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 Pixel Painting: AkuAkuIslands

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PostSubject: Pixel Painting: AkuAkuIslands   2017-02-20, 11:12

Hey, been feeling quite creative lately so I'll just start pouring stuff I've made into this topic. Feedback, comments and tips are most appreciated!

First off, portrait work based on Might & Magic graphics. Palette swaps so they can be picked for the faction that needs them.




I also toyed around with this idea last night. It's actually Ragoons werewolf that I took a bit further. I thought it might be cool to show the transformation from a person to a beast, since I think that's actually the most intimidating part of werewolves. Anyone could be suffering from lycanthropy. Even a lowly peasant Smile maybe he could start the battle as a person and revert back to one when he dies?



-AkuAku
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PostSubject: Re: Pixel Painting: AkuAkuIslands   2017-02-21, 08:12

Three more portraits today.


Mage (spellcasters)


Vampiress (necromancer)


Medusa (dervish)
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PostSubject: Re: Pixel Painting: AkuAkuIslands   2017-02-21, 09:24

I really like your art! I love to look at your progress, especially with animating.


When there will be enough people willing to do graphics (like you or Kantez) for our mod and improve we can open separate forum branch where everything will be developed at first under my eye, before showing it off to public, maybe even special name color in the forum Smile I've talked about it with Orzie some time ago, but there are not enough people yet. I'm not even sure if there will ever be, we'll see Wink




I like the idea of basing new heroes in sw mod on MM6 characters, though they'll need a lot of fixes before looking like other H2 heroes, though I doubt if I would be able to do it better myself! Good job mate, good base for futher work imo

About werewolf animation, I guess this is a practice for you, good progress since valkirie, but dont be afraid to change poses with every frame (for ex simple red eyes could be followed by any movement of the body, or more hair or something like that). Also notice that his sickle (or whatever it is) is changing size during animation and it's falling 3 step animation is very bad and unrealistic (look at medusa queen or acolyte death for comparison). Also when it's laying on the ground it's still facing up when it shouldn't.


About new portraits:
1. I would try to avoid making beard covering half of the image. Also bad shading of his hood, it looks like glass or gold for me rather than silk or sth like that.

2. Really good looking!  You can try to show her shoulder from the left side so it'll be more asymetrical, but it's just an idea which I would like to see Wink

3. Also, really, really good! I love the idea of medusa character as a hero, the only problem is in it's concept (how would she ride a horse?). Other than that, hair/snakes color could be closer to her counterpart on the battlefield.

Good job AkuAku, keep it up!
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PostSubject: Re: Pixel Painting: AkuAkuIslands   2017-02-21, 10:33


Hoorah! Level up!

Ragoon wrote:
About werewolf animation, I guess this is a practice for you, good progress since valkirie, but dont be afraid to change poses with every frame (for ex simple red eyes could be followed by any movement of the body, or more hair or something like that). Also notice that his sickle (or whatever it is) is changing size during animation and it's falling 3 step animation is very bad and unrealistic (look at medusa queen or acolyte death for comparison). Also when it's laying on the ground it's still facing up when it shouldn't.

Yeah, still practicing. And I actually did this one more to showcase an idea, so I didn't bother polishing it too much if it's not even possible to execute. Don't know if the transformation would be viable in terms of gameplay, but I think it would look really cool!

Ragoon wrote:
I love the idea of medusa character as a hero, the only problem is in it's concept (how would she ride a horse?).


That's actually a very good question Laughing If and when she ever makes it to the game, I could see her riding sideways, like ladies do and have her coil her tail around the horse or something (might make the horse a bit uncomfortable, but then again she has vipers for hair, so the poor animal would be scared sh*tless anyways).

Thank you so much for the feedback!

