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Avernum Art Evolved


bTomfoolery
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Good evening, gentlemen. I'd like to start off by stating that, while this thread isn't specifically about Avernum 6, I feel that it pertains more to Avernum 6 than any other board.

 

This is an idea I've had for quite some time. Ever since getting about 1/4th of the way into my first Avernum game (Avernum 3, for anyone interested).

 

Here's the plan; I intend to draw updated versions of every portrait available in Avernum 6. The game saw all new art in every department but the one I most wanted to see updated (not to say I am unhappy with how good Avernum 6 looks). As fond as I am of Mr. Foglio's Hunter's portrait art, I am, honestly, a bit tired of seeing it in every one of the Avernum games. At the same time, the fact that it has been in every game makes it so iconic (in my opinion) that simply creating all new character art wouldn't feel right. That is why, for my project, I plan on drawing heavily from Phil's Andrew's original art.

 

http://bogbear.com/mod_data/AvernumArtEvolved/G229.png

Here is a bit of a messy sketch illustrating what I plan on doing.

My host was offline for a decent portion of today; If it ever is again, view the image here.

http://img169.imageshack.us/img169/6582/g229.png

 

To be entirely honest, I don't think I'll ever get around to finishing this project. Twenty Five portraits is a lot. However, it's something I really want to do. So if I've got this community's support, then I'll certainly be willing to take a hearty stab at it.

 

Right now, what I want to know is; what you think of the project, Do you think you'd use this if I finish it? I'd also like comments and critiques on my preliminary sketches before I work on my final drafts of the portraits. While this is mostly a flight of fancy for me and my own tastes will be the strongest influence on how the images turn out, I can't see myself doing all this work just to have it be despised by the community I am making it for. My art will definitely be a lot closer to High Fantasy than Phil's Andrew's original art, and perhaps moreso than Avernum is meant to be, but that style fits both my taste and what I am good at drawing, so I wouldn't expect that to change, as horrifically untrue to Jeff's vision it may be. Speaking of deviating from the originals, how much of a travesty would it be if I gave both the Nephilim and the Slith portraits a bit more variety in their outfits? The Nephilim especially seem to have a recurring theme of loin clothism. Certainly not to the extent of giving them all decidedly human attire, but just, more than leaving them all in their undies.

 

That's about all for now, I look forward to any and all replies.

 

Also; if this is the wrong board for this thread there will be no hard feelings over it's relocation.

 

edit: that plate on his stomach needs to change.

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Phil Foglio didn't do that art. Andrew Hunter did.

 

I wanted to get all of those portraits redone for Avernum 6, but I ran into artist trouble. Not everything that happens is because of my choice.

 

That said, I am interested in getting them redone, and I have money. Drop me a note at spidweb@spiderwebsoftware.com.

 

- Jeff Vogel

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Originally Posted By: Spidweb
Phil Foglio didn't do that art. Andrew Hunter did.

Ah, that's an embarassing mistake on my part. I only ever knew that Phil Foglio did work on the game, I hadn't even considered the possibility that someone else might have as well.

Originally Posted By: Spidweb
I wanted to get all of those portraits redone for Avernum 6, but I ran into artist trouble. Not everything that happens is because of my choice.

To be entirely honest, I am quite glad they remained the same. Not only did it give me the opportunity (or perhaps, drive) to start this project of mine, but it also just works. The portraits are iconic to the game I think. Which is why I want to pay tribute to them rather than simply replacing them for the sake of having something new.

Originally Posted By: Spidweb
That said, I am interested in getting them redone, and I have money. Drop me a note at spidweb@spiderwebsoftware.com.

- Jeff Vogel


That is an enticing offer. However, for now I'd like to test the waters and try to get an idea of how this will all turn out. Contributing in any way to something you've done is a dream of mine, so your offer is greatly appreciated.
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Ha. I wonder how Jeff feels about something like this. I mean, there probably is a cold business reason to upgrade all his graphics regularly; at some point it may be what tips a certain percentage of people into registering, and thus translate into more cash than he pays the artist.

 

But if I were Jeff, I'd also have a certain motivation just to spruce up my games because they were mine and I wanted to make them look nicer. Like getting some fancy helmet for his WoW character. Only this one makes money for him. That must be a bit weird.

