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


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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.

 

The movement speed seemed pretty normal to me. You don't want it to stray too far from reality or it will look cartoonish.

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Good one! However, agree with some critics above, that you guys can do even better! ) 


1. Shadows need to move with the move of sun / light. In general shadows can be more dynamic, dense... 


2. Reflections - when the warrior is crossing water there's no reflection of him. In general, this particular part when he crosses the river needs polishing. There are no visual splashes when he "steps" in th water and the impression is he is sort of "gliding" over.


I'm sure it will all be ironed in the next few months and thanks for keeping us posted!

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Good one! However, agree with some critics above, that you guys can do even better! ) 

1. Shadows need to move with the move of sun / light. In general shadows can be more dynamic, dense... 

2. Reflections - when the warrior is crossing water there's no reflection of him. In general, this particular part when he crosses the river needs polishing. There are no visual splashes when he "steps" in th water and the impression is he is sort of "gliding" over.

I'm sure it will all be ironed in the next few months and thanks for keeping us posted!

 

All of which takes processing power and development time to implement. They're operating under a limited budget and targeting a wide array of PC capabilities. Such capabilities as you mention will only have a limited impact on the game, so I think a little pragmatism is needed.

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What's more important, shadows that move in real-time or extra attention being given to gameplay, the feel of combat and the depth of the story?  I know my vote goes for the content and not the "shiny bits" especially when it already looks so damned impressive already.  That's not say that there aren't things left to be iterated on for the dynamic scene elements, but I'd hate to see them waste tons of time and money trying to get shadows that move across the landscape in real-time (unless that ends up being trivial to implement it).

Edited by nikolokolus
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The impression I get from Josh's post is that they could implement dynamic shadows, but they'd either be low-quality, hurting the overall look of the scene, or they'd be taxing on a range of systems that they feel should be able to enjoy the game without compromises. I might have misinterpreted what he's saying, though.

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Oh... my... God. Just... wow.

 

This game is so gorgeous! It's stunning! I am stunned by how beautiful it is! I literally stopped breathing when the water rose and receded and half-gasped, half-laughed and stared breathless when the little light illuminated the statues. The scenery, the background, the texture, the movement, the colors and angles and lighting just all look so intricate and incredible!

 

I'm so used to video games looking a certain way. Most 3D video games have a CGI look and texture that, while pretty at times, really looks close to the same. That's not to say it's all bad or even uniform, but for the most part you can look at two CGI scenes and you can tell which is for a video game and which is for a movie. (Especially the way CGI has evolved for movies now.) I am both pleased and shocked to say that this game looks beautiful enough to be in an animated film. In fact, the way the characters move is closer to movies and shows than video games, which is again so shocking.

 

And it's in 2D?! That just kills me! I always loved 2D more than 3D animation--yet it always seemed like a lost art--yet here it's back! Yet somehow you manage to make it LOOK like it's 3D! (Like those sidewalk painters who make areas look real and interact-able from a certain angle but look like flat, stretched images everywhere else.) While watching that scene, I kept thinking it must take such advanced computers to render it... but you're saying this gorgeous animation can be rendered on any old computer? (Dare I hope, my 5-year-old gaming laptop?) It just blows my mind.

 

This sample is utterly gorgeous. If the entire game is going to be half as beautiful as this, then it deserves to win game of the year and any other award just on that merit alone. (Though I also have a lot of faith in the characters, story, quests, combat, etc.) A wonderful job to everyone on staff for Project Eternity, especially Hector Espinoza and Michael Edwards. You've really outdone yourselves! <3

"Not I, though. Not I," said the hanging dwarf.

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3d shadows was the one of the main reasons why NWN2 was ****ty game. By siply turning them off you coud play a game on higher standards .. but with them even on lowest it was feezing in time to time.

 

 

I like those type of mic beetween 2d and 3d ... we have 3 animations and 2d backgound ... nice and not so hard as full 3ds ...

