Product Chat / GameGuru MAX Live - Broadcast #40 Answers

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LeeBamber
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Posted: 21st Apr 2021 16:49
Hi All,

Find the recording of our live broadcast for those who missed it live:


And here are the answers that could not be answered in the live session:

Q> ​Can you import any character file formats, like Poser?
A> Not any formats no, just OBJ, FBX, and GLTF on release (and of course DBO which is our own format).

Q> ​What are the planned features for the VR mode?
A> They will be basic to begin with, but enough to experience your levels in a Virtual Reality experience. I am sure there are tonnes of features you would want, but do not expect them. Just the basic running around and performing the game actions you could do outside of VR as a single player.

Q> ​Do we get that truck?
A> No, I had to buy that from SketchFab as part of my testing, and the artist will not appreciate me giving out to hoards of people

Q> Will there be a friendly NPC and Enemy NPC system in MAX version?
A> Yes, we have planned player allies, enemies and enemy factions, so a good combination of relationships to build your games around.

Q> Can we get an FBX copy of the character creator rig to play with?
A> Absolutely, we hope artists and potential artists would create their own character creator parts (with our rig) and we might even publish them through the community if they are good enough.

Q>​ Can we drive vehicles?
A> There are no plans for drivable vehicles in the first release. I am sure such a system could be scripted, but out of the box experiences will be on foot.

Q> ​Will you be able to use models from GameGuru?
A> Yes you can manually copy entities from GameGuru Classic into the MAX folder and MAX will detect legacy entities and convert them automatically to MAX objects. You will not be able to take MAX objects and use them in CLassic however as we are adding new properties.

Q> Would there be a way to make animations in the new versions of game guru to make cut scenes in-game?
A> There are no plans to have an animation maker or a cut-scene maker in GameGuru MAX. For animations, you would need to use a 3D modeller and export to FBX or GLTF, and for cut-scenes the closest thing would be to script them if they are complex sequences.

Q> ​With the current Friday test builds, do we have the ability to check our created levels in VR using steamvr?
A> You can activate an experimental VR test game view but you need to set that up in SETUP.INI and at your own risk.

Q> ​Would love to have an html build from Game Guru Max?
A> No plans to support any other platform, including HTML, for GameGuru MAX. Only WIndows 10 or above.

Q> ​Any chance to use my own surface on imported mesh?
A> Yes you can certainly create your own _surface texture files if you place AO in Red, Roughness in Green, Metalness in Blue and Reflectance in Alpha channel.

Thanks for all your questions, look forward to next weeks live session on Wednesday 4 PM GMT.
GameGuru Classic will continue to be supported with bug fixes and functionality additions.

AmenMoses
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Posted: 21st Apr 2021 17:45 Edited at: 21st Apr 2021 17:46
I vote for the ability to add a custom collision shape.

I also suggest the best way to do it would be to, within the importer, be able to add primitive shapes like cylinders, spheres, cubes etc, which can be individually scaled and then can be combined under the covers to form a Bullet Compound collision shape.
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granada
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Posted: 21st Apr 2021 17:51
I also vote for the ability to add a custom collision shape to the importer, i think now is the best time to ad it while your working on the importer

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Avenging Eagle
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Posted: 21st Apr 2021 18:10
+1 for custom collision shapes. Either as Amen has described it, or simply polygonal collision on a super simplified mesh.

A really minor UI point, when you select which channel Max should read for a roughness, metalness, or AO map, please keep that button lit up/highlighted so you can see at a glance which channel is being used.

And finally, a question; will any of the texture parameters be controllable via LUA? In particular, the ability to change the emissive strength on the fly would be a Godsend; you could have lights that turn on or dynamically flicker, which would look great!

AE
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Posted: 21st Apr 2021 18:23
I'll go ahead and vote yes for custom collision shape.
I may not be making my own just yet, but I'm always
supportive of anything GG CUSTOMIZABLE ; = = = = =
= = = EXACTLY what AE said. Please add lua values for
the textures set via UI!
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Posted: 21st Apr 2021 18:42
Quote: "Q> Would there be a way to make animations in the new versions of game guru to make cut scenes in-game?
A> There are no plans to have an animation maker or a cut-scene maker in GameGuru MAX. For animations, you would need to use a 3D modeller and export to FBX or GLTF, and for cut-scenes the closest thing would be to script them if they are complex sequences."


Quote: "and for cut-scenes the closest thing would be to script them if they are complex sequences."

TGC developing an example about it might help you to detect the lack of LUA commands (if any) and might help users as guidance to know how to do so.

