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Developing work for a game engine.
show user profile  Coxy
Hey guys, i have been asked to do a project at very short notice. I can't actually talk about what it is i am doing exactly, due to the fact it is confidential, but i have to work on the inside of a cockpit for integration into a game engine and i have a very short time span. (Im talking about a week). I need to make a drivers eye view, looking out.

I have not as of yet dabbled in working within game engines, so i really could do with some pointers on the best way to approach this project. Is there vastly different techniques in modelling things for games as opposed to generic 3DS projects? Is it simply consideration for poly counts/texture baking and normal mapping that i need to bundle into my thought?

I appreciate this post is a bit vague to the project, but i have been given specific instructions to not reveal the content outside of the emailing list i am on.
read 397 times
6/7/2010 4:28:48 PM (last edit: 6/7/2010 4:29:17 PM)
show user profile  advance-software
If it's just the inside of a fixed cockpit with a fixed viewpoint, bake everything onto an approx planar shape of the hud outline & use an alpha channel to refine the edges as necessary. Single prelit texture. Bake the lot so the engine has minimum work. You might have to add some overlay components for controls / user feedback, etc.
read 386 times
6/7/2010 4:38:29 PM (last edit: 6/7/2010 4:42:24 PM)
show user profile  Coxy
Thanks for the quick reply. I have not yet ever used baking, or any techniques for games engines so i have very much thrown myself into the deep end, but thats the best way in my opinion. So if i make a low poly scene, with the geometry sketched out, the majority of the work can be done from underlying maps that i bake in? No need to turbosmooth anything for sleek geometry?

Also, will a daylight system suffice as the lighting? The only image i have of the cockpit is in the middle of a desert lol.
read 369 times
6/7/2010 5:03:51 PM (last edit: 6/7/2010 5:03:51 PM)
show user profile  advance-software
I'll leave others to comment on the scene configuration & lighting as that's not my area, but use whatever works - turbo smooth the hell out of everything you want - it'll only be rendered once (to the baked texture map). In real-time, it's just a map.

Check with your client that this is ok - they might want something more real-time for shadows, in cockpit lighting, etc.

Any real-time components in the cockpit should be low poly with normal maps to add detail.

You might have to produce several pre-rendered lighting confiigs for the cockpit for different lighting conditions - sunny day, overcast, night time, etc. Ask your client what they need.
read 364 times
6/7/2010 5:17:19 PM (last edit: 6/7/2010 6:34:41 PM)
show user profile  Coxy
I got this reply from the client,

"I am reliably informed by someone in the know that this game engine will
probably want something in the region of 30k-50k polygons, and only 1
LOD. His recommendation was that you model in high detail (so 100k is
fine) and we should be able to use tools or Maya's optimiser to reduce
the polygons a bit later if we need to"

What do you think?
read 359 times
6/7/2010 5:27:29 PM (last edit: 6/7/2010 5:27:29 PM)
show user profile  advance-software
I think you want to use as many of those polys in the real-time scene (outside the HUD) as possible in order to maintain consistently high frame rates, but they are the client. If they want a modelled HUD with some given poly budget, that's what you give them. You could render the hi-poly HUD to a texture overlay so they can experiment with both approaches.
read 356 times
6/7/2010 5:29:57 PM (last edit: 6/7/2010 5:31:26 PM)
show user profile  Coxy
Yeah, thats what i said. I currently have two models going. Should i use the high poly as the base for the normal map?
read 347 times
6/7/2010 5:39:56 PM (last edit: 6/7/2010 5:39:56 PM)
show user profile  jbrophy
Anyone who tells you that the plan is to use an optimizer to reduce polys for a game should be ignored as they clearly have no idea what they are talking about.

Jesse Brophy

Fry Monkey

read 336 times
6/7/2010 6:23:45 PM (last edit: 6/7/2010 6:23:45 PM)
show user profile  Coxy
Yeah, i told him i would work from a low poly scene upwards to start small and increase the detail to what is acceptable, if needed make two models, a high poly and a low poly one and then play around with maps.

Right now, my head is gong crazy, i think i am thinking about this too much and i just need to get some modelling done. I am planning to have something done by 10am tomorrow to show him and then i can worry about mapping later in the week.
read 333 times
6/7/2010 6:30:11 PM (last edit: 6/7/2010 6:30:11 PM)
show user profile  Coxy
Hm, i have got to the windscreen. So far i have modelled everything out of a single plane that i have extruded etc. I have given the model an exterior and interior, but now i am stuck on the windscreen. Should it be a single plane? or double sided?

Also for making small bits of detail, like panel screens and buttons etc, is it best to model them as a seperate object and then attach? Or extrude/bevel from the mesh?
read 312 times
6/7/2010 8:10:37 PM (last edit: 6/7/2010 8:15:25 PM)
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