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DF Oliver

Programming Update #4: Animating the Jack

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cool. :)

just curious how the animation system would handle transitions between different versions of the character (e.g. when the character is drawn from a different perspective to walk toward or away from the screen). Are the "puppets" just swapped out between two frames or would you use a number of non-skeletal animation frames for the transition or some kind of blending magic?

ps

tu-dresden shoutout

(couldnt resist :))

That is a very good question. Right now we are simply replacing the rig, so there is a pop (blending wouldn't really work in this case). The animators will have to figure out whether or not that looks good enough. We could try to connect transitions like these with a special animation, but that might be a lot of work.

I really like your 2.5D hybrid approach on the animation system! Really cool. In response to what some other people are saying on the 30fps argument (is it enough or not), well I have to assume you can sample the (skeletal) animation at a much higher rate (i.e. 60 fps), but I think the animation result would be the same.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but in traditional Skeletal Animation you use Motion Graphs to do transitions between animations. Now, in your approach I have a feeling this would not work so smoothly because of the 2.5D approach (unless you drew different views of the body). Can you elaborate a bit on your approach? That would be a very interesting read (for me at least) :). OVerall, thanks for all these updates.. This is the coolest forum on the web

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Great stuff. I suppose it gives an answer as to why so many adventure developer insists on keeping the low res retro style in their games.

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Awesome update!

I love the secondary animation on the hat and the hand painted look to the facial animation!

Have the animators considers using 2D animation software instead of Maya?

Software like TV Paint http://www.tvpaint.com/v2/content/article/home/ or Adobe Flash might give a more traditional hand draw animation look.

It would be great to see more updates like this from the animators.

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I hate to be a downer but the puppet cut out animation method looks terrible.

The ‘flipbook’ frame by frame character animation that they had in the old lucasarts games was what I frickin LOVED about those games!!

It’s a real blow to hear that, that technique will not be used in this game. :( My enthusiasm for this game has kind of been killed now.

Although I know nothing about the technical memory side of it, I can tell you that it doesn’t take long to do traditional animation for the characters, all you need is a skilled 2d animator that is fast.

It doesn’t even have to be on ‘ones’ (animation geeky technical talk) the movement could easily work on ‘twos’ or ‘threes ‘

It doesnt matter what lighting or curve effects you do on that puppet/cut out animation, it will always look crap compared to drawn 2d animation.

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It’s a real blow to hear that, that technique will not be used in this game. :( My enthusiasm for this game has kind of been killed now.

Although I know nothing about the technical memory side of it,

If you´re going to react like that to early concepts, then yeah, you better get out now, because this will not be the last of your dissapointments. :)

You do realize that want he provided here are early concepts, before the animators have started doing their work?

I can tell you that it doesn’t take long to do traditional animation for the characters, all you need is a skilled 2d animator that is fast.

Considering that Oliver provided a lengthy explanation as to why it isn´t suitable, you might want to expand on your own arguments if you want to convince other about this opinion. Just a suggestion.

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I have to say that skeletal animation is my fav type as game dev. However, while it works really well in 3D it always has this weird feel to it in 2D and it doesn't feel as natural as a traditional animation, especially if it's done in a 3/4 view and quadruple so if you're making the character turn.

I'm curious to see how far you can push it.

Also: I'm glad you changed mr Jacks' eyes. His dead, soulless eyes were giving me nightmares .__.

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It’s a real blow to hear that, that technique will not be used in this game. :( My enthusiasm for this game has kind of been killed now.

Although I know nothing about the technical memory side of it,

If you´re going to react like that to early concepts, then yeah, you better get out now, because this will not be the last of your dissapointments. :)

You do realize that want he provided here are early concepts, before the animators have started doing their work?

I can tell you that it doesn’t take long to do traditional animation for the characters, all you need is a skilled 2d animator that is fast.

Considering that Oliver provided a lengthy explanation as to why it isn´t suitable, you might want to expand on your own arguments if you want to convince other about this opinion. Just a suggestion.

Normally i would never be so harsh in my comments, the artists that make this stuff would be under lots of pressure and would really take negative comments to heart i can imagine and they are doing an amazing job. But im just really surprised that they are using the 'flat cut out' look instead of the beautiful drawn animation technique that everybody loves from those older games, obviously they are using that technique for reasons that i know nothing about (because i dont know anything about making games) but i am a 2d animator so i know quite a bit about that, and a little too passionate about it sometimes.

