Animation: A Proposal

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#26 by eacil
2021-09-19 at 17:23
< report >I completely forgot but I expected Yorhel to comment on
One idea to reduce the bloat would be to only input animation and have a primary checkbox to fix the result.
Meaning that if there is no animation, you check the checkbox and do nothing else. The whole thing will show NO ANIMATION.
If it's a nukige with classic vectorial animation, you fill one line:
[H-scene] [CG] [Vectorial animation] [Not entirely animated] [Loops-only]
and then check the box.
The box would only be here to say that the rest has no animation instead of N/A.

A more sensible choice would probably to have a button that autofill the left possibilities as having no animation.

To explain the editing process:

If you have no animation, you press the button I am talking above and that's it. It will autofill the form with:
[CG][Story][x]No animation
[CG][H-scenes][x]No animation
[Character sprites][Story][x]No animation
[Character sprites][H-scenes][x]No animation
[Cutscenes][Story][x]No animation
[Cutscenes][H-scenes][x]No animation
If we don't have this button, we would be forced to manually input all of that and we probably don't want that because it looks painful, right?
If the game is not an eroge, it will autofill three lines, of course.
[CG][x]No animation
[Character sprites][x]No animation
[Cutscenes][x]No animation
You won't have to select [Story] because it is not an eroge! Pretty simple here!

If you have the most common case scenario aka vectorial h-scenes, you will see

[Medium][Content] < selects
[x]Types < five checkboxes

Once you select those three information, Frequency appears (or is enabled) and a + to show a new group of

[Medium][Content] < selects
[x]Types < five checkboxes

when you click on it.
In this case you select

[CG][H-scenes][Vectorial animation]

Frequency appears or is enabled, you add [Not entirely animated]. You press the autofill button which will add:
[CG][Story][x]No animation
[Character sprites][Story][x]No animation
[Character sprites][H-scenes][x]No animation
[Cutscenes][Story][x]No animation
[Cutscenes][H-scenes][x]No animation

Another example with Robotics;Notes.
From memory, you would have to select

[Character sprites]
[x]3D animation
then
[Cutscenes]
[x]3D animation

Quite straightforward here.
And check the stand alone box
[x]Lip sync/blinking eyes

Then you autofill and get:
[CG][x]No animation
like it's not an eroge.

For Katie, you select
[CG][H-scenes]
[x]3D animation
then
[Character sprites][H-scenes]
[x]3D animation

and autofill.

etc.Last modified on 2021-09-19 at 21:53
#27 by beliar
2021-09-19 at 17:45
< report >That seems to sound reasonable, though I'm not sure if it will work as well in practice. We'll see.Last modified on 2021-09-19 at 18:37
#28 by yorhel
2021-09-19 at 17:47
< report >
Well, dude, do I need to remind you that you built your current system around that idea of looping?
When have I ever designed something myself? Pretty sure I stole the current selection from someone else, too. :D

As for UI: I don't care too much about that at this point, getting the data model right is more important, and it looks like we're slowly converging on something.
#29 by eacil
2021-09-19 at 22:04
< report >Stating the obvious but
*Content: Story, H-scene.
will depend on the age rating, like it already is with the current model.
#30 by yorhel
2021-09-22 at 10:02
< report >Alright, my attempt to formalize the proposal in #24 a bit so that I have a better view of exactly what the model looks like and how it deals with unknowns (using a pseudo-Haskell/Elm syntax here because SQL sucks for modelling):

-- At least one of these must be true
AnimationType =
{ Handdrawn: bool
, Vectorial: bool
, 3D: bool
, Live: bool
}

Frequency = Entirely | NotEntirely

Animation = NoAnimation | (AnimationType, Frequency)

-- We either know nothing about animation or all fields are filled with some value
ReleaseAnimation = Unknown |
{ StoryChar: Animation
, StoryBG: Animation
, StoryCutscenes: NoCutscenes | AnimationType

-- Only relevant when there are ero scenes
, EroChar: Animation
, EroBG: Animation
, EroCutscenes: NoCutscenes | AnimationType

, LipsyncAndOrEyeblink: bool
, BackgroundEffects: NoEffects | SomeEffects | HighAmountOfEffects
}

First of all, I propose that we add another general release flag to indicate whether the release has ero scenes, as (ab)using the age rating for this has always felt a bit off. For a scene to count as "ero", I'd say it must describe people playing with each others genitals with accompanied graphics. The graphics themselves don't have to be explicit, as long as it's clear what the persons depicted in them are doing.

