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"Proper" khajit and argonian bodyshapes/animations


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#21
MarkInMKUK

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Having browsed the mods for Khajiit textures yesterday, there's one mod which also shifts the tail mesh so it looks like it comes from the tailbone, not something stuffed up the poor cat's butt. I think that is an improvement we should aim to include too, if possible. Not sure whether there's a similar mod for Argonians - I personally think they should have a thicker, taller tail - more dinosaur-like.

Animations - should Argonians and Khajiits have altered running animations?

Comments?

#22
Ferryt

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I see misplaced tails in anthropomorphic art all the time, and it's one of my major pet peeves about almost the entire "furry art" genre. In this case, though, the tail is invariably placed too high and seems to branch off the spine, rather than being an extension of it. Indeed, in most stances, a tail on an upright biped will appear to emerge from a point just below the top of the buttocks. You should never see the actual base of the tail except in certain rare situations, such as if it is being raised or "flagged" due to some emotional state (would vary depending upon the species) unless you were viewing the character from directly behind. Even then, the tail will begin at the very end of the sacrum -- not before.

If you don't believe this, then strip down and stand in front of a full-length mirror. Place your finger on the very end of your "tail bone" and see where it is. That's where your tail would begin, if you had one. The distance between the base of the tail and the anus is on the order of 2" or less, which means it's going to be hidden from sight between the buttocks in any creature with a human-like frame unless that person is bending over, assuming that the tail is being held in a position in which it is aligned with the spine.

The reason this doesn't seem to be the case with quadrupedal animals like dogs and cats is because they're quadrupedal. The pelvis and spinal attachment point (the sacrum) in these animals is shaped very differently than it is in humans, and Argonians and Khajiit would have to have a human-like skeleton in order to walk upright. In addition, humans, because they're upright bipeds, have pronounced buttocks (necessary muscle mass to maintain the posture and to walk/run efficiently), which further obscures the attachment point of the tail. Don't point out monkeys as an exception, either. They don't have buttocks like we do because they're not "upright" bipeds. All other existing primates, except for humans, are, essentially quadrupeds who can just happen to walk on their hind legs, albeit not very efficiently, for short periods of time.

There is a mod which makes Khajiit and Argonian tails thicker. I've looked at it and don't consider the aesthetic change to be worth taking up a slot in my mod order. It would improve the appearance of Argonians slightly, but the improvement for Khajiit characters would be minimal. Ideally, an Argonian tail, sticking with the reptilian appearance and ignoring the arguments that they're actually mammals, should be much thicker at the base, with a vertical dimension larger than the horizontal dimension, perhaps, and then tapering to almost a point at the tip.

Yes, ideally, Argonians and Khajiit should have different running (and walking) animations if a digitigrade leg is incorporated into those races. Indeed, all animations that involve maneuvering on the feet should be replaced, because an upright, bipedal, digitigrade creature is going to have a somewhat different way of moving than one with plantigrade legs. I imagine most people wouldn't notice an issue, but I know I would.

While we're at it, get rid of that really annoying bright white tip to the Khajiit tail. The first time I played my Khajiit character in 3rd person, I thought there was something wrong with the texture, or that something had, somehow, gotten attached to the end of the tail.

#23
MarkInMKUK

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I think the White tailtip is something that's personal taste - I'd personally go for a cream or something more in that shade range, as our next-door cat has a tain with a pale tip like that.

I was apparently confuzzling two mods on the tails - there's one tail retexture (sadly with an even bigger white tip) which otherwise blends in the base of the tail much better (like this) and one other mod which changes the start point of the base a little (like this), and looks marginally better placed to my non-biologist's eye. I guess different racial variants could have different shaped / shaded tails. Either way, textures are a personal taste thing, but the body is what we're hoping to get looking a little more "correct".

As for taking up a slot in the mod order, hopefully any optional body tweaks would be incorporated into the one "do argonian and/or khajiit and/or whatever" esp file, as long as we could obtain permission. Failing that, we work out how to merge the mods using TES4Gecko or something, and post instructions so people can blend their own esps.

<Note to self - WHY do you only spot typos AFTER you click the 'Submit' button?>

Edited by MarkInMKUK, 16 February 2011 - 06:45 PM.


#24
Ferryt

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I find that Firefox catches most of my typos -- at least those which aren't context-sensitive. It's hard to miss the bright red underline on every word it thinks is misspelled.

