Fallout 2 mod Black Dude / Hero Appearance Mod - Release v2

Discussion in 'Fallout General Modding' started by Lexx, Jun 11, 2021.

  1. Lexx

    Lexx Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    Origin: https://www.nma-fallout.com/threads/mr-black-dude-a-new-playable-critter-for-fallout-2.193608/



    This is the first release of the black dude player character for the Hero Appearance mod. As the name suggests, it lets you play as a black character (duh).
    Nothing stands in your way of roleplaying as Black Dynamite now.



    Pretty sure @burn will want to add it to the hero appearance git repo later, but for now version 1 2 can be downloaded from here.

    Download the hmr01s00.dat file and extract it into the \Appearance\ folder of your Fallout 2 installation. That's it. Start a new game and switch the character race. Done.


    Ok, now with that out of the way ...
    I've been slaving away on this thing since last sunday. That makes it a 6 days crunch. I'm feeling completely fucked now. We are talking about something like 30.000 frames and some of them I did twice.

    Why?
    Because I'm stupid. Well, and I saw that the hero app repo had a black dude style, which hyped me up hard. I went fast and tried it out... just to be greeted by this. Ehhh... yeah. I have no idea why someone thought this is playable?
    Anyways. So now there I was, sitting all bummed out. Started to digg up the 10 years old thread (see origin link above), checked the current status... Yeah.
    After that I've setup some tests, once they looked ok I started and didn't stop. Now we're here.


    That being said, here are the current issues I have with this release:

    General:
    Some of the muzzle flash frames are shit. Needs to be fixed, but I don't know how to do it well. Maybe @.Pixote. can help?
    Also I'm not sure if all the death animations are ok.

    Metal Armor:
    Too much of the head was recolored. Now the leather "shirt" is too dark and clashes with vanilla black dude animations.
    This means almost all direction 0, 2, 3, and 5 animations need to be redone. Will have to test if idle animations are enough, or if really *everything* must be remade.
    It really sucks that I haven't noticed it before... I based my animations on the ones already made, and copied the error... Fucking hell.

    Combat Armor:
    Too much face has been colored black. All animation directions where the face is visible need to be checked and probably redone. Highest priority have idle animations - everything else depends on how noticeable it really is ingame.

    Tribal:
    Legs are flickering. This looks horrible in standing animations. Needs to be remade with a different technique.
    Legs are also flickering in some other animations. Again, better to completely remake this.

    Truth told, I made the tribal last, it was the least fun to do, and I don't need the animations for Fallout et tu, so I only gave half a shit when making them. Someone else will have to fix the issues, I'm not going to do it.

    Leather Armor:
    "Ripped" cloth on the left leg has skin shining through in some animations. However, this is usually minimal and probably can be ignored. In case of fix, it needs to be done carefully to avoid leg flickering like on the tribal animations.

    I will also have to make the "brotherhood combat armor" variant for Fallout et tu, which ... I'm not sure yet when I will start. Thing is, I'm really fucking exhausted now. So if people are motivated and want to help with fixing the above mentioned issues (@.Pixote. ?) or more, that would be really fucking great.


    So yeah, that's it for now.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2021
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 3
  2. Lexx

    Lexx Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    Appendix:
    All animations can be found on our new animations repo. We'll update shit there whenever something is done, so there won't be a chance to let animations slip into the abyss, as happened before.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021
  3. Lexx

    Lexx Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    I have just uploaded a new version. The metal armor collar issue annoyed me so much that I've decided to completely remake all animations. Now it looks a lot better and fits much more with the vanilla black metal armor guy. I'm happy about it.

    Also I have completely remade the combat armor. Much less dark, more fitting shading. For ettu I have added a dark combat armor variant as well, thus I basically did the exact same work twice even.

    What I have not fixed is the ripped pants of the leather armor - to make the skin darker requires a lot detail work to not have it flicker like mad when it animates. I can't spend the time on this anymore (also after 8 days of frame editing my motivation is dead) so it stays as is.


    I rate the quality to be release-worthy despite the still existing flaws. Considering the community interest for this mod is basically none, it is very unlikely that I am going to do more fixes. It's too much work, and I feel that I have done my part in it more than enough.
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 3
  4. burn

    burn A Smooth-Skin
    Modder

    627
    Apr 22, 2012
    Cool stuff.
    If I ever get to do animations, I'd rather learn some 3d modeling. Pretty sure it'll pay off after 2-3 anims. And it's actually a useful skill to have =).
     
  5. Lexx

    Lexx Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    Problem is - no matter how hard you try, it will still never look like the vanilla critters. Stuff like the blonde woman, for example, just looks ugh to me. I can't play with that in my classic Fallout.
     
  6. burn

    burn A Smooth-Skin
    Modder

    627
    Apr 22, 2012
    I find that hard to believe. After all, the original animations were not painted pixel by pixel. So there must exist a way to replicate that.
    But I don't think that going for exact replica is a good goal in the first place. With modern tools, one should be able to create better animations, faster and easier (while still keeping the "old feel").
     
  7. Lexx

    Lexx Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    See, there we already have an issue - "better animations" means the critter will stick out from the rest. You can see that with Ursa's critters - they look awesome, but if you put them right next to a vanilla critter you'll see right away that it's different.


