Water lilies

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doofus-01
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Re: Water lilies

Post by doofus-01 »

Real lilies (that I've seen) are usually a bit shiny. Maybe you just hadn't gotten that far yet with shading.
Atz wrote:It was actually drawn entirely with soft-edged brushes, though admittedly rather small and delicate ones. I guess I'll mess around with the brush settings a bit...
Since you don't really need to worry about transitions, you could draw these things a bit larger and then shrink them. If it helps.
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Eleazar
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Re: Water lilies

Post by Eleazar »

The size looks good to me.
Atz wrote:
thespaceinvader wrote:...but also, they need some interaction with the water surface, ripples and the like or they look like just what they are - overlays.
I'm not sure I like the idea of them creating ripples - I think it might look weird with the animated water. I'm also not clear on how or why the pads would actually disturb the water, since they mostly sit on the surface... there are stems beneath, but I think they would just slow the current a little rather than making noticeable ripples.

I also thought about making the pads bob around a little, but the water animation is pretty subtle so I'm not certain it would work... I'm worried the pads would look like they were bobbing far more than they should given the size of the ripples. Another option is overlaying the water ripples on the lilies so it looks like they're rippling, too...
I wouldn't worry about animation or ripples at this point. I agree un-animated ripples would probably be ugly on animated water. Animation could be nice, but i'm perfectly willing to add these to mainline without animation.

Atz wrote:Needs more variations, obviously, but that should be reasonably easy once I've sorted out the style. I was thinking at least one big one which is pretty much pads everywhere with no large gaps, and another three or so small ones. I'll probably slap a flower on one or two each of the small and large variations, too.

Unfortunately, when the small variations are next to each other there are noticeable gaps between them, but I don't think there's a lot I can do about that since they overlap the land otherwise (speaking of which, I just noticed I have overlap on the castle transition, apparently it's much larger than the others). Unless I implement transitions for every direction, but I'm not sure if I can do that with an overlay.
I believe the macros do support directional small transitions, though i don't think any terrain currently takes advantage of that.

Without making an awful lot of small transitions, you can improve the visual situation by making more small variants -- and by making the pattern of pads more open and random, instead of tightly consolidated as they are. Try to avoid all the tiles having a uniform gap between all neighboring pads.


Good Advice:
doofus-01 wrote:Real lilies (that I've seen) are usually a bit shiny. Maybe you just hadn't gotten that far yet with shading.
Alarantalara wrote:Thinking of real lilies, I notice two things: most have a split or dimple on one part of the pad that extends to the stalk, and second, for more dense lilies, at least some need to overlap each other. Otherwise, I like your second set a lot.
Feel free to PM me if you start a new terrain oriented thread. It's easy for me to miss them among all the other art threads.
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lurker
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Re: Water lilies

Post by lurker »

Good work on the lilies.
There is a technical aspect, which might be worth keeping in mind: I seem to recall that the "submerged" look of units standing in water is made by making the lower half of the unit semitransparent. If that is indeed so, that might result in the unit's lower half shining through the lilies like they are shining through the water. That would look odd, I think. To show what I mean:
unit_in_water.png
unit_in_water.png (17.9 KiB) Viewed 3747 times
The solution could be to create two image sets, both of which would be painted on waterlily-tiles:
- One on the normal layer for embellishments (-80 IIRC), containing lilies only on the northern half of the tile
- Another on a much higher layer (+1 ?), containing lilies only on the souther half of the tile. These lilies would be painted over the unit, which is obviously correct.

As a bonus this might even give you more variation without more work.
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Re: Water lilies

Post by Atz »

Eleazar wrote:Without making an awful lot of small transitions, you can improve the visual situation by making more small variants -- and by making the pattern of pads more open and random, instead of tightly consolidated as they are. Try to avoid all the tiles having a uniform gap between all neighboring pads.
Yeah, that was my plan. I was going to make small variations that were basically a little cluster on one side of the hex, so the spacing between them would be different depending on what they were next to. The current one has a small gap in the middle so not all the gaps are on hex boundaries.
doofus-01 wrote:Real lilies (that I've seen) are usually a bit shiny. Maybe you just hadn't gotten that far yet with shading.
Eh, someone earlier complained they were too saturated, so I thought I'd leave them a little dull for the moment since adding highlights is relatively easy anyway.
Alarantalara wrote:Thinking of real lilies, I notice two things: most have a split or dimple on one part of the pad that extends to the stalk, and second, for more dense lilies, at least some need to overlap each other. Otherwise, I like your second set a lot.
It seems to depend on the type whether they have a split or not (though that first picture is technically a lotus rather than a lily). Still, I'll look at adding splits and overlap.


