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Thread: Improving some low-quality original objects?

  1. #126
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    (Updates the list in the first post)

    I've been running through the first missions of both Thief games in DromEd examining the objects (I'm thinking that it would be a good goal to improve all the 'bad' objects in those missions), and I've drawn up a list of objects/textures in those missions that need work.

    Some of the objects that need improving:
    (Do post here if you want to make one of these, so we don't have multiple people working on the same object... I haven't included objects that I am personally thinking of working on.)

    Deer leg (The distugsting 'flesh' textures at Lemog Textures might come in handy...)
    Chandelier
    Thief 1-style trees
    Basketball (texture could brook a little improvement)
    Hanging lamp (The one with the large red candle)
    Bunk, bunk bed (some work done already, still needs a better 'blankets' texture)
    Gold chair (Needs serious texture work)
    Potted plant (The red throwable one from Thief 1)
    Armoire (Mainly the textures)
    Tray
    Hairbrush, hand mirror
    Harp
    Round victorian table (needs more sides!)
    Rusty metal lift textures (In fact, Obj\Txt\Rust*.gif)
    Shovel
    Bafford's throne

  2. #127
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Gloucester, UK
    Already 'hit' for Dark Metal-

    Chandelier done - added vhots for candle flames, and improved the model.
    Actually, all duff lights have been improved in some way.
    Gold chair, Armoire and Baffords Chair all done.

    Rob

  3. #128
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    Rob, I don't suppose you could send me some of those models/textures to include in the pack... or do we have to wait for Dark Metal?

  4. #129
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Quote Originally Posted by Nameless_Voice
    Basketball (texture could brook a little improvement)
    Anyone is welcome to use the SHTUP model. And even that could use some work on the texture (if someone could find a professional b-ball texture, that would be great).

    It's almost funny how not even remotely correct the lines on LGS's basketballs are.

  5. #130
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2000
    Location: Finland, Earth
    That basketball looks like a good mapping, all it really needs is some indentation on the black lines and a subtle bumpmap.
    Although, it would be sort of cool to have a Triop logo on it in the same style as Spalding

  6. #131
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Gloucester, UK
    NV,
    I have no objection to including my models in your enhancement pack, but it's not all that easy...

    I've been building up Dark Metal for nearly 3 years now, and its all rather complicated in the obj/mesh folders. Let's take the 'rusts' texture. I enhanced it to improve the pipes. Via a cascade effect, the new rusts texture altered about 20 other models, some of them inappropriately (d'oh!). Thus, to fix the problem, all of those models were reskinned with new textures. Then, to make it all the more complicated, Vigil releases his lovely pipe textures, which simply had to be used, making the original reskinning of the pipes redundant. Now, imagine the same thing happening to nearly half of the original models and textures. Then I went back and reskinned mosy of them again to make them graphically consistent. The result - whilst everything looks great with Dark Metal installed, it's nigh on impossible to pull out individual models and skins for use in 'normal' Dromed.

    Secondly, with Dark Metal nearing completion (and your solution to the unfrobby contains models brings the day a little nearer!), it's probably much easier to add the enhancement pack to DM.

    Rob

  7. #132
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Quote Originally Posted by Vigil
    That basketball looks like a good mapping, all it really needs is some indentation on the black lines and a subtle bumpmap.
    Although, it would be sort of cool to have a Triop logo on it in the same style as Spalding
    Unfortunately, a 256x256 texture doesn't give enough resolution to represent a basketball's bumps as anything more than a subtle noise pattern. So I gave the texture a subtle noise pattern. I did try slapping a TriOp logo on it once, but the distortion from the sphere mapping made it impossible to get looking right.

    On a more relevant note-- that little basketball model has almost FIVE HUNDRED polys (I believe it started life as the skysphere in Oracle of the Prophecies), and yet I can have dozens of them onscreen at once with negligible slowdown. You guys making these updated models need to realize that Dark, in spite of all its other shortcomings, really can handle objects with modern poly counts. So don't hold back!
    Last edited by ZylonBane; 11th Jul 2005 at 15:13.

  8. #133
    That's what I've always been saying. I made a crappo spring gizmo once which was 1500 polys. It only started slowing down my machine after I started going over 20. That's 30.000 object polys right there. As a 1.6ghz/Radeon 9550, it's a fairly mediocre system.

  9. #134
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    A new demo:

    Thief 2 Enhancement Pack Demo 2 (~3.9MB)

    Again, let me know what you like and what needs improvement.

    - NV

  10. #135
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: Formby, NW England
    New crates, barrels etc need new flinders....

  11. #136
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2004
    Location: Vermont

    Question about Dark Metal

    Someone may have answered this, but can you install it over an already existant gamesystem or does that part of the installation work like Dedx?

  12. #137
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    Quote Originally Posted by R Soul
    New crates, barrels etc need new flinders....
    I thought I had included the flinders for the basic crate; might have forgotten those objects.
    However, by default all Thief crates/barrels use the same crate flinders.
    I actually have some explosive barrel flinders that I made for my own mission, but since they need to be set up in the gamesys I didn't include them.
    Last edited by Nameless_Voice; 3rd Feb 2006 at 19:15.

  13. #138
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    Another two objects in urgent need of an overhaul are the necklace and the tiara. I haven't had much luck trying to find good textures for a replacement, though.
    I'm not sure if we should be aiming for a tiara or a crown for the tiara model, but the current model, being more a mix between the two, looks like neither.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Hicks
    I have no objection to including my models in your enhancement pack, but it's not all that easy...
    Well, the inconsistencies would be for me to sort out, I guess. It's easy enough to find out what texture files a particular model needs (just open the .bin it in a hex editor) - and if you still have the original .3ds file, 3ds2bin has a Package function to automatically build the object and copy the model and all required textures to a specific location (I must admit that I never use this feature myself, but it seems to work okay.)