Some definitions (these need to be expanded to form proper guidelines):

For character sprites and backgrounds, eacil's definition in #20 seems fine.

AnimationType.Handdrawn: Animations created by drawing each frame individually. ("hand drawn" is perhaps a bit confusing in that it may imply physically drawing to paper, but I assume drawing programs and digital pencils are fine too, the point is that no software is used for the animation part)
AnimationType.Vectorial: Computer-processed animations created by manipulating 2-dimensional objects.
AnimationType.3D: Computer-processed animations created by manipulating 3-dimensional objects.
AnimationType.Live: Video recordings.

Frequency.Entirely: The animation occurs in all scenes.
Frequency.NotEntirely: Only some scenes are animated.

Not entirely sure about the BackgroundEffects, these should be expanded upon for guidelines as well. Also unsure about the ero-cutscenes, can anyone find an example of a VN which has those?

This model seems alright with me for now, I can experiment with an implementation and see how that works out.
#31 by ezezin
2021-09-22 at 10:12
< report >
For a scene to count as "ero", I'd say it must describe people playing with each others genitals with accompanied graphics.

So, for example, in The Letter where the only "sex scene" is at the beginning of chapter 4 between Lucille Mitchell Wright and Marianne McCollough (but doesn't show anything explicit), is enough for the release to be marked with ero-scenes, even if it is a less than 10 minutes long scene in a 30-50 hour long VN?Last modified on 2021-09-22 at 10:23
#32 by yorhel
2021-09-22 at 10:32
< report >
even if it is a less than 10 minutes long scene in a 30-50 hour long VN?
I don't know, maybe it should? :/
I mean, if we're going to be in the business of flagging content, we're bound to end up with edge cases. I do believe that there doesn't have to be a lot of porn for it to be flagged as such (all the plotge!) and I'm not sure graphics with exposed genitals should be a hard requirement either, but that's up for discussion.
#33 by ezezin
2021-09-22 at 15:23
< report >I don't know if Eacil will like this but using #24 as a base and if I'm not mistaking anything on what was said, i think we can do some drop-down menus here and there, but it will vary on the initial choice:

Animation: | - Add animation - 🔽| Sprites | Background | CG | Cutscenes | (not filling the information on one or more of them is the same as leaving them as "unknown")
Edit 1: If it were for me I would call it "Unknown or N/A" and remove the no sprites/no backgrounds/no cg/no cutscenes stuff.

| No sprites 🔽| No animation | Not entirely animated | Entirely animated | <= story | ero scenes => | Unknown or N/A 🔽| No animation | Not entirely animated | Entirely animated |

Edit 1: Next is a single selection choice in a drop-down menu. I personally added "Both looping and non-looping animations" option for those sex scenes where only the penetration and ejaculation animations are non-looping. Edit 3: And just in case made it selectable for normal scenes.
Edit 4: This menu should be hidden if "no sprites", "no background", "no CG" or "no animation" is selected.
Edit 6: Or make it appear only when "Not entirely animated" or "Entirely animated" are selected.
Edit 5: Sorry, I'm not good at thinking good short names.

Loop: | Unknown 🔽| Loops only | Both looping and non-looping animations | Not a single looping animation | <= story | ero scenes => | Unknown 🔽| Loops only | Both looping and non-looping animations | Not a single looping animation |

These ones will be hidden if no animation or no sprites is selected. 4 pairs for story and ero-scenes (the tab key doesn't work here, just replace the (-) with empty spaces):
--- [x] Hand-drawn animation -------------------------------- [x] Hand-drawn animation
--- [x] Vectorial animation ------------------------------------ [x] Vectorial animation
--- [x] 3D animation ------------------------------------------- [x] 3D animation
--- [x] Live movie ---------------------------------------------- [x] Live movie

Edit 7: Other effects that would only appear when choosing sprites:

--- [x] Lip sync
--- [x] Blinking eyes

Edit 2: After all that, repeat:
| - Add animation - 🔽| Sprites | Background | CG | Cutscenes |

Edit 7: Selecting background will make different choices appear:
| No backgrounds | No special effects 🔽| Some special effects | High amount of special effects | Edit 7: Backgrounds won't have ero-scenes selection.

