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Credits go to 23yrold3yrold, Aaron Bolyard, AMCerasoli, Dario ff, Felix-The-Ghost, GameCreator, Johan Halmén, LennyLen, MiquelFire, Peter Wang, Specter Phoenix, Tobias Dammers, Trezker, and weapon_S for helping out!
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Shank Graphics
Paul whoknows
Member #5,081
September 2004
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Hi!

I was playing this game a few days ago and I really liked how it looks, so I'm trying to implement a similar aesthetic approach, however, I'm not really sure what graphic techniques are being used in this game.

At first glance it seems they're using just textured polygons and some sort of skeletal animation based upon scaling and rotation, but I'm not sure if they are using vector graphics instead.

For those who don't know this game, here is a video

video

Any help will be appreciated :)

____

"The unlimited potential has been replaced by the concrete reality of what I programmed today." - Jordan Mechner.

23yrold3yrold
Member #1,134
March 2001
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I played the first one; pretty sure it's vector graphics.

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Specter Phoenix
Member #1,425
July 2001
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Forgive my ignorance, but what are vector graphics? Before seeing that I always thought of it as being flat 2d drawn shapes with primitives or such. Though now it makes me want to buy them to play.

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"Through vengence I was born. Through war I was trained. Through love I was found. Through death I was released. Through release I was given a purpose." -- Specter Phoenix
"Programming == AWESOME the rest is just tools to accomplish it."
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23yrold3yrold
Member #1,134
March 2001
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Think Strong Bad or the new My Little Pony cartoon. Flash graphics.

They are technically 2D primatives ...

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AMCerasoli
Member #11,955
May 2010
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I'm not sure, but I don't think those are real-time vectors. They were made with using vector techniques but I think those are not real-time vector. They're are applying shaders and things like that, would that be possible in the sense of performance?

Aaron Bolyard
Member #7,537
July 2006
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I'm not sure, but I don't think those are real-time vectors. They were made with using vector techniques but I think those are not real-time vector. They're are applying shaders and things like that, would that be possible in the sense of performance?

Yes, it's very possible to use real time vector graphics, taking full advantage of the GPU. I wrote an article on it a few months back: http://commaexcess.com/articles/6/vector-graphics-on-the-gpu

For example, I used the technique outlined in my article to apply traditional bone-based/skeletal/joint animation to a vector graphic. Also, I am able to take full advantage of vertex and fragment shaders in order to apply other effects as well.

You can see an example of the vector graphics in action with my C# game library, Algae. Check out the demo binary (space zooms in) to see real time vector graphics on the GPU. I have the code to generate quadratic curves for consumption by a vertex and fragment shader, as well as methods to efficiently approximate cubic curves with quadratic ones.

Peter Wang
Member #23
April 2000

It doesn't look like real time vector graphics to me either. If you look closely you can see where the bitmap for a body part overlaps another; they wouldn't need to do that with true vector graphics. Also, you can see slight blurriness in the outlines in some frames, consistent with scaling up bitmaps.

Specter Phoenix
Member #1,425
July 2001
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I started with bitmaps and have gone to using PNGs so vector graphics is something I never messed with. I'll have to look into that later.

"Can't a man even talk to himself without being interrupted?" -Krull(1983)
"Through vengence I was born. Through war I was trained. Through love I was found. Through death I was released. Through release I was given a purpose." -- Specter Phoenix
"Programming == AWESOME the rest is just tools to accomplish it."
END OF LINE

LennyLen
Member #5,313
December 2004
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I started with bitmaps and have gone to using PNGs

PNG is a bitmap format.

Specter Phoenix
Member #1,425
July 2001
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LennyLen said:

PNG is a bitmap format.

I don't mean bitmap format I mean BMP to PNG.

"Can't a man even talk to himself without being interrupted?" -Krull(1983)
"Through vengence I was born. Through war I was trained. Through love I was found. Through death I was released. Through release I was given a purpose." -- Specter Phoenix
"Programming == AWESOME the rest is just tools to accomplish it."
END OF LINE

MiquelFire
Member #3,110
January 2003
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SP doesn't know what's he talking about in this here thread, ignore him.

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Specter Phoenix
Member #1,425
July 2001
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SP doesn't know what's he talking about in this here thread, ignore him.

No I meant when I said bitmaps I wasn't referring to the bitmap format but the file types BMP to PNG. I know they are both bitmap format and that PNG was made as an alternative to the GIF format due to patent issues at the time. Though I do admit I have no clue about vector graphics as I have never used anything other than bitmaps for my graphics.

"Can't a man even talk to himself without being interrupted?" -Krull(1983)
"Through vengence I was born. Through war I was trained. Through love I was found. Through death I was released. Through release I was given a purpose." -- Specter Phoenix
"Programming == AWESOME the rest is just tools to accomplish it."
END OF LINE

Felix-The-Ghost
Member #9,729
April 2008
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Bitmap graphics contain sort of an array of pixel information the computer just draws. (map of bits)

Vector graphics contain structures with attributes the computer uses as instructions to draw the images in realtime instead of just copying bits. Mathematical instructions like the formula for a line, and attributes like line thickness and color. The benfit with vecot graphics is the "equations" to draw the images can be scaled infinitely with no loss of information like bitmaps.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vector_graphics

SP, I think MiquelFire is just trolling you.

