Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
LordGood

Unit portrait pipeline

Recommended Posts

Simply put, I'm willing to replace the Carthage unit icons with hand made ones, but I'll need some ruthless criticism

ruthless

Muster up every ounce of criticism you have and throw it at me, don't even worry about sounding like a jerk and hurting my feelings because I'm wearing my feeling-proof armor.

I put it on after a bluescreen took out my Italian allied swordsman mercenary icon

and yes, that is an African elephant.

post-14999-0-53483300-1363526986_thumb.j

post-14999-0-71986800-1363526992_thumb.j

post-14999-0-96228300-1363527002_thumb.j

post-14999-0-34821600-1363527009_thumb.j

post-14999-0-08456700-1363527018_thumb.j

Edited by LordGood
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Art-style is great for illustrations but not for game buttons.Try to scale them down to the ingame buttons resolution. They're going to be impossible to distinguish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From Pureon post of Icon showcase:

The icons themselves are created at 128x128 pixels or larger, but must remain recognizable when scaled down to 40x40 pixels when used on the game's user interfaces. This need for scalability means the full size must have high contrast colours and sometimes include exaggerated shapes, otherwise they will fade and blur too much when scaled down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The scaling issue is probably the most important one, but a few additional ones:

- Will there be other backgrounds made? Solid light blue seems inappropriate.

- It spooks me out that I can't see the units faces.

- The two soldier units in the top row seem too passive, they could be more menacing. Maybe you could use posture as an additional cue to distinguish them from each other.

- The elephant in the top-right icon is taking up too much of the icon's space. The icon is almost all grey skin/flesh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right i did a quick markup on the elephant, the size matter will take a little more time

it seems to scale down better but is it enough?

also, i could put a faint carthage... thing in the background. the triangle with the arms and the head thing. It could tie the units together as Carthaginian

Purple looks silly there doesnt it?

post-14999-0-64463000-1363530830_thumb.j

post-14999-0-32587300-1363531071_thumb.j

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A large part of the elefants left side is quite dark and the grey parts are similar to the background color.

That makes it not very sutiable for a small icon because It's too hard to recognice it at a glace.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks great IMO. I can't immediately guess which unit it is, but I believe what is most important is that I distinguish it from other icons, so I am able to learn which unit it corresponds to by clicking it. That is, if it looks different from any other icon, and a spearman always comes out when I click it, I will quickly learn the correspondence, and be able to identify it at a glance in-game.

I believe Yves is right, though, and maybe the shield here is a bit difficult to make out from the background.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll be a lot more critical since I actually think you have some talent and want to see you push these. I think the looseness works well since they will be viewed at such small sizes, and your speed seems to be excellent. I think a few of them could stand to be tightened up a tad even at such small sizes, and I think you need to heighten contrasts in a few key areas as currently a lot of information is hidden in shadow, likely areas that you felt less confident in tackling. You also want to be more choosy in your shadow shapes, you have some dramatic sweeping shadows that look cool at 200x200 but I don't think are working perfectly at 40x40. Additionally, please tighten up some of the shield shapes, you can use the ellipse tool if you have trouble drawing ellipses, but some of the shields are getting kinda mushy looking. I think the biggest thing your painting overall requires right now is for you to get a stronger grasp of edges, so far most things are painted softly, and it's not such a big deal at these sizes, but if you start trying to really observe and implement a hard edged transition between values and learn when to let edges be soft selectively, it will improve your painting dramatically. If there's anything I really dislike about any of them it's the background, it's too obviously a gradient and I don't think it does justice to the units. If needed I could paint a quickie sky background that you could just take chunks of to use for your backgrounds, or honestly, just grab a picture of a sky from the public domain or the CC section of flickr and paint over it with a soft oils or cloud brush to get it look painterly, some of the best painters in the entertainment industry use tons of photo collage that they drop into their paintings and paint so it looks seamless. Please for the sake of what you already have done,d on't keep those backgrounds. No offense intended of course. That said, I do actually like the last background you posted.

