Top down views

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Murgh Bpurn
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Top down views

Post by Murgh Bpurn » Sun Aug 26, 2007 10:06 pm

Hi all

I bought a couple of your miniature packs to make into tokens for Virtual Tabletop play. Have you thought about marketing "top down tokens" or even regular square/round tokens for VT Software?

Would it be a problem to modify the views of your existing 3D models?

There are currently quite a few traditional fantasy top down tokens being marketed, very few modern and hardly any others.

With your wide range I'm sure you could make a few bucks!

MB

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bottg
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Post by bottg » Wed Sep 05, 2007 7:56 am

Ok.....i will give it a try!

I am concious that other companies do produce fantasy tokens etc, and i don't really want to impinge on someone elses area, but i will do modern soldiers and modern civilian sets as a starter, and take it from there.

What sort of format would these need to be? I assume png/jpg etc, but what size and resolution would each figure need to be? Also, is it better to have a border? Square/round etc?

Give me some ideas, and help me get them right, and i will send you a comp copy of the first two sets :D

Graham

Murgh Bpurn
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Post by Murgh Bpurn » Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:45 pm

If doing top down tokens then just the figure, possibly with a shaded edge, as in this figure from heruca at the RPTools Gallery
Image

Square and round tokens I believe are usually in the region of 70 x 70

I'll try and get some feedback from the VT forums and get back to you.

:)
MB

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Post by heruca » Fri Sep 07, 2007 1:52 am

Hi there, Parkusuk.

I'm thrilled to hear that you are going to give top-down minis a try. There are quite a number of virtual tabletop programs nowadays, and their total combined users must number in the thousands. They're all hungry for tokens, so I'm pretty sure these will be very well received.

Rest assured that no one is covering all the genres that you have with your paper minis. Your collection (http://www.arion-games.com/minis/paper_minis.html) is very impressive !

In my opinion, the genres that are most sorely lacking in top-down minis are superheroes and western (i.e., cowboys and indians). Of course, Medieval, Fantasy and Sci-Fi would be the biggest sellers, since they're the most popular genres by far. Yes, others are making such figures, but I think there's plenty of room in this niche-industry for more than one provider.

Murgh Bpurn has provided a good sample of a top-down mini. If you need more, I'd be happy to point you to pages and pages worth of them.

PNG format (which supports transparency) with no border is pretty much required for this sort of mini. Resolution is irrelevant; the only thing that matters for virtual tabletop use is the image's dimensions in pixels. Creating these at a size of 25 pixels per foot should make them suitable for pretty much any VT program, since it's always easier to scale things down than it is to scale them up (since scaling up causes pixelation). The high level of detail that this size produces is ideal for when you zoom in.

If you were to do one of your existing sets in top-down view, you'd probably sell more copies of the original set, too, because most virtual tabletop programs also support showing a front-view image when a figure is selected. Thus, people will want the original set as a source of portrait-style art that perfectly matches the top-down minis.

I hope this information helps. If you have any other questions, ask away.

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

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Post by Omnidon » Fri Sep 07, 2007 3:59 am

Hi ;-)

I love what I've seen of your artwork so far and I agree that they would make superb graphics for online roleplaying.

The more graphics that are available, the more variety we can have in our games. There's no such thing as too many options. ;-)
heruca wrote:If you were to do one of your existing sets in top-down view, you'd probably sell more copies of the original set, too, because most virtual tabletop programs also support showing a front-view image when a figure is selected. Thus, people will want the original set as a source of portrait-style art that perfectly matches the top-down minis.
I second that. I like using a mix of styles for my gaming, such as face portraits, full-body figures, and top-down views.

Personally, I would prefer having the graphics as raw and high-res as possible. We can always resize and add filters later, but we can't reverse those effects.

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Post by bottg » Fri Sep 07, 2007 12:53 pm

Ok, I did a test figure from the Modern Soldiers set, images are below. These are fairly large, and 300dpi png files. I am inclined to include counter and portrait versions of each in one pack. Although this reduces the incentive to but the paper mini set, it does avoid a lot of messing around for the end user, extracting graphics etc (And yes, i know he has green camo pouches and desert camo suit. I am fixing that now!)