Edit 3: Repeat:
| - Add animation - 🔽| Sprites | Background | CG | Cutscenes |

| No CG 🔽| No animation | Not entirely animated | Entirely animated | <= story | ero scenes => | Unknown or N/A 🔽| No animation | Not entirely animated | Entirely animated |

Loop: | Unknown 🔽| Loops only | Both looping and non-looping animations | Not a single looping animation | <= story | ero scenes => | Unknown 🔽| Loops only | Both looping and non-looping animations | Not a single looping animation |

These ones will be hidden if no animation or no CG is selected. 4 pairs for story and ero-scenes (the tab key doesn't work here, just replace the (-) with empty spaces):
--- [x] Hand-drawn animation -------------------------------- [x] Hand-drawn animation
--- [x] Vectorial animation ------------------------------------ [x] Vectorial animation
--- [x] 3D animation ------------------------------------------- [x] 3D animation
--- [x] Live movie ---------------------------------------------- [x] Live movie

Edit 3: Repeat:
| - Add animation - 🔽| Sprites | Background | CG | Cutscenes |

Selecting cutscenes will make different choices appear:
| No cutscenes 🔽| Available cutscenes | <= story | ero scenes => | Unknown 🔽| No cutscenes | Available cutscenes |
Edit 8: Maybe "Animated cutscenes", although redundant, sounds better than "Available cutscenes"?

Edit 9: Removed almost everything with strikethrough to make the post shorter.Last modified on 2021-09-25 at 14:52
#34 by beliar
2021-09-22 at 15:38
< report >Where the hell looping/non-looping disappeared to? It was last mentioned in the previous page, and I think that aspect is god damn important. In fact, I consider that to be more important than Frequency.

Sprites transitions | Zoom in/out | Background transitions | Camera movement | Realtime effects | (others)
At this point it seems we are digging for earthworms in our asses... I would just roll all of those into "High amount of special effects", because no one's gonna bother filling in all of those minor effects.
#35 by ezezin
2021-09-22 at 16:02
< report >
At this point it seems we are digging for earthworms in our asses

Edited to reflect that.

Where the hell looping/non-looping disappeared to?

I don't know, I though you decided it was not important or something like that. I'll try to include it in my proposal in a moment.
Edit: Done, I just don't know if cutscenes should have the loop option or not.
Edit 2: Now thanks to #37 I know they shouldn't.
Edit 3: Although you didn't mentioned it, I added "Both looping and non-looping animations" option for those sex scenes where only the penetration and ejaculation animations are non-looping.Last modified on 2021-09-22 at 16:45
#36 by yorhel
2021-09-22 at 16:24
< report >
Where the hell looping/non-looping disappeared to?
#22 (last line) & #24. Don't mind to re-added it once I know what looping means and why it's important, but for now I'm just confused about it.

