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New PaintBG portraits!

paintbg npc portraits

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#1 agb1

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 08:07 AM

I've commissioned the talented artist artastrophe, creator of the portraits in the PaintBG collection, to create 16 new NPC portraits to share with the community.

We would like to invite all players and especially modders of the respective NPCs to provide input on colors, poses, clothing and accessories for each NPC, and then to provide feedback as artastrophe posts snapshots of her works in progress.
 
So far, I have requested 7 PaintBG-style portraits, for the following NPCs:
 
Amber
Drizzt
Finch
Kelsey
Keto
Kido (I've attached portrait images 3KidoL.bmp and KidoLG.bmp from the mod itself to this post)
Nephele
 
This leaves 9 more NPCs to be chosen.  The mod Dark Side of the Sword Coast is fairly popular and has 9 joinable NPCs, so that is a possibility.  Other suggestions are welcome.
 
Quoting artastrophe from her Deviant Art post about this:
 

As the portraits are intended for the community, we'd like your input on how best to portray them!
 
If you have big ideas or little ideas, everything from details/accessories or basic things like clothing colors and gear, to facial expressions/atmosphere or image references -- anything that can help me out and/or get a deeper look, since I have unfortunately not had any experience playing with them and can only go by their in-game portrait provided, which makes it difficult to brainstorm alternates or know what the best direction is. ;D And I'd like to be as true and fitting to their personalities and styles as they each deserve! And, as the fans, I'm sure you all would prefer that, too. x) 
 
So please comment and/or info-dump if you can offer some insights into these characters. biggrin.gif


Thanks!

 

P.S.  Mike1072 suggested some revisions for the existing portraits in PaintBG and I've also expressed interest in additional variants for Imoen and Gavin.  I've asked artastrophe to focus first on creating portraits for NPCs that don't have PaintBG portraits yet, but more suggestions for revising existing portraits are also welcome.

Attached Files


BiG World Fixpack (community collection of mod fixes and compatibility patches, with user-friendly cross-platform script)

 

BiG World Setup (tool to automate best-practice installation of Infinity Engine mods on Windows, with conflict analysis)

Latest version:    https://bitbucket.or.../get/master.zip


#2 artastrophe

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 08:18 AM

Thanks!! I feel weird being quoted since I got all rambly and should probably have tried harder to phrase everything more clearly, aghh!! xD But thank you for putting this together and articulating it better. :new_thumbs: (I will go ahead and link the DA journal to this thread, too.) 

 

edit: and thank you for finding Kido, woo!!


Edited by artastrophe, 26 January 2016 - 08:18 AM.


#3 Bones

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 10:18 AM

Thank you for doing this, great news indeed! 

Having never played NPC mods extensively, I can't really give feedback on them.

In regards to Drizzt:

 

I've pictured him along the lines of how artastrophe has imagined Soulafein - frontal gaze, focus on eyes, kindly yet badass expression.

Distinctive features: Drizzt has deep lavender eyes as well as his green cloak.
Reference art: portrayal of Drizzt by Todd Lockwood: http://toddlockwood....dourden/drizzt/ (there are more images in the album).

Other ideas to consider:

 screenshot2013-11-19at020631_zps8da2cd9a Wilson the bear - hidden NPC from BG2:EE, while not as deep in character as his more humanoid counterparts, it would be nice to have Wilson be re-imagined, at very least for "art for all NPCs" completion sake.

 

Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear NPCs (Can be found at http://www.siegeofdragonspear.com/)

Plot NPCs: Gorion, Thalantyr, Elminster, Volo and other (there are some mods that add portraits to these characters, but they look dated and it would be nice to have them of the same style as PaintBG NPCs)



 



#4 agb1

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 10:53 AM

Good idea about the Siege of Dragonspear NPCs.  Is there more information about those NPCs somewhere?  We might have to wait until release to learn enough about them to come up with fitting portraits.

 

For insight into some other NPC personalities (notably Kelsey and Nephele so far from our current list), Pentalion on the Beamdog forums has been posting reviews.


Edited by agb1, 26 January 2016 - 11:06 AM.

BiG World Fixpack (community collection of mod fixes and compatibility patches, with user-friendly cross-platform script)

 

BiG World Setup (tool to automate best-practice installation of Infinity Engine mods on Windows, with conflict analysis)

Latest version:    https://bitbucket.or.../get/master.zip


#5 artastrophe

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 09:05 AM

I already have a couple of the new Siege of Dragonspear NPCs done (and the other two like 85% done) so I won't be counting them for this group of 16 but they will be available!

