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


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After seeing this video, my mind can't stop racing. The potential here.... Wow. I'm trying to picture this kind of environmental awesomeness manifesting itself in, say.... the Endless paths dungeon. Or one of the cities... or anywhere that isn't the waterfall area we've seen for the past 6 months.

 

This all makes me happy. And I'm with all the people here who are asking for a "store" where we can up our pledges. As even aside from the new good stuff we're seeing, I find myself in a better financial position now than I was back in October and really wish for another chance to contribute more.

Edited by Stun
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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.

2D simple one shade shadows of boxes would look weird with the prerendered shadows especially when none of the other shadows move with the light.
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Thanks for that first glimpse. I was really impressed with the evolution of 2D. Looking forward for more videos and screenshots. I'm glad I backed this project.

« Celui qui est consumé par la flamme de la justice ne craint ni le ciel, ni l’enfer ; il n’est qu’une arme attendant le jour de sa mort ». (Paul Murphy, l'Enclave, 1971)

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I thought the video was extremely impressive.  The only part I found noticeably distracting was the blur on the character crossing the stream and Josh said its a compression artifact, so no worries.  Honestly, if the game looked exactly like this I would not issue one complaint on release.  I completely respect the opinions of everyone who wants to tweak 85% perfect to make it 99% perfect.  That's a laudable goal.  But this is still a relatively low budget title.  I'd prefer they get to 95% on gameplay and story elements, personally.  (Yes, I realize its different staff, but it all comes out of the budget at some point.)

 

So with my 1 / 73,986 vote I say: do that.  Just do exactly that, and keep going. 

 

And thanks Josh for coming in to discuss the feedback.  Its so very different than any publisher funded game.  You'd be sued for showing and talking this much about your secret unnanounced, unconfirmed game this early in development.

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I think the main goal with the environment should be to remove immersion breakers, rather than go after a million immersion enhancers - which can never all be met. But I guess everyone has different tolerance levels for suspending disbelief. One of the things that screams artificial is the front of the hedges being static while the rest moves. In that case, no movement at all would have worked better.

 

Still, the issue is reaching an acceptable level of detail and ambience rather than the creation of an environmental simulator. It's about time invested in an effect vs what it adds to the game and by extension cuts off due to limited resources.

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After seeing this video, my mind can't stop racing. The potential here.... Wow. I'm trying to picture this kind of environmental awesomeness manifesting itself in, say.... the Endless paths dungeon. Or one of the cities... or anywhere that isn't the waterfall area we've seen for the past 6 months.

 

This all makes me happy. And I'm with all the people here who are asking for a "store" where we can up our pledges. As even aside from the new good stuff we're seeing, I find myself in a better financial position now than I was back in October and really wish for another chance to contribute more.

http://eternity.obsidian.net/

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I am wondering what the difference in quality will be between the 2D based environment like above, and the 3D tileset environments for dungeons and things. How will these interact, and what kind of differences will there be?

there will only be 2d enironments

they will use 3d tilesets in some areas to render a basic version of the level to a 2d plane that then will be reworked by hand, you will propably not even notice that 3d tilesets have been involved, if they do it right

Edited by lolaldanee
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I wouldn't think moving shadows would be out of the question, since they've already got moving lighting effects. I mean, if you can dynamically alter a 2D pre-render, you can dynamically alter a 2D pre-render, right?

 

I'd bet that's something they're already working on (that video being a work-in-progress and all), and they'll probably only not-do it if they are unable to do it (or if it ends up being too time-consuming).

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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I wouldn't think moving shadows would be out of the question, since they've already got moving lighting effects. I mean, if you can dynamically alter a 2D pre-render, you can dynamically alter a 2D pre-render, right?

Think about what's happening with the dynamic lighting with the mapping in terms of illumination, and think about what would have to happen for 180 degree moving shadows, in terms of shadows cast, that's a lot more information.
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Think about what's happening with the dynamic lighting with the mapping in terms of illumination, and think about what would have to happen for 180 degree moving shadows, in terms of shadows cast, that's a lot more information.

True, which is why I said it might not be feasible.

 

Also, what if you just had like 10 stages of shadow movement, instead of fluid 180-degree movement? That might still be too time-consuming and troublesome to do, but it would be a significantly smaller amount of information. *shrug*

 

I don't claim expertise here. Only curiosity.

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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I can't believe I forgot to comment on this.

 

 

NEW OLD SCHOOL ALL THE WAY.

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The KS Collector's Edition does not include the Collector's Book.

Which game hook brought you to Project Eternity and interests you the most?

PE will not have co-op/multiplayer, console, or tablet support (sources): [0] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Write your own romance mods because there won't be any in PE.

"But what is an evil? Is it like water or like a hedgehog or night or lumpy?" -(Digger)

"Most o' you wanderers are but a quarter moon away from lunacy at the best o' times." -Alvanhendar (Baldur's Gate 1)

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Think about what's happening with the dynamic lighting with the mapping in terms of illumination, and think about what would have to happen for 180 degree moving shadows, in terms of shadows cast, that's a lot more information.

True, which is why I said it might not be feasible.

 

Also, what if you just had like 10 stages of shadow movement, instead of fluid 180-degree movement? That might still be too time-consuming and troublesome to do, but it would be a significantly smaller amount of information. *shrug*

 

I don't claim expertise here. Only curiosity.

