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Sceletor

3D vs. 2D in GUI development

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Hi there, Im currently develop a GUI for a hobby game, I got some drawings and am beginning to think about how I should start out actually building it in digital. After messing around a little in photoshop, I realized that it would be probably far easier to do it directly in 3D. Has anyone experience in building GUI windows in 3D modelling applications? Would you recommend it?

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What kind of game are you developing, and what kind of interface do you need for it? A 2D UI is not rocket science, it's just tedious to implement. All you're doing is essentially drawing quads to screen, so the visual part of the UI is actually the most simple one. Draw a bunch of controls and put them onto one texture, and you're good to go. Hooking it up to your engine as well as managing the widget tree and focus is the slightly more complicated part.

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Fist of all: Hallo nach Wien :)

Now, back to topic: The aim of my question was if it is easier to DRAW the gui in 2D (photoshop) or to model and render it (for example in lightwave 3D), not how I should bring the finished piece on screen in the game.

Im trying to do a fairly complex an futuristic looking gui for a game like master of orion or galactic civilizations..

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Ser's zurück (nach Düsseldorf).

I see, you weren't actually going to do a full 3D GUI. I think this really depends on your background with both Photoshop and whatever modelling package you use. If you think it's easier to do in 3D, go for it - I've read (on SWEng-Gamedev mailing list) of at least one company who did their GUI in 3DSMax, although I think they also leveraged that for some complicated animation effects.

Thing is, if you do it in 3D, you'll likely end up texturing it anyway, so I think that won't save you any time. If you need those bevel/emboss effects for click-able widgets, you can easily generate them in Photoshop to begin with, and you don't get this kind of per-pixel precision work if you are doing it in 3D (ie you can set each pixel individually in Photoshop, which I find very useful when designing borders and such).

But I might be influenced by my experience, since I've built a GUI in 2D but not in 3D, so keep that in mind when you evaluate my statement.

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If you need any complex rotating and animating of the GUI, model it, otherwise it will be far better and easier to just make it 2D. Any static GUI no matter how 3D it looks should probably be done in 2D.

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Quote:
Original post by Professor420
If you need any complex rotating and animating of the GUI, model it, otherwise it will be far better and easier to just make it 2D. Any static GUI no matter how 3D it looks should probably be done in 2D.

I think it will depend a lot on what you are good at - I find it a lot easier to get good results with 3D modelling packages than 2D paint packages. As a result when I'm creating anything more than the most simple GUI, I tend to create 3D models for the GUI, import them into Bryce (I just like the look of the resulting renders) and then do any 2D touching up of the rendered images using Paintshop.

One bit of advice in following this approach is that it isn't always a good idea to create all of the GUI at once - I quite often render individual GUI elements one by one and then combine them in the paint package.

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