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Games => AI War II => AI War II - Lore, Vfx, Sfx, Code, & Meta => Topic started by: x4000 on September 13, 2016, 07:25:33 PM

Title: Any artists here? What do you use for uv-painting?
Post by: x4000 on September 13, 2016, 07:25:33 PM
I am very frustrated at the moment. ;)

The reason is that I basically want to be able to paint textures onto faces of meshes, and then set the uvs in some form of graphical fashion pretty easily.  Ideally I'd be able to pull from an existing palette of packed textures in one atlas, and apply those.  It doesn't seem like this sort of thing would be an uncommon task, and there are indeed many tools that exist for doing this sort of thing in the most roundabout ways ever.

Basically the choices tend to be:
1. Awesome unique texture that's not going to batch of course.
2. Overly-simplified texture with no uvs.

Granted, what I'm actually referring to here is simply a uv editor, since literally that's all it would be setting.  If I had a few weeks I could code something up myself, to be honest, but it would be a real time sink and not very polished or usable I'm sure.  There has to be a tool out there that is well-polished for this sort of thing.

Blender and Maya don't seem to really get at this sort of thing well, at least not that I've found.  We have ZBrush and Mudbox and those are great for doing custom painting, and obviously there's something like substance painter that's even better.  There are a variety of tools in the unity asset store that kinda-sorta get at this.  SabreCSG is probably the closest to what I want, but it only works on its own "brushes," not on arbitrary meshes.  I kinda-sorta like the uv mapping tools in ProBuilder, but it's a lot more time-consuming to use than I feel like it can be.  It at least can be used on arbitrary meshes, so it's a method of last resort, but it's really not my favorite way to handle things.

It really seems like there ought to be a simple tool out there that does this without being clunky to use or costing an arm an a leg (though even something that works and costs an arm and a leg is preferable to nothing).
Title: Re: Any artists here? What do you use for uv-painting?
Post by: Draco18s on September 13, 2016, 08:29:28 PM
#NotAnArtist
I've used LithUnwrap when I've had to do uv stuff, it's suuper basic and doesn't have the best/most usable UI, but it works really well for relatively simple objects (no doughnuts, grabbing only the faces you want is a pain).
Title: Re: Any artists here? What do you use for uv-painting?
Post by: x4000 on September 14, 2016, 11:20:42 AM
Yeah, that kinda-sorta gets at the task, but all of the individual faces are connected there, which I wouldn't want.  The way that a lot of tools handle it is having each face disconnected and mapped arbitrarily (which when you're dealing with the raw float data is how it's stored).  Usually when I think of uv-unwrapping, I think of continuous surfaces where you're trying to map something to it in an aligned way, or want to draw on the unwrapped texture, rather than having face-independent uv coordinate setting.

I should probably look into uv unwrapping tools more to see if there's one that happens to have the other functionality, though.  Thanks for the thought on that!
Title: Re: Any artists here? What do you use for uv-painting?
Post by: Draco18s on September 14, 2016, 11:29:13 AM
but all of the individual faces are connected there, which I wouldn't want.

They're not, actually.  In fact, keeping connected vertices connected is actually a right pain.  I can't ever use the arbitrary "drag to move" feature because then the verts end up offset from each other by microns and welding just goes "AVERAGE THESE" with no "align to top" like operation and things end up slightly skewed.  It might only be by a tenth a pixel, but you can still tell.

But yes. It's very much a "it will get the job done" program not a "breeze to use" program.
Title: Re: Any artists here? What do you use for uv-painting?
Post by: x4000 on September 14, 2016, 11:41:14 AM
Ah, that sounds morel iike what I need, then, heh.  Still a pain and a half, though, for sure.
Title: Re: Any artists here? What do you use for uv-painting?
Post by: Draco18s on September 14, 2016, 11:43:58 AM
Still a pain and a half, though, for sure.

Yup!
It has a 3D render view as well, but I haven't yet figured out how to select polygons in it (if at all).
Oh, and if this thread finds a better tool I'ma jump all over it.
Title: Re: Any artists here? What do you use for uv-painting?
Post by: x4000 on September 14, 2016, 04:05:50 PM
I guess probuilder will probably be the way I go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_5f8RlciWQ
Title: Re: Any artists here? What do you use for uv-painting?
Post by: Cinth on September 14, 2016, 04:13:51 PM
I guess probuilder will probably be the way I go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_5f8RlciWQ

Sticking with what you know?
Title: Re: Any artists here? What do you use for uv-painting?
Post by: Draco18s on September 14, 2016, 04:32:09 PM
I fiddled with the free version of that plugin once.  Pretty slick stuff.
Title: Re: Any artists here? What do you use for uv-painting?
Post by: x4000 on September 14, 2016, 07:57:55 PM
Yeah, we used it extensively for Raptor.  Mainly we'd take existing models in and convert them to their format and edit them.  One of the most killer things they have is a pretty solid (though still experimental) boolen ops tool.  It doesn't lead to the perfectly ideal number of resulting vertices left behind, so it's not a substitute for something like a CSG if you're looking to do subtractive geometry en masse.  But when it comes to realtime messing with the existing meshes it's great.

