New character models

Discussion in 'General Gameplay Discussion' started by Sturmlocke, Feb 17, 2022.

  1. Sturmlocke Linux enthusiast playing EQ2 via Proton.

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    First of all, I apologize for the wall of text below. I tend to go through everything in one blow when my sons are sleeping.

    @Mana: Thanks for jumping in and sharing those beautiful shots. Oh wow, is this your work? If so, looking really good!!! Then again, that is to be expected from a passionate EQ1 Vah Shir player. I agree with your second post - eyes should not be underestimated when it comes to the list of aesthetics and retexturing. So no worries here, feedback is good and solid! Eyes are the portals into our soul after all, both digitally and in rl. So for what it's worth, you have my vote in this regard. In fact, a simple copy and paste from a rl cat looks incredibley good with your work:

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    Changed Mana's original eyes in order to demonstrate how beautiful and yet flexible this could turn out to be

    Imagine having a few high quality eye-sets to choose from for this race (or any race for that matter). Would be awesome. This also goes to show just how much good a little bit of black eyeliner can add to the entire picture, because it adds a lot of depth to the face and especially to the eyes.

    Oh yeah, that is indeed the case for the newer models and races, like our kitty cats seen above, and that also applies to the male and female half elves, for example. The two elven models on page 1 were just enhanced a little bit, because their models, polys, textures and even the available stylistic hairstyles are already pretty good. Now let's take the dwarven or barbarian race, for example: Low-res facial textures, low-poly heads and bodies, their facial and body details are barely visible and in the case of the barbarians, not enough hairstyles and beards to work with. In both cases = cartoony, flat and low-res hair / beards too (like in Swtor).

    I mean, I can live with the low-poly heads and bodies, some well designed and sharp looking textures will most definitely make up for this, but I would love to see a combo of (small recap):
    • high-res retexturing of the entire body and face: heads, eyes, nose, lips, ears, legs, feet, arms, hands, chest and back
    • ideally retexturing could also include better looking facial hair and body textures for our eldery looking chars
    • I really want to see more makeup and skin options for the female chars (freckles, scars, moles, and screw it - even some pimples)
    • now that I think of it, more tattoos for body and face would be nice too
    • more hair and beard options for some races
    • a few more "moving" or at least "bouncing" open hairstyles for both long, shoulder length and pigtail hair
    • the moving hair would work well with both male and female chars
    • better looking hair ofc (doesn't have to be as next-gen looking like the ones you see on page 1, but something that somewhat resembles that type of art design and hairstyle would be so great)
    • more accessories, like nice looking glasses for my wife's char, earrings etc. for most humanoid races (page 1, added blondie with glasses)
    • accessories = marketplace = $$$ -> because ppl love to do stuff with their chars and houses
    • oily shader effects on the face and skin (wet, sweaty, etc.)
    • in all cases above = high-res textures ofc
    • in all cases above = whatever we do, I'd very much prefer a more realistic approach to the retexturing, but I'll take whatever I can get my hands on that improves what we have right now
    • three or four default idle animations (raining, wet, hot, cold and maybe even tired / sleepy)
    That's pretty much it. Doing that would already make everything feel so much more "alive" and up to date. Manafizzle's pic is proof that a few facial retouches here and there can go a long way. *thumbsup* Well done! In addition to that, take a look at these:
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    Miiiinimal change: New hairstyle, imagine that with open and movable hair, more facial details and different skintone with a tiny bit of makeup
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    Here it's even simpler: Just changed the hair - everything else incl. the face completely untouched

    She is wants to take me on a ride and maybe even seduce me afterwards, but I can't hop on her magic carpet! Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo...
  2. Manafizzle Active Member

    Yes, I changed the eyes and added fur pattern modeled after my Maine Coon. Little details make a huge difference. These real eyes you added would look amazing, too. It is exactly the same model, just colored differently.

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  3. Sturmlocke Linux enthusiast playing EQ2 via Proton.

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    Precisely.

