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Lion.Kanzen

===[TASK]=== Improve hero portraits

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6 minutes ago, m7600 said:

Lol, I don't know if that's the case yet. I obviously need to improve a lot. These portraits that I'm making are just to keep the ball rolling and maybe fill in some gaps. If Wildfire wants to use them, great. If not, no problem. It's good way for me to practice anyway, and I'm learning a lot by doing them and by trying to follow the constructive critiques that have been offered (really appreciate it).

I think there is universal acclaim for your current direction. The only issue is: do you have the perseverance to do them all and maybe even redo some of the first ones once you've improved? ;) Some people, like me, are maniacs and have been at this for years. DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES? ;) 

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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1 minute ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES? ;) 

Come on do not scare the new kid :D

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@m7600, great work! Keep it up!

3 hours ago, m7600 said:

Kush hero Arakamani

kush_hero_arakamani_256x256.png

I should have probably told you about this, but I've been working on a painting of Arakamani for his hero portrait. 

Victor Rossi, made a stunning portrait of Amanirenas a while back:

Queen Amanirenas Kingdom of Kush Kushite monarch royal woman lady Sudan Africa History Antiquity art by Victor Rossi.jpg

 

Rossi's work inspired me to paint a portrait of Nastasen. (@Stan`, I adjusted levels and contrast a little, and tightened the crop. Don't know if it's worth replacing?):

King Nastasen Kushite Pharaoh Kush Hero Portrait Nubia Sudan Africa Malcolm Quartey aka Sundiata Square 2.jpg

 

The Amanirenas portrait has a southern Sudanese look, while Nastasen has a more central Sudanese look. So I wanted to give Arakamani a more Northern Sudanese/modern Nubian look, reflecting the diversity of Kush. I started way back in February. In hindsight, I wasn't satisfied with Nastasen's uraeus, so I spent a lot more time on Arakamani's uraeus, which in turn meant I had to spend a lot more time on all the other details as well, and 2 weeks (!) into painting the portrait, I was 85% into something that was way over my head and I had a miniature mental breakdown... lol... I have a strange relationship with my own art... But I'll finish it before Alpha 24... WIP:

Arakamani hero portrait square WIP Sundiata Malcolm Quartey art Kushite King Meroitic portrait african history Ancient Nubia.jpg

 

Arakamani is said to have been educated in Greek philosophy, and his rule coincides with the move of the royal seat from Napata to Meroë, and the introduction of Hellenistic influences in Kush, which is why I gave him a sort of Hellenistic looking golden laurel wreath crown, to emphasize that. Laurels are actually depicted in combination with some Meroitic crowns, but they honestly look different. Oh well...

The full portrait was supposed to depict Arakamani's massacre of the priest of Amun at Napata, after they ordered his suicide (my kind of guy):

Arakamani hero portrait P.jpg

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8 minutes ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

I think there is universal acclaim for your current direction.

Lol, I really appreciate the moral support and the vote of confidence, but, again, I don't know if that's the case : P

8 minutes ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

The only issue is: do you have the perseverance to do them all and maybe even redo some of the first ones once you've improved?

Sure. The thing is, I really like the ones that have been made by other people. I can make all of them just so that they look like they have the same style, but it would be a shame if the ones that already exist in the game were just thrown away. 

9 minutes ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES? ;) 

I think I do, but we'll just have to wait and see : P

8 minutes ago, Stan` said:

Come on do not scare the new kid :D

I suspect that I'm a few years older than you, lol

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4 minutes ago, Sundiata said:

I should have probably told you about this, but I've been working on a painting of Arakamani for his hero portrait. 

Nah, that was my fault, I should have read the Art Dev Tracklist to the end.

5 minutes ago, Sundiata said:

Rossi's work inspired me to paint a portrait of Nastasen. (@Stan`, I adjusted levels and contrast a little, and tightened the crop. Don't know if it's worth replacing?):

Victor Rossi's works are awesome, I'm nowhere near his level (I hope that someday I can get to that level).

Your portrait of Nastasen is really cool. I don't think it should be replaced. 

As for your Arakamani portrait, it's awesome. But you already know that :D I think it should be in the game as well. It's way better than the one I did.

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I'll be honest. While @Sundiata's portraits and Rossi's are "better", it doesn't help the game to have 3 or 4  "better" portraits if all of the other portraits look completely different. Know what I mean? :) That's the last I'll say on that score. lol

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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17 minutes ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

The game really needs these to be consistent, IMHO. :) 

 

7 minutes ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

I'll be honest. While @Sundiata's portraits and Rossi's are "better", it doesn't help the game to have 3 or 4  "better" portraits if all of the other portraits look completely different. Know what I mean? :) 

Sure, I know where you're comming from. While I would like that the game kept the portraits that it already has, I do see your point. A lot of games have their own "house style". I'll just mention two examples, a commercial one and an open source one: Warcraft 3 and Battle for Wesnoth. They both have their own style. In Warcraft's case, it's a sort of cartoonish, exaggerated style, the shoulderpads for the armors tend to be huge, for example. In Wesnoth's case, it's more realistic in regards to anatomy and proportions, but with heavy and colorful linework, like an ink outline (I mean the portraits in Wesnoth, the units have a different style, pixel art)

Edited by m7600
Clarification about Wesnoth

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On 7/26/2020 at 3:45 AM, m7600 said:

Fixed what @Loki1950 pointed out in regards to Cunobelin's potrait, and I scaled it up a bit as well.

