Thursday, December 7, 2017

Back layer support is in.

The OpenGameArt Community's come through!

Less than two days ago, I posted a forum art request for UI icons for eyes, noses, and ears. Small features that wouldn't be easily seen on my current preview images, and needed some special art. It was specific and unpaid, and I wasn't sure if I'd get any interest.

... And as of right now, I've got eye and nose icons, and probably ears to come very soon. So, a huge thank you to the wonderful artists at, particularly BenCreating and Spring, who've taken their time to contribute to this project.

Front view (option 1)
Side view (option 2)

Varied Layer Orders!

Here's a quandary:

Scarves go on the neck slot. Bow ties go on the neck slot. ... But bow-ties go over vests and under overcoats, and scarves are on top of everything. Shoes are under pants, but long boots go over tight pants, but not loose pants or skirts. But the shoes and long boots go in the 'feet' slot, and pants and skirts go in the 'legs' slot.

Well, not a problem any longer! I've gone into the code, gutted a lot of redundancy along the way, and implemented a system where the program moves the layers' order to the sort_order defined in the XML. So I can define all pants and skirts to sorting order #24, except for tight pants, which go on #18.

The end result is leaner, more dynamic code-- which can be easily edited to include 'behind' layers (giving support for capes, cloaks, and long-long hair, and prevents clipping with weapons)-- and scarves, long boots, and other things are in their proper places.

(Also-- capes and cloaks soon! Yes!)

Monday, December 4, 2017

New Hair Palettes -- Final!

New colors in practice!

That should be all major natural colors. Certainly enough to start with.

Reconsidering Hair Color

It's the end of the weekend, which means we might get some help from our friendly server admin. In the meantime, I've been working hard on QA-ing the female base's hair assets. This morning I finished! Only three of thirty-one hair styles need further work.

The original palettes for these assets started with one color, then picked darker and darker shades of the same color. I've revisited the red hair color, and redefined a new palette for it. I'll be doing this to the other colors next.

Original scale on bottom
I might be biased, but I think the new colors really looks like a deep natural redhead without going too obviously into purple. My current 'natural' hair color options are black, gray, white, platinum, blonde, orange, chestnut, brown, and red, so I'll give the next eight similar treatment and show you how it went.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Bad cPanel! No cookie!

File upload is disabled on my server's Apache?!?!?! Whyyyyyy?

 So, boys and girls, here's today's lesson. If your WebServiceRequest method stops working on making a POST or PUT call with a file, check the damn server's network logs. It started returning 404 errors the moment I stopped sending test strings and tried uploaded my image.

Husband knows the server's admin, so he's trying to get SSH access by tonight. Then he's promised to write me a sweet little Express script that'll take care of everything. Stupid Apache.


Here's the to-do list I wrote about a week ago. Here's what it looks like now.
  • Setup:
    • Missing fonts (Ariel bold)
    • Fuzzy text? There must be a way to fix that.
    • Body menu goes off the bottom of the screen. (Temp fix)
  • Import Data: 
    • Add 'loading' graphic while XML is parsed.
    • Change how the required animations are checked to take less memory. 
  • Render:
    • Fix new render save path for WebGL! (System crash!)
    • Add timestamp to the single doll render so they have unique filenames.
    • Rendering on the web app makes a pixelated preview-dummy. (Cancelled)
  • General: 
    • Look for ways to slim / refactor the code!
    • Write PHP script that zips up the renders and prompts the user to download them!
    • Strip out unneeded 3rd party asset DLLs 
What's left, aside from saving images to the server?

The 'loading' graphic between the setup screen and the  was added just fine, but the loading sequence freezes up the system while the XML is processed, which means it never shows up. Now, there's a few ways to fix that, but I think the best way to do this would be to make the setup its own scene and just have a nice animated 'loading' scene between the two.

This will also be a good idea because the 'Choose a body' overflow fix was a quick hack that won't last as we increase the body options. I'm adding a skeleton, orcs, lizard folk once the humans are taken care of. I've also never been satisfied with the current setup UI, and a redesign will be a good change.

Refactoring will be a good step to take, but I'm going to hold off on it until everything else is working. There's a few things I'd like to change up to make a leaner, more flexible, automated process.