Book 5 - Prologue 21

What would Mary Sue do?

Book 5 - Prologue 21
Comic - Book 5 - Page 21

Recent posts... (See full thread)
-D- wrote:
At the cost of being banned for being negative, the Emperor has no clothes. I mean, the art is abysmal.

I'm not sure what others are looking at, but that art is crude at best. Proportions are off, there are no outlines, the style is just non-existent. This feels like someone's first Blender 3D project because it most likely is.

Making serious 2D looking graphics from 3D is a super hard and expensive craft, just ask people that made Guilty Gear Xrd. Here is a serious link about how to achieve such effects.

You'll note it took several talented 2D/3D animators several years working on a game, that reuses a boatload of its background.

At this point, I'd rather prefer Text updates with no images to whatever this is.


No offence but as someone who has been in that first time position, (albeit in another program), this is faaaar above that. For that matter look at my example from stanley's desk up thead, that still looks far in advance of the most recent page. And if you go to the reward unit models they look genuinely quite good, for that matter the typewriter from a few pages ago got lots of praise and some simple lining of paige's face in the previous update by a forum user made the art look remarkably good. The reality is they ARE most of the way to producing art similar to the existing style via this method, what they're really trying to figure out is exactly how to texture some surfaces and what kind of filtering to apply to produce a natural look.

It's giving them trouble, which is not surprising. But it's a long, long, long, long way from first blender project levels.
Carl wrote:
-D- wrote:
At the cost of being banned for being negative, the Emperor has no clothes. I mean, the art is abysmal.

I'm not sure what others are looking at, but that art is crude at best. Proportions are off, there are no outlines, the style is just non-existent. This feels like someone's first Blender 3D project because it most likely is.

Making serious 2D looking graphics from 3D is a super hard and expensive craft, just ask people that made Guilty Gear Xrd. Here is a serious link about how to achieve such effects.

You'll note it took several talented 2D/3D animators several years working on a game, that reuses a boatload of its background.

At this point, I'd rather prefer Text updates with no images to whatever this is.


No offence but as someone who has been in that first time position, (albeit in another program), this is faaaar above that. For that matter look at my example from stanley's desk up thead, that still looks far in advance of the most recent page. And if you go to the reward unit models they look genuinely quite good, for that matter the typewriter from a few pages ago got lots of praise and some simple lining of paige's face in the previous update by a forum user made the art look remarkably good. The reality is they ARE most of the way to producing art similar to the existing style via this method, what they're really trying to figure out is exactly how to texture some surfaces and what kind of filtering to apply to produce a natural look.

It's giving them trouble, which is not surprising. But it's a long, long, long, long way from first blender project levels.


It sounds like what they should be doing a proof of concept then instead of whatever the heck this is (as has been suggested in this thread). Take one of the Book 1 areas (Like GK) and recreate some of the pages using the 3d art. That'd be the easiest way for us to provide feedback as we could do a comparison between new and old. Since Erfworld relies so heavily on signamancy, and one of the driving forces behind this whole thing was lengthy reader discussions around minor flaws in the comic. Not take those minor flaws and magnify them by a massive change to the art style (e.g. does Paige looking blurry/indistinct mean something, or is it just 'low quality' art).

I don't think anyone is suggesting that the art team is not doing their best. We are just suggesting that this is a very difficult task, and maybe a new approach is needed.
Carl wrote:
-D- wrote:
At the cost of being banned for being negative, the Emperor has no clothes. I mean, the art is abysmal.

I'm not sure what others are looking at, but that art is crude at best. Proportions are off, there are no outlines, the style is just non-existent. This feels like someone's first Blender 3D project because it most likely is.

Making serious 2D looking graphics from 3D is a super hard and expensive craft, just ask people that made Guilty Gear Xrd. Here is a serious link about how to achieve such effects.

You'll note it took several talented 2D/3D animators several years working on a game, that reuses a boatload of its background.

At this point, I'd rather prefer Text updates with no images to whatever this is.


No offence but as someone who has been in that first time position, (albeit in another program), this is faaaar above that. For that matter look at my example from stanley's desk up thead, that still looks far in advance of the most recent page. And if you go to the reward unit models they look genuinely quite good, for that matter the typewriter from a few pages ago got lots of praise and some simple lining of paige's face in the previous update by a forum user made the art look remarkably good. The reality is they ARE most of the way to producing art similar to the existing style via this method, what they're really trying to figure out is exactly how to texture some surfaces and what kind of filtering to apply to produce a natural look.

It's giving them trouble, which is not surprising. But it's a long, long, long, long way from first blender project levels.


Sorry, no, the lining of her face made her look like less of a background element, but she still didn't look like a person. She looks like a badly made statue of a person at best.

The front view really exposes the problems, especially in the eyes. They're lifeless. Given what Erfworlder eyes look like, this might seem tricky, but the previous art has always given a soul to the character's eyes. These have none.

It's not just the eyes, though. Her hair looks like a solid piece with vague texturing that looks more like rock than hair. Her clothes have a similar appearance. I really, really hope they can make some improvements on this. If not, well... I'd say abandon the 3D. And don't fall for the sunken cost fallacy... some things just weren't a good idea to begin with, no matter how good they seemed to look on paper (or on the computer). I wouldn't say give it up just yet, but I would definitely be leaning that direction if I were Rob.

(I could still be okay with the 3D with some minor improvements for the backgrounds. Those aren't nearly as critical as the characters.)
Axiom wrote:
If the impressionistic style is something you're doing as a theme for Paige updates, then great. You're nailing it.


