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#498500 07/06/14 05:34 AM
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I know the portrait thing has come up in various ways across the forums, but I'd like to focus on it here. Sorry if this exact thing has been suggested before, but I couldn't find it.

The painted character portraits are fantastic, I love the style. But, like many others, I find it a bit restrictive in character creation because I want the characters to match their portraits.

Unfortunately, though generating a preset portrait for every combination of face, hair colour, hairstyle, skin tone etc. may not be a huge effort on Larian's behalf, it would create an end result that is incredibly difficult or tedious for the user to navigate.
So why not do it the other way around? Let the portrait reflect the designed character, rather than designing the character to match a selected portrait.
There have been suggestions to capture the 3D model in the portrait box, as was the case in Dragon Age Origins, and while that works well enough it lacks the charm of the current portraits.

I'm wondering if it is possible to implement a procedural system that, using layers and tints, allows the game to dynamically generate a current painted-style portrait based on the choices made for the character model. Each hair model and face texture would be linked to a grayscale 2D image that can be layered into the portrait; each hair colour and skin tone is linked to a colour range that can be tinted onto the corresponding layer. In a sense this is similar to what Larian are already doing by hand - try flicking through them quickly and you'll see how they fit a set template - the hair changes but the face beneath stays the same. This way the components of the portrait can still be artistically hand-painted, but the assembly process is automated.

Start with the standard head shape. This is tinted by skin tone and overlaid by the face of choice (a possibility for each face to have alternates with different expressions to cycle through when the process is finished, even?). The next layer is the hair (or perhaps split into two, one behind the base head), which is then tinted to the chosen hair colour.
Cycle through smiling, sneering, etc. if that's implemented, and voilŕ, a painterly portrait that reflects the character!

And if you're feeling lazy, you can flick through a gallery of preset portraits (similar to choosing a portrait in the current system), wherein the process is reversed and the character model is updated to fit the portrait design... but this can then be tweaked to the player's liking, with the portrait updating to match!

As far as I can tell, given that colours etc. are presets rather than sliders, the portraits could even be pre-assembled and baked with every combination, the game just drawing on the appropriate image for the assembled character... But to have the portrait dynamically created would allow for a new level of mod-friendliness! Adding a new hairstyle? Create a 2D representation to be added into the portrait pool, and link it to the new mesh. New skin tone or facial tattoo? Same thing. Easy.

It's simply the most elegant solution for the issue that I can think of, and though it's not likely to make the game by launch, I'd love to see it implemented post-release.

If I could code, I'd make a prototype to illustrate this. If you like this idea, and can code, I'd be eternally grateful if you'd make a prototype and post it in the comments!

Last edited by ColdSpiral; 07/06/14 05:48 AM.
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You're joking right? Divinity Original Sin is less than 4 weeks from release, and it has been announced we should not expect any new features in the game, rather polishing and adding the ones that are already present/promised. That includes singleplayer AI, weapon & skill selection, etc.

Originally Posted by ColdSpiral
There have been suggestions to capture the 3D model in the portrait box

That's probably the best you can hope for. That and a wider gallery of pre-made portraits.

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Originally Posted by Lotrotk
You're joking right? Divinity Original Sin is less than 4 weeks from release, and it has been announced we should not expect any new features in the game, rather polishing and adding the ones that are already present/promised. That includes singleplayer AI, weapon & skill selection, etc.


Originally Posted by ColdSpiral
and though it's not likely to make the game by launch, I'd love to see it implemented post-release.


I don't expect Larian to drop everything or delay the game to include this feature. But they have proven to be a company who - much like CD Projekt, for example - deliver new content and features in significant post-release updates. Look at the difference between D2 Ego Draconis and D2 Developers' Cut.

From my lurking on these forums this has been a discussion point since character customisation was implemented. It's not going to stop being an issue or annoyance just because the game is launched. I'm merely suggesting a solution to the issue.

