Using blender to create sprites...

Sam Drost

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I'm no pixel artist, but I dabble in 3D. This weekend I spent some time trying to work out how to get Blender to render sprites for Tibia. Here are the results:

This is from this model. It would probably look better if I it had been made for such low-res rendering (for instance, he has a face, but it is too fine of detail for this resolution of render to show), but this is exercise was more about figuring out how to get cabinet projection to look right for Tibia.

Anyway, does it look anywhere close to right? I will work on making a model with larger detail as a better example of what Blender can produce.
 
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Forby

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I used Blender for creating spell effects but it has potential for sprites too.. never managed to get the transformation quite right.. It looks pretty good but requires some touch ups here and there from a pixel artist. This technique has potential as a "base" sprite that can be refined to something more fitting IMHO.
 

Keal Atis

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Looks really great :D waiting for more, maybe try some enviroment like trees, stones etc. :)
 
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Sam Drost

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I used Blender for creating spell effects but it has potential for sprites too.. never managed to get the transformation quite right.. It looks pretty good but requires some touch ups here and there from a pixel artist. This technique has potential as a "base" sprite that can be refined to something more fitting IMHO.
The main thing was using a lattice to skew the model just right. Most of what I did over the weekend was figure out what settings on the lattice gave the right perspective for Tibia. (I also think it needs a different lattice for tiles and sprites for everything to look right). Then it was just a matter of setting up the camera, lamp, and render settings. I'd be willing to show you the .blend file so you can see the settings, if you want.

Where would those touch ups be? I doubt I could ever get it where it needs no touch ups, but anything I can do to minimize them would be something.

Looks really great :D waiting for more, maybe try some enviroment like trees, stones etc. :)
Thank you. I've never modeled trees and stones, but I will see what I can come up with. I've mostly done character modeling (rather poorly). I think there is a tree generating plugin for Blender, but I have never looked at it.
 
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Sam Drost

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Here is my first attempt at a rock wall. Obviously not ready for use, but just an attempt to see if I can get it to work at all. The one on the right is the base render. The one on the left has been processed using the oilify filter in GIMP.
 

74l1b4n

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Would you be cool with sharing the process in a video, perhaps? It'd be cool to see! :)
 

Leshrot

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Long time I don't see someone trying to do some perspective45º 3D converted sprites.

Well, Among everything I've seen..
I could say it's awesome for spells (like they were doing in Phobos) and for environment.
You have a nice start in this Rock wall, but to be ideal, you should put more contrast on the faces of the rock.

For characters/creatures it could be nice, but i've never seem someone doing it without being blurry.
 

74l1b4n

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Wow, didn't expect an 11-minute tutorial on how to do it, great work!
As Leshrot mentioned this sure has a lot of potential. I could only imagine what sprites could be made if you manage to refine this technique.
Hope you keep updating us with new sprites, will sure follow this thread! :)
 

Leshrot

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Awesome video :)

I did this test with some small edits

How long did you take to create this model?
 
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Sam Drost

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It took some time to figure out the right technique, but having figured it out, I could probably make a new one in 20 minutes or less.
 
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Sam Drost

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Here is one made from a better model (less small detail and more large features that show up in low res renders) for this kind of work:

Edit: Actually that is a good example of the stretching I mentioned in the video. I forgot to adjust the lattice so that it was only two units long after moving the control points around. Here is a better render of it so you can see what effect scaling the lattice has:
 
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Leshrot

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Here is one made from a better model (less small detail and more large features that show up in low res renders) for this kind of work:

Edit: Actually that is a good example of the stretching I mentioned in the video. I forgot to adjust the lattice so that it was only two units long after moving the control points around. Here is a better render of it so you can see what effect scaling the lattice has:
The new one looks better, of course.
But I still think 3D works better for environment/effects.

Detailed things with some kinds of geometrical shapes have some weird looking and lose quality when blurred.
I can't understand fully what this monster have other than his eyes and mouth, and even that is blurred.
Maybe for bigger creatures it should work fine.


Environment usually don't have a great foccus on detail (except for trees which have a lot of contrasting dots for leafs), they're more soft, so blurr can be acceptable and that's why 3D is great for it
The same for Particle Effects.
 
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Sam Drost

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You have a point. I still think it is possible to make a model that can be used to make sprites. It's just a matter of controlling the detail correctly for the medium it is intended for. So far I have only been using models that I got off of the internet. That said, I was able to clear it up a little more using Blender's built in compositor. Let me know what you think of this (Left is the one upthread, right is the latest render, both have been scaled up to see easier): For what it is worth, this is a drakee from the Dragon Quest series. It is basically a ball with wings, feet, and a tail.
 

Keal Atis

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Could you rehost your tutorial video somewhere else? Youtube makes it impossible to watch at the end. After 9:12 nothing on screen changes. but you do a lot of stuff.
 
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Sam Drost

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Watching my video. It seems that it isn't youtube. The software I used to record the video didn't record very well. I will try to remake the video and post it again. Like I said in the video, this is the first time I've done a Blender video.
 

Keal Atis

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Watching my video. It seems that it isn't youtube. The software I used to record the video didn't record very well. I will try to remake the video and post it again. Like I said in the video, this is the first time I've done a Blender video.
Thanks for reply.

This is what I was able to do so far:
dead tree (+recolor):

model: 3DS - Pokémon X / Y - Tree of Life - The Models Resource
stone

model: 3DS - The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D - Gossip Stone - The Models Resource
 
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Sam Drost

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Those sprites look good. Did you render the magenta background or did you add it in an image editor? If so, you can leave the sky checked and just change the color to magenta and save yourself a step.
 

Madarada

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It is not easier to learn how to spriting, instead of trying to build shortcuts?
 
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