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For nigh on ten years now my biggest projects have always been my portrait mods. I have invested weeks and months on end, that have added up to hundreds and hundreds of hours of time and frustration creating them. I have made easily over ten thousand portraits, through trial and error, redesign, and updates. It's been a true struggle at times, and I am never happy with the outcome, though I'll say I am, once a project is complete. But I am always fighting the design decisions I started with way back in SF1 and it's hamstrung me artistically. After the FB portraits I decided I wanted to redo all the portraits for all the titles (the BN mod is long over do for an update) . So, after a long hiatus, I set about trying to get to someplace that would finally make me happy. I decided to start with RT to get ahead of the module release, and after a week or so of fiddling, resizing, making test bmps, and checking in game, this is what I came up with.

KLZGPPH.jpg

For about two seconds I thought they looked good. But once again I was confronted by the poor design decisions I adopted all those years ago. You see, I have been in a constant fight with what I term the "bobble head effect", which causes the portrait heads to appear bulbous and fat-headed. It occurs because I opted to show each portrait with a split face on the bmp. It has been my bane since my BN mod and it frustrates me to no end. And considering how I built each face from screenshots, pieces of faces from all sorts of pictures, and the fact I only worked on the left side of the face, well it doesn't leave me room for presenting them in any other way. And On top of all that, I have always felt there was inconsistency in the quality of the faces, and that they appeared too cartoony.  So with that said, I am putting these portrait mods to rest. I have taken them as far as they will go and they have reached a dead end. They had a good run but there really isn't anything more I can do to improve them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, check out what I have been doing for the last two weeks and tell me I didn't make the right decision...

X81Bkqp.jpg

Now for some comparisons of the old style and the new.

CMgjq2Y.jpg
 

Now the portraits in the context of their own mod. It'll give you an idea of the overall design.

XSNaaXt.jpg
 

And within the context of the game UI.

ygZoQqt.jpg

 

Some of the portraits are tentative/place holders until I find something that really blows me away. Or will be replaced later. The Heer Armor and Armor Infantry come to mind as far as that goes. Luckily I haven't made anything yet with them, just tests.

Now, unfortunately I will probably have to share a lot of the portraits (mostly Germans) across games, however backgrounds and the like will be changed for each setting.  And I will of course do all the battalions and regiments etc. Whether or not I will be able to keep the quality across titles remains to be seen but I will do my best. It is going to be a colossal amount of work, already has been. For the Germans alone I have created and discarded over a thousand portraits. LOL. Every time I think I have one down and start producing keepers, I stumble across a better pic, or I adjust some color to better fit the portrait into the overall look and I have to redo a ton of work. I just replaced the Heer Infantry yesterday, now I have to redo 374 that I had already made, as well as the SS Arm Infantry. I have done this a couple times already. But getting it right is what's most important. Perfection is what I am aiming for.

I don't know how long it will take. Getting the right pics is painstaking and laborious as hell. For every good one I make I throw out five. But this style will be the definitive version of my portrait mods from here on out. As I complete them I will remove the old versions from the planet. I'll start threads in the corresponding game forums as I progress.

Welp, that's about it. I was gonna keep all this to myself and wait to surprise everyone, but I have been working in a vacuum for a month and it feels good to talk a little bit about it. Especially as I have been going full bore, night and day for two weeks straight. I Hope you guys like what you see. I think it's the best work I have ever done.

Mord.
 

Edited by Mord

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36 minutes ago, Mord said:

For nigh on ten years now my biggest projects have always been my portrait mods. I have invested weeks and months on end, that have added up to hundreds and hundreds of hours of time and frustration creating them. I have made easily over ten thousand portraits, through trial and error, redesign, and updates. It's been a true struggle at times, and I am never happy with the outcome, though I'll say I am, once a project is complete. But I am always fighting the design decisions I started with way back in SF1 and it's hamstrung me artistically.
After the FB portraits I decided I wanted to redo all the portraits for all the titles (the BN mod is long over do for an update) . So, after a long hiatus, I set about trying to get to someplace that would finally make me happy. I decided to start with RT to get ahead of the module release, and after a week or so of fiddling, resizing, making test bmps, and checking in game, this is what I came up with.

KLZGPPH.jpg

For about two seconds I thought they looked good. But once again I was confronted by the poor design decisions I adopted all those years ago. You see, I have been in a constant fight with what I term the "bobble head effect", which causes the portrait heads to appear bulbous and fat-headed. It occurs because I opted to show each portrait with a split face on the bmp. It has been my bane since my BN mod and it frustrates me to no end. And considering how I built each face from screenshots, pieces of faces from all sorts of pictures, and the fact I only worked on the left side of the face, well it doesn't leave me room for presenting them in any other way. And On top of all that, I have always felt there was inconsistency in the quality of the faces, and that they appeared too cartoony.  So with that said, I am putting these portrait mods to rest. I have taken them as far as they will go and they have reached a dead end. They had a good run but there really isn't anything more I can do to improve them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, check out what I have been doing for the last two weeks and tell me I didn't make the right decision...

