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- Re: Super Miyamoto by fldr
- Re: Super Miyamoto Land Tilesets by fldr
- Re: Tractor by SmokeHouseGames
- Re: Glass Medicine Bottle by Iconoclast
- Re: UI pack by mousebomb
- Re: Tappy Plane by AT2014
- Re: Antifarea's RPG sprite set 1, enlarged w/ transparent background by Maxion
- Re: UI Sound effects pack by Napoleon
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I have zero 3d model-making skills but I do moderate content on OpenGameArt.org contributions and stalk Blendswap submissions, which allowed me to notice the following: Gradients are bad for previews. Just take a look:
Above is a png (lossless, 173K) render with gradient ("blend sky" in Blender terms) background.
Above is a jpg (lossy, 18K) render with gradient/blend. Do you see the disturbing artifacts?
Above are animations between part of the two gradient background images at +0, +10 and +20 contrast to make it easier to spot the difference.
The lossy jpg version has artifacts.
These are ugly and disturbing which can lead to the viewer disliking the viewed image. They might be hard to see on some screens but in many cases they will be subtley noticed. Note that "subtle" is especially dangerous, since the viewer does not know the reason for the discomfort while viewing the render and is likely to interpret it as not liking the 3D model.
Using png files for previews is not a solution, as their file size is about ten times larger than jpg files.
By not using a gradient (Blend Sky in Blender) in the background, the artifacts can be avoided.
Above is a png (lossless, 156K) render without gradient/blend in the background.
Above is a jpg (lossy, 16K) render without gradient/blend in the background.
Above are animations between part of the two no-gradient images at +0, +10 and +20 contrast to make it easier to spot the (lack of) difference.
Why does it help to not use a gradient? Because by reducing the complexity of the background, the amount of varying image data is reduced. This way the jpg compression algorithm has less image data to 'lose' while compressing the background of the image.
The image used in this post is a render of the "Tribal Long Sword" by Quandtum which you can use in your game under cc-by-sa, At time of writing, the model preview has a gradient in the background. This inspired me to write this hairsplitting, nitpicking post. :)
Did this post make you realize why you disliked some renders in the past? Or can't you see the artifacts at all? Do you happen to know of a gradient that does not create disturbing artifacts? Please let us know in the comments.
I'm sure a lot of people are wondering what all brought this on. Back when I originally built OGA, I was new to Drupal and didn't really know what I was doing, so I ended up making a lot of design mistakes, particularly in the structure of the site. What ended up happening was that OGA was essentially built on a spaghetti code, so changes often had far-reaching and unexpected consequences.
Furthermore, from a theme standpoint, I found the original theme annoyingly limiting -- for instance, the sidebar on the right was too narrow, and wasn't very good for conveying information. Also, the site title was way bigger than it needed to be, and wasted a lot of space. Plus, the menus were starting to get out of control.
At any rate, this move represents the jump from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7. I've been spending the last several months writing about 2,000 lines of migration code, which reorganized the site into something a bit easier for me to work with and expand on under the hood. While OGA 2.0 isn't anywhere near done yet, this at least opens up the possibility of building it easily, so it should speed up the development process a lot (plus, I'll be able to add things incrementally now instead of dumping all the features on everyone all at once).
For now, I've added a couple of new goodies:
- User profile pictures
- Forum searching
- Gold medals now replace silver medals, which replace bronze medals (although you can view all of your medals on your profile page)
The rest of the OGA 2 features (including art collections, which is the big one) will appear as they're finished.
What you are looking at right now is OpenGameArt.org version 1.5 (or most of it, anyway -- there are a couple things I'll be adding over the weekend). The site should (hopefully) be relatively usable and intuitive at this point, and you should be able to do everything you could do back in version 1.0. If you run into any problems with anything (posting on the forums, commenting, submitting art, etc), leave a comment here, or drop in on our IRC channel:
This release is all about wrapping the core gameplay in main menus, pushing Flare closer to feature-completeness. Now players have four game slots to experiment with different builds. Also, choose your gender and a portrait for your hero or heroine!
View the Official Release Notes
Special thanks to the crew who contributed directly to v0.14: Brandon Morris, Justin Nichol, kitano, Thane "pennomi" Brimhall, wokste, Alexander Olkhovskiy, Artur "zear" Rotek, Bonbadil, and Paul-Wortmann. And thanks to everyone here at OpenGameArt for the endless stream of feedback and testing!