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Darren Monahan

Update #49: Water, Trees, Day/Night, Lighting... All That Jazz

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Nox is older than Diablo 2, completely 2D, and uses lots of dynamic shadow. It seems to be basically a different sort of fog of war, but there should be means for some simple, generic dynamic shadows at least.

Edited by MattH
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Dynamic objects? Cut it with the marketing terms, you mean the 3D models, i.e. only the 3D models can cast dynamic shadows.

I'm pretty sure that's a coding/world-building term, and not a marketing term.

 

"Call of Duty: Black Ops 3! Now with 50% more dynamic objects! 8D" doesn't have much of a ring to it.

 

Either you have no idea what marketing actually is (it can be used in more than one type of context) or you a fanboy flame troll. ^^

 

There are 2D and 3D dynamic objects in that scene. The 2D objects can't cast dynamic shadows, the 3D objects can.

 

but i am not sure of the correct term (whether it is the same for 2D and 3D) but you can use various graphics layers to create shadows.  a 3 layer approach would have the background, then covered with the shadow layer, then the object layer.  this is pretty simple and results in objects being lit even when in shadow, but it is very simple and also easy on resources.  the shadows are semi transparent images that are stretched and skewed the same way a shadow would be, depending on how many layers the engine can handle depends on how many objects can be covered in shadows, 4 layers would allow objects to be either covered in shadow or not, having a line of objects each partially covering each other in shadow means many layers to look right, which today's computers can handle, depending on behind the scenes computational work (2D graphics are heavily reliant on CPU power).

 

as for dynamic being a marketing term, depends on who you are selling to, if you are selling to investors then: "Call of Duty: Black Ops 3! Now with 50% more dynamic objects! 8D" has a great ring to it, it has buzzwords and numerics, though the emote can go.  one could make a game where you get points by making sentences that have buzzwords and numerics, sorta like a scrabble, and it would be a good training tool for how to sell stuff to businessmen in the current era.

 

http://www.mattgreer.org/post/4dynamicLightingShadows

 

Here nice tutorial that explains how you can make dynamic shadows work in 2D enviroments.

beaten to the punch.

 

P.S. i also would like to say i like the background music, it (unlike so many games) stays in the background and lets me hear all the birds and such, it sounds nice as well.

Edited by jamoecw

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Hi, I am overjoyed to finally get a glimpse of how the environment will look like. However, being less knowledgeable about the whole design of things, I am very keen to know how dynamism was achieved if there was no 3D geometry involved. And if my eyes were failing me, I thought I saw some shadowing when the light hovered over the statues, which if were 2D, wouldn't be able to cast shadows right? I don't know a lot about graphics rendering and 3D stuff so do pardon me if I missed something obvious.

 

Great work! I've been a fan of Interplay and Black Isle since I was a kid. Brain imploded and exploded after watching this vid XD

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Hi, I am overjoyed to finally get a glimpse of how the environment will look like. However, being less knowledgeable about the whole design of things, I am very keen to know how dynamism was achieved if there was no 3D geometry involved. And if my eyes were failing me, I thought I saw some shadowing when the light hovered over the statues, which if were 2D, wouldn't be able to cast shadows right? I don't know a lot about graphics rendering and 3D stuff so do pardon me if I missed something obvious.

 

Great work! I've been a fan of Interplay and Black Isle since I was a kid. Brain imploded and exploded after watching this vid XD

 

Well you do not need 3d to have dynamic lightning. You just need 3d information for the lights.

This means that you will have to model it in 3D, render out "normal maps", and tell the lights in the scene(in unity or whatever engine) to use them. 

This is normal maps:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normal_mapping

 

This is a video from youtube that shows an example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f31sC52j7Po

Edited by Fluid00
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Also my only real comment on the environment vid:


The "debris" from the waterfall seems way to dominant, looks a bit like a tool employed as a mechanism to hide the edge/collision between the water falling down, and the still water in the lake. However I am not sure this is something that would be easy to solve with the 2.5D constraints currently employed.

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This looks so fantastic, also characters are very detailed and interesting. Now waiting for the game will be much harder :)
 

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Holy sheet that looks fantastic, far better than I'd hoped for. I'm not really a graphics whore but damn that's pretty. Wasn't expecting so much environmental motion.

