1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Ken Marinaris - Zone of The Enders: 2nd Runner

Discussion in 'SDT Requests' started by slimJay, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. slimJay

    slimJay Potential Patron

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2015
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    This would be a Good One. Not sure if this is the right Forum though.

    There are some References attached.
     
  2. stuntcock

    stuntcock Club Regular Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,521
    Likes Received:
    353
    This is the right board, but you're supposed to read the Rules before posting.
    • your reference images are frontal, which isn't useful for modders
    • your third image is just a cropped version of your first image
    • you're supposed to link your references images (offsite hosting) rather than attach them
    • you haven't specified what you actually want: static PNG hair, dynamic hair, charcode, costume, etc
    • your reference images are inconsistent - the hair in the second image is much shorter and darker
      • when you find better reference images (which you must do if you want this Request to go anywhere) please be sure to sort out any disagreements.
      • Example: "Image 1 image shows the correct shape for the hair strands, but I want you to use the colour pattern from Image 2."
    • finally - it doesn't hurt to explain why you think this character should be added to the game.
      • As far as I can tell, she's a supporting character from a ten-year-old video game. The game has had many sequels, but she wasn't popular enough to merit another appearance.
      • This is the first request I've seen for Zone of the Enders stuff, which suggests that the game series may not have much of a fanbase within the SDT forum.
      • The costume isn't especially original, and its visual details are mostly on the front (so they'd necessarily be obscured in the side-view).
      • The hairstyle has poor physicality even in illustrations - it's either very rigid or it has an anti-gravity feature. Either way, it will probably look goofy during gameplay.
      • What am I missing? What's the unique appeal? Why do you think that "this would be a Good One"?
     
  3. Nigida

    Nigida Casual Client

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    3
    I thought about bringing this one up as well and finding references is not easy. Here is what I could find:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    The hairstyle often seems to be quite rigid, but in the end it mostly behaves like any other hair of that length.

    Even though I like the costume it really isn't that special, personally I would be happy just to see a dynamic import with just enough movement to not make the hairstyle look awkward. Any hair of that length would look strange without a little swaying movement.

    Why do I want to see her ingame? I like her character, I like her hairstlye and I want to fap to it. Is there anything else needed?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2015
  4. slimJay

    slimJay Potential Patron

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2015
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    I Agree with Nigida.... I like the character....and the Game overall. In any case i would love to get a .swf file for this character. However if that is not possible right away i would settle for a .png hair image for the time being.

    Hopefully interest in the character grows and someone decides to create a complete .swf file.

    Considering that Nigida provided some more references...and i have concurred with his reasoning as to why i want to see the character as well as indicated the type of image/file, is there anything further?

    (Bare with me...it is my first OFFICIAL request post.)
     
  5. stuntcock

    stuntcock Club Regular Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,521
    Likes Received:
    353
    You're familiar with the character. The modder who volunteers for the project might not be - they may not have played the game(s). You're asking for a fully-animated hairstyle and costume. So it's up to you to either provide extensive references (including video if possible) OR explain how the hair and costume ought to behave in-game.

    For example - the bodysuit/flightsuit. Is it ornamental or functional? Breasts in SDT have two movement modes - constrained (implying the presence of a bra) and unconstrained (implying nudity or loose/light clothing). Which option would be appropriate here? Do you want bouncy boobs for maximum sexiness, or suppressed jiggle because the character is a no-nonsense combat pilot? If you opt for bounciness, then how do you want to deal with the (apparently rigid) harness/collar/backpack piece? If it remains rigid then the breasts may clip through it; if it bounces then it may look wrong during gameplay (and/or offend fans because it's inauthentic). Similarly - does the front of the harness stretch as the character breathes, or is it completely rigid (e.g. armor)? In the latter case, the modder would need to drag it slightly outwards so that it can accommodate the fully-expanded ribcage.

    Breast scaling is a complication. The costume includes rigid (or semi-rigid) elements which wrap under the breasts. What happens when the player slides the breasts to maximum size? Do we just keep the harness in its default shape (forcing the giant breasts to clip through it) and advise players to stick with a reasonable breast size? Alternatively, we could try to draw the "wrapping" pieces on the breast layer (so that they can be scaled to fit larger breasts) ... but then the "rigid" elements will also move around a lot during gameplay (breathing, linear bounce, jiggle, etc) which may look silly.