    Of course there is a way to replicate the originals. Get 1990s version of Lightwave 3d and create new model renders with that. Still, you first have to replicate the animations perfectly, or you still end up with something that just isn't looking right (or looks like the Fo2 critters).

    Anyways. Long story short, yadda-yadda.

    As said in the release post - if someone wants to help perfecting black dude, yay, but I'm not going to lift a finger again.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2021
  8. burn

    burn A Smooth-Skin
    Modder

    627
    Apr 22, 2012
    I mean, I think it's possible to make them not stick out. Maybe a little bit different from vanilla, but not out of place.
    Although, maybe my tolerance for this is higher than yours. Like noticing 1-2 fps difference in animation speed =).
     
  9. Lexx

    Lexx Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    After editing around 50k frames of classic critters you start to notice stuff. Limbs clipping is still the smallest issue. For example, the combat armor has lots of broken pixel (equip a knife and you'll see it). Also the combat armor minigun animation has a part of the minigun shifted when walking, etc. Oh, and the combat armor rocket launcher is clipping through the backpack. Sometimes the critters are holding the weapons really awkward. Leather armor pants color is completely fucked in the hit-animation .... there's a lot that most players will probably never notice, but I can't unsee it now.

    The minigun is probably the thing that annoys me the most. I was thinking about fixing it somehow, but ehh... probably not worth it.
    Fixing the rocket launcher is probably easy... just have to darken the backpack piece. It's visible in only a few directions, so wouldn't need much compared to the other stuff.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2021
  10. .Pixote.

    .Pixote. Antediluvian as Feck
    Modder

    Sep 14, 2009
    Congratulations Lexx, you are officially 'mad'. I dread anyone to have to make this one frame at a time. Did you use the colour change function in Photoshop to automate the process, or go frame by frame. To fix the muzzle flash all those frames will need to be masked and done individually...yeah. :V
     
  11. Lexx

    Lexx Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    It's all done by hand.

    1. Create new layer.
    2. Paint with color RGB 63, 52, 50 over all skin parts (use a hard brush, try to stay on the skin, but if you hit a bit outside, it usually doesn't matter so much.)
    3. Set the layer to "hard light" - now the skin looks the closest to the vanilla black guy (I experimented a lot with this before starting for good).
    4. Disable the new layer.
    5. Select the color blue (transparency), switch back to the new layer and delete everything that is overlapping into the blue to clean up the shit you brushed over but shouldn't have.
    6. Convert to indexed colors (Fallout palette of course).
    7. Save, close.
    8. Repeat with next frame.

    I created a photoshop macro that will do step 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and then create a new layer (1) on the next open image. This means that all I have to do is zoom (couldn't figure out how to automate this), paint the skin, F2 (run macro), enter, enter, done. After a while you will need roughly 5 or 6 seconds per frame. Only the metal armor took me a lot longer due to the god damn spikes on the shoulder.

    Used the same process when doing the new brown pants leather armor animations, just with a different base color. The recoloring results are good.

    About the muzzle flash - after seeing it ingame now, I actually don't think it's that bad. Maybe it is already enough to just paint a little bit of red over the frames that have the weakest shade. Dunno.

    The real problem is the animation flickering in little detail work - best seen on the tribal pants. Fixing this probably needs a lot more manual work, as it is almost impossible to consistently hit the right pixels with the brush.
    This is why I ignored the ripped pants part in the leather armor. It's not impossible to do it right, just a lot work. On the plus side, it only needs to be done in maybe 2/6 of the frames and not everywhere. So while it's still a lot work, it's not *that* much.

    On the plus side in general, while the tribal looks like shit most of the time, the player will only be roughly 5 minutes in the Temple and is usually only running around. So the flickering issues are barely noticeable.
    Still, I heard the Megamod has changed the spear to a knife. I didn't make knife animations for the tribal. So maybe that's something we could/should still add to it. Not me, though, I can't anymore.


    that being said, I am currently doing a new ettu playthrough with this, and so far I'm very happy with the results.

    dolemite.png
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2021
  12. Lexx

    Lexx Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    Turns out I forgot about the robe... it's showing skin (hands, and face in some frames). Anyone wants to help out with that? I don't have the time to do this now.
     
  13. burn

    burn A Smooth-Skin
    Modder

    627
    Apr 22, 2012
    This complete? I compared dat from the first post to current hero appearance version. Many files seem to be removed, many added. Some of this due to fr0-5/frm split changes, but not all. And I'm not sure why the changes in splits, too. I think mismatch with vanilla is what caused glitches with punk girl before?
     
  14. Lexx

    Lexx Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    No idea, I just copy&pasted critter files from vanilla Fo2 .dat, extracted them, edited them, packed them again, done. I completely ignored all current scrambled black dude files.

    Only thing left to do is black robe. I will not have time to do this in the next ~3 months at least, maybe longer (maybe never).


    I think current hero app mod has files for the stupid star wars laser thing and some other shit, which I didn't bothered with.
     
  15. Cerebro

    Cerebro It Wandered In From the Wastes

    105
    May 6, 2007
    Cool stuff. Can this be used to replace the FRMs for CatJules in the EPA? His FRMs in the Restoration Pack look kinda bad in comparison.