accompanying AS packages.


    Blog post series:

    http://blogs.unity3d.com/2015/06/11/blacksmith-faq/
    http://blogs.unity3d.com/2015/06/15/making-of-the-blacksmith-concept-and-art-production/
    http://blogs.unity3d.com/2015/06/17/making-of-the-blacksmith-scene-setup-shading-lighting/
    http://blogs.unity3d.com/2015/06/22/making-of-the-blacksmith-animation-camera-effects-audiovideo/
    http://blogs.unity3d.com/2015/06/24/releasing-the-blacksmith/
    http://blogs.unity3d.com/2015/05/28/atmospheric-scattering-in-the-blacksmith/
    http://blogs.unity3d.com/2015/05/28/unique-character-shadows-in-the-blacksmith/
    http://blogs.unity3d.com/2015/05/28/wrinkle-maps-in-the-blacksmith/
     
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  23. BrandyStarbrite

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    Wisely said. :cool:
    2 thumbs up.
     
  24. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    A good artist can make anything look good regardless of the poly count, texture detail, and shader quality.
     
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  25. antislash

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    i guess some of us had the same issue ;) there have always been and there are "modelers" and "clickers", and maybe that is precisely what can make the difference.... you can click on a makehuman or poser button but it won't create BS.
     
  26. superpig

    superpig

    Quis aedificabit ipsos aedificatores? Unity Technologies

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    The only tech that Blacksmith used which isn't available in Unity right now was a very early alpha of our cutscene technology, which was used for doing the camera control, sequencing animation playback and so on. This is still on the way, but if you need a cutscene solution right now then there are several on the Asset Store.
     
  27. GarBenjamin

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    Easy answer to the original question: Hire @ShadowK
     
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  28. Deleted User

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    I personally recommend making something simple, I mean basic as you possibly can. Mess around with lighting, look at some vids on composition, learn how to properly make materials and understand different models. The scene shouldn't take longer than 30 mins to an hour to model..

    If you can make what's basically cubes / rectangles look amazing like below (another Koola example). Then you can start applying it to more complex scenes and artwork.. Then it becomes a battle to keep the level of quality up as the game grows.

    I hope what I'm saying helps..

     
  29. goat

    goat

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    You can go way back in Poser or DAZ and still get really good looking renders and you can use their most recent models and still get bad looking art. It's down to the textures and UVs chosen/created and the lighting because model wise DAZ and Poser models are the best, particularly the Genesis models. It's not like they have another purpose as a business so they'd better be good.
     
  30. dogzerx2

    dogzerx2

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    It's difficult to put together a compact todo list to achieve such visuals, because it's a great work from top to bottom. The answer is "know how to make everything nice" :p

    Well planned storyline, camera; dramatic lighting; top notch character models, landscape, shaders & textures, rig, animations; details such as particles, cloth physics; good use of post fx; and of course audio contributes a great deal to establish the mood.

    If you know how to do all that well, Unity allows you to put those skills to good use. But it's easier said than done.

    Imo the most important aspect are not the little details, they're so darn impressive, but... like a stone sculpture, it's more important that you start with a good rough shape, without that nothing else matters. So if you can plan your game visuals carefully, have a good overall composition, you started with the right foot.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2015
  31. N1warhead

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    I honestly think the way your lighting and atmosphere is the hardest part.

    One way I know that is because, inside like Substance Painter, etc. My stuff looks sweet as he**. But the second I put it into Unity, it looses maybe 20% of the quality. Not because the lighting so much really that bad. But I think it boils down to the fact you have to learn how to make the lighting more exceptional by learning new techniques.

    When I first started learning Unity I was like oh sweet, drag drop light done. Nope. Lighting placement, bounce lighting, etc all makes a big difference at the end, so I think it's learning where to put things at specifically according to where your lighting sources are aiming (Directional light), then if you got any points, etc then place them in the proper places, and sense SSRR is coming in 5.3, that will definitely help A LOT!
     
  32. Tomnnn

    Tomnnn

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    I challenge the artists of this forum to produce a good looking 3D line, maximum 2 vertices!

    I prefer the tour of paris video, but that one was pretty too. I don't think those videos are helpful though because then people just drool over the graphics, all substance and ground go out the window, and it becomes a discussion about why can't engine x in year 20xx do what engine y could do in year 20xx?
     
  33. nipoco

    nipoco

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    Not necessarily. You can also make beautiful games with a low polycount and almost complete diffuse textures that use just a couple of colors. Lighting and FX is the key. See this for example (Made in Unity btw.)



    Overall it takes experience and a lot time to create something good looking. Or a lot of money to hire the right people.
     
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  34. goat

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    I've been debating whether I wanted to strip off the textures on my game this tells my it's the right thing to do for my game.
     
  35. nipoco

    nipoco

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    You're welcome :)
     
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  36. Teila

    Teila

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    Yup, kinda what I said in the second post. Experience allows one to do more than they could otherwise. Practice makes you better.

     
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  37. Tomnnn

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    You say that's low poly, but everything looks so smooth! Is that a shader effect on some blocky models, then?
     
  38. frosted

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    My guess is that those are not actually low poly. They're probably mid poly with low poly style. Like you say, it's too smooth!
     
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  39. antislash

    antislash

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    probably some baking there + a good shader, characters, anims and lighting are neat
     
  40. nipoco

    nipoco

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    It's actually quite low poly. They just use a clever combination of beveling, hard edges and smooth shading an on the right places.
    I really like that style. IMO it's better than the completely faceted low-poly style that is quite popular at the moment.
    It seems they use normal maps only for some environment textures like the desert sand.

     
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  41. antislash

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    that's what i call creative, all is in the quality and the coherence of the design
     
  42. Tomnnn

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    The close up makes it a little clearer. I wish I could model that well.
     
  43. ArachnidAnimal

    ArachnidAnimal

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    So far I think 75% of it comes down to good lighting/shadows. Crappy realtime lights will make everything look crappy.
    You have to spend quite a bit of time baking lights to get things to look as good as they can.
    Ive been baking my scenes for a month now, it looks better and better every pass when things are fine tuned.
    Companies probably have a full time person just doing nothing but lighting baking.
     
  44. LeftyTwoGuns

    LeftyTwoGuns

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    I personally think the lab demo looks better than the viking village. And I also think the viking village isn't well optimized at all
     
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