AuthorTopic: perspective observations  (Read 9299 times)

Offline Grimsane

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perspective observations

on: May 26, 2012, 03:53:39 pm
just thought I'd share, I partly did it for other's benefit, and to re-cement my own knowledge.this post is relative to top down gameart, 2D, 3D, pixel art or not.
one thing you might notice in 2D games it's not uncommon for them to mix orthographic with perspective ie orthographic environments and perspective on the character sprites.

and to clarify for those who are not aware of what i mean by orthographic and perspective, orthographic is a form of displaying 3D that has no relative compensation for distance to the viewer.
only scaling via zoom, whereas perspective has foreshortening and obeys the perception of distance more closely. left  persp, right ortho.

hopefully the image will be self explanatory, just did some examples of one particular perspective and relativity to the grid, the same applies to the others just different ratios.
I've experimented with 2x1 ratio tiles it has drawbacks and pros, mostly in the speed of map making and just being an interesting and different approach to tiles.

unscaled and uncompressed version of the study-doodling Here also the red dude was whipped up in about 20 minutes so forgive his roughness :P


I encourage people to discuss :yay: or share their own observations, or links to existing posts even, or just screengrabs of games and showing their usage of perspective, could even go into isometric too if anyones inclined, also hope its useful to those who are struggling with or are vague on the subject, Its always useful to have reference :D

Offline BladeJunker

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Re: perspective observations

Reply #1 on: June 09, 2012, 05:01:58 pm
I guess the first thing that comes to mind with 2D at least is that true perspective prevents efficient tiling of background graphics even if the character sprite can be in true perspective, much easier to use a 3D background with a true perspective camera with true perspective 2D character sprites.
In general I think the 3D world/2D sprite approach didn't get enough use back in its heyday, too many developers kept zooming in (Myth1) and pixelating the sprites and texels instead of just panning X&Y from an ideal camera distance to preserve the visual quality (Breath of Fire 3&4).

I tried to tile perspective once for the purpose of low texture memory use in 3D imposters but ended up going back to orthographic since it helped a lot to raise the image resolution for what it lacked in true 3D appearance. In general tiling true perspective mostly creates an approximation which is far from true or accurate results.

As far as tiling graphics with true perspective from a top down view in 2D it can be done in a vertical stacking layer system but only from a fixed static view since panning in any direction would change the perspective and you'd need a looping animation which itself would need strictly X or Y camera movement like an animated tile or fake parallax.

The other alternative is 2D or 3D characters over a prerendered backdrop from any arbitrary view which allows for true perspective of both although full screen slides do tend to use up a lot of storage space. This is the easier approach as far as true perspective backgrounds since each image is basically just a big painting and its creation can be treated as such.
I've never liked this approach except for old school adventure games (Lucas Arts) since the lack of view control wasn't a problem with the casual pace of exploration and puzzle solving but when put in a life and death scenario (Resident Evil) not being able to free look gets frustrating.

Speaking of Resident Evil (PS1) I wish it had used an engine similar to that of Twinsen's Odyssey or more specifically the full 3D areas of the game. This approach fixes the camera view to a single true perspective which basically loops the background rendering with only the character based areas of the screen render getting updates as they move. Although you couldn't move the camera in real time you could change the view perspective with the tap of a button, the avatars back if I remember right which at least prevented foreground view blocking.
http://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/twinsens-odyssey/screenshots/gameShotId,79648/

Well that's what I have to say on the subject matter for now. :)

Offline Grimsane

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Re: perspective observations

Reply #2 on: June 12, 2012, 06:47:06 am
agreed and the turn and move mechanics didn't help Resident evil in that regard either. and yeah I'm quite fond of 2D on pre-rendered 3D especially in JRPGs (Legend of Dragoon (PS1) final fantasy 7 (although even at the time I wasn't keen on the  non battle model styling) Final Fantasy IX and the list goes on) and Adventure games Grim Fandango was an awesome one :D (I've actually done some experiments with fixed camera angle 3D adventure game style setups ;D just never got around to rendering the scene down to 2D with a Zdepth mask, but AGS can handle 3D on 2D with quite a few plugins, and I think in the one I saw you import the 3D collision model and camera position too, but it involved writing C like code calling load functions etc so it's not entirely artist friendly)

