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kburkhart84

Member Since 30 Jun 2004
Offline Last Active Jul 30 2015 04:31 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Cheap Rendering Tricks Used in Game Industry?

28 July 2015 - 10:54 PM

 

Reflection probes(in both engines) let you have nice reflections at a somewhat cheap rendering cost, and work great for things like have the cars outside reflect/mirror the street lamps, but when in tunnels, reflect the tunnel lighting(which may be on the sides instead of the top).  I mean the actual geometry though, not just the lighting/shading part.


Your mention of reflections reminded me of screen space reflections, where the game flips and distorts parts of the scene that has already rendered and paints it onto reflective surfaces to provide the appearance of a realtime reflection that updates as objects and the environment change. The major downside to this technique, however, is that because it's re-using already drawn pixels it cannot reflect anything that isn't on the screen. So you can usually end up recognizing this technique in games where a reflection seems to "stop" right in the middle of the shiny surface and change into a more generic color or cubemap.

The major upside, of course, is it is a far cheaper effect then actually rendering the scene from the perspective of each reflecting object to generate true reflections.

 

 

Yup, I remember doing things like this.  You usually needed the stencil buffer too in order to make the reflections only draw on the reflection object instead of all over.

 

I remember using a quick matrix transformation plus the stencil buffer to get quick projection planar shadows.  You basically draw the object a second time, but using a specially made transform matrix.  This matrix would flatten the object onto a plane in space, from the point of projection from some light(position).  Then, as long as you used the stencil buffer, the shadow would only be on that plane.  The catch is that this trick only works well when your ground is actually a plane, as it quickly get expensive to draw the object on more than a couple of pieces of geometry to get shadows, which ends up leading to other shadow techniques.


In Topic: Blending textures?

28 July 2015 - 10:50 PM

It looks like you need a sort of "Blend Map."  The idea is that you create a gradient of sorts, but wiggly.  The edges of the gradient would probably want to match up with the rocks so you don't cut rocks in half.  It would work similar to splat maps.

 

If you are using 3dsmax, that indicates offline rendering to me.  This would mean that you can afford to put more geometry, which would also very much solve your problem.  Instead of just using a flat plane with tracks and rocks texture on it, I bet if you model the tracks, and either model the rocks, or use a displacement map based on that rocks texture, you will very much solve your problem.


In Topic: Cheap Rendering Tricks Used in Game Industry?

28 July 2015 - 10:46 AM

A "modern" trick is PBR, which is currently free to use in Unity 5 and Unreal Engine 4.  I haven't used it extensively, but it looks like it is going to be a really quick way to get good results once you learn the system.  The same texture set can be used on objects, regardless of whether they are in dark or light situations, as the lighting calculation is "based on realism" as they say.  Reflection probes(in both engines) let you have nice reflections at a somewhat cheap rendering cost, and work great for things like have the cars outside reflect/mirror the street lamps, but when in tunnels, reflect the tunnel lighting(which may be on the sides instead of the top).  I mean the actual geometry though, not just the lighting/shading part.

 

I know this isn't the same type of trick as what started this topic.  But I find PBR to be pretty exciting.


In Topic: Blending textures?

28 July 2015 - 10:38 AM

Is this offline rendered?  Or rendered in a 3d game engine?  Or directly compositing in an editor(like photoshop)?  If we knew that, we might could help better.

 

One thing that could apply regardless is to look at real life.  Try to find pictures of a similar setting.  See what it looks like is creating the separation in a similar setting in real life, and try to put that in there.  Is there maybe a piece of wood between?  Or maybe the train tracks are actually on cement instead of that rocky texture?  Sand or grass running right up to a direct cutoff with cement could look real if done right, as that is how it is in real life.  It might take some shadowing though, which would be done manually or done maybe in your 3d engine or offline rendering.


In Topic: Any good resources on how to create textures on photoshop?

28 July 2015 - 10:33 AM

I agree with youtube.  I've seen several hand painted texture tutorials, including one with a sword that was used to demonstrate Blender's texture painting.  That is actually a pretty good way to go too, even if you have photoshop.  It is hard to beat directly painting on a model.  And even so, the concepts you learn for handpainting textures from either photoshop style or texture paint on model style, will still apply to the other, so don't exclude that out of the tutorial search.


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