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 Adventure Map Shadows Issue

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Orzie
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PostSubject: Adventure Map Shadows Issue   2017-02-05, 19:20

Another difference between Heroes 2 and Heroes 3 is the shadows for the adventure map objects, which currently cause problems with our maps.

Heroes 2 has much brighter gamma and its pixel graphics contrast more with each other. This results in a better compatibility for map objects which don't aggressively overlay on each other. In our maps the shadows are often a problem and such aggressive deep shadow tone draws too much attention on Heroes 2 bright terrains.



There are 2 factors which create this issue.



1. 4 shadow tones for Heroes 2 vs. 2 shadow tones for Heroes 3.





(the red dots on the body of the dwelling is a result of the same color used for different indexes. this won't cause problems in the game)

Multiple shadow tones allow the objects to fit more softly on the terrains.


2. Too deep shadow tone for index 4 in Heroes 3 (#ff00ff)

In fact, the maintenance colors reserved for shadows are the same for both games. The real trouble is that the deepest shadow tone (named Deep Shadow) is much darker than the same index for Heroes 2 palette. This causes problems with massive objects leaving a massive bulk shadow like mountains, castles, etc.



To sum up, only indexes 1 and 4 are used for Heroes 3, while indexes 2 and 3 seem to be redundant for the adventure map. However, these indexes are probably still used in combat or elsewhere.

The required adjustments to the shadows are both implementing all 4 tones AND making the tones much less aggressive. While the last action (making the tones less aggressive) can be performed without re-packing the map objects, the 4-tone feature will once require a re-check for our map objects which have more than 2 tones. For example, trees have all 4 tones, and the Oracle has 3 tones. I don't think it's necessary to fight for any objects different than the trees and probably castles/mines though.

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Uhm
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PostSubject: Re: Adventure Map Shadows Issue   2017-02-06, 04:42

Another issue are wrong shadows on a white sand:


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PostSubject: Re: Adventure Map Shadows Issue   2017-02-06, 05:01

This is absolutely the same issue. Smile

Our shadows look too deep on every terrain because of the abovementioned reasons.

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PostSubject: Re: Adventure Map Shadows Issue   2017-02-06, 11:45

I am not so sure, it's a bit different shade. HoTA team also worked on this issue:


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PostSubject: Re: Adventure Map Shadows Issue   2017-02-06, 17:47

This is definitely the same issue, and HotA team supposedly already know how to fix it. There are still 2 tones, but the shadow is "colored", so to say. It seems that this does not depend on terrain, it's just more visible on sand.

If you mean that there is half-transparent shadows - it's probably true, and this is probably what we require anyway, because HotA shadow looks almost H2-styled. Yet, it still doesn't have 4 tones.

I suppose I should add paragraph 3 in the top post regarding half-transparency.

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PostSubject: Re: Adventure Map Shadows Issue   2017-02-10, 06:53

What parameters (color and transparency coeff.) H2 shadow have?

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PostSubject: Re: Adventure Map Shadows Issue   2017-02-10, 16:31

We can figure this out only experimentally.

I can either make a blank white terrain and pack it into Heroes 2 so we will be able to check the tones, or re-pack a mountain sprite with only 2 tones and just screenshot it on all terrains so we will be able to compare it with the same object in H3SW.

I'll do something related today.

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PostSubject: Re: Adventure Map Shadows Issue   2017-02-12, 07:00

Uhm wrote:
Another issue are wrong shadows on a white sand:


First steps towards the solution (only 1 shadow tone implemented):


For some objects it doesn't work as expected currently though. Will need to check their defs tomorrow.


Also, it seems that our Sand terrain is packed incorrectly (lacking grey dots), while the shadow system needs a fix due to an obvious bug with 1-pixel shift.

The palette of the mountain seems to be ruined, too. Probably the same case as the one with creatures like we discussed in PM. Need to try repacking it with the newest version of DefTool (we will do that anyway after all 4 shadow tones are implemented)

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PostSubject: Re: Adventure Map Shadows Issue   2017-02-12, 08:09

Terrain is packed properly. It looks like it's lacking some dots, because in fact sand terrain uses only one tile as a base and the rest differs only with dots in different colours and patterns.

Shadow is shifted, because probably you had swapped lighter pink border with darker pink and in a result deep shadow reach further.

I've also changed original mountain's colours to yellow. I think it looks better now.

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PostSubject: Re: Adventure Map Shadows Issue   2017-02-12, 11:22

No, shift is my bug (not really bug, cause I knew about this effect, just lazyness with proof-of-concept code)
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PostSubject: Re: Adventure Map Shadows Issue   2017-02-19, 21:55

Current situation with the shadows (successfully implemented 4 tones for Heroes 3, but the palettes require major corrections).


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PostSubject: Re: Adventure Map Shadows Issue   2017-02-19, 22:15

So, now we will have to repack everything once again? Razz I would suggest to hold off with implementing it for v0.9, because otherwise we will never release v0.8.

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PostSubject: Re: Adventure Map Shadows Issue   2017-02-19, 22:21

Yeah, this will be for later. I may personally spend some time to repack trees and mountains though.

Anyways, even the current 2 shadows will be softer and thus the maps will look more correct.

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PostSubject: Re: Adventure Map Shadows Issue   2017-04-02, 16:49

Guess what we have here Smile


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PostSubject: Re: Adventure Map Shadows Issue   2017-04-02, 21:27

Will it work with all of the map objects, involving these with a broken palette? We have no time for fixing it.

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PostSubject: Re: Adventure Map Shadows Issue   2017-04-03, 03:48

Should work with everything, feanor makes it for 65536 colors. The only things which will eventually need repacking is the trees and mountains which in fact have more than 2 shadow tones and sometimes their shadows stack too aggressively. For v0.8 it's either none or all tree sprites on the global map - they require it the most and it shouldn't take long.

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PostSubject: Re: Adventure Map Shadows Issue   2017-05-02, 07:19

New shadows present a feature known from original H2: they're appearing on a neighbouring objects:



But unfortunately it works only for the 2 newest shades...

EDIT: I was mistaken. In H2 not all of the objects cast shadows on other objects, but only palms do this. I wonder why did developers do this

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Last edited by Uhm on 2017-05-02, 09:27; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Adventure Map Shadows Issue   2017-05-02, 08:01

That doesn't look too good. I hope it can be fixed somehow, if not we should probably stick with the old shadow.
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PostSubject: Re: Adventure Map Shadows Issue   2017-05-05, 01:03

I informed feanor on the matter, thank you. We probably cannot expect the solution too soon, so let's concentrate on other tasks left.

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PostSubject: Re: Adventure Map Shadows Issue   2017-05-05, 04:16

Orzie wrote:
I informed feanor on the matter, thank you. We probably cannot expect the solution too soon, so let's concentrate on other tasks left.

Agree, let's leave this for now, keep the "old" shadows and finish the missing stuff.
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