Working on various human sprites!

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Gyra_Solune
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Working on various human sprites!

Post by Gyra_Solune »

Hello! I am silly and prefer gender splits to be 50-50 across the board. I have read though that for one, there is no intent to apply that for the Loyalists. Which okay, I sort of get, going for the most medieval of medieval armies. That's fine! (plus in my opinion tbh all they'd need are names and voices applied to them - armor isn't going to be different between the two! maybe archers could use some new sprites)

But oh jeez there's these outlaws and stuff, and they don't give a hoot about your military recruitment laws, and so given that this is a unit that shares a level 0 with one that is 50-50, I'm going to start with female thugs and bandits!
thug+female.png
thug+female.png (1.69 KiB) Viewed 3853 times
bandit+female.png
bandit+female.png (2.04 KiB) Viewed 3781 times
You can see I went for a sort of tribal wild lady sort of look here - look you're going to make these decisions when a unit's appearance is defined by rapidly going bald. However, this is not the first iteration for the thugs here!

http://imgur.com/a/ZtOPZ

Here is a gallery of my previous drafts: you can see at a certain point I went for that differing angle for the wilder sorta punk-ish look with the war paint and all. But I can see if the community at large finds more merit in somewhat more 'normal' hairstyles - if that is the case, the previous types of heads can be easily put back on! Do give me feedback, I hope to do this sort of thing for as many sprites as I can...with luck I will be able to contribute plenty to mainline!
Last edited by Gyra_Solune on December 23rd, 2015, 6:10 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Heindal
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Re: Additional Female Unit Sprites (starting with outlaws!)

Post by Heindal »

The hairstyle isn't good. Also the female bandit seems to have no face. The bandits hair style appears to be some kind super saiyajin hairstyle.

Not that I don't appreciate akira toriyama, but its proably a little overdone for battle for wesnoth.
Check the thief's female version, its pretty much decent, but still has a cool look.

Maybe you could try to make a frank with that thief's hairstyle?
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Gyra_Solune
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Re: Additional Female Unit Sprites (starting with outlaws!)

Post by Gyra_Solune »

Kind of was worried I overdid it, heheh. Bandit definitely has a sort of glam rock thing going on: wanted to get a bit of feedback before deciding on if to really change it.

Alright, modifications for both, focusing a bit more on the unkempt sort of demeanor over the much wilder and crazier hair. Lack of face can be attributed to the bandanna - the eyes are in the exact same position as the regular bandit, but composition of the face is adjusted by the baldness, whereas here I opted to get the hair over the face some, probably obscures things. Moved the mask down a bit to help that out, and also emphasize the war-paint: is that a decent idea to keep? The thug is kind of a tricky unit to start with, given of like, every unit in the game, it's most defined by attributes of rough masculinity, hence why I wanted to put a little more flavoring in the design.
thug+female.png
thug+female.png (1.57 KiB) Viewed 3776 times
bandit+female.png
bandit+female.png (1.98 KiB) Viewed 3776 times

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doofus-01
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Re: Additional Female Unit Sprites (starting with outlaws!)

Post by doofus-01 »

Remember that the male/female versions are supposed to be obviously the same unit. If I saw those in game, I wouldn't assume they were the same as the current mainline male ones.
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Gyra_Solune
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Re: Additional Female Unit Sprites (starting with outlaws!)

Post by Gyra_Solune »

Hmmm, is that so? I figured the defining traits were less in the head and more in the biceps and big club, but I'll take that in mind. Suppose the hair is indeed more important to keep close. K, how about this for the thug?
thug+female.png
thug+female.png (1.43 KiB) Viewed 3719 times
(haha i reaaaaally should've started with the poacher, that just needs the torso, this is some design trickiness here)

In fact I decided to just go for said poacher! Really quick and easy - may well be able to get it for all the animation frames by tomorrow or the day after.
poacher+female.png
poacher+female.png (1.35 KiB) Viewed 3739 times
Only one question: Am I right in parsing the grey at the top of the head as like, a light helmet or bandanna? That's how I've always seen it, and the portrait has the latter - but I'm not sure if it's actually supposed to be hair or not.
Last edited by Gyra_Solune on December 21st, 2015, 5:11 am, edited 2 times in total.

