Desert Cave Tileset

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Jetryl
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Postby Jetryl » Thu Apr 12, 2007 9:55 am

See post on previous page.

The tilesets:
http://www.allacrost.org/staff/user/jet ... -walls.png
http://www.allacrost.org/staff/user/jet ... walls2.png
http://www.allacrost.org/staff/user/jet ... l/cave.png
http://www.allacrost.org/staff/user/jet ... -water.png

Cave walls2 will get filled up with the vertical-tiling bits of the cave wall, when they're done - likewise the water tileset is likely going to have another animation or two in it. The currently-empty space will be put to use, shortly. Because of this, and roots, I'm looking at you, please don't do something silly like concatenating these into 3 tilesets - it would waste all of our time.

The elements in these are in their "final" positions, I plan to do nothing but add additional tiles to these. Any modifications to existing tiles will be done such that they break nothing in the lua/editor/etc.
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Postby gorzuate » Thu Apr 12, 2007 5:18 pm

:bow: :bow: :bow:

Jetryl wrote:The elements in these are in their "final" positions, I plan to do nothing but add additional tiles to these. Any modifications to existing tiles will be done such that they break nothing in the lua/editor/etc.


This is good to know. :)
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Postby Rain » Thu Apr 12, 2007 6:57 pm

Good God almighty. Those cave walls...the subtle illumination...the strange surreal abtract shape's and crevices...Looks like something from an M.C. Escher conceptualization.

That is absolutely sick.

Bravo Jetryl! Top shelf my good man! :D
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Postby Roots » Wed Apr 18, 2007 6:36 pm

And now that the editor bug is resolved, today I'll stick these in SVN, create some definition files for them, and we'll integrate these into a map. :D Awesome work Jetryl. :approve: This last month you have truly been the hero of Allacrost :bow: :heh:
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Postby alenacat » Mon Apr 23, 2007 3:18 pm

Outstanding work !
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Postby jsmith71 » Thu May 03, 2007 7:31 am

Alright, so Jetryl PM'd me and basically said that if I was going to do some more work for Allacrost, now would be the time. :p

Initially I was working on various ground tiles for the desert set (since we agreed that ground tiles/objects were the main area I'm really able to help with), but I'll be damned if sand/dunes/etc aren't the hardest things to pixel ever. :heh: For some reason I never really managed to get anything worth looking at. This is the farthest I got: (note: very, very unfinished and rather ugly)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v294/ ... /sand2.png

They're a lot darker than the current desert tiles, but lightening them up isn't a problem. They were originally part of the desert cave tileset I was tweaking just recently before I found out about Jetryl's major overhaul, but they seemed a bit too blocky.

Anyway! I asked if there was anything else I could work on, and Jetryl told me that I could do some more stalagmites/stalactites/etc for the desert cave. So far I've got these larger rock formations done:

[IMG:64:128]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v294/Frog32/allacrost/rockform2.png[/img] [IMG:64:128]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v294/Frog32/allacrost/rockform2_2.png[/img]

...Still looking at references for some good stalagmites/stalactites. I think the second rock formation is a bit weak, it looks less natural and there's some flaws here and there. I'll probably end up fixing it at some point, though.

I guess that's it. I'll be hanging about here more often, now... See you guys around. :)

~Josiah
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Postby Jetryl » Thu May 03, 2007 3:32 pm

:huh: that sand actually looks a lot better than I'd expected, I'll still see if I can't get some hoodoo on it.

You're right about the corner transitions, we both have a bit to learn from that circlegraphic tileset. (Fortunately, I think that demonstrates how to eliminate the issues, here).

Josiah Tobin wrote:Anyway! I asked if there was anything else I could work on, and Jetryl told me that I could do some more stalagmites/stalactites/etc for the desert cave. So far I've got these larger rock formations done:

[IMG:64:128]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v294/Frog32/allacrost/rockform2.png[/img] [IMG:64:128]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v294/Frog32/allacrost/rockform2_2.png[/img]

...Still looking at references for some good stalagmites/stalactites. I think the second rock formation is a bit weak, it looks less natural and there's some flaws here and there. I'll probably end up fixing it at some point, though.



Hey, sweet! I totally hadn't thought about making big spires like that, but those are a great idea.

:D This is the magic of having _two_ people working on this.
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Postby jsmith71 » Tue May 08, 2007 12:22 am

Just a quick update on the spires-- Fixed a few minor things with the first two, and added a new, smaller one:
[IMG:64:96]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v294/Frog32/allacrost/rockspire1.png[/img][IMG:64:128]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v294/Frog32/allacrost/rockspire2.png[/img][IMG:64:64]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v294/Frog32/allacrost/rockspire3.png[/img]
Sorry I haven't been able to get much more substantial work done, but a band I'm in apparently got signed up for a battle of the bands thing without our permission, and we've had to do quite a bit of last-minute practice.
[img:256:70]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v294/Frog32/skillz_small.png[/img]
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Postby Jetryl » Thu May 10, 2007 6:02 pm

Josiah:
I think I'll actually wire at least one of those into the cave map for the 0.2.0 demo; the nice thing being that we can just drop in a new replacement, graphically, if we make any changes, without doing any alterations to the meta-files that describe where the different tile images are in the tilesheet.



