Author Topic: Debt Cleanup and Animations  (Read 1743 times)

Offline White Claw

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Debt Cleanup and Animations
« on: July 25, 2019, 08:19:32 AM »
So I have to admit, I spent an excessive amount of time trying to figure this out. There was a couple things at play. Since you guys like hearing details, I figure I'd oblige.

The new version of Blender (v 2.8) is just about to be released. I had been toying with earlier releases, but it seemed like a good time to convert the projects to the new version. The act of "updating" the files to the new version is actually trivial, but I had also built up a bit of technical debt while plowing through the graphics. So it seemed like a good time to clean that up, which was probably the big time killer. Cleaning up the technical debt meant I needed (wanted?) to build things up in a clean file an not move files over then manually fiddle with everything. So it took an absolute crap ton of time to figure out how to do the previous tricks in the new version of Blender.

Secondly, I know Leeor has wanted animations for quite some time and I knew the basics of animation, but there was a lot more I wanted to do than what I knew how to do. And I figured dealing with a bunch of animation tiles was going to be a chore so I didn't want to have to do it multiple times (as we iterated design).

Third, I wanted to adjust the vibrance of the graphics. With the UG Park, there was some issue with the graphics looking a little dull. I was (and still remain) unhappy with simply playing with the hue and saturation mostly because I am a big fan of consistency. So by personality, I was driven to adjust all the graphics in the same way. When bumping up the saturation on the UG Park, I needed to do it with every other graphic. For anything green or the yellow lights, the saturation looked horrible (in my non-expert opinion).

Fourth, I wanted to add the ground lighting effects. This was another new trick that I had an idea about how to do, but didn't really know how to implement it. This, unfortunately, also took a lot longer than I had expected/intended.


BUT....

When all that is added up, I've got a new system set up that's pretty flexible and deals with updates/tweaks much easier than the old system. For example, if I want to tweak the vividness or contrast of the graphics, I can make one change in one file everything updates. (I still have to manually render things, but I might work on batching all that next.)

Here's the first example result (the mining beacon) wrapped up in an animation. It's kind of hard to tell, but not only is the light animating but the ground has lighting that pulses with the beacon. I have no idea how this looks in game, since I couldn't tell if there was a way to insert animation frames. (The attachment is an animated gif, but I'm assuming Leeor will need a series of separate frames or similar.)

I've also attached a semi side-by-side comparison of the current beacon and the new beacon (non animated), which hopefully highlights the ground lighting and color vividness (if that's even a word) changes.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2019, 08:29:25 AM by White Claw »

Offline White Claw

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Re: Debt Cleanup and Animations
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2019, 09:39:49 AM »
Here are some more results with the seed structure. I think this one is a good example too because it has many of the more drab colors and no lighting of it's own.

Both current, new, and the new in game.

Offline White Claw

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Re: Debt Cleanup and Animations
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2019, 10:27:42 AM »
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand the park!!!
« Last Edit: July 25, 2019, 11:28:36 AM by White Claw »

Offline White Claw

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Re: Debt Cleanup and Animations
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2019, 01:05:47 PM »
I won't completely flood this thread, but I'm getting pretty excited as I'm getting these done! :D

Here's the recreation center. It's another building with a lot of lights on it, and they're fairly close to the edges of the tile. So it's a good case for feedback.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2019, 01:38:25 PM by White Claw »

Offline Vagabond

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Re: Debt Cleanup and Animations
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2019, 09:18:17 PM »
White Claw,

I think the park and the rec center look great. The edge lighting on the rec center doesn't bother me.

I'm impressed by all the graphics you have made and how well they all go together.

-Brett

Offline leeor_net

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Re: Debt Cleanup and Animations
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2019, 11:12:26 PM »
I'm thrilled by these!

I wish I've been more active -- the last few weeks have been rough. Long story but suffice it to say that I'm starting to rejoin the real world and wanting to keep pushing forward with this project.

These look awesome! Definitely need to get them into a new build. :D

Offline White Claw

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Re: Debt Cleanup and Animations
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2019, 07:21:38 AM »
Thanks fellas! I'm glad there's a good feel of consistency and continuity between the buildings.

I am something like 2/3 complete updating the buildings. However, some of the oldest buildings remain which means they may take slightly more work. The materials are from the wrong baseline and the modeling itself is more crude. It's kind of interesting to go back and see some of the earlier work I did. :P

Anyway, I hope to have the full set finished soon!


Leeor, no worries about being active. I've been gone for several months myself. Glad you're okay and good to see you guys!
« Last Edit: July 27, 2019, 07:57:58 AM by White Claw »

Offline JetMech1999

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Re: Debt Cleanup and Animations
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2019, 02:56:33 PM »
I've got to agree with Vagabond, you've been doing an awesome job on the graphics.  The ground glow on the UG Park and the Recreation Center are a nice effect, especially the park with the transparent dome.  It makes it feel more real rather than just an icon.  I wasn't sure about the window glow on the Recreation Center, but took some time to just sit and look at it, both by itself and in the in-game situation.  It's harder to notice, unless you're looking for it, so it doesn't detract from the focus of the graphic.  When you consider that it's light from a small window, you get a little glow.  Spot on, dude!  Keep up the good work!

