story art

Production of artwork for the game by regular contributors takes place here.

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kitty
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Post by kitty » February 26th, 2008, 9:06 pm

to begin with: the question which format the wesnothian story art has to be in is still unanswered. :hmm:

on zookeeper's suggestion i did a variant of the battlefield minus humans. one could still start debating that the artefacts (helmet, shield) are human like - but i can't think of any armour style that would fit every race. thus i thought human would be the most common for the viewer...

@ zookeeper: thank you for the proposals for further scenes! i will add them to my list. up to now i thought of doing - castle at sunset, - riders on a plain, -village, -burning village, -burnt down village, - path through wood (friendly), - path through wood (spooky), -snowy mountains, -rocky landscape, -castle at the sea, -castle gate :)
your general thoughts on story images aren't offtopic at all. i especially like what you propose for utbs! but i think in a perfect world with as much artists as we would like, we should have fitting images for every scenario... but for this is highly unlikely :wink: i am doing these generic images. so a campaign developer can choose to use only the wood image if it fits his campaign's setting or several if he wants.

@ groovy: thank you for the input!
the way to the bridge... i imagined the bridge was built long ago by a people that has already left these lands perhaps, so that the bridge made of stone remains but the way is neglected :) and if the potential user of this image desperately needs a better street i can paint it if he asks me nicely :lol:
the texture... now we enter the magical realm of liking. for me it is no bad attempt to imitate watercolour. it is a important means to me to break the digital appearance. aargh - lack of words. short: i don't like the pictures without it ...
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Dave
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Post by Dave » February 26th, 2008, 9:44 pm

kitty wrote: @ kestenvarn: i'm curious what you will do with the ship! did you do the other httt pictures, too?
Unfortunately the author of most of the httt pictures is no longer with the project. :cry: Thankfully we now have you. :-)
kitty wrote: to begin with: the question which format the wesnothian story art has to be in is still unanswered
We're flexible. :-)

png or jpeg are both fine. 640x480 is a typical size to provide the images in, though they will be scaled by the engine and any size will work, so you can use whatever size allows for the detail that you want. I suggest keeping the 4:3 aspect ratio though.

David
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kitty
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Post by kitty » February 26th, 2008, 10:24 pm

thank you for the quick reply! scaling them down will be no problem - i work about double that size...

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Post by Dave » February 26th, 2008, 10:47 pm

kitty wrote:thank you for the quick reply! scaling them down will be no problem - i work about double that size...
If you work double that size I suggest giving them to us that way. We can decide on the best way to store them based on space/compression and quality requirements.

By the way, I'm not sure what is causing you to be unable to attach images. We are looking into it though.

David
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Post by Sgt. Groovy » February 27th, 2008, 9:48 am

the texture... now we enter the magical realm of liking. for me it is no bad attempt to imitate watercolour. it is a important means to me to break the digital appearance.
I can sort of see where you're coming from, but I think you are needlessly restricting yourself. If you like the look of watercolours more, then why are you not making your art in watercolour? Instead of painting-digitally-made-to-look-like-watercolour you would have the real thing.

If the answer is that making digitally is faster and easier, then I'm sorry to say it, but there are no shortcuts. Clay may be easier and faster to sculpt than marble, but it won't produce the same thing.

Watercolour is a hard technique, because you can't erase or overpaint, and it makes the creation very spontane process. But that's the whole point if it, the very essence of the technique. That's why digital "watercolours" can only look superficially similar.

If you don't like the "digital appearance" why are you painting on a computer in the first place? If you liked the look of watercolour more than charcoal, would you still be drawing with charcoal and try to fake it to look like watercolour? Instead of restricting yourself to the look of the real-life techniques, why not explore the digital medium and find out what it has to offer that the real-life media don't have?
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Post by Jetrel » February 27th, 2008, 6:03 pm

Sgt. Groovy wrote:...

:? I understand where you're coming from, but ..

1] With a combination of something like Corel Painter, and some clever photoshop work to create a paper texture, you really truly can make something indistinguishable from real watercolors. It's even easier to do with Oils (watercolors were a harder nut to crack, but they've basically done it in the last few years).

