Campaign art - The Rise of Wesnoth

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LordBob
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Campaign art - The Rise of Wesnoth

Post by LordBob » July 20th, 2010, 1:59 pm

With the orc portrait series done, it's time for me to switch to the next big project : I'll be doing campaign-specific portraits for the Rise of Wesnoth.

Starting this minute, here are a series of rough concepts for those characters the player meets in the earlier scenarios of the campaign. Note that these are at an early stage and as such are quite open to suggestions.

Considering how old the existing art is, I'd also like to check with the campaign maintainer (that'd be Zookeeper ?) which specific portraits (if any) can be abandonned in favour of their generic counterparts. At the very least, I think the portraits "archmage" and "knight" would be candidates to eviction. However confirming this requires a good knowledge of this campaign's mechanics and I can't say I remember them very well... :oops:
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Haldric. I'd like him to hold a book or map or something that shows he's educated.
Haldric. I'd like him to hold a book or map or something that shows he's educated.
tRoW-haldric.png (78.79 KiB) Viewed 8272 times
Haldric, being a big meanie
Haldric, being a big meanie
tRoW-haldric-mad.png (82.44 KiB) Viewed 8272 times
King Eldaric
King Eldaric
tRoW-eldaric.png (110.96 KiB) Viewed 8272 times
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Re: Campaign art - The Rise of Wesnoth

Post by LordBob » July 20th, 2010, 2:03 pm

Additional concepts
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Jessica, leader of the Wesfolk
Jessica, leader of the Wesfolk
tRoW-jessica.png (69.25 KiB) Viewed 8270 times
The lich lord and campaign boss, Jevyan
The lich lord and campaign boss, Jevyan
tRoW-jevyan.png (110.65 KiB) Viewed 8270 times
A white mage introduced in the fourth scenario as Minister Edmond
A white mage introduced in the fourth scenario as Minister Edmond
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Re: Campaign art - The Rise of Wesnoth

Post by scienceguy8 » July 20th, 2010, 2:23 pm

I would just like to point out that JustinOperable was working on the Rise of Wesnoth not too long ago (link). He started back in December last year. To be honest, however, I kinda like your concepts better, if only because the shading JustinOperable used doesn't look like it quite fits with the rest of the Wesnoth portraits.
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Re: Campaign art - The Rise of Wesnoth

Post by Zerovirus » July 20th, 2010, 2:54 pm

Where are the trousers? Can't have a Haldric without his famous trousers.

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Re: Campaign art - The Rise of Wesnoth

Post by zookeeper » July 20th, 2010, 3:20 pm

LordBob wrote:With the orc portrait series done, it's time for me to switch to the next big project : I'll be doing campaign-specific portraits for the Rise of Wesnoth.

Starting this minute, here are a series of rough concepts for those characters the player meets in the earlier scenarios of the campaign. Note that these are at an early stage and as such are quite open to suggestions.
Ok, I got quite a few comments on these...

Firstly, Haldric. I'm a bit puzzled as to why you'd want to portray him as educated? He's always seemed exactly the opposite to me: not a stupid brute as such, but certainly not very knowledgeable and calm either. To me, Haldric has always seemed more like this eager hack-and-slash-fellow-made-leader than a contemplating strategist. Of course I'm sure that the old portrait is partly to blame for that impression, but I do think the dialogue still somewhat suggests the same.

Secondly, Eldaric: looks pretty good, not much to comment on. His sprite does have a mace instead of a warhammer, though.

Thirdly, Edmond (nowadays "Edren", it seems...urgh): otherwise good, but he too seems a bit too passive. He's a minor character and basically all his dialogue is in the vein of "No you won't, you soldier of darkness!", so a little bit more restrained anger or some other kind of tension would be good for him, I think.

Fourthly, Jevyan: it looks like that'd make an interesting portrait, but in TRoW Jevyan is basically this posturing super-aggressive overconfident lich brute over half of whose spoken lines end in an exclamation mark. The portrait gives off the impression of something that's cunning and clever but also cautious and discreet, whereas Jevyan never really has a deviously cunning plan or does anything subtly.

Finally, Jessica (now going by the somewhat more diluted name "Jessene"): looks good. A bit sharper or focused expression might be in order, but it's hard to tell whether or not you already had that in mind, since it's such an early sketch. Do keep in mind that the first third of the campaign requires a masked version (and perhaps with a bit more combat-oriented pose) of her, too.

