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Messages - Howard Day
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2D & 3D / Re: Realtime Rendering of 3d Meshes as Pixelart
« on: September 23, 2015, 09:42:55 am »
Conceit: Wow, thank you sir. That's very helpful. I'm refactoring/rewriting the shader to better do that sort of lighting. I did try the eyes, and they totally work - except for straight on, where she looks cross-eyed. I'm going to spend more time working on that in the coming days.

What I've been playing with so far... the start of explosion VFX.
A test for the debris flame...

And with bigger explosion blasts...

Enjoy, and keep the crits coming!

2D & 3D / Re: Realtime Rendering of 3d Meshes as Pixelart
« on: September 22, 2015, 05:20:49 pm »
Ai: Yep, correct. otherwise, I can't see if the effect is working. :D Also, the effect looks pretty cool on the drive flares.

Conceit: hahah, yep! That's the thought. it's definitely pretty cool. Here're the ambient occlusion/shadow bias values for the fighter.

Nirel: Thanks! I really do want to put this on some Env art. Sooon.

2D & 3D / Re: Realtime Rendering of 3d Meshes as Pixelart
« on: September 22, 2015, 10:41:41 am »
Ai: Hahahahahaha! Wow. First test of AutoPixel snapping. It totally works.

Now I just have to get it to play nice with the AA. :P

2D & 3D / Re: Realtime Rendering of 3d Meshes as Pixelart
« on: September 22, 2015, 09:32:00 am »
Ai: Okay, like this? MADE A DRONE.

Thems some thin lines, son! the object line width is totally controlable - you use the vertex alpha value to multiply the width.
...and as for "AutoHinting"... yes, that's completely possible. Even easy! You run into the problem we did last time, though - your assets need to then be built on a grid...and that will only really work at a single zoom level. Zoom in and out, and your exact pixel positioning goes away. :(
And multiple lights with lighting gradient maps... totally possible as well! I know because I've done it. Here's a test I did for a tribute to the Star Trek 25th Anniversary art style. As you can see, the lighting is ramped, there's multiple colors, and they all play nice together.
Conceit: Oh. Oh? Okay, so the shadow bias stuff is in there already. :D it's already working - and I'm using the same vertex values to do workable ambient occlusion.
That short is just unbelievably awesome. Great stuff!
On the notes for the skin, and glow...I agree. I wasn't a huge fan of the existing glow, and was looking for a way to fix it. You showed me the way, thank you!
Here you go - I went with the hybrid approach:

And the skin shader + enhanced facial features:

I'm working on explosions and that screen-space Drift Stage cockpit glass. if I recall correctly, I'm one of the guys that showed them how to do that...I think? It was a while ago.

Thank you, Conceit and Ai - your feedback is extremely helpful and I'm loving the challenge to improve that you're setting for me!

RAV: I wasn;t suggesting that in pixelart "anything goes" at all. I was simply pointing out that any pixel art you care to point at, no matter how skilled and polished, would have parts to it that would be reasonably considered to be "wrong" to other pixel artists. I also don't agree with or accept your proposition that "Art is no nilly-willy subject. It's serious as science." That...that statement is fractally wrong. I'm obviously not the end all authority on anything, but stating that the pixel art done by artists is the same level of seriousness as cancer research is utter nonsense. We're just not going to see eye to eye on that one. Sorry.
As for having less room for error in pixel art vs regular 3d artwork...nope, I just can't agree with you there, either. There's plentiful sloppy examples of both, and they both require skill and time to learn how to get right. I'd argue that it's harder to do highly-detailed, high res 3d artwork than pixelart - there's a reason many Indiegames with limited budgets and time/resources choose to use pixelart as their medium. It's not that it's harder than 3d artwork.

