Outpost Universe Forums

Projects & Development => OutpostHD => Projects => Graphics Update => Topic started by: White Claw on July 19, 2017, 07:29:47 PM

Title: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on July 19, 2017, 07:29:47 PM
As requested, here is the thread for us to discuss potential OutpostHD graphics. Here is the quick proof of concept that I put in the other thread, reposted for convenience.

(http://i.imgur.com/22ysu0W.png)

And at the possible desired scale of 128x64:

(http://i.imgur.com/TAV9fiV.png)


Some initial things that come to mind that we would need to sort out...
  1) Is there a desired style/theme in mind? Is this a recreation of original OP graphics, or a reimagined version...or something else.
  2) Is there a desired color scheme?
  3) Any animations?
  4) Size (which we briefly discussed) is pretty flexible, but will drive the detail size, amount, and quality.
  5) Are the graphics "1-sided" or will the user be able to rotate the map and see the back of the buildings?
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: Hooman on July 19, 2017, 10:56:57 PM
That is really cool looking. I'm really looking forward to the results of this.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: Goof on July 19, 2017, 11:40:40 PM
Actually it's PNG files with transparency.
Size depends on the structure size.
for example,
 - The communication tower is a sprite of 37x87 in a png file of 64x128
 - The agridome is a sprite of 71x43 in a png file of 128x64
 - The command center is a set of 16 sprites of 64x45 in a png file of 512x256 (animated as the antenna is rotating)

File size should be a power of two for each dimensions 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024)
For animations, it's just a series of sprites in the same file.
Some have moving parts (command center for example)
Some just blink some lights (surface lab)

See files attached.

Bye

Goof


Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on July 20, 2017, 10:24:44 PM
I'm really looking forward to the results of this.

Actually, me too. I'm admittedly a bit excited about the potential here. :)


Actually it's PNG files with transparency.
Size depends on the structure size.

All extremely true, and I agree. However, since we are creating something new, I want to make sure that we're on the same page when discussing the structure of the data files. I imagine in the original OP, every byte of data storage space was fairly precious. That aspect is less of an issue now, so part of what I'm wondering is if we will start out with a standard format and size for all.

Also, thank you for the example pictures. They will be helpful as source material as we sort out the details.

Cheers
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: Goof on July 20, 2017, 11:45:03 PM
All graphic resources for structures are in the "data\structures" of the binary release.
At least for the currently used structures.
You could also check the SVN to get the others too.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: leeor_net on July 21, 2017, 05:07:56 AM
1) Is there a desired style/theme in mind? Is this a recreation of original OP graphics, or a reimagined version...or something else.

Ideally a reimagining. As much as I seriously doubt any IP DMCA notices will come through, I'd like to avoid any potential CnD's.

2) Is there a desired color scheme?
I'm slightly color blind and not great at designing visuals... I would say I leave this up to the developer. It would make sense to probably stick with a high tech somewhat neutral color scheme but that could lead to something very visually bland. So... I would say, I leave that up to the artist. :)

3) Any animations?
Animation would be awesome but I'm generally not expecting it because of the amount of work involved in it. The only things I'd really like to see for sure animated are the robots.

4) Size (which we briefly discussed) is pretty flexible, but will drive the detail size, amount, and quality.
I want to update the tilesets to use 128x64 tile sizes. As a note, this is just the 'tile size' and a a building will fit within the confines of a tile. Height is dependent on the requirements of the structure. A Comm Tower will naturally be taller than a Warehouse. So basically, whatever is appropriate. I'd suggest setting an orthograpic axonometric projection and just size buildings/structures to fit within the footprint of a tile. (I hope this makes some sort of sense).

5) Are the graphics "1-sided" or will the user be able to rotate the map and see the back of the buildings?
I'd considered view rotation but ultimately I don't think it will really add anything to the game. The tilemap isn't as visually dense as say, SimCity 2000 and structures generally won't be more than 1x1 tile in size (with maybe a few exceptions).


... I imagine in the original OP, every byte of data storage space was fairly precious.
They actually wasted more space than I've ever seen any game ever do. See attached for an example of how they wasted as many resources as possible.

To answer your question directly, I wouldn't worry too much about formats and sizes and whatnot. I've preferred PNG because it uses lossless compression though TGA with an alpha channel would work just as well.

Lastly, I would suggest rendering at high resolution and then we can scale them down for final inclusion in the game.



EDIT:

I attached a sample 'tile' to use for sizing. This is the tile size I want to ultimately shoot for. A building's footprint should fit within the confines of the tile (x/y plane) but can be as tall as it needs to be (z plane).



EDIT 2:

I attached a 3rd image that shows generally how a structure would be scaled to fit into a tile. This was a real quick photoshop hack job.

I did notice while cutting the building out that it's perspective is incorrect. The final render will need to be done using an orthographic projection. I don't know what modeling package you're using -- if it's Blender I have a .blend scene with the camera set up for exactly that -- it might help you figure out how to set up the camera projection.

Anyway, as I stated above, the final render does not need to fit 128x64. In fact I'd suggest rendering at least twice as large if not larger still. Having a higher resolution allows us to add fine details by hand if needed and then scale down for the final result.



EDIT 3:

A detail that may not be immediately obvious is that almost all structures are connected to eachother using tubes. If you look at the Command Center and Agridome that Goof posted, you'll see those along the long edges. You can basically look at it as each building is built on top of a 4-Way tube (last image in attachments). This allows them to fit with eachother kind of like lego pieces.

This post turned out way larger than I intended. Let me know if anything is unclear.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: leeor_net on July 21, 2017, 05:43:13 AM
Final note, I promise :D

An idea I'd played with in my mind was to use dynamic real-time lighting. This would require that the final rendered images do not have any lighting/shadowing applied and that a baked 'normal map' image be generated as well.

For example:

(https://image.ibb.co/eXoAS5/zombiescreenshot.png)

You can see here the 'diffuse' map which shows a zombie flat shaded and then the normal map above it. Combined with lighting, you get the resulting image on the right.

With a dynamic light you end up with the ability to shade a 2D sprite like this:

(https://image.ibb.co/moPQS5/zombie_horizontalpreview_grey2.gif)

That's the general idea here with this. I don't know if you're familiar with any of this or unwilling -- in either case don't worry about it at all unless you're up to the task or willing to learn. This is a pipe dream anyway. :)
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on July 21, 2017, 11:07:49 PM
Ideally a reimagining. As much as I seriously doubt any IP DMCA notices will come through, I'd like to avoid any potential CnD's.
Makes sense. Though if it's a reimagining, then there will most undoubtedly be some iterative design to get the style sorted out. I'm not super novel with my artistic abilities. :P

Animation would be awesome but I'm generally not expecting it because of the amount of work involved in it.

Idk yet how involved, but I don't imagine simple animations on par with what exists would be too difficult. I.e. lights that blink or comm dishes that spin. If/when we get to that point, we can sort out the file structure. (Or I can just try to make the images and someone else can pack them as desired.)

I want to update the tilesets to use 128x64 tile sizes. As a note, this is just the 'tile size' and a a building will fit within the confines of a tile. Height is dependent on the requirements of the structure.

I guess maybe my question in this area is still misleading. I'm trying to sort out if every building sprite would end up with a standard size, say, 128x128, which would accommodate fitting it within the terrain tile, but also be a standard height for all buildings. So that a comm tower sprite isn't some unique dimensions, which is wholly different from the dimensions of the command center sprite. I know the actual command center portions would be "shorter" than the comm tower, but would the whole graphic be a standard size.

I guess I ask because a standard size means I could set a standard camera setup at a standard distance from the model. That would make scale rather simple. I suppose it ultimately doesn't matter, since I can just render them all to some standard then post-process to crop all the wasted/unused space.


...how they wasted as many resources as possible.

Haha, I never really looked through the data files. I guess it's the opposite of what I thought, where the fact that they were free to use a CD meant they had endless space available.


I've preferred PNG...

PNG is the default format, so easy peasy.


Lastly, I would suggest rendering at high resolution and then we can scale them down for final inclusion in the game.

Also easy, though having a rough idea of size is good because that will set the detail requirements for the models.


Thanks for the examples. I think the camera for that was set up in perspective (I think I have that as the default), so sure, I can change to ortho.


