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Thread: Jungle Environment

  1. #21
    NoisyMonk
    Guest
    Stunning work mini. Love the atmosphere; lighting, composition, sounds, etc. My only crit would be to edit out the first 5sec where you emerge from the water, the visible division above/below the waterline gives a bad first impression.

    I've got a few questions for you, as I'm working on a Jungle themed environment as well, and I'm fairly new to UDK. Hopefully you can answer some of these.

    1. Where do you get your textures? Specifically your foliage; fronds, banana leaves, barks, etc.. I've found a few online, but I'm spending hours trying to fix up crappy photos to make them use-able.

    2. What are some average poly/tri counts on your trees and foliage? Speed and Static if you could.

    3. You must have an impressive array of foliage and stonework made by now, how many unique assets do you think you made for this scene?

    4. Is there anything in the scene that you aren't happy with? Maybe something you didn't have enough time to finish?

    5. Any tips that you learned while working on this scene that you could give to someone working on a similar scene? Things to avoid or not waste time on? How you went about planning the scene?

    Again, great work, you've done an excellent job. And thanks in advance if you get any time to answer some of my questions!
    Monk.

  2. #22
    Parkour131
    Guest
    I commented on this, I'm XantoLikesGames. You, are a genius. Extremely well done.

  3. #23
    minifloppy
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Parkour131 View Post
    I commented on this, I'm XantoLikesGames. You, are a genius. Extremely well done.
    Thanks Parkour131! I saw the comment on Youtube but didn't have the time to reply
    Quote Originally Posted by NoisyMonk View Post
    Stunning work mini. Love the atmosphere; lighting, composition, sounds, etc. My only crit would be to edit out the first 5sec where you emerge from the water, the visible division above/below the waterline gives a bad first impression.
    Thanks Monk. Yep, the transition could have used some more work.

    Quote Originally Posted by NoisyMonk View Post
    1. Where do you get your textures? Specifically your foliage; fronds, banana leaves, barks, etc.. I've found a few online, but I'm spending hours trying to fix up crappy photos to make them use-able.
    I had some problems too finding good textures. The tropical ones are from CGTextures.com (an awesome website) or painted by hand in Photoshop using a graphic tablet. The remaining foliage textures were derived from photos I took in my garden.

    Quote Originally Posted by NoisyMonk View Post
    2. What are some average poly/tri counts on your trees and foliage? Speed and Static if you could.
    Triangle count is quite variable:
    • bananas: from ~1000 to ~3500;
    • palms: from ~800 to ~4000;
    • generic trees: from ~700 to ~6000;
    • bushes and other small plants: from ~20 to ~700.

    Keep in mind that what really kills rendering performances is overdraw not triangle count (which you can keep under control with LODs). In my experience using a good shape for leaf meshes and a good alpha channel on the texture is more important than saving some polygons.

    Quote Originally Posted by NoisyMonk View Post
    3. You must have an impressive array of foliage and stonework made by now, how many unique assets do you think you made for this scene?
    I made nearly 50 organic models (trees, bushes, plants, rocks, waterfalls, water planes, etc.) and ~30 architectural models (many of them were assembled using reusable pieces though, like the roof of the temple or the stone piles). Not all the models made into the final piece, I have a lot of models that I have not used as I didn't like how they turned out in the end.

    Quote Originally Posted by NoisyMonk View Post
    4. Is there anything in the scene that you aren't happy with? Maybe something you didn't have enough time to finish?
    Sure! I wanted to add flowers, fruits, grass and fauna to create a richer environment. The temple could have used a lot more work, I have at least 4 unfinished models of statues and decorations sitting on my hard drive. I also not like the waterfall meshes.

    Quote Originally Posted by NoisyMonk View Post
    5. Any tips that you learned while working on this scene that you could give to someone working on a similar scene? Things to avoid or not waste time on? How you went about planning the scene?
    The best advice I can give you is to keep focused on your goal: write down what you want to achieve, make a list of things you want to include in the map, plan head all the things you can before actually start making models and textures, study the objects and places you take inspiration from.

    I made some of these things (but not all of them) before starting the map, but if I could go back I would spend much more time getting pre-production material and information. The more you plan ahead the more you keep focused and focus is maybe the most important thing for a personal learning project.

    Quote Originally Posted by NoisyMonk View Post
    Again, great work, you've done an excellent job. And thanks in advance if you get any time to answer some of my questions!
    Monk.
    Wow! This was a long reply. Hope you find it useful!

  4. #24
    NoisyMonk
    Guest
    Thanks for answering all my questions, great reply mini!

    It's been a long time since I've checked out CGTextures, there was some good stuff at the time, but just a little short on content. Glad to see they now have a pretty extensive library of stuff. Some great stuff there now.

    Thanks for the info about polys and overdraw. Its been several years since I've done any game dev, and all I remembered was poly counts being the big issue back then. Guess the issue now is overdraw and material complexity. I'll have to look into importing my own meshes to SpeedTree to get some better polygon shapes - hopefully I can maintain the functionality of ST forces and wind on my own models.

    Great stuff, mini. Lots of good info. Looking forward to seeing your next project!
    Monk.

