~ Forums of Enroth ~

An Enroth diehard fan community
 
HomeHome  ChatChat  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  RegisterRegister  Log inLog in  
Latest topics
» Ironfist 1.3.0
by tornado711 Today at 09:26

» H3SW: General Graphics discussion
by Sir Albe Today at 09:00

» H3SW: Classic Faction Lineups
by Orzie Yesterday at 05:25

» H3SW: Artifact system
by Orzie Yesterday at 04:08

» H3SW: Character Portraits
by BoseDrache Yesterday at 00:04

» H3SW v0.8 Beta To-Do List / Список целей на v0.8
by Orzie 2017-11-19, 08:25

» H3SW General Discussion
by Orzie 2017-11-19, 06:34

Poll
"Wait" in HoMM2?
Yes
81%
 81% [ 48 ]
No
19%
 19% [ 11 ]
Total Votes : 59
Most Viewed Topics
H3SW: General Graphics discussion
Ragoon's Graphics For HoMM3SW
H3SW General Discussion
H3SW: Dwelling Development
H3SW Map List: Work in progress
Dervish Faction General Concept
Enrothian Fan Art
Commanders?
H3SW Recruitment Point - Enroth Needs You!
Серия книг "Земли Меча и Магии"

Share | 
 

 H3SW: Creature Backgrounds?

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
Go to page : 1, 2  Next

Which sort of creature background pleases your eyes more?
Pixel-styled (new idea)
13%
 13% [ 1 ]
3D Renders + Noise (Heroes 2 classic)
87%
 87% [ 7 ]
Total Votes : 8
 

AuthorMessage
Orzie
Master Modder
Master Modder
avatar

Messages : 1571
Quality Points : 659
Registration Date : 2014-12-12
Age : 25
Location : Tomsk, Russia

PostSubject: H3SW: Creature Backgrounds?   2017-05-06, 16:28

The only problem which really stops us from releasing the last promo screenshot before the release is the creature backgrounds.

Problem:
The decreased window size in H3 interface (82x93 -> 58x64) put on an increased screen resolution (640x480 -> 800x600) no longer allows our pixel style creatures to fit to the noised texture of classic H2 background. The white numbers look really bad and it's very hard to discern the precise number in some cases, as well as to understand what is really placed behind the creature because of the decreased window size.





Possible solution:

You see, there is a special feature with H1-styled backgrounds. They are of a different style, but this is generally fixable; but the main advantage is that our creatures fit very well over this pixel style. One of the best examples is the Sorceress roster:



Just look how nicely the numbers do fit over this background as well as creatures thanks to the road section added below and overall color transitions of the background image. These graphics come from Heroes 1 and Might&Magic 4-5, so they are a little less colourful and will require some polishment which I can personally make in the following couple of days (9th of May is a national holiday in Russia).

The only really strong disadvantages here are the current shape of the Knight and Necromancer backgrounds:




The current situation with 3D-render+noise backgrounds:




Conclusion:

Objectively, I must admit that some of the classic-styled backgrounds fit much better. Probably, it will be easier to work with classic-styled Wizard, Sorceress and Knight to make them looking better (for example, taking another piece of the classic 82x93 image), than to fiddle with pixel styled backgrounds which obviously will need much more input, but they surely have more potential for the discernibility of creatures and numbers = functionality.

The time is running out so perhaps the quick solution is better in our situation.

________________________
In case someone cares for my music:
Mylinks_profile_page
Back to top Go down
Ragoon
Minotaur
Minotaur
avatar

Messages : 298
Quality Points : 271
Registration Date : 2016-05-30
Age : 20
Location : Wrocław, Poland

PostSubject: Re: H3SW: Creature Backgrounds?   2017-05-07, 00:10

I like classic backgrounds much better. They fit the game better, look better alone (without creatures) and the creatures present on them are a little easier to see.
Also there is not much of a difference in term of white number visibility and if it was problematic, probably simply darkening the lower part of the bg should do the trick without being too noticeable.

Pixel styled ones are also different from what castles have to offer in term of terrain (like no dense forests in sorceress or grass in barbarian).

