Trident graphics

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XYZ
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Re: Trident grafics

Postby XYZ » Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:59 pm

And more for today II:
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Mi24-5.png
Mi24-5.png (549 Bytes) Viewed 1910 times
Armouredtrain3.png
Armouredtrain3.png (411 Bytes) Viewed 1915 times
Hovercraft4.png
Hovercraft4.png (459 Bytes) Viewed 1918 times
Marine-Faehrprahm6.png
Marine-Faehrprahm6.png (455 Bytes) Viewed 1919 times
Tornado2.png
Tornado2.png (490 Bytes) Viewed 1919 times
Last edited by XYZ on Fri Jun 29, 2018 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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XYZ
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Re: Trident grafics

Postby XYZ » Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:39 pm

More units for today Nr. III:
Attachments
Sherman.png
Sherman.png (464 Bytes) Viewed 1896 times
Panzerhaubitze2000.png
Panzerhaubitze2000.png (455 Bytes) Viewed 1897 times
RedBaron2.png
RedBaron2.png (544 Bytes) Viewed 1905 times
Marksman.png
Marksman.png (495 Bytes) Viewed 1906 times

Hans Lemurson
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Re: Trident grafics

Postby Hans Lemurson » Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:04 am

Some of these are getting pretty good, so they are getting harder and more technical to critique. I would recommend looking at some old pixel art to get a sense of how shading and a bright or dark pixel here and there can imply details in an image that you could not possibly have the resolution to display. This is of course getting into the territory where I could be sprouting BS, and I'll eventually have to put my money where my mouth is and do my own unit art.

Uhlan: Horse's head is a little small, and its tail could be fluffier. The horse's legs look a bit to straight, especially the rear ones, and the horse's hindquarters look small and weak.
The reins have poor contrast with the horse and disappear into its coat.
The rider looks good, I like him.

Rooikat: I like it! Light and dark shading make it look 3D. It's supposed to be a light tank/armored car, but it looks like it's packing a pretty hefty cannon on it. If you replaced the wheels with treads it could pass for a Main Battle Tank.

Rail Gun: That looks like a big artillery piece. The big dark thing in front looks a little odd though, what is it? The front railway car that it's resting on? The barrel looks like it grows big as it approaches, but the body seems like it's viewed from a flat perspective, making the image a little jarring when the front-carriage is so much bigger than the rear.

Mounted Infantry: Looks pretty nice. My only complaint is the horse's rear legs which look weak and spindly. A horse's front legs can look straight, but the rear legs of horses are strong, muscular and jointed.

Mark-IVI like it! The black on the treads and gun contrasts a lot with the rest of the image, but in comparison leaves the other details looking a bit flat. Either lighten up the black (try gray?) or maybe darken some of the other features to balance out the clarity of details.
Wishes he could convert Civ2's scenarios to FreeCiv...
But instead, he made his own tileset variants, RoundSquare and Sextant-enHANSed, and refuses to play on anything else. Check them out!

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Re: Trident grafics

Postby Hans Lemurson » Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:29 am

XYZ wrote:And more for today II:

Mi-24: This looks way too flat. I can't tell immediately that I'm looking at an attack helicopter from the front. USE SHADING!!! Looking closely I can see that you went through the trouble of using multiple colors in the image to show the glass and some darker areas, but it barely shows up.

Armored Train That looks pretty cool! It's not obvious to me that this lives on rails, but it's not like you can fit a train engine in the pic as well. It definitely looks like a dangerous and hardened rolling fortress.

Hovercraft: It looks pretty bad-ass, whatever it is. Hovercraft? Hover-taxi? It kind of looks like it wants to reach 88 mph and travel back to the future. In the middle of the image, the parts that I think belong at the front ad the rear sort of blend together. I can't tell where the front ends and the rear begins.

Marine-Faehrprahm: The upper deck of the ship is unclear to me, but that may just be due to the white background of the thumbnail (whereas it would normally appear against ocean). Is it a transport? A war-ship? A cruise-ship? Fishing boat? Transport ship with things on its deck?
The bottom of the ship is showing some aliasing problems. Straight low-slope lines are the bane of pixel art. Consider copying what most ship graphics do and draw the ocean waves the ship is plowing through as part of the graphic.

Tornado: It looks all bent out of shape! Is this some model of aircraft with weird curving wings? It doesn't look like a Panavia Tornado. Maybe it's not? I might be missing some information here, but it certainly looks weird.

...
I don't know your work flow on making these, but one thing I'd recommend (if you aren't already doing it) is after spending a few minutes at 1600% magnification, to zoom out to 100% and squint to see if the graphic is actually representing what you hope it's representing. The squinting helps you see what it's going to look like on a map crowded with icons that you can't all give your attention to.
Wishes he could convert Civ2's scenarios to FreeCiv...
But instead, he made his own tileset variants, RoundSquare and Sextant-enHANSed, and refuses to play on anything else. Check them out!

Hans Lemurson
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Re: Trident grafics

Postby Hans Lemurson » Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:43 am

XYZ wrote:More units for today Nr. III:

Sherman: That's a frontal perspective view, I'm assuming. Because otherwise that's the silliest most squished looking tank I've ever seen. Looks like a 2-wheeled star wars droid. You need more contrast between light and dark shades to really show how some faces of the vehicle are oriented away from you.
Proper shading will turn this into a good graphic.

Panzerhaubitze: Looks nice! That thing's ready to bombard! The black details have a high contrast, but it doesn't detract from the image. It looks like strong shadows underneath its upper parts, which looks good.

Red Baron: Looks flat and a little jagged. It's clearly a WW1 plane though, and Red says Red Baron. It's not obviously a Triplane though, the bottom wing is hard to make out, with it's dead-on viewing angle and the poor red-on-red contrast. This needs some shading to help distinguish different parts and show what their true shapes are.