Anyway, in the first picture I like the "after" MUCH better than the "before". My issue with the white tip on the vanilla tail is that this is an unnatural color when you compare it with the other light colors on the Khajiit body. Biology doesn't work that way (yes, I have a degree in biology and have studied mammalian genetics, including coat color inheritance). The tail tip should reflect the same degree (and type) of melanization as is present in other parts of the body. If, as the body is presented, the lightest color is not white, but a dilute orange (which it is) then it makes sense that the tail tip would also be a dilute orange because the presence of any specific spot (the tail tip is a "spot", genetically) is determined separately from the color of spots.

OK, next issue -- tail placement. What you're seeing in the second picture is a tail that sprouts out of the sacrum at an angle. It's still not in-line with the coccyx, and, frankly, in making direct comparisons between that image and my own Khajiit character (I just loaded up the game, stripped her, and used vanity mode to inspect tail placement closely) I don't see a lot of difference. The center of the tail should be located closer to where the lower edge of the tail is. Unfortunately, I don't have a clue how to backtrack from that image to the actual mod to see whether or not the author describes how much s/he moved the tail.

This image does a pretty good job of depicting the coccyx with reference to the outline of the body. A Khajiit or Argonian tail would begin where the coccyx begins (since in humans that is our vestigial tail). As you can see, this point is about ⅔ down from the waist to the lower curve of the buttock. Just about everyone gets this wrong, simply because they never bother to actually consult an anatomical reference.

#25
MarkInMKUK

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OK, we'll be picky and make sure if we tweak ANY meshes we get the tail as "right" as we can.

Of course, first we need to hunt down and trap a few modders...

<puts on Elmer Fudd outfit> "Be WEWWY qwiet - I'm huntin' WABBITS!"

#26
hellchosen

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@fyrryt the first picture is exlorians khajiit tail for hgec the 2nd picture is seamless hi_res khajiit and tabaxi textures for hgec and i would love to help if i had any skill with blender or photoshop but i cant make textures just edit them a bit and suck at trying to make meshes and sadly dont know anyone who wants better khajiits they get very lil love :( only a handful of authors make mods for them :ps: googling khajiit mods right now

Edited by hellchosen, 17 February 2011 - 03:40 AM.


#27
MarkInMKUK

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hellchosen - I agree, Khajiits get very little love from the modders - too many want to give them human faces and turn them into manga characters. I want to make them more like the Kzin (Larry Niven / Star Trek Animated) or Caitian races from SF (M'Ress from Star Trek was nice!). The former especially weren't a "human with fur" look, they had a different body posture and movement - but that would be a second generation mod. Firstly I want to get them up on their toes, nice looking paws, good textures, and (ideally) no silicone chests. Face improvement mods are a possibility, but only if they are optional. AlienSlof does some great textures but I don't hold out much hope of being allowed to port those to a HGEC body for this set of mods.

#28
MarkInMKUK

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To the Drive-throughs - Hello - please stop, and join in, and (if you can mod stuff) we could do with your help!

#29
Ferryt

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Unfortunately, if this mod turns out to be HGEC only then I'll not be using it because I refuse to let my characters have skinny arms and legs just to get a nicely-shaped body. Plus the HGEC body mesh has some technical issues that Robert's female body doesn't have (that's one of the "cleanest" body mods available for female characters). This is one reason why AlienSlof only supports Robert's bodies, by the way. Plus, if the mod is distributed ONLY for Robert's body (not actually suggesting it be this way) you will be assured of no "silicone chests" because Robert's female body only comes in one style and that's average, normal ... the way most real women look in real life, as opposed to the "best" bodies that silicone can create.

Remember that I went the HGEC/Exnem Eye Candy route once. There are reasons I quit using it and they are quite compelling reasons. I think the only reasons those mods are as popular as they are is because of the enhanced breast sizes you can get if you use them -- I'm not criticizing the authors of these mods, because they created what they wanted to see in the game, but such body replacement mods simply aren't appealing to many of us. You can argue that the modding community doesn't adequately support Robert's body with respect to things like armor and clothing, but, really ... there's still plenty of it out there. To date, I've been quite happy with only the vanilla clothing and armor because I'm really not into the high-fantasy minimal-coverage armors, Japanese school girl uniforms, and skimpy lingerie that is typical fare for the other body mods.

#30
MarkInMKUK

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I quite agree on the body mods. Drake's Argonian mod covers several body types and the Khajiit should cover the same as far as I'm concerned. Limb structure on the HGEC actually looks better on the AA body for the Argonian females, but for "real" chests it can look a little ... er ... "enhanced by surgery and photoshop" shall we say?

From Drake's readme...

"Male fullbody textures for Robert's Male Body v3.x, v4, v5 and Breeze's Defined Male Body
and female fullbody textures for TFF, Exnem/HGEC, Bab and Robert's Female, all constructed from ShadyTradesman's IABT"

Plus support for the vanilla bodies.

Sounds like a good target mix to me.




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