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Feature: 'Taming The Dragon: Next-Generation Asset Creation for PS3'

In today's main Gamasutra feature, we present a report of this week's IGDA meeting in San Francisco, at which Matthias Worch, designer and technical art director for S...
In today's main Gamasutra feature, we present a report of this week's IGDA meeting in San Francisco, at which Matthias Worch, designer and technical art director for Star Wars: Rogue Squadron developer Factor 5, presented a fascinating lecture discussing art creation for the company's still somewhat mysterious PlayStation 3 title Lair, particularly explaining the value of digital maquettes. In this extract, the demonstration of extremely high-quality PlayStation 3 in-game cut-scenes using these scanned maquettes was discussed: "The thing most people probably came for, though, was the dragons. Worch had little to say about the actual game he has been working on – now titled Lair – though he used the models all throughout the lecture. One of the key models was a maquette (built by Peter Konig at Massive Black, the man behind the Dragonheart models); another, a digital render. The final version used in the game, Worch said, was a blend of the best parts from each: a practical body and limbs, and a digital head, tail, and wings. He played a recent extremely high-resolution trailer in real-time, occasionally pausing to swing the camera around or turn on or off various effects. To be fair, the scene in question was clearly a cut-scene, calculated to show off just how many polygons the PS3 can throw around; it's still a lot of polygons, though. Each model, Worch claimed, contained somewhere between 100,000 and 170,000 triangles. Each had a bunch of other special maps and lighting applied, and the main character was built up with "over ten textures". He compared this to an estimated 10,000 for characters in Gears of War and other recent high-res games. The high-res models, meanwhile, that got dithered down to produce the in-game models, ran up around 5,000,000 triangles." You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject (no registration required, please feel free to link to the article from external websites).

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