Saurian Commission Request (Closed)

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

Moderators: Forum Moderators, Developers

User avatar
Jetrel
Art Director
Posts: 7242
Joined: February 23rd, 2004, 3:36 am
Location: Midwest US

Saurian Commission Request (Closed)

Post by Jetrel » June 6th, 2010, 9:10 am

Wesnoth, in a complete reversal of fortunes (pun intended), has been receiving a surprising amount of money from iPhone sales. Since we are a non-profit, we have to spend this money on improving Wesnoth. Amongst other things, (WSAS-type-people, I'm looking at you, don't worry, we'll get to something considerably like that), we are going to begin taking occasional commissions to help deal with the more onerous parts of development - specifically, those types of development which aren't much fun for community members to give to us, and which often require more skill than the community at large has.

We'll be doing these commissions both internally and externally. We want to offer community members who might be able to do them, the chance to do them. However, we are going to make external offers to professional sprite artists, because it's simply not realistic to expect our community to be able to do all of what we want. These commissions are only open to people skilled enough to complete them, which will be judged either by work with the existing community, or by links to a portfolio of work.

We may have commissions for portraits, for code, for any number of things, but one key area we'll hiring people to help is in expanding our sprite animations. In short, we're looking to hire people to provide a few more animations on our core spec - running animations, standing animations, and to provide a NE facing for unit graphics (including all the animations, current and desired). If it sounds like a lot of drudge work, that's why it's a commission.


I'm making this post to judge how many people in the community are interested/able to help out, and for input on the price of the commission relative to work. I am not looking for input on the content of the broadened animation spec; that decision is final and I'll apply the mod-hammer to any overly belligerent naysayers.

The proposed price for this commission is about $600; I expect a skilled sprite artist/animator to be able to do this in a week of fulltime work. I think I might be lowballing it, slightly - though I'm obviously aware that the sample group of respondents may have a vested interest in confirming this suspicion. :P

Some of the language in this pasted stuff is preparatory for being posted on a job board where someone wouldn't have familiarity with wesnoth; I apologize for the bland, corporate taste. :geek:

This commission only applies to the saurian skirmisher line, and saurian augur line. 6 units total.

We want to complete the following spec for unit animations. Note that this spec includes a facing of the unit pointing to the north-east, in addition to our current images which face to the south-east. Suitable candidates will be able to draw this north-east facing in equivalent quality to our current south-east facing.

Note specifically that we are not commissioning south or north-facing walk, or attack animations. It's much more important to have a good NE facing of everything, than to have a south-facing spear thrust.


Note also the careful use of the word "complete" - certain animations are already done. Certain other animations are currently present in-game, but need to be substantially extended/improved. Specifically, the saurian skirmisher line needs their attack animations redone, both for melee and ranged, and needs their defense animations expanded into two frames. The existing animations for the augur line are all fine.



Unit Animation Spec:
1] a standing "breathe/bob-and-weave" animation between 3-6 frames long. Should be similar to the fare seen in games like Nippon Ichi's Disgaea series:
http://www.crimson-penguin.com/ especially: http://www.crimson-penguin.com/forum/disgaea2.htm

2] a running animation between 6-10 frames long. Our characters move relatively fast across the game field, we want a run, rather than a walk.

3] a defense animation consisting of precisely two frames; this animation is a full defensive pose, and then an inbetween frame used to cycle between it and the standing pose. This scheme has already been employed on most wesnoth units.

4] for melee attacks, an attack animation consisting of roughly 6 frames. Swords/maces/etc should be swung in a wide arc; these animations will get used for attacks to the direct south, as well as south-east, in wesnoth, and a wide arc makes them look tolerable for that. In the case of the saurians, the staff-swing of the spellcasters is up to par, but the spear-thrust of the "skirmisher" line needs additional frames.

5] for ranged, spear-toss attacks, an attack animation consisting of roughly 3-4 frames showing an exaggerated, easily-readable toss of a spear. We mean looney-tunes style "readability and exaggeration" Big windup, big toss.

6] for spellcasting, the character should raise their arms into an erect "moses parting the sea" pose, over a reversible set of 2-4 frames. The existing animations already fit this for SE.
Play Frogatto & Friends - a finished, open-source adventure game!

User avatar
Thrawn
Moderator Emeritus
Posts: 2047
Joined: June 2nd, 2005, 11:37 am
Location: bridge of SSD Chimera

Re: Pending Open Commission for Sprite Animation

Post by Thrawn » June 6th, 2010, 4:39 pm

I dunno, saurian line right now seems to be some of the oldest sprites, and most in need (though of course they are fine as is) of improved base-frames, imo. My personal thought aside, I think that the specifications are quite complete, and the explanation not overly simplistic nor needlessly complex.

