Grand Portrait List - 2020 update

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doofus-01
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Re: Grand Portrait List - 2020 update

Post by doofus-01 »

LordBob wrote:
July 3rd, 2020, 8:32 am
Future plans
Aside from commissions, some story art, and contributing on Haldric, I haven't been too active these past few years. Family, work, moving a couple times, learning new skills...Excuses are plenty but I still want to see our portrait list finished and it seems things are settling a bit on my end. Below are the steps I would take and questions that remain. As always, input and comments are welcome.

1. Nagas
I love these creatures and they're not missing much to be a complete gallery. I will work on them first
For what it's worth, I can tone down the color on the dirkfang easily enough, if that's all that's wrong with it. I believe the dirkfang & friends are supposed to be from a different region than the fighters, with a slightly different culture, so they could look a bit different. Some variation could help with world-building, or there could be too few nagas for this sort of thing and it just makes us look sloppy. Not sure. :hmm:

The portrait of the naga with a bow was sort of shoehorned into the line because it was an available, decent quality portrait. It was not drawn specifically for that unit, so don't feel like that image should dictate any design choices. In fact, archer nagas show up in UtBS and UMC, it could be nice to liberate that archer portrait for those again, and not use it for ophidian.

There are also some armored, mace-wielding nagas in UtBS and UMC, it would be nice to have at least one portrait for them since they are practically canon, even if not officially.
LordBob wrote:
July 3rd, 2020, 8:32 am
4. Monsters and critters
Not that many missing. I'm interested in knowing if the following units are still relevant and/or appear in SP campaigns :
- Falcon / Elder falcon
- Fire Guardian
- Jinn
- Roc
- Wild Wyvern / Wyvern Rider
I don't believe there is a huge investment in most of those. The Fire Guardian has been around long enough, and the Wyvern sprite looks pretty good, I doubt they will change much or disappear. The Jinn and the birds can surely be changed. If it had fantastic artwork, I'm sure the Jinn would find its way into SP even if it's not in MP.
LordBob wrote:
July 3rd, 2020, 8:32 am
5. Female variants
Since our generics cast is dramatically lacking, I would like to progressively add these. With our current workforce however, it is far too much work to blindly do an alternate portrait for every single unit. Instead I would have them in a few carefully-picked spots. Help welcome as to where that would be. What I am currently pondering :
- Based on the updated lore, orc shamans could be predominantly female.
- Loyalist duelists could have an open spot for women of noble families, unlike their strict military.
- Loyalist horseman line also, for the same reason (I see them as independant warriors tied by oaths of fealty, whereas military riders would be the cavalryman line)
- Archer and swordsman line as well
- Do we want to show female dwarves ? Do they even exist ?
- Same question for Drakes
- Goblins ?
- And Saurians ?
- And Nagas, while we're at it ?

Not everyone will receive a variant if there's only one of me doing all the work, but I would like to be able to field at least a couple female portraits for every faction that allows it (woses and undead get a pass, though).
I agree with beetlenaut regarding the reptiles, goblins and dwarves: probably shouldn't be a priority.
The wealthy Loyalists (horse and duelists) make a lot of sense. Not that we need to keep expanding the to-do list, but even more than one variation for them (both male and female) could be useful. I'm not as sure about the swordsman, since it comes from the "cannon-fodder" spearman, but if there is a strong passion for having female swordsmen, I guess it doesn't hurt.
LordBob wrote:
July 3rd, 2020, 8:32 am
7. Dunefolk
We have to do them, sooner or later. It hurts to have a mainline faction that is almost completely blank portrait-wise and doesn't even have a SP campaign yet as far as I can tell.
It's possible this should be a top priority, since this lack or portraits is really obvious in the help pages, even if there is no mainline SP campaign yet. A couple nice portraits would help solidify the faction's character.
LordBob wrote:
July 3rd, 2020, 8:32 am
8. Undead
Chocobone is the only missing portrait for this faction. Is it still relevant and used anywhere in mainline ?
This one does show up often enough that its help-page could use something, even if there isn't a ton of campaign dialog.

