Forest-keep layering options

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Forest-keep layering options

Postby Alarantalara » September 22nd, 2011, 2:52 am

Espreon posted this bug a couple weeks ago and it doesn't have a clearly good solution. Since it's art-related, I'm asking for opinions on which of the three options looks the best.

The first option is to not fix it. It looks like this:
summer-forest-tall-keep.png
summer-forest-tall-keep.png (60.13 KiB) Viewed 3142 times

Note the green leaking into the keep's north-west side.

The second option is to raise the keep image so the trees are drawn below it. It looks like this:
fix1.png
fix1.png (97.35 KiB) Viewed 3142 times

It looks the best, but it causes all user made embellishments, villages and overlays to not appear if placed on top of a keep. Currently they will all appear over a keep.

The third option is to lower the forests. This would look like the second image above, but with one important difference. This:
covering.png
covering.png (100.91 KiB) Viewed 3142 times

becomes this:
not covering.png
not covering.png (75.35 KiB) Viewed 3142 times

As you can see, the units are no longer covered by forest below them (This wouldn't affect great trees).

All of the options are effectively equally difficult to create, so the only question is which one creates the best appearance in game.
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Re: Forest-keep layering options

Postby shiremct » September 22nd, 2011, 3:15 am

Forgive my ignorance if I'm making incorrect assumptions as I have very little experience with terrain and embellishment art, but it sounds like the proposed changes are going to create far-reaching consequences to fix one specific problem. For this reason alone, I'd personally suggest either leaving it as-is and letting map makers work around the small limitation (it's just the keep directly beside a forest or no?) or going with another route.

Without seeing it in game, I can't gauge just how much difference unit shadows overlaying on top of the trees would make, but I would think it would be rather significant in terms of the whole picture, even if the individual differences in shadows overlaying trees would be so subtle you couldn't pick out what had changed. Seems a steep price to pay for one specific layering issue.

As for the change to layering keeps with embellishments, how about turning that proposition on it's head and instead MAKING an embellishment of planks or whatever that could be used to cover the tree tops bleeding over instead? If it's just this one specific problem, seems that would work just fine, even if it's kinda hack-ish? Maybe they could even be done in such a way (depends what they would need to cover I guess) that they could be re-purposed as a general planks on the ground embellishment too? Either way, that sounds like a better route than any of the alternatives, but, once again, my experience with terrain art is extremely limited.
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Re: Forest-keep layering options

Postby Gambit » September 22nd, 2011, 12:17 pm

I might also be misunderstanding the problem, but can we inflate our zorder numbers? Multiply them all by 10. That lets you fix these problems and still leaves room for UMC to get in between where they want.
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Re: Forest-keep layering options

Postby Alarantalara » September 22nd, 2011, 12:47 pm

Gambit wrote:I might also be misunderstanding the problem, but can we inflate our zorder numbers? Multiply them all by 10. That lets you fix these problems and still leaves room for UMC to get in between where they want.


The problem is that the only z-order number that can appear in front of and behind units depending on hex is 0 and multiplying by 10 wouldn't change that.
shiremct wrote:As for the change to layering keeps with embellishments, how about turning that proposition on it's head and instead MAKING an embellishment of planks or whatever that could be used to cover the tree tops bleeding over instead? If it's just this one specific problem, seems that would work just fine, even if it's kinda hack-ish?

It actually happens with most keeps, it's just especially obvious with this one. Any embellishment used to hide it would have to look nice on human, desert, and elven keeps as well as this one.
It's also possible to resolve this by making the north side walls extend further south, but that would be a lot of redrawing and it's probably not worth the many hours of time it would take.

However, after sleeping on it, I think I can get it to work in all cases by using the base key to effectively get that increase in z-order numbers (multiplying it by 72 more or less). I need to test it to see if it works though, which I won't have time to do until Friday, so I'd appreciate further comments just in case it doesn't.
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Re: Forest-keep layering options

Postby doofus-01 » September 23rd, 2011, 4:43 am

Alarantalara wrote:The problem is that the only z-order number that can appear in front of and behind units depending on hex is 0 and multiplying by 10 wouldn't change that.
You know the drawing code, I don't, but is this a real barrier, or is it too big a project for what you were volunteering?
Alarantalara wrote:It's also possible to resolve this by making the north side walls extend further south, but that would be a lot of redrawing and it's probably not worth the many hours of time it would take.
I don't quite follow. Are you saying to draw the walls lower, and get rid of the floor fragments? Then the floor won't look "raised". Or are you saying we could make bigger floor fragments, so they overlap the real floor tile? That wouldn't be too hard to do, though I, personally, wouldn't touch it until I know that's the official direction we're headed (it would be pretty tedious).

Alarantalara wrote:However, after sleeping on it, I think I can get it to work in all cases by using the base key to effectively get that increase in z-order numbers (multiplying it by 72 more or less). I need to test it to see if it works though, which I won't have time to do until Friday, so I'd appreciate further comments just in case it doesn't.
I almost follow, but is it worth considering a terrain graphics re-think? At some point, there is too much duct tape.
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Re: Forest-keep layering options

Postby zookeeper » September 23rd, 2011, 6:48 am

Maybe the tall-keep-* tiles should simply include more of the floor in them? That is, if that wouldn't cause other glitches.
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Re: Forest-keep layering options

Postby Alarantalara » September 23rd, 2011, 10:37 pm

doofus-01 wrote:
Alarantalara wrote:It's also possible to resolve this by making the north side walls extend further south, but that would be a lot of redrawing and it's probably not worth the many hours of time it would take.
I don't quite follow. Are you saying to draw the walls lower, and get rid of the floor fragments? Then the floor won't look "raised". Or are you saying we could make bigger floor fragments, so they overlap the real floor tile? That wouldn't be too hard to do, though I, personally, wouldn't touch it until I know that's the official direction we're headed (it would be pretty tedious).

Either would work (and zookeeper suggests the second, which makes more sense).

It's indeed pretty tedious, especially since most of the keeps are affected to some extent.
However, I don't like it as a solution since it means that anyone who wants to draw a new keep has to remember check their image against various forests in mainline. No to mention that any new forest would then have to be tested against keeps for appearance. If they're correctly layered by WML any future keep would just work without having to check.\

doofus-01 wrote:At some point, there is too much duct tape.

Unfortunately true. I think a new internal macro to provide a second object on the same layer could be useful in other situations and function as more than just duct tape, but I'll think about it some more before blindly adding it. If I did add it, expect it to be neatly concealed and look much like any other terrain macro.
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