Just wanted to show a random idea I had (Background Builder)

LRDean_Socks

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Just a thought.
This was just a thought that came to me, its not for a game or anything, so thought this might be the appropriate place to post.
I do not have the skills, and coding sazy to make something like this possible, but thought it would be cool. Would love to know other people's thoughts. Do you think its a cool idea? Would you want something like it? or Do you think its unnecessary? what ever you think.

I like editors (despite drawing everything myself) Explaination of why I thought of this
I love those dress up games, and playing with RPG Maker's character creator. In general I like things you can just grab and create. However, I noticed there isn't really much of a "Background Generator"(from what I know), as far as I know most people, use rtp battle backs, or pay for someone to make custom ones.
This is the same for Visual Novels, I've seen the prices for custom backgrounds, and they are crazy, but I get it. Doing my own backgrounds myself, I know how time consuming it can be. In addition, if you don't like making them like me, I can do backgrounds, but will only do it for myself, its why I didn't really offer much in the way of backgrounds back when I did commissions. (Note: I'm not saying there are no options out there or people arn't offering, there are a few, just a personal observation). So, I thought, it would be so cool to have an editor similar to the face generators etc.

So what am I thinking
It may seem like I put alot of thought into this, but really some of this is from me attempting lazier ways to make my backgrounds T-T
user_interface_for_bgs_by_lrturner-dbseuqe.jpg

I am thinking of something with "one point perspective". This would have layers that form the BG. Rpg maker battlebacks (at least vx ace) use 2 layers, one for the ground and the other the back, however I am thinking of more. For instances 5 flat spaces, the back, the ground, the ceiling, and 2 side walls.
Because this perspective would be symmetrical, WA and WC pieces could simply be reverses of each other. So, if you design a bed for wall WA, all you would have to do is flip it to be on wall WC.
(I think the placement would have to be pre determined to maintain a correct perspective).
Was also thinking of a tint feature, that could auto tint the image to represent, Day, Evening, Night.
However, I wonder if there is a way to do it, or you would loose being able to have light from window sources. I don't know.

However, I think it, be cool to place objects. So, lets say your game is a dungeon crawler, but instead of 1 set dungeon BG you could give the illusion of different rooms and halls, by decorating with different objects.
bg_idea_b_by_lrturner-dbsew2t.jpg


But I was also thinking of "False Walls" this would take up the space of lets say WA, in order to make the illusion of there being an extended space. So, it would contain imagery of a wall, ceiling, and floor. The only disadvantage to this would be that you would have to match up with the same floor and ceiling choice.
bg_idea_a_by_lrturner-dbsew2x.jpg


Though, thanks to this perspective being symmetrical, you can do a flip, and make the background similar to what VX ace BGs look like, where it is mainly a back with a floor.
bg_idea_c_by_lrturner-dbsew2p.jpg


I think this idea came to me esspecially because my VN game will have it to where each character has a guest bed room in a mansion. So, do, I make unique BGs for each, have them all the same, or make a layers method like this, and use pieces to vary each. (then go back and do touch up)
Therefore, I think it be great for people to be able to import their own pieces, or even pre made packs if they want.
(note) I think this would work great for rooms, not sure about natural outdoor spaces, I have to play with the design some to know what method would be needed.

p.s sorry for the sloppy sketching, I really just put this together, after just getting the thought.
 

Guiguimu

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I think it is a wonderful idea! Not only for VNs, but also for shop backgrounds in mv or ace.

I was actually working on doing something similar but in Krita, because like you, code is not my thing sadly. My idea was... I would create multiple layers, separated by folders (dunno if possible in Krita tho), and each folder would have layer walls, floors, furniture or deco, all in different perspectives as well. Then the person would simply make the layers they wanted visible and kinda like create their background with my stuff, or bring images from "outside" as well.
I had the similar thought because I suggested a friend using backgrounds for shops and create the shops all in the same map, instead of having multiple maps (limit map number is hard to reach but possible, so we never know! xD). I even did a sketch but another work showed up and I have been putting that project aside.

So, I completely agree with your suggestion! It would be a great thing for RPG in my opinion, and the Tint effect would be a great touch!
 

LRDean_Socks

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@Guiguimu
Krita looks like a drawing software, so you mean like having a file with pre made layers, they could show and unshow in order to make backgrounds just organized by folder. I think I debated a similar method, but in clip studio pro (i'll do something similar, when I do my ones for my own game), my biggest concern was everyone needing to have the same software as me in order to open the file. You could have just a pack of premade PNG files and have them as "pieces", so they can be open in most image editing software, but my worry was they wouldn't be lined up when you load, so when they put a window over the wall layer, they'd have to move it into place. Perhaps you could combat that with a perspective grid layer, as a guide for placement, so they don't accidentally go againt the perspective, but not sure.