EDIT: Good catch, lurker. I just tested it and units do indeed show over the top of the lilies. It doesn't strike me as being hideous since it's a little like the way many games show obscured units as semi-transparent or dithered, but it's almost certainly undesirable. Of course, if the bottom half of the tile went over the top of the unit, it might end up poking out of the middle of a lily pad instead, so it's going to look a little odd either way.
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Re: Water lilies

Post by Boucman »

the only way to do it would be to have a three layer terrain

bottom
semi transparent unit
lillies

that might be doable with the current system, try using OVERLAY_COMPLETE_L <terrain> <where to use small variation> 1 <image name>

not sure it wil help (try with a value of 10 instad of 1 and see if it helps) but if it does it means it's doable with the current engine and it's only a macro problem
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Atz
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Re: Water lilies

Post by Atz »

Progress report!
morelilies.png
I've added highlights along the right edge of the lilies, since that's where the light source seems to be for terrains, and altered some of the textures a bit. I've also done lots of variations for the small lilies, added some overlap to the existing large variations, and made the latter extend slightly past the limits of their hex. This extension creates more overlap, more variation, and also means there's less of an obvious gap between the small and large tiles. Also, it means gaps with open water aren't quite as regular.

I'm reasonably happy with the way this looks, and it seems to work okay with different types of water. If the art people think this is good enough, I just need to add some large variations and the flowers, and sort out those layering problems.

Speaking of which...
Boucman wrote:the only way to do it would be to have a three layer terrain

bottom
semi transparent unit
lillies

that might be doable with the current system, try using OVERLAY_COMPLETE_L <terrain> <where to use small variation> 1 <image name>

not sure it wil help (try with a value of 10 instad of 1 and see if it helps) but if it does it means it's doable with the current engine and it's only a macro problem
Well, it certainly does something:
I  can't seeeeeee!
I can't seeeeeee!
lilyface.jpg (8.17 KiB) Viewed 3525 times
Not sure if that was what you were hoping for.

And here's what it looks like the way I had it before, just for comparison:
lilytransparent.jpg
lilytransparent.jpg (6.35 KiB) Viewed 3525 times
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Eleazar
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Re: Water lilies

Post by Eleazar »

Atz wrote:I've added highlights along the right edge of the lilies, since that's where the light source seems to be for terrains, and altered some of the textures a bit.
Lighting should actually be coming from the lower right at roughly 45º, so we would see some highlight on the edge facing us.
Atz wrote:I've also done lots of variations for the small lilies, added some overlap to the existing large variations, and made the latter extend slightly past the limits of their hex. This extension creates more overlap, more variation, and also means there's less of an obvious gap between the small and large tiles. Also, it means gaps with open water aren't quite as regular.
Yes, good job, the pattern and distribution is getting a very naturalistic and untiled feel.

Boucman wrote:the only way to do it would be to have a three layer terrain...
What he means is the pads would have to be broken up into two sets of images, one that has the pads in the upper half of the hex (to go behind), and one that has the southern pads to go in front.

This would certainly provide the most realistic appearance, but i wonder if it is really worth the trouble.

If you would post a zip of your work so far, i'd like to check it out in game to see how bad the submerge problem is, and some other things before giving further advice.
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LordBob
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Re: Water lilies

Post by LordBob »

Looks very nice and very natural now, only missing a flower here and there. :D

Regarding unit overlay, the lilytransparent picture seems to work well enough. :hmm:
Boucman
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Re: Water lilies

Post by Boucman »

Atz wrote: Well, it certainly does something:
lilyface.jpg
Not sure if that was what you were hoping for.

And here's what it looks like the way I had it before, just for comparison:
lilytransparent.jpg

actually it sort of is...

with those two macros you can draw stuff that will go behind and stuff that will go in front separately... it's the only to do something realistic.

do the lilis in the lower half with the _L variation and the upper half with the normal variation.

I don't know if its worth the effort, but that what you need to do technically...
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Daxion
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Re: Water lilies

Post by Daxion »

The new lilies version looks good. The earliest lilies had too many flowers IMHO.
One the lower end of the pictures pond they tile (yes I know this is WIP, I just thought I mention it).

