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Fyi on art assets by Grimm

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Storm, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. Storm

    Storm UO Forum Moderator
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    Well thank you for responding on your vacation! Hopefully you did so from a hammock and a laptop with a pina colada on a side table next to it.

    I don't know if you had the time to read all of my responses in the discussions, but I'm still not entirely sure I understand. I know you're doing double duty for the high-res artwork, but since no one has really seen it yet, and there is no ETA on its release, could you address the following question (Attempted summation from my other posts):

    If the file formats are now the same, and EC art assets are really nothing more than upsized CC assets (minus the animations, I'm sure), what would technically stop the developers from enabling users to optionally point the EC client to use the CC art and animation files, understanding there would be no ability to zoom or resize the game window?

    Perhaps this is better suited to other client engineers, but seeing as you know a great deal about the art, you might know why. I still need to make that screenshot, but I was patching all last night.. My kingdom for a 1mb connection... *Sigh*

    Thanks Grimm, and enjoy the rest of your vacation!​
    Ok, I see what you're saying. The EC client has been using Legacy environment art assets from some time (as Malag pointed out earlier) so the file format, from an aesthetic point of view, is just a formality. The EC client using Legacy animations is a whole other ball of wax.

    As for the zoom, I think someone has already answered that as well, but in my opinion, giving players options is the best approach to implementing anything. So I can invasion a future release of the EC client where "Enable Legacy Animations" is a checkbox in your preferences menu, even though there are no current plans to implement this. But we have a ways to go to get that happening.

    Living up in the Pacific Northwest pretty much ensures no hammock, especially since we jus had a layer of snow deposited last night, but I like the PiƱa Colada idea - and appreciate the sentiments.

    Cheers!
    Grimm

    JP "GrimmOmen" Harrod
     
  2. Frarc

    Frarc Stratics Legend
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    Maybe my eyes playing tricks with me but i think i see a lot more detail on my dragon since the last patch. :)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Before:
    [​IMG]

    Also the Sparkles in Wrong looked different to me.
     
  3. Storm

    Storm UO Forum Moderator
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    Hmm I will have to take a look and see I have been busy lately so have not had a chance to just stop and look at things much!
    I would love to see some of our EC pets get some touch ups
    1 the correct colors for the dragons to start
     
  4. Conrad

    Conrad Guest

    I noticed this as well. There are a bunch of files that either got re-contrasted (that is what were seeing on the dragon you show) to address some of them being "washed out". If you look real close at your examples, the details are there in the "before" shot, but are washed out to the point you really cannot see them. Others are clearly more detailed--the beetle mounts in particular appear to have been more then re-contrasted.

    One of the ways that I have been noticing graphics upgrades is by paying attention to the pixelization--the low-res place-holder versions have pixels almost twice the size of the high-res stuff. In the Enhanced Client, zoom in all the way and compare the ground/grass pixel size (high-res) to the pixels of your character (low-res) and you'll see what I mean. Once you've seen the difference between the two, the differences become more obvious, especially if you play zoomed in occasionally.
     
  5. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    ...

    I've found that a LOT of times the most striking improvements to the artwork is through the tweaking of contrast on ingame items/models. Granted it's not a replacement for upping the resolution as a whole (especially since those of us who ran KR know how the models COULD look), but it IS a good start. I'll have to check and see if the Fire Beetle got a similar tweak. Many of the tweaks done since KR was unveiled seemed to wash out the detail the same way the dragon's wings were washed out.
     
  6. Conrad

    Conrad Guest

    I spent a couple hours playing and I was paying close attention to the graphics.

    Other then the few changes they mentioned in patch notes (grass tiles and such), I don't think they turned up resolution on anything. Every example I thought was more detail was simply re-hueing or re-contrasting. On the beetles, the re-contrasting simply brings out the faux-particle effects. Pixel-size comparison made this perfectly clear, but the point is sort of moot because they did make some changes that are actually improving the graphics. Perhaps they are making changes to certain files when they have a chance in preparation for switching everything over.

    I located some KR images and they are way better then anything in the EC currently...well, most of them.
     
  7. Madrid

    Madrid Slightly Crazed
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    I agree I enjoyed KR and it's better than what we have now. So why did they pull the plug on KR graphics? Why aren't KR graphics an option for those of us who are fans of those graphics?

    How does a game digress in terms of higher resolution? Who built the Pyramids? Who invented liquid Soap and Why? These are the mysteries of the universe...
     
