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Marvel's Wasp AKA Janet Van Dyne (Modern Comic Version)

Discussion in 'SDT Requests' started by Skeleton15, Aug 27, 2015.

?

I don't know why there's a poll I could not post without one and am not use to the website.

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  1. Skeleton15

    Skeleton15 Potential Patron

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    I was hoping to see if anyone was interested in making it possible to see The Wasp in this game. I know Dante created a version of The Wasp from the Earth's Mightiest Heroes show, but I was hoping someone could perhaps make a version of her from the modern comics.
    [​IMG]
    The costume should have more plates

    Accurate hair images
    [​IMG]
    ^ Best images for hair only. Just keep in mind it should stay a dark auburn color.
    [​IMG]
    Accurate outfit images
    All parts of the suit except for the chest and stomach plates should be a shinny black that should contour to the body. The insides and bottoms of her feet and hands should be a shinny dark yellow as should the chest and stomach plates. Although the chest and stomach parts should be metal plates above the base suit.
    [​IMG]
    ^ Accurate depiction of how the yellow parts of the suit should appear. The little bar things beside her hands should appear.[​IMG][​IMG]
    ^the outsite should remain black

    If someone is interested I would also appreciate if there was a version of her wings only that would be included with the full costume. The wings appear differently throughout the images (some they are retracted). If necessary make them the way you like, but remember they should look insect like and be somewhat transparent. :-*

    Accurate wing picture
    eh good enough
    [​IMG]
    View image: Janet Van Dyne The Wasp2

    [​IMG]
    ^ best picture for wings
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2015
  2. stuntcock

    stuntcock Club Regular Staff Member Moderator

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    Re: Marvel's Wasp AKA Janet Van Dyne (Modern Comic Version) A please?

    Please read the rules. Specifically:
    • polls are not appropriate for Request threads
      • this rule exists because polls are usually created as a stupid gimmick, rather than to seek actual input from the forum
      • if people want to express their interest and support then they can click the "Like" button. If they don't care then they'll leave the thread. A poll is superfluous.
    • Reference Images must show a side view of the requested element
      • since you're requesting the hair and costume, you can use multiple images. Maybe one image shows a clean side view of the head and hair (but with a messed-up torso) while another shows the torso and wings, and a third image for a side view of the boots.
      • frontal and oblique views can provide context (they're not bad and there's no need to remove them), but the side views are mandatory
    • dialog requests don't belong here

    Additional suggestions:
    • please try to find higher-resolution images
      • these ones are a bit small
    • please try to keep your images consistent
      • for example: the shape of the wings varies significantly (structure, lobe count). They also appear in different colors, and sometimes they're absent completely.
      • the costume also shifts from glossy black to a matte dark blue.
      • the yellow ventral pattern seems to be cloth (or paint) in some images - a mere highlight on the bodysuit, which conforms to the musculature beneath it. In other images, it seems to be rigid metal (e.g. armor plates?) which overlies the bodysuit and does not conform to the body.
      • if your images must be inconsistent, then please make an effort to explain the inconsistencies or at least identify which version is correct (e.g. "this image shows the proper wings, but the costume is wrong so you can ignore that part")

    Fairly easy if you can get the reference images. Preferably a character sheet or something similar, so that we can see independent views of the right and left wings. If both sets of wings are shown in side view, then the transparency/overlap will make them harder to trace cleanly. If the wings are splayed out to the sides, then a rear view of the character could also work. Clean backgrounds are important, because it's going to be very tricky to trace the wings if the background is very noisy. If you can find a flying/leaping image with a blue-sky background then that could work.

    Of course, we can add complexity once we have the vector graphics, so that the wings are more "active" or "involved" in gameplay:
    • the basic version would be static - the wings would be rigidly attached to her costume and would remain perfectly aligned w/r/t her spine at all times
    • the first refinement would be to add inertial animation. The wings would lag slightly behind her movement, appearing to bob or flutter slightly (but only while the character is moving). Example
    • beyond that, we could add an idle animation so that the wings would beat slightly even when the girl is at rest

    Note: the hair and costume don't interest me (the hair's too short for physics, and the costume is skin-tight without any interesting embellishments) so you'll need to find someone else to work on those. I'm willing to create the wing mod if you can deliver the necessary reference images. If you agree to trace them then I'll take a shot at the fully-animated version.
     
