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Help with voxels
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4StarGeneral
Commander


Joined: 14 Sep 2006
Location: Constant Flux

PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:41 pm    Post subject:   Help with voxels
Subject description: having color issues or is it just the normals?
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Hi, I've recently started voxeling as I'm without a computer capable of heavy 3D programs to my dismay. I was never a fan of voxels and their pixel-based details, so I'm a little new at it after all these years. Can I get some help as to why the coloring is so bad on this test voxel? (stole the turret off of Creator's Providence tank just to reference, since it was publicly released, thanks Creator.)


gtnk_001.gif
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gtnk_001.gif



test_tank.rar
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 Filename:  test_tank.rar
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NucleiSplitter
Chem Warrior


Joined: 28 Oct 2016
Location: Metro Manila, Philippines

PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all, it's about detail and aesthetics, if you want metal platings on the side that aren't thick, paint them on the body, if you want to make a Hatch, make it one layer higher than the layer that is part of the body...

Voxelling is like painting a blank canvas with your imagination but with volumized pixels. And since we're working with the W2D Engine, we do it microscopically around the size of at least 20 or more for the canvas size. And one voxel is equal to a 1x1x1 pixel on the canvas... I'll stop here

Ugh, it's too hard to explain #Mad

The VPL affect how the Voxel's color looks like in the game, the Normals just affect the Light Reflection/Direction of a voxel in-game

And I only have a Lunchbox-type Computer that cannot run any 3D Utilities, and I don't plan on learning 3D, so I got used to the lagginess...
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Trans_C
AA Infantry


Joined: 17 Nov 2014
Location: Somewhere in China

PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's more of designs than techniques. The remap strips on the sides are too narrow, and contrast badly with the main color, and you should avoid overusing small remap decorations. The purpose of having remap is to identify, not to add details. Larger areas of remap are used by experienced modders for this purpose.

And due to the WW stupidity made manifest that is called VPL, voxels on the top are always rendered way too dark in game, ruining every detail you put there. You should use brighter colors on the parts atop, and put your details that you wish to emphasize on the side.

Btw, why do you put the turret ring on the engine vents???
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Creator
Rocket Cyborg


Joined: 15 Aug 2017
Location: Somewhere in Viet Nam

PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm, I can see that you use the wrong contrast . I prefer darker outside and then lighter and lighter in the inside

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EVA-251
General


Joined: 20 Feb 2005
Location: Somewhere in Michigan, I suppose.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With this voxel, setting aside stylistic/artistic decisions, it looks like your normals are off.

Most evident with the front/backsides of the side sponsons. Renormalizing the voxel partially fixes it, but you'd need to manually paint the normals to get rid of the stair-step effect.

What setting for AutoNormals do you use?

(sidenote, not a huge fan of double-scaling...314k voxel count on that tank, dragged my editor to a halt trying to normalize it)
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4StarGeneral
Commander


Joined: 14 Sep 2006
Location: Constant Flux

PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Trans_C - You're right about the remap, I suppose filling in between the pairs of remap should look better. I'm sure the darker colors on top are definitely causing a problem; The vents are just me going overboard on painting them.

@Creator - All the new voxels seem brighter on the outside which is confusing, so thanks for the input.

@EVA-251 - I've tried all the options on all the AutoNormals and ended up just using the recommended RA2 autonormals. I'm guessing the best thing to do is paint them by hand. Sorry about the huge size.

Thanks everyone for the input, it's very helpful.
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Graion Dilach
Defense Minister


Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Location: Iszkaszentgyörgy, Hungary

PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a really shitty voxel shrinker tool (doesn't handle voxels directly, but their TXT conversions with Mixer and result must also be converted back to it) which can revert the upscale though, notsure how would that help. What's your intentional ingame scale?

EDIT: Oh, normals are wrong, because the voxel is flipped on the Z axis (front is back and vice versa) corrected with HVA. >_>

Went ahead and fixed it along with reverting the voxel to pre-upscaled version. Also renormalized with Cubed 15 Smooth 5 Contrast 2.7 range - as you can see on the attachment.


normalsettings.png
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These are what I tend to use for years now.
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normalsettings.png



test_tank.zip
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 Filename:  test_tank.zip
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EVA-251
General


Joined: 20 Feb 2005
Location: Somewhere in Michigan, I suppose.

PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@4Star
By that, do you mean Tangent Plane Auto Normals, which the program recommends?

If so, I would encourage you to not use it. It makes voxels look ugly more often than not, in my experiences.

I personally like using Cubed Auto Normals, with the default settings. Handles round shapes well, gives a smooth appearance to a voxel, and then I go in and hand-paint stuff that is angled/flat.
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Project Lead Developer, New-Star Strike (2014-), RA Tweaked (2015-)
Former Project Lead Developer Star Strike (2005-2012), Z-Mod (2006-2007), RA1.5 (2008-2013), The Cold War (2006-2007)

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