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Crocodile

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Kalister68
Crocodile

I don't think there's a crocodile available for Nwn2, unless I'm mistaken ? 

Here is a model I took in cadnav.com, I'm currently working to adapt it for the game.

The model is really nice, but the polycount was a little high, more than 6000. I managed to trim it down to 4900 polys. It came with a rigged skeleton which was not really suited to my needs. I deleted it, and made a new one, more simple and easy to use.

As you can see in the video, I only made the idle animation for the moment.

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Semper

pumping out creatures like a madman. looks good ;)

although 4900 polys (tris?) still seems a bit dense.

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Kalister68

It's 4900 faces (so 4900 polygons, I suppose). Should I care about the triangles count ? Now I'm not sure what's the most important, since I've always referred about polygons...

That being said, I have a question about this creature : I found it with a free license on 3d cadnav (here), but I later saw the same creature on sale on Turbosquid (here). Is it really free ? Or should I be cautious and drop the project ?

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4760

It's true they're very similar, but one counts 6,852 polygons (4,421 vertices) and the other one 6,740 polys for 4,321 vertices). In addtion, the free version was created on 18th October 2016 (max file) while the other one is dated 9th February 2016 (native file maya).

It would have been easier with the dates the other way around. Well, I suppose you could check with the author on Turbosquid, or get another model (crocodile and alligator searches gave a few free hits, but I didn't check the quality).

 

I'm not really sure, but since there are differences, and you legally downloaded it, I suppose all that could be asked should there be any copyright issue would be to remove your mdb. In that case, you'd have all the animations ready for a different one.

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Semper

It's 4900 faces (so 4900 polygons, I suppose). Should I care about the triangles count ? Now I'm not sure what's the most important, since I've always referred about polygons...

polygons ain't much good in game engines. they will be automatically split and become triangles at render time. that's why it's always better to triangulate a model before exporting. having control over the direction of the split helps avoiding render issues, like wrong vertex normals between exported model and baked normal map.

also 4900 polygons will be 9800 tris. a red dragon is about 4700 tris, and there will be seldom more than one at the same time on screen. unlike the alligator where i can easily imagine a scene with lots of them casually resting on the shore. btw i would change the idle animation to something more idle... an alligator is cold blooded and will mostly wait motionless in a sunny spot, or float at the water surface.

 

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rjshae

Looking very good. If you do decide to change it, the current idle animation could make a good look_far or fidget animation.

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Trinital

I would just like to point out that the "Amazing Armors" pack that everyone is downloading and using has Skyrim assets lifted directly and some of those clothing options are pushing upward of 40 000 triangles, nobody seems to care, NWN2 isn't crashing.

I think the 4000 poly alligator is fine.

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Semper

some of those clothing options are pushing upward of 40 000 triangles, nobody seems to care, NWN2 isn't crashing

now try to create a scene with 10+ npcs and a fairly dense environment with this mod... you can watch the frames crawl at a single digit speed. not because your hardware ain't powerful enough, but the engine ain't programmed in such a way. the basar area in storm of zehir is a good indicator for that. it's small, crowded, heavy on details (for nwn2), and runs with noticable frame drops despite of modern hardware.

i am not here to say that 5000 polygons will cause issues, which is far from being the case, but optimizing your mesh/mod is something every author should steer for. reducing triangle counts, providing lod meshes and keeping texture sizes within the usual limit the engine can handle comfortably helps in the long run. if nobody cares everything adds up and sooner or later this will cause troubles. not to forget about those people still owning older hardware already suffering from performance problems.

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Trinital

I don't think that's totally true..

Haven is a PW that hits the 92 player cap on weekends pretty regularily..You get an area with ~20 people all wearing ~20 000 poly armor meshes.. and you really don't experience any loss of performance or frames. ( Except the below exceptions)

How many poly's is the average area? Even Cutscene objects.. the poly's are still loaded in memory and still need to be rendered. That far exceeds a few alligators. AFAIK.

I would rather trim down the area size than relegate NWN2 graphics to 2005.

Let me repharse:

I'm not saying that NWN2 has zero limitations - it does for sure, but the biggest offenders appear to be:

- Very large areas with dense placement of objects / placebles.. (16 by 16 ish)

- High density of spells / visual effects are going off. ( Frame Buffer Effects / High Particle Density)

- When High Density of Creatures are being spawned in. ( Momentary Lag while they get pushed into memory)

 

This Max Creature Poly Limit - is that kinda thing everyone says in NWN2 because it sounds true - but nobody is really testing it.

As an Aside:

I just ran a test, gathering ~8 Players into the same 8 Tile area, densely populated with objects. Had everyone put on a different custom armor. The area had water with reflections turned on and Full Shadows. Each armor is roughly ~22 000 Poly's, some were lower, around 15 000.

The armors use DXT 3 with no Mip Mapping. Texture size is 1024 by 1024 (Diffuse / Tint / Normal)

Average FPS ~151.53 FPS.