Blue was really frustrated with a lot of the limitations that it has compared to Sketchup (not being able to draw arbitrary lines and boxes and whatnot and then extrude, in particular), and I agree that one is frustrating as heck.  Being able to extrude or pull faces is pretty nice, though, and from an efficiency standpoint in poly count I understand why they went with their ring-based subdivision approach.  I still dislike that, too, though. ;)

I'm a bit chatty at the moment because I'm waiting for Unity 5.4 to import 6 GB of stuff.  Not remotely all of that will be in the final game, not even close, but it's useful prototyping stuff.
Title: Re: Any artists here? What do you use for uv-painting?
Post by: Aklyon on September 14, 2016, 08:04:57 PM
Is 6gb a lot of prototyping stuff, or an average amount?
Title: Re: Any artists here? What do you use for uv-painting?
Post by: x4000 on September 14, 2016, 08:06:19 PM
I guess probuilder will probably be the way I go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_5f8RlciWQ

Sticking with what you know?

It seems the least of the many various evils, from what I can tell.  The closest tool that looks like it would be decent at this sort of thing is $600 a seat, and for that sort of money I'd expect something better.

Anyhow, yeah, I know you've now done quite a bit in ProBuilder thanks to Release Raptor. :)  You should show off your DumBot (Bionic Dues easter egg for folks), although I never did get to PBR texture him so he'd look his full awesomeness.
Title: Re: Any artists here? What do you use for uv-painting?
Post by: x4000 on September 14, 2016, 08:15:22 PM
Is 6gb a lot of prototyping stuff, or an average amount?

For 3D?  It's lower-average.  It's almost entirely comprised of textures that are frustratingly uncompressed or not-frustratingly oversized.

Models themselves are always teeny, but most prototyping assets have a bunch of different textures to them to give full PBR quality, and they tend to put them in tga format for some reason, even sometimes PSD, when either PNG will do and be far more compressed (if there is no alpha channel), or ZIP-compressed TIFF will be much more compressed if there is an alpha channel.  Sometimes they even use 16 or 24 bits per pixel instead of 8, which is incredibly excessive for anything that isn't print media, in my opinion.

A lot of times you have things like normal maps that are 4k pixels squared and they'd be just as useful in an HD context if they were 1k pixels squared in my opinion.  So when I'm optimizing stuff like that, I tend to take the original tga (that would be a 64MB file) and move that to something closer to a 2MB PNG, depending on how complex the normal map is.  Other things get less reduced, but overall the compression I wind up with is about 20%.

I'm also not a fan of height maps most of the time, or occlusion maps.  When using Ambient Occlusion post processing, I really don't see the need for baked-in occlusion textures most of the time.  Metalness and specular maps can also be either shrunk or removed, depending on what is being represented.  Worst case those can be reduced from 4k pixels squared to 1k instead, because those tend to be something where you don't need that degree of precision even if you're looking at it up close.

In the case of the stuff here, there's a lot of stuff I'm not bothering compressing because I'm just going to toss it out anyway.  Ultimately I'll be surprised if the final game cracks 1GB, but you never know.  Prior to going 3D, music was the largest source of file size.  One way or another, music/sound/textures are 99% of the file size of any sizeable game (movies being another piece in a AAA project if those are prerendered rather than in-engine).  Shaders, special effects logic (not their textures), game code, and the like are all tiiiiiny by comparison.  Under 5MB, symbol files for debugging not counted.  The actual engine code itself adds another 20-30MB on top of that, but that's it.

So yeah, textures are the big thing.
Title: Re: Any artists here? What do you use for uv-painting?
Post by: x4000 on September 14, 2016, 08:17:42 PM
Uncompressed textures is actually something I rail against a lot on reviews of asset store components, although I try to be understanding to a point.  The asset store gets way too few reviews on things, so I try to review what I use as much as possible (though I can't get to everything): https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/#!/user/20564
Title: Re: Any artists here? What do you use for uv-painting?
Post by: Cinth on September 14, 2016, 08:36:28 PM
I guess probuilder will probably be the way I go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_5f8RlciWQ

Sticking with what you know?

It seems the least of the many various evils, from what I can tell.  The closest tool that looks like it would be decent at this sort of thing is $600 a seat, and for that sort of money I'd expect something better.

Anyhow, yeah, I know you've now done quite a bit in ProBuilder thanks to Release Raptor. :)  You should show off your DumBot (Bionic Dues easter egg for folks), although I never did get to PBR texture him so he'd look his full awesomeness.

Eshh.  I wish textures were a bit easier to get started with.  I looked at some tutorials and wowza... yeah.  That stuff takes a lot of time, practice and patience. 

