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Goddess Seresutein (Celestine) form Kuroinu Kedakaki Seijo wa Hakudaku ni Somaru

Discussion in 'SDT Requests' started by linkexer, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. linkexer

    linkexer Potential Patron

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    Help! I need a costume and hair for the Goddess Seresutein from the hentai, Kuroinu Kedakaki Seijo wa Hakudaku ni Somaru!
     

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  2. Xsofresh

    Xsofresh Avid Affiliate

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    I'd like shoot my foot for someone to take this project up. Would love a costume, and hair for this as well.
     
  3. stuntcock

    stuntcock Club Regular Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm interested in this request because it would give me a chance to try out a physics-simulation technique in which long strands (in this case: the hair and sleeves) would rest on the floor rather than clipping through it. Depending on their length and orientation, they'd either form a simple line along the floor (like the train of a dress), or fold into accordion-pleats or coils -- and then uncoil whenever the character stretches upwards.

    A few provisos:
    • The hair is the most interesting part of the project for me, so I'd be looking to do that first.
      • I may simplify the hair. The "character profile" image shows 20+ strands, which would be an unreasonable modding workload (and a significant drain on the game's performance). The DVD poster shows 4, which is probably too few for what I have in mind. Need more reference images before reaching a decision.
      • If I can't get the "floor physics" to work then I'll ask for feedback - either we shrink the hair down and animate it conventionally, or animate it as-is (knowing that it will clip through the floor during gameplay).
    • The costume is a lower priority for me.
      • I'd plan to alter the design of the costume so that the sleeves(?) are separate from the body and mostly just dangle towards the floor. Creating a single contiguous garment is beyond my current skill level. And also if a managed to create contiguous arm-straps which actually connect to the body-garment, then they'd tend to conceal her breasts in many gameplay scenarios!
      • I'd probably want to split off the top section ("bra" + "collar" + "dangling frontal strap") into a single costume element and focus most of my effort on that section.
      • The dangling-strap-plus-golden-medallion thing would be physics-enabled, but it would probably clip through her knees a lot. I'm planning to do some experimentation with anti-clipping techniques, but I'd make the strap Toggleable so that people can remove it if they don't like the results.
      • The lower-body stuff isn't clearly illustrated in any of the reference shots, and I can't see how the garment is fastened to the body -- is she just clutching it between her thighs? I'm not sure how to deal with it; hoping that additional reference shots will clarify.
      • Shoes aren't my thing. If someone can find a good side reference shot then I'll trace them; if I need to put in any effort then I'll just omit them.
    • I'm requesting additional reference images (note - you may be able to fulfill several of these with a single image):
      • hair
        • need - a side view showing the end of the hair strands (below the waist)
        • want - a rear view showing the end of the hair strands (below the waist)
        • want - a higher-resolution side view of the head. The one we have is good but a bit small.
        • want - an "outdoor" side view of the head (and/or full body) which shows more hair highlights. The current side reference shot has very muted highlights.
        • want - additional images (any angle) showing the character lying down, kneeling, getting fucked doggy-style, whatever. How does her hair behave when it hits the ground? Does it spread out into a pool around her, or maintain its basic curves?
      • head
        • want - a high-res side image of the circlet
        • want - side view of the ears (incl. jewelry). If someone can provide this then I can deliver physics-enabled elf ears whose tips bounce slightly (as seen in the reference animation). If not, I'll probably just ask Huitznahua for permission to reuse his ears.
      • costume
        • want - a side-rear image of the waist and hips showing the costume details (rear image would also be okay, if the hair isn't obstructing it too much)
        • want - a highres side view of the upper torso (ribcage-to-neck), preferably with the arms upraised so that the details are clear
        • want - standing or walking reference shots (any angle) which depict the long fabric "tails" - are they supposed to drag along the floor, or just mysteriously float?
      • shoes
        • need - a highres side view of the shoes. Can be standing, kneeling, sitting, whatever. But I either get a traceable reference image or I omit the shoes entirely.
    • I need to finish some other work first, so I'd be looking to get started in January. If the necessary reference images haven't turned up by then, I'll start a different project instead :P
     
  4. Nigida

    Nigida Casual Client

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        • 720 x 480 ist the best resolution that I found for this four part series, and the kind of image you want isn't quite there.

          Seresutein is almost only seen in the final episode and there are mostly close up's from weird angles. Her hair seems to conveniently change length all the time, and the shoes are never shown. Even the design of some of her jewelery is changing from scene to scene. The circlet isn't a circlet, it's something like a second set of golden eyebrows.

          Either way, here are some images of her that might or might not contain what you are looking for.
     

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  5. zzaapp002

    zzaapp002 Club Regular

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    Oh god yes make this...
     
  6. stuntcock

    stuntcock Club Regular Staff Member Moderator

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    I've started work on this project. It's probably going to take me a few days just to trace all of the vectors and fills. This is an unfortunate aspect of physics-enabled hair and clothing -- you need to nail down the artwork before you start slicing, because it's very difficult to make touch-ups afterwards.