Thanks Lee for the replies.
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AmenMoses
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Posted: 21st Apr 2021 19:15
Any form of polygon collision shape is a performance killer, the point about using primitives is that they are all extremely simple to process for Bullet, i.e. it is just a simple math formula for the entire shape, for collision on a polygon mesh it is a more complicated formula and is multiplied by the number of faces.

Bullet recommends that polygon collision is only used for static objects like terrain and if used for dynamic objects they should have no more than 100 vertices.

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wizard of id
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Posted: 21st Apr 2021 20:04 Edited at: 21st Apr 2021 20:19
Quote: "Any form of polygon collision shape is a performance killer, the point about using primitives is that they are all extremely simple to process for Bullet, i.e. it is just a simple math formula for the entire shape, for collision on a polygon mesh it is a more complicated formula and is multiplied by the number of faces.

Bullet recommends that polygon collision is only used for static objects like terrain and if used for dynamic objects they should have no more than 100 vertices."


This building created for gameguru, has over 50 thousand polygons, 12 different materials, with most being 4096 x 4096, with this building, you have to use polygon collision as it is the only way to navigate the building correctly, with the exception of the railings which are high details and make up the bulk of the polygons, the rest of the building is extremely cheap to use polygon collision on. If you are going to make single mesh internal buildings you have no other choice as it is the most accurate.This building even has a properly modeled corrugated roof, which took several hours to correctly uv map to a texture.

It also means being able to move extremely close to every part of the model, creating "bullet" or own collision boxes won't actually be quicker, it is also more then likely to be less accurate, with an object like this model it would require quite a few collision boxes, making it far more time consuming and mostly impractical, it will also cause some issues with VR.

There is use for custom collision boxes, but assumption of being a one fit for all solution it is definitely not, sacrificing a few frames is hardly a biggie, for more accurate collision, the drop in frames are momentarily, unless it actually entails stuttering, then there is a problem.Wicked engine is no slow poke. Placed 24 of these buildings in a map, remember 12 multi materials with majority being 4k. for a total of 1.2m polygons 1650 draw calls including grass that was painted around the buildings and still managed a respectable 30+ frames in the scene.

While this test was to the extreme, as you won't use 24 buildings of this type in a map nor use them so close to one another and ways.Max is no classic, it is an entirely different beast, and there is practically no slow down using multi materials nor using model in excess of 50k.

At one point the building had an 8k texture for the main building shell, 4k atlas was simply to low to deal with the custom dirt map that needed to be painted.
The difference of trying to squeeze every thing you can on a single atlas versus 12 multi textured building with a custom dirt map.


If you wondering why 8k and 4k textures. The simple answer is VR, pixelation of textures being up close like that is far more visible, and as a result requires far higher detail then you would normally apply, while you could get this building down to a simple 4K texture atlas, custom dirt maps and such wouldn't be possible and textures wouldn't have enough detail in VR.



So people should definitely take note, max is NO classic, TGC is actively pushing to get as much detail as possible, and they have set their benchmark to be similar of that of half-life alyx for VR aspects, especially in game play and quality of assets, polygon and texture quality.

I found it quite hard at first, I had to move out of the classic mind set of preserve every ounce of resources and actually took a few weeks to better acclimatize to let lose a little within reason, so we definitely need to move away from what classic was, and what it couldn't and could do, as max is an entirely different beast, it can and will handle a X100 more then what classic ever could.




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nomis3D
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Posted: 21st Apr 2021 20:38
I vote for the ability to add a custom collision shape / physics mesh.
Any ideas or wishes for models? Ideas are always welcome! Send me a PM.
Need help with Blender? Send me a PM.
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AmenMoses
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Posted: 21st Apr 2021 20:54 Edited at: 21st Apr 2021 20:58
Buildings are very unlikely to be dynamic entities so polygon shape doesn't matter for them, Bullet treats static entities differently as it doesn't have to process collisions for them unless a dynamic entity 'interacts' with them.

Having said that if you have lots and lots of dynamic entities interacting with a large complex shape (for example if you were to pour a few thousand footballs into your building) then performance would be an issue unless you could also form the collision shape of the building out of primitives.

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AmenMoses
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Posted: 21st Apr 2021 21:00
Just to confirm we have 5 votes for custom collision shape in the importer (can we assume cone shape added to the primitive list as well?) so Lee go for it.
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DVader
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Posted: 21st Apr 2021 22:28
Looks like it's hit the number, but I vote for the option of custom collision boxes as well
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Posted: 21st Apr 2021 23:03
@wizard of id: In your signature, you state that you have an AMD RX460 2gb. I was just wondering if this is still accurate. If so, you're very lucky to be getting any performance at all with your stress testing building, given that each 4K texture is using a minimum of 32MB of VRAM (and assuming each material has albedo, normal, roughness, metalness, and AO maps).

