Read This First -+- What's Needed

Contribute art for mainline Wesnoth.

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Read This First -+- What's Needed

Post by Jetrel »

Hi There:
Welcome to Battle for Wesnoth's Art Forum. This is where a lot of our in-game images get hammered into shape, and is a place designed for the discussion of art designed for use in our game. In this topic, we've listed all the info you'd need to do your own work.

On our wiki, we have tutorials on art. They're not comprehensive by any means, but should definitely help, and we welcome suggestions for improvement.
- What programs you can use to make images
- What format to save images as, for inclusion
- What stylistic concerns to adhere to when making art
- Even a bit of advice on how to draw, in general
Last edited by Pentarctagon on December 1st, 2017, 7:11 am, edited 10 times in total.
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Post by Jetrel »

To find our in-game images, (both for comparison, and to see your creations ingame), read these instructions:

Things we need help with, if you're an Illustrator/Character Artist:
If you're a traditional artist, able to depict landscapes, scenes depicting events, or portraits of an individual characters, we could use your help doing exactly that.

Campaigns have individual characters, and we'd like one portrait for each (major) speaking character in a campaign. For generic units, which is how we handle minor characters, we would like to have a single picture for each unit line in the game (it's okay to share portraits between members of a line; for example it's fine for a "bowman" to have the same portrait as the "longbowman" he levels into (although we'll happily welcome unique ones for both).

We're shooting for a standard style; you can see this by looking at our current human and elf portraits. We're not interested in something obviously mismatching that style; it's fine if you're, say, a manga artist, and some of our user-made campaigns might be interested in the work, but we can't accept it into the core game. We appreciate your intent of helping out, but in order to look good, we have to reject what doesn't match. Sorry. :| These are the detailed requirements:

Currently, we're doing fairly good with our generic units, and are down to just a few remaining units, but we could use a bunch of help providing, or replacing "obviously out of style" portraits for the mainline campaigns. This is a list of what to work on: ... 89#p292889

Story Images:
Campaigns benefit from depictions of major events in the story. Currently, the only campaigns we have decent pictures for are Heir to the Throne and Two Brothers. We're considerably more relaxed about style when it comes to campaigns, but we still want only professional-quality work. Both paintings or line-art based work are fine; as long as they're well-done.

Things we need help with, if you're a CG Artist/Digital Painter:

A few of our terrains are out of date, and could use better treatment.

See this post on Needed Terrains

- Probably the worst offender is desert hills and mountains, which need to be completely redrawn. It's suggested to make desert mountains look like basaltic/volcanic rock (like in the sahara), or to make them look like the mesas in the american southwest.

- Our current "wildflowers on grassland" is very simplistic and could use a redo.

- Race-unique variants for castles and villages are welcome for every race.

- New terrains are welcome, but they need to be very well-drawn; we can generally find a use case for almost anything, or alias it with existing terrain, but it needs to look exceptionally good. We are interested in interior terrains, too; such as walls and furniture.

Attack/Item Icons:
We're pretty much done, but campaigns occasionally call for new images, as do unusual multiplayer scenarios. If you make something good, we'll put it in mainline so everything can use it.

This style of icon works very well for 'commands' in a multiplayer scenario, such as one where you can buy better armor or such, or build stuff; the community is encouraged to use that style of icon, there.

Things we need help with, if you're a Pixel/Sprite Artist:
As far as the core "mainline" game is concerned, we're not open to new unit designs; although it's a lot of fun to make new units, we've got a full set in the game right now. What we need help with more than anything else is improving our animations. It's the best thing to do because it improves every player's experience, and because (as long as they're well-drawn) nearly guarantees the work will be included in-game. We really appreciate the help, and the lead artists are much more willing to use their extremely limited free time to teach people if those people are working on the core of the game, rather than on some peripheral feature.

If you're dead-set on designing new units, we have a lot of user-made campaigns which would love to use your work, but it probably won't reach as wide of an audience as making stuff for the core game.