But in my opinion the puppet style animation is very soulless compared the 2d drawn animation method. The difference for me is like day and night. You can convey much more humor in the 2d drawn style and its far more dynamic. Sorry for offering my opinion. :S

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It’s a real blow to hear that, that technique will not be used in this game. :( My enthusiasm for this game has kind of been killed now.

Although I know nothing about the technical memory side of it,

If you´re going to react like that to early concepts, then yeah, you better get out now, because this will not be the last of your dissapointments. :)

You do realize that want he provided here are early concepts, before the animators have started doing their work?

I can tell you that it doesn’t take long to do traditional animation for the characters, all you need is a skilled 2d animator that is fast.

Considering that Oliver provided a lengthy explanation as to why it isn´t suitable, you might want to expand on your own arguments if you want to convince other about this opinion. Just a suggestion.

Normally i would never be so harsh in my comments, the artists that make this stuff would be under lots of pressure and would really take negative comments to heart i can imagine and they are doing an amazing job. But im just really surprised that they are using the 'flat cut out' look instead of the beautiful drawn animation technique that everybody loves from those older games, obviously they are using that technique for reasons that i know nothing about (because i dont know anything about making games) but i am a 2d animator so i know quite a bit about that, and a little too passionate about it sometimes.

But in my opinion the puppet style animation is very soulless compared the 2d drawn animation method. The difference for me is like day and night. You can convey much more humor in the 2d drawn style and its far more dynamic. Sorry for offering my opinion. :S

That really depends on how much effort goes into the animation. There's no inherent reason why skeletal animation can't do what flipbook style animation can do, although it does mean that corners can be cut in certain areas so the temptation can be to be cheap with it. But with skilled animators and a lot of care and attention paid to the way things move, which Double Fine have always done well, it can be used to great effect. Remember also that this isn't an art update - it's a programming update - most likely because this post is really focusing on the implementation of the animation in the engine rather than the approach the artists will be taking to making the animations look good.

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Looks like a "paper cut-out" - I think that's a good thing! It's a strange and surreal style which I rarely see in games. I like how his beard and beanie bobble as he walks too. Is he drifting along the ground still? I can't tell.

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The human eye can only take in around 24 frames per second so going much higher than 30 is pretty much a waste of time. I know they tend to use higher frame rates for a lot of 3D games but that's just to compensate for frames that might get dropped during live rendering as far as I understand it.

That's actually a common myth: the human eye can, it has been demonstrated, tell the difference between 30 and 60FPS. And let's face it, if it couldn't, few developers would ever waste resources optimising their game to run at 60FPS, it just wouldn't be worth the effort to draw twice as many frames in the engine.

Other example: recently the preview of The Hobbit showcased the new camera technology they were using to deliver movie images at a higher framerate than the usual 24FPS (about twice as high, I believe). Audiences came away complaining it looked cheap and the working hypothesis as to why that might be is because regular TV runs at a higher framerate than film (though many TV series are now shot on film rather than on tape), so our brains have been trained to associate high-framerate TV with cheaper production, even though in theory the temporal resolution is higher.

However, 30FPS does produce a nicely smooth looking image and is plenty enough for this sort of game and indeed most sorts of games, so nobody ought to be complaining that this one won't run at 60 ;)

what he said :PP.

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Sorry for offering my opinion. :S

Oh, just stop with such comments. If you don´t want responses, don´t post. :P

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The human eye can only take in around 24 frames per second so going much higher than 30 is pretty much a waste of time. I know they tend to use higher frame rates for a lot of 3D games but that's just to compensate for frames that might get dropped during live rendering as far as I understand it.

That's actually a common myth: the human eye can, it has been demonstrated, tell the difference between 30 and 60FPS. And let's face it, if it couldn't, few developers would ever waste resources optimising their game to run at 60FPS, it just wouldn't be worth the effort to draw twice as many frames in the engine.

Other example: recently the preview of The Hobbit showcased the new camera technology they were using to deliver movie images at a higher framerate than the usual 24FPS (about twice as high, I believe). Audiences came away complaining it looked cheap and the working hypothesis as to why that might be is because regular TV runs at a higher framerate than film (though many TV series are now shot on film rather than on tape), so our brains have been trained to associate high-framerate TV with cheaper production, even though in theory the temporal resolution is higher.