  3. Skeleton15

    Skeleton15 Potential Patron

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    Re: Marvel's Wasp AKA Janet Van Dyne (Modern Comic Version) A please?

    I appreciate the suggestions and have altered the post to be much more descriptive sorry that I was being contradictory. Clearly I do not post on the forums that often and I tried to give the best depiction of The Wasp. Also I have no idea why I have a poll I tried to get rid of it but it would not post with out it, so I tried to give it a purpose but it's still very inconsequential.
    I would greatly appreciate any help on the wings and I've tried to give you more detail about them, but even within the comics I've seen they are contradictory based on what series or year they came out in. I am willing to search for more wing pictures if necessary. Thank you
     
  4. stuntcock

    stuntcock Club Regular Staff Member Moderator

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    Re: Marvel's Wasp AKA Janet Van Dyne (Modern Comic Version) A please?

    More images would not necessarily be useful or productive. I could trace the Yamashita Shunya version right now. The image that you've labeled as the "best picture for wings" is useless to me; it's very small and the background is too noisy.

    So, the path forward is:
    • choose a reference image for the wings
      • this does not need to be the "canonically correct" version for the character. It simply needs to be the version that you think looks the best (and will look good in SDT). It may be a fanart version which is completely different from the comic book depiction of the character.
      • the chosen reference image may be one of the images that you're already linked
      • you can take more time to search for additional images if you're uncertain about the images posted thus far. There's no hurry.
      • reminder: please be sure that you've found the right version before we proceed
        • we can make minor adjustments to size, colour, and transparency at any time; this is standard "fine-tuning" stuff and there's nothing wrong with it. The Flash editing environment differs from SDT, so it's common to adjust things based on in-game testing.
          • for example: we might make the wings the "correct" size w/r/t the girl's body size. But then we find that they're clipping through the lefthand border of the SDT game window, so we shrink them 15% to ensure that they'll fit inside the scene.
          • similarly, the modder might need to remodel (or even omit) the ventral metal plates, because they find it difficult to make the plates work with the breast slider. Alternatively, you might get a costume with the ventral plates intact, but which is fixed to a specific breast size (no slider support).
        • it's also very common to fine-tune animation behaviour, because the first iteration may differ radically from your vision the character (e.g. too slow, too springy, too distracting, etc). Again: this isn't a problem.
        • if you find a completely new reference image when the project is halfway done and ask the modder to "make it look like this" then they'll probably need to do a lot of additional work. This isn't standard behaviour; it's just "asking the modder to compensate for your lack of preparation." Please don't do this.
    • decide what you want to do with the reference image
      • if you want to trace it then I can offer some assistance (e.g. if you're unfamiliar with vector graphics software). When you've finished tracing the lines, I'll setup a Flash mod and animate it.
      • if you want me to trace it then say so. But this costs you goodwill; I'm not going to offer additional support if you ask me to do the busywork.
      • you can also hedge your bets: find an hour of free time and try to trace it yourself. If you succeed, I'll animate it. If you get stuck (or find the work unbearable) then you can give up and delegate the work to me (but then you won't get the animated version).



    I'm not going to do the hair mod, but I will suggest that you find a different reference image. This one is low-resolution (badly pixellated) and its lighting range is lousy (the shadows and highlights are too intense; the overall image is too dark). I suspect that the illustrator started from an actual photograph, mangled the levels in Photoshop to make it look vaguely comic-book-y, and then cropped out the girl's body and drew in the superhero costume. The reflection patterns don't even match!

    If you try to MSPaint the image on top of a SDT screenshot, you'll immediately notice that it looks completely out-of-place:

    [​IMG]

    Take a look at the Reference Shot Guide. If you want the mod to fit into the SDT artstyle then the reference image needs to use a similar palette and lighting intensity. Unless you're going for a photorealistic look, but that doesn't seem to be the case here.
     