I've seen 3D effect via sprite/tile Stacking and often looks effective but quite bizarre, one game that uses that method I recall playing was this game called inner worlds (i forgot the title and it took me like an hour to find) but had some form of recursive tile perspective, that moved each 'planar' dependant on the camera/screen location which is like a parallax effect. don't follow what you mean by animated tiles though

or little big adventure I&II as they were called in europe, I only ever got hold of it via a demo disc back in the day, been intending to play it since I think I'll try acquiring it :yay:

was playing some saturn games via EMU recently and Dark Savior had a fixed angle rotate-able camera but would always spring back to the intended bearings, 3D scenes with 2D sprites sprites like BF 2&3. I'm currently experimenting with 2D sprites in 3D, but so far I've not got around to getting any animation working on them, I've just done static billboard sprites and rotating camera any engines you know of that make sprite management easy in 3D? I'm not skillful/patient enough to code my own system, might research how to achieve it in unity

also played Soulbringer not long ago, and that game had game characters comprised/dolled together from sprite chunks, that were all 3D generated imposters from various angles due to the free camera, 3D terrain and environment. it looked interesting

Offline Ai

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Re: perspective observations

Reply #3 on: June 12, 2012, 08:05:27 am
I've seen 3D effect via sprite/tile Stacking and often looks effective but quite bizarre, one game that uses that method I recall playing was this game called inner worlds (i forgot the title and it took me like an hour to find) but had some form of recursive tile perspective, that moved each 'planar' dependant on the camera/screen location which is like a parallax effect. don't follow what you mean by animated tiles though
Yeah, that worked quite well for IW -- and probably any game that is fairly dark (literally, not metaphorically)

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was playing some saturn games via EMU recently and Dark Savior had a fixed angle rotate-able camera but would always spring back to the intended bearings, 3D scenes with 2D sprites sprites like BF 2&3. I'm currently experimenting with 2D sprites in 3D, but so far I've not got around to getting any animation working on them, I've just done static billboard sprites and rotating camera any engines you know of that make sprite management easy in 3D? I'm not skillful/patient enough to code my own system, might research how to achieve it in unity

Looking at VanillaWare's games might give you some ideas, since good 2d+3d is their thing.

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also played Soulbringer not long ago, and that game had game characters comprised/dolled together from sprite chunks, that were all 3D generated imposters
.. 3D generated imposters.

:lol:
Am I missing something here? 'imposters'?

If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline Grimsane

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Re: perspective observations

Reply #4 on: June 12, 2012, 11:33:08 am
Looking at VanillaWare's games might give you some ideas, since good 2d+3d is their thing.
yeah Odin Sphere is quite masterful, haven't seen their other games in action I've heard about grim grimoire, I'll check up, they did a great job with the rich painterly 3D foreground and backdrops. and doll sprite animation.
.. 3D generated imposters.

:lol:
Am I missing something here? 'imposters'?

quick google search yielded this first result actually, and that illustrates it perfectly, it is the real time process of replacing 3D meshes with billboard(always facing the camera) image planes with what looks close/identical to the 3D model from that angle.

Offline BladeJunker

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Re: perspective observations

Reply #5 on: June 12, 2012, 10:50:22 pm
agreed and the turn and move mechanics didn't help Resident evil in that regard either. and yeah I'm quite fond of 2D on pre-rendered 3D especially in JRPGs (Legend of Dragoon (PS1) final fantasy 7 (although even at the time I wasn't keen on the  non battle model styling) Final Fantasy IX and the list goes on) and Adventure games Grim Fandango was an awesome one :D (I've actually done some experiments with fixed camera angle 3D adventure game style setups ;D just never got around to rendering the scene down to 2D with a Zdepth mask, but AGS can handle 3D on 2D with quite a few plugins, and I think in the one I saw you import the 3D collision model and camera position too, but it involved writing C like code calling load functions etc so it's not entirely artist friendly)
Its a shame Capcom never did add analog control to the PS1 RE games since tank controls weren't needed once the Dual Shock was introduced.

Not a big fan of chibi, or perhaps it just felt unnecessary with 3D models to SD the characters which is something I agree with?