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What about this: Let players load their own pictures.
Maybe there is an easy way to add your own pictures to the profile-pool in the game data, even if there isn't an upload button. Maybe some people will make an online Profile-Pic editor or something.

What would also be nice is if they would add all the profile pictures they already (from npcs for example) to the pool, and if they would add a few pictures without a face at all (just colored background, or an emblem - they could use what they already have, class/skill emblems for example, or skill icons)

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Originally Posted by MaralDesa
What about this: Let players load their own pictures.
Maybe there is an easy way to add your own pictures to the profile-pool in the game data, even if there isn't an upload button. Maybe some people will make an online Profile-Pic editor or something.

What would also be nice is if they would add all the profile pictures they already (from npcs for example) to the pool, and if they would add a few pictures without a face at all (just colored background, or an emblem - they could use what they already have, class/skill emblems for example, or skill icons)

If we could load portraits into a specific game folder, that would be a better situation than the current implementation, yes. It'd also allow the abstract option you suggest - a sword, bow, scroll, lockpick, etc. would all also work well.
With this option, breaking down the existing portraits into their components and building a web-based tool to assemble and tint them ourselves would be more than possible, though it lacks the reactivity I'm suggesting and is an extra step of hassle for the player.

I'd like to see my suggestion implemented because - judging from the existing portraits - it appears Larian is already halfway there and is building the portraits out of components. Coding a basic procedural system to take values from the player's choices in chargen and grab matching components for the portrait is possibly more efficient than hand-assembling all the possible combinations. It certainly delivers a better result for the player than trawling through all these combinations to find the portrait matching the character they've created, and a far better experience than -not- finding the portrait to match their character because the limited set didn't include geisha makeup and green dreadlocks, and that's what they really wanted. For example.

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Quote
But, like many others, I find it a bit restrictive in character creation because I want the characters to match their portraits.

No, the "others" would merely want portraits to match their characters. but thanks for thinking instead of "us".

Quote

though generating a preset portrait for every combination of face, hair colour, hairstyle, skin tone etc. may not be a huge effort on Larian's behalf,

what? :lol:

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it would create an end result that is incredibly difficult or tedious for the user to navigate.

Speak. for. yourself. mate.

Quote
wherein the process is reversed and the character model is updated to fit the portrait design

the whhaaaat?


This is one of the more insane suggestions ive ever seen.
And it being "supported" by these various completely distorted inventions just takes the cake. The cake.

It seems that the crazier, the more improbable the suggestion - the more false the justification and "reasons". Must be some kind of internet inverse law ... of something.



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I'm going to assume you've completely misunderstood what I've said here, Hiver. Otherwise you're being obtusely snarky because you consider it the cutting edge of humour. If that's the case, good for you.
Let me elaborate.

Originally Posted by Hiver
Quote
But, like many others, I find it a bit restrictive in character creation because I want the characters to match their portraits.

No, the "others" would merely want portraits to match their characters. but thanks for thinking instead of "us".

To convey my meaning I should have said "I want the characters to be matched by their portraits". This is the same thing in the end. I am proposing here a system where portraits will match the characters. That's all I want, and it's exactly what you say you want, right?

Originally Posted by Hiver
Quote

though generating a preset portrait for every combination of face, hair colour, hairstyle, skin tone etc. may not be a huge effort on Larian's behalf,

what? :lol:

It's really not, when you look at the modular system they're using. Flick through the female portraits until you get to the classic Scarlett, and the mid- and short-hair versions of her. One face, three different hairstyles pasted over the top of it. If they're going to create a portrait for every combination, this is the most optimal -or only sane- way to do it. Once you've got an image for each face, each hairstyle, etc. and a way to tint each to the skin tones & hair colours, the process of overlaying them is easily automated. They wouldn't draw each one from scratch, you know.

Originally Posted by Hiver
Quote
it would create an end result that is incredibly difficult or tedious for the user to navigate.