I'd still be reluctant to use lots of lots of 4K textures given that neither Max nor Classic support any form of texture streaming.

AE
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Posted: 21st Apr 2021 23:07
Make that 7 votes for custom collisions
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wizard of id
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Posted: 22nd Apr 2021 00:21 Edited at: 22nd Apr 2021 00:21
Quote: "@wizard of id: In your signature, you state that you have an AMD RX460 2gb. I was just wondering if this is still accurate. If so, you're very lucky to be getting any performance at all with your stress testing building, given that each 4K texture is using a minimum of 32MB of VRAM (and assuming each material has albedo, normal, roughness, metalness, and AO maps).

I'd still be reluctant to use lots of lots of 4K textures given that neither Max nor Classic support any form of texture streaming.

AE"


Would gladly take a video of that, considering instancing is applicable to the first 12 textures after that no further vram is used for the entity, you would have additional draw calls, but not more video memory.


As you can see, 24 buildings, 50k each with 12 multi textures, and a steady frame rate with a RX460.Wouldn't make claims like this if I haven't extensively tested this out with various combinations textures, the building is large and you would not be able to fit every thing on a 4096k texture without sacrificing texture quality this building is a TGC project which will be available with the software when completed.TGC would never have allowed this building if performance was going to suffer greatly. TGC is pushing texture quality to be less pixelated especially for their example levels, for your own media you could do with less, but this is what they specifically wanted, especially for their VR demo, as much polygon and texture detail as reasonable. I keep them updated and aware every step of the way so they are exactly aware of every thing concerning this building polygons and textures. They really are making an effort to get stunning looking assets for the example levels, the first batch of entities sent had the classic mind set of low polygon and vram in mind, but that wasn't good enough they wanted even higher detail.

So no, as absurd as it may sound and look on paper, wicked engine takes the 1.2m polygons and 1650 odd draw calls without any issues as you can see by the video, it is an entirely different beast, lee when designing content has told me before you can use multitextures to your hearts content, the engine is build for it and highly optimizes it. The proof is here in the pudding.


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fearlesswee
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Posted: 22nd Apr 2021 02:24
Quote: "Q> Will there be a friendly NPC and Enemy NPC system in MAX version?
A> Yes, we have planned player allies, enemies and enemy factions, so a good combination of relationships to build your games around."


Beyond ecstatic to hear this! Not only would this be mandatory for RPG games, it has a lot of uses in FPS games as well (Ex: Having soldiers and zombies who will both fight each other, and the player.)

I wonder how factions and relations between them would be handled, stuff like "target priority" comes to mind (soldiers would much rather shoot zombies over the player for example). Also would the relations between factions be changeable during the course of the game via Lua? For example, in an RPG making certain choices could turn a faction hostile against you, or against another faction.

But even if the system is as simple as "friendly" or choice between "faction1, faction2, faction3" and they all fight each other I'll be very happy!
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Posted: 22nd Apr 2021 04:46
@wizard of id
Sure... love tests like this. Not to sound antagonistic, but I hope another video of the same map can
be shared when grass and terrain and water and characters all together are added- and in view!

BTW, difficult to suss out the display @ 480p, but the movement seems brisk enough. And to leave with
some optimism, the pointers you made regarding MAX graphics sound rather splendid.
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wizard of id
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Posted: 22nd Apr 2021 08:16
Quote: "@wizard of id
Sure... love tests like this. Not to sound antagonistic, but I hope another video of the same map can
be shared when grass and terrain and water and characters all together are added- and in view!

BTW, difficult to suss out the display @ 480p, but the movement seems brisk enough. And to leave with
some optimism, the pointers you made regarding MAX graphics sound rather splendid."


We are still ways off, before we will be able to construct a completed level. No level will be like this in real life, really just to show the naysayers, actually yes max is entirely capable of producing results of high polgons as well as multi textures without much hassle.
And yes with VR being a big part of MAX, especially with selling media and making games to sell, people will find that it will require higher texture resolution it is just how it needs to be with a VR game.For your own personal use go nuts, low polygon with single texture ect, ect, marketed to others you will need to step up your game.

But like I said it was really just to prove a point no actual level will be like this, there will be trees, buildings and terrain hiding assets, ect.We really need to move pass this classic mentality, however rude it may sound just so happens to be true.

