Since I have limited time to focus on leisurely activities, a lot of what I do with game art falls more into the “Proof of Concept” category. I have an idea about what would be an interesting visual change for me and I merely want to see it in game. For example, for the Darkstone project, I was going for the look of dry erase crayons on a dark dry erase board.
For Morrowind, I simulated a cell shader (cartoon) effect with build in black outlines. Note: when I first made those textures, Borderlands hadn’t been released. However, I had already realized that it looked better to have the solid colors have some kind of texture behind them for visual interest.
Fast forward to Today
I was messing around with my new art tablet last month and saw if I could replicate the style of Borderlands in Morrowind, at least as a proof of concept. I did some research for tips on the best way to replicate the effect and found a YouTube video that explained a method that a got very close to the games style.
I experimented on the vanilla Morrowind face textures. They are awful and look hideous in the game. My logic being that adding the “borderlands” style texturing might add enough interest to make them worthy of keeping versus using model replacer mod (may mods replace the heads). The original textures used for faces were very low resolution, inaccurate (sloppily made) and just ugly as all get out.
I started by doing the heads in the order of the characters you run into when you start a new game. I redid 5 faces. It was easier than I thought.
I’ll detail it out next time, but for a teaser here’s what “vanilla” jiub looked like when I was done. I’ll explain the irregularities next time.