ALICE (was: funny softwarez)

Discuss how to use the Ren'Py engine to create visual novels and story-based games. New releases are announced in this section.
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ALICE (was: funny softwarez)

#1 Post by oyster » Fri Sep 23, 2005 9:38 pm

http://www.dollysoft.com/
it is very simple and for kidz, but i think a tool like
Image
and something else would be cool in RenPy.

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#2 Post by PyTom » Fri Sep 23, 2005 9:55 pm

Well, probably not Ren'Py, although outputting Ren'Py code could be an option.

I'd be willing to code something like this up, if an artist (or group of artists) would be willing to commit to actually providing art.
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#3 Post by bookie » Sat Sep 24, 2005 3:20 am

If you would do the coding...

How about this, don't expect me to give you art until I've given you art, because I can't guarantee anything (I can't even finish the art for my own game) But I've been wanting to do something like this for a while now, and if someone else could code it, it could be possible.

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#4 Post by PyTom » Sat Sep 24, 2005 9:00 am

Sure. I'll leave this up as a standing offer... Ideally, one that will be taken up by multiple artists. I ask that they contact me first so we can talk about what the images should look like (file-format wise, not artistic-wise).

Once I get the images, I'll throw a few hours into coding the software up.
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#5 Post by rioka » Sat Sep 24, 2005 9:55 am

Nice program. If we can get one for us up and running, it'll definitely make it easier for the average person to create a ren'ai game! I'll chip in once I'm done with the artwork for Foxtaile. =)
PyTom wrote:Sure. I'll leave this up as a standing offer... Ideally, one that will be taken up by multiple artists. I ask that they contact me first so we can talk about what the images should look like (file-format wise, not artistic-wise).
Why not talk about it here? Since it will be used by the public in general, shouldn't they know what the output/workings will be like?

Anyways, it'll be a paperdoll format so that means we have to first lay down the basics...

1) Sizes?
Considering the norm is 800x600 screen resolution, 600px would be an ideal max for character images. Now, for width, it gets a bit dicey. Each character can take up more or less than another depending on the design and "what" the character is (ex/ cat-girls).

2) Format?
Most people use PNG format for characters as it is the most versatile. I guess we can safely say that this is a must for input and output. As an alternative, you could put in a GIF and BMP option.

3) Templates?
Here, we can either a) make a general body template that all artists must adhere to and users can inter-change the styles of each artists or b) each artists create their own basic body templates, creating a more diverse selection. Aside from that, we need front-view, quarter-view, and side-view options. I guess we can hold out on QV and SV for now since it's mainly FV characters used. Oh yeah, waist up, full body, or knee up images?
PyTom wrote:Once I get the images, I'll throw a few hours into coding the software up.
Hmm, anyone else up to creating some character art?

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#6 Post by PyTom » Sat Sep 24, 2005 11:29 am

eclipse wrote:Why not talk about it here? Since it will be used by the public in general, shouldn't they know what the output/workings will be like?
Well, I was planning on talking about it here... Just not until some artists have comitted. But what the heck.
1) Sizes?
Considering the norm is 800x600 screen resolution, 600px would be an ideal max for character images. Now, for width, it gets a bit dicey. Each character can take up more or less than another depending on the design and "what" the character is (ex/ cat-girls).
Hm... This is mostly an issue for artists to work out. I'd suggest that characters should fit in a 400x600 bounding box, so two can be put on the screen at once, but apart from that, I don't have much in the way of suggestions.

I do suggest that artists contributing to this project organize, somehow, so that the character images are similar. For example, eyes should be in same place, and the size of the head should be roughly the same.
2) Format?
Most people use PNG format for characters as it is the most versatile. I guess we can safely say that this is a must for input and output. As an alternative, you could put in a GIF and BMP option.
I figure I'll support PNG. It's easy to add the others, but frankly a 1-bit alpha channel isn't enough, and I don't want to encourage it.

I may also support outputting a fragment of Ren'Py code that causes Ren'Py to assemble the character using im.Composite. We'll see.
3) Templates?
Here, we can either a) make a general body template that all artists must adhere to and users can inter-change the styles of each artists or b) each artists create their own basic body templates, creating a more diverse selection.
I'm thinking this is a decision best left up to the contributing artists... although if someone wants to contribute a body template to get started, that would be good.
Aside from that, we need front-view, quarter-view, and side-view options. I guess we can hold out on QV and SV for now since it's mainly FV characters used. Oh yeah, waist up, full body, or knee up images?
I would suggest either waist up, or full body. In the latter case, it would be easy to automatically crop the image to either of the other cases. (The default image would probably be bigger in that case, and scaled down)

Making full body and cropped images available would mean that it would be easy to insert the full-body image into a background to make a poor-man's event CG. But it would also mean more work for the artists, and it's their contribution over the long term that will make or break this project.
PyTom wrote:Once I get the images, I'll throw a few hours into coding the software up.
Hmm, anyone else up to creating some character art?
I'll specify that to start coding, I'd require a bishoujo body template, so as not to trigger BFR*, and enough art to demonstrate that the system works. This means two each of clothes, hair, eyes, mouths, etc... everything I need to get a reasonable result.

I can probably accepted some sort of layered image, and then automatically convert that image image into a series of registered pngs. Otherwise, we would be forced to align the images by hand... not overly fun.

It might also help if an element of a given color had the same hue throughout the image. This way, it would be possible to give the user the option to rotate the hues on a layer through the HLS color-space, letting them recolor all or part of a layer.

For example, here's a rotation of the hue of Ayu's pajamas by 180 degrees.