However, 30FPS does produce a nicely smooth looking image and is plenty enough for this sort of game and indeed most sorts of games, so nobody ought to be complaining that this one won't run at 60 ;)

I did a quick google search and it looks like you're right, so sorry for sounding dumb back there. Although no one using 60fps is drawing all their frames, except maybe some nut doing an experiment or something. In most CG animation everything is inbetweened automatically so you can just space your key frames further apart and it's exactly the same amount of work.

We see at a higher frame rate when we're excited or panicked so if you factor in that, plus the issue of frame dropping in a live render, it makes sense to use a higher fps for action games. Honestly I still think it's a waste most of the time when 25-30fps looks absolutely fine. In my experience, people who obsess over frame rates tend to be people who can't be bothered to learn how to animate better.

Normally i would never be so harsh in my comments, the artists that make this stuff would be under lots of pressure and would really take negative comments to heart i can imagine and they are doing an amazing job. But im just really surprised that they are using the 'flat cut out' look instead of the beautiful drawn animation technique that everybody loves from those older games, obviously they are using that technique for reasons that i know nothing about (because i dont know anything about making games) but i am a 2d animator so i know quite a bit about that, and a little too passionate about it sometimes.

But in my opinion the puppet style animation is very soulless compared the 2d drawn animation method. The difference for me is like day and night. You can convey much more humor in the 2d drawn style and its far more dynamic. Sorry for offering my opinion. :S

The specific animation technique is completely irrelevant. A great animator can bring more life and humour to a stop-motion toothpick than some schmuck can with a billion beautiful Disney-esque drawings.

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I can totally understand why the animation is being done in 3D cut out/skeleton. Its faster and probably something the DF animators are used to.

But looking back at the animation in Day of the Tentacle, I think it will be hard to hit the same level with 3D cut out. Mainly because the animators wont be as free to draw poses and push the models. You just can't do Tex Avery style animation with 3D cut out.

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The human eye can only take in around 24 frames per second so going much higher than 30 is pretty much a waste of time. I know they tend to use higher frame rates for a lot of 3D games but that's just to compensate for frames that might get dropped during live rendering as far as I understand it.

That's actually a common myth: the human eye can, it has been demonstrated, tell the difference between 30 and 60FPS. And let's face it, if it couldn't, few developers would ever waste resources optimising their game to run at 60FPS, it just wouldn't be worth the effort to draw twice as many frames in the engine.

Other example: recently the preview of The Hobbit showcased the new camera technology they were using to deliver movie images at a higher framerate than the usual 24FPS (about twice as high, I believe). Audiences came away complaining it looked cheap and the working hypothesis as to why that might be is because regular TV runs at a higher framerate than film (though many TV series are now shot on film rather than on tape), so our brains have been trained to associate high-framerate TV with cheaper production, even though in theory the temporal resolution is higher.

However, 30FPS does produce a nicely smooth looking image and is plenty enough for this sort of game and indeed most sorts of games, so nobody ought to be complaining that this one won't run at 60 ;)

I did a quick google search and it looks like you're right, although no one using 60fps is drawing all their frames, except maybe some nut doing an experiment or something. In most CG animation everything is inbetweened automatically so you can just space your key frames further apart and it's exactly the same amount of work. We see at a higher frame rate when we're excited or panicked so if you factor in that, plus the issue of frame dropping in a live render, it makes sense to use a higher fps for action games. Honestly I still think it's a waste most of the time when 25-30fps looks absolutely fine. In my experience, people who obsess over frame rates tend to be people who can't be bothered to learn how to animate better.

also film is a passive medium, games are active. in an FPS the game has to be able to react to your actions quickly. at 30fps you feel a bit more sluggish than at higher framerates. sometimes its also quite scary, because then you can realize that you suck at the game :)).

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The human eye can only take in around 24 frames per second so going much higher than 30 is pretty much a waste of time. I know they tend to use higher frame rates for a lot of 3D games but that's just to compensate for frames that might get dropped during live rendering as far as I understand it.

That's actually a common myth: the human eye can, it has been demonstrated, tell the difference between 30 and 60FPS. And let's face it, if it couldn't, few developers would ever waste resources optimising their game to run at 60FPS, it just wouldn't be worth the effort to draw twice as many frames in the engine.

Other example: recently the preview of The Hobbit showcased the new camera technology they were using to deliver movie images at a higher framerate than the usual 24FPS (about twice as high, I believe). Audiences came away complaining it looked cheap and the working hypothesis as to why that might be is because regular TV runs at a higher framerate than film (though many TV series are now shot on film rather than on tape), so our brains have been trained to associate high-framerate TV with cheaper production, even though in theory the temporal resolution is higher.

