Replacing secondary skill icons

Hi I am a fan of heroes and would like to contribute to this project. My skills are in the domain of 3d artwork.
My idea is to start replacing the old low res H3 icons with new ones that should be an improvement but keep the old feel of h3 as a part of the fork project.
I wanna start from here because its a small and realistic objective that can be completed and even if the rest of the project gets abandoned the icons by themselves can be implemented in the game.
If I counted correctly there are 28 secondary skills in h3 x3 for basic advanced and expert + a couple of rouge icons like experience and stuff so I guess its a bit less than 100
Anyway I am willing to contribute in any sensible way that could add to heroes

Could you post here also the one that you already finished along with the original?

Hold on I am not done with em yet. I never payed any attention to lightning and shadows till now.
I took a little break and spent some time studying light and shadows the last couple of days (mostly taking a break :P).
I think I finally am getting to that “at least same quality or better standard”. but its not done yet. Render time for the images has increased dramatically (a few hours per image lol). Probably not the wisest way but at least I like the results. Anyway I’ll send them when they are done. I think I have all the steps for making and icon worked up now. Things should go faster for the next icons I hope.

Here they are 44x44, 58x64, 82x93 and a 128x128 version just in case :stuck_out_tongue:

I finally like them over the original, only thing that really keeps them down is the resolution.

Here are the high resolution versions (they don’t have a background tho)
Warning large images ahead … shipHD.jpg … shipHD.jpg … shipHD.jpg

btw I just realized photobucket converts all image to *.jpg formats I will find some way to upload usable images tomorrow.

They look good even in the smallest versions. Bravo!
I’m curious to see how the others will look.

I imagine you use Maya or 3D Max, but for faster rendering you could use Blender with the Cycles engine. You also get a high quality preview in real-time.

Softimage actually.
Ok here they are working images.
Its a zip archive with the icons and models, they are all in the right format and size all you need to do is plug them into the game.

The nostrils should be more smooth, they look very sharp now on small icons. There is bone behind the nostrils, not holes and adding that bone will probably fix the above problem. There is also bone behind the eyes.
The cheeks are also very big.
The part where the teeth attach to the scull must be elongated, yours is flat.

I know its not anatomically correct, I actually use a neanderthal’s skull for reference. I thought it would be cooler, and about the bones behind the eyes and nose, models purpose is be grim not used for medical reference and adding bones behind it would make it look less cool

The nostrils should be smaller.
The teeth are too sharp. They must be closer to each other at the top and more distant near the root. The teeth are longer in the front and getting shorter toward the molars. The front teeth are also wider.
The skull must be on the it’s bottom, not on tilted - it is pretty hard to tilt something rounded with flat bottom.
The back of the green book should be flatter - it is too rounded. The locks look good on big icons, bun on small icons they make it hard to tell it is a book.
The casing on the sides of the red book will make it impossible to open it without damaging it.
Also I don’t think the books have casing - if you look on the old ones it will be impossible to open them at all if this was casing. This is more like some modern expensive books that have “golden” decoration on the cover.
Try making the texture of the red book bigger?
The gold casing is too shiny - it must be weathered, scratched and stained. The books too.

Finally don’t take this too hard - I (and everyone else) appreciate your effort, I just suggest how to make it better.

The missing bones will reflect some of the light and make it look better in my opinion (at least the nostrils).

Well I am done with this image if I go back to remodeling I would have to reposition everything and re render it. Maybe I will add bone nosdrills for necromancy.
And about the metal casing they are actually separate metal plates if you look closer.

These are icons, not anatomic models. I’d rather see more of them with similiar quality :slight_smile:

OutSane: which skill are you going to do next (or on which are you working on)? Maybe I may try to do an easy one - eg. archery. I do like 3D modelling in AutoCad, however it would be again in different file format…

Yeap and it would be great to create eg. a sourceforge page to share graphics on so it would be easier to find what is everyone doing and what has been done.

Outsane, first a big thanks for actually having made something, I think it’s a decent start and find it comforting to know there’s a modeler out there with an interest in creating new assets.
Having said that, if you like, I can offer some assistance with the last step of your assets. If you’re willing to share the 3d model (the softimage scene), I can take it from there and improve textures, normal and/or displacement maps, spec maps, adjust the lighting, add final gathering and rerender it with mental ray. That is, if you find the actual modeling of the assets the most fun part. If you like the texturing, lighting and rendering just as much or more then you may not want any help from me. :wink: Anyway, just thought I’d throw it out there, since it would be a good way of keeping this ball rolling.

