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A call to artistsabout hexagons

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Creation & Customization' started by Steph, Feb 20, 2010.

  1. Steph

    Steph Multi Many Tasks man Retired Moderator

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    When I was younger, I played wargames, all with hexgons.

    When I started programming my game, I tried both hexagons and squares. Both could work. I continue with squares, because all the graphics here have directions.

    However, hexagons would be much better for range, movement, and also to draw the map: having 8 directions with a difference between sides and corners mae things a lot more difficult to do than nice sde for hexes.

    So I'm considering switching to hexagons. But I would do it only if I have enough graphics available.

    If I can get support from enough artists here, mostly unit makers, to re render stuff with 6 directions, I will do it.

    So, who would be ready to contribute?
    - By re rendering new units?
    - By just making the model/textures/animations available to me so I can re render again myself?

    Note that I don't need FLC, the rendered frames could be enough.

    It could also be a possibility to increase a bit the scale to show a little more details or also to use more than 256 colours and real transparency.
     
  2. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    Steph, if the rendered frames are enough, then I would be happy to re-render any of my units should you require them. Indeed I can easily reclothe or otherwise alter the models to create new ones specifically for your game if you have gaps in your unit lines. It's all the stuff that comes after rendering that slows me down.
     
  3. Steph

    Steph Multi Many Tasks man Retired Moderator

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    I can work with true colours, so there's no need to create a palette.

    A question. Is it possible for you to render the civ colored parts and the non civcolored part as two different sets of frames?

    My engine allow using " tint". So I could have each animation with two layers. A normal layer, for the non civ coloured part, and a "civ colour" layer, where the parts would actually be white, and too which I could add a red, blue or whatever tint to get the civ colour.
    That's in fact what I'm currently doing with FLC, except I create the two layers from the indexes in the FLC palette.
    I could do the same from the rendered frames if they are in two layers.
     
  4. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    You mean have one set of renders that are of just the civ-coloured parts, and another set that are of just the other parts? I suppose it would be possible to render once with the civ-coloured parts invisible and again with all the other parts invisible, but then the civ-colour renders would show those parts even when they should be hidden by other parts of the unit. I would have thought it would be better to do this through postwork on the renders in Photoshop or similar - presumably it must be possible to edit an image so that all the blue shades are removed, or so that everything but the blue shades is removed, or something like that?
     
  5. Steph

    Steph Multi Many Tasks man Retired Moderator

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    well, the idea would be more to make everything which is non civ colored exactly magenta, so it becomes "invisible" in the civ colored part.
    The problem with using what you are saying is :
    - How can you have a blue civ colour and a non blue civ colour?
    - It's not always easy, when using a true colour render, to know if a part if "blue" or not, ie to see it's really a civ coloured part.

    However, I would be happy to do some work with a poser user to see what are the possibility, and define the best method to render the units.
     
  6. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    Oh, I see, so on one render the civ-coloured parts would be magenta and everything else normal, and on the other render the civ-coloured parts would be normal (white or whatever colour or colours you want) and everything else magenta. Well, I should think that could be done. We can always experiment.
     
  7. Steph

    Steph Multi Many Tasks man Retired Moderator

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    Well, some experiment in this direction would be nice
     
  8. Takhisis

    Takhisis spells laser with an s

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    up yours!
    Hexagons, if you do them right, surpass square tiles. I'd say go for it, take your time to make the transition, and, well... there's a lot of us who're be willing to help. I'm really making progress in blender so I might do you some models and stuff.
    Also, with hex tiles, you can do spherical maps. Or, at least, near-spherical maps.
    Do you have a subforum or something for your SSS?
     
  9. tom2050

    tom2050 Deity

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    You probably don't need to re-render any units at all though. Hex uses 6 movements instead of 8; an example being the units of Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic, those units simply don't have the north and south move animations.

    HexGrid.jpg

    Now in the hex grid above, there is a slight angle difference between the Square SW, NW, SE, NE movements and the Hex SW, NW, SE, NE movement angles.

    I'm not sure how noticable it would be in game, but if you slightly lengthen the hex diagonals, you should be able to make it pretty much exactly the same angle, so that no Civ3 units would need to be re-rendered at all.

    This would make your game incredibly much more adaptable to be able to use the mass amount of units already available to Civ 3.

    This way, all units can be quickly made to fit your game using any graphics program.

    -----

    When doing recolourations, or adding civ colors to units that are converted... I seperate colors (take blue out of the unit, or add in the appropriate colors) in order to do that, or to recolour certain portions of the unit.

    The same could apply to this. Simply take out the north and south directions, and then modify the unit (in Palette or RGB mode, makes no difference) to have seperate storyboards with only blue, and seperate storyboards with no blue.