A detail that may not be immediately obvious is that almost all structures are connected to eachother using tubes.

Yeah. In fact, I personally think getting the scale right on the tubes is the first priority. At least, that was my first priority when I was originally working on 3D OP buildings in that other thread. (That's when I realized I needed to up my modeling game.) The tubes, in my opinion, are the first thing that really set the scale. They have doors/hatches at the ends, which sets the overall scale of the tube (and by extension, pretty much everything else).


This post turned out way larger than I intended. Let me know if anything is unclear.

No worries, long posts are fine. Solid expectations and desires up front makes it more productive later. Plus there's usually delay posting back and forth, so having extra info is okay. I'm also happy to keep doing some of these quick hack jobs (like your photo-hack above) so that we can get the big picture sorted out without getting bogged down in details or unnecessary rabbit trails too early.
 
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on July 21, 2017, 11:19:37 PM
You can see here the 'diffuse' map which shows a zombie flat shaded and then the normal map above it. Combined with lighting, you get the resulting image on the right.

This is a cornerstone of 3D modeling, so I'm familiar with the overall concept. I've heard of it applied to 2D sprites, but have not done it myself. Off hand I have some ideas on how to generate the normal maps (some more complex than others). We can certainly give it a try, though I also wonder how noticeable it will be given the likely dimensions of the sprites.

Do you already have a mechanism to implement this in your game engine? (Or concept on how it'll need to be modified.)

Tasks Thus Far:
- Establish a scale with tubes
- Initial investigation of animations
- Investigate methods for generating normal maps
- Generate Proof of concept for real-time shadows to determine shadowing detail
- Brainstorm theme and color scheme ideas
- Generate a list of required/desired/optional structures and vehicles (in priority order)
- Identify candidates for animation
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: lordpalandus on July 22, 2017, 12:16:10 AM
Two thoughts on this topic:

1. Couldn't you animate just the dish, and apply transparency so that you didn't have to copy the entire structure in each sprite, for the sprite sheet... thus be able to animate multiple doodads on a structure independently?

2. Even if they had the ability to load tons of stuff on a CD back then, they'd still have the bottlenecks of the slow CPU, the very limited RAM, and the fact that CD-Drives back in those days didn't spin very fast... at best x4. So due to technical limitations storing stuff on a CD, may not have been beneficial back in the early 90s.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: Hooman on July 22, 2017, 01:41:48 AM
Loved the zombie post. That was actually a really good illustration of normal maps and lighting.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: leeor_net on July 22, 2017, 04:15:00 AM
Ideally a reimagining. As much as I seriously doubt any IP DMCA notices will come through, I'd like to avoid any potential CnD's.
Makes sense. Though if it's a reimagining, then there will most undoubtedly be some iterative design to get the style sorted out. I'm not super novel with my artistic abilities. :P

No worries. I would have expected an iterative process after all.


Animation would be awesome but I'm generally not expecting it because of the amount of work involved in it.

Idk yet how involved, but I don't imagine simple animations on par with what exists would be too difficult. I.e. lights that blink or comm dishes that spin. If/when we get to that point, we can sort out the file structure. (Or I can just try to make the images and someone else can pack them as desired.)

File structure is fairly straight forward. It's a series of animation frames packed into a single power of two texture. I can handle that, no problem at all.


I guess maybe my question in this area is still misleading. I'm trying to sort out if every building sprite would end up with a standard size, say, 128x128, which would accommodate fitting it within the terrain tile, but also be a standard height for all buildings. So that a comm tower sprite isn't some unique dimensions, which is wholly different from the dimensions of the command center sprite. I know the actual command center portions would be "shorter" than the comm tower, but would the whole graphic be a standard size.

I think you can use the command center as a sort of 'standard' building size. Most buildings will likely have their own unique size and structure so long as their footprint (the area of the base of the building) fits within the dimensions of a tile.


I guess I ask because a standard size means I could set a standard camera setup at a standard distance from the model. That would make scale rather simple. I suppose it ultimately doesn't matter, since I can just render them all to some standard then post-process to crop all the wasted/unused space.

You have the right idea, actually. My suggestion would be to set up a square plane in the scene to set as the 'tile size' and then ensure that buildings don't exceed the edges of that plane. Seeing as they're basically built on top of tubes, start with the tube structure (as you already mentioned) would make sense. Get that scale right and then use that as the base for the rest of the structures.


Lastly, I would suggest rendering at high resolution and then we can scale them down for final inclusion in the game.

Also easy, though having a rough idea of size is good because that will set the detail requirements for the models.

See above.


Thanks for the examples. I think the camera for that was set up in perspective (I think I have that as the default), so sure, I can change to ortho.

Perspective is the default... most renders are done that way anyway. :) We just dare to be different in isometric worlds.



... The tubes, in my opinion, are the first thing that really set the scale. They have doors/hatches at the ends, which sets the overall scale of the tube (and by extension, pretty much everything else).

I'm really glad I'm not the only one that noticed all that detail.  ;D


You can see here the 'diffuse' map which shows a zombie flat shaded and then the normal map above it. Combined with lighting, you get the resulting image on the right.

This is a cornerstone of 3D modeling, so I'm familiar with the overall concept. I've heard of it applied to 2D sprites, but have not done it myself. Off hand I have some ideas on how to generate the normal maps (some more complex than others).

Sweet! :D Sometimes when I talk to people about these sorts of techniques I get blank stares so I find it useful to ask ahead of time before I get into details.

We can certainly give it a try, though I also wonder how noticeable it will be given the likely dimensions of the sprites.

Very noticeable. My thinking is to use it mostly for environment lighting (e.g., sun) to provide a more dynamic looking scene that feels more alive than just the few little animations provided via the sprites. Additionally, lights emitted by buildings can be used to illuminate the scene as well... which means we should consider emissive maps as well (should be simple in modern render packages).

Do you already have a mechanism to implement this in your game engine? (Or concept on how it'll need to be modified.)

Yes and no. It's a fairly basic technique though. OutpostHD uses OpenGL as its core renderer... in order to get real-time lighting simply requires that I set up several frame buffers. A color buffer, a depth buffer and a basic lighting shader to compute light values across the scene and then finally spit out the results into the frame buffer. I've been playing a lot with OpenGL GLSL shaders lately and while NAS2D doesn't natively provide mechanisms for shaders I can still make direct calls to OpenGL to make it happen.

However... it's a low priority and won't run well (or at all) on less powerful hardware, so I'm thinking for now we do it without dynamic lighting and go for normal shading. Later when I'm ready to implement it we can rerender the images without shading, add the normal and emissive maps and provide dynamic lighting as an option.


Tasks Thus Far:
- Establish a scale with tubes
- Initial investigation of animations
- Investigate methods for generating normal maps
- Generate Proof of concept for real-time shadows to determine shadowing detail
- Brainstorm theme and color scheme ideas
- Generate a list of required/desired/optional structures and vehicles (in priority order)
- Identify candidates for animation

Looks good but I would for now stick with scale, animation, theme/color and list of prioritized structures/robots. We'll worry about the fancy stuff later.


Two thoughts on this topic:

1. Couldn't you animate just the dish, and apply transparency so that you didn't have to copy the entire structure in each sprite, for the sprite sheet... thus be able to animate multiple doodads on a structure independently?
Ideally, yes. But there are several concerns regarding this.

First and foremost, I never got around to frame composition in the sprite code. As of right now the sprite code looks up a list of frames and just plays them in sequence given an 'action name' and the speed in milliseconds to display a given frame.

This seems wasteful at first glance but then you have to take into consideration a few things. 1) Since this is a pure OpenGL implementation and not a standard 2D blitter, minimizing pixel over draw is much less of a concern. NAS2D uses stencil buffers under the hood to eliminate overdraw and this is all done on the GPU so few wasted cycles. 2) in terms of OpenGL, it's cheaper to just pull a part of a texture and apply it to a single polygon mesh (in this case two triangles composing a rectangle) than to pull a base frame and apply several smaller frames on top of it. I suppose that could be done via a shader in parallel on the GPU but that's kind of overkill. In this case it's just a matter of rendering a single quad with part of a texture applied to it. Quick and easy. 3) considering modern hardware capabilities, this would be an optimization that has little to no effect in the long run.