  5. Skeleton15

    Skeleton15 Potential Patron

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    Re: Marvel's Wasp AKA Janet Van Dyne (Modern Comic Version) A please?

    Let me just say I appreciate the interest in helping make this mod possible. I wasn't sure that just tracing an image off a picture of the characters and editing it to fit within SDT was the most practical approach considering that most mods are new models and texture created for the soul purpose to use them in this game. I'm not saying that tracing is a bad idea I still think it's very possible, so if you don't think I've provided good pictures for that approach I would say that just getting real life photos of actual insect wings would be a better idea.
    As for the hair pictures those were just meant to be references if someone was interesting in creating a new hair model. I also tried to look for another good side view picture of the hair but I was unable to find a good one that would fit directly into the game.
    I could help get the wings in the right dimensions to be imported in the game if necessary, but keep in mind I don't know much outside of Adobe Photoshop. So that's all I got for now once again thank you for the help.
     
  6. stuntcock

    stuntcock Club Regular Staff Member Moderator

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    Re: Marvel's Wasp AKA Janet Van Dyne (Modern Comic Version) A please?

    You're mistaken about the modding workflow, and you've misunderstood the phrase "reference image." It's not simply a general concept image which the modder will glance at while he draws onto a blank canvas.

    The modder will usually trace the image as-is, working on multiple layers so that he can match the fill colors and line weights. He can then import the traced vectors into Flash and reshape them so that they fit onto the SDT girl's skeleton. He may also make changes to fit gameplay (e.g. shortening a ponytail so that it's less likely to clip through her skin, or twisting the bangs so that the girl's eye remains visible). Skintight clothes are a special case -- these are usually drawn directly onto the template because tracing would be a waste of time.

    It's true that we have a few talented artists (such as Dante) who can and do draw new images based on imperfect references (e.g. photographs, frontal views, vague memories of TV shows that they've seen, etc). But these guys have their own projects to worry about, and they tend to be very busy. There is a larger set of modders who do not create original drawings, but who are nonetheless capable of vector-tracing a side-view reference image and then packaging the result into a SDT mod.

    It behooves you to provide reference images which conform to the expected format and art style, because doing so gives you access to a larger pool of people who may be willing to work on your request. In fact, the rules require you to provide reference images in this format.

    No; I refuse to trace any photographs.

    The whole purpose of a Request thread is to deliver a reasonably-accurate depiction of a particular character, so that fans of that character will be happy.

    If I trace a random insect wing and strap it onto the girl's back, then it might turn out to be the wrong wing. This girl has been drawn with many different wing shapes: odonatan, hemipteran, hymenopteran, and even some vaguely avian designs (presumably by illustrators who don't give a shit). The luminosity also varies (matte VS translucent VS lustrous VS glowing) as does the coloration. If I select a random combination of shape and color, then fans of the character will probably find it inaccurate. Hence - they won't bother actually using the mod, and I'll have spent a bunch of time on it for no reason.

    All of this hassle and confusion can be avoided if you will simply find and post an actual reference image which shows the stuff that you want to see in-game! Note: this one doesn't count because it's too small and the background is a mess.

    Please try harder. Your reference image does not need to fit directly into the game; we can fiddle with the lighting and color balance in order to blend it in. I criticized your proposed image because of its technical characteristics - the dynamic range is poor and it shows heavy aliasing (due to lossy compression).

    If you can find another similar image then we can try to "enhance" it in Photoshop so that it fits the SDT artstyle. Heck - a high-resolution scan of the first image might even work (its main problem was the godawful compression, rather than any inherent flaw in its composition).

    Alternatively: the art style of the Future Fight game would fit nicely into SDT. We would just need a screenshot (and/or promotional image) at a reasonable resolution, which shows a side view of the hairstyle. The in-game textures seem to be a bit grainy, but we can deal with that during vector tracing.

    Alternatively (2): if you feel that the first hair image (with Capt America et al) is usable, then you're welcome to launch Photoshop and adapt the image onto the hair template. The result will be a PNG file which you can load into SDT as a hairstyle.

