Quick Note About Graphics

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AuthorTopic: Quick Note About Graphics
BoE Posse
Member # 15
Profile Homepage #25
Originally written by Thuryl:

Poser's a fairly popular 3D modelling and rendering program, designed specifically for making models of humans. I believe that Brett Bixler has a copy, although he's not around as often as he used to be and I don't know if one could talk him into helping make graphics for A5.
I could have my arm twisted. I use Poser right now to make custom animations for Second Life. If someone can point me in the right direction for the types of poses needed (in addition to the game itself) I'll take a look.

There are PLENTY of people using Poser who would do this for free, even sign a simple contract, IMO.

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Posts: 653 | Registered: Thursday, September 27 2001 07:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #26
Well, as the first post indicates, Jeff's looking for a model for a weird (chitrach) bug. If you know of any, presumably he'd like to know.

If you were feeling particularly generous, you might refer him to the places where he might find such people who would make graphics for him for the fun of it.

(Sorry if I'm repeating information that you know. It just seemed worthwhile to repeat and summarize what's been said in this topic.)

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Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 125
Profile #27
Actually, I made some chitrach graphics using Blender a couple days after this topic appeared, and sent them to spidweb@spidweb.com. I still haven't received any reply; should that have been spidweb@spiderwebsoftware.com? (I just sent a note to that one now, actually, so we'll see if anything happens.)

I'll post what I have here for everyone to comment on; they're not final, and the colors and lighting aren't quite right yet (in particular, they don't stand out well against that yellow ground in the Eastern Gallery, and the back is a little light), but those can be quickly fixed and rerendered, along with whatever other suggestions people might have.

I don't know what the best way to put these into your game would be; I used ResEdit on a copy of 'Avernum 4 Char Graphics' to replace the clawbugs with these, but that's a bit technical. If you try, please make a backup copy of any file you start messing with. (I'm not inclined to host a 6.4MB file with the changed graphics, obviously)


I'd appreciate any constructive input you all have. Thanks!

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
Posts: 256 | Registered: Monday, October 8 2001 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #28
I have nothing constructive to say, really. Those are some nice chitrachs!

—Alorael, who would much rather have them than clawbugs. Among other things, they're green. They also get the clawing right.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Member # 6600
Profile Homepage #29
They're nice. The clawbugs graphics are good for clawbugs but can't compare with those graphics for chitraches.

Dikiyoba hopes it all works out.
Posts: 4346 | Registered: Friday, December 23 2005 08:00
Raven v. Writing Desk
Member # 261
Profile Homepage #30
Those do look really nice. *applause*

One question/suggestion: Have you tested to see if they look okay for the palette swapped chitrach variants? (Though I suppose they will look better than the clawbugs no matter what.)

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Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 125
Profile #31
I've tried some. Plated ones look fine, darker as usual. The reddish one looks yellow, but so does the clawbug, I think. I don't know about the blue one in the fruit farmer's basement, or any other ones.

Thanks for all the positive feedback; it's nice to know I'm appreciated.

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
Posts: 256 | Registered: Monday, October 8 2001 07:00
Member # 2476
Profile #32
I like the figure. Yes, you'd have to work on colour and shading, but as you said, that's not a big deal. I don't know what type of mesh you made - is the waistpoint movable (I mean, is it a joint or not)? If it were, I'd like to see more variation between the resting and attacking poses. But other than that, I wish I were as comfortable working with Blender as you seem to be.

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Posts: 1828 | Registered: Saturday, January 11 2003 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 125
Profile #33
The waist can be moved without much difficulty. I actually did move it forward some in the attack animation, but not by much. It's a lot easier to see how it all works when it's in-game and actually animated, but I'm not sure what the best way to make that available for criticism. I guess simple animations would do, and would be helpful. Ah, maybe I'll do that tomorrow.

It's taken a lot of experimenting to be able to do this stuff with Blender, but it's fun now that I can make things like this. There's still so much to be learned, of course...

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
Posts: 256 | Registered: Monday, October 8 2001 07:00
His Mighty Tentacle
Member # 627
Profile #34
Sheesh. If I had seen bugs like that when I first played the game, I would have cheered.

The Starship trooper moments would have been bearable at least with some pleasant bugs to look at.

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Posts: 1104 | Registered: Tuesday, February 12 2002 08:00
Board Administrator
Member # 1
Profile Homepage #35
I was out of town, so I was slow getting back about the chitrachs. I like them and hope to use them.

- Jeff Vogel

Official Board Admin
Posts: 960 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Member # 4506
Profile Homepage #36
Originally written by Spidweb:

I was out of town, so I was slow getting back about the chitrachs. I like them and hope to use them.

