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Ninja Slayer - Nancy Lee

Discussion in 'Filled Requests' started by TheSoiledDakimakura, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. TheSoiledDakimakura

    TheSoiledDakimakura Potential Patron

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    If anyone can make a hair and suit for Nancy Lee from Ninja Slayer, my dreams would come true.
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    Sorry if this is the best that I can give you. The anime is stylized like a cheap flash movie and the scenes that Nancy are animated in are all frontal views.
    Example:
    [HorribleSubs] Ninja Slayer - 07 [1080p].mkv_snapshot_06.10_[2016.01.06_10.55.34].jpg
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    I can understand if this request cant be filled due to low reference shots, but it was worth a shot.
     
  2. stuntcock

    stuntcock Club Regular Staff Member Moderator

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    The hair is probably do-able; there's at least one high-resolution fanart image available. If you're willing to trace it then I can attempt to animate it. It's your call whether to include the bluish highlights - I can't tell whether they're actual "streaks" in the hair or a mere stylistic effect (localized chromatic aberration?).

    The suit is tougher because:
    • design
      • the suit is cut away near the hips to reveal skin, but this detail would be scarcely visible in side view. The leggings would mostly conceal the crotch of the garment; it would look like pants worn over a bodysuit.
    • reflection/shading
      • we could easily copy/paste generic SDT shading and glare patterns onto it, but this would make it look like a regular black bodysuit. It wouldn't show the blue-grey shading of the reference images, which means that it wouldn't authentically recreate the art style of the source material.
        • if the hairstyle is authentic to the original design, then it would look out-of-place against the costume.
      • if you want true-to-reference lighthing and shading effects, then you'll need to find either a talented artist or a kneeling reference image. Many SDT modders aren't actual artists. We can trace stuff, but we struggle to fill in hidden details (or make creative edits).
    • fitting
      • the leggings are attached to the belt. When the girl bends at the hips, either the leggings or the belt (or both) must stretch so that they can remain connected. The mod would need to include physics features.
      • the reference images show a somewhat "natural" breast shape. By constrast, the SDT girl's breasts show a comic-book shape -- implausibly large, high, round, and perky. You'd need to either fit the costume onto SDT breasts (which deviates from the original design) or design the costume for a natural breast shape (which means losing slider support and animation fidelity).
     
  3. 4dascience

    4dascience Potential Patron

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    I'd be up for trying the hair.
    Hey Stunt, when you mean "trace it", what do you mean exactly? Just do everything like I normally would?

    PS: I think I finally have something I'd like to try animating, if we don't do this one.
     
  4. stuntcock

    stuntcock Club Regular Staff Member Moderator

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    Not exactly. The idea is to deliver a "bloated" work-in-progress instead of a finished product.


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    When tracing a hairstyle for animation purposes, it's necessary to include superfluous elements. You must deliberately spend time drawing stuff which will rarely be visible (because it's occulted by the girl's face, or her body, or other strands of her hair).

    You're already familiar with the idea of multiple layers (for the PNG template) with occasional overlap among hair elements on different layers. Extend that idea. Imagine that each strand is drawn separately, so that it's possible for them all to swing around without leaving any "holes" in the hair (through which bare scalp might become visible). There will be an absurd amount of overlap.

    At any moment, 40-60% of your work will be hidden. Because you've drawn more hair than is actually necessary, the project involves more time+effort. Because Flash is drawing a lot of hidden sprites, the hairstyle will hurt the game's FPS more than usual. That's the "price" of a high-detail dynamic hairstyle.

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    We don't expect novice users to deliver on all of that. Instead, the novice is asked to simply trace the reference image carefully, and to maintain separate layers whenever possible. The veteran modder would then fit/stretch the vectors to fit the SDT head, "draw in" the missing/hidden details, assign each hair element to an appropriate layer (e.g. above the ear, below the shoulder), and then tackle any animation work.

    In this particular case, I would leave most of the hairstyle static. I would seek to animate only the two sidelocks and the half-ponytail.

    Go ahead and post it in your thread and I'll take a look. There's no harm in proposing another project. If one project is more promising than another then we could prioritize it. If @TheSoiledDakimakura is willing to work on this hairstyle, then you could pursue your two projects in parallel.
     
  5. 4dascience

    4dascience Potential Patron

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    Ehh, I'll wait for mine. I kinda like Nancy, so I'm cool with working on this.

    Wish I'd waited though. Kinda made it halfway if it were a static image one . . .

    I'll finish it anyways just in case, but lemme know what I'd need to do to get fully started on this. Swap over to Illustrator?

    PS: That example you used wouldn't happen to be Minorin, would it . . ?
     
  6. stuntcock

    stuntcock Club Regular Staff Member Moderator

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    Illustrator would work, if you already have a copy and know how to use it.

    Otherwise I'd suggest Inkscape. It's less powerful than Illustrator but it's free.
    Shirayuki (from Akagami no Shirayuki). I had initially planned to animate that one, but the requester didn't want to trace it. So I just half-assedly traced it myself (without the extra work needed for overlap) and fit it onto the Flash template.

    The result is a "static" SWF file. It's sufficient for short hairstyles, but a long hairstyle (like Nancy Lee) looks weird if the ponytail remains perfectly rigid.
     
  7. 4dascience

    4dascience Potential Patron

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    Had this done last night. What do you guys think? I think it came out nicely, and rather easily, might I add. I think I also found a better brush configuration, so I'll eventually get around redoing everything's linework with that.

    Haven't figured out how to post character codes, but otherwise I'd do that too.
     

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  8. stuntcock

    stuntcock Club Regular Staff Member Moderator

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    • matches the original shading style nicely, and still looks reasonable in SDT
    • good fitting on the SDT head template
      • ear, neck, and forehead proportions look good
    • hair outline is slightly thicker and softer than the facial outline of the SDT girl
      • could be fixed by making the outline slightly thinner
      • alternately: could be fixed by changing the hair lines from black to yellow-brown (as shown in several reference images). A brighter outline would tend to blend in with the blonde hair and appear less prominent.
    • the "half-ponytail rests on the left shoulder" shape isn't amenable to animation
      • anatomical constraints (i.e. making the hair strand wrap around the shoulder properly, even when the neck tilts in different directions) require a lot of work.
      • this shape means that the ponytail is mostly hidden during gameplay. Hence, it's not really worth the effort of animating it, because the result isn't visible.
      • Note: I wouldn't normally criticize a hairstyle for being hard to animate, but you mentioned the possibility of a dynamic Nancy Lee hairstyle upthread.
      • we could still animate the sidelocks, but it might be more useful to start a new animation project from scratch. The Nancy Lee hairstyle is pretty much complete, so we'd need to repeat a bunch of work (e.g. vector-tracing) if we wanted to add animation. I'd also like a build a tutorial around the animation project, so a start-to-finish scope would be preferred.
    We normally just put them inside CODE tags.

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