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One thing I notices across all portraits is that their lower faces (mouths included) look huge. I don't recall Pallegina being nearly as square-jawed in both Pillars or the Deadfire model as she appears on the portrait, or Edér for that matter either. The smiles all get a bit of a Joker-like quality for me (could just be me). Of the lot I do like the ones for Maia, Serafen, Tekehu and Aloth though.

 

I see what you mean, very wide mouths. I actually think Pallegina had a very defined jaw, more so than this portrait. But I see what you mean by square. Eder's jaw line also looks different. I guess this is the problem with defining a character with 2D art instead of dimensioned 3D models.

 

Oh yes, I agree that her jaw was defined - but her portrait makes her face look a lot stockier than she looked in the first Pillars.

 

Edit: On closer inspection I'm not even sure it's her jawline that's the issue. Something about the proportions of her features seems different, though, and it's possible too that the lesser prominence given to her neck also makes her come across as, well, stockier (since the straighter pose in her previous portrait made her appear leaner and more elongated).

Edited by algroth
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She looked very regal in the last game, now she looks like she's trying to bend a spoon with her mind.

Indeed, but no matter what ending she got she had rough couple of years. We will see how much she changed since PoE1 but she might be less composed than she once was.

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Aside from portrait quality/aesthetics; only Eder looks like a different person, which bugs me a little. This usually happens in 3D games when they upgrade their engine/graphics or something and had to remodel their characters in greater detail but doesn't make sense here on 2D portraits, yeah the characters are 3D and while 3D models should look like the portraits; they shouldn't dictate how the portraits look in this case.

Edited by Quillon
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Have to agree that Eder looks like a different person.  The nose is wrong as mentioned above.

Pallegina - maybe it's that it's a straight-on shot v. 3/4 face, but it does look a bit off.

Aloth - looks close to PoE1, but maybe less detailed or something.

The others look okay, but maybe that's because we're not comparing them to how they 'should' look.

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The only portraits I don't like are Eder's and Pallegina's, and having seen a larger version of Eder's I think I could get used to it (I agree with whoever said the eyes look small on the thumbnail but are better on the full sized version). I doubt I will like Pallegina's more in full size: there's something I just don't like about it. Not the end of the world if it doesn't get redone though, I can always change in her old one.

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Okay guys, congratulations.  You made me waste time on my day off.  I have no created a "portrait comparison image".  Kark, what the heck is the point?  I am glad you asked Kark.  Let me explain.

 

1: Why change the portraits for the 3 companions to begin with?  Maybe doing a comparison image will shed some light?

2: Are the new portraits "that" bad?  Comparing them directly without having to image swap is the best way to check.

3: How well do the new companion portraits match up, do we think they are good just because we have no reference?

 

Here is the pic.  I have the "Eternity 1" portrait on top, dropping to a screen cap of Eternity 2 portrait, ending with the "watercolor".  Please bear in mind, the screen caps on top look higher quality because they are raw, base, losses versions of what you see in game. 

36223019152_c9a3ddfb9f_o.png

The ones I captured off videos were recording from gameplay, converted into compressed video files, uploaded to youtube, then screencapped on play back, and finally reposted to the internet so I could put it in thread.  Each step in that line costs image quality.  I touched it up as best I could to close the gap, but there is only so much you can do.  This is why I included the PC portraits too from Eternity 1, cause they didn't change, and give you a clear example of what quality loss happened.

 

My conclusions -

1: They were changed because when you really look at them all side by side you see two problems.  They really aren't in the same style as the other portraits, they are just slightly more scratchy, watercolory, and blurred.  This is really clear on Aloths portrait.  Also Pallegina may no longer be a five sun, and her portrait clearly indicates she is a member, so they may have wanted a more generic look.

2: No, they aren't.  I still prefer Eder's original, but this "he doesn't look the same" is nonsense.  He has maybe put on a few pounds and is a little older.  They are clearly the same guy, and the new one looks more consistent with the other portraits.  I actually prefer Aloth's new one anyway.  Pallegina.... yeah I agree it could still be better.

 

3: Nope, they hold up fine, they look consistent with Eternity 1 player portraits, and have good quality.  The lack of Eternity 1 versions is a non issue.

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Nice work dude, you took one for the team... Now, in response to your points:

 

1. I think the style is similar to the first game. The reason it's looking scratchy, watercolory and blurred is simply because of the loss of quality you mentioned. Also Aloths face in PoE 1 portrait is being illuminated by a spell which might account for some of the change you think you see.

 

2. Eder clearly doesn't look the same... different nose, mouth and jawline. Aloths jawline is completely different as well. 

