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Everything posted by Hayte

  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
  9. Yes, thats one of the things I will do if the edge layers have lots of visual noise. My edge layers have a white (full opacity) layer mask so painting black into the layer mask will remove any stray lines or noise if you dont want it there. You can sometimes run a smooth [bilaterial] filter on the edge layer to get rid of most of the noise which can reduce the amount of brushing you need to do to clean them up. When I have time, ill finish that portrait and get rid of some of unnecessary lines. I like to leave some of the noise from edge detects in there because when you scale the image down to 90x141 pixels, it usually crushes alot of the detail out of the image leaving a faint course paper look. So its not necessary to spend hours cleaning up every grey pixel outside of the edge boundaries.
  10. Thanks so much for this guide! This made it finally sort of click for me. Used your guide to try a portrait and this is the closest to happy I've been with my own attempt. Glad it helped. If you want to stop the colour bleeding beyond your edge borders, you go to your colour layer and select the layer mask. Remember how it looked when I painted diagonal white strokes? Full black = zero opacity. Full white = full opacity. I used a brush so big that the opaque white strokes went way beyond the outline of the character where the paper background should be visible. This is not a problem and its one of the main reasons for using layer masks. You can use a hard circular brush to paint along the edges and make the colour layer not bleed out of the edge borders, like so: You can do this with very large brushes. It doesn't need to be that precise because the outlines keep it tidy. Also remember that you are not actually painting on or over the outlines. You do not need to worry about accidentally going over the lines. What you are actually painting is the mask, which is shown above right (without the edge layers visible above it). Before brushing the background out to full black: After: (the colour layer is set to 100% opacity so you can see the effect of the layer mask better).
  11. Something you folks might find useful if you are having trouble getting "ink outlines": Make your own difference of gaussians filter. It will work way better than the default difference of gaussian filter in GIMP because you can control the radius and max delta of the lower and upper cutoff of the filter. Step 1: Take portrait: Step 2: Duplicate as new layer, convert to grayscale and duplicate again. You should have your original colour portrait and two black and white copies like this: Step 3: Order your layers so b/w copy 2 is above b/w copy 1. Select b/w copy 2, go to Colours -> Invert and then set the layer mode on b/w copy 2 to "Dodge". This will usually result in a fully white, fully opaque layer. If it isn't fully white, you need to lower contrast, gamma and/or exposure until its full white. Step 4: Go to Filters -> Blur -> Selective Gaussian Blur. Watch magic happen. Start with very low blur radius like 1.0 or 2.0 and medium/high max delta like 0.5 to change the edge thickness. When you are happy with the result, right click b/w copy 2 and select "new from visible". I sometimes create multiple copies with different Selective Gaussian Blur on b/w copy 1 and 2, which you can stack up to get stronger outlines: Step 5: When all your edge layers are in order you can right click and select "new from visible" to merge them all into a new layer: Step 6: Select this new layer. Rename it to "edge (diff. of gauss)" so you can find it easily and set the layer mode to "multiply". Make sure your edge layer is above the background (paper) layer: Step 7: Now you can start painting in the colours. I use G'MIC which has a tonne of useful filters for simulating water colour translucency and brush strokes. The main filters I use for colour layers are: 1) smooth [bilateral] for flattening detail into solid blocks of colour. example: 2) contours [segmentation] for simulating uneven brush strokes. example: So I usually have at least 1x smoothing layer and 1x segmentation layer and apply layer masks (black - full transparency) to both. Then I use a large, full white watercolour brush and low opacity (i.e. less than 15%) to paint white into the black layer mask. Heres an example of what the segmentation layer mask will look like after some course diagonal brush strokes with the edge layer above it: And this is what it looks like when the layer mask is applied: Then you keep on building up translucent layers of colour. This portrait has 6 layers at this point (background, segment, edge x4). I would normally do a colour layer for hair, eyes and self shadows or if there is ornaments or clothing, I may make layers for them too so they pop more. When finished, it will have more than double the number of layers, most of them with layer masks (either black, white or alpha depending on whether you need to add or subtract detail/colour from the background or switch layer modes). I use layer masks so its easy to "undo" stuff that looks wrong since you are not permanently painting over the image layer - you are only painting additions and subtractions in the layer mask using only black or white brushes. For detail stuff, I use high opacity brushes and colour layers with more detail, like the original, non smoothed, non segmented portrait. I tend to leave too much detail in and I don't have many GIMP brushes. Dexgames, I want to know your brush settings because your brush/colour is way better than mine. On the "experimentation" list of things to do: I want to throw an edge layer into Inkscape and vector trace it so I get a super smooth outline that can scale down to tiny sizes and not break up. But I'm not sure if you can open .emf vector graphics files in GIMP and if you can whether you can still scale it like in Inkscape. My guess is probably not. Edit: Inkscape is good. You can use diff of gauss and/or the artistic/photocopy filter for raster outlines and then trace them in Inkscape. I sometimes use a combination of single scan/brightness cutoff and multiple scan/grey. When you get something you like, export to .eps (encapsulated postscript). GIMP doesn't do vector scaling but .eps allows you to scale the resolution.
  12. Just. cant. keep. up with the pace of this thread. Artwork = Elf by GabrielleBrickey
  13. Can't match Krimsis for speed but heres the (belated) 2nd portrait. This one is cropped a bit more from a higher res source image (via google reverse image search). Artwork = Untitled (Personal Work) by Mitch Mohrhauser vvv Jorian Drake, do you want that Orlan portrait watercoloured? If so, which one?
  14. There are 4 portrait types - lg, sm, convo, si. example: male_human_a_lg.png male_human_a_sm.png male_human_a_convo.png male_human_a_si.png lg = large portrait = 210 x 320 pixels sm = small portrait = 76 x 96 pixels convo = large watercolour = 90 x 141 pixels si = small watercolour = 76 x 96 pixels For a custom portrait to show up in the in-game list, you only need lg and sm. I just find the last unique "letter" for the appropriate sex/race and continue on from there. For example, the last female elf portrait is "female_elf_k_" so I just continue on from there with "female_elf_l_", then "female_elf_m_" and so on.
  15. Artwork = Sister of the Night by Selenada Artwork = Lost Ashes by Selenada Artwork = Princess Lauralye by Selenada Artwork = Galadriel by Magali Villeneuve Artwork = Vex'ahlia by Ameera Sheikh
  16. The prose in PoE1 is very purple. When creating a Deadfire save state, I realised I had to wiki almost every choice because I could not remember anything I did in the game and I have over 750 hours played in PoE1. Yeah...
  17. In game the description of Cape of the Master Mystic says invisibility on crit = 1 per encounter? Where is the 2 per encounter thing coming from?
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