Positive moral  100% classic Positive moral
Back to top Go down
https://www.facebook.com/ragoon97
Uhm
Minotaur
Minotaur
avatar

Messages : 392
Quality Points : 425
Registration Date : 2015-07-17
Age : 22
Location : Poland

PostSubject: Re: H3SW: Creature Backgrounds?   2017-05-07, 00:53

I like the new ones. I think that on such small icons the noise of the original H2 images is too visible, they look blurry. I would also check out Ragoon's idea - darkening lower part under numbers sounds good for both options.

________________________
Well, Roland, it seems I've won our little contest.  But don't worry. Not only have I decided to spare your life, but I am appointing you monarch of the Western Tower.  Perhaps I will come and visit your splendid court, when you are not entertaining important rats and spiders.
Back to top Go down
Orzie
Master Modder
Master Modder
avatar

Messages : 1571
Quality Points : 659
Registration Date : 2014-12-12
Age : 25
Location : Tomsk, Russia

PostSubject: Re: H3SW: Creature Backgrounds?   2017-05-07, 03:53

I also have to admit that classic backgrounds are more balanced in terms of color scheme currently. New drafts bring too much color variety and lack saturation/contrast.

So, I am currently more shifted towards fixing/remaking the classic-styled icons with regards to some chosen rules - a piece of skies must be visible, general townscreen terrain gamma should be kept, the lower part of the background image must provide space for white numbers. I'll try to reduce the noise manually so it won't be as disturbing.

By the way, an idea with darkening the lower zone can also work. Will need to see how it looks myself though.

________________________
In case someone cares for my music:
Mylinks_profile_page
Back to top Go down
Tibor0803
Nomad
Nomad
avatar

Messages : 52
Quality Points : 13
Registration Date : 2015-08-09
Age : 26
Location : Budapest, Hungary

PostSubject: Re: H3SW: Creature Backgrounds?   2017-05-07, 04:40

http://i.imgur.com/fzd40c9.png

H2 Classic style 4ever! This game mode supposed to be H2 and H3 mixup. H1 is not invited to the party.

Anyone who wants the H1 style backgrounds for the creatures then make this optional, so everyone's wish can come true.
Back to top Go down
Ragoon
Minotaur
Minotaur
avatar

Messages : 298
Quality Points : 271
Registration Date : 2016-05-30
Age : 20
Location : Wrocław, Poland

PostSubject: Re: H3SW: Creature Backgrounds?   2017-05-07, 07:11

Tibor0803, that's actually a good idea, I quite like it Smile Not for the v0.8 / v0.9 beta (because it would require double of the work time), but overall - why not?
Like an optional addon for the release maybe?

On the other hand I dont know if it would get enough attention to be worth doing in the first place.
Back to top Go down
https://www.facebook.com/ragoon97
Sir Albe
Vampire
Vampire
avatar

Messages : 527
Quality Points : 317
Registration Date : 2015-07-16
Age : 22
Location : Aalborg, Denmark

PostSubject: Re: H3SW: Creature Backgrounds?   2017-05-07, 20:32

I completely agree with Ragoon and I am not in doubt regarding this issue.

I fully support the classic H2-styled backgrounds. I think they look much better than the new ones and I don't see how they should make the numbers more difficult to read.

Comparing the two pictures with the different backgrounds shows no difference in how the numbers stand out. I also find it a bit confusing that the new pixel backgrounds don't match the town the creatures belong to. It has always been like that from H1 to H3.
Back to top Go down
Tibor0803
Nomad
Nomad
avatar

Messages : 52
Quality Points : 13
Registration Date : 2015-08-09
Age : 26
Location : Budapest, Hungary

PostSubject: Re: H3SW: Creature Backgrounds?   2017-05-08, 08:06

Sir Albe wrote:
I completely agree with Ragoon and I am not in doubt regarding this issue.

I fully support the classic H2-styled backgrounds. I think they look much better than the new ones and I don't see how they should make the numbers more difficult to read.

