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Scouting Ninja

Member Since 04 Mar 2013
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 04:03 PM

#5302047 Light/glow Fx In Unity

Posted by Scouting Ninja on 22 July 2016 - 05:15 PM

In Unity you can just use a emission texture, to get actual light you will add a light object to the scene.


In Maya again you add a emission texture. You can also add a blue sprite over the render and use a "add effect". Can also be done in post processing.

Easiest way to do it in Maya is just to add a bright blue light with some smeared blue billboards.


This is a easy to achieve effect with hundreds of ways to do it .



If you want I can upload a example for you, I know I am not good at explaining.

#5300979 How Much Complicated Would It Be To Create Real-Time 3D "point And Click...

Posted by Scouting Ninja on 16 July 2016 - 07:43 AM

ironically it will take you the same time to make pre-rendered scene as it will take to make a full game ready scene.


For a game ready scene the flow will be like this:

Tessellation mapping. -> quick block model -> High model -> Low model -> UV unwrap -> Baking textures -> Texturing = Low poly model -> Build level using low poly models


For a pre-rendered scene it's like this:


Tessellation mapping. -> quick block model -> High model -> UV unwrap -> Texturing = High poly model -> build level with high poly models -> render -> Map level to a plane.



As a rule of thumb it will take your 3D modeler a day to make a model. Things like chairs and desks will be fast, with the 3D modeler making several in a day other models will take much longer with the most complex model taking four days.

Once your art style is clear to the modeler they will know where time can be saved.


In the end it will depend on what you want, pre-render scenes can be rendered at a high quality except you lose in effects like shadows and has to be viewed from mostly fixed angles. Game ready scenes can be viewed from anywhere and is easier to do collisions and most game engines is optimized for it, shadows and lighting will work as it does in most games.



The larges deciding factor here will be what style you want, also if you plan on using a PBR engine like Unreal you could build very realistic game scenes.

#5300880 Slavery, Include Or Not?

Posted by Scouting Ninja on 15 July 2016 - 06:11 AM

Eh, a quite popular game, Mount & Blade, which spawned sequels (the more polished M&B Warband, upcoming M&B 2) and spinoffs (M&B Viking Conquest, M&B Napoleonic Wars, etc) has "slavery".   You can just capture people at the end of each battle. Sell them to "slave drivers" in the cities, which gladly tell you exactly what they do with the people (ask for ransom, if no relative pays up, sell them as slaves somewhere). Literally no actual consequence beyond maybe some companions (iirc) kinda disliking it. But thats it. Its a nice source of gold in the early game.




Everyone knows the primary purpose of mount&blade's slave system was to force hundreds of forest bandits to join you and do a robinhood playthrough.   At least that's what I did.


I think why it worked for Mount and blade was because it was a versatile mechanic. It started as a way to make a small amount of money or as a way to gain recruits you couldn't hire. Later in the game the capture mechanic is used to ransom kings, this had it's own advantages and disadvantage as ransom kings could later be recruited by your king creating a enemy or friend depending on your actions.


In the end not many people used the capture system in Mount and blade to make money, because there where a lot of more profitable ways to get money.





Include it, but let "others" deal with it, not the player. This would be dishonest. Slavery wasnt done by only "evil men", it was done by almost anyone and every nation.

Slaves where held by both fair and dishonesty men, however only the cruelest and heartless captured and shipped slaves.

It's believed that at least half if not more slaves died during transportation by sea. Livestock trade by ocean is expensive, even more so when they are fragile two legged humans who eat the same food and can spread disease.


Slaves where often left to starve to allow the crew to eat, the sick where killed to prevent epidemics, the crew was brainwashed and taught that the slaves where less than human to prevent mutinies and the woman where some times used to reward the crew.


Then there was the dilemma of keeping your "stock" in good condition as malnourished slaves would die and with out physical exercise they would be worth less; slaves kept under good conditions rebelled against there captors.


These are hard choices to make, the good people died in the middle of the ocean because they refused to treat people as just commodity for trade.




Include it, but dont make it profitable. Why? It was VERY profitable, this is why it was so widespread. The economic system encouraged it and plantations wouldnt exist in the way it did if not for slaves.

Slave trade wasn't that profitable for the slavers.

Besides the conditions mentioned above, slaves would often commit suicide by starving them self and had to be force fed. Others would throw them self, and there children into the ocean to drown. On land the slaves died of dysentery in the hundreds, tried to escape and rebelled.


In a shipment of 600 slaves only 150-180 would arrive at the destination, in such a poor condition that selling them was difficult.

