Melinath's Scenery: signposts.

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Turuk
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Re: Melinath's Scenery: signposts.

Post by Turuk » July 11th, 2009, 11:37 pm

melinath wrote:Anyway, here's an attempt at shading/texturing. I've tried different things on the post and the sign itself... what looks better?
Not a bad start at all, but the one thing that stands out to me is that the green aging/mold marks just look like lines from round brush on top of the wood.
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Re: Melinath's Scenery: signposts.

Post by Boucman » July 12th, 2009, 6:48 am

could you post the image instead of a screenshot ?

it's easier for us to c&c when we have it full size...


thx
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Re: Melinath's Scenery: signposts.

Post by melinath » July 12th, 2009, 7:22 am

Yes! Sorry... :oops:
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Re: Melinath's Scenery: signposts.

Post by thespaceinvader » July 12th, 2009, 8:11 am

You need to use a softer-edged tool for your linework, which should not be black but dark brown or grey. And you definitely need to make sure your colours are on a layer under the linework, so that you avoid the white bits where the fill hasn't worked properly.

Otherwise, looks good.
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Re: Melinath's Scenery: signposts.

Post by melinath » July 12th, 2009, 10:28 am

Funnily enough, I actually did have the colors on a separate layer... but... well, long story. And the lines were not quite black. But too dark, true. In any case, Here's another shot. I can assure you that none of the lines are black, but they may be too dark for Wesnoth style.
signpost.png
EDIT:: And here are the final two one-sign signpost sprites. (unless I should make versions that point directly n,e,s,w...?)
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signpost-se.png
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signpost-nw.png
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Re: Melinath's Scenery: signposts.

Post by thespaceinvader » July 12th, 2009, 10:58 am

I'd suggest scaling the portrait down to a maximum of 420px in height, but otherwise, it looks OK to me. The challenge now will be working out where to put it o_O
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Re: Melinath's Scenery: signposts.

Post by kitty » July 12th, 2009, 5:57 pm

Just for the "portrait":
The coulourscheme you use is nice and has a good weathered feel to it!
But your lines need a lot of work - they feel thin and shakey and the ones marking the structure of the wood are too random.
It also needs more volume, choose a lightsource and shade according to it - that should be fairly easy and a good exercise on a block-like form like this.

Regarding the script we enter the magical realm of likeing... To me Glagolitic looks way to soft and magic-y. It appears like a random primitive fantasy script regardless of it's historical roots. It also doesn't match the world lordbob established for the loyalists - a fairly realsistic european-medieval feel we should use now for everything related to the crown of wesnoth. I suggest using blackletter-like but illegible forms, quich example below. I just scribbled some blackletter forms with a slanted brush, to get into their feeling again... Or perhaps something completely different :hmm:
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Re: Melinath's Scenery: signposts.

Post by A-Red » July 12th, 2009, 6:39 pm

kitty wrote:Regarding the script we enter the magical realm of likeing... To me Glagolitic looks way to soft and magic-y. It appears like a random primitive fantasy script regardless of it's historical roots. It also doesn't match the world lordbob established for the loyalists - a fairly realsistic european-medieval feel we should use now for everything related to the crown of wesnoth. I suggest using blackletter-like but illegible forms, quich example below. I just scribbled some blackletter forms with a slanted brush, to get into their feeling again... Or perhaps something completely different :hmm:
You're assuming that this is a loyalist signpost, of course. It could be used for Elven or Dwarven lands, or for wilder humans, without raising the issues you mentioned. To me, it looks a little old and run-down to mark the crown's roads anyway. I assume the old signpost is still around for that purpose, and that this one, when it gets committed, will be available as an alternative option rather than a complete replacement. The only problem with that is that the original signpost has no portrait.

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Re: Melinath's Scenery: signposts.

Post by JLS » July 12th, 2009, 6:56 pm

To me, the text on the proposed portrait looks a little too uneven and complex. By uneven, I mean that the characters vary widely in size/height, and imagine if you had to write with characters that complex—slow work indeed! kitty's example is a fairly good one, and looks a little more realistic. Melinath, would you mind re–scripting the sign, or perhaps using kitty's example? :wink:

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Re: Melinath's Scenery: signposts.