Marksman: I like this guy! Maybe he's a little small, but maybe that's not a problem.

...
I mention shading over and over again, but I haven't really shown what I mean.
I may take one of your images, shade it, then describe the process so that you'd be able to do it yourself too.
I may also be lazy. We will see.

Anyways, good work on these images. How do you go about producing them all? Drawing from reference graphics? Scaling down existing images? Making models in blender then turning them into low-res pictures?
Wishes he could convert Civ2's scenarios to FreeCiv...
But instead, he made his own tileset variants, RoundSquare and Sextant-enHANSed, and refuses to play on anything else. Check them out!

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Re: Trident grafics

Postby XYZ » Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:23 pm

Like always, many thanks for the thorough critique!

I can only agree with almost all your points. I often tried to correct the graphics many times but failed, so I just gave up after several attempts and moved on...

I guess Im lazy myself for not learning properly to shade things... But yes, feel free to correct or alter any image to improve them. Long term goal is to bring these units in all 3 graphics into mainstream version -at least as add-on units. The better they are, the less likely someone will oppose them.

As for the Tornado: I took the wrong picture... I even noticed the differences while pixeling it, specially since there is no american Tornado but simply let myself belief it was a special version? :lol: ... It is a McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II.

Panzerhaubitze: Im satisfied with the result, although the camo makes it harder to recognize. Will probably toy a bit around.


I started correcting older grafics and grouping them into categories. The stormtrooper for example is moving/standing better now.

Anyhow, not much left on my unit wishlist for trident graphics.

How do you go about producing them all? Drawing from reference graphics? Scaling down existing images? Making models in blender then turning them into low-res pictures?


Yes, I simply look for a good picture from a favorable angle (I try to avoid 2D) and try to potray pixel for pixel. Scaling down is possible but it depends on the picture. I try to avoid a too realistic looking unit so I usually dont do it. People like the handmade look in trident.
I tried the blender approach since we need anyways the blender graphics. It worked very well with the Gepard Flakpanzer, unfortunately I hadnt much luck with the Abrams and the first Mig so I abonded that approach temporarily. I also like the fact that graphics look different for Amplio and Cimpletoon although it shoudnt matter much since the scaling is differently and people usually stick with one graphic.

Hans Lemurson
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Re: Trident grafics

Postby Hans Lemurson » Sun Jul 01, 2018 2:44 am

Here is an example of some shading I did on your Arbalest graphic.
The process is really pretty simple. I took your image, added a new layer above it, set the layer's opacity to 85 (out of 255), and then drew lines in dark gray and white where it looked too flat.
Freeciv xbow shading example BIG.png
Freeciv xbow shading example BIG.png (3.94 KiB) Viewed 1853 times

You will note that I used a green background color on a layer behind everything else so as to provide good contrast and show your shadows and my shading.

I have a general rule for my shading that the light always comes from the upper-left. Edges of objects that are on top or the left get their color lightened with white tinting, and the under-sides of objects or boundaries between things get dark shadows of either Black or Gray.

A good starting point is to just apply this sort of shading scheme to the outlines of your graphic, as those are the most important for making the image "pop".

Here you can see that I lightened the archer's right arm (on left of image) and shoulder and part of the helm. I shaded his back and the under side of his left arm and the backs of both of his legs. Additionally, I added some pixels to imply folds in the clothing or some contour details around the chest. I also darkened his face underneath the helm so it looks like he's wearing it.

And BAM! Your Archer now looks 30% better. That's 30% more archer per archer.
Attachments
Freeciv xbow shading example.png
Freeciv xbow shading example.png (927 Bytes) Viewed 1853 times
Wishes he could convert Civ2's scenarios to FreeCiv...
But instead, he made his own tileset variants, RoundSquare and Sextant-enHANSed, and refuses to play on anything else. Check them out!

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XYZ
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Re: Trident graphics

Postby XYZ » Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:22 am

And BAM! Your Archer now looks 30% better. That's 30% more archer per archer.


Definetely more archer! Nice Green Screen background. :D

Will try it out!

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Re: Trident graphics

Postby XYZ » Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:32 pm

Ship proposal:
Attachments
Ship proposal trident.png
Ship proposal trident.png (7.83 KiB) Viewed 1794 times
Quinquireme4.png
improved
Quinquireme4.png (656 Bytes) Viewed 1795 times
Longship3.png
improved
Longship3.png (740 Bytes) Viewed 1795 times
Newtrireme2.png
Newtrireme2.png (586 Bytes) Viewed 1818 times
cog3.png
cog3.png (666 Bytes) Viewed 1819 times
Last edited by XYZ on Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Hans Lemurson
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Re: Trident graphics

Postby Hans Lemurson » Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:03 pm

It's nice to make the ships more distinct. Those little sails do visually set the ships apart from each other.

Trireme: I like the Trireme, it looks like a proper ramming ship now. I like the little touch of the eye on its prow.

Cog: You reduced the fore and aft castles and removed the oars from the old ship? Seems decent. Is that the insignia of the Hansa on it's sail?

Longboat: I'd suggest clearing a few black pixels from beneath its bow to remove the last hint of a ram. Maybe brighten the shields on its side so that they can clearly be seen.

Quinquireme There's not a lot of room in the image, but I'm thinking that it would look cool if you could put one of the castles that were on the old Cog onto this ship, it would look more like a "Floating Fortress". Maybe also decrease the size of the main sail so that the ship looks proportionally larger.
Wishes he could convert Civ2's scenarios to FreeCiv...
But instead, he made his own tileset variants, RoundSquare and Sextant-enHANSed, and refuses to play on anything else. Check them out!