Vertex color between different ground textures

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worsas
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Vertex color between different ground textures

Post by worsas » Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:53 pm

In the base game there are two different ways of usage of vertex color:

Main Game: Vertex color is used around objects and as outline between different ground textures.
Furthermore it is used at the water border and to add additional detail to plain terrain as seen here:
Image

Bloodmoon: Vertex color is used around rocks and below trees to simulate shadow.
It is not used as outline between a certain ground texture and it's snowy variant, but it is still used as outline between a soil - and a rock - ground texture. It is also mostly used at the water border.
Image

The main reason for the different usage in Bloodmoon is obviously that it would look silly to add vertex color at the transition between the snowy variant and the plain variant of a ground texture. But other than that vertex color between different ground textures still seems to be a thing.

At this point TR and P:C use vertex color just like the vanilla game. But at SHOTN we are currently having a mix-max of some sort that is undeniably made more difficult by huge shaded areas like Vorndgad forest where switching between two different shades in order to make outlines that are recognizable against the general shaded ground, would take some trouble (I don't think we should be looking into that honestly).

Scamps latest claim, however, uses the vanilla-.like outline between different ground textures for the Falkar Foothills section of his claim. Should we generally switch to the vanilla way of using the vertex color for future regions?

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Scamp
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Re: Vertex color between different ground textures

Post by Scamp » Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:42 pm

Actually, vertex color as a way to simulate shadow is used in the vanilla game as well, not just Bloodmoon. An example I can think of are some of the roots of Tel Naga that have a shadow painted beneath them.
In my opinion, this is a bad practice, because it does not take into account the position of the sun, and most of us probably use shadow mapping from XE anyway.

An inconsistency within the usage of vertex color for texture transitions is probably not noticable to players. We've been doing it at TR back in the days, so it kind of stuck with me. I have to admit, though, that even in my latest claim there are areas where I didn't do it, especially on top of the mesa.
I think it makes the terrain less bland and boring to look at in the CS. In more barren areas, it may have that purpose in-game as well.

In any case, transitions should use a significantly lighter grey than what is used around objects.

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