Appearance:
I found this one great reference site; the files on it are a little big, though; if you want me to toss up an archive of jpgs, I have all the pictures from here recompressed. These are actually one of the biggest sources I was studying when I did the recent mondo-revision of the cave tileset.
http://www.nps.gov/cave/photosmultimedia/index.htm

As far as appearance goes, I'd say these are generally great; the shading is spot-on, so is the coloring. About the only thing I'd suggest is "second order" shaping. The basic shape (a.k.a the first-order shape) of these is great, but they lack some of the finer details. Looking at the reference images above, there would be some striation or ribbing underneath the "shelves".

So, these are good to go in, as they are, but I'll investigate what they might look like with that tweak.
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Postby jsmith71 » Sat May 12, 2007 12:00 am

Jetryl wrote:As far as appearance goes, I'd say these are generally great; the shading is spot-on, so is the coloring. About the only thing I'd suggest is "second order" shaping. The basic shape (a.k.a the first-order shape) of these is great, but they lack some of the finer details. Looking at the reference images above, there would be some striation or ribbing underneath the "shelves".

Yeah, I agree there-- I'm not really sure how I'd pull that off, though. I don't really have any experience with that sort of thing, probably part of the reason I was so impressed with your additions to my cave tileset. Any advice and/or edits that might help?
[img:256:70]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v294/Frog32/skillz_small.png[/img]
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Postby Jetryl » Sat May 12, 2007 4:54 am

Josiah Tobin wrote:Yeah, I agree there-- I'm not really sure how I'd pull that off, though. I don't really have any experience with that sort of thing, probably part of the reason I was so impressed with your additions to my cave tileset. Any advice and/or edits that might help?


I got about halfways into an edit of the small spire, working from right to left - the left half is completely untouched, the right half might be more or less done (I guess I'd gauge that, based on what it looked like once I'd done a whole pass across). While I was doing it, I got the (probably helpful) idea of doing an animated .gif of my progress.

SO (original/edit/animated):
[img:64:64]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v294/Frog32/allacrost/rockspire3.png[/img] [img:64:64]http://www.allacrost.org/staff/user/jetryl/Map-Tiles/Cave/rockspire3edit.png[/img] [img:49:61]http://www.allacrost.org/staff/user/jetryl/Map-Tiles/Cave/rockspire3edit.gif[/img]

Let: "tones" = individual brighter or darker colors in the palette you used for this.

I took the basic geometric shapes you had, and dug little furrows into the vertical faces of them; I did this by dropping in a blotch of pixels a few tones darker than the tone surrounding it. But I'd also occasionally put some highlight on the left-just-outside-the-edge of the furrow, since that would have to curve to dip into the furrow, and would end up facing the light at some point along the curve.


I think I may finish this (just not right now) for this single spire; but if you could try and do this on the other spires, I'll bet it'll start to make sense; if not, I may have a few other things I can explain that'd help.
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Postby jsmith71 » Sun May 13, 2007 4:00 am

Alright... My attempt:
[IMG:64:96]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v294/Frog32/allacrost/rockspire1_detail.png[/img]
[img:256:70]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v294/Frog32/skillz_small.png[/img]
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Postby Jetryl » Mon May 14, 2007 6:59 am

Josiah Tobin wrote:Alright... My attempt:
[IMG:64:96]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v294/Frog32/allacrost/rockspire1_detail.png[/img]


Generally a good step in the right direction - there are further things I'd explain, but most of them have to be done visually, which means in this case they need to wait about 16hrs.

For a crappy version of the explanation; I'd say that "in addition to indentations, you also need their opposite - these would look like veins sticking out of the flat surface of the rock - they also would sometimes be right next to/flush with the indentations."
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Postby jsmith71 » Mon May 21, 2007 9:05 pm

Seems you're a lot better at this than I am. :heh:
I tried to give the second spire a shot (more flat surfaces, I figured it might be easier), but I still can't get it to look quite right. This is what I have so far: (only the bottom half is really changed)
[IMG:64:128]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v294/Frog32/allacrost/rockspire2_WIP.png[/img]
[img:256:70]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v294/Frog32/skillz_small.png[/img]
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Postby Jetryl » Fri Jun 01, 2007 7:12 am

:bang: I swear to god I'll get around to this... Too many things happening all at once.
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Postby Jetryl » Tue Jun 05, 2007 5:20 am

:devil: I finally "got around to it".

