Not Enough Animation

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#1 by Yorhel
2022-01-05 at 14:52
< report >Let me start on a generic note: while I often see people point out issues with the database or propose high-level features and improvements (which is fine), I don't often see people willing to work towards a solution. VNDB has a rather large amount of issues and things that can be improved and I'm definitely not skilled or knowledgable enough to come up with solutions to everything on my own. VNDB is a fairly complex database and changes of any sort tend to have a large impact, where lots of details need to be considered. So I realize that meaningful contributions in this space aren't easy, but any help in drafting and working out improvement proposals is very much appreciated. There's a lot you can help out with even without knowing how to write code.

Moving on to the actual subject matter, a few months ago there was a discussion on adding detailed animation information to releases. That's the sort of discussions I like to see, but it ended up kind of dying out due to lack of feedback. There's a concrete proposal that I can implement in a day or two, but how are we supposed to know we've covered all bases and not missed something important? Usually I just implement something, write an announcement and then get lots of people to find problems with it; That works, but this time I decided to try and switch things around a bit: here's an announcement of a feature that hasn't yet been implemented.

Because the original thread had gotten a bit hard to follow with the various versions to the proposal, here's short a summary:

Right now, release entries have two fields to indicate whether the visual novel has animation: "Story animation" and "Ero animation", with a single choice between a few options for both fields. These options manage to be confusing, too subjective and wholly inadequate to describe whether and to what extend the visual novel has been animated. The idea is to replace the two fields with a lot more options. Rather than describe the changes in detail, I've made a draft edit form that should hopefully make it clear how this will work.

Animation edit form.

As to what the options mean and how they should be used, here's a draft of the proposed guidelines (edited from t16987.82). We could still use some examples and guidelines for the "background effects" options. If you've got some time, grab your favorite visual novel and see if you can classify its animation styles with the above model. If something is unclear or you see problems with it, discuss! (But please avoid nitpicking about the user interface, that's the sort of thing that can easily be fine-tuned later on without much impact on the rest of the database)Last modified on 2022-01-14 at 14:53
#2 by beliar
2022-01-05 at 15:14
< report >
link (cutscenes from Katawa Shoujo)
That's a poor example, because it should go solely under 'Cutscenes'. I thought we agreed not to mix cutscenes and animations.
#3 by Yorhel
2022-01-05 at 15:23
< report >I feel like this proposal is doomed when even beliar can't follow it. :'(

I thought we agreed not to mix cutscenes and animations.
Cutscenes are a separate animation group and can be flagged as Hand drawn / Vectorial / etc as well. That's not... mixing things, is it?
#4 by beliar
2022-01-05 at 15:28
< report >Yes, however I don't remember KS having any animations, except for the cutscenes (admittedly I have played it a long time ago). So I suppose, it should have been marked as "No animations", and the "Cutscenes" flag added (unless I'm misremembering something. However, you have added it as an example to Cutscenes" and "Hand Drawn Animation". Isn't that incorrect?
#5 by Yorhel
2022-01-05 at 15:32
< report >No animation aside from hand drawn cutscenes. So using that as an example when discussing hand drawn animation seems appropriate to me.
#6 by beliar
2022-01-05 at 15:34
< report >I only fear some people might misunderstand, with the example placement in two sections. I just think a different game would better illustrate the point.
#7 by gvbn
2022-01-05 at 16:50
< report >Senren Banka has animation only for SD cut-ins, e.g. the sweatdrops and the exclamation symbol in link

They don't take up the entire screen, so they aren't CGs, which makes them... character sprites? But the actual character sprites aren't animated.Last modified on 2022-01-05 at 16:51
#8 by Ileca
2022-01-05 at 16:50
< report >I don’t understand your criticism. Cutscenes and Frame-by-frame (yeah, I remember renaming the category) are two different concepts. Katawa Shoujo checks both categories and therefore is a good example for both. You can only mark cutscene if it has animation. Maybe you think we should mark "no cutscene" as "no cutscene/cutscenes with no animation" because you can think of cutscenes without proper animation like text-only cutscenes?

The proposal is good to go but we have some painful pickles about some use cases. I still didn’t have any answers to my arguments about RPG Maker games. There is also the problem of defining CG. Edit: ninja’d by gvbn.

I can’t contribute properly since a month coz I am stuck on an android tablet. I only need a cheap 1080p screen HDMI compatible and a mouse. ;_____;Last modified on 2022-01-05 at 16:51
#9 by aptx-4869
2022-01-05 at 18:38
< report >Considering that cutscenes must break the continuity of the game to be considered cutsenes how would Phantom of Inferno's dvd release be categorized? that is basically just a video that you have no control over for the entirety of the game with no animations (except for the animated "cutscenes")

Does this mean that the cutscenes in this release aren't considered cutscenes?
#10 by Ileca
2022-01-05 at 20:22
< report >I read Integration and the remake but I had not the great joy of having read the English DVDPG release. I don't remember any cutscenes tho. Poor memory tho. Can you be more explicit as to what those cutscenes are?
It’s an interesting question because VN are not supposed to be locked in automode but DVDPG are a weird beast. I would say that even if the whole thing is in automode, animated cutscenes are still breaking the immersion in the sense that those sequences are rare and well delimited in the middle of a sea of regular text. The automode is not animating per se the VN.
#11 by beliar
2022-01-05 at 20:55
< report >
I would say that even if the whole thing is in automode, animated cutscenes are still breaking the immersion in the sense that those sequences are rare and well delimited in the middle of a sea of regular text. The automode is not animating per se the VN.
I agree with Ileca on this.
#12 by aptx-4869
2022-01-05 at 21:13
< report >what I meant was something like this link (youtube link) I haven't played that release myself for obvious reasons but I remember coming across such scenes while searching the release up.

