new Tentacle-of-the-Deep

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Blarumyrran
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new Tentacle-of-the-Deep

Post by Blarumyrran »

The portrait is in progress, the sprite baseframe is done. (I'm told that if there is to be a (animated) water circle around it as there is on the old one, it should be as a separate image, split into 2 files for behind/front & probably implemented as halo). It's not based on real-life creatures. The end of the tentacle might roughly have the shape of this but otherwise i'll randomly do things and see what looks cool.

The sprite of it should only ever appear on water/swamp/ford hexes, and maybe Chasm(Unwalkable) hexes in the future. The fading lower end of the sprite should look like disappearing into water/darkness.

Other than the club, the tentacle should be round & uniformly covered in grey scales or scale-like things. This adds genericness & makes it easy to animate.

EDIT1: baseframe flip, portrait shape
Last edited by Blarumyrran on November 1st, 2012, 2:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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homunculus
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Re: new Tentacle-of-the-Deep

Post by homunculus »

me likes, though i don't read the light source as being from south-east, assuming the base frame is the one with the transparent background.

otherwise it seems that the best looking sprite in wesnoth is probably going to be... the tentacle.
the tentacle is more often used than the dragon, anyway.
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Blarumyrran
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Re: new Tentacle-of-the-Deep

Post by Blarumyrran »

homunculus wrote:i don't read the light source as being from south-east
fixed (flipped).

Not sure which portrait palette to go with.
totdportr_compare.png
Last edited by Blarumyrran on November 1st, 2012, 3:56 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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homunculus
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Re: new Tentacle-of-the-Deep

Post by homunculus »

Blarumyrran wrote:
homunculus wrote:i don't read the light source as being from south-east
fixed (flipped).
Yeah, also thought about flipping it, but then I thought that this would also flip the more feature full side (which might work better as the front side) and the featureless curve on the other side (which might work better as the back).
Now, something hilarious: the empty hole inside the curve of the tentacle reads as the "eye" of the tentacle.

I don't know if it might be just me who sees it this way.
Especially that sometimes it does feel like "looking" to the east, because of the direction of the tip of the club of the tentacle.
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Blarumyrran
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Re: new Tentacle-of-the-Deep

Post by Blarumyrran »

homunculus wrote:Yeah, also thought about flipping it, but then I thought that this would also flip the more feature full side (which might work better as the front side) and the featureless curve on the other side (which might work better as the back).
I think the only serious consideration is, from which position would a SE attack animation look more natural (the "light comes from the east" shouldn't be taken seriously, since its purpose is to add visual consistency but it completely fails at it in the most important usecase - viewing units during a game on the map - since the units & their light directions (and even weapon/shield hands, & maybe sometimes anatomic features) are flipped naively in any case depending on facing, and fixing this (through new manually made sprites instead of flipping ) is not something that has a reasonably high priority as TODO because clearly almost any other task regarding sprites is more important & less tedious - also it would hurt quick recognizability). It could work both ways, but the current (flipped) sprite could unroll & strike from above more naturally/forcefully than the original could.

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Sleepwalker
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Re: new Tentacle-of-the-Deep

Post by Sleepwalker »

Unrolling doing the slam down movement would look the most natural. Yes, the flipped state would be the best I believe... I also think keeping the light source coming from the left or right doesn't really matter, (Secret!!: My NE dwarf frames have a flipped lightsource compared to NE Horseman and Saurians. :wink: ) as long as it is from the same vertical angle.

Hmm I really try to see an eye in the rolled up tentacle but fail...

I lean on the more blue tinged portrait. Tentacles are most often found in caves IIRC.

Really nice rendering of the tentacle.
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Blarumyrran
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Re: new Tentacle-of-the-Deep

Post by Blarumyrran »

One of my favorite portraits is Naga Fighter's (by kitty), I think i'll go for similarly high contrast & sat & variation of hues, based on the blue one then by 2 votes.
Sleepwalker wrote:Unrolling doing the slam down movement would look the most natural.
Yeah, slam is what I meant

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LordBob
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Re: new Tentacle-of-the-Deep

Post by LordBob »

Both portrait and sprite are looking good. I especially like the roughness of the portrait.

