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The original Skar leg.

    • 1155 posts
    September 13, 2018 9:34 AM PDT

    This thread isn't a critique nor a criticism, rather my search to better understand something mentioned in the September Newsletter about the Skar redesign:

    "The second and more critical flaw was the backward knee design, which would have been completely unworkable from an efficiency standpoint. That detail alone would have required every single set of gear in the game to be remade specifically for the Skar, not just able to be racially refit. One anatomical detail would have unnecessarily broadened our scope significantly. "

    I mentioned in that thread that anatomically, there is no difference between a plantargrade leg (human, for example) and a digitigrade leg (ostrich, for example).  the same bones exist in the same order from hip joint down to the toes. So what appears to be a backwards knee in the Ostrich is actually its ankle.  Below is a picture to help visualize this (and behold my amazing artistic abilities):

    You can see that what shifts are the proportions of the various bones.  The femur shortens significantly while the metatarsal bones (those in the foot) are greatly lengthened.  Now when I think about mapping a piece of armor and its texture to the two types of legs. I can see where the stretching of the foot could make the texture of any footwear appear wonky but as each race has its own texture set for armor pieces (I am assuming that the same plate boots on a Dwarf will look different than on an Elf, an Archai and the Skar) wouldn't just a textural difference be needed?

    Do not misunderstand my thread here.  While I liked the original digitigrade leg, I'm also ok with changing it to a plantargrade leg.  It isn't a big deal.  I'm just trying to understand more of why such a change was needed when, from an anatomical view the same joints move in the same motions.  Now because all the races are plantargrade, is the movement of the legs for walking, running, etc a global animation where everyone has the same movements but the Skar with their original legs would require separate animations just for that race?

    I'd like to hear more about the behind-the-scenes on the Skar and their legs. Yeah, I know, I'm weird and shouldn't obsess about this.

    • 55 posts
    September 13, 2018 10:50 AM PDT

    Well done on creating that figure.

    I think creating the digitgrade legs is definately something that could happen in future content releases,as many other games have implemented it(WoW's Draenei for example), but instead of taking so much extra time on a leg that wont make or break the game, i think they just wanna get into apha/beta testing for players. Just my look at it. Great post though.  

    • 446 posts
    September 13, 2018 11:06 AM PDT

    Lol !

    I thought exactly the same thing as you did when I was reading the newsletter - the reason they give is strange because the only thing that changes is that in one case the boot is big and in another it is small . In standing position the boot would have an obtuse angle in one case and a right angle in all other cases so that it would be necessary to have a specific boot geometry for the Skar and the toe joint would be much more animated than for a human . Now as the human toe joint has to be animated anyway it doesn't seem to add some special work .

    You did a very nice picture showing the big boot/small boot thought I had btw :)

    • 421 posts
    September 13, 2018 7:09 PM PDT

    Vandraad said: but as each race has its own texture set for armor pieces (I am assuming that the same plate boots on a Dwarf will look different than on an Elf, an Archai and the Skar) wouldn't just a textural difference be needed?

    This may not be the case. I think what they are saying is that the texture will remain constant regardless of race and only the anchor point and scale will change. Now I'm not in the business and so I may not know exactly how it all works, but this is how I understand what they were talking about.

    With the old Skar; because of their shorter tibia and elongated metatarsal this would make the leg and foot armours look squished or stretched respectively, since it's not scaling the entire boot or leg texture as a whole. This would require them to tweek a 'Skar' texture of every leg and foot armour item to prevent this 'squished' or 'stretched' visual. Thus having 2 textures for every item (one for Skar and one for everyone else). By changing them to have the same leg/foot structure as all the other races they can keep it to 1 texture for each armour item.

    Also for those referencing 'animations', remember that animations are not made for armour items specifically. The animations are made for the character frame and obviously each character frame needs to have it's own animations. The armour items are simply 'textures' that get drawn over that character frame. When you change from Halfling -> Human -> Ogre the textures simply grows in size as an entire scale, with the 'anchor' points for the textures that make up that armour being in different spots.

    Again... I'm not an animator or texture creator (heck I struggle drawing stick figures) so I may be wrong on some of this. But obviously the guys who do do this for a living (for VR) were at the point where they were creating the Skar character frame and realized that this was going to be a problem in regards to extra 'textures' needed. In other games with a huge budget and much larger art teams they might have been able to just do it anyway. But since VR is a small indie company they need to streamline this kind of thing and avoid extra work, so they found a good solution.

    • 1155 posts
    September 13, 2018 7:50 PM PDT

    GoofyWarriorGuy said:

    Vandraad said: but as each race has its own texture set for armor pieces (I am assuming that the same plate boots on a Dwarf will look different than on an Elf, an Archai and the Skar) wouldn't just a textural difference be needed?

    This may not be the case. I think what they are saying is that the texture will remain constant regardless of race and only the anchor point and scale will change.

    If all the textures were the same, then a Steel BP on an Ogre would look exactly the same as the Steel BP on a Dwarf...one just being bigger.  That would mean that all the races share the same iconography.  Why would the Dwarves have the same aesthetic sense as the Gnomes or the Dark Myr?

