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Jester and Reaper in UT2004 compared to UT3

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    #16
    My point was that IF the hardware supports it, UT3 will always look better. But if you want, I will go deep into archives and pull out some UT2004 pics that blow away UT3 screenshots made on the same PC, but I don't think it to be necessary.

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      #17
      Originally posted by Crotale View Post
      My point was that IF the hardware supports it, UT3 will always look better. But if you want, I will go deep into archives and pull out some UT2004 pics that blow away UT3 screenshots made on the same PC, but I don't think it to be necessary.
      I understand. On my old PC, UT99 looked better and ran smoother than UT3. But again, that has more to do with the individual system than the game itself. Heck, when I first got UT2k3, I had to make it look like Duke Nukem 3d to get it to run. But if you can't run the game to the game's full capacity, that is not the game's fault.

      The fact that I'm forced to drive in a max 50 km/h zone doesn't mean my Lamborghini is slow -- or slower than a car that may have better acceleration but lower top speed.

      Peace
      -Rhykker

      Comment


        #18
        Originally posted by Rhykker View Post
        I understand. On my old PC, UT99 looked better and ran smoother than UT3. But again, that has more to do with the individual system than the game itself. Heck, when I first got UT2k3, I had to make it look like Duke Nukem 3d to get it to run. But if you can't run the game to the game's full capacity, that is not the game's fault.

        The fact that I'm forced to drive in a max 50 km/h zone doesn't mean my Lamborghini is slow -- or slower than a car that may have better acceleration but lower top speed.

        Peace
        -Rhykker
        Agree we do!

        Comment


          #19
          Although less detailed(due to tech at the time) I prefer the clearer contrast- Player/background, of Ut2004 over UT3.

          "But it can be tricky--Gears of Wars' near sibling Unreal Tournament 3, despite a very similar aesthetic, fails almost completely in terms of clarity of visual design. Busy, techy character designs against busy, techy backgrounds mean that in team games, characters and vehicles (!) at mid-to-long distances are overlayed with a red or blue shader shell, in order that they're readily perceptible at all."

          ^Quoted from this game developer's blog pretty much sums it up.

          Comment


            #20
            So the fact that UT3 has brightskins by default instead of having them added in later in a patch like 2k4 (or was it 2k3 they were added into?) did means it has worse graphics?

            2k4 has brightskins that are just as bad as UT3's if you choose to use them. The brightskins are thanks to the competitive community, mostly.

            There were also plenty of complaints about Gears' characters looking too much alike and not being distinguishable enough. Nothing has been done about it (aside the addition of those exact same kinds of brightskins to Gears 2) people have just come to accept it.

            The real reason it sticks out more in UT3 than in Gears is the faster pace and longer engagement distances. If Gears had the same pace and range, it would have the same "problem" in that the brightskins would be very noticeable at that distance.

            UT3, UT 2004 and Gears 2 all have versions of brightskins and player highlighting. These brightskins are in UT3 because they have been demanded and created by the competitive communities in every previous UT. Even UT2004.
            Having brightskins does not necessarily mean it's necessary for the characters to be readily visible, it means the needs of competitive players need a much higher visual acquisition rate than most players do simply because of the pace and demands at hand. And these are the same people that added brighter brightskins than UT3 has by default to UT 2004 as well.

            However, saying "I like this aesthetic better" =/= "the character looks better in a quantifiable way on a less developed graphics engine."

            Comment


              #21
              I believe he means they had no choice with the brightskins because of those visual design choices ;techy on techy and generally overly busy. It's only activated at a certain distance. Up close in heavy action players and vehicles, projectiles , backgrounds do blend together too much imho . This isn't about textures and detail and which is technically better in a purely artistic judgement , basically because we're talking about a fast FPS here not a RPG, plus we're not comparing like with like engine capability wise either.

              Comment


                #22
                After running several VCTF matches with a mutator active that removed the brightskins from players I have to say I had no problem seeing enemies at a distance. Design-wise the characters are more differentiated in UT than they are in Gears. I also don't really think there's that much of a difference between the neon colors that 2k4 used and the "glowy bits" that the article condemns. It's the same idea of giving the characters bright coloration to make them noticeable.

