Thursday, March 7, 2019

CM Update + Animations (Victoria)

Hi everyone,
I was planning to post this sooner but wasn't able to (mainly because of free time).
On my last post, I talked abit about how I updated the visual of the models, I modded them even more.  Victoria in particular, where I completely redid her proportions again.  Here's what the massive Victoria looks like now after the new modding:

The differences from the one in the last demo is Victoria's model itself is higher quality(among the highest I've seen in 3DCG), her proportions are better(longer arms/legs, better butt shape, more emphasis on butt, her hair texture is been changed to a nicer custom one).  Basically a big overhaul, If it's hard to tell the difference, please look at this one:

On the left is how they look in the last demo, on the right is how they look now(though Lorelei's skin tone has been adjusted slightly since this CG).  Victoria also looks quite different from on my last post too.

This shows her butt, even know it was big, it use to be rather flat, now it's much rounder and smoother.  Animated it is something like this(I haven't added butt physics atm but I have set it so I can manually deform it.  I might also try to make her butt a bit rounder from behind).

Now, the new model bodies are a little taller(which I gave to all the girls), and I made minori's head a little smaller to balance it better with his body.  Plus I gave Victoria a little bonus height so I could make her butt a little bigger while still looking more balanced.   So basically everyone is even taller than Minori now.

Until I had finished updating the models I had to put a number of things on hold, one of the things were making fighter animations to battle in side-view mode. However, after I've finished updated them, I converted a number of them to MMD so I can make new animations.  Before I could do this I had to figure out their new in-game height.  Minori is now 84 pixels tall, while Lorelei is 96 pixels tall, and Victoria is about 137 pixels tall.  After animating in MMD and photoshop, here's an example of Victoria new animations(jumping north-east, attacking):

The weapon Victoria uses is similar to a spear.  I also decide to rebuild the side-view fighting from the beginning in the game, along with the new animations.  So the platforming is much better now (I've been reading some stuff on creating "intuitive controls").  Here's what Victoria's sliding animation looks like in-game now:

Here's some different actions in-game(yellow block is a placeholder for an enemy character of average height):

All of this(mainly modding/editing characters and platforming rebuild) has taken a very long time and has problem set me back about 2 months in development, but it seems to have turned out rather well.  I was planning to post a tech-demo here of the new platforming but there are still things I would like to do with is before that.  Currently the AI player(yellow block) has goes by choosing a random movement goal: idle, move toward player/item, move away from player/item, and when in range there's a chance the AI will attack you.  For Lorelei, she will have a bow & arrow that gives her long range attacks.  I still don't have a release date though, but once this is all done I will put it all into the main game and write the storyline, add gameplay up to the point for the next main demo.  I will let you guys know once it's ready.

That's all for now,
see you later.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Visual Enhancements

Hi everyone,
Note this post may contain spoilers and might be a little bit technical.

For most of my games I've used a program called 3d custom girl(3DCG) to make custom characters and generate screenshots.  This program can also be modded with custom built mods.  I've made lots of custom mods and wrote programs from starch dealing with 3DCG since I started using it(though I haven't posted any online). 

The character CGs for Conception Maiden are also created using 3DCG(and MMD to a lesser degree).  Lately I've been trying to improve the quality of the character images for Conception Maiden by editing/creating mods in 3DCG.  So I thought I might tell you guys a little about it and show you some more images relating to Conception Maiden.

First, as you've seen, the characters such as Lorelei and her mother Victoria has a style that look something like this:

 School Girl Lorelei

Mother and Daughter                                      Pregnant Lorelei

With the a higher level of editing in photoshop, I can makes images a bit more elaborate, such as like this:
 Victoria sleeps with Minori

However, I was wondering if I could the character look of an even high quality, maybe something closer to like this 3DCG image(note this image isn't by me and it's also wasn't made using MMD.  It's by the pixiv user 大尉).

After looking a bit for info, I started looking for the best 3D Custom Girl hair I could find. I did find one, but there wasn't any in the right tone so I modded it. This took awhile but after that and numerous other things(such as injecting hair colors into 3DCG), I afterward, i ended up with hair textured like this:
Hair Enhancement

Looking at the image, you may notice new details and smoothness in their hair styles(I also modded lorelei's eyes).  Around this time I was also playing around with possible offspring characters for the main character to have, and I made this(with full editing):

Aside from Lorelei, these girls will probably be among the first offspring in the game. (Brown-haired girl being the child of Minori+Victoria, the Black-haired girl being the child of Minori+Lorelei).