- Jeff Vogel

That's about the only GOOD thing about getting our games later. Us Windows users won't get all these "bad" graphics and the like. We'll get nice ones. Like those great-looking chitraches (I couldn't imagine playing Avernum and fighting Clawbugs).

Perhaps we could have a few more character models? I've read that there are so few of them it's like playing Exile 1. (or worse)

- Archmagus Micael

P.S. Could someone email me the graphics for Avernum 4 (only a few of monster + character). I'd personally love to give it a try. The only problem is I can't download the pics for teh game etc.

[ Wednesday, January 25, 2006 06:32: Message edited by: Archmagus Micael ]

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Posts: 1370 | Registered: Thursday, June 10 2004 07:00
Member # 6003
Profile #37
I'm an animation student, hand drawn and traditional stuff.

I have to say Avernum 3's graphics were far better, and I'd rather have no animation, and just pose to pose, than these terrible animations in A4. A3 had all these graphics for different situations, if they were wearing armor, using a pole weapon, sword, mace, oh it was beautiful, even if it wasn't moving.

Ideally you could go back to that and animate those. That'd be totally awesome, and look alot better. I know you could do an energy building trick to get them to be able to snap from pose to pose with minimal drawings, if you wanted to go that route again. It may or may not look better than no in between drawings.

Poser was originally made for painters and illustrators, so they could pose figures quickly and easily for reference in their paintings and illustrations. As such, I assume Poser has absolutely no real rendering options, merely because Poser things I've seen always have terrible surfacing. It wasn't really created at it's inception for professional final output, though it's quite popular among hobbyists. Perhaps it's the hobbyists lack of mental ray(if Poser even has that?) expertise that's the reason for bad surfacing, and not Poser itself.

It's a really sad trend, I think, of small time developers using cheap, low end 3D graphics instead of charming pixel art.

I wish I could 'intern' and make Jeff much better, principled animations for free(student's want work experience and credits desperately), but I can only animate(not rig, not model, not surface) in Maya.

I doubt I could integrate into Jeff's Poser workflow even if knew how to use it. I sure can't move to Seattle(that's where he is right?) :D . The pixel art way would have been possible but it'd take some learning of how to move from pencil art to pixel art. That was just a dumb fantasy of mine anyways; I've played Jeff's games since I was 8 years old and oh, wouldn't that be awesome? :o

I really play Exile/Avernum for the writing and the story, though. These are minor complaints.
Posts: 10 | Registered: Wednesday, June 22 2005 07:00
Member # 5062
Profile #38
Graphics and sound have always been our games' great weak point. Graphics are expensive. Hand-drawn graphics are very expensive.
I was never impresed by the graphics of Avernum. But without a major corprate backing you won't ever be able to produce impresive 3D models or beautiful cell shading anamation.

I say who cares. We never got up in arms about the graphics. We keep coming back for the seemless addicting old fashoned gameplay. The major improvement I saw between exile and avernum was an improved interface. Never once did I think "wow what nice graphics".

Though the poster art is "Better" from a strictly production aspect. It sticks out and is far less seemless than its older "lesser" progeneter. 3D models want to look ugly and fake it takes alot of work to trick the human mind for even an instant. I honstly think the new graphics make the game ugly not because of any flaw they have but because they don't match the world they are in. It would take scraping most of the current in game graphics and fully rendering them to give the models the feel that they belong.

In short 3D trades in the classic feel we all know and love for stuff that couldn't make you say wow ten years ago.
Posts: 5 | Registered: Thursday, October 7 2004 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 6785
Profile #39
I didn't get A4 for the graphics. I wouldn't mind going back to A3 graphics if it would speed up production of A5 after Gen4 is released.

Having started with text based games like Crothers and Woods' Adventure, graphics are nice but not necessary. A lot of the first games like Ultima, Wizardry, and Might and Magic had static graphics but great plots and gaming systems.
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #40
And in many of the greatest games ever, the number of distinct game graphics is limited by 256 - the size of the ASCII character set.

Seriously, graphics make a game look great, but in quality RPGs - especially RPGs developed on a low budget, without an expensive team of artists to design it - they should take second place after gameplay and plot.

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Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Board Administrator
Member # 1
Profile Homepage #41
I am just bumping this thread because I've seen that some of the Windows users have the same questions as the Mac users about why the graphics look the way they do.

When I do Avernum 5, I hope to do at least 2 more human graphics and 1 more nephil and slith. Hopefully, 4, 2, and 2. We'll see how it goes. I want a player to be able to make an all-nephil or slith party with different icons.

I also miss the man and woman in the fur bikinis. :-)

- Jeff Vogel

Official Board Admin
Posts: 960 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00