Offline White Claw

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Re: Debt Cleanup and Animations
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2019, 11:40:12 PM »
Thanks Jetmech. I'm almost finished updating everything. Only the oldest buildings remain (which also require the most work).

Here's the agridome. It's one of the older buildings and required some rework. It's not exactly the same style as the new buildings, but it's by far the biggest. I had an interesting time fiddling with the shadow since it actually went not only off the edge of the tile (as many do) but off the edge of the graphic. I may also have to build a dirt type material as it's shown up in a couple graphics (plus I will need to make multiple tiers of agridomes).

In additional news, the new pipeline has already proven much easier to work with. After adjusting the shadows on the agridome, I realized I would likely have to render several images that I've already done. Since it seemed like a good time, I went ahead and built a batch file to auto render all the files. Now I can click on a single file and generate all the structure graphics! All the scene setup is in one file (camera, lights, shadow planes, etc) and all the materials are in another file. With the batching and centralized overhead files, it will be a lot easier to build the graphics pack in the future.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2019, 11:44:52 PM by White Claw »

Offline JetMech1999

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Re: Debt Cleanup and Animations
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2019, 07:29:55 AM »
I'll take your word for it on how you're able to do these things, still above my head right now.  The re-mastered agridome looks incredible.  The lighting is intense, which you'd want in a structure designed for growing vegetation.  And the plant matter looks lifelike. With both versions on the same screen, the new one actually makes the plants in the original look rather sickly.  As far as the shadows go, you're working with a huge transparent structure filled with greenery.  The shadow doesn't really detract.  Plus it's a surface structure, where all of the other buildings have an "armored" shell with few windows to let in natural light.  A large shadow isn't going to be that big of a deal.  If this were a simulation where you had day/night cycles and an ecosystem that lent itself to free-growing native vegetation, then it might impact something.  But OPHD doesn't use those variables, so it kind of becomes a moot point, especially if you have tube sections running through the shadow. Shadows are a natural byproduct of light being blocked by a structure.  The bigger they are, the larger the shadow they cast.  If someone sets a low-lying structure next to a taller one, then it's up to them to decide if their choice of layout is to their satisfaction.  I wouldn't worry about how much shadow is cast.

Offline White Claw

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Re: Debt Cleanup and Animations
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2019, 06:02:39 PM »
I'm not really bothered or concerned about the shadow (even from a "realism" standpoint). The picture above is after I did some adjustments, so it's not hard clipped at the edge of the graphic. The shadow itself has no bearing except to give some accent to the ground.

I do appreciate the feedback about the agridome. I agree, the improved coloration and lights seems to make it feel more alive. I was definitely excited after getting that one updated. :D


Offline White Claw

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Re: Debt Cleanup and Animations
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2019, 09:25:29 PM »
Here are some before and after shots of the above and below ground structures. I see that I have a few colors to adjust, but for the most part the over haul is complete.

And for Leeor, here's the link to the new files. The tubes and destroyed buildings need to be compiled into the multi-tile format (or your engine modified) for ingestion. Otherwise, I also built a script to automatically rename all the files to your current build names.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=11I7GsXfX1XJSNqd29lP3E-GMTYn_tPVf


Offline JetMech1999

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Re: Debt Cleanup and Animations
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2019, 04:54:25 PM »
The "afters" look really good.  Where you've altered the colors, they look much better.  They also look crisper.  I can see where individual window panes are.  And the whole thing looks brighter.  The lighting glow shows up nicely on the UG, somewhat on the surface, but that's probably as it should be.  An induced lighting versus natural lighting.  The lighter tones on the residentials is much better, as the color doesn't seem to disappear into the background.  Did you increase the vegetation in the Park/Reservoir, or reduce the water?  The newer version seems to have less water showing.  The vegetation seems to be less vibrant than the original.  I must have missed the shots of the UG portion of the mine.  Looks amazing!

Offline JetMech1999

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Re: Debt Cleanup and Animations
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2019, 04:57:56 PM »
I actually did comment about the mine UG.  Seeing it in-game gives it a whole different perspective.

Offline White Claw

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Re: Debt Cleanup and Animations
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2019, 09:49:40 PM »
Did you increase the vegetation in the Park/Reservoir, or reduce the water?  The newer version seems to have less water showing.  The vegetation seems to be less vibrant than the original.

Thanks, JetMech!

For the park, the model itself isn't changed at all. The "original" was color adjusted after the fact to make the green more green and the blue more blue. The result is that there is more color, but they're also a bit more flat. The newer version is actually adjusted to look better during the rendering process, so the coloration has a bit more depth to it. However, this also means there isn't as much "in your face" color as the original. (Hopefully that makes sense.)

Offline Hooman

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Re: Debt Cleanup and Animations
« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2019, 08:39:04 PM »
I really like the lighting effects. They're quite amazing.

I also like that you're automating some of your workflow so you can bulk update and repackage stuff easier.

Offline leeor_net

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Re: Debt Cleanup and Animations
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2019, 07:27:01 PM »
Oh wow, that is a wild difference. I love it!

Sorry I haven't been around much lately... it's been a rough few weeks. I'll post a separate update thread about that and the state of the project shortly.

But either way, very nice work!