And forget about the UIs for now! I know you guys have no faith whatsoever in my ability to create a sensible UI, and rightly so, but that's something that can always be adjusted later on >.<
#37 by beliar
2021-09-22 at 16:32
< report >
Don't mind to re-added it once I know what looping means and why it's important, but for now I'm just confused about it.
Right now we have the type (vectorial, 3D, etc.) and the frequency (if all, some or none scenes are animated). However, we still lacking a way to distinguish between what in the current system is called "Simple Animations" and "Full animations". In other words, if the animation is just an endless loop of a few repeating frames, or if the animation has a definitive beginning and end, basically being a small movie (not to be confused with a cutscene, which is a movie clip played at certain times, while non-looping animation is made in engine and can be hand-drawn, vectorial or 3D).
#38 by yorhel
2021-09-22 at 16:40
< report >I'm not seeing the distinction, as almost all animation in VNs loops in some way or another. Do you perhaps have some video examples with different looping styles?
#39 by beliar
2021-09-22 at 16:47
< report >
I'm not seeing the distinction, as almost all animation in VNs loops in some way or another. Do you perhaps have some video examples with different looping styles?
Well, I don't have any examples on hand, but none of the animations I have marked as "Full animations" loop. For example, a character sees the girl tachie across the street. She is animated going to the crossing, crossing the street, coming to the protagonist ans stopping in front of him. The animation ends at that point. There is no looping. I see more and more such animations every day in mostly western VNs. Some daring Vns even have non-looping H-scenes, where the whole animation has a definitive beginning and end. For example, a girl kneels in front of the protagonist, puts his penis into her mouth, there is a few seconds of sucking, she stands up, bends over, the protagonists puts it in and after a few seconds cums. The animation ends. There are no looping elements either.Last modified on 2021-09-22 at 16:47
#40 by ezezin
2021-09-22 at 16:57
< report >If it helps, 19 Line has some clear loop and non-loop animations if you want to see it. It's a western visual novel made for a game jam; it's fully animated (or entirely animated) but with some looping and non-loopings animations. I tried to change the releases as "some fully animated scenes" but the edition was reversed.

Edit 1: Here is another one from a game jam: Yesterday, the World Ended. This one has three textures: the outside sky, the train and the character sprite. What the character only does is blinking and moving lips, the train is static and the sky is the animated background; but since the sky is separated from the train and is being used as a looping animation, it gives the illusion that the train is moving.

Edit 2: My last example, also from a game jam: Mahou Shoujo Project. This is your classical mahou shoujo story with your usual "power of friendship" stuff, except that characters are fully animated using loops and it has a non-loop Transformation Sequence(s) with an addition that you can watch the transformation from other angles by moving the pointer from one side to another. Backgrounds are static.Last modified on 2021-09-22 at 17:43
#41 by eacil
2021-09-22 at 20:34
< report >
Where the hell looping/non-looping disappeared to? It was last mentioned in the previous page, and I think that aspect is god damn important. In fact, I consider that to be more important than Frequency.
Then think about that:
-do you have many examples of story segments that loop? What you describe is not a h-scene. Story animation doesn't loop because you don't make anyone loop across the street. Even if it was the case, it would bring nothing to the table. Looping for story elements is absolutely useless.
-do you have many examples of h-scenes that don't loop other than exclusive movements at the beginning and ending of h-scenes, and as a transition between them? Is it that important to be able to filter those? It's just a bonus not worth keeping track of imo. What it will do is make everything more complicated because even vectorial has penetrations/ejaculations.

#30 I am not sure I understand your notation.
For a line to be valid, Type, Medium and Content must have non N/A values.
Frequency and the three last boxes are optional.
It's this simple.
Maybe you want to use some selects for the last three boxes to be able to distinguish between N/A and the absence of those options. Example:
*N/A
*Has Lip sync/blinking eyes
*Doesn't have Lip sync/blinking eyes

So, for example, in xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, is enough for the release to be marked with ero-scenes, even if it is a less than 10 minutes long scene in a 30-50 hour long VN?
They are having sex, the scene is animated with vectorial. I say it counts.
You can have intense sex scenes without showing genitals so I don't see how you could rule that one out.
I am not sure of the necessity of an ero flag, not that it bothers me but I don't see any non 18+ games with ero animation, given that the example in my quote is not worth keeping. 17+ Liar-soft are not animated.

Not entirely sure about the BackgroundEffects, these should be expanded upon for guidelines as well.
It is everything involving the background, weather included. It could have its own non vectorial animation but I think we have enough lines already and I doubt that people will search for VN with an animated background hand-drawn (the only ones I can think of are animated details).

Also unsure about the ero-cutscenes, can anyone find an example of a VN which has those?
This is the hardest because you can't really distinguish CG from cutscenes when it comes to entirely animated VN. Those are the exceptions. That's why I said that a cutscene must break the continuity of the game to be considered as such, in the sense that if the game is entirely animated, losing control of the interactivity doesn't interrupt the game in a sensible manner.