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This seems like a good opportunity to post a link to this:

 

http://www.effectgames.com/demos/canvascycle/

 

It's a collection of animated 8-bit pixel art landscapes for a variety of environments at different times of day and year and with different weather. I hope Project Eternity's locations will be as varied and as good at evoking a mood.

Very nice indeed. And a good idea. Designing game locations with the musing idea of some great ambient pictures seems like a helpful way for a designer.

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I am sure that the three characters' names would have been Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins. The first one could have said: "That's one small step for PE, one giant leap for RPG" :p

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I am very pleased with everything I saw! I love the size of the characters on the screen on the standard view. I love how far you can zoom out. The character detail was exactly what I was hoping to see as far as armor and being able to really get the look of a character! The movement in the 2D background was mesmerizing. It looked so alive for a 2D image! The lighting was spectacular! All we need now is a UI and some dialogue to make sure I will be able to read it without straining my eyes! Speaking of which, perhaps a font size changing option? Anyway. You guys are keeping me so on the edge of my seat! I am literally playing BG1 nightly just to help cull my anticipation! I have/still have the utmost faith in what you are doing, and I cannot wait until I can chase that wisp into whatever is beyond that entrance!

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ok, you have gotten a lot of praise for this. I'm not trying to fling **** here, but why does this look a lot worse than the screenshot from the campaign? vibrant colors? gone. grass and bushes? look a lot worse. the waterfall? some weird cloud. I could go on... I really hope that the final release will look a lot closer to the first screenshot, because this looks arguably worse. and I don't want this game to suffer from the colonial marines syndrome.

Edited by Gorth
Language

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ok, you have gotten a lot of praise for this. I'm not trying to fling **** here, but why does this look a lot worse than the screenshot from the campaign? vibrant colors? gone. grass and bushes? look a lot worse. the waterfall? some weird cloud. I could go on... I really hope that the final release will look a lot closer to the first screenshot, because this looks arguably worse. and I don't want this game to suffer from the colonial marines syndrome.

 

This was a new render with different priorities. Here's what Josh said on NeoGAF:

 

It's a new render (the first was done in XSI and the new one was done in Maya) that only had a small amount of 2D touchup.

 

It seems that for the animated version, they were more focused on showing off the water level changes, character movement on the map, and the various lighting tricks. I agree with you that the original screenshot looked better and more detailed in some ways, but it's still a work in progress and I expect they'll continue to improve it.

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Amazing!

Wonderful!

Excellent!

Stunning!

Outstanding!

Magnificent!

Exquisite!

 

Great work, Obsidian!

 

Now, does anyone have a good way of cleaning brain bits out of my keyboard? That would be appreciated...


Squeak!


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Just made an account and wanted to jump in, just to stay to the team: this looks amazing.

Really, I already was super excited the first day of the kickstarter, then even more when the first screenshot was released... and now this.

Really, I could have done with a lot less, and speaks allot about the quality of the team of Obsidian that even for this "low budget" project, they manage to create such a stunning look.

Greatest respect for the team, and keep the good work up!

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Hey there, my only hesitation with this project was the 2D/iso plan (I like camera flexibility like NWN 1&2).  That said, the scene looks gorgeous so maybe 2D won't be so bad.  Looking forward to working on my item design.  Keep up the good work!

Edited by Chaos Theory

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Also my only real comment on the environment vid:

The "debris" from the waterfall seems way to dominant, looks a bit like a tool employed as a mechanism to hide the edge/collision between the water falling down, and the still water in the lake. However I am not sure this is something that would be easy to solve with the 2.5D constraints currently employed.

 

I had that impression as well. But using a particle-based mist generator might be too processor intensive. Perhaps they just need to blend it a little better? It's a WiP, after all.


"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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Also my only real comment on the environment vid:

The "debris" from the waterfall seems way to dominant, looks a bit like a tool employed as a mechanism to hide the edge/collision between the water falling down, and the still water in the lake. However I am not sure this is something that would be easy to solve with the 2.5D constraints currently employed.

 

I had that impression as well. But using a particle-based mist generator might be too processor intensive. Perhaps they just need to blend it a little better? It's a WiP, after all.

 

I think what would improve the waterfall spume/mist, is if they'd remove the gray taint and make it clean and white, so it looks like water not smoke:

 

yRwnspyl.jpg


"Some ideas are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them." -- attributed to George Orwell

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K...this is very nice stuff. Doubly glad I am a backer. :) Major kudos to the artists and techies who made this happen. I'm very excited by the prospect of the game and its artwork.