X81Bkqp.jpg

Now for some comparisons

CMgjq2Y.jpg
 

Now the portraits in the context of their own mod. It'll give you an idea of the overall design.

XSNaaXt.jpg
 

And within the context of the game UI.

ygZoQqt.jpg

 

Some of the portraits are tentative/place holders until I find something that really blows me away. Or will be replaced later. The Heer Armor and Armor Infantry come to mind as far as that goes. Luckily I haven't made anything yet with them, just tests.

Now, unfortunately I will probably have to share a lot of the portraits (mostly Germans) across games, however backgrounds and the like will be changed for each setting.  And I will of course do all the battalions and regiments etc. Whether or not I will be able to keep the quality across titles remains to be seen but I will do my best. It is going to be a colossal amount of work, already has been. For the Germans alone I have created and discarded over a thousand portraits. LOL. Every time I think I have one down and start producing keepers, I stumble across a better pic, or I adjust some color to better fit the portrait into the overall look and I have to redo a ton of work. I just replaced the Heer Infantry yesterday, now I have to redo 374 that I had already made, as well as the SS Arm Infantry. I have done this a couple times already. But getting it right is what's most important. Perfection is what I am aiming for.

I don't know how long it will take. Getting the right pics is painstaking and laborious as hell. For every good one I make I throw out five. But this style will be the definitive version of my portrait mods from here on out. As I complete them I will remove the old versions from the planet. I'll start threads in the corresponding game forums as I progress.

Welp, that's about it. I was gonna keep all this to myself and wait to surprise everyone, but I have been working in a vacuum for a month and it feels good to talk a little bit about it. Especially as I have been going full bore, night and day for two weeks straight. I Hope you guys like what you see. I think it's the best work I have ever done.

Mord.
 

Good choice Mord,

I much prefer those, it is more varied.

At work now I would like to have the USA and Cmwz before Christmas (just kidding) !

Below when I didn t make a mistake this is my version (not finish) !

You can perhaps reconized some figures like yours !

Missing only yours wonderful details of units !

They are not so beautiful as yours but me I dont have to share it :)

portraits.JPG.dfc81edf6f648167a3334a4034d726ae.JPG

Edited by 3j2m7

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Thanks, guys. Glad you are digging them. It's been an ungodly amount of trial and error to get this far.

@3j2m7  Nice man. I actually experimented with that exact same style (I have tried a bunch of different stuff) but shrinking the soldiers down made them too blurry for me, so I opted for the above. Keep working at it. They have an ASL feel to them. I am sure people would want to use them.

 

Mord.

Edited by Mord

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6 minutes ago, Mord said:

Thanks, guys. Glad you are digging them. It's been an ungodly amount of trial and error to get this far.

@3j2m7  Nice man. I actually experimented with that exact same style but shrinking the soldiers down made them too blurry so I opted for the above. Keep working at it. They have an ASL feel to them.

 

Mord.

hehehe I think there are CM players who pimp theirs CM more than they are playing !
Thank you for the encouragements
I really prefer yours more style and better details. 

So have just to waiting that yours are done ,) Allez allez au travail ;)

 

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I absolutely love (and prefer) the new ones but the old ones were nice too. Bobblehead never entered my mind.

Edited by Sequoia

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Thanks, you have been a supporter of my portraits since way way back. I appreciate it. And, good luck buddy, keep working at it The more you make the better you'll get.

 

Mord.

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Mord,

  I am stunned!!!  Those new portraits are simply amazing.  I think they are great.  Just don't burn yourself out...again...😳

  Really stellar work.  Thanks for all your hard effort.  It is always appreciated.

Heinrich505

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1 minute ago, Sequoia said:

I absolutely love (and prefer) the new ones but the old ones were nice too. Bobblehead never entered my mind.

LOL. Probably because you weren't staring at them in photoshop since BN. But thanks. I am glad you enjoyed the old ones. These new bad boys are gonna kill if I can keep up the quality.

 

Mord.

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2 minutes ago, Heinrich505 said:

Mord,

  I am stunned!!!  Those new portraits are simply amazing.  I think they are great.  Just don't burn yourself out...again...😳

  Really stellar work.  Thanks for all your hard effort.  It is always appreciated.

Heinrich505

Wow! Thanks, brother!

I have a plan for burnout. Whenever I start getting sick of something I switch to a different title. I am trying to develop all of the portrait mods (at least the WWII ones) in tandem. I haven't felt this excited for a mod in quite a while. This new approach/style has really inspired my creativity.

And I have been watching a lot of Trailer Park Boys to decompress.

Mord.

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4 minutes ago, rocketman said:

These will most surely get on my "must have mods"-list. Awesome looking and thanks for devoting all that time refining them 

That's what I am aiming for my man! I want my portraits to be must haves all the way. Thanks, rocket.

 

Mord.

