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Thread: What are you making?

  1. #2026
    I know that game studios use photogrammetry for organic stuff, but for man-made stuff it's probably not that useful? When I see so many polygons on a hard-surface modelling candidate like this one, I'm almost having a stroke.

  2. #2027
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    It's useful in the sense that, whether an organic object, or a hard surface one, it's producing high res, highly detailed objects with all the texture layers practically built in with only a minimal amount of effort. All you have to do is retopo, UV, and bake away.

  3. #2028
    I'm sculpting lots of landscapes and have around 10 now (more will be needed later, but I have more than enough for the demo now); some pretty small and some a little bigger. The bigger ones are the result of merging various combinations of the smaller ones. Unreal doesn't have any dedicated methods for merging landscapes, so I had to experiment a bit before finding the method I liked best:
    • The first thing I tried was exporting the heightmaps and merge them in GIMP using "lighten only" blend mode, which is the same as taking the brightest pixel from each heightmap (in the areas where they overlap) (other blend modes could possibly create interesting effects), and then import the merged heightmap back into Unreal. One problem with using GIMP is that it cannot handle 16-bit grayscale (8-bit works for testing, but is not recommended), so for that part I would have to use something else, for example Krita (if we're talking free software). There might be a GIMP extension solving this, but I never got that far, because the next method I tried turned out to be better. Another problem with the heightmap method is that it doesn't preserve texturing.
    • The next, and last, method I tried was adding all landscapes as sublevels, move them around until I was satisfied, and then use the "copy/paste gizmo" to merge the landscapes. With the gizmo set to only raise, this gives the same result as the heightmap-merge method, but now the texturing is also preserved, and it's easier to get the exact result you want, because you can easily preview the final landscape before doing the actual merging. One problem I faced was that not all my landscapes use the same scale, so I had to compensate for that. Another problem was that some landscapes looked better together when rotated, which can mess things up when using the gizmo, so I had to rotate the gizmo copy before pasting, which was a little hard to get right. So, same scale and no (or same) rotation works best. When the merging was done, I moved the resulting landscape to the top level and removed all sublevels. I also worked on a copy of the content/maps folder, so as not to mess up the location/rotation of the original landscapes, and finally copied the merged landscape back into the original maps folder before removing the temp copy.


    I haven't yet found a way to move a spline from one landscape to another, so I have to redo the ones I want to keep. According to what I've read, there is no such function. There is a "move to current level" button, but I suppose that is for moving the spline into another level, but not necessarily the landscape you want it in, although I haven't yet gotten it to do anything useful (so far I've only been able to move it into the same level it's already in, which seems wrong (whenever I make current the landscape I really want, the button is greyed out)).

    A cool thing with merging landscapes is that it has so far created many interesting areas (exploration-wise) I might not have thought of sculpting on my own.

    Edit:
    I still haven't added any real objects to make the landscapes come alive, but I'm slowly getting there (I want to be satisfied enough with the basic shapes I have so far before moving on).

    Edit 2:
    30 hours work, 20 hours sleep, 24 hours work, and soon dinner and then back into hibernation again: how's that for a healthy day/night cycle!? Whole days just disappear, but I want these landscapes tweaked and done, so I can move on. I'm almost there; just 1 (-ish) landscapes left now (I'm pretty sure I will have to tweak them more later, but for now they are (almost) ready for the next step). Tomorrow I'm going to take the day off, though, and bake me some delicious pastry (as dictated by the date).
    Last edited by qolelis; 12th Feb 2018 at 15:29.

  4. #2029
    Stating the obvious here, but that kind of lifestyle is a recipe for a stroke, heart strain, or some other kind of physical breakdown. Not sure how old you are, but be prepared for your body to give you a massive "fuck you" at some point, or at least a warning sign, if you're lucky. I know that when making anything from scratch, the list of things to do seems endless (I have that problem myself with my "little" project), but you won't make it faster that way. You need to know when and how to rest.

  5. #2030
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    All work and no play......

  6. #2031
    Also, if it makes you feel better, I've already spent more than half a year on my project, where learning the basics and getting around a new old engine easily took 3 months out of that. I've learnt a lot, and made tons of assets and textures, but I still don't have anything more meaningful than this simple corridor WIP screenshot:



    I'm slowly making progress with my "hero location" for a proof of concept / art pass. There will be a flyby video and some kind of art dump, but that's still like a month away.