  5. #25
    Reality4
    Guest
    Great work! There's still a shortage of environment artists, game developers will be glad to have you.

    Quote Originally Posted by minifloppy View Post
    Keep in mind that what really kills rendering performances is overdraw not triangle count (which you can keep under control with LODs). In my experience using a good shape for leaf meshes and a good alpha channel on the texture is more important than saving some polygons.
    I'm currently creating some leaf meshes and was wondering how I should handle the transparency. You say overdraw kills the performance, but looking at your jungle: isn't that one big overdraw? All those leaves use transparency right? So when should I use more polygons and when transparency? And what makes an alpha channel good in your opinion?

    Well... if you find the time for some answers.

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. #26
    minifloppy
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles View Post
    Great work! There's still a shortage of environment artists, game developers will be glad to have you.
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles View Post
    I'm currently creating some leaf meshes and was wondering how I should handle the transparency. You say overdraw kills the performance, but looking at your jungle: isn't that one big overdraw? All those leaves use transparency right? So when should I use more polygons and when transparency? And what makes an alpha channel good in your opinion
    Yep, when doing foliage you have to rely on alpha maps, but you can limit the overdraw area size by using a polygonal shape that follows the leaf borders as much as possible instead of using a simple plane and mask it all out with alpha, even if you end up having more polygons this way.

    Speaking of alpha maps it may only be a matter of personal taste, but I prefer to have high contrast borders and clean surfaces and shapes.

    Obviously I'm by no mean an expert and this is all based on personal experience and on what I read in articles and online forums. I will be more than happy if someone with more experience and knowledge wants to add something.

  7. #27
    Max Power
    Guest
    Got a chance to install and play this today. It's very nice.

    I did have problems loading into the game initially in full screen mode (just wouldn't load up). I fixed this by changing the UDKGame/Config/DefaultEngineUDK.ini, and set full screen to false under system settings.

    It'd be great to implement some basic adventure gameplay/story telling to guide the player through it. There's a lot to see.

  8. #28
    Blizzard_Edge
    Guest
    Great work. Doing this detailed of an environment is very impressive and inspiring since maybe I can learn as well. :P

    I am downloading the environment now. Do you have any tips besides the overdraw/alpha mask one you shared for getting good performance in a detailed level? I assume this particular level does not require streaming though I have not looked at it yet.

    Did you have any issues with texture pop-in or LOD pop-in that you had to work to fix?

    Also, do you have any advice or knowledge about the UDK and anti-aliasing? I am a big fan of "clean" game imagery over lots of post-processing, and Mirror's Edge is probably my favorite UE3 game (largely because of the well done light in Beast, and what has to be an excellent custom AA solution).

    Thanks very much for sharing!

  9. #29
    Freekill
    Guest
    Do you have a general thought regarding the terrain textures placement?
    Right now it feels like they are just random placed and the world have no impact on them.
    I think that you either go with only the brown texture or else make a trail with the brown and have the grass as default, like this: http://www.anyhere.com/gward/snaps/k...leiatrail1.jpg

  10. #30
    minifloppy
    Guest
    Thanks everybody for the kind words.

    Quote Originally Posted by Max Power View Post
    I did have problems loading into the game initially in full screen mode (just wouldn't load up). I fixed this by changing the UDKGame/Config/DefaultEngineUDK.ini, and set full screen to false under system settings.
    Don't know what caused that strange behavior, if it happens again please post your log file.

    Quote Originally Posted by Max Power View Post
    It'd be great to implement some basic adventure gameplay/story telling to guide the player through it. There's a lot to see.
    Yes, it could have been nice indeed, but it would have taken way too much work to get it right.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blizzard_Edge View Post
    I am downloading the environment now. Do you have any tips besides the overdraw/alpha mask one you shared for getting good performance in a detailed level? I assume this particular level does not require streaming though I have not looked at it yet.
    Did you have any issues with texture pop-in or LOD pop-in that you had to work to fix?
    No, I didn't use level streaming as the environment is fairly small. Speaking of performances I found the optimization guide on UDN to be an invaluable resource, along with this post on Polycount forum. LODs were not a big issue, I just tweaked the value in the Static Mesh editor and overridden the default value on single instances where required.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blizzard_Edge View Post
    Also, do you have any advice or knowledge about the UDK and anti-aliasing? I am a big fan of "clean" game imagery over lots of post-processing, and Mirror's Edge is probably my favorite UE3 game (largely because of the well done light in Beast, and what has to be an excellent custom AA solution).
    No sorry, I don't have any experience with anti-aliasing in UDK, maybe you can find some information on UDN.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freekill View Post
    Do you have a general thought regarding the terrain textures placement?
    Right now it feels like they are just random placed and the world have no impact on them.
    I think that you either go with only the brown texture or else make a trail with the brown and have the grass as default, like this: http://www.anyhere.com/gward/snaps/k...leiatrail1.jpg
    Well, that's just what I've done. I have four terrain textures: mud, grass, fallen leaves, gravel. I used grass and fallen leaves as a base, mud for trails and mud + gravel near the water.

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