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doofus-01
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Re: Additional Female Unit Sprites (starting with outlaws!)

Post by doofus-01 »

The goofy proportions on the sprites arises in large part because they are icons that need to convey information, so some things are emphasized at the expense of others. Keeping the exact same arms, but giving a really big & strange mop of hair draws attention to the hair, and it looks like it's supposed to be an ambush unit or something.
Gyra_Solune wrote:In fact I decided to just go for said poacher! Really quick and easy
If it's too easy, it's roughly like you noted about the loyalists, and it's not worth the effort (as far as sprites are concerned - portraits & names are different matter). On a different note: The poacher, especially the level 2 sprite, are pretty old and not really on par with the other mainline units. If anyone is ripe for replacement, it's them, so I wouldn't worry too much about the poacher.

I'll just throw out a suggestion and say the fencer could use a female sprite with notably different hair and maybe slightly different clothes, and it wouldn't be out of place for the character of the unit.
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Gyra_Solune
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Re: Additional Female Unit Sprites (starting with outlaws!)

Post by Gyra_Solune »

The fencer was absolutely within my plans indeed. But hmmmmm...poachers outdated eh? They look pretty okay to me but I'll take that into consideration. I did notice the Ranger looks decidedly different. I mostly based my statement on the loyalists based on armor - ideal armor does not actually have video game breast shaping or whatnot. And all their major units are armored to where there wouldn't be any differences one could put for both sprites. Exceptions are the fencer, yes, alongside only possibly the bowman - but just him, and not the higher levels, which are properly armored. The outlaw humans are wearing normal clothes as far as I can tell, across the board, so it would be slightly more form-fitting.

In case I do decide to redo some of these units wholesale, do you think the level 0 humans need some redesign? They are all the same unit but with different heads and weapons, but I don't know if that's on purpose to convey how they're minor civilians.

Also, that slightly more rough and tumble modern-ish punk hair now applied to the bandit:
bandit+female.png
bandit+female.png (1.93 KiB) Viewed 3719 times
Yeah I feel like this is probably the way to go. I liked what I had before but I think I was in a sort of 80s warlord mindset and being a little overdramatic for 'this unit beats you up and leaves you in a ditch to steal your stuff', heheh ^^;

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Re: Additional Female Unit Sprites (starting with outlaws!)

Post by doofus-01 »

I took a stab at making a female thug. I pulled on some stuff that's a bit of a trope, but that's symbolism, I guess.
thug-f.png
thug-f.png (2.47 KiB) Viewed 3717 times
Gyra_Solune wrote:Also, that slightly more rough and tumble modern-ish punk hair now applied to the bandit:
That's not a bad idea. Up the contrast on the hair, to make the spikes more obvious, and make the "feminine" lock stand out more.

You posted in zookeeper's call for help (http://forum.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php? ... 59#p591559), maybe you saw this:
zookeeper wrote:The Rise of Wesnoth: Needs better sprites for Haldric and Jessene.
The portrait for Jessica/Jessene has fuzzy hair, not the usual barbie-doll stuff. Might be worth taking a shot at.
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Gyra_Solune
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Re: Additional Female Unit Sprites (starting with outlaws!)

Post by Gyra_Solune »

Oh yeah, the...unit that goes by many names, heh, the outlaw lady with a staff, I've noted for a looooong while she needs some doing...but largely in the sense of 'she doesn't change much from level 1 to 3'.

Cleaned up and better defined the hair, this was probably the big one. Presuming there's no big complaints on these two, I am likely to go ahead and work on all the animation frames for these! ^^
thug+female.png
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bandit+female.png
bandit+female.png (1.92 KiB) Viewed 3573 times

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Re: Additional Female Unit Sprites (starting with outlaws!)

Post by zookeeper »

Gyra_Solune wrote:Presuming there's no big complaints on these two, I am likely to go ahead and work on all the animation frames for these! ^^
The Thug is slowly getting there, but the Bandit is far from being good enough, if we were going to accept it in the first place. The main problem with having a female variant of the Thug line is that they'd lack a portrait. Maybe the female Outlaw portrait could be used? I don't know.