Things only got worse for the traders when plantation started selling there excess slaves. Plantations needed large amount of slaves to be built however less slaves where needed to maintain the plantation. These slaves where better fed and stronger than the slaves sold by traders.

Then things got even worse as plantation slaves had children born into slavery, these new young slaves where accustomed to living as slaves and were healthy and strong.


In the end actual trading of slaves where done by neighbors and neighboring towns, with actual slave trade accounting for less than 30% of slaves trade.

Keeping idle slaves where considered a risk, so selling slaves where important that is why it was so wide spread because slaves and land was cheap, spreading slavery like a disease.


Considering the fee needed to pay a crew, the cost of repairs and taxes; slave trade wasn't that profitable for traders when better plantation slaves where sold.

Most slave trade vessel bought better trading licenses and others realised you could rob the people your killing and became raiders.


Owning slaves and selling what they produced was profitable, so the rich get richer.




Include it, but make the player "the good guy" by intercepting slave ships and freeing slaves. Really? This NEVER happended and would make a very strange trading game.


When some of the African war chiefs and kings learned how the slaves where treated, they stopped selling there prisoners of war and launched small ships to fight against slavers.



The problem you face is that unless you include every detail of how slavery was you will be misrepresenting how profitable slave trade is.

Considering that slave where less than 3% of the goods sold in the 1600s - 1800s it's not worth it unless the goal of the game is to highlight slave trade.

#5300784 Slavery, Include Or Not?

Posted by Scouting Ninja on 14 July 2016 - 03:12 PM

But me I always thought it was strange that there WASNT a discussion when games like "sid meiers pirates" or "colonization" or "port royale" completely skips the whole slave issue.

I would recommend that you also skip the slave issue.

During that time there where a lot of commodities for sale, I doubt you will use all of them so just put slaves on the don't use list. If for some reason slaves are important to the game mechanics, if they are needed for powering a ship, then call them workers.


Im just saying that including nasty stuff that acually happened isnt immoral in itself.

Including it controversial topics into your game by itself isn't immoral, however people will then look at your game with a critical eye to see what your intent is. The worst part is that any creation reflects it's creator, if you treat slaves as just a commodity then people could start to think that is the way you look at slaves, like they where not human just some object you could use and trade with.


Slavery is such a complex topic that if you include it in a game you can't just add it in as some offhand thing, unless you spend a large part of your game explaining your stance on slavery people will start interpreting every detail to get an idea of where you stand. Games are like clouds, different people will see different things.

#5299055 Unity vs Unreal Physics for driving game

Posted by Scouting Ninja on 04 July 2016 - 04:14 PM

I could be wrong, I don't use Unity, but don't they both use the same PhysX engine?


Unity and Unreal is very similar with Unity mostly targeting indie and smaller developers, while Unreal offers all the powerful tools and expects you know how to use them.


Unreal offers more versatility from the get go and this means there is a lot more switches and buttons making it harder for new developers.



Personally I recommend Unreal over Unity in most cases, however it will depend on what you want from you engine.

Unreal is free so give it a try.

#5298660 Water and Fresnel

Posted by Scouting Ninja on 30 June 2016 - 02:33 PM

Everything has fresnel.


Given enough grazing angle, every surface will look like a mirror. Problem is some surfaces are really non-smooth or the grazing angle must be so steep we can barely notice a discernible reflection because it becomes very thin.


I want to clear some thing up, it's true every thing has Fresnel, however not every thing is a 100% reflective at a angle to the human eye.

Because a person can see a object, with his eyes, from only two angles at most.

The reason for this is the roughness of a surface.




In the above image we can see at what angles the surface would start to reflect. The rough surface consist of uneven smaller surfaces so not all surfaces will have the same Fresnel angle, however in this example more than 50% faces the same direction and will reflect to the same points.

The result is that the reflection will be blurred to a human viewer who will be looking at the object from one angle, the rougher the surface the more distorted the reflection is to the viewer as light bounces around.


Back when I first started 3D, we knew all this however it wasn't possible to do the real calculations yet, so we faked it.



First we would make a fake gradient to take the place of Fresnel and map it to the normal, next we faked reflection(I am just using a windows sample picture), we would then blur it to make it look like the surface was more detailed than it really is and last we would map the reflection to the object using the gradient as a mask.


Today reflections is a combo of real and fake, the quick Fresnel option in Unreal 4 is still a gradient and rough surface still get blurred only in a smarter way. The thing is that these methods produce good results, fast and in the future I believe they will remain as a fallback.




