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How to get more colors for creatures

chimericchimeric Member Posts: 1,163
edited April 2017 in General Modding
The toolset - Near Infinity, that is - gives limited options when it comes to creature colors. If you want to change the hue of someone's skin, major or minor color, the tint of the blade, the rim of the shield and so on, you have about 250 colors to choose from. This is not as many as it sounds - a lot of the colors are glossy and only good for metal or leather, others are too dark or too bright to be useful anywhere. Reds are especially scarce - there are only three real red colors. I found a way to infinite colors, though not glossy colors. If you want more metals or leathers that gleam as the creature moves and turns, I can't help you.

To change a creature's colors you need to either have the engine cast a spell on it or make it equip an undroppable item with Instant/Permanent Natural/Nonmagical Self-targeted effects. You can randomize them if you want. To do this en masse, for whole categories of creatures, use Weidu to put items on them. (You can read my recent posts at Spellhold about this.) Put Set Color Glow Solid effects here and pick the creature part you want changed. Here you can draw from the whole spectrum at any brightness and saturation. Unless you want to imitate glows from Tron, put them both in the bottom of the table.

This produces a good linen-hue yellow not found in the regular colors:

Brightness controls how glow-like your color is, saturation - how much it acts as an overlay. If saturation is very low, nearly gray, the color will be a tint of the regular color of the creature. In this way this function is somewhat useful for skin - as a solid color it is too flat, especially when there is a lot of skin shown:



  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 4,133
    @chimeric Those linen hues look great. I think it is atweaks or some mod that changes colors on several creatures to some extent. I thought it really made the game liven up when seeing the new colors on something. Would be nice to see more. Seems like coloring got a little more creative in some new areas in the EE editions.

  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,282
    I remember the coloring effect being used in older mods as well. What I find most interesting is that you can create in the game non existant chromatic dragons such as a white one, or turn a silver dragpn into a golden one.

  • chimericchimeric Member Posts: 1,163
    So those other mods, did they do it with the Glow opcode or just Set Color? If you know about these things. Because anybody can tweak colors with Set Color, and I'm doing a whole lot of that for some categories of creatures: the Flaming Fist, bandits, Hobgoblin Elite and others. The originals were excellent, but creatures of a kind were clones. Now they will all get a distinct randomized look. It's in bad taste to post screenshots twice, so you can head over to Spellhold, if you're interested. I'm probably going to get banned in this place soon. But this application of Glow, well, it has severe limitations to be honest. The color is very flat, very little shading. That's okay on small areas like sleeves, and a gray, desaturated glow is the only way to get real white in this toolset, but for something large like a mage's robe it doesn't look very natural.

  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 4,133
    @chimeric I really like the randomized look idea. I mean it is more believable that a military unit like the flaming fist might be more apt to be uniform but all the others should most certainly not look the same. Knowing sod all about modding , it does not seem like it would not be to much to add that randomization you mentioned. It would be a nice touch.

  • chimericchimeric Member Posts: 1,163
    edited April 2017
    You're wrong: it takes a hideous amount of fashion design to randomize a look and not lose the creature's basic style. The original concepts in BG are simple and brilliant. There is an artistic reason why bandits don't wear helmets - because they are random scum; and Blacktalons don't wear helmets for a different reason - they are cruel and confident bastards. Had either been equipped with helmets, the concepts would be different, and so would be our perception of those characters. That's how designers create a world - by showing and not telling. And the concepts are just fine as they are even to this day. That's why the first game is a classic.

    But with all respect for that great simplicity, if we (I) want a more sophisticated environment, where players will have more and different things to do - and modders will be encouraged rather than discouraged to create something new - then we need to train players' eye to expect and delight in difference rather than sameness. The amount of difference is going to vary for creatures. In what I've done bandits are really quite diverse, with a wide variety of skin and hair colors, many low avatars and, occassionally, some funky armor hues. Flaming Fist Mercenaries are generally taller, more fair (lighter complexion) and Amnians are darker. We can assume that soldiers' equipment is standard, which is why I haven't touched weapons or changed the shape of shields, but some shirts will be dark with sweat, some helmets will be lined with bronze, some sword hilts will be gold. This is not a modern army that wears factory-made one-size-fits-all threads that you don't even own so can't customize. A few soldiers may wear different uniforms - 4% in my recolors are what I think of as sargeants. If you see an Amnian guy in a golden-plated helmet and a white shirt (Glow effect for sleeves), it's a sargeant.

    The Flaming Fist doesn't take bribes, so there is very little gold on them and the body types are somewhat different. Many Hobgoblin Elite will have green-glowing swords, representing their use of poison (not actually on the swords, they only shoot it, but it conveys the idea - and it's subtle). They are also big on brass now, for a foreign marching-band look. And so on. I hope people will appreciate it.

  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 4,133
    @chimeric I stand corrected, I am sure many things that might seem easy to one like myself not schooled in modding when it comes to changes that are definitely difficult or time consuming. It does not surprise me TBH.

    I have really been noticing the little changes that I think atweaks gives to creature colors. I really like to see and enjoy these small changes a great deal. Great ideas on the changes you are talking about. It would great to see it on a wide scale application.

  • chimericchimeric Member Posts: 1,163
    Zaghoul said:

    I have really been noticing the little changes that I think atweaks gives to creature colors. I really like to see and enjoy these small changes a great deal. Great ideas on the changes you are talking about. It would great to see it on a wide scale application.

    I went to see what aTweaks did to creatures and their gallery of screenshots is down. Yet from the readme I gather that the authors wanted to distinguish creature types - and possibly bring them closer to PnP in the coloring as well as statistics. For my recolors I don't try to imitate the tabletop game's looks. I don't see much of a point and many BG avatars diverge from PnP anyway. Ogres, for example, wear Roman-style leather armor here, with studs and quite nice-looking. The ogres of PnP are stinking louts dressed in rags and their own tough skin, and so on. Also my purpose is different - to add some realism and stylistic touches where there weren't any, and make creatures within a type distinct from each other - not differentiate types.

    Illustration: the freshly cooked Ogre.

    Notice the amount of skin shown - humanoid skin a lot of them wear for belts and shirts. Ogre Berserkers will be dressed in people's hides from head to toe. For skin colors I went away from green towards livid shades of brown and red.

  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 4,133
    @chimeric It wasn't really about bringing the colors closer to PnP that I noticed, but the fact that it WAS different that caught my eye. Ogres n skins, nice :), please continue. As you mentioned earlier about noticing things, my eyes DO delight in seeing the little changes. It can make a run feel very different and exciting, as mentioned.

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