It seems that the general criticism I have is that almost all of them are less exaggerated than I think the characters really are. To me, TRoW has always been the campaign with exaggerated characters, lots of humour and quite a bit of intentionally cheesy dialogue, and Haldric's and Jevyan's sketches seem to have lost some of what I see as their core characteristics. And as I said, I don't think my interpretation is all because of the old portraits, either (although that's surely a big part of it), although I can't say I've heard other people say they see it the same way. Opinions?
LordBob wrote:Considering how old the existing art is, I'd also like to check with the campaign maintainer (that'd be Zookeeper ?) which specific portraits (if any) can be abandonned in favour of their generic counterparts. At the very least, I think the portraits "archmage" and "knight" would be candidates to eviction. However confirming this requires a good knowledge of this campaign's mechanics and I can't say I remember them very well... :oops:
The "archmage" is used for the two half-insane mages in "Sewer of Southbay". Technically there's nothing too special about them, but the generic arch mage portrait doesn't really fit them well. The generic red mage portrait fits better, though. So, it would be nice to have a custom portrait for them (I think we could keep using just one for both just like now, one facing left and one facing right; they're said to be twins after all), but it's not very important, so maybe you want to leave those for last.

As for the "knight", it can probably use the generic portrait. He still has some custom lines of dialogue here and there, but not enough to really warrant a custom portrait, I'd say.

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Re: Campaign art - The Rise of Wesnoth

Post by LordBob » July 20th, 2010, 4:01 pm

Thanks for the information - this is precisely why I was asking for guidance : though I did play the Rise of Wesnoth, it's old enough that I only have in mind a very approximate characterization. :hmm:.

Haldric : I think it's the "son of a king" bit that had me think he 'd have received an education, but you're right that it doesn't make it a calm person. My mistake, I'll give his default portrait a more hot-headed, arrogant attitude. The "mad" portrait I'll keep as is. (Also, I had hoped to secretely throw away the red-striped trousers, but if popular demand'll have them... :roll: )

Eldaric : duly noted, I'll try and find some badass mace, though I probably won't go full morgenstern.

Edmond/Edren : I'll see if a change of expression is enough to convey your meaning. If not, I'll throw in a new pose.

Jevyan : aww shame, I really liked how this one came out. Meh, I'll keep this first attempt aside, see if it can be of use somewhere else and start anew. I think we have just the right inspiration lying dormant somewhere on this forum :twisted:

Jessica/Jessene : yup, was aware of this. I do have that sketch in store, it's just not inked yet :)


I'll do a specific half-insane archmage portrait. As to the knight, he'll come last if at all.
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Re: Campaign art - The Rise of Wesnoth

Post by thespaceinvader » July 20th, 2010, 4:05 pm

The trousers will be popularly demanded. There's somethign of a mythos around them going back right to the introduction of the campaign, and ogres, into the game.
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Re: Campaign art - The Rise of Wesnoth

Post by Guidrion » July 20th, 2010, 4:47 pm

Haldric has changed but I can't really say I love it as Haldric. He's really cool but I can't identify him as Haldric. I can live without the trousers but less with the modern style. The old version was more ancient-looking which is better in my opinion. It's wierd that the wesnothi had exactly the same armor and the same fashions during all their history.
I'm not saying you should go all roman on him but you could try to change a bit the style of his clothes and armor. You've got the choice for inspiration: frankish empire, late roman empire, byzantine empire, et ceterae.
I really think the heroes could use something that tells us they used to live in a different society in a different era while maintaining the continuity with the regular portraits.

For Edmond, I suggest you to use more his old pose. He had a psychorigid vibe which was a nice change from the usual wise-and-holy look of priests.

It's always great to see your work!
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Re: Campaign art - The Rise of Wesnoth

Post by Sgt. Groovy » July 20th, 2010, 8:23 pm

Definitely some cultural differentiation is in order, as mentioned, to set the epoch apart. Byzantine, or maybe Slavic influence might do the trick.

