Grand Portrait List - 2020 update

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LordBob
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Grand Portrait List - 2020 update

Post by LordBob »

This was loooong overdue : following up on a discussion with the dev team, I have finally begun reviewing portraits. I am putting this here while it's still in progress, maybe it can be moved somewhere more appropriate later.

Legend:
No portrait
Independant unit uses the portrait of another line
Two or more units of the same branch share a portrait
Portrait available but needs a tweak or could be replaced
Portrait available but a gender variant could be added
Portrait available with a gender variant (+F) / gender variant not necessary, no further work required.


Faction portraits list
Drakes
Drake Burner
> Fire Drake >> Inferno Drake / Armageddon Drake
> Drake Flare >> Drake Flameheart

Drake Clasher
> Drake Arbiter >> Drake Warden
> Drake Thrasher >> Drake Enforcer


Drake Fighter > Drake Warrior
>> Drake Blademaster

Drake Glider
> Sky Drake >> Hurricane Drake
Dunefolk
Dune Burner
> Dune Scorcher
>> Dune Firetrooper


Dune Herbalist
> Dune Alchemist
> Apothecary >> Luminary


Dune Paragon

Dune Rider
> Dune Horse Archer
>> Dune Windbolt

> Dune Raider
>> Dune Marauder

> Dune Sunderer
>> Dune Cataphract

Dune Rover
> Dune Explorer
>> Dune Wayfarer

Dune Skirmisher
> Dune Falconer
>> Dune Sky Hunter
> Dune Strider
>> Dune Harrier

Dune Soldier
> Dune Captain
>> Dune Warmaster
> Dune Speaguard
>>Dune Spearmaster
> Dune Swordsman
>> Dune Blademaster
Dwarves
Dwarvish Fighter > Steelclad
>> Dwarvish Lord

Dwarvish Guardsman
> Dwarvish Stalwart >> Sentinel

Dwarvish Runemaster > Dwarvish Runesmith / Dwarvish Arcanister

Dwarvish Scout > Dwarvish Pathfinder
>> Dwarvish Explorer

Dwarvish Thunderer > Dwarvish Thunderguard
>> Dwarvish Dragonguard

Dwarvish Ulfserker > Dwarvish Berserker

Gryphon
> Gryphon Rider >> Gryphon Master
Elves
Elvish Archer +F
> Elvish Marksman >> Sharpshooter +F
> Elvish Ranger >> Avenger +F


Elvish Fighter
> Elvish Captain >> Elvish Marshall
> Elvish Hero >> Elvish Champion


Elvish Lady

Elvish Lord
> Elvish High Lord


Elvish Scout > Elvish Rider >> Elvish Outrider

Elvish Shaman
> Elvish Druid
>> Elvish Shyde
> Elvish Sorceress / Enchantress
>> Elvish Sylph
Goblins
Goblin Spearman
> Goblin Impaler
> Goblin Rouser


Wolf Rider
> Goblin Pillager

> Goblin Knight >> Direwolf Rider
Humans
Cavalryman
> Dragoon >> Cavalier

Fencer
> Duelist
>> Master-at-Arms
(the whole line could do with a replacement)

Heavy Infantryman
> Shock Trooper >> Iron Mauler

Horseman
> Lancer
> Knight
>> Grand Knight
>> Paladin


Mage +F
> White Mage +F
>> Mage of Light +F
> Silver Mage +F
> Red Mage +F

>> Arch Mage >>> Great mage +F / Elder Mage

Peasant
> Spearman
>> Javelineer
>> Pikeman
>>> Halberdier
>> Swordsman
>>> Royal Guard


Royal Warrior

Woodsman
> Bowman
>> Longbowman
>>> Master Bowman

> Poacher >> Trapper
>>> Huntsman
>>> Ranger


Sergeant
> Lieutenant
>> General
>>> Grand Marshal


Ruffian
> Footpad +F
>> Outlaw >> Fugitive +F
> Thug
>> Bandit >>> Highwayman

Thief > Rogue +F
> Assassin +F
Mechanical
Boat
Galleon
Pirate Galleon
Transport Galleon
Merfolk
Mermaid Initiate
> Mermaid Enchantress >> Siren
> Mermaid Priestess >> Diviner