                Personally, I prefer the UC2 version of the contemporary Epic designs, and I understand some of the concerns regarding the over-all look of UT3, but many people just take a couple bad examples and call it a day. But, I'm not having the trouble seeing things that many people claim, and if we actually look at the silhouettes of a lot of the UT3 characters, a lot of them vary a lot while still being all roughly the same scale, which is important since one of the biggest issues with 2k4 was the sheer variance in character silhouettes (see: Gorge vs. Matrix...)

                [shot]http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c155/ShadowDancer88/groupshils.jpg[/shot]

                You might not be able to name the center and right-hand characters off-hand, but you know their faction affiliation immediately, and they're more differentiated than Gears vs. Locusts.

                I suppose if you deliberately try you can get characters to look very similar between factions, but that's the potential risk of having customizable characters.
                [shot]http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c155/ShadowDancer88/groupshil2.jpg[/shot]


                I'm also really tired of Valve being praised as being utterly faultless in all things, so I think that affects my viewpoint a bit, and I don't find it fair that he gives production and concept shots for the Valve characters but chooses a long-distance shot for the UT3 characters.
                ................

                For the heck of it, I made a similar color comparison for the main 4 in Gears:
                [shot]http://img714.imageshack.us/img714/3771/gearscolorpatterns.jpg[/shot]
                They might not be as brightly colored as the L4D guys, but anyone familiar with the characters can still ID each of them easily. Perhaps even more easily than in-game, which puts the usefulness of the color pattern in a little bit of question...

                It's much harder to do a color test for the main 4 in UT3 since they're all on the red team, so a silhouette comparison would be more appropriate, and in that context they stand out from each other quite well, given the restrictions of not being able to do what L4D was able to do (since UT3 is competitive instead of co-op) and make all the characters vastly different sizes and shapes (like 2k4 did, which caused people to have to force models to Gorge or some other "acceptable" model, defeating the purpose of all the different models in the first place.)
                Another option is the Team Fortress route of making the game class-based, where different stats can accommodate different visibility levels and sizes. Since what became 2k4 was originally planned as a species (ie: class) based game, the different sizes and visibility levels were fine, but on the PC versions that aspect was all but dumped.

                In UT3 they went against the class-based gameplay even more by doing their best to minimize the visibility differences between models while still maintaining differences in style. I don't think it's a fair comparison in the case of UT3, given the restrictions that L4D and TF don't have, and the duties they have to differentiate their characters (especially in the case of TF, where identifying classes from each other is critical, whereas in UT3 the key is being able to tell teams apart, much more importantly than telling characters apart, which makes brightskins a more reasonable option than seems to be considered, especially considering the members of each team could all be the same model in UT3.)
                He describes TF@ as
                hardcore, team-based competitive multiplayer game
                but fails to take the class-based nature into consideration, and the requirements and freedoms that allows in terms of character design versus a title where all characters must be considered equal, like UT3 or Gears.

                UT3 could have all the different character models you could want, but if all the characters are the same on each team it won't matter. Character design in that case becomes moot in terms of telling one from another, and noticeable team coloration becomes paramount.

                2k3 started out using bright headlamps to tell teams apart, and when that was rejected, they resorted to the exact same character highlighting and brightskins that UT3 uses to tell teams apart. Specific character differentiation is much less important in UT, where which character is being used can be irrelevant to gameplay.


                In terms of team matches 2k4 has used brightskins and highlighting just as much as UT3. I haven't seen many instances in DM where distances are such that the characters would not be easily noticeable. 2k4 also uses giant floating arrows to point out characters.
                [shot]http://img51.imageshack.us/img51/746/ut2004distantcharacters.png[/shot]
                [shot]http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/1051/ut3distantcharacters.png[/shot]

                This is with bloom reduced sharply and brightskins removed (via mutators) and the characters are still easily visible. I might say even more visible than they are in 2k4 if the giant floating arrows were removed.

                I would be curious to see a match of TF where the characters are of similar, or the same classes and are as small on screen as they are in the screenshot he used.


                Regardless, character design concerns aren't really relevant when considering if Reaper looks better in 2k4 or UT3, since it's the same design, so preferences toward one game's design vs the other don't really matter. The fact is that the only thing the 2k4 version has going for it is the alpha mask in the hair. That vs. shader techniques, normal mapping and advanced lighting would tend to overwhelm the slightly better looking hair, which you'll never really notice in-game anyway, especially the usually much more distant engenment ranges in 2k4.