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1 hour ago, Mord said:

XSNaaXt.jpg

 

+1  Very, very cool.  I thought your old mods were just fine until I saw your new ones :).  These new one really rock.  I think the one labeled "BONUS" is probably my favorite.  I look forward to downloading all of them when they are ready.  This will be one of those must have mods.   Thank you for all the time and effort you are putting into these mods.  VERY COOL!!!

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11 minutes ago, MOS:96B2P said:

+1  Very, very cool.  I thought your old mods were just fine until I saw your new ones :).  These new one really rock.  I think the one labeled "BONUS" is probably my favorite.  I look forward to downloading all of them when they are ready.  This will be one of those must have mods.   Thank you for all the time and effort you are putting into these mods.  VERY COOL!!!

Yes, the side by sides really punch you in the face. They are night and day by comparison. The Russian Armor portrait got this ball rolling. I was screwing around and made it. When I saw it in game I was all done. I knew everything from before had to go.

Thanks much, man. I look forward to releasing these to you guys. There's much I didn't show so there'll be plenty of surprises.

Yeah, I dig that paratrooper too. Getting the rest of the CW portraits to live up to his awesomeness is going to be quite a chore.

Mord.

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These are stunning, @Mord.  I might quibble with your choices for Heer Panzer and Heer Panzergrenadieren.  I thought German army tankers wore a black coverall of sorts and a tanker's beret.  I think the German army armored infantry should have steel helmets.  I look forward very much to your finished work.  Good luck with this.

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I actually think the older versions look great as well, but the new ones are very nice. I definitely think you're going in the right direction and would be more than happy to use the new portraits as they are now. I know the rabbit hole of tweaking all too well, so I appreciate how much time and effort you must have put into these. 

The Soviet backgrounds really fit well with the UI in your example. Very much looking forward to these!

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Ah, the The Dark One sleeps no more.

Well Mord, it looks like the latest round of spike tongued invocations you have offered up to whatever pantheon of Lovecraftian horrors loaning you talent has paid off - again.

What a debut - The SS Panzer and British Para are absolutely cracking.  I am excited to see your treatment of the US and remainder of the Commonwealth forces.

Well done on recognizing the point of diminishing returns on your previous work and mapping a new path of creative growth - that's artistic wisdom.  For those who haven't tuned into the whispers in the darkness yet, Mord's a mighty gifted dude - just wait and see.

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12 hours ago, Badger73 said:

These are stunning, @Mord.  I might quibble with your choices for Heer Panzer and Heer Panzergrenadieren.  I thought German army tankers wore a black coverall of sorts and a tanker's beret.  I think the German army armored infantry should have steel helmets.  I look forward very much to your finished work.  Good luck with this.

No quibble necessary, my man. These are just place holders as described in my first post. However, tank crews wear both black and gray-green uniforms. Go into the editor, pick a tank, then have them bail and you'll see the different uniforms they wear. I may end up with a black uniform. I had one but wasn't happy with it and it was hard to see. As for the Armored Infantry guy, yeah, I'd prefer a helmet but I am having trouble finding a decent pic I can use. I have tried adding helmets and different faces to a bunch of portraits but haven't come up with anything I can live with.

There's a lot of evolution that goes into a portrait. For instance, my first German infantry choice started with guy #1 (in pic). As I went aIong with the mod as a whole and things began to progress, I found I didn't like the body because he was wearing a heavy overcoat. So, I removed the head, and put it on a better body. After a while I found this body was just too gray so I adjusted it. Then I found the guy's skin tones were too out of wack with all the other portraits. Then bingo, I found something 100 times better and scrapped the original guy altogether. This happened over a two week period all while creating other portraits. Unfortunately for me I had been producing keepers with just about every rendition of the dude. Luckily I had only gotten a few hundred deep each time before changing my mind, but they add up!

yAQaWMX.jpg

So, looking at the pic I think you guys can see (though the first portrait looks pretty decent) the end result was worth the continuous refining and waiting.  Ditto on the German Armor. I've been through three so far. I just got a little smarter and have only made tests and no final portraits. But trust me I am not happy with the one up above. I dislike this guy more and more everyday. So, I will keep looking for better, or manipulating, until I find the one that looks great. In the end it will be the best I can make it.

 

Mord.

Edited by Mord

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11 hours ago, IICptMillerII said:

I actually think the older versions look great as well, but the new ones are very nice. I definitely think you're going in the right direction and would be more than happy to use the new portraits as they are now. I know the rabbit hole of tweaking all too well, so I appreciate how much time and effort you must have put into these. 

The Soviet backgrounds really fit well with the UI in your example. Very much looking forward to these!

Thanks very much. Yes, tweaking is a friggin' nightmare but it's what leads us from good to awesome. I still have quite a few to do. But once I get them locked down the rest is simple by comparison. I couldn't release the mod now even if I wanted too because there are still holes that need to be filled. I still haven't got a decent LW Armor guy, etc.

 

Mord.

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