Pipeline - a few beginner question, please help!

Hello all Pandas, I am just a beginner with 3D graphics, so please bare with me and my stupid questions. I have looked through the forums, and couldn’t find a clear reply to my question. Well, that’s what happen when you are as newbie as me. I have started learning to make 3D models a few weeks ago, mostly Blender and Bryce. I am following the manual, doing all the tutorials, and so on. I am learning Blender because I would like to help a friend create models for a 3D game, using the Panda3D engine. I have some questions concerning the “logic” of creating models for games.

  1. Which are the key secrets to create models that look good with low polygon count? From what I read, the secret is mostly in using wisely UV maps and other texturing techniques, am I right?
  2. How do you know which is the right size for a model to be used at a later time as a building block of a bigger scene? Like in any other engine, in Panda 3D you have to import models into a sort of basic scene editor - so trees, houses, weapons, critters, everything is a building block. For example, let’s say I have to create a table, a house, a landscape - how do I make sure relative sizes are ok? I couldn’t find a tutorial or a clear page of the documentation about size of models.
  3. How do you choose which is the best texture size to apply on each model? Do you which is the average texture size in games nowadays?

Well, that’s all I can think of right now… any help in understanding something of all this, would be precious!

1): you are right. a wisely unwrapped model is a must. a good uv-map (just defines which 3d-points are pinned where on a 2d texture) is neccesary to apply a texture without bad-looking streched parts.
the texture itself is the most important part of a model. i like to quote some phrase i read somewhere … cant remember where… “the texture can make, or brake your model”
of you have a really good model (even high poly) and a bad texture it WILL look bad. but a good texture can help to let a real low poly modell look very beautyful. remember:" TEXTURE=IMPORTANT" :exclamation:

2). thats for you to decide .it’s usualy a good idea to have a reference size. lets say a charakter. a normal human player should be about 1.8m
the standart blender cube has 2x2x2 blender units. 1blender unit usualy is exportet as 1panda unit. if you take 1 panda unit as 1meter you are fine in most cases. (except ant-simulation or flight simulations)
once you decided on how many units a player is you can simply calculate the size of a house or a landscape.

  1. again thats for you to decide. the texture size depends on several things.
    most important is how near is the surface to the camera usualy.
    this , and the size of the surfave decides which resolution your texture needs to have.
    if you are not shure there i a very simple way to check it.
    create a model/world or whatever you want to have textured. create a texture for it. then use a paintprogram (like gimp) to make several copys. each with the half size of the previous.
    then just load some copys of your model into panda and apply the largest texture to the first, the next smaler one to the next etc. now move around with the camera like the camera would do later ingame. you’ll most likely find a fitting texture. choose the smalest good looking texture and you’r ok.
    newer high-end graficcards and games uses textures of 1024x1024.
    but for middleware gra-cards sizes between 128 and 512 are better.
    try to use 128x128 or 256x256 for your world. like for floor,walls etc.
    256x256 or 512x512 is a good value for characters.
    some very old hardware (like old voodoo cards) only support 128x128er textures but i guess you can ignore this limit.

if you have more questions just ask… oh jeah… neither bryce nor blender have the ultimate “model-self-creation-button” … well blender does have it but this button dosen’t features texturing jet :smiley:
good luck with your learning =)

Thanks a bunch for all the information! I will try to train hard also with Photoshop to get good UV Maps. TEXTURE=IMPORTANT! Won’t forget!