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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsReturn of the Obra Dinn [Releasing Oct 18]
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Author Topic: Return of the Obra Dinn [Releasing Oct 18]  (Read 715194 times)
kruxus
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« Reply #120 on: June 17, 2014, 04:54:03 AM »

May I ask why you switched to Maya when you clearly prefer Max?
Personally I prefer Maya over Max in most aspects, neither is perfect, though I agree that the Modifier Stack in Max is a lot better than the messy input graph of Maya. I can recommend using the "Delete By type -> Non-Deformer History" command, to remove all inputs except stuff like lattices and other deformers. But you most likely found that out already.
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Panurge
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« Reply #121 on: June 17, 2014, 09:58:28 AM »

I live almost within cannon range of the Victory and can guarantee that the curvature of the decks, on that ship at least, is so slight as to be invisible to the layman (ie. me). I wouldn't think anyone would notice if your decks are flat. If you're concerned about offending nautical purists, your real headaches will start with the rigging. Smiley

I love your ideas for the audio - the creaking of old timbers must be one of the most atmospheric sounds there is.
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dukope
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« Reply #122 on: June 17, 2014, 10:07:01 AM »

May I ask why you switched to Maya when you clearly prefer Max?

The main reason is explained here. But TBH, besides the modifier stack, I don't really like Max all that much either. The last version I used was 2011(?) and it was just as crusty and buggy as Maya is.

I'll probably take another survey of the state of 3d modeling tools after this project is over. Hopefully there's something versatile with a modern interface and no (fewer) bugs.

I live almost within cannon range of the Victory and can guarantee that the curvature of the decks, on that ship at least, is so slight as to be invisible to the layman (ie. me). I wouldn't think anyone would notice if your decks are flat. If you're concerned about offending nautical purists, your real headaches will start with the rigging. Smiley

Haha! Thanks, that's good to know. You joke, but after spending so much time researching ship models, I really am worried about purists scoffing at some of my constructions. With the rigging, I'm hoping to dazzle them with a sky full of ropes. How I get there I'm not sure yet.  Epileptic
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dukope
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« Reply #123 on: June 18, 2014, 08:51:20 AM »

Lighting

I've been playing around with the lighting a little bit. Unity has a few ways of doing things - lightmaps and runtime lights. Lightmaps look great and run fast but are static. Runtime lights look ok and are dynamic. I'm planning on 3 types of lights for this game:

1. Moonlight
2. Lanterns
3. Ambient

The moonlight needs to be dynamic to accentuate the rolling and pitching of the ship in water. It'd be nice if lanterns could be dynamic too, but I expect there'll be too many of them. It takes a lot to light the lower decks. Through some experimentation, I've found ambient light looks best  (and bakes quickest) when I hand-place point lights instead of relying on Unity's sky light system. So right now I'm baking lantern and ambient light and leaving the moonlight dynamic. Performance is pretty good this way.

I played around with having the player carry a lantern instead of hanging static lanterns. That would require another dynamic light, but performance would probably still be ok. The problem is that it looks bad. Contrast is so high in this game that such an actively moving light ends up being really distracting. Especially when it's coming from the player's POV I find it works against the visual clarity. So, no handheld lantern.

Anyways, here's a few shots of the lower deck that I thought looked cool. The new lighting dither ramp works really well here if I get the light radii and intensity right.





There's a bit of the ambient occlusion edge darkening that I was avoiding earlier. I guess it's not so bad with this dither ramp.
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Greipur
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« Reply #124 on: June 18, 2014, 09:17:07 AM »

I'll probably take another survey of the state of 3d modeling tools after this project is over.

I can recommend checking out Blender later if you haven't. Generally works good with Unity too.
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kleiba
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« Reply #125 on: June 18, 2014, 10:51:46 AM »

Do you worry about mostly dark areas ending up looking like negatives?
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Rebusmind
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« Reply #126 on: June 18, 2014, 11:02:17 AM »

Sorry if you wrote that already, but will the white edges be affected by light in the final game? Cause now it doesn't really matter if there is light or not, because you see the geometry of the room anyway. I really like the rendering style, though, can't wait to see this in motion. Smiley
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One-bit Punch
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« Reply #127 on: June 18, 2014, 05:33:54 PM »

I'm so following this thread. I'm fascinated to see how you will tackle the lighting & rendering.

