Unknown Unit Portrait Request

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ancestral
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Unknown Unit Portrait Request

Post by ancestral »

As some of you know, I’m working (slowly) on a units database and I could use a nice placeholder for units without portraits, as there are still quite a few.

We already have an okay Unknown Unit icon picture for units the game hasn’t seen yet:

Image

Having an “Unknown Unit” portrait would also make for a great ominous dialogue where the player hears a strange voice but doesn’t know who or where it’s coming from.

I’m not much of an artist myself, so I’m asking very kindly if anyone would like to take this on. It would certainly be different as details and color may be less important than with traditional Wesnoth portraits.
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orangebox
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Re: Unknown Unit Portrait Request

Post by orangebox »

Personally I think it's much more relate-able to make an Unknown Unit portrait by filling a black silhouette of the actual portrait it is based on. Having a generalized Unknown Unit portrait doesn't feel right IMO.

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Simons Mith
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Re: Unknown Unit Portrait Request

Post by Simons Mith »

As an alternative, could something be done with 'a misty obscuring overlay'? I have a campaign with a mysterious dwarf lord - it would be nice to obscure him until he is fully identified. Shadows, mist, smoke, sunbeams/blinding light might all be possible methods. I'm not necessarily asking for an overlay that makes the unit unrecognisable, merely one which makes it hard to identify them with certainty. The beauty of the overlay trick is that it could be applied to any unit without requiring a custom portrait. Also, it doesn't need to be available in-game - I'd be willing to composite a layer on top of an existing portrait in the GIMP rather than demanding custom WML code.
 

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battlestar
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Re: Unknown Unit Portrait Request

Post by battlestar »

Unit sprites can already have overlays to their sprite image:

Code: Select all

[object]
	[filter]
		id={CHAR_ID}
	[/filter]
	[effect]
		apply_to=image_mod
		replace="CS(101,00,10)"
	[/effect]
	silent=yes
[/object]
The above code turns a unit's sprite red. You can adjust the R B G to values that fit your purpose.

for further information, please see EffectWML and ImagePathFunctionWML on the wiki.


If you're talking about portraits (Not sure what you're talking about...) then it's very, very simple to use GIMP or photoshop to add an additional layer of transparent color or change the color of the picture. And that should be a do-it-yourself type of job.
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doofus-01
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Re: Unknown Unit Portrait Request

Post by doofus-01 »

I'm also of the opinion that a general Unknown Unit portrait is probably not going to work. Applying image-path functions to existing portraits is probably the way to go.
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SFault
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Re: Unknown Unit Portrait Request

Post by SFault »

Rather than just guessing whether it'll work or not, I tried it with these two (rapidly combined three portraits). Maybe needs some polishing (and perhaps a monster-variation), but I think the transparent works quite well. It gives a nice feeling that the character talking is mysterious. The black background seems bit odd. I guess the whole black image would work better in the unit description.

ps. Just realized that I didn't try the image against a shrouded area, just against grass/forest. It might look bad if the screen is all black...
Attachments
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battlestar
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Re: Unknown Unit Portrait Request

Post by battlestar »

I'm trying to say that this is a non-artistic issue, but rather an issue already covered by WML. Think that's also what doofus-01 is saying.

Both portraits and sprites can be color-shifted by ImagePathFunctionWML. Hence, either making the portrait darker or making it transparent, or anything else, it can be done to individual portraits without artist intervention. http://wiki.wesnoth.org/ImagePathFuncti ... t_function
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lipk
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Re: Unknown Unit Portrait Request

Post by lipk »

I find this request reasonable. ImagePathFunctionWML is a great thing but what if I don't want to uncover the type of my mysterious unit? The black silhouette doesn't work well in that case. Also, ancestral mentioned he would use this for units with no portrait at all.

In my opinion, the portrait should be as generic as possible, without any identifiable shape. Basically some aesthetical black mess - just like its sprite counterpart.

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Iris
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Re: Unknown Unit Portrait Request

Post by Iris »

SFault wrote:It gives a nice feeling that the character talking is mysterious.
It also suggests that the character talking wields a curved blade weapon of some sort (apparently a scimitar), a crossbow or impractically small bow, and carries a shield or quiver. Thus, they definitely can’t be a necromancer, mage, peasant, saurian, shaman, zombie, gryphon or dwarvish warrior, to name a few obvious and non-obvious use cases.
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doofus-01
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Re: Unknown Unit Portrait Request

Post by doofus-01 »

lipk wrote:In my opinion, the portrait should be as generic as possible, without any identifiable shape. Basically some aesthetical black mess - just like its sprite counterpart.
Shadowmaster points out why a portrait with details can't be generic enough, you've given the other alternative - I'm not a fan of it, but if ancestral is, he/she is surely capable of drawing that without help.
battlestar wrote:Both portraits and sprites can be color-shifted by ImagePathFunctionWML. Hence, either making the portrait darker or making it transparent, or anything else, it can be done to individual portraits without artist intervention. http://wiki.wesnoth.org/ImagePathFuncti ... t_function
Right, you don't need to simply give a black silhouette, you can blur it, or overlay fog, and still choose the most appropriate portrait for the unit. If there is an "ominous dialogue" from a stranger, the listener/player could probably still distinguish between a hissing lizard, blubbering ogre, whispering human, etc. So some detail makes sense.

Anyhow, that's my take, ancestral. I would use ImagePathFunctionWML. Good luck.
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