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Originally Posted By: GrimeHead
I very much like the idea of evolved avatars for the game. And your art looks well suited to the series. I looked through the rest of your website. Nice little peices of graphics. But you're right, that belt has to go.


One of the big reasons I think that the original portraits are so great is that they manage to communicate a lot of information while being rather simplistic. I can only speak for myself in this case, but when playing the game, I found myself almost filling in the details in their outfits myself, mentally. They utilized large, defining shapes rather than filling the image up with a lot of visual noise. I want to continue that style in my own art, certainly I plan on giving them more detail than the originals, but at the same time I want to be careful of not overdoing it.

The belt was an example of two bad things. It was a bit too Asian to be completely honest, it's not a design that belongs in Avernum. It also was a bit too complex, not in comparison to most art out there, but it did provide a bit too much meaningless visual noise that unbalanced the focus of the picture.

http://bogbear.com/mod_data/AvernumArtEvolved/G229update.png

Hopefully the end product (of this entire project will be something that everyone is at least content with.

Right now my progress is going quite slow. I am currently heading straight on into (what I intend to be, for now at least) the last quarter of my college experience and the work definitely feels that way as I approach the end of this quarter. The very last thing I want to do right now is abandon this project, so bear with me if the project does slow down a bit. This project is a big priority for me, but some things will come before it.

Seems like a horrible way to start it off, I could have probably held off before making a few complete examples, but oh well.

I still look forward to any and all comments this community has to offer!
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While I work on this, can I get some people involved by asking which four portraits you generally use when creating a party in Avernum?

 

If there is no real set of four you choose from, just list the ones you use the most. I don't really foresee how this will change anything I do, but I think it would be interesting if not useful information in general.

 

Perhaps you could just list the portraits you think are coolest, and what you like most about them, and the portraits you dislike, and what you think could be changed about them. I certainly have my own views and preferences in this but if there are any strong feelings in any way about something that must to stay or should probably go, that will definitely have an effect on the choices I make in designing these portraits.

 

http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/4746/g229littleupdate.png

A negligible update. I know, I sure talk a lot for someone who's provided such little real content. I'll try harder, I swear! (right leg looks bad, I should probably fix that, don't worry about the face either) In an ideal world, I'll be able to get a preliminary sketch up one day, get the completed line art up the next (or work on another sketch whilst the design is discussed) and have the coloring done that same day or the next. In a perfect world my art will be flawless the first time around...oh how I wish this world could be perfect!

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Don't feel bad about taking a while. I spent 9 months just to redo the 18 human images. Feel free to take all the time you need to get them right.

 

Favorites are mostly Slith & Nephil. When I have a human I use Rosalia aka Teresa aka Cordelia (mage in green dress).

 

Otherwise I use the Philip aka Bryan aka Aldous (red shirt warrior).

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The the four guys I use most of the time when playing Avernum:

 

http://img693.imageshack.us/img693/2569/characterchoices.jpg

 

I only use the nephil and slith as well with my party, usually because of the ingame advantages but they generally look better to me as well.

 

The portrait that I think is the coolest by far is #1, the slith priest looking guy. What I love about him is the amazing color scheme, the amount of detail, the lighting, and the way his face is underneath the hood just looks badass. Everything just seems perfect. I would totally love it if every character was made to look that amazing.

 

 

Anyways, good luck on remaking the portraits, looks great so far!

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Haven't posted in a few days, haven't been working on this (as) much (as I should) either.

 

http://bogbear.com/mod_data/AvernumArtEvolved/G229lineart.png

Basically 'done' with the lineart. There are a few things I want to fix about it before I consider myself finished with it, but right now I want to get to coloring before I spend too much time tweaking the image, partly so I get a better idea of what needs to be changed, partly because I want something shiny looking to show everyone! Too bad I'm quite lazy and haven't been devoting enough of my free time to this.

 

Interesting (to me) to note that only one of the portraits features a weapon in it. It's not something I've just notice, this is just the first time I found it particularly interesting. It may provide a descision to be made on whether or not I feel it's redesign should have a bow (to keep with it's original design) or if it should lose the bow to help it fit in more with the rest of the completely unarmed portraits.

