Mindless Self-Indulgence

No, not the band.

As I’ve been mentioning a few times earlier, I’ve been working on my own little instant self-gratification from all the madness on the sunday event. I’m not going to say that it’s what actually happened since, well, there’s a whole lot of factors involved that may or may not make it possible or utterly improbable (and to be frank, I think I’d be competing with a fair few other people for the honour). That said, it could have happened, and as I sometimes like to indulge in what-ifs, I have been.

It’s the first time I’ve actually done texture work as to try to indicate a character looking injured. It’s nothing like Bruce Willis in any Die Hard movie, but I’ve tried to depict atleast a few nicks, scratches and gashes that signifies a character having already carried the brunt of a few hours of extended fighting. Not so much badass as Ow, this kindof hurt.

Then again, I guess badass comes by default with managing that, so well.. whichever, eh?

The Tunnels of Splintertree were really empty by the time we actually burst into them – I chose that locale simply because of how it looks; the yellow to red colours and lighting scheme, the off angles and general sense of this place is not fit for an elf – it makes it look oppressive, which I found suitable for the images themselves.

Depicting Tyrande was somewhat difficult, I found – she is not anything near some kind of damsel in distress. She is strong, she is proud and she is more capable than any of our player characters could hope to be. Somehow still depicting her as being rescued – especially when trying to make it a very personal exchange rather than an armada of warriors assembling before her – and respecting that took some thinking. In the end I elected to try to show her as weary and grateful, but still strong and unfazed. I left her looking physically unharmed – there’s lines I’m not willing to tread, and I can always presume the Goddess protected her at the least that much.

Nhani on the other hand was – quite obviously – much easier. Between her visible injuries and what’s actually happening, there’s really only a whole sense of weary but relieved to focus on. Of course, there’s still the matter of having her be careful, but other than that it just came naturally. After three years at her helm, giving her life can often be second nature.

The first one and the one that got the whole idea stated is one I’ve given the title “I’ll always be there”, which is really the sort of impression I got from it – it’s not an affirmation of love so much as duty – Nhani Moonfall all but idolizes High Priestess Whisperwind and would pretty much do whatever she asks. If the High Priestess is burdened, Nhani would want to help. If the High Priestess is in danger, Nhani would try to ensure her safety. I saw it as a kind of unspoken promise on Nhani’s part.

(click for large)

The second was actually made as a follow up to the first and was given the simple title of “We’re leaving”. It just seemed fitting as a way to tie things off, say done is done, leaving results for the future. It’s a little less presemptuous, perhaps, and has less of a rescue theme and had more emphasis on two wounded women hobbling off to safety. Nhani supports Tyrande because she can, she wouldn’t make herself a burden if she could help it. One thing I found helping this particular picture was the fact that Nhani is taller – having inherited back the height from Hani, she’s 5% taller (and just scaled up, really) than Tyrande is, so Nhani actually had to lean forward a fair bit for Tyrande to reach over her shoulders. What doesn’t help this image is a few clipping issues – notably the hem of Tyrande’s dress and the way Nhani’s left shoulderpad kindof pokes into Tyrande’s shoulder. As the bipeds and models were set up, I found it impossible to avoid, so I simply just tried to hide it as much as possible and left it at that.

(click for large)

In hindsight, these are probably the two most self-indulgent images I’ve ever assembled (at least in recent years), since they’re partially in character, or at the least intended to. It may not be what exactly happened by any stretch, but it’s not completely just an unrelated what if either, and it is something that’s had a profound – if subdued – effect on the character of Nhani Moonfall. Regardless of wether or not it actually happened, the trust and mutual respect that it would’ve fostered had it happened still worked their way in somehow. Nhani won’t really ever claim it happened except in perhaps very subtle hints, but somewhere in the back of her head, shrouded by uncertain continuity, she did those things.

And that, if nothing else, gives her some peace that she’s on the right track, doing the right things. Peace she hasn’t really shown much of the lack of, but certainly have been missing.

If the whole pvp event thing gave me anything, the above would certainly be it. Funny really, how something I found quite distasteful can have such a profound effect. Still, with all of this over with, perhaps I can let the past be past, focus on what good I can glean from it and move on. The aftermath of the event isn’t quite over yet, of course, but the event itself is. With it being past, I can deal with it easier.


2 Responses to “Mindless Self-Indulgence”

  1. 1 Erris
    August 14, 2008 at 09:55

    This is quite interesting, I like how the images look and it’s great to see people who love night elves so much, you have all my respect for that and for the work you made just to bring to life the “beyond the tree” story with Hani and Tiny and this with Nhani.
    There is only one thing I have to comment, and that is that I know that night elves’s blood is purple, and Nhani has red-blooded scars

  2. 2 Nhani
    August 14, 2008 at 10:08

    Aah, I was wondering about the blood colour actually. I seemed to recall the colour being more purplish than red, but I couldn’t actually find a source for it so I wasn’t sure if it was just something I’d imagined or not. In the end I chose red because I’m pretty sure World of Warcraft’s “blood effects” generally default to red even for Night elves, and because red really stood out more. More obviously bleeding if you will. Still, I might try to rectify that in any potential future attempts at showing a Night elf being injured 😉

    Other than that, always glad it’s all appreciated. :>
    Edit: one of these days I’ll learn to write Appreciated without an H.. -_-

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