    The hair requires some design decisions (or "creative input"). It seems to be canted 10-15° backwards when at rest -- as if it had been thoroughly hairsprayed. We can twist gravity accordingly (so that the hair strands will tends to orient themselves into a "straight line"). Or, we can retain the default scene gravity but add rigidity to the hairstyle (so that each strand will form a straight diagonal line as it moves away from her scalp, but the hairtips will curve downwards towards the floor). The latter option would probably yield more believable animation, but it would introduce a dependency on the Loader -- the project would no longer be a vanilla import.

    There's a question of composition and layers. Would you want the modder to implement the costume as separate overlapping pieces so that you could present the character in various stages of undress (or mix-and-match it with costume elements from other mods, or just remove the armor/harness if it causes too much clipping in HJ scenes)? Separation and layering is possible, but it demands additional work from the modder. If you don't mention it, and the modder implements the costume as a single piece, then it would be difficult to backfill the missing details. To avoid disappointment (for you) and wasted effort (for modders) it's best to clear about your expectations and goals. Don't just ask for something simple but inadequate, with the expectation that it can be expanded/upgraded later. That's a dick move because it shows disrespect for the modder's contribution.

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

    These may seem like arcane technical questions (some of them definitely are) but you don't need to give technical answers. Your job is to explain what you know about the character or what you expect from the mod so that modders can deliver something suitable. If you want to get fancy, then you can even take screenshots of SDT (e.g. using normal breasts and giant breasts) and then sketch a mockup of how the costume might fit. Or you can find an existing SDT costume which handles breast scaling well, and recommend that the modder copy the techniques used in that particular costume. Similarly, you could use animtools to put the character into unusual positions (e.g. upside down) and then sketch some rough lines showing how the hair ought to fall in such positions.

    Nigida's reference images provide 3-4 different colour schemes and hair lengths. You can leave this to the modder's discretion, but then you might be disappointed with the result. If you have a preference, say so.

    One last question - are you willing to trace the vectors? Doing so shows initiative, makes the project more attractive to modders, and gives you an introduction to some of the tools and techniques that you'll need (if you ever decide to make mods of your own). It isn't mandatory, but it's an option to consider. Especially if the Request thread goes silent and you're worried that it will never get fulfilled.


    I was hoping that the answer might be something like "this is the standard flightsuit for female pilots in Zone of the Enders. If we do a good job on it (and make it RGB-shiftable) then we can add three or four additional characters to the roster as soon as we can draw their hairstyles."
     
  6. slimJay

    slimJay Potential Patron

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2015
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Obviously this is far more technical than i thought. I do however appreciate you taking the time to run through the basics...(and NOT SO Basics) associated with creating hair, costumes, physics and the like. Others would probably just say F**k off...an be done with it, so that much i am grateful for.

    I am willing to spend the time with this so that, as you said, it shows interest on my part and creates interest on the part of any potential modders out there.

    1. Unconstrained and bouncy Breasts would be preferred, but the suit, in actuality may prevent that. Here is a reference video seen in-game:http://youtu.be/tcHm63Vc5nk. I personally don't like when the size is increased and it pushed through the clothing, so that is a no. Breasts should preferably grow with clothing.

    2.Unfortunately i cant speak much to the hair as i am not a modder myself. As stated i would be willing to trace the vectors (even though i have NO idea what exactly that means). If i can learn how to or be pointed in the right direction to learn, i would be willing to. The hair for the most part would keep the color seen in most of the side views (dark orange). Preferably, i would also want the hair to be dynamic and not so much 'stiff' or look fake.

    3. The costume would be a stretch (i think) based on what was said. Initially i would be happy with just the hair as a start and follow up on this thread if interest grows. As time passes i will definitely throw in more references for this character and for future characters.

    All in all i am glad to have gotten a response to this request. If anything there is little (if any at all) interest in this character and i would like to see it through as far as it goes.

    More references:

    https://data.archive.moe/board/m/image/1238/28/1238280034384.jpg

    http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/zoe/images/0/03/Ken_Marinaris.png/revision/latest?cb=20140324012612

    http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100918002509/zoe/images/3/3a/Ken7d73620.jpg

    http://fc08.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2012/079/d/0/ken_marinaris_by_ryoimaru-d4tcki5.jpg

    http://dzt1km7tv28ex.cloudfront.net/u/416181078772940800_35s_d.jpg

    http://th08.deviantart.net/fs71/PRE/f/2014/047/5/a/ken_marinaris_gagged_by_dodonape-d76s8u4.png
     
  7. Nigida

    Nigida Casual Client

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    3
    Nah, all the (semi) important characters wear special suits, but it would have been nice if we had a kind of standard uniform style to work with, yes. I don't want the suit anyway, but it's not my request.