Glad to see this happening!
...please remember that "IT'S" ALWAYS MEANS "IT IS" and "ITS" IS WHAT YOU USE TO INDICATE POSSESSION BY "IT".--scott

this goes for they're/their/there as well

User avatar
Zerovirus
Art Contributor
Posts: 1693
Joined: July 8th, 2009, 4:51 pm

Re: Pending Open Commission for Sprite Animation

Post by Zerovirus » June 6th, 2010, 4:49 pm

I personally think the Saurians are fine. What could really use some love are the loyalists, in my humble opinion.

User avatar
Jetrel
Art Director
Posts: 7242
Joined: February 23rd, 2004, 3:36 am
Location: Midwest US

Re: Pending Open Commission for Sprite Animation

Post by Jetrel » June 6th, 2010, 11:06 pm

Thrawn wrote:My personal thought aside, I think that the specifications are quite complete, and the explanation not overly simplistic nor needlessly complex.
That's good to hear.
Thrawn wrote:I dunno, saurian line right now seems to be some of the oldest sprites, and most in need (though of course they are fine as is) of improved base-frames, imo.
Zerovirus wrote: I personally think the Saurians are fine. What could really use some love are the loyalists, in my humble opinion.
:augh: I'm really frustrated that this misconception keeps persisting. We don't just replace stuff because it's old. This is not about changing fashion. We only replace stuff when we're correcting a mistake. The previous saurians had poor shading, and flat skin textures. The current batch of saurians have no obvious mistakes to fix. They can't be made any bigger, they've already got nice, dynamic poses, good shading, good contrast, good textures and color choices. This stuff that constitutes good sprites (under given design constraints, like size, and style, which we're not going to change) is like a checklist, and once the checklist is maxed out, you can't do anything better - all you'll get is something different, not better. Most of our sprites right now are pretty well maxed out.

Seriously - with the exception of some elves that need to be cleaned into "pure pixel art", some cavalry tweaks, some cleanup of the outlaws, and some tweaks to monsters, we're done. The sprites are in their permanent form, and we're never changing them again, ever. We're only adding additional animations.


How is this hard to understand?

User avatar
Sleepwalker
Art Contributor
Posts: 416
Joined: October 23rd, 2008, 6:34 am
Location: Sweden

Re: Pending Open Commission for Sprite Animation

Post by Sleepwalker » June 7th, 2010, 11:24 am

I would sign up for this. :) I'll PM you.

And your post was to the point and easy to understand.
Sometimes we must be hurt in order to grow, fail in order to know, lose in order to gain, and sometimes we must have to be broken so we can be whole again...
- Nercy Masayon

User avatar
Rhonda
Site Administrator
Posts: 47
Joined: January 26th, 2008, 9:13 pm
Location: Vienna, Austria, Europe, Earth, Milky Way
Contact:

Re: Pending Open Commission for Sprite Animation

Post by Rhonda » June 7th, 2010, 1:03 pm

Jetrel wrote: Seriously - with the exception of some elves that need to be cleaned into "pure pixel art", some cavalry tweaks, some cleanup of the outlaws, and some tweaks to monsters, we're done. The sprites are in their permanent form, and we're never changing them again, ever. We're only adding additional animations.


How is this hard to understand?
It's as hard to understand as the GPL seems to be hard to understand. It is a fair statement to claim that we do not think about changing them again for the forseeable future because we don't think it's needed. It's a completely different topic though to state we're never changing them again, ever because actually I do not want to have this impression get into the heads of comissioners to wave back at us because it simply isn't true! Having the posibility, in whatever case or requirement or need, to change the images is a core part of the license we have chosen for the project as a whole, and telling comissioners otherwise just to please them is a very very bad idea, in my personal opinion of course.

Thanks,
Rhonda

Boucman
Inactive Developer
Posts: 2119
Joined: March 31st, 2004, 1:04 pm

Re: Pending Open Commission for Sprite Animation

Post by Boucman » June 7th, 2010, 5:33 pm

hmm, I agree philosophically with you here, Rhonda...