Ooo good choice on Grim Fandango, that is one of the best examples of 3D over 2D I have every played. Wild perspectives are neat but I always wanted to try this setup from a more traditional view angle like the The Sims but more action oriented, I guess I'll just refer to Twinsen again. ::)

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I've seen 3D effect via sprite/tile Stacking and often looks effective but quite bizarre, one game that uses that method I recall playing was this game called inner worlds (i forgot the title and it took me like an hour to find) but had some form of recursive tile perspective, that moved each 'planar' dependant on the camera/screen location which is like a parallax effect. don't follow what you mean by animated tiles though
Neat game Inner Worlds but I can't say I've tried it, not a bad look as far as tech is concerned since I can see its appeal despite being a tad segmented. I like the sprites and shading mostly although I've never been fond of the gritty look.
I can't remember the name but I played some arcade games that used this setup for flying through 3D like Space Harrier, with scaling it was mostly convincing for tunnels although you can never get rid of that sprite segmentation completely.

Animated tiles are looping animations, you take for example a 16x16 2D tile and create a 16 frame animation of the pattern tiling and moving left one pixel over per frame, place a line of them across the screen width and play the animation and it appears to scroll. In the case of the Nes it didn't have multiple parallax layers so game developers would use this method to fake layers of depth in the single background layer allowed.
You can do the same things with any point of repetition even a 2D sprite with true perspective but it works best with repetition or the case of true perspective a fixed track and direction for the camera on account of the increased image memory use, most examples of use tend to use a dynamic load system as to keep the memory footprint low and recycle the memory used by shifting sets of the frames around instead of pre-loading all of them at once.

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or little big adventure I&II as they were called in europe, I only ever got hold of it via a demo disc back in the day, been intending to play it since I think I'll try acquiring it :yay:
I always liked that name better anyway, same here only tried the demo of 2 but regret not buying it back then. I played through most of LBA1 but never finished it, upgraded my PC and it became harder to run it afterwards, Dosbox maybe?

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was playing some saturn games via EMU recently and Dark Savior had a fixed angle rotate-able camera but would always spring back to the intended bearings, 3D scenes with 2D sprites sprites like BF 2&3. I'm currently experimenting with 2D sprites in 3D, but so far I've not got around to getting any animation working on them, I've just done static billboard sprites and rotating camera any engines you know of that make sprite management easy in 3D? I'm not skillful/patient enough to code my own system, might research how to achieve it in unity

also played Soulbringer not long ago, and that game had game characters comprised/dolled together from sprite chunks, that were all 3D generated imposters from various angles due to the free camera, 3D terrain and environment. it looked interesting

Dark Savior is a game I respect but never played it, went with a PS1 back in the day but I'll get to DS eventually. I like that camera spring setup as its a good compromise between letting the player move the camera but maintaining ideal angles for the 2D sprites. Can't say I know of any good engines offhand but maybe look for an existing game that might have become open source.

Soulbringer another neat game I wish to try and a decent approach to limited 3D. In my LOD research I wanted to apply what I was trying to do with static objects for greater pixel resolution through orthographic texture tiling using slight increase in polygons beyond the traditional billboard/imposter of 2 polygons towards animated creatures.
The most promising approach I found was "Polyposters" by some people from the University of Prague. While I didn't agree with everything they did it was the closest running example of what I wanted to do.
http://dcgi.felk.cvut.cz/publications/2008/kavan-i3d-polypostors
What I liked about Polyposters was the billboard mesh animation which took the burden off of the texture memory which is the main drawback of prerendered 3D sprites in that you can't give them much resolution and you are limited in the number of types you can use EG. Myth. http://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/myth-the-fallen-lords/screenshots/gameShotId,341/
Where I differed with them was in context of use and asset creation standards as I saw them as an LOD that could work at close range of the 3D camera along the lines of PaRappa the Rapper but more rigidly jointed. I'd seen enough Flash animations that went with that paperdoll approach like South Park where you could get a lot of range of motion by rotation of 2D impostered body parts from only a few primary view angles (Front, Back, 3/4, Profile, etc.).
http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/430324
In asset creation I just wanted to add basic things like texture flopping whenever possible to reduce the texture memory used per paperdoll, use alpha masking for outline form instead of using a shaped polygonal edge, and add a higher LOD more optimal for cinematic uses.
To paint a word picture just imagine Capcom's brilliant pixel art fully represented decently on paperdolls in full 3D worlds instead of the lackluster stuff like SF EX with its phony 3D arena box and blocky fighter models. http://www.mobygames.com/game/playstation/street-fighter-ex-plus-alpha/screenshots/gameShotId,147240/ :blind:

