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SoA Model Converter
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The Amigo



Joined: 08 Jun 2006
Posts: 96

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Surprised
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solshadow



Joined: 24 Jul 2008
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can anyone give me a good program for 3d modelling? Since Overworks/Sega wont make a remake i talked a friend into making a mmorpg game that sorta reflects SoA so i need a model maker. I know it takes mass amounts of money to start but i figure we go ahead and start making character models and whatnot since we already have everything planned out
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Kyyp



Joined: 07 Aug 2005
Posts: 1007

PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think you have any idea what it takes to make a game, let alone an MMO.
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solshadow



Joined: 24 Jul 2008
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well i guess your just another i need to prove wrong then huh? Cool if you dont wish to help me im sure someone else will. I have started using 3d max as my modeling program and any help/tips would be greatly appreciated
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Kryslin



Joined: 02 Aug 2005
Posts: 240

PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

solshadow wrote:
Can anyone give me a good program for 3d modelling? Since Overworks/Sega wont make a remake i talked a friend into making a mmorpg game that sorta reflects SoA so i need a model maker. I know it takes mass amounts of money to start but i figure we go ahead and start making character models and whatnot since we already have everything planned out


Define 'Good'.

I have several - Milkshape 3D, Softimage XSI Mod Tool 6, Maya 8.0 Ultimate, Rhinoceros 3D 3.0 SR2, Modo, Daz Studio, Poser 5.0, Ultimate Unwrap 2.something, and GMAX.

Since I have a mechanical design background, I find Rhino 3D easy to model with. Other aspects of it's 3D modelling - those useful for games and animation - suck.

Knowing a few people who actually work in the CGI field, they recommend Lightwave for modeling, and Maya for Animation. Rendering the images becomes a choice in how much processing power you've got, and what you can afford.

Steve
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The Amigo



Joined: 08 Jun 2006
Posts: 96

PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Message me the lowdown on this SoA MMO. As a fellow game designer wannabe, I might be able to help with some direction.
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solshadow



Joined: 24 Jul 2008
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kryslin wrote:
solshadow wrote:
Can anyone give me a good program for 3d modelling? Since Overworks/Sega wont make a remake i talked a friend into making a mmorpg game that sorta reflects SoA so i need a model maker. I know it takes mass amounts of money to start but i figure we go ahead and start making character models and whatnot since we already have everything planned out


Define 'Good'.

I have several - Milkshape 3D, Softimage XSI Mod Tool 6, Maya 8.0 Ultimate, Rhinoceros 3D 3.0 SR2, Modo, Daz Studio, Poser 5.0, Ultimate Unwrap 2.something, and GMAX.

Since I have a mechanical design background, I find Rhino 3D easy to model with. Other aspects of it's 3D modelling - those useful for games and animation - suck.

Knowing a few people who actually work in the CGI field, they recommend Lightwave for modeling, and Maya for Animation. Rendering the images becomes a choice in how much processing power you've got, and what you can afford.

Steve


Well i searched modeling programs in the past and i did come across milkshape and softimage so ill have to research the other programs you have listed here, and i didnt know Maya did modeling also. I thought it was only animation but oh well. My friend suggested we use the Source SDK to start so i might lean a little more towards softimage but ill research and find out more Smile
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Kryslin



Joined: 02 Aug 2005
Posts: 240

PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maya does -everything- CGI related.

However, the interface for the modeling portion isn't the greatest.

I would go looking for something a little less complicated than SOURCE; 3D Game Studio may be what you're looking for. If you want to get full on custom engine, XNA 2.0 has all the API's you'll need. Just no coded engine.

I mean, you can do a lot with the engine - including Crescent Isle, but realize that there's a lot of work involved in getting SoA in-game stuff into a SOURCE game...

I've been playing with 3D Game Studio, Irrlicht/Irrklang, and MOGRE, and like all of them.

Steve
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Cuckooguy



Joined: 05 Apr 2005
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Kryslin, do you have any experience with REYES rendering? Lighting hates me and I hate it and I'm hoping REYES rendering can simplify things and make my life easier.

Anyway, I'm fine with modeling in Maya, though it's the only program I've ever modeled in. Stuff I modeled in Maya:





The last one is still a WIP. I'm now a bit curious about the different interfaces of other 3d programs now. Is the interface simpler and easier to understand in other programs...?
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Kryslin



Joined: 02 Aug 2005
Posts: 240

PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

By REYES, I'm assuming you're talking about PR Renderman, 3Delight, Pixie, BMRT, AQSIS, et alia - Renderman Compliant Renderers.