    On the plus side, the highlight-shadow pattern on this hairstyle is very forgiving. Hair strands can slide across one another without causing serious flaws (and also the strands are fairly long, so gravity will tend to prevent stray/rogue movement). I'm treating [Seresutein Lucullus 11.jpg] (thank you Nigida for your thorough work in tracking down references!) as canon re: colour and design, because it's the most complete and consistent reference. Compare 04.jpg. There's no plausible reason for those two straps to meet, other than "the artist wanted to draw a cleavage window and didn't give a shit about the character design."

    I recently completed some physics-animation work with Leashes and a proof-of-concept demo for a sling bikini. The implementation of these techniques is much easier than I had expected, and so I intend to apply both of them here (to improve the physicality of the costume, and to make it more visually interesting).
    • Leash
      • The brown-black tethers will be animated using the Leash technique. Their intersection points with the costume will be physics-enabled, so their weight can distort it slightly. Well... the strap itself won't do too much, but the jeweled ornaments appear to be gold so I'll tell the physics system that they're heavy.
        • The leash stuff wouldn't have much effect in the standard scenario, because the frontal ornament will fall between her knees and rest against the floor. If she stands up then its weight will distort her costume. The rear ornament will dangle slightly behind-below her buttocks; it won't have much influence because (a: the fabric is cinched tightly around her waist; it will resist any movement of the rear ring) and (b: the rear strap is also fastened at the neck, which prevents it from slipping downwards).
      • The actual "leash" concept comes into play via an "alternate mode" for the costume. Instead of letting it dangle, we can anchor the golden ornament in HIS hand. Then we ask the physics system to figure out the consequences.
      • Depending on the positioning and distance of the characters, it will result in either a "curved strap" (potentially relieving the tension on her clothing, since he's now supporting the weight of the golden ornament) or a "taut strap" (in which case he's effectively pulling on the ornament and thereby yanking on her clothing).
        • If you've read the Leash thread, then you'll know that there's an important limitation -- leashes can't influence character movement. However, yanking on a strap CAN deform clothing. I'll post some samples when we get there.
        • I probably won't allow much deformation -- because if we allow the costume to stretch enough to do something visually interesting (such as a "nip slip") in response to player action, then it's almost certainly going to clip through the body in a half-dozen places (which undermines the coolness factor).
        • The grab/yank logic can work for either the front or back strap (or both simultaneously, but I don't plan to support that because it would look silly). I'll post some screenshots once we're further along, but you can look at the screenshots in the "Leash" thread to get the basic idea.
    • Sling bikini
      • The garment will be modeled as a contiguous set of straps, most of which conform closely to the body. Each section will automatically resize to match any changes in anatomy (e.g. body slider).
        • Contrary to my earlier suggestion, this means that the outfit won't be available as a collection of separate pieces (e.g. bra, sleeves). It's all-or-nothing, because each section of the garment relies on elastic tension from its neighbouring pieces. If this tension is absent, then the various components will misbehave (e.g. droop down, spring into the body, etc).
        • Headgear, jewelry, shoes, animated elf ears -- these things will still be optional. They can, of course, be mix-and-matched into custom SDT characters.
        • The straps will be semi-optional. Removing them will subtly alter the shape of the costume but it won't cause any major clipping. The straps and ornaments are an innate "modesty" element of the character design -- they're positioned so as to block access to the character's orifices. My intent is that, if you want to fuck her, you'll use the Leash feature to pull the strap aside (hooray for immersion!) and then go to work. But if you find the leash stuff to be buggy or incompatible or distracting, then you'll be able to simply remove the straps from the scene entirely.
      • Unlike the Sling bikini example, this costume includes non-conformal trailing elements (hips, arms, legs).
      • The [sacrum → hips] fabric is slightly loose. This does not pose a challenge; we can apply the standard "conformal" sling-bikini technique, but we simply anchor the fabric to a point which lies a few centimeters outside the body.
        • If I can fine-tune the numbers correctly, we can obtain a neat animation effect here. We'll see a few centimeters of slack when the character is standing, but as she kneels down the fabric will be drawn closer. When the hips and knees are fully bent, the fabric will wrap/cling tightly around the buttocks.
      • We've discussed the arms previously. I had planned to render them as separate "sleeves," but now I'm thinking that it would be more interesting to stick to the original design. If they obscure the breasts too much, then we can make them "gossamer" (transparent).
      • The "ribbon" extensions on the legs are simpler. I plan to render them as lightweight and somewhat-rigid fabric (the real-world example would be crinoline, even though the reference images look more like cotton). These ribbons would be able to bounce around a bit if she moves her legs (which occurs very rarely in SDT) but they'd settle back into the basic helical shape after each bounce. They'd be modeled using very low Weight, so their shape wouldn't change much when she changes position (standing -> kneeling) because rigidity will tend to outweigh gravity.
        • Note: the ribbons probably won't use the floor-collision physics, because it doesn't play nicely with rigid elements. Instead, I'd just setup the helix angles so that the ribbons tend to remain slightly above her knee-level.
        • I'm not sure whether the ribbons would be in front of the hair or behind it. Or maybe mixed in among the strands? Meh; no need to decide now - we can adjust layering whenever we want.
      • Like the example shown in the sling bikini thead, this costume will probably look bad if you use it with a small-breasted character. A flat-chested character might cause it to clip into the body or oscillate through unstable configurations. I'm going to pre-emptively declare that such issues are Not My Problem. I'll test and fine-tune the outfit for 60-100% of the standard breast slider. If you want to use a different setting (or a breast replacer mod) then you can do your own fine-tuning.
    • Symmetry
      • Symmetry is a giant pain-in-the-ass. We're effectively forced to trace and animate everything twice (foreground half of the costume, and then the nearly-identical background half). The art is different but the physics rules will be very similar. And the work is frustrating because it needs to be done correctly (so that sections don't suddenly flip out during gameplay) but if you do it correctly then it's almost unnoticeable. :(
      • I'm definitely going to provide screenshots and animation sample using the foreground half. We'll settle any design questions there, and then basically "copy-paste" the results into the background half.
      • I'll try to introduce a few slight asymmetries into the artwork so that the background stuff will actually be visible. For example, the background "leg ribbon" could have a taller/looser helix than its foreground counterpart, so that you'll occasionally see it peeking through the strands of hair.
      • The arm ribbons are an obvious (and player-controlled!) source of asymmetry. No special work is needed there.