2] All this stuff about spontaneity, and the inimitable, tactile nature of real, physical mediums, is nothing but a bunch of jive. It's a fashionable opinion, but it's totally bogus. Being done on a computer doesn't make it less "artsy", or make it "soulless", or make it less "spontaneous"; you get out what you put in. If you're doing a rather sketchy style with a tablet and the right software, you'll get something just as spontaneous/upredictable and "alive" as any traditional piece - if you're meticulously plotting points with the mouse, you'll get something stiff and technical.

(I understand that you weren't really arguing in favor of #2; I'm just saying it for the record. It's a common falsehood that gets passed around, and I'm not amused.)


3] She's making it look like watercolor because she likes the look of watercolor, but the difficulty of doing it traditionally is just absurd. And she can get (mostly) the best of both worlds, by doing it this way. It's close to the look of watercolor; it at least evokes the feel of it, and is not stiff or stilted like some digital work is, but it's a tiny fraction of the work.

Yes, digital mediums can do cool and unique things that traditional mediums can't, but they're also excellently used to fix broken/difficult uses of traditional mediums. Probably one of the most obvious ones is cell-shaded drawings. People have been doing them on cells for years, but darn it all; they look cleaner, and closer to the ideal that the actual cel-style works have tried to accomplish, when you do them on a computer. Same with screentones. Which is why pretty much everyone exclusively inks, tones, and colors manga/comics on computers these days. No, there are shortcuts, and shocking as it may seem, a lot of traditional mediums are done better when they're imitated on the computer, rather than done the old-fashioned way. Not all of them are, but a few of them clearly are, and the possibility of being so is open and valid.


4] All that said, you're quite right there's a whole world of stuff exclusive to digital art, and that there are very cool possibilities open there, of which the following is only one subgenre out of many: http://www.endeffect.com/gallery/

I'm not sure that this would be the best place for too wild of experimentation; for one thing, it's easy to make digital art that would look anachronistic in a fantasy setting. In this particular case, I think kitty's current style works pretty well; why fix what isn't broken? If she gets tired with it, she's free to play around with different styles.

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Sgt. Groovy
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Post by Sgt. Groovy » February 28th, 2008, 6:43 pm

I understand that you weren't really arguing in favor of #2; I'm just saying it for the record. It's a common falsehood that gets passed around, and I'm not amused.
Well, I really, really wasn't making the argument you refuted, actually quite the opposite. My argument was, that digital medium is no less 'real' than any other, only different, and artists should treat it with proper respect, not just a shortcut for making 'real-looking' art. What I meant in "spontaneity" was the process in the artist's head when s/he's doing the painting, and I was was speaking from very vivid experience. In the past the only ink drawings I've done were inking pencil sketches, but last time at my art class we were doing ink with brush, no pre-sketching. I was doing a composition of vase of tulips, and knowing that when I put the brush down, I can't take the line back, and this forced me to approach the subject in a completely different manner than I would have with pencil or charcoal. Of course, I could recreate the same process on the computer by deciding in advance that I'm not going to erase anything.
Which is why pretty much everyone exclusively inks, tones, and colors manga/comics on computers these days.
...and they have the out-of-conveyor-belt look because 90% uses the same software and the same tools and effects. :P What the big shortcut amounts to is that it cuts lot of technical work off from between the artists and the press, that has nothing to do with the artistic expression and can only degrade the quality if not done properly (and painting the cells is technical work, most of the artistic process happens before it).
She's making it look like watercolor because she likes the look of watercolor, but the difficulty of doing it traditionally is just absurd.
Yes, but when learning to do it, even just the basics, one learns whole bunch of other things than just making a watercolour. What does one learn by clicking the "apply watercolour effect" button?
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kitty
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Post by kitty » March 1st, 2008, 11:48 pm

before i add my comments to this interesting discussion, i've got one more done - some riders on a plaine...


i don't understand why you are talking about watercolour all the time. i never said anything about making them watercolourlike, i applied no watercolour effects, no paper texture and so on.
however, i still think that it is valid to combine techniques. i am able to do watercolours and other traditional media. i admit that people who only draw digital often don't understand the real thing and tend to rely on ctrl z. my life drawing course and other traditonal classes are quite important to me.
but like jetryl said, there are certain possibilities and advantages that the digital media and combinations of both offer, that one shouldn't miss. i don't apply textures to mimic a traditional painting (if that was my intention, it would look a lot more traditionally :P). i use them to add the one thing that digital painting often lack - chance. it breaks the too clean digital look a bit ...

