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Graphics baseline for a good-looking PC game?

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#21 Ohforf sake   Members   


Posted 17 May 2014 - 01:39 AM

Thx for the link Migi. It was an interesting read and had some neat ideas. In terms of the bad mesh topology however, I feel like it actually proves my point ^^

Take a look at page 14. The three images at the bottom from "NFS Rivals". Even with density map, the mesh on the right contains orders of magnitude more triangles then would have been needed to represent the shape. Yes it's a terrain where this might be acceptable, but also look at page 37. If any artist had produced that, I would seriously question his competence. You can see the texture for that on page 34. All there is in terms of geometry are 8 horizontal ridges. You shouldn't need more than say 100 triangles for this. There are also some smaller things like the holes and stuff, but those aren't captured by the tesselated mesh either.

This might be a nice thing for the industry since it provides another easy quality<-->performance slider when releasing for consoles and the PC. But apart from that, it feels to "brute force"ish to be a good option for most meshes. It might work out for stuff, that actually needs lots of triangles everywhere (terrains) or some meshes, where you want to increase the tesseleation just one or 2 levels to increase curvature (human faces). But I don't really see it employed on every wall, floor and ceiling.

PS: Apologies to jeffery for going slightly off topic ... again.

#22 jefferytitan   Members   


Posted 17 May 2014 - 03:51 PM

No problems... it's a big topic which I think we only explored a few corners of, so I'm cool with branching out.

#23 Tutorial Doctor   Members   


Posted 17 May 2014 - 08:36 PM

Geometry - a human character should have at least 10k polys. Less is accepted with normal-mapping, or using tessellation to boost things up.


That number can change though between cutscenes and the actual game. So It is best to use various levels of detail. 

They call me the Tutorial Doctor.

#24 Shane C   Members   


Posted 17 May 2014 - 09:01 PM

So I was going to step in and offer a more minimalistic way of making art. We are talking about pretty much competing with the industry here, I think. But what about a minimalistic design that actually makes it easier for one but still looks good?


Okay, so there is cel-shading. You generally don't have to worry about many of these effects, or detailed detail textures with it.


That being said, I temporarily used a shader which resembles cel-shading on a full detail game, my outer space game, to see how it looked - and it looked great. I wish I still had a picture of it in action.


I'm not trying to force it on the OP to make his game cel-shaded though, just offering a suggestion to him and anyone.

#25 spek   Prime Members   


Posted 25 May 2014 - 07:39 AM

A bit in addition of what Shane wrote above, what kind of game is it?


"Looking good" is vague term. As I like graphics programmer, I quickly get lost in shaders and other coding tricks. But does that make a game automatically look good? Super engines like CryEngine3 are capable to approach photorealism more and more. Still a game on CryEngine looks like shit if you don't have good ideas for the environments, or the capacity to make tons of superb looking textures. At the other side of the spectrum, take a game like "New Super Mario Bros". Does it look photorealistic? Hell no, nor was it supposed to. Does it look *good*? I think so. Much simpler techniques were used, and still it looks solid because the artists/programmers had a clear goal in mind.


Another example. Very recently I played Bioshock Infinite. Although its engine (Unreal Engine 3 I believe) is still pretty good, its starting to date. Yet I found its world one of the most beautiful ones I ever saw in a game. Not because photo-realism and the hottest shaders, but because the designers put a lot of creativity, style and love into it.



So maybe it's worth to approach this a bit different. First think how the game should look like. If you or your friends can draw well, make some "reference pictures". Unless you aim for photorealism -which means you're on the cutting edge of graphics and are always behind-, it's much easier to learn what techniques are needed to render whatever you made up. And also a lot more satisfying once you reach that level, rather than trying to compete with CryEngine or Unreal Engine 4 :)

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