I do most of my Rendering work with 3Delight, a final frame, renderman compliant renderer.

The fewer lights in a scene, the better. I typically only have 2 - one occluding light to fake global illumination (which is painfully slow in Renderman), and a second for normal, diffuse lighting.

You can do lower quality passes to make sure the lighting looks right, before cranking the quality settings to ->OVERLOAD<- and waiting for 2 days for your scene to render.

A Caveat about Renderman : Unless you've a shader translator to translate Maya's shading netoworks into Renderman Shading Language, you'll have to code your own shaders. You can do some really neat stuff, but the learning curve is steep.

3Delight has a free, processor/thread/node limited license (2 threads/processor, 1 node)), and comes with a huge library of shaders.

AQSIS and Pixie are open source Renderman Compliant REYES renderers, but come with only the barest of minimums with shaders. Both are thread/processor/node unlimited, and come with distributed rendering managers.

BMRT is obsolete, sued out of existence by Pixar. It's author, Larry Gritz, went to nVidia and they came up with Gelato, a Hardware Accelerated Final Frame REYES (but not Renderman Compliant ) renderer. If you have a GeForce 6 or better, this is an awesome package. It works really well with Maya.

Photorealistic Renderman is the software Pixar uses to make all those wonderful films. It's not free, but the results it produces are incredible. You might be able to find a Torret of it to play with.

Some Renderman Renderings (mainly tests):

Utah Teapots, with various materials. The Tile is a procedural shader I wrote, based on the appearance of the kitchen tile in Ratatouille.


50's Era Soda Fountain Table and Chairs. I actually got paid for this one.


Iridescense test. A simple plastic material with a pearly finish. A proof of concept, that works nicely.


And Finally, a Reflections Test, Direct Lighting Only.

Steve
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Cuckooguy



Joined: 05 Apr 2005
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

YOU'RE MAKING ME WANT TO MARRY YOU MORE

Anyway, I tried out Pixie and... well, I have no idea what I'm supposed to do with it. I'm an artist, not a programmer, and I think I'd need some knowledge of the latter in order to use it. I looked at the tutorial and it tells me something like Rotate 90 1 0 0 and RiRotate(90,1,0,0);, which I assume means rotate the scene 90 degrees in the x-axis, and no matter where I look in the official PixieWiki it seems to assume I have some knowledge of how to use these commands. They kind of remind me of MEL commands, of which I have some experience with but even so I have no idea how I'm supposed to apply these commands to my scene file with Pixie. I guess I'll hopefully try and find some other more user-friendly program to try out REYES rendering.
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Kryslin



Joined: 02 Aug 2005
Posts: 240

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pixie is not a modeler, it is a renderer. Same with PRMan, 3Delight, et al.

What modeling program do you use? 3Delight has plugins for Maya that are included. PRMan has MToR, which does the same thing. I have to use a plugin for Rhino 3D, it mainly handles the materials end of things.

You should be able to export to RIB from most modeling programs; This is the input file the render expects. Check your program; If it doesn't handle it natively, there may be a plugin for it.

RIB (Renderman Interface Bytestream) is a series of commands that generate the image; things are defined in a parent-child relationship, with the transformations of the parent affecting the children. Sounds familiar, eh?

I think the only people in the world who can generate scenes with ASCII editors in RIB are the guys at Pixar; I believe their first shorts were done with eMacs.

Steve
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Cuckooguy



Joined: 05 Apr 2005
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course Pixie is a renderer- you mentioned a list of renderers in your previous post. I was just hoping I could find a user-friendly renderer in my workflow. I use Autodesk Maya 8.5 and I've been rendering in mental ray, but I was hoping to find a REYES rendering program to help me with that.

So basically, the universal file format for REYES rendering programs is .RIB? I haven't tried any other REYES rendering programs since Pixie, so I guess I'll look for something more user-friendly. I guess Renderman for Maya looks attractive in that respect.
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Kryslin



Joined: 02 Aug 2005
Posts: 240

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My bad. I recommend 3Delight - it integrates with Maya, having a plugin to handle the heavy work. The download is free, and there is a free license, good for one machine - 2 processors/threads. 3Delight is what I've been using to re-texture portions of HMS Delphinus.

Steve
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Cuckooguy



Joined: 05 Apr 2005
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you create shaders in another program like SLIM or do you use the MAYA interface to edit shaders, and do you have knowledge of shading networks? I made an Iron Man but I can't seem to shade metal for @#$% and I was wondering if the Renderman Shading Language would be easier to get better results. Then again, I've seen very good examples of Maya shaders without the use of Renderman Shaders so no matter what I seem to suck at writing shaders.


