AuthorTopic: Hexagonal Animated Water Tile  (Read 12768 times)

Offline Zoggles

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Hexagonal Animated Water Tile

on: October 07, 2009, 07:24:46 am

Ok, so this has been really bugging the hell out of me recently.. I've tried a multitude of different techniques (the rest of which I really didn't like), however, I'm still not sure about this one either. I'm almost tempted to make this a static tile instead of trying for a (what I hoped to be a very subtle and not distracting) animated one.

The edges of the tile I really dislike at the moment, but I need to take a break from it for now and continue again later on. They were done rather quickly as a bit of a test. Initially, the sides of the tile were static and just the top face was animated.

The image below shows the tile on its own, and how it works when actually tiled and what it looks like in a small mockup area.




Comments, crits and suggestions very welcome at this stage...

-Z-

Sorry if I don't seem to ever comment on your posts, but anything hosted on imageshack or most image hosting web sites is blocked from China. If I can't see it I can't therefore comment on it :(

Offline EyeCraft

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Re: Hexagonal Animated Water Tile

Reply #1 on: October 07, 2009, 03:17:53 pm
I think the issue comes from an indecision on the physical motion of the water. At the moment there appears to be 3 distinct directions of motion occurring simultaneously (surface lines moving left->right, surface pulses moving omnidirectionally and subsurface flowing down). I suggest just settling on one and working everything towards suggesting that motion. Maybe just simple lapping waves would be best. Subtlety will come down to the contrast and smoothness of the animation, I think. Try studying how water is done in other games, perhaps even 3D games and see what kind of shapes and motion there are. Sorry, that's all the advice I can really give at the moment.

Also, the grass tiles are very noisy, it would pay to give them a bit more attention, lower their contrast a little.

Offline .TakaM

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Re: Hexagonal Animated Water Tile

Reply #2 on: October 08, 2009, 02:28:42 am
I like the surface animation just fine, the shimmers are great and I like the more subtle animation lying underneath it, no offense to Eyecraft but I don't think using other video game examples of water is very useful, it's best just to go to the source instead of another artists interpretation of it.

The drips on the sides though, I'd say are unnecessary. I don't think you need to explain the physicality of them with an animation, it'd look more sensible as if each tile of water was just up against glass.  :)
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Offline Mush

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Re: Hexagonal Animated Water Tile

Reply #3 on: October 08, 2009, 04:53:07 am
I think the drips on the sides are drawing to much attention to the water tiles. Also, it almost looks like you saved the grass tiles as jpeg.

Offline big brother

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Re: Hexagonal Animated Water Tile

Reply #4 on: October 08, 2009, 05:48:38 am
I think the drops on the side would work if they were more subtle: less contrast between the drips and the side itself. Overall, that would help convey the wet and dynamic feel without stealing the focus.

The grass tiles would look great if you changed the hue to a more olive green. The plants could stay emerald. If you wanted to get really crazy, it might look cool if the plants were darker with a hue like hooker's green. I would make the grass on the side of the hex more "blade-like" (vertical lines) so it looks less like pressboard.

I really like the horizontal movement on the water, especially the varying tempos.

Offline Dusty

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Re: Hexagonal Animated Water Tile

Reply #5 on: October 08, 2009, 05:57:59 am
Honestly, the subtle animation you have in the background of the water looks like those funky tidie-like animations you used to see in like, optical illusions and such.

Offline rikfuzz

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Re: Hexagonal Animated Water Tile

Reply #6 on: October 08, 2009, 06:55:22 am
Your water's quite purpley- water gets it's colour from reflection of the sky in most situations, so I'd maybe add more cyan.  Have put a few suggestions into this little mock - not sure everything works (I was somehow surprised by the way the tiles connect) but feel free to take what you like from it!

Offline Mathias

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Re: Hexagonal Animated Water Tile

Reply #7 on: October 09, 2009, 03:10:55 am
I like what I see; neat hex iso tiles! But, one thing about the water that definitely loses some merit is that the fluxing underwater animation is extremely mechanical, obviously done with posterized hue shift tweens, or something similar. And what that does is achieve a neat precise effect, but it's so mathematical/machine lookin', it loses out on that artistic organic manually drawn quality. I really like rikfuzz's underwater texturing, but now let's see him animate it like you, hehe. That's a whole other matter. You could try a looping bitmap displacement effect if you're photoshopping, but then it has to tile as well, so not sure how that'd turn out.

Nodoby seems to like the falling water texture on the water tile sides, eh? It's not too bad. I do agree less contrast would be good. No need to draw much attention to it. There is a discrepancy here however, and perhaps I just don't understand how these will be implemented in your game or whatever they're for, but you're treating the sides of the grass tiles as cross-section, like they're sliced, exposing the side (if not seems little blades and details should be hanging down over the soil layers rather than a perfect edge, but I guess this could boil down to a style choice), yet then you've got your water tiles like they're not sliced, but rather water cascading over an extruded hexagonal shape. I say make the concept for your tiles consistent to reduce confusion.

Not liking the grass top-face's texturing. Too sandy, it doesn't describe anything, it's just noise. Left/right sides of grass tiles are banded, must not be done yet. The little plants need help.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2009, 12:12:12 am by Mathias »

Offline hotnikkelz

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Re: Hexagonal Animated Water Tile

Reply #8 on: October 10, 2009, 09:15:43 pm
The water needs more green in it.  The edit by rikfuz is too swimming pool like and everything big brother says is correct :)

Offline Zoggles

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Re: Hexagonal Animated Water Tile

Reply #9 on: October 11, 2009, 12:48:48 am
There is a discrepancy here however, and perhaps I just don't understand how these will be implemented in your game or whatever they're for, but you're treating the sides of the grass tiles as cross-section, like they're sliced, exposing the side (if not seems little blades and details should be hanging down over the soil layers rather than a perfect edge, but I guess this could boil down to a style choice), yet then you've got your water tiles like they're not sliced, but rather water cascading over an extruded hexagonal shape. I say make the concept for your tiles consistent to reduce confusion.

Oh.. that's a very good point and you are spot on with that observation. Something that definitely didn't occur to me and possibly the main reason I felt that whatever I tried didn't fit.


As for studying water in other games, I have studied a wide variety of water effects and to be honest never liked any of them. While I don't think that truly reflecting nature is the most important aspect, obviously, if it is too far away from natural it tends to stick out like a sore thumb and be very noticeable.

Water (particularly in something like a lake without a distinct flow) has a very complex pattern of movements hence I had opted for two subtle effects rather than just the one. I was hoping to try and convey the underwater currents and also the wind affecting the surface creating the shimmers of light on the ripples. But wanted to try and keep both as subtle as possible, because the water areas are essentially 'null' areas of the game map. Initially I did have the water much lighter, but it was far too prominent so I made it darker to compensate, but I'll look into the colour choice more though.

Rickfuzz, thanks for the edit/image you've put up. It's certainly an interesting one and something I hadn't thought of. Though the first thing that springs to my mind is 'ice' and 'icicles' when I look at it. However, I do like the edges where it meets the land tiles.

As for the other comments, thanks guys, I will be updating again soon (some coding stuff to do at the moment though)

-Z-

Sorry if I don't seem to ever comment on your posts, but anything hosted on imageshack or most image hosting web sites is blocked from China. If I can't see it I can't therefore comment on it :(