Is 3000 triangles good for a character these days? More?

Game Engines, Projects and more

In your opinion, what's the hardest part of making a 3d game?

Programming
7
26%
3d Modeling
4
15%
Texturing/Shading/UV mapping
3
11%
Animation
3
11%
Special effects/Physics/Lighting
4
15%
Planning/design ideas
3
11%
Getting and/or making sounds and music
1
4%
I don't make games yet
1
4%
I never want to make games
1
4%
 
Total votes: 27

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tamtam
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Is 3000 triangles good for a character these days? More?

Post by tamtam » 06 Oct 2009, 02:16

I was just wondering, with ever-advancing hardware and software for computers and games, is it now still possible to create game charactors with 3000 triangles, or could I bring it up to around 4000, or maybe even 4500?
Since I want to add detailed and possibly semi-realistic 3d humans to a comuter game I wish to make once I learn a liitle more about Dark Basic Pro (and the many add-on packs I have for it too), I think I would need to have around 4000 triangles to have enough detail in the human characters to make them look better. Even with great quality textures, normal maps, animation, etc., no matter how hard I work to make a good, realistic looking 3d model, it never comes out right in some ways.
My mom says my 3d human head models that I made I long time ago (which are probably gone now), look "monkey-ish". I certainly don't take that as a compliment cosidering all the time and effort I put into making the heads I make... which are supposed to look human-like, not "monkey-ish", but I think my mom means that I should make the ears, nose and lips smaller.
Other questions:
- About how many triangles do you use for your current game charactors?
- With the latest hardware on a home computer, could game charactors have 4000 or more triangles shown in a game with 10 or more characters in a view at the same time, without much of a slow down in the game?
- Does anyone know how many triangles one human in the game The Sims 3 by EA Games has, including hair, clothing, accessories, etc.?

Thanks in advance!

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Jason Rogers
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Re: Is 3000 triangles good for a character these days? More?

Post by Jason Rogers » 06 Oct 2009, 05:29

Firstly, what genre of game are you planning on making?
Wisdom is understanding how little you truly know.

slicer4ever
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Re: Is 3000 triangles good for a character these days? More?

Post by slicer4ever » 06 Oct 2009, 06:47

well, first off games like sim 3 don't use programs like dark basic pro, they write in languages that directly talk to the graphics card on your system, which is why i never liked dark basic, it's a scripting program, and it's slow, i prefer writing my programs in c/c++, secondly i'd suspect at highest level detail, it's about 5k polygons, easy.

next, in most graphic cards, displaying any number of vertex's is quite simple, hence why we have a graphics card, the hard part, where u get your biggest slow down, is the texturing, lighting, and basically everything else you do to the object.

10 people in one scene at 4k polygons each, just create an object that is 40k polygons, and see the fps you get.

that is also why i enjoy writing for non computer platforms(i.e. game system), you get a set standard to work with, and don't have to worry about performance across different systems

hope any of this was helpful

brotherx
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Re: Is 3000 triangles good for a character these days? More?

Post by brotherx » 07 Oct 2009, 16:53

First, I would say that just because one person doesn't like dark basic, blitz basic or whatever tool you want to use , doesn't mean it isn't suited to what you are doing. C++ is a monster to learn and while I enjoy C++ programming, it's fairly masochistic compared to other options. For commercial big games there's no real alternative but for home-grown games there are other options too. Some people might argue you could use something like Delphi but I'd laugh at them because the development environment is so unstable.

One option you might consider that is a little closer to C++ and Direct X is XNA. I have written a few little things using XNA and there is excellent info and tutorials on the creators.xna.com website. What's better is the games you write can also, with some care, run on an xbox. You can choose VB as your language but I would recommend C# instead.

I still prefer C++ for a lot of things but having to write a load of code just to get a hello world on the screen where XNA can practically do it in maybe 10 lines, well, just wins it for me. And the performance ain't half bad either.

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Re: Is 3000 triangles good for a character these days? More?

Post by clintonman » 07 Oct 2009, 20:22

Here's some number from modwiki for quake4

http://www.modwiki.net/wiki/Modelling" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

"The following numbers are rough guidelines based on the numbers taken from the Quake 4 models. These numbers had been generated by importing different models and using the modelling software to list the amount of triangles.

* 1st Person Weapon Total: 2000 - 2800
o Both Arms: 1300
o Weapon (Faces not visible deleted): 700 - 1500
* 3rd Person Player Total: 2500
o Player Body(Without Gun or Head): 1500
o Player Head: 600
o Player Head_up (high LOD model?): 800
o Player World Weapon: 200-400 "

When I import one of the sample PSK files from UT3 I get a count of 9980 faces/triangles from the modelside object info face count.

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slicer4ever
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Re: Is 3000 triangles good for a character these days? More?

Post by slicer4ever » 07 Oct 2009, 22:42

@brotherx

i agree, xna/c# is amazing, except its super hard to re-distribute anything, at least in my experiences, without fully re-installing xna on the other person's computer, along with visual studio c# 2005, i've never been able to get anything i've written with xna to run on another computer without having to do all this, which is why i believe xna is a bad alternative if you want to make something that other people can play

also, don't get me wrong, i love dark basic, was a great tool, it was just too slow to create any practical 3D game imo

lastly, xna is an engine, which is why u can write a hello world in 10 lines(try starting with a blank c# project, and write a hello world), the same holds true for any other language, write the back bone to make the front end easy to use, and u can write something in c++ that only requires 10 lines to setup(trust me, my personal game engine i can have a window, keyboard, mouse, and fonts, in about 20 lines of code i can have a working hello world example)

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tamtam
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Re: Is 3000 triangles good for a character these days? More?

