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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Enhanced Monster Skins (Read 35624 times)
Lightning_Hunter
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Enhanced Monster Skins
Mar 4th, 2016 at 5:05am
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Out of boredom today, I decided to enhance the original Brute skin a bit.  I did not redraw it from scratch or anything, but instead made it less blurry and more detailed by using layers to apply patterns, embossment, shadows, etc.  Is anyone interested in me doing more and possibly making a release?  It won't bother me if nobody cares, since I was just going to keep these for myself in the first place.  Tongue



  

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Kajgue
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Re: Enhanced Monster Skins
Reply #1 - Mar 4th, 2016 at 6:17am
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Hey LH,

I have no objections seeing you do more Smiley personally I don't know how it will turn out, that lesser brute skin there is relatively good; I just have a few minor issues with some parts of it:

I'd suggest going with a much higher resolution image, the brute has certain parts of him that are harder to refine without certain clarity. Also, try not to add too much shadowing to make smooth parts of him too rough, because the skin has less of an appearence that his flesh is meant to be greasy + unpleasent, and the armour parts always struck me as they are supposed to be on the surface, somewhat 'matte' looking metal. Finally, what also struck me was that the slugs on the bandoliers have alot of rough shadowing, as well as alot of strong shadowing around them overall rather than clarity (I also think those slugs probably wouldn't have the same matte looking appearence, they'd be a bit more specular).

Otherwise the skin is quite good, I wouldn't stop you from taking this further and perfecting them a bit more Smiley
  

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Re: Enhanced Monster Skins
Reply #2 - Mar 4th, 2016 at 7:50pm
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I like it Smiley keep up the good work!
  

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Lightning_Hunter
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Re: Enhanced Monster Skins
Reply #3 - Mar 5th, 2016 at 1:12am
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Thanks for the feedback.

Quote:
I'd suggest going with a much higher resolution image. the brute has certain parts of him that are harder to refine without certain clarity.


I increased the resolution to 2048x2048 (wasn't very difficult with layers), but don't count on anything looking significantly better.  The sad truth is that unless someone draws a high resolution skin from scratch, nothing will look perfect.  The idea with this project is to at least reduce some of the extreme blurriness.  At least then, the skins will blend a bit better with the S3TC textures.

Quote:
Also, try not to add too much shadowing to make smooth parts of him too rough, because the skin has less of an appearence that his flesh is meant to be greasy + unpleasent


I reduced the harshness of the shadows a bit, but it is extremely difficult to get a greasy, slimy look to the skin without redrawing the whole thing from scratch, and I just don't have time for that.  Maybe some day someone will take on such a task!  Basically what I am doing is applying detail textures manually to each individual part of the skin.  I will work a bit on it so it doesn't look so grainy, however.

As for the slugs on the armor, it is once again difficult enhancing them without drawing them from scratch.  I will reduce the harshness of the shadows, but it probably won't look that much better.

I'll post a new screenshot soon, after I have made a few changes.
  

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Re: Enhanced Monster Skins
Reply #4 - Mar 5th, 2016 at 3:54am
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Enhancing graphic details can be a bit of a chore, though it helps to have a graphics program to do so. I use ThumbsPlus by Cerious Software because I skin a bit, here and there, and in certain instances that includes monsters:


In team coloring, which I often do with tint edits, details of skins can get a bit smudged, so in order to enhance the details to what they were previously, or more so, I use an option in the graphics conversion listed as "sharpening".

I find it works pretty good:
  

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Lightning_Hunter
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Re: Enhanced Monster Skins
Reply #5 - Mar 5th, 2016 at 4:25am
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No offense or anything EvilGrins, but I am doing a heck of a lot more work than just applying a sharpening filter!  I'm using Photoshop to create layers of each part of the skin before manually adding patterns and details.  you can't tell by the screenshot above, but if you look at the skin close up in game, it still looks detailed (no more blurriness).  Applying a simple sharpening filter will not give you that effect (it will only appear sharper from a distance).  Now, admittedly, doing the skin completely from scratch would look far better, but that can take weeks to create even a single good quality skin.  The method I'm using takes hours rather than weeks, but at least the skin appears less blurry and more detailed than the original.  Applying sharpening filters and recoloring a skin using the method you brought up only takes a matter of minutes in photoshop.   Wink

Someday, someone will have to redo the Unreal skins from scratch.  That would be the optimal solution!
  

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Re: Enhanced Monster Skins
Reply #6 - Mar 5th, 2016 at 5:10am
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I spent about 5 hours adjusting the Brute skin today, but the changes are more significant close up (since the resolution is higher).  From a distance, the skin only looks a bit different.  I tried my best to make the skin look less rough, but I don't think I can do any better than this without redrawing parts (or all) of the skin.  I think the slugs at least look a bit better...




Here is the last version for comparison:

  

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Re: Enhanced Monster Skins
Reply #7 - Mar 5th, 2016 at 11:22am
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Bob and I have been playing a lot with importing models from other games. For instance last night we played around a few minutes and imported the wookie from Star Wars:


Don't get excited, it's not going to happen. It's just a load of fun to see what you can rip and import from all kinds of other games. You should see the things Bob has done...He imported a Portal map so well it takes you a good long moment to digest that you are playing it in Unreal. The guy is a wizard at this, truly gifted.

Anyway I digress. The point I'm trying to make is that you just can't judge the original monsters of Unreal against anything else made later. They are so polygon limited that you won't make them look much better no matter what you do. Looking at the brute above can you imagine how incredible he would look if just the teeth (fangs, tusks?) jutted out from the mouth? The flatness looks fake and this won't be fixed even by photorealistic texturing.