    tl;dr - The outfit will have some physics features which can be exploited during gameplay. I won't have much progress to report initially, because there are lots of vectors to trace before I can start animating. Vector tracing is boring, so suggestions and discussion are welcome.

    Initial question: do we consider this outfit to act as a bra, or not? Breast physics are "toned down" considerably when the character wears a top. Since this is a custom garment, we can follow that rule ("the straps support and constrain the breasts"), or leave the breasts in their natural state ("the breasts bounce and jiggle around, while the straps get dragged along for the ride").

    We'll need an consensus on this question fairly soon, because the [neck → nipple] strap section is the first item on the animation plan. I'll need to tune the strap physics differently, depending on the amount of breast-bounce that we need to accommodate.
     
  7. Nigida

    Nigida Casual Client

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    Her outfit isn't as tight as a bra would be and offers little breast support, so I'm all for the "bounce and jiggle" approach. The sling bikini concept and the leash thingy seem to fit this request nicely. Thank you for working on this.
     
  8. lavalamp

    lavalamp Potential Patron

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    I made the Hair, sadly i don't know how to make the outfit. Hope this helps! :D
     

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  9. stuntcock

    stuntcock Club Regular Staff Member Moderator

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    Nice work! Very clean lines, well-proportioned, and good colour balance.

    Unfortunately, I can't really do anything with it - I'm just going to just continue tracing for now. Reasons:
    • the background elements are missing
      • for example, one strand clearly "disappears" where it meets her forehead. Most of the hair details which were obscured by the shoulder (in the reference image) have simply been left out of the PNG.
      • with Dynamic Hair, it's possible for the strands to swing forwards and backwards. Hence, we pretty much need to draw/trace the entire length of every single strand -- from root to tip. When you have a strand which is mostly obscured, you can slack off on the details/accuracy.
      • similarly - there aren't enough layers. Whenever two strands meet, we need a complete drawing of both. This is because Dynamic Hair allows dissimilar rotation - a strand might usually eclipse its neighbour, but if they get separated (e.g. due to inertial effects during a violent face-fuck, or by hair-pulling) then we need to be able to draw them independently.
      • tl;dr - you gotta keep tracing until your hair looks like an overlapping scribbly mess.
      • [​IMG]
    • the PNG is an accurate recreation of the 07.jpg reference, but it's "too short" with respect to most of the character reference images (which place the hairtips at calf-level or ankle-level).
      • I'm using a physics technique which allows hair to "rest" against the floor - so it's important that the hair is long enough to consistently fall below her knees when she's kneeling.
    • it's slightly too complex.
      • the Dynamic Hair animation process forces us to put a bit of extra work into each separate strand of hair.
      • the PNG shows sixteen hairtips (eight foreground + eight background) at the lowest level; I'm planning to include only eight in total.
      • this is arguably a stylistic choice: your reference image shows the character's hair in a more mussed-up or disheveled state ("sex hair"). The single strand of hair falling across her eye is particularly noticeable. It doesn't appear in any of the other reference images -- except for the animation in which she's actually being fucked.
      • I'm aiming for a more composed (or "haughty") presentation: clothing intact, jewelry in-place, etc. Something which adheres to the character-design sketches rather than the action scenes. But that's largely just an excuse for merging hairtips together so that the project will be easier.
      • "limiting the number of independent strands" is especially important when you have a hairstyle which is very long or very thick. If you intend to apply anti-collision physics, then each additional strand demands more fine-tuning and more testing.
    • the jewelry is absent
      • this isn't really a criticism of your work -- the jewelry is absent in the reference image. Presumably the animators didn't want to deal with it (and/or they realized that [heavy jewelry + thick hair + violent sex] is likely to cause an injury).
      • I'm planning to animate the ears and the jewelry via physics modeling, so I need to include them.

    Let me know if you'd like to collaborate on any SDT modding projects. If you have access to Flash, I can walk you through the process of packaging your hair into a SWF import, or adding Dynamic Hair animation features. If you don't have Flash but you do have access to vector-drawing tools, then I could pick up one of your completed projects and then do the SWF+animation stuff.
     
  10. Twycross448

    Twycross448 Potential Patron

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    I'd suggest treating it as non-bra. The outfit isn't actually supporting her breasts, it is just to cover them up some.
     