Image Image

Before is on the left, after is on the right. This was actually done with some sample code I whipped together to prove the concept.

Making this a feature of the tool seems like it could be fun... For each layer, we could let the user recolor the various components.

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#7 Post by bookie » Sat Sep 24, 2005 7:21 pm

In terms of multiple illustrators working on templates, this is what I think of the two possibilities. Please tell me which one seems to be most viable.

1) Each individual artist creates his own set, independant of other artist's bases, positioning and the like. Things like body and image size might be standardized, but in terms of having all clothes fit all body types and etc... in general only one site will fit itself.

Pros: Artists can make a set without having to think about what other artists have done before. Also this allows for more styles. Artists who want to contribute but don't have the skill/time to conform to what's already been done can still help out.

Cons: It's probably much more difficult on the coding side. If a user wants to use a certain hair style with a certain eye style and they're from different sets, it might be impossible for them. This leads to a more limited number of combinations.

OR

2) All doll styles are standardized, so that all eyes are in a certain place, all bodies are a certain demension, etc... If you can get a few base bodies and provide them, then artists can do something simple like print them out, draw over them, and submit the result.

Pros: Everything is interchangable with everything else. Templates might make it easier for people to submit artwork.

Cons: Styles and positions are limited to what is put in initially.

I'm just brainstorming right now about how the program might be set up so I have an idea of what to be drawing. Ideally you could work toward complete standardization but have stuff available for independent sets too.

As far as Sideview and Quarterview are concerned, I don't think if we went with a big mothertemplate that would be possible. You'd have to be a professional artist to put that much time into a project like this, or otherwise have a /lot/ of time on your hands. It will take a while just to do a few different body types, not to mention layers for each of these body types.

Before I start drawing anything (This might get me out of my drawing funk!) could you guys give me and idea of what layers you'll be looking for? I'd say realistically, Hair, Face, Clothes, and Bodytype would be all we need.

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#8 Post by PyTom » Sat Sep 24, 2005 7:26 pm

My gut feeling is that layer organization into categories is actually a fairly high-level deal, that we don't have to deal with yet. I doubt my code will care if a layer is clothes or body, except that it needs to separate them in a tree-view of the layers.

There's also the idea that we may have multiple pictures making up a layer, with each picture having different parts of a z-order. For example, Ayu has jacket parts in front of and behind her body.

I'd say that we need body, hair, eyes, mouth, probably top and bottom to clothes, perhaps accessories for random gratuitious giant bows...
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#9 Post by rioka » Mon Sep 26, 2005 3:38 pm

So I guess we'll go with option #2 then. You could always make it into a wizard-type format where you can first choose the body-type and then go from there (choosing eyes for that particular body-type, etc) rather than make it all accessible at once from the get-go.
PyTom wrote:I'd say that we need body, hair, eyes, mouth, probably top and bottom to clothes, perhaps accessories for random gratuitious giant bows...
Okay, I'll see about getting something this week... unless bookie beats me to it. ;)

All in all, I like the idea of #2 since it'll be the most artist-friendly. You've got a base to work with and all you really need to do is add lines to make the clothes. Anyways, once we've got something going, I'll post about this at the Manga Tutorials forum. I'm sure there'd be contributors from there. :)

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#10 Post by Dre » Mon Sep 26, 2005 4:39 pm

Cool! I'll try to contribute after everything is set up. This sounds like a really good idea.

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#11 Post by PyTom » Mon Sep 26, 2005 10:09 pm

eclipse wrote:So I guess we'll go with option #2 then. You could always make it into a wizard-type format where you can first choose the body-type and then go from there (choosing eyes for that particular body-type, etc) rather than make it all accessible at once from the get-go.
I have some ideas about packs of stuff, in which people would pick a pack and then would get everything in that pack, or compatible with it.
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#12 Post by ShiraiJunichi » Mon Sep 26, 2005 10:56 pm

This is looking really cool!!! I think the ability to change the hue is awesome! I think this will end up looking really good, because it'll be a whole lot for easier for someone to draw just a single part- like an eye- than what is currently required- which is the entire thing. I think We'll be able to get submissions from lots of people.

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#13 Post by PyTom » Mon Sep 26, 2005 11:03 pm

Well, while realistic, the Kanon example was a best-case for hue-change. It'll be interesting to see what happens whe I get real data.
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#14 Post by ShiraiJunichi » Tue Sep 27, 2005 12:05 am

But if you encourage artists to only adjust the lightness in order to shade, then it should work perfectly every time- as long as the image only has one color besides black and white. This is perfect for hair and eyes- which is what I think altering the hue would be most used for. But if you could create different layers for every color in a single article of clothing, then you could have complete control over all the colors- which would be really nice. It just requires a little thought before hand to do this, I think

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#15 Post by bookie » Tue Sep 27, 2005 12:29 am

eclipse wrote:So I guess we'll go with option #2 then. You could always make it into a wizard-type format where you can first choose the body-type and then go from there (choosing eyes for that particular body-type, etc) rather than make it all accessible at once from the get-go.
PyTom wrote:I'd say that we need body, hair, eyes, mouth, probably top and bottom to clothes, perhaps accessories for random gratuitious giant bows...
Okay, I'll see about getting something this week... unless bookie beats me to it. ;)

All in all, I like the idea of #2 since it'll be the most artist-friendly. You've got a base to work with and all you really need to do is add lines to make the clothes. Anyways, once we've got something going, I'll post about this at the Manga Tutorials forum. I'm sure there'd be contributors from there. :)
You will most definitely beat me. Even if I get everything drawn up it will be a while before I have access to a scanner to send it over.

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