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Tutorial - 'Graphics Standards' by exploreRPG

An item about RPGMaker 2000 posted on

Blurb

Specific for Explorations, but can be used on nearly any platform. A tutorial on Graphic standards in Bryce and Poser

Body

This tutorial is designed to give you information on graphic standards for Bryce & Poser4 in order to create a higher quality RPG. These standards are simple and easy to use and can help *ANY* game engine.

DEVELOPER'S NOTE:
Before I made Explorations public knowledge I design Explorations completely on paper. I wrote down the database design, the graphics engine and how the NPC's, objects, and Map would relate to one another. But most important, I designed the method of graphics support for my engine. I knew that I wanted the engine to be commercial quality and have a large base for graphics objects, terrain, and Sprites. Poser4 & Bryce offer that support. And what is a RPGMaker without sprites support?


Bryce 3D




Above is a 16 frame animation of a nice torture device I've created in Bryce., To be honest I was thinking of Hiretsukan and having fun creating tons of torture devices and this little design came to mind. *jk*



When rendering in Bryce I have created a charcoal black background that I used as my transparent color. Because Bryce renders blend colors differently that Poser4, (mainly anti-aliasing techniques) Using the standard Magenta color will give all your renders a purple edge when imported into Explorations. Using a charcoal gray give you images a nice outline that isn't really noticable.

Once the animation is complete, I just rendered the frames. Use the PowerClip feature to cut out only the object into a perfect Explorations Clip frames. And Created a PicClip animation using every other frame. Remmeber the orignal animation was 16 frames, Exploration only needs 8.



This animation needs a little more work, but I was able to create this in less than 20 minutes in Bryce. Improving your Bryce & Poser4 skills will mean a major pay-off in Explorations game design!

CAMERA SETTINGS



These camera setting are an approximation. You can fine tune them as you see fit. I have gotten awesome result with these. The key to isometric Bryce renders is the FOV option. (Field Of Vision) The lower the field of Vision the less of the curvature of the earth is calculated.


Poser 4

Within Poser4 there was *ALOT* more work that was needed. I have hundreds of sprites made with Poser4. I have created 3 standard Poser4 file formats to be used with Small, Medium, & Large Creatures. Humans use the Medium Poser4 file. The file is set to the camera position and includes all the weapons the creature can use within the game. Each creature has up to 40 animations and uses over 25 different weapons.



Above is my fat bartender. In most games the bartender is used to gather information. But within Explorations, the bartender can be fully animated and fight like any other NPC.



If you notcied along the right side of the screen, you will see animations numbered. These animation sequences are created 100% by me for Explorations Sprites. (Primarily they are combat animations.) I imagine I will be creating more as time progresses, but they clearly show how the animation is seperate from the sprite. And by clicking 1 file the movement sequence is applied to the NPC.



The camera settings for my Poser4 files are set for you at the time you open them. The Poser4 file includes the SizeView and TopView camera setting as well.



At the bottom of the screen you'll notice the Poser4 TimeLine frame control. An Explorations Poser4 sprite animation is always 48 frames. 6 frames of animation in 8 different directions..The animation sequences apply perfectly to large or small NPC's as well. With a simple Macro Mouse&Key player I have transformed my computer into an automated Poser4 sprite rendering system. I can render a *complete* Poser4 sprite pack in a matter of minutes. (While I go to the movies and check out the new 007 film.)

IMPORTANT NOTE

A lot of RPG Game developers on this site have claimed to support Unlimitted sprite frame animations or variable tile sizes.. The concept of UNLIMITTED support is first achieved by establishing a LIMIT. In order to have an unlimitted amount of anything, one must establish a limit or UNIT OF MEASURE as a base of comparison.

Explorations tiles UNIT OF MEASURE is 64x64 pixels.
Explorations Object Animations are 8 frames
Explorations Sprite Animations are 48 frames

RPGMakers with variable tiles sizes have established the unit of measure at 1 pixel. Which actually is far more limitted than a 64x64 base tile. You can establish the color of 1 pixel. Or you can establish the colors of 16384 pixels (64x64 tiles) as your unit of measure. Since Explorations uses a larger unit of measure you have a greater amount of customization per tile.

The difference is like comparing a BINARY digit with a 32bit long value. Variable Tile sizes means LIMITTED RPG Maker.

Establishing Exploration's limits has allowed:

1) Massive high-speed sprite rendering.
2) A higher level of graphic support via Poser4 & Bryuce3D support.
3) Interchangable graphics by using simple file standards.
4) Variable Tile Size & Style support (Isometric, Perspective, & Top View camera settings)

Using an RPG Engine that offers variable tile sizes means, you can't share or re-use information between games that follow different standards. Incompatible sprite standards means game makers must create their own sprites which will be proprietary to their game.

By following these simple standards Explorations has move forward where other RPGMakers have fallen behind. [i]Some people may claim this makes Explorations limitted..[/i] I know that it give Explorations the potential to have unlimitted supporrt.

Thank you for reading..