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First FurryVNE Update Impressions!!

edited September 24 in General discussion
I wanted to make an opinion thread about the newest release. And a message to the devs: dont let this discourage you!

To start off, we are getting lots of changes, to the name and file placement. This means your YL2 files are now redundant and character files should be moved over to FurryVNE (%appdata%/AppData\Roaming\FurryVNE\Characters). I will miss the name YiffaLicious2 greatly, I thought it was fun and cute. FurryVisualNovelingEditor as necessary as it is, is kind of boring. Although, this can change with where the app goes. From the looks of it, the name could be warranted regardless due to things that will later be added that do make the "Visual Noveling Editor" more justified. It also may be more accurate due to that.

On with the Update! ("Small" changes)

Another thing I advise people to do is go to Edit>Preferences: Change framerate to unlimited or something. I noticed lag when I first opened the app and saw the giraffe. But it was not lag, it was just limited to 30fps. Was spooked at first but its actually better now.

Opening the cloud is also much nicer, I was surprised that you made a change to help with making the cloud browser not lag at all.

I love the added QoL changes, like the + symbol on local assets leading to importing stuff,
Start up is quicker BECAUSE of the limited frames set,
Last opened character will open up first,
Setting a Default map, I always edit in Celestial.
Drag and Drops (This is actually really REALLY nice! will speed things up)
FOLDERS!!!!
but the best change of them all...
FurryVNE will now remember the last path where you opened/saved a file for importing/exporting.
I never asked for this... But inside, this is what I wanted from the beginning.

I also love that you guys fixed the issues we reported on. The TILT bug was actually the most frustrating one, as I did not know what or why it happened, so I did what I usually did and just worked around it.

Big Changes!

SoftGlow Filter!
I love this filter, Although I kind of wish there was an easy toggle for it. Especially if we are going to be getting more filters to change the moods in the VNE part of the app. I rather edit outside of the filter, and then turn it on, since that will have me make the character proper instead of in a fake filtered colour. It is kind of like how Camera Light faked me into thinking the stages all had their lighting set until we could turn it off, then I realised how strong shadows really are and make for a proper realistic atmosphere. Just maybe, have a place for FilterS in the edit dropdown, and Maybe have a hotkey that cycles through them for the character editor. Its yours to decide.

Jittered Dithering!
I am unfortunately conflicted on this. The fluff that go soft do look better, but what I am conflicted about is that it boils, kind of like looking over a street at a hot day, where you can see the hot fumes from the street. (dont know what it is called). This boiling kind of distracts me, and I hope its not one of those "Now I cant unsee it" after mentioning it to you all. If there would be a fix, I dont think it will be that easy as even the previous dithering had this but in a much lesser scale. Graphically, I dont know what it is that does it, but regardless I will still use it. It does make the fluff look better, with just a slight distraction.

HOWEVER!

A good example is looking at my character Vimpin since she has the most obvious/exaggerate big soft fluffs on her hair I think.

The new dithering actually makes her look better, I find it that she looks closer to what I imagined. The old dithering was an old artifact of dots, the new one does look better. Its just the distracting small boils that make things odd.

Big Canine Head! (Long concern ahead)
At first, I thought this head seemed too similar to Fox Head, then I came to Jowls_droopy and Jowls_Border, that is when I realised how versatile this will be. I also tried maxing out on every tweakable ;) Although, I am concerned for you @Dogson and maybe @Odes as well. The more heads with versatile tweakables, the more likely expressions could break the face, no?

And I dont know if you remember, but there was this very small jag on giraffes cheek that got more pronounced if you make them smile. Stuff like that I am concerned about when it comes to versatile heads, and also what KIND of expressions we will be able to give for our characters.

Will they be highly modular? as in, I have control of each facial feature one by one to combine for an expression I will make. Or complete expressions where One slider will change the entire face.
Or both?
And if anything, wont this be a lot of work for each head? We have 4 different canine heads, 2 of which are highly versatile, dragon and bovine head which is also versatile. All of which that could somehow make the face look awkward due to these versatile changes getting messed up due to expressions.

Its just a concern for the future. A lot of the future building blocks depend on the beginning blocks, for the sake of expressions, it is more wise to look for unique new heads instead of... you know 4 different Canine heads :| Sorry for the criticism, its just that, this will turn into more work for less gain quickly if these heads are too similar and each new head gets better features. Similar to how characters in YL1 went from simple (Bunny) to being a lot more versatile (Dragon). Going back to update everything will be though work when it comes to FurryVNE content.