I'm glad to hear others have been thinking about this. Would love to have something like "Game Character Hub: Portfolio Edition, but for backgrounds.
 

Alastor01

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This would also work nicely for those of us who are not into drawing. For example, another good technique would be to model a room in 3D as well as any objects. Then you can render them either separately or together. If together, you can then separate images into layers. Rendering from perspective camera sets correct real-world view. It also helps to create proper shadows and lighting.
That's what I am gonna do as I suck at drawing for now :)
 

Guiguimu

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@animesock52 that is exactly what I meant! Sorry ahah sometimes I can't explain it well in english, but glad you understood! I thought about doing it in Krita or Gimp because both are free, which means everyone would have access to it.
Yes, I completely agree with you, having something similar to character Hub would be the ideal. And since I'm clueless when we talk about coding and cousins of the last, I can't say how hard it would be to create such software... But I know how hard it could be creating the backgrounds, and maybe they can't invest the time and money in a background creator...
I actually think that your idea could work better than mine. Having a manual, or a link to a video on youtube explaining how it is done xD seems a trend nowadays and it's actually practical, teaching how a file should be copy pasted correctly could help a lot and it would allow one to have the different objects sorted in folders. Maybe even less confusing than having multiple folders on a Krita file xD

@Alastor01 honestly, depending on the graphic design you use, that sounds pretty awesome! I can't do 3D, but I am well aware of the possibilities it brings, so I'm sure you could create some neat backgrounds with it!
 

LRDean_Socks

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@Alastor01 I've seen some free backgrounds where people have used 3D rendering, they could be a cool tool. I've also seen some artists make there own 3D renders then trace them for a more hand done feel.
@Guiguimu yeah perhaps a detailed tutorial if I do the drawing software method.
 

LRDean_Socks

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I think if I chose to use the drawing software the layer order would need to be something similar to this order. They would have each indivdual layer as an image file and would need to put it into one working file. So, which ever the working canvas is, have them copy paste each premade layer into the canvas as individual layers. They could then use a set up guide to place these in the right order for use.
Or I would need to have a pre made working file, for a specific free software, however, there would be too many layers if they had all assets in one, so they would need to add them as needed....so would still need to copy paste...
template_for_layers_by_lrturner-dbsj153.png

Also I was thinking of a solution for the placement issue. Perhaps, if one were to place 1 to 3 small pixels in all the corners of an object layer, that way the program would reconize it as part of the layer and keep it from centering the object and instead have the image remaining in the placement we desire others to use. So, if this barrel was to the side, normally when I went to copy paste it would center it wherever base on where its snap to's are. However, if I put pixels in the corners, the snaps are in the corners of the image, and if they somehow arnt, you would just need to reline up with the corners, rather than trying to line up correctly with the perspectives lines are.
snap_to_by_lrturner-dbsj27b.jpg

[/spolier]
 

Guiguimu

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The centering of the object can be avoided if you simple do a CTL+C, without selections. If the files have all the same resolution(I mean the image WxH, dunno if I explained it well), which I think they should, doing this is all what's needed, and the object will be correctly placed. I mean, this is how it works in GIMP, which is commonly used. If you go with the layer method this isn't a problem. Also, I agree with the placement of the layers.
 
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Shaz

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That is a very cool idea!
 

LRDean_Socks

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banner_2_by_lrturner-dbt0t9w.jpg


(Did this for fun yesterday, just a sketch.)
Going Foward
I think I will turn this into a personal project, however I am not sure about posting. As I work on this, would it be something you would see in the "Resources section" because its not a software, but will come with free premade stuff, or more of "useful tool" since it can be used as a useful template for artists when you take the assets out? or just continue posting my progress here.

Either way its going to be usable in a drawing software, I think it will come in like a zip file with nice instructions and pre organized files, for the wall, floor, etc. assets.
I think this will be great for people who want something similar to the idea of a "background generator".
Or great for artists as a premade template for making "bulk backgrounds", so like when you have several similar rooms, example- Visual novel takes place in a school, hotel, mansion, anywhere with similar rooms with slight variations.

I'll have to determine a few things,
For example, the idea resolution/ canvas size to use. I've learned I apparently work with extremely large canvas sizes.
I am going to build a template for my own game since I need several similar rooms, and that can be the base for this project, just would really love to to get VN Maker's resolution size first before going to far forward. I think my own personal backgrounds so far could end up being too narrow.
I would like to see how far I can push the template into making several variety of room formats. So, if anyone has more suggestions and ideas would love to here them! What would you want from a builder in this format?
 