(http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=19127.0;attach=10255)
Title: Re: Any artists here? What do you use for uv-painting?
Post by: x4000 on September 15, 2016, 11:39:09 AM
I love how it's the raptor staring at it. :D
Title: Re: Any artists here? What do you use for uv-painting?
Post by: Cinth on September 15, 2016, 11:41:34 AM
 :D
Title: Re: Any artists here? What do you use for uv-painting?
Post by: eRe4s3r on December 15, 2016, 09:12:52 AM

It really seems like there ought to be a simple tool out there that does this without being clunky to use or costing an arm an a leg (though even something that works and costs an arm and a leg is preferable to nothing).

Unwrapping is one of the only reasons I am still using Cinema 4D... you can't beat body paint (in-app basically full photoshop abilities, layers, blend modes, and UW unstrechting, stitching... and best, it syncs with photoshop, so I can edit the texture in photoshop, see the effects in Cinema 4D, and then bake the texture). The act of unwrapping itself can not be automated, you need to paint/create the textures, after all... and there it REALLY matters where the seams and splits are.

Ps.: if you are ever not frustrated by UW mapping and texturing, you are doing it wrong ;P It is INSANE amount of work to create good textures, and multiply that by 10 for a high detail model. Yeah you can get away with basic colors and a few grunge lines at the corners.. but that is not texturing ;) That is something unwrapping tools can do automated.

Also ALWAYS keep your textures in PSD, export them to TGA in separate folders to prototype in Unity, but never never never skip the PSD step, never flatten your layers, never don't make backups... ;P

TL;DR, I textured all Star Ruler 1 ships, and made all the tech icons, so believe me when I tell you that textures takes time and patience and skill, and tons of practice, and even a sort of asset library for elements to be put into the texture.. and testing. often you won't find the weirdness of Unity and texture mapping until you test (like 1-2 pixel shifts that suddenly make borders appear where you were pixel perfect mapping the UW)

Ps.: Texturing also takes huge space.. I have a 16GB archive with source assets, just source assets! A simple thing, like this stuff (basically 3 basic models)

http://steamcommunity.com/id/eRe4s3r/myworkshopfiles/

Takes about 260mb, with backups and source psd's. (though that was relevant, because Unity..) ;P And making this simple building set took me nearly 30 hours.... (had to figure out how to get it properly working in the import tool too) and the pipeline was
Cinema 4D (modeling/wrapping/texturing) -> 3dsmax (making sure everything is connected/merged properly) -> export / import into the game. Seems like a crutch, but without bodypaint I'd not be able to texture anything... I have texture elements as layers, and in bodypaint I can move and rotate them, and sometimes adapt the mesh to fit the texture better (with detailing) etc.



# so yeah, I know this was an old topic, but it still is interesting because many people don't realize how much it really costs to do textures (even half-assed). If someone knows of an AI that can texture/unwrap my meshes, I'd welcome it ;P
Title: Re: Any artists here? What do you use for uv-painting?
Post by: Cyborg on December 15, 2016, 10:55:58 AM
TL;DR, I textured all Star Ruler 1 ships, and made all the tech icons

Who made the triangles?  ;D
Title: Re: Any artists here? What do you use for uv-painting?
Post by: eRe4s3r on December 15, 2016, 02:23:18 PM
TL;DR, I textured all Star Ruler 1 ships, and made all the tech icons

Who made the triangles?  ;D

A student who disappeared before I got hired (and funny you say triangles) because nothing in the meshes was merged, nothing beyond most basic polygonal modeling. And everything was auto-uv and auto-triangulation via lighwave, which broke, of course, all his meshes and UV's. Since the engine was "meh" and really needed a "touch" so it didn't smooth everything brutally (it ignored smoothing groups) I had to redo ALL meshes as well, but originally I was only hired to fix a few meshes (not even texture them!) (it spiraled out of the original scope very quickly, lmao). If you dislike the low poly meshes, well, you wouldn't believe the polycount limits for the engine, the game did have no ship limit after all...

But to be honest even to this day I like the Star Ruler 1 ships, with a better engine my ships would have looked pretty kick-ass. And it's one of the few projects I worked on that I am proud enough of to mention ;P Unsurprisingly my ship designs are inspired by homeworld though, even if I could never reach that level of macro texture detail, it was my primary game because of Complex mod during that time.
Title: Re: Any artists here? What do you use for uv-painting?
Post by: Cyborg on December 15, 2016, 06:33:03 PM
Actually, I was making a bit of a joke,  because I don't recall any ship textures. All I could see were triangles. Literally, just triangles. I'm curious as to what textures even exist. I should try to install it again.
Title: Re: Any artists here? What do you use for uv-painting?
Post by: steelwing on December 15, 2016, 07:16:52 PM
I've never done art or 3d professionally, but I did this in Blender using its built-in UV unwrapping.
(http://i.imgur.com/UQ4e2sC.png)
It's not beautiful, but I was rather proud of it at the time... :)
Title: Re: Any artists here? What do you use for uv-painting?
Post by: carldong on December 21, 2016, 08:11:14 AM
I'd say Blender http://blender.org It's free and open source, plus incredibly feature rich, including UV maps(plus lots of lots of others). I only have limited experience as an artist, but I do use Blender for some simple stuff.