Short Notes on Animation:
With all animations, the best thing is to do it right the first time. "Placeholder" animations are not welcome, because they don't look better and someone has to redo them anyways, later. Practically every one of these animations will need at least four or five frames, minimum. It's at least an afternoon's work or so. That said, a huge time-saver is to "clone" an existing animation - if an animation of the right type exists for a very similar unit, you can copy in appropriate body parts to change the animation into one suitable for the new unit. This is similar to the process described here.

Attack animations
Attack animations should generally point to the SE direction. For bladed weapons, they should swing in a nice arc so that the same animation can nicely be used towards the S as well. Open and closed threads on the subject:

Defence animations
These generally point in the same direction as the base frame, and will be 2 frames long - one frame 'preparing to get hit', one frame 'actually getting hit'. They play very quickly (over within 250ms) and therefore should never be longer than two frames. Many of the current ones are only one frame, so there is room for improvement there.

Idle Animations
Idle animations are of the unit doing some action once they're sufficiently bored, such as kicking dust around, or swinging their weapon through the air. They trigger at some random time interval after the unit is inactive on screen:

Standing Animations
Aka breathing animations, like one would see in a fighter game. Besides winged-units flapping, we have none yet, but we'd like to have some.

Death Animations
These need to be about half a second long, which means about 4-5 frames. We're hoping to standardize these to all fit the same system, so that we can reuse some of the frames; this will mean that most of the animations should simply be of the character falling forward onto their face. The first frame should double as a "stooped stance from critical injury"; as if the character is on their last legs. The last frame should be of them lying forward facedown, and will double as a corpse frame.
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Re: Read This First -+- A list of things we need help with

Post by pauxlo »

MrSeb wrote:However after reading a lot of posts I'm still quite confused about what would presently be more useful, so an update of this thread would be nice!
thespaceinvader posted a list in another forum some weeks ago (and melinath added a list for the campaigns two post later).
Maybe those could be copied/moved here for easier reference?
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Re: Read This First -+- A list of things we need help with

Post by Jetrel »

thespaceinvader wrote:This seems as good a place as any to try to organise a full and comprehensive list of things that are still to be done in the game art:
Base frames:
North facings:
Attack icons:
Shadow updates:
If I've missed anything or got anythign wrong, and you have the capability, feel free to edit, or suggest it if you do not.
melinath wrote:
Lendrick wrote:Also, for the time being, we would prefer to concentrate on highly visible parts of the mainline campaign(s).
Take your pick! Here's a quick go-through of various campaigns. Not official opinions of course. Just my personal analysis.
An Orcish Incursion:
Delfador's Memoirs:
Descent Into Darkness:
Eastern Invasion:
Heir To The Throne:
Legend of Wesmere:
Northern Rebirth:
Sceptre of Fire:
Son of the Black Eye:
The Hammer Of Thursagan:
The Rise Of Wesnoth:
The South Guard:
Two Brothers:
I don't know what the art devs priorities are... personally, I'd like to see TRoW redone. :-)
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Re: Read This First -+- A list of things we need help with

Post by nickg4000 »


How often is this list updated? I see the last post was January 2010 so is that the date of the list too?
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Re: Read This First -+- A list of things we need help with

Post by beetlenaut »

Yes. This list is very much out of date.
Campaigns: Dead Water,
The Founding of Borstep,
Secrets of the Ancients,
and WML Guide
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Re: Read This First -+- Legal Notes (Art) -+- What's Needed

Post by Llewoj »

Hi, just wondering if this list could be updated, I would be interested in trying to contribute portrait drawings.
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Re: Read This First -+- Legal Notes (Art) -+- What's Needed

Post by Wussel »

South guard was worked on by Kitty.

Some of the fellows like Deoran where finished.
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Re: Read This First -+- Legal Notes (Art) -+- What's Needed

Post by Llewoj »

Ah... Well if there is still a need for portraits just buzz me and I am willing to contribute. :)
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Re: Read This First -+- Legal Notes (Art) -+- What's Needed

Post by Iris »

Llewoj wrote:Ah... Well if there is still a need for portraits just buzz me and I am willing to contribute. :)
I don’t know about mainline since that’s Jetrel’s domain, but user-made content authors are often on the look-out for decent portrait artists. In either case, you would be more likely to attract someone’s interest if you posted or linked some samples of your past work in the Art Workshop section.
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