Unit sprites for After the Storm

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Unit sprites for After the Storm

Postby shadowm » October 4th, 2012, 5:47 am

This is the unit artwork development topic for my campaign After the Storm, the immediate sequel to Invasion from the Unknown.

Please see the campaign’s topic in Scenario & Campaign Development for a general description and requirements:


The old topic was getting rather cramped and confusing since the bulk of it dealt with IftU and pre-IftU artwork, which has been largely superseded over time. I also got the impression that some people thought I was still posting artwork for IftU, which I no longer maintain. Thus, I have split the most recent posts from there, starting from my next post below.
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Unit sprites for After the Storm

Postby shadowm » October 4th, 2012, 5:47 am

Well, I haven’t posted artwork in ages. I guess it’s mostly because I have been really busy churning out new sprites for immediate production use with complete disregard for any perceived quality requirements. E3 still needs to get completed, after all. But every once in a while I allot some time to revisit some older sprites that don’t really look good.

Case in point, the Elvish Ascetic line.

The L3 and L4 in particular look rather bland at the moment, so decided to make a few adjustments and try something new:
elves-test-1.png
Current (left) and new (right)
elves-test-1.png (9.29 KiB) Viewed 5097 times

The L1 and L2 will follow.
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Re: Unit sprites for Invasion from the Unknown/After the Sto

Postby homunculus » October 4th, 2012, 1:58 pm

I think I'll try some experiments here with the arms and legs, because I have doubts about the foreshortening.
Exactly the kind of small things that do not require 4 hours straight which I usually don't have.

I only found this unit line:
http://units.wesnoth.org/1.10/DefaultPlus/en_US/defpl_Elvish_Acolyte.html
I guess the acolyte and ascetic lines in AtS are different?
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Re: Unit sprites for Invasion from the Unknown/After the Sto

Postby shadowm » October 4th, 2012, 9:28 pm

homunculus wrote:I only found this unit line:
http://units.wesnoth.org/1.10/DefaultPlus/en_US/defpl_Elvish_Acolyte.html
I guess the acolyte and ascetic lines in AtS are different?

The Acolyte line in that area appears to have been copied from AtS, actually.
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Re: Unit sprites for Invasion from the Unknown/After the Sto

Postby homunculus » October 5th, 2012, 6:44 am

http://wesnoth-umc-dev.svn.sourceforge.net/viewvc/wesnoth-umc-dev/tags/trunk/After_the_Storm/0.8.2/images/units/fairies/elynia.png?revision=16036&view=markup
this one has left foot too much bent as if the unit was standing on one leg on something invisible.
as far as i remember, it was remade several times.
that seems better in the latest versions that you posted.

tried some tweaks on one of the sprites and got to this state (attached) with the legs.
still i think the lower leg (or whatever it is called in english) is bit too much a side view.
as you can see i kind of feel like making the sprite smaller, was it intended that it should look much larger than comparable mainline units?
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Re: Unit sprites for Invasion from the Unknown/After the Sto

Postby shadowm » October 5th, 2012, 7:14 am

homunculus wrote:this one has left foot too much bent as if the unit was standing on one leg on something invisible.

She is!
homunculus wrote:as far as i remember, it was remade several times. that seems better in the latest versions that you posted.

Yes, and I decided to give up on that entirely. She’s essentially taken years to get to this point and there are much better uses of my time than trying to come up with a good-looking sprite for the same old unit that doesn’t violate common sense and other principles.
homunculus wrote:tried some tweaks on one of the sprites and got to this state (attached) with the legs. still i think the lower leg (or whatever it is called in english) is bit too much a side view.

Considering that her legs were pretty much copy-pasted from the mainline Elvish Shyde or an older iteration of Jetrel’s WIP replacement, that’s rather odd. Her size might be a little off since I didn’t pay too much attention to current mainline proportions, but I don’t think the edit is an obvious improvement. On the other hand, she is an L4, and Elynia manages to look much taller somehow.

