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    • Crysyn

      Only help if you can be helpful

      Hey All, A topic has come up of late in the IRC channel in regards to the general feel of the forums and the community that supports them. Things have progressed further than I would have liked with out this being addressed more publicly because I would much rather have snubbed this out sooner rather than later.. but I have been busy. Here is the general rule I would like people to follow: Wheaton's Law "Don't be a dick." Those of you from the IRC channel know that this is the only rule I ask people in there to follow and we generally have a good and lively time chatting about all manner of things. This is basic rule that just about everyone understands and I am going to expand it to the forums from here moving forward. If you can not help people in a helpful and polite manner then I simply ask you to stop. Now I generally take a back seat to moderating the forums as I like to participate in the suggestions forum fairly heavily at times and would rather do so as a forums user than a moderator. But I am also fairly well known for being the person who constantly puts their foot down and so I am stepping up and doing so on here. If you find yourself unable to respond to a message politely then I ask that you do not respond. This mostly focuses on the increasing level of hostility found within the Suggestion forum as well as the Server forum. I do not care if this is the 30th some odd time you have seen someone make the same suggestion. Or even if the new post on an older topic is one entry above the old one. I expect the members of this forum to respond politely to the user, new or old, and point to the older topic if it applies and even go the extra step to suggest they either add in new information or to summarize the outcome of the previous discussion based upon the new post's entry into it. That is what we are here for, that is why I close most topics instead of deleting them, so that they can be found and referenced down the road. The next topic is the slew of derailment attempts I have seen as of late. If you want to have fun and joke around that is what the off topic forum is for and pretty much anything goes there. I do not expect to read a suggestion thread and have to go through 3 pages of image memes people have shot back and forth. Quite simply this is a waste of my time to read and then have to clean up. Now for the summary. I am going to start taking a more active role, especially in policing the suggestion forum, and handing out warn levels to people whom I see doing this. These will be indiscriminate and applied not to just the first person who derails or is impolite on a topic or response, but to everyone whom follows the lead of that person. As I do not like doing things with out giving you all warning this post shall serve as that warning. If you have a desire to bring this topic up with me then I invite you to do so on the IRC channel. Lets raise the level of quality and grow the community. Let us not descend into the quality often found on the minecraft or league of legend forums. There is simply no need for that here. Be passionate about things, just do not be abusive.
    • Kittychanley

      Offline Servers

      Recently I've seen a few server listings showing up on the first page of the Servers forum that have been closed for an extended period of time, but have recently gotten a reply from a new member who didn't realize the server is offline. To help prevent this from happening in the future, it would be greatly appreciated if you could use the report function on the original post of any servers that have been confirmed as offline, so that the topic may be locked. If you are the admin of a server and plan on taking the server offline, please use the report function on the original post of your topic to let the TFC Staff know that the topic should be locked. If you are the admin of a server that has a locked topic, and would wish to bring the server back online, please use the report function on the original post of the topic to let the TFC Staff know that the topic should be unlocked. As always, please remember to follow rule #3 of the servers forum and update your topic title to contain the version of TFC that the server is currently running. You can do so by editing the OP, and then clicking on "Use Full Editor."
KronoNomikon

Smilodon

17 posts in this topic

Hey, guys!  I have been really stale, and I realize that the reason is because I have just not dedicated myself.  I realize the reason now that I saw a TFC2 release preview on YouTube, having afterwards been set to continue where I left off: it is because I was uncertain as to what exactly I should do, and so I got deadlocked.  So, before getting too far into it, I want to nail down the proper dimensions, as I know that Bioxx wanted a "muscular" saber-toothed tiger.  It's difficult to make it look muscular and yet have it like Minecraft, as were the parameters, and so I am going to show the first model dimensions before doing any skins.  This is because the method that I use to paint is not necessarily pixel-by-pixel, and when the dimensions are altered afterwards, it messes up my perception.  I had this problem a little with the cat, and so that's why I wanted to get the size at least somewhat nailed down first.

I tried to stay true to exact dimensions from various pictures and descriptions that I saw online.  I realize that it might seem a little small at first glance, but look realistically and think of the shoulder height as compared to a six-foot (two-meter) Steve.  I tried to go with the largest cat variety for size, with the ability to be scaled down, obviously, with the minecraft block of 16 voxels being 1 meter:

 

Untitled.png

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Posted (edited)

Hi Krono, great to see ya back!    I think Bioxx was ok with taking some 'artistic license' with the smilodon, so don't feel totally constrained on dimensions and such.  I forget which picture he gave as an example, but as I recall it had a 'mane'.  Maybe similar to the Ark smilodon?  Not sure, and it doesn't mean that's how you have to go.  But prehistoric animals we have a bit more license I think.  And as a large and serious predator, I'm ok with them having more detail.  You could add paws for instance.

I like what you've got with the head, and I'd be fine with even another section of fang taper if you want.  I'm ok with the ear tips as well, though I question if it will look very good once textured.   I would suggest making the legs perhaps a bit thinner, at least the front ones, and adding paws.  Since big cats' paws are a primary attack item, I think it's worth depicting them (I did that for all the 'regular' big cats).  As for "muscular", I think perhaps the best way to do that would be to use a 2-piece body, with thicker chest, and thinner waist.   A lot of big cats have what I'd consider a 'muscular' feature of their shoulder blades extending above their backbone a bit, so you can see them move.  Might be interesting to try out - though it wouldn't work well if you decided to go with a mane.  I'd also be ok with another section or two on the tail.  I'd even entertain separate 'cheek tufts' if you wanted.  I gave tigers a separate box to represent those.

I'd also be interested in seeing just a quick texture with eyes and nose.  It's a large enough model I'm not immediately clear how they will be arranged/sized.  Maybe also a quick take on the ears to see if that diagonal section will mesh well texture-wise.   And remember that since it's prehistoric, we have no real precedent on coloration or pattern.  So feel free to try spots, stripes, or whatever.

Just in general, unless Bioxx says otherwise, any large prehistoric or fantasy creatures - and especially highly player-aggressive ones - I'm allowing for more detail, and artistic license.   I'd still like to stay away from dramatically angled leg structures on mammals (insects are obviously a different matter in that regard) but about anything else, I think we can bump it up a notch.

Edited by Darmo
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OK, well, I was considering the shoulder blades thing a little, but not sure how that would work.  Because of the way that the upper arms are, they would probably have to be attached, but inset and angled or something.  I left the remaining space on the skin as solid as I could for any mane-type fur.

I had to modify the head and neck a little to at least be able to have the mouth open and not have neck sticking through; and I might have to lower the head slightly to align the bottom with the neck...we'll see, I guess.  I also made the ears rectangular, as I had realized that the reason I had them like they were in the first place was for the lynxes.

Here's it so far --- don't mind the back paws, as I've aligned them properly since these snapshots:

Untitled1.png

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Posted (edited)

How about a more hulking, slanted appearance?  I just ask now because I'll have to modify the length of some things a little.

I guess what I'm getting at is, although it may have a lot of cat-like features, and may be the descendant of modern big cats; as I understand it, they had some significant differences from cats, too, such as the longer, more muscular front arms.  I think that this would be a key feature, and might help with what you mentioned, Darmo, about the shoulder blades.  Now that I look at a better picture, I think that this might be a good compromise, but I'd like to know what you think. :P

Untitled2.png

Edited by KronoNomikon
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Closer. I'd imagine a blocky version of..

dld_KvAILCklJRXiUt-UolXnJwoVe9dynAfk18_D

If you want more realism maybe

MU16_15_original.jpg

Definitely needs more distinctive shoulders like Darmo mentioned, that you can see and instantly says I'm powerful!. Also the legs should be less stiff. I know you are dealing with blocks but I have faith in you. I'd look at how the legs are on these two examples. I know Darmo suggests not dramatically angled legs but the back ones could use a little angling. The fangs seem a little too much curved backwards. I am also laughing at that open toothless mouth. Just two small teeth on that bottom jaw would go a long way or keep the mouth close. For this guy I also think it's okay to take a little more creative liberty with it's feet. Give it some toes or claws. I of course defer to Darmo.