--------------------------------------------

Thanks for the thoughtful planning.
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Re: Grand Portrait List - 2020 update

Post by Wussel »

wow wt tactics was busy in between!

There is an elvish bowwoman (called archer) which needs fixing the upper end of the bow. Serious useful!

There is an elvish stealth guy (called elvish cloak) which could loose the arrows which are in it.

There is a full line of roman soldiers! This is of course not about diversity but we had a roman style faction as UMC?

The swordwoman is great too. We should just take her! Maybe we should make a spearwoman even as an frankie. (Remove the hood and chainmail collar, change weapon and mirror everything) That would open the general army up for women! Mulan is coming! I believe there was a guy called Ted who got a frankenart piece into mainline after a five year grace period? I recon he became the first official art update expert of Wesnoth.

There was a female caster on the website which I did not find on github? I lost to much bandwith allready.

There were some seriously awesome monsters. Maybe we should go for things like cyclops and centaur for a creature expansion?

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Re: Grand Portrait List - 2020 update

Post by beetlenaut »

I downloaded the whole set, and I'm working on lots of them. I'm resizing, cropping, recoloring, and doing a bit of drawing. These are high res images, so I can take figures out of scenery and they are still large enough for our use. I have finished alternatives for the female red mage, assassin, gryphon, lich, and much more. I also have some citizens and other characters.

I wasn't going to use the cloak because I thought it was just too strange, but I can easily take the arrows out of it and add it to the list.

I am going to make the female caster from Deadly Shock into a sorceress--that's a great image. (I'm going to change her coat from white to black, and change her magic to purple.)

The problem with the Romans is that all but one of them just have swords, so they would be for the same unit. I'll grab a couple though.

The elvish archer is a good image except that her hand position is complete nonsense. I don't know if I am competent enough to fix it. If a better artist gets to it first, that would be fine with me, but it's on the list anyway. (You can't pull back on the arrow, or the string will slice it in half when it's drawn. You pull the string. And, you can't hold the arrow with your pointer like that, or it will go sideways.)

I'll post all the images I came up with in a day or two.
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Re: Grand Portrait List - 2020 update

Post by Wussel »

The Romans would go for different levels. There could be a roman Leaderline. The flag guy could get inspire or so. Basically it is good, that they all have short swords. But we do not have that in mainline. So it would be UMC, which we have with Romans. There is other stuff maybe cool like elvish tracker for some campaign like purpose.

The so called Archer elf: I would try to copy and mirror the lower end of the bow and resize it as upper end of the bow. Don't bother about exotic hand positions. Maybe somebody can help if you really need it.

There was a serious cool elf bowwomen from Kitty too, but she never gave it to us?

Since you are on it: The goblin with the flying cap and the leaves could proberbly loose the leaves and the cap to be more generic. That fellow allready got utilised in the past for UMC.

Edit: Got the issue with the archer. Here is a simple try. I scaled it down to game size
Spoiler:

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Re: Grand Portrait List - 2020 update

Post by beetlenaut »

They have indeed been busy over there! Almost every image could be useful for UMC or a later expansion, so I decided to just pull out images that could be used as alternatives for current mainline units, or match what LordBob was talking about above. For example, there are two non-combatants.

A few of them have been changed a lot, but Kitty's Elvish images would take more work than all the others combined, because WTactics didn't post her original, layered .psd files. I will see if I can do anything with those images later anyway. The Druid, specifically would make a perfect Elenia from NR if it didn't have the plant in the corner.

Anyone who wants to see all the original images can download the whole set. It's about 2.7GB. You will also have to move all the .png images into one directory if you want to be able to browse them easily, but there are tools for that.
Wussel wrote:
July 26th, 2020, 6:11 pm
Got the issue with the archer.
The top and bottom of the bow now have the same shading and perspective, so it looks odd. Portrait frankenart is always going to have problems with perspective and light direction. If you want it for your own use, that's fine, but mainline BfW only uses a certain quality of image for a reason. It will take some painting to do right.
Wussel wrote:
July 26th, 2020, 6:11 pm
The goblin with the flying cap...got utilized in the past for UMC.
He's in the core portrait directory already. Even without the leaves, he's clearly walking into the wind, so he's not going to be more generically useful either way.

