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    Advice about scale/size

    Hi

    I'm just looking for some advice on how I should go about modelling the various assets that I need, my question is regarding what scale/size I should create my assets.

    So basically I'm just doing a simple iso/top down game so the models are visually quite small on the screen, I'm just wondering what the best method is in regards to size/scale, would it be better to create the models using the standard size, i.e. rougly the same size as the included UT models, with the camera at a high altitude.

    Or would it be best to make the models smaller and have the camera closer?

    Just wondering if there's really any difference in terms of performance and visually? The models arnt' going to be of any particuliar good quality anyway if I'm making them but I want to get as many AI bots on the screen as possible whilst trying to keep the performance as smooth as possible. Does the size actually matter for performance or is more to do with the how many polys and stuff the models themselves have?

    I did notice that it gets a bit grainy using the default models included with the UDK and doesn't look particuliary great when put into a iso/top down camera view, I suppose there's quite alot of detail on say the character models that gets lost when the camera view is zoomed out quite a bit so obviously would be pointless to try make some high poly models and then try to use LOD and stuff if the view is always going to be fixed at a certain height.

    #2
    Originally posted by dovonob View Post
    Does the size actually matter for performance or is more to do with the how many polys and stuff the models themselves have?
    I don't think I am answering your question directly as I have always wanted to know this, but I think "all polygons are created equal". This is why you can scale a mesh and it doesn't seem to really effect performance.

    If you are not going to reuse these models, I would find a scale that gives you some flexibility with your modeling program of choice and the fact that the editor does have a grid system. In Blender, you can make a 1x1 object really detailed, but once it's in the editor, it will only fit on the smallest grid unit.

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      #3
      Originally posted by Odedge View Post
      I don't think I am answering your question directly as I have always wanted to know this, but I think "all polygons are created equal". This is why you can scale a mesh and it doesn't seem to really effect performance.

      If you are not going to reuse these models, I would find a scale that gives you some flexibility with your modeling program of choice and the fact that the editor does have a grid system. In Blender, you can make a 1x1 object really detailed, but once it's in the editor, it will only fit on the smallest grid unit.

      cool cheers for the advice.

      Think I might just keep to the normal real world scale then probably be easier to keep things consistent. I'll just make the models low poly i think, more things on the screen to kill the better


      I swear when I was using the Cryengine massive objects really seemed to affect performance, I tried making a simple 4 sided cubeoid as a crappy skyscraper test and it didn't seem to really like it to much, splitting it up into multiple objects seemed a bit better as it wasn't rendering the whole thing when the view was obstructured. I suppose maybe I should just fire up 3DS Max and give it a try myself.

      How is blender these days not used it for a few years, there was quite alot of problems with the Cryengine exporter when I used to use it so I moved over to 3DS Max and opened myself up to a world of confusing pain and awful GUI.

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        #4
        I have only mapped in the Unreal based engine for many years and from my experience, resizing meshes doesn't seem to make a difference. Now if there is a complex material with transparency and other "expensive" techniques, that could hurt frame rates.

        Blender these days is great actually. I have only really used Blender for any sort of "real" model making (tried Maya PLE in UT 2004 but never got any where). The conversion from 2.49 to 2.5x (and now 2.64a) is done.

        Now it's just adding features and making it better rather than converting. I am amazed at what anyone can do with modeling, especially Blender given it's an open source program.

        I don't know what files Cryengine supports and that may be an issue, lucky for us (I may for UT 3), MCampagnini has upkept his ASE exporter and does a great job. Also, I think the default FBX support is solid as well.

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          #5
          Hey Odedge, UDK is very specific with its scale. If at any point you don't go to scale in UDK it won't break the engine or anything but your environment will become increasing difficult to handle. If I were you I would increase the cameras altitude and stick to normal UDK scale. Make sure you've disabled height fog! Maybe try increasing the LOD range of the objects?

          Joe

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            #6
            Originally posted by joebrammer View Post
            Hey Odedge, UDK is very specific with its scale. If at any point you don't go to scale in UDK it won't break the engine or anything but your environment will become increasing difficult to handle. If I were you I would increase the cameras altitude and stick to normal UDK scale. Make sure you've disabled height fog! Maybe try increasing the LOD range of the objects?

            Joe
            Can you clear up what you mean by this?

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              #7
              Originally posted by Odedge View Post
              Can you clear up what you mean by this?
              I'll have to redownload Blender i had more joy with setting up a skeleton on that bloody Gingerbread man than I ever have had with 3DS, I can set up a biped but sorting out all the weights so it bends at the knees/elbows without distorting the mesh seems like an absolute nightmare, maybe I'm doing it wrong, after going through about 500 pages of the 3DS manual my brain just couldn't be bothered with it anymore, I've no artistic talent whatsoever.

              I think what JoeBrammer means is that if i work on a different scale to the UDK default scale it would be hard to keep everything consistent, I can see it what he means, its just adding another level of complexity to an already complex process which is a good point I think I'll take on board

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                #8
                1 UU (Unreal Unit) = 2cm

                I set my system units in Max to 2cm. Then you can model to your heart's content knowing your assets will be properly sized in UDK and that things like light and physics will work just fine.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by dovonob View Post
                  I'll have to redownload Blender i had more joy with setting up a skeleton on that bloody Gingerbread man than I ever have had with 3DS, I can set up a biped but sorting out all the weights so it bends at the knees/elbows without distorting the mesh seems like an absolute nightmare, maybe I'm doing it wrong, after going through about 500 pages of the 3DS manual my brain just couldn't be bothered with it anymore, I've no artistic talent whatsoever.
                  I only use Blender for making static meshes and really haven't gotten that far with it, but I know it can do a lot more than what I am capable of. There seems to be enough documentation out there on how to use Blender (with in Blender).

                  My concern (for animating) is the work flow from Blender to Unreal. You might want to check out Geodav's youtube channel? I believe he may have some animation tutorials on there.

                  I think what JoeBrammer means is that if i work on a different scale to the UDK default scale it would be hard to keep everything consistent, I can see it what he means, its just adding another level of complexity to an already complex process which is a good point I think I'll take on board
                  Good advice and rereading his statement, I think you are right. With Blender, a default grid unit=1 UDK/Unreal unit. I set up my grid not to go below that so everything will snap to the grid.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Cheers for all the advice been very helpful.

                    Odedge - u might want to try that blender tutorial where you set up a skeleton with a simple gingerbread man mesh. Its a good way to understand it. Doesnt cover weighting though from what i remember.

                    I've come to the conclusion that nothing is easy in this game development malarky and impossible to have a decent grasp of all the different parts. I need to find me some geeky friends so i can concentrate on the unreal scripting side

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                      #11
                      scripting is always hard to find people for even if you have a good game plan

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                        #12
                        Yeah think thats one of the reasons ive been concentrating on that side of things, scripters seem to be more in demand. Seems easier to get people on board your project if you can show some custom gameplay.

                        I think i like having that total control aswell like some dodgy overweight backstreet dominatrix.

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                          #13
                          Graphical differences in scale could be resolved by tweaking the LOD settings of your meshes. The stock assets are setup for first person gaming.

                          The real issue is collision. You can scale things down a fair amount, but there's a point where physics and collision will start to break down due to various factors such as 'skin' width on PhysX primitives. Trace also has a 'skin' offset of up to 4 unreal units from the surface of geometry. Also, instability in rigid body collisions will be more noticeable as the scale of objects are reduced.

                          For characters I wouldn't go much lower than half the current scale. You could go further for simpler, or more abstract concepts.

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