"The measure by which to judge your control on the pixels is not the code, but the image we're looking at."
Hmm. No, the measure that I judge my control over what's shown on screen is by how much I actually control it. As I've said, I control all aspects of color, lighting, shape, shading, outline thickness, surface detail, dithering, and indexed palette. The only aspect I'm missing total control over is exactly how the shadow maps fall on the surface of the 3d object. Please don't make the mistake of thinking that since I've exposed several On/Off toggles for various effects that that is the extent of the controls in the system. Those are simply the ones I've shared for demonstrative purposes.
The end goal of this is to deliver a demo project and a tutorial that clearly explains the workings of the system, in a way that can quickly have new assets dropped in, or, alternatively be imported into use in an existing project. I'm still very much on the path to that goal.

Seiseki: Oh, gotcha. Here's the scene with Dawnbringer's 16 color palette with no dithering. :D

And yes - I still need to tweak AA settings - but again, part of the problem is that the level of AA used by different pixel artists varies wildly. It's a definite headache. :D
Latest build has also been updated!

Thanks, guys!

2D & 3D / Re: Realtime Rendering of 3d Meshes as Pixelart
« on: September 21, 2015, 07:35:49 pm »
32: Thank you! Can you give me an example of something you'd like me to ape? :D I also just fixed the dither - it wasn't being calculated properly, and as an end result was...Overzealous.

RAV: "There are little to no margins for mistakes in real pixel art." That is...not actually a viewpoint I hold with. At all. In fact, I have no idea how you'd ever quantify that! What's a "mistake", and what's a thinking artistic choice? Dithering is a choice - how much it's dithered is a choice - color ramp hue shifting is a fact, I'd be shocked if there's pixel art anywhere that would completely fall under the "no mistakes" label. Everything someone does as an artistic choice may be a different choice than another artist would make. 
As for models being too detailed for their final use, well - that's just something people making the artwork will need to consider. same as anything - you're not going to pixel a sprite at 32x32, then later decide to make it 48x48.. and just scale it up expecting things to look right.

Gil: Heh, you might be surprised. I'm actually exerting a lot of control on everything visible. The only thing that falls outside of my direct influence is the edges of shadows. Those are...flickery, and there's not much I can do to fix it. Thanks, shadow maps!

Ai: Ahh, yes. I'm very familiar with the GGXrd's art style and methodology. I'm actually directly using their Vertex AO > driving lighting ramps. Its a great idea, and I'm a huge fan of everything they did. I'm glad you like the improvements - I'm still pushing it more! Anything you'd like to see?

Conceit: I'm being incredibly sarcastic. :P I knew what you meant, and I was just trying to be humorous. I'm already doing a ton of the stuff they're talking about in the GGXrd technical papers - but I'm doing them with mobile devices and sheer speed in mind. Things like the specular levels and material presets - all of that's done with the ramps. Need a large specular hit? Push the lightest bar in on the side. It really is quite versatile. :D

2D & 3D / Re: Realtime Rendering of 3d Meshes as Pixelart
« on: September 21, 2015, 10:39:01 am »
Rav: That's an issue with the model, not the shader. Any attempt to fit more shape information into a subpixel area would end up messy, no matter the medium. Here's a cleaned up version:

The shader and procedure have improved. The model just needed to improve a bit with it. :P

Gil: Thanks! They are meant to emulate pixel art - and I'm game to keep pushing till it's looking even better. :)

2D & 3D / Re: Realtime Rendering of 3d Meshes as Pixelart
« on: September 21, 2015, 08:36:38 am »
 RAV: Hmmm. Lots to think on there.

Gil: Yes. I indeed want to try that next. Something along these lines:
(Concept by Nurzhan Bekkaliev!)