After getting that hair stuff to work, I started wondering if I could update the entire bodies too, so I looked for nice 3DCG bodies.  Overall, there were 2 possible ones that I thought might be great for the game.  These two:

Two bodies with very different appearances

However, there are problems with using each of these bodies, the biggest being that the body on the left won't be able to wear most of 3DCG clothing, the one on the right has this problem too but not as much so there are ways i know of to get around it.  Another problem with both of the bodies is the facial expressions are different, which seems to make it impossible for me to recreate the same level of expressions i want. Also the skin tones don't match Lorelei's.  After thinking it over though, I decided to go with the one on the right because of how I thought it look overall and it's more shapely than the one on the left(I also like the lighting on it).

So experimenting with it, I still couldn't get the facial expressions right, so I though about maybe merging the body with the face from the current body(this face would also inherit some of the new lighting).  I did this for about 2 days, and got the head to merge but it didn't work out well. Either the face movements would be deformed or the body movements would be deformed.

Reverse NTR(?) facial expressions.

So instead, I took a break and modded the skin tone of the body(modding 3DCG bodies is probably the hardest thing in 3DCG to mod).  This is how it looked after I modded it for a day:

Orignal on left, new body on right

It turned out well and the new body has an improved figure with improved lighting.  I also tried modding the shape of the body to make clothes fit better but that didn't work out too well.

About two days later I came back to this and tried to update the body and head again.  This time since merging the head didn't work, I thought I would make a headless body and create the head as an "add-on part".  After modding, this worked completely, and I also made a flatter version of the body where the clothes fit a little better(and anything that didn't fit correctly I could fix in photoshop, or try modding the specific clothes).  This took about 2 more days to get working(just finished it today), but now they have familiar faces with improved bodies.

Here is how Loreiel looks now:

Click image to enlarge

I also updated the Victoria's overall figure for the new body while updating her.  Here's how she looks along with her daughter Loreiel:

The mother is now slightly taller with larger breasts for the body type, her thighs are also much thicker now.  You can also see body fat in her stomach and legs now(part of this was edited).  If I edit these images further using the techniques i usually use, I can improve the quality notably more(These bodies would also look nice if I put them in MMD).

Partly since I still want to experiment with the new bodies a little more first, they probably won't appear on Demo #2(the next demo coming out), but they're new bodies will like be in Demo#3.  This new body type is planned to be applied to all the female characters.

Um, that's all for now,
see you later.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Utrila mini-demo live on patreon

Hi everyone,
The Conception Maiden: Utrila mini-demo is now on patreon. 
For this, the main character of the game was kidnapped by a Utrila Cross-breed.  This cross-breed seeks to violate him and fill his body with her eggs.  

This erotic scene is a femdom/monster girl themed h-event that plays like a game where you must please the Utrila by reacting to her assault to please her.  If you react well, she will let you choose how she abuses you next.

Here are the Patreon Mini-demo Release dates: Very early access: December 25th, Early access: January 4th.
This mini-demo will most likely not be release publicly(since it's only a small part of the game), but everything in this mini-demo will be include in the next main demo I release which I will also post publicly here.  I am hoping to release the next main demo sometime in the not too distance future.

If you're curious, you can see my original post about conception maiden here:

That's all for now,
see you guys later.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Utrila Coming

Hi everyone,
This is just a quick post.
The "Ravished by Utrila" mini-demo is coming very soon. 
It will be an h-scene done in a game-like fashion.  The main character is captured and raped by an utrila.
The release will likely be ready tomorrow, I'll let you guys know when it's ready.

That's all for now,
see you soon.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Animation Optimization

Hi guys,
There are actually two things I would like to talk about, but to keep the post from getting too long, I'll just mainly talk about animation for this post.  The following may be a bit technical, but basically I've reached the level of animation I wanted for large frame-by-frame animations.

In my last post about animation, I talked two different ways I use to animate in Conception Maiden.  One by morphing images combined with easing("Figure animation"), and the other being simple frame-by-frame animation created in MMD("MMD animation").