  7. #2032
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn that is looking gorgeous, Judith!

  8. #2033
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Gives me a Resident Evil / Devil May Cry vibe.

  9. #2034
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Judith View Post
    Stating the obvious here, but that kind of lifestyle is a recipe for a stroke, heart strain, or some other kind of physical breakdown. Not sure how old you are, but be prepared for your body to give you a massive "fuck you" at some point, or at least a warning sign, if you're lucky. I know that when making anything from scratch, the list of things to do seems endless (I have that problem myself with my "little" project), but you won't make it faster that way. You need to know when and how to rest.
    oh yeaaah, I went through some massive burnout during my first two games.... after I released Postmortem, I literally spent the day walking to a cafe, trying to read for like 10 minutes, be unable to focus or relax, then go to next cafe and repeat....

    But yes, the screenie looks lovely Judith!

  10. #2035
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    1 and 2 player modes of score attack mode in CrossTrix fully implemented.

    Now onto strategy mode.

  11. #2036
    Quote Originally Posted by Judith View Post
    Stating the obvious here, but that kind of lifestyle is a recipe for a stroke, heart strain, or some other kind of physical breakdown. Not sure how old you are, but be prepared for your body to give you a massive "fuck you" at some point, or at least a warning sign, if you're lucky. I know that when making anything from scratch, the list of things to do seems endless (I have that problem myself with my "little" project), but you won't make it faster that way.
    Challenge accepted.

  12. #2037
    Thank guys.

    Qolelis, unfortunately that's no joke. I can tell you about two cases that I know of. One is a work colleague, who has two jobs, one from 7 am to 3 pm, second from 4 pm to 9 pm. She basically sleeps through weekends. She also decided to take postgrad studies, so every other weekend she's has classes, 8-10 hours a day. Lately, she was admitted to a hospital because she was unable to move her left arm for a minute or two, and when she tried to speak, she just mumbled.

    My uncle wasn't so lucky. He was a workaholic, very ambitious programmer, living and working abroad. He always tried to prove that he's the best, worked long, late shifts, drank tons of coffee and smoked like a chimney. He didn't get any warning, his body just gave up at some point. He's basically a plant now. He lost his ability to speak, his movement and gestures are severely impaired, so his career is over.

    Do with that what you will, but from what I saw, there are no winners in this game.

    I also have this tendency to work hard on something until I finish it, because otherwise it stays at the back of my head all the time. But stuff like modeling and texturing takes ages. I need around one week, 3-4 hours in the evening every day, to design a hi-poly and low-poly model, and another week for texturing/materials. That's apart from having a job, daily duties etc. If I didn't do any breaks between such sessions, I'd probably be dead by now.

  13. #2038
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    I know that the work I do well-rested is much better than the one that I do while sleep-deprived. Probably to the extent that I get more done due to less time needed for correcting mistakes.

  14. #2039
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    I know through my programming experiences both from my student days in university, and now with doing my own games dev projects just how much they can take over your life for a long period of time. What I do to get away from it:

    * If it's a night where I'm up trying to work out the source of a logic error (which can take days/weeks) to take smoke breaks or -insert time break away thing to do for 10-20 minutes-. I often found that this aided IMMENSELY in clearing the mind a bit, and to go in with a more fresh state of mind. Doing this led me to many a solution. If you don't do this then you'll have that bug/logic error on your mind endlessly until you have it worked out. That stuff drives me bonkers. Breaks is good.

    * Take a few days off to play some games (which aids in coming up with new ideas for your game), or get outside and go for walks. Better with someone tagging along for the conversation. Healthy mind = healthier body overall.

    And as for me. After 24 hours (not non stop) of work with breaks, got 2 player strategy mode in. 1 player version of it with an AI opponent I'll do later. That will be a bitch to implement compared to the one for score attack which was literally 10 lines of code.