I would probably start with a combined Modern Soldiers/civilians set, and a western set. These would each have around 45 individuals, plus 6-10 mounted/vehicles. What sort of price would you expect to pay for this size of set?

Image

Image

Murgh Bpurn
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Post by Murgh Bpurn » Fri Sep 07, 2007 2:06 pm

Those are great! Having each of those views would be ideal, the second can be used for portraits or made into square/round tokens.

For a similar product, prices are shown here.

:)
MB

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Post by heruca » Fri Sep 07, 2007 5:12 pm

parkusuk wrote:I would probably start with a combined Modern Soldiers/civilians set, and a western set. These would each have around 45 individuals, plus 6-10 mounted/vehicles. What sort of price would you expect to pay for this size of set?
I suppose that depends on how many poses each figure comes in. Ideally each figure could come in an idle pose (i.e., just standing around), one or more combat poses, a dead/prone pose, and perhaps a seated pose.

I think most people would consider between $5 and $10 a fair price for such a set, assuming you could run a decent game with just 1 or 2 token sets.

Uniformed modern soldiers are kind of a special case, since they all look so similar from above. If you could have some variety in the form of caucasian, african american, asian, and hispanic skin tones, that would help add a little diversity to help tell each character apart.

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Post by bottg » Fri Sep 07, 2007 10:18 pm

I will work on these over the weekend, with help from you kind folks (!) and hopefully get the first set out next week.

I will post some more images as they become available.

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Post by heruca » Mon Sep 17, 2007 9:06 pm

Probably the best size for these top-down minis would be 200 x 200 pixels, since that would be more than enough resolution for any virtual tabletop program and also for Dundjinni users.

Rendering images as large as the ones you posted above is just going to make the renders take longer. Faster renders probably means you can do more poses per figure, or at least more figures per set.

As I said before, I prefer multiple poses for each figure (at least an action pose and an idle pose). A couple of VTT programs (Battlegrounds and MapTool) will soon be adding the ability to toggle between a variety of poses. And while some people may only use one pose per token, at least they'd have the choice of whether to use the action pose or the idle pose.

As for portraits, if you decide to do them, I would think that 500x500 pixels should be large enough. Most people will probably scale them down anyway, but it's always easier to scale down than up.

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Post by heruca » Fri Sep 28, 2007 10:51 pm

Any progress on this, parkusuk?

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Post by bottg » Fri Oct 05, 2007 10:19 pm

There has been some progress, with the latest versions below:

The progress may unfortunately slow down for a couple of weeks due to a house move and day-job change. However, this is top of the list as soon as i am sorted.

Image

Image

Image

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Post by heruca » Fri Oct 05, 2007 10:26 pm

OK, thanks for the update.

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Post by heruca » Tue May 27, 2008 7:00 pm

Hi again, Parkusuk.

I wanted to share with you this video I made. I used a couple of your Western top-down tokens to illustrate a new upcoming feature in my Battlegrounds software: the ability to swap out the token images on the virtual minis.

I also wanted to take this opportunity to point out two things that would really improve your top-down token sets, IMO.

1). Include a soft "shadow" (a soft, black Outer Glow, in Photoshop terms) on all the tokens. This would really help them pop out when the tokens are used on a map. See the opening post of this thread for an example of what I mean.

2). If possible, try to keep the lighting on each token pose as consistent as possible. If you notice in the video above, the change in lighting between the unmounted and the mounted cavalry officer is rather jarring. I'm guessing this happened because the mounted officer was higher up and therefore closer to your virtual light source.

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Post by bottg » Fri May 30, 2008 8:59 pm

Great movie! That looks like a fantastic program.

Point taken about the lighting. That is something to check. Adding a soft shadow is fairly simple to do, and will be added to future sets.

I think i will do an ancient set next, maybe Romans?

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