Which shading type would you choose?

Anything and everything that's related to OGRE or the wider graphics field that doesn't fit into the other forums.
Post Reply

Which shading type would you choose?

Cel Shading
6
22%
Normal Shading
21
78%
 
Total votes: 27

User avatar
kfoong
Gnoblar
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2004 12:50 am
Location: Sydney, Australia
Contact:

Which shading type would you choose?

Post by kfoong » Sat Sep 25, 2004 8:34 am

I'm working on a game at the moment (aren't we all? :) ), and I was wondering which type of shading we would do.

I wanted to do cel shading origally, because it is quite unique and not many games do this (and maybe for good reason). But everyone else in my team wants a normal smooth shading type game.

I really wanted to keep the cel shading, but it seems like we will have to switch.

Before I made any drastic choices, I wanted to see who would choose what.

I know it varies depending on the game, but what would you choose, in general?
0 x
- Keen

User avatar
Antiarc
Greenskin
Posts: 120
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 8:40 am
Contact:

Post by Antiarc » Sat Sep 25, 2004 8:38 am

In general? Smooth. If I was doing a cartoon-type game? Cel.
0 x

User avatar
:wumpus:
OGRE Retired Team Member
OGRE Retired Team Member
Posts: 3067
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 12:53 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Post by :wumpus: » Sat Sep 25, 2004 8:46 am

*agrees with antiarc*

Isn't there a third choice? :P Everyone uses smooth shading or cel shading already..
0 x

User avatar
Kencho
OGRE Retired Moderator
OGRE Retired Moderator
Posts: 4011
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 6:28 pm
Location: Burgos, Spain
x 1
Contact:

Post by Kencho » Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:30 am

I agree too. Cel-shading is being used nowadays for almost everything, while it just fits in cartoon-like games (for instance, those based on anime series...). Please, stick to smooth-shading while you can; don't fall in the fashion of game-unrelated cel-shading style... :?
0 x
Image

PJB
Gnoblar
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2004 1:48 am
Location: East Sussex, England
Contact:

Post by PJB » Sat Sep 25, 2004 7:20 pm

I recently read an article in a trade magazine ('Develop' which is for games programmers) which suggested that any games using cel-shading will not find a publisher at the moment. It seems that bubble has well and truly burst (at last!) and we can get back to the usual routine of 'baby-steps toward photo-realism' except in very rare circumstances where other shaders add a significant value to a project.
On the subject of photo-realism, have you seen the recent screen shots of 'burnout 3' on the PS2 (MVC Sept 04 pg. 7)... I don't know what they did to get the background looking so good but it really looks amazing. When you go in and look close it's just the same old stuff we've seen for years, but taken as a whole that image looks like a photo.
0 x

User avatar
Kencho
OGRE Retired Moderator
OGRE Retired Moderator
Posts: 4011
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 6:28 pm
Location: Burgos, Spain
x 1
Contact:

Post by Kencho » Sat Sep 25, 2004 7:30 pm

I don't agree at all. Cel-shading is good for projects that require it. For instance, you can take a look to the Naruto game for PS2, which also does really nice effects with shading (not usual cel-shading, but shaded using ink strokes!). I won't do a football game that uses cel-shading unless it's based on Captain Tsubasa ;)
0 x
Image

User avatar
zarthrag
Greenskin
Posts: 128
Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2004 9:07 am
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma

Post by zarthrag » Sat Sep 25, 2004 11:24 pm

I can't vote on that....both have valid application. Cel-Shading is best done as a pixel shader IMO. But it's use is justified by the project. You just don't see it in...say...a flight sim. Unless you mean to.

But for anime-inspired romps through fantasy land, it's great stuff. (But even then, it can be a bit much. But I think textured/lighted/"serious" can be good for some games - just depends.
0 x

User avatar
toastie
Gnoblar
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2003 3:49 am
Location: Gotham City
Contact:

Post by toastie » Sun Sep 26, 2004 5:29 am

I think that traditional shading is the reason video games may never be considered an art form. Until games start developing their own visual style, they will be forever doomed to repeat the same old concepts. Sure, there's new texture shader developments, sure there are amazing artists contributing beautiful models and textures to games, but a game's true visual style is always in the renderer. The strive for photo-realism is the problem with most things 3d. Photo realism will be an amazing technical achievement when it is truly implemented, but on that day, it will be the complete opposite of what art is, and every day we are sadly moving away from it more and more, because visual beauty is not in the imitation of nature, but in the symbolical representation of it in a manner that stimulates us, both intellectually and aesthetically, something that very few games seem to do.
That said, I advise that you don't follow in the footsteps of what is considered 'conventional' in the way games look, but rather find your own style, and with the pixel shaders of today, i hope more people will start to find their own voice.
0 x
Rest well this night. For tomorrow you sail for the kingdom of Daggerfall.