Post by Turuk » July 12th, 2009, 7:16 pm

kitty wrote:Regarding the script we enter the magical realm of likeing... To me Glagolitic looks way to soft and magic-y. It appears like a random primitive fantasy script regardless of it's historical roots. It also doesn't match the world lordbob established for the loyalists - a fairly realsistic european-medieval feel we should use now for everything related to the crown of wesnoth. I suggest using blackletter-like but illegible forms, quich example below. I just scribbled some blackletter forms with a slanted brush, to get into their feeling again... Or perhaps something completely different
The current script on the sign is not Glagolitic, it is a derivative of Ugaritic that was mentioned on the previous pages.
A-Red wrote:You're assuming that this is a loyalist signpost, of course. It could be used for Elven or Dwarven lands, or for wilder humans, without raising the issues you mentioned
This was a point considered in the choice, as the script was chosen so that it might reflect on just more than one faction. Either way, it could be placed on a separate layer and the letters could be altered on the sign to make a few signs for various purposes.

Never mind, apparently it will be a distinctly human signpost, well, that answers that. :P
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Re: Melinath's Scenery: signposts.

Post by melinath » July 12th, 2009, 7:29 pm

kitty: I'm flattered that you posted in my thread. Thanks for the critique - I appreciate it + will take it into account.

You make a good point about fantasy scripts. However, the script I've used is not Glagolitic. I want to work inside the world that LordBob is making with his portraits, and part of that world is the human magic script, which is based on Ugaritic. (Though admittedly, I did let myself be a bit influenced by the Glagolitic look.)

In Wesnoth's history, the Wesnothians learned basically everything about magic (and, according to Lady Jessene, about civilization in general) from the Wesfolk. I am working on the thought that, at some point in the past, the Wesfolk only had one script, with two variants: the complex, hard-to-get-exactly-right magical script, and the easier, more flowing version that the laypeople would use.

The script on the sign is a derivative of Ugaritic that I invented for the purpose. But the loops and such are unnecessary. When I work on the sign some more, I will try to make a Ugaritic derivative that is in a more blackletter style. Unless you'd be up for the challenge? Calligraphy is not my specialty + my handwriting is terrible.

A-Red: The reason I made this signpost is that too often, the present signpost (which points in four directions) is often misused. The message only refers to one direction, or the message is something that would be more appropriate on a straight-up sign (which I plan on making at some point). Think TRoW scenario three: the 'signpost' on the way to Burin the Lost's house says "GO HOME! AIN'T NUTTIN TO SEE HEER! "

Incidentally, Kitty was right to assume that this is a human signpost (see note above). Of course the players probably wouldn't notice the difference. Especially since this is the first attempt at a signpost portrait and a human script. IMO Dwarves would tend more to use marker stones.

JLS: The different character heights are, to a great extent, the result of my bad handwriting. See note above. I would be happy to rescript the sign as soon as I've got a chance to develop a blackletter-style derivative of Ugaritic. (For reasons... well, you probably already read the rest of this post by now.) If someone more skilled at blackletter than I am wants to make it up, I would not object. :-)

All: Thanks for your interest in this project! I'm trying to finish the drake descriptions ATM, but I'll work on the signpost some more over the next few days. Oh, and I'll be without internet from Wednesday till next sunday.

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Re: Melinath's Scenery: signposts.

Post by kitty » July 12th, 2009, 7:31 pm

A-Red wrote:You're assuming that this is a loyalist signpost, of course. It could be used for Elven or Dwarven lands, or for wilder humans, without raising the issues you mentioned
Yes, because we already have defined e.g. the runes dwarves use or the kind of decorations elves use (which wouldn't fit this alphabet at all) and thus try to define the kind of script humans use for mundane tasks. I would advise using the same (or at least similar) alphabets for wesnothian humans and the wilder northern ones to keep things simple - they live near enough to each other to account for that.
Turuk wrote:The current script on the sign is not Glagolitic, it is a derivative of Ugaritic that was mentioned on the previous pages.
:roll: Regardless wether it is Glagolitic or Ugaritic or whatever my problem with the feelings and associations the script evoces still stands.
Turuk wrote:This was a point considered in the choice, as the script was chosen so that it might reflect on just more than one faction. Either way, it could be placed on a separate layer and the letters could be altered on the sign to make a few signs for various purposes.
That sounds fairly naive to me - every kind of script we could chose will reflect on the culture it is based on. There can not be an alphabet that would fit orcs as well as humans and elves. They have distinct different cultures and writing, being one of the most important cultural achievements, has to reflect those.
Apart from that I anticipate that an elvish signpost would look different from a dwarvish one design-wise. And the one melinath is working on looks rather human to me... Just putting different letters on the same pic will look cheap - rather use one without any script at all or just an arrow pointing in a direction...


