Torchlight Character Creation Workflow Questions

Forum for discussing the Torchlight mod toolset.

Torchlight Character Creation Workflow Questions

Postby BradMyers82 » Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:20 pm

Hey there, I heard about this game over at polycount, and I am really interested in it (mainly, I love the art direction).
However, I am completely new to the game engine torchlight uses (its Ogre 3d right?).
So I was wondering if anyone could shine some light on a few things for me.

How are models and animations imported into the game engine?
(what file type would they be exported as from 3ds max for example).

Is there lighting that effects character models, or is the lighting simply painted into the diffuse textures of the character models?

How difficult would it be to create your own main character or enemy, and get him working in game?

Does the game engine have a model viewer or something comparable, so you can quickly checkout how your characters look in-game?

That's all for now, btw, I'm a 3d character artist and I would love to use Torchlight engine as a basis for creating content for my portfolio. I'm just trying to workout a plan of attack here, so I can quickly get up and running when Torchlight is released.

Thanks in advance!

-Brad
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Re: Torchlight Character Creation Workflow Questions

Postby Webbstre » Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:17 pm

BradMyers82 wrote:Hey there, I heard about this game over at polycount, and I am really interested in it (mainly, I love the art direction).
However, I am completely new to the game engine torchlight uses (its Ogre 3d right?).
So I was wondering if anyone could shine some light on a few things for me.

How are models and animations imported into the game engine?
(what file type would they be exported as from 3ds max for example).

I'll take a shot at some of these! I'm not graphics artist but this is what I have heard. This link holds some of what we know about the modelling and stuff. Here is the direct quote that applies to your question:
Exporting models

Preditor uses an Ogre 3D mesh file format, so a number of different modeling programs will be supported. [1] The Runic team uses 3D Studio Max (Autodesk 3ds Max) for modeling and rigging, but you should also be able to use other 3D modeling software, such as Maya and presumably any other software for which Ogre exporters exist.[2]
[edit] Ogre exporter for 3DSMax

Travis rewrote the Ogre Exporter for Max, but the format it writes to is still the Ogre format. It saves it first to XML and then converts it to a binary. Runic plans on releasing its Max exporter.[3]



BradMyers82 wrote:Is there lighting that effects character models, or is the lighting simply painted into the diffuse textures of the character models?

All lighting is done with particle effects that you can change via modding.


BradMyers82 wrote:How difficult would it be to create your own main character or enemy, and get him working in game?

If you want to graphically make your own character, you need to export it to the Ogre format, give it a skeleton or something to let you create the animations, then make armor graphics for everything it can possibly wear.


BradMyers82 wrote:Does the game engine have a model viewer or something comparable, so you can quickly checkout how your characters look in-game?

This one I'll leave to others. I haven't heard anything about it yet.
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Re: Torchlight Character Creation Workflow Questions

Postby Marsh » Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:07 am

You can use the editor to look at your characters once they are exported to the Ogre format. Our lighting is done as Webbstre noted with particles. We also do have a few ambient lights, which add a little color to the scene. So a lot of our texture work is baked in but it is modified by the ambient lights. I think Webbstre answered all the others - thanks Webbstre. ;)
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Re: Torchlight Character Creation Workflow Questions

Postby BradMyers82 » Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:49 am

Hey, Thanks for the info guys, this is a great help!
I think I have all the info I need now, so time to get to work! :)

I'm not a concept artist, but I would like to create my own version of the monster below,
from the runic teams Torchlight concepts.

What do you think? Lame working off another's concepts that will already be in game, or cool?

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Re: Torchlight Character Creation Workflow Questions

Postby hawkn » Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:06 am

I really like TL's cartoony feel. I think that they did the style alot better than fate did. and if you want to use their idea, i think someone said that copying is the greatest form of flattery (or something like that).
...I most certainly am not the meanest person on these forums, I defer that position to hawkn. ~ AMB2010
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Re: Torchlight Character Creation Workflow Questions

Postby adamperin » Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:03 pm

How difficult would it be to create your own main character or enemy, and get him working in game?


Let me take a stab at this question.
It is fully possible to get you own enemy in game. Its is a lot of work but you have some options. You can always replace our textures with you own. This is probably the easiest method. If you want something more unique you could model and texture a character. We are considering releasing some of our rigs so that you could skin/rig your enemy to an existing rig and use the animation that is in game for that rig. If we do that you would not have to animate the model you could just use the existing animation. This can be a bit finicky but does work as long as your rig matches perfectly with the one in game. If we decide not to release the rigs you would most likely have to make your own set of animation for your new enemy. This can obviously be a pretty big tasks so Im hoping we do release the rigs. Adding new stats to your monsters is relatively easy and can be done right in the editor. Plus you can add them to spawnclasses and have them populate in the dungeons and/or hand place them in areas.

Creating a playable character would be a lot harder as you would also need to make all the armor pieces, still doable but pretty rough. You could always add new equiptment by cloning existing ones and retexturing them. A lot of the equiptment relies heavily on the texture more so than the model so you could get quite a bit out of just changing the textures and altering the stats. You could also change the base texture of the character too.


Does the game engine have a model viewer or something comparable, so you can quickly checkout how your characters look in-game?