 

3. Yeah, the response to the new characters seems to be good. The only minor complaint I had was with Serafin which I mentioned in my OP. His thumbnail being too intense and zoomed in because of en face style.

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Actually the Eternity 1 portraits are straight pasted in using their original assets from my Eternity 1 install.  The only quality loss hit they took was me having to post it on the internet.  Hence why the "Player" portraits on the far left look better in the first pic than the second.  Even though they are literally the same portrait.

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Okay guys, congratulations.  You made me waste time on my day off.  I have no created a "portrait comparison image".  Kark, what the heck is the point?  I am glad you asked Kark.  Let me explain.

 

1: Why change the portraits for the 3 companions to begin with?  Maybe doing a comparison image will shed some light?

2: Are the new portraits "that" bad?  Comparing them directly without having to image swap is the best way to check.

3: How well do the new companion portraits match up, do we think they are good just because we have no reference?

 

Here is the pic.  I have the "Eternity 1" portrait on top, dropping to a screen cap of Eternity 2 portrait, ending with the "watercolor".  Please bear in mind, the screen caps on top look higher quality because they are raw, base, losses versions of what you see in game. 

 

36223019152_c9a3ddfb9f_o.png

Old portraits are better confirmed :p

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I agree with Kark (and thanks for putting the comparison together, by the way.) The new portraits--and I mean the lot of them--are all consistent in style whereas those from the first game aren't. This is something I noticed while playing PoE as well; not necessarily a big deal per se, but style consistency is certainly very welcome. Indeed, it is the main reason I don't use custom portraits: They won't be in the same style as the originals.

 

Regardless, the new ones aren't that bad and I could certainly get used to them. Sure, those from the first game were really good but the style would clash big time with the rest; they wouldn't show any change in the characters (including aging); and there's Pallegina's order problem as Kark mentioned.

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The problem with portraits is that they "force" you to make your character model matching the picture. Because the pictures are limited and because custom portraits won't be of the same tone as the officials, you can't make your character you want. Unless you don't care the 3D model looking like your portrait of course.

 

I'll say it once more, although I don't think it'll matter to any developer: IE games had to have drawn portraits because the graphics couldn't handle customization (apart from colors). The new models in Deadfire are as good as any modern 3D game, so why not use them as portraits instead. Dragon Age did it, Divinity Original Sin 2 did it, Wasteland 2 did it, Sword Coast Legends did it, Neverwinter Nights 2 did it and maybe others I might not remeber right now.

 

I storngly feel hand-drawn portraits limit me when creating character :(

Edited by Sedrefilos
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I think I'll go through a BG 2ish adjustment period. At first I won't like the change, but then I'll get used to it, and in time they'll be the only real portraits. And really far down the line I'll probably swap them all out for random fanart from the internet or pictures of Gordon Ramsay. That's usually how it goes.

Edited by TheisEjsing
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I still prefer hand-drawn portraits to 3D shots for this kind of game.

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"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

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Huhm, there seems to be a lot of nitpicking going on here :p

 

In disregard of whether I share some views or not. They are portraits. They are really just drawn portraits.

 

Just because the portrait of someone from PoE1 is drawn, for example, let's say with a different jawline or nose, that does not mean
that the actual character changed his jawline or nose between PoE1 and 2.

 

It's not like the artworks are accurate photos taken with a camera. They are an abstraction/interpretation of (different, I assume) artists.

 

So you look at Edér's portrait from PoE1 and then 2 and then you think "Whoa, totally different person. I cannot recognize him. Must be someone else. Breaks immersion for me."

To me the changes of portraits from Baldur's Gate 1 to Baldur's Gate 2 were much more drastic. Jaheira? Imoen? Just comparing the old and new versions, without any knowledge of the games, could you still say "Yes, I recognize them from the other version." ?

 

Edited by Fluffle
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The comparison only strengthens that Eder looks different to me. It's like someone else in Eder makeup. Instead of looking inspired by Max Von Sydow, he looks like Aidan Gillen's Petyr Baelish mixed with Clooney. Then in his watercolor he is straight up looking like Clooney to me.

 

His full portrait does looker somewhat better. I'm sure the team themselves have looked at different variants and have picked the ones we see here. So we probably won't see any changes. But getting a raw source of all the portraits in the next update would be nice.

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The problem with portraits is that they "force" you to make your character model matching the picture. Because the pictures are limited and because custom portraits won't be of the same tone as the officials, you can't make your character you want. Unless you don't care the 3D model looking like your portrait of course.

There is a lot of depth in the portraits, and many generics.  I use the "guy in a hooded cloak" portrait.  As long as I don't give myself a beard I am pretty much set.  There are also lots of "people in helmets" to choose from.

