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VonBeerhofen

What can be achieved (graphics heavy content!)

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What can be achieved (graphics heavy content!)

when your heart is in it. One of EAW's challenges to me has always been to make objects look as solid, strong and realistic as they are and it's not easy to do within the limitations of the game. Harbours for instance aren't just a few lines on a terrain tile but solid structures with a lot of objects and defenses. Plane shelters aren't waver thin polygons but solid concrete, often up to 1/2 a meter thick. Canons on ships don't sit on the side of a turret but are protruding from the front, pointing at the enemy.

Without control over the dreaded rendering sequence it never looks right, stuff disappears behind the 3D model or displays in front of it when it shouldn't or switches on/off like a nervous object which doesn't know what to do. It limits any creation in that smaller details have to be left out because it makes these problems worse to a point that it really gets annoying.

So I came up with EAW's equivalent of CFS2's 100% 3D models, objects which use every available bit of space in the 3D models and sometimes surpass it's limitations. In the past 10 years I've build a lot of these 100% models which, when properly combined, create pretty realistic environments. The city models were expanded, resulting in more buildings per object and photographic skins to make em look even better. New models were build trying to capture the atmosphere of remote towns and villages in other countries, essential to make an addon campaign like Italy work.

These models are way more complicated then a plane's fuselage or a two engined wing or a tailpeace, even though they also have their own challenges. The time invested in these objects is simply staggering, as at the time my knowledge about solving R/S problems was not very great but vastly improved over time. The problem wasn't really in building the models or creating the skins but in solving every rendering issue as the model progressed and learning why it was such a problem. Creation times went from over 6 months for a single 100% model to less then a week full time today.

Every new object has got these issues when not being a simple cube but something with curves and various angles. One wrong placement of a node or polygon and things no longer work as they should and it's time to call in the 3DZ detective. The problem is different every time and not something you can spot at a glance unless you've come across this problem before. If you haven't it becomes a wild guess, and it gets worse when the model has 5 or 6 such issues. Even today some problems, even though solved, remain obscure as to why they're happening but as opposed to wings and fuselages there is more freedom to move polygons around, I mean if a sunscreen doesn't work over the restaurant then you can always move it elsewhere and with a bit of luck get a proper result.

Still, the issue needs to be examined and solved if you want to stick to your original idea as moving the polygon isn't a solution but a bodged fix which doesn't teach you anything. So here are a few of these solved problems in my collection, which I think add just that touch of realism which has always been missing because Pentium 3's were simply not fast enough to display these models at reasonable framerates. Amogst these objects are also tanks, trucks, ships, weapons and defense structures like Belgian Gates and Czech hedgehogs, pilboxes, barbed wire, trees, bushes and crops, etc. etc.

Von Beerhofen

BTW rather then destroying one of my own bridges a replica of the Antheor Viaduct is close to being completed, the proper way as a 100% 3D model with a fully working R/S, as it's an object which will suit the italy addon and give it the right atmosphere!

Shelter.jpg

LPRocksM4.jpg

LPRocksO4.jpg

LPRocksP4.jpg

LPRocksQ4.jpg

LPRocksR4.jpg

LPRocksS4.jpg

Edited by VonBeerhofen
embedding was problematic
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A minor tweak on an older model from 2010 and wehey an Italian bridge and checkpoint. Texture will probably still change as it looks too much like the old version, and perhaps I'll add some tank obstacles too: It does belong in this same category of solid looking objects.

VonBeerhofen
Venice1.jpg

Venice2.jpg
 

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