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What makes FF games look so good?

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I scoured the internet for a while looking for a good animator and I managed to find someone with a great portfolio named Pablo Hurtado. His estimate for a character with a 10K - 20K tris polycount is about $600. Which is great because i was planning to spend 1k/character.

 

Sculpt = $200

Character Retopo (?) = $150

UV = $40

Baking = $70

Texturing = $100

Total = $560

 

And yes, I would like the character to be comparable to a AAA game. But I'm not really planning to make anything huge. This whole thing is more so to show off mechanics, battle, and other elements. Then hopefully if people liked it I was planning to make a Kickstarter.

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I scoured the internet for a while looking for a good animator and I managed to find someone with a great portfolio named Pablo Hurtado. His estimate for a character with a 10K - 20K tris polycount is about $600. Which is great because i was planning to spend 1k/character.

 

Sculpt = $200

Character Retopo (?) = $150

UV = $40

Baking = $70

Texturing = $100

Total = $560

 

And yes, I would like the character to be comparable to a AAA game. But I'm not really planning to make anything huge. This whole thing is more so to show off mechanics, battle, and other elements. Then hopefully if people liked it I was planning to make a Kickstarter.

I don't see animation on there.....If you need animation, you'd have to add rigging and animation steps to the process, which also can create more than double the price depending on just how many animations you need.

 

Also, retopo is redoing topology to be better for game engine and animation.  Many artist make the initial model using sculpting techniques in zbrush or 3d coat or even mudbox or something else.  The geometry you get from a full sculpt like that tends to be very polygon heavy and very ugly.  So the retopo process is taking controlled geometry and applying it to the sculpted one, using a controlled amount of polys, and adding extra for joints(for better animation) and where else it needs it, keeping within your polygon budget.  Also, They can get nice face loops etc... that a sculpt can't get.  They likely keep the original sculpt around though, because they use it to bake a normal map onto the retopo final mesh.

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It really is all about quality assets. A good artist with an understanding of an engine's features and limitations will make art assets that make it shine, even if its behind the technology curve. Art can't fake everything, but it can go an astoundingly long way all on its own, and even further with even very rudimentary programmability in the rendering pipeline (e.g. Gamecube/Wii, D3D 8).

 

Technologically, its really all about lighting as far as realistic scenes go. When it comes down to it, just about every rendering trick in the book is about faking more light (hard vs soft shadows) or more bounces of light (raycasting->directional lighting->point-lights->indirect lighting->???->global illumination/raytracing). IIRC, the state-of-the-art unreal engine Citizen demo fakes just three bounces of light.

 

Lots of other frontiers exists -- animation being one. sound dynamics being another among many.

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I scoured the internet for a while looking for a good animator and I managed to find someone with a great portfolio named Pablo Hurtado. His estimate for a character with a 10K - 20K tris polycount is about $600. Which is great because i was planning to spend 1k/character.

 

Sculpt = $200

Character Retopo (?) = $150

UV = $40

Baking = $70

Texturing = $100

Total = $560

 

And yes, I would like the character to be comparable to a AAA game. But I'm not really planning to make anything huge. This whole thing is more so to show off mechanics, battle, and other elements. Then hopefully if people liked it I was planning to make a Kickstarter.

I don't see animation on there.....If you need animation, you'd have to add rigging and animation steps to the process, which also can create more than double the price depending on just how many animations you need.

 

Also, retopo is redoing topology to be better for game engine and animation.  Many artist make the initial model using sculpting techniques in zbrush or 3d coat or even mudbox or something else.  The geometry you get from a full sculpt like that tends to be very polygon heavy and very ugly.  So the retopo process is taking controlled geometry and applying it to the sculpted one, using a controlled amount of polys, and adding extra for joints(for better animation) and where else it needs it, keeping within your polygon budget.  Also, They can get nice face loops etc... that a sculpt can't get.  They likely keep the original sculpt around though, because they use it to bake a normal map onto the retopo final mesh.

