View Full Version : LW Computer Game Design Help Needed.

02-17-2012, 09:04 AM
Hey guys i'm doing models for a computer game in Lightwave for the Torque Game Engine.

Having trouble as I have only been given the drawings and told to model them pretty much, feels like i'm missing something.

Is there any books I can read to help me with texturing or modelling for computer games in LW?

Also what tools should a modeller have in order to model? Where can I find exmaples of the following if they exist?

Character spec sheets

etc things like that.

Sorry if this is a bit sketchy but I have no clue about what I need in order to get going with this uni project, have done some models though.

02-17-2012, 10:00 AM
Professional game maker is modeling game object in high poly, then making low poly version (using retopology tools, manually, or using tool to automatically reduce geometry, depends on how important is object for game). Then high polygon details are baked to normal map (image file) on low polygon version. This way is preserved quality of high poly object, without impact on render speed in game engine.

I have made TrueArt's BatchBakingCamera

And all TrueArt's Modeling Pack tools are made for game makers who need to work quickly.
Most of them integrate couple tools into one handy and interactive tool.

Especially EasySplit http://easysplit.trueart.pl
EasyMesh http://easymesh.trueart.pl
and SwiftEdgeLoop
and Push for projecting and retopologying models on background layer
are interesting for you.

02-17-2012, 03:25 PM
Thanks mate so I just like. Make a high-poly version and wrap it onto a low-poly version then texture it in photoshop? Will this Software work in LW 10?

About to read these now so apologies if I ask questions covered in those links.

02-17-2012, 03:41 PM
Thanks mate so I just like. Make a high-poly version and wrap it onto a low-poly version then texture it in photoshop?

Better make texture on high poly. Then bake to low poly version.
Difference between high poly and low poly will be just in polygon count, shape will be the same, more or less.
f.e. you can have pipe with 36 segments, and you can have the same pipe with 8 segments.
You can prepare several different versions of same object. And which one will be used, depends on f.e. distance from camera. It's called LOD - level of detail.

See picture with balls here

Will this Software work in LW 10?

Yes, of course.

02-17-2012, 03:48 PM
Plus bare in mind only way the models will load is by exporting COLLADA.

02-17-2012, 05:01 PM
For making UV I using very often PLG tools for modeler. But they working in older LW, I using 9.3 that mean jumping between new and old LW but it's worth.

In Zbrush You can use Zplugin - UVmaster for unfolding/unwrapping.

In modeling low poly set up shortcuts for "Add edge" and plugin "PointMoveOnEdge"

To get nice UV map from shapes like pipes etc. check UV_Creeper:

Surface baking camera in layout :) If You don't want wait to long for baked texture with low altialiasing and radiosity setting I recommand in Photoshop "Surface blur" filter for correct result.

02-17-2012, 05:35 PM
Thanks mate.

Baking is new to me is there a basic baking tutorial anwhere? Found one on youtube but theres no speaking in it lol.

I have used UV maps before but never had to texture where I turn high poly into low poly etc if you get me.

02-18-2012, 03:41 AM
If You want make gext gen game model then You have a lot of work with sculpting in Zbrush for example, retopology etc. but now wit GoZ in new LW it's much easier. For sure You will find workflow for this. Check also autoretopology in 3d-Coat.

Workflow for bake texture in LW depend from type of object but for example:

1. Model object on many layers and many materials in modeler and make one UV.
2. Save it as first version *.lwo
3. Prepare scene for baking in layout - Backdrop Options - Backdrop color on white, Enable Radiosity, turn off in light properties Affects.
4. Put all objects layers to one in modeler, save object as second version (for bake).
5. Send object to Layout from modeler (it's nice to have synchrinized Layout)
6. In layout make all surfaces, change camera type on Surface Baking Camera, choose mesh and UV map, width = height, result save as RGBA LW_PNG32(*.png)
7. In photoshop, in action panel load "AlphaUtility.atn". Just click on "Dilate" and play how many times You need to correct borders.
8. Now open first object version with many layers, change all materials to one, and just put baked texture with one UV map.

I hope it's clear :thumbsup:

02-18-2012, 07:37 AM
What methods and techniques you use and how you go about your models depends a great deal on what your goals are:

High Poly/Low Poly
High poly/Low poly Zbrush work flows are definitely what you need if you are targeting high-end style graphics and want the realistic/super-fine details those kind of models can provide. Examples of this method being things like Infinity Blade, Halo, or Gears of War.

Low Poly Only
If you are targeting something more casual, light hearted or just simply stylized, then the high poly/low poly work flow is probably a bit of an overkill. You can still achieve amazing looking visuals with straight low poly using diffuse hand-painted textures. This method can be done with Lightwave alone with no other modeling tools other than Photoshop or similar painting software. Examples in this category run the gamut from Torchlight to Journey to Legend of Zelda The Windwaker and even World of Warcraft.

Low Poly Only Example
This one is in max, but the techniques can easily be applied to lightwave
Low Poly Character (http://www.3dtotal.com/index_tutorial_detailed.php?id=473&catDisplay=$catDisplay&roPos=$roPos&page=1#.Tz-0UpgRZ0s)

02-18-2012, 07:58 AM
Exactly, you must know what quality should be on the end.

