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Flat 3D

Better graphics for games
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(+2, -1)
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Instead of computer graphics rendering millions of polygons, which I believe looks crap (give me a decent sprite any day; compare Age of Empires to Age of Mythology) why not use the model data to 'paint' a character instead? I suppose it would come out something like the Photoshop posterize effect. What you'd end up with is an animated character that looks like a traditional hand animation, but with the flexibility of a 3D render.
simonj, Jul 20 2004


       You'll have to explain the 'paint' operation in more detail before I can understand and thus usefully comment.   

       Storing 3D object data as polygons generally leads to rendering polygons; likewise storing metaball data usually leads to the rendering of metaballs. How would your method store the data?
benjamin, Jul 20 2004

       Congratulations, you've just re-invented 3D cel-shading. Baked, sold, and consumed by the masses. Reference games like Zelda: Wind Waker and Jet Set Radio.
5th Earth, Jul 21 2004

       Also known as a Toon Shader. Virtually every modern realtime engine supports simplified toon shading of one flavor or another. The newer 3D cards from nVidia and ATI support very sophisticated cel shading.   

       However, I suppose the heart of your idea is to use constant shading rather than a lighting model.   

       All 3D engines ultimately build a 2D projection from a 3space model. At least the ones intended for conventional 2D displays.
bristolz, Jul 21 2004

       Sprites are so much harder to create these days than 3D animation.
Jscotty, Jan 19 2006

       There is no guiding idea that animation needs to be ever more photorealistic. In fact, there is a lot of work going in to the creation of shaders that yield the look of various natural media. Done with fidelity, natural media mimicry is a much more difficult and computationally intensive effort than photorealism.   

       Take South Park as an example of a carefully tended natural look created with sophisticated tools. Although the pilot episode was done with cut construction paper stop action, the subsequent work was all done using Maya simulating cut-out paper.   

       [Jscotty] why is it that you think that sprites are harder to create than 3D animation these days? I can draw an animated sprite in a few minutes but a 3D character capable of as much expression as that sprite would take a much longer time to create.
bristolz, Jan 19 2006

       Substitute the term "traditional media" for "natural media" as it's more accurate.   

       I'm not saying photorealism is bad but I do find Pissaro's imagery more compelling than Ansel Adams' imagery.
bristolz, Jan 19 2006

       I read an article that said that, once graphics (of people) pass a certain point of reality, the brain starts treating them as people rather than pictures, and finds all the imperfections, making them look like zombies with sagging skin and bulging eyes. The characters that are not humanoid give a much more satisfying appearance.
dbmag9, Jan 19 2006

       That phenomenon is sometimes called the "uncanny valley," [dbmag9].
bristolz, Jan 19 2006


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