So, Acolyte and Ascetic incoming. Again, old production versions to the left, new versions to the right.
ascetic-acolyte-test.png
ascetic-acolyte-test.png (7.14 KiB) Viewed 5002 times

Plus something else entirely.
faeries-sylvan-test.png
faeries-sylvan-test.png (9.24 KiB) Viewed 5002 times

Anyway, I’m not too happy about the Acolyte’s design right now, but there’s only so much bling I can add to an L1 without making it look like a higher level unit. And after spending a week on the replacements for the old faeries (and a few units that I can’t reveal yet), I’m not really willing to invest any more time drawing new designs from scratch for a while. She’ll remain as she is for now unless there are any critical flaws remaining that I can’t see.
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Re: Unit sprites for Invasion from the Unknown/After the Sto

Postby homunculus » October 5th, 2012, 9:45 am

as far as i understand the post, there seems to be a lot of beating about the bush and lack of precise statements.
makes the impression that you have not come to a final conclusion maybe?
shadowmaster wrote:Considering that her legs were pretty much copy-pasted from the mainline Elvish Shyde or an older iteration of Jetrel’s WIP replacement, that’s rather odd.
nothing too much odd about that in my opinion (so he didn't care to foreshorten the leg, so what? considering the sprite is nice otherwise).
in my opinion it doesn't "create 3d space" in the legs department as the right leg would need to be turned more outward than expected.
shadowmaster wrote:Her size might be a little off since I didn’t pay too much attention to current mainline proportions,
i can see that, but is it still the case currently?
shadowmaster wrote:but I don’t think the edit is an obvious improvement.
i didn't remember any of the sprites in the campaign being offending, except the old sylvan looked like a placeholder, and the imp (if it was in that campaign) might need a redraw.
i think i can see some improvement possibilities in several sprites, but at the same time they are good enough already.
meaning none of the improvements would be really obvious and nothing would be broken otherwise.
someone is trying to figure out animation, as you have noticed, and so far i am uncertain about the success, so baseframes 'as good as it gets' might be nice.
shadowmaster wrote:On the other hand, she is an L4, and Elynia manages to look much taller somehow.
it was a long enough time ago, so i don't quite remember, but wasn't the gray one anlindë, who was not as special as the lady of light, that was why i thought she might also be more ordinary size.
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Re: Unit sprites for Invasion from the Unknown/After the Sto

Postby shadowm » October 5th, 2012, 7:27 pm

homunculus wrote:as far as i understand the post, there seems to be a lot of beating about the bush and lack of precise statements.
makes the impression that you have not come to a final conclusion maybe?

Final conclusion about...?
homunculus wrote:
shadowmaster wrote:Her size might be a little off since I didn’t pay too much attention to current mainline proportions,
i can see that, but is it still the case currtently?

Not sure why there is even a question here.
homunculus wrote:
shadowmaster wrote:but I don’t think the edit is an obvious improvement.
i didn't remember any of the sprites in the campaign being offending, except the old sylvan looked like a placeholder, and the imp (if it was in that campaign) might need a redraw.

I meant your edit, not mine.

What does “the old sylvan” actually refer to?
homunculus wrote:someone is trying to figure out animation, as you have noticed, and so far i am uncertain about the success, so baseframes 'as good as it gets' might be

I would be willing to practice with refreshing animations to match new baseframes if they are good. I did something like that for mainline once.
homunculus wrote:
shadowmaster wrote:On the other hand, she is an L4, and Elynia manages to look much taller somehow.
it was a long enough time ago, so i don't quite remember, but wasn't the gray one anlindë, who was not as special as the lady of light, that was why i thought she might also be more ordinary size.

Sigh.

I don’t work with IftU anymore. All my work since mid-2011 has been specifically focused on AtS. And I’m sure you know what happened to Anlindë in IftU and why her artwork is irrelevant for AtS. Besides, I already explained the deal with the Acolyte line. And in any case, I decided long ago to never post hero unit sprites in the forums again.
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Re: Unit sprites for Invasion from the Unknown/After the Sto

Postby shadowm » October 7th, 2012, 7:29 pm

Yep. Taller than mainline, all right.
ats-elvish-acolyte-line-scale-test.png
Click to enlarge.

It seems less obvious in the Enchantress vs. Mystic case for some reason. Note the Elvish Sylph as found in mainline is probably not a good measurement since the sprite predates the current Sorceress and Enchantress by years; thus she’s marked with “???” on the corner.

I’ll see what I can do to shrink them all.