You guys probably know this better than me, BuuuUut There has to be a limit at which how far you want to take these things. I find the versatility of Dragon/Bovine head is enough, and the balance of expressions on top of every head should be relatively the same and planned out. Or else older content (Lets say Bunny head) will have lackluster expressions and shape versatility, while newer heads get all the features, and because of that, will get all of the attention and usage in the character editor.

I think about this in the sense of a fighting videogame balance. When you introduce a new character, how much of that character will have new stuff that will trump and override previous content/characters? Street Fighter feels the need to give and overhaul their systems and characters as new instalments on the same sequel. Then we have For Honor which has a LOT of issues overhauling and updating characters, and new characters simply are better and get mostly everything and new stuff.

So my advise is, be careful with the work you put into the heads as there will be more work for each head in the future, no?

New Layer Options!
I love this fine tuning the overall character, its really really really good! It lets me decide and fine tune the colours better without having to fine tune each and every colour. Its actually very in-depth if you know how to use and combine them.
But is this, and the new upcoming "clothing" an advent to alternating the same character?
I posted a suggestion a long time ago about "alternate colours" for our characters that we could set up. Now that Clothing to some extent is planned, an ability to change a characters appearance from a single character file looks more likely. Is this the plan? If I can have a clothed character and change them to nude, whos to say I cant change the colours in the same way? Which is why I think my suggested method of alternating the colours is now not as good as being able to change the character completely. And also why this new filtered layers are great if this is the case.

And ofcourse, the final big change

Exporting models with both parts, fluff and Textures
I am not that 3d savvy, but I definitely understand how good this is for those who like to go in and out of their 3D program with the character. I am certain this is probably the most wortwhile change, albeit the most advanced I think.

-----------------

Conclusion

I think this was a great update, and so far, it is pretty solid after all these releases. I cant find issues, maybe not yet. But this is as solid as it ever was. You would usually think a bug creeps up one after the other, but I really have not detected anything.

Accessibility like making the cloud work faster is a huge great change for the future, especially since there is a lot more planned for us to navigate through.

Drag and drops and folders also make character editing and future editing a lot more convinient and easy to use, again, can be a big pay off to continue to improve on areas of frustration or more convinient QoL stuff.

Just stuff that set up the future are great! Which is why I am so concerned about the Head.

I am not sure How much use I will get with the new content, as ive been trying to spruce up on my own stuff. But I do like where its heading.

Comments

  • odesodes Administrator
    The name is a bit w/e. It is what it is. Some liked it, some preferred the old name. In the end, it's just a name, and it's the features and content that matter. TBH, I never liked the name "Yiffalicious" so I'm happy moving over to something else.

    Ah, not sure why it would choose 30 fps, that seems weird. It should choose 90 fps if setting was AUTO, but again, maybe API returned phony values.
    The reason it switched is because we're storing data and settings differently now (due to name change). So maybe you had another (manual) setting before, and it got reset to AUTO which for whatever reason (probably API) caused it to lock to 30. I would recommend locking framerate though so you don't stress GPU. (I'm using 90.)

    That's a fair point regarding filters. I agree that authoring character and colors using no filters is probably a good idea, but switching filters on and off atm is cumbersome. I will definitely look into this!

    The "boiling" you refer to is an unfortunate consequence of the tech, and there's no easy way to mitigate it. Again, this whole thing is fake af. Objects are actually fully opaque, dithered (as before), but temporal aa essentially blends previous frames into current one. You can achieve semi transparency with it, but it's going to boil.

    About your concerns about heads and expressions - I agree! It's something I've expressed a concern for dogson before, and I think we need to start experimenting with expressions and how they work on different face/body types/facetypes/tweakables asap. I have a few ideas how we could potentially solve some of the issues, but experimentation is definitely required. Not even I know how faces are going to work exactly yet. Blend shapes/rigging is something dogson is responsible for now.

    I'm happy you enjoy the new filters! I think they will ease the authoring and tweaking for sure.

    About color schemes - Implementing different color schemes as in storing the colors as loading them is simple enough. I don't think colors will be possible to change once a character has been instantiated though (for interactions). It will be more like a choice prior to instantiation. The thing is, the character builder object and generation is quite heavy, and we only want to do it once.

