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Topics I've Started
25 June 2008 - 07:48 AMAn Introduction to Contributing
Sonic 2 HD community goals, welcomes anyone with artistic talent to showcase their skills in the relevant topics.
We are always on the look out for individuals that can collaborate with others as a team, but who are also polite, positive and helpful in their approach towards others.
To register on S2HD Database, send a private message to Vincent, indicating a username and password for your DB account.
Click the following image to be taken to the database:
Contribution Rules & Guidelines
• Vector Art is Required for characters - items - badniks - foreground tiles. Raster Art is instead required for Backgrounds.
For submitted art to be usable for S2HD project, it must look sharp and crisp, while being completely feasble to adjustments and revisions. Your program of choice must be able to save Layered and Unrasterized files (I.e Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Flash, Inkscape..).
Please use the the various tutorials on following posts to learn more about HD art production.
**Only for Conceptual Art - Mockups, we accept rasterized images, but pleased provide the relevant source files with a correct alphamap (PNG RGBA) as well!**
• All contributed artwork must be four times the size of the original sprite assets.
This is because the Genesis/Mega Drive displays a resolution of 320 x 240. For the S2HD project we are working at four times that: 1280 x 960.
• Inspired and basing on the "Original Pixel Art" concept, you can picture and add as much details as your creativity dreams!
(For characters we take details from the "Original S2 SEGA Artworks").
Since we upgraded to million colors, 256 color limit don't exists anymore. HD stands for "High Definition", so any upscaled / hq2x filtered original 4X art, with few color shades or details will be not qualified.
• The art style for characters, badniks, objects and level tiles is remastered 2d (rather than 3d).
We think that remastered 2d artwork suitably captures the appearance and atmosphere of the original retro Sonic series.
• Strictly follow S2HD Staff artstyle for a faster and productive approach of your contributions. Artstyle is not being discussed by your examples.
To adjust your art consistency, feel free to use the above images!
• Manual shading with added in-between shades should generally be used, rather than automatic set gradient filters.
There are however, some exceptions to this.
Keeping the cartoony feeling of characters and environment, advanced gradients use is permitted especially on enemies and Metal items. An excessive use of automatic gradient filters is however very unnecessary and create art clashes.
• Please always post both the remastered and original sprite scaled to four times the size when showcasing your artwork on our forums, so that feedback can be left more easily.
• You can download the original sprite assets (scaled to four times) from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on our database (pleased click the image above to be taken there).
• Empty sections of the database that still need contributions are denoted with red bullet points ( • ).
Please feel free to take a crack at these sections with your own talent - community contributions are valued!
• We are using the original 16x16 chunks to remaster the tiles from each zone.
These can be accessed from our database (scaled to four times the size) under the "Zones" section. All of the assets from each zone (apart from the objects) can be constructed from these same chunks. In the future however, we may develop a method to selectively remaster the tiles from the 256x256 chunks. Before this can be considered further, the 16x16 chunks from each zone must be remastered first, so as to serve as a base.
• All remastered music should transcribe the originally intended instruments and overall style, whilst updating them to today's musical standards.
Obviously style can be enhanced by adding some more detailed notes, good instrument sets, stereo panning and velocity changes, as well as overdubs or complete drum kits and loops. The tempo and notes themselves should remain mostly untouched, but of course, new notes are also welcomed to avoid shallow sounds. In order to capture the ambience that Sonic Team originally intended, we prefer remastered music than remixed music. Here is an example from one of our top music contributors. The original genesis tune plays first, followed by its remastered counterpart: Click here to download!
• All remastered music MUST be submitted in the OGG Vorbis format at 320 kbps.
This is largely because the MP3 format has some inherent limitations when it comes to looping music, which makes it unuseable for the project. When uploading music submissions to the database, it is preferred that they be included inside a .ZIP file.
• All WIP Music Files can be freely uploaded on Hinchy's Music Database.
You can directly host all your WIP musical compositions files, without having to worry of free file share common problems, such as spams, boring time limit, or even server deletion! Ask him for a login and pwd!
• You can download all the original music from Sonic 2 (including individual tracks from each tune) from our database, as a reference.
All of the community's current music submissions are also available to download from the database.
