Author Topic: How Big is a Pixel in UA?  (Read 5939 times)

Offline Vix

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How Big is a Pixel in UA?
« on: March 26, 2010, 10:25:53 PM »
Instead of derailing the SHUA villians thread, I decided to move the sub-topic to its own thread.

Hans said:
Quote
Okay, since I can tell that everybody is super-interested, now, here's some sloppy math:

The average (non-heroically proportioned) man is proportionally about 6 1/2 heads tall.  For myself, and a lot of FRUArtists, an icon head usually measures 4 pixels high (as was the case in the original GoldBoxes).  That would call for the average icon to measure (if he stood up straight) as 26 pixels tall.

If we figure average human height as being 68 inches tall (5ft'8in), then one pixel will figure in scale to slightly over 2 1/2 inches.  That would make the small combat icon box, which is 24 pixels square, scale out to 2 or 3 inches over 5 feet square.  The average male figure, just a typical villager, even, would not be able to stand up straight in a small combat box.

Working from there, a taller man, say at an even 6 feet, would stand around 28 pixels tall.  His head may be the same size in UA, so we would call his physique increasingly "heroically-proportioned" (a bit longer limbed).

Actually, I did find that very interesting. I never considered that before.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2010, 10:43:45 PM by Vix »

Offline Vix

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Re: How Big is a Pixel in UA?
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2010, 10:26:38 PM »
Then Nol Drek posted:
Quote
Convert, Convert, Convert!!!

5' 8"" = 26 PIXELS
68 in = 26 PIXELS
1 in = 0.382 PIXELS
1 PIXEL = 2.615 in
24 PIXELS = 62.769" = 5'3"
48 PIXELS = 125.538" = 10' 6"
72 PIXELS = 188.308" = 15' 8"

DC and FRUA both like multiples of 24 PIXELS for some reason.

<<TABLE OF 1st EDITION GIANT HEIGHTS>>

GIANT - HILL  : 10.5' = 48 PIXELS
GIANT - STONE : 12' = 55 PIXELS
GIANT - FIRE  : 12' = 55 PIXELS
GIANT - FROST : 15' = 69 PIXELS
GIANT - CLOUD : 18' = 83 PIXELS
GIANT - STORM : 21' = 96 PIXELS

FRUA allows us the 5 sizes:

24 x 24 MEDIUM - HUMAN               - 5'3" x 5'3"
24 x 48 WIDE   - DISPLACER BEAST  - 5'3" x 10'6"
48 x 24 TALL   - HILL GIANT           - 10'6" x 5'3"
48 x 48 LARGE  - DRAGON OLD        - 10'6" x 10'6"
72 x 48 BIG    - DRAGON ANCIENT   - 15'8" x 10'6"
« Last Edit: March 26, 2010, 10:44:06 PM by Vix »

Offline nologgie

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Re: How Big is a Pixel in UA?
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2010, 11:56:44 PM »
To me, FRUA graphics are all about sloppy math.   :P

In 3D view, each pixel = 2 1/7"

In Area view, each pixel = 15"

Indoor Combat:
1 Pixel = 1.25" (Based upon room size on map)
1 Pixel = 5" (Based upon movement/range/spell AOE)
1 Pixel = ~2.5" (As calculated above for characters)
   or
1 Pixel = 3" (If character block is calculated at a 6' height)

The combat dungeon is viewed from an offset. (About 45 degrees up, south, and east is my guess, but I'm no expert.) I suspect this causes foreshortening of the perceived character height.

I don't believe we can make combat icons to an accurate scale in this system, but I do appreciate the way so many of you make them look good.   :D
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Offline hans

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Re: How Big is a Pixel in UA?
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2010, 01:02:24 AM »
The combat dungeon is viewed from an offset. (About 45 degrees up, south, and east is my guess, but I'm no expert.) I suspect this causes foreshortening of the perceived character height.
 

To my eye, there was no attempt at foreshortening of characters in UA or the GoldBoxes.  Compare to the later Ultimas, or SSI's own Dark Sun (which I think would've made a fun construction kit, too). 