I admit that dolls have there weaknesses but it sure was a long awkward transition for Japan into the 3D generation of games which only repeated once the PS3 was released, I'm just glad they are back to making 3D again to their standards EG. Yakuza3 as that long stint of DS gaming was hard on Sony of Japan. :ouch:

Damn I'm long winded so I'll stop here for now. :D

Offline Grimsane

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Re: perspective observations

Reply #6 on: June 13, 2012, 02:28:01 pm
Quote from: BladeJunker
Its a shame Capcom never did add analog control to the PS1 RE games since tank controls weren't needed once the Dual Shock was introduced.
most my game tests end up being tank controls just because it's extremely easy to rig up in less than 10 minutes, I usually just prototype stuff in the Blender game engine often while I'm still modeling  :lol:
I did a camera relative system that allowed free movement whilst the camera tracked, and allowed for lateral camera rotation, but at the time i couldn't animate for junk so it was a weird legless robot that floated and bobbed up and down, but it rotated in the direction pressed, it was quite an achievement using logic bricks, i basically rigged up a compass with empties I can not for the life of me figure out how I did it and replicate it either :lol:

there are varying degrees of "chibification" some more tolerable and appealing than others, I don't mind alot of them if they aren't sickly cute, but don't pixel or model in them too much, arne style chibi-esque proportions are fine with me though, most the time I aim for some semblance of realism and proportionate heads in my personal work
Quote from: BladeJunker
~regarding inner worlds~
Yeah it wasn't the best but it stood out in my memory for that parallax effect alone really, was just a collect em up arcade-ee platformer, you could transform into a wolf though which was kinda cool.

and ohhhh think I follow, so basically manual frame by frame tile scrolling? sounds a bit pointless now days
thought you meant some crazy wizardry like this

where somehow it's frame was calculated by its vertical height on screen, it kinda looks like its melting (looked too melty without colour change) whipped up extremely fast, in the right context and if you look at it as such could reproduce some fake foreshortening and vertical camera rotation. Wonder if anything like that's ever been attempted  :-\
Quote from: BladeJunker
Dosbox maybe?
yep works perfect in Dosbox :yay:

Quote from: BladeJunker
I like that camera spring setup as its a good compromise between letting the player move the camera but maintaining ideal angles for the 2D sprites
actually the sprites rotated relative to the camera i believe, it was strictly on the X axis, but yeah the level design was geared toward a certain viewing angle, but you did need to look around corners occasionally to reveal some hidden things to pick up that would be otherwise obscured by scenery.

that polypostor stuff looks interesting, puppet animation has come a fair way recently, with volume retaining morph targets etc so you can set up the pivots and when you rotate you can manipulate, like the cage transform tool that's been implemented recently in some image manipulation programs, major benifit is not having to worry about shading, and getting more organic and fluid deformations, puppets have a certain rigidity that can barely be avoided. I don't mind the idea of high resolution pixel doll animated sprites makes it easier on the art asset generation side of it.

seen binary domain? as far as i can tell it's yakuza studios attempt at gears of war  ie. coverbased action shooter :lol: but with japanese style and appeal :D dunno if it's any good,

Offline rikfuzz

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Re: perspective observations

Reply #7 on: June 13, 2012, 03:06:35 pm

where somehow it's frame was calculated by its vertical height on screen, it kinda looks like its melting (looked too melty without colour change) whipped up extremely fast, in the right context and if you look at it as such could reproduce some fake foreshortening and vertical camera rotation. Wonder if anything like that's ever been attempted  :-\

I have!  It wasn't really noticeable, I was disappointed. :(

Offline Grimsane

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Re: perspective observations

Reply #8 on: June 13, 2012, 06:13:30 pm

where somehow it's frame was calculated by its vertical height on screen, it kinda looks like its melting (looked too melty without colour change) whipped up extremely fast, in the right context and if you look at it as such could reproduce some fake foreshortening and vertical camera rotation. Wonder if anything like that's ever been attempted  :-\

I have!  It wasn't really noticeable, I was disappointed. :(

got it in a viewable or playable form? would like to see what that looked liked even if it was disappointing :blind:

Offline BladeJunker

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Re: perspective observations

