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3D models of sprites


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Hi. Geneforge has been one of my favorite games since I first played it in high school and in particular I've loved the look of the creations you can make. Of those the drayk is by far my favorite. I know he's kind of dumpy with his big head and little vestigial wings but I love him. I've been wondering for a while if there's a way to take all of the sprites of the idle drayk standing still (this is the game file G1790.bmp) and make a 3D model out of it. I know 3D printing services have gotten quite good. I was also wondering if maybe Jeff Vogel just had a 3D file for this? I'm not sure how he originally made the sprites.

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All creatures in Geneforge are orthographic views of 3D models. With the drayk especially, you can look closely at the blown up image in the graphics files and see the stitching between parts (see: legs).

The Drayk has had the same graphics since Geneforge was first released about 16 years ago. Jeff might still have the 3D model, but it's somewhat doubtful. 

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Hello tristram,


As has been said above, by far your most likely option is to ask Spiderweb themselves. You can get in touch with them at this address:




I'm of a slightly more optimistic viewpoint than TheKian. The 3D model of the Drayk is an asset for Spiderweb, and Jeff is a shrewd developer, so I don't expect he will have discarded it unless he had to. I think there's a reasonable chance that either he, or the original artist (who I believe is Linda), still has it around somewhere. There's no harm in asking them!


20 hours ago, tristram said:

I've been wondering for a while if there's a way to take all of the sprites of the idle drayk standing still (this is the game file G1790.bmp) and make a 3D model out of it.


Unfortunately, I think this would be a really very difficult task, at least for a computer program.


I've done a little bit of simple work on generating 3D images from 2D data, and generally it's a very difficult thing to accomplish. Even things that might at first seem straightforward, like creating a surface that passes through a set of 3D points, can turn out to be incredibly difficult computational problems. In fact, I believe this is still very much an active area of research. It's interesting for a large group of people, and I think there's some medical research that is trying to find ways to efficiently generate 3D reproductions of the human body from sets of 2D scans.


The problem is that 2D images generally contain much, much less information than 3D ones. Think about it using this (slightly simple) analogy. If you take a photograph of a person, that photo will take up far less physical space than the person it shows. In essence, a huge swathe of information about the person is lost when taking the 2D snapshot. Imagine how many photos you'd need to take to fill up the same volume as a person! A series of five snapshots taken around the person isn't anywhere near enough.


So, in order to stitch together your Drayk from those five snapshots, a computer would need to guess a lot of the anatomy from very little information. For example, the computer would need to figure out what the belly of a Drayk looks like, something that isn't shown in any of the pieces of art. Computers aren't particularly good at guesswork, so the result would probably end up being almost unrecognisable.


Of course, humans are better at guessing than computers are! One other option you have if Spiderweb does not have the original model is to create one yourself using these images as a guide! There may be more advanced ways of doing this these days, but you could always take a look at the Spore Creature Creator. This is specifically designed to create 3D models of creatures, so with some work, you might be able to create a Drayk there:





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  • 2 months later...

Hey guys, I really blew it and forgot to report what I found here. It seems the drayk sprite is from here



But from there on, I'm stuck (which I guess is why I forgot to post). I don't know if you need special software to render this or if buying it would give you a common 3D file type. And even then, I'm not sure if it would be legal to 3D print a model people are charging for. But that does seem to be the model.

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That’s an interesting find!


In terms of making your 3D model, you’re probably closer than you think! The model you’ve linked to is part of a large store associated with one particular type of software: DAZ Studio. The software used to be commercial, but a few years ago the main body of the program was released by the company for free. However, the company still charges for extras, including models such as this hatchling dragon.


If you wanted to do some work on this model, you’d need to download DAZ Studio from the front page of the website. If you bought the model, you’d then be able to import it into the program and play around with it. The program should then offer the option to export to a format that a 3D-printing firm would accept.


You don’t need to worry about the legal complications of printing this model. The company is quite careful in its conditions to state you’re entitled to print any models you buy for your own personal use. Here’s some text from their licence agreement:


‘The creation of three-dimensional physical representations (3D-print, molded copy, CNC-routed copy, and the like) of Content or any three-dimensional art derived from the Content is permitted only for personal, non-commercial use by the User. Additionally, the user may not grant other entities or individuals the right to produce such physical representations of the Content except for the sole purpose of providing the print to the User for their personal use.’


It’s worth pointing out that the pose of the creature won’t start out looking like that of a drayk. The modelling software should allow you to pose the creature in any way you want, but that might not be very intuitive if this is your first time using software like this. However, you might be in luck. If you didn’t mind spending a little more for a set of things you mostly don’t need, someone has put together a pose that seems to be very similar to the drayk’s pose. Look here and have a look at the pose of the turquoise hatchling at the top of the picture:




Just as a caveat, this isn't software I've used myself. I'm more familiar with 3D modelling applied to engineering diagrams. Still, I'm assuming the software behaves in similar ways!

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