Modeling a low poly horse for gaming, having trouble with mane and tail. Particles flying all over the place, not staying in line on neck or tail, and using too much memory. Extruding surfaces makes stiff, jerky mane & tail action. My model looks pretty good, but it’s hard to get something as complicated as a horse under 1024 poly. Aaugh. I am very new to Blender, spoiled by Zbrush, but all my Zmodels were too high poly for gaming, and I really hope to get a job designing game characters.
How would you make mane and tail using about 150 poly count? Thank you.
~Traveler in Thyme, running in place
For that low a poly count I’d use alpha-mapped planes and either soft-body or cloth sim for more natural physics if the game engine supports either. You can create a “brush” of thin planes mapped with hair texture(s) and using alpha for transparency. Soft body works well for the physics, though I’d give Cloth a try also. Either can be converted to shape keys afaik, for making a looped vertex animation (reduces resource demands).
Thank you, though I still have NO idea what half you said means <LOL> I figured out how to extrude a surface from the horse’s neck, solidify it so it was visible from both sides, and grabbed vertices around to look like mane. So, it’s possible to make only part of the model cloth simulation, even when it’s attached to the main body of the horse?
You can use the Cloth sim’s Pinning vertex group to control what parts of a mesh act like cloth for the sim. Vertices in that group with weight = zero will act completely like Cloth. Those with weight = 1.0 will not act like Cloth at all. Intermediate weights give proportional response to the sim.
If you don’t understand something I posted, just ask in specific, and I’ll try to explain more fully. It’s not possible to know how much background knowledge a poster may have, so it’s best just to ask further into the puzzling parts.
[QUOTE=chipmasque;1987692]You can use the Cloth sim’s Pinning vertex group to control what parts of a mesh act like cloth for the sim. Vertices in that group with weight = zero will act completely like Cloth. Those with weight = 1.0 will not act like Cloth at all. Intermediate weights give proportional response to the sim.
Thank you for your help.
So…I extruded surfaces from the horse’s neck and tail, solidify so they would be visible from both side, watched the tutorial on cloth sim, and think I can do it, but will get back to ya on that
. Painting the texture to look like long hair is easy.
I have NO background, trying to teach myself, been at Blender 4 or 5 weeks. I have a fine art background and can draw, sculpt, and paint, but reading pages of techno terms is difficult. I can easily learn from video tutorials, if they don’t use a bunch of terms I have not learned yet. But pages and pages of nothing but words seem to bounce off my brain without sinking in. Still, virtual modeling (I started with Zbrush last summer) is a lot of fun and challenging to my skills.
The hardest part is keeping a complex model like a realistic horse, human, or other animal under 1024 poly. My son works for a game developer, I’m letting him do the animation and build the worlds my characters will run around in.
I started with horses, thinking they were the hardest animal to draw properly, so if I could do that, I could do anything (?) He’s got me working on an elephant, talk about complicated, aaugh. I haven’t seen many realistic animals in video games, so I’m concentrating on them for my portfolio. Then we can deform them into gruesome creatures if we wish.
Which game engine or format are you targeting? This can affect your max polygon count as well as other considerations like whether there is integral physics for cloth and such in the game engine.
Your current modeling approach is similar to what I described before, sorry if it went over your experience level, that’s hard to judge on a forum. Rather than a solid planar extrusion like your mane, I would do many thin strip-like extrusions, that could then be textured as a few hair strands each. A bunch of these would add up to the full mane (or tail), and each would respond to the cloth sim or some other form of deformation modifier (that’s the mechanism used to alter the mesh shape for animation), hopefully for a more natural-looking hair-like response.
I don’t know about the Blender game engine, but others will not likely be able to use the Blender cloth physics. Some, like Unity, have integrated cloth physics you could try out. The “looping vertex animations” I mentioned are basically just shape key sets that repeat themselves in an animation, like game flags in the “wind.” Game engines can do these very economically, since it’s the original mesh animation technique for 3D games, before armatures were developed. Not as versatile as skeletal (armature) systems, though.
The “alpha” I referred to, if you aren’t familiar with that, is the way in which portions of a textured mesh face (or faces) are made transparent, so the mane can look more strand-like without using particle hair strands. A web search for “alpha channel” should turn gobs of info, most of it even useful!
Fortunately, I don’t have to worry about rigging or rendering or animation, my son will do all that, I just need to design models under 1024 poly for games. That’s hard, though, especially this horse with flowing mane and tail. But your help has been wonderful, thank you for all the useful info.
Horse1, exactly 1024 poly, the upper limit allowed for my son’s game engine ( I don’t know what he uses, I just do what I’m told). Thank you for the advice about mane and tail, he looks pretty good for a low poly model, though really stiff in basic pose, I just hope he can run and jump and carry a rider.