2. Even if they had the ability to load tons of stuff on a CD back then, they'd still have the bottlenecks of the slow CPU, the very limited RAM, and the fact that CD-Drives back in those days didn't spin very fast... at best x4. So due to technical limitations storing stuff on a CD, may not have been beneficial back in the early 90s.
At the time this game came out 2x CD-ROM's were the bleeding edge. I remember the day it came out and the day I installed it! :D

And you're right. The thing is, OP1 was probably the LEAST efficient game I've ever seen. For every single frame of animation it would load it directly from disk (it would install the BMP's to hard drive if you had it). Basically, as I was playing the game, for each frame the HDD would spin up. It was kind of annoying, actually, having the hard drive constantly chirping every second or so. And yeah, that was the frame rate. About one frame per second. And it would blit directly to the video memory (no back buffer) so you had animation that was updated on one side of the screen and you could actually watch the update phase as it would sweep from top to bottom. It was awful.  ::)
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on July 22, 2017, 11:16:01 AM
Hmm, lots of things to get to in the last few posts, but I'll just drop this here for now while I mull over some of the other things.

(http://i.imgur.com/snAQCY8.png)
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: leeor_net on July 22, 2017, 12:45:58 PM
That is pretty much perfect.

Side note -- these normals are intended for OpenGL, right? Not DirectX? For whatever reason both API's use different values.  ::)
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: Goof on July 22, 2017, 06:33:27 PM
Side note -- these normals are intended for OpenGL, right? Not DirectX? For whatever reason both API's use different values.  ::)

As far as I remember Microsoft always had an issue with standards others that their owns.
PDF was leading the market, they create XPS.
Open Document was used by OpenOffice/LibreOffice/Anyone, they create "OpenXml"
OpenGL/DirectX
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on July 22, 2017, 08:50:10 PM
For whatever reason both API's use different values.

I know, right?


Yeah, it should be for OpenGL. Took me a minute to check because (unrelated) Unity does things under the hood for OpenGL vs. DirectX so that programming either is constant. That made me forget which I was using. :P
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on July 22, 2017, 09:09:48 PM
Looks good but I would for now stick with scale, animation, theme/color and list of prioritized structures/robots.

Sounds good. Now that I've had some practice, I can ideally improve upon the tubes I made six or so months ago. While I work on those, some questions on animations...

- Roughly how many frames for an animation? Are we talking in the five-ish range, or 20-ish range (or more)?
- Will each frame contain the entirety of the building (or vehicle, etc)? ... so that there are no animation overlays, just a single frame (as mentioned above)

Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on July 23, 2017, 09:23:28 PM
Okay, here is my first draft at sorting out a scale. The little orange block is what I call "Figmo." Figmo is representing the rough size of a human. (First image is at 512x512, and second is 128x128.) Also, I added a ground texture for some sense of feel for being on a textured tile (that wouldn't be in a final render).

(http://i.imgur.com/BbE02Sd.png)

(http://i.imgur.com/sLhC9cH.png)

This scale is a terrain tile that is 80m x 80m. So the tunnel is 80m long, about 6m high, and about 10m wide. I don't know about going much larger here, say up to 100x100m. That might get a bit large, and I think the tubes would start to look out of proportion. Could make the sides a lot shorter, but not sure that I would go below 40x40m, and then the tubes might start to look a bit fat. I will try some of those other sizes this week and see what else looks good, but personally I like the proportions in what's shown above.

The one big drawback is that Figmo is pretty small in the 128x128, so not sure if animated people are desired. In which case I'll need to make the tube shorter, but I would also need to make sure the logical space in the buildings still makes sense.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: leeor_net on July 24, 2017, 05:14:31 AM
Side note -- these normals are intended for OpenGL, right? Not DirectX? For whatever reason both API's use different values.  ::)

As far as I remember Microsoft always had an issue with standards others that their owns.
PDF was leading the market, they create XPS.
Open Document was used by OpenOffice/LibreOffice/Anyone, they create "OpenXml"
OpenGL/DirectX

Well, at least at the time DirectX was built it was about input and 2D graphics on Windows, something that you either did with shoddy drivers or with GDI which was slow as hell. So DirectX made sense as at the time graphics accelerators weren't common and OpenGL was still used for high performance workstations and CAD type programs. Plus OpenGL sucked to do anything with compared to DirectX in 3D until Khronos group FINALLY started improving the API and we ended up with GL 3.2. But I digress. :D

- Roughly how many frames for an animation? Are we talking in the five-ish range, or 20-ish range (or more)?

I think it's safe to say that this is objective. We could get as detailed as we want with hundreds of frames or make it super simple with only 4 or 5 frames. Both of these are at extremes. It comes down to what looks smooth with a target of 30FPS? In this case I'd think most animation would be in the range of 8 to 16 frames (current animation uses a default of 75 milliseconds between frames and that seems to be a pretty good animation speed.

- Will each frame contain the entirety of the building (or vehicle, etc)? ... so that there are no animation overlays, just a single frame (as mentioned above)

Right, no overlays. Just full frames. Sure, it's not super efficient but who cares? It's more efficient to pack everything into large texture atlases and reference that vs. switching between textures and most modern cards can support texture resolutions of 16Kx16K pixels... so let's roll with full frames and optmize later if necessary.

(http://i.imgur.com/sLhC9cH.png)

 :o I think I'm in love. This is entirely too perfect.

This scale is a terrain tile that is 80m x 80m. So the tunnel is 80m long, about 6m high, and about 10m wide. I don't know about going much larger here, say up to 100x100m. That might get a bit large, and I think the tubes would start to look out of proportion. Could make the sides a lot shorter, but not sure that I would go below 40x40m, and then the tubes might start to look a bit fat. I will try some of those other sizes this week and see what else looks good, but personally I like the proportions in what's shown above.

The one big drawback is that Figmo is pretty small in the 128x128, so not sure if animated people are desired. In which case I'll need to make the tube shorter, but I would also need to make sure the logical space in the buildings still makes sense.

I think you've got the scale and sizing absolutely perfect. The proportion looks and feels exactly like it did in the original game and is extremely realistic in terms of actual sizing. I sometimes forget that we can project real life measurements into scales so I never considered it but I think you've kit the nail right on the head.

As for humans, I wouldn't worry too much about seeing them. I mean granted, on the surface they'd be more visible because of the very bulk (and very bright colored) environment suits but I doubt they'd be rolling around the surface very much especially on extremely hostile planets.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on July 24, 2017, 04:41:33 PM
I think you've got the scale and sizing absolutely perfect. The proportion looks and feels exactly like it did in the original game and is extremely realistic in terms of actual sizing.

Well that worked out well. I haven't measured precisely, but the original looks to be a bit "shorter" than the one I pictured above. The tunnels are about 5x longer than they are wide, whereas the ones I posted above are 8x longer than wide. I think that's about what I settled to before, since it made the other buildings feel a big better proportioned. If it's good, I'll stick with it.

Another question...the example iso tile you posted earlier (128x64)...Is that the proper size/proportions for your in-game terrain tiles? I want to make sure I set the camera angle properly for render.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: leeor_net on July 24, 2017, 05:45:29 PM
... but the original looks to be a bit "shorter" than the one I pictured above. The tunnels are about 5x longer than they are wide, whereas the ones I posted above are 8x longer than wide. ... If it's good, I'll stick with it.

That's because they didn't get the perspective quite right. I was originally look to get a dimetric project (explained below) but I'm convinced that this is the perspective we should maintain.

Anyway, to answer directly, yes, it's good. It's very good.

Another question...the example iso tile you posted earlier (128x64)...Is that the proper size/proportions for your in-game terrain tiles? I want to make sure I set the camera angle properly for render.

It isn't right now but it was the original desired template (however I think this prespective will be perfect as I explain below).

The original artists for Outpost didn't get the perspective quite right. It's strictly isometric but most so-called 'isometric' games actually use what's called a 'dimetric' projection (think SimCity 2000, X-Com, Civilization II). That's what gets you that 2:1 pixel ratio along the edges -- e.g., for every two pixels you move left/right, you move one pixel up/down. My guess is this was easier for artists to draw by hand.

This isn't an issue so much anymore on modern machines especially with higher resolutions, higher bit depths, anti-aliased edges and fast hardware blending.



That stated, inspecting the tile render a little more closely, your projection appears to be true isometric.