-AkuAku
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PostSubject: Re: Pixel Painting: AkuAkuIslands   2017-02-21, 17:18

Amazing work with the Medusa hero out there, Aku! This will definitely help to us.
I think you could also utilize some elements from the Green Warlock's crest from Heroes 1:




Quote :
When there will be enough people willing to do graphics (like you or Kantez) for our mod and improve we can open separate forum branch where everything will be developed at first under my eye, before showing it off to public, maybe even special name color in the forum Smile I've talked about it with Orzie some time ago, but there are not enough people yet. I'm not even sure if there will ever be, we'll see Wink

I can suggest another turn of events. In the General Modding section a subforum for fan-made graphics can be created. There can also be the tutorials for beginners looking for an advice, both from the technical side (implementing their graphics in the game to their liking) and from the drawing side (nuances of Heroes 2 style). Having the topics in an open access will only influence positively on the feedback there. I think there will be users who take this idea with enough enthusiasm.

It's true that very little amount of graphics is qualified enough to be included in H3SW, but fan creativity is also an important matter if we want to form a community around Enroth once again.

Quote :
I like the idea of basing new heroes in sw mod on MM6 characters, though they'll need a lot of fixes before looking like other H2 heroes, though I doubt if I would be able to do it better myself! Good job mate, good base for futher work imo

It's actually MM4-MM5, the games which are pretty similar to Heroes 1 in their graphic style. If you look at some characters there, you will see very familiar faces. Smile
MM6, unfortunately, doesn't look similar to any other of HoMM or MM games, because it was somewhat pioneer in the new generation of MM games (MM6-MM8). There is actually an unused Medusa portrait, too, which was once considered for the mod, but then rejected. I like Aku's variant much more and I'm happy that we got progress on the matter of portraits as well.


Quote :
1. I would try to avoid making beard covering half of the image. Also bad shading of his hood, it looks like glass or gold for me rather than silk or sth like that.

Well, we still have Tyro so a big beard might not be a huge problem probably. But yeah, something must be done with the concept (the more actual problem is the lack of background, but I hope that this can be solved easily - we desperately need some new Dervish heroes).

Quote :
3. Also, really, really good! I love the idea of medusa character as a hero, the only problem is in it's concept (how would she ride a horse?). Other than that, hair/snakes color could be closer to her counterpart on the battlefield.

I don't think it's a major problem, we can orient on a Heroes IV idea with a Medusa Princess who was half-human. A lot of ideas for bio can be created, like an attempt of a magical transformation by a human spellcaster.

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PostSubject: Re: Pixel Painting: AkuAkuIslands   2017-02-22, 09:30

Orzie wrote:
I can suggest another turn of events. In the General Modding section a subforum for fan-made graphics can be created. There can also be the tutorials for beginners looking for an advice, both from the technical side (implementing their graphics in the game to their liking) and from the drawing side (nuances of Heroes 2 style). Having the topics in an open access will only influence positively on the feedback there. I think there will be users who take this idea with enough enthusiasm.

It's true that very little amount of graphics is qualified enough to be included in H3SW, but fan creativity is also an important matter if we want to form a community around Enroth once again.
~Fix (Ragoon)

Thanks for the feedback Orzie! I suggest just moving this thread to the General Modding section. I can continue my work there and if you guys see something you like, just let me know and you can pick it up for your project. A joint thread could also work, but I think we might need more people to contribute to it. I also think that if every "artist" has their own thread, it's easier to track their progress. I personally found Ragoons thread really good, since you could see the different work stages and feedback from everybody in one thread. This was really helpful for a beginner like me.

Meanwhile, I took a break from portraits and worked on my sideproject which are creatures inspired by the far east.


First one is a samurai. Still a bit too similar to the pikeman, but the clothing could be developed further. Also I don't know if he should use a sword or the naginata.


Second is a water elemental based on the Snow Maiden and Spring Spirit in HOMM6. This one I tried to animate a bit, but soon discovered I made the kimono sleeves way too big. Oh well, good practice.


