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zenonthez07

Controversial Opinion: Why Are Featureless Faces Popular?

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After spending awhile tinkering with and downloading a large amount of female textures this thought crossed my mind. Mostly concerning the normal maps and their lack of any distinguishing details on certain textures like Fair Skin, The Pure, or Bijin. I wouldn't say it's a bad stylistic choice if it fit what the author was going for it just becomes problematic when combined with how pale the diffuses are. Especially when combined with certain lighting which can obscure the faint details that remain. Leaving you to basically rely on make-up to provide definition.

 

I have a couple guesses on the reasons behind the popularity of this style (less seams, better for screenshots, the influence of anime, etc.), but I want to hear the opinion of people more experienced in texture work on this topic. Also I'm not challenging anybody who likes this style to defend their reasons for it. Just wanna see if anyone has any insight on the matter.

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5 hours ago, zenonthez07 said:

Fair Skin, The Pure, or Bijin.

 

Except all of those normal maps are "identical", because they're all based on FS.

 

Contrast-Blown the fuck out "chinese" enbs are the reason for loss of detail; my enbs shows details just fine, and any other enb not trying to make glow in the dark characters will have same results, any enb trying to replicate the chinese style "perfect CG skin with unearthly luminance" will have the opposite.

 

It isn't rocket surgery.

 

Haley made an enb with what is considered to be "optimal" settings, and you can see fine details quite clearly thereof, especially on 10/12/14 bit monitors.

 

As for imperfections and the like, sexual attractiveness is built around perfect symmetry, and no amount of "artistic endeavor" or "enlightened sociality" is going to get around that no matter what twitter would like you to put in your pronoun slot.

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9 hours ago, 27X said:

 

Except all of those normal maps are "identical", because they're all based on FS.

 

Contrast-Blown the fuck out "chinese" enbs are the reason for loss of detail; my enbs shows details just fine, and any other enb not trying to make glow in the dark characters will have same results, any enb trying to replicate the chinese style "perfect CG skin with unearthly luminance" will have the opposite.

 

It isn't rocket surgery.

 

Haley made an enb with what is considered to be "optimal" settings, and you can see fine details quite clearly thereof, especially on 10/12/14 bit monitors.

 

As for imperfections and the like, sexual attractiveness is built around perfect symmetry, and no amount of "artistic endeavor" or "enlightened sociality" is going to get around that no matter what twitter would like you to put in your pronoun slot.

 

You assume a lot in your comment there, but that's to be expected I didn't provide much in the way of details. I'm not a screen-shotter so I don't use ENB's nor make any changes to vanilla lighting. I also actually like the diffuse map of the skins I mentioned even if they're quite pale. My only gripe with the normal maps is that in trying to chase that flawless chinese aesthetic they removed details that help define human faces (defined cheeks, nasolabial folds, eye socket depth) which leaves the faces looking a bit lifeless. So even if the faces are perfectly symmetrical and the makeup is on point you aren't getting around that doll-face look. While it may not be my thing I recognize it is for others, and I'm just curious why it became the dominant aesthetic when it fits so poorly with Skyrim's atmosphere.

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On 4/6/2021 at 3:01 PM, zenonthez07 said:

 

You assume a lot in your comment there, but that's to be expected I didn't provide much in the way of details. I'm not a screen-shotter so I don't use ENB's nor make any changes to vanilla lighting. I also actually like the diffuse map of the skins I mentioned even if they're quite pale. My only gripe with the normal maps is that in trying to chase that flawless chinese aesthetic they removed details that help define human faces (defined cheeks, nasolabial folds, eye socket depth) which leaves the faces looking a bit lifeless. So even if the faces are perfectly symmetrical and the makeup is on point you aren't getting around that doll-face look. While it may not be my thing I recognize it is for others, and I'm just curious why it became the dominant aesthetic when it fits so poorly with Skyrim's atmosphere.

