Ideal Material Size For A Model?

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Beetle, Apr 21, 2014.

  1. Beetle

    Beetle L9: Fashionable Member

    Messages:
    627
    Positive Ratings:
    141
    This goes for simple textures too, but I was wondering what the ideal material/texture size is for your typical model? I imagine the size of the model would make the most difference, but I'd like to know for future reference.

    As an example, I'm making a croquet mallet (not as a weapon, as a prop), and I'm currently using 256x256. The detail isn't quite great, but I don't think it matters in this case.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. sevin

    aa sevin

    Messages:
    959
    Positive Ratings:
    663
    256x256 is fine as long as it's still a power of 2. I personally like 512x512 but that's just because I can't deal with low-res textures, though I know it doesn't matter too much.

    For a croquet mallet prop, 256x256 is perfectly fine. It just really depends on the size of the model. Some bigger props like the ones in the vehicle prop competition over on Facepunch have a texture of 1024x1024 as it's a pretty large surface to apply on. Usually it doesn't go any higher than that.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  3. xzzy

    aa xzzy

    Messages:
    815
    Positive Ratings:
    393
    Totally depends on how big the prop will be on the screen.

    If it's a large prop that players will be running into a lot, 1024x1024 might be warranted. If it's a huge rock maybe you want 512. Tiny bits of rubble? 256 or maybe even smaller.

    Most player weapons are in the 1024 range because we're looking at them so much.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  4. Ravidge

    aa Ravidge Grand Vizier

    Messages:
    1,544
    Positive Ratings:
    2,495
    I would advice you to just go and have a look at the detail on some of the props in the game and make your own judgment.

    A lot of the small props (around and below 64 units large) have the lowest resolution textures in the world. It's amazing how terrible they are, but no one seems to notice, because it doesn't matter.

    I grabbed these 2 images for me to look at, and remind myself while making the construction pack textures:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The conclusion I reached was that I needed to make everything as low-res as I could get away with.
    For example, the box of nails https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1281220/old/SS-2010.11.01-19.15.17.jpg is 128x128, comes with 3 sizes and 2 skins. And the total size for the vtfs and vmts is 12.0 kb. Because it's such a insignificant prop that no one looks at, no one remembers it exists it should be cheap to include. But it can sit in a corner and make the room feel less blocky just by being there.

    The next step up to 256x256 would increase the size from 12kb to about 90kb. Doesn't seem like much but then again, does it matter? and if doesn't; why not use that space for 7 other 128x128 textured props?

    Edit: also those hammers you see in the nailbox picture are 512x512 for some reason. I didn't make those.. (but I know who did and I'm doing the disappointed face at you!) that's almost 30 times the filesize of the nailbox yo. 30!
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014
  5. Beetle

    Beetle L9: Fashionable Member

    Messages:
    627
    Positive Ratings:
    141
    Thanks for all of your thoughts and examples, guys - helped a lot

    Taking all that into consideration, having textures that are too big might make them even stand out more when they should just be "forgotten" in the background.
     
  6. sevin

    aa sevin

    Messages:
    959
    Positive Ratings:
    663
    Exactly! So you'd probably want your mallet blended a bit more, you could even go down to 128x128 if it's just going to be used for a detail prop.
     
  7. Sel

    Sel Banned

    Messages:
    1,241
    Positive Ratings:
    1,119
    id like to take this opportunity to remind all of you that it's not 2005 anymore and people aren't trying to play this on gpus with 64mb of memory.

    also if someone is going to get up close to your prop, use whatever you need to make it not look like shit, because it doesn't just "fade into the background" if a player actually looks at it. Texture lods and mipmaps exist for a reason, and that's one of them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014
  8. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

    Messages:
    4,769
    Positive Ratings:
    5,535
    While that's true, I think TF2 is a special case in that much of the content is stylized and low-detail compared to most games, and if you are going to match that style (because otherwise it'll stick out and look wrong) you'll often not need a high res texture because you are making it out of large blocks of color that mostly blur together.

    It might not matter if you use 500kb instead of 50, but if they look the same, why use the bigger one just because the system can handle it?
     
  9. xzzy

    aa xzzy

    Messages:
    815
    Positive Ratings:
    393
    It's not the memory that's at issue, it's the download size. Even just a handful of 512 textures will significantly inflate the bsp. You start slinging 1024 textures around and it only gets worse. You may think that doesn't matter these days, but it does. Server owners hate large downloads and players hate downloads period.

