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Thread: Kain's Lament: Fan Art

  1. #351
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    I realize now this is probably not good, but I've been painting at 1080x1080. Looking around and that's not really a great standard.1024x1024 is 1k, and most people now are at least painting textures in 2k, which is 2048x2048. What this might mean is I might have to up these textures even more, doubling their size. I'm thinking about doing it, while I'm touching these up. I know I can't do 4k, since my system and space issues would cause meltdown, lol.

    I'm painting everything using just the brushes, primarily. I use the regular brushes until I think it's ready enough to go to the next level. I use Photoshop Elements, and they have shaping brushes with granular, or patterned spreads in the wet brushes and even in the default area. I've been using those, and more recently, one of the special effects brushes set to very small for skin and other areas, like leather. Even blood and dirt works this way. For fabrics and such I've found the faux finish brushes work nicely. For Kain's new repaint, his skin needed a special look -- that flaking, golden metallic thing they made in the SR CGI model. The sandstone texturixer is what I added on duplicated layers, then blended and erased slightly where needed, and continued with those granular wet brushes. The craculature and canvas options helped in the same way to help the cape pop beyond the finishing brushes I used originally. You can achieve a lot with these helpful additions. Too much of those generated texturizations, though, and it looks fake and bad, so playing around in levels and heavy blending makes it work. For most metal, I paint just using regular brushes, layers, and working with Vivid Light, or Overlay to make the highlights really pop.

    Most is just painting by hand and craning my neck to the reference photos to make sure everything is either accurate, or has the right feel, then taking it into the game and finding out how wrong it all looks, lol Ugh.

    I might have a solution brewing on that front. If only there's a way to paint on the models outside of the game. I have the ability to grab the models, finally, in some fashion... I have a lot to learn, but maybe this might be the solution to speed things up.

  2. #352
    It all looks great with the 1k textures. It takes extra time to load these new textures. If you double the size, youre also doubling the load time. And if you alter the enviormental textures, youre adding that much more.

    Even if you super hi res just Raz and Kain, it will take away from everything else. They will always look a cut above everything else, and that would take away from the rest of your work, and game imersion.

    Theres nothing wrong with wanting to make it as perfect and as detailed as you can. But keep in mind too, the people who will be enjoying your gorgeous mod. Sometimes I only have time enough to play to the next save. I dont want to waste a lot of that time loading, only to turn it back off in 30 mins.

    Its your project. You make it as kick ass high res as you please. But the longer it takes to load, the less people will have the patience to enjoy its beauty.

    Just my 2 cents. I dont mean anything negative at all, and I hope it didnt come across as such.

  3. #353
    I can imagine it being tough. Though I believe there are LOK fans out there that probably share your talent and vision, or perhaps able to do other things to help. All you have to do is look.
    Regardless you are doing a fantastic job and eagerly await your next piece.

  4. #354
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    Strands, yeah, I've been taking that into account. The files get pretty large.

    However, I might have learned the solution. I'm going to see if using DDS files instead of the bitmaps will make a difference. Converting them decreases their size from 4mb down to 1mb. I believe Texmod compresses the textures already when it converts them into its file. I need to see if this further compresses them, or if it evens out.

    Anyway, it might allow me to do 2k files with Texmod without it taking so long for them to load. I'll have to see.


    The major breakthrough also I have going on is I now have the ability to grab the models and work on them outside of the game. I can texture and see the results instantly, without taking them back into the game and waiting to get a decent angle, then taking snapshots, and back and forth and wasting hours of time. I think I can work now as a real texturer would, lol (or at least closer to).

    This is very encouraging

  5. #355
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    Wow, that's excellent. If it's not inappropriate, could I ask you if you can share what your extraction method is with me? Is it publicly available? Baziel, Shrykull and I have been doing some extensive cartography work with each of the environments in the LoK series of late, and we'd love to be able to create overhead maps of the Defiance levels. A means of taking shots of certain items and objects would also be a plus...
    "A return to Nosgoth is not necessarily always welcome: only the attainment of that final gnosis will satisfy us." – Sam Zucchi

  6. #356
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    Corlagon: With a free roaming camera you can achiev some nice shots, have you tried it yet? sent you a pm.

