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Sprites

11 years 10 months ago #1 by 37th_Tennessee

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  • Sprites was created by 37th_Tennessee
    I've noticed on the screenshots, that while the map and backgrounds all look clear and crisp, the sprites all look a little hazy, are the sprites in these screen shots on a different detail setting than the map itself, Though everything looks great, this haziness of the sprites just looks a little rough, and doesn't seem to fit with the high detail of the battlefield.

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    11 years 10 months ago #2 by norb-1

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  • Replied by norb-1 on topic Re: Sprites
    The detail of our sprites is very high and often not captured well in a video. Resolution setting lose a lot of the smaller detailed objects. So although sprites are not as good as 3D models, ours do look much better in the game than they do in the video.

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    11 years 10 months ago #3 by Garnier44

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  • Replied by Garnier44 on topic Re: Sprites
    Sprites are better than 3d models for this type of game because you can render ~20,000 of them on a computer that could not make ~20,000 3d models look as good. Eventually computers will be fast enough but they aren't yet. Unfortunately most game companies go with 3d models anyway and thus most games can't handle huge battles with ~20,000 troops.

    Sprites can be made to look very good, better than 3d models that aren't extremely detailed and resource-expensive.

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    11 years 10 months ago #4 by Hancock the Superb

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  • Replied by Hancock the Superb on topic Re:Sprites
    That's good, because it'll be a while till I get a rig that can run 20,000 3D sprites.

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    11 years 10 months ago #5 by tim

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  • Replied by tim on topic Re:Sprites
    As always there is a compromise - go with 3d models and get more detail but have a lot less numbers or go with sprites and have more numbers but less detail. These games are mostly played at an elevated level so a lot of the detail is lost anyway but tis nice to zoom down and see some great looking troops too. I wish we could do thousands of 3d models but as has been said computers can't handle them. Total War has some excellent models and animations but the battles are very small scale.

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    11 years 10 months ago #6 by norb-1

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  • Replied by norb-1 on topic Re:Sprites
    I think that our move to models will allow us to put in very minimal 8 sided sprite sets for far away, with some super detailed soldiers close up. Or maybe just have very reduced LOS far away.

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    11 years 10 months ago - 11 years 10 months ago #7 by Garnier44

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  • Replied by Garnier44 on topic Re:Sprites
    Hm, was a move to 3d models in Gettysburg already decided and announced? Or maybe it's for a future game.

    If it's already done you probably shouldn't read this. It's your game, this is just my opinion.

    I think it's a bad idea myself. A blend of 2d sprites and 3d models is very hard do well, at least well enough to be better than straight sprites.
    Inconsistency is the main problem. A game can have very detailed graphics, but if the type of detail is inconsistent, the whole thing feels fake. TC2M didn't have as much detail as say, M2TW, but the scene feels much more real because the graphics, while simple, are beautifully consistent. Nothing looks out of place. The sprites that are of course necessary in M2TW look entirely out of place. You've got some detailed graphics up close mixed with ugly sprites and it ruins the feel. Consistency is more important than overall detail.

    Behold M2TW with high graphics settings:

    (I don't have many M2TW screenshots left having not run it in a year. The forests are something that ought to be seen, they are ruined by the sudden change from 3d model to flat sprite. If they were all flat sprites it wouldn't be noticeable.)

    Sprites also generally animate better from what I've seen. Most war games that use models have animations that look completely fake. TC2M sprites did look like they were doing the real thing, not floating in a lethargic manner and suddenly jerking around.

    I'm sure you're well aware of the vast potential for performance issues with models. You're smart enough to figure out that the number of models displayed should be constant, not dependent on how many objects are close enough to the camera. Making it constant prevents some of the problems.

    The last problem with using models is that you can't have the best of both. If you use models, the sprites are not going to be as good as they were.

    Eventually it will be possible to do it all well with models, but we're not there yet, and I don't think we will be for a long time.
    If it was possible to use 3d models without losing the detail and consistency of the sprites it wouldn't be bad, but I've never seen it done.


    Finally, and unfortunately, it is true that you can get screenshots and videos to look amazing with 3d models, as they did with M2TW by disabling the sprites, and it will directly increase sales. Because of this I won't blame anyone who decides on models, business is business.
    It lead to a lot of disgust with M2TW (and now ETW) because the sprite/model inconsistency is so glaring.
    Last edit: 11 years 10 months ago by Garnier44.

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    11 years 10 months ago #8 by Jim

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  • Replied by Jim on topic Re:Sprites
    A shift to models would only be for a future game. We have had it running in an alternate game engine. It would only be for uniforms. There is no way we could ever do a Napoleonic game without that shift.

