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Model Guidelines for TFC2

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This post goes hand-in-hand with the MCMC Tutorial I posted in the MCMC forum.  That post gives the basics of using MCMC, regardless of what mod you're making models for.  This post is specifically for those who are interested in doing models for TFC2.  Applicants for TFC2 modeling will be expected to have read both of these posts.  Submissions which do not conform to the basic technical requirements of the tutorial, or the guidelines laid out in this post, will be referred to the appropriate post(s) and asked to re-submit. 

If you want to join the modeling team, please contact Darmo first. If you just pick a random animal, there's a good chance we'll have already made it. And while we can judge your skill from your model, it's not going to be put in the game unless you have ALSO made a texture for it, and BOTH the model AND texture are better than the one we already have made.  If you mention in your initial message that you have read both the Tutorial and Guidelines posts, we can get right down to other business.  Otherwise my first response back will be to question if you have read them or not.


These are guidelines necessary just to have a usable model for TFC2. 


1 BOX NAMES - EVERY box must have a different name, and they must conform with the guidelines given in the Tutorial (no spaces, not all caps).  Do not send us a model where every box is named "Box" or “Box1092”. Name the boxes in a descriptive way. Especially head parts, but ESPECIALLY legs – we need to know left/right and front/back. We want to see that you can not only design and build in an organized way, but also communicate in a way that others can understand readily, and so follow what you're doing, without you having to explain it.


2 CHILDREN – Arrange your boxes in a proper parent-child relationship as described in the MCMC Tutorial post. We want to see that you have a grasp of the basic concepts of MCMC.


3 GIZMOS – Make an attempt to properly arrange your gizmos in logical locations, that take into consideration if the part will be animated, at the very least. If every gizmo is at a corner, you probably will not hear back from us, or be told to read the tutorial and this guide. Again, we want to see that you have the basic MCMC concepts. Your model has 0 chance of making it without proper gizmo arrangement.


4 PUT IN THE EFFORT – In the end, it's better that you send us one well thought out and thoroughly designed model, as opposed to a half-dozen slipshod, hastily put together models. We are interested in quality, not quantity. We want people who can focus, follow directions, and be organized. Those are the baseline requirements. We also want people who have a good sense of proportion and design - these are the hard things, but if you cannot put together a technically correct model, it does not matter how good your sense of proportion and design is.  We do NOT want people who will spam us with models that appear ok but have lots of technical issues, expecting us to clean up the issues.


5 TEXTURE MAP  - You do not have to have your box maps perfectly arranged for your initial submission, though it'd be good to see that you have a handle on it, and it at least needs to be clear that there is enough space at the resolution you've selected.  Don't send us an elephant model with a 64x32 texture base.  It can be a bit of work getting the box maps arranged right, and if we ask you to change things and your map no longer works, then you spent that work for no reason.   So don't worry about having your texture map sorted at first.  If you do have it sorted though, and made very efficient use of your space, this may impress us.


6 CONSISTENT FILE NAMING - Name your files in a sequential fashion.  Jackelope V1, Jackelope 2.1, Jackelope 3, stuff like that.  Do not name them something like JackelopeBigEars.  That sounds logical at the time, but after you've sent me a 5th or 6th revision, it gets tiresome to try to remember which file is the most recent.  Pick a numeric convention and stick with it.  You can tag on other stuff after, but the first part needs to be consistent so they appear in order in the directory.



Keep these guidelines in mind while designing your model for TFC2.  If your model departs wildly from these guidelines, we'll ask you to read this post and re-submit. If it departs only a little we may give you specifics and ask you to re-submit.


1 KEEP IT BELIEVABLE - In general, we are going for 'believable' animals.  We're not going for extremely cartoonish features, like outlandishly sized heads and horns, or anime-sized eyes.  You should examine actual photos of the animal in question, and attempt to design a model that is as proportional as the medium allows.


2 KEEP IT BLOCKY – At the same time, we are not trying to be hyper-real and simulate every muscle, bone, and talon.  This is minecraft, and generally when you try too hard on these things, it just looks like you're trying too hard to make minecraft do something it was never designed to do.  Make your mob fit in with the minecraft world, where tree trunks, barrels, and the terrain, are cubes.  If you can do something with a texture, maybe let it happen there instead of making a box for it.  Sometimes less is more.  

This can be especially an issue with legs.  Many animals have complicated leg structures.  However all animation has to be handled by Bioxx, and we would rather he spend his time on new features and content, vs animating an animal’s compound leg just-so.  Absent the animation, a complex leg may have motion issues at worst, and at best will look very wooden - a complex construct without motion to match.  Dog sized and smaller animals should generally have single piece stick legs, as vanilla animals do.  Very small animals may just have feet peeking out from under their body.

But don't be too blocky in the face.  We're not trying to be as derpy as the flat-faced animals in vanilla.  Animals should have a snout, possibly a jaw if appropriate. 


3 ICONS ARE OK – Despite guideline 2, some animals have an iconic feature, and in some cases it's worth spending extra detail on these features. Many animals have distinctive parts – rhinoceros horns, elk and moose antlers. Platypi have their bills, peacocks their tails. These are worth spending some extra boxes and details on. If a feature is iconic to a creature, guideline 2 can be stretched, in order to make that feature more distinct, as long as the rest of the creature is in line with the first two guidelines. 


4 PAY ATTENTION TO SCALE - In minecraft, 16 pixels is 1 block, which is one meter.  If your animals is moderately large, such as a wolf, you can probably build the model to scale, and have sufficient room for details like eyes.  Try build fairly close to scale whenever possible.  While it is possible to shrink an animal using code, this is not desireable if the animal could be built to scale.


As an example, say you have a cow, which was built to scale (about 1.5 blocks tall), and a bear, which was built at 2x scale (about 3 blocks tall at the shoulder).  But the bear was shrunk down in code, so that in-game it is the same height as the cow.  The bear will look very different, because the texture is effectively 2x as fine as the cow texture.  In minecraft it’s easy to perceive individual pixels, and it’s easy to perceive dramatic differences in apparent pixel size.  Building an animal 20% larger probably won’t be too noticeable.  But 100% larger will be.   Try to keep moderate to large animals more or less to scale.


Small animals on the other hand, are ok if they have to be built larger, and scaled down.  Sometimes the details simply require a large enough model so that they can be depicted effectively.  This will mostly be animals of cat size or smaller. Not all small animals will need to be scaled down.  Some can be well depicted to scale.  But scale differences are more tolerable for small animals.



Edited by Darmo

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