Ai: Yeah the blurry AA was really, really bothering me. I've since fixed it!

lachrymose: That's also a thought. :D

Cherno: Well, it's going to be released for free. :D

Okay. In new news... I've been an absolute idiot. The Indexing shader that I wrote wasn't quite doing what I thought it was. As a result...the indexed colors were being smoothly interpolated. This is, safe to say, not the intended behavior. I've since fixed it, and now, the indexed results are absolutely perfect. Kills me that I missed something this stupid. Ugh. UGH.
Here's a look at the new output:

So that's settled, and a weight off my mind. The next thing on my ToFIX list was the AA. It was very blurry - and just..looked artificial, and not pixeled at all. So, I figured out a method around that. The Scene is rendered with AA at 3x the final screen resolution.. then Nearest Neighbor scaled to the final desired resolution. Here's the image with no AA:

And with the new AA!

I'm stoked. It looks much improved to me!
Here are some more shots - pay attention to the LUT cube in the upper left. :D

I'd love to hear any and all feed back and thoughts you guys have.


2D & 3D / Re: Realtime Rendering of 3d Meshes as Pixelart
« on: September 20, 2015, 08:50:00 am »
Conceit: Jesus, sorry.  I try and answer with all the information! :P

RAV: Um, wow. Thanks? I'm not sure what exactly your view on this actually is - good or bad - but I can definitely tell you I'm not trying to be the next evolution of pixel art. Pixel art is a well-defined, well-understood genre of artwork, and I really cannot see anything I'm doing ever replacing that. The idea is frankly ludicrous! Everything I've done so far has been as a result of three key things:
A): Can a 3d renderer produce convincing pseudo-pixelized artwork?
B): I love solving technical puzzles!
C): I am incredibly lazy.
(C) is why I rarely do actual, you know, Pixel Art. I can - and I have in the past. I'm a huge fan of pixel art animation. I just know how to do 3d stuff too - and if I can find a lazy shortcut, I will. :)
Finally, "Surely a pixel artist will find plenty flaws in the pixel level rendering" is exactly why I posted this here. I want to know anything that stands out as needing improvement. Anything that looks off. Indigo has been assisting me with that sort of feedback from the beginning (I'm lucky enough to work with the gentleman), but I'd love any insight this wider net catches.

Seiseki: Thanks! On the "too realistic" front, I'm curious precisely what you mean. Texture? Details? Clean lines? All of this can be... tweaked. For instance, here's a shot with some noise introduced and no shadows.

...and even more noise, to ridiculous levels:

Joe: Thank you, sir! Though, as I said above, probably not the future, just another lazy shortcut. :D What sort of pixel level manipulations would you be interested in seeing?

PixelPileDriver: Thanks!

Okay, took the opportunity to put together a little kitbashed space fighter from bits. It looks pretty neat! First is in the native, intentional palette, the second is indexed to the Raptor Call of the Shadows palette. :D

..and a angled verticle SHMUP version!


Pixel Art / Re: [C+C] Bullet Void - a SHMUP
« on: September 19, 2015, 06:58:50 pm »
Oh, man! I love what you're doing here. I sort of wish the explosions were meatier, but i do like the sucking fx at the end... like the black hole powering them has cut loose. can't wait to see more!

2D & 3D / Re: Realtime Rendering of 3d Meshes as Pixelart
« on: September 18, 2015, 10:15:41 pm »
Conceit: Thanks! So, I am controlling the ramps directly. Here's the texture.

The way the shader works is that it only lets you set the vertical (v) position of the UV map - the horizontal position is skewed side to side based on the angle of the surface to the scene light, the in/out shadow value, and vertex ambient occlusion.
You can see in that map that there's some hueshifting going on - not a huge amount, but some.
If you're looking at the build (or those images I posted) the palette being used isn't exactly accurate. I've added options to palettize to classic videogames. The examples I posted are being indexed to Rise of The Triad, Arne's 64 color palette, and Duke Nukem 3d. The only one using the actual palette I made for this project is the image on the light background with no AA.
The difference from the IRKALLA mechs is that those were pre-rendered in Max, using a procedural max material. This is 100% realtime, designed for use in games.

lachrymose: Thanks! This actually works on everything, including phones and tablets.

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