The DaggerXL Texture Project (NPC Portraits)

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The DaggerXL Texture Project (NPC Portraits)

Postby AlexanderSig » Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:22 am

This thread is for discussion and showcasing of NPC portrait replacements.

See Klasodeth's showcase thread for artistic guidelines and awesomeness: http://xlengine.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=4

(Old Thread: http://daggerxl.50.forumer.com/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=100 )
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Re: The DaggerXL Texture Project (NPC Portraits)

Postby jet800 » Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:53 pm

I guess other images should be preserved too.
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Re: The DaggerXL Texture Project (NPC Portraits)

Postby Klasodeth » Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:39 pm

I plan to quote the entire thread over here over the next few days. For the time being, discussion should continue in the old thread over at DaggerXL. I'll lock this thread for the time being. Once I've finished porting over the old thread, I'll unlock this one and lock the old thread. This way, it avoids having to look both places for the discussion, as well as making sure the topic doesn't turn into two separate conversations.
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Re: The DaggerXL Texture Project (NPC Portraits)

Postby Klasodeth » Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:04 pm

Page 1

Rhymer wrote:I've started drawing the portraits of Daggerfall NPCs in a high resolution (576x576 and 1152x1152). I use no photoshop filters - only different brushes - to keep the effect of hand-painted picture of the original. I'm trying to stay as close to the original as it is possible, preserving the original style and adding the details. The work is rather slow - 3 or 4 days for one picture. Now two pictures are completed:

Image

Image

By the way, it is quite easy to have your own portrait (stylized of course) among the portraits of the Daggerfall commoners. There are about 500 NPCs (different pictures, of course) in game, so there are still some vacant pictures. ;)


StoneFrog wrote:Those are great (albeit somewhat scary)!


Ghost Line wrote:I've to get myself on the game ^^


Rhymer wrote:
StoneFrog wrote:Those are great (albeit somewhat scary)!


Thank you! But what do you mean under "scary"? Am I to redraw them?


StoneFrog wrote:No, they're perfect as-is. I'm just saying that the female townie's face is kind of creepy at such a high resolution, but that's what happens when you redo low-resolution portraits in great detail. ;)


TNoyce wrote:Those look very nice. I wish I had the artistic talent to do this kind of thing.


RyuRanX wrote:Both portraits looks very good. :P


Aliotroph? wrote:What format are you saving them as? I noticed the ones you posted are jpegs.


localhosed wrote:I don't know stonefrog, I guess you might have had a personal experience that makes you scared of the woman. Or maybe its the wide open eyes, maybe they could seem angry that way. I don't find them scary. I don't know much about art so I don't have much fancy to say about them, but they look good to me. Reminds me of the art in Battlespire. Watercolors or something like that.
They're colorful, its a usual thing for fantasy games and books i think. I imagine orcs usually with bigger tusks and more beast looking. But maybe that is a half-orc, or maybe it varies between orcs, I don't know the world history very well.


StoneFrog wrote:
localhosed wrote:I don't know stonefrog, I guess you might have had a personal experience that makes you scared of the woman.

It's primarily (what seems to be) the wide space between her eyes. Of course it's pretty accurate with the original portraits, just a tad more noticeable at such a high resolution.

Wouldn't be surprised if it had to do with a past experience too, having first played Daggerfall when I was...six? Seven?
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Re: The DaggerXL Texture Project (NPC Portraits)

Postby Klasodeth » Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:26 pm

Page 2

localhosed wrote:Yes I see what you mean now about the wide apart eyes. If i look very close I can see the bridge of the nose. My eyes ignored it the first time. Somehow to me if the bridge were easier to see, the eyes might not seem as far apart. Maybe there is some optical illusion going on too, because you can't tell exactly how wide her head is, since it is covered by the robe and maybe that makes proportions harder to tell. I like it though either way. I'm sure there are people with a face seeming a lot like that as it is.

I said I wouldn't have fancy things to say but it seems to be what I am doing now. I can't explain my behavior sometimes. I can't explain other people's behavior sometimes.


Rhymer wrote:
localhosed wrote:I imagine orcs usually with bigger tusks and more beast looking. But maybe that is a half-orc, or maybe it varies between orcs, I don't know the world history very well.


It is Gortwog, the king of Orsinium. I used the original image from the game as a reference, but at the same time I tried to make him a bit more brutal. Certainly, he is a very intelligent orc, but nevertheless he is an orc...