  8. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    Anybody know what Jeff was showing off to the head of BioWare? I'm guessing it's not UO-related. I hope I'm wrong, he seemed to be excited about it.
     
  9. Storm

    Storm UO Forum Moderator
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    no clue here, I saw that on my twitter feed!
     
  10. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    Have you thought about asking him if it was tied to UO?
     
  11. Storm

    Storm UO Forum Moderator
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    no but I will
     
  12. Storm

    Storm UO Forum Moderator
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    Ok i asked will let you know If and when i get a reply!
     
  13. Storm

    Storm UO Forum Moderator
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    I asked "does this have anything to do with Ultima" and he said "nothing but Ultima"
     
  14. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    He's the Ultima Franchise Producer, so I assume anything he shows to his bosses has to do with Ultima.

    I was wondering if it was tied to UO.

    But I don't think it does. Looking through all of the twitter stuff, I see where somebody asked him a few days ago if it had anything to do with UO, and he didn't respond.
     
  15. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    Kind of disappointing actually. For a moment, I thought maybe he was showing some of the high resolution graphics to his bosses. I don't picture him showing off publish notes or anything or talking about a dungeon design. If you're going to show something, it implies something visual.

    But their priority for him is probably whatever Ultima facebook stuff is going on.
     
  16. Storm

    Storm UO Forum Moderator
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    I would not discount it! they are being kinda cryptic and it is the 15th anniversary and he and mesanna are doing interviews so.... who knows
     
  17. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    Well can you ask him if it's related to UO?
     
  18. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    Somebody else asked him if it was related to UO and he wouldn't respond. Bummer.
     
  19. lucitus

    lucitus UOEC Modder
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    Yeah i would also say a few animation tweaks would be much better than releasing high res textures for terrain, for example a nice firesteed, or different faction horses, better looking drakes.
     
  20. Pinco

    Pinco UOEC Modder
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    maybe for the 30th anniversary... for now we have the town banners :D
     
  21. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    In UHall, Jeff Skalski mentioned that they upped the budget on the art outsourcing.​
    Hopefully Grimm gets the resources he needs to finish it this year before the 15th anniversary.​
     
  22. Pinco

    Pinco UOEC Modder
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    probably to finish what he started (the house tiles), so do not expect too much...
     
  23. TheGrimmOmen

    TheGrimmOmen UO Legend
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    You are correct about the dragons, but I don't know if we did anything to the sparkles..

    Thanks for noticing!

    -Grimm
     
  24. TheGrimmOmen

    TheGrimmOmen UO Legend
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    Yup that's exactly what it is. When we made these assets, we made sure that they all has what's called a secular map - for those who don't know, that is a bitmap that makes places one a model shiny. Well, this works great under 2 conditions: 1) you keep your specular map under control, and 2) when you don't have massive areas of flat surface facing the camera, like the surfaces of the wings. Mesanna asked me to look into making the dragons look better, so I went in and fixed those things and re-rendered out the animations.

    -Grimm
     
  25. TheGrimmOmen

    TheGrimmOmen UO Legend
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    The only updated resolution you would be seeing so far is the terrain changes we made a while back. We haven't started rolling out any of the high res environment art, and animations aren't even on the docket yet.

    -Grim
     
  26. TheGrimmOmen

    TheGrimmOmen UO Legend
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    Well, there's a lot to answer there. Basically, we reverted to a lower resolution to fix some stability issues we were having at the time. The change was not taken lightly, as it was back breaking work. :)

    -Grimm
     
  27. Storm

    Storm UO Forum Moderator
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    I for one Welcome any improvements you guys can throw our way! The EC is soooo close to being a great client the two main complaints I always hear are 1 graphics and 2 unstable client crashes!
     
  28. TheGrimmOmen

    TheGrimmOmen UO Legend
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    I have a lot- and I do mean A LOT of pokers in the fire. These pokers cover environment, FX, AND animation stuff. Actually, I've started the process on something for animations, but you guys won't really notice the difference except for a lot of animation bugs getting fixed. This is a long process, but I've been working on it in the off hours. So a lot o stuff is getting worked on, you will most likely see several small updates, then hopefully a whopping one... followed by another whopping one. And I'm not even talking about the things going down in the regular course of the UO publishes and stories. So I'm very(e10) busy... LOL

    -Grimm
     
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  29. TheGrimmOmen

    TheGrimmOmen UO Legend
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    Somebody dissing my banners??? ;-)

    -Grimm
     
  30. TheGrimmOmen

    TheGrimmOmen UO Legend
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    For the most part, yes. But I'm hoping that I'll be able to get some extras in!