The big key to my reckoning is human head size.  Some FRUArtists have gone with a three pixel high head, which naturally would change all ratios significantly.

Offline Ben J

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Re: How Big is a Pixel in UA?
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2010, 01:49:43 AM »
This is something I never really thought about...

I always considered the GoldBox combat icons to be symbolic, just as I never thought the characters in the older Ultimas were really supposed to be solid white.



In a way, the entire graphics of the GoldBox games are rather symbolic and not "WYSIWYG".
These are games, after all, where the player frequently walks into rooms that are clearly empty and then reads descriptions like: "the room is full of people".
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Offline Dinonykos

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Re: How Big is a Pixel in UA?
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2010, 04:57:17 AM »
The combat dungeon is viewed from an offset. (About 45 degrees up, south, and east is my guess, but I'm no expert.) I suspect this causes foreshortening of the perceived character height.
The combat view is isometric, which means it is no "real" perspective at all. There are no vanishing points for the different directions. For a realistic perspective from 45° up, the verticals should also be turned, which is not the case. Thus, I'd rather say that the character height is not altered.
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Offline Ben J

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Re: How Big is a Pixel in UA?
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2010, 08:30:06 AM »
The perspective is isometric, while at the same time the characters appear to be lying flat on the ground. Otherwise, the square "behind" a Giant's head and torso should be passable, but it's blocked. Even more bizarre, in a wilderness, characters can pass the square where the trunk of a tree is, but the square with the treetop is blocked.

Spatially, UA combat makes as much sense as the perspective of "Super Mario".

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Offline ProphetSword

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Re: How Big is a Pixel in UA?
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2010, 11:33:53 AM »
It seems to me that the heights of the combat icons shouldn't be taken that seriously.  They are visual representatives of the characters and monsters so that we can clearly see the combat layout (something games like "The Bard's Tale" lacked), all of which is based upon the idea of D&D miniature combat.

If one wanted to argue about how accurate it is, one could also bring up that every orc looks identical and is the same height, which allows for no variance among the species.  They wear the same clothes, use the same weapons and frequently have the same hit points.  This is true of many enemies in the game.

Also, if it took this many years to think about it, I think it goes without saying that most people never paid it much attention.
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Offline nologgie

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Re: How Big is a Pixel in UA?
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2010, 12:50:02 PM »
The combat dungeon is viewed from an offset. (About 45 degrees up, south, and east is my guess, but I'm no expert.) I suspect this causes foreshortening of the perceived character height.
The combat view is isometric, which means it is no "real" perspective at all. There are no vanishing points for the different directions. For a realistic perspective from 45° up, the verticals should also be turned, which is not the case. Thus, I'd rather say that the character height is not altered.

In my previous post, I started to mentioned how the icons aren't scaled by distance, but deleted it. The dungeons obviously aren't scaled that way either.

Still, when I look at the default FRUA icons, they remind of tabletop miniatures viewed from slightly above, rather than from tabletop height. Maybe it's the shading or the placement of the feet. Maybe it's because I'm viewing them in the monster editor rather than using show. (I hate Vista OS.) Maybe my eyes are worse than I thought.

It's probably part of the reason I'm not as good an artist as you or Hans.

Also, if it took this many years to think about it, I think it goes without saying that most people never paid it much attention.

I dunno. I noticed it early on, and I suspect others did as well. It's just something I've learned to deal with. Now that DC is coming closer to 1.0 and much of the art seems to be configurable, I think we may see more experimentation in that arena.

I also appreciate Hans' explanation of head-units in figure design, which I failed to mention earlier..

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Offline nologgie

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Re: How Big is a Pixel in UA?
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2010, 12:53:09 PM »
This is something I never really thought about...

I always considered the GoldBox combat icons to be symbolic, just as I never thought the characters in the older Ultimas were really supposed to be solid white.

