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Does the demoscene lack of coders? graphic artists? or musicians?

category: general [glöplog]
next to what smash said about the challenges of realtime 3D. modernday GPUs can do a lot even with not-that-optimized meshes if you show them creatively, so don't see it THAT grim ;) but yeah 100k poly coca cola cans are out of the question... :P

3D is hard cos you need to understand the third dimension. sounds duh, but i think that's really why it throws a lot of people of. e.g. they demonstrated the complexity of that third dimension with school kids by asking them to draw a bike with very mixed results.. also gender-based but, that's besides my point. a good exercise i like to do is looking at buildings or whatever when you're travelling and see the primitives in it and the necessary adaptions to make those primitives follow those shapes. it's a nice way to train your 3D muscle. the tools are quite comparable, and once you learnt the important key combos, you get a certain speed and workflow and it doesn't really matter what package you're using when it comes to output, unless the coder you work with has certain preferences. still in days of collada/fbx or even .ASE using that as intermediate format for whatever custom format the coder likes, it shouldn't be an excuse. especially if you do nice 3D those bastards can put some effort into it as well :P

2D is hard cos a) you need a steady hand and b) the line you picture in your head also needs to appear on screen. if you can do this on paper, doing this on screen is a lot easier, especially with tablets etc these days. you can also pixel, but that's quite an art on its own. or be a vector-based designer, that way you have way more control over the resulting 2D given that you understand your tools well. good 2D art is kind of diminishing as well in the demoscene lately, if you e.g. compare it to decent deviant art stuff, the demoscene is no longer as woohoo as it was in the pixel days in terms of quantity and quality with 2D, so that art is dying too.

oh and another problem with doing 3D is.. 3D needs textures usually. thus you also need to be able to do 2D and understanding of the whole tool chain that comes with it to bake normals, fancy lighting, whatever. 'worst case scenario' is that you draw some shitty placeholder stuff and let someone who is better at 2D do the textures better, but afaik in demogroups this construction rarely happens.
added on the 2015-02-12 01:24:21 by Maali Maali
'worst case scenario' is that you draw some shitty placeholder stuff and let someone who is better at 2D do the textures better

Actually, this is how i work -- if i have some cool idea i put in the most ugly coder colors graphics possible just to encourage my artist to replace it as fast as possible. Works most of the time :D. Then again she might also give the code a try by copypasting various things together, breaking everything in the process, and i need to hurry up and clean up the mess and actually do what she wanted. Kinda a revenge act, but a good one that brings us forward.
(not for a scene related project, but very similar creative constraints)
added on the 2015-02-12 01:55:54 by fgenesis fgenesis
no wonder there aren't too many 3d artists around in the demoscene

And that's the challenge. Isn't it one of the demoscene features? (between many others of course)

the demoscene is no longer as woohoo as it was in the pixel days in terms of quantity and quality with 2D, so that art is dying too.

I have two ideas about that:
- today's demos needs almost no 2D graphics (I mean fullscreen illustrations like in oldschool demos) so what's the interest for a 2D artist to care about the demoscene (except for graphics compos at a party and oldschool demos) ?
- drawing 2D graphics on a computer is now so close to real painting that it gathers not only computers enthusiats but also real painters who don't care about demoscene.

But maybe I'm wrong.

I watched some amazing demos with 3D graphics made by Destop and Louie. By reading their Demozoo profiles, I saw they also made a lot of 2D graphics in the past for graphics compos. Do you advise me to begin with 2D art if I want to hope one day to create awesome 3D stuff like them? Or I can directly begin with 3D?
added on the 2015-02-12 11:01:34 by cutter cutter
The reasons why 3d sucks: 1) the software (especially the "industry leading" kind.); incompatibilities, usability terror everywhere. 2) everything takes aeons, because of slow pre-renders and general non-realtimeness of the process. Once VR+actual realtime modelling is a thing, this might become more interesting again. Then again, you can get fully textured meshes out of some photos these days.
added on the 2015-02-12 11:09:55 by tomaes tomaes
I would say, go for what your heart belongs.
But don't do music ;-)

You will learn the main points of the other topics along the way, because normally your bunch of people / group is talking about it and you try to understand / do understand it.