  11. stuntcock

    stuntcock Club Regular Staff Member Moderator

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    Here's a mockup of the ears and associated jewelry. I relied mainly on the second image posted by linkexer, but with a few compromises to fit the other references (and the SDT body). There are a few points to discuss.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    • Jewelry
      • The reference art isn't completely clear or consistent re: the small ornament hanging from the shorter of the two chains.
      • In a few shots, it looks like a single solid element (kinda like this: Ϫ).
      • My animation technique is less convincing when applied to large rigid elements, so I'm interpreting it instead as "three separate golden hoops (edge-on to the camera) strung along the chain."
      • The chains will be animated using Leash physics. They'll bob and sway based on the movement of the earrings to which they're anchored. The hoops will influence the chain (their weight will cause it to "droop" unevenly) but they'll mostly just be dragged along for the ride.
      • The hoops won't actually be able to "slide along" the chain; each one will be "riveted" at a particular spot on the chain. I'd like to make them slide, but the physics system cant handle it. The hoops will be able to rotate in-place, and they'll bounce up and down as the chain moves.
        • The reference images make this ornament fairly large, because "artists are a bunch of filthy cheaters who ignore physical constraints in order to make cool pictures." If we adhered to the proportions in the reference images, then the larger chain would constantly collide with the ornament. I've shrunk the ornament quite a bit so as to make collisions less likely.
          • The jewelry is fairly "customizable" w/r/t physics (much more so than hair). We can reconsider this decision later on (e.g. after you've seen an animation sample). For example, we might decide to increase the size of the ornament, while also lengthening the outer chain.
      • I'll apply a slightly different gravity angle (+/- 10 degrees) to the smaller hoops, so that they remain spread out from the larger hoop. If we allow them to become parallel then they'd less visually interesting. Characterization trumps realism :)
      • The golden chain is a placeholder (just a mockup, using a single curved path). It will actually consist of several short segments whose shape is determined entirely by the physics system. The segments will be thicker than the path shown here -- the path would probably not be visible during gameplay (<1 px).
    • Ears
      • The internal fill colours aren't final. I need to rejig them as partial-alpha gradient fills which get applied on top of the four standard skin colours (light, pale, tan, dark).
        • Done. The dark skin version clashes somewhat with the reddish fills. I'm not satisfied with the fills, but I can't articulate why. This is one of those occasions where "I'm not an artist" becomes an obstacle -- when you can't even explain what's wrong, it's difficult to fix it. :(
        • [​IMG]
        • Note: I had to implement some rudimentary animation in order to get the ear in-game (as a test-case for the skin colour switching). Even in this primitive form, I'm happy to report that the bouncy elf ears are very cute.
      • The main section of the ear will wobble very slightly (+/- 3 degrees), which should be sufficient to yield some interesting bounce effects on the earrings. The eartip will be allowed to rotate more freely (+/- 5 degrees) -- as shown in the reference GIF. This is a physics effect, so you won't actually see much ear waggle during a simple fellatio scene (where the head movement is mostly horizontal). You'll need to make her bounce up and down (e.g. cowgirl) to get the full effect.
      • These ears are much higher than SDT's vanilla elf ears. This was done in adherence to the reference images, which consistently place the ears at eye-level.
      • We can't assume that the hair strands will always conceal the human ears. Therefore, I'm planning to simply hide the human ears at runtime (via a special scripting effect when the Celestine SWF is loaded).
      • Risk: the human ears may not reappear when you switch to a different hairstyle. AFAIK we don't have an "ears" category for mods. I'll do some testing. If I don't find an answer, then you might be forced to click the Reset button when you want the human ears to reappear.
      • Challenge: the elf ears are "technically" a Dynamic Hair strand, so they're exempt from the built-in logic for skin-colour adjustment. It's easy enough to write a custom script which copy-paste the skin stuff onto the elf ears, but custom scripts always pose a compatibility risk. I'll do some more investigation.
        • Fixed. The dynamicHairExtender mod can now load Ropes which use the skin-colour shifting behaviour (assuming that the Keyframes have been correctly named in Flash).
      • If anyone out there has prior experience with custom colouration for ears, please let me know.
        • Nevermind.
    • Ears + hair
      • The eartip extends to the rear of the skull. The actual hair extends quite a bit farther back. Hence, the eartip should always be surrounded by hair.
        • It's borderline-possible that the eartip might emerge for a moment during a VERY vigorous bounce.
        • Artistic integrity says "if it's possible for the eartips to emerge, then you must also draw the left ear just in case." I say "artistic integrity be damned; one ear is enough."
      • In the default position, the frontal forelocks will probably conceal part of the foremost earring. This is consistent with most of the reference images.
      • The hair is dynamic. The forelock will be able to slide back across the ears, concealing more/all of the jewelry (and potentially exposing the "front" of the ear at the jawline). This will usually occur when the girl's chin is elevated, but it can also occur during vigorous horizontal motion (due to momentum).
        • The front details of the ear are currently very rough, because these details are invisible in all of the reference images. If you want me to improve it, then give me a reference (e.g. an elf-ear picture from some other anime show).
      • The main strands of hair will be permanently "trapped" behind the ear. When the girl's chin is lowered, a few of the shorter strands might be allowed to jump across her shoulder and dangle near the breasts, but they'll be forced to curve around the ear rather than clipping through it.
    • General feedback
      • This is important! Whenever I post a screenshot or animation sample, it means that I'm inviting feedback on anything shown therein. Even if I haven't directly mentioned it.
      • I'm going to try to cycle through the parts. Instead of immediately animating the ears, I'll mockup the hair next. After posting the hair mockup, I'll trace the costume. You'll have some time to complain about each part and offer suggestions.
      • If you see something bad/wrong/weird, say so! Spotting a problem early means that it can be fixed more easily.
      • If you mention a problem very late (e.g. after I've finished animating it) then it may not be feasible to fix it.
     