 

 

If time doesn't really pass when you're in a map then you'd probably want 24 stages at each pole, and 12 at the equator. This means they'd have to set up a lighting model to render out 24 images at most, this would include angle, light level, atmospheric refraction. Why not also model the season, with the star's highest or lowest excursion, and what ever satellites the world has while they are at it? Seems like a lot of work, that would be cool, but not necessarily the best use of resources. Edited by AwesomeOcelot
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If time doesn't really pass when you're in a map then you'd probably want 24 stages at each pole, and 12 at the equator. This means they'd have to set up a lighting model to render out 24 images at most, this would include angle, light level, atmospheric refraction. Why not also model the season, with the star's highest or lowest excursion, and what ever satellites the world has while they are at it? Seems like a lot of work, that would be cool, but not necessarily the best use of resources.

 

True. I just can't say with certainty that there isn't some vector program/graphics-engine-component that someone designed specifically to take individual 2D components and create a shadow layer-copy of them, mathematically skewing them for various perspective angles, etc. Or some kind of mask over the 2D image, etc., and everything not under it gets shadowed. *shrug*

 

Even then, if anything like that existed and made the process much more efficient/easier, it might still be not worth the resources.

 

I mean, how the hell did they raise and lower water, fluidly (pun completely intended), on a 2D image? It seems like the whole "you'd need a completely different shadow for every single stage of sun/light placement" doesn't necessarily have to be that complex.

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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True. I just can't say with certainty that there isn't some vector program/graphics-engine-component that someone designed specifically to take individual 2D components and create a shadow layer-copy of them, mathematically skewing them for various perspective angles, etc. Or some kind of mask over the 2D image, etc., and everything not under it gets shadowed. *shrug*

I can say with certainty, without 3D information it would be impossible, an artist can take a 2D image and have a 3D model in their head to produce a shadow. It's possible a computer can also create a 3D model from a 2D image but that's just creating an extra step, Obsidian already have the 3D scene. You could do this individually for independent objects but if anything that would be more complicated, as light and shadows of the objects are probably going to interact with each other and other objects in the scene. It's further complicated with the scenes being heavily edited in 2D.

I mean, how the hell did they raise and lower water, fluidly (pun completely intended), on a 2D image? It seems like the whole "you'd need a completely different shadow for every single stage of sun/light placement" doesn't necessarily have to be that complex.

The water is 3D model, like the characters, if you notice the level in unity, no water. My best guess is that they use a boolean operation on the water in an animation. They could render that out to 2D but they probably wouldn't.
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If time doesn't really pass when you're in a map then you'd probably want 24 stages at each pole, and 12 at the equator. This means they'd have to set up a lighting model to render out 24 images at most, this would include angle, light level, atmospheric refraction. Why not also model the season, with the star's highest or lowest excursion, and what ever satellites the world has while they are at it? Seems like a lot of work, that would be cool, but not necessarily the best use of resources.

 

True. I just can't say with certainty that there isn't some vector program/graphics-engine-component that someone designed specifically to take individual 2D components and create a shadow layer-copy of them, mathematically skewing them for various perspective angles, etc. Or some kind of mask over the 2D image, etc., and everything not under it gets shadowed. *shrug*

 

Even then, if anything like that existed and made the process much more efficient/easier, it might still be not worth the resources.

 

I mean, how the hell did they raise and lower water, fluidly (pun completely intended), on a 2D image? It seems like the whole "you'd need a completely different shadow for every single stage of sun/light placement" doesn't necessarily have to be that complex.

 

Here is line of sight demo, which uses vectors to map walls, but if one with little motivation could quite easilly conver it to light source and shadow casting.

http://jsfiddle.net/bornander/vUZvz/

Edited by Elerond
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I can say with certainty, without 3D information it would be impossible

 

Well, they do already have 3D information in Maya before they render it out into a 2D background.

 

I think it would be possible to also pre-render shapes of shadows (from trees, etc.) into 2D sprites at this stage, and then simply 2D-stretch them and overlay them onto the background within the game.

 

It wouldn't give those objects the ability to cast highly accurate shadows in all directions, but it would make it possible to make the shadows longer or shorter in the direction they are already pointing (or some slight deviation thereof, using a little skewing), which could be used to make the day-night cycle a lot mode dynamic.

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

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...To paraphrase one of my favourite characters: "There's no school like the old school and Obisidian are the f* headmasters".

Pure win. Especially with the dynamic shadows. One thing though - will this walk animation speed be retained? Imho its a tad too slow, and I mean just the animation and not how fast the character moves across the river.

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I'm not going to read all these comments and hopefully someone has already mentioned this: it seems that if you want your lighting to be more "perfect" you'll need two light sources on top of each other. One light to visualize your 2d image and then one light source for your 3d objects. So for example, when it goes from morning to night, you have your 3d "sun light source" moving across the map and this would give your 3d objects their dynamic lighting. Then you superimpose your 2d "sun light source" in the same way. 

 

If that's too difficult, i imagine you'd definitely have to do this with your little globes of light (torches?) in dungeons. You have a 2ed light sourec raytracing your map and then a 3d light source superimposed so that you can have your 3d models shadowing correctly.

 

anyway, my 2c worth. i imagine this isn't new info to you but i thought i'd mention it.

My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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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

 

 

having the water itself not be still around the fall itself would also help. But as much as I could nitpick, I'm digging this demo.

Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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