    Makes me wonder though, after comparing the original model vs. the retextured one, it almost makes the original feel like someone forgot to add a skin / texture to the base model. Btw, I wrote you a PM. Maybe you can try and redo a few of the other races? Just out of curiosity.
    Manafizzle likes this.
  4. That guy. Well-Known Member

    And I'd much prefer to play with sex dolls than Mr. Potato Head.
  5. Sturmlocke Linux enthusiast playing EQ2 via Proton.

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    The picture above is not meant to be taken too seriously, just pointing out the obvious in a hopefully funny manner.

    Is there any chance of fixing this now then? Gotta be honest here, looks like our big cats have been a bit naughty. Kerra looks great though! Beautiful eyes and even though the face and body skins are low-res, at least there is some detail to be seen. I assume the design choice of giving the Vah Shir a more "plain" look might be because otherwise they could have resembled the Kerra race a bit too much? Could that be it? I mean, if we're going to be doing an upgrade of any kind, adding a few normal eyeballs to the Vah Shir race should be ok, right? Additionally to the ... glowing ... eyes.

    Edit: Almost forgot to mention - I do appreciate the long and beautiful looking "hair" / mane of the Vah Shir race though. Would be even better with a textured high-res skin, giving it that special touch, but its design is really nice nonetheless. Actually, now that I have been looking at it for 5 minutes non-stop, without even blinking an eye (help my eyeballs), the entire head form looks great. The way it goes back, the ears, the look of the hair and how it fits in nicely with the skull form. Everything seems to be a bit rounder too (more polys?).

    Could the back side of the long hair be made movable / bouncy without it glitching too much?

    Edit #2: Is it possible to add moving whiskers or whiskers at all?
  6. Manafizzle Active Member

    Yeah. I mean...they do have a lotta broken blood vessels in their eyes. Maybe open up a rehab clinic in Shar Vahl?
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  7. Sturmlocke Linux enthusiast playing EQ2 via Proton.

    I can't stop laughing.
  8. Sturmlocke Linux enthusiast playing EQ2 via Proton.

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    After adding eyes of a real cat to Mana's picture, I thought it might be a good idea to take inspiration from a real lion. Here it goes. Added a few other options too (eyes, hair, age, eyelashes, eyeliner etc.). I tried to keep the base skin without changing too much this time around, just adding a bit of shine to the original skin. In other words, the base model is good, but by adding a liiiittle bit of detail here and there, it can be made great - especially the eyes.

    @Mana: Feel free to take the picture and do your magics with some fur, retexturing and more :)

    Edit: Btw, it would be nice if we could add more character customization options to the male Vah Shir in order to make them a bit thicker / stronger and not so skinny. Love the race, would love to try one, but the skinny body and funky eyes have been stopping me from doing so. I'm basically in the same boat with Mana about this one tbh.
  9. Manafizzle Active Member

  10. Manafizzle Active Member

  11. Sturmlocke Linux enthusiast playing EQ2 via Proton.

    Hey Mana, beeeeautiful pictures you got there! Nice work! Yet another example of how a few retouches here and there can make a big difference. Loving the eyes, especially the eyes! And the nose. The nose fits perfectly into the Vah Shir race. The changes we see above are actually the type of additional character customization options that I would really like to see in game one day. I'd like to have more high-quality skins and appearances to choose from. Makes it more interesting for all sorts of player tastes.

    There's one thing I might be able to add to those pics and that's a more textured and natural type of beard / head hair. The beards that we have rn are just too plain and simple - too bland. Giving those beards a nice skin / texture would make it look less plastic- or clay-like. It's missing the type of work that Mana just demonstrated with the pics up there. Dunno if I can give it a shot today, got both hands full rn, but feel free to add some of your magic sauce to the beard, if you can find the time @Mana.

    All this being said, mentioned it before, and will say it again right now, I'd even be down for a preorder, if that means we get to see an upgrade to our chars somewhere down the line. If Tobey would say something like: "Ok folks, we need X amount of ppl to preorder our next expac for 20 bucks more per pack in order to make this a reality" - - - > I would not hesitate. In fact, I'd be willing to pay an extra 50 bucks more for whatever type of preorder monetization strategy that you can come up with. For what it's worth, I'm sure my wife would agree and join the fun as well. How do you guys feel about this? Would you be willing to go the distance? What say you, how can we show our financial support for an idea like this?

