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Zombie Elephants!

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Unit Graphics' started by Supa, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. Supa

    Supa Out of Cheese Error

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    Take a look at my profile picture. ;)

    Fortify animation is composed of 9 different frames. 9 frames were rendered by Poser. The original SBB storyboard has 9 columns. The PCX storyboard created by Civ3FLC has 9 columns. The preview in C3F has also 9 frames. I can only open up the FLC created by C3F with C3F and it has 72 frames for 8 directions, making it 9 frames per direction. If I export this FLC to a storyboard, with C3F, I end up with a correct storyboard with 9 columns.

    I don't deny the existence of the bug but I fail to see where I can find an over-sized storyboard in all this.

    Edit:
    I downloaded Flicster v1.0.1 build 18, opened the flc (created with C3F) with it and it still tells me it has 9 frames. Exporting to a storyboard produces a 9 columns storyboard.

    Meh, it depends of how you're defining 'self-aware'. The often cited mirror test has its theoretical and practical issues. It's a very interesting but equally complex field and questions.
     
  2. Jord Kells

    Jord Kells Virgo

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    all true, i was mainly listing the top ones that behavior scientist consider as self-aware. meaning that they are aware of time; ie, past present future (gorillas), are capable of creating tools (chimps), developing new skills or games (porpoises). Now these are not the only criteria; crows can make tools as well, but being trainable does not automatically indicate self-awareness. "The ability to speak does not make you intelligent. Now go away." - Gui-Gon Jinn (Ep. 1) :mischief:

    pigs are smarter than dogs or cats, (I don't personally know much about horses), but they are not on the same level as the others. If you set a dog or pig in front of a mirror, they do not recognize their reflection as themselves. Elephants, porpoises (dolphins), and apes can. Considering that this is a fluctuating field of study, and i am not an expert, their maybe other animals that could fit this description.

    and do not wish hag on anyone's pet :(. I have dogs and cats, and have been able to train my cat George a few things.

    my main point was to say that "any organism of sufficient mass and cognitive ability is a potential" zombie, that is why an elephant zombie COULD make sense :goodjob: (343 Guilty Spark, Halo CE)

    so maybe zombie gorillas and zombie orcas :goodjob:
     
  3. Jord Kells

    Jord Kells Virgo

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    if i put my mom's cat by a mirror, she gets confused as to why there are two of me :lol:



    by the way, cool units!
     
  4. Goldflash

    Goldflash Grumpy Old Man

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    You're a jerk, Supa. Now I'm terrified of elephants.
     
  5. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Super Moderator

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    Creating sounds can certainly be a very thankless task. I've often spent a great deal of time getting sounds just right, and hunting all over the place for appropriate clips, to find that no-one even mentions them. Also, as you say, they do not appear in on-site previews, which are what most people actually judge when they comment on a unit. However, I really think that a unit is not complete if it doesn't either include sounds or link to appropriate sounds in an existing unit - just as it is not complete if it doesn't include a correct units_32.pcx and the other annoying paraphernalia. A user should be able to insert the unit straight into the game without having to mess about any more than is already necessary, and it should work straight out of the box; and a silent unit isn't one that's properly working. We tend to think that the animated flics "are" the unit, but they are not - they are just part of it. The static pcx files and the sounds are just as important.

    I don't see why this "mirror" test tells you anything. Put a blind person in front a mirror and they won't recognise themselves - it doesn't mean they're not self-aware. Perhaps dogs and pigs simply don't recognise individuals visually in the same way we do, so a mirror is not an appropriate medium for them to recognise themselves in. A dog might think you're pretty stupid because you can't recognise people by smell. Moreover, just because something recognises itself in a mirror doesn't mean it's self-aware. The new Android phones can recognise a particular face and unlock when the owner looks at them. No doubt you could program the phone to recognise an image of itself and unlock when you hold a mirror up to it. It wouldn't mean the phone is self-aware, only that it's programmed to behave in a certain way when a particular pattern is presented to it. Self-awareness requires true understanding of the significance of the pattern, and it's hard to see how one could prove that anything had that understanding.

    Awareness is an inexact science. The best one can do is point to certain behaviours in certain animals that are reminiscent in interesting ways of our own behaviours, but to say that these behaviours or their absence proves or disproves self-awareness is to beg far too many questions.
     
  6. Ares de Borg

    Ares de Borg Norman Knight

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    I approve this message. :)

    @Supa: I'd like to try and do some sounds. Heck, I have no idea what a rotten elephant sounds like, but I will see what I can do.
     
  7. Wolfshade

    Wolfshade Little Winger

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    As a human with "artificial breathing" (sorry for my RU-EN) apparatus?
     
  8. Supa

    Supa Out of Cheese Error

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    I agree, although I still see my soundless graphics as whole entities for practical and ego-related reasons. A soundless graphic pack can still be complemented by anyone without access to the files I created or started from.

    How much time does it take you to make the sounds for an unit ?

    Making sounds as far from being a largely automated process for me. I have no usual looking places for sounds on the Internet - finding the original sounds is thus quite long. I still have to check every-time the correct format for the sounds - and search the forum for the values. I use(d) Audacity and as easy the inferface is, I know next time I'll use it, I'll have to foul around to find exactly how to convert a sound from a format to another, without changing its speed and its pitch.