    But, if everything is really as messy as you make out, you have bigger problems. For the most part, I've been trying to keep the texture names and mappings as close to the originals as possible because - as Eshaktaar pointed out near the start of this thread - models using different textures and mapping will play havoc with custom resources used in FMs. Dark Metal is supposed to be able to run not only its own FMs, but also those for Thief 1, Thief Gold, and Thief 2, right?

    A theoretical example:
    Suppose you changed the picture frame texture to give it a nice pattern of gold interlace, and as a result you had to remap all the models, too. But, a lot of FMs have picture frames models with custom textures on them, still using the default frame texture. In this case, all those FMs would have wrong-looking picture frames.
    Now, you probably haven't done that with picture frames, but it illustrates the point.
    The other example is an FM with a custom texture for a certain object without using a different model name. If the new Dark Metal model has different UV mapping from the old model, then the new texture won't map right.

    I can already see this being a pain for me, even though I've been keeping it in mind. But if you haven't been planning around this problem, you're in for an incredible amount of work.
    I've been considering asking Potterr to add a feature to GarrettLoader that would allow it to work around this problem...

    In any case, the gold chair, armiore and bafford's chair don't (or at least, didn't) use any textures that are used on other models, so they should be easy enough to extract if you're willing - those are some of the worst eyesores in Lord Bafford's Manor. The 'ornate chair' would be easily isolated, too, but you didn't mention having done that one.

  14. #139
    Good points there, NV. If a texture directly replaces an old one, it needs to be not only a faithful remake, it has to be nearly identical (except for higher resolution, better quality). Any prominent feature (rivets, seams, holes, etc.) needs to be at the same place and of the same size (relative to texture dimensions) as its original counterpart, otherwise custom objects using original textures won't work.

  15. #140
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    A useful tactic I've found when improving textures that happen to be shared, is to un-share them. Just point the model to an all-new texture name. That gives you the freedom to make model-specific optimizations.

  16. #141
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2001
    Location: Virginia, USA

    What about TDP objects?

    I'd have to say the ugliest in the entire Thief series is the Hammerite camera from TDP. I mean, it doesn't look remotely like anything that might conceivably be considered a "camera". The thing doesn't just need to be improved... It needs a complete redesign from scratch.

  17. #142
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    I want to do the TDP / Gold objects, too. Quite often they are the ones in greated need of improvement.
    That 'camera/periscope' thing is already on my ToDo list, but I don't really know what to make of it.
    I always thought of it as more a periscope than a camera; eg. there's some bored Hammerite in a control room somewhere looking through it.
    So, maybe a pipe-like periscope, with a lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZylonBane
    A useful tactic I've found when improving textures that happen to be shared, is to un-share them.
    Of course, then you run into trouble when someone included just a modified texture in their FM.
    I've already noted that The 7th Crystal (for example) has a different vase2.gif, but it's in txt and not txt16, so my enhanced one will override it. Not much I can do about that, unfortunately.
    We'll just have to wait and see how much damage this does to FMs, and then work out what to do...

    Oh, and one other thing. Does anyone know what Door3 (-164) is supposed to be made of? The original texture is really too blurry to tell.
    Last edited by Nameless_Voice; 18th Jul 2005 at 20:17.

  18. #143
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Just looks like a wooden door. Either given a light blue wash, or so old and weathered that the wood has turned greyish.

  19. #144
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2005
    Location: In The DK Dungeons.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nameless_Voice
    Oh, and one other thing. Does anyone know what Door3 (-164) is supposed to be made of? The original texture is really too blurry to tell.
    Cutīn it be a old paintede woodend door
    Keep taffing, greetings from Nielsen74

  20. #145
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    That's what I though, too, but I wasn't sure...

  21. #146
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by telliamed
    I'd have to say the ugliest in the entire Thief series is the Hammerite camera from TDP. I mean, it doesn't look remotely like anything that might conceivably be considered a "camera". The thing doesn't just need to be improved... It needs a complete redesign from scratch.
    Well, that's 'cause it it isn't a camera, per se - just a periscope that a Hammer is peeking through at all times. The Mechanists are the ones that perfected that particular technology, creating an artificial entity that monitors it's own periscope (which is why the Eyes are always attatched to something else)

    .j.

  22. #147
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Gloucester, UK
    I've redesigned the Mechanist cameras and turrets for Dark Metal - they now look less hi-tech, more like an HG Wells creation. I'm using the same model for the T1 camera. It does not look like either of the originals (it's better IMHO). If the aim is to improve rather than re-imagine they probably won't be any good for the enhancement project, but I'll mail them to NV if he wants a look.

    By the way, building cameras with the right joints is a pain in the arse - took me days to get my head round it.

    Rob

  23. #148
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Boo on re-imagining.

  24. #149
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2003
    Location: Making Larry Miserable
    Was that comment meant to be ironic, funny or critical?

  25. #150
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Hicks
    I've redesigned the Mechanist cameras and turrets for Dark Metal...but I'll mail them to NV if he wants a look.
    Sure, I'll take a look.
    I'm still not sure about those furniture textures you sent me. It's not that there's really anything wrong with them per se, but they just don't quite match the original ones closely enough for me. For example, the CabinetTable texture has only two drawers, instead of three.
    At one point (when I was working on a mission for T1) I had CabinetTables with three openable drawers - which most certainly wouldn't have fitted with that texture...
    (I think the textures might look a little more realistic if you desaturated them by 10-20%, too.)

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