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ShadowKGames

Graphics Feedback

14 posts in this topic

So over the next two years, me and my team are developing a story driven RPG. It's a franchise based development along the lines of The Witcher and Dragon Age. 

 

We are in early development, whilst we can't afford to be at the forefront of cutting edge tech. If at all possible, I'd like to ask if the following image is on the right track for a medium sized development and any feedback would be more than welcome. Also we are still looking for mac based alpha / level testers if anyone would be interested. You will be compensated with a free copy of the game..

 

 

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I think this would be better suited for the "Visual Arts" forum [mod edit: Moved ;)]

 

In any case I think it looks pretty good overall though two things stand out as being a bit unattractive.  The brush to the sides of the road all look the same and it makes it look very unnatural.  Additionally that brush seems to be placed on top of the stone.  A dirt or grass texture underneath the brush seems like it would greatly improve the look of this particular area.

Edited by Hodgman
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Thanks, I appreciate the feedback. So in essence more variation and extend the texturing where the ground is.. I've been trying to match CryEngine ever since we stopped using it. Whilst I'm sure we are getting there, looking back and forth there's still a hefty amount of shader work and post effects to get it looking the same:

 

Some of the scenes like this one (1KM / 1KM) are so large it's difficult to get the level of detail right every step and it's easy to miss things. So again, thanks for the feedback. P.S. Here is the CryEngine screenshot:

 

 

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The biggest thing jumping out at me is the lack of depth.  Textures look very (literally) flat.  If your target platform supports it, you should really consider bump mapping, both on the stones and the armour.

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The biggest thing jumping out at me is the lack of depth.  Textures look very (literally) flat.  If your target platform supports it, you should really consider bump mapping, both on the stones and the armour.

 

Thanks for the feedback, I am using normal maps and height maps. To make it really stand out I'd have to go in the way of tessellation and POM, which seems to bring Unity to it's knees. This is another topic, but I'm having a lot of difficulty keeping the draw calls and fill rates down, whilst other engines don't seem to suffer from this with much more switched on. My own built engine also doesn't suffer from this!. So something I need to research.

 

Thanks again.

Edited by ShadowKGames
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The armor on that guy looks very heavy, btw, especially considering he isn't particularly muscled.

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I would tone down the armour,  as Powerneg said, it does look slightly off due to the hero not being particularly muscled. I would also avoid a lot of repeated scenery like the small plants on the sides, as it's not natural at all. I would tone it down so it's less obvious that it's the same plant, also rotate some of them.

 

hope this helped.

Overall, doing great and it's going into the right direction. Looking forward in seeing more.

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i think it looks great apart from the foliage. It strikes the eye like fuzz. Also, can you bake in some lighting for the castle? You got a really hard shadow on the overhang. Considering how bright the scene is, I would expect more diffusion there. If the light is directional, then nothing else seems to be casting shadows to match.

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Thanks for the feedback everyone, the guy's just a stand in for now there will be a character creation system.

 

As for the lighting and foliage, the lighting / shadowmaps and terrain system in Unity isn't fantastic to say the least. I've been wondering exactly what to do about it.. I'm sure I'll figure something out.

 

Thanks again.

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As for the lighting and foliage, the lighting / shadowmaps and terrain system in Unity isn't fantastic to say the least. I've been wondering exactly what to do about it..

Hello. I believe that you would have the same result if you were using Unreal or CryEngine, so this is something that you should deal with artistically rather than technically.

The foliage in your picture seems to grow out of the cobblestone ground. It would look better if you could blend the two elements together with either texturing (by overlaying a decal mesh with a semitransparent texture over the ground), or simply by using vertex colouring - a cheap feature that sometimes we tend to forget about.
Eric Chadwick of Polycount has dealt with a similar problem using vertex colouring: http://www.polycount.com/forum/showpost.php?p=1925699&postcount=311
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As for the lighting and foliage, the lighting / shadowmaps and terrain system in Unity isn't fantastic to say the least. I've been wondering exactly what to do about it..

Hello. I believe that you would have the same result if you were using Unreal or CryEngine, so this is something that you should deal with artistically rather than technically.

The foliage in your picture seems to grow out of the cobblestone ground. It would look better if you could blend the two elements together with either texturing (by overlaying a decal mesh with a semitransparent texture over the ground), or simply by using vertex colouring - a cheap feature that sometimes we tend to forget about.
Eric Chadwick of Polycount has dealt with a similar problem using vertex colouring: http://www.polycount.com/forum/showpost.php?p=1925699&postcount=311

 

 

Texturing is just on oversight because the terrain is so large, I can fix that very easily. The issue is with the tree system, how grass foliage in wind zones is displayed..

 

That fuzzy look, that amplified with a lot of weird artifacts when you move around. I've seen a voxel system for Unity which eradicates this issue but it cost's $3000.00..

 

I have a lot of issues with flickering lighting and shadowmaps and pixels showing through the trees as blocks.. Thanks for the link, I'll check it out.

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Well I took a lot of the advice on board, in all fairness we are years away from a final product. But it's great to have feedback at this early stage biggrin.png

 

Here is where we are at now, a lot of systems have been changed / improved etc.

 

Edit: Deleted old photo moved to top..

 

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Well, you're getting there now. I've been meaning to say this from day one, but are you using normal maps and if so, what are they looking like? Because almost all your textures are like... exceedingly flat, and it's something that's really dating the overall visuals. I think was said earlier, but it's still standing out.

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Well, you're getting there now. I've been meaning to say this from day one, but are you using normal maps and if so, what are they looking like? Because almost all your textures are like... exceedingly flat, and it's something that's really dating the overall visuals. I think was said earlier, but it's still standing out.

 

In the picture now at the top there is nothing more I can do, also the feedback I've generally got is that the textures are very bumpy. We use normal maps / displacement maps and a lot of the time some sort of parallax or tessellation shaders.. So if I hear back from a lot of people that things still look flat, then I'll have to start investigating the engines renderer.. We use Unity.

Edited by ShadowKGames
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Unity's simplicity wouldn't be the issue. I use it quite often to render my projects as an in-engine example and have never had this happen. It could be that the way you're generating your normal maps isn't getting enough depth information...?
I suppose another problem that could be contributing to simply making it appear flat in screenshots is the general muddiness of the textures; there's a distinct lack of unison in the scene (eg, the one entirely different barrel, some buildings being brick the others being stone, some stones HUGE while others are a more believable size, etc).
Are you using entirely photo-bashing/phototextures to make these? I think even just color-shifting the wood tones to be about the same would help a lot.

Edited by BagelHero
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