Lens Flares, Stars, and Pretty Mode
space star dominion game mak lens flare halo
[Edit : I would have IOTD'd this - but it refuses to let me add one, saying I don't have permission - maybe a bug on the site guys?]
I've been plugging away at Dominion quietly in the background, whenever I can, in order to sort out the trailer we'll be doing for the new pitch.
One of the (many) visual issues I have been facing with using "prototype" work to produce the "Production Ready" trailers which seem to be a requirement for Kickstarter these days, has been the naff textured sphere I've had for the local star in each system.
This video shows the work in progress - and I have to say I'm pretty chuffed with the results, but not just because of "self-promotion", but because of the work of others. Feel free to take a look, and then I'll explain...
Two important elements were required to improve the visuals for Dominion for that clip ;
1) Decent model assets
2) A decent and not-stupid-ott lens flare
Lens Flares are my pet-hate, I tend to side with realism - and having a camera-lens-less space ship blurting lens-flares all over the shop gives me the jeebies. However, I have to admit that one is pretty effective, and means Dominion's "Pretty Mode" will be that much prettier!
A hunt around 'tinternet led me to Michal Belanec's great tutorial on the subject. This guy has done a load of great tutorials, and deserves recognition for his efforts. I loved his lens flare technique - it's understated, effective, and powerful. So I emailed him, and asked if I could license it.
He agreed, and some short work later - I got it integrated into the engine. Having guys like Michal about who volunteer their work for public use is vital for the Indie scene. So I salute you Michal, and all the others who willingly stump up tutorials on anything and everything.
But of course, that's not all... I needed assets, game ready and high quality... having scoured TurboSquid and hoovered up all the free stuff I could find, and finding that whilst it was great, and better yet for being free - they were either too high poly, or untextured, or turned into polygon soup on export... then I came across 3DRT.
I liked their stuff so much, I bought it And they do a whole raft-load of assets, rigged, animated across the board - these guys really are superb value for money for pretty much any kind of game you're planning to take on. I strongly recommend them - aside from a few typical Max related node positioning issues - all the space craft and stations exported into my engine without a problem.
So, thanks to the sterling efforts of others, our trailer is complete - and Dominion is beginning to look a lot more like a substantial, quality game - IMHO at least ;)