 

About 60% of the player base, even on consoles, has significantly altered Skyrim's atmosphere; and virtually every player that's currently playing or has been playing for the past seven years has done so because Skyrim doesn't have an atmosphere. For all of its missing content, 2077 is a realized world with a very people/action/history shaped environment. Skyrim is literally a place where people put quests and placeable objects and the connection of ANY of it is tenuous at best.

 

Skyrim's modded motifs are entirely created after the fact, and you're conflating them as there at the start of modding. No such animal exists. Japanese modders wanted anime and manga motifs and started building content accordingly, chinese modders took this motif to its logical conclusion and presentation up to and including entire worldspaces and here we are.

 

Haley didn't chase the chinese aesthetic, the chase was the "rose of camelot" and the normal map reflects this, and actually contains as much granular detail as Mature2 and Phenotype/BI, if not more. I have no idea what level of resolution you're playing at, but I'm playing at 8K and the details are subtle but obvious and they were at 4K too.

 

While Mature and particularly BI present more pronounced vertical depth, especially at the eyes and selenon, these are to artificially cue age and wear, not follow the contours of the nif, and GearHog apparently has a post atomic arctic wasteland fetish because there is no middle ground between forced bias and age/wear in her adaptations.

 

Haley didn't create the chinese aesthetic, chinese enb makers did, five years minimum after Haley's work was public. You're putting the cart before the horse as a factual paradigm when none exists.

 

Also your exegesis of animus have to be featureless dolls in the skyrim engine is what we refer to in the game development industry as "some 'ol bullshit":

HAHARSTEREOTYPESHAHA.jpg

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2 hours ago, 27X said:

 

About 60% of the player base, even on consoles, has significantly altered Skyrim's atmosphere; and virtually every player that's currently playing or has been playing for the past seven years has done so because Skyrim doesn't have an atmosphere. For all of its missing content, 2077 is a realized world with a very people/action/history shaped environment. Skyrim is literally a place where people put quests and placeable objects and the connection of ANY of it is tenuous at best.

 

Skyrim's modded motifs are entirely created after the fact, and you're conflating them as there at the start of modding. No such animal exists. Japanese modders wanted anime and manga motifs and started building content accordingly, chinese modders to this motif to its logical conclusion and presentation up to and including entire worldspaces and here we are.

 

Haley didn't chase the chinese aesthetic, the chase was the "rose of camelot" and the normal map reflects this, and actually contains as much granular detail as Mature2 and Phenotype/BI, if not more. I have no idea what level of resolution you're playing at, but I'm playing at 8K and the details are subtle but obvious and they were at 4K too.

 

While Mature and particularly BI present more pronounced vertical depth, especially at the eyes and selenon, these are to artificially cue age and wear, not follow the contours of the nif, and GearHog apparently has a post atomic arctic wasteland fetish because there is no middle ground between forced bias and age/wear in her adaptations.

 

Haley didn't create the chinese aesthetic, chinese enb makers did, five years minimum after Haley's work was public. You're putting the cart before the horse as a factual paradigm when none exists.

 

Also your exegesis of animus have to be featureless dolls in the skyrim engine is what we refer to in the game development industry as "some 'ol bullshit":

 

 

 

I respect your opinion and your knowledge, but I'm going to have to disagree with you on Skyrim's atmosphere or lack there of. The designers were clearly going for a very rough and dirty vibe to represent the poverty and lawlessness that prevade Skyrim in the civil war period. While I think they went a bit overboard with the dirt I recognize why they did it. In that atmosphere a "rose of camelot" type doesn't fit except in very limited circumstances like certain members of the nobility. I do agree it does come down to personal choice is you want to respect that atmosphere or not and can deal with the dissonant themes clashing against each other from attempting to insert foreign elements, but I just can't.

 

Your breakdown of normal maps is really cool and informative though I think 8k textures are really overkill for viewing texture details. Which is why appreciate the more pronounced features of Mature Skin or Vanilla normals that are visible at lower resolutions without extreme closeups.

 

I don't truly understand that last part, but I'm guessing you're saying I'm spiteful or projecting which is not really the truth. I understand people have preferences for certain appearances and styles and only by educating yourself on why can you truly avoid being judgemental and close-minded.

