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Guys it's not as simple as to make a check list especially cause the range of designs you can make it's pretty huge : \ 

 

@alexmach1: Of course i don't know you, that's specifically why i wrote "Seems like". I didn't mean to offend you but i felt compelled to explain for you and for everyone else (just in case) why DE is not neglecting a problem that could be allegedly fixed with 5 extra minutes of work per day, the reason is it's way bigger and complex than that. I hope you didn't take it too personally, i'm sorry if that's the case.

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All DE needs to do is to include ALL of their selection criteria in their guide. If they'd just do that, be up front about it, and actually follow their own guide when making selections (for some reason, they don't do this), then it'd be clear which submissions would be eligible for selection and which won't.

I am in complete agreement with you here.

The guide for example states that a submission cam be rejected if it is to contemporary or does not fit the warframe visual style.

It is not very clear what that means however. At what point is a Zephyr helmet unacceptable? What exactly IS the boundary of warframe art direction, aside from being weird and strange in general.

A clarification would be nice.

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The boundary of art direction are the ones you can observe in the game, same visual style (bioarmor-robot-ninja ecc), same shape language(a 3d pixel helmet won't fit), same level of detail (just a texture on top of a very flat surface is not a skin). If you don't go too far from those parameters your submission should be fine, most submission that have not been accepted so fare are failing to meet one or more of these goals. That's just my observations though, i can be wrong of course, maybe a 3d pixel fantasy helmet with a matrix texture on is totally fine lol. My concerns are more on the technical side though, not visuals.

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The boundary of art direction are the ones you can observe in the game, same visual style (bioarmor-robot-ninja ecc), same shape language(a 3d pixel helmet won't fit), same level of detail (just a texture on top of a very flat surface is not a skin). If you don't go too far from those parameters your submission should be fine, most submission that have not been accepted so fare are failing to meet one or more of these goals. That's just my observations though, i can be wrong of course, maybe a 3d pixel fantasy helmet with a matrix texture on is totally fine lol. My concerns are more on the technical side though, not visuals.

Ok. Lets take a few IPs that are relatable.

Deus Ex. Star Craft. Gears of War. Metal Gear Solid. Neo Genesis. Ghost in the shell. Dead Space. Destiny. Halo. Warframe.

I can in theory make a warframe skin that looks alot like a Protoss from Star Craft. The question is when does it break away enough from that IP and becomes a part of Warframe IP.

The last helmets for example. I know for a fact that a few of those designs exist elsewhere in some form or other. But maby they were just not part of a big IP. Maby nobody cares.

Then we have Loki, Wukong and Oberon. All three are wellknown mythical figures. So imagine I did a skin based on legend or myth, a god or godess. I don't think it is as easy as just adhering to warframes Art Direction at that point, but rather what is ok and not from the Devs point of view.

Am I making sense to you good people? This is what I miss from those guides. Sure, technical issues are super important, but those are pretty much there.

The moving parts bit ruined some ideas of mine, but at least now I know not to waste my timw on helmets or weapons with danglies on them.

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The boundary of art direction are the ones you can observe in the game, same visual style (bioarmor-robot-ninja ecc), same shape language(a 3d pixel helmet won't fit), same level of detail (just a texture on top of a very flat surface is not a skin). If you don't go too far from those parameters your submission should be fine, most submission that have not been accepted so fare are failing to meet one or more of these goals. That's just my observations though, i can be wrong of course, maybe a 3d pixel fantasy helmet with a matrix texture on is totally fine lol. My concerns are more on the technical side though, not visuals.

 

yet whoever made the initial selections for Round One selected a Mantis skin and a Mag skin that didn't actually fit the existing visual design of the game. In theory, all selections should fit the visual theme of the game, but whoever actually makes selections isn't really paying attention to that. So DE needs to make absolutely clear what the criteria is for submission selection.

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It seems here might be the best place to get some answers to "warframe style".

I am (trying) to design a helmet for Nekros based on the Egyptian God of Death, Anubis. Anibis is a jackal, and thanks to Stargata is well known.

I really want this to gel with Nekros, it's such a perfect match. However from the minute I sat down with this, I have wondered about it.

Is it ok? How much is ok? If it not ok, who tells me?

Some LOVE Stargate and therefore they want something close to that.

I am still unsure, but less confused now that am actually looking at it on a, low poly and no normalmap version, but still a body.

What are your thoughts here? How much is ok when the figure is so well known?

-comparisons-

Stargate

5e490663141b7133599f0a45b533d6f0.jpg

SMITE

ANUBIS-REBORN-SMITE.jpg

nekros_helmet_anubis_v10_in_progress_by_

Unreal Tournament (I think)

964516-stargate_1.jpg

DESTINY

trials_of_osiris_action_3rdP_03-14302801

Mine

nekros10pose_by_gaber111-d9nr0my.jpg

I can iterate till end of times unless I know what is ok and not.

Untill I know, I wont do any more.

Grateful if you can help me out!

Edited by arch111
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No-one owns the copyright on anything tied to Anubis, and you are clearly doing your own modelling. Why would there be a problem?

