Eleazar's Terrain Improvements

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AI
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Re: Evaluation of Terrain and Improvements

Post by AI »

In a previous thread there was a discussion about how real dirt is actually very light, so I don't think that'll be a problem.
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Sapient
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Re: Evaluation of Terrain and Improvements

Post by Sapient »

When you discussed lighter dirt that reminded me that we need a dark soil terrain:

http://www.wesnoth.org/forum/viewtopic. ... 35#p389135

Soil comes in many different colors; with dark soil it is moist and rich in organic matter -- I personally find it more appealing to the eye.
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Eleazar
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Re: Evaluation of Terrain and Improvements

Post by Eleazar »

AI wrote:In a previous thread there was a discussion about how real dirt is actually very light, so I don't think that'll be a problem.
Sapient wrote:When you discussed lighter dirt that reminded me that we need a dark soil terrain:

http://www.wesnoth.org/forum/viewtopic. ... 35#p389135

Soil comes in many different colors; with dark soil it is moist and rich in organic matter -- I personally find it more appealing to the eye.
Like Sapient said, real dirt varies a lot in color, but even if it didn't i wouldn't especially care. Photorealism isn't the goal. I want to know how it the dirt works aesthetically with the other terrains. I'm also not asking for a vote on everyone's favorite dirt color.

See the first page of this thread for why and wherefore i lightened the dirt in the first place.

Sapient, the thread you linked to sounds like it's describing the terrain i made for UtBS. It's not in mainline because it doesn't have any transitions-- something it didn't need on the UtBS map, but would for general usage.
Feel free to PM me if you start a new terrain oriented thread. It's easy for me to miss them among all the other art threads.
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Re: Evaluation of Terrain and Improvements

Post by Sapient »

Obviously, without transitions, "Dark path" can't be used everywhere -- but it was never the intention to be able to use every terrain next to every other terrain. Even without transitions I was able to find places where it improved the overall aesthetic of a map, so I think it's relevant to the discussion of improving terrain and deserved mentioning since you are planning to lighten dirt. However, I do understand you aren't interested in adding new terrains (yet). So I apologize for bringing up a new terrain idea since it is slightly off topic.
http://www.wesnoth.org/wiki/User:Sapient... "Looks like your skills saved us again. Uh, well at least, they saved Soarin's apple pie."
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Eleazar
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Re: Evaluation of Terrain and Improvements

Post by Eleazar »

Sapient wrote:Obviously, without transitions, "Dark path" can't be used everywhere -- but it was never the intention to be able to use every terrain next to every other terrain.
Having no transitions is a lot more broken than the awkwardness that mixing cave and outdoors terrain on the same map.


Also: I fixed the encampment to use regular dirt instead of a special old encampment dirt tile.

:?: Also#2: In terrain.cfg some terrains have just a "name" tag, while others also have a "description" tag. Can someone explain what these two similar tags do? It seems that "name" is ignored with "description" is present -- at least i don't see where "name" is being used.

Also#3: I'll throw in an additional darker dirt, since color shifts are easy. It will help bridge the tonal gap between medium dirt and the cave colors.
Feel free to PM me if you start a new terrain oriented thread. It's easy for me to miss them among all the other art threads.
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Eleazar
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Re: Evaluation of Terrain and Improvements

Post by Eleazar »

A new dirt, and slightly tweaked medium dirt.
As before i'm still doing only minimum work on the transitions.
Picture 6.png

For the cobbles, i think i'll do something along these lines, but not so extreme:
Image


EDIT: I don't see the windmill anymore-- it's in the editor, but on the map it look like plain grass. I don't think i did anything to it. Is it showing up in trunk?
Feel free to PM me if you start a new terrain oriented thread. It's easy for me to miss them among all the other art threads.
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Re: Evaluation of Terrain and Improvements

Post by Eleazar »

Embellishments
Here's an idea that give more power and control to map-makers. The engine can already handle it, but we just haven't made much use of it yet. Embellishments would be overlay-only "terrains" that have no effect on move or defense. They generally don't even cover most of a tile. What they do is add interest and detail to the map. For starters i've left out the random stones that used to appear in the green grass terrain. Instead i made an embellishment overlay of small stones, and it can be placed or not placed as the map-maker desires. And these will work well with a wide range of flat terrains. I'd like to use the terrain letter "E" for these since they don't really belong in an existing category.