Anyway, the deciding factor for which lines get both genders hasn't really been about historical accuracy, but unit role: male only for melee-oriented units (thugs, spearmen, etc), both (potentially) for units which aren't just about brute force (footpads, archers, mages, etc). The Thug line is pretty clearly in the former category. The reason why we need some kind of limitation instead of just having both genders for everyone is mostly just a matter of art; add the other gender and we need twice the sprites, twice the portraits.

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Gyra_Solune
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Re: Additional Female Unit Sprites (starting with outlaws!)

Post by Gyra_Solune »

Ah, well, I am not inclined to wish such gender split to be assigned according to unit role! It just seems silly to me, I dunno. Never quite liked division of the sexes in that sense. Portraits...are a concerning thing, yes. But it always struck me that the portraits ought to come later since the sprites are what you see first or so.

Hrrrrrrrrm...yeah, the bandit seems to be tough. I dunno why. Hair is hard, it seems! I'll let that one go for now and focus more on getting the thug to be ideal, since that one is shaping up better, and maybe moving on to...the fencer's base. Any particular suggestions for dress inspirations? I'll need to keep in mind that the duelist and master have hats, which pose an obvious lead for the female variant, but the fencer doesn't. Hrm!

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Re: Additional Female Unit Sprites (starting with outlaws!)

Post by Jetrel »

On the subject of what Female unit variants are acceptable:
I'm basically the person who did all of the current female unit variants, so count me as about as sympathetic as one can get towards the whole spiel.

We have two major intents here:
- We'd like to minimize the amount of work we do whilst optimizing for flavor impact. This means that even though, in the case of egalitarian, non-human societies like elves, we separate some of the unit lines like fighters and shamans into being mono-gendered, not because you wouldn't have female fighters, but because it's too much damn work for every single unit line in the race to be gender-duplicated.

We want to get across "the feeling" of a mostly egalitarian force, without actually making male/female variants for all of them. To do this we split it up via whatever genders "feel" either more evocative of the idea behind the unit, or more fun to do for a particular unit, or, perhaps better stated: whichever one will feel most odd to be missing (which is generally a statistical argument about which one would be more numerous in such a society).


- Secondly, though, we've got a hard-sci-fi take on gender roles. We're not shooting for what we wish the world would be like (that's what i.e. elves are for in this context) - in our depictions of humans in wesnoth, we're trying to portray human gender roles as we understand them to work for humans shunted into a certain kind of society. It's mostly about what feels odd/anachronistic; history is a body of evidence that builds up this sort of gut sense, and so is anthropology, psychology, etc. We're trying to make something that gives good screen-time to female combatants (because we'd really like to have that), without coming at the cost of seeming really artificial.

A lot of it historically has come from mobility, property, and how child-rearing was structured within a society - societies where families owned land they couldn't move off of, had to make do with a very limited set of property (and multiple sons vying for a living), and kept children within a single family tended to be very patriarchal. Not by historical accident, but because that's the natural consequence of that style of society. By contrast, more nomadic societies - especially those with communal treatment of tasks like child-rearing, tended to have way more egalitarian roles for women, and so too did many cases where fringe elements of society reverted to semi-nomadism (as with bandits and other people "living on the lam").

The reason we care about this sort of "hard sci-fi" angle is that it makes for much better characters if they have actual struggles - the pains of an actual life - to deal with, rather than existing in a vacuum where their own life history doesn't add up. If humans aren't completely chaste, they tend to have kids pretty soon after puberty, and if we're writing women warriors into our stories, that's a reality that needs to inform the writing - and what kind of women could even *be* warriors. What's their motivation? What drives them to do it? What keeps them away from it? We won't sweep this under the rug just because it'd be rad to have female fighters in the game, to heck with the consequences.


{b]So to be specific:[/b]
We're certainly not making any of the "professional soldiers" in the human factions have a female variant.

