What is the preferred form for modifications?

Development of artwork, requests, suggestions, samples, or if you have artwork to offer. Primarily for the artists.
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Apo
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What is the preferred form for modifications?

#1 Post by Apo » Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:46 am

Hello,

I'm working on an official Debian package for FreeOrion at the moment as i have already pointed out in this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=24&t=7434

In Debian people care a lot about building everything from source. There are even some contributors who think that a real FLOSS game project should also provide the sources for all media files, like graphics, sounds or video data in an editable format like svg, gimp or blend files.

The topic is summed up best by an article at freedesktop.org (section source). It is a general guideline about "best practices" for free software games although they are not the official stance of the Debian project.

http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Games/Upstream

I understand that the FreeOrion project uses png files for almost everything related to graphics. Do you consider the png format as the "preferred form for modifications"? Do you use any other sources besides png? If yes, would it be possible to make them available for download? How do you expect people to make modifications to already existing images and data files?

Thanks
Markus

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Geoff the Medio
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Re: What is the preferred form for modifications?

#2 Post by Geoff the Medio » Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:57 pm

Apo wrote:Do you consider the png format as the "preferred form for modifications"? Do you use any other sources besides png? If yes, would it be possible to make them available for download?
There are no generally available "source" files for contributed png files. Whoever submits a file could have produced it with whatever program they prefer, which might have some sort of intermediate working file, perhaps as a vector image, with raster layers, or some automatic texture generation, or they might have edited it pixel-by-pixel. There's no standard for how a png image gets created.
How do you expect people to make modifications to already existing images and data files?
Using whatever image editing program or method they wish.

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eleazar
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Re: What is the preferred form for modifications?

#3 Post by eleazar » Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:09 pm

Much of the art is created as simply as PNGs, the is no source file that differs in any significant way.

A large portion of the art is created in the format of the artists discretion. I frequently use PSDs, as do other artists. Other artists use various 3D programs to create art used only in a 2D format.

FreeOrion has no repository for these pre-PGN files, the same is true for whatever generated the audio.
Apo wrote:There are even some contributors who think that a real FLOSS game project should also provide the sources for all media files, like graphics, sounds or video data in an editable format like svg, gimp or blend files.
I do not blame people for wanting all those files, but practically speaking it slows down the project to require additional archiving steps, and would tend to discourage artists by requiring more non-art busywork from them. Additionally, a non-trivial amount of those files would be of little or no value since they were created by obscure proprietary engines.

It would probably be a good idea however to store some "source" files for art. Some images are complex enough that it would save much work to edit the layered PSD than the PNG.


PNG is a good format for modifications, though weather it is ideal depends on the content, creation process, and what modifications are intended. It is lossless and deserves high marks for it's small file-size.

Apo
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Re: What is the preferred form for modifications?

#4 Post by Apo » Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:29 pm

Thank you both for your reply. So in short that means you are in the same situation as any other user of FreeOrion. From my point of view i see the benefits of source files, preferably in a standardized open source format. In general it is then much easier to export files to different file formats. Vector images or raster layers provide more flexibility in making an image modification. I am not sure how much it is feasible to export certain kinds of art to an open source format like gimp's .xcf files or .blend but i'm quite sure it would allow potential contributors to choose their manipulation tools more freely.

However if the project consensus is to focus on png, then that's fine for me.

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Geoff the Medio
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Re: What is the preferred form for modifications?

#5 Post by Geoff the Medio » Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:45 pm

It might be nice to have vector format images when possible, but in general we don't, and we likely won't start rejecting submission that lack them. Note that the FreeOrion art is released under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 license, which doesn't require source files, so far as I'm aware.

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