2D Vs 3D characters

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TrickWithAKnife
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2D Vs 3D characters

#1 Post by TrickWithAKnife » Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:55 pm

This has been an interesting topic to me recently.  How do you feel about the use of 2D or 3D graphics in VNs or KNs?

When you respond, I'd also like to ask if you are an artist, and if you are opposed to 3D is it because it's not what you're used to?
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Re: 2D Vs 3D characters

#2 Post by redeyesblackpanda » Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:04 am

These sorts of questions have come up in the past, and have often gotten similar answers. Citing: http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 44&t=13339

I'd say that the community isn't opposed to 3D art, but it's incredibly difficult to produce 3D art at the level that most people. It's definitely not an "easy way out." Even then though, it seems like some people are still opposed to 3D art in VNs.

Personally, I find 3D art to be nice, but only the 3D art with high production quality, like the stuff Square Enix puts out. I don't recall really liking any 3D character art that was produced by people that weren't paid professionals that were part of large studios.

I'm not an artist, but I'm definitely part of the audience that you might be catering to, so I thought I'd throw in my two cents. :lol:

Other relevant link:
http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... =4&t=12250
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Re: 2D Vs 3D characters

#3 Post by Sapphi » Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:20 am

I am an artist.
I do not work with 3D models but have some experience sculpting/creating 3D art.

My instinctual response is "2D!"
I am very biased towards 2D graphics. I grew up watching them, I want to be a 2D animator, etc.
IMHO a lot of 3D work is not as stylized and therefore as expressive as 2D (read: boring). I think the medium does have potential, though. As I sit here I can look up and see my very stylized and very adorable anime figure collection*. So, if your 3D art looked like my adorable anime figures or Pixar characters, I think I could still appreciate it.

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Re: 2D Vs 3D characters

#4 Post by Samu-kun » Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:21 am

I am both a 2D and 3D artist and I say, please no 3D characters, ESPECIALLY if you are going to use Poser or something which looks similar to poser.

3D is good for rigging models and making characters move. Unfortunately, renpy doesn't support real time 3D animation and I doubt it ever will, so the primary benefit of 3D is out. Most of the time, people use 3D characters as a short cut by just relying on Poser or some similar software that lets them use a pre-made model and bend them into (unnatural) poses. You should not use 3D unless you actually know how to make 3D characters.

I think using 3D for things other than humans (backgrounds, inorganic objects) are a great idea. It saves a lot of time and you can get different shots from different angles with different lighting effects and all that. But all too often, 3D characters just look like creepy mannequins because they're used as a budget cutting measure by people who can't draw 2D.

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Re: 2D Vs 3D characters

#5 Post by FatUnicornGames » Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:25 am

I am not against 3D art. I think I DO have a preference for 2D art, but like Panda was saying if the 3D art has high production values I can certainly get behind it.

I am an adequate artist. I originally went to art school for illustration, but ended up in film because I fell in love with the story telling aspect of it.

I know I haven't posted any art around here so here are a couple of my traditional pieces from school: this (watercolor), this (cut paper) and this (the last one is artistically nsfw).

Maybe it is because I am a little older, but I just feel more attracted to well done 2D art than well done 3D art though.

Edit: I would be interested to see a visual novel use 3D models right. I haven't really seen that yet. Sorry if that's mean. D:
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Re: 2D Vs 3D characters

#6 Post by Morgan_R » Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:26 am

I prefer 2D.

In my professional life, I am a 3D artist. I'm opposed to 3D because the kind of 3D that can feasibly be produced by a single artist, or even a small team, is likely to be aesthetically unappealing.

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Re: 2D Vs 3D characters

#7 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:27 am

I have nothing against 3D as long as it looks good, which is frankly hard to pull off. I think people tend to see it as a short cut if you can't draw when in fact it requires skill and a high degree of attention to detail, especially when it comes to lighting and textures. Most amateur 3D stuff falls into uncanny valley and never comes out again. If you were going to use it on the same level as appealing 2D stuff you would have to be prepared to put in a lot of work.

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Re: 2D Vs 3D characters

#8 Post by TrickWithAKnife » Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:46 am

Thanks a lot for the replies. Everyone is overwhelmingly in favour of 2D, for very logical reasons.

I was surprised that most people mentioned the quality of the 3D, but no-one mentioned the quality of 2D characters.
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Re: 2D Vs 3D characters

#9 Post by netravelr » Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:56 am

Well, there was a time that I was playing around with using 3D models for Culina: (click to open the full-size)
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But I personally found that the 2D versions helped in a lot of areas, especially in showing emotion and in general looking nicer.
Image

It's also much more cost effective in terms of doing real 3D models (especially low poly) can take a substantial amount of time. That's not to say I would never do 3D, but for this project I felt it was a little overkill. It really just depends on the project.
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Re: 2D Vs 3D characters

#10 Post by FatUnicornGames » Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:22 am

I think the non-mention of quality in 2D art is that within visual novels we have seen it before. Great 3D art in the same medium is more of a Chupacabra, if you catch my drift. Also I have found that 3D tends to be used in poorly done hentai games. And don't get me wrong, sometimes I LIKE hentai. ;D
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Re: 2D Vs 3D characters

#11 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:47 am

TrickWithAKnife wrote:Thanks a lot for the replies. Everyone is overwhelmingly in favour of 2D, for very logical reasons.

I was surprised that most people mentioned the quality of the 3D, but no-one mentioned the quality of 2D characters.
The thing is, to get the same quality of appeal, 3D requires more work than 2D. Because 2D is more removed from reality than 3D, you also have a lot more room for mistakes and deviations with 2D work, thus me mentioning uncanny valley.

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Re: 2D Vs 3D characters

#12 Post by TrickWithAKnife » Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:43 am

Ok, next question. If you had a lot of ideas that would require a large number of minor characters that would only appear briefly, would you rather cut the scenes when they appear, or try to create them anyway (using 2D)?

How would you feel if you were the artist and the other team member(s) told you they want to add a lot of characters that will only appear briefly?

Visuals vs content is also an issue for me.
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Re: 2D Vs 3D characters

#13 Post by redeyesblackpanda » Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:46 am

Minor characters don't always end up getting sprites, even in large commercial works, so I'm not sure that you would need to cut the scenes if you don't get them drawn.
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Re: 2D Vs 3D characters

#14 Post by TrickWithAKnife » Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:56 am

It wouldn't be strange having disembodied voices in a KN?
The plan is to have portraits that change depending on their emotions, along with the main image in the main screen.
"We must teach them through the tools with which they are comfortable."
The #renpy IRC channel is a great place to chat with other devs. Due to the nature of IRC and timezone differences, people probably won't reply right away.

If you'd like to view or use any code from my VN PM me. All code is freely available without restriction, but also without warranty or (much) support.

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Re: 2D Vs 3D characters

#15 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:56 am

TrickWithAKnife wrote:Ok, next question. If you had a lot of ideas that would require a large number of minor characters that would only appear briefly, would you rather cut the scenes when they appear, or try to create them anyway (using 2D)?

How would you feel if you were the artist and the other team member(s) told you they want to add a lot of characters that will only appear briefly?

Visuals vs content is also an issue for me.
I wouldn't be that pleased honestly unless there was a good reason for the characters to show up. You can save time by using a doll system where you use the same base over and over again and adding in different features to make them different characters. I did that with BCM for the tertiary characters (and they are only side sprites). But that still takes time and if that character is only popping up for a couple seconds, well, it could feel like a lot of wasted effort. I would ask yourself very carefully if you really need ALL the extra sprites. Maybe there is a way to combine roles or scenes?

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