Merman Fighter > Warrior
>> Merman Hoplite
>> Merman Triton


Merman Hunter
> Merman Netcaster >> Entangler
> Merman Spearman >> Javelineer
Nagas
Naga Dirkfang (the vivid green scales make it look like a saurian: portrait could use some color adjustment to blend better with the rest of the faction)
> Naga Ophidian >> Naga Sicarius
> Naga Ringcaster
>> Naga Zephyr

Naga Fighter
> Naga Warrior >> Naga Myrmidon
Ogres
Young Ogre
> Ogre
Orcs
Orcish Archer
> Orcish Crossbowman
>> Orcish Slurbow


Orcish Assassin
> Orcish Slayer / Nightblade

Orcish Grunt
> Orcish Warrior
>> Orcish Warlord


Orcish Leader
> Orcish Ruler
>> Orcish Sovereign
Saurians
Saurian Augur > Saurian Oracle > Saurian Soothsayer
Saurian Skirmisher > Saurian Ambusher >> Saurian Flanker
Trolls
Troll Hero / Great Troll A single portrait is used for both levels, but an alt is available and this usage apparently makes more sense ?

Troll Shaman

Troll Whelp
> Troll Rocklobber
> Troll
>> Troll Warrior
Undead
Ancient Lich

Dark Adept +F
> Dark Sorcerer >> Necromancer +F
>> Lich

Chocobone

Death Knight

Ghost
> Shadow
>> Nightgaunt
> Wraith
>> Spectre


Ghoul > Necrophage >> Ghast (EDIT: Link to working thread -doofus-01)

Skeletal Dragon

Skeleton
> Deathblade
> Revenant
>>Draug

Skeleton Archer
> Bone Shooter
>> Banebow

Walking corpse
> Soulless
Woses
Wose Sapling > Wose >> Elder Wose
>>> Ancient Wose

Wose Shaman
Monsters and wild creatures
Cuttle Fish
Falcon
> Elder Falcon

Fire Dragon
Fire guardian
Giant Rat
Giant Scorpling >> Giant Scorpion
Giant spider
Jinn
Mudcrawler
> Giant Mudcrawler

Roc
Sea Serpent
Tentacle of the Deep
Water Serpent

Wild Wyvern
Wyvern Rider

Yeti
Wolf
>> Great Wolf
>>> Direwolf
Last edited by LordBob on July 21st, 2020, 8:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Grand Portrait List - 2020 update

Post by LordBob »

Campaigns portraits review

Dead Water
5 good portraits
1 decent merfolk portrait Cylanna - shading is a bit muddy but it does its job nonetheless. Can be improved, but not urgent

Delfador’s Memoirs
16 good portraits
1 average tomb guardian portrait (could be replaced if there's still a part for that unit after the rewrite)

Descent into Darkness
7 good portraits.
1 angry Dela could do with a facelift. I did a neutral portrait at some point that is not apparently not used in 1.14

Eastern Invasion
7 good portraits

Heir to the Throne
26 good portraits
Could require some changes depending on the rewrite

Legend of Wesmere
11 good portraits

Liberty
6 good portraits

Northern Rebirth
15 portraits, all subpar - needs replacement, should be prioritized if the campaign is being rewritten

Sceptre of Fire
11 good portraits
Haldric_old and elvish marshall could do with a facelift and lighting adjustment

Secrets of the Ancients
11 portraits, most of them a (albeit clever) re-use or adaptation of existing material. They don’t look bad, but could be replaced / Mixed with original portraits at some point. Nothing urgent though

Son of the Black Eye
13 portraits. Outdated, needs replacement but not as badly as Northern Rebirth

The Hammer of Thursagan
13 portraits. Good quality overall. Dwarves are a bit generic and cartoony, but it's to be expected since the dwarf faction as a whole lacks a clear visual identity. Could do with an update but not urgent.
The 4 masked dwarves currently only show slight color variations, this could be easily improved upon unless there is a story reason for them to be practically clones.