And Jessica, even with the face paint and Action Girl outfit, she seems sort of timid and mild mannered. I've always seen her as pretty kick ass/bad ass lady. Maybe it's the way she holds her left hand, close to the body and bent on the wrist, which comes off as effete and protective. She need more defiance in her body language, chin up and shoulders back:

Image

Image

(more reference).
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Re: Campaign art - The Rise of Wesnoth

Post by LordBob » July 20th, 2010, 8:45 pm

I'm trying a new approach based on Guidrion's suggestion, loosely inspired after frankish style. Altogether, character's armour will include less elaborate steel plates and more chainmail, weapon designs will take a step backwards in time and so will clothing.

I'm not all clear with the notion of byzantine. I've researched it a little, but couldn't define a clear style. Is it close to arabic ? If so, I'd rather not use it since it's too different a culture compared to our massively western loyalists (or maybe for the wesfolk, but considering we only ever see Jessica is it worth the effort ?).

For now, a first attempt with Eldaric and Haldric. They're still in design.
Note that having ancient-style heroes won't prevent the use of modern-style generic portraits whenever they're called in dialog. We'll have to see how this juxtaposition comes out. :hmm:
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Yeehee, I got me trousers back !
Yeehee, I got me trousers back !
tRoW-haldric.png (51.81 KiB) Viewed 8039 times
tRoW-eldaric.png
tRoW-eldaric.png (95.44 KiB) Viewed 8042 times
His breastplate will have roman-style chest muscles
His breastplate will have roman-style chest muscles
tRoW-haldric-mad.png (120.96 KiB) Viewed 8042 times
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Re: Campaign art - The Rise of Wesnoth

Post by boru » July 20th, 2010, 9:08 pm

I think that imperious finger gesture will make him rather unlikeable.
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Re: Campaign art - The Rise of Wesnoth

Post by Dixie » July 20th, 2010, 9:24 pm

Also, it sure helps define its character, but your first Haldric portrait's uppoer lip is really long! The mustache shouldn't be that far from the nose, normally. And then, even if we said he just had an anormously long upper lip, your second haldric portrait (haldric mad) has a normal-sized one.
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Re: Campaign art - The Rise of Wesnoth

Post by A-Red » July 20th, 2010, 9:33 pm

Your Jessica portrait in particular has great character, and I like the others too. I strongly agree with Zookeeper's comment regarding Haldric, but not with his identical point regarding Jevyan. I got the impression that the lich lord was *supposed* to be secretive and cunning--he was just badly written. On the other hand, maybe I'm just assuming the usual lich lord cliche.

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Re: Campaign art - The Rise of Wesnoth

Post by Guidrion » July 20th, 2010, 9:39 pm

I'm happy to help :)

I really love what you did with those two. We can clearly see. The only wierd - but in a good way - thing is the face of Haldric: he really looks like an unpleasant guy but not an evil one. It's a nice change from the usual noble face of the campaign heroes. Really great work.
The mustache shouldn't be that far from the nose, normally.
It can be shaved in a special way to serve a certain fashion.

About the byzantine style, the best (and really the only one I know) source is a mod for the game Medieval II: total war. The modders did a great job of research:
http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=368755
http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=169167
Byzantine is impossible to classify in another way than byzantine. We could say it's a mix between slavic, western european and muslim style with the legacy of the Ancient Rome.

If you want a style with connexions with western europe, you could use polish (winged cavalry raaah...) and slavic style. It's another direction. I can provide some visuals if you want to explore it (once again, patriotic modders from the already mentionned game are a great source for those less famous cultures).

About the mix of generic portraits and RoW's portraits, It's a problem but not a big one:
1) The players know about that problem and aren't too demanding as long as the original portraits are good.
2) It can be avoided by keeping connexions between the two styles which is not a problem with those two current concepts.
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Re: Campaign art - The Rise of Wesnoth

Post by Feufochmar » July 20th, 2010, 9:39 pm

LordBob wrote: I'm not all clear with the notion of byzantine. I've researched it a little, but couldn't define a clear style. Is it close to arabic ? If so, I'd rather not use it since it's too different a culture compared to our massively western loyalists (or maybe for the wesfolk, but considering we only ever see Jessica is it worth the effort ?).
Maybe these two url can help you :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine_Empire
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine_dress
I don't think it is close to arabic, as the Byzantine Empire is in fact the Eastern Roman Empire (who felt only in 1453, against the Turks). It must be closer to roman/greek.

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