These are the portraits I have pulled out. LordBob can decide which, if any, should go in the mainline directories.
half-size previews
half-size previews
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Re: Grand Portrait List - 2020 update

Post by Edwylm »

concerning my thoughts about female/male variants It is all well and good but isn't that it needs to be lore friendly? I'm sure there is a simple code you could add in into the campaigns to explain such details. Example I can't see orc women being sent to fight in battles until they create a culture that would allow such. currently we have that orc women are more domestic centered until orc shamans show up. This is just based on current lore. But main focus is what roles do men/women have in their respective societies and physical build? kingdom of Wesnoth might be different depending on if they have feudal lords and such as each feudal lord would muster what is in their region which means arms and armor can be different.

overall this are my suggestions regarding gender.
Orcish Archer, Grunt, Leader lines probably not see any female variants if there are it be very rare and be campaign only.
Orcish Assassin i can see this however don't need to make changes if they are to conceal their identity (i currently do not know what physical difference there are compared to male and female orcs seeing that orc women have "litters" which might imply different way of caring their children compared to the "human" like races.
goblins are tricky as they are considered "runts". I can see orcs having a higher percentage of male population than female population based off of lore
also note that lore doesn't indicate anything about female goblins as they might be viewed as female orcs and there is no lore about orcish parenting and child care.
I would like to see more different goblins units to express their lore.

now to humans the spearman, bowman and heavy inf. lines, a easy way to go about this is that the armor has no gender base reason. why, the reason is that it be cheaper to have 1 standard armor design than having 2. (it be different based on wealth and fame) since wesnoth is more of a centralized military i can see them doing 1 armor design. is it lazy work a bit but its also realistic.

I would like to see female peasants however they do lack the weapon diversity that they should have. I would consider waiting on them until working around the Northern Rebirth where they take more of a role in game play.

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Re: Grand Portrait List - 2020 update

Post by doofus-01 »

Edwylm wrote:
July 26th, 2020, 11:57 pm
I would like to see female peasants however they do lack the weapon diversity that they should have. I would consider waiting on them until working around the Northern Rebirth where they take more of a role in game play.
Yeah, there's probably something we can do there. Figuring out the advancement tree with the existing resources would take some thought, but it's possible. Topic for a different thread though.
beetlenaut wrote:
July 26th, 2020, 11:40 pm
Portrait frankenart is always going to have problems with perspective and light direction. If you want it for your own use, that's fine, but mainline BfW only uses a certain quality of image for a reason.
Right, no frankenportraits in mainline.
beetlenaut wrote:
July 26th, 2020, 11:40 pm
These are the portraits I have pulled out. LordBob can decide which, if any, should go in the mainline directories.
Certainly a lot of these are great and should be available for UMC, and should also be reviewed for secondary characters in mainline campaigns. They won't be core though. Well, maybe a couple of them could be core alternates (enchantress and javelineer?). But the style is a bit different and we've used original art up to now, let's not give that up.

(I'm speaking as Art Maintainer, not offering random opinion)
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Re: Grand Portrait List - 2020 update

Post by Wussel »

The archer was that Kitty elf? Now I am getting it. There is indeed some issue with perspective on this bow and arrow. That looks like the reason for cutting it of. To give credits. It looks like the bow has been resized late in the procress (assumingly on customers demands) and did not work out as longbow.

As proof I scaled it down to 70% and it worked much better. Left hand would need a fix and a string at the right ear would have to go. Lower bowstring is actually reused! About the light: I allready put a highlight on the upper bow, but especially the tip would need one more. The brownish part of the upper bow half is actually original and looks allready like wrong perspective to me. But what to do?
Spoiler:
There is Frankenart in mainline . Period! (Some mermaid by a guy called Ted, but he had to share the credits with the guy who scaled it down or so)

There is this art called Nun! Basically a lady wielding 2 daggers in a red shirt. Valeria of the red sisterhood. Or an asassin if colored black. Maybe a cultist of some evil cult. Or just a rogue. Please check it out. That would be totally in line with the diversity approach!