This was also used to make glass and other transparent materials like shields and to give the peach fuzz edge to objects.


The .Blend for people looking to see how it works, can still use it in mobile games.



Edit: Skipped a step with out realizing.




This is why the texture is blurred. The image shows a simulation of a rough surface and how it distorts a reflection, this happens on such a small scale that it only makes the reflection look blurred.

#5298428 Questions about complicated rig in Blender

Posted by Scouting Ninja on 28 June 2016 - 12:25 PM

I don't think it's constraints blocking your procedural animation. I remember that with Unity when I wanted the head to track a target I first needed to stop the bone from animating, it had to stop receiving animation input from the rig before it would target.


Your gif reminds me of the old Commandos games, it's looking good.


You can capture the animations from Blenders physics engine, just remember to check your interpolation in the curve editor it can cause strange problems.

#5297600 How to import animations from commercial models (FBX, X) into Blender

Posted by Scouting Ninja on 22 June 2016 - 11:27 AM

Blender's .fbx importer and exporter is standard. Check that you have the right one for the blender your using, it should be included and should only be turned on.


Problems that you can encounter is that .fbx animations only import leaf bones, this happens when the model wasn't exported to keep it's original bones. The deform data is there but will need you to get it yourself, it's easier to just use tracking bones to target the leaf bones.


For animations you can attempt .bvh I find it to be better than .fbx when importing animations. For any thing else the .fbx importer and exporter is the best. Don't export materials, build them in your game engine as even the best game engines can import materials wrong from a .fbx



The .fbx importer changes a lot and the software using it changes constantly, so there will always be a bug or two to work with.

#5297034 Artefacts in triangle mesh

Posted by Scouting Ninja on 17 June 2016 - 04:06 PM

The way to fix this is to bake a normal map from the high poly, triangulate the low poly model before baking.

The other way is to control the normals, you can use edge loops or you can edit the normals by hand, you can also separate the edges.


Remember that you want two normal maps, a OpenGl normal map and a DirectX one. The difference between the two is the inverted green channel.

If you use a lot of different software you are going to pass between OpenGl and DirectX, the marmoset image looks like it is miss reading the normal map.


Always divide your low poly model into triangles when baking, if you plan on exporting it, most exporters triangulate the model meaning that the baked normal map is no longer correct if it was quads.



The reason you had the pinching was because you had a triangle in a quad model, keep it quads. Triangles have a 40% of subdividing correctly the other 60% they fail, it's only on a flat surface that it doesn't matter.

#5296755 Fellow game devs and artists,How do you animate your games?

Posted by Scouting Ninja on 15 June 2016 - 07:21 PM


3. well,,, you can create a 3D scene or character in a pose, then render it, and use the render as a frame of animation or an animation sprite.  a bit of work. but you could do arbitrarily complex characters that way. down side is that all the rest of the game would have to look as good or they would seem out of place. which means you're more or less rendering all your sprites, tiles, backgrounds, etc. a far bit of work.


I just wanted to add that there is a lot of free motion capture data on the internet, that you can use on a character, it's mostly raw data however it is easy to make animations from it.

So say you used a Makehuman model and posed it with motion capture data, you can make easy animations; then render from a side view and draw over it.


Because its's raw data you will have to clean and stylize it, however this will be what gives your animation that unique touch.

#5296237 Questions about complicated rig in Blender

Posted by Scouting Ninja on 12 June 2016 - 11:34 AM

A) You can move each vertex of the gun to the inside of the character, scaling it down so it is hidden inside.

B) Hiding the mesh inside the character will prevent the bounds from stretching, this prevents culling errors.

C) You will need to run test but remember that skinned meshes can't be batched.


Most games would just use the spine and hip bone to animate the pouches with the body only a First person shooter would need the pouches to move more realistically.

Using a single bone to represent a few pouches, say 3, then attaching physics to it will allow for simple animation that takes little effort and doesn't waste a lot of resources. A similar technique is used for ponytails and other hanging geometry.

You can also lower updates to save resources, in the end using physics will always consume more resources however it will give good results faster than hand animation and has a similar cost to script depending on your physics engine.

There is no reason to let each pouch have it's own bone and to animate it on it's own.


When adjusting the aim you will have to move the hand, so the palm bone for both the gun and hand is a good choice.

No a object can only be parented to a single point at a time.

Think of your palm bone as a socket, it is where the gun attaches, you can then rotate the gun after it is attached and so move it with out moving the hand.

