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How Does the SSB4 Substitute Doll Look So Photorealistic Despite Being on WiiU?

RMS Gigantic

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Sep 11, 2013
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Allow me to be clear that I am specifically asking about the textures simulating materials and the shadows on the model, especially near the face.

Seriously, take a look at this thing:



Especially when the picture is in even slightly smaller sizes (such as 720×1280), there have been cases where people thought that this plush toy had been photoshopped into the image. There's something about the way that the texture emulates the fuzzy material of the doll, the way that shadows are rendered on the thing, and the overall rendering system that seem to come together just right for a figure that's realistic-looking to the point where seeing it surrounded by these more cartoony fighters and stages (Toon Link in particular here looks like he's made out of clay or something by comparison) is downright jarring.

Yes, in full 1080p as seen in the picture above, the polygons are quite plainly visible (though at smaller resolutions, certain hyperbolic claims have arisen due to how less apparent the polygons become), but again, my question revolves around the texture and shadow quality of this thing.
 

Hatchtag

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Mar 3, 2014
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I think stuffed animals are fairly easy to make photorealistic. I know I've been impressed by some stuffed animal type characters on the PS3 and 360 before. I wanna say Littlebigplanet, but I'm not sure.
 

monlo

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Sep 20, 2010
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what does "despite being on Wii U" mean?

What makes you think the Wii U is less capable of photorealistic art design than, say, a PC? Racing games have been doing it since they've been given a 3D toolset to work with.

I think your mouth is agape because, compared to the rest of this image, it is the only thing with a 'texture'. Toon Link and particle effects are taking over everywhere else
 

Exuro

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Jan 30, 2011
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I thought it was a high res 2d image but then I watched the trailer again and its clearly a 3d model. Pretty neat shading they're pulling off.
 

komplanen

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Jun 23, 2013
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Despite being awfully low-poly for a modern game (I mean you can see the straight lines clear as day) it looks really good. I doubt that's nothing special though and people will post examples of PS360 games that use the same tricks. Other parts of this game look good too :)
 

PSYGN

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Jan 6, 2008
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It looks like physical material that has been scanned in, if not then they made it pretty photo realistic versus the more drawn nature of Link. Looks great, nonetheless!
 

GamerJM

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May 19, 2013
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Photorealistic is such an overused term. That definitely does not look photorealistic.

It resembles a real life doll fairly closely because they're pretty simplistic.
 

tranciful

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Jul 28, 2007
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No animation, so you don't get ugly stretching (see Link's knee). Not having animation also lets you do ambient occlusion with more confidence (can't bend limbs, so the creases where the limbs meet the body will always be creases).

Educated guesses on how they approached it: The 'cloth' texture is uniform, so you can use a high res texture for a smaller area and tile it to cover the entire surface to get more detail. That might be a combination of normal map and a blended detail map (that'd have ambient occlusion for the tiny threads). Hard to tell without seeing it in motion to see how it responds to light. That detail map for the small fur details would be blended over more conventional UVed maps for color and the larger seams/folds.

edit: for those not familiar, ambient occlusion basically makes areas darker when they'd be less exposed to ambient light -- so for the doll, that means some of the shading, like between the doll's arm and face, can be baked in (higher quality than it would be if done in real-time).

Here's a good example:



But imagine if the dragon was animated and it could stretch out its body. The dark areas on its back would make no sense. This dragon doesn't move so it can better take advantage of baked AO -- same goes for the doll in smash bros. But animated characters have to be careful. The area around Link's belt can take advantage of it, but his arms can be bent in any number of ways so you can't rely on strong AO there or it'd look weird when the arm is bent in a different position than it was in when the AO was baked.
 

DrNeroCF

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Jun 28, 2012
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I don't know, there's those ladybug looking baddies in 3D World that look 'physical' to me because of the lighting and reflections. I haven't seen anything on PS4 or Xbone that have a similar 'real' feeling. The closest I've seen is that direct, super white lighting in Uncharted 3 or Heavy Rain (doesn't Sony have a proprietary lighting engine?).

I'm guessing Nintendo has a similar lighting engine that's tailored specifically for the Wii U's GPU (which is supposed to be pretty decent, isn't it?) that can create a look that's still a bit of a novelty.
 

daman824

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Sep 5, 2013
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The wii u is stronger than the last gen systems. And nintendo knows how to get the absolute most out of their hardware.
 

reKon

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Jun 26, 2009
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Tbh I'm probably not going to notice the visuals as much because I'll be too focused on the action. The only thing that will probably stand out to me compared to Brawl is the anti aliasing, sharpness, and maybe the lighting? Smash Bros isn't exactly a game that screams graphically beast to me. In fact no Nintendo games do still... Doesn't change the fact that some of them have amazing art styles and much improved lighting over Wii games.
 

fernoca

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Tough "despite been on Wii U"...is weird. :p

Its basically a low-poly model with a hi-res texture...which appears for a second or so. Is not something taxing or extraordinary.
 

-MD-

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Jun 10, 2013
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People love to talk down the WiiU's graphics but holy hell SSB4 and MK8 look incredible, I'd trade all the Battlefield 4's of the world for these kinds of games any day.
 

Astral/H3X

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Aug 17, 2012
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I've gotten to the point where I stop being impressed by Nintendo games. They all look too amazing now for me to expect them not to. No, I don't care that when you zoom in really close on DK's big left toe you can see a polygon edge, the game looks absolutely fantastic.
 

GamerJM

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May 19, 2013
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I refer to how, on a texture and shadow rendering level, it bears a very strong resemblance to this:

Yeah, I figured (that's what my second line was about). The top line was more of a nitpick thing, it doesn't really just pertain to this topic in general. Regardless I do think that shot looks fantastic.

Woah, I didn't notice this. Zoomed in it looks kinda out-of-place, but zoomed out it looks cool.
 

ampere

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Mar 30, 2007
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SSB4 just has amazing art direction in general. Good art direction + 60fps goes a long way, even if you don't have the most powerful hardware.
 

Krackatoa

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Feb 23, 2009
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Yay. People are discovering the wonders of Ambient Occlusion.

I too was wowed when Red Faction: Guerrilla came out.
 
K

kittens

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That really is impressive. I thought it was photoshop'd the first time I saw it.
 

plainr_

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Oct 31, 2009
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That looks like it was photoshopped in. Really good graphics but it does seem out of place.