Era of Courage [name subject to change]

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Lalindo
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Era of Courage [name subject to change]

Post by Lalindo »

Long-time Lurker Lalindo here, and planning a whole pile of work (for me). I posted a link about my ideas for an era here: http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=34035 . I'm planning on designing the thing, making it work and such (not trying to force artists to work for me - though, being sane, I'm willing to accept help should anyone be so inclined). Unfortunately, my knowhow of this sort of thing is.. little to none. I'd love to hear feedback, how I can do things better.. make this a learning process. Right now, I try to make things that look right, and that's about it. But it's a start. And not knowing something isn't a reason not to try, so... here are the first couple ideas for sprites for the different factions. They're all over the place (and the spearman is the only one that I really like right now.. the others are mostly ideas that I'd like to improve). I have general ideas for a lot of my units (unit tree to be posted on the other link later), but I thought it might be a better idea to start with a couple and get comments, rather than making them all wrong. So. Here's what I've got so far.. not a lot, but, like I said, it's something to start from. I'd love to hear any comments! And tips, anything like that. Be as harsh as you like. It's about learning, anyway. So these aren't terribly good? I'll learn to do better. Thanks!
Attachments
This is supposed to be some sort of dragonesque being.. it looks sort of like the Wyrms in the Era of Magic, some to think of it. But it's supposed to be serpentine with wings.. and from that idea, I get.. this.
This is supposed to be some sort of dragonesque being.. it looks sort of like the Wyrms in the Era of Magic, some to think of it. But it's supposed to be serpentine with wings.. and from that idea, I get.. this.
Lai.png (8.53 KiB) Viewed 2809 times
This is a unit that's going to try to replace a magic-user: the faction it's for (Kingdom of Falath) is particularly against magic. So this is some sort of herbalist/alchemist/potion-maker. I tried to turn it a little (based on the file uploaded in the era link), but again, just an idea. The giant pink blob is supposed to be a cloud above the other pinkish blob - which is supposed to be a potion bottle. I thought it was terribly clever at the time to make it team coloured. Now I just don't know what to do with it. Maybe it wouldn't look as lame if it were animated...
This is a unit that's going to try to replace a magic-user: the faction it's for (Kingdom of Falath) is particularly against magic. So this is some sort of herbalist/alchemist/potion-maker. I tried to turn it a little (based on the file uploaded in the era link), but again, just an idea. The giant pink blob is supposed to be a cloud above the other pinkish blob - which is supposed to be a potion bottle. I thought it was terribly clever at the time to make it team coloured. Now I just don't know what to do with it. Maybe it wouldn't look as lame if it were animated...
Potent2.png (6.73 KiB) Viewed 2809 times
This is a sad excuse for an idea, basically. Turns out making a unit out of a weird shape is harder than I thought. It's again inspired by Celtic tradition.. this carving (known as the 'Pictish Beast,' seen here: http://www.mun.ca/mst/heroicage/issues/8/images/cessfordfig1.png ) is seen on 40% of all Pictish carvings with any animals on it.. yet no one really knows what it is. Right now, I have no idea what to do with it. I don't know about colour, I don't know about size, even.. I just want to do  *something* with it.
This is a sad excuse for an idea, basically. Turns out making a unit out of a weird shape is harder than I thought. It's again inspired by Celtic tradition.. this carving (known as the 'Pictish Beast,' seen here: http://www.mun.ca/mst/heroicage/issues/8/images/cessfordfig1.png ) is seen on 40% of all Pictish carvings with any animals on it.. yet no one really knows what it is. Right now, I have no idea what to do with it. I don't know about colour, I don't know about size, even.. I just want to do *something* with it.
Pictish Beast.png (7.95 KiB) Viewed 2809 times
This is a general fighter-type unit (spearman). It's inspired (like a lot of this faction) from the Pictish/Celtic tradition.. that era of Britain, anyway. Thus the red hair and the woad (yes, that's what that blue is... is it too unclear?)
This is a general fighter-type unit (spearman). It's inspired (like a lot of this faction) from the Pictish/Celtic tradition.. that era of Britain, anyway. Thus the red hair and the woad (yes, that's what that blue is... is it too unclear?)
Spearman.png (6.88 KiB) Viewed 2809 times
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Vranca
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Re: Era of Courage [name subject to change]

