Cell-shading in Sam & Max pretty please!

edited May 2006 in Sam & Max
One of the first things that struck me when I first saw the old movies from the now cancelled Sam & Max, was how horribly bulbous and clumsy the 3D lit characters looked.

It is nearly impossible to do a good-looking extrusion of a character designed for 2D (or even 2.5D like Sam & Max), to a 3 dimensional model.
The design will almost always lose all of its lightness and springiness.
Therefore I plea you Telltale Games artists: By all means, make the characters in the new Sam & Max game 3d, BUT cell/toon shade them!

Comments

  • Options
    edited April 2006
    Hmm... I actually really liked the animation and graphics of the trailer shown. They were very crisp and clean, and to me stayed true to the previous game.

    Cel-Shading in S&M, to me, would ruin the experience. There are very few games that have pulled off Cel-Shading to it's potential, and I feel that animating Sam and Max in that way is not doing it justice.

    Hopefully this starts some sort of heated debate that results in my ban and people throwing rocks at me. Flat ones preferrably, so I don't have to spend time looking for skipping stones.
  • Options
    edited April 2006
    I really liked the look of the original game, cell shading is not a good idea (it's hard to pull off and often looks quite awful), if you want a 2Dish look then use 2D. Otherwise pure 3D is the way to go with a 3D game.
  • Options
    edited April 2006
    If done right, cell-shading can look really good. Just look at Zelda WW and Jet Set Radio for evidence of that.

    It will never be a substitute for real hand drawn animation, but it does provide a welcome alternative to the heavy looking "realityshading", and really holds the potential to be a style within itself and not just an emulation of hand drawn stuff.

    The traditional 2D squash'n stretch, overly expressive animation style, just looks *so* wrong when applied to 3D.

    I would be really delighted if the Sam & Max team would share their thoughts on this.
  • Options
    edited April 2006
    Sure Zelda WW looks pretty good, but i can't imagine that style of cell shading looking very good on Sam & Max at all.
  • edited April 2006
    You have a poor imagination then, because I can imagine them looking like a cubist painting and absolutely rocking the world of art as we know it.
  • edited April 2006
    I don't know if cel-shading them would have made much difference to them in the trailers. They'd be the same except with great big outlines wouldn't they? I think they would do best in simple clean 3d. Like Bone! Hey, what a coincidence!
  • Options
    edited April 2006
    There are several known 'problems' with cell shading-

    1) creating real time cell shading is quite costy, in terms of computer power.
    2) they tend to match more to the 'japanimation' (a.k.a. Manga) style, which as I recall is quite far from purcell's artistic style.
    3) they tend to create artefacts when generated in real-time, which does not match the artistic style of the game.
    4) it is hard (very hard) to match a 'non cell-shaded' 3d environment to 'cell-shaded' characters.
  • edited April 2006
    I think the bottom line is that Sam and max isn't really a cartoony sort of game. The world in the comics is fairly normal looking but happens to have a 6 foot dog detective and a a hyperkinetic rabbity thingy wandering about which nobody thinks is strange. If you get too comicy it ruins the Sam-and-Max-osity of it all. Know what I'm saying? No? Well, I can't be bothered trying to explain it any better.
  • Options
    edited April 2006
    Have you actually read the comics?! The style is very cartoony (in Mr Purcells own distinct way). The setting is something that does resemble the real world, but the style is very stylized.

    The way the two main characters is designed really doesn't lend itself to 3d. You can take a lot of freedoms in designing a 2d character that just won't translate well to 3d.
  • Options
    edited April 2006
    Yes, the world is stylized, but in a way totally based on reality. It's not flat or anything like a modern TV cartoon that would require cell shading in a game version... it's a very 3D, living world in the comics, that is best shown using "realistic" character models that are simply designed in exaggerated, stylized ways. Like Freelance Police was.
  • edited April 2006
    Have you actually read the comics?!

    Ah, the age old come-back. And yes, yes I have. Many times. What I was trying to say was what SMNMX has so well described. Except in much bigger letters. And the letters were going to be pink.
  • Options
    edited April 2006
    So what you are saying, is that that the computery look is what Steve Purcell is really secretly aspiring to be able to do, and all comics should in fact be lightmapped so as to look as "real" as possible?
    The outlined "flat" look is not something artists do out of strict necessity you know. It pleases the eye in a different way and brings with it a lot of graphical possibilities, that "reality" just won't allow (or at least it would look very wrong).

    Again, the settings might be based on something that resembles reality but the style is *far* from naturalistic.
  • JakeJake Telltale Alumni
    edited April 2006
    I think that just like how Sam & Max can drop themselves pretty successfully into any story medium or genre, they can be successfully transported into a lot of visual styles. Looking at Steve Purcell's line art drawings (very flat) and then his painted cover art (very round, shaded) and then at the watercolor (just really awesome), it's not much of a stretch for me seeing them done well in 3D.
  • Options
    edited April 2006
    is this the kind of styling you wish the next sam and max look like?
    http://www.adventure-eu.com/index.php?option=com_zoom&Itemid=1&catid=103&Itemid=29

    well, technically it looks great, but I really dont think it might work for the sam and max, tough I must agree it can be done better, and it can match the visual style of the comics...

    tough i've always looked at Sam&Max visual style as a bit more grimy than the cartoony style LucasArts gave to the previous game
  • Options
    edited April 2006
    is this the kind of styling you wish the next sam and max look like?
    http://www.adventure-eu.com/index.php?option=com_zoom&Itemid=1&catid=103&Itemid=29

    well, technically it looks great, but I really dont think it might work for the sam and max, tough I must agree it can be done better, and it can match the visual style of the comics...

    tough i've always looked at Sam&Max visual style as a bit more grimy than the cartoony style LucasArts gave to the previous game
    Very nice but it looks way too clean. Maybe if you grimed it up a bit it'd work.
    Actually i wouldn't mind seeing sam and max go back to the old pixelated sprite look from "Sam and Max: Hit The Road". Great memories....mite go play it now
  • Options
    edited April 2006
    is this the kind of styling you wish the next sam and max look like?
    http://www.adventure-eu.com/index.php?option=com_zoom&Itemid=1&catid=103&Itemid=29

    Oooh. A bit of adjusting to the general style but Sam & Max would look great like that. I'm not a big fan of cartoon to 3d transitions myself. While I'll likely snatch up whatever telltale produces with Sam & Max, I'd enjoy it more with less of the 3d feel.
  • edited April 2006
    I really, really liked how Freelance Police looked/was looking. Okay, so the models were chunky, but the important thing to me was that the style seemed right. I just don't see Sam & Max and cel shading being a good fit (though on the other hand I had my reservations about Zelda and was immediately blown away and won over upon seeing Wind Waker in motion). I think Telltale should have a better reason to use an art style than to just smooth out the look of 3D models. Make it true to Sam & Max first and foremost.

    Also, isn't there a big difference between cel-shading and the user of toon shaders? Admittedly I know next to nothing about this stuff, but I'm pretty sure Freelance Police used toon shaders.
  • Options
    edited May 2006

    The traditional 2D squash'n stretch, overly expressive animation style, just looks *so* wrong when applied to 3D.

    I disagree... the Incredibles proved that.
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