    Now that´s what I´m talking about, Hylden! really like how you improved your Kain.

  7. #357
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raina Audron View Post
    Corlagon: With a free roaming camera you can achiev some nice shots, have you tried it yet? sent you a pm.
    Corlagon might have replied already, but I've been heavy on the trainers and free-cam for a bit and have been liberally peppering location articles with free-cam shots. Unfortunately, while it's very useful for many image gathering purposes (like capturing the layout of individual rooms) it doesn't quite do what we're looking for in these circumstances. With access to the models you can do things like this: http://img534.imageshack.us/img534/7343/swamp.png
    which are much more useful from a map-making standpoint and an effect which can't really be achieved with the trainers. The ability to do that with Defiance would certainly be useful and might allow Shrykull to produce a few more of these:http://nosgoth.net/Soul_Reaver/map.jpg.

    Must say I'm very impressed with the new Turel and Kain adjustments Hylden, looks great

  8. #358
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    Thanks, Raina and Bazielim

    As for getting the models, there are 2 free programs out there for extracting the models. Each has drawbacks and hurdles to overcome, namely first being able to read the files in something (which will not be free, unless you already have the software needed). Because this will take some time to explain, I'll send you a pm, Corlagon.

  9. #359
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zulgbrtzchllha View Post
    His face is thinner? I have to say that I don't really see it, except maybe in his jaw. And once again, great job, but it's almost a given that you'll do an amazing job by this point.
    It is very slight, though. The jaw proportions, that is. They go slightly more wobbly inward. But nothing worth fretting about. Though, the shadow should be tad more intense around the body lines. However it's a good modification.

  10. #360
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    so how is vorador coming along?
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  11. #361
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    Well, having found out how to work on the models was a revelation. I've been cramming like crazy to learn these programs and get a proper work flow going. I've got the system down, found even more revelations. For instance, yes, converting to .dds file is much smaller. I can make 2k files and upload them as .dds at about 60%, or so, of the size of the slightly bigger than 1k bitmaps I was using. That's huge. Second, I think I've got it where I can delete information from the texture files and save them to the game without painting the pink color in Paint. I can do it properly, now.

    Stuff like that. But getting to work on the textures directly on the models means that I had to go back to scratch and see what was off, which was a lot. Basically, I've had to go back to Kain, but it's going to be worth it. Trust me

  12. #362
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    nice im getting all giddy with anticipation
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  13. #363
    *imagines what Mortanius would be like redone again, shivers with delight*

  14. #364
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    So, it's been a while, eh?

    I've been working hard trying to get everything down in a brand new field for me using these 3D programs. I'm still learning every day, that's for sure. Kain took a long time to get going. I first was just using the program to try and even out things on his existing last version, the latest one you've all seen, but it became increasingly apparent just how off a lot of that detail all is. It was just impossible to compensate for it before with only working in the 2d tiles. I then went about doing a semi-initial underpaint over his form, basically scrapping most everything before and painting him from the ground up. Then, after getting all details of his cracks and such right in that initial paint, I then went in and painted entirely over that, keeping those versions only as a reference. Every nook, every cranny, every little detail in all places -- from his lips, to his eyebrows, to his sunken, darkened eye sockets, his cheek separation, his crown -- it's all redone entirely. I've finally gotten him as close as I think humanly possible on this model to the GlyphX him. I reworked his entire leather chaps, gloves, even the straps, even the underside of his leggings. There is not a spot on him I have not attended to, and most everything was fixable.

    Painting him this way, the details stay accurate, most of the strokes you use remain, with only minimal stretching over the UV triangles -- you just need to watch some seams, as sometimes working from 3D Coat (the program I'm using; it's great) to Photoshop and bringing the projection back shows a mess of what you just painted and you need to do it again (my only major caveat still to deal with at times). However, it's like night and day. What I painted only in the 2d tiled textures would look totally fine there, but would be half-to-fully destroyed in lots of places on the model. You all remember the stretched mess of lines on Kain's shoulder, for instance? It wasn't what I painted, I'll tell you that. I thought there was nothing to be done for it. So very thankful to have the ability to paint on the models.