The Rise of Wesnoth
22 good portraits.
The 4 elf lords could do with an update - they're not bad per se, but a couple of them have wonky faces and their colors and gear are a bit disconnected from the elvish faction

The South Guard
12 good portraits.
The lich Mal Mbrin is a little cartoony compared to the rest and could be replaced.

Two Brothers
2 good portraits.

Under The Burning Suns
13 portraits plus the entire Quenoth faction. No further work required
Last edited by LordBob on July 6th, 2020, 8:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Grand Portrait List - 2020 update

Post by LordBob »

Portraits quality & design review

The following applies specifically to portraits and the design of factions through them. It is intended as both a critical review and a collection of notes should I, or anyone willing, create further portraits for these factions. Truth be told after putting them under close scrutiny I'm itching to redo saurians, drakes, and to a lesser extent dwarves; but that's a lot of work so we'll see how it goes. Regardless, anyone is welcome to comment and provide input.


Drakes
- Execution : good quality overall. Drawing a bit weak in some portraits.
- Anatomy design could be more grounded, especially wings.
- There could be more variety in the shape, size and color of individual scales on a drake.
- Armour and gear is functional and believable but there could be a distinctive quality in the shapes, technical solutions, ornament...
- Related, the faction as a whole lacks a unifying feature in its design other than being drakes. Heraldry, shape language that would be shared by everything they craft, emblematic traditional garment...
- Since Drakes take pride in their draconian heritage, this could be reflected in the choice of decorative features. Extra horns and spikes on helms, armour plates that evoke the scales of great dragons, fire or scale patterns on cloth and plates...
- Draconian features could be toned down (shrunk horns, patchy scales, ...) in low-class drakes so as to reflect that their social hierarchy revolves around this heritage


Dunefolk
- Only one portrait to speak of. I like the general direction, though visually I would want them to be more than just eastern warriors, so some concept research is in order before tackling any portraits. My knowledge of the faction lore is lacking at the moment, suggestions welcome.
- Since they are desert dwellers, could the dunefolk be dark-skinned ? Ranging all the way from light tan to deep black.

Dwarves
- Execution : good quality overall. Drawing a bit weak in some portraits
- Armour and gear is functional but rather generic. Dwarvish armour so far is mostly vanilla medieval plate or scale with slightly simpler shapes ; it would be nice to create a distinctive design that makes it clearly different from human armour. Also, since they were historically presented as master crafters, should this trend continue it would be good that their armor looks considerably more refined, or advanced, than other races'. Go the baroque route, maybe ?
- Albeit simple and efficient in their design, firearms could be more decorated (take inspiration from 15th-16th century ones, which weren't mass-produced)
- Similar to the drakes, maybe even moreso, the faction as a whole lacks a unifying feature. Heraldry, shape language, typical clothing, ...

Elves
- Many of our elves are generic blonde LotR elves in ranger clothes, especially the shooter line. Unless there is a specific reason for it in their lore, there could be more diversity in their hair color and styles (and I don't mean that in a politically correct sense. Just, unless there is a very strong cultural reason for it, not every elf has to keep their hair long and untied). Skin tones as well, although until we portray elves who live in the open this should be "variations of pale skin" rather than full-spectrum melting pot, since as far as I can tell they're forest dwellers and all originating from a relatively small region of the world.
- Clothes and styles again, the shaman line is more unique with a touch of wilderness that could benefit the others - feathers, leaves, fur, clothes a little ragged

Goblins
Not much to add, there is a full cast that does its job quite well.

Humans (loyalists)
- Execution : good quality overall. Drawing a bit weak in some portraits (the older loyalists, peasant and swordsman/lancer lines could be better)
- Generic medieval soldiers with armour inspiration spanning about 5 centuries, so not very consistent design overall.
- The core design (metal armor, white and red heraldry, sceptre of fire imagery) is decent but still very generic. Could benefit from a little extra that makes them unique and consistent. Heraldry, shape language, clothing, ...
- the duelist line feels out of place since their clothing, gear and attitude are vastly different from the rest of the faction.

Humans (outlaws)
- Not much to say. Solid color scheme consistent for the whole group, fittingly raggedy-salvaged design, interesting faces.

Humans (mages)
- Not much to say either. They have just enough scholar in them to not be your run-of-the-mill mages.

