Non-Voxel models mod


#1

From what I have seen (all the live-streams, and posts / blogs from Radiant) it seems that their is no voxel engine in game in so far as models or non-terrain objects. It seems there may eventually be scripts / utilities for converting Qubicle models to game models but that they are standard 3D models that just happen to be based on voxels. If my assumptions are correct there would be no reason that you couldn’t make a mod that would use non voxel based models. I’m not sure if the game engine would support textures on the models, or that the engine only renders RGB values on each surface.

Anyway, just an interesting thought. I really like the voxel look of Stonehearth and Tom (I’m pretty sure it’s Tom, I can get them mixed up) seems to be doing an amazing job with art direction and giving the game a very consistent look throughout. Much better than any of the plethora of Voxel based games that are out there. Something to think about in any case.


#2

As far as I can tell that’s not quite correct. I’ve go the quote here but it seems like they use qubicle files specifically and just use the 3d program for animating.

[quote=“Geoffers747, post:8, topic:279”]
What’s the art process?

“We use Qubicle for all the voxel art. Stonehearth comsumes .qb files natively and our resource file format is just JSON, so it’s really easy to get new art assets into the game. We’re using 3DSMax for rigging and animation, but the animation file format is, again, just JSON.”[/quote]


#3

OK then, I remember seeing that now. It looks like the game engine renders the voxels for terrain and objects. The animation thing makes sense. I wonder how optimized the engine is at removing interior on non visible voxel surfaces. I know tom was mentioning something about optimizing the models in one of the streams. If the game engine reads native .qb files then it has to have a good optimizer for removing all hidden surfaces. I would imagine that this optimization should only need to be done once to make load times reasonable. The game shouldn’t have to optimize each model from a .qb file each time the game starts. If these optimized models are stored in any standard 3D format then my idea still has merit. Since you could replace the optimized models with ones that are not voxel based. Not that this is something that really needs to be done. I guess it’s just the hacker in me.


#4

Huh? This seems to be the whole point of you post but I’m not sure how valid a point it is. Why would they need to edit the voxels? They wouldn’t be rendering the inside anyway and I’m sure their rendering engine has been written specifically to optimise voxels as they’ve said that they don’t use the same kind of power as engine like unity that deal with general polygons.


#5

I don’t know what I said that’s confusing. In my first post I assumed the engine was loading all the objects as 3D models that happened to be voxel shaped. I assumed that the game was using 3D models similar to the ones they use to build their animations. In the second post I’m confirming the comment that the game uses .qb files; which are color 3D bit maps, not 3D models. The .qb bitmaps include all the voxels on the inside of any voxel object not just the visible ones. When a simple conversion is done from a 3D bit map (voxels) to a 3D model (something that can be rendered by the game engine) there are many optimizations that need to be done to the data. If you simply use the voxel info you will be creating in the order of hundreds of times the polygons required to render the object since each voxel has 12 poly’s (2 polys per voxel side) and all the interior voxels would get surfaces. To optimize these models you would need to remove all surfaces of voxels in the interior of models as well as surfaces of voxels with not all surfaces visible. The optimizer would also have to combine polys on surfaces made of several voxels in the same plane. All of this processing may be done every time the game loads or it may be done as part of data packager and only done when a .qb file is added or changed. In that case the optimized model would be stored as game data. My reason for thinking that this is the case, is that optimizing all the models from .qb files would add a significant load time for the game, as not only is the engine loading the files but each file’s data would need to be manipulated (optimized). If the optimization is done ahead of time and stored the stored models would be a standard 3D vertex model not a 3D bit map. In this case it would be possible to mod those models to be non-voxel like by replacing the files that the packager created.


#6

it’s @Tom in nearly every livestream… @Ponder is leading the charge on the programming front…

on a related note:

“Will there be a sculptor who can make sculptures which you can create out of voxels in the game?” - Livestream - 31:47

“We thought about that … adding an in-game voxel editor is a big chunk of work, it would be awesome, but its like not worth it yet … eventually maybe, but for now we’re not gonna do that, but it’s a good idea. We even thought about how to level up the carver so that when he levels up you can do more intricate carvings, but if it makes it in, it’s something that will be there later rather than sooner.


#7

Don’t know if they save the polygon version to load it faster the next time. the models are quite small so it might not be necessary. Either way they have talked about using animated polygons to make facial expressions, so they would need some way to import polygon objects. Support for textures are less likely though, since the original game don’t use any, but maybe it will make it in eventually.