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<  3D Aesthetics  ~  Low tech is out?

Michael
Posted: Tue Jun 25, 2002 4:11 pm Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
I was admiring the extremely clever textures in the first Silent Hill again. The artists really succeeded in simulating surfaces with just a few pixels and hardly any effects. By today's standards, this is completely outdated. Now you don't use a fake texture to make things appear to be shiny. You just use a material and put a big spotlight on it. You just can't do those old school tricks anymore.

I think that's a pity. Silent Hill 1 still looks better than many of the new "technicolor" games out there. But I don't think a lot of contemporary gamers would be able to appreciate this kind of beauty. Maybe in the future, we will be able to come back to this.
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meomi
Posted: Fri Jun 28, 2002 10:20 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 28 Jun 2002 Posts: 4 Location: vancouver, canada
i LOVE low poly. i love the crappy 3d look with cheesy mapped patterns.



but i think it is probably out - in terms of mainstream game play.



i was lamenting last night as i'm big into pixel art, which is truly being affected by hi-res monitors and gameboy/cellphones becomeing more and more sophisticated.



but pixels are beautiful.



does obselete design technology then become art?
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Michael
Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2002 8:26 am Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
I don't think that the texturing in Silent Hill 1 is cheesy. I think it is extremely well done. But we're in the renaissance period of game aesthetics now. It will take some time to start appreciating roman and gothic art again.

Nevertheless, in the mean time, I think there is a lot to learn from old game art for developers. In the quest of establishing a 3D aesthetics grammar, it should definitely not be forgotten.
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meomi
Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2002 9:40 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 28 Jun 2002 Posts: 4 Location: vancouver, canada
sorry, i didn't mean to imply that silenthill1 are cheesy. i just meant to say that many of the old games that do have the old simplified - polymaps - that what was once created due to technological restrictions has developed its own aesthetic which i really like.



although referring back to your first post, i don't think its a pity that we don't have to resort to 'hacks' anymore to create the result that we want to achieve.



i think the techniques needed to create any type of visuals is beyond any particular set of technologies. the end result is still a matter of studying - light, line, volume, mood, shadow, depth, perspective. the basics to all visual arts. whether its pixels, polys or nurbs.
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cyberdigitus
Posted: Mon Nov 24, 2003 5:20 am Reply with quote
Joined: 24 Nov 2003 Posts: 18 Location: Belgium
there is no thing as 'low tech'

let me clarify the thought.

tech moves along the deployment environment, ie the device it is playing on. a 100 poly model might look crude next to hl2, but it is great to see it on your cell phone for eaxample. so while there is newer tech, the old tech finds it's new home on less performant devices. an ongoing evolution.

another thought:

consider voxels (i'l talk more of those beauties in another thread) only now we see 6 DOF voxel engines becoming a possibility, when we see voxel based objects they look like bitmaps did in the 8 bit days, but they are state of the art technology, becoming possible with today's cpu's and ram. voxels are to 3d what pixel art is to 2d, and in that way i find them artistically pleasing, how low tech it might seem.



there are many signs that voxels will bloom soon, by this we might see the 'end' of the poly in a few years. well, not really the end, see thought above...
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Michael
Posted: Mon Nov 24, 2003 10:37 am Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
Voxels could end one of our issues with polygons: the fact that polygonal bodies are empty shells just doesn't feel right. Of course we will want each and every voxel to be subject to the laws of physics. And nature as a whole: we want voxels to become as small as atoms and we want to grow our models in cultures rather than sculpt them in maya. Genetic engineering with virtual cells! Laughing
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TheGee
Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 10:25 am Reply with quote
Joined: 19 May 2007 Posts: 165 Location: A dump, Germany
It's been a long time since the last post here Wink

I remember the times when me and a friend used to play NES and SNES for days and days. Also new consoles were released at that time we still were fascinated from what was possible with those early game consoles.
I dunno wheter you ever had the joy of playing with NES and SNES but if yes and especially if you could compare it with N64 you know what I mean. Sure N64 had the shinging and incredibly bright and intensive colors and stuff, but I like the graphics of its predecessor much more cuz for the technical possibilities these days they're absolutely outstanding.

Also PSOne (Yeah, I still have it Cool ) is a good example of that. I dunno wheter you know Oddworld. In my eyes it had an amazing graphic, if you know when it was released ( Oddworld Inhabitants)

I don't like this game for its content that much, but the look simply fascinates me. Every time I used to play it, I could enjoy it again and again cuz I was able to imaginate the straight development of this world. I saw more than just the displayed content. It kinda stimulated me and made me think about it that much that I designed it in my mind.

What you mentioned with those oldschool (N0T negative) textures is absolutely right. They were used on all those old console games an also in many good, really good PC games which seem to be forgotten these days. The fan community that likes these games for how they are made is constantly decreasing. Sadly. I tend to play these games from time to time and I couldn't imagine them to be completely gone.