However, 30FPS does produce a nicely smooth looking image and is plenty enough for this sort of game and indeed most sorts of games, so nobody ought to be complaining that this one won't run at 60 ;)

I did a quick google search and it looks like you're right, although no one using 60fps is drawing all their frames, except maybe some nut doing an experiment or something. In most CG animation everything is inbetweened automatically so you can just space your key frames further apart and it's exactly the same amount of work. We see at a higher frame rate when we're excited or panicked so if you factor in that, plus the issue of frame dropping in a live render, it makes sense to use a higher fps for action games. Honestly I still think it's a waste most of the time when 25-30fps looks absolutely fine. In my experience, people who obsess over frame rates tend to be people who can't be bothered to learn how to animate better.

Most 2D animation is done on 2's, which is an animators way of saying 12 frame a second. For faster movements like a run the animation will be done on 1's, which is 24 frame per sec.

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The human eye can only take in around 24 frames per second so going much higher than 30 is pretty much a waste of time. I know they tend to use higher frame rates for a lot of 3D games but that's just to compensate for frames that might get dropped during live rendering as far as I understand it.

That's actually a common myth: the human eye can, it has been demonstrated, tell the difference between 30 and 60FPS. And let's face it, if it couldn't, few developers would ever waste resources optimising their game to run at 60FPS, it just wouldn't be worth the effort to draw twice as many frames in the engine.

Other example: recently the preview of The Hobbit showcased the new camera technology they were using to deliver movie images at a higher framerate than the usual 24FPS (about twice as high, I believe). Audiences came away complaining it looked cheap and the working hypothesis as to why that might be is because regular TV runs at a higher framerate than film (though many TV series are now shot on film rather than on tape), so our brains have been trained to associate high-framerate TV with cheaper production, even though in theory the temporal resolution is higher.

However, 30FPS does produce a nicely smooth looking image and is plenty enough for this sort of game and indeed most sorts of games, so nobody ought to be complaining that this one won't run at 60 ;)

I did a quick google search and it looks like you're right, although no one using 60fps is drawing all their frames, except maybe some nut doing an experiment or something. In most CG animation everything is inbetweened automatically so you can just space your key frames further apart and it's exactly the same amount of work. We see at a higher frame rate when we're excited or panicked so if you factor in that, plus the issue of frame dropping in a live render, it makes sense to use a higher fps for action games. Honestly I still think it's a waste most of the time when 25-30fps looks absolutely fine. In my experience, people who obsess over frame rates tend to be people who can't be bothered to learn how to animate better.

Most 2D animation is done on 2's, which is an animators way of saying 12 frame a second. For faster movements like a run the animation will be done on 1's, which is 24 frame per sec.

I don't wanna sound like a dick or whatever, but I'm an animator so I know all this stuff already. My human eye biology is just a bit weak.

It's nice that there seem to be so many animation people around on this forum.

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The human eye can only take in around 24 frames per second so going much higher than 30 is pretty much a waste of time. I know they tend to use higher frame rates for a lot of 3D games but that's just to compensate for frames that might get dropped during live rendering as far as I understand it.

That's actually a common myth: the human eye can, it has been demonstrated, tell the difference between 30 and 60FPS. And let's face it, if it couldn't, few developers would ever waste resources optimising their game to run at 60FPS, it just wouldn't be worth the effort to draw twice as many frames in the engine.

Other example: recently the preview of The Hobbit showcased the new camera technology they were using to deliver movie images at a higher framerate than the usual 24FPS (about twice as high, I believe). Audiences came away complaining it looked cheap and the working hypothesis as to why that might be is because regular TV runs at a higher framerate than film (though many TV series are now shot on film rather than on tape), so our brains have been trained to associate high-framerate TV with cheaper production, even though in theory the temporal resolution is higher.

However, 30FPS does produce a nicely smooth looking image and is plenty enough for this sort of game and indeed most sorts of games, so nobody ought to be complaining that this one won't run at 60 ;)

I did a quick google search and it looks like you're right, although no one using 60fps is drawing all their frames, except maybe some nut doing an experiment or something. In most CG animation everything is inbetweened automatically so you can just space your key frames further apart and it's exactly the same amount of work. We see at a higher frame rate when we're excited or panicked so if you factor in that, plus the issue of frame dropping in a live render, it makes sense to use a higher fps for action games. Honestly I still think it's a waste most of the time when 25-30fps looks absolutely fine. In my experience, people who obsess over frame rates tend to be people who can't be bothered to learn how to animate better.

