Leaf Outline

Quote from: Zorg on April 03, 2015, 05:20:27 am

I thought about the missing outline of the leaves. In the screenshots in some areas it’s hard to tell which cube is in front of other cubes. Which is not necessarily bad! I guess it’s very clear in motion. With these very bright leave colors i thought about a white outline for leaves, but in a mockup it did not turn out very well (i’ll show it anyway): Wink

First of all, thank you so much for taking the time to do the mockup! Really appreciate.

I actually don’t think the white outline looks that bad. I an see it conflicting a bit with the lighter-colored leafs, like yellow, but I think here for red, it looks quite nice.

I noticed that leaves do not drop shadows, which may result in a shadow image of a “dead” tree on the walls. It would look better with a shadow, imho:

Ya, the lack of shadows from the leaves does bother me…

________________________________________________________________
So after seeing Zorg’s points about outline and shadows, I decided to do a bit of an experiment on twitter: twitter leaves comparison

The response was overwhelmingly in favor of having outlines. Something like 20 to 2.

One thing that I hadn’t considered, and I think what’s great about the outlines is that it causes outlines *not* to be drawn through them. This is because of the order in which the transparency is rendered. By rendering the leaves in the order in which outline is drawn on the leaves, it means it’s blocking the objects behind it, and hence outlines are now drawn on those.

As a result, the leaves hide the the outlines of the branches inside of it, so when you’re looking at a large scene, it makes it much less cluttered.

Compare below:

Relativity_Game_Screenshot-2015-04-03_15-28-32

Relativity_Game_Screenshot-2015-04-03_15-27-05

Without the leaves hiding the branches, the outlines there get all bunched up together, and actually makes the trees look rather ominous. By outlining the leaves, the tree looks much fuller and well-defined.

One thing I also changed was the make the inactive leaves more white instead of grey:

Relativity_Game_Screenshot-2015-04-03_16-41-44

I think it makes the inactive leaves look like they’re lamps that are turned off, which is pretty cool. I can see this lending itself to some really nice aesthetic opportunities, like making an area that looks like a empty street at dawn or something.

Relativity_Game_Screenshot-2015-04-03_15-58-55 Relativity_Game_Screenshot-2015-04-03_16-40-54 Relativity_Game_Screenshot-2015-04-03_16-41-06 Relativity_Game_Screenshot-2015-04-03_16-41-21 Relativity_Game_Screenshot-2015-04-03_16-41-13 Relativity_Game_Screenshot-2015-04-03_16-41-56

Here’s a close up of the shadows:Relativity_Game_Screenshot-2015-04-03_16-19-27

While I like that there are now shadows, I’m not a fan of the pattern that’s on it. I wish it were just a lighter color of the other shadows, but still solid. Not sure why this is happening. Will look into it some more.

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