    -Jim

    "My God, if we've not got a cool brain and a big one too, to manage this affair, the nation is ruined forever." Unknown private, 14th Vermont, 2 July 1863

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    11 years 10 months ago #9 by Garnier44

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  • Replied by Garnier44 on topic Re:Sprites
    Makes sense. I'm happy.

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    11 years 10 months ago #10 by Hancock the Superb

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  • Replied by Hancock the Superb on topic Re:Sprites
    By the time we move to Napoleon, there will be a cool new 3D rendering system that minimizes the memory while maximizing the detail.

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    11 years 10 months ago - 11 years 9 months ago #11 by tim

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  • Replied by tim on topic Re:Sprites
    Ok here's some screenshots to try and show you how it will look in game - they are full size and best quality jpegs so hopefully it will give you a good idea of how things look. Click on them to see full szie (1MB)

    Firstly 2 shots of Picketts charge - you can see how many sprites are on at one time - this is looking left and then right. There's a lot of options to help it run quickly.



    Last edit: 11 years 9 months ago by tim.

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    11 years 10 months ago #12 by 37th_Tennessee

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  • Replied by 37th_Tennessee on topic Re:Sprites
    These look a lot more crisp than the previous screen shots and vids. They look great. I think the design team is doing an excellent job. Can't wait to play it.

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    11 years 9 months ago #13 by Hancock the Superb

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  • Replied by Hancock the Superb on topic Re:Sprites
    Lookin good!

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    11 years 9 months ago #14 by Chamberlain

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  • Replied by Chamberlain on topic Re:Sprites
    Looks real good Tim !!! :)

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    11 years 9 months ago #15 by Amish John

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  • Replied by Amish John on topic Re:Sprites
    Rogers, Rose, Klingle[Klingel], Wentz, Sherfy, Snyder, Staub, Spangler. Looks about right. I see the house movers have been at work on the Sherfy farmhouse to correct it's position. Looks right now.

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    11 years 9 months ago #16 by Little Powell

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  • Replied by Little Powell on topic Re:Sprites
    Amish John wrote:

    Rogers, Rose, Klingle[Klingel], Wentz, Sherfy, Snyder, Staub, Spangler. Looks about right. I see the house movers have been at work on the Sherfy farmhouse to correct it's position. Looks right now.


    Always great to get your compliments. :)

    Notice the McMillan farm, the red barn in the background in image 2 and the small house beside it.

    As far as I know, a period photo of the McMillan house does not exist. As you know the current house is white, and supposedly much larger than the old one.

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    11 years 9 months ago #17 by Gfran64

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  • Replied by Gfran64 on topic Re:Sprites
    Great picts. guys!!! AJ you amaze me.

    Regards,

    Greg B)

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    11 years 9 months ago - 11 years 9 months ago #18 by Amish John

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  • Replied by Amish John on topic Re:Sprites
    Little Powell wrote:

    Amish John wrote:

    Rogers, Rose, Klingle[Klingel], Wentz, Sherfy, Snyder, Staub, Spangler. Looks about right. I see the house movers have been at work on the Sherfy farmhouse to correct it's position. Looks right now.


    Always great to get your compliments. :)

    Notice the McMillan farm, the red barn in the background in image 2 and the small house beside it.

    As far as I know, a period photo of the McMillan house does not exist. As you know the current house is white, and supposedly much larger than the old one.


    Right you are LP. According to my contact at GNMP, the current McMillan house bears no resemblance to the one at the time of the battle. The 1863 house was much smaller and (I think) is incorporated into the current structure. I have never seen a war time photo of the McMillan farm.

    For you NSD mapmakers who may be itching to refine the maps, On p. 16 of "Farms at Gettysburg ..." by the Adams Co. Historical Society there's a sketch by Charles Reed looking S. down the ER that shows the Rogers house to be a one-story log house. It was torn down in the 1880's and replaced by the two-story frame dwelling.

    Also, the Gettysburg Stone Sentinals web site describes the Rogers house at the time of the battle as a one story log house.

    www.gettysburg.stonesentinels.com/Places/Rogers.php

    You can get farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.
    Last edit: 11 years 9 months ago by Amish John.

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    11 years 9 months ago #19 by BOSTON

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  • Replied by BOSTON on topic Re:Sprites
    Really like those full size SSs!!!

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    11 years 9 months ago #20 by Hancock the Superb

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  • Replied by Hancock the Superb on topic Re:Sprites
    My question is why are the regiments in column formation?

    Shouldn't they be in line?

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    11 years 9 months ago #21 by IronBMike

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  • Replied by IronBMike on topic Re:Sprites
    Looks crisp, but still seems to be very dark, or maybe that's just me. But it looks like the Chantilly map (cloudy/overcast/rainy).

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    11 years 9 months ago #22 by Hancock the Superb

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  • Replied by Hancock the Superb on topic Re:Sprites
    That's what the weather was according to reports during those 3 days. Remember, a front was moving through the area.

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