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Topic Subject: Inconsistent Artwork = Poor Presentation
posted 04-05-02 11:15 AM EDT (US)   
While all the new images look great, I'm really troubled by the inconsitant look of the portraits. Some have that clean "CGI" look and others have the beautiful hand-drawn look that set AOW1 apart.

These contrasting art styles of the wizards really clash and subtracts from the overal visual display. I really wish TS would make up its mind. Does it want to use hand-drawn portraits, or CGI? Use one or the other, but don't mix and match.


I feel especially torn because I think both of the styles look great, but not when they're placed side by side. Now, I realize all of these have had some computer editing, but some of these portaits clearly have a distinct "CGI look" to them, as opposed to a softer, hand-drawn look:

Compare the CGI look:

Merlin

Meandor

Mab


With the hand-drawn look:

Anon

Artica

Yaka

Karissa


Replies:
posted 04-05-02 11:26 AM EDT (US)     1 / 37  
It all comes down to resource allocation... This is a matter of where do you save, so as to get the most for what time and resource you have.

Would you rather have a nice well painted hand portrait of Merlin, or three or four additional heroes in the game?

I'd rather take the heroes myself...

--Ray

PS. I think Mab looks awesome, and have no complaints over her presentation. Though Meandor is a bit painful to look at...


posted 04-05-02 12:19 PM EDT (US)     2 / 37  
I am with Rag on this one. The resources excuse is pretty lame. Either you can do all hand drawn or don't do any. I too think it detracts from the feel of the game to have contrasting art styles. Doing CGI for a few characters, and Merlin, the main one at that, when the rest of the game is not CGI, really, what were you thinking?

A minor detail to be sure, but you lose points.

posted 04-05-02 12:35 PM EDT (US)     3 / 37  
I personally think that if it's a question of resources, TS should go with NONE of the more expensive artwork and MORE features in the game. When you compare the number of hours you'll be staring at the atrwork verses playing the game, there's just no contest!
posted 04-05-02 12:39 PM EDT (US)     4 / 37  
Which costs more? The CGI portraits or the paintings?

Julia looks great (although her hand looks drawn), and so does Mab. I don't think anyone is criticizing how the CGI portraits look, but simply the fact that they look different (a lot different) than the hand drawn ones.

So many of the portraits are painted, why not just do them all? Not mentioned in Rag's list are the Halfling, Dark Elf and Humans wizards... all painted portaits. Why depart with the beautiful painted look for just 3-4 portraits?

I like both styles... well, I prefer the paintings actually (which I why I like the painted portraits in Black Isle's Icewind Dale series better than the ones in Bioware's Baldur's Gate series).

But I think a unified look is important. The two styles are obviously different and do indeed clash.

[This message has been edited by Angel Draco (edited 04-05-2002 @ 12:42 PM).]

posted 04-05-02 01:05 PM EDT (US)     5 / 37  
I'm a big fan of the hand drawn artwork myself, but if there are CGI portraits too, I don't mind much. As someone else stated before, how much time are you going to spend looking at the pictures anyway...well except Karissa and Nimue.

The unified look and feel of the game really comes within the game itself for me, not the photos. Now...if like the units were hand drawn and the background was CGI...well that would be whacky shelacky.

If we could go back in time and say that unified artwork would be really important, then I'd say something...but the stuff's been done now and there ain't much more to be done.

Although...I'm wondering if we've got any artists out there that would think about providing hand drawn likenesses of the cgi pictures like what some people did in AOW1 with the hero faces...no more resource intensive and everyone goes home happy.

-revalos

posted 04-05-02 01:11 PM EDT (US)     6 / 37  
I can understand all your concerns, but as far as I understand, most of the art, like standard unit portraits, will be hand drawn, right? If so, you'll be mostly looking at hand-drawn art for portraits, and only CGI for the most important characters. I think that it will not be such a big deal for me when I finally get to play. But if actually, half of the art is CGI and the other half is hand-drawn, then I too would find it too inconsistent. And for Meandor, he is indeed a bit painful to look at.

"I wanna be Sultan instead of the Sultan!" - Grand Vizier Iznoghoud, 2nd and honoured member of the BTOOIC (Buildable Teleporters Off Option in Cities)
Admin of the BTOOIC site and forum.
posted 04-05-02 01:16 PM EDT (US)     7 / 37  
I think the look of these portraits are important. As you play the game you watch the portraits over and over again, and they become part of the AoW feeling, if you know what I mean... Personally I like the hand drawn pictures better, reminds more of AoW1, and that game I liked.