Two things about the portrait, though:
- You may at some point consider adding water (waves, splashes) at the bottom; in which case (and even if you don't), placing some reflected highlights in the darkest spot on the base of the tentacle will make its shape pop up from the screen while suggesting its environment.
- If you wish to add depth to the picture, it might be nice to have varying contrast in the farthest parts of the tentacle (right now I am under the impression that you used pure black everywhere for the darkest value, which flattens the image).
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Crow_T
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Re: new Tentacle-of-the-Deep

Post by Crow_T »

I really like the looks of this, only crit so far is to have the tip curve back down (or up even) to make a nicer composition, atm there is a kind of wavy thing happening- make it more assertive. I like the rendering though, it has a slimy feel already!

Blarumyrran
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Re: new Tentacle-of-the-Deep

Post by Blarumyrran »

Progress.
LordBob wrote:placing some reflected highlights in the darkest spot on the base of the tentacle will make its shape pop up from the screen while suggesting its environment.
Okay
LordBob wrote:- If you wish to add depth to the picture, it might be nice to have varying contrast in the farthest parts of the tentacle (right now I am under the impression that you used pure black everywhere for the darkest value, which flattens the image).
Not sure what you mean with "varying contrast in the farthest parts of the tentacle"? Like, higher contrast further from the viewer, lower contrast in the parts close to the viewer?
Crow_T wrote:make it more assertive
It's a body part, and it's also a very weak unit; I don't think it has to be assertive.

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LordBob
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Re: new Tentacle-of-the-Deep

Post by LordBob »

Blarumyrran wrote: Not sure what you mean with "varying contrast in the farthest parts of the tentacle"? Like, higher contrast further from the viewer, lower contrast in the parts close to the viewer?
My bad, I should have worded it more carefully. It's the other way around: for some biological reason I'm at a loss to explain, in a flat picture our brain tends to read higher contrast as being closer to us than lower contrast (this picture is a good example). An application of this is that applying higher contrast in the parts closer to us will bring them forward compared to the lower contrast of the parts that are more distant. It's really just a trick as things are rarely that simple in real life, but it usually does its job.
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Blarumyrran
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Re: new Tentacle-of-the-Deep

Post by Blarumyrran »

LordBob wrote:
Blarumyrran wrote: Not sure what you mean with "varying contrast in the farthest parts of the tentacle"? Like, higher contrast further from the viewer, lower contrast in the parts close to the viewer?
My bad, I should have worded it more carefully. It's the other way around: for some biological reason I'm at a loss to explain, in a flat picture our brain tends to read higher contrast as being closer to us than lower contrast (this picture is a good example). An application of this is that applying higher contrast in the parts closer to us will bring them forward compared to the lower contrast of the parts that are more distant. It's really just a trick as things are rarely that simple in real life, but it usually does its job.
I see! I think it has to do with distant things in nature being engulfed in fog.

Also added sharpness & another texture, I think it's close to complete now.

Do I need to refine the surface more (right now the brushstrokes are very visible on the large/transparent version) or may I leave it as is? I'd rather leave it as is, I think better-formed scales would ruin much of the feel.

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Re: new Tentacle-of-the-Deep

Post by thespaceinvader »

Great work, SynErr.
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Telchin
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Re: new Tentacle-of-the-Deep

Post by Telchin »

I have no say on what is added into mainline, but as a creator of a cuttlefish UMC I appreciate the attention given to Wesnoth's cephalopod units, so I would probably use any such graphics (with permission) in my campaign, even if they don't make it to the mainline (and this one looks good enough to make it :D ). Thumbs up!

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LordBob
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Re: new Tentacle-of-the-Deep

Post by LordBob »

I wouldn't bother with further refinements. The roughness adds a great deal of movement and life, and the style is perfect for this kind of slithery, barely-seen, creepy vision. A well-defined surface texture will never live up to what we think we see in those brushstrokes (an effect I would want to achieve more often in my own work).

We can already take it as it is now. The only suggestions I might have if you wish to further improve it are :
- to make the outline slightly brighter on the sides that are lit by the most intense light - this way, it still does its job while not hampering your effort to define shape.
- to slightly darken the white highlight on the bottom left edge ; they're (apprently) meant to be from reflected light, in which case we would expect them to be less intense than direct highlights from the main lightsource.

If you feel like doing more of those in the future, we're also short of a cuttlefish portrait :mrgreen:
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