What is the original name of that art you call sorceress blue and red? I can not find it. Plz help.

That chubby diviner could actually be a Cylana replacement for the campaign. That Cylana art was some artist groming attempt but that fellow never made a second piece to my knowledge.

The Guy called Mercenary might be of use too. Holding money and crossbow. The guy called Conscript would work too maybe as level 1. (Mirror and cut off the spear tip on the left.) The so called Squadleader could go as alternate leader.

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Re: Grand Portrait List - 2020 update

Post by beetlenaut »

Wussel wrote:
July 27th, 2020, 7:03 am
There is indeed some issue with perspective on this bow and arrow.
No, I was saying that the perspective of top of the bow is different than the perspective of the bottom, as is should be, because we are seeing them from different angles. That's one of the two reasons you can't just mirror the bottom to make the top. There is an issue with the bow though: it's not curved nearly enough. You actually made that problem worse (which is what brought it to my attention). In your new image, the string is clearly much longer than the stubby bow. I think the original image is not mechanically realistic enough to go in the game even though it was drawn by Kitty, and there is no easy way to fix it.
doofus-01 wrote:
July 27th, 2020, 12:27 am
the style is a bit different and we've used original art up to now
Of course you guys are in charge, and I am fine with accepting your decision as final, with any reason on no reason given. However, I honestly don't understand either of these points, and maybe you would be willing to explain farther: I can't see a difference in the style of most of Quellion's work compared to other artists we have used in the past, and other people must agree because we already have three of his pieces in the core folders. Also, we certainly don't have unique art--the majority of WTactics cards use it--so it seems like you're saying that it matters which project used it first. But, even most people who know both games won't know which one of them it was, so it seems like an odd criterion to use. I'm not attempting to argue with you, I'm just honestly confused.

I won't be the least bit offended if none of these images get used in mainline--I didn't draw them or spend that much time on them either. I just think we could use a lot more art than we have, and this would give us a dozen pieces quickly. Maybe we could have a core folder for art that is mainline quality but not going to be used for some other reason that folks can dig through. (That would be a reasonable place for extra monsters and Romans and stuff.)
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Re: Grand Portrait List - 2020 update

Post by ngoeminne »

Hey Folks,

When posting wtactics/arcmages artwork or derived arwtork please follow the CC-BY-SA4 required attribution.

Each peace should be labeled as such (CC-BY-SA4) and correct attribution would be:
"Title" by "Artist" for wtactics.org/argmage.org licensed under CC-BY-SA4

Or for an derived work:
"Title", original darwaing by "Artist" for wtactics.org/argmage.org licensed under CC-BY-SA4

That's all we ask :-)

As for the elvish Archer by Kitty. This was a commisiond peace for wtactics, and we only decided much later to make it available under CC-BY-SA4.
So she couldn't have shared it with BfW before. She's done the right thing :-)

Kind regards,
Nico Goeminne

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Re: Grand Portrait List - 2020 update

Post by nemaara »

Hi LordBob, thanks for the hard work in putting this together. ^_^

I'm afraid it's difficult for me to answer a lot of these questions because I don't know what the status of the SP overhaul is going to be, and furthermore I've been leaving Whiskeyjack to work on a lot of details of the arc containing SotBE, NR, THoT, and EI. The current status of that is that elements of THoT are to be merged into NR and SotBE, there would be a lot of changing around of the cast and storyline (supposing the overhaul progresses that far). I'm not sure how far off in the future if and when that would be, but I suspect that if you wanted to do portraits for some of the major characters (e.g. Tallin, Eryssa, Kapoue, etc.) that would be fine since they're almost definitely going to be in the reworked campaigns.

-----------------------------------
Comments on specific campaigns that I feel comfortable answering now -

DiD - I didn't put in not angry Dela in the 1.14 version since I don't think I backported a lot of her lines from master. I think her role in the 1.14 version is pretty insignificant (when you see her she's almost always angry) but it's bigger in 1.15 if I'm remembering right.

Liberty - maybe this is just me being me but I wanted to make Harper a girl, not sure if it's worth changing that around just for a new portrait though and finding a home for the old one. Definitely not a priority.

