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Topic: Barbarian Seafaring Graphics

Shevonar
Joined: 2011-09-05, 21:28
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Posted at: 2012-03-21, 14:08

That is a really good idea Phillip. However the algorithm to solve this might not be that easy.


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chuckw
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Joined: 2010-03-15, 16:23
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Location: New York - USA
Posted at: 2012-03-21, 15:37

Astuur wrote: I think the "jump" from southeast to southwest is too big and disrupts the illusion of the ship doing a turn or jibe.

I agree that it is a BIG jump between ne & nw and se & sw. As Shevonar indicates, some code work would be required to support travel or transitioning through the north and south directions.

Another thing I have noticed is that the sail doesn't bulge (best visible in east and west direction). I don't think we can do any "sailing animation", certainly not one depending on the wind that is shown by the waves, but our static sail would still look a lot better with some wind in there.

Point noted. face-smile.png

The next question is whether we really should show the ships vertical in the water while travelling. I mean, they are sailing ships - a little heeling might look better on them. Maybe not for the Barbarians - it would seems that rowing is just as important as sailing for them, but the others may really benefit if we show them with their masts out of the vertical axis.

All of the ships roll 2-3 degrees each side from center while "Idle" (or at anchor). Anything greater than that would require even more than the current 40 frames @ 10fps to accomplish a realistic period that suggests the mass of the ship in a gentle wave action. (That actually amounts to 80 frames when you include the player color masks.)

The same roll amount is included in the "Sail" sequences of the atlantean and empire vessels. I consciously decided not to include the roll in the barbarian ship's "sail" animation because of the rowing, but it certainly could be introduced.

In consideration of the current size of the Widelands distribution, space requirements are always at the forefront of my thoughts. Increasing the amount of roll while sailing, would certainly add more drama to the ships, but to maintain realism, you would need to keep close to that ratio of 14-20 frames required for each degree from center of roll.

Doing the math with this ratio, a roll of 10 degrees from center for example would require at least:

(140 frames of regular image(each @~25kb) + 140 frames of player color mask(each @~2kb)) x 6 angles of view (for the 6 directions in which a ship can travel) = 1680 frames or a total of 22680kb per ship.

We need to ask ourselves if a little more roll in the ships is worth a cost of that much space in the package and in the memory of the players' machines. I'm not unwilling to ramp up the animation if it is felt that the impact on storage, memory and load times is sustainable.

My example above assumes keeping the rolling action of the ship centered at 90 degrees (the mast straight up). That center of the period would change in real life, however.

We could, of course, drastically reduce the number of frames if we just kept the ship at a static heel.

Alternatively, we could keep the 2-3 degrees of roll and center it at something other than 90 degrees, say 60 degrees for example.

For even more realism, a different amount of heeling could be used for each direction of travel.

As a graphician, I want to make playing Widelands as pleasant a visual experience as possible. However, I will leave it to other elders to determine if the enhancing the "eye candy" is worth the cost (in space, coding, preparation time, etc.), and as always, I will abide by their decisions.

And also, as always, thank you for your observations and ideas.


I see little people.

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Astuur
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Joined: 2009-02-28, 10:08
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Posted at: 2012-03-21, 19:06

Yes, I thought there would be no way to steer a straight northern or southern course.
The solution must lie elsewhere.
I think, ships are at the moments finding their way in exaclty the same manner
as wild animals. Perhaps this can be changed. PkK's idea sounds promising.
I'd not mind if the way became a little longer - this nervous zig-zag doesn't look too good.
The "taking a turn" issue is a general one - everything seems to be mirrored and flips over from one moment to the other. It is not so disturbing with people or animals, but when a bulky structure like a ship jumps a 90° angle in an instant, it does look a bit comic.
No idea if anything can or should be done about that.

Here is another little problem.
Barbarian ships sailing near a shoreline are so close to it,
that the oars are on land instead of in the water.
I don't think it can be solved by graphics -- the oars would become ridiculously short.


Being no programmer, I apologize for all my suggestions that imply undue workload and for other misjudgements due to lack of expertise or relevant skills.
I am on Win32, have no means to compile, and rely on prefabricated distributions (Thanks to Tino).

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Astuur
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Joined: 2009-02-28, 10:08
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Posted at: 2012-03-21, 19:21

I had not thought about that, but I clearly see the size problems now.
I'm of course also someone for eye-candy -- always face-smile.png
Well, let's hear some more opinions.

But the idea of minimizing the zig-zag effect by taking longer tacks, is something
that would help a lot, if it can be done by clever programming.


Being no programmer, I apologize for all my suggestions that imply undue workload and for other misjudgements due to lack of expertise or relevant skills.
I am on Win32, have no means to compile, and rely on prefabricated distributions (Thanks to Tino).

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