Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

IRC channel - server: waelisch.de  channel: #wme (read more)

Author Topic: 3D characters over 2D backgrounds  (Read 6868 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Daniel

  • Regular poster
  • ***
  • Karma: 0
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 124
  • I'm *not* a llama!
    • View Profile
3D characters over 2D backgrounds
« on: October 24, 2004, 09:27:00 PM »

I've been reading the latest reviews of Moment of Silence and Legacy: Dark Shadows and both of them seem to have problems with the 3D characters over the 2D backgrounds. I haven't seen it myself but the reviews said something about the characters standing out and at times looking as if floating on the backgrounds instead of standing on it.

I find it interesting to know if such problems are purely due to a sloppy job on the part of the art department or could it be due to a more serious problem with the engine itself. I find it hard to believe that in both cases, the developers chose to release the games like this. What do you think?

Logged

Mnemonic

  • WME developer
  • Administrator
  • Addicted to WME forum
  • *
  • Karma: 41
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 5674
    • View Profile
    • Dead:Code Site
Re: 3D characters over 2D backgrounds
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2004, 07:53:43 AM »

I only played The Moment of Silence german demo, but I didn't notice any obvious glitches. The 3D character(s) incorporation looked ok to me, at least in those few scenes I've seen in the demo.
From technical point of view, IMHO it will be always tricky to integrate 3D characters into 2D scenes, because you always have to fake something; namely the 3D character obstruction by 2D scene elements. Also the rendering method for the characters is (naturally) different from rendering method of the scene, same goes for the level of detail (low-poly characters vs. high-poly scenes). There are things that may help to hide the differences, such using the right lighting, antialiasing etc., but it will always need careful planning when designing the scenes.

Just my $0.02...


We were talking about it at IRC with Jerrot, who happens to own the final version of TMOS, and according to him a bigger problem is, that the game changes the camera angle way too often, confusing the player. I think we all know this situation from games like Alone in the Dark or Silent Hill. Another thing to be careful about when designing the scenes.
Logged
Yes, I do have a twitter account
Please don't send me technical questions in private messages, use the forum. ::wave

deadworm222

  • Regular poster
  • ***
  • Karma: 0
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 197
  • Wintermute Army
    • View Profile
Re: 3D characters over 2D backgrounds
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2004, 11:14:46 AM »

Grim Fandango handled 3D characters brilliantly.
Logged

Daniel

  • Regular poster
  • ***
  • Karma: 0
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 124
  • I'm *not* a llama!
    • View Profile
Re: 3D characters over 2D backgrounds
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2004, 07:36:54 PM »

I wasn't aware it's so difficult to pull such a thing off... And I didn't know the character and the background are rendered with very different qualities. I figured that if the character and the background both originate from the same place, namely the 3D modeling and texturing application, then they'll both look the same in the game environment as well. Was I mistaken? Will they really look different if they looked quite alike when they still were in the 3D modeling application? Boy, I'm sure it shows that I'm a coder and not an artist... :)

Grim Fandango handled 3D characters brilliantly.

Kate Walker looked ok as well. I never noticed she was rendered with a significantly lower quality than the backgrounds. Do I need to get my eyes checked?
Logged

Mnemonic

  • WME developer
  • Administrator
  • Addicted to WME forum
  • *
  • Karma: 41
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 5674
    • View Profile
    • Dead:Code Site
Re: 3D characters over 2D backgrounds
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2004, 08:24:24 PM »

I figured that if the character and the background both originate from the same place, namely the 3D modeling and texturing application, then they'll both look the same in the game environment as well. Was I mistaken?
Well, yes, but there is one big diffrence: the performance. It doesn't matter how long does it take to render one image in a 3D program, you can use some advanced raytracing methods, better shading, atmospheric effects; you will probably add some post-production to make the scene look less artificial. Not so with real-time rendered models. The rendering needs to be fast, which means fast methods are used, not necessarily the best looking ones. Although the modern videocards are much more powerful than they used to be, they are still not powerful enough to compete with the looks of specialized 3D software. There are methods to overcome this, but this means either high hardware requirements or bad performance. Or it needs to  be faked like Doom 3 does (low-poly models with normal maps applied to make the characters look more detailed).

Quote
Grim Fandango handled 3D characters brilliantly.
GF characters are extremely low-poly, but no one cares because they are skeletons, and skeletons are supposed to be "low-poly" :)


Kate Walker looked ok as well. I never noticed she was rendered with a significantly lower quality than the backgrounds. Do I need to get my eyes checked?