    Photoshop handles raster graphics. This project requires vector graphics (the costume and wings must be vectors; the hairstyle can be done with either rasters or vectors). Many of the tools are similar (e.g. brush strokes and paint buckets, layers and fills) but you'll need to install new software. I'm willing to help you, if you're willing to learn.
     
  7. Skeleton15

    Skeleton15 Potential Patron

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    Re: Marvel's Wasp AKA Janet Van Dyne (Modern Comic Version) A please?

    It's clear to me now that I was mistaken about the SDT modder's process I apologize and have provided better hair images that I believe should fit better into SDT either of which would work.

    Also I wanted to know if you're still interested in your proposed animated wing mod. I realize that The Wasp's wings have been represented differently. In some insistence's she has been shown with 4 wings instead of 2 and will change from a yellow-translucent to a clear transparent wing type. Although they do still seem to resemble a large clean version of an actual wasp's wing. So I think anything close to something like that would be accurate and please fans.

    I'm not really interested in learning new software unfortunately, because I don't know how long it would take to learn or if it's worth for this one thing.

    Like I said I'm still willing to provide further images.
     
  8. stuntcock

    stuntcock Club Regular Staff Member Moderator

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    Re: Marvel's Wasp AKA Janet Van Dyne (Modern Comic Version) A please?

    Yes I am, but it probably isn't going to happen. I've stated that I am willing to animate the wings only if someone else (i.e. you) provided the vector artwork. This was a test of your commitment to the Request.

    When faced with the unpleasant-but-necessary task of vector tracing, people will often show reluctance: they'll tell me that they don't know how, or that they don't think they're capable, or that they don't have the time. Sometimes they'll get frustrated with the Inkscape GUI, or be disappointed with the poor quality of their initial work. These are "soft failures" -- I offer guidance and ask them to try again.

    In many cases, the vector files that they deliver are messy or incomplete and so I need to retrace major sections of the reference image. That's okay; it's still a "success" outcome. The vectors can now be imported into Flash and rigged onto the SDT template. I'm now convinced that the guy will stick around to assist with feedback/testing (since he has "skin in the game"). The SDTMods forum now has one more member with vector graphics experience (and there's a chance that he'll continue to refine his skills and eventually begin creating mods independently). A few days/weeks from now, the project will be finished and SDT users will see a download link for a new SWF file. Everybody wins!

    Occasionally, people will try to cleverly avoid the tracing task. They'll use auto-tracing software, or export vectors from existing SDT mods, or offer to pay others to do the tracing work on their behalf. These are "hard failures". The purpose of the test is to gauge your level of commitment, not your ability to deliver SVGs. Rigging and animating a complex design in SDT requires many hours of careful work; I'm hesitant to do so if I suspect that the client doesn't really give a shit (and might walk away at any moment).

    You've indicated that you're not willing to learn, which makes me very reluctant to proceed.

    Note: this is a personal policy of mine. It isn't a website rule. You're under no obligation to follow my arbitrary rules, and you're in no danger of being reprimanded for rejecting my silly ultimatum. It's entirely possible that another modder might appear tomorrow and offer to work on your Request without any preconditions (presumably because he's less bitter than I am ... or maybe he just loves the Wasp character :) ).



    It may be crass, but I tend to approach Request threads in terms of ROI. I try to balance my time investment VS my satisfaction, and also VS the positive externalities for the forum.
    • how much of the work that I do on this project can be reused on future projects (e.g. by extending the physics library)?
      • 20-30%
      • the basic technique for wing-flapping can be applied to many other types of objects (such as cat tails, pennants, wind-blown capes, tentacles, etc). It's useful wherever we seek to blend static animation loops with scene-based physics
    • what's the likelihood that the Request "client" will collaborate on future projects, or learn enough during the project to begin making his own mods?
      • <10%
      • you don't seem to be interested in learning about the modding process or developing any of the relevant skills
    • if I focus on a few esoteric tasks (e.g. hair physics or wing animation) then what's the likelihood that the overall modding project will produce a complete SDT character (hairstyle, accessories, costume, charcode, background images, dialog)?
      • ~30%
      • this thread has zero Likes or endorsements. The character may simply be unknown or unpopular
      • the thread hasn't attracted interest from other modders. I suspect that I'd probably need to do all of the work myself



