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How to make game look better?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Torsh, May 28, 2012.

  1. Torsh

    Torsh

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    I'm planning to use the following:
    A rather high poly count (14k for people, 2k for swords) and medium texture size (512x512 to 1024x1024)
    no normal mapping
    Unity basic (yeah, I know Pro would look better)

    I'm trying to achieve the quality of graphics of a Wii game. Do I have everything I need? The Wii uses fixed-function shaders so I should be safe.
     
  2. Filto

    Filto

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    You won't need that high polycount. Let the texture do the work for you. If you are new to game modelling I would suggest you start lower. 2-3k should be plenty for a sweet character. By working like that it will force you to learn good topology and efficient use of polys. Also you will need to put good use of texturing to achieve your level of detail which is fundemental for good game art. Why you would need 2k for a sword I can't for my life understand. Good luck!
     
  3. Torsh

    Torsh

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    I'm trying to replicate the Wii's polygon count and then a little. Problem is, I don't know how much that is.
     
  4. Filto

    Filto

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    But Wii is a game console? It depends on the game for Wii ofcourse. Why not replicate the characters for a specific game that suits yours? Or am I missing something here.
     
  5. Torsh

    Torsh

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    Okay. A little more than Zelda: Twilight Princess. Of course, their characters are probably like 8k or so.
     
  6. Filto

    Filto

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    Alright cool. Then my first statement stands. Aim for 2-3k for your characters
     
  7. Torsh

    Torsh

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    That's really low.

    And what if I'm not the one modeling it and a good artist is?
     
  8. RyuMaster

    RyuMaster

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    It is not.

    ~Heric
     
  9. Filto

    Filto

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    Then you need not to worry. With the concept art and screens of Zelda he/she will be experienced enough to use an appropriate amount of polys. If you look at my portfolio the hockeycharacters are around 2k and the small ones (soldier,budgy, and teacher) around 800
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2012
  10. varedis

    varedis

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    It seems you are just plucking random numbers out of thin air without understanding them. This is 10,000 triangles:


    That includes all the gear and items not just the character.
    Your game will likely need no where near that amount unless you plan to do full on facial animation.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2012
  11. Torsh

    Torsh

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    I'm impressed.

    I don't think I'll go that low, though.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2012
  12. Filto

    Filto

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    Fair enough. Go with whatever number you like, it's your game :) Just a friendly reminder, if you can't create a good looking character at low polycount no number of polys in the world will help. If you are new to game art production it will actually be counterproductive. May I ask your reason to go higher in polycount?
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2012
  13. lukasaurus

    lukasaurus

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    Go low and put the detail in the texture.
     
  14. khanstruct

    khanstruct

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    Why would you want to use more polys and no normal maps? That's a plan if you're trying to make your game as inefficient as possible.

    Look. This is the polycount you're aiming for:


    To achieve this look:


    This is something that happens when inexperienced modelers create assets for a game. Its never something that should be done on purpose.
     
  15. Torsh

    Torsh

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    I figured normal maps would be asking too much of the artists to do. So we're probably not going to make them.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2012
  16. lukasaurus

    lukasaurus

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    They aren't difficult for an artist. Normal maps are generated by most 3d software apps. I can't imagine anyone painting a normal map by hand? I'm not a 3d artist, so I wouldn't know, but they definitely look computer generated when you see the normal map. diffuse maps on the other hand take time (that's the actual texture). Normal maps tend to be generated from the model, although you can generate it from the texture.
     
  17. Filto

    Filto

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    I think you should forget about normal maps and just focus on texture and the form of the character. Once you've modeled your character put a pitch black diffuse on it. No shading whatsoever. Spin it around and see that it reads good from different angles. This is what your model should do for you. A clear silouette. Now start painting your texture. Show only the texture on the character, no shading, full selfillumination (if you work are in max) When it looks good you are home free. Texture for surface, model for silouette. Simple as that. When you are done you can start tweaking with different shaders, spec maps, normal maps if you choose to. You probably won't need much of it though, your solid form and good texture will have done most of the job for you.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2012
  18. Swearsoft

    Swearsoft

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    @Filto: Just came in to say: your characters look awesome. Great work.
     
  19. Filto

    Filto

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    Thanks alot koyima. Nice to hear that they still work after 4 years :) Sadly I very seldom do 3d work nowadays, maybe I jump at it again someday. You have some really nice stuff yourself in your portfolio aswell. Great work!
     
  20. Infeecctteedd

    Infeecctteedd

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    Lighting is incredibly important and something that needs to be considered if you want to make your game look as good as possible - it's an essential step when trying to realize your environments in the way that you envision them. Lighting an environment correctly really helps to reinforce the desired tone or themes of the story, characters or location.

