[MD/SAT/GBA/PC] What is the current view and status of Digitized and Pre~rendered Graphics?

Discussion in 'Discussion & Q&A' started by Royameadow, May 17, 2018.

  1. Royameadow

    Royameadow Welcome to the modern existence. Member

    Feb 21, 2012
    Lynn MA, North America
    Note: The following post was typed up originally in Mid~December of 2017, though due to this topic's recent rise and revival in relevance now, I decided to hold off on publicizing it until the time was proper.

    The Classic Universe of the Sonic franchise started to take the route of Digitized and Pre~rendered graphics as early as 1993 and up to 1997, when development of the latter half of the Death Egg Saga, as well as Xtreme, Flickies' Island, G Sonic/Sonic Blast, the Sonic World portion of Sonic Jam, and Sonic R had delivered to us art and/or full levels based on polygonal models with original textures; the lot of the entries that used these design templates were usually met with either balanced or extreme success from critics regarding the art direction, but have barely (if ever) been touched upon in a ROM hack or RSDK mod, with only myself and a handful of others across both here and Retro currently working with this style of art editing.
    Other examples of titles from the 199X decade that were notable (for better or worse) for Digitized and/or Pre~rendered Graphics were:

    ~ Digitized: Mortal Kombat, Kasumi Ninja, Flashback: The Quest for Identity, Shaq Fu.
    ~ Pre~rendered: Super Donkey Kong/Donkey Kong Country, Vectorman, Ballz.
    ~ Hybrid Mixture of Both: Ecco the Dolphin, NBA Jam (plus TE), NBA (Maximum) Hangtime, NHL '96 (PC Version), Willy Wombat.

    Considering that we have seen plentiful original titles deep into Generation VII and VIII gaming (mostly Indie works) that are still using these templates for sprite~based artwork, it only feels right to ask you folks about how you view Digitized and Pre~rendered graphics being used nowadays and also if you would be welcoming to having more Classic Universe (and maybe Advance trilogy, if applicable) Sonic ROM hacks and RSDK mods that bring back those styles for the first time since 1999 (when counting Flickies' Island's Saturn~exclusive release in Japan).
    Personally, thanks to the existence of Mania, I feel that we will see more of this practice being brought into the spotlight: We already have a mod where Xtreme Sonic has had his sprites ported over and many know that I've been experimenting with photorealistic level artwork that has gotten some rather good and decent attention locally and from the Mania Modding community alike, much to my shock and surprise (some even calling the concept reminiscent of Ironrind's Sonic Nebulous, the last major fan game before Neo Genesis to do this), so it is clear that this is still in demand, all we must learn now is how it would be accepted by the scene as a whole and where we could take it from here.
    Kilo and Niko like this.
  2. MarkeyJester

    MarkeyJester ♡ ! Member

    Jun 27, 2009
    I always thought Gex for the 3DO (which I am to understand he was pre-rendered), looked pretty good.

    I always found Mortal Kombat to look absolutely rubbish, though perhaps on the next generation hardware up, it might be acceptable looking.

    I think though that there's probably more to it than one being better than the other, probably more to do with "how" you go about using it. One could always look better than the other, provided it was done with a little care, attention, and the right tools and resources.
    Niko and Royameadow like this.