    By the way, any progress with Celestine?
     
  8. stuntcock

    stuntcock Club Regular Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,521
    Likes Received:
    353
    What you've done here is restate the question. What we need is a decision. If the source material doesn't provide a clear yes/no, then you'll have to make a judgment call based on your understanding of the character.

    Modding work is sometimes tedious. When the "customer" can't make a clear decision, it's discouraging: "I'm spending hours of my leisure time to do boring work for some stranger on the internet... and I may need to throw it away and redo it two days from now because he changed his mind." It's fine to indicate that you don't understand a technical description or animation technique. But if you're asked to make a decision (e.g. colour, size, etc) or to offer feedback, then please do so.

    This isn't useful. If a modder asks you a question, they're probably asking permission to sacrifice something (e.g. visual quality, authenticity to the original character design, runtime performance, timeline). For example: "the belt won't animate properly; can we discard it?" "the hair is clipping through the torso - can we shorten it by 30%?" "the hair animation is too stiff - can we double the segment count?"

    However, they may not say so directly - either because they think that the dilemma is obvious, or because they're reluctant to admit that their skills are not good enough to achieve the goal without making a sacrifice. Therefore, if you see a question that seems to have a very simple answer (e.g. "High-quality hair is better than low-quality hair!") then you should re-read it more carefully.

    In this case, I was asking "can we sacrifice compatibility in order to improve the quality of the hair animation?" If the word "Loader" is unfamiliar to you then you can look it up (or ask about it).

    Also - your answer seems to suggest that you don't actually want a PNG hair. If that's the case, please say so explicitly.

    Any modder can deliver a bodysuit which will grow/shrink to match the breasts; that part is straightforward. The question referred to the overlying harness/collar/backpack piece, because it seems to be rigid. Fitting it to the breasts will require advanced modding and/or animation techniques; the complexity of the task depends on the desired shape and animation behaviour.

    [​IMG]
    Rough mockup. The harness in the first image is fitted to normal-sized breasts. The second image shows the entire collar enlarged to fit giant breasts. The third image reverts to the previous harness size, but stretches the lower "limb" of the harness so that it fits under the giant breast.

    Two key questions:
    • when the user moves the breast slider back and forth, how much of the harness should change shape?
      • the harness should not change shape. If the player chooses oversized breasts then the bodysuit will stretch to fit them, but the lower limb of the harness will clip through them
      • the lower limb of the harness should be stretched and rotated to fit underneath the breast, but the shoulder/collar section should remain rigid. There may be a visible "seam" where the stretchy lower limb attaches to the rigid portion of the harness
      • the entire harness should grow/shrink so that its limbs fit over and under the breast, without creating any major seams
    • during normal gameplay (e.g. breast jiggle due to character motion), how much of the harness should change shape?
      • the harness should not change shape; the breasts may clip through it during violent bouncing
        • note: if you choose this option, then you might also want to use the "constrained" breast behaviour so that clipping will be less frequent and less drastic
      • the lower limb of the harness should be "glued" to the underside of the breast and should move in accord with it. The upper limb should remain rigid; the breasts may clip through it during violent bouncing
      • the entire harness should deform elastically. The backpack and collar should be mostly anchored in-place, while the ribcage and collarbone sections should move/stretch a bit, and the limbs should move/stretch a lot.

    Most objects in SDT are drawn using vectors rather than rasters (PNG hairs are the notable exception). Vectors are prefered because they can be stretched and deformed according to gameplay requirements (e.g. the girl's abdomen during heavy breathing) without loss of quality.

    If you were to trace a side-view of Ken Marinaris' costume, then an SDT modder could adapt it to fit on the SDT body. For example: her body design is extremely narrow-waisted and long-legged; those parts would need to be made more realistic. The same idea applies to the hair - if you trace the strands then an SDT modder could fit the hairstyle onto the scalp and animate it. There are several advantages:
    • you're in control of the artwork, so you can choose the shades which you find most authentic or appealing. And we avoid any farcical conversations about colour choices.
    • incomplete or inconsistent Reference images are not a problem. Since you're familiar with the character, you can simply draw in the details (in whatever way makes sense to you).
    • since you've done the (tedious) initial work, the project is more attractive to SDT modders. They can jump in and immediately begin rigging, animating, adding RGB slider support, etc...
     