(http://forum.outpost2.net/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=5976.0;attach=838;image)

As you can see from the outline, it doesn't -quite- match up to the 'perfect' shape. BUT, I'm not sure I really care. We're using anti-aliased edges on high resolution monitors so who cares?

(http://forum.outpost2.net/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=5976.0;attach=840;image)

The renders generate tiles that are 128x55 which fits just as well when assembled (which incidentally is exactly what you'd get if you scaled the current tiles by 1.196). As you can see from the image, there are no gaps and anti-aliased edges just make it that much more seamless. This works out well because it means that with this perspective we can scale the structures down to a width of 107x46 to get them to fit perfectly with the old tiles until we can get new 128x55 tiles.

So well done! The higher resolution and color depth gives a much need facelift to the visuals and they're a perfect fit for the current tilesets.



EDIT: When you get a chance, can you render this without the tile and with a transparent background? PNG or TGA with Alpha channel are both appropriate. Since this fits so perfectly with the current perspective I want to stick this into the game and see how it looks. If you can do a right and left tube as well it would be interesting to see how they look.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on July 26, 2017, 05:48:31 PM
So that it's in the thread...

Here's what we ended up with on the first draft of the tubes. I didn't really start out with the intention that these would be final products, but seems that we're happy enough at the moment.

(http://i.imgur.com/it6iKL8.png) (http://i.imgur.com/2fKzQnh.png) (http://i.imgur.com/iLHN05J.png)


I used this scale and started working on a command center. The first drafts were rather unremarkable.

(http://i.imgur.com/gIpQORb.png) (http://i.imgur.com/oJrowRO.png)

One thing for sure, these are not intended to be final products, but more so molded clay as a discussion point. After bantering in IRC, I think that I may try an altogether new approach to the look of the command center. Please feel free to share ideas...I will try to put up more clay model concepts within a few days.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: dave_erald on July 26, 2017, 07:56:56 PM
Wow. Well done sir. I'm late to the party I know

Tubes look great, and believable more to the point. The second model of what if I'm reading this correctly is a command center? If I were to place a wager I would say anything with that much exposed glass would look more at home as a greenhouse or a recreational center perhaps. The first one if there was something to mimic a robot command center of some sort (i.e. the center tower allowing a view of the surrounding field) I would think this to be it.

Keep at it. I'll try my hand at some useful suggestions for changes next rely if I'm not imposing
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: Vagabond on July 26, 2017, 09:46:21 PM
I agree with Dave, these are looking great!

The tubes look well, exactly right to me. Nice job.

Some thoughts on the Command Center. Maybe try a hardened structure/bunker feel with antennas (maybe parabolic dish and a couple of helical antennas). Perhaps a thin row or two of smaller, reinforced windows.

Anyways, looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

-Brett
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on July 27, 2017, 09:08:51 PM
Okay, okay.... I'm sorry...  I know I said I was working on a command center, but I had a little bit of inspiration and switched over to something else. Hopefully you can guess what it's supposed to be.

(http://i.imgur.com/vH11E4T.png)


And on a game tile at the target resolution.

(http://i.imgur.com/ZErmZtB.png)
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on July 27, 2017, 09:22:39 PM
I would say anything with that much exposed glass would look more at home as a greenhouse or a recreational center perhaps.

Yes, they were both meant to be concepts for a control center. I'm not sure if your interpretation was that the triangles would be filled with glass (like the classic agridome), but that was not the original intent (I can certainly see why you would think that though.). I think I might be shying away from the dome shape for the command center, but I don't know for sure yet. Thank you for the feed back. :)


Some thoughts on the Command Center. Maybe try a hardened structure/bunker feel with antennas (maybe parabolic dish and a couple of helical antennas). Perhaps a thin row or two of smaller, reinforced windows.

I definitely agree with all this, though I'm also trying to find a way to make it look interesting without it just being a giant brick or giant dome. Leeor pointed out the fact that (to be inline with the story) it needs to have emergency space for 200 people. Though I ended up doing some math, and with the tubes at the current scale, they can fit almost 100 people in the cross-shaped tubes alone (though not reinforced).
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: Hooman on July 28, 2017, 03:06:33 AM
Very nice tubes.

The first command center looked a bit like a prison.

Agridome is cool. Looks almost like it's filled with fireflies.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: leeor_net on July 28, 2017, 07:11:45 AM
Definitely digging the agridome. I would suggest making the support structure lighter in color so that there's more contrast with the background (like the original images) and maybe slightly thicker so that it shows up in the scaled down version better.

Otherwise looking good!

As for 100 people in the tube section, would that be standing up or laying down?

The reason I mentioned the CC is that's where the colonists live when they first land (CC has built-in life support systems and is heavily shielded) until the underground residences are built. You could leave them up in the ship for awhile but you won't have running structures (CHAP and Agridomes) until the colonists land. Also I don't think the CC would function without people either (As I recall it requires a population of 3 to operate in the original game and it makes sense to have something similar in OPHD). So you'd need to bring them down sooner rather than later.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: lordpalandus on July 28, 2017, 02:15:34 PM
Theres a song on youtube, Dynatron-Propulsion Overdrive, that has a cover art, of either something inspired by Outpost 1, or is the cover art for Outpost 1, that you could grab some visual inspiration from:



(also its a good synthetic song too, if you want to just listen to it regardless)

Seeing the spherical command center, looks interesting. Kind of like a planetarium.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: dave_erald on July 28, 2017, 04:42:33 PM
Bitchin find there lordpalandus
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on July 28, 2017, 08:57:53 PM
The first command center looked a bit like a prison.

Agridome is cool. Looks almost like it's filled with fireflies.

Fair enough on the prison look. I was aiming for utilitarian, but not oppressive. :P

It took me a second to realize what you meant about the fireflies. Those spots are reflected stars on the glass, though it's way too much detail to appear on the small version.


Definitely digging the agridome. I would suggest making the support structure lighter in color so that there's more contrast with the background (like the original images) and maybe slightly thicker so that it shows up in the scaled down version better.

I fully agree! I might also look at reducing the number of support beams when I thicken them up.

One thing I am considering is the scale. That agridome is something like 200 ft x 200 ft, and 110 ft tall. That's not too big is it? I suppose not if it "looks" okay.

As for 100 people in the tube section, would that be standing up or laying down?

Well, I did the calculation for a cross-tube setup. If the scale is such that the tubes are 80m long and 10m wide, I subtracted 10m out of the tube middle leaving 70m. If each person was allocated a 3m x 3m block of floor space, that would be enough room for a cot or sleeping bag and some basic personal possessions...which I imagine they would have few of right off the ship. Since the tube is 10m wide, you can fit one person on each side of the tube per 3m of length, and still have space down the middle to walk. This yields roughly 23 people per side of a tube, two sides to the tube, and two tubes. So that's around 90 people.

So that's about 90 people each having their own 10ft x 10ft space, which is pretty generous during an emergency situation but probably necessary to keep the peace. Reality is that's still barely half the folks, and I figure you probably need another 50% to 100% more space for things like supplies, bathrooms, eating/social areas.

Of course, the tubes aren't really shielded at all. So long term is a bad idea.

The other thought I had is if they have an actual building, a 3x3x3m room could probably bunk up to four people...meaning they would need 50 of these rooms. And again, double the space for things like supplies, bathrooms, etc... For a shielded building, that's roughly 30x30m and three stories tall. That's actually not too big considering the size of the tiles is 80x80m, but I just keep thinking "What would they need all that excessive space for when not in "emergency" mode." It's a huge resource expense that would go completely unused later. I could make up all kinds of rationale (they hide supplies and offices in there), but the command center runs later with 3 to 5 people. That's when I thought the tube rationale might be a good idea, because it seems less wasteful.

Which also made me think that a command center graphic that took up most of the tile space would be (like the agridome) a massive 200ft x 200ft.

Or maybe I'm just overthinking all of it and it's not that big of a deal...I'm rather analytical though, and irrational scale kinda messes with my head.  >:(

Theres a song on youtube, Dynatron-Propulsion Overdrive, that has a cover art, of either something inspired by Outpost 1, or is the cover art for Outpost 1, that you could grab some visual inspiration from:

That's totally the cover of the OP1 disc case, though I completely forgot about it. That's really good inspiration indeed. Looks futuristic but also very simple. That is, in fact, a bitchin' find.