Post by Vranca »

you need more contrast (brighter lights,darker shadows).Analyse some mainline sprites that can help.
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Re: Era of Courage [name subject to change]

Post by beetlenaut »

Your spearman is the best, but his head is a little too big for a Wesnoth unit. Another thing that is important in the BfW style, is to use fewer colors and no smooth blending in the sprites. (This is part of what makes them easy to see against the backgrounds.) There should only be about four shades for each hue you use. (Four shades of blue for the Potent's cloak, for instance.) A typical sprite has around 35 colors. Also, for team colors, there are only 19 shades of magenta that will work. You can find a palette of those colors in the .../wesnoth/images/tools/ folder.
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Lalindo
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Re: Era of Courage [name subject to change]

Post by Lalindo »

@Vranca I'll try to add more contrast to them tonight. Thanks!

@beetlenaut: Thank you. I thought so too.. I can try to shrink his head, at least. And I can do that too.. I'm sure it won't be too hard to replace colours with only four different shades, etc. And that's a good number to have. I'll keep it in mind. And I did at least know that about the magenta.. I found that information in the wiki somewhere, and used the colours from that (with the eyedropper thing.. whatever that's called). So those should be right. Thanks for the info, though. =]
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Lalindo
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Re: Era of Courage [name subject to change]

Post by Lalindo »

(Double poooost) Alright. So. Here are two of them, anyway. I shrunk the Spearman's head, and I tried to neaten/fix the Potent (and the Lai), all with a limited amount of colours. Does anyone have any idea what to do with the Pictish Beast? I'd like to make it not so.. bad. But I have no ideas (at all) about where to go with it. And.. how can I help the weird cloud/potion gas on the Potent?
Attachments
Updated: Again, more contrast, no blur, less messy.
Updated: Again, more contrast, no blur, less messy.
Lai2.png (7.54 KiB) Viewed 2690 times
Updated: I tried for more contrast, I used only a specific amount of colours (i.e. no more paintbrush) and I shrunk his head.
Updated: I tried for more contrast, I used only a specific amount of colours (i.e. no more paintbrush) and I shrunk his head.
Spearman2.png (5.62 KiB) Viewed 2690 times
Updated: I tried for more contrast here, too, and tried to make it less messy (also with a little head-shrinking)... though the shadow looks a little blobbly, and should be fixed.
Updated: I tried for more contrast here, too, and tried to make it less messy (also with a little head-shrinking)... though the shadow looks a little blobbly, and should be fixed.
Potent3.png (6.63 KiB) Viewed 2690 times
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Re: Era of Courage [name subject to change]

Post by beetlenaut »

Much better. Especially the potent. I think for his gas cloud you are going to have to ignore the rules: make it partly transparent around the edges and leave off the outline. Otherwise, it will never look like smoke.

The spearman looks pretty good now, but his arm looks too short. You should drop his elbow down.

The Lai's wings need some work. I would take a look at some bat wings, and model them after those.

I don't know how you can translate the stylized 2D pictish carvings into a 3D creature, so maybe you shouldn't: You could try leaving the unit 2D. (That would certainly be unique.) You could copy one drawing straight off the page you linked to, and have it float around in the same orientation and everything--a living picture. Maybe that's too weird, but it was the only thing I could come up with.
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Re: Era of Courage [name subject to change]

Post by SFault »

The pictish beast is quite random. It's hard to grasp what's going on. Perhaps you could first do the basic body structure (the four legs and the body) and then add tail, details and whatever those things are.

Lai's wings look really parallel to the y-axis. They need more depth/form. I added a very quick sample (that could use darker outlines) to give you some idea.

You might want to consider following:
-the light source is quite random. Try to stick with one light source (like from upper left). Note the body parts that are blocking the light reaching the parts behind.
-clean up the outlines. There are several blocky lines here and there. With some exceptions, the lines should be one pixel wide and sharp corners (like 90 degree) should be avoided. You can use anti-aliasing for those parts that are squarish.
-use references. For example, google smoke cloud to see the correct form for it.
-zoom in/zoom out to see that stuff makes sense. Have a look of the grayscale version of the picture, see the mirrored version and try different backgrounds to check the contrast and lighting.
Attachments
Quick wing sample
Quick wing sample
Laiwing.png (2.17 KiB) Viewed 2656 times
segmentation fault
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Re: Era of Courage [name subject to change]

Post by Lalindo »

So. Working with the same four units, trying to fix them up still.. I should have some more within the next couple of days. I do thank the people who have commented for their help. =]. I'm still not sure about the Lai's other wing (the one that *I* drew, go figure).