The hulking slanted one I'd say is your best so far.

 

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Posted (edited)

Stroam, thanks!  Yeah, I had actually seen that second picture and was thinking of that.  I don't know how the shoulders would be best implemented.  After all, they would come up at an angle, and would be looking like they were attached to the arms, and maybe more, but not really with them.  I have no problem with details or with natural leg poses etc., just that I didn't want to make it difficult for Bioxx.  I just want to make sure it's done proper.  I was thinking about that with the mouth and was thinking of rows of alternating tooth pixels or something.  Also, I was thinking of a hair crest and maybe tufts or a mane like Darmo had said.  At this point, I am just looking for suggestions on body shape etc.  To have the legs properly done like in the picture (or in real life), it would need three segments.  I had the same problem with the Caribou, if you remember.

So, what should be coming out: another box/set of boxes, or upwards extensions of the shoulders?  Think now: tigers have the same features while they are bent to that degree, but, as I am seeing with sabre-toothed cat renditions, these would be neutralized with a neutral pose:

1371338.jpg

stalking-tiger-stock-image-246610.jpg

Edited by KronoNomikon
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Posted (edited)

Sorry didn't reply earlier.  RL stuff.   I definitely like the slanted body more.  It helps in giving it a hulking appearance.  The shoulder blade thing was just a thought.  I can kind of imagine how it'd be hard to actually implement, with animation, and have look good.  It'd probably be a lot different from the way we've structure most animals so far.  I don't think you could just lengthen the upper leg box, that'd be too long and weird, so you'd about have to do it in two pieces probably.  It definitely would be challenging and I don't have answers.  I'm fine with it being generally structured as we've been doing (which is what you have right now) - I do think the slanted body with larger chest gets the muscular idea across pretty well.

The legs and paws still seem a bit oversized to me.  I hear what you're saying on muscular and I agree it does enhance that, but to me it also makes it look slow and clumsy, rather than lithe and agile.  Maybe if they were a bit long, so they didn't seem as stocky?

Here's a screenshot of the mountain lion I did way-back-when in Techne, in the days before MCMC. 

0MountainLion v2.jpg

I structured all my big cats the same.   I think your smilidon is actually a bit smaller than my big cat models, which to me jumps out mainly in the face, and the paws.  I had three claws per pawn, which required 6-wide boxes.  I think yours are 5 with two claws - I think 3 claws would be better.  I think another very important thing for predators is to try and avoid the derpy eyes - I actually made my heads 10 wide to accommodate an extra eye pixel and center the pupils.  I think it helps them look more focused and aggressive.  Even the nose and ears appear to be 1 pixel wider than your smilodon.  So, I'd recommend scaling up the head to at least allow for that, and then scaling up the rest to match.  And if you want to go even bigger I'm fine with that.  These are primary predators of the player, and I think it'd be fine for them to be bigger than 'normal' big cats.

I kind of agree with Stroam on the fangs - might be slightly too curved. 

I don't think separate claws are necessary, but if you want to try it out I'm open to the notion.  It could be interesting if the texture changed so they only appear when the smilodon is angry, rather than constantly being out.

 

Edited by Darmo
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This is my last comment on the subject. Here's an example of what I consider a beefy body. Note on how those shoulders really stand out Both on the sides and top. If this were to get animated you'd be able to see those shoulders working from any angle really giving you the sense that this is the powerhouse of the beast. As you mentioned this effect is less obvious when in a neutral position. That's because the cat stands up taller. When not relaxed the cat sinks down to store elastic energy in its muscles that it can release. In the context of when you'll find it in minecraft, it'll always be hunched in this active position because a relaxed cat is a piece of scenery and we aren't adding the cat for scenery.