Cheers
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: leeor_net on July 28, 2017, 09:08:08 PM
Which also made me think that a command center graphic that took up most of the tile space would be (like the agridome) a massive 200ft x 200ft.

Well, the question then becomes how close to scale are those trees then? An Agridome needs to be able to supply a lot of food... so having a large footprint makes sense for such a building. You'd have the outer shell (visible portion) and then food storage facilities underneath.

Or maybe I'm just overthinking all of it and it's not that big of a deal...I'm rather analytical though, and irrational scale kinda messes with my head.  >:(

You are and aren't at the same time. I too don't like irrational scales but sometimes it's more about visual cues than perfect realism. One of the reasons Outpost sucked as hard as it did is the designers seemed to forget that it was a GAME and its primary goal was to provide entertainment. That something I don't want to forget with OutpostHD -- if the visuals look correct in terms of scale and proportion, then let's not overthink it too much and see how it goes from there. We can always reevaluate later.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on July 28, 2017, 09:17:24 PM
Okay, somewhat off topic but since it was brought up (and supplies some good inspiration), here is the full cover. It's definitely the same as the video, except the video is a bit brighter and is missing the overlay graphics.

I'm sure this was available on the web somewhere, but it was more fun to actually pull out the real cover. So yeah, that's my copy... :)
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on July 28, 2017, 09:28:06 PM
Well, the question then becomes how close to scale are those trees then?

I screwed up earlier and said that the agridome is 100 ft tall. It's actually only about 80 ft, making the tree around 60ish ft. "In scale" would really depend on the type of tree. It's too big for an apple tree, but about right for something like a large oak. I figured a fruit bearing tree would make sense, but I don't think fruit trees reach into the 60 ft range (though maybe I could blame the low gravity).


An Agridome needs to be able to supply a lot of food... so having a large footprint makes sense for such a building.

Yeah, that's my thought for an agridome as well. Gets harder when doing something like a command center. But still, I'm happy with the overall end result for the agridome. I don't mean to sound unhappy with the overall design. I do think it's worth reflecting on as I move to the next building to make sure it's on the right track.


...seemed to forget that it was a GAME and its primary goal was to provide entertainment.

Yes, I can fully agree with that.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: leeor_net on July 28, 2017, 10:19:59 PM
It's too big for an apple tree, but about right for something like a large oak. I figured a fruit bearing tree would make sense, but I don't think fruit trees reach into the 60 ft range (though maybe I could blame the low gravity).

Or a genetically modified fruit tree. Even with modern technology it's not so far fetched.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: Goof on July 29, 2017, 03:56:17 PM
Right now they are building farms in cities warehouse.
They do "vertical" farming.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertical_farming

Maybe a structure with some floors

Some sketches and designs
(https://daks2k3a4ib2z.cloudfront.net/574871e1d4466da55c2489ff/58329f7b8f39789c6b582f4c_vertical-farming-example-p-500x465.png)
(https://www.roboticsbusinessreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/aeroponics.jpeg)
(https://daks2k3a4ib2z.cloudfront.net/574871e1d4466da55c2489ff/582ea3fcbcca26c24626bfd7_plantogon.jpg)

The last one is a project in Sweden
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: leeor_net on July 29, 2017, 06:20:18 PM
Vertical farming and hydroponics would be a great research topic for better food production. The tower design linked probably wouldn't work well on a hostile planet but anything with a mars-like atmosphere would be fine in a glass shroud like deal with supplementary lighting (I see these things probably glowing brightly at night for maximum yield).
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on July 29, 2017, 09:37:29 PM
Some in-game sized concept art to go along with the pictures above.

I'm not sure if the cooling tower looking one is quite the right look. Maybe if I were to make several towers instead of one really fat one.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: Goof on July 30, 2017, 02:53:22 AM
Vertical farming and hydroponics would be a great research topic for better food production. The tower design linked probably wouldn't work well on a hostile planet but anything with a mars-like atmosphere would be fine in a glass shroud like deal with supplementary lighting (I see these things probably glowing brightly at night for maximum yield).

In some vertical farming they do not have direct sunlight.
They use LED lights with special wavelength to optimize the plant growth cycle.
They could also do a day of 22 hours and 2 hour of night at a certain development degree of the plant.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: leeor_net on July 30, 2017, 09:49:17 AM
I'm really loving the look of the sphere like structure. The parabolic tower is cool too but you're right -- there's something a little off about it.

Dome looks pretty good in-game too:

(https://snag.gy/Svz24P.jpg)
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on July 30, 2017, 04:01:37 PM
Here is the sphere, with some added details.

Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on July 30, 2017, 06:57:06 PM
(http://i.imgur.com/LXM0m1r.png)
Higher resolution with some added details.

(http://i.imgur.com/Gpkkw3h.png)
And with the light tower, and same light strength as previous.

(http://i.imgur.com/DI0Va4z.png)
And then again with the lighting less intense


(I've also attached the properly sized 128x128 pngs below.)
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on July 30, 2017, 07:03:17 PM
And just for fun, here's a night time version.

Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on August 02, 2017, 10:39:02 PM
Some iterations on a construction site. I think the last one is in the right ballpark.

Also added a night version, just 'cause.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: lhark on August 03, 2017, 09:53:30 AM
Wow, I like those a lot !

They have the feel of the old game, but better :)
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: dave_erald on August 03, 2017, 12:10:14 PM
OPHD is getting the HD put in it. Good work
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: Hooman on August 03, 2017, 03:17:01 PM
Quote
OPHD is getting the HD put in it. Good work
Indeed

Good work
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on August 05, 2017, 02:48:21 PM
Thanks fellas!

Here is my latest work. Was finally able to get something I was happier with for the command center. This is iteration #8.

I feel like it captures the old style reasonably well, but gets a bit of an update. I always thought the old command center was a bit bland. Though I suppose if it's the first building you have to plunk down, it makes sense. (I think you might be able to cram 200 people in there...)

Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on August 05, 2017, 02:59:12 PM
For some reason I started poking around in the OP1 graphics. I think there are a lot of other side graphics that could get updated also, and I might be able to manage most of them. So I thought I'd take a short side-split and give one of these others a try too.

So here's a before and after of one of the science pics.

(http://i.imgur.com/EcPX4UQ.jpg) (http://i.imgur.com/EOPDzxi.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/K7dShmn.jpg)

Of course, the question remains...If we're trying to avoid any legalities here, I'm not sure where the line is. Would I need to make this more unique in some way?
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: leeor_net on August 05, 2017, 03:13:24 PM
Technically speaking, yes. ATM it's basically a clone. But, changing the camera angle, maybe having half of it skinned or giving it a blueprint look would make it unique.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: dave_erald on August 05, 2017, 04:35:51 PM
All though outline on everything would be an extra pain in the arse I think it helps define everything much better, especially considering the size of the graphics that will be on screen
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on August 05, 2017, 04:45:18 PM
Out of curiosity, I just did the agridome too. I put these both these files through the same post processing, except one is with the outline and the other is not.

Also, I've included the previous pic that did not go through any post processing.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: Hooman on August 05, 2017, 06:21:43 PM
The effect is less obvious on this one. I suppose the vegetation has less hard edges. Still though, I like it.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: leeor_net on August 05, 2017, 06:57:03 PM
The construction site in-game with both versions. Upper most is without outlining, bottom is with.

The effect is subtle but it's lightyears better.

(https://snag.gy/YTK9J4.jpg)
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: Hooman on August 05, 2017, 07:52:50 PM
Indeed, that does look better.


Something I can't ignore now, the tube and robot icons at the bottom of the interface could use a resolution facelift. They look out of place in comparison to the rest.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: leeor_net on August 05, 2017, 08:10:09 PM
Tube icons are actually the same as the buildings.

Robots though -- that much is true. I wanted some icons that were easier to see -- when the other robot visuals are replaced I'll replace those as well.


EDIT:

All updated visuals as they look in game now.

(https://snag.gy/jOZah6.jpg)
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: Vagabond on August 06, 2017, 03:35:46 AM
White Claw,

New command site looks awesome! Nice work!

-Brett
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on August 06, 2017, 02:52:48 PM
New command site looks awesome! Nice work!