Mechanical
- Ships don't talk, but I reckon someone who could pass for an acceptable sailor or captain would have their use in many a scenario. A notable part of tRoW is spent sailing, after all. Servants for siege weapons or land chariots could be a thing as well should we ever want to display some in revamped campaigns.

Merfolk
- Really solid design, consistent through the entire faction.
- Physically they're much more than just humans with a fish tail. Gills, spotty skin, some irregular scales outgrowth in the lower regions.
- Roman-inspired armour largely made of seashells adds an extra flavour.

Nagas
- Very good design as well, Kitty at her best.
- Their copper/bronze armour has a unique feel with shapes that suggests scales and fangs
- Their imagery and shape language could additionnaly use curves reminiscent of sinuous snake coils

Ogres
- Only 2 portraits, not much to go by.
- General direction is for them to look like simple-minded, childish overgrown humans rather than gnarly muscleheads.
- Striped pants (or any form of striped cloth ?) have remained a strong marker of identity ever since they met Haldric. This Haldric-worship could be expanded on should there be more ogre units.

Orcs
- Consistent design and color scheme altogether, except the swords. Their armour and gear is usually in bad shape, poorly cared after if not scavanged, yet their swords are polished and refined (warlord's is especially squeaky clean). They should be in the same state as other gear. In that respect the sovereign portrait is a better example of where orcs should be.
- Their simian anatomy could be refined a bit, it's a little cartoony in some portraits
- The choice of dusk lighting renders some portraits difficult to read, this could be improved

Saurians
- Good anatomy design overall (the skirmisher especially, with its long fingers).
- Scales color on an individual could show a little more variation in order to better emphasize their anatomy. (same applies to drakes btw)
- There could be more distinct features between different saurians -magically gifted vs warrior types.
- Gear and clothing is inconsistent. Skirmishers use stone spears and tribal garments, whereas the augur has generic fantasy sorcerer robes and staff. Primitive tribal gear could become the norm, with accent put on crude animal skins, weaved vegetals, jewelry made from gathered natural materials and polished stones.
- Saurians in positions of power could be emulating their larger cousins - drakes or nagas - of whom they would rever the powerful reptilian features ? In turn, this might result in contempt or arrogance from these other races. For inspiration, especially sorcerer types, look at african or oceanian traditional religions ? European and asian folklore also have some really interesting grotesque figures.

Trolls
- Shamans and heroes hint at a somewhat elaborated tribal culture with their body paint and jewelry. This could be reflected as well in the average troll and whelp who are a bit bland and badly tend toward the "big-club-savage" stereotype.

Undead
- Skeletal anatomy is sometimes approximative, but hell ! These guys have an attitude, really cool poses for many of them.
- Armour and gear is a bit generic on some undead. It could display more damage, rust and dust, especially for low-level skeletons.
- On powerful creatures such as draugs and death knights it is alright, if not preferable, to have gear that is either unnaturally preserved or magically enhanced by their creator. Ghosts can have whatever, they're immaterial anyway.

Woses
- Currently a bit generic tree-types. There could be more diversity among woses to match the different varieties of trees they are descended from.
- If there is a place for them on the great continent, tropical tree-inspired woses could be a great addition to the family (I think I saw a mention of it in a Dunefolk thread)

Monsters and wild creatures
Not much to say, most of these critters have standalone portraits that do their job well.
Last edited by LordBob on July 20th, 2020, 11:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Grand Portrait List - 2020 update

Post by LordBob »

Future plans
Aside from commissions, some story art, and contributing on Haldric, I haven't been too active these past few years. Family, work, moving a couple times, learning new skills...Excuses are plenty but I still want to see our portrait list finished and it seems things are settling a bit on my end. Below are the steps I would take and questions that remain. As always, input and comments are welcome.

1. Nagas
I love these creatures and they're not missing much to be a complete gallery. I will work on them first

2. Mechanical units
At the moment they're mostly transports, but there could be weapons servants should anyone want to create siege scenarios. The category could also be extended to include a few civilian roles that add flavour to storytelling such as merchants, a blacksmith, stonecutter, lumberjack,... At the very least I would produce a ship captain and a sailor, with possibly a couple cheap variants to fill empty slots. Civilian portraits are a bonus I'd do based on demand and my own whim.