 

We're probably not going to come to an agreement or convince each other of anything as we have two completely different playstyles and modding approaches. I seek a vanilla plus approach with a dash of realism while you seek to push the engine to its theoretical limits in all aspects. Regardless, I did enjoy the discussions and insights you were able to provide.

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I'm not saying you're spiteful at all, but you are rather obviously following the upvote whore pseudo anime trend, and there's nothing that says an anime or diffuse/normal texture has to either.

 

Trends are just that, nothing is forcing you to conform to the same.

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2 hours ago, BAB PEEG said:

Everyone being caking in dirt and grime never made sense to me since there are rivers EVERYWHERE, it couldn't be hard to take a bath.

 

What if I told you there were alligators slaughterfish in those rivers?  😏Would you want to take a bath then?

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I have no idea how exactly this came to be but i think it was only inevitable. I'm guessing the anime/3D art aesthetic is a significant reason for why a lot of people want to replicate them in the game, like in JRPGs and stuff. In general terms, skin with very clear complexion tends to be the "default" attractive preference pretty much everywhere so that probably plays a big role in this. I'm also certain that many people mistake clear complexion for featureless as well, so maybe this is also a contributing factor.

 

There can be so many reasons, understanding trends can be difficult sometimes. The way i see it, the reason is a mixture of all of these things and then some. Skyrim's default atmosphere is really nice and i like it but it's also very malleable so with the right ENB, that kind of character style can fit right in without an issue.

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Fair skin has a very shiny normal map that gives the character a young doll-like appearance but Bijin has a lot of detail with wrinkles, moles and pores if you look close enough and have the right ENB as was mentioned before. I use Silent Horizons with slightly reduced lighting strength and then you can see detail just fine. It's also a good idea to have facelight because the lighting of the face in Skyrim is really poor and can make any character look dull.

 

I think people like featureless textures because it's hard to make a quality texture with a lot of features that makes the character look good, and people prefer young characters. Take the vanilla texture for old people as example. Does anyone in their right mind think that looks good? It looks like they were cut with an embalming tool.

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On 4/6/2021 at 11:01 PM, Mr. Otaku said:

I have no idea how exactly this came to be but i think it was only inevitable. I'm guessing the anime/3D art aesthetic is a significant reason for why a lot of people want to replicate them in the game, like in JRPGs and stuff. In general terms, skin with very clear complexion tends to be the "default" attractive preference pretty much everywhere so that probably plays a big role in this. I'm also certain that many people mistake clear complexion for featureless as well, so maybe this is also a contributing factor.

 

There can be so many reasons, understanding trends can be difficult sometimes. The way i see it, the reason is a mixture of all of these things and then some. Skyrim's default atmosphere is really nice and i like it but it's also very malleable so with the right ENB, that kind of character style can fit right in without an issue.

 

Yeah, it is a complicated trend with a lot of factors. I was just trying to figure out if there were any technical rather than aesthetic reasons for the overly subtle normal maps that are popular among texture modders.

 

Thankfully, it's easy enough to work around with some knowledge of texture editing if someone still wanted to use the diffuse maps.

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ENB (which was primarily designed for racing games) removes features from the face, like pores, for example. 

So you cant just say it was the texture author. He might have put a lot of detail in the skin, but ENBs will wash it, giving that plastic feel. 

 

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It's a matter of individual taste, of what the end-user wants his/her Skyrim playthrough to be; some want the realism to satisfy their idea of immersion, others want to play the game mostly for the screenshots.

 

For the "immersionists", there's something like Mature Skins and SG Textures to add some imperfections, and if grime is needed, no problem because a mod also fills that -- it's called Dirt and Blood.

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u dont want maps to duplicate the same distinguished detail over without an option to remove them, i guess thats why they have to be more or less "empty" and u are supposed to fill in the blanks with other mods. that being said, the empty maps could be improved if u compare them to what the sims4 community has. so i agree with you if it comes down to body maps, they could use a bit more differentiation.

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