Comparing the two pictures with the different backgrounds shows no difference in how the numbers stand out. I also find it a bit confusing that the new pixel backgrounds don't match the town the creatures belong to. It has always been like that from H1 to H3.

v0.8 and v0.9 beta were already been under working progress so long so I don't request keep both. Even if it's a good idea by me, I don't wish this project become more difficult the way already it is. Sir Albe, I completely agree with you with the non-matching backgrounds of the theme of the actual townscapes. If you support the H2-styled backgrounds for the creatures, then go for it. Hopefully the vast majority of the forum community suggest the same. What I'm sure about is that making stack numbers having black outlines will fix the problem of difficulties reading the stack numbers of specific creatures cause of the pixelized H1-styled backgrounds but extra work for no reasonable rewards are unnecessary.
Back to top Go down
buffkaz
Nomad
Nomad
avatar

Messages : 69
Quality Points : 39
Registration Date : 2015-10-25
Location : Netherlands

PostSubject: Re: H3SW: Creature Backgrounds?   2017-05-08, 09:15

I like the H1 styled backgrounds better. They're much more clean and less distracting. Contrast is a bit too low nonetheless.
Back to top Go down
GodRage
Webmaster
Webmaster
avatar

Messages : 635
Quality Points : 145
Registration Date : 2009-09-21

PostSubject: Re: H3SW: Creature Backgrounds?   2017-05-08, 19:08

I like both, but picked Classic style.
Maybe the H1's one may get some use in something else in some years.

________________________
~Lands of Enroth~
Back to top Go down
http://homm2.free.fr
Orzie
Master Modder
Master Modder
avatar

Messages : 1571
Quality Points : 659
Registration Date : 2014-12-12
Age : 25
Location : Tomsk, Russia

PostSubject: Re: H3SW: Creature Backgrounds?   2017-05-11, 03:28

Of course it was intended that "H1" style backgrounds (which actually don't come only from H1, but some also do from earlier MM games like MM3 and MM4-5) would be fixed appropriately to fit to overall Heroes 2-ish style (or at least H3SW-ish style which, good or bad, has some unique traits too).

However, the argument about the backgrounds not correlating to the townscreen graphics is very legit, so personally I also tend to create another iteration of H2-styled pictures. Coming soon.

________________________
In case someone cares for my music:
Mylinks_profile_page
Back to top Go down
Orzie
Master Modder
Master Modder
avatar

Messages : 1571
Quality Points : 659
Registration Date : 2014-12-12
Age : 25
Location : Tomsk, Russia

PostSubject: Re: H3SW: Creature Backgrounds?   2017-05-12, 19:19

So here is what we have for the Knight.





However, in the game this option will receive mixed reviews. Just look at this:



Although Peasant looks good enough, any creature with bright yellow or white tones like the Skeleton or the Bone Dragon will look really poor with numbers. The possible solution looks like this:



This is achieved via adjusting the Lightness parameter (Photoshop: Image->Correction->Hue & Saturation->Lightness) to -70. In my opinion, it looks REALLY useful and should be REALLY stylish on the hero army screen as well as the townscreen window.


One disadvantage is that the grass is less visible. Here is one more comparison of different Lightness parameters: -30 to -50 to -70.



As we can see, the -50 parameter is also acceptable, but not so stylish as the darker area is not in a good contrast with the background. Having a -70 parameter seems to be a more stylish solution looking like a native part of the interface.

I'll think about the grass area later: perhaps it's not that required to make any further adjustments. Still, we are in disadvantage because of modding. Once again, personally I feel the -70 line very functional. If this suggestion is met well enough by you guys, we can make final adjustments to the townscreen graphics and release a long time anticipated update to our info sources.

P.S. Concerning the black outline for numbers: this would require a lot of effort in breaking the game's code once again, and the result may not be really better than the one suggested above. I'd prefer to have feanor doing really useful tasks when he is able/inspired to.

________________________
In case someone cares for my music:
Mylinks_profile_page
Back to top Go down
Orzie
Master Modder
Master Modder
avatar

Messages : 1571
Quality Points : 659
Registration Date : 2014-12-12
Age : 25
Location : Tomsk, Russia

PostSubject: Re: H3SW: Creature Backgrounds?   2017-05-12, 19:54

UPD. An upgrade of the background concept with the more visible grass area.


