Detailing Question

Community Forums/Developer Stations/Detailing Question

Red Ocktober(Posted 2006) [#1]
One of my biggest problems has been in the area of skinning detailed textures onto parts of my models... i've seen some really pro looking stuff, and i so far have failed to come close to any of remarkable stuff that i've seen posted by some of the guys/gals here...

i'm able to get repeating background textures (metallic plates, concrete slabs, etc) onto the models that look good enough, but when it comes to the detailing... rivets, non repeating seams and holes and fixtures on large structures, i can never seem to get them onto the models so that when the camera is close up, they don't loose detail...

take a look at the pic below as an example of what i'm aiming at...

how would some of you experienced modelers go about this... would you...

1- make a single large texture (1024x256) and add the detailing in there... if so, what would be the max size of such a thing, performance issues the secondary consideration...

2- or would you combine two textures... one with the repeating material texture, and another with the detailed map... and if so, how large would you amke the detail maps... would you make one or two of em...

any other thoughts on this are also welcome... and THANKS for all input...


H&K(Posted 2006) [#2]
When it was mentioned you where writting a "Sub" game, I thought it meant a "Mini" game (As in Final Fantacy for example)
Do I feel stupid ;)
Sorry no Help for you question. Looks good.

Red Ocktober(Posted 2006) [#3]
no, no, no no... thats' not my stuff (i wish)... i just used that pic as an example for my question...

my stuff is represented in the less spectacular looking shots in these threads...

but it will be on the same scale as what you see above...

... if i ever get it finished :)


Mustang(Posted 2006) [#4]

single large texture (1024x256)

...That's not a large texture...

But I would try to UV-map it one single texture [keeping the parts scale/resolution identical] if possible. If there's repeating detail it might be good to do additional textures. But there rarely is, even subs don't have repeating textures if you aim for full realism. Of course left and right sides are often mirror images so you can save some UV/texture work there. And you will need additional textures for sure, like for emblems, flags and such...

Max practical size for a game texture IMO is 2048*2048 because it's quite well supported these days and Blitz scales it down for ancient crap which supports only 1024*1024 maps.

Red Ocktober(Posted 2006) [#5]
thx 'Stang for the advice...

say, what would you consider a big texture, one that would be acceptable and not bog down a game (say a fps with not too much of a speed requirement)...


Mustang(Posted 2006) [#6]
2K is pretty big, and usually reserved for lightmaps etc only (to get somekind of resolution out from a hi-poly environment / level {lot's of polys all needing unique UV space on the map}).

1K is the usual starter resolution for me and having few (2-3) + required mask / normalmaps at that resolution per model is not a biggie for me. And if you look textures from any Triple-A game published recently (meaning that the tech / gfx is 1-2 years old already) you'll see that they agree.

DXTC would of course help 4X but Blitz3D is not going to get them.

North(Posted 2006) [#7]
Well you really only need one bigger texture(e.g.1024)

What you can do to up the details depends heavily on the engine you are using.
You could:

a) lay out the geometry of the Submarine so you can reuse one detail texture all over (e.g. have a 64x64 bit of texture and slap an assorted array of polygons on there to get 'windows')

b) you could mirror your texture and thus get 2x the amount of detail
This does rarely work with normal maps so this is heavily engine dependant.

c) use 'decal textures' to get more details going (if your engine supports this)

d) if all else fails - break up your model into several pieces and texture these.

Hope this helps - i love what you're doing btw :)

Red Ocktober(Posted 2006) [#8]
thx again guys...


Ice9(Posted 2006) [#9]
use your 2nd texture layer for detail texture
use your 3rd texture layer for a macro texture
use your 4th texture layer as a lighting adjustment layer

the biggest problem I see is the lighting on the texture
doesn't match ( to dark) the environment.

the detail texture is great for adding detail to a smaller texture scaled over a large surface. the macro breaks up the redundancy or pattern in the tiled texture and gives detail
from a distance. I take it the submarine is the main
object in your game so you can get away with applying the
textures to the object. I wouldn't apply multiple textures
to all the objects in your game unless you can afford the
performance hit.

if you have unreal tournament you can see these in action

you can also disable detail and macro textures in the game to see how really ugly the world looks without them.

Red Ocktober(Posted 2006) [#10]
the main part of the sub is comprised of 3 sections... the main hull (ballast tanks), the deck hull (the pointed section that runs down the centerline and cuts through the ballast tanks), and the sail (the lil structure on top of the deck hull)...

right now, each one has it's own (single) texture (wrapped in UUW) and they are merged together and saved as a single .b3d...

thanks for the insights ice...