Discussion in 'Art' started by f1r3w4rr10r, Apr 1, 2014.
As the title says. Nothing else, no bullshit.
Normal Maps in general and baking them with Blender
Now I really feel an intense need to port Empires to Unreal 4...
i have a question.
in which cases a higher tris count but closed geometry is better (unless its because of smoothing thats obvious, i mean a hard edge in blender is nothing but a detached edge, not that it would be different in the engine) and in which lower poly stuff stuck into eachother - for a lot of things theres both options and for a lot of guys in tutorials its just a matter of if they cba to do it or not - is it really all that? i mean other then smoothing is there a performance gain even though you have more polies?
or rather what are the pros and cons of both. i know that collisions need a closed convex hull, its just about gfx.
i wouldnt mind reading either if you have a good read on this.
thanks in advance
My rule of thumb usually is this:
When I got a pretty large and even surface, and there is some smaller object attached to that, don't merge the vertices. It just raises the poly count unnecessarily. The observer won't really see the possible smoothing errors, especially when the edge is concave. Convex edges should rather be merged.
But there is another criteria you should factor in: wasted UV space
Whenever you put floating geometry over something else, you are basically using up texture space that nobody sees. If it's small enough it should be alright. If it gets bigger though, you should think about merging it. The only exception is, when it's that big that you can already put smaller UV islands into the hole.
thanks, thats some really good points and quite helpful
i have another question. it looks like empires buildings dont use a single material but those located in <steamapps>\common\Empires\empires\materials\nf\buildings for nf buildings f.e. isnt this bad practice? i thougth you want a single material since one material one draw call.
or am i missing something again?
sportacus wanting to explore cheating possibilities broght me to that <edit: why is unimportant>
anyways since i didnt find a simple barracks.vmt anywhere, i opened the mdl in a text editor - right at the bottom it tells you what textures its using in plain text and i was rather stunned that its a whole list.
that IS stunning news.
The buildings are pretty big, so your texture with all the shit packed in would have to be huge in order to keep fidelity.
That's my guess anyway.
those textures are 512², you can go up to 2048² in source. the thing is im rather new to modeling, i mean i read a lot of stuff, but experience is experience, i was just wondering.
From what I can tell is that the buildings use tiled textures all the time. You can see that very easily on NF's buildings. And because of that, you can easily reuse them for multiple buildings, that's probably why there are no dedicated textures.
More costly for one building, but less costly for multiple.
its less then 32 textures/faction - youd get all the textures onto two 2048² texture atlases without any changes to them. some textures are quite similar, with a bit of tinkering you might get away with a single atlas for all buildings.
ofc it would mean to unwrap the models anew, which would be a lot of work. btw this is the same for both factions, on brenodi its a bit less individual materials ...
would this be something allowing you to squish out 0.5 fps more, similar to silks finding which allowed him to drastically reduce physics memory size on a lot of stock maps?
That is really something a coder needs to answer. My knowledge with Source doesn't reach that deep.
I made a thread on my modeling workflow here: http://forums.empiresmod.com/showthread.php?t=18943
I will update the thread for integrating models into Empires with a full length post tomorrow.
It's faster in source to do it that way. There is one draw call per material, with many buildings sharing the same material.
You can imagine it as all the building walls are drawn, then the floors, then the bits. In other engines, this is not faster... but source's case it is. It's an optimization based around the fact that there will be at least one building of each type visible and the draws are batched based on parts.
Do you know how Unreal handles it? Because I thought about actually making unique textures for each building at some point.
A paper on PBR lighting theory by Allegorithmic's Wes McDermott
Second part of the same paper
Hub Page of the paper
The buildings are the largest models in the game.
I'd say there is no way to get the same fidelity out of a single 2k texture as you get out of the multiple .5k Empires uses today.
A 2k texture can fit four .5k textures. Without having checked, I'd say all buildings use more than four textures.
There are of course benefits of using a single texture. Like spec maps or AO maps. But I doubt they would outweigh the loss in texel density.
Now prove me wrong.
Never mind me. I'm just the old crazy guy in the corner.
You could always just simply merge the 4 512 textures to a single 2048 texture to save on the number of files. But yeah I think especially with large objects it becomes more a question of using textures as a tiled material rather than a single texture, that wraps the whole building. The exception to that could be things like AO maps, where texel size doesn't matter as much.
I found something pretty interesting about Normal Map Bit Depth.
This could also maybe fix some of the issues Smithy had with the refinery normal map.
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