________________________
In case someone cares for my music:
Mylinks_profile_page
Back to top Go down
Sir Albe
Vampire
Vampire
avatar

Messages : 527
Quality Points : 317
Registration Date : 2015-07-16
Age : 22
Location : Aalborg, Denmark

PostSubject: Re: H3SW: Creature Backgrounds?   2017-05-12, 20:44

Hard to say. I honestly would like to avoid the black bar, since it cuts the portrait into a square. I do see the problem with the numbers on the white creatures, but it comes down to sacrificing the full sized portraits for having better readability for certain scenarios.

For instance, I only think the numbers become difficult to read for 1257 and 257 for the paladin. For the skeleton I find all the numbers in readable quality. For the bone dragon only the 5 is difficult to read for me. Your solution would be the 1257 and 257 for the paladin and all numbers expect 1-9 easier to read for the bone dragon, but I am torn by if that is what we get by cutting the portraits and adding the black bar.


If it is only a problem for some cases with two of our creatures (which is both lvl 7 and thus usually don't appear in large numbers), then I think I would rather keep the full portraits.
Back to top Go down
Orzie
Master Modder
Master Modder
avatar

Messages : 1571
Quality Points : 659
Registration Date : 2014-12-12
Age : 25
Location : Tomsk, Russia

PostSubject: Re: H3SW: Creature Backgrounds?   2017-05-12, 20:47

No, we don't have a choice like "either/or" here. That's a problem which is necessary to be dealt with - it's not acceptable to have even 1 creature with broken numbers. What is the most important is the functionality here - no one looks at pictures when playing for a month already, but everyone will look at numbers anytime.

Also, the bar is not black. It is still transparent. We may try -60 Lightness to brighten it a little bit, and also make the grass brighter so it won't be completely lost after the adjustment, but the Paladin's body still needs to be darkened for no less than 50, otherwise the numbers are lost.

________________________
In case someone cares for my music:
Mylinks_profile_page
Back to top Go down
Sir Albe
Vampire
Vampire
avatar

Messages : 527
Quality Points : 317
Registration Date : 2015-07-16
Age : 22
Location : Aalborg, Denmark

PostSubject: Re: H3SW: Creature Backgrounds?   2017-05-12, 20:50

So there is no choice, is that the case? If I have to choose between the different kinds of bar shades then I would choose the -50 one. It keeps most of the portrait while also making the numbers easy to read.
Back to top Go down
Orzie
Master Modder
Master Modder
avatar

Messages : 1571
Quality Points : 659
Registration Date : 2014-12-12
Age : 25
Location : Tomsk, Russia

PostSubject: Re: H3SW: Creature Backgrounds?   2017-05-12, 21:03

Lightness -40 + brightened grass:



Looks acceptable IMO if we try to save the visibility of the background. A more complex adjustment would require partial darkening of the bottom of the image (selecting the paladin, darkening it more than the rest of the image, etc...), but this would require x5 more effort. Still doable though, but the result might not be pleasing because of the overall contrast. I'll try that in the evening, let's hope for other members' opinions here too.

P.S. Will need to check all white creatures on their respective backgrounds. Necromancer won't lose much because of having a black background already, but the Arch Mage or the Ghost actually can. The Dervish's background is yellow itself which is even more problematic.

________________________
In case someone cares for my music:
Mylinks_profile_page
Back to top Go down
Sir Albe
Vampire
Vampire
avatar

Messages : 527
Quality Points : 317
Registration Date : 2015-07-16
Age : 22
Location : Aalborg, Denmark

PostSubject: Re: H3SW: Creature Backgrounds?   2017-05-12, 21:17

Looks good. I don't think a gradient bar shade from below and upwards will do much good. I like this solution the best.
Back to top Go down
Orzie
Master Modder
Master Modder
avatar

Messages : 1571
Quality Points : 659
Registration Date : 2014-12-12
Age : 25
Location : Tomsk, Russia

PostSubject: Re: H3SW: Creature Backgrounds?   2017-05-13, 04:33

So here's what we have. I put mostly the most inconvenient creatures to check if they do well with the numbers. I am mostly pleased by the result, except the case with the Unicorn. I'll think about it.

Before:


After:


I decided to keep the Necromancer and Warlock portraits as they were before (e.g. without skies). They look good even that way, especially if we count that these factions will tend to appear underground on random maps.