This is the original image:
Image


localhosed wrote:I can see differences, I think that yours doesn't have as dark lines in his face. Maybe the small resolution has something to do with that. To me it doesn't matter if they aren't copies, I'm just noticing things about the way you made it. Like the left (my left) brow looks real to my eye, and the bright light on the back of his head. But my eye gets confused about the brighter mark on the top of his lip near the nose and the bright mark above the right eye. The lips look real to me. I don't know hardly anything about art but that's what i see.


Rhymer wrote:Well, I've followed your advice and added some changes. I hope this variant is better (see the first post)


localhosed wrote:No I don't really know enough to give advice, don't know why you call it that. Its just my comments. I guess at some time you would want to stop working on a painting, and i tend to sit very close to the screen. It looks to me now like the lighting is from a cloudy day. No more light on the back of his head. Did you add dark lines on the right side of his right eye? Or maybe I didn't notice before. It seems to me like his cheekbones are easier to notice now. When I look at it now and the old picture, i see a solid looking skull. I don't understand but its not really important, that in yours the ear ring seems to curl. Maybe you mean make a curled ear ring though. In the other, it looks like a round hoop, like a solid bent cylinder from end to end, and the color is more dull but with a small bright spot, yours looks more like almost translucent like light shines through it in big areas, like maybe colored glass. Maybe it is hard for you to make fine detail if you use big brushes, where i guess the other artist probably had control over every pixel.


localhosed wrote:I can sometimes be critical automatically. I don't want to be destructive in it though. About my comments, even though i notice things, those paintings are an accomplishment i think. Come to think of it too, i wonder if there are such things as curled hoop ear rings made of translucent glass?


Rhymer wrote:Prince Greklith of Sentinel. The work is still in progress. I haven't touched his hair and head-rim. I also darkened his skin a bit, memorizing the fact he is a redguard.
Image

All updates I will upload here: http://s626.photobucket.com/albums/tt346/rhymer1987/DaggerXL


Ghost Line wrote:Great work on this one, he looks already great :)


Rhymer wrote:Greclit's portrait is updated.


StoneFrog wrote:That's amazing. Keep it up! :D
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Re: The DaggerXL Texture Project (NPC Portraits)

Postby Klasodeth » Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:31 pm

Page 3


Rhymer wrote:Karethys is a Dunmer and the Court Sorceress of Wayrest. She is on close terms with Prince Helseth and it is speculated that she is even his mistress. She is also an associate of The Mages Guild.

I've changed her skin color to match it the skin color all dunmers have in the other TES games. However, I kept the original style of her eyes - without eyeballs, as a peculiarity of daggerfall. And such kind of eyes looks much better than with the eyeballs.
Work is still in progress, and will be updated in a day or two.
Image


Gez wrote:
Rhymer wrote:I've changed her skin color to match it the skin color all dunmers have in the other TES games.

Dark elves have a dark skin in Daggerfall as well (play one and look at your paper doll), but those at the court of Wayrest use cosmetics and/or illusion magic to blend in better with the Bretons. Helseth even had his ears clipped round.


StoneFrog wrote:Yeah, I was just going to mention that. Although Bethesda may have just botched the graphics and made that excuse later, I believe it'd be better if the Wayrest Dunmer retained their human skin tone - maybe make a separate version for those who want a more ashen skin for them?


Rhymer wrote:Well, though I do not like the idea to make Dunmers white skinned, here is the classical interpretation... I've also changed the eyebrows a bit to make her look more mysterious. I think, I'll make two versions. Wait for updates...

And, by the way, Helseth has pointed ears, I've checked it just 4 or 5 hours ago. His dialog menu is unavailable but the sprite sitting on the table has definitely pointed ears (and rather big, by the way).
Image

Oh, and speaking about the cosmetics: I think they have already ran out of money - Karethys is almost nude. Can you imagine how much face powder she has spent?!


Gez wrote:
Rhymer wrote:And, by the way, Helseth has pointed ears, I've checked it just 4 or 5 hours ago. His dialog menu is unavailable but the sprite sitting on the table has definitely pointed ears (and rather big, by the way).

He did that sometime between the events in Daggerfall and his return to Morrowind. See here for clipped ears. After Morgiah got her deal with the King of Worms, she was out of the fight for Eadwyre's succession, as she had something better in sight. Remained only Helseth and Elysana, and the struggle between them became fiercer. Helseth's ear clipping happened then.


