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Player-made Art Assets for the Enhanced Client!

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Eric Ravenwind, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. Eric Ravenwind

    Stratics Veteran Gilfane

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    To the deveopers,
    Tap the creative resources of the Ultima Online community! Allow us to help you rebuild the art assets to the Enhanced Client. Accept several types of art: pictuers of drawings, paintings, graphic design (GMAX, 3dsMax, etc). Not necessrily a "contest" - more like a pooling of art and ideas!

    Whatcha think folks?
     
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  2. Goodmann

    Goodmann Babbling Loonie
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    .
    / \ \ / / __\
    /__| AC / DC |__\ / / -| Metallica|| |
    | || |\ \ / / || || |
    | || | \ \/ / || || |
     
    #2 Goodmann, Jan 18, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
  3. Uvtha

    Uvtha Grand Poobah
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    I don't think it would work at all I'm afraid. Games cant just pool art in various mediums. There's a procedure it all goes though, and there needs to be as uniform a look as possible, and then there's the matter of legal issues.
     
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  4. Ashlynn_L

    Ashlynn_L Lore Master
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    While it seems like a good idea, you really need an aesthetic cohesiveness or it will just look a complete mess no matter how good individual submissions are.
     
  5. Gameboy

    Gameboy Sage
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    I don't like the some of the animals/pets in the EC. The beetles bother me the most.
     
  6. RaDian FlGith

    RaDian FlGith Babbling Loonie
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    They're finally on the right track... they're recreating the existing UO assets in higher resolution. I pray they're doing it in a 3D program rather than paying someone to do it pixel by pixel, but regardless of how they're doing it, this is what KR should have looked like to begin with.

    There's no way that dozens of us working on them would be a good thing. It would simply make the pipeline even more clogged with an array of good to less than good assets.
     
  7. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    ...

    There is a process that GrimmOmen set up before leaving UO that they are using as far as I know, so it's not pixel by pixel.

    [​IMG]

    Basically, based on the preview image posted in the last letter, it looks like they're rendering the original artwork into the program being used, upscaling it to the new resolution, then cleaning up the image (and in some cases, redoing certain details such as the archway in the stone section on the bottom left). Still even automated, sounds like the process takes some time.

    As for KR graphics, there are still certain portions of that graphic set that I would prefer to make a comeback... most notably the plants and trees followed by several of the house tile sets that differed in quality from the 2d versions, and finally some of the larger in-world items such as the telescope, serpent pillars, and fountain.
     
  8. Pinco

    Pinco UOEC Modder
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    that's true, if everyone starts to make a piece in his own style this game became a patchwork :p

    yes, but based on what they said, this process will takes another 2.5 years just for the walls... IMHO they should remake all in 3d and it will takes almost the same time, but at least the game will last more years instead of being old just when they have finished the revamp :/
    I mean, I could understand if we were sit on a 2d engine, but we have a powerfull 3d engine (oblivion was made with it, just to say 1 title), so I don't understand for which masochistic reason they keep doin all in 2d -.-
     
    #8 Pinco, Jan 21, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
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  9. RaDian FlGith

    RaDian FlGith Babbling Loonie
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    My understanding of what Grimm Omen was doing was actually texturing in a 3D environment with high resolution textures. Now, whether that process is what's being used at present is the same, I cannot say. I will say that the textures shown could very well be done in a 3D program and rendered properly, so its' hard to say. I really *hope* and *pray* that this isn't a Seph-style update. I hope they're thinking for the greater future. Regardless of what they're doing, it looks good. I just have my fingers crossed.

    I also hope they take the time to fill in some of the missing pieces from particular tilesets.
     
  10. Pinco

    Pinco UOEC Modder
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    it's a seph-style update...
    if they are doing that in 3D they just need to make 1-2 object for every kind of wall and the work is done in a month or so... but probably the guy that is working on this have done something bad in his previous life and now has to do this work to pay for his sins :lol:
     
  11. Eric Ravenwind

    Stratics Veteran Gilfane

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    We could submit art work, then the devs could convert the things we send (that they like) into something that would be functional for the game.
     
  12. DerekL

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    Now, if only conversion was easier than creating the item from scratch in the first place...
     
  13. Gameboy

    Gameboy Sage
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    2.5 years? :(
     
  14. Pinco

    Pinco UOEC Modder
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    they said 3 weeks per wall set, there are 45 sets and they have done just 7 -.-
    and we are speaking just about the walls... if we count the huge amount of items around they will need 10 years at least :/

    this just remind me an image I saw...
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Gameboy

    Gameboy Sage
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    Wonder how long it would take to build uo from the ground up, if they had nothing to work with.
     
