The HUD is taking shape after allot of ideas and opinions from the group. The biggest lesson off all this is that the perfect HUD probably does not exist. I made a bunch of different layouts and we asked around the campus what people thought and everyone had different opinions. This means that in the future, our game will probably have some sort of customization for the HUD, so everyone gets what he or she wants. As for now the player will have to settle with my wow inspired layout.
The GUI will have to display following: hp, energy, ammo and cooldowns and without using to much of the screen area. you can see in the picture that the GUI is really minimalistic and clean for the moment. The stripes under the numbers are the cooldowns. The half circles are life and energy reinforced by the three-digit number in the button right and left. The remaining three numbers are the right, left and middle ammo count, for things like rockets and boosts. I hope it makes sense and that you like it.
Last week was the worst so far. I tried to bake light maps for my low polly but everything just went wrong. My idea was basically to batch bake Ao and my global lights from final gather to my high polly models and later transfer the color to my low poly models. Turn out it is not as easy is you may think. Why would I want to to this you may ask, well it would simply produce a better quality ao/lightmap. The reason for that is because my parts are “floating” and crossing each other, they are not connected with planes to one solid mesh . The problem occur when planes are perpendicular, the ray casts misses the infinite thin planes. At least I think that is the problem. You can see the image below the errors that occur with floating parts, the ao is missing.
So when trying to bake lights these problems occur:
I have no uv maps for my high polly models, so the color have to be bakes in to the vertices of my high poly models. But when I’m trying to do a “transfer map” with the diffuse color, to the lowpoly, the program is only sampling from the grey lambert texture and not the vertices.
When I want to export my models to Meshlab or xnormal for a vertex to texture color transfer, the vertices color won’t follow. Neither with fbx or obj file exports.
Xnormal crashes when trying to read an fbx file.
When trying to bake a lightmap directly to the low pollys texture with transfer maps with the highpolly as source, the program often crashes. And on top of that the transfer maps bake light doesn’t seem to support raytrace shadows or lightmaps, only diffuse.
Prelight bake looks horrible because it doesn’t support raytrace shadows, only lightmaps.
I have moves on with the texturing and making a new hud. I hope that I will find a solution for the lightbake problem otherwise I will have use the unity lights. That a waste because I have used large textures for making light bake possible.
My Light that i wish to bake to my textures.
My optimized mesh.
my nicely hacked mesh for baking light to the vertices(hight poly).
Estimate time is always hard, especially when it comes to cg, new problems often occur and smaller tasks are forgotten when planing. A teacher once told me a mathematical solution for planing. Take the estimated time and multiply it by pi and you will get closer to the truth. I guess that is correct, think of uv mapping for example, simple objects can turn pretty complex. Its even harder when Maya has a bug not showing the right normal direction after duplicating an object. It took a while to figure out why my baked maps looked bad. The solution was to combine and split meshes.
The GUI has taken shape, and a new logo. It can be hard to keep stuff minimalistic and clean but i think i succeeded. It makes a good contrast with the messy 3d background. The menu will be 2.5 which will give some cool parallax.The blue glows bleeds over the surrounding buttons which is a problem for the raycast when pressing the buttons. the solution was making small invisible hit-boxes, so u don’t hit multiple buttons at the same time.
One map baked, i just wanted to show the render time , my computer seams to be slower then the rest, ancient dual core…
I have often struggled making stuff to complex. Forgetting that less is more and that allot of details can be added in the texture for better result without wasting time to modeling it. What I have tried to do is leave some simple areas on the models, where your eyes can rest, and use all that saved up geometry to small complex areas. It gives a better aesthetic look because of interesting balance and contrast.It also makes a more optimize geometry and really make details pop, better one good handle than 2 bad. Can you see The small complex area on the first image, hint, handle.
I have started texturing some items for the game, you can see on the screen below my rocket launcher and missile. I started studying computer graphics because i painted and draw allot digitally. When I later learn about 3d and render-passes(diffuse, Ao) I better understood my own pictures that i drew before. I have been focusing to much on diffuse rendering when sketching(the angle between plane and light source) and forgetting dark corners and popping edges. It is maybe not exactly as it looks in real life but it makes thing interesting and softens the otherwise so hard cg edges. I really works good in computer games when the meshes are so sparse. The black rocket launcher is to show a curvature render, used to help masking out edges for a faster and more procedural workflow.
Here is a little technique that i am going to try and use when baking items standing on the ground. I copy my highpolly mesh, smooth it and combine it back with the original using booleans(scary). The result is a pretty good transition between edges and simulates sand or dirt trapped in corners.
This week I have started making all low poly meshes for the garage. It can be a boring job especially when most the tools/programs often are made for organic meshes and not mechanical.
Topogun have no “snapping to reference mesh” function for keeping a man made look. It has no useful wireframe view. I would like to see a shaded model with wireframe on top, like maya or 3d coat, just to make things a little less messy.
I then decided to try out 3DCoat, it turns out that it can snaps to the reference vertices but has a really strange raycast. When sliding wrong placed vertices to their right position they often slip away to wrong planes in the z direction. The snapping function don’t work when correcting the verts either. I would like to have the ray cast to hit the closest polygon to the camera only. This is a typical problem area.
Maybe i did not give the programs enough time or maybe my meshes are bad because they are built with small meshes lying on top of each other. In the end I found it easiest to simply use the high poly mesh, remove some unnecessary edge loops and let some parts of the mesh still be disconnected , like pipe connected to a fitting for example. And then just combine it to one mesh.
In the middle of all this i realized that my small test area, the room on the left , wasn’t fun. It was a box with a lot of hard surface stuff that was lying in the way. I took some inputs from my friend Jonas who’s designing the large “Hold The Flag” map and decided to make my room more curved and organic. the curved area will be made of sand and dirt.
I also had a bit of bad luck , I got the flu and have a hard time being productive when feeling ill.
Next week, I will start setting up the the lights, and paint textures.
So the garage is taking shape, the high polys are soon done and i can start to optimize the geometry. I will be focusing on keeping the advance outlines from the foreground and middle ground and bake all the flat areas from the cameras point of view. The images below are simple ao rendering with a rusty image overlayed i photoshop, just to get more feeling to it. The mechanical parts will be covered in black dust and smoke for the most part with exceptions of details that i decide to pop, lets say footsteps or moving parts around the character, to get some nice framing.
If you reading this you probably already know that the old in Impacto game has been resumed. Old ideas that we had to put aside, because of lack of time, is now in the works. I am a 3d artist, my job these weeks will be designing parts for the character and the new customization menu:) I will post images and movies of cool items and props so you all can have something to look forward to or maybe have opinions about.
This is the first layout of the menu.