    • 421 posts
    September 13, 2018 8:06 PM PDT

    Vandraad said: Why would the Dwarves have the same aesthetic sense as the Gnomes or the Dark Myr?

    We are not talking about aesthetic sense. That refers to cultural armour style. If you are saying that Dwarf armour on a dwarf will look different than Ogre armour on an Ogre, then yes you are right they won't look the same, because they are different armours.

    But we are referencing the same armour item worn on different races. So in this case it would be like saying "Dwarf armour on a dwarf will look the same as Dwarf armour on an Ogre." and "Ogre armour on an Ogre will look the same as Ogre armour on a Dwarf."

    It's the same as when you find those special armours out in the world. Flaming Chestplate of Doom is going to look exactly the same on a Dwarf and an Ogre... just one looks bigger obviously. There is not going to be a Dwarf Flaming Chestplate of Doom and an Ogre Flaming Chestplate of Doom with different styles.

    • 1155 posts
    September 13, 2018 8:36 PM PDT

    GoofyWarriorGuy said:

    It's the same as when you find those special armours out in the world. Flaming Chestplate of Doom is going to look exactly the same on a Dwarf and an Ogre... just one looks bigger obviously. There is not going to be a Dwarf Flaming Chestplate of Doom and an Ogre Flaming Chestplate of Doom with different styles.

    I'm saying that the Flaming Chestplate of Doom will have a totally different texture/look/feel on a Dwarf than it will on an Ogre or an Archai or Elf.  If you just had 1 of them and handed it around to each race its textures would would change based upon the race.

    Here is a flashback to the EQ1 original models with each sporting the same plate armor and how it changes to fit the iconography of the race:

    This is what I expect in Pantheon.


    This post was edited by Vandraad at September 13, 2018 8:36 PM PDT
    • 421 posts
    September 13, 2018 8:54 PM PDT

    This example tells me that in EQ1 they simply made the choice that generic armours such as 'plate' or 'leather' would assume the cultural style of the wearer. And you may be correct that when dealing with these generic 'common' armours that are not specific in any way, Pantheon might also decide that these should show up as 'Cultural' armour style that fits the wearer. So when it comes to these 'basic' textures, they do need to have a specific texture for each race. But since this only applies to those common armours. It wouldn't apply to future items they add to the game needing to have multiple textures.

    From what Brad and Chris have said at many times in many interviews. They want armours to be distinct, so that when you wear a piece of armour everyone around you will know what that is based on how it looks. They will know you have Flaming Breastplate of Doom because it always looks the same.

    So Plate Breastplate may need 9 different textures, one for each race. They may even be able to get away with applying these same 9 textures for multiple items. Rusty Plate Breastplate, Worn Plate Breastplate, Fine Plate Breastplate, Mastercrafted Plate Breastplate, Dented Plate Breastplate, etc...

    But Flaming Breastplate of Doom only needs 1 texture for all races.


    This post was edited by GoofyWarriorGuy at September 13, 2018 8:55 PM PDT
    • 1155 posts
    September 13, 2018 9:11 PM PDT

    I can't wait to see which one of us right.  :)

    • 55 posts
    September 13, 2018 10:30 PM PDT

    Just am adding that DE helms were my fave cultural armor.

    • 446 posts
    September 14, 2018 6:31 AM PDT

    Vandraad Goofy is right .

    You have 2 different concepts - a geometric shape (f.ex a leg) and a picture (f.ex a starred banner) . Texturing means applying the picture on the geometric shape so that it fits and the final result is a starred banner covering a leg regardless of the leg's size .

    So as you have many pictures (leather, steel etc breastplates f.ex) you have also geometric shapes with many sizes (short and long legs f.ex) . How do you do it that despite these many sizes you do the texturing only once (e.g the same picture will fit all legs) ?

    Simply with a homothety . A homothety is a scale transformation where distance between any 2 points d(A,B) is multiplied by the same number f.ex d(A',B') = 2 . d(A,B) . This homothety example would take an original picture and blow it up by a factor 2 so that the final picture would be 2x bigger and could fit a geometric shape which is 2x bigger . This is exactly what the devs said - for all pictures for a given leg armor we fit them to all races by just applying a homothety because all the shapes are the same with just different size . The scaling factor is small for small races and large for large races but the software just multiplies all distances by a factor specific to the race and obtains automatically an armor which fits for everybody with no extra work . This process is called scaling and you just need a few numbers (homothety factors) for every race to fit automatically any picture (armor) on them .

    Anecdotically you may notice that all races in EQ had exactly the same size . Indeed in this case you need only 1 set of homothety factors to texture any armor on them . If there were smaller and bigger elves then you would need a set of homothety factors for every size what would massively increase the texturing time . With the modern graphic cards the texturing time is less an issue so that modern MMOs generally allow that you change the size of your character :)

    But then the devs said something which was not correct as you showed with your picture . They said that as the "knee" bends backwards , they would need a special geometric shape (not a special picture !) because all other races use a geometric shape where the "knee" bends forwards . Then indeed extra work would be needed for the Skars alone .