________________________
In case someone cares for my music:
Mylinks_profile_page
Back to top Go down
Sir Albe
Vampire
Vampire
avatar

Messages : 527
Quality Points : 317
Registration Date : 2015-07-16
Age : 22
Location : Aalborg, Denmark

PostSubject: Re: H3SW: Creature Backgrounds?   2017-05-13, 04:48

Agree. All looks good except unicorn and bone dragon. This may be a dumb question, but why is it again that we don't use the standard H3 font for the portrait numbers? It has a black outline if I remember correctly.
Back to top Go down
Orzie
Master Modder
Master Modder
avatar

Messages : 1571
Quality Points : 659
Registration Date : 2014-12-12
Age : 25
Location : Tomsk, Russia

PostSubject: Re: H3SW: Creature Backgrounds?   2017-05-13, 04:52

No, it's the same H3 font, and this is one of the reasons of all this headache.

The Bone Dragon doesn't seem to have any problems to my eye. Regardless, we cannot do anything more about it unlike the Unicorn where some safety measures still can be taken.

UPD. Adding black outline leads to the result of the same level of readability. I will try to search for that font in the game; perhaps it's possible to edit it through Era/WoG font editing instrumentary.



UPD. If we edit the in-game font, there is still a 2 px interval between the numbers. But it may not be looking so bad.

________________________
In case someone cares for my music:
Mylinks_profile_page


Last edited by Orzie on 2017-05-13, 05:12; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
Sir Albe
Vampire
Vampire
avatar

Messages : 527
Quality Points : 317
Registration Date : 2015-07-16
Age : 22
Location : Aalborg, Denmark

PostSubject: Re: H3SW: Creature Backgrounds?   2017-05-13, 04:59

I can see that the font is different from H3 to WoG/ERA. The original H3 font has a 1 pixel black outline, while the WoG/ERA one doesn't. I never noticed that. Sad we simply cannot use the H3 font or someone else with an outline.
Back to top Go down
Orzie
Master Modder
Master Modder
avatar

Messages : 1571
Quality Points : 659
Registration Date : 2014-12-12
Age : 25
Location : Tomsk, Russia

PostSubject: Re: H3SW: Creature Backgrounds?   2017-05-13, 05:10

Holy crap, you were completely right. For some reason the mod really had an obsolete verd10b.fnt file which lacked the outline! Must be a rudiment of Mister Kalu's development. Don't know what he wanted to achieve though, because the font really didn't fit.

I restored the justice, now it looks much better. I am also pleased that we won't have to waste time on that Lightness operation I described above.


Now, the only thing left is to put the updated backgrounds in the game as well as to re-check the creatures on them. Some may be outdated, like the Crossbowman.

________________________
In case someone cares for my music:
Mylinks_profile_page
Back to top Go down
Sir Albe
Vampire
Vampire
avatar

Messages : 527
Quality Points : 317
Registration Date : 2015-07-16
Age : 22
Location : Aalborg, Denmark

PostSubject: Re: H3SW: Creature Backgrounds?   2017-05-13, 05:13

Sounds amazing! I can't wait to see it Very Happy I recently (couple days ago) updated all units in the Creature Portraits/Maker/Units folder. If just the new backgrounds are inserted in the Fractions folder everything could be done in no time thanks to Feanor's PortraitMaker program Smile
Back to top Go down
Orzie
Master Modder
Master Modder
avatar

Messages : 1571
Quality Points : 659
Registration Date : 2014-12-12
Age : 25
Location : Tomsk, Russia

PostSubject: Re: H3SW: Creature Backgrounds?   2017-05-13, 06:18

Everything is fixed and the updated files are uploaded to Dropbox (verd10b.fnt, twcrport.def). Enjoy!



Now on to the Knight townscreen.



UPD. I reduced the distance between numbers even more. What do you think? I think it's better (the distance actually was like that without the outline before).


________________________
In case someone cares for my music:
Mylinks_profile_page
Back to top Go down
 
H3SW: Creature Backgrounds?
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 2Go to page : 1, 2  Next

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
~ Forums of Enroth ~ :: Modding Guild :: Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Succession Wars :: Development Board-
Jump to: