story art

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Re: story art

Postby zookeeper » February 22nd, 2013, 8:37 pm

No comment on the mountains pic, but... what's the deal with the TRoW story images atm? The three you've done look good, but there's only three. Do you think you might return to making more of that series later on?
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Re: story art

Postby LordBob » February 22nd, 2013, 9:01 pm

Definitely. I still have a pile of concepts sitting in my Wesnoth folder - one for each scenario, and no less than four for the introduction - and I intend to see them done. However, when I began work on this series I struggled due to a lack of experience and even the three finished pieces aren't all that great. I feel that before returning to them I should tackle simpler assignments on which I can work from photo reference.

But this doesn't mean there won't be a couple of pieces on the way that can be used for tRoW : it's actually how this mountain started. I was sketching a replacement for the story art of the first scenario, and reference search lead to the above study. Once finished, it will exist as both generic art and a full version for tRoW.
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Re: story art

Postby Jetrel » March 6th, 2013, 1:10 am

LordBob wrote:Do you think it can have a use ingame ?. I'll be doing them anyway, and once done it doesn't take a lot of effort to turn your average landscape into potential story material...



YES!

Generic scenes like this are colossally, gobsmackingly useful!
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Re: story art

Postby LordBob » March 6th, 2013, 3:28 pm

Oh. Then it's a good thing I made a few more

Still, they're really only studies right now and should be modified a bit before being used. If you people have suggestions to make them into interesting story art, you're welcome to write it here or PM me.
Same goes if you would like to see a specific picture turned into generic landscape art: provide reference and I'll use it for an upcoming study.
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Re: story art

Postby vultraz » March 6th, 2013, 4:14 pm

LordBob wrote:If you people have suggestions to make them into interesting story art, you're welcome to write it here or PM me.


First pic: How about a guy on a horse staring out at the water, with a lone, tall, old tree in the background?

Second pic: Dead body impaled with a spear on top of the rock.

Third pic: Fortress on the brown dirt section.

Fourth pic: Looks great as is.

Fifth pic: At first I thought this was too pics, since the water/mountain transition line is so sudden. Nice as is besides that.

Sixth pic: Looks great as is.

Just a few random ideas I had. Feel free to disregard if they seem impractical.
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Re: story art

Postby LordBob » March 16th, 2013, 1:09 pm

Thanks for your suggestions. I'll base future work on them :)

No new studies yet but I've been going back to the subject of Stoy Art at large. Instead of rushing like before, I want to take a step backwards and do some planification, in the manner of storyboards. In addition to developping better-built stories, such an approach could allow us to establish a list of desired story art, in the same way we have (had) a Grand Portrait List. Ideally, a list of artwork briefs, each complete with a short description of the scene and the matching narrative. At the very least it ought to help improve our overall storytelling, and there's also a possibility that defining a clear "wish list" might attract new contributors.

The thing is, if I'm to compare story art with portraits and animations, we're nowhere near as clear on what we want with story art. Whenever a willing artist comes to the forums, we can almost immediately point him to a list of desired animations/sprites/portraits. But story art ? Nothing comes to mind. We have all the story material at hand, but no proper list of our needs that might spark inspiration in the wandering artist.

So, I'm starting this with the intro sequence of the Rise of Wesnoth, in the hope that it will spark enthusiasm for a new branch of our artwork project. Ideally, the same should be done for every major campaign and generic story art (note that the storyboard part is not compulsory; what artists need the most is the scene description and its matching narrative


tRoW_intro-storyboard.jpg


The Rise of Wesnoth - Intro sequence
General setting: since the campaign takes place in the early history of the kingdom, the visual context should be the early Middle-Age, with a dominance of chainmail/scale armour over plate. At this time the Sceptre of fire does not exist and should therefore be absent from Loyalist heraldry

Intro 1-4 A growing stain on the map of the Green Isle shows the invasion and subsequent retreat of the Wesfolk.
Intro 5 A ship in the open sea is caught in a storm
Intro 6 A ship captained by the crown prince reaches an unknown coastline.
Intro 7 The crown prince is on his deathbed. His family and the royal court are gathered around him; The eye of suspiscion is cast on his younger brother.
Intro 8 The younger brother leads a large army to wage war on the Wesfolk
Intro 9 Waist-up portrait : king Haldric the First
Intro 10 Zoomed out view of the previous picture ; at the king's side is the banner of the early wesnothian kingdom, with the Ruby of Fire as its emblem. Campaign logo.
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Re: story art

Postby vultraz » March 16th, 2013, 1:35 pm

I like the concepts :D

Little idea about 1 - 4: would the engine allow them to be animated as a single image, showing a steadily growing stain, or at least cross-fade between them?
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Re: story art

Postby beetlenaut » March 16th, 2013, 3:32 pm

It would be nice if you put a couple magi in the army. They are important units for the campaign and in the story.
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Re: story art

Postby zookeeper » March 16th, 2013, 3:58 pm

I'm all for the idea of making up storyboards for artists to base their story art on.

As for TRoW, the choice of scenes to illustrate seems good to me. Are you looking for suggestions/feedback on this particular one (I'd have a few)?
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Re: story art

Postby LordBob » March 16th, 2013, 10:37 pm

vultraz wrote:Little idea about 1 - 4: would the engine allow them to be animated as a single image, showing a steadily growing stain, or at least cross-fade between them?
The thought has crossed my mind, but I'm too much a noob with WML to have any idea if it'd be possible to bring animation into story parts.

zookeeper wrote:As for TRoW, the choice of scenes to illustrate seems good to me. Are you looking for suggestions/feedback on this particular one (I'd have a few)?
Of course I am! The whole point of doing these storyboard is being able to create discussion, have impassionned arguments over concepts, through this spark new ideas, and then change what should be :mrgreen:

And now, more storyboards for tRoW. Most scenarios currently don't have a story sequence at all, but it can't hurt to imagine individual title pictures: the more ideas the better, and some of them might find a use later as generic story art.

tRoW_scenarios-storyboard_1.jpg


The Rise of Wesnoth - Scenarios
01-A Summer of Storms: a hot summer day in a vally. Regular soldiers are marching towards an outpost overrun by Wesfolk raiders. A storm is building up in the distance.
02-The Fall: trees have their autumn leaves; the outpost from before is now occupied by soldiers. Sentries signal the approach of orcs, farmlands are burning in the valley.
02.2-Alternate: in a mountain pass, Haldric and soldiers are caught between Wesfolk raiders and orc pursuers.
03-A Harrowing Escape (not shown above): a column of refuges is progressing through the moutains. Orcs are on their trail
04.1-The death of Eldaric: outnumbered by orcs, king Eldaric and his guards make their last stand. Around them, the homeland is in flames.
04.2-Southern kingdoms: refuges contemplate the landscape before them. On the left, the midlands. On the right, swamps.
05-The Oldwood: in the heart of the forest, Haldric & co reach a clearing where they meet woses.
06-Temple of the Deep: a creepy corridor or hall of a long-abandonned underground temple. The place is very old, its masonry crude.
07-Return to Oldwood: Sitting in his forest camp, Haldric is lost in thought, the Ruby of Fire in his hands.
08.1-Clearwater Port: a small seaside port covered in snow
08.2-Alternate: a ship loaded with refuges takes sea in the midst of a snowstorm, orcish projectiles rain death.
09-Fallen Lich Point: facing the sea, a petrified lich holds a large codex. Next to it, a monolith bears strange inscriptions.
10-Southbay Sewers: Haldric & co make their progress in the mucky waters of the sewers.
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Re: story art

Postby zookeeper » March 17th, 2013, 12:19 am

LordBob wrote:
vultraz wrote:Little idea about 1 - 4: would the engine allow them to be animated as a single image, showing a steadily growing stain, or at least cross-fade between them?
The thought has crossed my mind, but I'm too much a noob with WML to have any idea if it'd be possible to bring animation into story parts.

Crossfading is... maybe doable. It'd be rather messy to do though, so I wouldn't count on it.

Anyway, as for the maps, I presume that'd be a joint task unless you think you can do it by drawing the stains and such directly on top of the existing map?

LordBob wrote:
zookeeper wrote:As for TRoW, the choice of scenes to illustrate seems good to me. Are you looking for suggestions/feedback on this particular one (I'd have a few)?
Of course I am! The whole point of doing these storyboard is being able to create discussion, have impassionned arguments over concepts, through this spark new ideas, and then change what should be :mrgreen:

Ok, two smallish ideas...

LordBob wrote:Intro 1-4 A growing stain on the map of the Green Isle shows the invasion and subsequent retreat of the Wesfolk.
Intro 5 A ship in the open sea is caught in a storm
Intro 6 A ship captained by the crown prince reaches an unknown coastline.
Intro 7 The crown prince is on his deathbed. His family and the royal court are gathered around him; The eye of suspiscion is cast on his younger brother.
Intro 8 The younger brother leads a large army to wage war on the Wesfolk
Intro 9 Waist-up portrait : king Haldric the First
Intro 10 Zoomed out view of the previous picture ; at the king's side is the banner of the early wesnothian kingdom, with the Ruby of Fire as its emblem. Campaign logo.


In 10, don't show Haldric, show a statue of him in the same pose as in 9. That way, how the story ends for him will be left more open, but still establish that he became king and an important figure. If you show him alive and well, it more or less tells the player that the story will end with him alive and well, but if you only show his legacy so to speak, it's less obvious how the story ends.

In 7, maybe a royal funeral wake of sorts would be more appropriate? Some kind of room/hall/chapel, candles, shadows, maybe the younger prince standing over him with other people in the background looking on. Something somewhat dramatic.

Neither's a big deal, but those two more or less immediately sprang to mind. Finally, I'm not sure if we really want to give campaigns logos? Sure there's one now, but does it really add anything as in is there any reason for the new intro to have one too?
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Re: story art

Postby LordBob » March 17th, 2013, 9:52 am

zookeeper wrote:Anyway, as for the maps, I presume that'd be a joint task unless you think you can do it by drawing the stains and such directly on top of the existing map?

Aside from a fancy few textured brushes that I can share anyway, my stain expertise is as good as anyone else's. So if you want to give it a try, be my guest :)
As for animation, the most I was expecting was being able to sequence several pictures without the player clicking, but even that is reallly optionnal.

zookeeper wrote:Ok, two smallish ideas...

Both are good ideas; I'll make sure to include them once I compile the entire storyboard.

As for logos... I hadn't given it much thought, but you're right that pasting a standalone logo "just because that's what we do" won't be any good. Maybe though it'd still be nice for each campaign to have its own title screen that gives it a unique identity. A composition leaning towards graphics design, with clean typography, a textured background, a few well-picked relevant items or allegories. For instance, gold lettering, velvet, and the Ruby of Fire for Rise of Wesnoth, but a cruder typeface and grunge linen cloth for Son of the Black Eye, dwarven lettering and the famed Hammer for Hammer of Thursagan, ... This is still a raw idea that needs to be refined, but overall I think it would help immerse the player in a campaign.
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Re: story art

Postby LordBob » March 17th, 2013, 9:15 pm

And here's the rest of the storyboards.

tRoW_scenarios-storyboard_2.jpg
tRoW_scenarios-storyboard_3.jpg


The Rise of Wesnoth - Scenarios (continued)

11 - South Bay in Winter: The throne room of Southbay castle; outdoors, winter reigns. Haldric and the lady Jessene have obtained an audience with king Addroran (who may also appear in intro 7
12.1 - A Final Spring: wide view of Southbay in early Spring. Orc legions are approaching the city.
12.2 - Alternate: Southbay is in flames. Battle against the invading orcs has reached the streets, civilians flee.
13.1 - Peoples in Decline: a fleet of varied ships leaves Southbay, the shores of the Green Isle behind them.
13.2 - Alternate: the fleet is anchored near a volcanic island. Hostile drakes are flying towards the ships.
14 - A Rough Landing: the fleet has reached another island. Nagas watch the refuges as they set foot ashore.
15 - A New Land: it's early Summer. The fleet has reached its destination, the great eastern continent.
16 - The Kalian: landscape. The homeland of the elves, a great city at the heart of the forest.
17.1 - The dragon: a dragon's lair.
17.2 - Lizard Beach: remains of shipwrecks are scattered accross a shore; saurians scavenge whatever metal scraps they can.
17.3 - Troll Hole: a cavern where trolls dwell.
17.4 - Cursed Isle: ghosts, ghouls and vampires haunt these dark shores.
18 - A Spy in the Woods: the lady Jessene spies on a conspiracy between the elven lords.
19 - The Vanguard: orcs set foot ashore from a grounded ship, having sailed from the Green Isle.
20 - The Return of the Fleet: a great battle between orcs and humans.
21 - The plan: Haldric, Jessene and Aethyr are in the midst of a heated argument over a treaty
22 - The Rise of Wesnoth: lich lord Jevyan vs Haldric & co
23 - Epilogue: ending screen of the campaign: king Haldric and Queen Jessene stand with the emblem of the newly-formed kingdom of Wesnoth at their back, in a pose that echoes the statue of Intro 10
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Re: story art

Postby LordBob » March 25th, 2013, 4:13 pm

No new storyboards yet, but some more generic story art candidates.. As before, ideas to make them more story-ish are welcome. :)
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Re: story art

Postby zookeeper » March 25th, 2013, 4:57 pm

The storyboards are good, I'll again just try to offer some small tweaks:

In Southbay In Winter, the king is seated when presumably receiving Haldric and co., but in-scenario he meets them seemingly from horseback (due to his portrait). Looking at the dialogue, it seems kinda tricky to split part of that into the intro (which would be needed to explain the difference), so maybe it'd be better to depict something else, like the arrival to Southbay or the king actually meeting them on horseback.

In The Dragon, Troll Hole, Cursed Isle and a few others, you're depicting enemies and situations which the player will run into during the scenario, but which the player hasn't seen yet. I don't think that's necessarily a problem, since the pics can just as well be snapshots of what's to come rather than chronologically matching the story text, but I'm just saying in case it wasn't an entirely conscious decision to do it that way.

In the final Haldric & Jessene pic, I'd rather not have them face each other; they're definitely not a particularly romantic couple or at least wouldn't admit to such a thing, and that'd be reinforced by having them appear side-by-side clearly as two independent individuals. Moreover, Jessene's clothing would likely be in a somewhat unwesnothian style due to her Wesfolk background and because she'd refuse to look very noblewomanly even as a queen. She'd probably even keep carrying her knife. :whistle:
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