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For the boots on the guy, you notice it's fluffy in the original and you have it not so much that way, while yours looks great, and it's such a trivial detail, I like fluffy boots better for that (the lining at the top). Also, as it fits here, if we did get the pics replaced eventually, I'd love to see the option of making these a version B of the originals instead, where you can pic(k) either. I'd also like to see the ability to match the face-shots and body pics with each other, non-pre-set, if do-able. Of course that wouldn't be cross-species.

Also, I use that last human on a lot. And the first nephil one, as well as the 6th human one (due to the potria for the roster, not the actual in-game movable one which is why I think the ability to match those would be great).

 

Umm...hope this was helpful. Really like the way you did the leather by the waist too. Also, it would be really easy to take the bow out and still keep to how the pic originally looks.

 

P.S. I had to open the game twice to look at stuff. Really like what you have so far.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's been a while. Without being apologetic about how slowly I'm doing this (you guys have been really nice about that :3) here's a small update. Progress on G229 is a bit weird. I took the fluffy vs hairy advice and removed what I had with the intention of replacing it but I never got around to that and after completing most of the coloring, moved on to the next portrait (with the intention to come back, of course). Quarter ends Wednesday so we'll see if I can get these done then (with other one(s) too I hope)

http://bogbear.com/mod_data/AvernumArtEvolved/G229furless.png

 

I took a different approach to G222. I always used to think it's in-game sprite (specifically in Avernum 3) was really cool so I decided to incorporate the singlet/sleeve...thing from the sprite into the portrait. I need to lengthen his legs slightly and redraw his boots. Perhaps tighten his pants a little bit.

http://bogbear.com/mod_data/AvernumArtEvolved/G222.png

 

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The second ones face is hard to see. The eyes and the mouth need to be drawn.

 

Quote:
The portrait that I think is the coolest by far is #1, the slith priest looking guy. What I love about him is the amazing color scheme, the amount of detail, the lighting, and the way his face is underneath the hood just looks badass. Everything just seems perfect. I would totally love it if every character was made to look that amazing.

I agree completely, although it looks more like a female graphic to me. Out of all the graphics Jeff has ever had in his game, that one is my favorite.

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Hi to all of you, Avernite soldiers:

 

I'd like to show you my current party re-designed by myself. This is the way that i like to visualize my team and (modesty off) the way i'd like to see the whole game graphics reformulated.

I think that the visual look in Avernum should be much more closer to the excellent literary work developed by Jeff Vogel (cutthroat, realistic, and a little dark) so this is my contribution to the project stated by Tomfoolery.

Hope you like it.

 

Josefo Rex

 

My party:

 

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_qPdG9kQ8D9A/S6gTIKM7AHI/AAAAAAAAAmU/gdmFtLkRzZg/s1600-h/Warrior_BAJA.jpg

 

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_qPdG9kQ8D9A/S6gTHy2XM1I/AAAAAAAAAmM/u1vMeYtjJxA/s1600-h/Nephil_BAJA.jpg

 

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_qPdG9kQ8D9A/S6gTHjvOYXI/AAAAAAAAAmE/ZRV_Cy6Dvkk/s1600-h/Slith_BAJA.jpg

 

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_qPdG9kQ8D9A/S6gTHIcdY5I/AAAAAAAAAl8/B4s6hRIz9Ec/s1600-h/Mage_BAJA.jpg

 

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_qPdG9kQ8D9A/S6gTGhCGBUI/AAAAAAAAAl0/-G61-rE9LPs/s1600-h/Sorcerer_BAJA.jpg

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Originally Posted By: bTomfoolery
While I work on this, can I get some people involved by asking which four portraits you generally use when creating a party in Avernum?


Generally these are the only two non human portraits I can stand to use, seems like they were done by a different artist.
icivc6.jpg

So I'll use these two and there are several humans I don't mind as much so I switch them up each game.
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Originally Posted By: Ballad
Originally Posted By: The Mystic
Yikes.crazy Wouldn't want to meet any of them in a dark alley.


Not even Cordelia? tongue
The new picture, not really; kind of scary, and may result in a few cracked ribs and a mild concussion.

The old picture, well, I'll keep it more or less PG-rated and say that it's possible. wink
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There's a definite design choice to be made in going for the more realistic Josefo style versus the Fogli-esque style of bTomfoolery. Even if Jeff just goes his own way, he'll be gradually upgrading his graphics into the future, and he'll have to make a similar choice.