Check also very useful software - Crazybump:

02-18-2012, 04:20 PM
All brilliant stuff guys cheers.

Well I think the limit is around 1,500-2,000 polys for Torque per model I read somewhere, which do you think would be best the High Poly/Low Poly method?

I'm just wondering...when exporting with COLLADA will it export the baked texture as well? thanks.

02-18-2012, 04:45 PM
All brilliant stuff guys cheers.

Well I think the limit is around 1,500-2,000 polys for Torque per model I read somewhere, which do you think would be best the High Poly/Low Poly method?

Which method you should use isn't solely decided on your engine specs/capabilities. Either method will work within those budgets. Instead, you need to ask yourself some basic questions:

- What type of game are you making?
- What will your characters look like?
- What visual style are you going for?
- What's the core game play?
- What deployment platform(s) are you targeting?

Then you can better answer the question of what tools/methods are best to meet those goals.

02-19-2012, 06:33 AM
Thanks mate.

- Making a FPS
- Characters are soldiers and Halo type ones metal enemies etc.
- Visuals are set in a desert like a lab type level with the following
- Barracks
- Water Towers
- Spaceships
- Watch Towers
- Sand Dunes (Using Torque standard terrain)
- Buildings
- Turrets
Things like this etc
- Core gameplay is a multi person one
- Targetting a 15 minute demo game for the PC

02-19-2012, 07:28 AM
With those goals, you're probably leaning more towards the high poly/low poly then. Especially if you are trying to target a sci-fi/tactical shooter-style game and thinking in terms of Halo. You could still do a really great looking sci-fi tactical shooter with just a low poly/hand painted method though, something similar in style to Team Fortress 2 for example. That really comes down to a purely stylistic choice though which you didn't address in your list.

02-19-2012, 08:25 AM
I have about 10-15 weeks to get all this stuff modelled and textures, proper panicking as I don't feel like it's enough time.

How do you mean by stylistic mate?

02-19-2012, 09:20 AM
Just done a test one for a wall. Made the UV then applied it and baked in Layout.

Then applied it back into Modeler this look okay for a first try?

02-19-2012, 11:23 AM
Think I have done this wrong now :(

Built a high poly water tower.

Made UV for the screws and the base seperately and stuck them on. baked it all etc.

But i'm guessing now when I go to stick it on the low poly (model without the screws) its not going to put the screws on the UV Map is it?

02-19-2012, 11:37 AM
Yeah it never worked im screwed :(

When I put the UV Map onto the normal one of course the screws didnt show up, have no idea how im supposed to get screws from the high poly UV onto the low poly UV because their not there.

02-19-2012, 12:21 PM
1) model high polygon object.. with uv map..
2) show us object, attach it
3) start simplifying it, reduced number of polygons
4) show us it
5) put both high res object and low res objects at the same time in scene
6) one object has to be picked up in Surface Baking Camera as mesh and uv map, it must be unseen from camera and rays
7) second high res object is seen from camera
8) render

02-19-2012, 02:42 PM
I have about 10-15 weeks to get all this stuff modelled and textures, proper panicking as I don't feel like it's enough time.

How do you mean by stylistic mate?

By that I mean what look are you trying to achieve? For example, let's look at 3 well-known FPSs. They are all the same basic type of game in general, but they each have their very own unique visual style across their respective brands.

Modern Warfare
The style of this franchise is grounded firmly in reality. The characters, settings, equipment and general look-and-feel is all geared towards being as realistic as possible. Colors, details and proportions are all based on their real-life counter parts.

Gears of War
Gears takes a little different approach. While the characters, gear, etc all look very detailed and believable, the style pushes away from the realism that Modern Warfare features. Here the characters, colors and set dressings are all exaggerated in terms of size, range and detail and then pushed beyond the norm to create a very stylized look that is still very loosely grounded in reality.

Team Fortress
On the other end of scale is the Team Fortress franchise. Pure character emphasis and over-exaggerated proportions are used to create a visual style reminiscent of Pixar's movies. All the characters are pushed to extreme dimensions featuring bright, solid, high-contrast colors to create a very fun, light-hearted visual presence.

You could look at a screen shot from any one of these games and identify the game purely by visual style alone with no additional information. The overall style is just as much a part of the look of a brand/game as the individual characters themselves. Gears and TF both take a very stylistic approach, but still uniquely their own, to how they handle their brand identity as opposed to the realistic style that Modern Warfare features.

02-20-2012, 01:17 AM

PLG UV tools for modeler working with LW 11 64-bit :D

02-22-2012, 10:30 AM
Been using Crazy Bump few questions though.

What type of map should I be saving it as? Also it just shows up with the displacement map for example when I export, do I have to put the default texture over the exported map type in Modeler? Also if that is the case what settings should it be for example...

Exported Map: Additive
Original Image: Normal


Original Image: Normal
Exported Map: Additive

02-22-2012, 11:52 AM
Ahh fixed it I did it like this...

Stuck normal image on surface as UV.

went into node editor loaded the normal map and connected normals with it then baked texture and exported, works thanks ppl :D