Also, is there any consensus from an art director or any of the dev leads as to precisely what framing is desired? Are we going head and shoulders for heroes and torso and head for vanilla units or what? I think clarity on this subject is important.

In fact, I've seen your architectural drawings, there's no excuse for your edges, I know digital is weird and tends to make you wanna have everything smooth, but you can draw, bring some of that sense of plane and edge into your figures, it'll really help.

Edited by JustinOperable
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lastly, you seem to like moody lighting with sweeping shadows, please start introducing bounce light and some theatrical touches like rim lighting and hair lights, it's ridiculous how much a film lighting look adds to a portrait. It almost feels like cheating. It'd help a lot on your elephant.

Edited by JustinOperable

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JustinOperable, now THAT is a critique!

I switched up the background, that last one is the one I was hoping to use across all of the portraits eventually, and I know I'll have to completely start from scratch on a couple.

Ill do some more experimenting with the cropping, lighting, and backgrounds; I'll tighten up those edges, thanks for that critique, It'll help me out a lot

As for the framing, I'm going to try for a similar layout to the Greek unit icons, they seem to have just the head and torso in a dynamic pose for the most part

post-14999-0-90511000-1363594078_thumb.j

Edited by LordGood

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

About the faces: since the goal is to make the icon easily identifiable, I am not sure it is a good idea to leave out the faces. I can't immediately prove it, but I believe that if you showed me a series images of faceless bodies vs. a series of images of bodies with faces, I would have more difficulty remembering and telling apart the faceless ones than the ones with faces.

For instance, see this:

tumblr_ll9oqgJXFc1qfms26o1_400.jpg

The two images at the top look different from each other, but not hugely so. The two images at the bottom, on the other hand, look very different from each other - even though they are the same images as the ones at the top only 'flipped' upside down. This is the Thatcher effect. It suggests that we have specialized functions for recognizing upright faces.

People with prosopagnosia or face blindness are impaired in this ability, so it is good to have other cues as well:

The specific brain area usually associated with prosopagnosia is the fusiform gyrus, which activates specifically in response to faces. Thanks to this specialization, most people recognize faces much more effectively than they do similarly complex inanimate objects. For those with prosopagnosia, the ability to recognize faces depends on the less-sensitive object recognition system.
Edited by zoot

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I cleaned it up a bit and added a reflected light source from the ground

watered down the front sfumato, brightened the colors, and darkened the area behind the shield a bit

I personally kind of like the soldiers with the concealed eyes, but I can mark up some of the icons I plan to overhaul

post-14999-0-60170100-1363598103_thumb.j

Edited by LordGood
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks cool and the background is cool, but if you squint you'll see the shadow shape blacks out the better part of the image and the shield is kinda blown out value-wise. If it were a 200pixel image I'd offer different crits, but for now I think you need to resolve how to get it to read at 40 pixels with that big shadow shape, I'll do a paintover tomorrow when I have my tablet to offer some more constructive advice on your images.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That last one looks awesome LordGood!

Tbh, I think we're not going to be able to find enough artists to have all the unit icons hand-painted. It was decided to use ingame screenshots for unit portraits also for consistency reasons instead of having different styles for each faction/artist.

I don't want your talent to be wasted on portraits that maybe don't make it into the game.

But would you like to make some main menu backgrounds? it would be awesome to have more than one picked randomly. There you can make it with all the detail you want ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am here to learn Enrique! If I accomplish nothing but that I'll be happy. I just hope the Greek portraits are here to stay.

The multiple menu screens sounds awesome, I always thought this game had a bit of a bias towards the Greek States

the menu screen probably has something to do with it xP

If it's a slow Back/mid/foreground separate pan will I need three images or will I have to animate that myself?

I kind of hoped the reflected light and the bloom around the tusk would balance out the composition, not sure it worked.

post-14999-0-61753800-1363601768_thumb.j

Edited by LordGood
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think they're three images, but I have zero knowledge about how the menu background works/needs...

I'm sure someone here will point you in the right direction ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...