Examples of games with cutscenes:
Dangan Ronpa Kibou no Gakuen to Zetsubou no Koukousei (executions)
428 ~Fuusa Sareta Shibuya de~ (movies)
Marco to Ginga Ryuu (minutes long anime)
Zanmataisei Demonbane (mecha stuff << example of a cutscene using 3D + hand drawn animation! see link)
Robotics;Notes (3D Kill Balad victory/defeat)
#42 by beliar
2021-09-22 at 22:05
< report >
do you have many examples of story segments that loop?
Plenty. Just recently i have played a game which had dance sequences where the sprites were animated with a continuous looping animation. Even outside of that I remember Vns with sprites showering, sprites jogging, sprites working out and all of those were loops.

o you have many examples of h-scenes that don't loop other than exclusive movements at the beginning and ending of h-scenes
Yes. As I have said in #39 I have encountered non-looping H-scenes.

I personally find it really interesting to find non-looping story sequences and especially non-looping H-sequences in VNs, and believe we should make it available to flag that a game has those.

That's why I said that a cutscene must break the continuity of the game to be considered as such
Yep. I agree with this.
#43 by eacil
2021-09-22 at 22:34
< report >
Plenty. Just recently i have played a game which had dance sequences where the sprites were animated with a continuous looping animation. Even outside of that I remember Vns with sprites showering, sprites jogging, sprites working out and all of those were loops.
Ok, and you really want to find those VN. Quick, today I play muh shower VN. Thanks vndb for helping me find those! :3
Do I need to remind you that loops were included inside "movie-like", meaning you would have to find story segments entirely made of loops, not just a stand alone jogging sequence.

Yes. As I have said in #39 I have encountered non-looping H-scenes.

I personally find it really interesting to find non-looping story sequences and especially non-looping H-sequences in VNs, and believe we should make it available to flag that a game has those.
Well, I am not really against finding that stuff but not for either. I surely am against making that distinction for story as I said above.
However, it's your turn to propose a clear cut definition of what should be flagged as such like you are the one defending the feature. Edit: I mean, some of those "non looping elements" are in fact part of the loop with just extra cream. Yes, talking about the ejaculation but penetration can be the same, appearing outside the loop when it just starts it.
I am a little wary though about adding a feature with limited value based on a single opinion. I mean, sure, it's nice to have more than loops but this is pretty secondary.Last modified on 2021-09-22 at 22:42
#44 by beliar
2021-09-23 at 16:42
< report >VNs with non-looping sequences are almost always of higher quality and greater care taken by the developer. Any idiot can create 3D loops (in fact, the vast majority of the Patreon crap-ge have looping animations both in story and H-sequences. Most of the time they are incredibly badly done), and many JP VNs have vectorial loops. Any Vn with non-looping animation is of great interest to me, as that means the developer is putting much more effort into creating something that relatively few people will appreciate or care about.

After all, majority of people are only interested in badly done loops. If you go to the infamous F95, any Vn with no animations will ultimately get a comment: "Why there be no animationz in this geimu? Even badly dun animationz are bettar then no animationz." I like seeing something that goes beyond just pleasing the lowest common denominator and I think that marking such a feature is important. I could compare loops / non-loops to partially voiced VNs versus fully voiced ones, and I don't think anyone is objecting to us flagging that...

As for the definition, we could go with something like: A fully animated sequence with a clear beginning and an end, that differs from a cutscene by being made in engine and not breaking the continuity of the game. The length of the animation is not important, and it may be accompanying by a looping sequence that either precedes of concludes it.
#45 by eacil
2021-09-23 at 19:06
< report >
A fully animated sequence with a clear beginning and an end
That doesn't really mean anything and could be interpreted in many ways. Everything starts and ends with a clear beginning and an end...
Vectorial animation has a "clear beginning and an end". In fact, they don't even start right into the loop from what I remember. They will emulate one of those penetration opening where they stuff you with their dick, with the same range of movements used in the main loop, but not in a looping fashion. Meaning that those cases will be tagged as "not looping" despite not being any less crappy than plain vectorial looping. That's why I tried to say above but I know I wasn't very clear.
It's the same for ejaculation. They will add a final animation where the dick splurts some sperm, which will make the animation ""original"" despite still using the core movements of the loop. But there is topping so it will count. See, this is defeating the purpose of your flag.
It will probably be the same with your 3D. You won't be able to distinguish between true original movements and a variation of looping movements.

that differs from a cutscene
I have no idea why you are bringing cutscenes here.

by being made in engine
You really need to stop with that. Hand drawn animation is not made "in engine", non 3D animation is most of the time not processed in real time but recorded.