  9. slimJay

    slimJay Potential Patron

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2015
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    I check this page everyday so as to not fall back or have anybody lose interest.

    Answers to key Questions:
    1.
    Answer 1: the lower limb of the harness should be stretched and rotated to fit underneath the breast, but the shoulder/collar section should remain rigid.

    2.
    Answer 2: the lower limb of the harness should be "glued" to the underside of the breast and should move in accord with it. The upper limb should remain rigid; the breasts may clip through it during violent bouncing

    For any lingering questions, querries or concerns that i got from this most recent feedback:

    1. YES. I do indeed want a .png hair file separate and apart from any file with the costume. Initially i stated that THIS was the priority due to the time and effort taken to create the uniform/costume. Now it seems however that there IS indeed interest in creating a full costume (and from my perspective i am making a request. Nothing is certain).

    2. YES. Unconstrained Bouncy Breasts.

    3. YES. Compatibility can be sacrificed IF it has to be or if it is the WISE choice.

    Please feel free to ask any further questions so as to clear up ANY doubts or address any old/new concerns. I hope this feedback on my part was helpful (nice mock-up by the way...really helped with answering the Key Questions).

    As soon as possible i will begin learning about tracing vectors so that i can provide reference on my part for the costume.

    Like i said.....im here everyday.
     
  10. stuntcock

    stuntcock Club Regular Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,521
    Likes Received:
    353
    The usual process is:
    [list type=decimal]
    [*]We obtain a source image for the hairstyle. This may be a piece of fanart, or a screencap, or concept art, etc... OR it may be a static PNG hair file (which someone wants to "upgrade" into a dynamic hairstyle).
    [*]Somebody traces the source image into a collection of paths and fills.
    • If the source image is very clean, then an it may be possible to use an auto-vectorizing algorithm instead of tracing the vectors by hand. If the ultimate goal is to animate the hairstyle then hand-tracing is prefered (because auto-tracing tends to be "messy" - which adds workload for the animator, and which degrades the runtime performance).

    [*]The modder imports the vectorized hairstyle into Flash and fits it onto the SDT head.
    • At this point, the modder can release a static SWF. It won't be animated, but it will have high visual quality (no pixellation!), a small filesize, and better runtime performance than the dynamic version. It will also avoid any compatibility problems or file-dependencies which may accompany the final SWF.
    [*]The modder slices the hair into strands, and then slices the strands into segments.
    [*]The modder applies physics parameters and fine-tunes them through testing (and feedback from any users who are interested in the project).
    [*]The modder releases the dynamic hair SWF.
    [/list]

    The key idea here is that a PNG file is not really a "stepping stone" towards the completed dynamic hair SWF. It's a great starting point but only if it already exists. The dynamic SWF must include a complete drawing of each hair strand -- even parts of the strand which are usually hidden behind neighbouring strands (or strands which pass behind the girl's costume, or strands which are concealed by her hat, etc). During gameplay, it's possible for the dynamic hair to briefly "fan out" or bounce out of place - and thus the hidden parts of the hair will be revealed.

    The PNG file cannot capture all of these details; it's limited to three layers and it typically uses only two of them. Hence, when adapting a PNG file into a dynamic SWF, the animator actually needs to draw all of this overlapping/hidden artwork (which demands additional time and effort). It's possible that the PNG's source file (such as a PSD) may include a full set of layers, but it's still a raster image (and hence each layer must be traced before it can be used in Flash). If anyone's going to spend time drawing stuff, then it's much more productive if we get them to draw (or trace) vectors and just skip the PNG stage entirely.

    Example: here's a PNG hair file. Here's what it looked like after many hours tracing vectors, separating it into layers, and interpolating the missing details.

    If you intend to trace the hair vectors from a reference image, then there's no reason to ask for a PNG hair file. You've already indicated that you don't want the hair to be stiff or fake-looking, so I don't understand why you'd want a PNG OR a static SWF -- both of those options are completely rigid.
     
  11. slimJay

    slimJay Potential Patron

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2015
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was of the impression that creating a .png was helpful in reaching a full .swf file...but it would appear that i was mistaken.

    As stated i AM still willing to trace the vectors and based on what you have said skipping the png seems like the best option so let us do that.