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It looks great!! Amazing art work, wow!  One question though: It seems that as the sun goes down the shadows of the plants don't get longer and they don't eventually disappear at night time. Is dynamic shadows going to be implemented as well? Or is it only possible in a 3D game?

 

 

Again, thanks for the wonderful work. Good luck with everything! :)

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It looks great!! Amazing art work, wow!  One question though: It seems that as the sun goes down the shadows of the plants don't get longer and they don't eventually disappear at night time. Is dynamic shadows going to be implemented as well? Or is it only possible in a 3D game?

 

 

Again, thanks for the wonderful work. Good luck with everything! :)

 

Dynamic shadows from the scenery is almost certainly not going to be implemented ... not unless the environment artists/programmers can come up with some serious code-fu.

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It looks great!! Amazing art work, wow!  One question though: It seems that as the sun goes down the shadows of the plants don't get longer and they don't eventually disappear at night time. Is dynamic shadows going to be implemented as well? Or is it only possible in a 3D game?

 

 

Again, thanks for the wonderful work. Good luck with everything! :)

 

Dynamic shadows from the scenery is almost certainly not going to be implemented ... not unless the environment artists/programmers can come up with some serious code-fu.

 

They plan to go with static shadows as they will look better and don't add specs requirements. But technically dynamic shadows would be possible to implement, but they don't fit in obsidian's artistic vision or their goal to aim to as wide range of machines as possible without losing their artistic vision. Or that is my understanding why they plan to go with static shadows.

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One question though: It seems that as the sun goes down the shadows of the plants don't get longer and they don't eventually disappear at night time. Is dynamic shadows going to be implemented as well?

 

Well, there actually are shadows at night time, so long as there is moonlight. It's mostly only noticable in the woods.  :alien:

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As long they don't paint objects that should have depth they don't will not have any problems, but painting on existing surfaces is not problem. Depth information is needed for mapping, which that lightning algorithm knows how much light it should be on any given pixel.

 

Nice video that shows some of technics that obsidian probably uses to make that lightning.

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What I think he means is that they can't paint objects into the scene that have depth, apart from in places where no dynamic light and shadow will hit because they rely on information from the 3D model or maps derived from it. They haven't painted in any objects in video posted here, and that environment has had a ton of painting, and it looks absolutely great, so there's no need to worry. Edited by AwesomeOcelot
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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.

 

Well, I was just thinking, at the very least, about shadows on the environment that follow the day/night lighting. I mean, those things in the environment are all 2D, so they're never going to rotate or anything, so all you have to do is take a 2D vector shadow, starting at the sunrise position, and skew it across to the sunrise position (and redo it for moonstages). You wouldn't really need 3D model info, since you don't have a 3D dynamic object making the shadow in the first place. I mean, all a shadow really is is a map, on the ground (for all practical purposes, in a pre-rendered environment, a 2D plane) of where light is blocked as opposed to where it isn't. It's just a 2D shape. With actual 3D objects, it's derived from the angle of the lightsource, in 3D space. But, in a completely 2D environment (in which the sun and moon don't actually have an angle at which they strike any of the environment), I would think you could simply get some skew-math right on the shadow-shape for each object (imagine cutting the whole object out, in Photoshop or Illustrator, and filling it a solid color, then stretching/skewing/rotating that 2D shape until it APPEARS to be lying against an isometric ground plane).

 

Again, I know that would be time-consuming, manually, but I figured there might be some person out there who's developed a piece of software that can perform some 2D/vector calculations for something like that. I mean, vector shapes are just equations, basically. Right? (Again, I admit my noobness, and if I'm WAY off, I'll just stop wasting your time).

 

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.

 

But, weren't the "taller" rocks that were protruding from the low level of water a part of the same 2D image as the rest of the rocky streambed? Seems like getting 3D water to appear to flow above AND below certain bits of a 2D image would be more trouble than simply using 2D water along with masking and such (I don't know what the technical terms would be in a game engine like that) to create the illusion of the water being higher or lower. But, again, what seems to me to be the case isn't necessarily the case.

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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