 

(I also have two versions of Gorion already, though one is a pretty old work and the other one was intended to be him at a younger age, hehe. But he was in the most recent update.)

 

Thanks for the Drizzt info + the link with the mod NPCs; I'm reading through that right now!


Edited by artastrophe, 27 January 2016 - 09:06 AM.


#6 artastrophe

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 06:22 PM

Here they are so far if anyone has any suggestions... or can help me with Gavin and Finch's coloring haha. ;) Finch's clothes looked kind of grayish?? And guessing some kind of modest plain robes for her? And I need a color for Gavin's cloak; the official portrait looks like it might all be browns or something which would be bleh for a cloak, but the alternate portraits for him had all kinds of (random?) colors. Perhaps something gold for Lathander? Those scribbly symbols are gonna be Lathander's holy symbol, btw. xD

 

There's two versions of Kelsey, one with some glowy green tints for his special Fire Shield: Acid power -- if anyone has a preference which I should finish?

 

I'm not sure about Tashia; her official portraits don't match to how I've had her character described to me; they look like kind of a naturey dreamy scatter-brain type or something with the butterflies and beaded braids and such. But that doesn't fit with what I've read about her so I don't really know what to do with her. o_O

 

new_characters_by_artastrophe-d9psoyy.jp



#7 agb1

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 09:15 PM

Kelsey - I prefer the version without the acid shield.  Maybe give him a softer jawbone or a slightly narrower face?

 

Keto - I feel like she looks a bit too confident.  She is a bard, so she can act confident, but she isn't really prepared for adventuring life, so ...

 

Kido - I really like this portrait.  I haven't played him though so I will defer to other opinions.

 

Imoen - I really like this portrait!  But her right eye (our left) looks a bit too small compared to the other.  Maybe the bottom of that eye should be extended downward a bit?

 

Tashia - I like it overall.  Perhaps make her skin and hair lighter?  Her default colors in the game are white (silver-grey?) and yellow ... I'm not sure how much thought went into those choices.  See attached screenshot.

 

Amber - for my taste, her nose is too long and chin too sharp .. perhaps have her look at the camera?

 

Nephele - I don't like this interpretation as much as the original (http://www.spellhold...les/nephele.jpg) .. if it's not out of character for her, I would prefer darker hair, lighter earrings, a wider mouth, rounder cheeks and inverted colors for her clothing (dark vest over colored blouse), and more of a yellow tone to her skin.

 

Drizzt - perhaps add a bit more purple tone to his skin?  He seems a bit grey.

 

Gavin - I've attached one of his alternate portraits here.  Seems to be a lot of brown with brown and lighter brown (yellow?) ... Like Kelsey, I think less angular jaw/chin.  An earthy green color for his cloak might work?  Or, maybe the orange color of the upper part of this Lathander symbol (http://www.nj-pbem.c...s/Lathander.htm) ?

 

Finch - wider mouth, I think, with more of a smile, and bigger rounder spectacles (she has unique "glasses of identification").  She is a very energetic and cheerful personality.  Colors .. for clothing, a splash of blue with some grey and brown?  For hair -- in game, her hair is white(?) ... Perhaps make her hair short instead of hanging down?  I think she needs a quill too.  Perhaps tucked behind an ear?  She has several dialogues where either she or some other NPC mentions that she is constantly scribbling notes with her quill.  Oh, and not robes - Finch is a cleric and often a front line fighter!

 

The skin of gnomes runs in hue from reddish tans to earthy browns or even shades of gray, with exact hue somewhat dependent upon the ethnic origin of a gnome. Similarly, gnomish hair varies wildly in color from blond and brown to more exotic colors like white, orange, or even green. Gnomish eyes are often, particularly in individuals who are native to the Feywild, glittering black[6] or blue[5] although more natural eye colors are also known to the race.[6] - http://forgottenreal....com/wiki/Gnome

 

 while halflings are commonly said to resemble short humans, gnomes are more comparable with Tel-quessir, with whom they share pointed ears and high cheekbones, or even dwarves, who they are compared to due to their tendency to grow beards and live underground. Many gnomes have a more feral appearance than either, however, with hair that often sprouts from their heads in odd directions.[6] http://forgottenreal....com/wiki/Gnome

Attached Images

  • Finch.jpg
  • Tashia.jpg

Attached Files


Edited by agb1, 29 January 2016 - 10:00 PM.