    One of the reasons I put out so many units this last year, compared to all previous years, is that all the tedious steps are now largely automated, partly thanks to various posters. Once I've found a particular model, all I've got to is type a single command line to create the various folders and standardized files I'll need to start and release it - including modified Utahjazz's setup (to suit my tastes), readme, optional pedia entries, and a rendering script. I've no longer to render each direction manually, thanks to Micaelus script. The Sandris version of Steph's SBB makes the storyboard generation a breeze. Palette making is a 5 minutes job, thanks to Steph. Civ3Flc, even with its bugs, allows the make the FLC rather quickly. Making the animated previews takes only 2 minutes with GIMP. Really, all the time consuming things are the now the fun parts: creating textures and maps, and animating.

    I guess that kind of semi-automated process can be achieved with sounds creations too. Perhaps I should start with building a modest collections of sounds wave and sound website first.

    For Unit32, I plead guilty. I should really try to make them as it's barely a 30 seconds job but I often forget about them.

    Be my guest. Be creative. :) Wolfshade's suggestion is sound (pun unintended).
     
  9. Jord Kells

    Jord Kells Virgo

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    :goodjob:
    just as i mentioned earlier.

    if you want, we can continue this discussion in a new thread, so as not to hijack this thread from Supa's amazing zombie elephants:nuke:

    :cool:
     
  10. odintheking

    odintheking Lighting the way...

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    Supa these are unbelievably awesome... I don't have any of my Civ stuff anymore or much free time, but with all this great stuff I really would like to help work on EFZI0 again!
     
  11. Elephantium

    Elephantium Elephants think that people are cute, like puppies

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    Something like Vader's wheezing after he takes his mask off, perhaps.
     
  12. Vuldacon

    Vuldacon Dedicated to Excellence Supporter

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    You could use existing Elephant sounds and apply pitch, distortion and reverb adjustments.
    Here are a couple of sounds to show examples.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Grandraem

    Grandraem Alchemist

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    Makes me envision a rather macabre carnival.:eek:

    They're beautifully modelled and animated. Really spooky! :goodjob:
     
  14. Vuldacon

    Vuldacon Dedicated to Excellence Supporter

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    Off topic but I just want to interject that IMO it is always best to Create and Finish Units as YOU, The Creator, want them to be. Animations, sounds, units_32.pcx Large and Small.pcx files and Game test.

    Too many try to "whip it out" and while the animations might look Great in a Preview... not so in game.

    The trend to go for Unit Packs and "whipping them out" has been going on many years but Question... What happened to inspired creations where everything is scrutinized and offered as the way the Artist wants everything to be? No Cutting Corners" for the sake of fastidiousness or automation for the sake of expediting what they feel is not worth their their time to finish. This strikes me as not caring too much about the creation.
    If there is a skip in an animation or anything left out that detracts from the unit...it should all be offered as the way the creator wants it to be and acknowledged.

    In other words... I believe it is important to Strive to provide what people can use without having to adjust or add to what has been created.

    Plotinus stated it very appropriately, saying in essence that a Finished Unit should have everything necessary for an individual to add the unit to their game without having to adjust or make anything else. If individuals do not like what has been done, they can then adjust or add what they want.
     
  15. Supa

    Supa Out of Cheese Error

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    Thanks, Odin & Grandraem!

    I don't believe releasing multiple units as pack is necessarily "whipping them out". For instance, both my Kong and Godzilla Packs took me months of works, on and off. It was the best I could do at the time.

    While I do see the "pack trend" going on, I can't agree on the decreasing quality possibly associated to it - although I haven't maintained a personal classic epic mod for years so I've only game-tested myself my own units.

    On the other end of the spectrum, I've released "speed units" at some points, Baron Voodoo and the Egyptian Werecat, because that's how I felt like. I haven't planned for them, it was on the spur of the moment, the animations came very easily but they still asked for rigorous work and testing.

    I agree.. to a point. It is a hobby (dedicated to yourself), not a mission (dedicated to others). I like to mod, I like to create new graphics, I like to share them, I like to talk about it and other people creations.

    Graphics making and sound making are obviously very different things, asking for different sets of skills. If anyone doesn't feel like doing sounds, for any reason, that's all he need to say. Don't get me wrong, we can discuss any issues a release has, and this sound discussion is interesting on its own - but nobody should be looked down upon because he doesn't apply to this philosophy.

    On the other hand, it would be nice to have sound creators be able to 'show' their creations directly on the forum. Perhaps would it be possible to add a module able to play sound from a source ? Perhaps it would shift to focus a little more on sound creating, pushing people to try their hand at it.

    I probably shouldn't feel that focused on (but it's my thread after all ;)) - but I've released sounds in past, tested in-game, and I plan to go back to it eventually. I think I can safely say almost every units made for Modzilla will only be used in Modzilla so I will be able to do the sounds on time for the true gameplay experience. An unit I'll release soon will have sounds - in fact, it has been finished for almost two weeks but I'm waiting for someone authorization to release modified sounds he originally created.

