Post Reply Converting from Hand-drawn to Vector
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Posted 11/19/14 , edited 12/26/14

I have been in the planning stages of a 2D (possibly pseudo-3D) ARPG for a while now and I have documented and tested core mechanics for a bit over a year now so I am moving on to my art direction. What I am able to do with the art determines how my level design is going to play out which is the second most important thing outside of mechanics.

I want to try an authentic hand-drawn style and I am wondering if it would be reasonable to transform my drawings into rigged vector drawings while maintaining the internal shading and colors.

Has anyone tried this before and if so how did that turn out? I am already doing things a bit differently by forgoing the use of sprites for vectors since I am targeting smooth animations to better support my mechanics. The stylized look I am going for is planned to tie in with the narrative in a similar way to the original Valkyria Chronicles.

I plan to go forward anyway but any feedback would be nice if there are potential problems I didn't see. The medium will be some heavyweight paper, Prismacolor Premier/Verithin pencils, various watercolor pencils and Anime Studio Pro 9.5.


I have pretty much figured out how I want to do this so I will just use this thread to show how things are progressing.
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Posted 11/21/14 , edited 11/23/14
I think it would depend a lot on your art style. If your line art is clean and you're cel-shading everything, I doubt it would be a problem, but if you're going for a more painterly look, it could be difficult.

Should point out that I haven't used Anime Studio personally though. I've just tried vectorising things in Illustrator in the past and I'm assuming the process would be similar.
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Posted 11/22/14 , edited 11/22/14
Yeah I figured that might be a problem, I was planning for more of a hybrid watercolor/penciled look. If I keep it small scale the distortion caused by animating it might not mess it up too much. I guess I will just try it out and play around with a few different methods and styles.
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Posted 11/23/14 , edited 11/23/14

LobsterHarmonica wrote:

I think it would depend a lot on your art style. If your line art is clean and you're cel-shading everything, I doubt it would be a problem, but if you're going for a more painterly look, it could be difficult.

Should point out that I haven't used Anime Studio personally though. I've just tried vectorising things in Illustrator in the past and I'm assuming the process would be similar.


I was checking your site Professor Irony from your status, really good art there. Do you have some tutorials to show creation for creating 3D art?
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Posted 11/23/14

GreatLordBalzak wrote:

Yeah I figured that might be a problem, I was planning for more of a hybrid watercolor/penciled look. If I keep it small scale the distortion caused by animating it might not mess it up too much. I guess I will just try it out and play around with a few different methods and styles.


It wouldn't help to animate the colours and tone on a separate layer above the figures? I think they did something like that with the Hotel Dusk games - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58-QdAY2umE



braintraining wrote:
I was checking your site Professor Irony from your status, really good art there. Do you have some tutorials to show creation for creating 3D art?


Thanks!

I might be able to help you, but I'll send you a PM - I don't want to derail the thread.
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Posted 11/23/14 , edited 1/25/15

LobsterHarmonica wrote:


GreatLordBalzak wrote:

Yeah I figured that might be a problem, I was planning for more of a hybrid watercolor/penciled look. If I keep it small scale the distortion caused by animating it might not mess it up too much. I guess I will just try it out and play around with a few different methods and styles.


It wouldn't help to animate the colours and tone on a separate layer above the figures? I think they did something like that with the Hotel Dusk games - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58-QdAY2umE


That's a great idea, if I make the shadows on a separate layer I can mask and animate them without distorting the hatching look of it. Thanks for the link that really helped me conceptualize the process.


[edit]

I decided to go with a "cleaner" look. I have fully rigged the side view (still need to fix some seams) and I have applied textures made with color pencils (masking indeed was the solution). I am probably going to make the layers process shadows onto themselves and add some more shading/details next. After that I will setup the clothing/hair/accessory switch layers.



[31/12/14]

I cleaned up the seams and the bone joints and tested by rendering a walking animation. When rendered with no AA but otherwise default settings it comes out a bit flat. I have a few tricks up my sleeve involving some post effects that can fix this so I am going to move on...



[21/01/15]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nURd7qRjzZU
Everything is coming together (I still need to rework that side view to change the shading method) and I could probably start working with hair, clothing, and accessories. I'm going to rig the longer bunches of hair and cloth with physics and paper-doll them appropriately in both the front and back of the animation.

I like making everything modular so things can be mixed and matched in-game.


[25/01/15]

I was feeling a bit merry today so here is a set of tights with jupon padding over the top (which implies there is a maille tunic underneath)
I'm not sure where those dots are coming from.... They don't show up in-engine.
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