Other ideas for embellishments
  • flowers (backwards compatibility issues?)
    small mushrooms
    tall standing stones
    small gobs of snow
    desert plants from the desert terrain
    dark grungy overlay to make the ground look burnt
Picture 8.png

Are there technical concerns with using these kind of things, or the kinds of stuff in the scenery folder in the map editor, instead of however it is now done? It seems more convenient to add things with the editor.


Color harmonization.

The orc fortress (which is pretty cool BTW), had this really rich dark dirt color that didn't match anything. By switching it out with the dark dirt used elsewhere, the fortress suddenly looks like it belongs in that enviroment.
orc.jpg
Feel free to PM me if you start a new terrain oriented thread. It's easy for me to miss them among all the other art threads.
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Eleazar
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Re: Evaluation of Terrain and Improvements

Post by Eleazar »

OK, got the new dry grass working. Autumn is now much more possible.

Now just the cobbled paths and the flowers remain of my flat terrain revision project.
... and transitions.
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Picture 9.png
Feel free to PM me if you start a new terrain oriented thread. It's easy for me to miss them among all the other art threads.
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freim
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Re: Evaluation of Terrain and Improvements

Post by freim »

Very nice Eleazar.

Harmonizing the colors made a much larger impact than initial had imagined.

I also like the new flat terrains a lot, looks much more alive. And good idea about moving more stuff into overlays.
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Re: Evaluation of Terrain and Improvements

Post by zookeeper »

Eleazar wrote:Embellishments
Here's an idea that give more power and control to map-makers. The engine can already handle it, but we just haven't made much use of it yet. Embellishments would be overlay-only "terrains" that have no effect on move or defense. They generally don't even cover most of a tile. What they do is add interest and detail to the map. For starters i've left out the random stones that used to appear in the green grass terrain. Instead i made an embellishment overlay of small stones, and it can be placed or not placed as the map-maker desires. And these will work well with a wide range of flat terrains. I'd like to use the terrain letter "E" for these since they don't really belong in an existing category.


Other ideas for embellishments
  • flowers (backwards compatibility issues?)
    small mushrooms
    tall standing stones
    small gobs of snow
    desert plants from the desert terrain
    dark grungy overlay to make the ground look burnt
Picture 8.png

Are there technical concerns with using these kind of things, or the kinds of stuff in the scenery folder in the map editor, instead of however it is now done? It seems more convenient to add things with the editor.
Well, I think most of those are good ideas. The only thing I'd like to stay away from would be the tall standing stones and other things which are so noticeable that you'd usually use them very rarely (unlike flowers, gobs of snow, etc): we can't just start creating an overlay terrain for every scenery item we currently have, so in my opinion it'd make sense to draw the line so that the overlay terrains would be limited to less distinct terrain features which blend in with the underlying terrain somewhat less conspicuously (such as small stones, gobs of snow, flowers, etc).

Also, fendrin/fabi is working on some extensions to the editor, and IIRC one of them is the ability to place non-terrain scenery items and other stuff on the map, so I suppose we might as well think ahead a bit and try to figure out what sort of things should be terrains and what should be left as non-terrain scenery items.