  12. Nigida

    Nigida Casual Client

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    I managed to get a hold of the original game CG's and found two more shots with a better view on what the jewelry actually looks like:

     

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  13. stuntcock

    stuntcock Club Regular Staff Member Moderator

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    Boo-urns. It looks as though the "one solid ornament" idea was correct. I'll stick with the "separate hoops" setup for now. It's fairly easy to switch out these components (even after the whole ear has been animated) -- I may end up offering both and letting users decide.

    The problem is that, as mentioned above, the physics becomes less convincing when you place a rigid object in the middle of a flexible rope. The SDT system can't effectively transmit tension "through" a rigid segment, so the overall shape of the rope tends to become wrong. Meh - I'll post some animation samples when we get there.

    You're right. On review, it looks like I misinterpreted "dark line in background intersecting with ear" as being part of the ear outline. Tracing pixellated images at 800% zoom tends to put me in tunnel-vision mode.

    I've been uncertain of how to handle the hair colour, since the saturation varies quite a bit among the various reference images. And now you've given me highlights that are almost pure white (#FEFDFA). :P Fuck it, I'm just going to choose at random and let people fiddle with the HSL sliders if they don't like it.

    -----------------

    The CG shows that the eyebrow-tiara thing is definitely contoured; some of the screen captures suggested that it was faceted, but that can be explained as "lazy artists." It'll take a bit more effort to setup believable fills (gradient highlights, mainly) for the contours. And I may draw it as a tiara anyways, because the idea of magical-floating-eyebrows annoys me. Gold is really heavy! You can't just attach it with spirit gum and wishful thinking!

    Here's a bald view for context. I'll post a full profile shot once the hair mockup is complete.

    [​IMG]

    Anatomically, the ears should be lower (aligned with the base of the skull and the condyles). But the SDT girl has a distorted jawline and an excessively long neck, so we can't always rely on anatomical reference points. I chose the current position because several of the images put the ears in line with the eyes. But they definitely look wrong in this screenshot, so I'll drop them down - a compromise position between the character design and the game anatomy.

    Once the ear is surrounded by a gigantic mane of hair, viewers hopefully won't notice a bit of misalignment. Especially if most of the frontal portion of the ear is obscured by the forelock.
     
  14. Nigida

    Nigida Casual Client

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    That's fine, as long as it looks similar to the references.

    Understandable, especially if the image is so low res.

    Good idea.

    The people that animated the show definitely were lazy when it comes to the detail of the original artwork, or maybe the budget for the show wasn't that big.

    The ear position seems fine, will look even better with hair around/over it.
     
  15. stuntcock

    stuntcock Club Regular Staff Member Moderator

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    Hair-tracing is stressing me out.
    [​IMG]

    • too much ambiguity re: layering
    • the anatomical basis of the character design is weak. My animation strategy requires me to trace strands root-to-tip, and a LOT of these strands seem to originate midway along another strand. They have no plausible connection to the scalp.
      • The physics system can actually handle strands emerging from strands (without being anchored to any part of the body). This is a personal bias; it feels sloppy to me. It also tends to result in nonsensical animation behaviour during violent movement.
      • The solution is to just bypass/ignore the reference image, and draw in some root-to-tip hair strands that mimic the overall character design. This approach requires a bit more creativity and boldness, though.
    • Anyways, the hair is on-hold for the moment and I'm working on the costume.
    • Quick question: there's an animation+layering technique which enables us to put a single contigous black outline around the entire hairstyle (like a cel-shaded videogame), regardless of layering and dynamic motion and self-crossing. It's relatively simple in terms of "modding complexity" but it's resource-intensive. It essentially doubles the CPU cost of the hair (when compared to the standard technique).
      • I'm going to need a "yea" or "nay" before release.
      • I can provide screenshots and animation samples to help you decide, but I'm not going to just "release both" -- it would require too much effort.
      • How much would this be "worth" to you (e.g. 5 FPS, 10 FPS)?



    So - onto costume stuff! The mockup is placed on the reference image (rather than the SDT body) because the details are more clear in this version -- many things become "scrunched" in the kneeling posture. I'll switch it over once we've resolved any questions/complains. Feedback is welcome.

    I've omitted the "sleeve" layers because they generate confusion via overlap. I've also simplified things by drawing everything in the foreground. The [sternum → rear waist → knee] stuff ought should be behind the body. The fabric from the right breast connects to the right arm and the left leg.

    I applied alpha-blending to the fabric so that the layer-crossovers would be clear -- the actual fabric will be opaque. I haven't drawn in the fabric creases and highlights yet. I'm still debating whether to implement this via a single Rope (which tends to distort its internal art details during rotation) or multiple parallel Ropes (which put more strain on the computer, and which are vulnerable to delamination).