What's left are:
- non-combatants who are present on the battlefield (mages, nobles, commoners)
- partisans (people essentially fighting to defend their homes)
- nomads
- bandits

Our group of loose "outlaw" units encompasses the latter three categories - "bandits" historically very often were groups of people who'd essentially gone 'off the grid', because there was some danger society was posing to them (such as a vendetta from a local lord) - quite commonly the whole family would be declared outside the law during the dark ages - and the law was local, and didn't have much reach. It was often more like a family feud. So our outlaw units represent that sort of anarchy - they're not criminals, per se, they're used to represent anyone, criminal or non, who's had to go off-the-grid and arm themselves to defend and provide for their family. Some of them have taken to banditry.


Because of all that, yeah, I'm open to female Outlaw + Thug units.

Thus, the real thing it falls to is graphics; the number one impediment is the animations - we'd like better animations for the existing thugs, and north-facing graphics as well. It's easy to do female variants of what we've got, but I'm not really interested in accepting them unless you're willing to pitch in on the new work it would create. If you really earnestly try at getting us north-facing animations for the males, we can let this happen.
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Re: Additional Female Unit Sprites (starting with outlaws!)

Post by ekeron »

Well, we could at least use the senior village elder from liberty since it has a female variant for it's third level.
Image
Jetrel wrote:So to be specific:
We're certainly not making any of the "professional soldiers" in the human factions have a female variant.

What's left are:
- non-combatants who are present on the battlefield (mages, nobles, commoners)
- partisans (people essentially fighting to defend their homes)
- nomads
- bandits
Would orcs count as semi-nomadic? The peasant unit maybe also? Though they level up into bowman and spearmen so maybe not.
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Gyra_Solune
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Re: Additional Female Unit Sprites (starting with outlaws!)

Post by Gyra_Solune »

Alrighty then! Basically all the units I was planning to focus on doing are the ones you'd prefer to have, heheh. And most certainly, I'd be absolutely up to pitch in for additional things - might as well just make this a general 'i sprite things' sort of thread then. Just wished to start off with somewhat more subtle edits to get in the hang of things. On your points, indeed, I know all of that - good to confirm that on the scale of enjoyable fantasy to realism, you're going for the latter end, and I pretty much agree! Hence why I started off with the intent of focusing on outlaw units - they're whoever ended up in those situations which can be basically anyone.

On the subject of orcs or...basically, like, any non-human species, I wasn't planning on those - it was explicitly stated on drakes, for example, that the females of their species are heavily guarded and mating is probably an enormously huge deal by which only the strongest and most renowned are allowed to do that. I imagine the orcs are roughly the same way, possibly even moreso: their strength is in numbers, both in gameplay and lore - it doesn't take even an especially intelligent orc to figure out it's to their advantage to do the same thing. That doesn't actually leave very many units! Trolls probably don't even have that kind of biology, despite their appearances, saurians are closer to the animal end of the spectrum, I don't think we really know what the deal is with dwarves, and ogres...let's...not. That brings us to elves, who have that already, only lacking the fighter line, and the scouts (who are actually pretty well armored-looking, only the level 1 in my opinion would need anything beyond the voices and names as I argued for potential loyalists), nagas who actually have that split already, just with no visible differences, and mermen...I considered doing them, but for later, they're quite complex, but there is indeed a pretty visible divide there.

So to be honest that pretty much just leaves four or five unit lines! The aforementioned two bandits, maybe the two elves, potentially the fencers, who fall into that non-conscripted noble category, and like...the ruffian and maybe the woodsman. Woodsman does complicate things - if I do the poachers, then things get silly with archers, who are indeed part of the formal army. Hmm. Not gonna focus on that. I'll probably next put my efforts towards those north-facing thug sprites indeed then! It's not that complicated a unit, in my opinion. Might take a while but oh well!

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Gyra_Solune
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Re: Working on various human sprites!

Post by Gyra_Solune »

Oh! And that wordiness out of the way, I see people who do spriting here have clearly different processes, involving oddly layered sort of looks to what they do, before refining them more. I tend to go like, pixel by pixel in Paint.net, but are there other programs that you think would be recommended?

And on the subject of basing the line off the Senior Village Elder in Liberty, I considered it but...in truth, that's not a unit that seems like it would make a good highwayman. She doesn't look anything like the base unit for one, which is an important thing as previously stated. Plus the key theme of the unit is being a big underhanded brute, and she seems far more more like somebody's grandma holding a mace, considering that's more or less who she is! ^^;

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