Problem might be that DE-staff don't like designs like this that have a religious origin.

That's my point. If I need to "weird it up" I want to know how much and what it wrong with it.

As for copy, I cant copy stargate I know that much.

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This is Design in general my friends, you are talking about something that "the artist" should know. I'm actually a professional artist and it's my job to be able to read, understand and work in between an already established direction unless that direction is yet to be created. Here we have an already established direction so it should be your job as an artist to make something that fits into the theme. The job of an art director though is to steer the ship (in short) and be sure that everybody is pushing the designs in the same direction.

 

The trick here is that you have degrees of liberties on the categories that i mentioned before (visual style, shape language and lod). The thing you can work with the most in our case is shape language. So you're making an Anubis shaped helmet but the actual visual style of it it's bio armor robot ninja which is in the boundaries of the warframe art style and i suppose you will make it so the level of details matches the other warframes helmet. This is perfectly fine for what i can tell (if there are internal policies to not make something too similar to some already existing and recognizable character i don't know, it's possible, they've already said to not make too much pop culture so you're taking the risk... which is pretty much how this job works, designs are rejected all the time) but how good you shape languages + visual style + lod rendering is it's something that will make or break the deal.

 

 

I hope this will help to understand why there can't be somebody to tell you exactly what you should and shouldn't do all the time. If you guys want to talk more about this subject and you have further questions go to my thread here on the Tennogen section and leave me a post so anybody can read, i'll be glad to help if i can but i don't think we should keep filling the FAQ with this topic (or let me know if it's ok, in that case we can continue here).

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@HitsuSan thank you for that. I do, however feel that the guide can be clearer than what it is.

You say it is up to each of us to understand and interpret DEs art direction. Yes, I don't need anyone holding my hand. But if the selection-process works like submissions are subject to rejection very late in the timewindow given, it appears it is better (if very backwards) to have it not finished, so Devs can give feedback.

If I understand the process.

1) The options are given.

2) Everyone makes their work.

3) Submission to TennoGen.

4) Voting

5) Picks and rejections.

6) Feedback on why they were rejected so they can fix that and submit again the next round.

Seems like some unnecessary waiting, but if that is the rules, I guess we just have to hope we do a good enough job to not be rejected, eh?

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Essentially yeah, but that's why i was asking for some kind of feedback when necessary if the community is very interested in the item but it needs some more work or some changes for DE to accept it. This way you don't have to wait till you're rejected to know and DE doesn't have to review every submission (unless the number of great content creators increases a lot... but it doesn't really feel like a problem does it? ^^)

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DE needs to treat this like Outsourcing. Stuff needs to have feedback or they will find themselves with none to little amount of artists making stuff for them by the time round 3/4 comes a long. I make stuff for Player Studio in Planetside 2 and we have a good relationship with the devs for feedback on our creations. Devs can leave a comment that only the creator on steam workshop can see, they should leave the feedback there. Even if its just a "sorry this doesn't fit our art direction - here is why, or things that can be done to put it in the right direction if they see potential in it.

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Well for me the key thing is that I am not a progessional artist. I do not know the detailed processes and expectations that comes with that job.

I can imagine, from the short time I was artist and animator on a game, that the preassure is high at this level.

But this do not change the fact these are creations made by players/consumers/fans, so they may need more feedback than someone with industryexperience.

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For non professionals this is kinda like doing something cool as a study or portfolio piece and hoping to win a lottery with it. I know the frustration but you shouldn't ask for the same treatment of a contractor, contractors have obligations and responsibilities, contractors are specifically chosen to do the right job in the right amount of time. Content creators have none of these things.

 

The reality is that it's true that inexperienced artists need more feedback and directions than someone with industry experience, and that's a reason why probably someone like that will never been chose as a contractor or as in house artist to work in companies like DE. I'm not saying that this person doesn't show potential but more often than not these companies tend to keep the number of employees down and a very tight pipeline, someone like that into the roster can slow down the process a lot and that's not ideal. This is one reason why companies don't invest much time into giving feedback to content creators, they are too many, very few have a potential good submission (this is judging by the few picks that we had till now) and the time spent in giving indications and direction can be time wasted because a content creator have all the rights to go and do other stuff and never finish anything.

 

BUT... with this system even if you don't have enough experience to get that job you still have a chance to do a good work and get noticed, possibly winning that lottery and be even more noticed (and make some money too in the process which is nice) and you'll get tons of feedback from the community too (i know, mostly non professional feedback which is nice but not very valuable sometimes but still).

 

 

That said i agree on the fact that zero communications will with no doubt lead to a zero professional level content creators working on submissions very fast.

 

If the content creation system gets the right support though it will become able to generate more content than DE itself, and that's the situation Player Studio is in i suppose, that's why they manage the cc system as outsourcing at that point (if they even have an internal cc department).

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For non professionals this is kinda like doing something cool as a study or portfolio piece and hoping to win a lottery with it. I know the frustration but you shouldn't ask for the same treatment of a contractor, contractors have obligations and responsibilities, contractors are specifically chosen to do the right job in the right amount of time. Content creators have none of these things.