    Anyway, I'll get to more of the finer comparisons, but first, here's the new Kain, painted fully on the model in 3D Coat and Photoshop:




    (click image to enlarge)


    (click image to enlarge)


    (click image to enlarge)

    Every color of Kain's cracks have been rendered subtly. His skin and those areas, in addition to being more saturated in general about 8 shades of different colors, from light and dark browns, reddish brown, dark gold, olive yellowish green. I've debated on if it needs even more saturation, but I think this is it. Looking from the super saturated SR2 intro colors, to the Gamepro render pic, trying to get that perfect spot that shows up more in intense light and less in others. I've finally been able to apint subtly enough to etch the detail into the skin in look, like the tarnishing, rusted metal, or marbling stone he appeared to be (not one crack is a solid line – it's all made up of fine wrinkling/breaking strokes of the skin). I never was able to get what I wanted to project and I never would be, just working in the 2d textures.


    (click image to enlarge)


    (click image to enlarge)

    How about a comparison shot?

    New:

    (click image to enlarge)

    Previous:


    (click image to enlarge)

    I'll get into all I've deleted using Apha Chanel masks, but you can see the shape of his lips are refined. You might also note the crown has been shortened and rounded a bit, made the shape it was in the GlyphX intros. Defiance's Kain's crown shoots way out in the back section especially. I still can't alter the model, itself, as the game can't be altered, but I can delete texture information using masks – which is what I was doing by happenstance in painting over the bitmaps in Paint. Incidentally, I might have been incorrect earlier, but I now can use tga (Targa) files with alpha channel maps covering over areas I don't want shown, and converting them to dds files preserves it (didn't work with the bitmap files). This decreases their size by over half. Extremely good news.


    More comparison shots:

    New:


    (click image to enlarge)

    Precious:


    (click image to enlarge)

    Night and day on his face. His “Peter Cushing” vibe is all but gone, which Count D should like.

    I've also, as you might have noticed, fully redone the Reaver:


    (click image to enlarge)

    Unlike this mess (better than the default, though it was) I could only do before:


    (click image to enlarge)

    I sure didn't paint that. I painted it to look just like the Reaver blade, albeit a little softer in detail. What happens to the texture files when stretched onto these models is impossible to account for (next to, anyway) if you don't have the 3D form in front of you. Same with Kain. His mid section was totally double the thickness it should have been. His upper ab and the double rib ridge above it were too large and riding down too far. In the original file, though, they look totally proportionate. Now, the file looks squished and the lines look half haphazard in many spots, or pixelated/thinned in others, yet it doesn't matter. What counts is how they ride across the model. When you paint on the model, unlike the 2d textures, the lines flow evenly from one UV face to another. Otherwise, it's a blurry mess half the time.

    The only thing left I will probably do is retouch the chest wound, see if I can also play with the alpha mask to show it better. For right now, this is Kain postmortem:


    (click image to enlarge)

    Nice Side shot of his face:


    (click image to enlarge)


    A composite rendered from 3D Coat (note that in 3D Coat, the masks sometimes don't show up fully, so you see through Kain's head in the crown from the side, etc., but that doesn't affect how it looks in the game):

    http://img17.imageshack.us/img17/937...3dcoatimag.png

    The full list of what I've fixed on him below, along with shots rendered out from 3D Coat (in links, since they are very large pics):

    Masked:
    Crown horns to GlyphX's and ingame versions of him from SR1 and 2 proportions, and masked out the ridge of his inner brow above the nose to same levels.