Most 2D animation is done on 2's, which is an animators way of saying 12 frame a second. For faster movements like a run the animation will be done on 1's, which is 24 frame per sec.

I don't wanna sound like a dick or whatever, but I'm an animator so I know all this stuff already. My human eye biology is just a bit weak.

It's nice that there seem to be so many animation people around on this forum.

That's cool, I'm an animator too. I was just trying to explain for people that might not know. All this stuff about FPS isn't important. Its the quilting of the animation. Some of the best animation is done at 12FPS. Anything over that is a wast of time unless its a fast action

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I can totally understand why the animation is being done in 3D cut out/skeleton. Its faster and probably something the DF animators are used to.

But looking back at the animation in Day of the Tentacle, I think it will be hard to hit the same level with 3D cut out. Mainly because the animators wont be as free to draw poses and push the models. You just can't do Tex Avery style animation with 3D cut out.

But is it considered a cutout? Let me quote Oliver here:

Since the body parts are attached to the bones in a non-rigid way the skin will deform when the joints move. This means that an artist can concentrate on animating the bones of the skeleton rather than manually drawing the different states of a character movement.

That means (if I understand this correctly) that the "cutouts/images" are deformed when the character is moving.

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I can totally understand why the animation is being done in 3D cut out/skeleton. Its faster and probably something the DF animators are used to.

But looking back at the animation in Day of the Tentacle, I think it will be hard to hit the same level with 3D cut out. Mainly because the animators wont be as free to draw poses and push the models. You just can't do Tex Avery style animation with 3D cut out.

But is it considered a cutout? Let me quote Oliver here:

Since the body parts are attached to the bones in a non-rigid way the skin will deform when the joints move. This means that an artist can concentrate on animating the bones of the skeleton rather than manually drawing the different states of a character movement.

That means (if I understand this correctly) that the "cutouts/images" are deformed when the character is moving.

I guess you could call it digital puppet animation. In my honest opinion, this style of animation never looks the same as hand drawn animation because the animator cant drawn new poses, they just manipulate a model. A lot of animation studios nowadays animate in digital hand drawn with programs like TV paint http://www.tvpaint.com/v2/content/article/home/

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I can totally understand why the animation is being done in 3D cut out/skeleton. Its faster and probably something the DF animators are used to.

But looking back at the animation in Day of the Tentacle, I think it will be hard to hit the same level with 3D cut out. Mainly because the animators wont be as free to draw poses and push the models. You just can't do Tex Avery style animation with 3D cut out.

But is it considered a cutout? Let me quote Oliver here:

Since the body parts are attached to the bones in a non-rigid way the skin will deform when the joints move. This means that an artist can concentrate on animating the bones of the skeleton rather than manually drawing the different states of a character movement.

That means (if I understand this correctly) that the "cutouts/images" are deformed when the character is moving.

I guess you could call it digital puppet animation. In my honest opinion, this style of animation never looks the same as hand drawn animation because the animator cant drawn new poses, they just manipulate a model. A lot of animation studios nowadays animate in digital hand drawn with programs like TV paint http://www.tvpaint.com/v2/content/article/home/

I have no argument on that. You could say that this digital puppet animation approach is a good compromise for speed and quality over the traditional hand drawn approach. And of course with added flexibility as a result of animation reuse for different characters. Plus, if Double Fine does this of course, the animations could be shared to the community (If only.. I suck at artsy stuff :))

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Thanks for the post, Oliver! Before reading I just assumed that you would do flip-book animation, so this post was insightful. High resolution 2D games can indeed be quite resource intensive, Deponia required lots more RAM than some players expected from a "puny" 2D game.

So far the animation doesn't look very good indeed, but this isn't an art update, so I didn't expect it to look good anyway. Like some posters said before me, the lumberjack here looks too much like a paper cut-out, a puppet. Personally I wish that DFA manages to be as beautiful and smooth in its animations as The Curse of Monkey Island was. I think no 2D adventure since (that I know of) beat the quality of its animation.

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I can totally understand why the animation is being done in 3D cut out/skeleton. Its faster and probably something the DF animators are used to.

