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Mockup: 2D (vector?) sprites in 3D world

Started by UserK, May 01, 2011, 11:04:56 AM

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Ok, I've been writing about this for a while now and toyed a bit with the idea.
Vector sprites have plenty of room for accurate precision work. This eventually got me sidetracked as I spent more and more time on building useless detail. I've been trying to draw everything in 2D fake 3D first but I'm not good at it. Then tried with some enemies with little success. Then I tried to compare with different scalers available in NEStopia (nearest neighbor, 2xSAI, hq2x, ScaleX) but this was still far from being meaningful: they cannot fill a screen nowadays. They are fairly good at reconstructing curves but no extra detail can be added.


I had to shave off more and more features from the concept idea. Also had technical difficulties: no 3D modeler I know rasterizes vectors. I rasterized the sprites to a hi-def texuture and used it instead. In the end, I lack artistic skills massively. Give me the gears and we can talk but you get what you get from me.
So here it is, more or less, what I had in mind.

Resized and compressed to fit the forum limit.


Note the extreme fuzzyness of Miria after all the vector work. Looks like asking for aniso filtering is too much for this application anyway lesson learned.

Vector sprites in 3D world are hard.
While I think I can work out something to make it work (perhaps just using hi-ref textures will do), they look flat. I don't think this is good. Perhaps a sequence of sprites would be needed, like in Doom, which would check the angle you see enemies and adapt the sprites. Problem is, the number of sprites required grow fairly fast with resolution so I don't think anymore mixing 2D and 3D is going to be feasible.
The collision/gameplay issues I've previously considered can be worked out but I just don't think the sheer amount of sprite variations needed to be a cost-effective solution.
Perhaps low-poly 3D with toon shading would do. Or perhaps good models with "step" animation keyframes?

I'm sorry to say, but I am somewhat disappointed by this hybrid. I tried mazes first on purpose as those would give the worse of the technique (above is a fair example of a "bad" perspective that looks too flat). Maybe a bumpy-shiny flat sprite would work. I don't know. What do you think?

At this point, I post this mostly because I wrote about it in a previous message, but I'm not quite into it anymore...


I see no point in 2D in 3D. This should be all 3D models.

I would like to compliment you. This sketch looks so right! It looks like what the perspective of 3D TGL should be. Really fit my tastes.

I would ot make power chips this different. It better to be similar like in game. The blue fill bigger and inside of box. Also it can be more flat to fit better inside.


Sadly, those were meant to be Item Pyramids.
I also spent some time on those. Initially, I tried to figure out a way to hint the player about the contents of a box. This given the prototype design you see above.
Just after uploading this, I figured out this was badly broken for a variety of reasons. While I sympathize with the idea of hinting at the component, this just does not fit. Furthermore, the extreme vertex count in so little pixels hardly justify the use of a sphere so I readily modified this to what follows.

In line of concept the octahedron would spin on its "up" axis and float up and down slowly. This highly reflective material + the movement should be an hint to the player of the importance of this. Item pyramids will immediately catch the eye in maze mode although this is plain out irrelevant for corridor mode.

On destruction, the floating object would fall down and break, revealing its content (TGL is mostly iconic anyway so the content is not really easy to figure out).

Also had a few ideas about chips but they didn't quite made it there.

Anyhow this does not matter much anymore. Perhaps it is worth saying that the maze texture is from Simon O'Callaghan Egyptian Texture Pack.


Man. I will try draw on paper. It should be pretty similar like in original and it will perfectly take attention.


But I never liked the idea they are red (= danger). Yellow (=attention) would be more appropriate, but that's already largely used.
The color here is orange for readability purposes.

Uhm, perhaps this should be moved to "work"? I think I goofed up in posting it there.


Hm. Red also = power
there are many meanings but in this case it's power, strength.

You know coca-cola right? It's red but no one considered it danger because they use other RED color meanings - I think sexuality mostly.
There can be found hundreds of examples used RED color as something good.

Suggestion about piramids is only about edges type.

Items container I think should be close to original because it's good.

I drew item like it is a flat plate in air over broken item container but I think it would be better if it will be image inside of it. Just use black fill inside the container and it will be pretty visible.


Ok, I messed up my work big way today... so I decided to take a few days off.
I came home and was pretty much determined to get out jogging for a while. Of course (curse?) I couldn't as it started raining pretty much as soon as I put on the sweater (not a single cloud in the whole day). Good day. Seriously. Good day.

Anyway the good news is that I tried out what you have suggested.

Quote from: arseniy on May 03, 2011, 11:12:23 PMSuggestion about piramids is only about edges type.
Very good suggestion indeed. Thank you arseniy. I went with the 2nd proposal as
1- It is less work
2- It is mechanically more sound. 90 degrees angles are bad, >90 degrees angles are good (can stand more stress).
This really adds a lot of detail. Unfortunately, it looks like I've messed up lighting somehow today - I originally intended to show some shadow effects, but shadows don't get drawn (?).

Quote from: arseniy on May 03, 2011, 11:12:23 PMI drew item like it is a flat plate in air over broken item container but I think it would be better if it will be image inside of it. Just use black fill inside the container and it will be pretty visible.
But why not to model it 3D (as weapons in Quake for example).
Also, some objects might be non-solid. For example chips could be flamelike instead of a sphere, some kind of "energy blob".


Just as a side note, I also spent some time in thinking at interior areas.
Having been defined "the ultimate genre bender" I was thinking at adding two additional genres for extra added confusion.
As for the red pyramids above, took the idea from PSG Guardian Legend. To perform their blocking role, they must absolutely be fairly tall. I think it works ok.

The ridges are about 8cm at the base and they get thin up to ~1cm. This is unnecessary detail at this resolution but for two triangles, we can take it... perhaps it will come useful sooner or later. After all, they look almost smooth.


Of course 3D models of weapons is good. If you have all models there is game then can be used. But think about if you have time for it.
Symbols of weapons is good thing too. It's stylish you know.

Making weapons require a lot of time. I think it's better focus on more important things.

You can also follow PSG GL in making this big piramid 2 colored.


In such version like you do I think I'll suggest such item container. Shape in first place. I don't like how the sides look with too much red.


What program u use to make 3D modeling?


I use google sketch up. It's quite like sketching for real, except that rubber is pixel-perfect.
This kind of pyramid looks much better!
However Sketchup has only lambertian "plastic" lighting model. Should drop this in a fully fledged renderer. Like perhaps blender.
Sorry but looks like JPG compression murdered red/green detail in the center.


Is it possible to export models or even whole scene from GSU? That would be really cool. Can be used to import to game work.