I don't have much to say about pretty much anything else going on in this thread; that's some excellent work.
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Re: Evaluation of Terrain and Improvements

Post by Eleazar »

Thanks, freim and zookeeper.
zookeeper wrote: Well, I think most of those are good ideas. The only thing I'd like to stay away from would be the tall standing stones and other things which are so noticeable that you'd usually use them very rarely (unlike flowers, gobs of snow, etc): we can't just start creating an overlay terrain for every scenery item we currently have, so in my opinion it'd make sense to draw the line so that the overlay terrains would be limited to less distinct terrain features which blend in with the underlying terrain somewhat less conspicuously (such as small stones, gobs of snow, flowers, etc).

Also, fendrin/fabi is working on some extensions to the editor, and IIRC one of them is the ability to place non-terrain scenery items and other stuff on the map, so I suppose we might as well think ahead a bit and try to figure out what sort of things should be terrains and what should be left as non-terrain scenery items.
I see what you are saying-- it's good to know that's being worked on. Perhaps something like this:
"Embellishments" meet the following criterion. Anything else is "scenery" or an "item".
* don't cover up most of the base
* wouldn't normally be removed or interacted with (unlike a sword which is just asking to be picked up)
* are "generic" -- don't stand out as a unique object
* could be repeated many times on a map without looking weird

By these or similar criterion, the windmill should perhaps be scenery, not a terrain as it is.


Redefining the desert plants as an "embellishment" and thus making them disappear from all existing maps (until they are added back in) doesn't seem like too much of a problem, but what about the flower terrain? Currently it is a terrain without an overlay-- how would we deal with this?
Feel free to PM me if you start a new terrain oriented thread. It's easy for me to miss them among all the other art threads.
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Re: Evaluation of Terrain and Improvements

Post by zookeeper »

Eleazar wrote:
zookeeper wrote: Well, I think most of those are good ideas. The only thing I'd like to stay away from would be the tall standing stones and other things which are so noticeable that you'd usually use them very rarely (unlike flowers, gobs of snow, etc): we can't just start creating an overlay terrain for every scenery item we currently have, so in my opinion it'd make sense to draw the line so that the overlay terrains would be limited to less distinct terrain features which blend in with the underlying terrain somewhat less conspicuously (such as small stones, gobs of snow, flowers, etc).

Also, fendrin/fabi is working on some extensions to the editor, and IIRC one of them is the ability to place non-terrain scenery items and other stuff on the map, so I suppose we might as well think ahead a bit and try to figure out what sort of things should be terrains and what should be left as non-terrain scenery items.
I see what you are saying-- it's good to know that's being worked on. Perhaps something like this:
"Embellishments" meet the following criterion. Anything else is "scenery" or an "item".
* don't cover up most of the base
* wouldn't normally be removed or interacted with (unlike a sword which is just asking to be picked up)
* are "generic" -- don't stand out as a unique object
* could be repeated many times on a map without looking weird
Sounds good to me.
Eleazar wrote:By these or similar criterion, the windmill should perhaps be scenery, not a terrain as it is.
Sure. I think the reason it was originally made a terrain was simply because it couldn't be animated as a scenery item, only as a terrain. So whenever that gets fixed (I think it isn't yet), we can change it.
Eleazar wrote:Redefining the desert plants as an "embellishment" and thus making them disappear from all existing maps (until they are added back in) doesn't seem like too much of a problem, but what about the flower terrain? Currently it is a terrain without an overlay-- how would we deal with this?
We'd just mass-convert Ggf to Gg^Flo (or whatever string it gets) in all maps. Doesn't sound like a problem, what with wmllint and all.
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Re: Evaluation of Terrain and Improvements

Post by Jetrel »

A better thing with the grass might be to make the grass itself an "overlay", slightly vertically offset on the tile, so that a grass tile below will stick up and slightly overlap a grass tile above. (note: cheap hack attached)

I have to say, though, the grass texture you have there is magnificent.
grass-overlay.png
grass-overlay.png (150.5 KiB) Viewed 4682 times


Edit: In retrospect, actually this is an extremely good idea, because this way we can have organic holes in the grass that will match any dirt terrain the grass is placed on top of.

