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d000hg

Colouring models to show which side they're on?

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What I am after, is knowing how models are made where the model can be shown differently depending who controls it. For instance in RTS games, the sae units are themed with blue/red/green etc for the different players, though most of the texturing is unchanged. How would modellers approach this problem - have a subset of each model using a different material from the rest, and then hacking this material's colour properties in the game for each player? Or some other way? On a related not, when a gun has a muzzle flash, one option seems to have this as a separate subsection too. When the gun is fired his can be made visible; the rest of the time it is invisible. Is this a reasonable way of doing things (I'm thinking of an RTS again where the units on screen are very small and crude, not a big fancy muzzle-flash effec for an FPS). Thanks for your advice in advance.

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Hey d000hg,
Games I have worked on have gone through many elaborate permutations on how best to customize the look of different versions using the same base model. Things like multi-pass layered textures or mr- potato-head-like mix and match pieces. When it comes right down to it, though, from an artist's perspective, the easiest thing to do is make one model and make a seperate image file for each different version of the texture. Maybe each one has a different color hat or something. Then, in code, tell the model which texture to use. This could get annoying if you want 100 different versions, but if you're talking about 6 team variations in an RTS it would seem reasonable. Sometimes a sledgehammer is what is needed.

Scott

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Well I've never made a seperate texture for each team-colour, if you had say 100 units for each side, and you have 3 sides, and 6 textures for each unit - then that gives you 100*3*6 = 1800 textures which for modern strategy wargames requiring high or multi resolution textures for close-up shots may be too much for graphics memory.

I've had pretty good results creating a texture for each team - a large texture with several patterns, and even a flag - and set as a seperate material. You can then model each unit with, say the red team's texture, and id each "player texture" as being "keyed" to a variable. This variable is set to the current player and the texture is set accordingly.

I'm sure I could explain better if this appeals to you...

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