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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperArtWorkshopArt styles: 2D pixels or 3D lopoly?
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Author Topic: Art styles: 2D pixels or 3D lopoly?  (Read 1970 times)
basementApe
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« on: December 01, 2015, 03:22:24 PM »

Hello people,

I'm testing out different art styles for a game I envision as sort of a mini-metroidvania with some fighting game elements in it. I've done quite a bit of 2D asset creation already but because the animation scope I have in mind is kinda big I decided to try and throw together a 3D alternative and see how that worked.

So the thing is, I'm really not sure which way to go now. Should I continue on with 2D? If I do I can do backgrounds and sparsely animated characters/creatures relatively quickly. It also has a color scheme and general look that I really enjoy. But animating it all takes a looong time. Not the animations themselves, but shading each and every frame by hand. And there's also the thing that revising or replacing animated sprites is not easy to do at all. Say I want the big scary punk man to have a vest or something, that means I need to redraw about 80 frames of animation just for that.

Going 3D, animating is much faster and asset-wise it's all very nice and flexible. I can even have customization options like gender and clothing for the player avatar. But does the look of it all work? Low-poly models with pixel art-esque backdrops, hmm... I don't know.

I'd be really happy to get some feedback on which art style you think looks better and whether or not the 3D approach works. Thanks Coffee

Here's a couple of vids and screenshots for comparison:

2D:







3D (ignore the wonky run anim Tongue):




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b∀ kkusa
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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2015, 04:47:29 PM »

I'd say that the 2d version is way more stylish than the 3d version. the cyberpunk vibe impact is way stronger in the 2 version.
While the 3d version still looks good,as a customer i'd be more willing to play the 2d version.

but as a developer i'd totally understand the reason you'd go 3d animation...

In the long term , the 2d version would be more rewarding imo.

Good luck on this project. It looks promising.

(you should post in the art section directly, i'm pretty much sure i don't get notification of new post in the workshop section, i stumbled into this by pure luck )
« Last Edit: December 01, 2015, 05:04:55 PM by bakkusa » Logged
Cobralad
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« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2015, 06:06:29 AM »

can you do 3d with 2d style textures?
You can totally achieve same look with 3d
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basementApe
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« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2015, 11:16:20 AM »

@bakkusa:
Cool, thanks for the nice feedback Smiley I agree the 2D version has a more distinct visual identity, partly because of the CRT effect it's got going on. How do you think this compares to it?



@Cobralad:
Do you mean hand-pixelled textures? Both characters have those (unfinished on the army guy) but it's not easy to see at a distance.

Quote
(you should post in the art section directly, i'm pretty much sure i don't get notification of new post in the workshop section, i stumbled into this by pure luck )
Yeh, I don't want to cross-post tho. Maybe a mod can help me out and move it?
« Last Edit: December 02, 2015, 11:27:24 AM by ErekT » Logged
JWK5
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« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2015, 11:48:16 AM »

Push stronger contrast on the characters. In the 2D version they have heavy darks that really make them pop, they 3D one is lacking that. Other than that it looks really good (and even despite that it looks good, the heavier contrast on the 2D just looks better).
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Senior-X
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« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2015, 09:17:38 PM »

this is really cool,
I personnally prefere the full 2D one, but I can understand the 3D choice, and actually with the CRT effect it looks pretty cool now!

have you tried to put character a little on perspective? not full isometric, to see how it looks?
I am not sure how to explain it, i did a fast edit on your pic (check the ground)
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b∀ kkusa
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« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2015, 03:03:57 AM »

what bothers me wasn't the lack of scanlines previously. I think it's just a matter a taste. the 3d version feels generic, i guess i can't get any emotion from it.

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diegzumillo
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« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2015, 06:08:53 AM »

Between those two pictures you posted, the 2D is the most attractive one. In your 3D shot the character doesn't have a trace of the gesture that the 2D characters have. It's not that 3D is inherently worse, but it is much harder to achieve the same quality and more time consuming.
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basementApe
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« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2015, 04:14:29 PM »

Between those two pictures you posted, the 2D is the most attractive one. In your 3D shot the character doesn't have a trace of the gesture that the 2D characters have. It's not that 3D is inherently worse, but it is much harder to achieve the same quality and more time consuming.
You're right. I think 3D can look good with enough skill and effort but even bigger studios seem to struggle to lose the plastic doll-look both in shading and motion, and they rarely get rid of it completely imo. I thought a way around that might be to go with simple models, simple shading and lo-res textures but eh.. maybe if I was a better 3D artist Tongue

So it seems you all prefer the 2D. That makes me happy tbh. I like low poly 3D but in the end I like pixel art more, both to work with and look at so... Thanks a lot for chiming in everybody, 2D it is Beer!
« Last Edit: December 16, 2015, 04:19:53 PM by ErekT » Logged
basementApe
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« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2015, 04:23:04 PM »

this is really cool,
I personnally prefere the full 2D one, but I can understand the 3D choice, and actually with the CRT effect it looks pretty cool now!

have you tried to put character a little on perspective? not full isometric, to see how it looks?
I am not sure how to explain it, i did a fast edit on your pic (check the ground)

Thanks Smiley I did try it, but I feel you lose platform precision with any kind of perspective on the playfield.
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Diabetes Forecast
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« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2016, 08:38:31 PM »





To do an effect like Saints Row 4, you'd have to set up a shader that reduces the visible render resolution of the models. from there, all you'd need to do is change the model textures to fit the palette of the backgrounds, and maybe go to the trouble of de-interpolating animation frames. You could animate the models at an angle to look more like the sprite poses. (though that's mostly for the idle/standing poses.)

Doing this will give you a good mix of the two styles you have, while still reducing the workload of doing full pixel art.
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