    Also, before I forget, our chars were way ahead of anything the competition was able to produce back in the old days. See here (vanilla versus upgrade):

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    Edit: Forgot to mention, something like the above would make the transition to the hair a bit easier on the eyes. Basically adding a hair texture on the facial skin and making it blend in with the hair on top makes it look much more natural.

    Our chars might look a bit dated now, after two decades that is, but the competitions chars already looked and felt completely outdated the day they launched in 2004. It took the others many, many years to finally catch up and surpass what EQ2 had done right from the get-go and on day one. I feel like that alone deserves some appreciation.
    Breanna likes this.
  12. Manafizzle Active Member

    One of my least favorite models is human female. It's really hard to adjust the sliders in character creation in any direction that makes it better, specifically those lips. They gap, they pinch, and I just can't find a sweet spot where they look comfortable and normal. That said, someone requested I take a swipe at human female so here's my try.

    When I look at a character, I look for the full spectrum of contrast. It's missing darks, so I added dark browns and blacks where they should be in the details: pupils, lip shadow, eyebrows. I tried to leave the model as-is and just mess with the coloring...but oof. Those lips. If there's a model that I'd vote to scrap the whole head and start over, human female is it for me.

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  13. MightyMeaghan Well-Known Member

    Thank you for showing this. Same model, better textures, 100% improved.
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  14. Manafizzle Active Member

    Barbarian male. This race seems to have weirdly naked faces, which seems odd for a cold climate people. I think they'd look better with eyebrows. I also noticed while doing this that the philtrum under his nose is actually a ridge instead. I shaded it dark to hide that little oddity.

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  15. Manafizzle Active Member

    Dwarf. Since I was trying to stay with the original model as much as possible...not much I could do with him. He has tiny eyes, a massive und4erbite, and sorta looks like a grouchy potato. I gave him some eyebrows, polished his eyes a bit...but that's all I could do for him. Poor guy.

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  16. MightyMeaghan Well-Known Member

    Dwarf male faces are pretty much meant to be hidden by beards.
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  17. Sturmlocke Linux enthusiast playing EQ2 via Proton.

    Mana, you did it again. The new pics look wonderful! Thank you! I see you even took my feedback with the WoW's head models into consideration by fixing up the forehead hairline a bit. Perfect. And yet again, a little bit retexturing of the existing model and skin works wonders to our old chars. I just borrowed your enhanced human female char and used that to push it even a bit further. I completely overdid it on purpose this time around, just to show how you can take the very same model, with all its soul and appearance vibes, and couple that with a few more polygones, high-res textures, skin bumps and blemishes, makeup and an overall more realistic looking skin texture:

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    Also used the same hair form and just added a bit of texture to it. Dunno if the transitional hairpiece on the forehead is possible with our current models though. I wonder how much effort it would be to take a real life skin texture and use that as a base for a manual retouching per hand, the latter representing what we're doing here right now. Old games, such as Max Payne, literally fotoscanned / copy and pasted someones face onto their chars. Maybe you could use a real womans picture as a fundamental base for a manual retouch / modification of some sort and then enhance the skin / texture to your likings. Bah, I really don't know. Maybe Tobey can share his thoughts on our approaches here.

    The thing that goes through my mind is, according to Holly, EQ2 still has many, many years ahead of it, so it's only natural that an upgrade to the chars is going to be necessary one day. Or am I wrong? I mean, I really can't imagine our low-res chars (and the joint limition issues that Tobey touched on earlier etc.) still looking good to us in another ten years.
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  18. Sturmlocke Linux enthusiast playing EQ2 via Proton.

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    After Toby mentioned the awesome and extremly detailed bearworlf (?) models from the ongoing event, it made me do another retouch. Again, borrowing Mana's beautiful work and building upon that:

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    It really doesn't take much, if you use the old models as a base. Again, overdid on purpose, just so you can see how much small details can change an entire picture - without losing much of its original art, design, soul and vibe. Imagine the guy being a pirate like Jack Sparrow!

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  19. Manafizzle Active Member

    Lynx tufts, toned down highlights, more color variety...
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  20. Sturmlocke Linux enthusiast playing EQ2 via Proton.