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Levels & Items Art

Discussion in 'Sonic 2 HD (Archive)' started by Vincent, Apr 22, 2008.

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  1. Athelstone

    Athelstone

    Oldbie
    Additions like this are something we can look at after we have recreated and remastered all the original game sprites first, but it's not a bad idea.
     
  2. PicklePower

    PicklePower

    Wiki Sysop
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    mm I smell a topic split
     
  3. Death of Rats

    Death of Rats

    -Sonic 2 HD- Zone Art Coordinator Member
    Ok, there's been some crazy stuff in the past week since I left.

    Seriously guys, do we really need all this bickering, throwing around threats of not working on the project and all of that bullshit?

    Look, we based projects only work when we're organized, open, and every member has all the resources they need available to them. So far this project has been anything but.

    Every time I post some new tiles I have 4-5 different people telling me different things that need to happen with them. They need texture, they don't need texture, they need to be closer to the original tiles, the colors are ever so slightly off. And it's a waste of my time. I agree with love.self.hate. We need mock ups. Not just one mock up to go "hey, yeah, we're doing this". We need several mock ups of each zone. Seeing how each zone is very different (EHZ obviously benefits from a clean look. The later zones, however, don't) we should have a few mock ups of each zone, to give a clear art direction to us lowly tile artists.

    For one thing, I'm confused as to why Acaeris is making the unfinished 4x tiles for EHZ. Not to knock you Acaeris, but I plan on doing all of EHZ and I don't plan on using your tiles as a base. Unless someone else has a desire to start working on finished EHZ tiles, or you plan on going back and finishing them yourself, I think you might be wasting your time.

    So here's the thing, we need to get a process down for the art. If we're going to have raster graphics in the end, artist should be able to use whatever method they want to to make the art. The method isn't what's important, it's the final product. A mixture of everything is the aproach I'm taking. If I need to touch up my art in Photoshop, I'm going to. If I want to skip illustrator completely and goto Photoshop from the get go, I'm going to. As long as the final product looks good and consistent to the whole, it doesn't matter if a tile is made in one program or another.

    But there are things we need to set in stone. Here's how I see it...

    We need mockups for each zone (after EHZ, I got that covered).

    We need to finalize how we're doing transparancies now. If we're using a separate alphamap file, the 4x level viewer and such need to be built around that.

    We need to assign people to particular tasks. Someone work on just badniks. Someone on just hero characters. Someone on bosses. Someone on particular zones (this could be split up per zone, but having some form of consistency per zone is very important)

    We need some form of solid leadership, people need to know who's doing what. Not just who's finished what, but what they're working on now. I mean, does anyone even know how many real contributers we have at the moment? I certainly don't.

    We need to look at the large and then work our way down to the small details. For instance, it would be much easier if I get all of my first pass at the EHZ tiles done, and then allow people to make suggestions. That would be the point to mess around with textures and such. We don't need people pointing out one pixel that looks off on one of the Sonic sprites. We first need to make sure the Sonic sprites as a whole look good, then tighten them as much as possible.

    Seriously, the way we're doing it right now is going to lead to disaster. We need to start figuring things out. Every man for himself is not going to work. It's time to start organizing. But if we can't live together, we're going to die alone.
     
  4. SANiK

    SANiK

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    Ok,

    1) I think we can all agree that we want to achieve the look of the grass on the left:
    [​IMG]

    2) With vectors, this would be a pain to pull off

    3) So yes, obviously there's a need for raster art

    4) Feel free to upload raster based graphics to the S2HD database, but please provide the layered raster graphics as well
    (Know how one can 'collapse' all raster layers into one? Well in other words, provide the non-collapsed version and the collapsed version)

    5) But - DO NOT send improvements of vector art using rasters unless you're gonnah provide a final raster of all the sprites in a section
    (In other words, since Vincent's doing things with vectors - do not offer fixes using raster)
     
  5. I can't say I didn't see any of this coming (you have to expect this kind of stuff from fan-based projects).

    Is this project in trouble right now? Yes.