StoneFrog wrote:I've been curious - where does it specifically mention that the Wayrest Dunmer used cosmetics? Tribunal? An in-game book?

Also Rhymer, the new eyebrows work very well.


Rhymer wrote:
Gez wrote:
Rhymer wrote:And, by the way, Helseth has pointed ears, I've checked it just 4 or 5 hours ago. His dialog menu is unavailable but the sprite sitting on the table has definitely pointed ears (and rather big, by the way).

He did that sometime between the events in Daggerfall and his return to Morrowind. See here for clipped ears. After Morgiah got her deal with the King of Worms, she was out of the fight for Eadwyre's succession, as she had something better in sight. Remained only Helseth and Elysana, and the struggle between them became fiercer. Helseth's ear clipping happened then.


I followed your link and found no information about ear clipping. And about cosmetics - to. The very idea of using cosmetics to hide the original skin color is ridicules - I've already explained why. So, it's just a mistake made by the developers, nothing more.


Gez wrote:
Rhymer wrote:I followed your link and found no information about ear clipping.

It's a portrait where you can see his ears.

Rhymer wrote:And about cosmetics - to. The very idea of using cosmetics to hide the original skin color is ridicules - I've already explained why.

No. Amount of skin shown is irrelevant to magic. About every body can cast spells, and a chameleon effect is much more drastic than that.
Rhymer wrote:So, it's just a mistake made by the developers, nothing more.

Why did they give gray skin to the faces and paper doll of the player character, but not to the dunmer at the court of Wayrest? Seems deliberate to me.


klasodeth wrote:I have trouble believing someone who wears make-up to blend in with different races would dress like this:

Image

Princess Morgiah is more conservatively dressed, but even she would need to paint much more than her face to blend in:

Image

It's also hard to imagine every single dark elf in the region opting for human-toned makeup, not to mention the fact that Khajiit and Argonians refuse to go anywhere near the Iliac Bay.

Gez wrote:It's a portrait where you can see his ears.

That picture is rather misleading. While this video (don't forget to activate HQ mode) does seem to confirm that Hlaalu Helseth's ears are not pointy, his ears are quite large, not the smallish size implied by the picture.

Gez wrote:
Rhymer wrote:And about cosmetics - to. The very idea of using cosmetics to hide the original skin color is ridicules - I've already explained why.

No. Amount of skin shown is irrelevant to magic. About every body can cast spells, and a chameleon effect is much more drastic than that.

That's not what Rhymer said. His actual quote is the basis for my post above:
Rhymer wrote:Oh, and speaking about the cosmetics: I think they have already ran out of money - Karethys is almost nude. Can you imagine how much face powder she has spent?!


Gez wrote:
Rhymer wrote:So, it's just a mistake made by the developers, nothing more.

Why did they give gray skin to the faces and paper doll of the player character, but not to the dunmer at the court of Wayrest? Seems deliberate to me.

It wouldn't be the first or last time Bethesda goofed up a detail or was inconsistent in the depiction of a detail. Despite all the interesting descriptions of the Tsaesci, the remains of the Tsaesci invasion of Tamriel are depicted as ordinary humans. There's also the incredible change in appearance of the Khajiit as the series progressed from Arena to its current incarnation. And if it's something that was intended, it's odd that it wasn't documented in the lore and that subsequent games opted not to take that approach.

At any rate, since the image enhancements are a mod and not the "official" depiction of dark elves in DaggerXL, there's no reason why the skin for dark elves couldn't be done both ways, with the player deciding which version of the skin to enable.


Rhymer wrote:
Gez wrote:
Rhymer wrote:So, it's just a mistake made by the developers, nothing more.

Why did they give gray skin to the faces and paper doll of the player character, but not to the dunmer at the court of Wayrest? Seems deliberate to me.


The matter is that the portraits of the main character and the portraits of NPCs were created by different people from the team, as far as I understand. Before the release nobody took care to bring two versions of the skin tone to conformity. They noticed the difference only after release, when it was too late to correct anything. So, they had to invent this excuse about cosmetics.