And yes, Mab looks good, but that Meandor picture is terrible! Hope that's a beta image...

posted 04-05-02 05:01 PM EDT (US)     8 / 37  
Note: Both AoW1 and AoW2 utilize a mixture of rendered and hand-drawn graphics.

Also note: The Wizards whose portraits are CG are seen in the game's movies that way, so using hand-drawn artwork for their portraits would be a different kind of inconsistency...

Resume discussion.


Josh Farley
Programmer
Triumph Studios
posted 04-05-02 05:17 PM EDT (US)     9 / 37  
Um. CGI is a programming language, CG stands for "computer graphics". Please, as Josh said, resume discussion.

(btw.. I really don't care :\)

posted 04-05-02 05:26 PM EDT (US)     10 / 37  

Quoted from Josh:

Also note: The Wizards whose portraits are CG are seen in the game's movies that way, so using hand-drawn artwork for their portraits would be a different kind of inconsistency...

So that means Yaka doesn't show up in the movies. By looking at the pics we can tell if a character will show up in the movies. Well everyone, start searching.


"I wanna be Sultan instead of the Sultan!" - Grand Vizier Iznoghoud, 2nd and honoured member of the BTOOIC (Buildable Teleporters Off Option in Cities)
Admin of the BTOOIC site and forum.
posted 04-05-02 05:33 PM EDT (US)     11 / 37  
I don't really agree with Josh's argument but there are more important things to be...

Get back on topic here, swolte!
I was wondering, will some of the old handpainted (by Lennart, no?) portraits be used in AOW2? I know there are some professional marketing arguments against that but... I wouldn't mind.

Swolte

posted 04-05-02 05:35 PM EDT (US)     12 / 37  

Quoted from Polaris X:

CGI is a programming language, CG stands for "computer graphics". Please, as Josh said, resume discussion.

And "CGI" stands for C.omputer G.raphic I.mages

E.g., "The CGI Spiderman in the new trailer looks aweful."

posted 04-05-02 05:37 PM EDT (US)     13 / 37  
Oh. oops.
posted 04-05-02 11:15 PM EDT (US)     14 / 37  

Quote:

So that means Yaka doesn't show up in the movies. By looking at the pics we can tell if a character will show up in the movies. Well everyone, start searching.

Nooooooo, that means Karissa and Artica wouldn't be in movies either.

I think i speak for everyone when i say, Ahhhh Nutzzzzzz.


A young ambitious writer once said: "I want to create writings that the whole world will read, writings that people will react to on a truly emotional level, writings that will make them scream, cry, howl in pain and anger!"

He now works for Microsoft, writing error messages.

posted 04-05-02 11:48 PM EDT (US)     15 / 37  
Does Merlin have a hand-painted drawing? I don't recall ever seeing one, but I have another question: During the campaign, will there be 12 wizards + Merlin, or is Merlin part of the 12? If he isn't part of the 12, then him being CG-ized only isn't all bad. However, if he is included in the 12...
posted 04-06-02 02:38 AM EDT (US)     16 / 37  
Hmmm, good question. I have no idea though.

"I wanna be Sultan instead of the Sultan!" - Grand Vizier Iznoghoud, 2nd and honoured member of the BTOOIC (Buildable Teleporters Off Option in Cities)
Admin of the BTOOIC site and forum.
posted 04-06-02 03:48 AM EDT (US)     17 / 37  
The problem is that handrawn artwork is very time consuming and you only get to use the image once -- can't reuse it for animation or show it from a different angle.

Also, the problem with 2d artwork is that having more 2d artists may result in an inconstant style as well.

We'll see if we have time to paint over the rendered portraits to make them more consistent. However, this is not our top priority at this moment.

posted 04-06-02 04:46 AM EDT (US)     18 / 37  

Quoted from Lennart Sas:

The problem is that handrawn artwork is very time consuming and you only get to use the image once -- can't reuse it for animation or show it from a different angle.

I think he has a good point there, I would like to see some of the portraits of the same character from different angles.