                Comment


                  #23
                  Reaper:
                  [shot]http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/7641/reapers.png[/shot]

                  Of note: self-shadowing, real specularity instead of cheap enviro-mapping, shader tricks that can actually simulate different materials (including sub-surface scattering in skin,) normal mapping.

                  Besides being artistic / engine specific abilities, they also help visibility of the character. Specularity and normal mapping work together to increase the extent to which light reflects off the model (without being overly shiney, or relying heavily at all on "glowy" bits.) Models in 2k4 tend to appear very dark.

                  Also, this is a good range for close-range combat, and both characters are easily visible and can can be differentiated against a "techy" backdrop.

                  [shot]http://img200.imageshack.us/img200/5594/cqb.png[/shot]

                  Maybe that's a more representative shot, though I'm not sure how you're losing characters in close range at all. Inferior visual acuity?

                  Interstingly, looking at the shot above, characters in UT3 stand out as they are highlighted against the backdrop (this is without brightskins and minimal bloom) whereas the characters are darkened against the backdrop in the 2k4 shot (even in the darkened shadowed grass in the back.) This can lead to issues like this:
                  [shot]http://img192.imageshack.us/img192/729/darkened.png[/shot]
                  where our Egyptian friend is almost invisible in the back, there.

                  It also hurts to see what could represent (between this and the 2k4 characters that were moved to UT3) camaraderie between the two titles being used as a platform for launching attacks and expressing hostility. The more cartoony look is more of a put-off for me, but the brighter, simpler colors are more important to others, so a lot of what makes it "look better" is still personal taste. I also very much prefer the UT3/Gears/UC2 look to the UC1/2kx look. So, if you prefer the 2k4 look then characters in there will likely look better to you just because they match your aesthetic.

                  I guess the bottom line with the "brightskins" issue is that UT has used brightskins or similar features since 2k3, so if it really does represent a quantifiable issue with character design, then it's present in UC1, 2k3 and 2k4, as well, and is not relevant in comparing characters between 2k4 and UT3.

                  Comment


                    #24
                    Originally posted by Rhykker View Post
                    I'm sorry, but to me, there's no way the 2k4 version looks better. The 2k4 version is perhaps comparable to the UT3 version on low-graphics settings.

                    A couple screens I took:

                    [shot]http://img694.imageshack.us/img694/3083/highresscreenshot00007.jpg[/shot]

                    [shot]http://img694.imageshack.us/img694/8947/highresscreenshot00006.jpg[/shot]

                    Compared to what you posted:

                    [shot]http://www.photostand.co.za/images/4msfs0hrcw9fubmq3txb.jpg[/shot]
                    If only the characters was always well lit with perfect subtle shadowing like that. Instead of brightskins why not just limit how dark a character can get.

                    Comment


                      #25
                      i prefer UC2 characters more than most UT2004 characters. Most of them just aged real badly.

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Is it just me or Reaper looks smaller in UT2004 and did Reaper just looked at me in the first comparison? How'd you do that?

                        Comment


                          #27
                          Awesome, a necro bump!

                          I don't know about you guys, but I like the organic styling in UT3. It's a good mixture of looking awesome and yet still noticeable in normal play. Sure, TF2 is a lot easier on the eyes, but I don't want UT to become a cartoon. Like others have posted, UT3 characters are definitely not as camouflaged as some would believe. In any case I track my enemies through movement, and in UT3 the animations are mostly smooth and organic. (Except for the dodging, which could look better as a sideways roll).

                          Plus, the weapons are the best looking and most memorable in ANY game I've ever played.

                          Comment


                            #28
                            Originally posted by Handepsilon View Post
                            Is it just me or Reaper looks smaller in UT2004
                            That's just because he's crouching in this corner.

                            Originally posted by Handepsilon View Post
                            and did Reaper just looked at me in the first comparison? How'd you do that?
                            Strange... I had the same feeling when I looked at the first shot O_o

                            Comment


                              #29
                              Oh hi dead topic. I see you have risen from the grave like a smelly rancid zombie.

                              I upgraded my PC recently so I'm now running on max settings rather than the lowest possible with ini edits.
                              UT3 is much more sexy than UT04. The characters look better in ut3 imo

                              Depth-Of-Field and Bloom are nasty though. Both of those things are just irritating and actually make me feel sick after a while. It's a shame PostProcessing doesn't seem to work with them disabled.

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