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3DRealtime Rendering of 3d Meshes as Pixel-Art



  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804514 Posts: 11,157Member
    I mentioned underwear chick being toasted a couple times on the last page. ;)
  • TALON_UKTALON_UK2 Posts: 0Member
    Ahh, spotted it now, only thought Kentucky Fried Chick was only in the last post, didn't notice she also appeared in a post a few above as well.
  • ArmondikovArmondikov0 Posts: 0Member
    I would have been skeptical of "dithered" alpha if you'd only described it, but yes, I like that! It definitely adds to the pixel-art effect more.
  • Howard DayHoward Day632 Posts: 434Member
    So I've now enabled multiple levels of dithering - as described here:
    Originally I was using this texture to do the dithering:
    And the solution was to encode multiple levels of dithering into that same texture - in this case that's done by varying the brightness of the pattern in different patterns. IE, this:

    And here's that new pattern in action:

  • ArmondikovArmondikov0 Posts: 0Member

  • ArmondikovArmondikov0 Posts: 0Member
    Actually, that technique looks pretty easy to make generic - so it's possible that any software you have with layers or at least a node-based filter should (in theory) be able to replicate it.

    EDIT: Gave it a shot. This is straight out of Lightwave. Adding the colour back in is less easy owing to the available image filters, but the results look pretty promising. Excellent technique to try out!

    EDIT2: Hmm.... the outlines on the characters at this scale are terrible - but overall I like this experiment. Thanks for the inspiration!
  • Howard DayHoward Day632 Posts: 434Member
    Okay, I updated the dithering to be a different pattern, one with more complexity. I also am moving to only support the WebGL build - I've had too many troubles with the Webplayer version. That said, here's a new version.
    I added the Strife color palette, of which I'm a huge fan.
    I've also adjusted the AA yet again, to be faster, reduced the rendering to a 16bit backbuffer for a speed increase. It's very hard to test mobile perf right now, because of a unity 5.2 perf bug that makes things way slower. But from the tests I've done, I should be pegging 60fps on almost all android platforms. with the bug it's between 45-50fps, and that number can vary widely with which settings are used. AA+2x+Shadows is always going to be more stressful on a GPU than NoAA+3X-Shadows.
    I'm still working on a skybox - like everything else... you can't just drop straight, normal art in there - I need to write a shader that supports simple background objects. :D

  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804514 Posts: 11,157Member
    Looking great. :thumb:
  • ArmondikovArmondikov0 Posts: 0Member
    I'd say "shut up and take my money", but we know your work doesn't allow for that.

    Quick (actually, fairly trivial) bug note - the toggle for "outline" doesn't seem add the outline back after you've taken it off until you also switch the full/pixellated switch or another setting, too.
  • ArmondikovArmondikov0 Posts: 0Member
    And to annoy you with further questions - because underneath this calm, professional exterior I'm actually a small child - have you looked at character animation with this, yet? If so, do you plan on enhancing the effect with something to make the animation automatically jerky or sudden, as sprites might be in "real" pixel art where you're switching from one clip to another. The smooth animation with the mech looks great, and definitely adds to the "better version of pixel art" feel of what you're making, but I can't help but feel smooth and seamless 3D animation with people might look a little off.
  • Howard DayHoward Day632 Posts: 434Member
    Armondikov: Oh! Fixed, thanks! I actually have this system working - some of the effects and the mech's animation are clamped to either 20fps or 15 fps. if I go lower it might not feel right.
    Build updated!
    Anyhow, here are some more examples of various options being turned on and off:

    Here are some of the mechs at similar angles, and various settings:

  • Howard DayHoward Day632 Posts: 434Member
    Update - added a Skyfloater Junker, better shading, and a floating rock. Gotta have a floating rock!
    That one has no AA - here's a zoomed up one with a new pass attempt.
    Hope it looks good. :D
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804514 Posts: 11,157Member
    Yeah, gotta have floating rocks, the staples of platformers. It looks great. :thumb:
  • Howard DayHoward Day632 Posts: 434Member
    I've dropped the color count/complexity of the source textures considerably. The Ship is using a maximum of 24 colors, and the rock is using a maximimum of 16. These are using AA. I can't decide if I like it or not. I'd love to know your thoughts...this hopefully look more like real pixel art.
  • TALON_UKTALON_UK2 Posts: 0Member
    Oooh, nice, haven't seen you around for a while. These look cool. Loving the style and aesthetic on show here, what are these for, another project? Both the rock and the Junker look solid to me. Great stuff.

