AuthorTopic: Feature 10 - I Move For No Man  (Read 8747 times)

Offline wolfenoctis

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Feature 10 - I Move For No Man

on: September 29, 2013, 07:26:27 pm
Hi guys

I want to use this for aa practice. But before I do I would like some critique, specifically about color however any other crits are welcome  :y:
I'ts a poster of the black knight from a Monty Python sketch. As seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKhEw7nD9C4

« Last Edit: February 16, 2015, 07:15:53 pm by Cyangmou »

Offline r1k

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Re: I move for no man [WIP]

Reply #1 on: September 29, 2013, 11:06:17 pm
Id try using more contrast on the knight itself.  Since theres high contrast between the knight and the background, the shading on the knight becomes less noticeable.

Offline Phlakes

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Re: I move for no man [WIP]

Reply #2 on: September 29, 2013, 11:16:02 pm
And the blue is a little jarring against the red/orange, it might help to tone that down a bit.

Literally like a 10 second edit, just purpled and desaturated-

Offline Mr. Fahrenheit

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Re: I move for no man [WIP]

Reply #3 on: September 29, 2013, 11:28:24 pm
His shoulders and his waist seem disproportionate to me.

Offline wolfenoctis

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Re: I move for no man [WIP]

Reply #4 on: September 30, 2013, 05:25:54 am
Thanks for the critique  :y:

I've desaturated the blue, increased contrast and made the hips a bit wider, anything else?



Edit: removed some old color pixels on his helm
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 05:34:29 am by wolfenoctis »

Offline Larwick

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Re: I move for no man [WIP]

Reply #5 on: September 30, 2013, 08:46:07 am
His legs seem splayed outwards from the knees in an odd way. Like this:
 ||
/  \

You should probably widen the skirt, spread the legs more. I also feel like they should be longer.

Offline Cyangmou

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Re: I move for no man [WIP]

Reply #6 on: September 30, 2013, 09:08:52 am
maybe you also find a solution with the red bg to make it with clean lines (2:1, 3:1, 4:1 ratios). Otherwise it might get difficult to AA them and it definitely will take away from the clean style you have going on in the foreground.

Is the sword intended to be a yellow shape or is it just WIP?
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Offline wolfenoctis

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Re: I move for no man [WIP]

Reply #7 on: September 30, 2013, 10:02:05 am
The sword is going to just be a yellow shape, the whole thing is just to practice AA, I'l try your suggestion of clean lines after I fail to make these current lines work  ;D

Offline wolfenoctis

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Re: I move for no man [WIP]

Reply #8 on: September 30, 2013, 11:28:02 am
Widened the legs, and made them slightly thinner and moved the knee up a bit, does this look better Larwick?

Offline Larwick

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Re: I move for no man [WIP]

Reply #9 on: September 30, 2013, 01:08:04 pm
Yeah that's better, the raised knees helps a lot. I did a paint-over and think the knees may be more visible where the skirt ends however.

Offline wolfenoctis

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Re: I move for no man [WIP]

Reply #10 on: September 30, 2013, 01:35:11 pm
Good point about the knees Larwick, thanks  :y:

Offline Wanyo

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Re: I move for no man [WIP]

Reply #11 on: September 30, 2013, 02:56:33 pm
"Let's call it a draw!"
The orange & red still bother me, instead of drawing your eye to the focal point it ends up pulling your attention to those red lines.

When you say poster I assume you mean like a screenprinted concert poster, maybe you could really desaturate or soften the red/orange to match that sort of style? I'm at work at the moment or I'd toss an edit but this is the kind of thing I was thinking of:
http://images.cdn.bigcartel.com/bigcartel/product_images/96879127/max_h-1000+max_w-1000/Marmozets_Screenadelica_Poster.jpg

Looking at this and all those posters really makes me want to do something screenprinted like that!
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Offline wolfenoctis

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Re: I move for no man [WIP]

Reply #12 on: September 30, 2013, 07:33:33 pm
Good point Wanyo, I subdued the color a bit:

Offline wolfenoctis

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Re: I move for no man [WIP]

Reply #13 on: October 01, 2013, 12:16:00 pm
Moving on to AA:


Any critique specifically on AA?

Offline Larwick

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Re: I move for no man [WIP]

Reply #14 on: October 01, 2013, 12:38:54 pm
I'd suggest studying Panda's work if you haven't already.

You may also want to remove all that dithering - make a proper texture instead when you're ready. At the moment it distracts. You'll want more colors to blend the darkest blue's edges against the light orange, since they're so far apart in both lightness and hue.

Offline Reo

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Re: I move for no man [WIP]

Reply #15 on: October 01, 2013, 06:41:32 pm
I'd suggest studying Panda's work if you haven't already.

