Wednesday, 14 May 2008

[Level Vectorisation]

With Paint-Ed! Levels complete in design, it’s now time to “Vectorise” them. In other words, trace and colour in Adobe Flash. I had to be careful here, as Chris’ fill effect required a mask to be put over the level with a b/w outline layer above that. Here is a quick breakdown of the technique structure (from top to bottom) to my understanding: The Ed sprite is on top of the B/W Outline layer of the level. This B/W Outline Layer sits on top a White Mask that animates revealing the fully coloured level at the bottom. This results in a fantastic effect. But I have one problem, I cannot give depth to the levels due to the way the technique works.

To achieve depth on flat image, I can not only fade the background as they get further away and have each move at different speeds, but for an extra effect, I can have Ed move behind different parts of the foreground such as bushes. To do that I would make certain parts of the level as separate layers and place them on top of the Ed sprite layer. But they would be above the White Mask layer in full colour, where they should be B/W. In other words, only Ed and the Ink Leeches can be in colour and on the top layer only. Anything else that is above the White Mask layer has to be B/W Outline.

In regard to vectorising, I do the outlines first so Chris can start animating and I let him know of any areas to watch out for such as jump heights a general directions etc. then I continue to colour and do a background for the level. This is the final result:


As mentioned before, the background was to be faded. I decided to keep things simple by making it less detailed compared to the rest of the map. So I only used 3 tones of green and planned out a “formation of the bg so I complimented the rest of the level (below) "O" means Open.

Everything worked really well yet i felt something was missing. that was when Radhika added minor details to the map that really finished it off (below).

Dominic Lopez

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