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About Hayte

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  1. I'm with Wormerine on this one. BGII is way too bound up with nostalgia and formative gaming experiences for me to really make a comparison with PoE. I will say that when I first played BGII, I was overwhelmed with the scale and scope of the game. The closest feeling I've had since then was in Witcher III. Structurally they are nothing alike, but I had that same feeling when I first stepped into Novigrad that I did when I first stepped into Athkatla - I was just completely overwhelmed by the scale of it. Edit: by scale, I don't just mean the size of the gameworld. BGII was like a Forgotten Realms greatest hits album in a way. At the time I really wanted to see D&D high level abilities, travel to the Underdark, fight beholders etc.
  2. Theres a bunch of different methods. The one I used most frequently for Deadfire watercolours is this method: 1. Start with a portrait you want to outline like so: 2. Convert it to greyscale and duplicate the layer so you have a lower and upper layer that looks like this: 3. On the upper layer, invert colour and change the layer mode from "Normal" to "Dodge". Your layers should look like this: 4. ...and when summed together, you should get a white image like this: 5. Still on the upper layer, use a blur filter (gaussian blur, surface blur or smart blur). Now play around with blur radius and delta. Below are three different passes with different radius/delta values: 6. You can also combine different edge detect layers by adding, subtracting and dividing them into each other with layer modes. There are also some interesting ready made filter effects that produce interesting edge detects. GIMP for example has an artistic effect called "Photocopy" which produces an edge detect like this: 7. When I have some good edge layers, I open them in Inkscape and trace bitmap. I use multiple scan (grey), stack layers, no smoothing and remove background. You will get results that look like this: 8. When exporting your vector outlines from Inkscape, you need to save them as encapsulated postscript (.eps) or scalable vector graphics (.svg) files. This is because the vector outline can scale to any size but Photoshop wasn't made for editing scalable images (which is what Illustrator is for), so it converts vector images into raster images. These get pixelated when re-scaled. When you re-import your .eps/.svg files back into Photoshop, you will be asked what size you want the image to be. Don't worry too much about the visual noise when doing various types of edge detect. You can remove this manually if you have to. I usually don't remove it with a black and white brush because this is very time consuming and often not necessary. What I typically do is add my edge layers and create layer masks (full transparency) for each image. Then I "paint" into the layer mask everything I want to be opaque. Or if its less time consuming I will do it the other way around - set my layer mask to full opacity and paint into the layer mask everything I want to be transparent. This lets you choose what lines and what noise you want to be present in the final layer and it is completely non-destructive. I find that the noise can help to achieve certain types of water colour or oil texture effects, so if it looks good, ill keep the noise and erase the outlines using a layer mask. Experiment with it.
  3. Nostalgia is a helluva drug, I agree but even when I played BGII at release, I was aware the writing was silly and the mechanics were clunky. Since then I have replayed it 9 or 10 times all the way through and the game as a whole holds up well. The writing is still crass and the mechanics are still clunky but the epic journey is still there and it is only dulled by the experience of having seen it at all at least once before. Unfortunately, you only get one first playthrough. What BGII does that so many rpgs don't is dare to go big. I don't mean big in terms of land area or gameplay hours. I mean big in terms of scope. BGII is a theme park ride through all the major attractions of the Forgotten Realms setting. From Athkatla to the Planar Sphere to Spellhold to the City of Caverns to the Underdark to Suldanessellar, its an odyssey from one awe inspiring sight to another to another to another. Witcher 3 is the only rpg since then that for me has dared to aim for a similar scale - the kind of scale where you play it the second and third time and you have a checklist as long as your arm of all the best bits. Both games are stuffed full of "best bits" queuing up to be relived. I look forward to playing Witcher 3 again (which will be the 4th time). I'm talking full RP walk, man mode playthrough (no Aerondight/Euphoria because it breaks the game). My brain is bursting just trying to remember my own personal, canonical order and choices to relive the most satisfying version of what seems at this point to be a very familiar tale. It has been a few years but my last BGII playthrough was just like that. After I've had my fill of drab brown and grey villages and vapid fetch quests, those 2 games are the ones I keep going back to.
  4. You are hand drawing the outlines? I noticed that some of the linework you were doing couldn't be done with any edge detect method (at least, not one that I know of). I guess I need to go dig out my graphire. Not even sure if it still works!
  5. How are you doing these? Outlines and brushes in particular. The last 5 or 6 portraits you have done are really good. This one and the one at the top of page 24 are the closest I have seen to the style of the in game water colour portraits.
  6. I will update this later. I can do a better job I think (especially with the face detail and whisker highlights).
  7. I'll try and do the pale elf version but the outlines might be slightly different. (I didn't save the inkscape project whoops).
  8. Nature godlike maybe? Still think I can do better with colour layers and translucency. I'm done today because stenciling this in inkscape was a nightmare. Artwork = Hayla by Vuogle
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