    Is this project going to die? No.

    We need a different approach, as has been championed by love.self.hate, DoR, and others in this thread already. I propose a new set of (much more liberal) rules for the project:

    1. No exclusively vector-based requirements. They may have seemed like an acceptable idea at first, but clearly this is not now the case. This is art---only the end result is going to matter, and that end result should be a raster-based rendering in my opinion. At the end of the day scalability is not that important for this project if it's all done at 4x from the start.

    2. Tiles or chunks? I originally supported the tile-based approach, but don't care for it as much anymore. Chunks will allow us to create mockups and see the larger picture. They give artists a chance to really interpret the game in their own way, and that is what we need right now, actual artists' interpretations of the interaction between the different elements in the art. Those who are working on tile-based approaches, continue to do so as you will. If the approach could work so well in the original game, it can (at least in principle) work just as well at a higher resolution.

    3. Conserving disk space and memory should NOT be an issue. Something that is genuinely HD should have HD-level processing requirements. I now realize that there is no reason to do otherwise. Color restrictions should therefore be much higher (like on the order of 256 colors per block as SANiK's art viewer supports), or even beyond that. If the game needs 2 GB of space, so be it.

    4. The art should be made including transparency. Alpha maps can be extracted later if it is best for the engine to work that way. There should be no restrictions on the transparency values.

    5. Music: Quality should be first and foremost, meaning streamed formats like MP3, OGG, WAV, etc. I don't give a shit about the power sneakers speed-up issue anymore. If we need to have a separate power sneakers track to avoid that problem then we should do it. Otherwise it's more trouble than it's worth.

    6. We should nominate forum members for staff positions and then hold elections. There is tons of talent here, but we need people who are going to devote the effort to making things work.

    I'm interested to hear if people agree with this line of thinking or have improvements to suggest to it. If there is a consensus about the changes we need to make I will update the project summary accordingly and we can get this all back where it needs to be.

    SANiK, your work so far has been invaluable to the project; please continue to contribute as we definitely need development tools.
     
  6. Athelstone

    Athelstone

    Oldbie
    His idea I think was to give artists a base to work with, incase anyone else wanted to have a crack at remastering Emerald Hill. However, I also think this might be a wasted effort given the work you have already done with Emerald Hill Death of Rats.
     
  7. Acaeris

    Acaeris

    Sugarcube... Member
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    I like to note that I had started that before Death of Rats, and as the concept art you keep showing isn't possible as tiles (at least not the tiles used for the original level blocks) I continued so that even if DoR stopped there would still be a base to work from. Just because he's succeeded with the corkscrew shouldn't immediately negate any other persons attempts, you have no idea what people might come up with or well DoR's other art might fit, but if you want me to move on I will happily do that. I'd have liked to of submitted my own ideas but at this rate I'll never get around to it anyway.
     
  8. Athelstone

    Athelstone

    Oldbie
    We appreciate your efforts Acaeris, but in this case it might be best to move on to something else. I think you were right however to think of being the backup, given how things have dropped out in other areas.
     
  9. Once I get the stuff from my old computer, I've got this picture of the top half of the CPZ background, except smoother and twice the size of the original. I might upload it in a few days.
     
  10. MaximusDM

    MaximusDM

    Sonic 2HD - Concept Artist Member
    [​IMG]

    Ok, but if you used tiles, you couldn't achieve this picture. Because almost every single tile is unique because of the texture applied on it.
    And I think that is what makes it so awesome. It is repetitive and yet unique.
    So how would something like that be achieved while still using tiles?

    I guess since everyone is questioning everything, I'll go ahead and throw this in;
    Will the aspect ratio be the same? Because when I think HD, I think widescreen.
    But I guess that would interfere way too much with gameplay and how everything is set up. So I'm going to answer my own question and say that it will remain at its original aspect ratio.