BiG World Fixpack (community collection of mod fixes and compatibility patches, with user-friendly cross-platform script)

 

BiG World Setup (tool to automate best-practice installation of Infinity Engine mods on Windows, with conflict analysis)

Latest version:    https://bitbucket.or.../get/master.zip


#8 Mike1072

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 01:34 AM

I think Drizzt looks pretty great as he is.  Drizzt is usually pretty troubled, but he can be tender.  He almost has a soft expression here.  Maybe it could be hardened a little bit (slightly furrowed brows or narrowed eyes) to match his more usual demeanour.

 

I don't think his skin needs any purple.  If he looks washed out, I think that could be solved by reducing the brightness a teeny bit and adding more vibrant highlights.  Here is a nice Drizzt portrait that avoids making his skin blue or purple.

 

 

I agree with agb1 about most of the other portraits, though I think Keto looks fine, and I'm not very familiar with Kido/Tashia/Nephele.

 

In-game, Gavin starts wearing red and yellow.  (FRCS: Priests of Lathander favor red, crimson, scarlet, yellow, and pink in their robes - the colors of dawn.)

 

In-game, Finch starts wearing black and deep blue, and her hair is black, but it shows up kind of greyish.  In the portrait, it appears dark brown.  I'd be inclined to think that brown was correct, but I haven't played the mod recently to remember much about her except that she likes books.  A lot.


Edited by Mike1072, 30 January 2016 - 01:36 AM.


#9 agb1

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 04:02 AM

More about Amber can be found here - I forgot that the mod includes a Bodhi abduction quest with a possibility of Amber becoming a vampire (for this scenario the mod has a vampire portrait too).

http://koti.kapsi.fi...amber/index.htm

BiG World Fixpack (community collection of mod fixes and compatibility patches, with user-friendly cross-platform script)

 

BiG World Setup (tool to automate best-practice installation of Infinity Engine mods on Windows, with conflict analysis)

Latest version:    https://bitbucket.or.../get/master.zip


#10 agb1

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 04:05 AM

I like Mike's suggestions above.

BiG World Fixpack (community collection of mod fixes and compatibility patches, with user-friendly cross-platform script)

 

BiG World Setup (tool to automate best-practice installation of Infinity Engine mods on Windows, with conflict analysis)

Latest version:    https://bitbucket.or.../get/master.zip


#11 -Guest-

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 08:54 AM

This is exciting.

 

Concerning Kelsey: I always thought he needs to look slightly mischievous. Maybe it is because of his voice; I am not sure. Generally, I agree with agb1. His face is a bit too square and the "regular" version is better.

 

 

I'm not sure about Tashia; her official portraits don't match to how I've had her character described to me; they look like kind of a naturey dreamy scatter-brain type or something with the butterflies and beaded braids and such. But that doesn't fit with what I've read about her so I don't really know what to do with her. o_O

 

Tashia's facial expression in her original portrait is actually quite good in my opinion. Sometimes she is really pensive and troubled by the past. At other times she is pretty cheerful and cracking jokes. So, "dreamy scatterbrain" is not too far off, I guess. You could probably make her look softer and less strict. The colors are fine. At least her dialogue indicates that she has green eyes and fair hair.

 

 

If you are still considering other NPC mods, I would like to suggest the Icewind Dale NPCs by Kulyok and Tyris Flare by Grim Squeaker.

 

 

Cheers!



#12 Lava Del'Vortel

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 04:12 AM

I think I have to join for a sec.

 

-Nephele is actually quite fine as you posted a BASE for the original portrait, not the original portrait. She looks quite different and much like what Arta offered. Here it is, you can find it in the mod and in Nephele's download section:

09ce80c7be995c73ea4219e9c1e49fb2-nephele

Indeed, the skin tone could be darker, but the gray hair was intended and it's the author who insisted on it as well as on some wrinkles, I remember that as I am the one who also worked on the portrait. 

 

Keto also looks fine. Note that the portrait isn't to exactly show everything about the character. Because finding out that shy-looking person is shy is much less interesting than finding out that the smiled bard you meet in a tavern actually has some problems. There is a dialogue between the character and the portrait and by actually spending some time with the NPC you are to find who she really is. The original portrait does not offer the "unpreapered" look, too. 