  16. Pinco

    Pinco UOEC Modder
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    a dozen of people to start over a game HUGE like this?
    probably if they work night and day and if they forget about families and friends, in 5 years they can make a viable game with MUCH less contents than now.
    but if they start to make a new UO with just humans, basic skills, basic weapons, 1 map and minimal deco, probably in 1 year or 2 it could be playable...

    IMHO in the current state of the game, they should just hurry to make 3d the EC, right now we already have the terrain... but hey this seems impossible since probably they have no people that can do the job, except the poor guy that is doomed to spend the next 2.5 years in revamping 2d walls. The fun thing is that a chinese team can build a 30 floors building (a real one, not drawn) in 15 days :lol:

    Seriously, if they want to keep UO alive and bring new people, we need an attractive graphics, there are no ifs, ands or buts about that. Right now the CC can only compete with FREE flash games and EC is not that far...
     
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  17. Gameboy

    Gameboy Sage
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    Just out of curiosity do you know how big the development team is?
     
  18. Pinco

    Pinco UOEC Modder
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    I can't be sure, but I presume they are a dozen or less... to know that just pick a patch note, try to determine the time they took to make it (about the time from the previous patch and the release of the one that you are analyzing). Then consider 1 week at least for bureaucracy (because every decision must be planned and authorized first), at this point consider the consistency of the publish itself and try to estimate how much time 1 person can take to do that alone by working 8 hours/day and double it (because working in team requires time to coordinate the work), then divide the value for the number of members and there you go :)
     
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  19. Uvtha

    Uvtha Grand Poobah
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    Manually increasing the size of an old art asset to an "hd" size will take a long time. The only misuse of resources is that they are doing it at all.
     
    #19 Uvtha, Jan 22, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
  20. Gameboy

    Gameboy Sage
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    What should they be doing?
     
  21. Pinco

    Pinco UOEC Modder
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    exactly, because if it was 3d we were not speaking about that now because there will be no need to do this huge work :p
     
  22. Uvtha

    Uvtha Grand Poobah
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    Whatever happened to all that old KR wall art one wonders. Is it really THAT much worse than the scaled up old art?
     
  23. Uvtha

    Uvtha Grand Poobah
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    Working on new content? 3 years of pixeling for slightly better looking walls... probably not the best use of time.
     
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  24. HD2300

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    This new guy has done more in the last 6 months than the last guy did in the last 7 years. And it seems like much of what was done in the last 2 years was also insourced to this new guy.

    Anyway, they should open it up to the community otherwise it will take a very long time for everything to be enhanced. Players them selves can just download whatever community art modules they want. You dont like beetles, download the beetle graphics mod you like and save it in the mods folder.
     
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  25. Pinco

    Pinco UOEC Modder
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    technically is already possible, but making a creature requires a LOT of work... you have to do every animation in every direction, and the same is for every equipment, that's why the devs avoid to make new wearables :p
     
  26. Gameboy

    Gameboy Sage
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    I would not even know how to start making a new 3d beetle but I'd be temped to learn.
     
    #26 Gameboy, Jan 22, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
  27. Pinco

    Pinco UOEC Modder
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    you can't make it 3d... EC uses the same 2D models style of CC, it's also possible to export CC ones and bring it to EC :p
     
  28. Uvtha

    Uvtha Grand Poobah
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    It's not as easy as just saying "oh lets do this". Im guessing that what you suggest would be a HUGE hassle to get to work correctly, as in there is some sort of in game system where you can change the art. And as was said the amount of art needed for a creature is very high, and I doubt many people would bother with it.

    We are going to just have to deal with it taking a long time.
     
    #28 Uvtha, Jan 22, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
  29. Uvtha

    Uvtha Grand Poobah
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    That would be sweet, but clearly, UO is not set up to add that sort of thing in, and would require a whole new system to happen, and I have a feeling it would not go beyond something like making your own paintings, and I also have a feeling that the work required to code in such a system would in no way be worth the time investment for such an addition.
     
  30. Wenchkin

    Wenchkin Babbling Loonie
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    There are talented artists out there that would be useful, even just to make visual suggestions about what they dislike in some art. It's one thing to say something is ugly, but more helpful if you can say exactly why and perhaps suggest an alternative. At the very least, that would generate a cool thread worth of user fan art for the community to enjoy and discuss. It doesn't have to be used by EA to be worthwhile.

    I think there are artists who know UO and could do work to the right standard given a chance. It certainly could work and result in something amazing. But the time over all these art fixes suggests to me that they are actually being done quite part time rather than a team working on them full time exclusively. I say that because I suspect Ultima Forever is still occupying art time and the deadlines sound far longer than I'd expect on the UO stuff. I work with 2d graphics, still learning 3d.. but you can get damn quick at the same type of fixes doing them repeatedly. Enough coffee and those house tiles would fix themselves :D There are ways to streamline the process significantly. So I think our issue is more that there isn't a high priority on this fix in terms of their art department time. Which frustrates me, because they're probably not going to look to the community for help unless it's understood that this work needs all the hands they can get now so we get UO looking as good as it should. Realistically, this is not the top end art that requires super uber skills, this is taking existing art and working it into a higher resolution. With today's art software, even open source you can streamline the work nicely. Dare I say it, some of the software doesn't require as much "art skill" as knowing which buttons to slap. The super expensive apps would mince through it in skilled hands.