    If you're making a map with the intent of getting a lot of people to play it, think long and hard about custom assets. If you do need those assets, make them as small as possible.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  10. Beetle

    Beetle L9: Fashionable Member

    Messages:
    627
    Positive Ratings:
    141
    Too bad Hammer doesn't have a feature where you can just select a specific highres version/lowres version from within the tool. I know LODs are sorta that, but it's automatic.
     
  11. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

    Messages:
    4,769
    Positive Ratings:
    5,535
    Well, I suppose technically you could do that with skins. Then just pack only the one you are using.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  12. Sel

    Sel Banned

    Messages:
    1,241
    Positive Ratings:
    1,119
    I'm not sure what game you're playing, but it's apparently not tf2 (or maybe it is, and you're just running it on low textures idk).

    Most tf2 textures are not just blobs of colour blurred together. They have plenty of fine details and colour variation in them, and, they look sharp when you get as close as you're realistically going to get to them. If they don't then, someone did their job wrong. (usually bad mappers using the same logic you're peddling, and throwing shitty background objects directly in the players face because loltf2sstyleislowrestexturesright???)


    you caught me, clearly what I meant by, "use what you need to not make it look shit", wasn't, "it's not 2005 so we dont need to make shit blurry so that people's graphics cards dont catch fire", and really meant "make your tiny object have a 4096x4096 texture because we have modern gpus now #nextgen #nextgen #nextgen #nextgen #nextgen "
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014
  13. sevin

    aa sevin

    Messages:
    959
    Positive Ratings:
    663
    Why are you being such an asshole about it? When most people present an argument or rebuff someone's else's argument, they don't shit on them and act like they're retards.
     
  14. Ravidge

    aa Ravidge Grand Vizier

    Messages:
    1,544
    Positive Ratings:
    2,495
    No need to get all passive aggressive.

    The construction pack example is a little special because it's a whole theme revamp, something I didn't add to the reasoning is the fact that if someone is gonna make a map with the theme they are most likely including a ton/all of the assets. So I cut sizes where ever I could, because it was clear maps would get massive.

    Anyway, I think my initial statement stands, you look at what exists in game. Judge the texture quality based on the size of the prop and how "important" it is. And then mimic it and make something that fits together with the rest of the game.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  15. Seba

    aa Seba DR. BIG FUCKER, PHD

    Messages:
    2,363
    Positive Ratings:
    2,365
    The ConPack hammers are shit and I'm shit
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  16. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

    Messages:
    4,769
    Positive Ratings:
    5,535
    ...but they are compared to other stuff.
    If that car was in TF2 the yellow paint would be nowhere near as scuffed up, just a few different fades of color, and maybe a couple patches chipped off.
    ...just like the dump truck.
     
  17. Sel

    Sel Banned

    Messages:
    1,241
    Positive Ratings:
    1,119
    Are you trying to tell me that because tf2 assets don't have scratches everywhere and don't look super worn they therefore lack details and are infact just colours blurred together?

    Because you're provably wrong.

    Look long and hard at all the textures in this scene, and tell me where you're finding these blurry low res textures that contain no detail whatsoever and are just infact colours blurred together, because I sure can't find them.

    Everything in there is high enough resolution and detailed enough to be sharp at pretty much every distance the player will get to it, the metal is corrugated and has tiny seams indicating separate sheets, the wood has all kinds of cracks and small wood details, the ground has small rocks and pebbles littering it etc etc

    Just because tf2 textures are not covered in texture overlays that realisticallystyled games use on their textures does not somehow make them undetailed blobs of colour like you seem to think.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014
  18. Pocket

    aa Pocket func_croc

    Messages:
    4,489
    Positive Ratings:
    2,219
    The correct answer is, use whatever makes it look decent next to other TF2 textures. Unless it's a weapon model, in which case use whatever makes it look decent when you're holding it, because sadly TF2 can't differentiate between a weapon that's being held by the player and one that's lying on the ground or being held by another player.

    Also, if you haven't already done the UV unwrap and the shape supports it, resolutions like 128×256 or 256×512 are also entirely valid.
     
  19. henke37

    aa henke37

    Messages:
    1,913
    Positive Ratings:
    447
    That's not the case. TF2 may be striving towards unified weapon models, but it certainly supports separate world and view models.
     
  20. Pocket

    aa Pocket func_croc

    Messages:
    4,489
    Positive Ratings:
    2,219
    It supports them, but only for the default weapons.