You want to use IK as little as you can, it over over-complicates things and costs more.

Just use a track to script for the gun or palm.


What I meant was to cleanup the IK helper bones, Unity imports the animation and only needs the deform bones.


NLA is only there to make life easy. When exporting as a .fbx you can tell the exporter to separate animations by NLA files. So if you have a walk loop on say frame 12-60 and a run loop on frame 84-68 then you can brake them with the NLA editor and export them as "Walk" and "Run". They will each start at frame 1 and will make it easy to mix and blend them.

You could also have a .blend file for each animation and export it as a new animation each time.

#5295869 Questions about complicated rig in Blender

Posted by Scouting Ninja on 09 June 2016 - 03:58 PM

Normally the gun is a separate object, to lower the poly count of the skin mesh, the gun is parented to a palm bone, there is no need for the gun to have a bone.

The pouches can be added as physic bodies.


Pose your character in a aiming pose then correct the rotation of the gun, parent and it should now be ready to aim.


If you plan on using Unity you should capture the animation and delete IK bones before export.


When I passed over to Blender I got myself a copy of the "Blender foundation book", I think it is a bit dated however it should still apply to most things in Blender. The Blender master class is more of a general 3D book than focused on Blender.



To aim at run time you tweak the rotation of the torso bone, you should also have a rotation animation that can be used when the target moves more than 90 degrees.

Exporting the animations as NLA animation will allow blending in engines like Unity and Unreal when exported as .fbx

#5295683 Low poly game model creation pipeline

Posted by Scouting Ninja on 08 June 2016 - 03:00 PM

Cliping means two meshes intersecting each other, when 3D modeling there is no need to keep it all one mesh.(Unless you want to print the model)




Here you can see a blue mesh and red mesh cliping into each other.

I used to be one of those artist who attempted to keep every thing a single mesh. It doesn't always result in better quality, takes a very long time to make and makes for a complex unworkable mesh.


The welding effect isn't always worth the time it takes to make it or you could use normal maps.

If the game is a first person shooter that will allow the player to walk upto the ship then consider the welding, however if it is a 3rd person game or strategy then the welding isn't worth the small amount of screen time it will get and most players wouldn't notice it and no one will miss it.

It's better to focus your time on bigger details.


Floats are loose geometry that "floats" in the air near the mesh when baking, you use your bais and range to bake them onto the mesh.




Here you can see that cliping doesn't work with holes. I then float the holes near a plane; I used a flat plane because I didn't want the angle baked some times you will want the angle so just go a head and bake it to the rounded piece. Last I use the baked normal map for the rounded piece producing a rounded part with holes, no need for complex topology.


You will want to make the UV before triangulating, with the mesh in quads you have half the faces and so half the work.


My own work flow is:



Here I make a quick "Block" model of what I want, deciding how it will work and how the topology and edge flow will be formed. Before making a model you must know exactly what you want to do.

Also here I take the time to work out my texel density.


Quick model.

This is a messy model that looks like the final model, it is here where I get feedback from the client or other artist.

Don't always have the time for this step.


High poly model.

Here I make the model exactly look the way I want, I don't fret over the topology of the high model because I will be making a lower poly model. It only has to look %100.

I skip this if the model is for mobile.


Low poly model.

Here I focus every thing on the topology and the way the mesh will work or animate.



I bake, copy, draw and fight for textures that look good.


Quality control.

If there is any time left over I will double check the model, it is rare that artist can make a model with no mistakes. You don't always have time for this step so use it when you can.


In the end your workflow will depend on what you decide, it's a bit different for every one.



Don't worry over your grammar to much, only focus on telling what you mean. Most artist I know are bad with words, it's why we make art, images is how we talk.

#5295561 Good tools for indoor-map editing / architecture

Posted by Scouting Ninja on 07 June 2016 - 07:28 PM

Blender is the tool that bet matches what you want.

It's free.


*Programming is done in python that only takes about a week to a month to learn.(If you can already program)


*Has all of the geometry tools. Blender's spline modeling needs work, however as a person who often has to clean up models of other artist I wished spline modeling will be banned. Spline modeling is dirty, you always need to clean up when done and it is often faster to just make the same model using a different style of modeling.

Blender makes up for it's lack of spline modeling with great tools for the other modeling styles.


*Blender can be used to make corridors, rooms and any thing you can think of.

There are software that will make fully furnished rooms with a few quick steps, they use preset meshes that won't work in most games as each game has it's own set of parameters. Also making levels with software like this will cause all the levels to look the same and can also brake license agreements.