    Lips, shaped the bottom center to dip a bit, mimicking his upper lip shape, just enough withou hurting his ability in speech.

    http://imageshack.us/a/img21/7475/ka...upfacefron.png

    http://imageshack.us/a/img213/6899/k...upfaceside.png

    Compare that side shot to a closeup of him from SR2's intro:

    http://imageshack.us/a/img689/5595/s...upkaingrab.png

    http://imageshack.us/a/img407/6973/s...pkaingrab2.png

    SR1:

    http://imageshack.us/a/img812/9574/kainsr1intronew.jpg



    Guantlets on the top section – the top piece actually splits on the side:

    http://imageshack.us/a/img339/189/ka...loseguantl.png

    From SR1's intro:

    http://imageshack.us/a/img254/9119/razielwings04.jpg


    Shape of his medallion – bottom of it especially was super thick and embedded into his chest

    The super thick and unnecessary straps over his pants. Removing their textures allows me to show the straps and his belly the way it should look on the model, also slims his waist incredibly to right proportions

    http://imageshack.us/a/img208/1885/kaindonestomach.png

    From the intros:

    http://imageshack.us/a/img707/184/kain16.jpg

    http://imageshack.us/a/img202/7076/kain04.jpg

    http://imageshack.us/a/img842/8771/kain24.jpg

    Masked out the battle divots – can't think of the right word at this moment – into the Reaver blade.

    Fixes:

    All lines and details are now correct on his skin. His neck area, chest, collar bone, ribs, arms inner and outer, shoulders, back, stomach, scar, all made exactly as possible by me to the GlyphX model, studying references from every angle I could. Color also corrected (see shots of him without his cape, something I will make an alternate skin ):

    http://imageshack.us/a/img211/4732/kaindonenocape.png

    http://imageshack.us/a/img401/4333/k...nocapeback.png

    Compare to the Gamepro scan:



    The cape's front folds have been evened to better lighting and shadow. Fixed seams. His leather strap now has real leather texturing. I could only do so much before, but I could never have made it detailed like this. Even blown up to 2K, the little tile of it in the file would be impossible to make this way. I've added real leather and rawhide into the mix, blending into it. I use a lot more real textures this time.

    His leather gloves and chaps have real leather blended into them, along with rawhide in the trim, real golden studs, etc.

    His thumb is wrapped higher by the gauntlet and the inner glove and even the hard to make readable trim on the finger holes are evened:


    (click image to enlarge)

    Fixed the wrapping flow around his arms and its seam. They're also a lighter leather texturing, as per gleaned in the intros, to the wrappings and gloved fingers.

    Fixed more seams on the gauntlets, gloves, chaps, etc, giving the gauntlets and chaps the popper fur trim texture and color this time.

    Spruced up the leggings, the worn whiter reflective trim, and the color, and texture blended with metal.

    His hair has been fixed. I can actually get detail in his hair that is impossible otherwise. The UVs warp and bend too crazily in any of these models' hair to do it in the 2d file, but I could do what I thought was impossible. His hair sprouts out in an even fanning from dead center of his head like the GlyphX model, and the back section is very defined, compared to what it was.

    Eyes redone like the GlyphX version and keeping it as realistic as possible. It's the best eye I've ever done, which makes it all the more frustrating that I did something I haven't done in years. I saved after flattening the layers and lost them. I still have the eye, but were it to need tweaking of any sort, the layers are gone. So frustrating, but luckily the eye doesn't appear to need any tweaking. The eye in the file close up:



    Compared in the SR2 intro:


    (click image to enlarge)

    Fixed the teeth. Surprise: the teeth all along didn't have the center right. From the original Defiance's Kain used as a reference, the center of the teeth didn't match up, leaving a solid looking tooth look on the above and lower teeth in the center and the fangs and back teeth were not lined up, either.

    Reaver fixes:

    Made the face and back out of manipulating about 8 different skulls together. The actual teeth don't show up so hot in the game, because the lighting catches the blockiness of the model so, but here's a better shot from inside 3D Coat:

    http://imageshack.us/a/img833/2467/reaverclosefront.png

    Wings hand painted, blended with metal textures. The blade made with actual corroded ancient sword
    and metal textures.