    Firstly, it's important to ask yourself what you want the player to feel or how you want them to respond to the environment they're in. Look a little into colour theory and popular film lighting techniques to get some initial grounding knowledge on the subject. When a scene is finished, try creating multiple different lighting setups and get friends/family/testers to say which one they feel works best given the theme of the game.

    It might also be worth noting that lights are used to guide the player through a level a lot of the time - almost subconsciously pulling them through in the right direction
     
  21. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    I found this somewhere :

    The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, GC/Wii, 2006
    Link - 6900 polygons

    Not sure if it's legit, but link in that game does look like he has a somewhat high polycount for a wii game.

    In the end 14k is still a lot for what you're aiming.
     
  22. OmniverseProduct

    OmniverseProduct

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    I remember reading this on ign or a similar website.
     
  23. Haledire

    Haledire

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    I believe acid might have gotten that number from this site:
    Game Artisans

    Some more research
    Gamedev Post

    Seems like around 2000-8000 is the range you should be shooting for. Quite honestly, I like to look at the Low Poly Polycount thread for some idea of what you can get away with on an even lower range than this (limit on the thread is around 1000).

    You can see stuff like this over in that thread if you flip through it:
    http://www.polycount.com/forum/showpost.php?p=1585719&postcount=8756
    From an industry pro with several games under his belt

    http://www.polycount.com/forum/showpost.php?p=1595002&postcount=8833
    Don't know much about this guy, only has 2 posts on those forums.

    Granted, you should be more concerned with what your 3D artist can pump out as a starting point.
     
  24. Starsman Games

    Starsman Games

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    If we talking poly count, this may be useful: http://www.rsart.co.uk/2007/08/27/yes-but-how-many-polygons/

    One semi-obvious pattern (if you know the games) is that high poly count (relative to platform and year) are only used for games with very few characters (like fighting games with only two characters) while the backgrounds and NPC characters are of way lower quality.

    I think XBox GTA4 is great example of this:

    Story characters are between 8-10,000 polys.
    Other NPC all over the game are about 3-4,000 polys.
     
  25. Torsh

    Torsh

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    I might go down to 8-10k for characters and around 1k for swords after reading this thread. I'll have to see how many polygons the artists create and then base everything off that.
     
  26. Starsman Games

    Starsman Games

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    Hmmm. 8-10k sound like what you would target for an XBox. You said in your OP you wanted to aim for Wii level.

    Link in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess had 6900 polys (think weapon included.) I'd say 8k (weapon included) is the max you should aim for if Wii is your target, and only if it's the single one character having such a high poly count.

    This is basing off that list I linked.

    If your Wii goals are just an estimate and not actual target platform, then that's a different story.
     
  27. Torsh

    Torsh

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    Those are experienced artists though. So I think going a little beyond that is reasonable.
     
  28. varedis

    varedis

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    Experience of the artist should not matter in terms of poly count (Unless they have never touched a piece of 3d software in their life). As a 3d artist it is important to always aim to have the lowest amount possible to pull off the silhouette and shape while still giving the required poly flow and bunching to allow accurate and correctly deforming animation. No one wants to animate a badly designed character whether it has 100 polygons or 10000000.

    If you come across an artist who thinks it is acceptable to use 2000 polys to form a cube then you should steer clear.
     
  29. Filto

    Filto

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    Unexperienced artist should go down in number of polys not up. Less polys to deal with, more chance of getting the topology right.
     
  30. Nemox

    Nemox

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    Personally, I started my base human character with the -absolute minimum- geometry I needed for distinct body parts and joints, forcing me to really understand the human body and how deformations work. I got down to about 600 tris for detail that used to take me ~2k to 3k, and the sheer quality got waaaay better.

    Often, the smaller the data, the better your art gets. Minimalism is a virtue.
     
  31. Broken-Toy

    Broken-Toy

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    To expand on this, the less features are shown, the easier they are to process to human vision compared to a heap of details. Also unlike for real-world sight, where we subconsciously abstract details when looking around, on a flat screen/poster I theorize that because it is only part of our entire field of view, we process external details as well, meaning the virtual scene has to compete with the real world for clutter. Therefore, putting less detail is always a good idea. Also, when you use less detail, you can guide the viewer's eye where you want them to look at by using more/contrasting detail in those specific spots.
     
  32. Gigiwoo

    Gigiwoo

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    Agree! Iconic art is extremely powerful and underutilized.
    Gigi
     
  33. Coreyf716

    Coreyf716

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    Your game will have a better performance if you stick with a low poly count.

    2000 - 3000 is a good place to start. It is not too high or too low. You can still add plenty of detail with geometry, but leave it up to your textures to add in the little things.
     
  34. Rush-Rage-Games

    Rush-Rage-Games

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    If you're going to hire an artist, you might as well hire a good one...