[MOD]Detailed Crew Portrait Graphics

Distribute and discuss mods that are functional. Moderator - Grognak
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Sleeper Service
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Re: [MOD]Detailed Crew Portrait Graphics

Postby Sleeper Service » Sun May 18, 2014 2:31 pm

LordTrilobite wrote:If I had known that, I would rather have done such visual changes myself. Could you send me those layer pictures so I can take a look for a future version maybe? Btw, awesome that you got it integrated though.

You can have a look at them if you extract the current CE release and check the img/people folder. If you want to get a deeper insight into how layers are controlled by the game, hen you can also check out the crew blueprints (like the "human" blueprint for example) that are stored in data/blueprints.xml.append. These parts of the xml define how layers are colored and which transparency they get.
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Re: [MOD]Detailed Crew Portrait Graphics

Postby Russian Rockman » Sun May 18, 2014 2:49 pm

Your portraits are fantastic and I was always wondering if something like this was actually possible . ;) I thought that even if it was I am not talented to do anything like this so it doesn't matter, but then one day I see this. It's great. I'm glad you are actually planning to update this mod based on feedback from others and I am glad you are planning other projects. I am interested in seeing how the store idea turns out. :) I have been messing around with everything in the UI for quite some time so if you have any questions on what can or cannot be done I might be able to help. 8-)

I'll just throw this out there, if you and Gencool collaborated on something it would be awesome.

Here are a few suggestions I have to improve the portraits based on my own personal preferences. They look amazing as is though.
  • What you plan to do with a more zoomed in Rockman with a more rough and/or spiky appearance is exactly what I would have suggested. Hopefully this will also make it's eyes more visible.
  • I think the Crystal people could also be a bit more jagged, I'm fine with the fact they don't actually have faces since their other sprites don't.
  • The Mantis I think could just use some more blade like spikes. Perhaps show one if it's claws in the frame? I approve of the more alien like appearance, but to make it seem like the Mantis the descriptions tell us about all it really needs is to show the blades on its arms and body.
  • It really bugs me how tiny the female face is compared to the male one. It might just be because it's zoomed out more. So if you could zoom out the male face and/or zoom in the female face just a tad that would be great.
  • The Zoltan image could also use a bit more detail. I think they look a little too ghost like.
  • The Lanius could be a bit "shinier", a bit more "metallic" looking. In my opinion they look a bit too much like a bug than a being made of metal
  • Finally, I noticed that the portraits nearly overlap the text in the customize frame and they are a out of frame in the cloning bay slots. If you could find a way to move the portraits up just a couple pixels that would be great.

Also, here is a crazy request, but I'm going to say it anyway... I think some people, who like to leave things more to be imagination, might appreciate some "less detailed" crew portraits. Ones that maybe match the vanilla style a bit more, but with only a few more details than the regular sprites. Maybe this would be good for making the many varying types of portraits? As less detail would be involved?
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Sleeper Service
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Re: [MOD]Detailed Crew Portrait Graphics

Postby Sleeper Service » Sun May 18, 2014 3:52 pm

Russian Rockman wrote:Finally, I noticed that the portraits nearly overlap the text in the customize frame and they are a out of frame in the cloning bay slots. If you could find a way to move the portraits up just a couple pixels that would be great.

That would leave them with a gap below them in other circumstance. Not sure what is the better option.
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Estel
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Re: [MOD]Detailed Crew Portrait Graphics

Postby Estel » Sun May 18, 2014 5:54 pm

LordTrilobite wrote:Well, I only really make visual mods, since I'm an artist, not a programmer. I had some ideas for a mod that would change the visuals of the shops and the cargo bay menus. But it wouldn't change any of the functions underneath.


Not related to portraits, but I we speak about artistic-"only" changes have a little request, that would make me *very* happy (and that, so far, was denied by any other artist out there) - could you, please, take look at the graphic of projectile used for ABS (AE's artillery)? I just can't stand the fact that it looks like Giant Gelatinous Cube propelled toward our ship, very immersion-breaking. Also, they *much* more pixelized than any other thing in the game, which looks ugly on it's own, but even more so if one use "better planets and background/asteroids".

Now, I'm not an graphic specialist, so what I say may be useless in practice, but I have some ideas, how it could get improved... First, its color could be changed to green. In both vanilla FTL and CE, the more "condensed" shots are all green - heavy lasers, Artillery lasers, etc... It would be more coherent as green. Now, it's shape could be changed to one less circular (making it more like blast of plasma, than gelatin). I'm not sure if its resolution could be upped, too, but if yes, it would help -projectile starts tiny when shot from background fleet image, then goes bigger and bigger, creating effect of coming from "inside" of screen (from far away to closer to "camera") - unfortunately, it makes it unholy big pixels even bigger, at the end they're half size of crewman. I would prefer, for sure, to have bigger picture scaled down at the beginning, than scaled up at the end (but even if that isn't possible, other changes could help).

Now, I know it's a lot of text for a small change like that, but i really hope that it could be done by competent graphic artist.

LordTrilobite wrote:Though I suppose I can look into raising the shoulders a little to make them more visible.


Thanks, I think that it would help, indeed :) BTW, huge thanks for taking comments as constructive critique.