Last one is a Kirin, the japanese deer/dragon/lion/unicorn hybrid. I was trying to combine it first with the concept of a nightmare, but fire and deers don't really go together. It's like Rudolf the Reindeer from Hell Twisted Evil Second version I'm actually quite happy with, but not too sure about the scales on his back. Tail is still work in progress.
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PostSubject: Re: Pixel Painting: AkuAkuIslands   2017-02-22, 11:08

Edit, maybe you'll learn something from this Very Happy (took 45 mins, I'm waiting for inspiration for animating atm)



I really like your drawings, especially kirin! But on the other hand, maybe you can draw something that will be useful for the mod?
For the moment I know that we need new school of magic building on the map and I asked Orzie about creature dwellings, because there was something to do too if you want Wink
You can use tips from Kantez thread
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PostSubject: Re: Pixel Painting: AkuAkuIslands   2017-02-22, 21:48

Ahh, nice and refined! Thank you Smile Though no respectable samurai would hold a sword like that. But I do like what you did with his face and feet. And it's comforting to know that you fixed things that I was having issues with, not things that I hadn't even thought about.

Ragoon wrote:
For the moment I know that we need new school of magic building on the map and I asked Orzie about creature dwellings, because there was something to do too if you want Wink
You can use tips from Kantez thread

Sure, I'll give it a go. I also tried looking up what a Harpy Nest would look like in the Barbarian townscreen, but it probably hasn't been drawn yet?
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PostSubject: Re: Pixel Painting: AkuAkuIslands   2017-02-23, 00:54

Quote :
Sure, I'll give it a go. I also tried looking up what a Harpy Nest would look like in the Barbarian townscreen, but it probably hasn't been drawn yet?

There was only a draft frankensteined from an Earth Elemental dwelling.


In fact, it should be a rather standard-looking nest, yet a bit chaotic in design since Harpies are felt more like cuckoo birds or crows in behavior (hit-n-run, stealing trinkets, etc.). On a townscreen, there is a vacancy over a piece of water or the Wolf's mountain. However, the townscreen form is not a matter of discussion by now because there is no townscreen currently. So only adventure map form is the one I'm speaking of.

(WIP OUTDATED GRAPHICS)

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PostSubject: Re: Pixel Painting: AkuAkuIslands   2017-02-24, 08:05

Alright, here's what I came up with.



School of Magic.


The School of War was looking a bit messy as well, so I gave it a bit of a makeover.

Now on the subject of the Harpy Nest. I didn't do an adventure map version yet, because I wanted to run the concept by you. In my mind the Harpy is a savage creature, a carrion eater. So I had this idea where she would nest on top of a cage where the barbarians would hold their prisoners, waiting for the poor soul to die so she can feed her young. What do you think?



-AkuAku


Last edited by AkuAkuIslands on 2017-02-24, 11:21; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Pixel Painting: AkuAkuIslands   2017-02-24, 08:22

Great idea for the Harpy Nest. Smile

Just a thought, the support should be a tree (it's more irregular) rather than a pole ("too straight" for a Barbarian).
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PostSubject: Re: Pixel Painting: AkuAkuIslands   2017-02-24, 09:54

I've added it after a little adjustments:



It looks great! Smile

//Ragoon
Put them on dropbox if you can

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PostSubject: Re: Pixel Painting: AkuAkuIslands   2017-02-24, 10:09

Good job mate!

School is perfect now imo Smile Is it 1 square building still Uhm?

Only thing I would change is color transition on the school of war (especially on the roof) and maybe a bit les contrast (like on the other buildings on Uhm's screenshot)
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PostSubject: Re: Pixel Painting: AkuAkuIslands   2017-02-24, 10:17

The School of Magic kinda reminds me a model I made about a year ago  Smile

Spoiler:
 

Not bad, keep it up!

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PostSubject: Re: Pixel Painting: AkuAkuIslands   2017-02-24, 16:10

Unknown_Hero wrote:
Great idea for the Harpy Nest. Smile

Just a thought, the support should be a tree (it's more irregular) rather than a pole ("too straight" for a Barbarian).

There are not any trees on the Barbarian townscreen and shouldn't be any - it's too hard to be right with the style.

