Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
A Pipeline for
Authored Structural Damage
Homam Bahnassi and Wessam Bahnassi
There are scenarios in which a game needs to show damage and injuries to char-
acters and buildings. Severe damage cannot be conveyed acceptably by classic
decal approaches, as the structure of the object itself changes. For example, a
character might have holes in its body, or severed limbs, or a building facade
might take rocket damage in various locations causing holes in the structure.
In this article, we present a description of a full pipeline for implementing
structural damage to characters and other environmental objects that is com-
parable to previous work in the field. We cover details for a full pipeline from
mesh authoring to displaying pixels on the screen, with qualities including artist-
friendliness, eciency, and flexibility.
The Addressed Problem
True structural damage often requires change in shape. The modeling of the
3D object may differ in the damaged parts. There are tools and methods that
automatically calculate fracture and damage on objects, but these methods gen-
erally work in cases where damage detail is not important and the structure of
the object is generally uniform (e.g., concrete columns or wood planks). The
other possibility is to add damage detail manually according to an artistic vision.
We call this authored damage , and it has the capability of revealing any details
the artist finds interesting (e.g., rebars in concrete walls or internals of a space
alien). It is true that authored damage can lack in variety when compared to an
automatic method due to the latter being able to generate virtually unlimited
possibilities of fracture and damage, but even nowadays the automatic methods
tend to “bake” their fracture calculations to avoid performance issues at runtime,
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