Asset Update to Ogre3D Discussion Thread

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Berandas
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Re: Updating original assets to Ogre3D

Post by Berandas » 21 Aug 2014, 20:57

Creating standalone Assets for OpenMW engine and creating replacement mod for Morrowind assets are two completely different things. OpenMW can have Example suite composed of new assets (since the scenes would be built after the assets are done), but you can hardly have Morrowind made of completely new assets, not without lots of work (since you have to create assets that are fitting to exact conditions of the already built game world).

As for the guidelines, there will probably be some guide on how to work, what I meant was that it's not needed to create new naming conventions and stuff like that. MW models are one solid object, so you shouldn't end up with dozens items called "cube.001,002,003,...", but yes, there should be some order of things.

After mesh it's imported from .nif format, it's divided by the materials, that's why you have one object divided into several standalone pieces. Technically it's a common thing, that meshes are "disassembled" at some point, for example during material batching.

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psi29a
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Re: Updating original assets to Ogre3D

Post by psi29a » 21 Aug 2014, 21:22

You're quite right, they are two different things. I was just describing what is possible.

RabidSquirrel
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Re: Updating original assets to Ogre3D

Post by RabidSquirrel » 21 Aug 2014, 21:24

domsson wrote: If I might suggest something on the workflow, it would be this: Let's create the models with an unwrap that matches that of the original meshes. This way the new models could simply be used with the vanilla textures. This would have several benefits. First, no need to have super-high-poly models and do custom baking, as that's just not the way the original assets work. And that's good, as it enables heavy re-use of textures and therefore saves a lot of graphics memory. Second, the process of modeling and texturing would be completely independent. Texture artists could re-create the textures and be sure that they will work both on the old and new models. Third, it would enable modelers to have a look at their models with textures applied, without having to wait for the texture artists to do their work. The same goes for users; the models could already be used without the new textures being finished. Of course, this would also go the other way 'round - new textures work on the old models. Hm... well, maybe all of this paragraph goes without saying and I just embarassed myself for pointing out what everyone silently agreed on anyway?
This is a good idea for simplifying development, but we may want to make some changes for the final version. The meshes should keep the same names/filepaths. Otherwise there would have to be a plugin that replaces every model in the game and that's just not practical. The textures on the other hand don't really have anything to do with the editor at all. The filepath for textures is saved in the models that use them. If we're replacing everything anyway it wouldn't be that hard to change the filepaths for the textures. Then we could actually put them in subfolders like Skyrim does rather than just throwing them all into the 'textures' folder and making a complete mess of it like we have now.

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domsson
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Re: Updating original assets to Ogre3D

Post by domsson » 21 Aug 2014, 21:46

Berandas wrote:Creating standalone Assets for OpenMW engine and creating replacement mod for Morrowind assets are two completely different things.
Woah, wait, I see. Or I don't. Well, obviously I'm a bit confused. :)
So, right here, in this thread, we're talking about a mod to improve all of the Morrowind assets (add vertices/detail, maybe normal maps), but without changing them other than that, obviously making them derivate art. And then, there is another undertaking ("demo" something?) with the goal of replacing all the Morrowind assets with custom art, different enough to not count as derivate, hence making the game independent and complete. Is that about it?

If so, I have a feeling that at least one of those two projects is a bit redundant, taking into account the existant of the other, no? :D

And yeah, sorry for being a bit slow and asking a thousand questions. :|

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lysol
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Re: Updating original assets to Ogre3D

Post by lysol » 21 Aug 2014, 21:56

Here's the thing - OpenMW is an engine that can run morrowind, but it is totally possible to make a whole new game and run it in the openmw engine. To demonstrate this (and to get openmw to be downloadable directly through various Linux distributions), they are planning to make a simple example game. A game that isn't morrowind.