 

The problem is that Tennogen is first and foremost a business proposition; we make items for DE, and DE profits off of them while we get a cut. It is important to get as many items in as possible in the game to maximize profit. They do not have to lower their standards or ignore their own art guidelines. When we submit an item that's borderline acceptable, it is within DE's best interest to say what it needs to be accepted so that both DE and the artist can benefit. By not giving feedback, no matter how small, they create a massive pool of potential without guidance. Many items will look almost completely in-style, but will never get in because of one or two grievances that DE should make known. By shutting down items that have no chance of getting in, it gives the artist closure so they can work on their next item rather than checking their steam workshop inventory every day to see if they got in. Feedback is the most important thing for an artist, from both a creative and business standpoint. It helps us to improve, and it helps DE to earn money. 

 

Plus, think of all the potential. There's an entire untapped market for armor sets, which are outnumbered by the sheer amount of syandanas. Maybe even sentinel/kubrow/cat thingy cosmetics/skins. Maybe even entire weapon designs, or new sentinels. If DE can funnel artists towards their own style and workflow, they can offload a bunch of work that they'd normally spend onto freelance artists who can definitely use the portfolio fodder in today's industry. DE has literally nothing to lose by reaching out to the massive influx of potential designers out there. Most jobs looking for artists require at least 3 years of experience, but how can we get this experience without having this kind of work in the first place? DE has the opportunity to kickstart a bunch of upstarting artist's careers with the Tennogen program.

 

Please understand what I'm trying to say before I start waxing poetic.

Edited by alexmach1
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I know, i work in this field and i have friends who do the exact same things you're talking about for other games (well, bigger games) as a fulltime job when they're not under contract. I agree with you alexmach1, i'm the one suggesting on giving directions to the ones who get a lot of interest by the community when needed.

 

I just think that DE doesn't want to commit to user content creation yet because it's very simple to loose track of the art direction of the content if not managed very tightly. They may not even have the resources to do it yet, tennogen is very new and it needs some time before it becomes the thing you're talking about. The other major problem is that users WILL push for content that doesn't fit the art direction at all, i've already seen this way too much. This is not as easy as to make content for a mmoba where pretty much anything goes.

 

I'm very conflicted, i see the argument from both sides, if it were my game i would keep a super tight grip on the art direction... as an artist i would love to work on total redesigns of some warframes XD (DE... LET ME REMAKE EMBER O__O) And that's very scary for a game with such a distinct look.

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  • 3 weeks later...

On the Tennogen Workshop guide in the texturing section, we are told to use the PBR metal-albedo workflow(spec texture defines what is/is not metal, metal materials get near-white diffuse), but the Frost and Chroma example assets(both PBR) use the specular-diffuse workflow(spec defines how shiny something is, metal materials get near-black diffuse). Seeing how most/all of the Polycount contest winners used specular-diffuse, should we just ignore the guide?

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I don't see why you're talking about diffuse maps. If you want to use a specular map then roughness should be a gloss map instead, there's a box check in the Tennogen tool for that. Personally i prefer metal/roughness, the result is far better than spec/gloss, and if you're using Substance Painter in your workflow you don't have to put any particular effort into it. 

 

Helmets and other content are chosen by the end result, i don't think there's a preference for non metal/roughness objects, in fact it's probably the other way around.

 

I'd like an answer from DE too though, i might be wrong.

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I'd say if you're making an item for a certain asset, follow the format (i.e. do spec for Chroma but metal for Excalibur and so on), if you're making a stand-alone item (e.g. syandana) do whatever you're more comfortable with?

 

I don't see why you're talking about diffuse maps. If you want to use a specular map then roughness should be a gloss map instead, there's a box check in the Tennogen tool for that. Personally i prefer metal/roughness, the result is far better than spec/gloss, and if you're using Substance Painter in your workflow you don't have to put any particular effort into it. 

 

Helmets and other content are chosen by the end result, i don't think there's a preference for non metal/roughness objects, in fact it's probably the other way around.

 

I'd like an answer from DE too though, i might be wrong.

Corrections: Warframe doesn't seem to use gloss maps at all, only roughness, it's not hugely important because roughness is basically inverted gloss, also using specular doesn't necessarily mean you *have* to use gloss, there's no connection. 
There is no real difference in quality between metalness and specular workflows when done properly, neither is objectively better than the other. One can argue that metalness is more intuitive but that's about it, really.
Albedo/diffuse maps for specular and metalness workflows do differ.

http://www.marmoset.co/toolbag/learn/pbr-conversion covers the differences between metalness and spec workflows.

Edited by Artarrwen
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To be honest, I think I will go back to the specular-diffuse workflow since Warframe's metal-albedo has a locked specular value for non-metals. For things that are simply metal with few nonmetals, I'll use metal-albedo but for something with multiple materials it seems specular-diffuse offers more control(at least for now).

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  • 2 months later...
1 minute ago, (XB1)RAG is NAROK said:

One question I would like to ask is how often does any of the tennogen items come over to consoles?

They don't until DE figures out something with them which will be a looooong time.

None of the newest Tennogen items from steam are in consoles.

Only the old ones that were there before.

Edited by KJRenz
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