@beetlenaut: I tried to make the gas cloud more.. gassy with the transparencies and such - I think it works a lot better. I tried to edit the spearman's arm a little, too.. and the 2D idea is quite interesting (I did a quick sketch of it. I *do* like it.. I have to think about it some, but, especially for this kind of unit, I think it'd work well - especially if I can't quite get the 3D one right.)

@SFault: It is.. I redid the outline, etc, and recoloured. At least it's more solid now. And thank you for the wing redraw.. that looks much better. I'm going to try to go with a more solid light source, too.. I'd used upper right for the Spearman and the Potent, so I'll try to stick with that throughout, then? I also tried to clean up the outlines some. Zooming, at least, I'd been doing.. but I hadn't thought of greyscale for shading. Thanks! =]
Attachments
I moved his spear a little, and moved his elbow down some.. is this what you meant? Does it look better?
I moved his spear a little, and moved his elbow down some.. is this what you meant? Does it look better?
Spearman4.png (5.6 KiB) Viewed 2613 times
Here's a new cloud for the Potent. I *definitely* like the transparency better (even if it is breaking rules).
Here's a new cloud for the Potent. I *definitely* like the transparency better (even if it is breaking rules).
Potent4.png (7.52 KiB) Viewed 2613 times
Here's another version of the Pictish Beast.. a heavy revamp of my previous image, adding outlines, recolouring for lighting, cleaning it up in general... while a far cry from the first one, I'm still not sure about it. Thoughts?
Here's another version of the Pictish Beast.. a heavy revamp of my previous image, adding outlines, recolouring for lighting, cleaning it up in general... while a far cry from the first one, I'm still not sure about it. Thoughts?
Pictish Beast2.png (6.31 KiB) Viewed 2613 times
This is a quick 2d version of the Pictish beast.. I basically shrunk and outlined one of the ones from the link (first post) and coloured it. It's.. interesting. I'm not sure how I feel about it being weird as a unit or not, but it's definitely cool-looking. Worth considering. (thanks beetlenaut)
This is a quick 2d version of the Pictish beast.. I basically shrunk and outlined one of the ones from the link (first post) and coloured it. It's.. interesting. I'm not sure how I feel about it being weird as a unit or not, but it's definitely cool-looking. Worth considering. (thanks beetlenaut)
Pictish Beast Type 2.png (4.86 KiB) Viewed 2613 times
I took SFault's version of my wing, recoloured it a little, and tried to do the same on the other side - as well as shading it with one light source (at least that's what I tried to do. The wings are still a little funky). I also tried to clean up the outlines a little bit.
I took SFault's version of my wing, recoloured it a little, and tried to do the same on the other side - as well as shading it with one light source (at least that's what I tried to do. The wings are still a little funky). I also tried to clean up the outlines a little bit.
Lai3.png (8 KiB) Viewed 2613 times
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Re: Era of Courage [name subject to change]

Post by Midnight_Carnival »

As a start they are good, and I aprove of your use of colour, somehow you get it just right. I'm also impressed with your attempt at tackling those mythological monsters, they are bizzarre.
If you run dry try those Egyptian long-necked lion thingies and Mesopotamian 'snake-dragons', breathtaking. :)
...apparenly we can't go with it or something.

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Re: Era of Courage [name subject to change]

Post by Lalindo »

Thanks! I appreciate the kind words. :). It's nice to hear that I get colours right.. and thanks! I was going for something a little different, anyway. And I'll keep those in mind.
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I never did like our public school system."
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Re: Era of Courage [name subject to change]

Post by Lalindo »

Alright: new unit. It's based off of a Grogoch, a creature found in Irish myth. It's supposed to be a sort of faerie that can turn invisible at will, and is generally mischievous, etc. It's supposed to look like a very small old man, covered in reddish fur/hair. (seen here).