"I wanna be Sultan instead of the Sultan!" - Grand Vizier Iznoghoud, 2nd and honoured member of the BTOOIC (Buildable Teleporters Off Option in Cities)
Admin of the BTOOIC site and forum.
posted 04-06-02 05:14 AM EDT (US)     19 / 37  
As long as they fix that one 3d wizard that looks absolutely awfull I can live with the 3d portraits.
posted 04-06-02 05:15 AM EDT (US)     20 / 37  
I think everything looks excellent. Period!
posted 04-06-02 06:54 AM EDT (US)     21 / 37  
appel: which one? Meandor?

hey... who pointed out that our little fire wizard had big nostrils? :lol now that he's mentioned it I can't get it out of my mind when I look at the picture. It looks so.. obvious.. now. :P

posted 04-06-02 08:34 AM EDT (US)     22 / 37  
Blackmane: Yes, Meandor

Did you have to point that out? Now I can't get that out of my head either


"So show the world you're strong
The weaker one is wrong
And I know it won't take long
Until they're dead and gone"
posted 04-06-02 08:36 AM EDT (US)     23 / 37  
Hmm...I wasnt looking at her nostrils..


Crash

posted 04-06-02 02:20 PM EDT (US)     24 / 37  
If the paintings were so expensive, why not just make everyone 3D?
posted 04-06-02 05:08 PM EDT (US)     25 / 37  
I would've been fine with that, but I think that there are a quite a few people that wouldn't want to see the hand-drawn artwork go. It does help to set the style.

"I wanna be Sultan instead of the Sultan!" - Grand Vizier Iznoghoud, 2nd and honoured member of the BTOOIC (Buildable Teleporters Off Option in Cities)
Admin of the BTOOIC site and forum.
posted 04-06-02 05:20 PM EDT (US)     26 / 37  
I was just about to open a new tread on that Iznoghoud!

When playing my PBEM-turn I became aware of the atmosphere they create. I accidently left the computer on the intro mode (which I usually click away), noticing the intro...again.
Maybe one should watch that intro again...
Think about it. I really doubt if the new computer animated intro is any better. I love it!

It gave AOW something special IMO. But we are a bit late on this I'm afraid.

Swolte

posted 04-06-02 06:06 PM EDT (US)     27 / 37  
I don't mind if they had all the portraits as CG...ah heck, who am I kidding? I felt all the hand-paintedness of the portraits, and the intro really gave AoW that original feel.

As long as Julia's hand-painted, everything's ok...

posted 04-06-02 11:37 PM EDT (US)     28 / 37  
Yeah... I truly felt that a great appeal of the game was its cartoonish, hand drawn look.
posted 04-06-02 11:42 PM EDT (US)     29 / 37  
*cartoonish?* I didn't think they were too cartoonish, and looking at Julia, I'd say AoW2 is much less so.

[This message has been edited by Mister Pickles (edited 04-06-2002 @ 11:46 PM).]

posted 04-07-02 00:17 AM EDT (US)     30 / 37  
The hand drawn look then. >
posted 04-07-02 12:15 PM EDT (US)     31 / 37  
Sorry for ruining it but the more I looked at her the more I saw that she was flareing her nostrils... who knows maybe she's just angry...
posted 04-07-02 12:31 PM EDT (US)     32 / 37  
They can use stick figures as far as I am concerned. If the game play is good count me in to buy the game. (and I have already pre-ordered and paid for it so that answers your question). The grpahics that are more important to me are in the overland map and tactical displays.

I have no problem with any of the graphics seen so far.

Cheers,

Sleet

posted 04-07-02 12:33 PM EDT (US)     33 / 37  
Cartoonish? AoW?
Look at Warcraft(1-3) than you should know what cartoonish means.
But I don΄t like the new hafling look.
It looks in fact a bit cartoonish and it seems like this Warhammer/D&D hafling cliche with this balltorso and the big feets which I don`t like.
I prefer the old hafling look, also their potraits looks a bit like Childs with grey hair.
posted 04-08-02 06:09 AM EDT (US)     34 / 37  
Curse you generic!

Halflings: Don't let RayB catch you saying that.

posted 04-08-02 07:10 AM EDT (US)     35 / 37  
I haven't seen any halflings in the pics yet... Does someone know about a pic with Halflings?

"I wanna be Sultan instead of the Sultan!" - Grand Vizier Iznoghoud, 2nd and honoured member of the BTOOIC (Buildable Teleporters Off Option in Cities)
Admin of the BTOOIC site and forum.
posted 04-08-02 03:17 PM EDT (US)     36 / 37  
Draco:

Actually,

3D==expensive, but reusable
2D==very time consuming/limited use

(3D requires 2d paintings for skins at the very least, plus anim/modeler team... and big expensive software packages, or studio contracts...)

--Ray

posted 04-09-02 00:18 AM EDT (US)     37 / 37  
Interesting, thanks for the info Ray.
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