Also, I'm including here the Gaul hero Vercingetorix.
The tools, as always, are: MakeHuman, Blender, Gimp.

brit_hero_cunobelin_250x250.png

gaul_hero_vercingetorix_250x250.png

Nice job. It is a shame we didn't have proper Celtic heroes yet as a reference for you.

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20 minutes ago, Genava55 said:

Nice job. It is a shame we didn't have proper Celtic heroes yet as a reference for you.

Thanks! Well, I can always re-do the portraits, or help with the making of the props for the new heroes.

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14 minutes ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

I did the same thing for Amanirenas!

Can I have that background texture? 

Post it :)
 

14 minutes ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

Can I have that background texture? 

Sure, here it is.

noisy_background.png.161f5ff68a327bcf711d2764b9982565.png

 

 

I always change it, though. Just to add a little bit more randomness and variation. But there's really not much to it. You can make it yourself. Here's the steps that I follow.

1) Gradient fill tool (Blend tool). I don't know what it's called in Photoshop, but this is what I start with:

309493459_Screenshotfrom2020-07-2921-13-54.thumb.png.d4154cc089ed8679ea1319cead1c8471.png
 

 

 

2) Choose a large spongy brush and make some random marks here and there.

236995222_Screenshotfrom2020-07-2921-14-24.thumb.png.1b526246e113a3f7f709e27eb84ff25b.png

 

 

3) Use the Smear tool or whatever it's called in other programs, but with the same spongy brush that you used before.
That's it, really.

 

680697923_Screenshotfrom2020-07-2921-14-48.thumb.png.11b7a5a406ac5d027cd3d60850ed562a.png

 

Edited by m7600
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Just now, m7600 said:

My only concern is that @VictorRossi and @Sundiata might want to kill us for intervening their portraits XD

Don't worry, I butcher other people's artworks as a hobby ;) 

Personally I'm not in favor of replacing any existing hand painted hero artwork in the vanilla game though. 

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11 hours ago, Stan` said:

So maybe let's focus on the missing ones, then see about the rest ?

Yeah, but I'll just continue this over at the Delenda Est forum, just so that I don't step on any toes by redoing the ones that already exist or have been proposed by other people. For example, someone else made a portrait of Iphicrates in this thread. I don't know if you're going to use that one or not, but I made my own version of it for Delenda Est. I'll attach the link below. Like I said, if Wildfire wants to use any of these, great. If not, no problem.
 

 

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43 minutes ago, m7600 said:

Yeah, but I'll just continue this over at the Delenda Est forum, just so that I don't step on any toes by redoing the ones that already exist or have been proposed by other people. For example, someone else made a portrait of Iphicrates in this thread. I don't know if you're going to use that one or not, but I made my own version of it for Delenda Est. I'll attach the link below. Like I said, if Wildfire wants to use any of these, great. If not, no problem.

As you wish :) You're not stepping on anyone toes by offering alternatives :)

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Generally I like consistency. However, for hero portraits specifically, I think it's far more important they look good, are recognizable, and stand out. I would strongly recommend against basing hero portraits on actors in game; to me all soldiers look rather similar (possibly because I always play maximally zoomed out). I like the Boudicca and Nastasen portraits, not because their high detail, but because of the contrast between background and portrait; moreover, their bright background really differentiates them from the icons of other entities. As such, I recommend giving all hero portraits, or at least each hero of a civ, a clearly differently coloured background.

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@Stan`, when adding new portraits to the public mod, could you add folders under art/textures/ui/session/portraits/units/, one for each civ, as is already the case in actors/units/ ? Ideally each actor would have its own icon, so subfolders could help keeping things manageable, and have matching file names.

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3 minutes ago, Nescio said:

I would strongly recommend against basing hero portraits on actors in game

I agree, but I was told to do the opposite of that : P (but that's why I decided to continue this over at the Delenda Est forum)


I also agree with the rest of your points. :)

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4 hours ago, Nescio said:

@Stan`, when adding new portraits to the public mod, could you add folders under art/textures/ui/session/portraits/units/, one for each civ, as is already the case in actors/units/ ? Ideally each actor would have its own icon, so subfolders could help keeping things manageable, and have matching file names.

Are the new folders going to be "mace" or "macedonians"? 

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