*Blender is grate at making curves and advance forms, it only needs the modeler to know how. Damage can be modeled or sculpted.


*Blender has a smart UV project option that is as good as most Auto software. There is no software that can Auto unwrap any mesh without some kind of loss in quality.

If software like that existed I would be using it, UV unwrapping is %50 of  modeling.


*Blender can give you a openGl preview, but with modern engines like Unity and Unreal it is best to view the model in engine as fast as you can.


*Can import and export all standard formats and a few obscure ones.


*Yes can subdivide, auto and manual.

Like I tell my customers tessellation is only good for organic shapes. To make the height map the modeler has to model every brick, then the tessellation has to divide the mesh into thousands of polygons to show those same bricks, each brick can be made for 10 triangles. It is cheaper to have a wall with every brick modeled than to have a wall using tessellation to show every brick, it's also faster to make.


*Clean meshes depend on the modeler not the software. Although sub-D modeling is considered to be the cleanest and can be made with Blender. Spline modeling is dirty, so the modeler has to clean it after making the mesh, it takes a lot of time so modelers will often pretend to be to busy to clean the mesh.


*Did I mention it's free?



For your game engine I recommend Unreal or Unity, in that order. There are others however Unreal and Unity is the best, in that order.

Panda 3D was good for small games.


Lightwave is good for rendering, if you where making a movie I would recommend a Blender+Lightwave combo; because Blender has better mesh tools.

For games I recommend Blender.

3DS Max is like Blender+Lightwave it has all the mesh tools and the render tools.



If learning Blender was frustrating don't expect any other software to be better, it takes 3-4 years to learn how to be an average 3D modeler and all the software use similar tools.


If there was some software that could make 3D models, by a touch of a button then there would be no use for a person; you can program a computer to press it's own button.

#5295452 Low poly game model creation pipeline

Posted by Scouting Ninja on 07 June 2016 - 03:41 AM


The reason you have been told to keep it quads is because things like turbo smooth and other advance features need it to work correctly. In the end your model will be converted to triangles when imported in unreal so you can use triangles without any problems.



When thinking of topology think of it as the best way to represent a shape or form.


The image shows the same fundamental shapes with different topology, as you can see topology greatly effects the end result.



Turbosmooth and options like it divides each cube into four, so if you have a model of a 100 polygons it turns into 400 then into 1600 and then 6400. As you can see each level drastically increases polycount, keep it in mind when making models.

Unreal has a max batch of 64 000 polygons per mesh, larger and the mesh is broken apart for render.There should be no object that needs to exceed 64 000 polygons.

Game engines usually don't have a equivalent for turbo smooth, as such it needs to be confirmed before export.



When making models for games the silhouette is your main focus, the round parts that can be seen on the silhouette is where you should focus your polygons.


Zbrush has it's own re-mesh tools, however you can follow what workflow you prefer.


Smooth groups.

Smooth groups and normal maps are tools to get a low poly model to look high poly by effecting the way light behaves. Like all tools they are optional and if you don't understand them you will do more harm than good.



You can model it as one piece however cliping is also a good option. The rule of thumb is that all parts that is a single solid piece should be modeled as such, loose pieces should be cliped in.

1:Lots of the parts in number one looks like they where welded onto the hull after the hull was made, meaning you could clip them in.



Here you can see that the clip in looks good, with real textures it will even look better.


2:Yes for holes like these a normal map will be fine, if you bake your normal map from the mesh you can use floats. Just remember that when copy and pasting the holes that only the "hole" part should be copied, the background near each hole will be slightly different.


3:Again you can use floats, floats will also allow for soothing of contact edges.



Here you can see how I used a float to make a hole in a sphere.



You want a single model to use one texture when you can, this will result in the lowest possible draw call, it is one draw call per material in a normal game. However constant texel density is very important for a professional look so you can use more than one texture if you must.

You want one UV map per material at max two(UV map and Shadow map) rare materials can use more than two.

It is normal to only make the UV for the low poly mesh.



Convert your model to triangles before baking normal maps. Unreal will always turn a model into triangles, this could result in incorrect normal maps, if you don't bake onto a triangulated model.


The standard map set for Unreal is: Albedo, Normal, Specular or metal, gloss.  Often added is emissive, color mask and detail maps.

Using xNormal to make these is fine, xNormal is a bit slow on AO maps.



Your model is a bit skinny, fatten it up, at the moment it almost looks 2D.

You're modeling for a game so exaggerate some details where you can.

Cliping is your friend.