Looking at MMD animation(which you could call simple frame-by-frame animation in the game), there were a number of problems using this in game before recently.  Mainly being the filesize on the harddrive, the amount of memory used per animation, and the time it takes to load it into the game.  These problems were fixed on my last animation post, with the exception of one thing, the time it takes to load in-game.

For example, a 14 frame animation would take about 8 seconds to load in-game before it can be used, and a 28 frame animation would take about 23 seconds to load in-game before it can be used.  This is a lot of time to wait that can really add up when you have more than one animation.


However, I've discovered how I can get around this, first, instead of each frame of the animation being a single file on the hard drive(14 frames = 14 image files on harddrive), I can have all the frames on a single image file as a strip(14 frames = all inside 1 image file) like below, which greatly reduces the number of files needed to be accessed by the game.

At this point, there are two ways I can save this image strip to eliminate the long load times, first is by saving the images as a png file with transparency, loading this will be fast ingame,  however the filesize on the harddrive will be very large(5MB for the single 14 animation, so a 28 frame animation might be like 10MB).  This techinally isn't a problem if I only have a few animation strips, but this can really add up if I want to have alot of them in game, and I would like a compression level closer to MPEG4 video compression.  

The other way I can save the image strip is as a JPEG file which is lower quality but has significantly higher compression.  For game quality I generally like to always avoid using JPEGs but since I would like something closer to video compression of alot of 1080p frames, it seems like it might be useful here.  Um, so anyways, I save the frames as a medium quality JPEG file.  Here's what the 14 frame animation would look like as a JPEG file(click image for fullsize):

Quality may look lower at first, but once in-game with the mask, it will turn out well.  Since I'm using JPEGs, another problem is it doesn't have transparency.  So to add transparency back, I save another image strip(a "mask") showing the transparency as black and the non-transparency as white(note this image filesize is very small, less than 50KB):

 This "mask" is combined with the JPEG image on the fly to create an animation with transparency in game.

So comparing the file sizes for 14 frames, it would be something like this:

Previous method(#1), individual image files for each frame, saved as JPEGs(+transparency mask image for each frame) - total filesize: 1.24MB, in-game load time: 8 seconds

Newer method(#2), single strip image file, saved as a lossess PNG - total filesize: 4.7MB, in-game load time: 4 seconds

New method(#3), single strip image file, saved as a JPEG(+another image for the transparency mask) - total filesize: 556KB, in-game load time: 3.4 seconds

As you can see method #3 loads both loads faster and has a smaller filesize(almost 10 times smaller).  Not only that, this method also has an exponentially smaller loading effect the more frames you have, for example: 28 frame PNG image files - loads in 23 seconds, vs 28 frame JPEG strip(+mask) - loads in 6.25 seconds.

These are all very rough estimates, but as you can see the game is much faster at loading images, and most of my 1080p animations probably won't need 28+ frames.

Here's is an example of the 14 frame animation with the new method(#3) above in-game(again, this loads in about 3.4 seconds and is about 556KB on hard-drive, while in memory it is slightly over 200MB):

Note that the gif animation above is much smaller than it is in-game.  
In-game it's a 1080p animation, inside a 720p game window.

This is pretty much the ideal optimization of frame-by-frame animation in-game, as I can show 4 or 5 1080p animations at a time in-game and only use a 1GB of memory(note that I'm trying to always keep the game's memory usage below/at 1GB max).  

So basically, I finally have animation optimization the way I would like it be at in-game now(I don't really think it can get much more optimized than it is now by normal means).  Sorry if this post was too technical.

My next post will probably be about Conception Maiden's side-view battles, weapons and fighting game AIs.

Um, that's all for now,
See you all later.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

MMD - Erotic Gentle

Hi everyone,

While looking at new things I do with MikuMikuDance relating to my game Conception Maiden, I also made a new MMD Erotic Music video just for fun.
I haven't made any since last year and have been wanting to post one for awhile now.  This video has Victoria and Lorelei dancing in harem outfits and playing with Minori.

You can watch the video(and download) on Iwara here: Erotic Gentle - GENTLEMAN:

Um, that's all for now,
see you later.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Animation Processing

Hi guy,
I thought you'll might be want to know a bit about how I make animations(and animation experiments).
The following is a bit technical, but hopefully it won't be too confusing.