 

For one thing, of course, Josefo's higher level of detail is bound to take longer to produce, so either cost more, or not cover as much (leaving a lot of pictures in the older or simpler style, or having fewer up-close pictures in future games).

 

But it also says something about the atmosphere of the games. More cartoonish says more rollicking old skule hack'n'slash fun; more realistic says serious games with moral dilemmas and stuff.

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You think Josefo's stuff is more realistic? More detailed maybe, but the proportions are all distorted and cartoony, with the tiny feet and huge, cringing faces. They also look meaner in general which I like atmosphere-wise. You're right though, in saying that it's got a different feel to it. Definitely darker. Maybe not what Jeff's looking for.

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And if he gets promoted? Cross the old one out?

 

But maybe Avernum uses naval style rank insignia that just steadily add more stripes, or something. I suppose that with only about six ranks in the system, it could get away with that.

 

Demotion would still entail wicked scrubbing, but the bastard would deserve it.

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Originally Posted By: Student of Trinity
Demotion would still entail wicked scrubbing, but the bastard would deserve it.


Think they have steel wool down in Avernum?

Josefo's art is really really good. Being a very amateur artist I can't hope to make my art nearly that awesome. However, I shall trek on under the banner of my original intentions of simply imitating Andrew Hunter's style with my own twist. It's what I'm capable of, and if I were to stop doing art every time I saw someone better than myself, I'd have never gotten past drawing stick figures.

This discussion of darker/lighter imagery in Avernum is quite interesting to me. Certainly Jeff has his own vision of the Avernum world. At the same time, each of us players have our own visions. As you can tell by my art, I'm influenced by Andrews portraits (and those old trait illustrations Phil did that haven't been around in a while). I view the world as, perhaps a lower fantasy (that doesn't really show through in my highish fantasy art but...that's just my style) but at the same time having a light hearted feel as indicated by my numerous conversations with farm animals I've had in the games.

http://i39.tinypic.com/2iudcmp.jpg

At the same time, it's easy to see how a game with a strong theme of oppression and literal darkness (being forced to live quite literally under everyone else) can imply darker imagery in others.

One of the reasons I love Avernum so much is that it partially emulates a tabletop gaming experience, and this ability to infer details about the visual style of the game fits that perfectly.
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Hi to all of you, avernites:

 

I’m very thankful for your comments and criticism. I can see that interest in the visual aspect on the game is shared for a lot of other players. This is an intriguing point in Avernum: every player can contribute with his own imaginary to the whole gaming experience. Its a very unique phenomenon in this days of hyperrealistic and powerful (but frequently lacking of emotions) graphics.

My work just try to proof this asseveration; this is the way that i like to see the world of Avernum; more chaotic, raw and nasty (despite the great dose of humor and fun).

 

Yesterday i begin to draw a second set of characters, but right now i find myself very engaged with commercial work, so must put off a little bit the color phase.

Maybe forward i can finish it, but at this moment the party looks like this:

 

http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/7577/g220grayscaleq.jpg

http://img263.imageshack.us/img263/2053/g226grayscale.jpg

http://img175.imageshack.us/img175/1412/g235grayscale.jpg

http://img263.imageshack.us/img263/7426/g236grayscale.jpg

 

@Tomfoolery:

 

I be pleasing for your attitude and initiative. You* can find at every steep a lot of artist with more skills and ability, better in this and that, but none of them can compete with you if you become aware of your style.

Style in art is the core of all.

 

* I mean: you, me and everyone.

 

Greetings

 

Josefo Rex

Skribbane eater.

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I like the anatomy. It's dark and cartoony at the same time, and with great details. It really is exactly what Avernum needs as far as art direction. Normally, I'd never play as that red PC in Josefo's first picture, but if he made the art, I definitely would!

 

The third link was removed, it seems. I really want to see it now!

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Originally Posted By: Monroe
The third link was removed, it seems. I really want to see it now!


Third link is working now.

Originally Posted By: lampshade
The perspective and anatomy on the new characters are a bit iffy; however, they're still very nice.


Male Nephil and Priest doesn't convince me at all. Surely gonna make some changes before apply color.

Greetings
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  • 2 weeks later...

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