My long-time dream is that someone would remodel the stock monsters. I'd handle *everything* else if you can do that. You make a second generation model that looks good and I'll do all the replacement script, animations, texturing, etc. and I'll make them incredible. Sadly until that happens retexturing the old ones is 'lipstick on a pig' in a lot of ways. Good on ya for trying though, just have realistic expectations for what the outcome will be.
  

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Re: Enhanced Monster Skins
Reply #8 - Mar 5th, 2016 at 4:57pm
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Quote:
I increased the resolution to 2048x2048 (wasn't very difficult with layers), but don't count on anything looking significantly better.  The sad truth is that unless someone draws a high resolution skin from scratch, nothing will look perfect.  The idea with this project is to at least reduce some of the extreme blurriness.  At least then, the skins will blend a bit better with the S3TC textures.


Ah,

I think you did a decent job regardless, LH. Keep up the good work.

That newer shot of the skin looks much better imo, the slugs look alot clearer.

And here's another tip regarding the greasy parts: where there is most light (shine or specularity, whatever you'd want to call it) try to fade out the roughness on those parts even more Smiley , that way some of the fleshes (and perhaps other parts too) retain its smoothness look.

Keep going + good luck. Smiley
  

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Re: Enhanced Monster Skins
Reply #9 - Mar 5th, 2016 at 6:38pm
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gopostal wrote on Mar 5th, 2016 at 11:22am:
Bob and I have been playing a lot with importing models from other games. For instance last night we played around a few minutes and imported the wookie from Star Wars:
http://i1281.photobucket.com/albums/a517/agutgopostal/wookie_zpsfxh0eqhl.jpg

Don't get excited, it's not going to happen. It's just a load of fun to see what you can rip and import from all kinds of other games. You should see the things Bob has done...He imported a Portal map so well it takes you a good long moment to digest that you are playing it in Unreal. The guy is a wizard at this, truly gifted.

Anyway I digress. The point I'm trying to make is that you just can't judge the original monsters of Unreal against anything else made later. They are so polygon limited that you won't make them look much better no matter what you do. Looking at the brute above can you imagine how incredible he would look if just the teeth (fangs, tusks?) jutted out from the mouth? The flatness looks fake and this won't be fixed even by photorealistic texturing.

My long-time dream is that someone would remodel the stock monsters. I'd handle *everything* else if you can do that. You make a second generation model that looks good and I'll do all the replacement script, animations, texturing, etc. and I'll make them incredible. Sadly until that happens retexturing the old ones is 'lipstick on a pig' in a lot of ways. Good on ya for trying though, just have realistic expectations for what the outcome will be.


I agree somewhat, gopostal.  The flaws of the model stand out much more when the skin is high-res, it's true.  It is part of the reason I am not going to create the skins from scratch.  However, I am also not an expert at doing it, and I think the models could still look better with new high-res skins from a professional that knows how to do it (and has the time).

If you are indeed an expert, I could sure use some help with some new skins.  I don't think anyone will be making new models anytime soon (or ever).  It is just way too much to ask.  We may as well work with what we have.  Even if you could help me touch up some of the smaller monsters, we could release a pack of enhanced monster skins together.

There was a project for Quake that did high-res skins for the monsters called "Quake Reforged", and the monsters actually looked incredible, despite the low poly models.  If the even lower poly Quake models can look decent, then so can the Unreal models.

Quake Reforged:
http://quakeone.com/reforged/bestiary.html

  

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Kajgue
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Re: Enhanced Monster Skins
Reply #10 - Mar 5th, 2016 at 7:56pm
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"I don't think anyone will be making new models anytime soon (or ever)."

Who knows!  Wink
  

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Re: Enhanced Monster Skins
Reply #11 - Mar 5th, 2016 at 9:05pm
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you can use qtits technique and  export and edit each frame  and recombine them with the original animations to increase poly and detail ,like he did with the alternative pawns mod
  

[REM_img]http://i.imgur.com/V3OSsDu.gif.disable[/img]http://i.imgur.com/JOu38Gs.gif
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Re: Enhanced Monster Skins
Reply #12 - Mar 5th, 2016 at 9:08pm
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Kajgue wrote on Mar 5th, 2016 at 7:56pm:
"I don't think anyone will be making new models anytime soon (or ever)."

Who knows!  Wink


I guess I should rephrase that.  I don't think someone will remake all the models in decent quality anytime soon.  I've seen multitudes of remodeling projects over the years for Doom, Duke3d, the whole Quake series, Heretic, and more - and only a few of them were ever completed in 20+ years.  The only model packs that were completed were the lower quality packs.  The high quality remodeling packs for Doom were never completed (the models created by Dani J), and Quake only ever saw random models of varying quality released here and there.  Unreal just wouldn't look right if only a few models were updated, or if models of varying quality were released.  Based on the history of other old games, this scenario is the most likely.  For that reason, I think we may as well get some updated skins for the original models.  It would take far less time, and we wouldn't be waiting for years and years only to be disappointed.
  

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Re: Enhanced Monster Skins
Reply #13 - Mar 6th, 2016 at 12:43am
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BobIsUnreal wrote on Mar 5th, 2016 at 9:05pm:
you can use qtits technique and  export and edit each frame  and recombine them with the original animations to increase poly and detail ,like he did with the alternative pawns mod

I think I remember that. Wasn't that the titans that had moss and trees growing on them or something?
  

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Re: Enhanced Monster Skins
Reply #14 - Mar 6th, 2016 at 1:09am
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yes they wwere pretty cool but under appreciated. not to mention the technique could be very usfull by itself
  

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