Author Topic: The Art Pipeline For A Valley Without Wind  (Read 7923 times)

Offline HitmanN

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Re: The Art Pipeline For A Valley Without Wind
« Reply #30 on: February 07, 2011, 07:05:11 PM »
Glow is greatest invention of humanity. Just see my explosion revisions for AI War in the mods if you ever play it and want glowing explosions as well ;P

I think I saw some screenshots earlier. Perhaps I shall check 'em out in-game later. ;)

Offline ledshok

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Re: The Art Pipeline For A Valley Without Wind
« Reply #31 on: February 07, 2011, 07:19:59 PM »
Also, I stronly suspect shadows would be unworkable here, unless they were very loose blob shadows, becauseof the nature of the complex undergrowth, the buildings, etc. If a shadow crosses a building or other vertical object from a vertical object in front of it, you expect that shadow to bend. But with a flat image, it won't. That in turn makes the building look like it is lying flat on the ground. And other similar issues.

Regarding the way shadows behave, that's not really important, IMO. The point is that if there is any kind of shadow at all, the player can easily see that that shadow belongs to that object, even if it looks weird or bends unrealistically. The presence of shadows is more important than their visual looks, because their role is to help define the perspective, which in turn helps separating foreground objects from background. :) That's why we have a variety of suggestions here, from blobs to masks and blenders. Any of them would cover the essentials, I think.

Blobs might actually be a good way to go. An area dense with trees would have a lot of shadow covered ground, maybe even overlapping shadows, which would darken the atmosphere nicely. Some creepy enemy type could maybe enjoy living in dark forests, pouncing on the player from the shadows. ;)

For a visual comparison check out these pics (linked from replies on RockPaperShotgun):

Original -
w/blob shadow -
w/slightly more complex shadow -

In my opinion, both the shadowed examples help 'embed' the trees in the scene rather than having them simply 'floating' on the background.

That said, I'm far more interested in how the game will actually play rather than the graphics (heck, I have AI War set up to represent ships as icons at all zoom levels) - the concept as described certainly has my attention. :)

Offline Teal_Blue

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Re: The Art Pipeline For A Valley Without Wind
« Reply #32 on: February 07, 2011, 07:30:31 PM »
Will there be Day and Night?

Offline HitmanN

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Re: The Art Pipeline For A Valley Without Wind
« Reply #33 on: February 07, 2011, 07:33:15 PM »
I was planning to make examples like that myself at some point, but looks like someone beat me to it. ;) Hadn't thought of the shadows the way they are in the last preview. I think they look neat that way. Not really shadows, but something to 'glue' the objects to the background. The blobs could still work too, but I'd vote a soft/blurred/gradient edge for those. ;) It would probably be wise to consider the direction of the shading on the objects if using the non-blob method. In the example the treetops are sometimes shaded on the right side and sometimes on the left (well, basically it seems like the same image mirrored), even though the shadows suggest that light is coming from the right.

Offline x4000

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Re: The Art Pipeline For A Valley Without Wind
« Reply #34 on: February 07, 2011, 08:02:32 PM »
Thanks for the support, guys.

Oh, and eRe4s3r, I saw those explosions but haven't had a chance to check them out in-game yet.  Will see what I think in a version coming up, and they might make it into the official.  The forcefield-blocked effect you did was brilliant. :)

Teal_Blue -- maybe there will be day and night.  There will certainly be darkness.

HitmanN and TopShelfCookieJar -- in terms of shadows, there are just a lot of complexities not clear from that sole screenshot.  Skies, buildings, and so forth.  I'll certainly consider it, but it's one of those things that strikes me as final-polish and not initial-implementation.  We'll see.  After getting a bit further in I might be completely on the other side and put them in post-haste, but I'm not there yet.  In terms of the lighting on the trees, they are all lit from the right, but we do let them get flipped in the x range to add more variety.  If we started getting more into things like shadows, etc, then we might have to stop that.  But I think that would be a hit to variety.
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Offline Zhaine

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Re: The Art Pipeline For A Valley Without Wind
« Reply #35 on: February 08, 2011, 02:24:48 PM »
Myeh, I think the blob shadows in the second shot look awful (although I like the third, but that looks quite hard to implement). Not that it's something where I'm saying I'm right and someone else is wrong, just that this is a real matter of taste, and a lot of people would rather no shadows than basic* ones. . .

But as long as nothing is done to rule out mid-size graphical changes like this at a later date if they're needed, I think we're all agreed that we're happier to see more of the game before passing judgment :)

*(edit: I did say bad but that's not what I meant exactly)
« Last Edit: February 08, 2011, 02:53:50 PM by Zhaine »

Offline SRombauts

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Re: The Art Pipeline For A Valley Without Wind
« Reply #36 on: February 10, 2011, 01:57:56 AM »
In my opinion, shadows like in the third screenshot is really the way to give coherency to the antagonists perspectives between the ground and all other objects : I didn't know that before I see them, but now I can see how they are lacking in the current art style.

For CPU / memory consumption, make them optional as in any game.

I would For sure understand if you delay this until 1.0 realease, but please don't neglect to polish this as it would probably impact the soo important "first impression" of many gamers.

See you

Offline ShadowOTE

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Re: The Art Pipeline For A Valley Without Wind
« Reply #37 on: February 11, 2011, 11:56:28 PM »
Ok, last week's video had me worried, but I just saw the new one, and it looks like AVWW has some serious potential. Sorry for doubting! I'm looking forward to pre-alpha!

Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: The Art Pipeline For A Valley Without Wind
« Reply #38 on: February 12, 2011, 01:35:27 AM »
Blob shadows are usually not a circle but a gradient filled circled (center dark, outside transparent) So they'd blend together nicely...

I have something else to throw @ x4000 though. Have you thought about rendering objects 2 times their size (preferable with a neutral GI dome and strong AO) - applying the ARTSY filter set and then scaling them down to their current sizes with sharpen filter? The reason i mention this is that the artsy brush filter seems to be VERY resolution dependent - and i think it could look "nicer" if one does this - particularly for buildings.

Would be worth a try no? ;P

Also the robot could do with better shading imo as on my screen its incredibly hard to tell apart single body parts - Strong AO and weaker GI maybe? Anyhow - just wanted to mention it ;)
« Last Edit: February 12, 2011, 04:54:01 AM by eRe4s3r »
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