I just used the Blinn shaders with no fancy graph networks for them and just screwing with the settings. Any helpful hints for creating metal? Smile
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Kryslin



Joined: 02 Aug 2005
Posts: 240

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Myself, I hand code and compile using macros in Notepad++. I prototype shaders in Shaderman 0.7. While unstable, it is great at giving you quick feedback.

PR Renderman has a utility called MTOR that does the gruntwork of converting MAYA shading networks into RSL shaders. Likewise, the 3Delight plugin for Maya does the same. I use Maya almost exclusively with Gelato (nVidia hardware accelerated renderer) and the Mango plug-in (which does all the work besides rendering), though. Something about 1900 x 1200 with raytracing, subsurface scattering, and loads of detail, in a little under 10 minutes...

A basic metal material should have little to no diffuse lighting, and high values for ambient and specular. This is not necessarily the case in real life...

Here's what the basic metal shader in RSL looks like...
Code:
surface metal(
   float Ka = 1;
   float Ks = 1;
   float roughness = .1;)
{
   normal Nf;
   vector V;

   Nf = faceforward(normalize(N), I);
   V = normalize(-I);

   Oi = Os;
   Ci = Cs * ( Ka * ambient() + Ks * specular(Nf, V, roughness) );

   Ci *= Oi;
}

Ka is the ambient light multiplier, Ks is the specular light multiplier. in this case, diffuse light is ignored completely.

RSL assumes that certain variables are available globally; for surface shaders, these are Cs (Color, Surface), Os (Opacity, Surface), Oi (Opacity, Incident), and Ci (Color, Incident). Incident refers to the angle of incidence, the line between the camera and surface.

ambient() is a function that gets the contribution of ambient lights on the surface, and specular does the same, getting the specular lights for the Surface Normal (Nf) and normalized Incident vector (I)(Normalized means x^2 + y^2 + z^2 = 1).

The above is a non-reflective metallic looking surface.

Here's some Maya specific information that might help...
http://www.tutorialized.com/view/tutorial/Metallic-Shaders/4085

There are 3 common ways in which to fake a reflective surface; One is to use noise to alter the color slightly, resulting in something that looks reflective, but renders quickly. Second is to use an environment map; Think of it as a skybox, with ground. This renders fairly quickly. Last, you can raytrace the reflections. This is computationally expensive (every bounce, theoretically, can double the rendering time - 6 bounces in a reflection heavy scene could mean days - 64 times the normal time - on a single node renderer).

I have no examples of the second method, however, most renderman tutorials are loaded with them; however, if you look at the table and chairs, that's an example of a faked reflective surface using noise to simulate a reflection. In the teapot shot, the2nd from the right uses ray tracing for reflections, and shadows are ray traced as well. The last part of the picture to render was that teapot, which took as long as the rest of the picture.

Steve
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Cuckooguy



Joined: 05 Apr 2005
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, thanks for the info. I think I'll lay off trying to learn the Renderman Shader language and become acquainted with the Maya shading network, what with all the lingo with the ramp shaders and the samplerinfo and the input and output connections and oh my lord this is gonna give me a headache. I found a tutorial that causes the reflectivity to use the settings of a ramp shader, but there's also a samplerinfo node involved that connects the Samplerinfo's facing ratio to the Ramp's U coord, and after that, I connect the Ramp's out Alpha to the Blinn's reflectivity. Right now I'm going to examine this setup and exactly what it accomplishes. The tutorial I found is here. I'll dissect and fully understand what these connections do!
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solshadow



Joined: 24 Jul 2008
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even though this is off topic, im looking for how to make the actually gaming environment like the fields and stuff? Does anyone have a how to or something? I was thinking it could be done in Hammer but i dunno. I also wish to be able to have players effect the environment somewhat also....ask for more details.
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Kryslin



Joined: 02 Aug 2005
Posts: 240

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only how-to I can offer (and this isn't sarcasm):

Learn a programming language, like C# or C++.

Take an exisiting engine, such as Source, and Mod it.

Or, take something like OGRE/MOGRE (or XNA) and make your own engine, editor, and so on...

You could use an existing game, like HL2:Ep2, and simulate the environment of each area, but having an actual world to fly around in, would require a good simulation engine.

There are such, but using them requires some programming.

Steve
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solshadow



Joined: 24 Jul 2008
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heh...ok well im starting on the first one but wont be done learning for a while, so onward to two and three! I think ima do two but ill look into three. Of course i have absolutely no idea how to use OGRE but ill just search for a tutorial or a wiki. Thanks so much, your a wealth of knowledge! Very Happy
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