    Handle: blending paint and metal also. The other thing about doing the paint job this way is that if I need the texture, I can export it and see only in the tiles what's used. Nothing outside of the tile, so I won't be fooled as to what's being used and what isn't...



    These ending shots are great:


    (click image to enlarge)


    (click image to enlarge)

    This says Kain to me:


    (click image to enlarge)


    (click image to enlarge)




    I have maybe another tweak, or two, before release. I see Kain's nose has a spot of color that's a bit much and the Reaver has an errant triangle shape on the back of the skull. Easy fixes. And, yeah, I'll retouch that wound. But, at least you see what I've been doing. I'm taking it a little easier from now on. I spend basically the past month learning this stuff and the past three weeks solid working on Kain. Many all-nighters were spent. I consequently feel a little in need of a recharge, but I'll get to the next stuff soon. I am hoping that Kain was more in need than most of the rest for this retouch. I am sure I'll find there's a bunch still left to do on them all, though.

    Enjoy the screens.

  15. #365
    Hylden...
    *slow clap*
    This is marvelous. The amount of detail is astonishing and you finally, in my personal opinion, got his skin color completely and utterly right. Painting on the model also did a lot of good - it doesn't looks plasticky and does look as close to the original GlyphX model as humanly possible. Really, if all the others will be redone in such quality, who needs HD remakes?

  16. #366
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    Thanks, Count D. I know you've been eying that skin color to be right. So have I. It was so frustrating, given the disconnect between what I was seeing the 2d files and what showed up in the game. Hard to gauge, and even harder to correct.

    This does open up all possibilities. If I can only do it before we're all old and gray, lol

  17. #367
    For something that good, I don't mind if I need a Necronomicon Ex-Mortis to be alive to see this.

  18. #368
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    Hylden, to tell you the truth I thought your previous versions of Kain were great but this one I cannot really put into words how brilliant it is. I think his skin is PERFECT I think he is as real and true looking as is possible, if you make any more modifications don’t change much because really it doesn’t need it, because wow. You have done a marvellous job, really, you deserve a medal! I really can’t wait to see what you do next (once you’ve collapsed in a heap for a while lol) because this is modification is beyond awesome.
    *does the happy dance*

  19. #369
    By the way, as a suggestion, could you add another scar on his back? It's weird for him to have one on his chest, but not on his back.

  20. #370
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    It´s the best!!! out of words!!! amazing work, Hylden!

  21. #371
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    http://imageshack.us/a/img23/9065/kain3dcoat2.jpg

    omg im dying of laughter at the look on his face here!!

    its like hes trying to comprehend some bad joke or something...
    "are you trying to bore me into submission?" ~ Raziel/Defiance
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  22. #372
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    Ok now my jaw is firmly on the floor. I did not know that the game engine could be made to look this pretty. Kain is so detailed its ridiculous. Ridiculously awesome!
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  23. #373
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    Thanks, all I frankly didn't know it was possible for the engine, either, lol, especially after my earlier attempts. (Magnus: "Didn't think it possible! *gets bonked by a TK bolt*) I've been bonked upside the head greatly doing this all.

    Count D: Alas, the back is a mirrored texture, so I can't add the scar back there. It's always bothered me that they left out the scar on his back, but they did.

    Majinkura: Yeah, that's definitely his "Don't know if serious..." face. heh

  24. #374
    D'awww. Still, having THIS in-game would be just... I don't know, I have no freaking words, I'm speechless, completely and utterly. I mean, this is so damn good. Finally feels like the Emperor Kain I've been dreaming to play as since Soul Reaver (even back when I didn't know it's actually Kain's series), not Defiance' rather pathetic version. Raina's simpler edit was the closest one to the Emperor Kain for me, but this one is just perfect.
    CD should hire you and make you head of the dev team on LoK HD collection and art director on LoK6.

    Damn, I want it so badly. I already have Def installed on Steam for such an occasion.

  25. #375
    Wow. Wow.
    Wow!

    Kain... Wow!

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