My favorite thing about the monster icons in the old Ultimas is that they turned into treasure chests other monsters couldn't cross!
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Offline Dinonykos

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Re: How Big is a Pixel in UA?
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2010, 04:19:21 PM »
Still, when I look at the default FRUA icons, they remind of tabletop miniatures viewed from slightly above, rather than from tabletop height. Maybe it's the shading or the placement of the feet. Maybe it's because I'm viewing them in the monster editor rather than using show. (I hate Vista OS.) Maybe my eyes are worse than I thought.
It's probably part of the reason I'm not as good an artist as you or Hans.
Nah, that's neither a questions of eyes or arts... I just wanted to state that the combat view is definitely not realistic. I should rather have written that the character height should not be altered in my opinion - but I agree with you that the original icons in FRUA and games like Azure Bonds look somewhat vertically compressed. Maybe the artists indeed wanted to add some pseudo-diagonal perspective.

BTW, I think most of the DC icons drawn especially for DC are really shown from the side, not from slightly above. And we had an intereting discussion in the Ironworks forum about how high the walls are, unfortunately, I have not found the link...
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Offline hans

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Re: How Big is a Pixel in UA?
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2010, 06:34:24 PM »
The reason I started this thread (at least, I sorta did elsewhere  :P), explaining the standard scale I use for combat icons, was merely to provide a workable rationale for consistancy in icon proportions.  Whether viewed as symbolic or something more representational, combat icons do imply variations in height -- we automatically note how tall a dwarf is in relation to a human, or even a woman to a man, etc., -- and if those icons do not demonstrate the expected differences in scale, to our eye, we note that as a disquieting oddity.  (Kaz-Keith troubled himself to produce some properly scaled goblin icons several years ago, IIRC, using Dan Autery's human and elf icons as his standard, with excellent results.) 

Obviously UA is always going to have fudge-factors, and so a working scale for combat icons may never properly match a scale for combat dungeon walls, etc.  So, granted, UA's graphics will never be perfectly representational...

--however, many of its artists have worked toward bringing it closer to that ideal.  (Again, I point to Kaz and not only his icons but wall furnitures and such.)  If there weren't such a pursuit, shown even during the evolution of GoldBoxes, and a symbolic approach was wholly prefered, the simplicity of EGA would've never been replaced by the increasing realism of VGA.   
« Last Edit: March 27, 2010, 06:38:12 PM by hans »

Offline Nol Drek

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Re: How Big is a Pixel in UA?
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2010, 10:00:21 PM »
So these Huge Icons are 68 x 46 = 14'9" x 10'0"

Big Red - Yeah, so I stretched out the default Red Dragon Icon. You lose 2 pixels in height and gain 20 pixels in width for that Venerable Great Wyrm Red Dragon.

Big White - Freezefire, the Ancient White Dragon from Treasures of the Savage Frontier. Notice how the Dragon breathes both cold and fire!
« Last Edit: March 27, 2010, 10:44:31 PM by Nol Drek »
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Offline Nol Drek

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Re: How Big is a Pixel in UA?
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2010, 10:04:07 PM »
So these Huge Icons are 68 x 46 = 14'9" x 10'0"

Thorne - The Ancient Red Dragon from Pools of Darkness.

Orcus - The Demon Lord of the Undead himself as he appears in my Dead Gods conversion mod.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2010, 10:44:11 PM by Nol Drek »
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Offline Nol Drek

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Re: How Big is a Pixel in UA?
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2010, 10:10:25 PM »
So these Huge Icons are 68 x 46 = 14'9" x 10'0"

Tiamat - The Avatar of the Queen of Dragons as she appears in the finale of Dark Queen of Krynn. Actually, her body is a 2 x 3 icon which does not move and is set to blocked, and can not be attacked. Each of her 5 heads is an individual normal size icon with the stats of an Ancient Dragon and the breath weapon to go with the head color - Black, Blue, Red, White, and Green.

For the FRUA Version, she had to be shrunk down to fit a Huge icon.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2010, 10:43:44 PM by Nol Drek »
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