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Nomad010

RTS Art Question

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I am designing an RTS for latest project and I fear the art section will the hardest part. I feel that the game should be 'sort-of 2D', as in Starcraft style.(sort of 2D with a slightly angled view of the field) The actual static parts of the map(terrain, doodads) I feel should be 2D pictures and the units and such should be 3D models. Is this wise? Should I rather just have units as 2D sprites? If I go for the model part then how complex should the models be in terms of polys. The field of vision is probably going to permanently(or at least most of the time if I go for the model choice) fixed in one position. However, if I go for the 3D version and I don't like the permanent fixed position I can always change, where as 2D I can't. Also I am not a very good artist and the best art I have done is programmer art. I plan to at least learn a little bit of how 3D modelling as part of the project regardless of the answer to the first question, however, in order to hopefully improve my art skills. Thanks in advance.

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Quote:
Original post by Nomad010
I am designing an RTS for latest project and I fear the art section will the hardest part. I feel that the game should be 'sort-of 2D', as in Starcraft style.(sort of 2D with a slightly angled view of the field)


That's an isometric view, fyi.

Quote:
The actual static parts of the map(terrain, doodads) I feel should be 2D pictures and the units and such should be 3D models. Is this wise? Should I rather just have units as 2D sprites?


Most 2D isometric RTS's model their units and animate them in 3D, and then render them into 2D spritesheets with a transparency key. Mixing 2D with actual in-game rendered 3D models is quite unorthodox, but still possible. The major problem you'll encounter is getting your tiles and units to mesh well together. Unless you plan on rendering tile art in a 3D program, you'll have to find a way to harmonize 3D units with a brushed background. You're also going to have to program for 3D collision detection against a 2D mask.

The two major options are:

All 2D: In this case you can still design everything 3D and then render out animations and tiles to 2D images. You save yourself the pains of writing a more complex engine, but instead you'll be spending more time dealing with your artwork (keeping everything at a precise angle, animating, exporting, etc).

Or you can simply draw everything in Photoshop from the get-go. The only trouble with this is..your programmer art complex.

All 3D: Once you get over the learning curve of modelling, you'll also have to write a robust 3D engine to support everything. In 2D, you could fake all of your effects (color, light) simply by tweaking pixels - now, instead of sprites you'll be dealing with models, particle effects, shaders possibly, etc.

If you can't draw worth a lick, I would definately advise you to get into 3D modelling. modelling doesn't require the ability to draw - it's more a matter of having an eye for form/structure/proportion and knowing how to use the software package. Moving and extruding vertices is closer to building a lego set than it is airbrushing a robot in Photoshop.

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Thanks for the quick reply. Salsa.

I take it that the 3D route is better for me then.
Double plus good.

Again, thanks very much.

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