Also, Aku, what I meant is the adventure form of the nest. I didn't mean a copied Griffin's nest, but the geometry itself can be developed sometime - I'll ask Agar to think further of it.

Uhm wrote:
I've added it after a little adjustments:



It looks great! Smile

I approve these. I would only suggest to darken the tower head edges, they contrast too much with the edges of other grey-ish buildings like the Mill which stands nearby.

Concerning the School of Magic, the design can work for v0.8, but it's very likely that its width is no more than 32 pixels to fit to 1 map square. This rule is very likely to follow when we are replacing classic Heroes 3 objects, to provide a much better compatibility and convenience for the map conversions in future.

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PostSubject: Re: Pixel Painting: AkuAkuIslands   2017-02-25, 00:44

There should be no problem with conversion, it will be only displaced one field to the left, just like Witch Hut.


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PostSubject: Re: Pixel Painting: AkuAkuIslands   2017-02-28, 09:29

Thanks for the feedback guys! And thank you Uhm for fixing the School of Magic!


Here's the updated School of War.

Orzie wrote:
Also, Aku, what I meant is the adventure form of the nest.

Yup, I know and I understood that. But I wanted to run the concept by you first, before starting to make it. I didn't know how you'd feel about the cage etc. I know you have to make the townscreens in 3D, so it was a mock-up, just to see how it would work. I didn't know that the cage idea was being used on the Manticore dwelling.

Anyhow, here's three new portraits.





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PostSubject: Re: Pixel Painting: AkuAkuIslands   2017-02-28, 09:39

Your portraits are perfect! Did you make them from scratch?

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PostSubject: Re: Pixel Painting: AkuAkuIslands   2017-02-28, 10:22

Thanks Ragoon! I mostly draw from scratch, but because HOMM style doesn't follow perspective at times, I do use original portraits as reference to put features (jawlines, eyes etc.) in their place. And yeah, I'll confess. I got lazy with the cyclops' chainmail, parts of it are from an existing HOMM2 portrait, so I'll probably rework that.
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PostSubject: Re: Pixel Painting: AkuAkuIslands   2017-02-28, 10:47

I see there are very few big buildings in the swmod. Is there a reason for this ?

For example school of war is much bigger in H3. Could easily be 50 75% bigger no ?

Also, there is a big lack of water objects, however you should ask the team, don't know if there are any essential ones
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PostSubject: Re: Pixel Painting: AkuAkuIslands   2017-02-28, 16:37

Quote :
Thanks Ragoon! I mostly draw from scratch, but because HOMM style doesn't follow perspective at times, I do use original portraits as reference to put features (jawlines, eyes etc.) in their place. And yeah, I'll confess. I got lazy with the cyclops' chainmail, parts of it are from an existing HOMM2 portrait, so I'll probably rework that.

You are making a decent progress, my friend! The Cyclops hero as well as the tanned lady (I love her the most) can be considered already employed (with some possible adjustments required, of course). I don't yet know what to do with the Asian-looking lady, but probably the guys can suggest anything. I can say for sure that we have drafts of much less quality in the current lineups somewhere. For now, the Asian lady looks the most as another Wizard hero.

Quote :
I see there are very few big buildings in the swmod. Is there a reason for this ?

For example school of war is much bigger in H3. Could easily be 50 75% bigger no ?

Also, there is a big lack of water objects, however you should ask the team, don't know if there are any essential ones
Finally a post from robizeratul that I completely agree with. lol

Yes, the School of War could really use some enlargement. In fact, another reason for my struggle with Uhm's initiative to add many new houses (especially Kantez's forts) is the big difference in proportions. Also, it is very likely to make H3 objects of size similar to the original: not only it will make converting maps easier, but also will feel good enough on the adventure map, while the current size of the School of War is really smaller than it should possibly be. Not 50 or 75 percents though, but at least 25% enlargement might do a big deal already.

It is also true that we don't have many adventure objects to fill the Water. However, I would ask putting that aside until v0.9 where we can start discussing some entirely new adventure objects (right now we don't have full Heroes 2 - Heroes 3 basis which is more urgent for us).