Post by tamtam » 08 Oct 2009, 03:09

Whoa! Hold on everyone. I don't know anything about all those higher end languages and engines. I'm afraid it'll take me forever just to learn some of the C programming lanuage if I ever get to learn that, even with tons of tutorials and books. But that's mainly because my dad told me about C++ having these things called "classes", which he said are the hardest part to learn, and then again, my dad does programming for a job, and he knows more than just C++. He told me once he knows how to program in around 10 different programming lanuages. I just want to stick with Dark Basic Pro for now, since I know some stuff about it, and I have a bunch of add-ons for it too. I think it's a lot easier, and I think it takes less than 10 lines of code in DBPro to make a "Hello World" program. I think it might take about 5 or 6 lines, but you can write it in about 2 or 3 lines too if i'm correct.

I also have the 3d Game Studio A7 Commercial edition, and haven't been able to successfully convert any models into the .mdl or .x format for pre-animated models which I try to make on my own (even with a thing called something like Maya-to-3dGS for converting Maya 2009 models, and Maya 8 models). Me and my dad have to find some time to read up on how to program in 3dGS A7, which seems to have a higher end syntax in the language. There are too many commands for me to learn on my own in 3d Game Studio, so my dad might have to help me learn that, as well as to learn more about Dark Basic Pro and how to incorporate some of the add-ons I have.

I know I should start small, and "Hello World" is too easy for me in DBPro, so I want to make some sort of RPG where you make a spherical planet, make a home, and then create one human to live on the planet and in the house, along with maybe 5 to ten random other humans (randomly made, and randomly placed on the planet). The humans will have a goal for every part of their life, but only one at a time.

Now, is 3dGS A7 a programming language, or a game engine? (and what's the difference?) Also, could DBPro handle the same amount of triangles as 3dGS A7?
How many triangles would you recommend for a PC game character that's always on-screen but with some other humans that are not always in the same place?
Thanks again!

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Re: Is 3000 triangles good for a character these days? More?

Post by Karthogen » 08 Oct 2009, 03:55

3dgs is like Dark basic from my understanding. it is the front end user interface for communicating directly to the PC/graphics. With the user interface being made simple, like 3dGS and DB, you lose speed because they need to prepare their engine with enough flexibility to make everything their customers want to do. Now with creating your game through the programming language you are creating your own comunication for the things you need and leaving out all the junk.

Model size for your character will all depend on the program you use, and also the rest of the Scene as the FPS on ths program will be affected by the total poly count not just that one character. IF you are going to make a supper detailed character, you are going to have to sacrifice the scene or speed.

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Re: Is 3000 triangles good for a character these days? More?

Post by brotherx » 08 Oct 2009, 09:14

slicer4ever wrote: lastly, xna is an engine, which is why u can write a hello world in 10 lines(try starting with a blank c# project, and write a hello world), the same holds true for any other language, write the back bone to make the front end easy to use, and u can write something in c++ that only requires 10 lines to setup(trust me, my personal game engine i can have a window, keyboard, mouse, and fonts, in about 20 lines of code i can have a working hello world example)
XNA distribution: there is a runtime that you need and there are instructions on how to create a setup within studio that includes the runtime, direct x and .NET v2. It means the installer is fairly weighty but is fairly simple to put together.

We've had problems at work getting C++/Direct X 9 stuff to work on vista so distribution issues are not limited to XNA.

@tamtam - Classes are actually very easy. It lets you wrap up various parts of your application keeping your code modularised. e.g. you might have a player class that contains the position, the models and a function/method called RenderPlayer which will handle the drawing of the player. The beauty of this situation is you can tie in game-pad input or computer controlled input or recordings to create demo playbacks. The classes take a lot out of what you need to do. Dark basic will have a runtime too and even with C++ you're using the DirectX runtime which dark basic no doubt sits on top. If you are really serious about game programming XNA is a good first step.

I recommend you get a hold of the book Game Coding Complete by Mike McShaffry. While this book is C++ based it gives you a good idea of how to organise the structure of your game code from an object point of view. His website is here: http://www.mcshaffry.com/GameCode/

In answer to your original question re 3000 poly models, 3000 is good. I think these days in games it's all about using normal maps and bump maps to give the appearance of more detail and depth to an object. This could then be taken further with shader effects (see http://digierr.spaces.live.com/blog/ for some samples using XNA - all code is available)

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Re: Is 3000 triangles good for a character these days? More?

Post by slicer4ever » 08 Oct 2009, 15:29

@brotherx, is that with v3.0 of xna, or could it be done in v2.0?, i used xna only as v2.0 and had many difficulty's in creating distributions, as for your directx/c++ redistribution issue, have you considered trying openGL, i find openGL tends to have a wider base of graphic cards that support it

also your description of classes is spot on=-), couldn't have talked about them any better

@tamtam, truely the hardest thing imo about classes is memory managment(depending on if you use alot of dynamic memory allocations), but once you understand constructors/destructors, private, public, and protected members, virtual functions, etc, classes are a very very powerful tool to any developer

as for 3dgs a7, i've never heard of such a program so i'm not much help their

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