    [​IMG]

    Details (high resolution)
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Note: there's a minor layering error at the knee. I've already fixed it.

    • Leather Straps
      • The straps shown in the screenshot are intended to show colour and thickness. The actual shape of the straps is dictated by the physics system.
      • I included a slight air gap in the intersecting segments (where strap meets gold). The cut-out is a teardrop rather than a circle.
        • This is corroborated by only one of the reference images. I included it mainly as a "realism" thing, and also because it will hopefully call attention to any relative rotation of the golden rings.
    • Conformal Fitting
      • If you haven't already done so, please take a look at the Sling bikini example.
      • The sling bikini is scripted to remain VERY CLOSELY conformal around the pelvis and the front of the breasts, but it allows a permanent "air gap" at the midriff, and a temporary gap above the breasts during motion (this top gap can become permanent if the breasts are large enough).
      • The reference images for Celestine do not show any such gaps around the breasts. To me, this seems impossible. Especially when you consider that we have permanent gaps around the hips and knees.
      • It's some kind of textile with limited elasticity (e.g. cotton rather than lycra). When the breasts shift inwards and upwards, there ought to be slack. I'd argue that the apparent form-fitting behaviour is due to:
        • lazy animators
        • the reference images are static. The garment would exhibit bouncing and gaps, except that it gets partially stripped off before any bouncy action occurs
      • Therefore, I intend to include some bounciness for the fabric above the breasts, but significantly constrained due to the weight of the golden O-ring -- perhaps 25-35% of the bounciness seen in the Sling bikini demo.
      • Whether this yields a visible "air gap" will depend on the size of the breasts, the orientation of the character and costume vs gravity (e.g. Animtools) and the angle of the neck (the garment is anchored to her collar, so it becomes more slack when she shifts her neck forward).
    • Physics Variants
      • A physics-enabled garment is more difficult to create than a standard one. It has one key advantage, though: we can create visually-distinct variants simply by altering the physics forces.
      • We've covered one example: the leather straps and golden ornaments can be held aloft (via Leash physics) to allow access to the girl's pelvis.
      • Another variant would be a "pulled aside" version (as seen in many of the reference images). We simply rescind the rule stating that "the fabric is anchored to the nipple." The fabric on the right breast would then hang limp in the foreground, following (very approximately) the inframmamary crease. The O-ring at the sternum would shift downwards a bit due to the reduced tension.
        • Nitpick: by default, the fabric on the left breast would fall into the space between the breasts, rather than shifting into the background. This could be easily remedied by adjusting its layer.
        • Anti-nitpick: if you want both fabric strands to get pulled into the space between the breasts, then we could do that also.
      • If you have ideas or suggestions for additional variants, then please mention them ASAP. It may be relatively easy to accommodate them early (e.g. by adding superfluous fulcrum-points into the standard costume), but much more expensive/difficult to retrofit them later on.
        • One that occured to me was "arms behind back; wrists tied together using her own sleeves." I'll do some tests later to determine whether it's feasible.
    • Sideboob
      • The reference images show a lot of sideboob. Unfortunately, they also use breasts which are somewhat "pillowy" - the garment's fabric does not merely wrap around the breasts or support them. It becomes partially indented into the tissue and creates a visible crease.
        • I can't reproduce this effect. The SDT art layers do not allow this sort of breast deformation, even if the physics system could model it (note: it can't).
      • Therefore, we have a dilemma.
        • If we make the fabric very narrow (e.g. sling bikini example) so that it covers the nipple and front only, then we avoid visual problems but we're not being faithful to the character design.
        • If we make the fabric very wide (e.g. full bra) then the audience would not expect to see any deformation. But again, we're deviating from the character design.
        • If we go for partial-sideboob, then the fabric (which is "glued" to the nipple) will exhibit shear motion at its edges: it will "slide past" the skin of the breasts. Since it's supposed to be tightly fitted, the viewer expects that it would drag the breast along (causing local deformation/indentation). If the fabric simply slides past without interaction, then it looks bizarre/painful (chafing).
      • Apologies if this was unclear - I'll be able to explain it better once I get some animation samples.
      • If you understand what I'm getting at, or if you have any preferences regarding garment shape (sideboob etc) then please feel free to comment.
    • Gold
      • Most of the golden stuff uses a simple [white → gold → brown] gradient pattern. This will hopefully suffice to indicate both "metallic lustre" and "contoured edges." The hypothetical light source (as indicated by the reflection/highlight pattern) is approximately fifteen degrees anticlockwise from vertical.
      • The collar is an exception. Its reflections are based on a light source which is clockwise from vertical (top-right of the game window). This is intended to make its highlights congruent with those of the forelocks. Also, since the bulk of the hair will cast a near-permanent shadow on the rear of the collar, I didn't want to put any highlights there.
      • I've made a rough attempt to reproduce the engraving on the collar, based on linkexer's second reference image. [02.jpg] (fanart?) has a more intricate design, but it's incomplete and it doesn't have a clear geometric pattern (if it did, I might be able to extrapolate).
        • [​IMG]
        • Sidebar: the symbology confuses me. Does anybody know what the deal is with this character? The wreath says "nature priestess" but the gold and white hints at "sun goddess." The earring insignia is too small for me to discern - maybe a fertility symbol? No apparent weapons. The footwear is more practical than ceremonial, but the costume is enormously impractical.
      • The golden ring at the collarbone is definitely an O-ring. The sternum seems to be a D-ring, and I've drawn it as such. The rear ones (waist, shoulderblades) should be beveled squares, but they're usually concealed by the body - so I half-assed it and just threw in more D-rings.
      • The profile view omits all of the interesting details of the big golden ornament. Quite frankly, it looks bizarre and incomprehensible; the only indication of contours are the dissimilarities in gradient highlight patterns. I'm open to suggestions here.
        • [​IMG]
        • Note: there's an advanced physics technique that would allow us to present a pseudo-rotating element. We model the two edges of the ornament as separate physics objects. Whenever the ornament swings on its strap, either the foreground or background edge would swing slightly farther, and the game would draw the ornament's face (heavily foreshortened) into the gap. I'm not going to use this technique here, because it's unproven and it might cost me several days of work. Initial investigation suggests that it's also a resource hog - you'd need 4-5 parallax layers to get a decent illusion of depth, and the game is forced to calculate a custom transform matrix for each layer, per frame.
        • Most of the reference images show a gemstone, so I've included one. It's rounded because rubies are often cut into ovals or cabochons. Also faceted highlights are quite difficult to draw.
        • The reference image shows a single gemstone in the rear view. The front view has a similar gemstone with a pair of smaller stones beside it. I choose to believe that the two ornaments are identical, with three stones on the front face and one on the rear. I'm not sure that the smaller stone will actually be visible during gameplay.
          • We could apply a supplemental animation technique here, forcing the gemstones to "twinkle" on a fixed interval (e.g. 20 seconds) in order to make them more obvious. I don't intend to do so, because I think that it would probably be annoying.
      • The array of "sunburst" fringes at the bottom of the ornament seems to be articulated. [01.jpg] has the most obvious presentation of this behaviour. I'll include 2-3 separate free-swinging elements - including all 9 would be stupid because most of them would be permanently hidden behind their neighbours, yet they'd deplete FPS anyways.
      • Nitpick - the "floor intersection" physics does not understand shape biases. When the golden ornament rests on the ground, I want it to usually lie on its back (with the three gemstone facing up). Instead, it's going to be a 50/50 coin flip. This is a very minor problem, because it will be hidden behind her right leg.
     