(As per the function of the unit itself [I don't know if this relates to critique or not], it's going to have various invisibilities (nightstalk, ambush, etc) available through AMLA, skirmisher, and a low-damage dagger attack that has backstab (and increases through AMLA).)

I'm not sure exactly what size I want it.. so here are two versions of it, one smaller, and one larger. It's not finished yet.. but it's progress. It seems a bit monotone.. but with something that's supposed to not wear clothes and be completely coloured with reddish fur, I'm not sure quite what else I can do...
Attachments
Grogoch (smaller).png
Grogoch (smaller).png (4.15 KiB) Viewed 2499 times
Grogoch (large).png
Grogoch (large).png (4.26 KiB) Viewed 2499 times
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Re: Era of Courage [name subject to change]

Post by Dixie »

For the records, your sprite doesn't look at all like the pictures from the link you provided - I believe when they say "red", they mean more "redhair" (rather orange), then pure red. The limbs and face could also show some skin, as per the reference picture, which would make the sprite much more interesting. atm, they look more like some weird devils, imo. The pose is also very strange, I can't read it very well... He seems like he'd be seated, with his right hand (with the knife) pushing against the ground as if to get back up on his feet.

About the ability - you can calibrate the hiding parameters almost as you like. Instead of boasting a pletora of various terrain/tod based ambushes, you could think about different things. Some ideas (of course, units are never hidden when adjacent to enemy units):
- Unit is hidden as long as it has at least 4 movepoints left (amount of mps at your discretion).
- Unit is hidden as long as there are no enemy units in a 3-hex radius. Or only if there are enemies in a 4-hex radius, but no adjacent ones.
- Unit is hidden as long as there are no allied units in a 3-4 hex radius (would match the lore somewhat). Or maybe "no allied units except other Grogoches".
- Unit is hidden if it has less then 25% HPs.
- Etc. using much any parameter...

Option for level ups could include invisiblity zones: maybe allied units adjacent to a lv3 grogoch could be hidden as well, or something like that.

Of course, these are all rather powerful ideas, especially if the unit has a lot of movepoints, so maybe don,t make him a scout (or limit the moves/concealment according to the first idea)
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Lalindo
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Re: Era of Courage [name subject to change]

Post by Lalindo »

Well, I didn't quite want to "copy" what they had there.. more like try to take from it what I can. I think that more orange-y is the way to go with the hair, anyway.. and I like the idea of showing some skin. It does look unfortunately like a sort of weird devil (and I'd had that thought myself). It's harder than I supposed to show those sorts of details.. in a couple pixels. This was just a rough idea, anyway - I'm using the fact that I get feedback here as much as I can; I figure that that's the best way to learn how to do these things.

As for the pose, I definitely see (now that you say that) what you mean. My idea was more that it's squatting? Knees bent in a ready to move position and all that sort of thing, the left arm out for balance, and the right arm down in a sort of 'ready-to-hit' pose. Down, because the unit has backstab, and I think that that's how something small than the majority of the things around it would manage to 'backstab' - stab upwards, and to the side, some. Of course, that might not quite work anatomically, but that was what I had pictured, at least. I'll see what I can do to make that more readable. Maybe move his arm, some, and not have the legs bend quite so much.

As for the ability.. those are interesting ideas. The reason I'd had it as a bunch of AMLAs, though, is just because of that - I don't want the unit to get too strong too quickly. If it gains the ability to be less seen, a tad more damage, and a smidge more hp each time, it's not going to get too hard to balance; and the player would get to choose which of the 'stalk' moves to use based on which would be more useful at the time.

EDIT: Here's my quick attempt at clearing up the pose, a little, adding some orange and trying to use a couple of flesh-tones for the face/arms. It still has a lot of work left.
Attachments
grogoch3.png
grogoch3.png (4.22 KiB) Viewed 2482 times
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satchakel
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Re: Era of Courage [name subject to change]

Post by satchakel »

EDIT: Here's my quick attempt at clearing up the pose, a little, adding some orange and trying to use a couple of flesh-tones for the face/arms. It still has a lot of work left.
nice work. keep us in touch with your changes))

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