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The problem with portraits is that they "force" you to make your character model matching the picture. Because the pictures are limited and because custom portraits won't be of the same tone as the officials, you can't make your character you want. Unless you don't care the 3D model looking like your portrait of course.

There is a lot of depth in the portraits, and many generics.  I use the "guy in a hooded cloak" portrait.  As long as I don't give myself a beard I am pretty much set.  There are also lots of "people in helmets" to choose from.

 

Yeah, but those options are limiting... I make the character I want in 3D then I have to pick from a collection of pictures none of which comes close enough to my model. So I have to remodel according to a picture.

Anyhow, no need to be talking about that since it's not going to change. But in general I much prefere 3D models over drawn images.

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Huhm, there seems to be a lot of nitpicking going on here :p

 

In disregard of whether I share some views or not. They are portraits. They are really just drawn portraits.

 

Just because the portrait of someone from PoE1 is drawn, for example, let's say with a different jawline or nose, that does not mean

that the actual character changed his jawline or nose between PoE1 and 2.

 

It's not like the artworks are accurate photos taken with a camera. They are an abstraction/interpretation of (different, I assume) artists.

 

So you look at Edér's portrait from PoE1 and then 2 and then you think "Whoa, totally different person. I cannot recognize him. Must be someone else. Breaks immersion for me."

 

To me the changes of portraits from Baldur's Gate 1 to Baldur's Gate 2 were much more drastic. Jaheira? Imoen? Just comparing the old and new versions, without any knowledge of the games, could you still say "Yes, I recognize them from the other version." ?

 

 

I think we all offer our feedback here as constructive criticism more so than a demand for change. Whether they'll change the portraits according to feedback or not is up to the artists, but as members of a forum dedicated to the game's discussion I think it's perfectly fine to offer our opinion all the same. Is it nitpicking? Probably, and chances are that the overall impact of the game won't be diminished by this particular point, but while we're at it I don't see the problem in discussing it. The attention to detail is often what elevates a work to sublimity after all.

 

With regards to Baldur's Gate, you're definitely right - and it might be my own experience as someone who played the sequel before the original, but personally I do find Shadows of Amn's portraits to be overall better than those of the first, and when going back to Baldur's Gate I did find the change in portrait and appearance a little alienating with regards to the mental image I had of each of those characters. Viconia in particular I think was heavily improved in the sequel, as in the original I cannot say she even looked like a drow. Whether or not the portraits in Deadfire are similar to Pillars, I still feel Pallegina's a notable enough downgrade compared to her original portrait so as to merit an observation (I'd say Edér is also a downgrade but slight enough to be okay with it, all things considered).

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Just have to say that portraits in BG are much more to my liking than portraits in BGII (but that applies to graphic design in general when it comes to those games; when BGII was released I cringed at the downgrade in that particular department.)

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"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

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Just have to say that portraits in BG are much more to my liking than portraits in BGII (but that applies to graphic design in general when it comes to those games; when BGII was released I cringed at the downgrade in that particular department.)

Really? I thought it was especially an improvement in that department.

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Really? I thought it was especially an improvement in that department.

 

I appreciated the higher resolution and 3D-accelerated VFX, but as far as graphic design went I hated most of it (with the exception of monster sprites; those were pretty good once I digested the mirroring.) Character sprites, paperdolls, icons, portraits and UI looked so much better (and frankly most sound effects were also superior) in the first game, imo.

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"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke

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Really? I thought it was especially an improvement in that department.

 

I appreciated the higher resolution and 3D-accelerated VFX, but as far as graphic design went I hated most of it (with the exception of monster sprites; those were pretty good once I digested the mirroring.) Character sprites, paperdolls, icons, portraits and UI looked so much better (and frankly most sound effects were also superior) in the first game, imo.

 

Can't really agree there myself. I thought the poses for the character sprites looked much more natural in Baldur's Gate II (in the first Baldur's Gate as well as Icewind Dale I feel they all looked like they were hunching over, whereas the animations also looked more jittery in general), I thought the portraits just fit the characters better, and what's more, the areas themselves were a *huge* improvement over the rather bland and sketchy appearance of the first - to me every area in the sequel felt like it had its own unique qualities and intricacies that made them more diverse and interesting overall, whilst the urban areas felt like they properly captured the sprawly, busy feel and layout of an actual European city, overall adding a liveliness and naturalism to Amn that was largely missing from Baldur's Gate or else. In terms of UI I feel both quite similar though I feel the rocky edginess to the first's also gives it a messier or more jarring feel. In general I feel the IE games have stood the test of time much better than other games of the period in terms of sheer aesthetics, but not Baldur's Gate. But, y'know... Enter the Dude or Ron Burgundy quotes here.

Edited by algroth
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