I read the other animation categories after watching that scene and I think that it's actually better suited as vectorial animation? even though it's not exactly how most vectorial animations are used, it's still just simulated movement by moving the BCG around with some motion blur. EDIT: might actually be 3D... the stool and table in the animated scene are different from the BCG used in text scenes

either way, it's still a good idea to consider such scenarios of cutscenes inside automode locked games...Last modified on 2022-01-05 at 21:19
#13 by Ileca
2022-01-05 at 22:43
< report >Lol six seconds crappy 3D movement.
#14 by thenewmohawk
2022-01-06 at 19:33
< report >I'm all for a better comprehensive release information regarding the animation, but I personally care more about the NSFW side of things on that particular topic.
#15 by ff80c38
2022-01-06 at 23:01
< report >How would Cinders be classified? The sprites only have eye moving effects and as far as I remember there also are no CGs to speak of. But almost every background has some sort of vectorial animation.

Classifying this instance merely as 'background effects' seems to undersell the animation quantity and quality. Or is this intended as normal people don't care about the BGs?
#16 by Ileca
2022-01-07 at 00:47
< report >More like animated BCG is almost non existent and doesn’t deserve to complexify the form even more so it got bagged into one rough option.
In fact, I don't remember proposing "some" and "large amount" of BCG effects. I don't think this is necessary because it's too subjective.

As for blinking eyes, you have a specific option just before BCG.
#17 by hinoe
2022-01-09 at 07:50
< report >Would the ML/A "cutscenes" be examples of what this model considers cutscenes, or are they something different? You know, HUMAAAAAAN BRAINS or Tama shooting down that spaceship thing in MLU or whichever girl you chose talking to her daughter in the Unlimited good(?) end, among a bunch of others. I think they fit the definition, but I'm afraid the wording has me a little confused.

I'm also not really sure how the subtle intra-line facial movement that keeps happening during pretty much the entirety of those two games would be filed here. Mouths flap and eyes blink and there are all sorts of subtle facial movements; it's pretty slick and natural-looking not only for VN standards but even for anime standards.
#18 by slashslayer
2022-01-10 at 20:09
< report >
while I often see people point out issues with the database or propose high-level features and improvements (which is fine), I don't often see people willing to work towards a solution.

There's a lot you can help out with even without knowing how to write code.

i wonder. is feedback for features you've already determined to implement all we can offer you? i always try to help VNDB as much as i can, but being short on money(so no patreon) and knowing nothing about code are definitely some obstacles
#19 by Yorhel
2022-01-14 at 15:05
< report >Edited and moved draft guidelines to d20#1, with better formatting than the forum supports.

I don't remember proposing "some" and "large amount" of BCG effects. I don't think this is necessary because it's too subjective.
Yeah, some examples for these options would be really useful, we'll need them for helpful guidelines either way. If it turns out that we can't find enough examples where a distinction between "some" and "large amount" makes sense, I'm all for simplifying the options.

Frame-by-frame (yeah, I remember renaming the category)
I can see why you did, but at the same time "hand drawn" is a much more commonly used term than "frame-by-frame", so I have a slight preference towards using that. If it turns out people misinterpret the term, we can always rename it later.

I can’t contribute properly since a month coz I am stuck on an android tablet.
Still!? You don't live in some backwater country, how can you survive without getting a replacement PC/laptop within a week? VNDB mods sure aren't getting paid much nowadays.

Is feedback for features you've already determined to implement all we can offer you?
For many features, 90% of the time spent is figuring out what we want and how we want it, only 10% involves writing code. That 90% can be significantly reduced if there's active discussions where people are trying to work towards a solution and propose coherent ideas / guidelines / examples. But as I mentioned, even if it doesn't involve code, it's not easy work. If anything, it's more challenging than writing code.Last modified on 2022-01-14 at 15:10
#20 by Ileca
2022-01-14 at 19:50
< report >It appears that despite this new thread, not many people care about this feature...

Here is a concrete example:
Imagine a real time 3D patreon crap game. It doesn't have gameplay. Every time you read a line, characters move and talk.
Now, imagine a RPG Maker crap game. It doesn't have gameplay. Every time you read a line, characters move and talk.

How would you mark those two games, and if you choose something different apart from the type of animation, how do you justify your double standard?

Still!? You don't live in some backwater country, how can you survive without getting a replacement PC/laptop within a week? VNDB mods sure aren't getting paid much nowadays.
I am back baby, since three days now. I had to wait for the black friday to buy pieces at an affordable price. Then wait for the single super slow seller who owned my CPU to decide to send it. Christmas hit in the meantime and I was away. Then it was a matter of getting a second-hand screen and mouse, and build the monster. Also lost some days trying to install windows 7 without success. My motherboard's company probably has an understanding with microsoft to prevent users to install it by not recognizing mouse and keyboard's drivers so we are forced to install Bill Gates's latest telemetry. Well, FUCK Bill Gates, I am full Linux now.
Probably won't be contributing much because I am too excited playing all day long recent games aka Dark Souls II.
Of course, I am 80% sure that I got covid so I will probably die the moment I got new hardware after 10 years being stuck with VN. FML.
#21 by slashslayer
2022-01-14 at 20:36
< report >
But as I mentioned, even if it doesn't involve code, it's not easy work. If anything, it's more challenging than writing code.
thank you for the info, i'll see if i can help more from now on. but it's indeed hard to get into or make a consensus with most active users in this database
#22 by visualboymanaka
2022-01-15 at 00:42
< report >IMO we can try to simplify a bit.
We can put lip/blink animation into the sprite animation menù for example. Something like:
Sprite animation: No, Lip/blink OR Live 2d OR etc
BG animation: No OR Weather effect/leaves/similar only OR Fully animated

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