Author Topic: Advice with regards to scaling  (Read 413 times)

Advice with regards to scaling
« on: 01 Oct 2021, 21:49 » - Here is a video which shows what I'm after. Ignore my terrible programmer art for the background. It shows stairs, with a door at the top. It's further away, and the stairs are meant to be long. The door is meant to be oversized even when standing next to it. Huge door to a massive tower.

I'm just wondering if there's any advice about scaling and getting this right? It doesn't look right to me, even if the art was good looking art. He goes up too fast and it just seems off. Sorry my question is not specific, but I don't know how to even explain it. Also what can I say to the artist? I pay for stuff, and I get revisions but I don't want to keep doing revision after revision since I'd feel like I was bothering them and stopping them moving on to other orders. I mean like are there any guidelines for how they should scale? Is the scaling in AGS exactly the percentage? Like if it's set to 50, it literally reduces the character by 50%? So I could tell the artist have the top of the stairs be 50% smaller in terms of scale?


    • blur worked on one or more games that won an AGS Award!
    • blur worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Re: Advice with regards to scaling
« Reply #1 on: 01 Oct 2021, 22:18 »
Looks good to me. As a player I actually don't want the character's stair climbing speed to be too realistic. It would be annoying to have to wait even longer for the character to reach the top of the stairs.

Re: Advice with regards to scaling
« Reply #2 on: 02 Oct 2021, 00:16 »
You can't be strictly proportionate in pixel art and you needn't to,
But if you want to make your background more realistic then the stairs of the top should be smaller than they are now.

You can use your figure as a measuring stick for judging the proportions. Ego at the top has about 1/3 the size of Ego at the bottom. So the strictly proportionate thing would be that everything at the top has 1/3 of the size that it would have at the bottom. You can fudge that for pixel art, but not by too much.

At the bottom of the stairs, the height between adjacent stair lines is roughly the height of 1/4 Ego. So the strictly proportionate thing at the top is that one step still has the height of 1/4 Ego. As of now, it has about twice that. The top stair lines should be nearer together.

Same thing with the thickness of the lines that represent the stairs. The lines at the top should be thinner than the lines at the bottom. Strictly proportionate would be to have the line thickness of the top stair be 1/3 of the line thickness of the bottom stair.

The actual walking animation is fine IMO,
« Last Edit: 02 Oct 2021, 00:44 by fernewelten »

Re: Advice with regards to scaling
« Reply #3 on: 02 Oct 2021, 00:30 »
As to a geometric construction:

If all the stairs have equal width "in reality",, then you can draw an X through the outer stair corners, and the place where the X lines cross is the half-way mark. There should be exactly as many stairs below the crossing point as there are above.

In your drawing, you're very far off that. There are 9 steps below the crossing point, only three steps above. See below, the half-way mark is in green.

You can find quarter-way marks by drawing the "X" into the upper half and into the lower half, and repeat this for eighth-way marks and so on. You'll find that there are many more distant stairs than you'd ever have imagined and that they become thinner than you'd ever have thought. But you don't need to adhere too much to geometry. You're allowed to fudge, and the viewer's eye will pardon it, but don't overdo it.
« Last Edit: 02 Oct 2021, 00:46 by fernewelten »

Re: Advice with regards to scaling
« Reply #4 on: 02 Oct 2021, 02:05 »
I'm not the best expert for perspective questions, but here's how I understand dealing with heights:

Your background pic has a "horizon line". That's the eye height of the viewer of the background pic. It doesn't necessarily run through the picture: For instance, if the viewer is looking onto the scene from very high above, then the horizon line will lie higher than the upper edge of the background pic. I'm having good results in my pictures with horizon lines that are around 1/3 from the top.

Impale your person with a broomstick and cut the broomstick so that its top is exactly on the horizon line. Then wherever your person is when it is walking on the floor, it must be proportionally sized down or up so that its broomstick still goes exactly to the horizon line. See below, the horizon line is thick red.

Now if the person is high up, e.g., on a table, then it must have the height that it would have when walking on the floor. (Below, left)
Now his broomstick has become the wrong size. It needs to be adjusted so that its end will go to the horizon line again. When he's walking at the new height level, its proportions will change so that the new broomstick tip still exactly touches the horizon line. (Below, right).

So when a person is climbing a flight of stairs, you can interpret it as if they were climbing a large prism. To find their size at the bottom, stand them on the floor. To find their size at the top, still stand them on the floor, exactly below the top of the stairs and adjust their height there. Then move them to the top of the stairs without adjusting the size.

Corollary: When the flight of stairs is parallel to the front edge of the stage (or top or bottom edge of the background pic) then characters that walk down or up them don't change size. When the "stairs" are a (nearly) perpendicular ladder, then characters using them don't change size, either.

AGS has the concept of "Walking areas" with variable "scaling". I usually deal with that by placing a specific character temporarily into my background picture and finding out how high the tip of their head should measure up to (e.g., it should be just as high as the top edge of that vase in the background). Then I place the character downstage in the room and dink with the max scaling of the walk area until it's about right, i.e, the tip of the head is as high up as it should be. Then I repeat that with the character placed upstage and the min scaling. It's a hassle, but manageable.
« Last Edit: 02 Oct 2021, 03:30 by fernewelten »

« Reply #5 on: 02 Oct 2021, 02:43 »


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    • newwaveburritos worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Re: Advice with regards to scaling
« Reply #6 on: 02 Oct 2021, 03:27 »
There's already a lot of good advice here about the scaling but I will add that it doesn't really look too off to me except in the way that has already been explained.  You could add a region or something at the second half which adjusts the player's movement speed to slow them down but I'm not really sure that's strictly necessary.