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Avenging Eagle
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Posted: 22nd Apr 2021 08:48 Edited at: 22nd Apr 2021 08:50
Each 4K texture takes up a minimum of 32MB of VRAM, so if you've got a material with color, normal, roughness, metalness, and AO, that's 160MB per material. I know you said not all 12 of your materials had 4K textures, but let's for argument's sake say they all did; that's 12 x 160 = 1,920MB VRAM. My point was simply that, by that point, you should be running out of VRAM so the fact that you're still able to get a steady framerate is impressive

Now obviously there's a few caveats. For one thing, Max uses 'surface' textures rather than separate roughness, metalness, and AO maps, so there's definitely a saving there. For another, I don't know whether all 12 of your materials have the full compliment of textures; I definitely spotted some normal mapping in there, but I couldn't tell if you were using metalness, roughness, and AO or surface maps. And lastly, you said not all the textures were 4K. In conclusion then, my calculation of 1,920MB is a pessimistic overestimate; it's likely quite a lot lower.

Given that a blank map in Classic used to take up 1.3GB of VRAM before a single asset was even added, it's encouraging to see your building is not pushing things too far

Whether or not it runs that smooth once you've filled that building with furniture and props in another matter.

AE
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Posted: 22nd Apr 2021 10:23
Quote: "Q> Can we get an FBX copy of the character creator rig to play with?
A> Absolutely, we hope artists and potential artists would create their own character creator parts (with our rig) and we might even publish them through the community if they are good enough."

This sounds promising.
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wizard of id
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Posted: 22nd Apr 2021 10:24
Quote: "Each 4K texture takes up a minimum of 32MB of VRAM, so if you've got a material with color, normal, roughness, metalness, and AO, that's 160MB per material. I know you said not all 12 of your materials had 4K textures, but let's for argument's sake say they all did; that's 12 x 160 = 1,920MB VRAM. My point was simply that, by that point, you should be running out of VRAM so the fact that you're still able to get a steady framerate is impressive

Now obviously there's a few caveats. For one thing, Max uses 'surface' textures rather than separate roughness, metalness, and AO maps, so there's definitely a saving there. For another, I don't know whether all 12 of your materials have the full compliment of textures; I definitely spotted some normal mapping in there, but I couldn't tell if you were using metalness, roughness, and AO or surface maps. And lastly, you said not all the textures were 4K. In conclusion then, my calculation of 1,920MB is a pessimistic overestimate; it's likely quite a lot lower.

Given that a blank map in Classic used to take up 1.3GB of VRAM before a single asset was even added, it's encouraging to see your building is not pushing things too far

Whether or not it runs that smooth once you've filled that building with furniture and props in another matter.

AE"


GPU Actual vram usage for the 24 buildings, max use was 484mb, so no you don't use 1.9gig of video memory, triple AAA game wouldn't work for one Every single texture has, color, normal and surface, additionally with the exception of the color map, you can reduce the surface and normal map to a 8th or as much as 16th or 32th of the original size as is standard practice as the engine automatically scales the shader maps to the required size, so it takes even less memory without resulting in the shader map pixelation, in other words your normal map and surface map can be 128 x 128 with no ill effects.

Once the object has been has been processed into the raw data required, it essentially layers the textures like a sandwhich and while it may be slightly bulkier as a result of the processed layered texture as the shader essentially combines all the maps into a single texture raw data file, it uses less memory and only slightly more then the original color map, and while the memory controller take an initial hit when the textures is processed and combined into the layered texture. It doesn't use the same amount of memory once processed like you would assume and it is short lived. Hence the max use of 484mb and max memory load of 75%, after that it is essentially cached in the memory as long as the object remains in the level.

so while you would assume, because of the 12 textures it would use that much memory, it doesn't actually use that much, additionally swapping out textures to be processed and already processed textures, it doesn't actually bog down the vram unnecessarily you would need to throw quite a lot at the GPU to do that especially with the wicked engine and thanks to instancing and not having to render and process each building again, the textures gets loaded once and job done.Classic didn't actually have an issue with textures, it had an issue with draw calls, 1.6k draw calls would bring classic to it's knees regardless of ample vram....

Reducing the surface map, normal map, and AO map to an 8th or16th or 32th of the original size, makes things even smoother. However I haven't reduced to shader maps as yet, so it is actually even more impressive.