With a bunch of variations, with all sorts of different holes in them, we can get very organic blending between grass and dirt.
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Re: Evaluation of Terrain and Improvements

Post by zookeeper »

Jetrel wrote:A better thing with the grass might be to make the grass itself an "overlay", slightly vertically offset on the tile, so that a grass tile below will stick up and slightly overlap a grass tile above. (note: cheap hack attached)

I have to say, though, the grass texture you have there is magnificent.
grass-overlay.png


Edit: In retrospect, actually this is an extremely good idea, because this way we can have organic holes in the grass that will match any dirt terrain the grass is placed on top of.

With a bunch of variations, with all sorts of different holes in them, we can get very organic blending between grass and dirt.
There's just one problem with that: we currently can't have more than two layers of terrain: can't have Re^Gr^Li for example, meaning that if grass was an overlay terrain, you couldn't have another overlay, like rocks or flowers on it.

If someone (that'd be mordante) can lift that limitation then that'd be awesome of course.
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Re: Evaluation of Terrain and Improvements

Post by Eleazar »

zookeeper wrote:
Eleazar wrote:Redefining the desert plants as an "embellishment" and thus making them disappear from all existing maps (until they are added back in) doesn't seem like too much of a problem, but what about the flower terrain? Currently it is a terrain without an overlay-- how would we deal with this?
We'd just mass-convert Ggf to Gg^Flo (or whatever string it gets) in all maps. Doesn't sound like a problem, what with wmllint and all.
OK, so to break it down:
* i'd make the new terrain in trunk
* ask somebody to convert the maps with wmllint
* then remove the obsolete terrain
zookeeper wrote:There's just one problem with that: we currently can't have more than two layers of terrain: can't have Re^Gr^Li for example, meaning that if grass was an overlay terrain, you couldn't have another overlay, like rocks or flowers on it.

If someone (that'd be mordante) can lift that limitation then that'd be awesome of course.
I tend to think the addition of another overlay layer, while occasionally useful, would add more confusion than benefit. There are less code-intensive ways to get what we need.

Jetrel wrote:A better thing with the grass might be to make the grass itself an "overlay", slightly vertically offset on the tile, so that a grass tile below will stick up and slightly overlap a grass tile above.
Offsetting all grass doesn't change the way grass interacts. The simplest way to make the grass "stick up and slightly overlap a grass tile above" is by remaking the transitions to stick up more on the north sides, which would work well with other tiles too. I haven't touched transitions yet, except to recolor them appropriately, but I plan to make the North edges stick up.


Jetrel wrote:In retrospect, actually this is an extremely good idea, because this way we can have organic holes in the grass that will match any dirt terrain the grass is placed on top of.

With a bunch of variations, with all sorts of different holes in them, we can get very organic blending between grass and dirt.
As zookeeper points out this is incompatible with putting anything else as an overlay over the grass.

* But in addition to the non-overlay grass, we could make sparse overlay grass to layer over dirt of whatever. This would be an "embellishment" and they would have to choose one embellishment over another, but the choice would be clear, and the system is flexible.

* Or (i think) we could make nine combinations of grass+dirt as terrains without an overlay -- though this sounds like an overkill. I'm not sure many people will care about choosing between green-grass+dark-dirt, green-grass+med-dirt, green-grass+light-dirt, etc...



EDIT: switched the terrain WML on forests so they use a seasonally approprate grass color instead of always using the olive-color, thus also eliminating a glitch when the base was changed.
I think something about the color of "forest floor" should be created that looks like pine needle and/or old leaves, and then we could get rid of it.

As i did with a couple of fort ground tiles, i'd like to generalize the specialized bases of terrains when there is no good reason to have a unique base tile-- either make the base an individually accessible terrain, or replace it with a normal terrain that does the same thing.
Feel free to PM me if you start a new terrain oriented thread. It's easy for me to miss them among all the other art threads.
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