    Clothing will probably be separate from character, and can be added and removed at will. (It also means others can author clothes and upload them for your character.)

    Anyway!

    Thanks for all the feedback, Craket! I love reading these texts. :)
  • @odes
    The "boiling" you refer to is an unfortunate consequence of the tech, and there's no easy way to mitigate it.
    Would it be possible to enable toggling the old dithering on for individual parts? Besides being useful as a situational fix for these sorts of issues, it could also be useful if you're aiming for a distinctly digital look to something, like say, holographic hair or visors. More options is almost always good, never forget.

    I don't think colors will be possible to change once a character has been instantiated though (for interactions). It will be more like a choice prior to instantiation.
    That's a shame. All these post-creation character deformation restrictions are gonna make transformation scenes tricky without using external software and the magic of video editing. Would animated masks/textures be an avenue worth investigating? A lot of these issues can probably be worked around with separate characters representing various states of change and using clever camera tricks to hide that fact (much like classic practical effects movie magic did with werewolf transformation sequences, for example) but something changing on screen, even just the textures, would go a long way towards selling the illusion. A simple, uniform colour change will do, but that same colour change creeping up the character's arm, for example, would be even better and probably not all that more complicated to make.

    Also, in case anyone's wondering why getting my characters uploaded has taken... Oh shit, it's been two months already!? Geez, I really shouldn't be thinking "a week, at most" when there's all kinds of IRL bullshit to deal with, I guess. What little time off I've had, I've been procrastinating due to fearing that something will come up as soon as I start, which it has without fail all damn summer. And it ain't looking like I'll be catching an extended break any day soon either. But, I finally did get properly started on the optimization, just need to go the rest of the way there with some additional assets, so here's hoping. Not making anything even vaguely resembling a promise this time, though, I've learned my lesson.
  • Would it be possible to enable toggling the old dithering on for individual parts? Besides being useful as a situational fix for these sorts of issues, it could also be useful if you're aiming for a distinctly digital look to something, like say, holographic hair or visors. More options is almost always good, never forget.

    I think this should be possible by creating textures and stuff to look digitally yourself. If I were to create fluff that looks digital, Ide just create a fluff that looks digital and look like the old dithering. That SHOULD work... Not that ive tried yet.

    Also, in case anyone's wondering why getting my characters uploaded has taken...[long]

    Dont worry man. People are filling up the cloud with characters, @Chyanna has me beat in most characters made now too hehe. Its actually kind of good that youve waited, since now you also have a lot more resources to play with and QoL changes. And can spruce them up before uploading instead of being a lowlife like me having to update every character (Still have not updated every character).
  • edited September 28
    @Craket
    I think this should be possible by creating textures and stuff to look digitally yourself.
    True enough, but the effect isn't quite the same. The old dithering scales by viewing distance while a texture will remain static. Which is probably more realistic, but sometimes you just might want to imply, by looks alone, that the character is some sort of escaped digital construct that warps the reality around them.

    Its actually kind of good that youve waited, since now you also have a lot more resources to play with and QoL changes.

    The ability to export both poses and parts is definitely going to be handy for a lot of things, for example I can now create convincing "fake" clothes without killing myself with blind tweaking to make sure it all fits the pose. Too bad doing them in a way that will make them compatible with the future cloth authoring system will take some thinking and extra work. That's the primary risk here, actually, I could end up taking even longer now that I've got more features to exploit, hah!

  • odesodes Administrator
    Would it be possible to enable toggling the old dithering on for individual parts? Besides being useful as a situational fix for these sorts of issues, it could also be useful if you're aiming for a distinctly digital look to something, like say, holographic hair or visors. More options is almost always good, never forget.
    Yes, it is possible, but I'm conflicted about the idea. It comes down to author vs user preference. It might be annoying for the user if they've configured jittered dithering and yet it seemingly doesn't work because author disabled it.

    That's a shame. All these post-creation character deformation restrictions are gonna make transformation scenes tricky without using external software and the magic of video editing.
    Transformation scenes have never been something we've targeted afaik.

