[MUD-Dev] Graphic MUDS/Ultima Online

Adam Wiggins nightfall at user2.inficad.com
Wed Aug 13 20:56:53 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

[Jeff K:]
> >> >>I've never seen a descent looking 3D landscape, realtime or rendered. 
> >> >>Organic shapes just don't take well to polygons, and it's difficult
> >> >>to get the rich colors of a fantasy world in 3D.
> >> 
> >> Hmm. Then Ild hesitate to say you haven't seen many rendered images..
> >
> >Maybe, but I'd say more that I'm just spoiled by painted art.
> >I've certainly never seen any rendered 3D which comes near the beauty
> >of your average fantasy book cover.
> Hm. I thought you were talking the drive to photo-realism, nto the drive to
> art.

Oh, gotcha.  Photorealistic is pretty boring to me...I was speaking of
fantasy art, which is typically very unreaslitic.  (super rich colors,
high contrast, unbelievable creatures and architexture...etc)

> Bigegst issue in making 3D art (or even photorealistic 3D cheap) is proper
> texture maps.

Well, yeah, but I'd say the lack of good geometry has hurt a lot of
stuff - trying to put too much into the texture and bump maps.
I spent most of Jurassic Park watching the texture stretching on the
dinos' skin, and I thought the vast majority of the new footage in
the Star Wars flicks was terrible compared to the live action models
they used for the original stuff.

> >> Ild sugegst yo ustart with an image called "The Road to Poin Reyes" done by
> >> The Lucasfilm Computer group (now Pixar) about 15 years ago, and it onyl
> >> gets even better from there.
> >
> >Sounds interesting - know where I can find a copy of it?
> Oh gods, my image is in an ancient SIGGRAPH proceedings... Actually, if you
> go to a university engienering library they shoudl have SIGGRAPH
> proceedings abck through whenever.  Ild start flippign theorugh the
> color-page section ine ach years...  lots of good stuff in there.

Hum, I'll have to do that.  Only thing I know about siggraph is that
a bunch of our 3d artists went to the conference here recently.

> >> Its worth noting that the s3D chip, which failed becuase no game progrmamer
> >> undersrtod it, was  hsrdware spline renderer.
> >
> >s3D?  Made by what company?
> Same company that makes the S3 2d accelrator. I forget the name.

Ah, Diamond.

> >*nod*...I'm a game guy(tm), so graphics are more or less irrelevant
> >to me (which could explain why I have no problem playing text muds).
> >I've certainly never seen good 3D in a game - most of them look grey
> >and surreal, like Diablo.  Ick!  Blizzard's games had pretty good graphics
> >until they went to 3D...
> I've had Myth demoed to me.. its kidna pretty.

Not too bad, but again it all looks 3D to me.  I think I'd like it better
if I didn't know anything at all about how rendering works, so I wouldn't
sit there and go 'hey that's the stock chain out of 3dstudio...and there's
some screwed up normals on that model right there'...

> I dont' know WHY ebverything ID does is so damn DARK.  It doesn't have to be.

Light is probably the fundamental problem with 3d art.  Two problems -
first, 3d primatives are in no way representative of real objects.
Real objects have rounded edges, no matter how 'sharp' they may seem, so
light never reflects off 90 angle corners the same way they do a 3d cube.
This isn't as bad now that most packages come with meshsmooths and so forth
to get rid of hard edges.
Second is that the light is not modeled very well.  Real light, sunlight
especially, bounces off the surfaces it strikes.  A real object, no matter
how simple, is going to have light striking it from all sides at a billion
different angles.  Thus is as compared to a rendered object with matematical
light which doesn't reflect at all, or very little.  They try to make
up for it with 'ambient' light, which only has the effect of basically
graying out the whole image.  Hence, bad 3d art looks both washed out and
surreal.  In my experience there are very few people who can work the tools
well enough to make really beautiful art, and in the end I still like
painted stuff better. :)

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