    I could still create static wings, but they're decidedly inferior. They're less fun as a modding task, and less visually interesting as a gameplay asset (they suggest that "this is a girl wearing a cosplay outfit which includes goofy strap-on wings" instead of "this is Janet van Dyne"). It's currently a moot point, since we still don't have a reference image for the wings. It would also be a bit silly to create wings if the costume and hairstyle don't get created, since the wings are much less important for characterization (viz. the wings are absent in many of the reference images).

    The bodysuit itself must be made in Flash -- exporting the templates to Inkscape would be a waste of time. The suit is mostly just [black fill] + [shading] drawn on top of the bodypart shapes, and we can probably borrow much of the shading from existing costumes (or use the SDT default skin-glare patterns, if we're lazy). The only real creative/artistic work will occur when setting up perspective for the gloves, boots, and collar. However, the armor plates will need some clever technical work (rigging) if the costume is going to support breast slider adjustments. Even if we opt for a fixed breast size, we'd still need some moderately-clever rigging if we want the plates to move properly when the girl breathes.

    The hairstyle can be created using any combination of Photoshop, Inkscape, and Flash. The hair isn't long enough (or spiky enough) to animate, so the artwork need not include any special layers or transparencies. A vector-based approach could deliver slightly higher fidelity, but a PNG file would be the best option for someone who has experience with raster drawing software.



    I had hoped that focusing on the wings would give you the opportunity to show initiative and tackle some of the preparatory tasks (requirements, reference images, charcode, tracing, etc) while giving me an opportunity to do some physics work about which I've been procrastinating.

    When the wing vectors were completed, you could shift to the hairstyle (either tracing one of the reference images, or just creating a PNG hairstyle in Photoshop) while I fine-tuned the wing animation parameters based on your feedback.

    If you showed commitment to the project, and no other modders volunteered, then I would eventually tackle the bodysuit -- just for the sake of completing the project.

    If you'd like to pursue this scenario then let me know. If not, I'd suggest that you clean up the first post a bit (e.g. use Spoiler tags to separate the Hair reference images from the Suit reference images, upload your files to a stable imagehost, etc) and wait for someone else to volunteer.



    I'm withdrawing from it. We've suffered some communication problems in this thread and we're not making any progress. So I've decided to go fix some bugs in my existing physics mods, and then focus on a new collaborative project.
     
  9. Skeleton15

    Skeleton15 Potential Patron

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    Re: Marvel's Wasp AKA Janet Van Dyne (Modern Comic Version) A please?


    I would not say that I am unwilling to learn, but I suppose I need to know exactly what I'm getting in to before I begin work with vector graphics and new software. With that said I am interested and would like to know if their is more information or tutorials you could show me first so I know how complex the process is. Although I have to question if it's actually efficient allowing me to learn new skills when someone like yourself with experience and knowledge of the process could likely accomplish the same goal in a muck shorter period. It's not as if I started this request to learn how to help create mods myself, but I am still willing to contribute to this mod of coarse and If you think I should do it then I'll try just I can't promise I'll get it right the first time around though.

    Unfortunately the character is a somewhat leaser know member of The Avengers, but that could very well change in the next few years seeing as how a version of the character is slatted to make a full appearance in the upcoming Marvel movies.
    [​IMG]
    I could probably find a fitting background, but I'm not sure that a new dialogue is necessary (despite my low key suggestion) because many of the more complex dialogues are vague enough to be applied here if the player found them appropriate. And I don't think the hair needs to animated at all considering how short it is.

    I am still confused were if anywhere we stand on the wing project. Because for a project like this I honestly do not know where to start should I provide a picture like the hair images from the side to be looked at while making the texture, or would I choose fitting/accurate images of the wings and create a new texture all by itself. This is just something I'm curious about.