    Would animated masks/textures be an avenue worth investigating? A lot of these issues can probably be worked around with separate characters representing various states of change and using clever camera tricks to hide that fact (much like classic practical effects movie magic did with werewolf transformation sequences, for example) but something changing on screen, even just the textures, would go a long way towards selling the illusion. A simple, uniform colour change will do, but that same colour change creeping up the character's arm, for example, would be even better and probably not all that more complicated to make.
    The problem is memory. We're already using a lot of VRAM due to textures being uncompressed render textures. Atm a character can take up to 80-300 MB of VRAM depending on how complex it is. If compressed, that size is reduced to about half. If we can solve normal map compression, that size would be around a quarter (so far we haven't been successful without introducing very noticable artefacts).

    With this in mind, I'm not that keen on adding even more VRAM usage per character.

    However, the idea with using two characters and masking between them is interesting. You could use a single mask (that is inversed for the other character). But if their rigs are different in size, it would be difficult to line them up for the effect to look good. If the two characters are very similar in rig though, it could work. For example a male character transforming into female of similar size, or vice versa. A small character growing to a big one would be... more difficult.

    It's a cool suggestion though, regarding the mask. I've been wanting to do this effect ever since I played shadow of mordor:



    Also, in case anyone's wondering why getting my characters uploaded has taken... Oh shit, it's been two months already!? Geez, I really shouldn't be thinking "a week, at most" when there's all kinds of IRL bullshit to deal with, I guess. What little time off I've had, I've been procrastinating due to fearing that something will come up as soon as I start, which it has without fail all damn summer. And it ain't looking like I'll be catching an extended break any day soon either. But, I finally did get properly started on the optimization, just need to go the rest of the way there with some additional assets, so here's hoping. Not making anything even vaguely resembling a promise this time, though, I've learned my lesson.

    Haha, this feels relatable on so many levels.

  • About your concerns about heads and expressions - I agree! It's something I've expressed a concern for dogson before, and I think we need to start experimenting with expressions and how they work on different face/body types/facetypes/tweakables asap. I have a few ideas how we could potentially solve some of the issues, but experimentation is definitely required. Not even I know how faces are going to work exactly yet. Blend shapes/rigging is something dogson is responsible for now.


    @odes
    While I appreciate all the hard work you put into the game, please don't let facial expressions fall short. One of the reasons I still come back to YL1 now and then is the sheer expressiveness of the characters and I think it would be a shame if this gets sacrificed in FVNE for the sake of flexibility (which, don't get me wrong, is also a great thing).


  • @odes
    It might be annoying for the user if they've configured jittered dithering and yet it seemingly doesn't work because author disabled it.
    I doubt that’ll be too much of a concern. The new dithering is the better option for most purposes, the old one would only be useful in a handful of exceptional cases, probably not enough of which exist for people to become confused over it in my estimation.

    Transformation scenes have never been something we've targeted afaik.

    True, but it’s in your best interests to facilitate as many different things as you can reasonably justify for the amount of work involved. Don’t forget that many features can be used for many unexpected purposes, though, so you only need to give us an inch for us to make a mile out of it with some creative application of the tools available and, or course, a bit of elbow grease. I mean, it’s quite possible to create a lesbian tribadism scene in YL1 using hidden male characters and the humping sliders they provide for the female characters, so I’m sure you can imagine how we’ll find interesting ways to use and abuse an expanded tool set in FVNE. The hair material can be used to make transparent parts such as lenses for glasses, for an example of something we’ve already done.


    The problem is memory.

    Would some kind of customizable shader trickery help there? Animated "textures" would also be useful if you want to create a robotic character with blinking/pulsing lights on it or a character wreathed in flames, for example, so it would be quite a universally useful feature.


    But if their rigs are different in size, it would be difficult to line them up for the effect to look good.
    Hmm, it occurs to me that facial expressions can be modified in pose mode. Since that presumably uses mesh morphs, would it therefore be possible, in external software, to create custom "facial expressions" that affect other parts of the body? That would likely cause some issues with the rigging, sure, but it could be a useful solution to deforming the character in-game just enough to suggest transformation taking place. The rest is a matter of briefly cutting the camera away from the character to replace it with the next stage in the sequence that has a different rig, at which point you could mask the character between the next stage after that which has a similar rig, for example.

    Haha, this feels relatable on so many levels.
    I’ll bet. I guess I should have expected summer was going to be full of errands to run like it always is, but damn, the coof really kicked things into overdrive.
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