Sure, Syberia makers did good job in covering the "differences". I didn't say 3D character will always look ugly, I was just trying to explain why they can look out of place sometimes.
Logged
Yes, I do have a twitter account
Please don't send me technical questions in private messages, use the forum. ::wave

deadworm222

  • Regular poster
  • ***
  • Karma: 0
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 197
  • Wintermute Army
    • View Profile
Re: 3D characters over 2D backgrounds
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2004, 09:14:49 PM »

With antialiasing the differences will be largely diminished, as the jagged edges disappear.
Logged

Daniel

  • Regular poster
  • ***
  • Karma: 0
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 124
  • I'm *not* a llama!
    • View Profile
Re: 3D characters over 2D backgrounds
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2004, 11:19:19 PM »

Ok, I think I got it. I also think I should stick to the code and leave art to the artists... It's just that when you're managing a project, you need to be up to date with everything so I wanted to hear the opinion of others about this art problem that was mentioned in reviews regarding MOS and LDS.

Btw, will WME's currently-in-development 3D characters be at least as powerful as to support a good job like in the case of Syberia?
Logged

Mnemonic

  • WME developer
  • Administrator
  • Addicted to WME forum
  • *
  • Karma: 41
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 5674
    • View Profile
    • Dead:Code Site
Re: 3D characters over 2D backgrounds
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2004, 07:16:01 AM »

Btw, will WME's currently-in-development 3D characters be at least as powerful as to support a good job like in the case of Syberia?

Since Syberia (1) doesn't seem to be using any advanced techniques, such as normal or specular maps, I'd say yes. I can be wrong, though, I didn't look into Syberia too deeply.
Logged
Yes, I do have a twitter account
Please don't send me technical questions in private messages, use the forum. ::wave

Daniel

  • Regular poster
  • ***
  • Karma: 0
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 124
  • I'm *not* a llama!
    • View Profile
Re: 3D characters over 2D backgrounds
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2004, 01:13:53 PM »

Ok, now that I've tried the English demo of The Moment of Silence myself, I can tell that the 3D characters don't really stand out too much on the 2D backgrounds, as I was lead to believe. They are pretty ok, IMO.

But speaking of which, I had a few curious glitches with the 3D characters and I wanted to hear your opinion on this.

The first is Peter's shadow. It looks as a kind of schematic pencil drawing of a shadow and not the darkish shadow itself. It could be the interpretation of my specific video card but if not, it looks pretty weird.

The second issue is the characters walking over things they shouldn't be walking on like in the open yard Peter can walk over the benches as if they aren't there at all. And in other places there were problems with the z-buffering of the character, showing things through it as if it had transparent portions in it. Are these things bugs in the engine's implementation of the 3D characters, in your opinion, or are these bugs in the coding of the scenes?

The demo also had bugs with the path finding but that's off topic here.
Logged

Mnemonic

  • WME developer
  • Administrator
  • Addicted to WME forum
  • *
  • Karma: 41
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 5674
    • View Profile
    • Dead:Code Site
Re: 3D characters over 2D backgrounds
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2004, 01:06:45 PM »

Quote
The first is Peter's shadow. It looks as a kind of schematic pencil drawing of a shadow and not the darkish shadow itself. It could be the interpretation of my specific video card but if not, it looks pretty weird.
The shadow looks ok on my computer. Can you take a screenshot? If you are running it on TNT2 it might be the problem. Since the card doesn't support neither projected textures or stencil buffers, the two most commonly used shadow techniques..


Quote
The second issue is the characters walking over things they shouldn't be walking on like in the open yard Peter can walk over the benches as if they aren't there at all. And in other places there were problems with the z-buffering of the character, showing things through it as if it had transparent portions in it. Are these things bugs in the engine's implementation of the 3D characters, in your opinion, or are these bugs in the coding of the scenes?
It's really hard to say, because I don't know how the 2.5D scene is implemented in TMOS. I didn't notice such problems in the german demo though. I only noticed that I could walk through the other characters.
Logged
Yes, I do have a twitter account
Please don't send me technical questions in private messages, use the forum. ::wave

Daniel

  • Regular poster
  • ***
  • Karma: 0
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 124
  • I'm *not* a llama!
    • View Profile
Re: 3D characters over 2D backgrounds
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2004, 11:06:59 PM »

I can't take a screenshot right now but I agree with you it must be because of my old TNT2 (I need to upgrade my entire system...).

BTW, did you ask for a screenshot for the sake of this conversation only or do you need it for something else? If the latter, I can get to that later this week and send you the pic. If the former - just forget about this stupid question :).
Logged

Mnemonic

  • WME developer
  • Administrator
  • Addicted to WME forum
  • *
  • Karma: 41
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 5674
    • View Profile
    • Dead:Code Site
Re: 3D characters over 2D backgrounds
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2004, 07:42:27 AM »

BTW, did you ask for a screenshot for the sake of this conversation only or do you need it for something else? If the latter, I can get to that later this week and send you the pic. If the former - just forget about this stupid question :).
I was just wondering how does the shadow look on your machine :) Because I don't know what might cause it to look like a "schematic pencil drawing".
Logged
Yes, I do have a twitter account
Please don't send me technical questions in private messages, use the forum. ::wave
 

Page created in 0.213 seconds with 17 queries.