    One Issue to think about.... Many civ units use the Magenta Shadows to create an Anti-Alias' effect in game using the shadow color. If you don't plan on using something like this, taking these shadows out and making them pure Magenta (ff00ff) will create a blocky look along the unit edges (or you will see all the Magenta color shades around the unit).

    In the 2nd case of using pre-existing palettes and modifying them... this could be done (once a pre-established method is creating) in a matter of 20 min's or so per unit (give or take, probably less once it's done a few times) using Photoshop and it's actions.

    Holy cr*p, CFC is running ultra slow today!

    Tom
     
  10. Steph

    Steph Multi Many Tasks man Retired Moderator

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    Actually, my hexagones will probably be oriented differently,so it's the E and W animations that will be missing.
    Tomorrow, I will try to do some testing to see if using the NW and SW from a square in an hex look bad or not. If it doesn't look too bad, perhaps there' no need to re render...

    But now that I think about it, if I use the same angle as the iso square for the the NW and NE edge of the hex, I can perhaps avoid changing anything. But it my give very flatten hex.

    I'll try two solution and post screenshots to compare.

    And I ill probably change significantly the way relief will be handled, with different altitude for each tile.
     
  11. tom2050

    tom2050 Deity

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    The only reason I mention, is because many artists are not around anymore to re-render some of their units. Whereas, if it looks ok w/o having to re-render, then we can quickly port over any and all units; and no quality is lost from the units when doing so.

    After you test out and see how it looks, keep posted and I can (when you are ready of course) either render a pre-existing model conversion I still have (fantasy unit though), or do a test run on a pre-existing Civ3 storyboard.

    Tom
     
  12. Takhisis

    Takhisis spells laser with an s

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    up yours!
  13. WildWeazel

    WildWeazel -- Turns to Completion

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    I'm hugely in favor of hex tiles, although I'm not involved in the rendering decision. But let's do some math:
    8 directions vs 6, that's 45 degrees between rotations vs 60- a difference of 15 degrees in the 4 diagonal rotations. And that's top-down. Assuming the same isometric view is used (which it must be, if reusing units is an option) which essentially halves vertical dimensions, that difference should be... [trigonometry] 7.63 degrees. So by reusing 8-directional diagonal animations on a hex grid, there would be a 7.63 degree difference between the unit's orientation and movement. I think that's acceptable.
    Heh, you weren't around in the weeks preceding Civ4's release... just wait until "Fall 2010" :sad:
     
  14. Steph

    Steph Multi Many Tasks man Retired Moderator

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    Result of my tests.

    First line: cavalry. Left= with squares. Then with two kind of hexes (flatten and normal on the second line). Here, I keep the same drawing method as with the iso square. So the formation is aligned with the edge with the flatten hex (as it is the same as for iso.

    Then the same with a ship. You can see that here it is not very nice... Especially with the normal hex.

    And last, using the normal hex, but with a different drawing method (normal one for 60 degrees instead of 45).

    With the "45 method", both sides of a squarefomation are aligned with the edge of the hex... which is not normal. With the "60 method", then only the side facing the edge is aligned, as it should be.



    Feedback welcome.
     
  15. Wyrmshadow

    Wyrmshadow Deity

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    Is this what you wanted? Because my camera is set up to be 45' from the object and I just rotate my ground ever 45' per direction. Rotating the ground 60' each time makes a funny angle. I'd have to redo my camera positioning for everything in Hex.
     

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  16. Steph

    Steph Multi Many Tasks man Retired Moderator

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    Here is an idea of what the map could look like.
    This is a screenshot taken from the game West Front from TalonSoft. It is using hexagons "normal method".

    By the way, some explanation about it. To get a perfect tiling, the edge of the tile must follow a clear pattern. See the bottom right in the screenshot in my previous post.

    I can have either 1 x 1, or 2x1. The second option is what is used by civilization, and gives the "flatten" hexagons.



    @Wyrmshadow : thanks for the preview, but apparently it's not enough. A simple rotation will not do. Or perhaps it's not the correct angle

     
  17. Wyrmshadow

    Wyrmshadow Deity

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    the camera positions would have to be completely reworked.
     
  18. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    I don't understand - I can see why rotating the image won't work, but what's wrong with rotating the object and re-rendering?
     
  19. Wyrmshadow

    Wyrmshadow Deity

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    Is this question directed at me? Because that would complete #@$!!%!% up the animation if anything changes in frame zero.
     
  20. Moff Jerjerrod

    Moff Jerjerrod Deity

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    If you could implement hexagons into C3C I would be absolutely impressed! I look forward to seeing how you progress. :)
     

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