Monday, March 17, 2014

Skullgirls - Glass Canopy night

I'm out of stupid Photoshop tricks... : (

Skullgirls stage - Glass Canopy night

Oh wow, this stage. I did the concepts for this stage back in late 2010 and thought it would never come up again. Not sure why it was picked up to be completed but it was probably due to the necessity of having another stage to support the Patron Saints NPCs, rewards given during the crowdfunding session.

(original thumbnail by Alex Ahad)

 (variation sketches)

This was back when SG stages were to be multiplane affairs rather than modeled 3d. That's why, in the umbrella motif in the ceiling, the "handle" doesn't extend all the way to the floor.

Although the concept was complete, there was still a lot of cleanup required to get it into shape. It did lose a lot of its original contrast and shadows but I think it now fits better with the cheerful party situation it's used for.

Glass Canopy stage completed and with NPCs

Some new things were tried with the 3d implementation of this stage, such as mirroring almost all of it to save memory (acceptable because a mirrored composition is more formal, or so I've been told) and using uv offset to simulate lighting changes. (the latter shows up on the right side and happens when a character does a heavy supermove) About half of everything is mirrored again to simulate the floor reflection, which is something I experimented with first in the New Meridian streets update. The carpet is also a stack of transparent textures to try to create some depth, which is how things like fur were done back in the ye olden times. (I still really want to use that trick again somewhere)

This stage has the most crap going on in it of all the other stages and, with the Patron Saint NPCs included, uses the most texture memory at ~12.6MB. Still not the most heavy in terms of polygons. That award will probably stay with Final Atrium for a long while.


No reuse in this stage (unlike Under the Bridge) and once again I was given a pile of concepts and left to my own devices.
Given that the stage itself uses less memory because it is mirrored, I used all the extra memory to try to stuff it full of animations.

 (would really like it if we could do individual frame textures of animation instead of having to stuff it into a single texture map (like BlazBlue) but I'm not sure what that would do to performance (drawcalls and such).

 Foreground chair npcs with idle and hitshake animations
(for some reason I thought of fishbowlman as an introvert being assaulted by extrovert noise)

(I was hooked on Jimmy Eat World's "Drugs or Me" at the time, so for me Umbrella is addicted to drugs and Adam is desperately trying to get her off of them. Hey, whatever gets one through the workday)


There's more minor animations but this blog entry has gone on long enough.

Skullgirls- Under the Bridge

Stupid Photoshop tricks- Uh.. uhhh....  if you hit capslock, your brush cursor becomes a crosshair. On the other hand, if your brush cursor is a crosshair and you can't figure out why, check if capslock is on.

(hahaha, oh geez, I'm such a fraud)

Skullgirls stage - Under the Bridge

This stage was not actually my job originally, but the contractor who was working on it had a medical emergency and had to give up.
(I had nothing to do with it I swear)

(original thumbnail by Alex Ahad)

After some back and forth with the original contractor, the general layout and color scheme was completed before it was handed over to me to flesh out details and add polish.
At this point I think I've done over half of the levels in SkullGirls and I imagine that people are sick of seeing my work, hahaha.

Under the Bridge completed image with all NPCs

This was a relatively simple image to complete since it didn't have too many complex interactions between, say, buildings and ground.
I also tried to keep the stuff in the back more rough and loose since I knew they would be shrunk down by the increased fov that happens in the 3d-ification process, and that helped reduce painting time. It was also closer to the original goal of making the backgrounds look more designed, like Uesugi.

Overall, kind of a light stage to implement, once I got it back from the 3d artist.


The decision was made to reuse NPCs from Lab 8 and New Meridian Streets to save some time. For the other NPCs, I was given a pile of concepts and left to my own devices.
I probably shouldn't have been the one animating, but nobody else was available I guess.

Stanley- who may or may not be upset that he doesn't have any tools to record battle data. (at least, that's what I think will appease the stream monsters)

 Lulu, master of barroo and hopping.

Not-Matt Foley.

I watched videos of cats punching printers.


And now for some completely random fan art.