 

Finch - the item may have an animation of the glasses of identification, but her original portrait suggest something quite normal. The item has that kind of icon because the game's resources are used and the game does not offer many icons for glasses.



#13 agb1

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 09:32 PM

Thanks for the corrections, Lava.  For Nephele, compared to Arta's design, I see that in the version you referenced she has a wider mouth and a longer, more oval face shape.  I would prefer it if Arta's version were a bit more similar to that.

 

For Keto, you convinced me.  The design above is fine.

 

For Finch, I agree her glasses do not need to look like the glasses of identification icon in the game.  I suggested big round spectacles because I thought it would be a distinctive look, and I think of Finch as a distinctive-looking character.  What do you think of having her hair stick out at odd angles and giving her a fey (feral?) appearance as suggested in the references I listed?


BiG World Fixpack (community collection of mod fixes and compatibility patches, with user-friendly cross-platform script)

 

BiG World Setup (tool to automate best-practice installation of Infinity Engine mods on Windows, with conflict analysis)

Latest version:    https://bitbucket.or.../get/master.zip


#14 Mike1072

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 10:23 PM

I think the gnome info you posted is from 4th edition.  It introduced The Feywild as an important plane and retconned elves and gnomes as originally being from there.  In 3.5 and earlier editions, I don't think gnomes were related to fey creatures or elves.
 
 
I don't have any second edition books, but this is what it says about their appearance in Races of Faerûn (3.0):
 
Rock gnomes average between 3 and 3 1/2 feet tall, and weigh between 40 and 45 pounds.  Their skin comes in many different shades of brown, but is unaffected by exposure to the sun.  The hair of young gnomes can vary greatly in color, but in adulthood they all tend toward gray or white.  The males wear their beards neatly trimmed.
 
50NQkkI.png

Edited by Mike1072, 02 February 2016 - 10:31 PM.


#15 artastrophe

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 03:02 PM

Thanks for all the feedback, everyone! I don't know that there's really any point to post in-progress stuff at this stage as it's still kinda messy hehe but I have been working at incorporating those changes.... I'll post an update when I've tackled all of them a bit more.

 

I suppose I picture gnomes as the older versions with more roundness + big-noses, like matching with Jan's portrait... there really aren't too many good art examples of them, unfortunately! (That rock gnome just looks like... any regular person. With slightly taller ears?) xD And I picture halflings rounder, too, though I suppose that's like D&D 1.0 and now they're just mini-humans. :P I was trying to do everyone's ears a bit differently at least, so the halflings, elves, and gnomes (and tiefling) had different varieties of ears. Is Finch a rock gnome specifically? Would it make sense to give her white and/or short hair then? Because I imagine most people are more familiar with the portrait vs the paper doll when it comes to picturing her. And Jan definitely has the erratic hair thing going on, though it really fits his personality -- would messy hair fit Finch's personality, too? It's so hard when I don't know these characters very well, sigh.

 

(And did you link Amber because you want a vampire version of her as well? I think most of the LI NPCs have an abduction quest, too--or maybe I'm just guessing. xD)



#16 agb1

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 03:05 PM

We can save the vampire Amber portrait for a future round...  just a note for now.


BiG World Fixpack (community collection of mod fixes and compatibility patches, with user-friendly cross-platform script)

 

BiG World Setup (tool to automate best-practice installation of Infinity Engine mods on Windows, with conflict analysis)

Latest version:    https://bitbucket.or.../get/master.zip


#17 artastrophe

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 04:51 PM

Still need to figure out Finch but here is a progress shot of the rest of them!sketches_v1_2_by_artastrophe-d9qiyme.jpg



#18 agb1

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 05:34 PM

Kelsey:  I think the portrait looks great.

 

Keto:  Something I liked about the previous version has been lost.  Trying to put my finger on it, I think it was the dimpled cheeks that gave her a nice distinctive appearance.

 

Kido:  To me, he looks too creepy now.  I'm not sure how old he is -- this version looks much more mature than the previous one.  Something in between perhaps?

 

   After looking at Kido's dialogue, I'd say this portrait is spot-on actually.  I hadn't realized quite how insane he is.  He is very, very insane.

 

Nephele:  I like this version, but perhaps have her looking a bit more upward (because she is a halfling...)?

 

Amber:  I think the portrait looks great.