Thanks! :D


I did some work today on lander concepts. Which style is looking more promising?

(http://i.imgur.com/hCF9VTD.png) (http://i.imgur.com/pf89jGU.png)



Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: lordpalandus on August 06, 2017, 03:27:39 PM
The second one. It looks more stable (stable as in the landing gear), functional and practical. Why have 4 ramps, when only one is really needed?
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: lhark on August 06, 2017, 03:32:05 PM
A symmetrical design might be more balanced. Also it needs to be able to unload 3 robots and a lot of building material autonomously.
To me multiple ramps make that easier.

Also I like symmetry :p
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on August 06, 2017, 04:14:38 PM
There's also a middle ground.

(http://i.imgur.com/HPID8Tg.png)
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: leeor_net on August 06, 2017, 06:57:36 PM
Two door version is the best so far.



EDIT:


As I look at this again it occurs to me that the lander isn't large enough. In the original game the lander with open doors took up almost the entire tile:


(https://snag.gy/GcwBeN.jpg)


I zoomed it in so that the tile highlight was easier to see. This thing is HUGE. Which makes sense considering what it's bringing down.

We talked a bit on IRC about how everything in it would be very very tightly packed and that the robots would likely be stacked into a rack system with machinery of sorts to pull them out of the racks.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on August 06, 2017, 08:49:31 PM
Well, the scale of things changed a bit with the new tubes, so I made the lander a little smaller to compensate.

However, I think it will need to go back up in size. I was wondering why it was taking me so long to work on this thing, and I didn't realize until just recently it's because I'm spending way too much time on details. And when I finally got around to seeing how it looks at 128x128, it's not particularly good looking.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: leeor_net on August 06, 2017, 08:55:26 PM
Erm, yeah that's one thing I wanted to note as well -- don't need a huge amount of detail because once scaled down to in-game size tiny details get lost anyway.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on August 06, 2017, 08:58:38 PM
Here's the same model, but scaled up to take up the whole tile in the same way as the original. I also had to rotate it to make it fit properly.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: leeor_net on August 06, 2017, 08:59:38 PM
The details definitely pop more now. And yikes, this thing is gigantic!
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: havkyp on August 07, 2017, 01:04:16 PM
Just wanted to say thanks to White Claw for the amazing graphics work, and wanted to share some thoughts as a newcomer (latecomer?) to OutpostHD.

First of all:


1) Is there a desired style/theme in mind? Is this a recreation of original OP graphics, or a reimagined version...or something else.

Ideally a reimagining. As much as I seriously doubt any IP DMCA notices will come through, I'd like to avoid any potential CnD's.

As I understand it, the OpenTTD project (https://www.openttd.org/) avoided DMCAs and CnDs by redrawing the sprites from scratch, but they are still extremely similar to the originals. And I'm saying this as someone who played the original TTD to death... So I suspect it's fine even if the original Outpost's graphics are redrawn with minimal changes as well? Not that I am promoting redrawing the original graphics since I think this is a great chance to create new ones, but just FYI.

2) Is there a desired color scheme?
I'm slightly color blind and not great at designing visuals... I would say I leave this up to the developer. It would make sense to probably stick with a high tech somewhat neutral color scheme but that could lead to something very visually bland. So... I would say, I leave that up to the artist. :)

IMHO I would suggest a color theme that is white-based so that it looks more like current NASA space habitats (e.g. ISS, Space Shuttle, etc.). More thoughts below.

3) Any animations?
Animation would be awesome but I'm generally not expecting it because of the amount of work involved in it. The only things I'd really like to see for sure animated are the robots.

What about rather than animations (though I agree it would be awesome to have animations!!), we have different versions of the same building to indicate its status. E.g. Online/working vs offline? Or intact vs damaged?

Secondly:

I love the Figmo. :D

I also love the construction site tile and the sphere agridome. That said, the spiral structure inside the agridome looks rather fancy for such a survival-focused environment. Which leads me to...

For the overall theme of the graphics, I suggest something that looks great but is also highly utilitarian. I think this will fit the survival-theme of the game. If higher level buildings are implemented, then maybe the higher level buildings can have fancier looking graphics?

Along the same lines, I've been browsing through some colony-building games on Steam such as Unclaimed World (http://store.steampowered.com/app/284100/Unclaimed_World/), Planetbase (http://store.steampowered.com/app/403190/Planetbase/), or Sol 0 (http://store.steampowered.com/app/387370/Sol_0_Mars_Colonization/). To be clear, I was looking at their graphics not gameplay (in fact, I've never really played those games).

I think the following image illustrates the "white-based" color scheme well:

(http://cdn.akamai.steamstatic.com/steam/apps/387370/ss_607e43085d82260fc04e56d67286e06137cada44.1920x1080.jpg?t=1452880755)

I don't think OutpostHD's graphics need to be that white, but just be white-based. Again, I think this will go well with the survival theme and have a real/gritty NASA base feel to them.

And if I may make a small suggestion about the already-excellent seed lander. The black & white checkerboard pattern feels a bit off to me, and for some reason reminds me of an American roadside diner's walls... And aesthetically I think it will still look better if the ramps are oriented towards the sides of the tile, not the corners. Finally, and this is just my subjective opinion, I think landers look better if that are more rounded and "chubby" like these two landers:

(http://cdn.akamai.steamstatic.com/steam/apps/403190/ss_b886475ca6d029f1d04647368aac1fcc10780960.600x338.jpg?t=1467571820)

(http://cdn.akamai.steamstatic.com/steam/apps/403190/ss_15b4f6d6f2315d798b2cf009e39109af1d8559c6.600x338.jpg?t=1467571820)

Sorry about jumping on board the thread so late, I just wanted to share some thoughts as an "outsider" new to (but very excited about) this game. Please let me know what you think, and thanks White Claw for the fantastic work!
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: leeor_net on August 07, 2017, 02:51:49 PM
As stated in other threads, input from users of the game is extremely helpful. It gives us a sounding rod to see how we're doing.

Sol 0 is a great game but it's visually very boring. As much as I appreciate realism in games that was one of the problems with Outpost -- they tried too hard to make it realistic and forgot to make a fun game in the process. We have talked about it a bit before -- that if we wanted to be truly realistic with it each structure, at least the first versions, would basically be identical on the outside with different internal arrangements. But that leaves for a very boring looking game and makes it harder for the player to identify structures. Granted you're not saying to go hyper realistic like that but some variety in looks and colors helps to provide a more visually interesting game.

As for the lander, I can agree. The fatter variants are probably more stable anyway.

Figmo -- sounds like we've got ourselves an easter egg. :)
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on August 07, 2017, 05:46:22 PM
Just wanted to say thanks to White Claw for the amazing graphics work, and wanted to share some thoughts as a newcomer (latecomer?) to OutpostHD.

Thank YOU! :D I certainly appreciate the feedback. I'll try to address much of what's here, but please take it as discussion and not "this is how it is."


As I understand it, the OpenTTD project (https://www.openttd.org/) avoided DMCAs and CnDs by redrawing the sprites from scratch, but they are still extremely similar to the originals. And I'm saying this as someone who played the original TTD to death... So I suspect it's fine even if the original Outpost's graphics are redrawn with minimal changes as well? Not that I am promoting redrawing the original graphics since I think this is a great chance to create new ones, but just FYI.

The original concern that Leeor posted had to do with using the old artwork directly. So I am trying to take the opportunity to make some updates, but trying to also capture the old feel. Additionally, OpenTTD has "high res 32-bpp" graphics packs available for download. I'm not sure if I'll get that far, but yeah...part of the idea is to also make them simply look more updated and current.


IMHO I would suggest a color theme that is white-based so that it looks more like current NASA space habitats (e.g. ISS, Space Shuttle, etc.). More thoughts below.

I could try some concepts out. Perhaps a mild-white base instead of a blue-gray. I'm open to ideas, but also as Leeor said, trying to not end up with something that's visually bland when everything is taken all together. White is certainly more in line with current concepts, but can get rather stark when it covers the landscape.


What about rather than animations (though I agree it would be awesome to have animations!!), we have different versions of the same building to indicate its status. E.g. Online/working vs offline? Or intact vs damaged?

Another good idea. Although I don't know if there will be damage in this game, there would be "active" vs "inactive" buildings. I'm not sure what all would visually change off hand, aside from the lights being turned off.