Our sprites are good enough and we encourage any contributor looking for something to do to work on something else, though closing completely the door is a bit too strong...


however, we are speaking of paying people to do (GPLed) stuff, so the concept of "work on whatever you enjoy" isn't really relevant. It's to us (or more precisely to Jetry as artistic director) to decide what we comission...

and in that regard, if Jetrel says saurian animation is our highest priority and is what we will pay for, I trust his jugement.
Fight key loggers: write some perl using vim

User avatar
rhyging5
Art Contributor
Posts: 160
Joined: November 18th, 2009, 1:19 pm
Location: Barcelona, Catalunya

Re: Pending Open Commission for Sprite Animation

Post by rhyging5 » June 7th, 2010, 9:01 pm

Hi, never had seen a comission like this on the forums.......This is great. How exactly can incribe me?

User avatar
Eleazar
Retired Terrain Art Director
Posts: 2481
Joined: July 16th, 2004, 1:47 am
Location: US Midwest
Contact:

Re: Pending Open Commission for Sprite Animation

Post by Eleazar » June 8th, 2010, 11:12 pm

Jetrel wrote:WSAS-type-people...
I don't know that acronym.
Jetrel wrote:The proposed price for this commission is about $600; I expect a skilled sprite artist/animator to be able to do this in a week of fulltime work. I think I might be lowballing it, slightly
It doesn't sound outrageous to me. There's one way to find out if it's a little too low... Throw it out there at his rate. If there aren't enough sufficiently skilled applicants, then raise the commission.


The directions seem pretty clear to me, but then i'm familiar with Wesnoth units. I assume you'll also be attaching the general unit image specifications.
Feel free to PM me if you start a new terrain oriented thread. It's easy for me to miss them among all the other art threads.
-> What i might be working on
Attempting Lucidity

User avatar
shadowm
Site Administrator
Posts: 6575
Joined: November 14th, 2006, 5:54 pm
Location: Chile
Contact:

Re: Pending Open Commission for Sprite Animation

Post by shadowm » June 8th, 2010, 11:22 pm

Author of the unofficial UtBS sequels Invasion from the Unknown and After the Storm.

User avatar
Cloud
Art Contributor
Posts: 502
Joined: December 17th, 2008, 7:43 pm
Location: The land of pixels
Contact:

Re: Pending Open Commission for Sprite Animation

Post by Cloud » June 8th, 2010, 11:28 pm

Wesnoth Summer of Art Scholarship, iirc. I've been beated to it, thus rendering my original reason for posting pointless, however I shall continue the post as I don't want Jet et al. to be put off the idea of commissions due to a lack of interest.

I would put myself up for this, but haven't for two reasons: first and foremost I have no idea what my summer holds, a week seems like a long time to me now, I'm aware my circumstances could change rapidly; and secondly, I don't feel I'm quite good enough to put myself forward. Though I would try my dammedest to complete the commission to as higher quality as I could, I doubt it would be as good as other artists who should (and hopefully will) go for this commission.

If the former reason changes, I may apply for any available commissions.
Softly/SoftlySplinter on IRC. Will be lurking around more these days
Mainline Animations|The Væringjar
Art for these mead-sodden, bearded mushroom-junkies by Girgistian!

tsr
Posts: 790
Joined: May 24th, 2006, 1:05 pm

Re: Pending Open Commission for Sprite Animation

Post by tsr » June 9th, 2010, 6:00 am

Hm, I'm neither a spriter or have english as a primary language, but to me the 'ad' is confusing.

It is not clear to me what work is asked for. Do you want just a NE-standing frame for the skirm, the skirm line or the full two lines? Do you also want full animations for the previously mentioned?

What does full animation actually mean with regards to facing?
- baseframe (NE&SE), standing (SE), running (SE), attack (SE) and defense (SE) or
- baseframe (NE&SE), standing (NE&SE), running (NE&SE), attack (NE&SE) and defense (NE&SE)
What about the other possible animations? Like: die, kill, heal, lead, recruit, level, etc?

I just want things to be more clear so the margin for misinterpretation becomes smaller.

/tsr

User avatar
thespaceinvader
Retired Art Director
Posts: 8414
Joined: August 25th, 2007, 10:12 am
Location: Oxford, UK
Contact:

Re: Pending Open Commission for Sprite Animation

Post by thespaceinvader » June 9th, 2010, 6:14 am

Ideally, I think that we would want ALL possible animations for a given unit, if we were opening commissions to professionals - the second of your two options, plus any other animations like leading, extra attacks etc, that that unit needed.
http://thespaceinvader.co.uk | http://thespaceinvader.deviantart.com
Back to work. Current projects: Catching up on commits. Picking Meridia back up. Sprite animations, many and varied.

