I was looking into TruForm today as part of the thread I'm doing on NWN, and I decided that my attention would be better spent in a different manner - even if I manage to get a TruForm dll hooking back into NWN, and it's somehow stable by sheer chance, it'd still only work properly on ATI cards.
That's obviously not an acceptable solution to the low polygon count 'problem'.
So, here's Plan B: I propose a project in which I manually handle the tesselation of the models which suit tesselation, and release them in the form of a few overrides. It'd be less prone to applying tesselation to the wrong things than TruForm anyway.
I built one up already, just to see how it goes. Beware - I'm no artist like Rav is, I can just work the programs and conversion tools, so my taste may leave something to be desired. I'm fully open to criticism of the style I end up with, though I reserve the right to ignore those criticisms. ;) I'm trying hard to keep the original look, and though I could make it a lot smoother, I'm trying to only increase the poly-count of these things by about an extra 2/3rds to double at most. Edit: Changed my mind, aiming for about 500 polys for all helms.
I chose the Pot Helm, seeing as even if I decide not to go ahead with this, the one thing Arabellans can always rely upon is seeing one or two of these around, so my work won't be wasted. :D
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These pictures don't do it justice, so grab it from the download site below (8KB) to see it ingame for yourself and make up your own mind about whether or not it makes a difference.
You can grab the .ZIP file containing the model here, though I only get 150MB a day on the free account, so if it's downloaded more than 18,750 times in a day, you'll have to wait 24 hours, I'm afraid. :P
To use it, just drop the MDL file inside the zip into your override folder. This MDL format is less compressed than a standard NWN MDL, so it should take about the same CPU to render as the lower poly model, though it'll take more GPU grunt and considerably more RAM. This helm, for example, takes nearly 35K of RAM, up from the ~20K of the old one! If you decide you don't like it, just delete the MDL out of the override folder and it'll be back to normal. I'm aiming for a polycount of around 500 per helm, the old ones are almost all below 200, and the newer ones range from 250 to 500.
Obviously, I'm going to finish this thread about settings in NWN and the .INI files first, but after that, would anyone be interested in this?
I'd probably also look at doing an ugly lower polycount version for slower computers, but I imagine that more people will have computers more than fast enough for NWN rather than still a bit slow for it. Let me know in this thread if you disagree with that statement, and you'd rather I did a low-poly version first. You could half the polycount of this particular helm for example by making the 'dome' on top four triangles, and flattening or removing the lip at the bottom, and it wouldn't look much different.
I'm interested in both.
I have a Ge-Force 8600m GT-512mb GFX, 2Gb of ram and a decent speed processor, but the game seems to slow down sometimes anyway. I really don't get it, this machine was built YEARS after NWN came out. So, the low poly version might be useful at times.
I reckon the high poly would be useful for most people though
Wait… no more square heads?!
There's already someone working on the heads, so I might skip that one - looks like they're really good at it.
Find it on the vault here;
http://nwvault.ign.com/View.php?view=Mo ... ail&id=459
Though it's only v0.1, meaning he's got 4 male and 4 female heads in this only for now. Be sure to drop a note on the vault for him if you'd like the guy to carry on with this, a lot of these mods stopped half-way due to lack of interest.