I love the Figmo. :D

Heh, perhaps I need to give it a more definitive form.


That said, the spiral structure inside the agridome looks rather fancy for such a survival-focused environment. Which leads me to...

For the overall theme of the graphics, I suggest something that looks great but is also highly utilitarian. I think this will fit the survival-theme of the game. If higher level buildings are implemented, then maybe the higher level buildings can have fancier looking graphics?

The agridome structure is intended on being sleek and modern looking. The original OP1 has three tiers of agridome. I haven't gotten to the point of making three yet, but this could easily be a Tier 3 structure. I think, "in reality" the crops would be in high danger inside any kind of glass structure on the surface, exposed to direct radiation and debris.

I agree about the initial buildings needing to feel utilitarian. That was something we were also discussing. Though the trick still comes back to not having every structure look like a pile of concrete with a few minor changes. Tbh, it took quite a bit of thinking to get the command center to not simply be a dome with a couple lights on it.


The black & white checkerboard pattern feels a bit off to me, and for some reason reminds me of an American roadside diner's walls... And aesthetically I think it will still look better if the ramps are oriented towards the sides of the tile, not the corners.

The checkerboard pattern is inspired by the original artwork (not that the original artwork drives the current). So that's the genesis of that particular pattern.


Finally, and this is just my subjective opinion, I think landers look better if that are more rounded and "chubby" like these two landers:

I could give it a try to fatten up the lander a bit. One of the things I'm struggling with on the seed lander is that it supposedly fits four structures, some robots, and four cross-tubes in it. I can make some allowances for in-situ construction, but there's still a lot of equipment that would be on that lander. And from a practical standpoint, the "smaller" lander simply doesn't have much interesting detail to it. I'm not driving for "strict realism," but my own brain needs to have some level of scale commonality or it just makes it harder for me to mentally get through modeling.


Sorry about jumping on board the thread so late, I just wanted to share some thoughts as an "outsider" new to (but very excited about) this game.

You're not really late at all. I think I'm about four buildings into this project, so it's still pretty early on. There's not even a definitive "theme" to the buildings yet. Also...Welcome!


Cheers
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: leeor_net on August 07, 2017, 06:41:22 PM

What about rather than animations (though I agree it would be awesome to have animations!!), we have different versions of the same building to indicate its status. E.g. Online/working vs offline? Or intact vs damaged?

Another good idea. Although I don't know if there will be damage in this game, there would be "active" vs "inactive" buildings. I'm not sure what all would visually change off hand, aside from the lights being turned off.

I've actually talked about structure deterioration (http://forum.outpost2.net/index.php/topic,5827.0.html) over time and the need for repair crews (http://forum.outpost2.net/index.php/topic,5828.0.html). I still think these are mechanics I'd like to implement into the game -- as part of the difficulty selection and planet type (e.g., higher difficulty levels cause buildings to deterioirate faster, harsh atmospheres also cause faster deterioration). I hadn't considered an actual change in appearance except for destroyed structures but that's a pretty good idea.

White Claw, if you're up for it as we settle on a design scheme and start getting these buildings out the door if you're up for this it could probably be done simply enough through texturing.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on August 07, 2017, 06:57:37 PM
Here's an example of white tubes. I've essentially flipped the colors between the bluish gray and the white.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on August 07, 2017, 08:31:23 PM
And a fatter, squattier variant of the lander. This size needs some rework of the details, but before I spent time I thought I'd ask about how these proportions compare.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on August 07, 2017, 08:49:16 PM
White Claw, if you're up for it as we settle on a design scheme and start getting these buildings out the door if you're up for this it could probably be done simply enough through texturing.

I have some ideas, depending on how you're up for this. Are you thinking of doubling up the graphics, or some sort of transparent "dirty" overlay?


(Sorry for the multi post spam...)
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: leeor_net on August 07, 2017, 10:28:01 PM
Could be done either way -- an overlay or with separate sprites that could even include other damaged geometry. Your choice.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: Hooman on August 08, 2017, 02:57:29 AM
I am so happy with the graphics work being done here. This is amazing to see.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on August 09, 2017, 09:40:45 PM
Your choice.

Sounds good. I suppose we'll cross that bridge if/when we get there.


I am so happy with the graphics work being done here. This is amazing to see.

Thanks man. The encouragement is very motivating. :D
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: havkyp on August 11, 2017, 07:56:23 AM
The agridome structure is intended on being sleek and modern looking. The original OP1 has three tiers of agridome. I haven't gotten to the point of making three yet, but this could easily be a Tier 3 structure. I think, "in reality" the crops would be in high danger inside any kind of glass structure on the surface, exposed to direct radiation and debris.

I agree about the initial buildings needing to feel utilitarian. That was something we were also discussing. Though the trick still comes back to not having every structure look like a pile of concrete with a few minor changes. Tbh, it took quite a bit of thinking to get the command center to not simply be a dome with a couple lights on it.

I could give it a try to fatten up the lander a bit.

Thanks for your quick responses to my long post!!

I have to say I love both the (1) updated greyer-whiter color scheme of the structures, and (2) chubbier seed lander! Looking at your latest posts, I feel like the structures (e.g. command centre, tubes, etc.) could also be very slightly fatter (maybe 10-15% fatter?) too to feel more like the original sprites. Just IMHO.

One of the things I'm struggling with on the seed lander is that it supposedly fits four structures, some robots, and four cross-tubes in it. I can make some allowances for in-situ construction, but there's still a lot of equipment that would be on that lander. And from a practical standpoint, the "smaller" lander simply doesn't have much interesting detail to it. I'm not driving for "strict realism," but my own brain needs to have some level of scale commonality or it just makes it harder for me to mentally get through modeling.

What about keeping the general look and aspect ratios of the lander the same, but scaling up the whole thing to take up most of the tile? I think the ramps can made shorter (two thirds or maybe even half) to accommodate that.

BTW what about the colonist and cargo landers? Do you think they should be smaller than the seed lander or similar?

Oh and I didn't realise that Figmo is a he. :)
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: leeor_net on August 11, 2017, 11:45:48 AM
One of the things I'm struggling with on the seed lander is that it supposedly fits four structures, some robots, and four cross-tubes in it. I can make some allowances for in-situ construction, but there's still a lot of equipment that would be on that lander. And from a practical standpoint, the "smaller" lander simply doesn't have much interesting detail to it. I'm not driving for "strict realism," but my own brain needs to have some level of scale commonality or it just makes it harder for me to mentally get through modeling.

General note -- the SEED Lander doesn't have four structures packed in it. It's supposed to be a self replicating factory that uses the resources of the surrounding area to build the other structures.

That's how it's supposed to work anyway according to the Outpost manual.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on August 11, 2017, 06:50:01 PM
I feel like the structures (e.g. command centre, tubes, etc.) could also be very slightly fatter (maybe 10-15% fatter?) too to feel more like the original sprites. Just IMHO.

I built the new tubes/structures at a smaller scale (or bigger? depending on your point of view). The squares are about 80 meters on each side vs. what was probably around 50 meters for OP1. Something like the command center is supposedly run by three people, though it can house 200. I'm hesitant to make things too big again for my own mind to rectify the scale.


What about keeping the general look and aspect ratios of the lander the same, but scaling up the whole thing to take up most of the tile? I think the ramps can made shorter (two thirds or maybe even half) to accommodate that.

Same sort of comment above. Scaling up the lander makes it HUGE. On the order of 200 feet diameter. On the other extreme, the agridome is supposed to feed something like 100 people, so it needs to be quite large. I'm not necessarily striving for "perfect realism" but I would like to keep things in the same ballpark. Though, again, I'm open to feedback and (if we're just throwing around rough sketches) I can try to keep producing some concept art.


Oh and I didn't realise that Figmo is a he. :)

Well, right now it's just a block...So I guess it's gender is undetermined. (Original post modified.)
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: leeor_net on August 11, 2017, 07:06:55 PM
Figmo is Figmo. :D
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on August 11, 2017, 07:37:38 PM
General note -- the SEED Lander doesn't have four structures packed in it.

Good point. Might be worth having some doodads around the lander to depict the self-replicating nature.