User avatar
Kentamanos
Minaton
Posts: 980
Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2004 12:08 am
Location: Dallas, TX

Post by Kentamanos » Sun Sep 26, 2004 5:39 am

Forget 3D, use claymation for everything ala Neverhood! :) Just be prepared to multiply your man-hours by about 100 ;).

I'm not a big fan of cel-shading type stuff, but I still do enjoy games that have a cartoony feel but still have normal smooth shading. I think some games try too hard to make people look realistic and fail miserably to the point where it looks awkward.

For instance, I found the graphics in the WoW stress test beta to be a nice change personally. They're not over the top cartoonish like a Mario game, but somewhere in between Mario and something that tries to look realistic.
0 x

john_sheu
Kobold
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2004 2:11 am

Post by john_sheu » Sun Sep 26, 2004 6:27 am

There's no reason, really, why you can't go with the "normal" route but present some option in the video setup to drop in a cel-shading shader for the full screen.
0 x

User avatar
:wumpus:
OGRE Retired Team Member
OGRE Retired Team Member
Posts: 3067
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 12:53 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Post by :wumpus: » Sun Sep 26, 2004 10:19 am

I'm sure most players don't want to be bothered with shader system and material choices, it should indeed be an important part of the visual style.
0 x

User avatar
sinbad
OGRE Retired Team Member
OGRE Retired Team Member
Posts: 19265
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2002 11:19 pm
Location: Guernsey, Channel Islands
x 2
Contact:

Post by sinbad » Sun Sep 26, 2004 3:15 pm

Lets not forget that cel shading is only one form of NPR. I agree with toastie, that the endless push towards photorealism is something of a false grail - sure, it's nice, and many games benefit from that push, but the obsession with it at the expense of other styles is plain wrong. However, publishers listen to the punters, and punters say they want photorealism, hence why you'll have more difficulty selling a game that is not striving for that. Just look at the backlash Nintendo got from the majority of the public for making Zelda cel-shaded - personally I thought they did an excellent job, especially in the lava caves (the smoke, lighting and flames were sooo Disney.. beautiful).

Now, unfortunately the majority of punters often don't know what they really want - they just look at what they have, and say 'that, but better please - more guns, more explosions, more realism' (especially teenage fanboys). This is where I still respect Nintendo a lot, because they seem to be one of the few who still make a variety of games (I don't think Pikmin, Animal Crossing or Wario Ware could have been made by anyone else) instead of the same selection of about 4 games over and over just to push the 'accepted' buttons. However, the market as it stands doesn't really agree with them, and that's sad.

The game industry unfortunately doesn't have a broad spectrum of consumers / publishers yet, and it shows. Most games are essentially aiming at the 'uber' gamer, ie typically the 15-25 year old male. That exacerbates the 'hit' driven dynamics of the industry, meaning 90% of games make no money at all, and the Doom / Half Life's of this world bankroll the failures. Meaning publishers are risk-averse and just try to find the hits, which means they look for what worked last time. Experimenting is too expensive. And it's getting worse the more advanced the tech gets, because games cost more.

But, there's still hope. The traditional games industry is selling to a very, very small percentage of the possible marketplace - those 15-25 year old males might buy lots of games, but proportionately speaking they're a tiny minority. Recently it was shown that, in money terms, 40+ housewives were spending more than that on internet and downloadable games. Short, fun games. Inexpensive. Less risky to experiment with. And there's more - people like me, ex-uber gamers who have grown up and don't have 20 hours a week to play anymore and have played for a long time; we're looking for quick, highly playable quality games that don't require zillions of hours. We have nostalgic thoughts about the old arcades, and how games used to be different from each other. We're looking for new ideas, not old ones with new spit and polish. There's a lot of us, and we have a fair amount of cash to spend. The kind of games I like (and have time) to play don't require $10m budgets and photorealistic graphics. They just need to be damn good fun, and maybe surprise me a little bit by doing something new.

As broadband becomes more widespread, I think the downloadable / online (not in the traditional MMOG sense we see now) games segment is going to be the place to be. Whether that's through PC's, set-top boxes, mobile devices or all of the above remains to be seen. But that's where the real innovation is going to happen, in my opinion.
0 x

User avatar
kfoong
Gnoblar
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2004 12:50 am
Location: Sydney, Australia
Contact:

Post by kfoong » Sun Sep 26, 2004 10:40 pm

I totally agree, I've played some of the older SNES and NES games, and even though the graphics are not as good as todays, they are still great games. And I find too that todays games are not as good as they used to be, but maybe because I dont really like mindless game play as much as before.