You may also want to remove all that dithering - make a proper texture instead when you're ready. At the moment it distracts. You'll want more colors to blend the darkest blue's edges against the light orange, since they're so far apart in both lightness and hue.
I'd say that if you're going to use dithering keep it to the parts that are chainmail. It works perfectly as texture for that in the area under the helm, but the fact that the only part it's reused on is the ''skirt'' causes that to come off as chainmail as well.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 06:43:12 pm by Reo »

Offline Cyangmou

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Re: I move for no man [WIP]

Reply #16 on: October 01, 2013, 07:02:09 pm
I personally think that Panda overAA's a lot of things which makes it look unnecessary blurry in a lot of spots - I think on of the nicest lookings characteristics of pixel art is if it's sharp and if there is just enough AA to smoothen out jaggy curves.

Given to the placative look of the art, I'd also say that one midtone between to colors is enough.

For example I see that you used 3 colors for AAing the red while the one which is the brightest seems to be a halftone and the other 2 are between halftone and full red, which is unbalanced.

THe red to purple red you used here and there is also by far closer to the actual red than to the purple.

If you use unbalanced steps you rather blur the art instead of smoothing it.
"Because the beauty of the human body is that it hasn't a single muscle which doesn't serve its purpose; that there's not a line wasted; that every detail of it fits one idea, the idea of a man and the life of a man."

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Offline PixelPiledriver

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Re: I move for no man [WIP]

Reply #17 on: October 01, 2013, 07:39:39 pm
I feel like the lettering is more fun to look at with the aa as the orange and red re-used.
It would remove a couple colors too.
Not sure if it's actually better, but something to try.


Just a quick color replace.
Could look better to swap the red with orange in areas that the red carves too deeply, such as the top right of the 'S' in 'Shall'.

« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 07:55:32 pm by PixelPiledriver »
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Offline Pix3M

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Re: I move for no man [WIP]

Reply #18 on: October 01, 2013, 08:05:45 pm


Here's what I think. Quite a difference, rite?  :lol:

Also, you have to be very careful with AA especially if your monitor's colors aren't great. That said, your art can look jagged on other people's monitors and manual AA is prone to not being very accurate. You could do some homework on what mathematically-correct AA should look like. I think Ai should be able to weigh in if he wants to mess around with his color-space wizardry.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 08:09:28 pm by Pix3M »

Offline wolfenoctis

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Re: I move for no man [WIP]

Reply #19 on: October 02, 2013, 05:36:33 am
Thank you for all the critiques. I have made some changes as the original is quite dull, tried to make it a bit more interesting to look at. The lines are a little rough at the moment, I'll fix that, but any critique on the changes would be appreciated:


@ Larwick:  I will also be attempting some textures for chainmail soon, thanks for the advice  :y:

@ Pix3m: No doubt about it, yours is superior. You wouldn't by chance have a link or two lying about that explain mathematically correct AA would you? How did you do yours? Thank you for your edit  :y:

@ Cyangmou: thank you for your thoughts, I do think a crisp sharp image is more desirable

Offline Pix3M

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Re: I move for no man [WIP]

Reply #20 on: October 02, 2013, 06:49:09 am
@ Pix3m: No doubt about it, yours is superior. You wouldn't by chance have a link or two lying about that explain mathematically correct AA would you? How did you do yours? Thank you for your edit  :y:

Oh funny. I was playing around by comparing two functionally identical images except the pixels are subtley different, as if pixel artists were so weird to be nitpicky over incredibly small, meaningless details no layman would care about.  :lol:

But honestly, I don't completely understand the math to be able to do much of it personally, but what I do is teach myself what perfect AA looks like so I can recognize subpar AA when it shows up.

A little story though: I have attempted twice a couple of stuff that requires a ton of heavy AA but I have gotten feedback from people who aren't even pixel artists that my AA was off and my edges were jaggy. Different monitor qualities were by far the reason why I can't achieve smoothness on everyone else's monitors, and my monitor is definitely suboptimal. As a result, I learned about what gamma correction is and wondered if I could take advantage of that to avoid bad AA.

However, from what I understand, first take this tutorial by ptoing:



It's pretty straight forward and gives you everything you need to know, but there is a pretty subtle mistake. It's only noticable if you try rendering edges that are almost aligned with the pixel grid but not quite, like the Black Knight's sword. Pretty much, the resulting values used for AA assumes a gamma of 1. 50% black and white isn't a 50 on a scale of 0-100 on a HSL color space; the real number is 73 if we're dealing with what should be ideal for a PC. The human eye does not interpret increase in light linearly and is more sensitive to higher values.

Pretty much what I did was construct some edges very similarly to ptoing does in his tutorial. The edge labelled one assumes a gamma of 1 and created values exactly as done in the tutorial. This edge is also a difficult edge to AA since it is so close to being aligned with the grid but not quite. Bad AA technique would be more glaring with this sort of edge, but easier edges, it's hardly noticable.



