seemed like the textures were very pale. so I did this:
Increased the contrast brightness and darkness to make areas pop more Furthermore added subtle textural noise. The team color and metal colors were too close in luminance creating a blob at distance. So I tweaked that as well.
Joined: 11 Mar 2010, 09:05 Location: The land of polies.
Looks great! I can't speak for pyra though. I'll run it by him later. Also, maybe only apply the contrast to the gray metal pieces. It may mess with some other things like con stripes etc. Also, maybe do about 90% of what you did there. Just a smidgen too dark for me.
It's makes core look like the sort of "evil industrial" faction. Coolio
It's the occasion for me to speak as an artist position of a feature I'd like to see in spring engine, because it's so common nowadays that I guess it would take Spring engine closer to a professional level and that it could improve, if artists are using it, the quality of the overall models produced.
I'm not asking anything to any coders, I'm just making my point
I especially disagree with Bob when he says that preshading is a thing from the past. No, it's closer to a thing not so used in the past that become and will become more and more used in the near future.
Lightmaps/AO/preshading are used everywhere everytime by now, from idtech to UDK to cryengine and so on.. lighting and shaders aren't suffisant enough to produces nowadays graphics. Even when few games use screen space AO, models are still preshaded.
Generally, I'd say there are three ways to use a light map
First would be to bake an AO map and use it directly on the diffuse map (ex tex1). It has it's pros and cons. It's pretty easy to use it, no new features are required but uvs have to be unwrapped in a way that the AO will bake properly, so most of the time the uv map will not be very optimised. Also, it don't works if you use a single giant texture atlas like Bob is doing.
Second way, and as far as I know we can't do this in spring engine, is to bake an AO map and use it with a secondary UV channel. So your model will contain two uv channel, one designed to contain the diffuse color only (so it can be very optimized with many overlaps etc..), the second one designed to contain only the light map. It also has it's pros and cons. Cons would be that it need another map, which is ram/cpu/gpu consumming, it also increase the vertex count of the model and also increase the amount of time you need to spend on each objects. Pros would be that you can use a lightmap whatever your diffuse texture is, a tilable texture, a giant atlas texture or whatever and that you could control in realtime through settings the amount of AO you want to apply and it's colour. (because most of the time the lightmap is a pure white&black texture set to "multiply mode" through opengl or directx, so you could specify the multiply value etc..) It's the way they use with UDK.
Third way, I don't know if we can do this in Spring engine neither, is to use vertex color. It's pretty cheap, doesn't add any news textures but requires a descent tricount in order to correctly contain the amount of light informations. It is also commonly used in games and engines (lex Allods online).
I probably don't teach you anything new but I wanted to point out things I had in my mind. I think the AO groundplate trick Beherith and I used improved in a good matter the visual quality and I think it could do the same on most of other units (especially on Bob's ones)
Anyway, just wanted to say good job and keep it up !
Joined: 11 Mar 2010, 09:05 Location: The land of polies.
Allow me to rephrase when I say that preshading is a thing of the past.
I'm referring to the old art of making directional up down based lighting for engines that can only flat light or do very basic normal coloring, part of the diffuse. (aka wc3, or any engine from 2004 backwards.) And its mostly to combat the thoughts of anyone who happens to stumble upon this thread thinking that the screenshots taken flat lit are any representation of the full potential of the models in question. When I say that it is something of the past, its to get the point across that models nowadays are somewhat dependent on the lighting engine. (Which, does not and should not imply any sort of loss of quality, as the real world has the same lighting elements, and if it was flat lit it would look strange as well.)
I don't generally refer to ao baking as pre shading (even though that's what it is) as it doesn't require any hand drawn work. (In most cases.) If you look at old texture files from games ages ago that didn't have any real lighting model or shadowing, (wc3 in particular) you'll notice that artists would draw in shading under things that nowadays would rely on the normal map. And, normal maps obviously require lighting, which is where I'm coming from really. Basically, my point is that you can't take a screen shot of any modern models without lighting on, and expect it to be a good representation of the quality of sed models.
And, not to sound terribly uppity, but ofc AO baking is something that people use often and leads to a much better result. The problem is, all the things you mentioned regarding the uv channels and the vert coloring. As far as I know, spring doesn't support either. Infact, in any other case, I would always use AO baking. Which is partly why I never really considered it any real preshading work (even though yes I know, thats what it is). I believe I showed 2 models in the WIP thread with major AO baking applied.
Don't worry, I am definitely pro AO. Being as a lot of the buildings have the plates and all. I'd love to see AO baked on all the models. It's just a problem of technical capability. Not to seem ungrateful of the engine in any way ofc.
But, anyway yes. Definitely up for AO etc! Just not anything like underside shadowing (as that is why we have shadows) or flat face detail shadowing (as that is why we have normal maps).
Also, yes lightmaps are everywhere, (aka lightmass) but thats environment based and doesn't apply to dynamic models. Unless there is some trick up someone's sleeve I don't know about. :D I don't know if that's really preshading as the engine is the one doing it...though I guess it is written into in house generated textures.
I think my definition of preshading may be a bit off or something...
So yeah, I just want to make sure we are all clear that you can't judge models by this:
But instead, by this:
It's the same models and textures, just one is flat lit and one is not.
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