By the way, you can never legally play morrowind without morrowind. Art isn't everything, you do have a story that is copyrighted too. So even though someone would make art that wasn't derivative but still would fit, you'd have to have the rest of the game too. And if you do not plagiarize that... Well, then you won't have morrowind.
Normal mapped texture replacers, exclusive for OpenMW:
My Nexus page

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domsson
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Re: Updating original assets to Ogre3D

Post by domsson » 21 Aug 2014, 22:07

lysol wrote:Here's the thing - OpenMW is an engine that can run morrowind, but it is totally possible to make a whole new game and run it in the openmw engine. To demonstrate this (and to get openmw to be downloadable directly through various Linux distributions), they are planning to make a simple example game. A game that isn't morrowind.
Thank you for clarifying! The term "demo" makes sense now. Everything makes sense now! ;)
Cool, I guess the "demo" project could just take stuff from the "update" (this) project later on then.
lysol wrote:By the way, you can never legally play morrowind without morrowind. Art isn't everything, you do have a story that is copyrighted too. So even though someone would make art that wasn't derivative but still would fit, you'd have to have the rest of the game too. And if you do not plagiarize that... Well, then you won't have morrowind.
Very good point. Really. And although it is a pitty, it is also good in a way. Because my urge and wish for a complete open/free content replacement just died, which finally made me feel completely fine with just improving the original assets a bit.

Okay, back to it then, shall we? :) I'm still very curious if it would be possible for someone to do all the conversion work (to .dae, I suppose? Well, whatever), so that modelers can directly grab what they need to get to work. Again, by only making those files available to "registered" contributors, the copyright problem could hopefully circumvented, eh?

SquireNed
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Re: Updating original assets to Ogre3D

Post by SquireNed » 22 Aug 2014, 03:02

Having our own open-licensed content that replaces all of Morrowind's visual content is still useful even if the Morrowind game data is non-distributable; it means that our example suite can be as shiny and deep as Morrowind (though we probably couldn't use some of the specific forms of wildlife, stuff like generic trees and whatnot that aren't identifiable as Morrowind-inspired [cliff racers, silt striders, beast races, etc. are all not really legally reusable except as asset replacements] and pretty much any of the objects that don't involve Daedric text can be used [and that's actually up for debate, but a topic for another day]).

arizzi
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Re: Asset Update to Ogre3D Discussion Thread

Post by arizzi » 26 Aug 2014, 19:11

I already mentioned this before, but since you are embarking on this project, you might find it fruitful to take a look at the assets created for skywind, (not Bethesda's content). If that team gives permission,it could be a great resource, and might save you a lot of work.

Deonsion
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Re: Updating original assets to Ogre3D

Post by Deonsion » 26 Aug 2014, 21:10

Berandas wrote:
AeroPhonicsOfficial wrote:Side notes:
All assets should be originals!
This is what I was discussing with Deonsion before.
If the goal of this project is to make models as vanilla-like as possible, just in higher resolution, it's unnecessary to create everything from scratch. We can simply use dozens of meshes from various replacement mods if the authors agrees, then do the rest by ourselves.
As mentioned on the first page, creating new meshes from scratch that are pure copy of vanilla asset is still a derivate work, so that solves nothing, it's just an extra work.
When we make new meshes that are not just like vanilla, it's simply "an another replacer" and completely loses the point of this project. Also the new meshes would have to be as much vanilla-shaped as possible to prevent various errors ingame (floating, bleeding, caspering, inaccessible areas, etc.). And basically this is something similar to what SkyWind project is doing already.
I'm just going to repost these here for sake of repeated discussion. For simplicity, and to avoid having to argue the fact of what is "derivative work" and what isn't in this massive replacement/overhaul this project is derivative since it is made to exactly replace the morrowind assets. I hope you all noticed the sticky here about this project. I've been workign hard this past week. I have a tracking claims system up and running.

If anyone wants to begin workign with us on this. We are finalizing workflows, and processes. Berandas is leading the actual graphics creation, skillset of people, and mesh quality parts. I don't know what I'm looking at, and we don't have the CG requirements finished yet. Once it is, I'll learn what I'm doing from him and others.

So if you want to get in, join us on our site we just finished: http://www.inglip.org

Then contact Berandas with your assets/anything you've made so we can set you up to work with us. :)

I apologize for not posting here much. I've been on the IRC's mainly whilst I work on this. For everyone who is interested - Thanks a lot.

I'll be making collective updates here: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2349

Feel free to continue discussion about this project here.