    Vuldacon, could we get back a moment to the frames issue ? I still don't see how you get the "+1 frame" storyboard to fix.
     
  16. ruby_sauce

    ruby_sauce Outside the box

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    I also agree with a unit needing sound. All the units I released have sounds because.. well a unit without sound is just too hard to implement ingame. I made my own mod and I get really annoyed when I insert a new unit and then find out it doesnt have sound. For my own units I usually scour the internet to look for appropriate sounds, or I edit some existing unit sounds together. When entering multiple units in a mod I usually dont feel like doing this, because I want to play my mod.

    While I do agree that whenever I finish a unit I want to put it out on the internet for all to look at, but I always force myself to make sounds, and also test the sounds ingame. I dont care that people can't judge the sounds (however proud of them I am, like for the deku scrub. The sounds are just perfect IMO :)), but I do care that if someone actually wants to use my unit :rolleyes: then they should get the complete package.
     
  17. Supa

    Supa Out of Cheese Error

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    I've updated the pack.

    Thanks to Vuldacon for spotting the smoke shades problem! I've also added 2 variant units : smaller Zombie and Rotten elephants, shrank to 85% of their former size.



    Other misc. but also important issues have been fixed.

    Code:
    1.1. Uploaded 21th October 2011.
    + Two new smaller (85%) Zombie & Rotten Elephants.
    + New Units_32
    + Zombie Elephant smoke shades bug fixed (run).
    + Rotten Elephant smoke shades bug fixed (run, default, fortify).
    + Rotten Elephant trunk bug fixed (all FLC).
    + Rotten Elephant head transparency issue fixed (all FLC).
    + Rotten Elephant run speed modified.
    + r128.pcx fixed
     
  18. Vuldacon

    Vuldacon Dedicated to Excellence Supporter

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    Regarding Sounds... Yes, they are an additional Chore indeed but they are usually necessary.
    As for individuals being able to "judge" or appreciate them... that is done when they Download the Unit and place it in their Game. This Holds True for the Unit Animations as well because a .gif preview cannot show a Unit as it actually is in Game for many reasons such as multiple Flc Speeds having to be set as one speed and Transparencies not showing in a .gif preview.
    So IF people are "Judging" a Unit only by a .gif Preview, they are not really "judging" the Unit :)

    Supa... I did not intend to sound as if "Focusing on you"... it was more a personal universal statement.
    What was seeing in the Run animations was an abrupt move for the front and back legs as the unit reached the end of the animation. This appeared to be caused from a missing Frame or two between the last two frames. When I generated a Storyboard, I saw that the 1st and 2nd Frames were duplicates. This also added a hesitation. I do not see these issues in your Previews so you might want to check this in the Flcs.

    The Method I use to remove the 1st Duplicate frame is to Zoom in 300% on the Storyboard. Use a Rectangular Selection Tool and start copying the Entire Storyboard from the exact top Left Corner of Frame #2. Dag the selection Tool all the way to the Bottom Right of the entire Storyboard and only that section is Copied = CTRL+C. I then right click to stop that selection and go back to the 1st Frame. I start another Selection from the Top Left Corner of Frame #1 and Drag the selection tool all the way to the Next to the Last Frame and I use the Frame Lines for each of these selections so they are exact. You then Paste = CTRL+V your first selection you copied to this New Selection. This Pastes All Frames at once including Frame Lines. What this does is move the Storyboard over one Frame to the Left so the Duplicated Frames are now at the End of the Stortyboard.
    I then generate a New Flc from this Storyboard with the Duplicate Frames at the end then generate a new Storyboard from that Flc after setting the Number of Frames to One Less than what the original Flc has. This removes the Duplicate Frame at the end of the Storyboard. I can then set Flc Speeds as wanted and generate the Finished Flc.

    This is Fast to do but use at least 300% Zoom so you can see the Frame Lines Exactly because you want to accurately Move all of the Frames with their Frame Lines.

    Another way would be to just Move the First Selection of the entire Storyboard Over One Frame but I find it easier to Copy and Paste it all Accurately as I stated above.
     
  19. Vuldacon

    Vuldacon Dedicated to Excellence Supporter

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    Supa... I downloaded the Units again and they still have duplicate frames for #1 and #2. I believe the first frames at least for the Run animations were changed to Frame #2. This is probably why there is an abrupt movement especially from the Right Front Leg. You can check the 1st Rendered Frames to see it they were replaced with the 2nd Frames.

    If this is the Problem, you could simply copy and Paste the 1st Rendered Frames for Frame #1 onto the Storyboard to correct both the abrupt move and the duplicate frames. Possibly the same for all Flcs unless the others are only duplicate frame issues.

    So you can see... Here is the Rotten Elephant Run as a .gif I made using all frames that are from the current Unit Flc. There are also some transparent areas behind the Front legs in the East and West directions and behind the ear area on the shoulders in the SE and SW directions. The light colors around the Blood Splatters could be removed unless you want them that way.
     

    Attached Files:

    • Run.zip
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  20. Gary Childress

    Gary Childress Student for and of life

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    Holy sh*t! Zombie elephants? :assimilate::wow:
     

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