I really love to keep the cel-shaded theme, since I want to keep the atmosphere of the game fun, and unique. I personally thought Nintendo also did a great job with Zelda: Wind Waker. One of the best games I've seen today (I'm not really into those high detailed shoot-em ups, they're fun to play for a short time for me).

So I for one is still not sure which one to choose, the poll seems to have 1:5 ratio against cel-shading, so I might go for the normal shading.
0 x
- Keen

User avatar
Kencho
OGRE Retired Moderator
OGRE Retired Moderator
Posts: 4011
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 6:28 pm
Location: Burgos, Spain
x 1
Contact:

Post by Kencho » Mon Sep 27, 2004 12:44 am

kfoong, I just say that you must be objective with this. I also want to include tons of nice and fun things in my projects, but I can't do if they just doesn't fit.

By the way: I also LOVE cel-shading, but won't use it in a game that actually doesn't require it to create a cretain mood. You mentioned Zelda: Wind Waker (great game), but would you love an UT2K4 with that cel-shading renderer?
0 x
Image

User avatar
kfoong
Gnoblar
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2004 12:50 am
Location: Sydney, Australia
Contact:

Post by kfoong » Mon Sep 27, 2004 3:05 am

:D But my game isn't a shootem up kind a game =)
0 x
- Keen

User avatar
temas
OGRE Retired Team Member
OGRE Retired Team Member
Posts: 390
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2002 11:19 pm
Location: The Woodlands, TX
Contact:

Post by temas » Mon Sep 27, 2004 3:05 am

but would you love an UT2K4 with that cel-shading
It completely depends on how you are designing the game, have you played XIII?
0 x

User avatar
psyclonist
OGRE Expert User
OGRE Expert User
Posts: 286
Joined: Fri Nov 01, 2002 3:54 pm
Location: Berlin & Nuremberg, Germany
Contact:

Post by psyclonist » Mon Sep 27, 2004 12:53 pm

sinbad wrote:(...) And there's more - people like me, ex-uber gamers who have grown up and don't have 20 hours a week to play anymore and have played for a long time; we're looking for quick, highly playable quality games that don't require zillions of hours. We have nostalgic thoughts about the old arcades, and how games used to be different from each other. We're looking for new ideas, not old ones with new spit and polish. There's a lot of us, and we have a fair amount of cash to spend. The kind of games I like (and have time) to play don't require $10m budgets and photorealistic graphics. They just need to be damn good fun, and maybe surprise me a little bit by doing something new.
I totally agree. Btw, the author of this article does, too.

-psy
0 x

User avatar
Dinmore
Gnoblar
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2004 11:29 pm
Location: Epsom, UK
Contact:

Post by Dinmore » Mon Oct 04, 2004 12:03 am

'Scuse me if this sounds a bit pretentious, I'm hopefully gonna be doing my final on this subject and felt like a bit of a rant. I'm fully prepared for people to rip this post appart...

Personally I agree with toastie and sinbad; I think it's wrong to look at the style of the game as having to be one of these two options. In theory graphics can lok any way you want them to and limiting yourself to realistic or cell-shaded styles will only stifle your creativity. Look at Killer7 for instance, it's taken a slightly new slant on things and looks like something that's been produced in Illustrator with gradients and flat shading mixed together to good effect. Games like Beyond Good And Evil and the Mario games use a cartoony style with smooth shaded graphics to good effect and P.N.03 and Rez (particularly Rez) are unashamedly cg looking.

With the technology available these days it should be possible to reproduce most graphic styles with a reasonable degree of accuracy (Naruto, as previously mentioned is a good example). Although I'd hope that people will actually take it one step further and utilise the programmable shaders and what-not to come up with totally new, unique ways of looking at things.

Saying that, however, it's not really the capabilities of the the technology that gives the best/ most original styles but how you use it. Recently I made some quite nice looking visuals by lighting the scene with only one light that was fixed directly behind the camera the whole time and building the scene almost completely from rounded surfaces.

On choosing a style for your game I'd recommend picking the elements of the world/gameplay/etc. that are the most important, thinking up some nice ways of displaying or representing these then working a cohesive overall style around them. Always keep in mind that although the elements of your game don't have to look like anything that actually exists the player needs to recognise them on some level (green and red glows are a classic example of this) and undertand what they mean.

Can I ask what the game's about?
0 x

Post Reply