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Color Palettes

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Ragnar
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Joined: 04/28/2017 - 02:16
Color Palettes

So a few minor suggestions...

The Wooden material type looks really good, but overrides applied colors, making everything a shade of red.

The Standard Skin applies a slight color, which is good and all (prevents everyone from looking like monsters), but it prevents truly pale options (pure white, isn't even that light). To address this, I suggest an extremely pale opposite color; kinda like how some people wear green anti-reddening foundation. So a very light blue or teal, might be able to get more pale than pure white, without looking non-human.
Related to this, I also suggest other extremely pale colors. A faint pink for example, could closely approximate the skin tones of certain groups.
Drifting out of strictly colors for a moment: makeup options for freckles, visible veins, and bruises, would be nice.

Hair uses the main costume palette which seems fine. However, it can't do dark brown or black hair. It does true black video game no light reflected, but that is kinda weird. I suggest adding some extremely dark browns, such as the ones seen in the skin palette.
Similarly, some more vibrant reds for that dyed red hair look would be appreciated
Also, since hair overrides any texture applied (at least on the first two; no hair yet uses the others), perhaps remove the texture option from there (I know it's only the most tiny amount of storage, but still).

On the costume pallet, for names I would suggest glancing at what MS Office does. For example, "Blue-Grey, Darker 25%" "Magenta, Lighter 50%" (technically I think they might call that Red-Purple, but there the names need not be quite that bland). This would be both useful for colorblind people, as well as people wanting certain symmetry in the pallet they give their heroes (I admit when changing colors, I usually want the brightness to be comparable; that or stay within one color and adjust the brightness).

And finally, a quick painter or Apply-To-All option would be fantastic. Rather than starting from black and applying to each piece, we could quickly apply our basic colors and textures to all costume items to then refine as needed. If doing this, I would not put it on each piece (too easy to have an accident), but instead maybe from a third option of a painter's palette symbol within that top spandex menu on the right.

Iathor
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Joined: 07/16/2015 - 21:16
The bark skin material, like

The bark skin material, like a number of materials in the regular costumes, has a built-in color and doesn't tint well, if at all. Basically the skin color just tints whatever the underlying skin material is, and some of them take color better than others. I suspect our bark skin is just a re-use of the bark material used on trees, and was thus low-hanging fruit to add to the list. A fully-tintable version would take additional work. This problem plagues a lot of costume materials as well, especially metals and leathers, and I'd like to get it fixed, myself. Getting the basic game up and running is the priority at the moment, however, so anything that takes significant work and isn't critical is backburner for the moment.

There should be substantially more "human" skin color options in the next AB release; you can see a tease picture over on the Discord from a test version. (The green separator colors in the tease picture will be gone in release.)

I'd like to get some more "exotic" skin color options into the palette as well, but I need to play with an art program to try to get a reasonable hue spectrum selection for each - my goal is to get maybe 3-4 variants of the major exotic skin tones from pale to intense to dark. That's backburner for me at the moment, since there's a lot more critical stuff I need to help with. Also, it's art-related, and I'm an engineer, not an artist...

I'd like to get a pure white skin material added, without the "flesh" tint. I haven't dug into the materials construction stuff yet, but it's also on my personal wishlist/backburner list. It's also a good excuse for me to learn how the material stuff works.

We'd like to have a separate palette for hair, and we have a possible palette set for it. Unfortunately it's a lot of code work to separate it out correctly, since hair is actually just another costume part in the code, and right now shares a lot of code with shirts, boots, etc. The material for hair is built in, and can't be changed by the Materials setting box; I need to disable it for hair, but it didn't make it into my last set of fixes. There are a number of UI things in that class, like showing four colors for things that can only have one, such as all the body hair options. Most of those don't have material options, either, but the box still shows right now.

Getting decent color names is hard; one of our devs is colorblind, so is our best guidance on what will work to help with color selection names. We've been talking about it, but grinding through the palette getting decent names is a lot of effort for something that's not totally critical right now, But it will be definitely be fixed. The next version of the AB will actually show a few color names for colors that actually have names in the color tables. I think that's all in the skin palette, though.