NR - see above, people like Tallin, Eryssa, Hamel, the mage couple would probably be fine to redo since they'd almost definitely be in the revised version. The ones I'm thinking wouldn't would be Malifor and the other two liches. Similar for SotBE.

TSG - in both the current version and the potential revised version, I would like it if Mal M'brin looked more like a very sickly or "rotting" elf rather than a proper lich. I think that would fit for both and would be directly transferable to a revision.

I don't know the status of additional campaign revisions for 1.15, as discussed I'm planning to do a dialogue touchup for UtBS around the time you have the story art for that, but that doesn't involve any story changes. Beyond that, I may work a bit on SoF.

---------------------------------
Units:

Gender variants: for orcs, I think whether or not there is an overhaul I would like to have their shamans be mostly female and leave their warriors as mostly male. That's also not urgent since that might be a little bit off in the future.

Elves: I currently have them split between three main areas, Wesmere (near Weldyn), Lintanir (north), and the Aethenwood. I can imagine the elves from Lintanir being the most like the current portraits, while those from Wesmere and the Aethenwood show more diversity, slightly tanner skin and maybe reddish or brownish hair. However, they still don't leave their forests much so I find it hard to imagine them being as dusky as the Quenoth.

Loyalists: while Wesnoth as the kingdom tends to be fairly gender egalitarian, they're still not quite as much as the elves. I can see them still preferring men for more typical warrior roles (we could add women if someone really wants to put in the work, but I think this is not a priority). Things like duelists, lore-wise, should definitely have girl variants. (Other candidates as you note, archer and horseman/woman, I think the melee spearman/infantry line is less necessary).

Saurians: are already split into gender roles in lore

Goblins: I don't think you could tell the difference between male/female to be honest

Dwarves: been some discussion about this, I'm leaning toward females looking the same as males if someone really asks

Drakes: depends on the state of WoV, but I'm thinking that Drakes function as hermaphrodites, so no need for a gender split (or even if there is, they probably look pretty similar). I like the idea about taking heraldry from their Draconic heritage. Whether or not they are actually descended from dragons is irrelevant since they revere them culturally.

Dunefolk: thematically I feel that Dunefolk would prefer to have men in positions of power, meaning lines like the Soldier line would be strictly male. The other lines would have no reason to not have women, supposing someone wanted to draw their variants.

-------------------------------
Priorities:

I agree with others in that Dunefolk are the ones in most dire need of portraits considering there's only 1 right now. After that, I don't have anything in particular to say about the urgency of other portraits, but the UtBS story art would be nice to get in so we can polish the whole campaign for 1.16. :)

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Re: Grand Portrait List - 2020 update

Post by LordBob »

Thanks everyone for the continued feedback. I will address as much as I can with this post, then wrap up the rest later this week.

Arcmage / WTactics art
There is some good art here, though not all of it is mainline quality. It is admittedly a lot better than some of the stuff we have had in the past (and still have in places ; Northern Rebirth, yuk ), but several of the images in Beetlenaut's sample have room for improvement in their drawing/design/anatomy/shading/color aspects. Damsel in distress for instance, is a concept we could use but has cartoony-yellow hair; a rather plain dress with weird folds, no shading at all on the golden lining, and cloth so close-fitting that it must be superhero tights. Or the chubby mermaid, who has an interesting face and attitude but clumsy tail compared to Kitty's original merfolk.

I haven't done a thorough review yet however - archive is downloading at the moment and I don't want to close any doors too hastily.

What I definitely support is to gather a pool of selected artwork that, while not necessarily used in mainline, is made available to UMC creators in a specific resource folder. Mainline does provide creators with very little artwork to support storytelling aside from generic and SP campaign portraits, whereas the Arcmage repo has all sorts of environments, props, and characters to offer. I agree that this is something we could benefit from.


Gender variants
Based on the latest round of feedback :
- All reptilians are ruled out : nagas, drakes, and saurians don't get any variants other than lore-defined ones for saurians
- Okay for removing the loyalist spearman/swordman line from the list (duelists, bowman and horseman could get variants though)
- Male-only dunefolk soliders, possible variants for other lines
- Female peasants could be a thing, I like the idea.