For me, I'm still searching my place and tried to start with sizecoding, which I understand now, but which is no fun for me. All the math! brrr :) And C++, when you are not using it regularly can be a bummer... If you work with it or so some coding regularly, then it is the way to go... Nevertheless I would say: try to write a 4k. This will be a good start and there is lots and lots of documentation / frameworks / projects around, that will teach you a lot. And then think about, if this is fun for you?
And even, if not... you will see what effort in time and knowledge is behind most of the prods today... and learn to appreciate!
Woah :D

also, to my mind, a lot of good demos today lack good gfx.
See the "oldschool" releases, which have a picture in it, that was handdrawn (with tablet) and then just added + shaders...
I miss this in the highend prods today.. only that one group with the train, future designs, cadillac... damn, I don't remember their name... they do this and I really like it...

just come to a party and see who is the first person, who takes some time to explain something to you and see if you are interested!
Because then you can probably do something :D

Cheers mate!
added on the 2015-02-12 11:26:08 by FeN FeN
What FeN said. Come to a fucking party already. :D
Oh and coders. Definitely more coders.
added on the 2015-02-12 11:47:50 by fgenesis fgenesis
I watched some amazing demos with 3D graphics made by Destop and Louie. By reading their Demozoo profiles, I saw they also made a lot of 2D graphics in the past for graphics compos. Do you advise me to begin with 2D art if I want to hope one day to create awesome 3D stuff like them? Or I can directly begin with 3D?

Dude, honestly, stop asking for permission and start fucking around with software. There are no rules! Start with 2D, doodle around, make some 3D in Blender see if you get the hang of it, come to a party and have a beer with us, make friends, join a group, enter some shit in a compo, all good man!

Where is your location? If you are in Europe you totally should come to Revision! It's a huge ass party with tons of cool people!
added on the 2015-02-12 11:56:35 by okkie okkie
yes i guess you should just try what you like the most first and see if you're any good at it ;)
added on the 2015-02-12 12:45:18 by Maali Maali
Now that everything is cleared up, go and make a demo about it, bring it to revision, ???, and profit.
added on the 2015-02-12 13:36:39 by fgenesis fgenesis
of course having a background from 2d helps alot, especially with coloring, ambience and all that. 3d just has added another dimension to it. but the workflow is a bit different between the two. if 3d is too technical to start with, i would suggest reading a bit about 2d and color theory, try drawing or pixeling before going into 3d. but in another sense, nothing stops you from going directly to 3d. there are also courses for that. i bet you can find them online as well. anyway. there's alot to say about all this.
added on the 2015-02-12 15:13:56 by rudi rudi
and 3D is quite boring if you wanna do it properly. lot of time and work, no direct quick results as even an outstanding mesh can still look shit without the right materials or right lighting by the engine. but you can always half arse certain elements of it depending on the demostyle you're pursuing. like whack AO over everything if you're too lazy to do proper textures, whack 3D textures via shaders over it when you dont wanna UV map, model/detail only the parts that will show up on the camera. leave crappy ngons or broken normals or whatever in the mesh to add that extra homemade feeling to it as opposed to just plundering INRIA stock meshes :P
added on the 2015-02-12 16:44:15 by Maali Maali
Some people have already said it. Do what you feel like doing, because that's usually what you're best at. It is not worth the effort forcing yourself to do something you don't like.
added on the 2015-02-12 17:17:30 by Adok Adok



do something towards a goal is better than thinking/talking about doing it.

pick something you want to do -> evaluate if you think you can do it -> try-> if you fail -> learn from your mistake / pick what you need to learn to correct things -> repeat this process.
added on the 2015-02-13 16:13:45 by Canopy Canopy
No! Its much better to chew crap (Finnish proverb) on Pouet. No pain at all, only the final reward straight away. Who cares what you actually do, all that matters is what you look like and that you get attention. ?
added on the 2015-02-13 16:49:43 by yzi yzi
Choose what u like most.. After some time you can still do something else (on the side) For For example: Smash was once a musician who later turned to coding. And it's fair to say he did some marvellous prods indeed :) (music to)

Also try to join a demoscene group.. Always easier to do develope your desired skills and in the same time to contribute on prod.
added on the 2015-02-13 17:14:58 by magic magic
First rule of thumb about what to do for the demoscene: don't ask what to do for the demoscene in pouet.
added on the 2015-02-13 17:24:27 by Jcl Jcl
Does anyone know of a demo which had concept art and/or maybe some sort of storyboard done for it?
added on the 2015-02-13 17:28:40 by l_n l_n
Pretty sure Felix did. For Signal Lost we did an animatic but no storyboard.
added on the 2015-02-13 17:34:01 by Gargaj Gargaj
lovebox: the last revision invy had some pages of storyboard shown on fb... and i think i've seen some shots of a storyboard in the last hugi from panda cubes wizard of cos.

back to topic: 3d artists.
added on the 2015-02-13 17:36:40 by Igoronimo Igoronimo
Gargaj, igor: Thanks. Gotta check them out.

On the topic: If you are going to take the "3d artist" route, building your visual library will be the key. As in find pictures of things you like, and figure them out. Having some drawing skills would help a lot, but it would be insane to learn to draw just to become a 3d artist in demoscene. Ofc. I assume that building your own designs from imagination would be the thing you would want to achieve in here.
added on the 2015-02-13 19:41:40 by l_n l_n
Well, I think we have a serious lack of (qualified (!)) coders willing to do fancy stuff and hard work - at least in the new-school department. Nevertheless - do whatever is fun for you - try all the things.
added on the 2015-02-13 20:15:17 by las las
lovebox: a 'visual library' is bullshit. 1) you need to model a shitload of shit you'll never use just mostly for training sake. 2) when it comes to demos, you usually decide on a theme, style, whatever, maybe even a storyboard and concept art yes if you wanna do it very formally. and then you basically have to start from scratch unless you happen to have exactly the meshes lying around in your library that fit the plans. in my experience, that rarely happens and what's demo independent is usually only abstract old junk that i just .rar up for coders i cooperated with in the past in case they need testing or backup scene material :P
added on the 2015-02-13 20:28:59 by Maali Maali
As a beginning to deal with both code and graphics, I'm going to give try to 4K procedural graphics. Hopefully I'll be able to submit some stuff at a party very soon! I began to play with C++/OpenGL and Blender.

Many thanks for all your advices which are really motivating to be part of you amazing universe!

Conclusion: demoscene doesn't need musicians anymore :D
added on the 2015-02-13 21:13:22 by cutter cutter
I just thought I would throw that 'visual library' thing out there in the mix just to remind that if a person wants to create their own designs, this is a common way to approach that. Meaning that just knowing your software may take you nowhere. But yeah, each to their own. I guess somewhere deep inside I knew I was a bit provocative since I know it from my own experience that this is not how the things are done in demoscene. :D
added on the 2015-02-13 21:29:25 by l_n l_n
Doing 4k intros is not easy. To make cool 4k intros is really hard. 64k intros might be even harder. These goals make you a programmer.

You want to be creative, and get feeling of success of doing something visual. I'd suggest not to give much attention to the size on disk. And only later crunch them to smaller size.

Start from small, make a cube or sphere. You'll have bunch of ideas while creating it. Then implement those. Following some kind of complex script or detailed plan doesn't work, unless you have solid base and proven methods to create the vision.

It's mostly iterative process.
added on the 2015-02-14 05:25:57 by Codarki Codarki


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