    However as your picture shows, the Skar's knee does NOT bend backwards . It bends forward like with every other race so that the geometric shape is the same too and the leg can be textured by homothety like for every other race without extra work . Therefore what really changes is NOT the leg armor texturing but it is the boot that has not the same shape . For all races it looks like |._._ (the dots are the ankle and the toe joint) . For the Iksars there are the same joints but the boot looks like \._ 

    At this point as I wrote in my first post, this shape is necessarily already modelled for other races because this foot position is exactly the same when the toe joint is bent for a human (f.ex when you run or when you tip toe) . Finally as this shape already exists for all races , texturing it for Skars is just applying a homothety on a boot picture and there is no significant extra work involved .

     

    So yes , you will have different visuals (pictures) for breastplates , helms etc which will be just scaled to fit different races . You will also have visuals (pictures) which will be unique for one or several races but non existing for others . This has never been in question . But no, texturing the greaves and boots of a digitigrade can be done with homothety on  shapes already existing for all other races with apparently no significant extra work . So you were right to wonder about this strange dev argument as I did too .

    • 90 posts
    September 14, 2018 10:04 AM PDT

    Hehe nice picture but having a fused bone after the ankle joint would pose some problem, especially after it is so high up it makes turning like almost impossible-and having the hipjoint so close to the femur would strain the leg to mutch just because the whole leg is so long =) and sadly if you are missing some bones in the feet you will loose some mobility, so if it werent for the strain this would be a very fast moving and very high jumping leg but forget about fast and dexterius abilitys like turning and sneaking =)

    • 446 posts
    September 14, 2018 11:10 AM PDT

    The picture is is how looks typically a crocodile or ostrich leg with a shorter foot segment (the 3 segments approximately 1/3 , 1/3 , 1/3) Or a Tyranosaurus Rex for that matter .

    It is also how should have looked Iksar legs because they were lizards .

    It is impossible to conclude at moving performances if one doesn't know the size of the body and of the tail . Yes this kind of legs generally needs a big tail bacause it restores balance when the body is massive . The ostrichs use their wings for that function . It is indeed good for a fast forward movement because the momentum is almost horizontal but quite poor for jumping vertically for the same reason . This creature would probably be much faster than Man or Dwarf 

    If you saw a crocodile, you saw that it turns with a surprising speed and dexterity but this is as much due to the big tail as to the leg structure .

    When one knows that then one concludes that the devs have really missed an opportunity to create a deadly and fast killing machine when they removed this leg bone structure . Indeed what could be more impressive and evil than a creature that is a Tyranosaurus Rex at a smaller scale ? :)


    This post was edited by Deadshade at September 14, 2018 11:18 AM PDT
    • 1194 posts
    September 15, 2018 7:31 AM PDT

    I guess scaling a texture is different from stretching it. Same goes for geometric shapes. You would loose quality/ placeme t or force a different texture set for skars.

     

    I also remember them saying they don't want a full racial armor look, but a shared one with possible racial specific crafts.

    • 446 posts
    September 16, 2018 3:47 AM PDT

     Any stretching (or shrinking) is a homothety . Any transformation on a surface which changes the distance between 2 points is a homothety also called scaling - these are synonymes .

    The issue of quality is only a question of the number and direction of the homotheties that the texturing software uses . That's why in practice any non trivial geometrical structure starts to be constructed with a mesh of polygones . The quality of the scaled texture is only function of the number of polygones used . But once the mesh structure has been created (f.ex a reference leg) , the texturing and scaling is done by using 1 or several homotheties which change the size and the form of every polygone . 

    So as the first Vandraad's picture shows, a Skar's leg is just a reference leg created once for all to which are applied race specific scaling factors . Finally a visual of a leg with greaves for any given race (Skar, Ogre , Dwarf etc)  is obtained with only 3 elements : a reference leg constructed with polygones (once for all) , a set of race specific homotheties (once for all) and a picture of the greaves for the reference leg (once for all) . The final textured visual product is obtained by applying the same set of racially specific homotheties on the geometric structure and on the picture so that the scaled picture fits the scaled leg .

    This was precisely the point of Vandraad . Why would this process not work for Skars when their leg is just a scaled reference leg like for every other race ? It would only not work if the Skar's leg had a different topology than the legs of all other races (e.g "the knee bends backwards") but it is obviously not the case . So he was curious as was I because curiosity always allows to learn something  :)

     

    • 446 posts
    September 16, 2018 3:49 AM PDT

    Double post


    This post was edited by Deadshade at September 16, 2018 3:49 AM PDT
    • 1191 posts
    October 30, 2018 1:57 PM PDT

    I could see the 'Skar Leg" becoming a easter egg type weapon, maybe a 2 hander- with the old model. Only the early supporters would know and they could say "this is what the original skar leg used to look like" as they wielded the weapon in game.

    • 1 posts
    December 6, 2018 3:18 AM PST

    Thanks for sharing - Was definitely wondering wth kind of build they had from the thighs down lol