but i still think that there is a difference between digital and traditional. and this difference is more than a bunch of jive. it is a fundamental different action to draw something with your body (through the action of your arm, shoulder, the whole upper body) or to use only your wrist with a mouse or tablet. and there is an element of physicalness lost. i don't bemoan the loss of this element but i think it's important to be aware of it.
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esr
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Shield rims

Post by esr » March 2nd, 2008, 12:40 am

Tossing aside art technicalia for a moment to dive into a different kind...

Kitty, I noticed that you put an iron rims on the shield in your battlefield scene. While this is a common feature of reconstructions of Viking and Dark Ages shields in that shape, it's probably a mistake.

In the archeological record, Viking shields are not iron-rimmed. That feature is actually associated with the pre-Viking war gear of the Vendel culture. Viking shields were bound with stretched and wetted rawhide that was then shrunk onto the wooden rim.

I wouldn't sweat this detail, except that I think I know *why* the Vikings abandoned metal shield rims. I'm a historical fencer, I've actually fought with sword and a shield of about that size, It gives me a certain perspective on the matter...

I very, very strongly suspect that the Vikings abandoned metal rims to cut the weight of the shield, and that this change was driven by a shift to a more active shield-blocking style and more use of shield punches.

Now, Wesnoth is fantasy, so you can arm your troops like either Vikings or Vendels. The reason I'm raising this point is that I think shield style should match your troops' tactical doctrine. Rimmed shields should go with heavier, slower, more armored infantry; unrimmed ones with lighter-armored troops that rely more on active parry and maneuver.

Final note: rimmed or unrimmed shields aside, your art is lovely and well suited to the Wesnoth milieu. Please take the above as encouragement, not criticism.

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kitty
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Post by kitty » March 2nd, 2008, 3:16 pm

hello esr! thank you for those shild informations - i did not know that! it's very interesting, somebody who has actually used something like this always has a better understanding...
perhaps i'll remove the rim in a further version. :)
but if somebody wants to use this in a camapaign one day i can not know today if infantery or light armoured style would be more appropriate for this camapign. if that campaign author cares about that kind of detail, i could change that easily if he askes me to do so. i want to prepare as generic as possible backgrounds which could then be personalized...

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Your illustration is probably OK as it is

Post by esr » March 2nd, 2008, 3:59 pm

Don't worry too hard. Since there's no human figure or visible armor in the picture the iron rim doesn't clash with any of the other details. I just thought you'd like to know for future illustrations.

You may find it interesting to know that period shields were often made much like modern plywood -- several thin layers of wood laminated together using animal glue, with the grain in alternating layers rotated 90 degrees to try to forestall splitting.

The style I train in would be quite at home on a Wesnothian battlefield. We use double-edged straight swords in the neighborhood of 24 inches long and shields of 24 to 26-inch diameter. This same basic armament was in continuous battlefield use from the end of the Bronze Age until about 1650.

If you have more energy for work on campaigns in development, santi and I are working up Legend of Wesmere for possible mainline inclusion. It's got some Elvish characters we could use portraits for.

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Post by irrevenant » March 2nd, 2008, 9:35 pm

Based on the sprites, the loyalist faction use metal-rimmed round shields (presumably wooden, though they are painted) as do the Undead. The only unit in the standard factions that uses a round shield with no rim is the Level 1 Dwarvish Fighter.

It looks like much the same story in Extended and Imperial Era, with basically only the marauders having plain wooden shields.

Still, some level of embellishment on the sprites is fine (and expected) so I dunno...

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Re: story art

Post by Kestenvarn » April 4th, 2008, 5:44 am

Hmm, I've been having a tough time with this ship. Collected several references though.

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kitty
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Re: story art

Post by kitty » March 27th, 2009, 9:42 pm

,
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kitty
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Re: story art

Post by kitty » March 27th, 2009, 9:43 pm

..
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