User avatar
Jetrel
Art Director
Posts: 7242
Joined: February 23rd, 2004, 3:36 am
Location: Midwest US

Re: Pending Open Commission for Sprite Animation

Post by Jetrel » June 14th, 2010, 7:43 am

I could go through another round of officially posting this on the board, but I've already been contacted by a few people, and the outcome would be essentially identical - and would waste another week of our time. Sleepwalker has been chosen for this first commission. He's a member of the community, and has the necessary skills.

This will be a long series of commissions, so we'll likely have another one up before too long.

thespaceinvader wrote:Ideally, I think that we would want ALL possible animations for a given unit, if we were opening commissions to professionals - the second of your two options, plus any other animations like leading, extra attacks etc, that that unit needed.
Yeah, and after discussing it with you, it occurred to me that I was missing death animations. I've modified the list to that effect. We're not including "idle" animations in these commissions; they're sort of a nice easter egg, and they're precisely the sort of fun tidbit that the community is good at providing, because they're a good outlet for creative license.

Jetrel wrote:We're commissioning someone to greatly expand our animations for specific units. We have a spec listing exactly what we want - but in short, we're adding a NE variant of everything, in addition to our current SE. We'll also want any missing-or-short animations to the SE to be expanded/replaced with full-length versions. The person we commission will need to be good enough to draw this new north-east facing in equivalent quality to our current south-east facing.

We are only adding a north-east facing - we are not commissioning anything that faces directly south or north, not even walk, or attack animations. It's much more important to have a good NE facing of everything, than to have a south-facing spear thrust.


Notes:
- This commission only applies to the saurian skirmisher line, and saurian augur line. 6 units total.
- The existing animations for the skirmisher line need their attack animations redone, both for melee and ranged, and need their defense animations expanded into two frames.
- The existing animations for the augur line are all fine.


Timeline:
I would expect a professional sprite artist/animator to be able to complete this in "a week or so" of full-time, 8 hrs/day work. Obviously, many people won't be working full-time, this is more a measure of what the work is worth in man-hours.

There is a loose deadline of a month or three; we have no problems with a contributor taking their time, as long as they're consistently making effort on it and keeping us informed. If they don't keep in touch at all, and completely fall out of contact for several weeks, however, we reserve the right to revoke the commission and choose someone else. We would pay for partial work, if someone's personal life forced them to drop a commission-in-progress.

Making a few revisions and drafts is understood, and possibly expected, at the same time, this generous timeline is not a substitute for learning to draw.


Unit Animation Spec:
1] a standing "breathe/bob-and-weave" animation between 3-6 frames long (preferably leaning towards 6). Should be similar to the fare seen in games like Nippon Ichi's Disgaea series:
http://www.crimson-penguin.com/ especially: http://www.crimson-penguin.com/forum/disgaea2.htm

2] a running animation between 6-10 frames long. Our characters move relatively fast across the game field, we want a run, rather than a walk.

3] a defense animation consisting of precisely two frames; this animation is a full defensive pose, and then an inbetween frame used to cycle between it and the standing pose. This scheme has already been employed on most wesnoth units.

4] for melee attacks, an attack animation consisting of roughly 6 frames. Swords/maces/etc should be swung in a wide arc; these animations will get used for attacks to the direct south, as well as south-east, in wesnoth, and a wide arc makes them look tolerable for that. In the case of the saurians, the staff-swing of the spellcasters is up to par, but the spear-thrust of the "skirmisher" line needs additional frames.

5] for ranged, spear-toss attacks, an attack animation consisting of roughly 3-4 frames showing an exaggerated, easily-readable toss of a spear. We mean looney-tunes style "readability and exaggeration" Big windup, big toss.

6] for spellcasting, the character should raise their arms into an erect "moses parting the sea" pose, over a reversible set of 2-4 frames. The existing augur animations already fit this for SE.

7] a death animation, precisely 4 frames long. The first frame should double as a "wounded" standing frame, with a unit hunched-over but still standing. The last frame should double as a corpse frame. The first frame may end up being used as an alternate standing frame, but it will not be separately animated as its own standing-animation cycle - this has been done in other games, and it works as a good visual cue.
Play Frogatto & Friends - a finished, open-source adventure game!

User avatar
Jetrel
Art Director
Posts: 7242
Joined: February 23rd, 2004, 3:36 am
Location: Midwest US

Re: Pending Open Commission for Sprite Animation

Post by Jetrel » June 14th, 2010, 7:43 am

rhyging5 wrote:Hi, never had seen a comission like this on the forums.......This is great. How exactly can incribe me?
I sent you a PM about this; we'd love to have you on.
Play Frogatto & Friends - a finished, open-source adventure game!

Post Reply