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mjfara

Graphics: Bits, Pixels, Textures, Polys?!

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Hello everyone,

In my 2-year computer programming course, we never learned much about graphics.
I'm trying to develop an action rpg type game, similar to "Secret of Mana" for the SNES.

I have a friend who is an artist, he will be handling all the graphics, and I all the programming. He hasn't started yet, so in the meantime I've been making my own temporary graphics just to test out my engine.

My graphics consist of a .png in photoshop with a million colors.
Something tells me this is not the way to do it. The artist also has no experience in graphics for video games. So we are both in the dark on this topic.

Can anyone shed some light and point me in the right direction?
Should he be using a set number of colors? A Palette?

I was reading this article, it is about the game "Zombieville USA" for the iPhone.
http://www.thecareergamer.com/braaaains-zombieville-usa-tech-review/

In it, they talk about using Maya, and having the character made up of polygons and quads? And then adding textures to them? Is it easier to animate this way? Or should we just be using sprites.

Any help is greatly appreciated,

Thank you

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Your two main options for animated graphics are the traditional keyframe animations with 2d images, and animated 3d models.

1) "Traditional"
This is closer to what you're referring to with the .png file. Usually the code refers to sections of the image(what you might see referred to as a "sprite sheet") as particular frames of an animation, so if you had a walk cycle in the image, each frame would be layed out in a row, and the code would be told to walk over each frame at a set rate. This is more ideal for your artist if they're a traditional 2d artist with little to no modeling/sculpting experience.

2) 3d modeling
Most modeling programs have animation tools that let you model the object once, and then animate it by attaching it to an invisible/internal rig (skeleton) and creating keyframes by maneuvering the rig. This is ideal for 3d games, as the animation isn't from a predefined viewing angle.

There's also a hybrid of the two where you render your 2d animation frames from 3d models, and then use the rendered images as in the "traditional" method.

As for the palette question: you're only limited by the hardware this game is intended for. If it's for the PC, I wouldn't worry about color limits.

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Quote:
Original post by mjfara
Hello everyone,

In my 2-year computer programming course, we never learned much about graphics.
I'm trying to develop an action rpg type game, similar to "Secret of Mana" for the SNES.
Is your game also for a console? I'm assuming not

I have a friend who is an artist, he will be handling all the graphics, and I all the programming. He hasn't started yet, so in the meantime I've been making my own temporary graphics just to test out my engine.
It's called programmer art

My graphics consist of a .png in photoshop with a million colors.
Something tells me this is not the way to do it. The artist also has no experience in graphics for video games. So we are both in the dark on this topic.
Photoshop is a good image editor, why not? For PC, PNGs is a good image format even with that many colours

Can anyone shed some light and point me in the right direction?
Should he be using a set number of colors? A Palette?
This used to be true for consoles and old hardware, you should ignore this with the current technology.
Something like the GBA or NDS would require pallets but not an X-Box or PC


I was reading this article, it is about the game "Zombieville USA" for the iPhone.
http://www.thecareergamer.com/braaaains-zombieville-usa-tech-review/
PC games are different from games for the iPhone

In it, they talk about using Maya, and having the character made up of polygons and quads? And then adding textures to them? Is it easier to animate this way? Or should we just be using sprites.
Maya is used to create 3D models which comprise quads and triangles and polygons which are texture mapped. Don't worry about this if you're working in 2D, On the other hand, APIs like OpenGL use quads and textures anyway, but they don't work like models do, and you'll still not use the 3D methods of animation

Any help is greatly appreciated,

Thank you


Pick up a good tutorial meant for the API you're programming in. Such questions are trivial, once you begin, these questions will get answered themselves.
If you're using a game engine, the documents and tutorials again should help.
Most things are platform specific, so you should first decide that as well.

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Sorry I should have been more specific, I'm developing for the iPhone.
I have no issue with using sprite, in fact I prefer the simplicity.
I just read that article, and thought maybe I was not going the optimal route.
Thank you for your clarification, I'll be sticking with sprites.

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