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Topic: Organising graphics developement

Kiscsirke
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Joined: 2009-12-16, 13:40
Posts: 42
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Pry about Widelands
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Posted at: 2010-04-13, 02:07

Okay, so here are my thoughts on how to handle the media project, for what they are worth. The post is not as long as it seems, in the end I collected other mails that I am reacting to now, but it's still pretty long face-smile.png

So, first, Chuck, thanks a bunch for the google spreadsheet, that will be great for tracking progress. But first to have progress to track, I think we need direction. I mean this in two areas.

Style

When I was looking at, for example, what to make atlantean carrier look like, I tried to look up any info I could find on the atlanteans on the wiki, and didn't find anything for "artistic style", so to say, and that's why I just made up my own mind, and went with togas. Then, !SirVer reacted with Mail 1, with some information about his ideas on atlanteans. Now, if we have it like this, with everyone having different ideas, and sometimes "publishing" them, that means the artists will have different ideas in their heads, and we can wave goodbye to any kind of consistency.

So what I propose first and foremost is to open a Style page for each tribe on the wiki, where these ideas can be added by anyone, and they can be discussed there or on the forums. (For example I don't like the idea of green skin, I like fantasy settings, but in my mind widelands is far from that. But if majority likes it of course it will stay, but then I'll make my modelss green too at least.) Of course it should be enough to set major guidelines for the tribes, no need to go to exact details about every worker on the wiki, that would take away from the creative process (and fun) when modelling.

(I also think the wiki data is pretty unmaintained and outdated in many places, I started to try to update it in some places, especially the part I worked with, so about blender things, of course lot's of work is to be done there)

Also a note on how I think it's sensible to set these guidelines, with the sizes we are using, shapes don't matter that much, color matters much more. (For example I can't really make out the difference between Empire and Barbarian carrier in game, not surprisingly, since the biggest difference is that one wears trousers, the other wears tunic.) So in terms of differentiating different workers/tribes, main areas on the worker I think you can differentiate are shoulders, arms, chest, legs, foot, and maybe hat, and the colors for these should be different to make them easy to see. For example that's why I chose the toga, because then there the whole body is playercolored, not just upper body, and also, one shoulder is skin-colored, which is different enough from the other carriers.

So in summary I propose directions to be something like this:

Barbarians:

  • lower level workers: brown trousers, playercolor shirts, probably beard (this is roughly what the already done ones have)
  • higher level workers: Like above but with a large (to be visible) silver/golden belt.

Or something like this. This would ensure consistent looks within one tribe, easily differentiated tribes, and still enough artistic freedom I think. Comments are of course welcome. (These of course mostly relate to workers, but most buildings are already done anyways.) (And why I don't want to do it is, I don't really feel what the empire and atlanteans "should be" like yet, I would want some "elder" to at least set the basic outlines.)

Technical

These details are of no interest to someone not actually making any graphics. What I was thinking about is using the same armature for all workers. This would be convenient, because Blender can import actions from other .blend files if they were made on the same armature. As far as I see, most models already use the same one, except for the armature template in empire/templates, so I will probably hastily delete that file, and then try to make one with the animations already done in one file with just the armature, as a general Action-import target. Thus basic animations like walking/carrying could be easily made for a new model.

What this means for a modeller who doesn't know animation, is that you shouldn't modify the armature when you are modelling.

Also, using the general camera/lighting template should be "enforced", and the python script as well. This is so others can easily pick up on your work if something needs to be modified and then re-rendered. Next week when build is out of the way, I will probably try to discuss with !SirVer how the cropping/resizing can be integrated into the menu for our even better conveniance :).

Conclusion

Sorry for the long post, but seeing how Chuck didn't really know what to do, I thought other would-be modellers felt that way as well, so I tried making up a system that lets others join in quickly, and produce results that fit well. If anyone thinks I'm over-complicating things just tell me and I'll shut up, other constructive comments are welcome as well.

András(Kiscsirke)

Quotes

Mail 1

when I first though about the atlanteans, I imagined them with distinct fantasy like features: a society firmly ruled by the clerics, a fatalistic acceptance of their fate to vanish in the see, real or imagined magic as perceived building block in society, a greenish colored skin and long hair bound to a ponytail as traditional hairstyle. The atlanteans are a rich people in my imagination. I did never think about their cloths though. tunics seem good to me. Maybe barbarians -> cloth, empire -> leader & metals, atlanteans -> tunics? Hope that helps a bit ;).

!SirVer

Mail 2

I thought I'd take a stab at the Atlantean worker model(s) and try to learn more about blender. I used one of the stock anim blend files as a starter to try to stay within the parameters of scale and echo the current soldier models.

Attached are some pngs. The clothing is arbitrary, especially the male, but I'd like your reactions to the concepts. Player colors would be reflected in attire (like a headband, turban?, fez?, etc.) face-smile.png I'm picturing some in long, priestly robes with more use of crystals. Others, including males, with mid- to full-length skirts or kilts. Miners/smiths and similar trades could go bare-chested and/or have abbreviated kilts.

What do you think?

Chuck


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chuckw
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Joined: 2010-03-15, 16:23
Posts: 945
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One Elder of Players
Location: New York - USA
Posted at: 2010-04-13, 04:23

Kiscsirke wrote: Style ... So what I propose first and foremost is to open a Style page for each tribe on the wiki, where these ideas can be added by anyone, and they can be discussed there or on the forums.

I think that's a great idea. It could serve as a sort of "whiteboard" where we can upload 2d concept images for discussion/debate. face-smile.png

(I also think the wiki data is pretty unmaintained and outdated in many places...)

Yes, but there is some good background pages on the tribes we should draw on and double check the comments in the tribal conf files where a lot of ground work has been laid.

Also a note on how I think it's sensible to set these guidelines, with the sizes we are using, shapes don't matter that much, color matters much more.

Yes. You know you have to overstate when balls can serve as hands. face-grin.png

So in summary I propose directions to be something like this: Barbarians: lower level workers: brown trousers, playercolor shirts, probably beard (this is roughly what the already done ones have) higher level workers: Like above but with a large (to be visible) silver/golden belt.

I like SirVer's earlier comment about more use of animal skins and leather/rawhide.

I would want some "elder" to at least set the basic outlines.

That's what they are there for. face-smile.png

..............................................................................

Technical

These details are of no interest to someone not actually making any graphics. What I was thinking about is using the same armature for all workers...

That makes a lot of sense. We can benefit from an assembly line strategy, using standardized elements like armatures and actions, not to mention lighting and camera angles.

Sorry for the long post, but seeing how Chuck didn't really know what to do, I thought other would-be modellers felt that way as well, so I tried making up a system that lets others join in quickly, and produce results that fit well.

Amen! face-grin.png


I see little people.

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