There's more to say, but it's getting late. Please stay tuned !
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Re: Grand Portrait List - 2020 update

Post by LordBob »

Follow-up on the topic. There will probably be a couple other posts.

Nagas
doofus-01 wrote:
July 25th, 2020, 12:14 pm
For what it's worth, I can tone down the color on the dirkfang easily enough, if that's all that's wrong with it. I believe the dirkfang & friends are supposed to be from a different region than the fighters, with a slightly different culture, so they could look a bit different.
I do think it's mostly a case of skin and scale colors. Scale color variations within the species could be interesting, but we don't have this many nagas and the saurians are already green. Physically I would align them all on the greenish-grey tones of Kitty's portraits for easier identification, but there can be subtle variations as long as the dominant color is the same. Features such as their crests, or why not local patterns on their scales, can support a wider range of colors . Sprites could undergo the same change to better reflect the portrait and differentiate from saurians, but I suspect the vivid green helps them stand out in our environments so lets keep that thought for later.
Gear is another subject entirely. As long as it doesn't look completely outlandish and the unit lines can believably be fielded together in a scenario, I'm open to pretty much any variations if they're culturally different.
The portrait of the naga with a bow was sort of shoehorned into the line because it was an available, decent quality portrait. It was not drawn specifically for that unit, so don't feel like that image should dictate any design choices. In fact, archer nagas show up in UtBS and UMC, it could be nice to liberate that archer portrait for those again, and not use it for ophidian.
I don't mind doing another portrait. What sort of gear should the ophidian wield instead of the bow ?

Naga with mace and small buckler can be a thing too, and why not get their core line while we're at it if they provide interesting gameplay opportunities.
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Re: Grand Portrait List - 2020 update

Post by doofus-01 »

LordBob wrote:
July 31st, 2020, 9:15 am
I do think it's mostly a case of skin and scale colors. Scale color variations within the species could be interesting, but we don't have this many nagas and the saurians are already green. Physically I would align them all on the greenish-grey tones of Kitty's portraits for easier identification, but there can be subtle variations as long as the dominant color is the same. Features such as their crests, or why not local patterns on their scales, can support a wider range of colors . Sprites could undergo the same change to better reflect the portrait and differentiate from saurians, but I suspect the vivid green helps them stand out in our environments so lets keep that thought for later.
Gear is another subject entirely. As long as it doesn't look completely outlandish and the unit lines can believably be fielded together in a scenario, I'm open to pretty much any variations if they're culturally different.
I've got a revision, I'll post it in another thread.
EDIT: Here is that other thread - https://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=52834
LordBob wrote:
July 31st, 2020, 9:15 am
I don't mind doing another portrait. What sort of gear should the ophidian wield instead of the bow ?
I think mixed fighter with some flash/bling/ornaments, has a bow but isn't a slender archer, has a blade that's just as important.
Reason I say that:
- The ophidian was more of a swordsman, but I changed it to make it match the existing art. The MP balance folks weren't thrilled with that change, so the melee could get re-emphasized. Even if it doesn't, mixed fighter is still more on target.
- The other branch has chakrams (blade), so if the bow is completely replaced, it should be with something piercing or blunt, not another blade. The merfolk have a spear-thrower, so a naga spear-thrower would be a bit dull.
- The fluff makes ophidians sound like wheeling & dealing mercenaries who love gold, so spartan, soldier style doesn't seem right.
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Re: Grand Portrait List - 2020 update

Post by LordBob »

doofus-01 wrote:
August 1st, 2020, 8:55 pm
I think mixed fighter with some flash/bling/ornaments, has a bow but isn't a slender archer, has a blade that's just as important.
Sounds good. Based on that description I might go for a ranged weapon that requires little set-up and can be used single-handedly while keeping the sword close at hand, such as a swiss arrow, or darts, or throwing knives. Alternately, a short bow. I will align their skin tones and gear style on your revised Dirkfang, and then when I get to the mace-wielding naga make it look like the northern ones.
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