Crowd Models

The place for artists, modellers, level designers et al to discuss their approaches for creating content for OGRE.
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Crowd Models

Post by WraithDrof »

The project I am working on at the moment will soon have included crowds of people. However, there has been some debate on the best way of doing this. On one hand, we could calculate a person's features dynamically (i.e. randomly select a head, place it on a random body and put on random clothes) or to just have a large selection of people to select from (which as far as I can tell seems to be quite popular in many games that involve crowds).

I am currently leaning towards dynamic crowds, if only because we do not have a particularly large art team and we have plenty to work on already, so more for less sounds like a good idea. I'm just wondering if that would be practical or not.

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Re: Crowd Models

Post by metaldev »

imo, it can definitely be practical.
Usually setting up art is faster than setting up code, though.

Also, there is the question of what is the scope of what you are trying to do: is it possible to zoom into the crowd? If so, how far? If the people in the crowd are far, maybe the best thing is to just have them on sprites for example.

i think it is practical, but probably not preferable than to do it in the art. Thats imo.

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Re: Crowd Models

Post by duststorm »

It's easy to create lots of characters with different clothes by just swapping the textures. It's also pretty fast to just change around the colors of the texture a bit. This is mainly how Rocketbox do it with their characters pack. It's just a few small variations of a basic mesh with mainly texture changes.

Be aware that if you start changing the faces of your characters a lot you will probably have to remodel the mesh of the face also, or it will look strange.
I wouldn't start trying to generate different people models in code, as this will probably involve lots more work than just tweaking different characters a bit in graphics programs. Variations that can be trivial in a graphics programme can already be difficult to achieve in code, let alone non-trivial variations. You're definitely going to have more work programming them than just creating them (unless maybe you need thousands of unique characters).

At what distance are the people viewed? If they are not up close you can probably get by with say 2 or 3 variations of male and female, and then apply textures with different clothes. Choosing random clothes textures in code would be a fast solution. (maybe this would even work with close-up characters)

Also, if you want to animate the crowd, make sure you base all your characters on a single base mesh and skeleton, so you only have to animate them once and you can apply that skeleton and animations to all your characters. 3D MAX's bipeds make this quite easy to do. That is how they do it in the RocketBox people pack.
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