Speak. for. yourself. mate.

So. I just went and counted. Per gender, there are: 15 skin tones, 15 faces, 15 hairstyles, and 15 hair colours. 50625 individual combinations. Please show me a non-tedious, non-dynamic system for selecting a portrait from this many options... Mate.

Originally Posted by Hiver
Quote
wherein the process is reversed and the character model is updated to fit the portrait design

the whhaaaat?

Simple. Selecting a portrait from a set of "presets" - think of the current range of portraits - could automatically apply that skin tone, face, hairstyle, and hair colour to the character model, rather than the player going through and picking them out individually.

Originally Posted by Hiver
This is one of the more insane suggestions ive ever seen.
And it being "supported" by these various completely distorted inventions just takes the cake. The cake.

It seems that the crazier, the more improbable the suggestion - the more false the justification and "reasons". Must be some kind of internet inverse law ... of something.

Not really sure what you're getting worked up about here. Given that it's a fundamentally basic and straightforward idea, I'm going to take your use of "insane", "crazier", and "improbable" to mean that you misunderstood me. I hope this helps clarify things for you.

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Even if they would do as you propose, there would still be people who want something else. This is why i would like to see the possibility to add your own pics to the portrait folder. Maybe someone wants to use the old pics from Baldurs Gate or even Neverwinter Nights, or they made their own artworks based on this game and want to share self-made pics with others. Or you are someone who makes Let's Play vids and want to use your well-known "logo" or picture. Ofc Larian develops this game, but an active community can add a lot of stuff to the whole experience. See, i like a detailed character creation (i would even say the options in the current build are limited, i would love to see more hairstyles, skin tones, faces, eye colors, body shapes, a tallness slider, more haircolors, just more of everything - also portraits - , but i can live with what we have now)

also, this is beta. I would say they will add more pics, but if not, they will probably add more after release by an update, maybe even more hairstyles and such (there are mirrors in the game you can click, so this is probably something that could give us the ability to change the appearance of our characters in the future, who knows?).




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Originally Posted by MaralDesa
(there are mirrors in the game you can click, so this is probably something that could give us the ability to change the appearance of our characters in the future, who knows?).






There's already such a mirror in the game.

Was kinda disappointing how nobody makes a comment when you change your appearance.

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Originally Posted by ColdSpiral
I'm going to assume -

:lol:

Originally Posted by ColdSpiral

To convey my meaning I should have said -

You should have said it is your own personal insane idea and leave anyone else out of it instead claiming that "people" will think this or that. Mate.

And no, its nothing at all like what i would want.

Originally Posted by Hiver
Originally Posted by ColdSpiral

though generating a preset portrait for every combination of face, hair colour, hairstyle, skin tone etc. may not be a huge effort on Larian's behalf,

what? :lol:

It's really not, when you look at the modular system they're using. Flick through the female portraits -[/quote]
Those two or three head models do not represent character look as it is in the game at all. Roderick gets a better deal, Scarlet is nowhere near the ingame look of the character.

I wasn't referring to the head models they use in the portraits anyway. I as laughing at your idea that creating so many different portraits "wouldnt be hard to do". But obviously you meant specifically the portraits that use those two head models.


Originally Posted by Hiver
Originally Posted by ColdSpiral
it would create an end result that is incredibly difficult or tedious for the user to navigate.

Speak. for. yourself. mate.

So. I just went and counted - [/quote]
Dont repeat my quips. Those are mine.

Second, i meant that you should speak for yourself only - instead of calling on some phantom majority of people or players to boost your personal request.

Originally Posted by Hiver
Quote
wherein the process is reversed and the character model is updated to fit the portrait design

the whhaaaat?

Simple. Selecting a portrait from a set of "presets" -[/quote]
I was just laughing at the idea. Few weeks before release to boot.
That "whaaaaat" was the Red Letter media Jay and Mike: "lol whaaaaaat!"