I use Maya for animation (since its widely used in the VFX industry, so there's hardly any choice) and while its certainly very strong in some areas, it has a bit of that heavy-feeling to it. A colleague of mine likes to joke about how Maya is the Windows 95 equivalent of the 3D world. I've been playing around with Blender and it feels nice & nimble, but still finding it tough to overcome the mental barrier to get used to its way of doing things.
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Jasmine
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« Reply #128 on: June 18, 2014, 05:59:32 PM »

Haha, I see that this is eye-candy for many modelers here. Unfortunately, lacking artistry, all I can add to the table is "This looks awesome!".

Musically though, I'm curious to see how it pans out. As far as audio, I truly don't imagine much music. Possibly some ambient, but in truth, I could see this project working VERY well on natural sound sources (water, creaking wood, etc) alone.

Definitely following! Might as well, as much as I spend time sifting through this thread.
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happymonster
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« Reply #129 on: June 19, 2014, 01:11:53 PM »

I'm not sure that amount of dithering works right now. I preferred the black, white and 50% dither of the earlier screenshots.
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Scott
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« Reply #130 on: June 19, 2014, 07:06:41 PM »

I'm not sure that amount of dithering works right now. I preferred the black, white and 50% dither of the earlier screenshots.
I was thinking the same thing, but it may not work well with the proposed lighting system.
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dukope
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« Reply #131 on: June 19, 2014, 08:55:01 PM »

No True Darkness

Do you worry about mostly dark areas ending up looking like negatives?
Sorry if you wrote that already, but will the white edges be affected by light in the final game? Cause now it doesn't really matter if there is light or not, because you see the geometry of the room anyway.

I've been a little worried about this. I like the look so much though that I'll try to work around the limitations. Basically, you'll be able to always make out the geometry, even in perfect darkness. The challenge will be to avoid relying on darkness to hide stuff and instead use occluding walls/doors/etc. Seems like a fun challenge actually.

If I get to a point where that doesn't work out for whatever reason, I may experiment with turning off the white lines at a certain distance. I generally don't like those kinds of solutions since the transition point (especially with only 1-bit) looks bad.

I think this is a general problem with 1-bit rendering, and not necessarily limited to the white lines. When you've only got one bit, and without lots of dithering, it's hard to make stuff fade out, fog, or otherwise recede into the distance. So I need to solve this for more than just the dark areas of the ship. For example, the top decks will be mostly well-lit (so using black lines) and even there I need to keep the player from seeing too far to avoid a mess of flickering pixels and lines.

I'm fortunate that this is an old sailing ship - they had all kinds of stuff blocking long views. Also, I'm not making a horror game so the lack of disorienting darkness hopefully shouldn't limit my design.


Lighting Dither

I'm not sure that amount of dithering works right now. I preferred the black, white and 50% dither of the earlier screenshots.

The 0%/50%/100% dithering looks ok in bright light on the top deck, but not with the subtler lighting of the lower decks. The smoothstep lighting is more versatile and looks much better to me.


Lantern lighting with full range dithering.


Lantern lighting with original 0/50/100 dithering


Lantern lighting with modified 0/50/100 dithering


Lantern lighting with smoothstep 45,55 -> 0,100 dithering

The lighting here has been tuned for the smoothstep dithering so it's not a completely fair comparison. I could tweak each of these to look better, but I really like the high contrast and extra range on the smoothstep transitions. And if I get the lighting right, there won't be the broad areas of dithering that are painful on the eyes.
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kleiba
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« Reply #132 on: June 20, 2014, 01:06:01 PM »

The 0%/50%/100% dithering looks ok in bright light on the top deck, but not with the subtler lighting of the lower decks. The smoothstep lighting is more versatile and looks much better to me.