Marsh answere this but... just a little more
You can view any model in the game, including its animations, as well as see it in any level or enviroment and even "play" the game right in the editor. Also you will be able to open all of our assest in the editor.
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Re: Torchlight Character Creation Workflow Questions

Postby BradMyers82 » Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:16 pm

Yeah, releasing the rigs would be awesome!
I can animate, but I do not specialize in animation, plus having the rigs would make this task super easy.

So please include the rigs if at all possible :)

Creating a playable character would be a lot harder as you would also need to make all the armor pieces, still doable but pretty rough. You could always add new equipment by cloning existing ones and retexturing them. A lot of the equipment relies heavily on the texture more so than the model so you could get quite a bit out of just changing the textures and altering the stats.


Physically modeling and texturing characters and objects is not a problem for me, so I'm curious, when you say "rough" do you mean the process of making the models, or actually getting them to function properly in the editor?

Thanks for the great advice everyone!
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Re: Torchlight Character Creation Workflow Questions

Postby adamperin » Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:55 am

rough, meaning the pure amount of models and textures you would have to make to have a enough equiptment would be quite a bit, plus all of the skinning for those items. Like I said, its doable but I think it would be a pretty big undertaking. Although getting them in the game is pretty straightforward, there would be a lot of pieces to be added and that can take some time also. Also you would have to setup all the stats unless you just replaced existing items... that being said I think it would be awesome if someone did this!
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Re: Torchlight Character Creation Workflow Questions

Postby BradMyers82 » Thu Oct 01, 2009 10:24 am

hamsandwich: Ahh, I see what you mean, thanks for clearing that up. I obviously haven't played the game yet, so I didn't realize that each character has a number of different outfits, armor, weapons and props to consider.
I was thinking more along the lines of 1 character, 1 armor set and 1 weapon.

Anyways, I am planning on just starting out by making the monster in the image above to get a better idea what's involved. If I can get him running as an enemy in game I can attempt more difficult tasks after that point. My fingers are crossed in the hopes that you guys do release some of your rigs as this will certainly save me a lot of time.

I'm planning on about 2,000 tri's and a 512x512 diffuse for the monster, and possibly a self-illumination map, but I'm still not 100% sure how self-illumination map is handled in game. (Does the self-illumination actually glow, or is that handled by particle effects entirely?)

Oh, and I found that diffuse, specular, and self-illumination maps were used in this game from this article: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/4 ... php?page=6

I'll probably post a WIP of my progress on this thread. Hopefully some modding groups will find this thread useful later on.
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Re: Torchlight Character Creation Workflow Questions

Postby adamperin » Thu Oct 01, 2009 1:40 pm

somewhere between 1000 and 2000 tris is about right for most of our monsters and we use either a 512x512 or 256x256 depending ont he size of the monster. Our self illums simply make the texture full bright. Like you said you can always add some glows in particle. I also really hope we do realese some of our rigs but we will have to see what our options are.
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Re: Torchlight Character Creation Workflow Questions

Postby Syphus » Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:42 pm

You guys literally just sparked my modding imagination to the max! Thanks heaps for the info, been wanting to attempt to create my own models for sometime. :D

Thanks for the posts, really really helpful. :)

-Chris
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Re: Torchlight Character Creation Workflow Questions

Postby Wyndmage » Thu Dec 16, 2010 7:24 am

Webbstre wrote:
BradMyers82 wrote:Hey there, I heard about this game over at polycount, and I am really interested in it (mainly, I love the art direction).
However, I am completely new to the game engine torchlight uses (its Ogre 3d right?).
So I was wondering if anyone could shine some light on a few things for me.

How are models and animations imported into the game engine?
(what file type would they be exported as from 3ds max for example).

I'll take a shot at some of these! I'm not graphics artist but this is what I have heard. This link holds some of what we know about the modelling and stuff. Here is the direct quote that applies to your question:
Exporting models

Preditor uses an Ogre 3D mesh file format, so a number of different modeling programs will be supported. [1] The Runic team uses 3D Studio Max (Autodesk 3ds Max) for modeling and rigging, but you should also be able to use other 3D modeling software, such as Maya and presumably any other software for which Ogre exporters exist.[2]
[edit] Ogre exporter for 3DSMax

Travis rewrote the Ogre Exporter for Max, but the format it writes to is still the Ogre format. It saves it first to XML and then converts it to a binary. Runic plans on releasing its Max exporter.[3]



BradMyers82 wrote:Is there lighting that effects character models, or is the lighting simply painted into the diffuse textures of the character models?

All lighting is done with particle effects that you can change via modding.


BradMyers82 wrote:How difficult would it be to create your own main character or enemy, and get him working in game?

If you want to graphically make your own character, you need to export it to the Ogre format, give it a skeleton or something to let you create the animations, then make armor graphics for everything it can possibly wear.


BradMyers82 wrote:Does the game engine have a model viewer or something comparable, so you can quickly checkout how your characters look in-game?

This one I'll leave to others. I haven't heard anything about it yet.


The first link in this post doesn't seem to work for me. I'd love to see it. thanks!
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Re: Torchlight Character Creation Workflow Questions

Postby Phanjam » Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:18 pm

Wyndmage wrote:The first link in this post doesn't seem to work for me. I'd love to see it. thanks!

Here try this one instead.
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