Thursday, December 18, 2014

Upcoming Champions [League of Legends: Arena]

With variety of fixes and visual enchantment, alpha version from my recent project - League of Legends: Arena is over, and moving on into beta state. However since the project is still a long go and I haven't fully animate some of the champions yet, I decided to made a sneak peek post on the blog which I didn't do anymore since my Fairy Tail: Battle of Magic project last time. So here is it, starting from the champions list - from the current available into some of those whose currently on my list to be included in future releases:

Currently Available: Katarina, Garen and Miss Fortune
Currently Available: Sona, Master Yi and Ezreal
Currently Available: Vladimir, Janna and Nasus
Upcoming Releases: Zyra, Nautilus and Graves
Upcoming Releases: Ashe, Leona and Ahri

Boss Mode
Boss mode will be implemented in future release as well, currently I have one between two champions on mind that has to be decided as a Boss: Hecarim, the Shadow of War or Nautilus, the Titan of the Depths.

Boss Mode illust with Nautilus as the boss

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Achieving Low Size On A High Visualized Map

People often asked, how do I achieve such low size projects while most of the materials I'm using are normally a highpoly products. So I decided to made a short tutorial out of it, hopefully can be helpful for certain people who needed it, especially those who care much about size.

These points I'm mentioning are what I often do and based off from personal map making experience in order to achieving low sized, yet visually high quality looking maps:

1. Models
No doubt that model can enchant your map looks into something different and eye pleasing. But too much polycount ain't necessary for wc3. Therefore Polycount Reduction is needed to do, this is a polycount reduction example on a mesh that I did:

Blackhand from Warlords of Draenor - Before: 4,57 mb | After: 298 kb
(Model mesh size only, not including texture size)
Notice the difference? Polycount Reduction meant removing unecessary parts of the mesh in order to obtain lower size. This can be done in Mdlvis or Milkshape.

Short Note: In milkshape you can do reduction for various kind of model files other than .mdx. In my personal opinion, Milkshape is also a base modelling tool to build your modelling fundamental before move on into professional modelling tools like 3ds max or Maya.

The next part we'll talk about Animations, normally WoW models had plenty of animations which is not needed as every single of keyframes here are counted as kb.

1. Try to remove every single of animations that you not needed on the model and see the size difference. Especially on a model that you use as an NPC or Vendor role, leaving only stand animation on them is pretty much a good idea.

2. If you create the animations on your own, create only animations that you needed, beside lower the size, it's also way more time efficiency.

Last but not least, remove unnecessary keyframes on each animations, normally WoW animated models had hundered of keyframes on a single animation, remove them until 8-10 keyframes. Make sure you remove a correct keyframe or else the animations would be messed up.

From that Polycount Reduction and Keyframes Reduction method above I'm able to made the model on the pic down from 4,57 mb into 298 kb.

Blackhand in-game, comparison between
30% and 100% texture quality
2. Texture
For custom texture usage only, skip this part if you using in-game textures. Reduce your texture quality under 40% using BLP Lab.

If  you using custom seperated model potrait, you can just reduce yours into 20% instead, as with wc3 normal camera distance, texture quality is not really that noticable, unless it's for huge sized doodads decorations.

As for texture resolution, 256 pixels-below is the best choice, never went higher than that for your size efficiency. Changing a texture resolution can be done in Photoshop or BLP Lab.

And for ground tile textures, I usually have them in 60% of their quality so their looks ain't broken as a ground.

3. Icon
Normally it's 5 kb below for BTN, and 4 kb below for DISBTN. If your icon size is more than that, you did the conversion wrong. I'm using Photoshop most of the times before converting all of my icons, and then using Button Manager for converting them into .blp file.

Sound Cut, because every single second
taking quite alot of kbs
4. Sound
Sounds sometimes made the map rather more alive, right usage of BGM often can made the map vibe more intensive especially on battle arena themed one. I often cut any unecessary part of the sound/music which I'm using with Adobe Audition, after that compress them into 64 kbps, lower than that only causing a broken sound. I personally use Xilisoft Video Converter or Switch Sound File Converter for compressing the sound kbps.

For BGM, you can cut certain repeatable part from the music to cut down the size instead of using them in full length.

Those are vital parts I often do in order to obtaining a lower size, other than that you guys probably already know what to do. Doing the model part (polycount reduction and keyframes reduction) would be the more time-taking out of 4 points above. Creating from scratch or editing the materials used would need even more time.

But the visual and size result? I can guarantee it's worth it rather than have oversized kbs on something that can be achieved waaay more smaller! Except if you don't care at all about the size, of course.