I think the problem is not that nowadays there are Hi-res textures and all those effects, the problem is that many gamers didn't raise in the time these games were popular.
I guess it is hard for a 16 or 17 year old guy who knows nothing but those games with shader stuff and more to find a game that offers "nothing (new)" in his eyes interesting. For this guy such a game would be boring and the graphics would be way out of date.
There is only a really small number of people who tend to explore these older games and to see the fascination and the beauty behind. I regard myself as such a guy. As I'm not 20 yet, I also raised with those "modern" games and didn't know the old ones for quite a long time. But I was interested in discovering them and got deeper into that.
Since then I had/have a faible for these games. They tend to attract me more than most of the latest games. I like to play those no-goal-games, I use to play C64, NES and stuff a lot and I tend to still dig in the internet to find more of these.
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Michael
Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 11:09 am Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
I think that once we get used to photo-realism and super-smooth effects in realtime, we will be able to appreciate the masterpieces from the past again. Just like when photography came about, people developed a taste for ancient african and gothic sculpture. Suddenly they could see the beauty of those comparatively crude artworks.
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TheGee
Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 11:21 am Reply with quote
Joined: 19 May 2007 Posts: 165 Location: A dump, Germany
I guess you are right. It surely depends on the individual. Some people may get tired of hi-res and stuff very fast and tend to like the ancient stuff as soon as they are surrounded by these photo-realistic things once. Others may like this over several years and sure sum may never ever go back to those crude things....but basically you're right.
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Wildbluesun
Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 12:32 am Reply with quote
Joined: 12 Dec 2006 Posts: 4266 Location: London, Land of Tea and Top Hats
A man once criticized Picasso for creating unrealistic art. Picasso asked him: "Can you show me some realistic art?" The man showed him a photograph of his wife. Picasso observed: "So your wife is two inches tall, two-dimensional, with no arms and no legs, and no colour but only shades of gray?"

Perhaps gaming needs a Picasso.

And what's faible mean? Precisely; I can guess at a general meaning from context.
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Seretar
Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 12:26 am Reply with quote
Joined: 16 Dec 2007 Posts: 8 Location: Harvard
Quote:
we're in the renaissance period of game aesthetics now. It will take some time to start appreciating roman and gothic art again.


I would be careful of confusing technological with aesthetic development. You do it again here:

Quote:
Perhaps gaming needs a Picasso.


The bind videogames are in is interesting: the aesthetic revolutions that Picasso et al brought about are already available to them - they don't generally need to be reinvented for the new medium.

On the other hand, there have already been 'Picassos' of interactive narrative and interface design - you're looking at the Newells, the Miyamotos, the Molyneuxs etc. Perhaps yourself one day?
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Vrav
Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 12:40 am Reply with quote
Joined: 25 Oct 2007 Posts: 168 Location: Oregon
Speaking on lowpoly models with straight diffuse textures using minimal shader effects, my love for Quake3 will never die. It has the most beautifully painted low-res textures I have ever seen, and remains an artistic inspiration for myself today.

Warning, kind of gory. Admire: http://img85.imageshack.us/img85/7444/q3texturesph7.jpg

Upper right four are expanded 200 percent to show all the delicious sub-pixel detail.
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Michael
Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 11:58 am Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
I agree that it's a bit silly to think that gaming will evolve the same as something else did before.

Seretar wrote:
On the other hand, there have already been 'Picassos' of interactive narrative and interface design - you're looking at the Newells, the Miyamotos, the Molyneuxs etc. Perhaps yourself one day?

Given the conventionality in the designs made by the people you mention, and the primitive state of the technology, I think those people are more like early gothic sculptors or miniature painting monks. Or maybe I'm too hopeful. Wink
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Lenina
Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 6:44 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 10 Jun 2007 Posts: 77
Michael wrote:
I think that once we get used to photo-realism and super-smooth effects in realtime, we will be able to appreciate the masterpieces from the past again. Just like when photography came about, people developed a taste for ancient african and gothic sculpture. Suddenly they could see the beauty of those comparatively crude artworks.

Or perhaps a better comparison would be as digital photography is becoming more and more sharp and detailed, people are going back to the older way of pinhole photography and developing photos by hand.

I think that the new technology for game aesthetics will only allow games to become more visually beautiful. Definitely the art of previous games will lose it's fanbase as technology progresses, but I can't help but be awed by games like Bioshock.
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Seretar
Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 7:14 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 16 Dec 2007 Posts: 8 Location: Harvard
Quote:
Given the conventionality in the designs made by the people you mention, and the primitive state of the technology, I think those people are more like early gothic sculptors or miniature painting monks.


Perhaps! But we must remember that those individuals, when they created their new forms, also were innovators in their medium. The game-design approaches of those I mentioned are only 'conventional' because they were taken up by others subsequently. Before 'Half-Life', for example, there really was no parallel in terms of in-game narrative told without cutscenes. Before SM64, no one had explored the possibilities of 3D space quite like they did. Now it's de rigeur, in the same way that Picasso, if he showed up now, would be considered 'old-fashioned'. But someone had to go there first...
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