    But then again, Street Fighter II HD Remix has widescreen.
    It isn't out yet so we don't know how it works. But yeah...
     
  11. Jayextee

    Jayextee

    Unpopular Opinions™ Member
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    I DONE MAKED GAMES.
    Incidentally, I just saw this stock photo on deviantART that I think would make excellent reference for EHZ's backdrop. Look how eerily similar it is (Sans flower, of course, and the shore could be behind the hill).
     
  12. SANiK

    SANiK

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    Add more tiles... or use alpha blending and top layers to add effects on tiles below
    We're not limited to 256 tiles in total

    Just draw more tiles on the left/right side, etc.
     
  13. Scarred Sun

    Scarred Sun

    Be who you needed when you were younger Administrator
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    Welp, this.
    <!--quoteo(post=199529:date=Jun 9 2008, 10:47 PM:name=love.self.hate)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (love.self.hate @ Jun 9 2008, 10:47 PM) [​IMG]
     
  14. Exodus

    Exodus

    Member
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    I realised this morning that there are quite a few rapeseed fields near to where I live, which would be perfect for the EHZ background, and I beleive they start to flower soon. If we don't have any other options it would be easy for me to take a few photos
     
  15. Acaeris

    Acaeris

    Sugarcube... Member
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    Well, I've had a bit of thinking... Due to the amount of time my work takes up there is no way I'd finish anything before anyone else finished it for me. I also can't take the extra stress of this project on top of my work anymore so I shall be pulling out and watching from the sidelines. I'll finish tweaking my Balkiry a bit but I won't be in any rush to do it.

    As a last bit from me though, here is a quote from an article on interface design which pretty much applies to any kind of design work:
    *takes a bow*
     
  16. Athelstone

    Athelstone

    Oldbie
    Thank you for all your contributions, feedback, suggestions and input Acaeris, you have been a very great help to this project, I hope to see you around here in the future.

    ===================

    Just to make it clear to everyone now that Vincent has returned;

    The S2HD project now accepts raster.

    [​IMG]

    So, anyone who felt held back by the vector only approach, now is the time to dive in.

    (The contribution guidelines on the database will be ammended shortly).
    http://sanik.hacking-cult.org/inker/index.php
     
  17. ICEknight

    ICEknight

    Researcher Researcher
    Not if the game ends up looking somewhat like m_virtua's mockup. I doubt anybody who has played the original wouldn't be impressed by something like that.

    I don't think it's necessary to make things less clean in order to make them look "better". That's why, for example, I don't think it's needed to add any cracks or dirt in Emerald Hill's otherwise perfectly clean foreground, because it could detract from the original surreal and generally happy/clean feel... And I don't think we're aiming for an extremely realistic "Mushroomy Kingdom" kind of stuff (as awesome as it was).


    I myself have never been keen on an all-vectors style. I've always thought it should be used only for "alive" characters (because it makes them look like taken from cartoon cels), and that the inanimate objects should have a different look (be it CG or something else that might look good, like StereoTypicalPickle's Oil Ocean thingy).

    So we must face that there's some stuff in these games that was deliberately cartoony (Sonic, Tails, Robotnik), some deliberately realistic (ie., certain clouds and possibly EHZ's flowers field) and some deliberately CG-like (Metropolis tubes, corkscrew paths), and we should take this into account when re-making each of these things, not automatically assign them a style. They were able to mix these styles flawlessly back then, so that's what we should try to mimic, blending these different styles without them clashing with each other.

    And this is (among other things) why people won't just turn hq4x instead of trying the remake.


    EDIT: By the way, is that scan from the official Sonic 2 guide, ScarredSun? That's awesome... and quite relevant to this topic.
     
  18. LimeiBook86

    LimeiBook86

    Artist Member
    Hey guys, just a quick update. I have some more progress done on coconuts. I'm going away for a few days on a trip but, when I get back I'll post my updated badniks. :)
     
  19. Athelstone

    Athelstone

    Oldbie
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