Sharm

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Why have a false wall? Why not just have the wall extend all the way out and then have the side walls layer on top of it and go away if you don't want them?

I've been working on something like this with pixel art. I'm making all the larger pieces like walls and ground tile so that it can work at multiple resolutions. It's just taking forever because 1: pixel art and 2: other projects have way more priority. I've always thought making backgrounds more modular would be a good idea. Made a few myself, but I don't have much practice with background art that isn't tiny and pixelated.
 

LRDean_Socks

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That actually makes more sense, thanks!
I guess I was to focused on having the walls so seperate. Not sure.

It's like what I did in my spoiler in the reply a little down, where I suggested extending the floor and ceiling section ahead of time, but after you said that, feel silly I didnt think to do it with the wall as well.
Thank you for pointing that out to me!
 

Guiguimu

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Oh can I show you what I did? This was meant for a title screen, but since I ended up doing something completely different, maybe someone else may use it. It's just a base, Nothing fancy!
ballroom3_by_guiguimu-dbtg3r6.png

ballroom2_by_guiguimu-dbtg3g8.png

ballroom_by_guiguimu-dbtg3gg.png

ballroom4_by_guiguimu-dbtg3g0.png


The ceilings are always the same xD But here, hope this helps!
 

LRDean_Socks

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Oh wow that has a great sense of depth. Yeah I'm hoping to make some pieces too, but I'm starting out small with some bed room variations, but all my stuff will be pre colored. I think it would be cool to have stuff like that! Looks fabulous. I'm not all that creative architecturally, so it would be great to see more stuff like yours, the variation is really nice.

What size canvas are you working with?
 

Guiguimu

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Glad you like it! Some perspectives need a fix tho...
You do well in starting with smaller things, as long you take into account the perspective, you'll get more stuff done!

Usually I work 640x480 resolution, since it's Ace max resolution, but I have also started something way back in 1600x900 (for MV)
road_by_guiguimu-dbtg615.png


Which is what I meant when I said I was doing something similar for shops backgrounds. People could chose the furniture, the items for the furniture, extra stuff like the barrel and the fur on the wall (I know it doesn't look like it ahah)
 

LRDean_Socks

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I see that makes sense, I tend to automatically work big and then shrink down, but I'm talking like 2000 to 5000 pixel widths and stuff. Never realize I worked very big until I saw how big other peoples files were O_O
In the past I've attempted making backgrounds by blending together photos (photos I took) then tracing over, but it makes the perspectives go all screwy. I find it helps me make original unique backgrounds, but I'm still learning. As I mentioned I'm not good at coming up with backgrounds so blending photos in weird ways kinda helps.
bg_mansion_day_final_by_lrturner-dbtazvc.png
(For others reading, this is my own personal background not a part of the potential background builder, not an up for grabs resource)
What do you find helps you come up with backgrounds?
 

Guiguimu

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Honestly, even if some perspectives are off, your paint job is amazing! That background looks beautiful!
Well, resolution you'll need to work on depends mostly on to which maker you shot for. If you work for VxAce, you'll need to abide by Vxace's rules (640x480 max). I believe MV is a little more loose, so bigger resolutions are possible. VN I have no idea the resolution you would need xD 2000 seems a little big, 5000 is gigantic ahah but I get it. It's way harder to create detail in smaller sizes -.-'
But regarding perspective for the backgrounds. Start with a focal point and work from there, it's easier that way ^^
 

Sharm

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I'm terrible at giving my art depth so the last time I really worked on a background I built the architecture into Sketchup and painted on the render. Since then Sketchup was bought by someone else and the licensing rules got confusing so I haven't done it in a long time, but I suspect I could get better results using Blender if I could ever learn to use it. Anyway, my point was that by using 3D I completely avoided the need for direct reference photos or fussing about getting the perspective right.
twin_crowns_foyer_by_sharmclucas-d5eddwg.png

Edit: Huh, that's the same shape for the fountain base. I wonder if we were inspired by the same thing? Either that or it's a common pattern in arabic architecture. *shrugs*
 
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LRDean_Socks

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I'm not sure, my fountain came from a photo I took in a condo lobby in Florida while on vacation, however it didn't really have Arabic theme there from what I could tell, but maybe they were just fond of the shape. I made it more gold in mine but in the photo it's a much white marble.

Oh yeah I remember sketch up! I tried to use it for a while, but I had a hard time using it.



I think a focusing point could help. I take alot of photos, I really like having my own reference library, esspecially if I feel in the mood to trace, when it's mine I don't have to worry about permissions and all that other stuff.
 

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