For any questions regarding the goals, guidelines, or general comments on the project, please contact Vincent or Canned Karma
24 April 2008 - 04:26 PM***PROGRAMMING UPDATE: 12OCT08***
Resulting with the actual Tech Demo, we already estabilished the S2HD "Programming Team"
At this development stage we don't need other programmers
*Any additional required programming positions will be officially stated when needed*
24 April 2008 - 02:55 PM--- Current Goal: Sweet Dreams/Ending Theme, Staff Credits, Hill Top Zone---
• All remastered music should transcribe the originally intended instruments and overall style, whilst updating them to today's musical standards. Obviously style can be enhanced by adding some more detailed notes, good instrument sets, stereo panning and velocity changes, as well as overdubs or complete drum kits and loops. The tempo and notes themselves should remain mostly untouched, but of course, new notes are also welcomed to avoid shallow sounds. In order to capture the ambience that Sonic Team originally intended, we prefer remastered music than remixed music. Here is an example from one of our top music contributors. The original genesis tune plays first, followed by its remastered counterpart: Click here to download!
To further clarify exactly what the project management is looking for, here's three key guidelines.
Is the submission faithful?
-the piece is easily recognizable as representing a given zone or theme from the original game
Does the submission go above simply recreating the original?
-the piece makes use with modern instruments/samples to create a new work fitting the theme and atmosphere of each area.
Does it inspire?
-not only does the piece show a faithful and reimagined take on the original, but leaves its listeners impressed that this is one of the big ways Sonic 2 HD is living up to its promise.
So what does all that mean? Here's a few examples for you.
Ransom Rath's Metropolis
Mesmonium's Oil Ocean
Blast Processing's Death Egg
• All remastered music MUST be submitted in the OGG Vorbis format at 320 kbps. This is largely because the MP3 format has some inherent limitations when it comes to looping music, which makes it unuseable for the project. When uploading music submissions to the database, it is preferred that they be included inside a .ZIP file.
• You can download all the original music from Sonic 2 (including individual tracks from each tune) from our database, as a reference. All of the community's current music submissions are also available to download from the database.
--- scubaSteve's abbreviated guide to keeping your pieces from making people say "It's too MIDI!" ---
• First off, if your sampler patches don't have velocity mapped to note volume, you'll need to do this yourself. (As far as I know, any sampler in existence can do this - it's a very basic feature) As I said, you MUST use note velocities! This is always the best first step towards creating a more natural sound. Really take some time to imagine how each part should be expressed, how they should flow into each other, etc., and adjust your note velocities accordingly.
• Also, if your patches do not have multiple velocity layers - I.e., different samples for different ranges of velocities - you should consider on instruments with large ranges of timbres, such as brass, mapping velocity to a filter which will open up as velocity increases. Generally you'll want no greater than a 12dB/oct lowpass, as anything higher usually sounds unnatural. If your sampler can't do this (though most should), you'll unfortunately have to automate the filter by hand if you want the effect.
• Regarding the attack lengths, if your sampler is capable of changing the sample start time, this should your first choice for adding variation to attack times. For many instruments and applications, mapping the sample start along with volume to note velocity will do the job just fine; however, if you're looking for more control - ex. if you need a softer note with a short attack - you'll need to map the sample start to an external control (mod wheel, expression, aftertouch, etc.) and automate that.
• If the attack lengths seem fine but the strong notes just don't have enough punch, this is where a compressor becomes useful. Set it up with a short attack time (10-100 ms) and a long release (>200 ms) so that the attack of each note comes through before the compressor squashes the rest of the note down. You might also want to adjust the threshold so that only the louder notes are compressed.
• Lastly, on parts with a strong rhythmic presence (so definitely drums), it often helps to very slightly randomize the positions of the notes. This is especially important on instruments where you might have multiple notes triggering simultaneously - the toms on a drum kit are a particularly good example. Every DAW that I've used has a randomization function for this purpose, so I'd assume that most others have it as well.
I think that we also need to clarify just what it is we mean when we say "It sounds too MIDI!", as there seems to have been some confusion over this lately. Being the bunch that we are, I'm sure we're all well aware that even the oldest MIDI compositions can sound great today - it really comes down to the quality of the composition itself (Rob Hubbard, anyone?). However, I believe it was the initial attempts at using sampled instruments - especially in games - that gave MIDI a bad name, and is often what we're thinking of when we use the term informally. So I think, in a nutshell, what this usage of "MIDI" has mutated to mean today is simply "unnatural". Therefore, when we say something "sounds MIDI", it doesn't necessarily have to do with the quality of the samples - it's how you use them!
More general advice:
Generally you should EQ instruments individually as you add them, and shouldn't do a full-mix EQ until you're close to being done. Furthermore, as a rule of thumb, on your final EQ you should never need to apply more than 2 or 3 dBs anywhere - any more and it's likely that you have a single instrument (or two) that's causing problems.
For any other questions regarding music submission to the project, send a PM to scubaSteve or Canned Karma
10 October 2007 - 06:17 AM