AuthorTopic: Rendering 3d models to 2d sprites  (Read 23261 times)

Offline djork

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Rendering 3d models to 2d sprites

on: June 15, 2007, 05:54:34 pm
My coworker and I got in a heated argument today about how common this practice is.  He was saying that "most" 2D games nowadays start with 3D models, and then render 2D sprites.  The problem, is, though, that I can't think of more than a handful of games that use this approach (Donkey Kong Country, Mario VS. Donkey Kong).

I say it was heated because it got to the point where I said "I just don't see this being done in any games," and he said "well that's because you're an idiot!"  Seriously, where is this technique used?  Sprites are typically hand-drawn because they look better, and 3D models stay 3D for purposed of ease of animation and rotation, etc..

Offline Helm

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Re: Rendering 3d models to 2d sprites

Reply #1 on: June 16, 2007, 10:55:37 am
This is very very very widespread in modern 2d game design, yes, especially for studios with tight timeschedules. Your friend is correct, this happens a lot and is quite offputting for people who like tended to pixel art design.

Offline .TakaM

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Re: Rendering 3d models to 2d sprites

Reply #2 on: June 16, 2007, 11:37:07 am
I kinda laughed that you guys got so heated over it :P

I'm not really sure how common it is.. I'd like to think most 2d games are almost entirely pixelled or at least hand drawn, the most obvious example that comes to my mind is the golden sun series on GBA, pre-rendered overworld and battle sequence sprites... though it wasn't too bad considering all the different npcs and enemies you could encounter

even though the sprites were quite a mess... :-\
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Offline ndchristie

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Re: Rendering 3d models to 2d sprites

Reply #3 on: June 16, 2007, 11:56:34 am
i don't think that it's any more common than using hand-drawn bases (still the norm for fighter games, i think) or than using stills from 2d animation programs (your flash stuff, etc)

it varies by genre of course.  i'd be surprised to find many 2d RTS games on the PC market now that didn't use 3d models as a base.  Then, of course, id be suprised to find many 2d rts games on the pc market now....
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Offline dragonrc

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Re: Rendering 3d models to 2d sprites

Reply #4 on: June 16, 2007, 04:17:18 pm
I've never heard of that technique.
But why would it be timesaving? It sounds like double work to me...
For what is it used? Backgrounds, sprites, animations?

Offline Xion

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Re: Rendering 3d models to 2d sprites

Reply #5 on: June 16, 2007, 06:49:04 pm
Since the models are gonna be sprite-sized, they don't have to worry about nearly as much detail, and once the initial, (simple) model is done, just animate, which so does not require redrawing each frame like in drawn and pixelled sprites. That's how it saves time.
And yeah, I've seen it used for BGs and sprites, and can't think of an example that looked good. I think Splinter Cell for the GBA used this, and it looked (and played) like ass.
It's pretty common, afaik.

Offline AdamAtomic

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Re: Rendering 3d models to 2d sprites

Reply #6 on: June 16, 2007, 06:56:12 pm
it can be a huge timesaver if you have to do even 8 rotations of a highly animated sprite, and under the right circumstances it can look decent enough to not really damage the game, but then there's Mario vs Donkey Kong...

Offline djork

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Re: Rendering 3d models to 2d sprites

Reply #7 on: June 18, 2007, 08:37:57 pm
This is very very very widespread in modern 2d game design, yes, especially for studios with tight timeschedules. Your friend is correct, this happens a lot and is quite offputting for people who like tended to pixel art design.

I'd like to think that this is "very very very widespread" only because derivative children's licensed games (a.k.a. That's So Raven 5 on the GBA) are "very very very widespread."  I play a lot of 2D games, so I must be playing the wrong ones or, rather, the right ones.

Offline Helm

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Re: Rendering 3d models to 2d sprites

Reply #8 on: June 19, 2007, 05:15:54 pm
Exactly. I was going to post tens of screenshots from different license games like spiderman and barbie and whatnot and caption them all 'you're not playing enough shit games' but you pretty much got it on your own.

Not a lot of japanese studios use renders for sprites - though some do - but it's extremely widespread for european and american developer houses where the pixel sprite tradition isn't as strong.

Offline ZoSo

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Re: Rendering 3d models to 2d sprites

Reply #9 on: June 19, 2007, 08:21:19 pm
Icewind dale, Baldurs Gate games use 3D redered 2D sprites :P.

Those games are kinda.. modern :O?