EDIT I was cross-posting with melinath...
The script on the sign is a derivative of Ugaritic that I invented for the purpose. But the loops and such are unnecessary. When I work on the sign some more, I will try to make a Ugaritic derivative that is in a more blackletter style. Unless you'd be up for the challenge? Calligraphy is not my specialty + my handwriting is terrible.
Ah, good explanation! I could try to come up with a set of ungartic-blackletter mix letters if you gave me the words you need in ungartic. Calligraphy isn't my speciality either, but I'm fairly interested and would like to try :)

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Re: Melinath's Scenery: signposts.

Post by Turuk » July 12th, 2009, 7:37 pm

kitty wrote:That sounds fairly naive to me - every kind of script we could chose will reflect on the culture it is based on. There can not be an alphabet that would fit orcs as well as humans and elves. They have distinct different cultures and writing, being one of the most important cultural achievements, has to reflect those.
We currently live in a world that uses multiple languages, but often signs are in one language that can be understood and shared by all. It doesn't seem fairly naive at all, as given that one of the reasons roads are established is for trade, you would want others coming from far away places to know where they were going.
kitty wrote:Regardless wether it is Glagolitic or Ugaritic or whatever my problem with the feelings and associations the script evoces still stand
:roll: I was only pointing that out because you said Glagolitic looks too soft and magic-y, so I did not know if you were referencing the discussion of that script previously mentioned or that currently on the sign.
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Re: Melinath's Scenery: signposts.

Post by melinath » July 12th, 2009, 7:40 pm

Just to have this clearly stated: this is meant to be a human sign, so please don't argue about it... it's possible that elves and dwarves would be able to read the sign, but they wouldn't write with this script. That would make absolutely no sense, culturally. Turuk: The signs you're talking about are abstractions, and the fact that a latin-based alphabet is used in most places is a coincidence of modern culture + globalization.

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Re: Melinath's Scenery: signposts.

Post by esr » July 12th, 2009, 9:17 pm

Melinath, I'm the current keeper of Wesnoth continuity. One of the reasons I'm wearing that hat is because I have some relevant knowledge in areas like phonotactics and comparative orthography. I'm also familiar with a wide variety of invented writing sytems for fantasy ranging from Feanorian to Tsolyanu.

Whether your Wesnothian script becomes canon will be largely my call. So it's good news for you that I think your effort is very interesting and want to encourage it and see it completed. To that end, I have some criticisms of the set of signs I've seen in the preceding posts.

First, we're going to need a transcription table of phonemes occuring in Wesnothian names to signs.

Second, your existing script has a technical defect. The amount of variation among the complexity of individual signs is too large. Some of them look like the sort of complex, sigil-like signs you get in logographic systems, others are simpler and look like alphabetic signs. Real-world alphabets (and the convincing fantasy ones) have a narrower complexity range.

Third, your script looks like a cursive or longhand form. Which is OK except that sort of alphabet variant doesn't tend to be what ends up on signposts; preindustrial pigments didn't wear well on wood, and it's difficult to carve or incise all those curves. Historically, alphabets like Devanagari or Arabic that are based on cursives develop simpler, more angular forms (often called "monumental" forms) specifically for carving. (This never happened with the Latin alphabet because it was designed for carving to begin with - it originated as a monumental variant of Western Greek scripts.)

I'd like to work with you on developing a set of monumental signs for Wesnothian. You supply the art, I'll supply the linguistic/orthographic knowledge.

UPDATE: Kitty jumped in and supplied some monumental forms based on her black-letter penstrokes. I'm designating this "Wesnothian New Writing"; you get to design "Old Writing", mainly used for magical inscriptions and literature. Now I actually want it to be cursive and elaborate.

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