Sunday, 23 June 2013

Assets and Level of Detail

I've fallen a bit behind in with all this blogging, so I've decided the next couple of entries will bring everything up-to-date.  Starting with assets.

(the stones with added normal maps)

The stones that make up Stonehenge are the most obvious assets in our first map, so they needed to look good.  In saying that, the amount of detail that could be added to them was limited because we wanted to re-use the same models (one model for the stones that make up the outside ring, one for the inside etc).  Any obvious changes in detail would look a bit silly if it was repeated on all of the stones.

As a result we used a standard stone effect, which was achieved using Mudbox.  Normal maps were produced from the high poly models and baked onto the low poly versions.  A diffuse texture has been produced for these assets since.

The UV maps for all of the assets produced so far have been made with as few separate islands as possible.  The stones mentioned above are made of a single piece, as well as the grass also seen in the image.

The reason we are being so careful with the UV's on the grass is because they are 3D models rather than just sprites, meaning they will have a high number drawcalls,as well as having a high poly count on screen.  We want them run smoothly in engine, as well as look good.

(using debug mode to view LOD's and poly count)

To ensure that we can use higher poly models, we have been making use of LOD's (level of detail), so that assets being shown further away are less taxing on the scene.  We have worked hard to ensure that the transition between each LOD is smooth with no obvious popping.  Using the debug mode in CryEngine we were able to view when LOD's changed in the editor.

All of this is for one of the maps.  Thankfully we can use some of them in the other maps too, so production should speed up a little bit now.

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