3. Woses
They're only missing the shaman, but I don't know if and where this guy is used in SP campaigns. It can't hurt to have an extra face for cinematics, though, so let me know if it is still relevant.
Additionally, I caught a discussion about whether there should be tropical/jungle woses in the southern parts of the Great Continent. I'd like to know if there's still an interest for this sort of units.

4. Monsters and critters
Not that many missing. I'm interested in knowing if the following units are still relevant and/or appear in SP campaigns :
- Falcon / Elder falcon
- Fire Guardian
- Jinn
- Roc
- Wild Wyvern / Wyvern Rider

5. Female variants
Since our generics cast is dramatically lacking, I would like to progressively add these. With our current workforce however, it is far too much work to blindly do an alternate portrait for every single unit. Instead I would have them in a few carefully-picked spots. Help welcome as to where that would be. What I am currently pondering :
- Based on the updated lore, orc shamans could be predominantly female.
- Loyalist duelists could have an open spot for women of noble families, unlike their strict military.
- Loyalist horseman line also, for the same reason (I see them as independant warriors tied by oaths of fealty, whereas military riders would be the cavalryman line)
- Archer and swordsman line as well
- Do we want to show female dwarves ? Do they even exist ?
- Same question for Drakes
- Goblins ?
- And Saurians ?
- And Nagas, while we're at it ?

Not everyone will receive a variant if there's only one of me doing all the work, but I would like to be able to field at least a couple female portraits for every faction that allows it (woses and undead get a pass, though).

6. Saurians
We only have 2 portraits that don't even work well together, this is really light for them to make any worthwhile campaign appearance. So I'd like to revamp and extend the faction portraits. And while we're at it, why not add a couple units if there's interest for it.

7. Dunefolk
We have to do them, sooner or later. It hurts to have a mainline faction that is almost completely blank portrait-wise and doesn't even have a SP campaign yet as far as I can tell.

8. Undead
Chocobone is the only missing portrait for this faction. Is it still relevant and used anywhere in mainline ?
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Re: Grand Portrait List - 2020 update

Post by LordBob »

Alright, preliminaries are over. Input, comments and feedback of any kind are welcome. Ideally, I would like for a mod to move this thread to Art Contributions so that anyone willing can participate in the upcoming discussion.
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Re: Grand Portrait List - 2020 update

Post by Pentarctagon »

Moved.
99 little bugs in the code, 99 little bugs
take one down, patch it around
-2,147,483,648 little bugs in the code
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Re: Grand Portrait List - 2020 update

Post by Pentarctagon »

As for the actual topic, my main thought is that since the Dunefolk went through a major balancing overhaul in 1.15, having portraits to add to that would be great (the new Naga line included).

As far as female variants:
  • For Saurians, I believe the two unit lines are intentionally divided by gender, though I could be misremembering.
  • I've no objections to the Orcish Shaman and Loyalist units mentioned.
  • For dwarves I tend to favor the LotR approach - there are, but it's really hard to tell the difference. So potentially this could just be a change to their config files to have them be able to be both genders, but otherwise use the same sprites, portraits, etc.
  • For goblins, I'm not really sure. Given their race description says they rarely grow "past the size and stature of a human child", would the difference be noticeable? And how could it be portrayed?
  • Nagas sound good.
  • Drakes I'm also not sure about - SigurdFireDragon would probably be the best to answer that one, given their work on WoV.
And for individual units and whether/where they're used in campaigns, Yumi would probably be the person to ask.
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Re: Grand Portrait List - 2020 update

Post by gnombat »

LordBob wrote: July 3rd, 2020, 8:31 am Two Brothers
2 good portraits.
In the final scenario of this campaign, I think the orc leader should have a custom portrait. The current (generic) portrait isn't really consistent with the dialogue/storyline (and there isn't any generic portrait that would be).
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Re: Grand Portrait List - 2020 update

Post by Odium »

I know the portraits from the Northern Rebirth campaign really need replacements, although, some of them I always found to be actually nice, especially Tallin's default one. And even all the others have grown on me as a fan of this game. It would be nice if the general idea of the characters portraits were retained. Otherwise it's fine, I trust the artists if someone has a good idea for a design, especially LordBob :D
I think the idea of giving Zlex a portrait of his own could be nice, too.
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Re: Grand Portrait List - 2020 update

Post by beetlenaut »

To answer some of the questions:
* Wose shamans are used in one scenario in DM, and another in Wings of Victory (being worked on for 1.15).
* The Fire Guardian is used in three mainline campaigns. The other monsters are not used in any of them, but Falcons are core units and part of the Dunefolk faction.