    So what is happening with Wings? Is that still going? Sorry if you have covered this before, not followed your progress on that for a while it seems.
  • Knight26Knight26192 Posts: 838Member
    Very nice, what is your release timeline looking like?
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804514 Posts: 11,157Member
    Yeah, with less colors it definitely looks more like pixel art, which typically has more "comic" coloring. Nice stuff. :)
  • xiaorobearxiaorobear717 Posts: 175Member
    Wow, I'm just in love with this! Everything about that ship and its effects is perfect, and any given frame of it really looks like it could be out of a (way above average) 16-bit RPG.

    I'm slightly less sold on the floating rock, mostly because the polygons that make it up end up being more apparent, especially around the edges and shadows, so it ends up feeling more like a Nintendo DS game or something. I'm not sure of a solution, obviously it needs to stay low poly to be a realtime asset.

    I think one of the things about pixel art floating rocks is that the grass looks a lot more tufted, like it's sticking off of the surface and over the edges of the rock (example from Owlboy with 4 grassy areas), whereas in yours right now with the grass conforming exactly to the edges it feels too textured on. Maybe you'd be able to fake having some vines and bits hanging off the edge and some tufts sticking up with some billboards? And it would still be kiind of authentic, Yoshi's Island was doing it on the SNES.

    It's looking absolutely amazing though, I'd love to play something in this style.
  • Howard DayHoward Day632 Posts: 434Member
    TALON_UK: Hey, buddy! Yeah, WOSN is intermittent right now - I've got so much work from my actual job, I'm not really able to devote much free time to side projects - which is sorta why I'm doing this sort of thing...It's fast and managable, and I dont have to coordinate with anyone else who also has a busy schedule. WOSNs not dead - not at all - it's just sorta waylaid for a bit until I can clear up my schedule.
    Knight26: Who knows? I would like to get a unity repo with these shaders and FX out to the public in the next couple of months, but that depends entirely on how much I like the results I'm getting.
    evil_genius_180: Thanks! glad the experiment works. :D
    xiaorobear: Yay! Stoked you like the ship/shader. The points you raise on the rock are completely valid - I like the chunky poly look on the rock part - but I still need to add grass tufts. The rock isnt anywhere near done yet, and will look much better when I'm done. It's actually weird - the ship took a grand total of an hour to make, after I'd made the procedural textures for it - the rock is days and days in at this point. Organics and nature always take me longer.

    Thanks, guys!
  • Howard DayHoward Day632 Posts: 434Member
    Okay, First pass on some foliage for the floating rocks, and new smoke shader.
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804514 Posts: 11,157Member
    Heh, looks like it's in slow motion on my phone. I'll have to check it out on my computer at home.
  • Howard DayHoward Day632 Posts: 434Member
    :D Okay, I added a lot more depth to the grass, and a half-shade to the coloring. I also made my own Meta-Palette out of colors and ramps from my favorite DOS games. I improved the smoke, and have completely replaced the junker with something of my own design, not ripped off from Ian Mcque. :D I think it's much improved!

  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804514 Posts: 11,157Member
    I dunno, I was really partial to the Junker. But, the new design is sweet. Greta job on all of it. :)
  • Howard DayHoward Day632 Posts: 434Member
    Sunset lighting Time Of Day - and camera angle tests:
    Enjoy. :D
  • stonkystonky350 Posts: 489Member
    So good!
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804514 Posts: 11,157Member
    Yes, very spiffy. I like the salmon colored sky. It immediately makes you think "sundown."
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