For consistent changes to multiple costume pieces, that's what the shelf is mostly for right now. But I think your idea is interesting, the question is how to implement it in a usable way. The current code structure focuses on one piece at a time, so applying changes to multiple pieces would take a fair bit of extra work, and it's hard to say which pieces should be affected. There's also related a UI design issue of how to allow the user to designate which color areas should be kept in sync.

The best notion I can come up with at the moment is to allow the user to tag a color/material combo on the shelf with a "paint-by-number" number tag, and keep a new character data structure with those mat/color sets, and reference them in the costume rather than the current "raw" material and color values. So you could add a "1" tag to a shelf swatch, and then any place you applied it would change if you later changed the "1" swatch settings. Could be done, but it's a fair amount of work, and new stuff that would have to go into the character database. (Right now, swatches in the materials window are not saved, and disappear when you exit the editor.)

Anyway, having coordinated changes seems like a good idea, and I will give some more thought to how we might implement it.

Tech Team

Grimfox
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Quote:
Quote:

The best notion I can come up with at the moment is to allow the user to tag a color/material combo on the shelf with a "paint-by-number" number tag, and keep a new character data structure with those mat/color sets, and reference them in the costume rather than the current "raw" material and color values. So you could add a "1" tag to a shelf swatch, and then any place you applied it would change if you later changed the "1" swatch settings. Could be done, but it's a fair amount of work, and new stuff that would have to go into the character database. (Right now, swatches in the materials window are not saved, and disappear when you exit the editor.)

I like this idea. I think it would be easier to implement than initial glance. This sounds a lot like the classic "pointer" example used across programming tutorials. But I'm not familiar with UE to say for sure.

Iathor
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Grimfox wrote:
Grimfox wrote:
Quote:

The best notion I can come up with at the moment is to allow the user to tag a color/material combo on the shelf with a "paint-by-number" number tag, and keep a new character data structure with those mat/color sets, and reference them in the costume rather than the current "raw" material and color values. So you could add a "1" tag to a shelf swatch, and then any place you applied it would change if you later changed the "1" swatch settings. Could be done, but it's a fair amount of work, and new stuff that would have to go into the character database. (Right now, swatches in the materials window are not saved, and disappear when you exit the editor.)

I like this idea. I think it would be easier to implement than initial glance. This sounds a lot like the classic "pointer" example used across programming tutorials. But I'm not familiar with UE to say for sure.

Yes, it's basically a forwarding pointer concept.

The basic code itself isn't too difficult, but it would require some substantial UI space, and I don't think I want to kill the shelf to make room for it. The UI work to make this easy to use is probably substantial work.

Also, just saving the material/color settings isn't hard, but it also has some implications for how the costume material/color data is currently stored, and it impacts the MMO character database, and also how data for avatars is sent to other players. So getting it to work only locally is the easy part. Anything that changes character storage and transmission is something that's a potential issue with cross-version data migration and protocol changes. Those are things you want to think through carefully before doing them. Hence my caution.

Tech Team

Huckleberry
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If that's the case, wouldn't

If that's the case, wouldn't it make sense to have a different costume file for the AB and for the "World"?

So you have a data file set that is used to create the avater in the builder, with all the callouts and shortcuts necessary to make that experience as use-friendly as possible, without any thought to communicating the data to other users or even to the game server.

Then when you leave the builder, execute a transform to convert the costume into a data set useful for making the game run as efficiently as possible. Wouldn't that address your concern?


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
Iathor
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Joined: 07/16/2015 - 21:16
Huckleberry wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:

If that's the case, wouldn't it make sense to have a different costume file for the AB and for the "World"?

So you have a data file set that is used to create the avater in the builder, with all the callouts and shortcuts necessary to make that experience as use-friendly as possible, without any thought to communicating the data to other users or even to the game server.

Then when you leave the builder, execute a transform to convert the costume into a data set useful for making the game run as efficiently as possible. Wouldn't that address your concern?

Something like that might work. But I’d want the linkage data to be persistent so you can come back and modify easily later. And I don’t want that trapped on the user machine it was first done on. I hate stuff that only works 90% of the time. People do play on multiple machines or switch machines.

But a good idea to start with, thanks!

Tech Team