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PostSubject: Re: Pixel Painting: AkuAkuIslands   2017-03-01, 09:14

Orzie wrote:
You are making a decent progress, my friend! The Cyclops hero as well as the tanned lady (I love her the most) can be considered already employed (with some possible adjustments required, of course).

Miss Foxy Brown is my favourite too. Almost gave her pupils, but she looked more interesting with white eyes, channeling a bit of Marvel's Storm there. When you say adjustments, what do you exactly mean? If it's about the shading and the gradients, I can work on that and try and clean up my work. I started doing the portraits in HOMM3 size and have been using the HOMM2 palette. Alternatively you can just fix up what I create, but I think it would be more beneficial in the long run if you let me know where I can improve.

I'll see what I can do with the School of War. 25% bigger, you say?

Orzie wrote:
It is also true that we don't have many adventure objects to fill the Water. However, I would ask putting that aside until v0.9 where we can start discussing some entirely new adventure objects (right now we don't have full Heroes 2 - Heroes 3 basis which is more urgent for us).

Besides the creature dwellings, what objects are you guys still lacking? Are the graphics for the skills all done?
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PostSubject: Re: Pixel Painting: AkuAkuIslands   2017-03-01, 09:25

@Orzie Well, I've decided to keep only Wasteland fort. It looked best and we were lacking a catographer, so this fort will be the best choice.

I've also already added all your portraits, AkuAkuIslands. If you will have an inspiration, we're lacking 1 Dervish, 1 Barbarian and 3 Witches Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Pixel Painting: AkuAkuIslands   2017-03-01, 09:33

Uhm wrote:
I've also already added all your portraits, AkuAkuIslands. If you will have an inspiration, we're lacking 1 Dervish, 1 Barbarian and 3 Witches Wink

Yay! Great news Smile I'll start on them in a bit. I also have sketches done for an orc, a troll and a minotaur hero. We'll see if they become finished pieces.
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PostSubject: Re: Pixel Painting: AkuAkuIslands   2017-03-01, 16:20

Quote :
Miss Foxy Brown is my favourite too. Almost gave her pupils, but she looked more interesting with white eyes, channeling a bit of Marvel's Storm there. When you say adjustments, what do you exactly mean? If it's about the shading and the gradients, I can work on that and try and clean up my work. I started doing the portraits in HOMM3 size and have been using the HOMM2 palette. Alternatively you can just fix up what I create, but I think it would be more beneficial in the long run if you let me know where I can improve.

The pupils are not yet required. We will need to see how it looks with total white eyes first. You know, the characters which come from Heroes 1 (aside from Lord Haart, Ergon, old Luna) have certain rules for their eyes, because they look as glass balls. Heroes 2 characters (Gwenneth, Jezebel, Alamar, etc., all Wizards, all Necromancers) have much more freedom for this so we can stick to those images as references.

Concerning the color transitions, there are some peculiar moments which become visible only after you work with H2 assets sometime. In fact, the style of new portraits for H3SW is a little different from what is presented in Heroes 2 (and actually we have 3 different styles there - the heroes from H1, the new heroes from H2, and the PoL heroes - while we have the resized PoL portraits, I'd like to see them converted someday). However, some of the new characters we designed look really pleasant to an eye, so I don't see any specific reasons for further unification of the portraits.

So, the portraits which are generally keeping the combined H2 style without major loss of quality:


Our portraits which satisfy certain quality standards (not perfect H2 style but I think it's enough for them to look good and be present in the game as is):


PoL portraits converted to a style looking more like general H2:


Uhm wrote:
@Orzie Well, I've decided to keep only Wasteland fort. It looked best and we were lacking a catographer, so this fort will be the best choice.

I've also already added all your portraits, AkuAkuIslands. If you will have an inspiration, we're lacking 1 Dervish, 1 Barbarian and 3 Witches Wink

Btw, I still need to update the Portrait thread and discuss some questionable fixes, if there are any. It's pity that you didn't post any of the changes on the forum before.

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