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Artists Corner => Art Reviews and Previews => Topic started by: hans on January 30, 2011, 10:37:43 PM

Title: New Artpacks by GoldBoxFan
Post by: hans on January 30, 2011, 10:37:43 PM
Hi, everybody! 

If you haven't noticed, GoldBoxFan has been extremely busy lately, ULing something like 20 new artpacks to the UA File Archive during the month of January!  There are simply way too many for me to give proper reviews to, so I'll just post some preview pics below.  While the quality of the pics varies widely, there are plenty of excellent ones, like these:
(click to enlarge)

Title: Re: New Artpacks by GoldBoxFan
Post by: Ben J on January 31, 2011, 06:31:16 AM
 :o Wow, the last time I checked there were about three new artpacks by GoldBoxFan on rosedragon. I didn't anticipate that there were so many more.

It will take some time to look through all of these.

I like the ones you selected, hans, especially the first and third.
Title: Re: New Artpacks by GoldBoxFan
Post by: GoldBoxFan on January 31, 2011, 10:43:53 PM
Yep, 2095 pieces of art this month: 466 titles, 162 overland maps, 432 bigpics and 1035 portraits. Actually 2096, I added a fountain to the Maztican module I uploaded a few minutes ago. Also 16 combat icons (32 actually) I made for my module Mictlate.DSN since none existed and Hans' natives didn't quite work (I used them as defaults).

I do realize I should prune things, but I'm really not looking to add any more art in future, and put too much effort into each portrait to just discard it. And if I get better images at some point I will replace the old versions. In fact I got better Plane Scape, Al-Qadim, Dark Sun, Oriental, and Ravenloft images for products I didn't have. Maybe a few better Gamma World and Top Secret, but not above 300 x 300 pixels on those. I also found a bunch of Alternity images to make my second Gamma World pack better. And I will start looking for the actual paintings I used for my western art to make them better. For some reason many of those scans and one Top Secret scan were yellow or striped. So the western pack is probably my worst until fixed.

My titles and bigpics are the best looking. Though I did get some great portraits. Dark Sun has some good ones. Maybe Ravenloft. I tried putting titles through toolset and then converting them back, but then they didn't work well when put in the number 1 title spot, so I quite doing that. I also realize small pictures don't convert well to portraits. But some of the art was so good I couldn't stand to have it only cut down.

I also realize converting real maps to overland maps is foolish if you are trying to fit it into a specific size. It seemed a waste of maps not to try. Some of them came out okay. But most have hard to read text.

Now hopefully I can get back to working on modules.

EDIT: I didn't actually make the art, just converted it. Most of it is TSR/WOTC. Except the icons.
Title: Re: New Artpacks by GoldBoxFan
Post by: GoldBoxFan on February 01, 2011, 10:22:11 AM
I put all 60 portrait images from DSArt1.zip onto one sheet to view at once. It is attached. I also noticed I had the same image twice for image 10 and corrected it. That fixed image is also below. Wish I could figure out how to put images on here. It appears they can only come from websites. So how did Hans do it?  ???
Title: Re: New Artpacks by GoldBoxFan
Post by: Ben J on February 01, 2011, 02:31:26 PM
Wish I could figure out how to put images on here. It appears they can only come from websites. So how did Hans do it?  ???

PCX-files won't show up here. They need to be converted to jpg, gif or png and then attached to the post.
Title: Re: New Artpacks by GoldBoxFan
Post by: hans on February 01, 2011, 03:47:40 PM
PCX-files won't show up here. They need to be converted to jpg, gif or png and then attached to the post.
 

I resize them to twice their original size (which is too small for folks to really see details) and then save them as GIFs (which keeps the file size down).  Only thing I need to remember is to clear the first palette slot (using the color-replacer tool) so that black areas won't be displayed as white. 

If the question is simply how to add image attachments here, go to "Additional Options..." below your message in progress, click and then "Browse" your files for the image you want to attach.
Title: Re: New Artpacks by GoldBoxFan
Post by: hans on February 01, 2011, 04:45:24 PM
I had said that the quality of the pics varied widely.  I should've given some specifics (what a poor reviewer I am!).  While there are lots of really good images, here are three problems among some of the others:

The most obvious is that some pics have a borderline left in the image on one of the sides.  This will distract a viewer during UA gameplay, reducing the impact that the rest of the image would normally have. 

Other pics have illegible captions in them.  (A caption is different from showing a book or wanted posted as an item within the gameworld, where it's usually only necessary to understand what the object is, not necessarily to be able to read it.)  Some players complain that any caption or portion of a caption is distracting to them because it breaks the "fourth wall."  That's certainly a debate.  However, an illegible caption really has nothing going for it.       

The final shortfall in some of the pics is that they are too dark or flat.  The moon in the pic below, for example, could be brighter and the image have more contrast overall.  Since many images are scanned in as too dull, to begin with, a FRUArtist should know some tricks to improve their quality during the conversion process.  VixenKitty is one of our masters at this art.  A UANL article by her which I have recommended for many years is here: http://frua.rosedragon.org/pc/uanews/uanl21/artvix.htm

Title: Re: New Artpacks by GoldBoxFan
Post by: GoldBoxFan on February 01, 2011, 11:12:53 PM
I didn't notice my PNG file was being shown, it hadn't shown up when I looked.

Yeah, I had problems with putting the 88 x 88s in the DrawPic. I just found out doubling the view of the image when placing it allows you to see if you are one pixel off. Then there is the line around the moved image that Paint.NET uses which won't let you see if you have moved one pixel when you release the mouse button. I just fixed 9 Dark Sun images I didn't notice had anything wrong with them.