However, we have come to an agreement that both versions would be created, so everyone is free to choose himself.
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Re: The DaggerXL Texture Project (NPC Portraits)

Postby Klasodeth » Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:34 pm

Page 4

StoneFrog wrote:
Rhymer wrote:The matter is that the portraits of the main character and the portraits of NPCs were created by different people from the team, as far as I understand.

Correct. This is taken from the website of Mark Jones, one of the main artist for Daggerfall, Battlespire, and Morrowind:

"For [Daggerfall's] time the graphics received some praise but I always thought that they were lacking in a coherent style, not surprising after 2 and half years and 20 artists that had come and gone! I think there were about 3 of us who stayed on it until the end."

There you have it. Thing is, I'm just far too accustomed to the way they Barenziah and co. appear in Daggerfall and would like to see them that way again.

:D


OB1_Cannoli wrote:WOW! Those pictures look AMAZING! Much better then in the origonal daggerfall but obviously that was intended. Nice work.


Rhymer wrote:Karethis is updated.

Sorry for being absent for so long - my work takes a lot of time nowadays. However the work on the portraits is going on. Now I'm working on Eadwir.


Fuzzy Viking Bear wrote:Okay, yes, the space between her eyes is HUGE! I like the style and everything, but perhaps the eye-to-eye distance could be tweaked so she doesn't look so odd? Sorry to be so critical, I know it isn't easy to do this kind of work :|


Fuzzy Viking Bear wrote:Also, how were these portraits made? I may be able to do some work as well, if I could somehow pull up the original game data to see the images. Does anybody know how to do that? And how these pics were made? Rhymer? ;)


Rhymer wrote:This pictures were drawn from scratch. Well, not at all from scratch - I used the outline of the original picture. First, I draw an outline of the portrait on the separate layer in Photoshop, using the original picture as a reference. I don't care about the accuracy - this lines will be deleted later.

Image

Then I create a new layer under the outline and fill it with base colors.

Image

And then I add some shading using another colors and brush with smooth edges.
Image

Then I blend the colors using different tints of the base colors (Alt+click opens the palette - it is very convenient) and the brush with soft edges. Then I start working on details such as eyes, wrinkles, etc... Hair, eyebrows, crowns, etc. are on the different layers...


StoneFrog wrote:
Rhymer wrote:This pictures were drawn from scratch. Well, not at all from scratch - I used the outline of the original picture. First, I draw an outline of the portrait on the separate layer in Photoshop, using the original picture as a reference. I don't care about the accuracy - this lines will be deleted later.

Image

I wonder what's for dinner?

Sorry, the outline reminded me of that. :lol:


Super Llama wrote:mah boi

that made me lol


Rhymer wrote:Eadwyr, King of Wayrest.
Image


Rhymer wrote:This is not a final version yet, the crown and mantle will be updated soon.
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Re: The DaggerXL Texture Project (NPC Portraits)

Postby Klasodeth » Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:36 pm

Page 5

StoneFrog wrote:I love your style, Rhymer. I can tell the portraits are brushwork, but at the same time, they're quite realistic, like Eadwyre's wrinkles.


Malentor wrote:Eadwyre looks great, nice work so far Rhymer!


luciusDXL wrote:The hair on Eadwyr looks great. Nice work so far.


Rhymer wrote:Thank you! It is very pleasant to hear that my work is evaluated so high. Your replies encourage me to keep on drawing these portraits.

Eadwyr's portrait is finished. His majesty now has a golden crown.

Now I would like to have a rest from the royal family and draw some portraits of the commoners. To make the diversity I want to encourage everyone to send me your photos I can use as a reference, if you want to see yourself in game.

Oh, and I hope Lucius will solve the bug with the dialog system (when player is unable to speak with some characters except the conversations about their quests). This bug is one of the reasons why I've postponed the work on Helseth and Morgiah.


Greendogo wrote:
Rhymer wrote:Eadwyr, King of Wayrest.
*snip*

Very nice Rhymer!


Rhymer wrote:I'm sorry for being absent for so long, but I had a very hard week (actually - a couple of weeks...). However I've returned and glad to introduce you one of my favorite characters of the Elder Scrolls saga - His Highness Prince Helseth.

You was unable to see his face in game due to a strange bug I've described earlier but his portrait was among data files of the game. I hope this problem will be solved.

As always concerning Dunmers - two variants, Dark and Light...
Image
Image


TNoyce wrote:Heh,

What can I say?

Looks good to me ..


luciusDXL wrote:Looks good Rhymer.