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Paul whoknows
Member #5,081
September 2004
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It doesn't look like real time vector graphics to me either. If you look closely you can see where the bitmap for a body part overlaps another; they wouldn't need to do that with true vector graphics. Also, you can see slight blurriness in the outlines in some frames, consistent with scaling up bitmaps.

Same here, I just started this thread because I'm not 100% sure, but I don't think this game is using real time vector graphics, I think they're using just skeletal animation with high resolution textured polygons.

____

"The unlimited potential has been replaced by the concrete reality of what I programmed today." - Jordan Mechner.

Johan Halmén
Member #1,550
September 2001

If it were realtime vector graphics, you could see any limb of a character rotated in any arbitrary angle. If the limb (or torso or the whole character whatever) only appears to rotate in say 8 different angles, either it is bitmap sprite tech or the animator failed to use one advantage with vector graphics.

Of course, you can rotate a sprite in any angle in real time, too. To get it look good, you'd probably need downscaling and some smoothing (not just nearest pixel, like A4 rotate_sprite) including alpha. Vector might be faster here.

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Tobias Dammers
Member #2,604
August 2002
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Looks like fairly standard sprite-based graphics to me. It's taking advantage of the GPU for some nice shading and particle effects and such, but the sprites are just sprites. There's even the usual discrepancy between in-game scenes and cutscenes :P

If it had been true vector graphics, some really nice effects would have been possible - think actual skeleton / ragdoll animations, somewhat realistic-looking severed limbs, that kind of stuff. But I guess they wanted to go for a classic beat-em-up kind of look & feel. The animations are smoother, and there's a bit of eye candy, but the basic tech is the same.

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weapon_S
Member #7,859
October 2006
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That they are actually sprites sounds plausible. I think I see some tiny 'stretch' effects. They are probably possible with vector or that polygon technique (first time I heard about it though).
Hm, looking at the second time he's thrown at the wall (ca. 1:38), it kind of looks like the character is bend at the exact angle of the wall. This could be a sprite for a special case (corner wall), or it could point to skeletal animation. So the question is: are there some animations that are 'dynamic' (i.e. the angle of bodyparts is randomized or adapted to the environment)?
On the whole it's pretty well animated, that's just human technique. The smooth movements of vector/skeleton helps too of-course :P And the real question is what sort of animation do you like to work with best.

BTW I thought the youtube preview was a picture of a chapman stick.

Trezker
Member #1,739
December 2001
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Specter Phoenix
Member #1,425
July 2001
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Trezker said:

Could be something like cel-shading.

I don't know, I see people say it is 'cool' and everything, but for me I just don't really care for games done in cell shading. I know some games have used it and made it look good, but others I think made it look really bad. I didn't care for the Zelda game that used it as it made it look to cartoon-ish for my tastes.

"Can't a man even talk to himself without being interrupted?" -Krull(1983)
"Through vengence I was born. Through war I was trained. Through love I was found. Through death I was released. Through release I was given a purpose." -- Specter Phoenix
"Programming == AWESOME the rest is just tools to accomplish it."
END OF LINE

Paul whoknows
Member #5,081
September 2004
avatar

You need 3d models in order to use Cel-Shading ::)

Now I'm 100% sure this game Shank has not real time vector graphics.

What about this other one: Rayman Origins, now I'm really confused here, not really sure what are they using :(

video

____

"The unlimited potential has been replaced by the concrete reality of what I programmed today." - Jordan Mechner.

Specter Phoenix
Member #1,425
July 2001
avatar

I know it is has to be 3D models to do cel shading. I am referring to Legend of Zelda Wind Waker http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Legend_of_Zelda:_The_Wind_Waker

[REVISION]
Speaking of Zelda I bought Twilight Princess for Wii today. Yet to play it though.

"Can't a man even talk to himself without being interrupted?" -Krull(1983)
"Through vengence I was born. Through war I was trained. Through love I was found. Through death I was released. Through release I was given a purpose." -- Specter Phoenix
"Programming == AWESOME the rest is just tools to accomplish it."
END OF LINE

Felix-The-Ghost
Member #9,729
April 2008
avatar

Speaking of Zelda I bought Twilight Princess for Wii today. Yet to play it though.

Love the game. After playing most of the classic Zelda games my breath was taken away (in a good way) :) Every boss is a pushover though :P

=============================
The ghost with the most!

23yrold3yrold
Member #1,134
March 2001
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I loved that game too.

.... on the GameCube.

--
Software Development == Church Development
Step 1. Build it.
Step 2. Pray.

Specter Phoenix
Member #1,425
July 2001
avatar

I normally like Zelda games, and I like the gameplay in Wind Waker, but the cel shading just distracted from the graphics for me. I'm sure a lot of people loved it. I can't think of a Zelda game I've played that I haven't liked.

"Can't a man even talk to himself without being interrupted?" -Krull(1983)
"Through vengence I was born. Through war I was trained. Through love I was found. Through death I was released. Through release I was given a purpose." -- Specter Phoenix
"Programming == AWESOME the rest is just tools to accomplish it."
END OF LINE

Dario ff
Member #10,065
August 2008
avatar

What about this other one: Rayman Origins, now I'm really confused here, not really sure what are they using

Look at some sprite rips, they're just a lot of different bitmaps with interpolated animation I think, kinda like the thing I wanted to do back some years ago.

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