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Avenging Eagle
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Posted: 26th Apr 2021 23:54
Just to come back to you on this WOI, your post actually blew my mind a little because I thought I understood how all this worked. I even wrote a lengthy tutorial about texture optimisation backed up by weeks of research. Slightly embarrassing for me personally, but it's encouraging to hear Game Guru is a little smarter than I thought.

So you're saying that when a material loads in Game Guru, all the maps are briefly loaded into VRAM (and you can reduce the load by reducing the size of the maps, particularly the ancillary ones like _normal, _ao, _metalness etc.), but then the resultant 'material' is stored in a raw format as a single texture which consumes less memory, whilst the actual DDS maps are discarded from memory? That's actually pretty cool. Do we know if that's exclusive to Max/Wicked, or does Classic do this too?

AE

wizard of id
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Posted: 27th Apr 2021 10:52 Edited at: 27th Apr 2021 10:56
Quote: "Just to come back to you on this WOI, your post actually blew my mind a little because I thought I understood how all this worked. I even wrote a lengthy tutorial about texture optimisation backed up by weeks of research. Slightly embarrassing for me personally, but it's encouraging to hear Game Guru is a little smarter than I thought.

So you're saying that when a material loads in Game Guru, all the maps are briefly loaded into VRAM (and you can reduce the load by reducing the size of the maps, particularly the ancillary ones like _normal, _ao, _metalness etc.), but then the resultant 'material' is stored in a raw format as a single texture which consumes less memory, whilst the actual DDS maps are discarded from memory? That's actually pretty cool. Do we know if that's exclusive to Max/Wicked, or does Classic do this too?

AE"


lol I am not going to even try understand how exactly images is processed, probably not even using correct terms for it. And the math for it is pretty out there lol
Quote: "whilst the actual DDS maps are discarded from memory?"
But I do know this images that is processed is cached on the GPU memory, is also in the system memory, which is why you see that 1.9 gig in memory use, not all of it is actually memory use of the images but all the bits and pieces of data it needs to render the level, that is all the unprocessed information easily accessible by the GPU memory . So no DDS isn't discarded, "raw data" is just the final image ready to be rendered.

I also know that the bytes per texel for normal maps is higher then the greyscale information contain within AO, metalness and gloss and illumination.Normal maps unlikely greyscale information can't always be reduced in size as that information contain in the image is processed different to that of greyscale images used in shaders.

With max you can reduce the normal map to half the size of the color without issues, surface maps I kept at 256 x 256, nothing changed there much if any, however I do add a little blur to my greyscale images not that it would really make a difference, it depends on the shader I guess.
So yeah using higher resolution textures won't impact that much if you optimize the rest of the textures as there is some gains to be made.

The end result



Additionally you are aware of the obvious pixelation that happens when reducing the color map. As I said before, for the average user this should be fine, however TGC wants higher then that for their example levels in other words they want to shine the best light they can on the product, if it means more memory use then so be, this is especially true for VR.

So yes while the 2048 x 2048 reduction would be fine under normal circumstances in classic, with max and VR for TGC is isn't good enough any more.




any ways I am off it's a public holiday (freedom day) so going to relax with some grub
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Defy
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Posted: 28th Apr 2021 04:38
Yes I can add to this, in UDK I have seen great media, even non pbr with 2048 Diffuse, and 512 N & S and is how I have redone a lot of media over the last 6 months as WOI has shown running 256 on those additional textures. It works and frees up head room.
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wizard of id
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Posted: 28th Apr 2021 10:07
Quote: "Yes I can add to this, in UDK I have seen great media, even non pbr with 2048 Diffuse, and 512 N & S and is how I have redone a lot of media over the last 6 months as WOI has shown running 256 on those additional textures. It works and frees up head room."


Just remember that normal map details do degrade, with this shader, at half the size of the original is about the limit, but it depends on the object, with a brick wall versus a normal flat object like a can, you can of course negate this with slightly higher polygon count as it more cost effective then a larger texture. Obviously you can model each and every brick here.But you could have a few bricks modeled randomly for better illusion of the brick wall, but not really needed if you have a good shader and lighting.

But back to regards to using 4k textures and their use. Gameguru is way different to the likes of other game engines, especially with the addition of primitive creation and better handling of assets over all. This results in a different approach needed with gameguru, while it isn't ideal, it is what it is. GPU's have come a fair way, and we not really giving credit where credit is due, it is a far cry from what we had 10 years ago. 4K is pretty average these days. I am not saying you should be using it on every object, but with larger objects it more practical as you don't end up having to use several parts to complete the final model, technically it would be faster in the rendering and reduce draw calls.
So you need to decide what is good enough for your self.
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