And frankly, I'm into it! If that's the direction you're heading for, then take it further. Give me pastels, give me pointilism. This isn't bad, it's just different from the standard most folks are used to. The hedge sure looks like a hedge to me, it just feels weird that Paige is placed where she is; this panel looks like she's out of bounds, coming from the side when there might be a more apparent approach (though that's really more of a story choice than an art one). And the soft lighting and colors are a fantastic balance to all the line work and perfect for the general sense of a lonely tropical-ish island. I also like the font used for the writing!
Swiftbow wrote:
Carl wrote:
-D- wrote:
At the cost of being banned for being negative, the Emperor has no clothes. I mean, the art is abysmal.

I'm not sure what others are looking at, but that art is crude at best. Proportions are off, there are no outlines, the style is just non-existent. This feels like someone's first Blender 3D project because it most likely is.

Making serious 2D looking graphics from 3D is a super hard and expensive craft, just ask people that made Guilty Gear Xrd. Here is a serious link about how to achieve such effects.

You'll note it took several talented 2D/3D animators several years working on a game, that reuses a boatload of its background.

At this point, I'd rather prefer Text updates with no images to whatever this is.


No offence but as someone who has been in that first time position, (albeit in another program), this is faaaar above that. For that matter look at my example from stanley's desk up thead, that still looks far in advance of the most recent page. And if you go to the reward unit models they look genuinely quite good, for that matter the typewriter from a few pages ago got lots of praise and some simple lining of paige's face in the previous update by a forum user made the art look remarkably good. The reality is they ARE most of the way to producing art similar to the existing style via this method, what they're really trying to figure out is exactly how to texture some surfaces and what kind of filtering to apply to produce a natural look.

It's giving them trouble, which is not surprising. But it's a long, long, long, long way from first blender project levels.


Sorry, no, the lining of her face made her look like less of a background element, but she still didn't look like a person. She looks like a badly made statue of a person at best.

The front view really exposes the problems, especially in the eyes. They're lifeless. Given what Erfworlder eyes look like, this might seem tricky, but the previous art has always given a soul to the character's eyes. These have none.

It's not just the eyes, though. Her hair looks like a solid piece with vague texturing that looks more like rock than hair. Her clothes have a similar appearance. I really, really hope they can make some improvements on this. If not, well... I'd say abandon the 3D. And don't fall for the sunken cost fallacy... some things just weren't a good idea to begin with, no matter how good they seemed to look on paper (or on the computer). I wouldn't say give it up just yet, but I would definitely be leaning that direction if I were Rob.

(I could still be okay with the 3D with some minor improvements for the backgrounds. Those aren't nearly as critical as the characters.)


According to prior posts they're using the same basic process, (for that matter they have a common starting models for human and human like units), for creating the raw textured models for every character. Compare Paige to the unit your badge says you have. Paige's current overall model doubtless looks very similar in style and quality to that one. Her mushiness and other issues are almost certainly a result of the filtering they're apply to the 2D image and/or textures in an attempt to take away that underlying 3D CGI look everything has in their prior examples.

Don't mistake the efects of filtering for the underlying bits and pieces.
I'm so happy to see update.
Paige's thoughts about making herself a character in a story she's writing and mixing the metaphor to diving straight into the rough-draft made me think of something...

...carnymancy.

Not in the sense that it is a cheat, but in the sense that Stagemancy is the magic of "the narrative" which has perplexed me for a while.

But I wonder, what is hat-magic in that sense, what is the behind-the-scenes psychological basis of it. Is it also attached to identity or... status.. or something?

Because it appears that Paige is bulwarking herself up by doing some kind of... well, natural carnymancy, maybe? IDK.

But, if that be the case then... do Carnymancers see that they really ARE characters in a narrative?!
Arci wrote:
But, if that be the case then... do Carnymancers see that they really ARE characters in a narrative?!

Very likely yes.

We've been told by the Hippiemancers (perhaps correctly, perhaps not) that Carnymancy is ultimately the magic of belief. The rules of the game (i.e. the world, which is a game, quite literally in this case) are defined by the collective beliefs of the people playing it. Change what the mark believes, and you change the rules. Alteration of one's own belief seems to play a big part in it, from Charlie's inner monologues -- specifically, in order to cheat a contract, Charlie has to convince himself that he's not cheating it. The AI behind the contract sees Charlie acting in good faith, because of the self-deception, and permits the violation.

Carnymancers and Predictamancers in Erfworld both seem to occupy the genre-savvy, self-aware manipulator role usually played by Bards in other fantasy literature (Order of the Stick, The Gods are Bastards). The main difference is that Predictamancers are trying to help the story stay on track, and Carnymancers want to derail it.
Arci wrote:
But I wonder, what is hat-magic in that sense, what is the behind-the-scenes psychological basis of it. Is it also attached to identity or... status.. or something?

I'd say status. It's certainly supported by characters of many hats... particularly Wanda, Ansom, Skyy, and Slately. Given Turnamancy's use of every definition of turn [including the wheel], I'd be surprised if Hat Magic didn't make use of that interpretation. Natural Hat Magic might even be the source of the royal stat boost; they're wearing the hat of protagonist.
greycat wrote:
Carnymancers and Predictamancers in Erfworld both seem to occupy the genre-savvy, self-aware manipulator role


Self aware... self aware... let me check something

Healomancy, Dollamancy, Changeamancy, Predictamancy, signamancy, thinkamancy, croakamancy, carnymancy...

It seems that the disciplines that scream "self aware" the most would be Thinkamancy, Carnymancy, and Predictamancy... but Croakamancy, Changeamancy and dollamancy do seem to resonate some with that concept as well.

Signamancy and healomancy are... not resonating as "not self-aware" to me.

Sorry, I'm just always finding myself checking magic stuff for... secrets and answers.