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Pherim
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Re: Asset Update to Ogre3D Discussion Thread

Post by Pherim » 27 Aug 2014, 16:44

Seeing that this has become an actual project with it's own website, I decided to register to these forums and post my thoughts about it. In my opinion, replacing all original Morrowind meshes with updated, more detailed versions is a great idea, and with proper organization and enough people participating, it could be reached at some point. The question is whether it will be possible to make new meshes for all assets that are close enough to the originals to keep the original atmosphere intact but still improved enough to make them look like from a much newer game. In a lot of cases, this is certainly possible, but I see some problems for others. Trees, for example. Now the project's iniatior has started with remaking trees first, but I wonder whether it is a good idea to try to remodel the original trees as closely as possible. The vanilla trees are not particularly spectacular or even natural-looking, they have only a few branches and sparse foliage. Over the years there have been numerous replacers for all trees in the game, many of which are truly great works of art and greatly enhance the look of the game, although they differ quite a lot from the vanilla ones in terms of shape, size and often even type of tree. I don't believe many people who use graphics mods for Morrowind in general are not using tree replacers. For most regions, if not all, there are at least two possible versions to choose from by vurt alone, not mentioning replacers by other modders. Also, unlike many other meshes, trees have the advantage that they are placed quite freely in the game world and don't have to match other meshes in size or position, which makes it easier to diverge from the vanilla shapes. The vanilla trees are all quite similar in shape and size, differing only in their textures, while with the replacers, each region can get a very unique look and feel. To be honest, in my opinion trees are not the most urgent field of assets that needs mesh replacements. I don't see the need or the significance to have a replacer that tries to match the look of the vanilla trees, to be honest. But maybe someone will prove me wrong.

However, there are lots of other assets that could really profit from new and better meshes. Berandas already posted a selection of existing mesh replacers here: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2318&start=20#p26539
While I am honored to find both my weapons replacers in this list, I just want to mention that the iron weapons are not just meshes but also new textures, and the meshes cannot be used without these textures! If you want a pure mesh replacer, you should stick to Psymonizers Iron Mesh Improvements, which I based my texture replacer on. My steel weapon meshes, however, are designed specifically to work with vanilla textures or Darknut's weapon textures (though I intend to make new meshes for them, too). But having worked with vanilla textures in the creation of these meshes I must say that making just mesh replacers which use vanilla texture mapping so that they can be used with the vanilla textures is maybe not enough to make the game look like a newer one. Apart from not having normal maps and other graphical features we have gotten used to in the years since Morrowind's release, the vanilla texture layouts are sometimes just plain awful and a pain to work with. On some of the steel meshes I really had a hard time to improve the mesh just because of how awful the texture layout was. Often it is impossible to eliminate stretching and texture seams on an improved mesh that was already present in the vanilla meshes. A prime example of this is the steel club, where most improvements of the mesh and additional details get just lost by the distorted, dark, and undetailed texture. And there are other cases, too. For an asset to look good, mesh and textures need to be attuned to one another, in a way so that the texture follows and enhances the detail of the mesh itself. A highly detailed mesh is useless without a texture that reflects these details, and a high-res texture still looks bad on a crude mesh (which is the problem many pure texture replacers for Morrowind face). A two-step approach, like I intend with my improved weapons, where I first adjust them to work with vanilla textures and then create new textures which allow better uv mapping, could be a good idea, though, but I will have to make many changes to the uv maps and the meshes themselves in order to retexture them properly.
For other assets, this might not even work. My Comberry Bush and Ingredient Replacer, for example, would look awful with vanilla textures, and I don't think it would make much sense to try to create a mesh that would look better with them. They would most likely still look flat and undetailed.

Also, while I know that this was originally meant to be a mod specifically for the OpenMW engine but is now planned to be a Morrowind mod, given its large scale it might not be enough to coordinate it from these forums, since most likely only people who are interested in OpenMW visitthem, and there might be a lot more people needed to make it happen. Technically, it is not connected to OpenMW any more, anyway, so it would make more sense to discuss it on the official forums, in my opinion, so more people get to know it and can be recruited to participate. This would also be useful to make sure that there are not too many assets remade or improved more than once, since there are a lot of people already working on mesh improvements, independent from this project.

Which brings me to my own attitude towards it. While I will not try to keep anyone from attempting to make their own improved weapon meshes I intend to continue my own remodels and retextures with the ultimate goal to replace all vanilla weapons meshes and textures of the main game and the add-ons. I admit that it could take some time, and if anyone feels appointed to make their own replacers for weapons I haven't covered, yet, just go ahead. If they are good, I might even decide that it won't be necessary for me to remake them myself, just as I have used Psy's iron meshes for my retexture instead of creating my own. Also, I might decide to make other mesh improvements besides weapons and armor parts, which can be found in my WIP thread. If this project persists and takes shape, I would be honored if my own replacers would be a part of it. I am really excited to see what will become of it!

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