Don't waterlilies only grow in still waters? So all we need is also the old water version which is still (not animated) and everything is fine?
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Re: Water lilies

Post by Atz »

Eleazar wrote:
Atz wrote:I've added highlights along the right edge of the lilies, since that's where the light source seems to be for terrains, and altered some of the textures a bit.
Lighting should actually be coming from the lower right at roughly 45º, so we would see some highlight on the edge facing us.
Argh, I'm an idiot. I should really check things like this before I do stuff. Fortunately, I kept the highlights on a different layer so it's easy to fix.
Eleazar wrote:
Boucman wrote:the only way to do it would be to have a three layer terrain...
What he means is the pads would have to be broken up into two sets of images, one that has the pads in the upper half of the hex (to go behind), and one that has the southern pads to go in front.

This would certainly provide the most realistic appearance, but i wonder if it is really worth the trouble.

If you would post a zip of your work so far, i'd like to check it out in game to see how bad the submerge problem is, and some other things before giving further advice.
Sure, here you go.
water_lilies.zip
(40.69 KiB) Downloaded 171 times
Daxion wrote:The new lilies version looks good. The earliest lilies had too many flowers IMHO.
...that's because there was only one tile in the prototype one, and I wanted to show what the flowers would look like. I will be adding flowers to these before they are done, but they won't be on every tile.
Daxion wrote:One the lower end of the pictures pond they tile (yes I know this is WIP, I just thought I mention it).
Not really much I can do about that; there are already five variations for the small tiles, it's just that the game randomly picked the same one three times in a row. As I said, the large variations now extend a little bit past their own hex, so when I add more of those it might break things up a little, but it will always be possible to get copies of the same pattern next to each other.
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Re: Water lilies

Post by Sangel »

Have you considered testing these new lilies on swamp-coloured water? In my experience, lilies tend to grow in still/stagnant ponds, rather than clear blue lakes and streams. It would be excellent if these lilies could be combined in such a way.
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Re: Water lilies

Post by Atz »

Sangel wrote:Have you considered testing these new lilies on swamp-coloured water? In my experience, lilies tend to grow in still/stagnant ponds, rather than clear blue lakes and streams. It would be excellent if these lilies could be combined in such a way.
Yes, I've done that. It looks a bit odd if you slather it everywhere, because the swamp base is really dark, but it's fine if you mix it up with regular swamp. Also, grey water works nicely as a base if you feel regular water is too clear and blue. You can download the files in my last post if you want to have a look, they're set up so you can just drop the folder into add-ons and the new terrain will be available in the map editor.
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Re: Water lilies

Post by Eleazar »

I messed around with dumping various units in water with lilies. Any glitching with the transparent characters is not very noticeable. Often it looks perfectly fine even i zoom in and stare at it. So if you want to make it two layers that's fine, but i think very few observant people would ever notice the difference, and then not for long. Or to put it another way, there are lots of more serious visual glitches we could worry about.

* Your basic color is spot on.
* Some of your small variations extend too far north. Check with a human castle to the north.
* I realize you have a limited space to work in, but the small variations would benefit from a less solid, tight grouping.
* Some of your whole hex tiles are covering up the water a bit too much. Make additional tiles more like "water-lilies2.png" than "water-lilies.png"
* And of course there's the issue with the lighting, which you are aware of.

In spite of these this is a very good start. I look forward to committing these.
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Re: Water lilies

Post by Atz »

Okay, so I've done more large variations and fiddled with the spacing on the small ones. I have also added lilies with flowers as a separate terrain, because I found that if I just added them to the regular terrain you would often get clumps which drew your eye to the tiling. Speaking of which, I think I'm avoiding obvious hexes nicely:
lilies.png
I'm a little worried that parts of the large tiles might cover the terrain too much, though, especially where several tiles overlap near the edges of hexes. I may have to trim some of them back a little.

I've also discovered an issue with bridges - namely, that the wooden bridges which end in mid-water extend a long way outside their hex, so they overlap even with the small lily variations. I think it could be fixed by messing around with the WML so the bridge always appears on top, though.

I plan to add extra flowers to some of the flower tiles, so it's not always one flower one hex, and after that I think it's just fixing any problems up. And maybe splitting all the images in two to fix the submerged units problem.
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