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First "Next-Gen" Character In-game Composite

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Like I said earlier, I'm evaluating 2 different art studios to create the 30+ next-gen characters for the game. I've received the first character from the first artist yesterday. 3000 Triangles & 2048x2048 color/normal/spec maps.

I just finished writing a pretty basic shader to handle the color/normal/specular maps as well as diffuse/ambient/specular lighting. It took me like 5 minutes to write the shader and it'll probably be good enough [though there is no skinning, I can just modify my old shader for that].

Right now I'm stuck using an archaic version of the DXSDK which limits me to Shader model 2.0 (not 2.0_a, 2.0_b, but the oooold one). This is because any other .x files fail to load in-game w/ new versions of the SDK. I'd have to re-create/export all the old prop assets [streetside objects, guns] to fix this. I'm getting everything else re-done, so I might as well re-do that stuff @ uber quality, right?

Anyways, if I do that I'll get access to Shader Model 3.0, and I can do all sorts of fancy subsurface scattering on the skin blah blah, and god knows what other effects.

I really think it might not be necessary though, judging from this little composite screenshot...This Shader Model 2.0 quality, but the assets are of such high resolution it makes up for it, and I think it looks quite next gen :-)

Anyways, it's just a screenshot of the model from FX Composer overlayed into a screenshot of the game. Obviously becuase of this, the lighting doens't match up...but it shows the potential.

I have at least 2 more models coming from this artist, and 3 models [based off the same reference material] coming from another studio.

It looks kinda distorted because of the FX composer viewport.

And here is a screen of my workspace, also showing the model in FX Composer, where I grabbed the screen.

I guess the next step is to get it in-game, too bad it's not rigged / animatable...so it'll look odd.

I couldn't resist. If the Gamespot.com kiddies are gonna compare my game to Crysis I might as well do it for them.

Now it's just a simple matter of bringing every other aspect of the game up to par lol. It looks kinda distorted because of the FX composer viewport.

More info soon...

- Danny
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Yea I've already been through that, they don't load any of my .x files

Either those exported from Max 7 using Pandasoft, or those exported from Milkshape3D.

That's a game killer for me. I downloaded FX Composer2 the day it came out :-/

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Have you ever considered upgrading the SDK and writing your own X file loader (custom built for the version you've got exported) or perhaps adapting a 3rd party one?

Is there no way you can batch/script the re-export process? I'm sure you've thought about this already, but is there really no way of accomplishing this?

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I need to make 3D max the center of my art creation process...right now I have so many machines I just install the trial and do my exporting within the 30 days. Sounds ghetto, but you know how many art assets I could buy for $5,000?

The trouble is that Milkshape3D only supports one bone per vertex, no weighting...and I had made that the center of my art creation process. This is fine and dandy for old school player models...vehicles, streetside objects, guns, buildings, etc. When it comes to player models like these...I'm screwed.

Also the fact that the .x export is unfunctional [with any somewhat modern version of the DXSDK] doens't help.

The best solution would be to ditch the .x format and write my own model / skinned mesh format [I was contemplating studying and reproducing the hl2 mdl format], but that will be time consuming. I'm afraid it might be a neccessity. Plus the load times for these .x skinned meshes is ABSURD...with all the new assets I'm having made...we're looking at at least 2 to 3+ MINUTES on a top of the line machine, just to load them all.


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