If I were to take this to a second iteration I'd scale this bigger and make the chest more parallel to the ground while keeping the body at the same angle to give it more of a hunched look. The legs you can also see are not perfectly straight but by sinking the hind feet 1 pixel into the ground and making the feet long I am able to just rotate the shoulders and hips to make a decent walking pose.

JTYiBW1.png

SaberTooth.MCModel - be aware it's for structure demo only

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That's a good take Stroam.  You front legs are backwards and there's some proportions I'd suggest changing, but other than that I like what you did there - would you mind posting the model so we could see the legs in action?   Your call if you want to adopt some of that or not Krono.  I can go either way.

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So, it's all right to go with proper leg joints and everything?  Or should I go with how I was doing them?  I also didn't understand what you meant about the feet...make them a little more flat?  I understood about the claws, and hoped to do something like that, but didn't know we would have different skins for some kind of angry mode.  That's a good idea, though...like how endermen flip out, I guess.

Sorry for not responding recently, as I've been stressed out with work and more-than-tired.  Got a couple of days off now, though.

So, I want to be a people-pleaser in this thing, and, if you like, will do the shoulders, claws, and also proper joints.

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OK, so I redid it, but not with the extra joint on the back leg.  If you'd like, I could do that, but then I would shorter the paw there a little.  Do those proportions look a little better to you?  I am having a little trouble with the shape of the face...any suggestions?  I thought maybe to give the fluffy chin, I could add a transparent fluff instead of a neutrally-sloped jaw, but that can be changed back.

Is this OK for the body shape?

Untitled4.png

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OK, so I wrote up all of the following and was just about to post it right before you posted your most recent post.  So read all this without the context of your latest post.  I'll start a separate reply for that.

My main problem with the more 'real' legs is that they very likely are not going to be animated to move properly.  They'll just rotate where they join the body.  So you end up with a leg that looks all primed and ready to move, but it's just a solid wooden piece, and to me that's disappointing.  It also doesn't match well with the 'norm' in minecraft, of peg legs.  But for monsters, I'm trying to be more open to more detail.  Especially large ones.  What Stroam did there, is only 1 more box than the legs the 'normal' big cats have, and without the paw it's the same number as most of our current ungulates.  It's really just got the one angled piece in the middle, which is the same as elk and moose.  So the rear legs especially are really pretty close to our current norm.  The front legs have the extra shoulder box, but in this context that was kind of a 'special feature'.  The front legs are bending the opposite of the way they do irl though, which is jarring.   I'm much more comfortable with those back legs than the front, basically.

But, in both the front and rear what I like is that the haunch boxes are square with the body, and the paw and lower leg are square with the ground.  The mid-legs bridge the gap from the slanted body to the flat ground.  I feel like it's not as jarring as when the body is orthogonal to the ground, and there's a bunch of leg sections all at different angles, orthogonal to neither the ground nor the body.  The unfortunate thing is the front legs, the haunch by being square to the body is setting up the wrong bending mechanic.   I opened the model to play around with the front legs a bit, and I think the only way to make them work is either have them be a straight column, or have the haunch bend backwards, in which case the rest should probably be a column.  It breaks the orthogonal haunch relationship to the body, but as long as the rest is orthogonal, I think it could work.

All that said, I like what you did originally Krono (just maybe leg proportions a bit different).  I like that it matches better with the 'normal animals' we've already got.  And prehistoric animals are kind of a bridge between 'normal' animals, and monsters.   At the same time, I'm trying to be open for monsters to be more complex.  And so as a bridge creature, again, I'm also willing to entertain more complex legs.  If you would like to do the more complex legs, I'd say go for it.  Just try to limit them to one non-orthogonal piece.  And I should say, just to be clear for future monsters, I'll probably never be ok with things like using boxes just to try to make a slant between two other boxes.  But more boxes for more discreet structure or detail, I think is worth looking at.

I do kind of like the shoulder feature, so if I were suggesting, I'd probably say go for the shoulders. 