Also...Any thoughts on the above scale comments?
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: leeor_net on August 11, 2017, 08:26:24 PM
I like the new scale. It gives a sense of something larger... and the buildings are a little less crowded.

The only thing to pay attention to is smaller details getting lost in the down-scaling. Keep in mind that as of now I'm scaling them a further 19% until we get a new tileset at the target 128x55 target. Though we could expand the tileset to slightly larger dimensions. Maybe we could try it with 135 or 150 to see how they look?
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on August 13, 2017, 09:00:00 PM
Leeor, I think this is what you were asking about? Lights on the "ground" of the sprite so that it shows up on the terrain.

(This is a proof of concept, so the tile background isn't particularly clean.)
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: havkyp on August 14, 2017, 10:43:37 AM
Thanks White Claw for even more great graphics!! You are so prolific. :D

I agree with @Vagabond on the first warehouse pic, where the grid/frame is more subtle. And cool lighting effect!! Maybe we need day/night cycles for the game...

And after looking at all the graphics together, I suggest removing or minimising/simplifying most of the grids/frame/webbing on the structures. I think a simpler design will look cleaner and not bland at all. Just my two cents.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: leeor_net on August 14, 2017, 03:35:44 PM
I actually prefer the super structures -- they provide a sense of utility and offer a way to easily add accents to buildings so that things can be a bit more vibrant.

Quote
Leeor, I think this is what you were asking about? Lights on the "ground" of the sprite so that it shows up on the terrain.

This is exactly what I meant. :) We'll see how it looks in-game both ways before committing one way or the other. Might have to make it a separate layer so we can fiddle with the blend modes when drawing that layer.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on August 14, 2017, 09:32:47 PM
- Yeah, the reflected light off the ground looks pretty good. It's not so obvious in some of the other graphics because the terrain tile is there. The light effect takes a bit of extra work on top of making the model itself, so I was holding off on making the graphics with the reflected lighting till the general theme and a good deal of design work was done.

- The difference between the last two CHAPS is very subtle. I basically went in and tweaked the last one to add a bit of definition to the lighting/shadows. It's very subtle and was probably unnecessary to post both, except that I was also bouncing things off Leeor at the time.

- I am struggling a bit on the color scheme of the warehouse. I think the frame on the structure adds a nice element, but the colors need to be balanced enough to be noticeable, but not distracting.

- I'm not sure how much webbing/grids/frame there is to simplify off the structures. The command center and the warehouse are really the only two that have additional framework. I suppose the tubes do as well, but they are pretty bland when just one solid tube. The agridome necessitates a frame since it's holding glass. Quite frankly, the command center doesn't look like much of anything when it's just a dome. I could remove the frame off the warehouse and give it more rolled curvature.

Part of the issue is that the graphics are so small, there needs to be extremely distinct details to give it some feel of depth. The command center seemed to be a great candidate for additional structure, since it needs to be extremely sturdy. Of note, I also just posted a couple tokamak designs. The first includes some grid structure and (in my opinion) doesn't look great. So in that case, I agree with your comment that it's not necessary. (And including it on every building would certainly be overkill.)

I've uploaded a warehouse without the structure, but with a ribbed design. Leeor has started a new thread for it here: http://forum.outpost2.net/index.php/topic,5995.0.html
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: Hooman on October 03, 2017, 04:14:56 AM
Hey, any more progress on these? I've been curious how many of the original game buildings have been redesigned? I got the feeling it was quite a significant portion already.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: JetMech1999 on October 14, 2017, 02:46:19 PM
I haven't really decided which agridome I like more.  Both are fantastic designs.  Leaning more on the tent shape rather than the ball.  Just seems to fit better.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on October 22, 2017, 11:08:29 AM
Hey, any more progress on these? I've been curious how many of the original game buildings have been redesigned? I got the feeling it was quite a significant portion already.

Hey Hooman. Sorry, not real progress for a bit now. I switched jobs a few months back, and it suddenly got really busy the last month or two. I am hoping to start working on these again in the near future. This coming week is going to be busy again but I'm hoping for a little progress. Keeping my fingers crossed for after that. :)

I haven't really decided which agridome I like more.  Both are fantastic designs.  Leaning more on the tent shape rather than the ball.  Just seems to fit better.

I made the tent shape first, because I agree...it feels more in the theme of the original. I also made the sphere out of request, and I think it came out pretty nicely too. Probably not the most practical from an "our civilization is on the brink of extinction" standpoint, but still looks aesthetically interesting. We also had discussions that perhaps they would both be in-game, since the agridome has three different tiers.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: leeor_net on October 22, 2017, 03:15:19 PM
I found a job recently as well and I'm still adjusting to working full time again after being unemployed for so long... so it's been hard to want to look at the code when I find myself more tired than anything else. Couple that with flu-like symptoms and yeah.

Anyway, as for the agridomes, I really love the sphere and the tent like structure. I see them as different tiers of the same structure _or_ using the tent-like underground as an arboretum type of structure. Nothing concrete there yet.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: JetMech1999 on October 28, 2017, 04:59:19 PM
Gotta agree there about the different tier designs.  Makes it look like the colony is succeeding by improving designs and efficiency.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on November 02, 2017, 10:15:40 PM
Here are a few concepts that I managed to work on. I spent a few days realizing that I need to sit down and develop a more complete palette. However, I was getting hung up on that, so I stepped over to making a few building concepts so I could feel like I accomplished something.

I will keep working on a pallet and array of materials to use for these. In the mean time, here's some progress.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on November 03, 2017, 08:55:07 PM
I can't even remember what some of these buildings are. :P

This one looks quite flat and uninteresting. Will have to continue working on extra doodads for these most recent models.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: Hooman on November 04, 2017, 01:57:22 PM
Yeah! Progress!  :)

Quote
I can't even remember what some of these buildings are. :P
Hah, I was just going to ask


Screw the palette, I want to see buildings  :)
The palette is a distraction  ;)
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: Goof on November 05, 2017, 06:08:13 PM
I'll guess :
324 I'd see it as robot control center/command center
330 TED
357 Seems to be a smelter facility
313 Fusion reactor (V2) but not sure

Really great work as usual.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: Hooman on November 06, 2017, 12:59:54 AM
Quote
330 TED

Ahh, the forum where they hold TED talks :P

What does TED stand for?
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: Goof on November 06, 2017, 11:45:50 AM
Quote
330 TED

Ahh, the forum where they hold TED talks :P

What does TED stand for?

"SPEW Facility" in fact
I copied all structures from the chm manual on the wiki some time ago.
https://wiki.outpost2.net/doku.php?id=outpost_1:structuresdetails (https://wiki.outpost2.net/doku.php?id=outpost_1:structuresdetails)

In fact TED should be the name in French for this structure.

But as I remember, Leeor may not include this structure as in the original game.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: Hooman on November 06, 2017, 03:30:37 PM
Ahh. Hmm, I thought it would have been called the dégueuler (https://translate.google.com/#fr/en/d%C3%A9gueuler) facility :P

So... TED?
T... Environment D...
I don't think I'm guessing this one
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: Goof on November 07, 2017, 02:21:13 PM
An abstract taken from the French manual of the 1.5 version of the game.

Le module TED (Traitement des Eaux usées et des Déchets) recycle les déchets fondamentaux et les matériaux de construction des structures à détruire.
Le recyclage a des  effets positifs sur le moral et permet de réutiliser les ressources.
Les bâtiments recyclés produisent une matière visqueuse à usages multiples, qui en tant que produit synthétique, peut remplacer toutes les autres ressources requises pour le maintien du statut fonctionnel d’une structure existante.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: lordpalandus on November 07, 2017, 06:16:45 PM
TED to English = Treatment of Water and Sewage. So likely SPEW.
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: White Claw on November 07, 2017, 06:56:00 PM
Yes, that one is the SPEW. 313 and 324 I can't recall off hand. And I just noticed 357 is missing some parts...
Title: Re: OutpostHD Graphics
Post by: Hooman on November 07, 2017, 10:10:44 PM
Quote
Le module TED (Traitement des Eaux usées et des Déchets) ...
I would have gone with TEUD, but alright :P

Thanks for looking that up. That was fascinating.


Can't wait to see the next set of models  :D

How many models have you completed so far, and how many total are there to do? I'm also curious if the time you're spending on each model is going up or going down as you get more skilled. I assume they take quite a while.