LordTrilobite wrote:Regarding the Mantis and the Rockmen. Now that I have had some time to reflect on the pictures I made, and have seen them for a longer time ingame. I would agree that the Rockman could use a redo. It looks a little too blobby and it's also too zoomed out. I think I'll make a different version that's more zoomed in and with a more rocky surface. I will post pictures when I get around to making that.


Good idea, as far as my imagination goes, it would indeed look better.

LordTrilobite wrote:Then there's the Mantis. Personally I'm still very satisfied with the face. One thing I don't like how it turned out, is how it attaches to the torso. When I made it, the one thing I wanted to avoid, was making it look to much like an actual insect. I mean, it's an alien after all. I think it breaks the immersion if it's just a large praying mantis like the ones we have here on Earth. I wanted to do something different.
(...)
But one thing is for sure. I will refrain from making it look too bug-like.


Thats some good reasoning, I see your point. Indeed, it is a good idea to keep it from looking to much like big-bug-from-earth (even if original creators made him exactly that, it seems ;) ). Now, Rockman's suggestion about making claws visible (like they're held in upper position, at the same level as head - like we see Mantises doing, all the time, on ship's corridors) is exactly what I was thinking about. It would make it look less like aggressive plant, I think.

As for Lanius, funny enough, I thought of him as one of best portraits. But, Rockman have a point here - in game, their "things" look more like blades (sharp edges), than "spikes". If wanting to do a little make-up here, I think that sharpening edges would help. In-game, both their ships and they look like bunch of very sharp knives bundled together. I wouldn't be too eager to hug them, even leaving apart oxygen-absorbing properties ;)

Last but not least - while Engi portrait is nice, don't you think that its face-something is too flat? it looks a little like its head got caught between two parts of ammo press. At least their in-game appearance show that "glass" (or whatever it is) as a shape a little closer to rectangle.

Cheers,
/Estel

// Edit

And another point - if possible, instead of doing complete re-dos, you could leave current portraits as variants - so, we would be able to encounter both "sharper" rocks, and the "blob-like" ones. Humans could use some more different-looking faces variants, too. If it's not possible to use different, random portraits, just scrap the idea.
theDoomBox

Re: [MOD]Detailed Crew Portrait Graphics

Postby theDoomBox » Mon May 19, 2014 1:05 am

I'm sure you've heard this a lot, but great work! Simple idea, but it stills adds a lot of flavor to the game. It just fits a lot better, and customization is alot more fun.
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Re: [MOD]Detailed Crew Portrait Graphics

Postby Russian Rockman » Mon May 19, 2014 6:10 am

Estel wrote:Not related to portraits, but I we speak about artistic-"only" changes have a little request, that would make me *very* happy (and that, so far, was denied by any other artist out there) - could you, please, take look at the graphic of projectile used for ABS (AE's artillery)? I just can't stand the fact that it looks like Giant Gelatinous Cube propelled toward our ship, very immersion-breaking. Also, they *much* more pixelized than any other thing in the game, which looks ugly on it's own, but even more so if one use "better planets and background/asteroids".

I would like to see that graphic redone as well. :)

Estel wrote:Last but not least - while Engi portrait is nice, don't you think that its face-something is too flat? it looks a little like its head got caught between two parts of ammo press. At least their in-game appearance show that "glass" (or whatever it is) as a shape a little closer to rectangle.

I actually like the Engi portraits. They are like a computer monitor strapped on top of a (surprisingly buff) body. :D The Engi's in game have a slouched posture that those portraits have.
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Estel
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Re: [MOD]Detailed Crew Portrait Graphics

Postby Estel » Mon May 19, 2014 8:11 am

Agreed, I've looked more closely at Engis in-game, and it seems that I've imagined their shape a little different than they actually are (power of imagination :D) Scrap what I've said about Engis then, as they're *exactly* like in game, in fact.

Other points stand, though. BTW, I had time for few sessions today, and I must say that portraits are AWESOME. It was a pleasure to get into my ship's screen and say "hello" to every new crew member. I think that it could get off if we would see portraits on the crew list during fights, too, but the way it is now - hangar and ship's details - is just perfect, and indeed add quite much to the immersion. Now I fully get, why Sleepy decided to include it as core element, not a sub-addon.

/Estel
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Re: [MOD]Detailed Crew Portrait Graphics

Postby R4V3-0N » Mon May 19, 2014 9:00 am

This might help.Image

Cut content from FTL, this is the picture of the engi (making more engi's).
Hope this gives you a less 'think and guess' approach.
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LordTrilobite
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Re: [MOD]Detailed Crew Portrait Graphics

Postby LordTrilobite » Mon May 19, 2014 5:40 pm

R4V3-0N wrote:This might help.Image

Cut content from FTL, this is the picture of the engi (making more engi's).
Hope this gives you a less 'think and guess' approach.

Yes I know the picture. I actually used it as reference for the Engi. though I decided to give the detailing my own spin.
Image - Image
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Re: [MOD]Detailed Crew Portrait Graphics

Postby R4V3-0N » Tue May 20, 2014 2:24 am

Okay, I noticed it was similar, I just wanted to make sure you knew about it.
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