* Drake females (and I think Naga males) were non sentient a few years ago, though this may have changed since then. Even if it has changed, we probably don't need separate portraits anyway; it's notoriously difficult to figure out the sex of a reptile.
* I don't think female Dwarves have been mentioned in any campaign, and I personally wouldn't care if they remained a mystery.
* The attitude of Ors towards shamans in SotBE would suddenly make much better sense if the shamans were all female. Orcs and Goblins are the same species, so they don't need separate females.
* The Saurian magic users are all male, and the fighter line is all female. Their different ways of dealing with the world might legitimately lead to some differences in style.

* A ship captain and sailor would be used in SotA. (For SotA, the captain would need decaying versions as well.) Civilians and servants would see a lot of use in UMC I'm sure, but probably not much in mainline.
* Chocobones are pretty common. They are in ten scenarios across TRoW, TSG, SotA, and even HttT. They may not have dialog, but they need a help page image.
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Re: Grand Portrait List - 2020 update

Post by LordBob »

Thanks all for the feedback, keep it coming! This makes planning a lot easier, especially in respect to missing portraits and female variants.

On variants, unless told otherwise I will then rule out Drakes and Dwarves. If it ever comes to it the latter can have "on paper" gender variants that their portraits don't reflect, like Pentarctagon suggests (I am also fine with leaving it a mystery). Same for Goblins, since it does make sense that their withered growth compared to mature orcs would reduce gender distinctions.
Nagas I might still give a couple variants; the reptilian features won't vary much for sure, but like Merfolk their upper bodies are humanoid so it wouldn't hurt to have some slender types with a semblance of a chest.

If SigurdFireDragon, or anyone up-to-date on Drake lore, knows better than we do and wants to chime in on the subject of Drake females, by all means please do.
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Re: Grand Portrait List - 2020 update

Post by Wussel »

Awesome project! Hopefully you will get some commission for this!

I like the complete approach. Like with the male elvish magic wielders. It remembers me a bit of the male amazon. I would asume the project will proberbly start fixing the lack of diversity for humans first.

The 2 mainline campaigns with very old art should proberbly get high on the list too.

Anyway it would be awesome to see something happening on the art side of Wesnoth.
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Re: Grand Portrait List - 2020 update

Post by ngoeminne »

I can only rejoyce in hearing LordBob is picking up his pencil once more for the good of all battle for wesnoth!

As I said before, we at wtactics/arcmage have used a lot of the BfW drawings, and have our own set of CC-BY-SA4 illustrations that match in theme and lore to what's been done here. Our entire artwork repo is at https://github.com/wtactics/art

We'd be willing to co-sponsor some of the drawings if that could persuade a commission for LordBob.

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Re: Grand Portrait List - 2020 update

Post by beetlenaut »

ngoeminne wrote: July 24th, 2020, 9:47 pm we at wtactics/arcmage have used a lot of the BfW drawings, and have our own set of CC-BY-SA4 illustrations
We can still use these for Wesnoth, right? Four or five of these would only need to be resized to slot right in as portraits or alternatives, including a female swordsman (swordswoman?). Several more would fit with just a bit of modification. (Which I would be willing to do try.)
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Re: Grand Portrait List - 2020 update

Post by ngoeminne »

beetlenaut wrote: July 24th, 2020, 11:33 pm We can still use these for Wesnoth, right?
Yep, they are under CC-BY-SA4. The same as the arwtork for BfW. I think there are even some of our commissioned pieces already in there.
Attribution would go to wtactics.org/arcmage.org and artist Santiago Iborra. That's all :-)
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