 

 

This is accurate in my experience as well. This offer is for a character that is static and only prepared for rigging and animating.

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Oh man :(

So, does animating a finished charater take long?

I know it would depend on the movements so just off the top of my head:

 

Combat such as swinging a sword, blocking, and dodging.

Jumping.

Walking and running.

idle pose.

 

I know theres usually a lot more but for now this is all I think I need. (Its a demo)

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Is 1 type of sword swing, block and dodge enough? You will probably want separate attack animation for an attack that was successful, an attack that was blocked and an attack that was dodged but I've left these out for now.

 

So we would be looking at: (I'm optimising a bit, realistic style with sense of "weight" and "force" etc. could double these lengths)

- attack animation 2-3 seconds

- block animation 1-2 seconds

- dodge animation 1-2 seconds

- jump+land animation(s) 1+1 seconds

- walk animation 2-3 seconds (needs lots of keyframes and adjusting, expensive seconds)

- run animation 1-2 seconds (needs lots of keyframes and adjusting, expensive seconds)

- idle animation 5 seconds (no idea how long loop you want but it's light in terms of keyframes, inexpensive seconds)

 

Total 14-19 seconds. I believe you can find a per second price guidelines somewhere. But that will only be an estimate and everything will depend on the character as well. I believe you are unlikely to nail any deals with per-second pricing. If there are things like facial animation, waving hair and clothing you're going to see it in the per-second offers.

 

People could probably give you estimations based on that animation list but my biggest concern is you don't define the style and quality well enough. If you pick the best offer and receive FFVII quality animation and you're expecting Skyrim quality that's a bad thing for everybody. Like I said there's a considerable difference in lengths and amount of keyframes between different styles.

 

But it isn't hard, just potentially very expensive. You could discuss these matters with some professional you decide to hire and they will tell you what you need and why and how much it will take time.

 

If you want many offers from different individuals so you can compare prices you need to make a very detailed info sheet on what you need in terms of animations, style, quality plus the model that is being animated.

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I agree with the other points, but I'd like to say that if it is possible, you may want to get another quote, but for the whole deal all at once, from the same artist(or Studio).  The reason is because if it is the same person working on it, the quality is likely to be better, and the price as well because having the whole thing done instead of two halves is likely cheaper, like buying a 24pack of Coke is cheaper than 2 12 packs almost every time.

 

For example, if the artist isn't going to be doing the animation, then there might not be as much care taken to ensure that the model is really easy to rig and animate.  It may be part of the deal, but I think even so that the effort isn't going to be the same, as you take of yourself much quicker than you take care of some competing artist, at least that's what I would think about it.  Also, besides the price and effort consideration, an artist who makes a model knows those little details that may make it easier to rig and animate, whereas if you pass that onto another artist, he will have to analyze the model to figure some things out(maybe).  This depends on the artists in any case.

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Most of the top 10 game engines available out there will at least allow that level of quality, with amounts of programming that varies widely among them.  Game engines such as Torque 3D or Unity 3D have huge communities as resource to buy or aquire open source art assets and effects.  For example, in Torque 3D store, there are similar effects as you see in the video.

 

All the good game engines work in conjunction with major 3D and 2D graphics programs such as Blender, Maya, 3SD Max, Illusion Mage, Poser, GIMP, and Photoshop - with many others. What every game developer needs (individual or company) is to establish a work flow pipeline which the organization can handle, in order to achieve such stunning graphics.

 

The game in the video is an example of TEAM effort to create such numbers, size, and variety of graphics content.  It would take an individual many years to accomplish what that team did in 1-3 years.

 

1) Software such as for graphics, compiling, encrypting, converting, and so forth

2) Workflow pipeline

3) Teamwork

4) Coding and programming (Probably less than you think because teams tend to re-use libraries)

 

That's what it takes.

Edited by 3Ddreamer

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