In terms of paws, regular big cat paws appear more square than long, I think, and more flat than tall. And ya, my understanding is that vanilla wolves, when their eyes turn red, that's a different texture.  And sheep shearing also just swaps textures.  The sheared version still has the wool box, it's just got no texture so it's invisible.  Same principle.  You could even have two jaws, one closed for 'normal mode' and one open for angry.  Just one or the other will be invisible at any given time.  My concern with claws is whether they'd look better as a simple vertical plane, or a fractional box.  I'm guessing fractional box, so that they're visible from the front.

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Posted (edited)

15 minutes ago, KronoNomikon said:

OK, so I redid it, but not with the extra joint on the back leg. 

Ok, so now in the context of your most recent post.   It's good, I still think the leg section above the paws could be thinner front to back.  At the same time, a texture might change my mind.  If he looks shaggy enough maybe the thick legs read as fur.   But my instinct is thinner.  I do like the back legs Stroam did, so I'd suggest going that route.   The front legs I'm ok with.  Like I mentioned preceding this post, columnar front legs are a good option I think.  I would however try to keep the shoulder box so that only the top corner sticks out of the chest, and not any of the other 3 corners.  I still think the paws look too fat.

I'm having a little trouble reading the head-neck-jaw area from those pics, a model would help.  Jaw might be a little long.  I think cheek puffs could be great, and they could fill in some of that area behind the jaw so you could shorten the jaw.  This is an area where we can take artistic license vs conventional portrayals.  I don' know if transparent cheeks would be the best route, this guy is a lot bigger than an ocelot - might be too insubstantial.  Might want to make it a solid block, with some slant to it, so that it doesn't read as too massive, maybe.  There's a lot of options there.  But make sure he doesn't have the derpy eyes.

 

Edited by Darmo
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OK, now here it is with a fixed back leg, modified leg sizes and placements, modified paw sizes and placements, pre-relaxed tail, tweaks and modifications etc.:

 

Untitled0.png

smilodon04.MCModel

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I like that a lot.  I feel like he looks a lot more agile now.  I did notice the neck is clipping through the ears a bit, and maybe the head being default level or down a bit, rather than 10d up, might look better, in terms of default positioning.    I think the rear legs might look a bit better if the middle piece were more centered under the haunch.   Also the tail will need to be modified to address z-fighting.   Other than that I think it's looking good - powerful and dangerous!

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I am really liking this model Krono! It definitely looks really powerful!

Smiloden Question.png

Is there meant to be a gap between the jaw and the neck like seen with the blue circle? Is that space meant to be filled by the open mouth box from the early prototype? It looks a little odd to me with the gap. Still open to other ideas though.

Also, a tip with the tail is to adjust the rotation on the z axis by 0.1 degrees. This eliminates 99% of the z-fighting that occurs in the trouble area. You can see an example of this below, I extended the middle section to make the tail fully connect through all three sections. The model attached below is the same as your 04 model except it contains my tail change. Up to you whether you want to use my tail or design your own.

Smiloden Tail.png

smilodon04T.MCModel

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On 7/9/2017 at 6:09 PM, Darmo said:

I like that a lot.  I feel like he looks a lot more agile now.  I did notice the neck is clipping through the ears a bit, and maybe the head being default level or down a bit, rather than 10d up, might look better, in terms of default positioning.    I think the rear legs might look a bit better if the middle piece were more centered under the haunch.   Also the tail will need to be modified to address z-fighting.   Other than that I think it's looking good - powerful and dangerous!

I think the hind legs would look better if the hind haunches were bigger. If you look at the picture above you'll see the haunches help form the butt. 

 

3 hours ago, Th3A1ph4D0g said:

Is there meant to be a gap between the jaw and the neck like seen with the blue circle? Is that space meant to be filled by the open mouth box from the early prototype? It looks a little odd to me with the gap. Still open to other ideas though.

I could take or leave the gap. The tail is a style choice. I've seen the Jacob's ladder style segments on Mo's mobs and I think it plays well with the minecraft aesthetics. When you have a solid tail like you present it can give you the feel of a handle bar when animated which the Jacob's ladder style doesn't even if it acts like it.

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