Originally Posted by ColdSpiral

Not really sure what you're getting worked up about here. Given that it's a fundamentally basic and straightforward idea, I'm going to take your use of "insane", "crazier", and "improbable" to mean that you misunderstood me. I hope this helps clarify things for you.

No, they mean exactly what they look like.


Anyway, there are basically only two feasible options at this time as far as this is concerned.


1. They make more variations of the two head models they have.

2. They make 2D screenshots or the game does that automatically from our character models (my vote)

and 3...



Ok, there are basically only three feasible options:



1. They make more variations of the two head models they have.

2. They make 2D screenshots or the game does that automatically from our character models (my vote)

3. They allow players to use whatever the want

and 4...



OK, Ok... there are basically only FOUR feasible options!



1. They make more variations of the two head models they have.

2. They make 2D screenshots of characters and use those or the game does that automatically from our character models. (gets my vote)

3. They allow players to use whatever the want.

4. They make some sort of contest on who will do a better portraits based on the in game characters look, which they then officially patch into the game!



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For some reason this really hit home with me last evening creating a new party. I think there should just be a screenshot of the players mug you create. Perhaps what would be extra cool if we were be able control zoom in and and angle to make it unique (Xbox Live Style). And if you want to go for the grand slam, have a Oil Painting effect you can apply for those who like the painted look.

That said, not expecting anything, but if just a mug of your actual character... I would prefer that and then you have millions of combo's.

Rank - Low, Nice to Have.

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If Larian wanted to implement this a quick screen grab of your character's head might be the quickest way at the moment. I would love to see a nice 2d "painted" portrait much like you've described ColdSpiral, but with the release date so close it probably isn't feasible.

I'm sure it's a low priority for Larian right now, but it would be a wonderful addition in a future update as you've stated.

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The game is designed for modding and user-made adventures, and that almost certainly includes custom portrait art.

Going for portrait = model as a default would take resources that Larian probably can't afford at this point (although maybe after release it'll end up on the to-do list). Either a screenshot or a direct display of the 3D model inside the portrait window would work (although the models aren't really meant for portrait-style close-ups).

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Originally Posted by Hiver

I wasn't referring to the head models they use in the portraits anyway. I as laughing at your idea that creating so many different portraits "wouldnt be hard to do". But obviously you meant specifically the portraits that use those two head models.


Actually GENERATING portraits by automation is not that difficult. The number of face/hair combinations doesn't matter. The code remains the same.
(But as OP said it isn't a good solution for obvious reasons)

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wow alot of hate in a thread about something so simple O.o

easy solution is 1-3 base portaits with color ID areas (Face,Hair,Ect) that would auto match the style and color pallet chosen on character creation.

As stated above we are getting mod tools which most likely will allow more art to be imported.

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I really hope the devs manage to at least make it so there's an extremal folder for portraits like in Shadowrun:Returns and Wasteland 2.

The problem with using the mod tools to add portraits is
a. We will have to wait for them to actually be released
and
b. it would probably be hard to share portraits with your co-op partner


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Originally Posted by Sinthesizer
Originally Posted by Hiver

I wasn't referring to the head models they use in the portraits anyway. I as laughing at your idea that creating so many different portraits "wouldnt be hard to do". But obviously you meant specifically the portraits that use those two head models.


Actually GENERATING portraits by automation is not that difficult. The number of face/hair combinations doesn't matter. The code remains the same.
(But as OP said it isn't a good solution for obvious reasons)

There is no code for any of that.
No functionality, no structure, no design, no models, no - any of it.

All those separate parts need to be created and then made to work together.
Which, unlike OP claimed, who knows based on what really except desire to just have it, is not easy at all.

On the other hand i wouldnt be surprised if some inane unnecessary feature like that would turn up. Just because.

Completely pointless to me, of course, since i would be more then happy to even have a screenshot of my character usable as a portrait.




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