    -Grimm
     
  31. Pinco

    Pinco UOEC Modder
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    I have nothing to say about the banners, was just to say that there is something visible for now :D
     
  32. lucitus

    lucitus UOEC Modder
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    Cool you get rid of the big eaglestrike fyling sometimes of the screen or the big arrows thrown by Medusa? But Grimm sometimes you should do something what people see also in the patch notes otherwise they think nothing is going on and they are disappointed and quitting.
     
  33. TheGrimmOmen

    TheGrimmOmen UO Legend
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    LOL. I don't think I did either off those, but I get your point. Sometimes things get overlooked in the patch notes, but it doesn't happen very often. Most of my work has to do with current events, which I can't talk about, or pipeline stuff that no ones interested in. But once you get me started, watch out! lol.

    But I'll take your comment to heart, Lucitus. Thanks.

    -Grimm
     
  34. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    It's been a while since I asked you about the KR stuff - it was before you all seemed to change direction on how you were doing the graphics upgrade.

    So with the changes you made, how would the graphics upgrade compare to like the KR graphics like this:

    File:Kingdom Reborn.jpg - UOGuide, the Ultima Online encyclopedia
     
  35. Martyna Zmuir

    Martyna Zmuir Crazed Zealot

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    The weird thing is, KR never looked that good :(

    The client didn't deliver anything close to the visual appeal of the PR screenshots. Those shots were very lush and made the world look substantial...

    *sighs*
     
  36. TheGrimmOmen

    TheGrimmOmen UO Legend
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    Well, the new high res tiles are going to have the same feel (and in some cases be indistinguishable) as the classic client, as opposed to a completely re-invisioned look like we did with UOKR. This is so UO in the EC client doesn't loose the "UO look" that classic client players have come to know so well. So converting the 2D graphics into 3D has a LOT of wins associated with it. And really goes a long way to bringing UO into a more current pipeline development scheme, which has been what I've been working on for UO since I started on this team 8 years ago.

    So visually, it's going to look like UO, just higher resolution.

    -Grimm
     
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  37. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    Well I didn't want to make the comparison to the Third Dawn client :)

    And thank you Grimm.
     
  38. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox
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    Perfect! and what many people wanted in the first place.
     
  39. Ashlynn_L

    Ashlynn_L Lore Master
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    Are the trees also being redrawn in a higher resolution? 'cause they look pretty pixellated at present in the EC (the trees were one of the best things about KR I thought).
     
  40. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    ...

    Hopefully the KR trees will be able to be ported back into the game. Even at a higher resolution, the current tree/plant artwork is woefully out of date compared to what they could be doing. A bit more clarity than KR would be nice, but the lushness that KR had compared to the 2d artwork in terms of plants should be at the very least the goal:

    {------------------------------KR-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------2D/EC--------------------------------------------------}

    [​IMG]
     
  41. Pinco

    Pinco UOEC Modder
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    except the HD factor, the KR artworks was made in clay and very few items were nice to see... probably because they were in a strange perspective...
    porting the 2d items in HD probably will give a better result :)
     
  42. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    ...

    For items, yes, I agree (with my own differences of opinions for some specific situations), however I'm mainly referring to plant/tree artwork which was VASTLY improved in KR compared to 2d.

    Edited to add: And if people have forgotten, the 2d foliage for trees artwork was updated around LBR to use the artwork from the 3d client which had added in extra color for texturing purposes. It's funny to think of a lot of little things that the 2d client has that came from the "hated" 3d client.
     
  43. Ashlynn_L

    Ashlynn_L Lore Master
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    I remember swaying trees in the Third Dawn client. And interesting way of giving them a bit of movement.

    Anyway, it would be very nice to see the KR trees and flora imported into the EC but I'd be ok with redrawn ones. Leaving them as they are however would make them look really strange alongside high resolution tiles (well they already do look a bit 8-bit even now just in comparison to the grass).
     
  44. Viquire

    Viquire Crazed Zealot
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    Welcome back, Grimm.
     
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  45. TheGrimmOmen

    TheGrimmOmen UO Legend
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    BTW, Petra and Storm were awesome enough to make a forum for us to talk art shop!

    Grimm's Corner | Stratics Forums

    Looking forward to talking with you folks there!

    -Grimm
     
  46. TheGrimmOmen

    TheGrimmOmen UO Legend
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    Thanks!!! Good to be back!

    -Grimm