But to nitpick (because I spend a lot of time on tidelands and other aquatic areas as part of my day job): unlike the video, recently emersed aquatic substrates look rather different than the surrounding terestrial environments.

 

I would expect to see some mud/sand in parts of the watercourse, maybe some woody debris in places, and possibly flattened aquatic vegetation in the dewatered stream bed instead of the same vegetation as the surrounding land. Now if this were a non-flowing shallow pool that was dewatered, I could see rushes and tall grasses being present on both the land and in the pool. Depending on how recently the dewatering happened the mud etc might be 'caked' (cracking as it dries in the sun etc).

 

I mention it because seeing the dewatering happen in the video had me expecting to see this stuff. Obviously, if the dewatering doesn;t happen in fron t of the player, then these points are moot. If a long enough period of time (months) goes by between immersions then the once-aquatic surface becomes terrestrial.

 

Is this trivial? Yep. Is it a deal breaker? Hell no. Just stuff that sticks out like a sore thumb to someone who spends a lot of time in dewatered aquatic environments. :) And maybe in the final version this stuff will be taken care of. Or not. S'ok either way. Just trying to offer constructive feedback to the team. Apologies if it's out of line.

 

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Also my only real comment on the environment vid:

The "debris" from the waterfall seems way to dominant, looks a bit like a tool employed as a mechanism to hide the edge/collision between the water falling down, and the still water in the lake. However I am not sure this is something that would be easy to solve with the 2.5D constraints currently employed.

 

I had that impression as well. But using a particle-based mist generator might be too processor intensive. Perhaps they just need to blend it a little better? It's a WiP, after all.

 

I think what would improve the waterfall spume/mist, is if they'd remove the gray taint and make it clean and white, so it looks like water not smoke:

 

Yes. Perhaps even with a rainbow tinge. However, it might depend on the lighting conditions: what works in daylight lighting may not look good when they switch to a night scene. I'm not sure if the mist is an overlay or an effect, but they may need to make the mist tintable and vary the tint. :) I'm sure they'll work it out.


"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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Either you have no idea what marketing actually is (it can be used in more than one type of context) or you a fanboy flame troll. ^^

 

There are 2D and 3D dynamic objects in that scene. The 2D objects can't cast dynamic shadows, the 3D objects can.

Hahaha. Well then, I take back that statement I made about marketing not being able to be used in more than one type of -- OH WAIT I didn't make one. 8P My bad.

 

Dynamic: Changing; not remaining the same from the origin of existence into forever.

 

Object: A thing which has boundaries and is discernable from other things outside its boundaries.

 

A web page is 2D, and yet it can have animated GIFs within an otherwise static web page. And, when referring to the elements of the page, one could refer to that GIF as a separate "object" from the background or any other element of the webpage.

 

If you want to whine about how you could've single-handedly done 17 times better than Obsidian and show absolutely no appreciation whatsoever for all their work, that's your prerogative. That's just rude, not wrong. So there's no need to top it off with some incorrect corrections about their word choice that is wrong.

 

"Dynamic" and "object" can be used in more than one type of context. :)

 

Also, I'm fairly certain that, since light isn't actually striking the objects in a virtual world and creating real-physics-based shadows, I'm pretty sure the right coding could have 2D objects casting dynamic shadows, if someone who knew what they were doing really tried hard. Plus, I'm not sure what discerning between the 2D objects and 3D objects accomplishes, since the semantic-attack you're making is regarding "dynamic objects," with absolutely no claims on how many dimensions they occupy.

 

Also, a flame troll can't be a real species of troll. You see, Trolls possess extremely rapid regeneration, which is counter-acted by fire. If flame trolls existed, they would either burn up and die before they could breed, or they'd be immune to fire, and therefore unkillable, and would take over the world (which they obviously haven't, u_u). o_o

Edited by Lephys

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Now, does anyone have a good way of cleaning brain bits out of my keyboard? That would be appreciated...

 

I've found that the bristles on the old-style typewriter eraser pencils work spectacularly well for cleaning out any loose gunk in your keyboard.

 

As for gluing the bits back into your head... sorry, haven't a clue. :cat:


"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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