  16. Nigida

    Nigida Casual Client

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    This is kinda crazy. Never EVER have the original creators spent this much thought to this character (or any other character in this Erogē) like you do here. :o

    I give a "nay" for optional stuff like a black hair outline that decreases framerate. The final thing should be able to be played by as much people as possible without having a super low framerate. 30 fps max isn't much to begin with anyway. Without examples I can't really picture how this outline would look on this character anyway.

    Lots of clothing in anime (and western comics as well) has this "glued-on" look without air gaps to it. This is done to emphasize body featues and realism has no place in it.

    A "pulled aside" version sounds like a very nice idea. I would like to see the fabric not fall between the beasts, personally I don't like it when that happens.

    Celestine is a reincarnation of some goddess, just don't try to make sense of the symbology. In the end, she is only there to be fucked silly, like pretty much any woman in this game/4-part series.

    I pretty much aggree to your choices when it comes to the gold and jewelry.
     
  17. stuntcock

    stuntcock Club Regular Staff Member Moderator

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    That's unfair. Creators definitely argue over this sort of stuff and revise their designs to better suit the work.

    The costume is physically impractical and the character is waif-thin and top-heavy, but that's okay because the creators had control over the script. If you tried to adapt it into a third-person videogame then you'd need to simplify the costume and tighten it (so that the character could believably perform actions such as running, crouching, climbing a ladder, etc) and you'd almost certainly shrink the breasts (because her arms would constantly clip through them).

    The creators also had control over camera position, so they added a lot of three-dimensional details* which would look interesting from various angles. The "flowing" aspects of the costume give an impression of motion and action, even in still images. The costume is impractical, but it's not obviously impossible -- upon seeing it, the viewer immediately tries to figure out how the fabric is wrapped and cinched around the body. The viewer is forced to think of the costume as a three-dimensional artifact rather than dismissing it as "meh, another anime princess dress - now take it off and start fucking!" Even if the character's personality and actions are forgettable, even if the voice actor is half-asleep when reading her lines, the "visual puzzle" of the costume will stick in the viewer's mind. That's a praiseworthy achievement for the character designer!

    * I'm not bothered too much by these details, because I only need to trace them once. Similarly, the game CG artists didn't mind drawing a fancy hairstyle a dozen times. But the guys doing the anime clearly hated the design for including so much detail, and they flattened much of it to save time and money.

    The costume is obviously NOT intended to be viewed from the side -- the golden ornament looks great in front and oblique views, but it's unrecognizable when seen edge-on. The side view also omits the most interesting physical detail: the intersection of skin and gold and cloth and leather at the sternum. If the character designer had been planning a 2d side-scroller game, we'd definitely see some interesting details on the edge of the ornament, and probably some extra fabric-cinching details along the hipbones. Note that this "profile view is boring or ugly" problem is not unique; few of the Kantai Collection characters look good from the side. It's also important to note that the character herself (facial features, ears, hairstyle, jewelry) does work well in side-view. The creators simply intended for her to get naked before doing anything sideways.