And I made a whole bunch of galleries to show the pictures easier so someone can tell if they want to use them without having to look one by one.

Hans, the ones with text are usually 150 x 150 images that couldn't make a portrait without getting words. I consider them placers until I can find a larger scan to replace them with. I found a bunch for Oriental Adventures, Plane Scape, Dark Sun, Al-Qadim and Ravenloft. I'm fixing Dark Sun now.

Edit - Dark Sun Portraits:

EDIT: The art can now be found here: http://ua.reonis.com/index.php?topic=1423.15
Title: Re: New Artpacks by GoldBoxFan
Post by: GoldBoxFan on February 01, 2011, 11:23:26 PM
Big Pic Galleries 1-4:

EDIT: The art can now be found here: http://ua.reonis.com/index.php?topic=1423.15
Title: Re: New Artpacks by GoldBoxFan
Post by: GoldBoxFan on February 01, 2011, 11:37:27 PM
Big Pic Galleries 5-6, Title Galleries 1-2.

EDIT: The art can now be found here: http://ua.reonis.com/index.php?topic=1423.0 and http://ua.reonis.com/index.php?topic=1423.15
Title: Re: New Artpacks by GoldBoxFan
Post by: GoldBoxFan on February 01, 2011, 11:45:09 PM
Dark Sun Title Galleries 3-6:

EDIT: The art can now be found here: http://ua.reonis.com/index.php?topic=1423.0
Title: Re: New Artpacks by GoldBoxFan
Post by: GoldBoxFan on February 01, 2011, 11:53:27 PM
Dark Sun Title Galleries 7-10:

EDIT: The art can now be found here: http://ua.reonis.com/index.php?topic=1423.0
Title: Re: New Artpacks by GoldBoxFan
Post by: hans on February 02, 2011, 02:51:20 PM
Well, that's gotta be the most impressive preview presentation I've ever seen here!   :icon_cyclops_ani:
Title: Re: New Artpacks by GoldBoxFan
Post by: Ben J on February 02, 2011, 03:04:02 PM
How do you make these preview sheets, GoldBoxFan?

These should be included in every artpack!  :)
Title: Re: New Artpacks by GoldBoxFan
Post by: GoldBoxFan on February 02, 2011, 10:04:18 PM
Oh, I just found something that had black on it, made it fill a screen, resized it to a size I wanted, opened up the pcx files using my scanner program, and copied the contents onto the screen one by one. Took all day actually. Come to think of it, I used the black from a 88 x 88 image that was put through ua256.exe. I copied the image onto itself and moved it so only the black appeared. Then made a PNG and JPEG at 85%.

I'm going to do this to all my artpacks one by one, and add them to the pack for easy viewing. I'm going to do that slowly as I have modules to work on. I just made a bunch of new Dark Sun images today that need converting. Then I'll upload the fixes in a few days. I'll also start a thread for it, beginning with Africa and ending with WestArt2. Only put it here so Hans could see one pack of art in its entirety for his review. I had the cut the pack into three parts because of the 7 MB maximum rule. Those titles and bigpics really eat up space.

EDIT: I made 38 new bigpics, 47 new titles and 73 new portraits for Dark Sun.
Title: Re: New Artpacks by GoldBoxFan
Post by: hans on February 02, 2011, 10:24:45 PM
James Rand did a Dark Sun hackset a number of years ago.  I don't recall ever checking it out, nor if there was ever a DSUA mod.  I enjoyed both of SSI's DS games, tho, the look of the first one more than the second I think.  I hope this Dark Sun art sees lots of use.   :)
Title: Re: New Artpacks by GoldBoxFan
Post by: GoldBoxFan on February 02, 2011, 10:59:22 PM
Yeah I looked, at least 10 portraits and 2 bigpics are similar or the same. The bigpics look like they were extended to fit the size of the picture, making them distorted. But he got the original art of the guy riding the dinosaur with something  to the east I never saw. And a lot of images from the two games I think. I decided that in these cases, since I had hundreds of pieces of art, I shouldn't not make similar art to others. If my art pack was small, or his bigger, I would have paid more attention. That's why I'm not converting any Greyhawk or Forgotten Realms Art; most of it is probably already converted. Some Spelljammer were similar or the same also. I did check to make sure my Oriental Art wasn't used before. Surprising that.

Strangely enough, I didn't notice the Dark Sun hack. I have both computer games, the boxed set and DSM1 Black Flames. Maybe I'll try to convert it some day.
Title: Re: New Artpacks by GoldBoxFan
Post by: Ben J on February 03, 2011, 06:13:03 AM
Oh, I just found something that had black on it, made it fill a screen, resized it to a size I wanted, opened up the pcx files using my scanner program, and copied the contents onto the screen one by one. Took all day actually. Come to think of it, I used the black from a 88 x 88 image that was put through ua256.exe. I copied the image onto itself and moved it so only the black appeared. Then made a PNG and JPEG at 85%.

Oh, and I thought you used a program that did this for you.

I found an option in my Picture Publisher program to create preview sheets. They look a little less impressive than yours, but on the other hand they're much less work. ;)

Check out mine in the "Gnoll Call" thread.
Title: Re: New Artpacks by GoldBoxFan
Post by: GoldBoxFan on February 03, 2011, 03:49:28 PM
I uploaded my  Gallery Sheets (http://frua.rosedragon.org/pc/art/a/artsheet.zip) yesterday if anyone wants to use them. I know they are easy to make on your own, but they came in at 2 kb.