    We'll get there, but I hope any artists in the community aren't discouraged from showing us their art and maybe the devs will pick it up or not. I always like seeing other people work out from the same starting point. May give it a go myself if I feel brave enough for UHall...you're quite the scary audience, and I mean that kindly LOL.

    Wenchy
     
  31. Flagg

    Flagg Sage

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    I really wish this game would have managed to free itself from curse of two clients long ago. It must feel bothersome to someone out there how three attempts later they still haven't managed to create a client significant portion of playerbase would favor over one developed in mid 90s. Having to keep two clients in mind with every single decision must make things so difficult for such a small dev team.

    I tried to do some fishing in EC the other day. My eyes began bleeding so I stopped trying. Thank you for listening to my story about fishing.
     
    #31 Flagg, Jan 23, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  32. DerekL

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    The Sims and The Sims 2 have player upload sites, where artists can upload their work and users can download and install it into their game - and over the years I've seen maybe a dozen or two artists who can consistently produce high quality work, and hundreds who can't consistently do so... and untold numbers who can't ever produce quality work. With it's massive userbase compared to UO, that doesn't bode well for a decent return for the effort of setting up and managing a player submission program. Someone mentioned The Sims Online and the ability for users to upload custom bits... That was a mixed bag. Not only (as one can imagine) did quality vary all over the map, there were huge lag issues because you had to download all that custom work rather than the client being able to pull it off the disc. Yes, we have fatter pipes now than then... but people already complain about castle and Luna lag, so again that does not bode well.
     
  33. Wenchkin

    Wenchkin Babbling Loonie
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    Artists vary in quality. But that doesn't make working with a community a bad idea because some of them can't do what you need. You just don't select art if it isn't fit for purpose. And you can't say whether an artist can do a job before you see their work. Here we're working with existing art and increasing the resolution. That's not the same as creating assets from scratch - it's a case of paying attention to detail, scaling up and doing a really good touch-up job. You give folk the files, specify the required resolution and dimensions you need and they just shove pixels around ;) Then you say yes or no to the result. But if just one useful artist came on board, they're still an asset. The project still moves forward faster with an extra team member.

    But that's all theoretical because I expect the folk in charge at EA would scream in terror at the thought of volunteers doing art. Which is why I suggested folk do something expecting the community to be their audience not EA devs. Less disappointment if your work doesn't get taken into UO heh.

    Wenchy
     
  34. RaDian FlGith

    RaDian FlGith Babbling Loonie
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    In a word, "Yes."

    I'm still not completely sold that this is simply a pixel-update, even at a 3-week interval per wall set. I say that only because I presume that the artist working on the update is also working on other art assets too. There are additional issues with a 3D tile that aren't as simple as project this texture onto the next surface. If I get a chance in the next week or so, I'll demonstrate what I mean.

    And if it really is taking 3 weeks per wall set and that's all that's being focused on by that particular artist, then, well, I'll offer my services.
     
  35. Uvtha

    Uvtha Grand Poobah
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    If they are pixeling it, which it looks like they are... it would take a million years.
     
  36. RaDian FlGith

    RaDian FlGith Babbling Loonie
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    It's really hard to tell for sure based on the images they provided. Any rework of the art that follows the original art should, obviously, look like the original art. The middle image is clearly the "zoomed in" EC client version of present, and the final image is the new "zoomed in" image, but what we don't know is the origin of that image. It could be exported textured assets, or it could, as some suspect, be simply remanipulated pixel work. Unless they reveal the magic behind the curtain, we'll never know for certain.
     
  37. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    ...

    Really the three images are: 1. Original size, 2. Upscaled to new resolution with original texture, 3. Cleaned up High Resolution image.

    The middle one is DEFINITELY NOT the EC zoomed in, it's too smooth for that, the EC would have them pixelated and distorted. As for the exact process, like I stated, I know Grimm had a method he was using, but I don;t know if they're still using that system.

    Well, they can do both of these at the same time. Simply have the needed person/people to work solely on the HR Art project while the Live Team deals with new content. That might mean that we don't get new item artwork for a while, but that's fine by me. Let's get the pixels we have now upgraded first.
     
  38. LordDrago

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    I finished the stone wall....whats next?

    wall.jpg
     
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  39. Mitzlplik_LS

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    Ummm you set that wall down on a rat. Poor thing,nothing left but his lil tail pokin out.

    R.I.P. lil guy