 

Tashia:  I like this version overall, but prefer the shape of the mouth from the previous version (more pout or frown).  Edit:  also, can we bring back the braid?

 

Imoen:  I liked the slightly softer and flatter nose and the slightly wider cheeks and mouth of the previous version - more whimsical, less sharp somehow?

 

Drizzt:  As Mike put it, the previous version seemed to have a tender expression; I prefer that over the more angry look of the new version.

 

Gavin:  I like this version overall, but might rotate the image a bit to the left so his shoulders are more level (he can still be looking down) -- he seems a little off balance now.

 

Finch:  She looks much better now!  (Just kidding.)


Edited by agb1, 04 February 2016 - 06:24 PM.

BiG World Fixpack (community collection of mod fixes and compatibility patches, with user-friendly cross-platform script)

 

BiG World Setup (tool to automate best-practice installation of Infinity Engine mods on Windows, with conflict analysis)

Latest version:    https://bitbucket.or.../get/master.zip


#19 agb1

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 05:57 PM

From Finch's in-game dialogues:

 

~Look at you, Finch! Why, you're positively going gray, and you don't seem to care a bit!~ (said to Finch by <someone>)
 
~But... it is the normal thing for a gnome's hair to turn gray. It is a sign of maturity!~
 
... so she has some gray in her hair.
 
~Glowing eyes only aid me in seeing wolves in a grove or thieves in the shadows, not my parchment or inkwell. Nighttime bespeaks the end of all my favorite activities until the dawn.~
 
... so she has glowing eyes?
 
~When your hair goes completely white, you'll be quite the looker!~ (said to Finch by <someone>)
 
... so she has some white in her hair too, maybe.
 
~I'm sure you mean well, in some deluded fashion, but you don't have to say such things to flatter me, <someone>. I am fully aware how attractive my bulbous nose and wiry hair are.~

 

... so she has a bulbous nose and wiry hair.

 

When asked about her past, FINCH BLOOMWHIFFLER is quick to enthuse about stories she has read, libraries she has visited and tomes that she has had the honor to copy. You sense that, for all her knowledge, Finch has never truly experienced a life of adventure outside the pages of a book until joining your travels. She wavers between trepidation and enthusiasm at each new turn, keeping her quill ever at the ready.

 

... so a quill would be an appropriate accessory.


Edited by agb1, 04 February 2016 - 06:00 PM.

BiG World Fixpack (community collection of mod fixes and compatibility patches, with user-friendly cross-platform script)

 

BiG World Setup (tool to automate best-practice installation of Infinity Engine mods on Windows, with conflict analysis)

Latest version:    https://bitbucket.or.../get/master.zip


#20 Mike1072

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 06:18 PM

Those look great!
 
I actually really love the intensity of Drizzt's expression.
 
If I had to give some minor critiques, I'd say that Drizzt's hair or hairline could use a little tweaking.  I thought his old hair was quite nice, but wilder hair could work as well, and it's how he appears in most of Todd Lockwood's art:


vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/forgottenrealms/images/e/e7/Drizzt_Do'Urden_-_SoD_-_Todd_Lockwood.jpg
vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/forgottenrealms/images/f/f5/Drizzt_Do'Urden_-_Sojourn_-_Todd_Lockwood.jpg
 
For Gavin, there's something about the size or positioning of his eyes that seems a little strange.  Maybe it's just the angle of the head as agb1 says.
 
 
For Finch, if you download the mod, there are a bunch of soundclips you can listen to to get an idea of her personality.  She is quite peppy.
 
About rock gnomes: that's what most gnomes are.  If it's not a deep gnome (svirfneblin) or a reclusive forest gnome, it's a rock gnome.  I don't think she needs to have completely grey hair; the quote even mentioned that young gnomes have vastly varying hair colours.  Short hair on the in-game avatar is inevitable, but I think the portrait should strive to be the definitive representation of the character, with the paperdoll and avatar serving as the closest approximation available in-game.
 

~Glowing eyes only aid me in seeing wolves in a grove or thieves in the shadows, not my parchment or inkwell. Nighttime bespeaks the end of all my favorite activities until the dawn.~


... so she has glowing eyes?

 

That's probably referring to infravision.  When switching to infravision to see in the dark, your eyes will glow, usually red. Drizzt's eyes are violet and when he uses infravision, they glow violet, because he is a special snowflake.


Edited by Mike1072, 04 February 2016 - 06:22 PM.




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