  15. #2040
    Alright, alright, hold your horses, all jokes aside, and full disclosure:
    I am aware of the risks, especially after my former boss had a stroke a couple of years ago. She worked as a professor (at the university I went to and worked at for awhile), and also head and director of various departments, plus had a family, so lots of stress and responsibility. She recovered, but it took some time (and I don't know to what degree, but as far as I know she's still working at her old job). She is older than I am, not by much though I think, but I have only a fraction of the same responsibility. I also had a grandfather with a heart anomaly, apparently hereditary, but I was never found to have that.

    I don't do alcohol, don't smoke, don't do any other drugs, and try to eat healthy. I've never had high blood pressure, nor excessive amounts of body fat (the opposites are not without risks, though). I also don't drink coffee or energy drinks (etc) to stay awake, so it happens that I take short naps during a longer shift (when not napping I stay awake through the right choice of music or through hyperfocus alone). None of this makes me immune, but lower the risks. I also don't do these longer, around-the-clock shifts as often any more, because I know I no longer recover as fast as I used to. There are also periods of low activity when I don't work at all, and instead get out more, sleep more, or play a few games.

    What I'm mostly doing wrong is sitting too much, not getting out as much as I could, and eating and sleeping too irregularly. Other risk factors are social isolation and a lack of physical communion. I'm trying to fix this, but I find it hard to maintain on my own.

    I have noticed a freer, less inhibited flow of ideas directly from brain to hand when having stayed awake for a while -- at least for manual tasks like free landscaping, while not so much for more mentally challenging tasks like programming. This doesn't mean I recommend it or that I couldn't get sufficiently similar ideas some other, and perhaps healthier way, but that is what I have noticed. I can get good ideas or solve intricate problems during a long walk or even while sleeping too -- and maybe that's enough -- but that free flow is unique and a bit of a high I must admit.

    I don't have kids or anything else that stresses me out or keep me awake while not working. Right now I'm also priviliged enough to be able to do this full time and still enjoy it. My current situation won't go on forever, though, so I am aware of the stress.

    Edit:
    Thanks for your concern, it's appreciated.
    Last edited by qolelis; 16th Feb 2018 at 14:47.

  16. #2041
    Quote Originally Posted by qolelis View Post
    Alright, alright, hold your horses, all jokes aside, and full disclosure:
    As long as you take the situation seriously and don't try to just power through. The older you get, the long it will take you to properly recover from a long session and 20 hours of "sleep" can be just as damaging in the long term. You would probably find more benefit in 7-9 hours of sleep, followed by 4-6 hours of activity and 7-9 hours of additional sleep.

    And just remember that this Captain America picture was made by Rob Liefeld while he was pulling an all-nighter (according to some sources). And he thought it looked great at the time and forced it to print (even though the editor protested). He later realized his mistake, but by that point the comic had already been sold in stores.

    Creative works may flow easier while you're not fully rested (or on drugs), but you also risk putting together something that doesn't really make sense in any other state of mind.

  17. #2042
    I'm aware of that problem too, and so far, things from all-nighters have withstood the test of returning to them when well-rested. I meant to write that in my previous post, but it disappeared when switching things around. Sure, if there's a deadline and you pull an all-nighter to meet it, there might not be time for second checks, and, well, I don't really mean to defend the all-nighter, just point out some of its properties. I know it's not good in the long run.

    And just remember that this Captain America picture was made by Rob Liefeld while he was pulling an all-nighter (according to some sources). And he thought it looked great at the time and forced it to print (even though the editor protested). He later realized his mistake, but by that point the comic had already been sold in stores.
    Haha, yeah, that looks like crap -- although, as the objective person smartass I am, I cannot but wonder which sources.

    A friend of a friend once tried writing poetry when high, which was apparently the best he had ever written -- or so he thought: reading it after coming down, it was the most banal crap you could ever imagine. I have written stuff while dreaming, which in the dream was genius, but not so much when awake (something about "making shoes out of cheese").

  18. #2043
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    aaaaaaaaaaAAAAAHHHH I DONT UNDERSTAND QUATERNIONS

  19. #2044
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    It's just a Vector4. Instead of (x, y) or (x, y, z) you've got (x, y, z, w).

    ...Oh, do you mean Quaternions as rotations? I have no idea what that's about, and haven't bothered learning despite working with rotations extensively. I just use the Euler stuff, lol.

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