Arctus wrote:Damn, you're good at what you do :P

Do you plan to do general NPC's as well or only major ones? Any thoughts on creating high resolution interchangeable pieces to create general NPC's?


Rhymer wrote:
Arctus wrote:Damn, you're good at what you do :P

Do you plan to do general NPC's as well or only major ones? Any thoughts on creating high resolution interchangeable pieces to create general NPC's?


Well, I'm going to make all major NPCs at first (for about 60 pictures) and then - to start working on the commoners.
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Re: The DaggerXL Texture Project (NPC Portraits)

Postby Klasodeth » Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:43 am

Page 6

StoneFrog wrote:Very nice Rhymer - his skin tone (in both variants) seem to give off a bit more glow than Eadwyre and Morgiah, but it's not a problem. Keep up the good work! Prince Helseth is still one of the most memorable characters in the game to me. :)


Greendogo wrote:Lookin' good Rhymer. Keep it up!


billyknives wrote:These are great Rhymer, keep it up


Jordi wrote:Your art is great Rhymer, keep up the good work. ;) It's fresh and at the same time it has the same feeling of the old Daggerfall art, great. :)


Rhymer wrote:Thank you everyone for your response! It is very pleasant to me to hear that my work is appreciated so high.

Unfortunately, due to my work I don't have much time for drawing. So now I have only Sunday to work on the portraits. That mean that new portraits will be posted once a week or two... I'm really sorry for this delay.


TNoyce wrote:No worries.

Real life 'happens'. It's always a pain when it does though..


Razielim423 wrote:I hope you're still working on this. These portraits are fantastic!


Rhymer wrote:Another portrait in our collection - still working on it. Baltham Greyman, an influential Breton who was once a talented scholar in the Mages Guild. The most brave and clever adventurer of the Illiac Bay and one of my favorite persons. A man of great charisma.
I think I'll finish the portrait in a day or so...
Image


StoneFrog wrote:Loving it! <I wish I had more intricate compliments to give you but at this point I'm basically just adopting an "it's awesome as always, keep it up" mindset.>


Malentor wrote:Looks great Rhymer! Awesome eyes on this one, really makes him look like someone of great charisma.
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Re: The DaggerXL Texture Project (NPC Portraits)

Postby Klasodeth » Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:46 am

Page 7

SEPTiMUS wrote:Daggerfall's answer to El Che methinks - I can see his face on the shirts of students across the lands already :)


Luzur wrote:well, personally ater seeing these pics i would want my Dunmer in black, please.

looked more like a red-eyed vampire with the human skin tone.


Rhymer wrote:The Young prince of Sentinel, Lhotun. The portrait will be finished in a day or two (I hope).
Image


Akghar wrote:Excellent !
Hats off, Rhymer.


StoneFrog wrote:Oh Christ, reminds me of when my mom used to cut my hair...

Right now I'm seeing Oompa Loompas. Redguards in Daggerfall have a slightly more neutral, almost Middle Eastern olive-skinned tone to them. At least, that's what I'm used to seeing in Daggerfall. May want to consider lightning his skin up a bit.


Rhymer wrote:I know that the Redguards have rather "pale" skin in Daggerfall - I always have a reference from the original game while drawing portraits. I intentionally darkened their skin to make them look like redguards, not like bretons.


PatchyPegleg wrote:I think the eyes look a bit glossy, almost glass like. And I'm not sure if Redgaurds can have blues eyes, maybe, but it just looks wierd to me.


Rhymer wrote:I always thought of redguards as of arabians, and arabians do have blue eyes (rather rare, yet). After all, the original portrait had definitely blue eyes:
Image
I'll try to reduce the gloss.


StoneFrog wrote:True, but I think his skin is still too red, even for a Redguard.

Again, I'm thinking along the lines of an "olive" type skin tone. I can't really describe it and Google images don't have any particularly decent examples, but it's basically a slightly darker and not as pale as standard caucasian skin. It's kind of tanned, if you will - like those of Mediterranean descent. I'm Celtic/Slavic on my dad's side and Vietnamese on my mother's, I guess my pigment could fall under this category as well.

EDIT: Heh, I found an image of what I think is about right. Oh, and yes, it is a depiction of Jesus. :P


PatchyPegleg wrote:That is what I always imagined the good man looked like. It's good to know that not everyone thinks he was black or white.
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