As for assets, do you know that you can use online subversion services for ascii scene files? Check this comparison site for all the alternatives:
That way, you can post your softimage scenes with the models and every time you make a revision, it’ll commit to the online repository by just sending the actual changes to the file. Also, all previous versions are accessible, in case you wish to go back a few revisions. SVN is great.


Well haven’t decided yet, If you are willing to work on archery then sure I won’t touch it.
Other one you could try is estates, not sure how easy it is in AutoCad but from what I see its modeling a bag, a coin and then copy pasting the coin around 50 times :P.

Sorry I don’t know how easy will be to swap models from one program to another either, never worked in autocad only know of it.

Yes plz. Not that much that I hate lightning and the other stuff but don’t really understand em yet in a way to get what I want. If its an easy process for you go ahead.

nope never heard of this wonder full thing Oo. Don’t understand it yet (maybe because I just glanced it:p) but I will upload the scenes when I get it set up.

thank you guys one thing I know is that I can’t do this alone.

And a couple of thoughts on this whole deal.
Main thing that’s an issue is resolution. NWC did it right the first time with the limitations they had. This little project has the same limitations.
On the other side I know devs are playing around with higher resolutions(eyeballs them :P).
Even tho I don’t like to distract them from the actual project it would be nice when all Icons are done to have them in higher resolutions. It would also show one of the strenghts of VCMI over H3 modding. It would be nice to see heroes in a real high res (at least part of it…) instead of stretched up low res images.

Another thing on the actual work of the Icons. Because you need every icon in at least 3 different sizes and resizing small images damages them too much we need a new background texture (a big one). So all the models can be rendered high res on a monocolored background and then slapped over the background.

I suggest rendering them to png or xcf (gimp format), or another loseless compression format supporting transparency (or even alpha channels), and have background already fully transparent. I also suggest xcf or other format supporting layers for combining any 2D images together that is including renders of 3D models.
Note that gimp is free, open source, and availible for windows, linux and other platforms.
Also any other graphics including menus and fancy letters/captions can be done this way.
While talking about letters we can make some bitmap multicolor fonts specially to be used in vcmi (this includes all ascii printable chars and we can make them with pallette to swap or replacing collors internally in vcmi if 256 is too low for pallette).

I also don’t understand claiming skull have to be perfect. He/she died and perhaps been murdered, so cracking or missing teeth are welcome until you find it make them less pretty.

Got them, but don’t use 4shared next time - it requires registration :frowning:

We’re using SVN for code - perhaps it can be used for assets as well. You’d better ask for Tow opinion regarding this though.

In short - this is shared directory with version history. So users and artists will always have latest version of content without waiting for releases or collecting links on forums. It have some more interesting features but they’re mostly used by developers.

This is one of ideas for this project. Don’t expect this feature in VCMI soon but it would be great to have it once main game is finished.

No for xcf. This format can be only used with gimp, have no available tools\libraries, not supported by (most of) other image editors. Png’s are fine, bmp’s are always huge but may have alpha as well and there is targa which is quite popular among artists.

Not sure if this is a good idea. Unless you know a way to create font that will work with all languages. Finding existing non-copyrighted font should be much easier IMO.

For open source fonts, have a look here:

I tried setting up SVN project hosting but failed. All the hosting sites I tried are made for programing but not for CG. I am just not techie enough.
Meanwhile here is the whole project
you need softimage to open it and in case any1 is interested there is a free version of it you can download from autodesk 440mb under the agreement you dont use it for profesional work … eID=123112

Its on 4shared again… sorry Ivan just mention me a good site I can google and I will use that from now on.
About .PNG I can upload em like that but whats wrong with .BMP (I mean h3 uses bmp wouldn’t that make things a little less complicated)

well that great and anyway its not like the icons will be completed anytime soon as well :slight_smile:

Mirrorcreator. It uploads to a few another mirrors at once.
I appreciate it a much despite using it shortly (warning it has 250MB limit per file so using something as big as CD require multipart archive)