Do You Work Out A Sprite's Expressions as You Write?

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Do You Work Out A Sprite's Expressions as You Write?

#1 Post by Obscura » Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:59 am

I'm just curious how most people work with the sprite's expressions while writing out their scripts.

Do you tend to write out the entire script first (meaning the text and dialogue) and then go back and include expression and pose changes?

Or do you include the expression and pose changes as you go along?

(The current process for me is currently very time consuming, but it's probably because I have far more expressions than I actually need.) :roll:
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Re: Do You Work Out A Sprite's Expressions as You Write?

#2 Post by nyaatrap » Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:53 am

Sprites effects will be changed after proofreading, so I don't put most of codes first not to waste coding time. Usually, put only scene statement.

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Re: Do You Work Out A Sprite's Expressions as You Write?

#3 Post by Geckos » Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:15 am

I generally get the script in there, and as I preview it in the game, I add the sprite's expressions as appropriate.
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Re: Do You Work Out A Sprite's Expressions as You Write?

#4 Post by Ran08 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:27 am

Eh? :) As for me I make the sprite's expressions first. I do find that complicated too, making a lot of expressions, so I mostly just use some basic ones for my script. Afterwards, if I feel the need for a special expression, then I do it.

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Re: Do You Work Out A Sprite's Expressions as You Write?

#5 Post by Veniae » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:45 am

I write and then add in the whole coding (poses, expressions, settings, music...). Or more rather, I write and then I procrastinate on coding while I write some more.

It's wonderful, having a lot of expressions, but actually including them in the script is such a pain. Especially when said script is huge.

How about you, Obscura? What's your method?

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Re: Do You Work Out A Sprite's Expressions as You Write?

#6 Post by destiny_921 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:33 am

I multi-task >.>

While I'm writing, I keep in mind that I have graphics - thus restraining myself from going into unnecessary long-winded descriptions/explanations.
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Re: Do You Work Out A Sprite's Expressions as You Write?

#7 Post by netravelr » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:03 pm

As I don't do art at all but commission, I have to plan out all of the expressions ahead of time inside of Culina in terms of making the least amount of assets for the most amount of things and I actually had to commission an angry expression after the fact because I thought a generic upset would work for both sad and angry. And now I know. I think for new projects I'd like to have more written before going into artland as it'd be easier to tell what expressions to do.
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Re: Do You Work Out A Sprite's Expressions as You Write?

#8 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:08 pm

I write indications of expressions as I write the first draft script. (I don't write it to be directly imported to Ren'Py, as I know it'll go through several revisions.) Then when I finish the script, I go back through and itemize the number of different expressions for each character. Then I consolidate expressions to reduce the amount needed as much as possible for each character.

I actually use a bit of scratch paper at first to make tick-marks on. Every time I encounter a new expression for a character I write it down, then I make a mark next to it every time it appears in the script. I'll do some consolidation in this phase, for instance dividing all "happy-themed" expressions into just two categories, like "happy" and "very happy". At the end of this process I am left with an easy go to of each character's most used expressions. This helps me decide where to put focus regarding the art, and also lets me easily see the expressions that are only used once and can probably be cut.

I further break these down by expressions that can be done with facial feature changes only, or if the entire pose will be modified. I try and be very careful with changes in pose depending on the number of different outfits a character will make that pose in. The art requirements can grow exponentially if you have a lot of outfits with a lot of poses.
1 Pose + 1 Outfit = 1 Drawing.
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All this doesn't take very long, maybe an evening at most. And it lets me make a Gantt chart (that I inevitably will screw up and not follow) and determine the feasibility of a project. I've actually got a couple of fully finished VN scripts with concept art done that I've not started on because the feasibility study came back with a firm "Oh, Hell no. This is an 'all your free time for 3 years' art project." Better to find that out up front than get burnt out months into the project by the sheer volume of work.

I never start art work for a project before I finish writing it, aside from a few quick loose concept sketches. There is too much potential for wasted art otherwise.

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Re: Do You Work Out A Sprite's Expressions as You Write?

#9 Post by Obscura » Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:42 am

Thanks folks. Sounds like writing sans expressions is the first order of business for most of you.
Veniae wrote:I write and then add in the whole coding (poses, expressions, settings, music...). Or more rather, I write and then I procrastinate on coding while I write some more.

It's wonderful, having a lot of expressions, but actually including them in the script is such a pain. Especially when said script is huge.

How about you, Obscura? What's your method?
Haha, I find it easier to procrastinate on writing than coding.

My method is to write and include expressions later. But I have so many expressions (at least 40 per character) it takes an extremely long time for me to get through one scene, like you said. I think I'm going to have to start culling most of them. I don't know if people will even notice the difference between "shock1" and "shock2" or "sad3" and "sad4". :cry:
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Re: Do You Work Out A Sprite's Expressions as You Write?

#10 Post by nyaatrap » Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:40 am

Speaking of which, I'm using a special screen to support expression/sound coding. It contains list of sprites, costumes, expressions, sounds and music, and plays them anytime.
tmp00002.png
If someone interested, here is a simplified sample code: http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 33#p242128

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Re: Do You Work Out A Sprite's Expressions as You Write?

#11 Post by Tsuyuri » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:13 pm

I work chapter per chapter so I tend to work out the sprite expressions as I write (I got the odd feature of daydreaming in anime-style mode)

so usually when I write my script has something like

Character
Outfit
Pose
Expression

tags (in the script itself) so when for example their expression changes I just go


Character change expression > new expression

luckily the one helping me with the coding already gotten used to it ^^

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Re: Do You Work Out A Sprite's Expressions as You Write?

#12 Post by dramspringfeald » Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:35 pm

I've found I use those "Expression memes" very useful.

Draw the character Then draw the Pose & Expression at the same time then the outfits. The Outfits I've found work well with Flash or Object Manipulation.

Because my games use Furries I cant really just slide the Dodge/Burn tool so Each character gets their own set of Sprites.
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Re: Do You Work Out A Sprite's Expressions as You Write?

#13 Post by Obscura » Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:02 am

Thank you everyone for the helpful advice.

I've settled on working on my vomit draft right now, and just quickly placing #expression, making many up many of them as I go along.

I figure once I go back to the second (or third or fourth drafts), I'll start figuring out which expressions I'll actually be using.
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