But looking back at the animation in Day of the Tentacle, I think it will be hard to hit the same level with 3D cut out. Mainly because the animators wont be as free to draw poses and push the models. You just can't do Tex Avery style animation with 3D cut out.

But is it considered a cutout? Let me quote Oliver here:

Since the body parts are attached to the bones in a non-rigid way the skin will deform when the joints move. This means that an artist can concentrate on animating the bones of the skeleton rather than manually drawing the different states of a character movement.

That means (if I understand this correctly) that the "cutouts/images" are deformed when the character is moving.

I guess you could call it digital puppet animation. In my honest opinion, this style of animation never looks the same as hand drawn animation because the animator cant drawn new poses, they just manipulate a model. A lot of animation studios nowadays animate in digital hand drawn with programs like TV paint http://www.tvpaint.com/v2/content/article/home/

Well that's not really true, you can still replace parts of the model with different drawings as needed. For example, the different hands shown in the original post. There's no reason you can't use a similar technique to draw in different facial expressions, say, or do special animations for specific cases. Using skeletal animation doesn't stop you from using flipbook style animations in conjunction.

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I think that there's a lot of room for custom poses, gestures, expressions &c. considering they'll be swapping out clips for various body parts. (Potato man style!) The original post showed us four different hand positions, but why shouldn't there be 30? For facial expressions, there'll be different variants of the eyes, brows, mouth, nose and more, so there can be a myriad different combinations.

Edit: Ninja'd!

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Because you are writing for multiple platforms, do you focus on the memory/performance limits of the least powerful system and leave it the same for all the others? What sort of scaling would you be looking at?
This was also my question based on the memory limitation comment.

It got me thinking: did we inadvertently create more limits on the DFA by supporting it "too much"?

By funding more and more we made the game bigger and better by adding features, but by funding it enough to add mobile devices to the list of platforms, did we suddenly decrease the target spec for the game?

TBH, I wouldn't worry about this too much. The DFA team is definitely not taking a "lowest common denominator" approach to the game's pre-production. Of course we have to keep in mind the capabilities of the devices we're targeting, esp mobile devices, but it's already looking quite likely that the game will need various types of LOD (i.e. texture detail, screen res, vfx, etc) so that it looks amazing on PCs but can also run decently well on less powerful machines.

Also, to re-emphasize one of Oliver's points, this technique was chosen not just for memory concerns, but because it's a good match of memory, performance, expressiveness, and animator productivity.

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I think that there's a lot of room for custom poses, gestures, expressions &c. considering they'll be swapping out clips for various body parts. (Potato man style!) The original post showed us four different hand positions, but why shouldn't there be 30? For facial expressions, there'll be different variants of the eyes, brows, mouth, nose and more, so there can be a myriad different combinations.

Edit: Ninja'd!

That's true. I'm sure it will look awesome, whatever technique Double Fine use!

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These kind of updates are always over my head, but I still enjoy reading them. I kind of feel like the kid in the treehouse who sits by the window and looks out at nature, taking in snippets of information from those who know more of what they are talking about.

Smiles

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Question: Oliver, what (now old) programs/computer did you use to learn the skills you use now?

(I ask since I love to hear about classic computers and such.)

Thanks. ;)

Since I'm from (the former) East Germany I started programming 'graphical' adventure games on a KC 85 in Basic. After the end of the Iron curtain I got a PC and started to program in Turbo Pascal. I learned POV Ray and later a 3D Studio clone called 'Reflections'. Eventually I switched to Windows, C++ and started to use DirectX. My university had Maya installed on some computers, so I started to play around with that and ever since entering the professional life it has stayed with me.

Ah memories! :-)

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is the rimlight the reason for the very high polygon count and geometrical outline? (or is that just for the test so you didnt care to reduce it) to have the normal data points? did you try it with just alpha first and it didnt work out? (with uh...some pixelshader or whatnot)

if thats the case, what happens if the rimlight is based off of that geometry and then you insert a full "flipbook" frame (for a headturn, say), would that frame end up with no rimlight or with a different rimlight?

The reason for the relatively high polygon count is actually connected to the fact that mobile GPUs have a terrible fillrate, so we have to make sure to 'touch' as little pixels as possible. Overdraw can kill your performance very quickly. Also PVR compression isn't great when it comes to images with an alpha channel, so we hope to use transparency as little as possible on characters.

For other platforms (e.g. PC) the problem isn't as prominent, but since we won't push enough polygons to make a modern GPU sweat we can simply use the same geometry.

Does that make sense at all?

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