Honestly, I don't understand this definition at all. I wonder what Yorhel thinks of this?
#46 by beliar
2021-09-23 at 19:35
< report >
Vectorial animation has a "clear beginning and an end".
It doesn't. Loops only stop when you end them manually with a mouse click.

They will emulate one of those penetration opening where they stuff you with their dick, with the same range of movements used in the main loop
That is incredibly rare, and I only seen that in like 5 VNs. Most of the time that doesn't exist. Loops usually start without any preamble and end on manual interaction. They are by the very definition infinite.

I have no idea why you are bringing cutscenes here.
Because some people might confuse the two.

Hand drawn animation is not made "in engine"
It's still assembled in engine, as the engine combines the different frames to simulate the movement.

Honestly, I don't understand this definition at all.
I don't understand what's not to understand. In case you decide it's not important, be prepared that I'll fill the note fields where the games have non-looping sequences. :-D
#47 by yorhel
2021-09-25 at 07:43
< report >
That's why I said that a cutscene must break the continuity of the game to be considered as such, in the sense that if the game is entirely animated, losing control of the interactivity doesn't interrupt the game in a sensible manner.
Agreed, that seems like a good definition.

But what I meant was whether we need to have two separate "lines" (as you call them*) for ero- and story- cutscenes. I suspect a single line will do, so we have:

- Story / Character sprites
- Story / Backgrounds
- Ero / Character sprites
- Ero / Backgrounds
- Cutscenes (regardless of when they happen)

(* ugh this informal talk about data modelling doesn't make it easier, but I admit my notation isn't intuitive if you've never written code in a functional language)

I am also still as confused as I was before about the non-looping option. With beliar's definition a single 1-second animation sequence that has a defined start and end is enough to mark a full VN as "has non-looping animation". How is that useful?
#48 by beliar
2021-09-25 at 10:14
< report >
With beliar's definition a single 1-second animation sequence that has a defined start and end is enough to mark a full VN as "has non-looping animation".
I do admit there are VNs with 1-second non-looping animations. And even though I thought of the longer sequences when proposing the definition, those 1-second animations are still more interesting to me than any infinite loop. But whatever you think works best, Yorhel. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
#49 by eacil
2021-09-25 at 12:53
< report >
Loops usually start without any preamble and end on manual interaction. They are by the very definition infinite.
I had a sudden revelation: you mean a loop doesn't have a "clear beginning and an end" because for you a loop has as many beginnings and endings as it has frames, because it is basically circling. The ending is when you click. Doesn't work for the beginning but ok.
Also, a loop can have a non looping segment appended or prepended exclusionarily. Or a stand alone segment separated from any loop.
I doubt anybody will get that.
Like you want even a second to be inclusive, it shouldn't be too hard to come with a definition.

But what I meant was whether we need to have two separate "lines" (as you call them*) for ero- and story- cutscenes.
Can't think of any ero cutscene.

if you've never written code in a functional language
I think I get it.
You forgot:
Frequency = Unknown | Entirely | NotEntirely << or you wouldn't be able to fill most forms because it's hard to get data
LipsyncAndOrEyeblink: bool << YES/NO/NULL(Unknown)
BackgroundEffects: Unknown | NoEffects | SomeEffects | HighAmountOfEffectsLast modified on 2021-09-26 at 01:43
#50 by beliar
2021-09-25 at 12:58
< report >
I had a sudden revelation: you mean a loop doesn't have a "clear beginning and an end" because for you a loop has as many beginnings and endings as it has frames, because it is basically circling.
Well, I mean of course. I'm surprised it took so long to get me -.-'

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