This is something that needs way more testing, before we assume NWN2 will die from anything over 8000 poly's. It's like that rumor that using too many speed trees would slow down an area, until we did it and it was fine. (Who did that Youtube Video? Tchos? Kamal?)

(None of the above took into account the pretty high poly hairs / boots either)

 

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Kalister68

Thank you for your comments !

The debate about the performance of the Nwn2 engine last for a long time. I'm not an expert, but personally I don't remember having experienced a dramatic drop in framerate when playing a mod or testing custom stuff, apart maybe Tupoun's sewer tileset. In my experience, performance problems occurs frequently when there's a lot of scripts running (heartbeat scripts are a performance killer). I need to check this famous SoZ bazar, though...

Thank you Semper for the explanation about the polygons/triangles, that's something I didn't know... until now :)
That said, it would be nice to modify the sticky post about the polygons limit, which is quite confusing, I think, because it only mention polygons and faces...

I checked the crocodile, and it seems the mesh was in fact already triangulated, as you can see on the picture... so it's indeed 4932 triangles. Which is still a little high for a creature supposed to roam in pack, I agree.

Nevertheless, I ran a test with a 16x16 swamp area populated by various creatures and a lot of placeables. I put 12 (!) crocodiles grouped in a small area, and... no problem, it runs smoothly with maximum graphic settings (including water reflection/refraction).
 

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PJ156

This a realy cool model and a great project Kalister. My comment so far woud be that a crocodoles idle animation is very very still, just blinking maybe, but it would be squatted down alomst flat to the floor.

It going to be very excilting to have another few models like this. A giantf rog would be cool .. or maybe Tiamat?

PJ :)

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Arianna0

THIS would be so sweet to have   . .  right now  I have been using very short dinos to  simulate crocs/alligators     . . .its just not the same

 

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Kalister68

Thank you for your comments !

PJ : In fact, my first thought was precisely to make a giant frog... but I think a crocodile is a more frequent encounter than a giant frog, and then will be more used by the modders :p
However, I keep the frog in mind for a future project...

Arianna0 : yes, it will indeed be very different from a shorten squashed dino... I hope ! :)

After some tweaking and head scratching, I was finally able to trim down the polycount to 4100 triangles, with an almost unnoticeable visual impact. This is the same weight as the stock wyvern. With the two LoDs meshes, I think it'll do the trick.

 

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rjshae

A giant frog would indeed be good to have for low level adventurers. I still remember the encounter with those beasties from ToEE. I'd imagine that animating their leaps could be an interesting challenge.

It looks like you're having fun with making creatures thus so far.

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Kalister68

Indeed, I'm sure the frog leap would be a nightmare to animate...

Here is a video showing the walk cycle of the crocodile.

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PJ156

It's fricking huge ....

That;s going to be a nice addition to our list of swamp critters. 

 

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4760

Looks really nice. And big!

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Trinital

Looking great so far Kalister.. am I insane or is one of his back feet spun around the wrong way?

He's either got twisty ankles or maybe the weight paint isn't as strong there? Could be the angle I was watching - noticed around the 0:25 mark.

 

I could be crazy though..! Love it!

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kamal

I didn't see anything out of the ordinary with the feet.

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Kalister68

As Kamal said, I don't see anything wrong with the feet ?

Here is a short video showing some of the combat animations.

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Semper

looks pretty awesome!

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Kalister68

The crocodile project is almost completed. All the animations are done, including second death and attack versions.

Here is a video showing this brave Hadan going right into an ambush prepared by two nasty crocodiles (sorry for the length of this video, but it turns out that Hadan is not really efficient against crocodiles...).

I'm not really satisfied with the tint map, but the original texture is a litlle hard to work with... I'll try to fix this, and then upload the creature.

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Arianna0

Looks Awesome!   This will be a Great addition to our creature selections.

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4760

Nice! I'll definitely find a use for them!

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rjshae

Great stuff, Kallister68. Between you and 4760, the place is practically abuzz with new life forms.

I was wondering, did you happen to see this?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1K1THEDArU

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Kalister68

Yes, I saw it, this guy has also posted a video showing the way he sculpted this crocodile in zbrush... simply amazing :)

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Kalister68

The beast is now available. Enjoy !

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4760

It going to be very excilting to have another few models like this. ... maybe Tiamat?

In progress. The challenge will be to have the five heads, wings, tails and of course four legs while staying in the 3 x 54 bones limit.

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PJ156

Really!

It was humour for the most part, though what a project that would be surprise 

Trouble with a critter like that is the limited use it would get but I would try to build a whole camapign around the big fella it there was one (or big lass, don't want to be sexist.)

PJ

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rjshae

I kind of agree. While it would be pretty cool to see, the uses for a Tiamat will be pretty limited. Maybe if somebody wanted to port Dark Queen of Krynn?

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