For Conception Maiden, the characters are created, customized and posed mainly with 3DCG.  After posing the character, screenshots can be taken.  For example, this is a new screenshot(render) of lorelei:


Currently, there are two different way I can animate Lorelei, the first way is something I call the "figure" animation system. For this, I would take an image like this and cut the body into parts using photoshop or another image editor(I could also enhance the image a little while doing it).  Parts could be things like arms, legs, head, eyes, etc.  Then I export all these into a folder and I will have a folder fill of body part images.  The folder would look something like this:

For game development I use GM studio.  Ideally I would add these images into my game project and animate each body part.  However there isn't really much options for doing this in GM studio, so I wrote the "figure" animation system.  This system can load/unload the large parts(the images) into the game, and can then animate them using advanced deformations and easing effects.  It can also create an set of actions for each part to perform in order(like a timeline).  If you've used adobe flash before, it is kind of like tweening.  This is the most complex set of scripts I've ever written but is very powerful.  This is an example of the end result(with a cross-breed image):

Easing is a special way for animations to move from one point to another(or rather, setting how one number changes to another over time).  Using this, it's possible to create animations that are very fluent like the one above.  All commands on how each body part should move is given through  strings of text commands.  This is the first way I can animate(This is also how the erotic scene is animated in the last demo).


 The second way I can animate lorelei is by using MikuMikuDance(MMD).  Instead of using an 3DCG screenshot, I convert the model itself into a MMD file and open it in MMD.  The model can then be posed and animated.  Afterward, I save the animation as a video and convert the video to images(frames) with photoshop.  The reason the video must be converted to images is because GM Studio doesn't have video playback.

Up until recently I would only use MMD to create low res animations(like the characters walking in-game).  This is due to the high memory usage of large images, but recently very I've found a way that I can get around this.  Here is an example of a 720p image in-game animated with MMD(note that the gif below is greatly scaled down):

So here's a comparison of the two animation methods(figure and mmd):

Figure method (transforming images(body parts) with easing)
- Uses body part images that originally came from a single screenshot.
- much lower memory usage
- Very flexible
- Higher fps won't really use more system resources
- Each part of the Figure can be given animation commands to create all kinds of animations

MMD method (playing a set of large images one after the other)
- Uses image frames that were created using MMD
- very high memory usage(*currently uses far less)
- Great with physics
- Can rotate models when animating with MMD(but can't be rotated once in-game)
- Animation is static, only speed can be adjusted

If you're wondering why I didn't use MMD to create all the animations, part of the reason why is because I wanted to have high-resolution animations, which would mean alot of large images would need to be saved to the computer's memory.  In fact the memory usage could be so high that it maybe impossible to have more than 1-2 animations on screen(depending on RAM).  Also, another thing was the filesize of a single animation(a set of images) would be very large(like 25MB added to the game's filesize, for the Victoria animation above, which is about 2 seconds of animation). 

That's not the only reason I made the figure animation system though, It was also a bit of an experiment which I wanted to try to create a different way to animate that would give a lot of control over animations and have a high fps.

Very recently though, I found a way I can add large animations created in MMD.  By optimizing things(code/images) more, using 1/2 the frame rate, using jpg files(this doesn't make the images smaller in memory though as far as I can tell), and using transparency mask for the jpgs.  Doing this, an animation went from using about 1.3GB of memory, down to about 210MB of memory, a very big difference.  Initially I didn't consider jpgs(which compresses better but lower quailty) partly because they don't have transparency(as for as I know), but by using tiny images that act as transparency mask I can completely get around problems related to transparency.

Now that I got this working too(MMD method), I will likely use this also to help animate the game's future erotic events(note though, that both methods involve many steps).

In summary, "MMD method" swaps image frames to create what looks like animation(frames were created from MMD), while "Figure method" transforms smaller images to create animation(smaller images were created with a single 3DCG screenshot).


Hopefully what I said isn't too confusing, but here's one more comparison:

                                                MMD method                 Figure method

There's a bit more involved with this but that's the basic idea.  Right now I'm making the game's next h-event and once it's complete, I'm planning to release a mini-demo of it on my patreon.

That's all for now,
see you later.