1] New tile, with animation showing my progress every several minutes. The colors on the .gif are a little off - I just solved a major problem with color spaces I'd had before, so .. bear with me.
[img:49:61]http://www.allacrost.org/staff/user/jetryl/Map-Tiles/Cave/rockspire3edit2.gif[/img]

2] This is the actual PNG - I'll do a writeup on some tricks of technique tomorrow morning (hopefully).
[img:64:64]http://www.allacrost.org/staff/user/jetryl/Map-Tiles/Cave/rockspire3edit2.png[/img]

3] One non-obvious step in the edit was that at the end, I grabbed another color from the cave tileset, and dropped the colors in the spire down by one notch in the palette - the result makes it mesh much better with the overall lighting of the cave tileset. "Before" is on the right, "After" is on the left:
[img:360:546]http://www.allacrost.org/staff/user/jetryl/Map-Tiles/Cave/rockspire3-color-shift.png[/img]



:huh: hmm... I may want to lop off the dark outline on the bottom (or really, change them to a brighter color).
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Postby jsmith71 » Tue Jun 05, 2007 5:49 am

Yeah, the dark outline in general doesn't seem to fit very well... Makes it stand out too much. Overall though, that is a fantastic edit-- I still don't know how you manage to make rock look so natural. In comparison my attempts seem to be far too 'stiff' to really blend in. That writeup of your technique would be very helpful. :p
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Postby Rain » Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:04 am

Damn that cave is looking good.
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Postby Jetryl » Tue Jun 05, 2007 6:11 pm

These are some of the first things that came to mind, it's not everything by a long shot, but this should be enough to keep you busy: :D

Technique:
The first thing is that the level of highlighting depends mostly on which direction the surface is facing. What objects and surfaces it has around it has some effect; if there's a volume between it and the light source, a normally bright spot would be shaded, if there's a volume behind something, it would reflect some light into its normally shaded regions. What this means is that the upper edges of things, even over on the "dark side" of the pillar, can have considerable highlighting - it's usually a few tones darker than on the light side, but still surprisingly bright.

The second thing is that I do fairly considerable anti-aliasing; you're doing some, though I think mine is somewhat different from yours - one thing I do to eliminate jaggies is that I make sure to not end runs of a single color on the same pixel boundary that another run ends on; using ascii art to demonstrate my point, if I had 3 colors, A,B,C, the following would be uncool:

AAAAA
AAABB
BBBCC
CCCCC

It creates sort of a visual edge:
AAA|AA
AAA|BB
BBB|CC
CCC|CC

So, instead, we'd want:
AAAAA
AABBB
BBBCC
CCCCC

or

AAAAA
AAABB
BBCCC
CCCCC

And frankly,if it still doesn't look good, it might be a good idea to suddenly introduce a few new intermediate colors, where D is a blend between A&B, and E is a blend between B&C:

AAAAA
ADDBB
BBEEC
CCCCC

There's a visual threshold for "when is a new shade necessary?" - I find that it comes at about a 10% shift in luminosity; depending on distance, dithering, and a few other things.




Furthering the way I do things on these rocks, to create the illusion of roundness, I draw a fairly full gradation of colors away from a highlighted nub/bump on the rock. If we take ABCDEF to be dark to bright colors in sequence, then given a highlight spot like this:
AAAAAAA
AAAAFFA
AAAFFAA
AAAAAAA
AAAAAAA

I'd probably do the intermediate shades like follows:
AAABCCB
BBDEFFC
CDEFFEC
BCDEDCB
ABCDCBA

The quicker fall-off to the upper right (versus the longer falloff to the lower left) helps to establish a light direction coming from the upper-right. Done to extremes, it would make the lower-left look like it gradually sloped down to the flat rock face the bump is on, and would make the upper-right look like it had a surface perpendicular to the rock face (and the viewer).



Further than that, I'd add lots more bumps and crevasses, especially along the edges of the rock. I'd also interleave those bumps and crevasses, and allow them to overlap each other.
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Postby jsmith71 » Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:35 pm

Yeah, I'm already aware of most of those techniques, I suppose I'm just not too suited to doing so much detail. I'll give it another shot though.

Oh, and about anti-aliasing...
Jetryl wrote:So, instead, we'd want:
AAAAA
AABBB
BBBCC
CCCCC

or

AAAAA
AAABB
BBCCC
CCCCC

I wasn't aware I was doing things like this:
AAAAA
AAABB
BBBCC
CCCCC
...I remember thinking it looked far too blocky when I first got into AA and always ended up doing it the second way you mentioned in the above quote of your post. Maybe I missed some parts. The first quoted example always seemed a bit redundant too, it sort of looked like it was creating more jaggies than it was solving. Then again, text examples probably aren't the best way to convey pixel art. :heh:
[img:256:70]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v294/Frog32/skillz_small.png[/img]

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