Backface culling and creation of simple flat items such as the ingame icing

Frontier made some simple flat objects that are essentially textures on a rectangular plane, with transparency to make it shaped to the motif. For example the simpler variants of the icing. And the fairy lights.

Also applies to the leaves and such of plants.


How did they do with the backface culling?

How did they circumvent the minimum thickness issue?
 
Frontier made some simple flat objects that are essentially textures on a rectangular plane, with transparency to make it shaped to the motif. For example the simpler variants of the icing. And the fairy lights.

Also applies to the leaves and such of plants.


How did they do with the backface culling?

How did they circumvent the minimum thickness issue?
Just a speculation, but maybe they duplicate the plane, rotate it 180° and mirrored the textures.
 
I think you are applying the wrong logic on this.
The limitations like Backface culling and the minimum object dimensions only apply to TMTK, it is a converter that was programmed to, well, convert 3D models for the ingame shading and rendering,
the devs don't have this "simplified" TMTK, and Backface Culling could be added as an option, but as far as i can see, they tried to keep the converter as simple and as stable as possible.
After all, not everyone who does custom content knows a lot about how to make a performance-effective asset. This includes when to use BC and when not.
Some of the vanilla content uses backface culling, most of the opacity/alphamap objects do anyways. If that wasn't the case they wouldn't use alphaplanes, because the whole point of alphamapping is that you save on polygons, and only a terribly programmed game would not make use of two-sided polys. However, this doesn't concern the TMTK, even though it's a wrong assumption to keep this option from the ugc folk, because i, for one, could work more performance friendly when it comes down to plants or LOD replacements (3D >to> alphaclip), but without two-sided polys i wouldn't save many tris ecause i'd need to use double the count than if i could uncheck BC.

The minimum thickness, like the max. size, are just limitations they put in for us.
Why would they need this? An asset artist makes asset A, passes it on to his/her supervisor who is in charge for implementation and who decides what goes in and what doesn't.

Basically, long point short, the TMTK is streamlined for ease-of-use. Don't assume this is the same tool that a dev has available,
it might build upon it, but it's very bareboned, probably out of fear it would overcomplicate things and cost more development time (and money).


It's like you have a VHS and they have a YouTube streaming service, and then they offer a conversion tool where you can upload the VHS to the streaming site.
They might have Blu-rays, but since you have a VHS they added a tool that allows for conversion. That doesn't mean they need to, or would, use the same tool.
 
For the minimum thickness, there's a trick that should work - create another piece in your scene of the appropriate size, and then give it an OP material to make it invisible. It'll make the hitbox for the piece slightly thicker than the flat piece, but not by much.
 
Thank you for the replies.

ArtiX: Thank you for the length of reply. I figured so much on my own but still good to get some verification plus some extra information.

I had troubles when I wanted to make a lattice wall for the game and then in the end it either gave terrible moiré effect with the 2 layers of planes combined with transparency on both (imagine 2 lattice grid stacked on each other, the depth offset giving a little...funniness on distance), and then there's the issue of raising the poly count again to do the workarounds.
I also have other issues as well. I have abandoned the work with building pieces since until we get more information and/or better toolkit.

Thanks again.
 
@Helena: You're welcome! (the moire effect comes from ZDepth clipping, in real life objects have mass and can't interpolate through each other. In 3D, if 2 objects share the same distance they fight over draw-dominance, leading to this effect (most often the solution is a simple offset to avoid the effect)

@SarrahW: the transparent object trick is "update-safe" imo, but there's also the possibility to do that via the hitbox, its dimensions also count towards the size requirements.
However, if you use the transparent object, try using a Tetrahedron with one segmentation (a three-sided pyramid). A cube has 12 tris, the pyramid 4. (or 6 if you use a 4 sided pyramidical shape)

That's the shape i'm referring to, to clear any confusion
Untitled - Autodesk 3ds Max 2019  15.02.2019 11_47_23_edited.jpg
 
Wow, Speedtree is amazing and very beautiful!

But if they use that, then it is ok. It is more the end result that we want to take a peek of. For example how the mesh looks like, the uv, the texture. The way toward that, it is another matter. :)

Plus, are you able to make flowers in speedtree or is it separate process?


EDIT:
I was nosy and browsed the assets and on this page and backward (toward pages with higher numbers) I found some stuff that I feel is... very similar to what we have in Planet Coaster! :D It is ok though, because why re-invent the wheel, right?

https://store.speedtree.com/speedtree-store/filters/product_cat/games-library/page/10/

Maybe this is why I feel some of the vegetation are amazing and some other a little "different"? Could be different software, different artists. I know they hire freelance artists/temporary artists to do some work. I saw people for hire with work samples from Planet Coaster on some site.

(after retrospect: it is probably not all past workers, I think this might also be a way to show your work even if you are still working for a company)

Found them! Here's one of them, I like her work!

https://www.artstation.com/cheslop

 
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