    The immodesty of a costume can be a huge boon to characterization - it can reinforce the character's pride in her appearance, or it can hint at an indifference to human sexuality. In this case, artists and animators can choose postures (and camera positions) in which the fabric tails (or the leather straps) block the camera and provide convenient censorship. The character's action can assist this censorship or resist it. Does the character walk confidently or meekly? Does she swing her hips? Does she cross her legs when seated? The costume and character design can tell us a lot about her personality before she has spoken a single word.

    In SDT, all of these advantages are lost. The side view eliminates strategic-modesty; the player's control over the character prevents her from expressing personality via subtle movements. We're left with an elaborate outfit and an oversized hairstyle - both of which are distinctive and memorable, but which are also tricky to animate. But again - this isn't an indictment of the designers; nobody asked them to make a character who would be sassy and sexy in a blowjob simulator.

    When I complain about an aspect of the artwork, it's because I'm tired and annoyed. It's not because I mean to disrespect or belittle the work that designers have put into their characters.

    The cost would be subtracted from the potential FPS rather than the 30 FPS cap. I assume that most people have PCs powerful enough to exceed the cap -- if your PC is capable of rendering 55 FPS, and the modded hairstyle chops it down to 45 FPS, then you won't suffer any degradation of your user experience.

    If, however, your PC is already struggling to run the game (~20 FPS) then the poorly-optimized hairstyle would be a significant burden. If this is the case for a majority of the game's user-base, then it would be inappropriate and irresponsible of me to use this technique. But I don't know what kind of hardware people are running (nor whether they're running the game windowed or fullscreen, or how many other performance-harming mods they're using simultaneously, or the "Quality" setting that they've selected in Flash, etc).

    Example: watch the animation sample in this post. This is a conventionally-animated approach (it does not use the contiguous-border technique. The hair is okay during smooth motion, but it carries a lot of momentum. During reversals, two adjacent segments can mutually rotate so much that they "run out" of border and expose a gap. This gap could be fixed with an hour of artwork adjustment and physics fine-tuning, or fixed in five minutes via the aforementioned outline technique.

    [​IMG]

    "Why not make the border longer so that the breach doesn't appear?" That border is on top of the adjacent hair segment. If we make it longer, then it will always be visible, piercing through the curls of hair and looking completely out-of-place. I opted for "occasional visual flaws" rather than "constant visual flaws."

    The particular flaw shown above is somewhat-unique to that hairstyle, because I spaced-out the segments in order to give the impresison of curly hair. The more general principle is: if the animator allows strands to move about according to physics rules, then it's possible for an "internal" strand of hair (which lacks a blacks outline) to "go rogue" and cross through the black outline surrounding the external strands.

    Once the animator notices this problem, there are four things they can do. Heavily contrain the hair and thereby prevent rogue strands (which makes the hair visually boring), ease the physics contraints and then fine-tune every strand to prevent breaches (somewhat skill-intensive; very time-consuming), omit the thick external border (which clashes with the game's art style, makes your design look unfinished, and is hard on the user's eyes), or just say "fuck it" and allow the visual flaws to occur.

    The border technique gives the animator a fifth option: "you can have bouncy physics and clean visuals without spending hours on fine-tuning the layer boundaries. All it takes is a willingness to use an inefficient rendering technique which abuses the user's CPU."

    The technique is very simple:
    • give EVERY hair strand a full-thickness (external) black border
    • draw all of these black borders during each animation frame. Each line will be placed on the appropriate layer -- some of them will be behind the body, some will be above the body, some between the breasts, etc...
      • at this point, the in-game image would look like a creepy wireframe. The viewer doesn't actually see this, though - it's just a mid-step during the frame-rendering process.
    • draw the hair strand contents (color fills, gradients, shadows, highlights, thin internal borders, etc) using the standard Z-order.
      • any superfluous external outlines will simply be "drawn over" during this stage.
        • Exception: if your hair strands are partially transparent then the viewer will see remnants of the superfluous outlines. Therefore, this technique is useful only for opaque hair. I can't recall ever seeing a transparent SDT hairstyle, but it is technically possible.
      • The viewer will see the expected shapes and colours. Wherever two strands intersect, there will be a single thick outline without any gaps.
      • Because we've drawn a lot of superfluous lines during each frame, and forced Flash to deal with a bunch of extra layers, we've wasted resources and harmed the game's performance.

    ---------------

    I'll create side-by-side animation samples for the Celestine hair. Probably the forelock, since it's already traced and it includes an obvious rogue strand.
     
  18. Nigida

    Nigida Casual Client

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    I said it wrong. The creators of the game never had to deal with your thoughts about animation because there is none in the game. It's all still images and the game renders text over that. Most of these games work that way. Also, most of these games use the same stereotype character types over and over. These kind of games depend most on the artists artworks (which is the person who made me like the character design and wanting to see it in SDT), the voice actors and to some extend the writers to make things work. I did not mean to say they didn't put a lot of work into the game. It was just mostly different things to what you have to deal with.

    The game runs fine for me, so maybe you could use the black borders technique on the hair. But I am glad that you'll provide animation samples. Actually seeing the thing in action will make it easier to choose.