Reply #9 on: June 13, 2012, 06:40:33 pm
most my game tests end up being tank controls just because it's extremely easy to rig up in less than 10 minutes, I usually just prototype stuff in the Blender game engine often while I'm still modeling  :lol:
I did a camera relative system that allowed free movement whilst the camera tracked, and allowed for lateral camera rotation, but at the time i couldn't animate for junk so it was a weird legless robot that floated and bobbed up and down, but it rotated in the direction pressed, it was quite an achievement using logic bricks, i basically rigged up a compass with empties I can not for the life of me figure out how I did it and replicate it either :lol:
I had similar experience with a Python based 3D engine my buddy and I tooled with, it was a 300+ poly human locked in the T stance, got the job done but it looked weird. :)

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there are varying degrees of "chibification" some more tolerable and appealing than others, I don't mind alot of them if they aren't sickly cute, but don't pixel or model in them too much, arne style chibi-esque proportions are fine with me though, most the time I aim for some semblance of realism and proportionate heads in my personal work
I know sometimes chibi can get so cute and sweet my teeth hurt. I definitely think in pixel art at least we fall back on Chibi way too much in general like realism can't be achieved to a certain degree in low resolutions. However the degree of realism is definitely a gradient of change rather than a binary choice that I wish more would experiment with this line of art direction. :sigh:
Arne yeah, he found a good ratio of chibi that works for all kinds of subject matters. I've been using Arne as a point of reference for my Minecraft type game for the 2600 as far as character proportions. I think I'm going to go with a Tall & Short groupings like Dwarves versus Elves kind of.

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and ohhhh think I follow, so basically manual frame by frame tile scrolling? sounds a bit pointless now days
thought you meant some crazy wizardry like this

where somehow it's frame was calculated by its vertical height on screen, it kinda looks like its melting (looked too melty without colour change) whipped up extremely fast, in the right context and if you look at it as such could reproduce some fake foreshortening and vertical camera rotation. Wonder if anything like that's ever been attempted  :-\
Pointless now a days, I'm going to say perhaps most of time yes but old techniques have a way of finding new uses. Still most game engine tech is based on finding a good compromise between image space or memory limits and CPU costs. ;D

Well with crazy wizardry like a real time dynamic image filter the CPU overhead would be high enough that basic polygon prisms and textures start to look more practical. I tell you I went down so many dead end streets with 3D dial back optimization, sometimes the technique of optimization becomes more expensive than the 3D mesh you had in the first place. :crazy:

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yep works perfect in Dosbox :yay:
Good to hear, yay indeed. :D

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actually the sprites rotated relative to the camera i believe, it was strictly on the X axis, but yeah the level design was geared toward a certain viewing angle, but you did need to look around corners occasionally to reveal some hidden things to pick up that would be otherwise obscured by scenery.
Well that's the only way to go with that kind of game, that was the problem with Landstalkers being 2D only was false depth sense and obscured scenarios. It really help if the camera can move so you can make better judgments of how objects orient to each other.
http://www.mobygames.com/game/genesis/landstalker-treasure-of-king-nole/screenshots/gameShotId,86385/

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that polypostor stuff looks interesting, puppet animation has come a fair way recently, with volume retaining morph targets etc so you can set up the pivots and when you rotate you can manipulate, like the cage transform tool that's been implemented recently in some image manipulation programs, major benifit is not having to worry about shading, and getting more organic and fluid deformations, puppets have a certain rigidity that can barely be avoided. I don't mind the idea of high resolution pixel doll animated sprites makes it easier on the art asset generation side of it.

seen binary domain? as far as i can tell it's yakuza studios attempt at gears of war  ie. coverbased action shooter :lol: but with japanese style and appeal :D dunno if it's any good,

I agree the morphing is so good now since older tools had issues but also I feel some Flash animators push this method too far at times instead of actually sitting down and creating additional real animation key frames that sorely needed during scenes of their animated features. VanillaWare is the ideal of modern 2D animation, great traditional animation standards with morphing added to smooth the result even further.

Funny you mention Binary Domain since I just came across this game title recently under a list of possible sleeper hit games since they haven't had much advertising. I was resisting to look at reviews since the story looked intriguing enough that I'd get it just for that but I think it would be prudent to get some feedback on it before I buy since Mass Effect looked so great but an hour in I was getting bored already.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceTpSrIBNC0

Idk I like the story but it would nice to see something where robots were not the end of us, Matt Groening said as a kid he was fascinated with robots but also terrified of them. :lol: