Stavorguin wrote:- Less expensive. Prerendering beautiful 2D means there is no need for a top of the line 3D engine.
There's no need for (or expectation of) top-of-the-line anything, and prerendering entails making 3D models of everything, anyway. I imagine that could easily become more expensive than wholly 2D or 3D.
hand-drawn 2D > 3D > prerendered 2D.
Banana wrote:I demand pixel art, not pre-rendered 3D graphics, like the Fallout screenshot posted as "animated 2D sprites". EGA would be an added bonus.
There is a huge underestimation of just how much time and expense is in 2D art nowadays, especially art that has to look good at a high resolution.
I occasionally have to pay freelancers for some 2D work, and it's freakin' expensive when you tell them it's got to look good at 1080p. Less so for an iPhone game or etc, but still pretty hefty. Animation sends the cost through the freakin' roof. Whereas with pre-rendered 3D it's a great deal easier and, importantly, faster. Even moreso with straight up 3D.
3D on the other hand, for a start there's more people in the field doing it which makes the competitive aspect more prevalent and you can get it done cheaper. But secondly it's so much more flexible that it's much much much
cheaper when things go wrong, or need to be changed. Which happens. Always.
In the Fallout example, aren't the characters 3D pre-rendered? I know the talking heads are, at least.
3D also makes it easier to use prefabs and re-use content than it is in 2D. It's definitely doable in 2D for sure, but it's more effort, time and cost nowadays.
The only reason 3D used to be so expensive was because it was such a specialist field that not many artists populated, and the tools for building the assets themselves were torturous to use, to the point I know a few PS1/PC developers who were literally modelling by typing out the vertex locations by hand because the software was so unreliable.
Edit: A really good example was Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix. There was 2 programmers and a director and producer working on that (or something to that effect, I think it was 2 programmers anyway) the rest was solely artists, and bearing in mind they had the original animations to work from (with very few frames per anim) as reference the project still went massively over budget and took so long it was almost canned. And even then the fans weren't happy with the artwork.
Edit: There also seems to be some confusion about pre-rendered 3D and cost. It's still cheaper than 2D, primarily because the quality of the 3D models don't actually matter too much, at least in terms of mesh flow and crush points, etc because they can be incredibly high-poly. It saves an awful lot of time on animation compared to 2D because let's say you want 8 different angles your character can face. In 2D, you have to draw each rotation angle from scratch and then animate each frame in the animations you need for those views (for each kind of weapon and armor, also) whereas with 3D pre-rendered you just move the camera about and make sure the lighting matches. The animation only needs to be made once, and just rendered out from the different viewpoints.