Do you mean "looks much better to me in general" or specifically for those areas like the lower decks? Have you considered using different lighting models for different situations?
« Last Edit: June 21, 2014, 02:07:57 AM by kleiba » Logged
happymonster
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« Reply #133 on: June 21, 2014, 03:34:43 AM »

What does the last picture look like if the outlines stay black in dark areas? Smiley
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dukope
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« Reply #134 on: June 21, 2014, 08:06:40 AM »

Do you mean "looks much better to me in general" or specifically for those areas like the lower decks? Have you considered using different lighting models for different situations?

"in general" = "all cases". The top deck has bright lighting from the dynamic moonlight. There's not much range necessary for that so the smoothstep ramp looks mostly the same as the old 0/50/100 ramp there. There's no facility for using different ramps for different areas of the ship but luckily I don't think it's necessary anyways.

What does the last picture look like if the outlines stay black in dark areas? Smiley

Terrible Grin

Losing the inverse-lit lines makes it seem like 1 bit is not enough to tell what's going on. I would have to bathe the ship in light for this to work and then it'd lose all the charm of the stylization.


No inverse-lit lines. Pack it up, we're going home.


Blessed lines in all lighting. Unpack your shit, we're staying.
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happymonster
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« Reply #135 on: June 21, 2014, 08:45:47 AM »

Err.. I like the first one!  Who, Me?
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kleiba
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« Reply #136 on: June 21, 2014, 10:07:10 AM »

Err.. I like the first one!  Who, Me?

I kinda like it too, I have to say. But I would really like to see how both of them look as the player moves around. Any chance for a GIF or short video?
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tuglaw
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« Reply #137 on: June 21, 2014, 10:13:25 AM »

Really enjoy the look of both images.

Err.. I like the first one!  Who, Me?

I kinda like it too, I have to say. But I would really like to see how both of them look as the player moves around. Any chance for a GIF or short video?

Uhh... What if your lantern would light up those lines?
You wouldn't be actually casting light from the player but instead the lines would begin to be visible in a radius around.
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GlaDOSik
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« Reply #138 on: June 21, 2014, 11:17:40 AM »

The second one is much better without lantern. But I like the idea that MurderOfPoes has. I know, that the idea with lantern is in trash can, but I wonder, how it would look, if the light has sharp edges and circular range - similar to Shelter or The Spire. It would be clear - not the dither mess - but it would preserve the nice dark atmosphere, that first image has.

http://pixelsordeath.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/badger3.jpg
http://hitboxteam.com/content/articles/mystery-and-mastery/spire-1.jpg
« Last Edit: June 21, 2014, 11:23:47 AM by GlaDOSik » Logged
dukope
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« Reply #139 on: June 21, 2014, 11:23:12 AM »

Uhh... What if your lantern would light up those lines?
You wouldn't be actually casting light from the player but instead the lines would begin to be visible in a radius around.

Yeah that was mentioned a few posts up:

If I get to a point where that doesn't work out for whatever reason, I may experiment with turning off the white lines at a certain distance. I generally don't like those kinds of solutions since the transition point (especially with only 1-bit) looks bad.

But framing it as the "lantern" is a cool way to put it. As you say, it doesn't light up anything except the lines, so it's not really a lantern. But just seeing you call that technique a lantern was enough to get me to try it out.

I first set it up with a sharp radius around the player where the white lines switch from black to white. That sharp spherical edge is really obvious though so I dithered it out a bit at the extremities. It doesn't look half bad as a way to reveal things, especially when you're moving around. It does feel very much like a quasi-lantern, or just how your senses in the dark improve with proximity.


The same scene with the white lines dithered out in the distance.


Turning a bit to look down the (empty) deck.

If you stand still it's a little worse since the line dithering clutters things up, and distant geometry is _really_ hard to read. After playing with it for a bit, I eventually felt the constantly changing lines were, although neat, too distracting. I'm going to do my best to make the basic inverse-lit lines work first. There's something about the simplicity of it that I really like. Sorry guys!
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