Also:
ats-sprite-line-scale-test.png
Still click to enlarge because the forums hate me.
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Re: Unit sprites for After the Storm

Postby artisticdude » October 8th, 2012, 1:15 pm

One thing you might consider trying is shrinking the length of their midsections, so that their ribcages sit closer to their pelvises. Yours are closer to realistic human proportions, whereas Wesnoth sprites (with all their stylized proportions :augh: ) tend to shrink the midsection down. Shortening the limbs - particularly the arms - might also be something you could fool around with, since Wesnoth sprites tend to have shorter arms than you'd find in most realistically-proportioned humans.
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Re: Unit sprites for After the Storm

Postby shadowm » October 9th, 2012, 5:48 am

artisticdude wrote:One thing you might consider trying is shrinking the length of their midsections, so that their ribcages sit closer to their pelvises. Yours are closer to realistic human proportions, whereas Wesnoth sprites (with all their stylized proportions :augh: ) tend to shrink the midsection down. Shortening the limbs - particularly the arms - might also be something you could fool around with, since Wesnoth sprites tend to have shorter arms than you'd find in most realistically-proportioned humans.

Oh man, I wish that automatically meant I could draw unit portraits.

Anyway, I don’t think I can bring myself to shrink them further, especially not the L1 that still stands taller than the Elvish Shaman — who is apparently supposed to be a small child or something.

This will have to do for now:
acolyte-line-try-3-2-size-comparison.png
The forums still hate me, so, click to enlarge.

Some day I’ll get around to redraw Anlindë’s original unit line (first row in the picture below), I guess. I have a few ideas I want to try on her hair, but this is not the best time to backtrack and work on a campaign I am not even maintaining.
acolyte-line-try-3-2.png
acolyte-line-try-3-2.png (26.19 KiB) Viewed 5028 times


EDIT: Updated something.
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Re: Unit sprites for Invasion from the Unknown/After the Sto

Postby homunculus » October 9th, 2012, 7:26 am

homunculus wrote:as you can see i kind of feel like making the sprite smaller, was it intended that it should look much larger than comparable mainline units?
homunculus wrote:
shadowmaster wrote:Her size might be a little off since I didn’t pay too much attention to current mainline proportions,
i can see that, but is it still the case currently?
lol, even this one question was not sorted out (it matters what you care about now, rather than in the past).
but i can see that my own wording was also ambiguous.

the perspective that mainline flying elves would become larger in the future is interesting, but sadly the last post in that thread seems to be from last summer.
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some more size comparison that i did last night (might be bit outdated at the moment). btw you can also shrink the neck.
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Re: Unit sprites for Invasion from the Unknown/After the Sto

Postby shadowm » October 9th, 2012, 7:48 am

I’m going to step into off-topic territory for a moment.

Wait, what am I saying? I am the topic’s author, I can decide what the current topic is at any given moment, hahaha.
homunculus wrote:the perspective that mainline flying elves would become larger in the future is interesting, but sadly the last post in that thread seems to be from last summer.

Around April this year I got a newer WIP sheet from everyone’s favorite Art Director (spoilered since it’s rather tall):
Spoiler:

Long ago he told me that he often worked with larger sprites and shrunk them before committing to mainline. Still, I just asked him whether that still holds true for this sheet, and he said:
<shadowm> Jetrel: Just checking, you still do that thing where your Wesnoth sprites are significantly larger during production and you shrink them prior to committing?
<Jetrel> shadowm: depending on the sprite, yeah. That said, some of the elves are meant to be corrections in size to match human units - i.e. the old sizes are wrong, the new sizes may or may not be better, but in some cases strictly are (like the archers, and at least level 1 and 2 of the shaman line).

Nothing of this can be considered final, of course. The elvish faction redo has been in Development Hell for years already and it’s still far from complete.
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Re: Unit sprites for After the Storm

Postby shadowm » October 12th, 2012, 6:16 am

Yeah, I can’t possibly shrink these further without feeling bad about it later.
ats-sprite-line-fixed-scale-test.png
... forums... thumbnail...

I’ll pretend there’s a good reason for all of them to be taller than the current mainline Elvish Shyde — something having to do with their stances, I guess?

I’m done for now.
ats-sprite-tree-comp.png
ats-sprite-tree-comp.png (29.91 KiB) Viewed 4927 times

And yes, they are supposed to replace the old sylvan faeries carried over from Extended Era — hopefully no-one feels too attached to those, because I don’t care. I needed to draw three or four new related unit types for use near the end of E3 and saw it fitting to take this opportunity to establish a consistent theme/style for the recruitable portion of the tree. In fact, it was my intention to do this nearly four years ago, but I never managed to make any substantial progress beyond a few crappy doodles.
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Re: Unit sprites for After the Storm

Postby vultraz » October 14th, 2012, 7:00 am

I've always found it annoying that a perfectly good sprite has to be reworked for the sake of matching mainline size. :(
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