Then what, I did was take graphicsgale's color adjustment tool and took a shortcut to to fix the colors for me. Middle one was adjusted to a gamma of 2.2 which in theory should be what is standard to PC's, and is more-or-less what this monitor is set to. However, sliding it around got me an optimal gamma of 1.9 (not sure why), which is the absolute best I can achieve on my particular monitor. Yours is probably different.

I told this to a friend and he said that my AA colors are too bright (and amusingly I took my gamma-cheating device and set it to what would appear to be the right gamma for him and he says it's perfect). With that in mind, I also noticed that edges (for some reason) require a lower gamma at 2x scale where 1x scale requires a higher gamma. I have no idea why, but at this point I'm just gonna say that 'mathematically correct' should exist in paper but not in practice.

I'd say take that top edge and play around with gamma-correction tools to try to get it as perfectly straight as possible. Show yourself what perfect AA looks like so you can recognize bad AA when it shows up. Besides, who's gonna take the time to bust out their calucator to do art?  :crazy:
« Last Edit: October 02, 2013, 06:58:18 am by Pix3M »

Offline wolfenoctis

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Re: I move for no man [WIP]

Reply #21 on: October 02, 2013, 01:51:28 pm
Besides, who's gonna take the time to bust out their calucator to do art?  :crazy:

Yeah ... heh.. who would do such a thing ....  :-[

Tried to make a chainmail texture and striaghtened out those lines, any crits before I move on to AA?

Offline Wanyo

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Re: I move for no man [WIP]

Reply #22 on: October 02, 2013, 02:32:53 pm
For some reason I miss the offwhite paper color from the sword and the lettering but I I understand the better fit of the white here and overall those details really livened up the piece!

Perhaps the shadow portion of the chainmail on his right leg could probably use a little tweaking, something about it feels too dark, maybe it's just the inner edge contrasting hard with it.

I need to spend some time and study your metals wolf, they always seem to pop right out.
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Offline wolfenoctis

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Re: I move for no man [WIP]

Reply #23 on: October 02, 2013, 08:00:56 pm
AA'ed version, I decided to not try and get it too smooth, I like the piece to have a little jaggyness to still give that pixel feel and not vector art. Added a sword and some lighting. Unless there are any major crits, I think this is done. A big thank you to all who contributed to the thread, you guys are awesome  :y:

Final Piece: 20 colors

Offline Larwick

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Re: I move for no man [WIP]

Reply #24 on: October 02, 2013, 11:07:38 pm
OH MAN this is badass! 8)
The changes you made really worked.

I see you've tried to go symbolic with the design on his chest, but I think it might look better shaded properly, or at least some of the lines could be softened more.
I think the flag parts could look better if they were connected, rather than split where it begins to crumple. That's the feeling I got from the first version with the flag before you added in that separation.
There's an unnaturally sharp corner on the crumpled flag part in the centre below the sword tip. Could be smoothed a lot.

Offline Decroded

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Re: I move for no man [WIP]

Reply #25 on: October 03, 2013, 01:07:17 am
This is awesome, visually striking  :y:

I was going to leave same comments as Larwick.
There is a bit too much of a straight line where the flag touches the floor.
Maybe you could do without the darker outlines that make that line so obvious and distracting.

I love how the chest looks self-illuminated but I think it could use a bit of blending around the edges.

Offline wolfenoctis

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Re: I move for no man [WIP]

Reply #26 on: October 03, 2013, 05:00:33 am
Thanks Larwick and Decroded, I applied those changes and think it looks better, kept two folds intact for more visual interest:


Also @ Wanyo: thanks for the crit on the chainmail  ;)

Offline Wanyo

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Re: I move for no man [WIP]

Reply #27 on: October 03, 2013, 03:42:21 pm
That turned out fantastic, great job deciphering the speed velocity of an unladen swallow!

I'm not quite at the level to offer some of these awesome edits (I'm sticking around here till I can get there), but I'm glad I can at least offer some helpful advice when something looks weird to me! :D

Another thought that might take up more time, ever thought of making this poster into a desktop wallpaper? It's one of those things that could look absolutely striking on one!
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Offline wolfenoctis

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Re: I move for no man [WIP]

Reply #28 on: October 03, 2013, 05:07:53 pm
Thanks Wanyo, looking forward to some awesome edits from you in the future, and thanks for the critique. I wouldn't make it a wallpaper personally, far too lazy for all that extra work  ::)

Offline Larwick

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Re: I move for no man [WIP]

Reply #29 on: October 03, 2013, 05:11:18 pm
Since you wanted to use this piece for AA practice, I think you should spend some more time on it. There are a lot of rough spots that could be smoothed out.

Here's an edit showing some areas that could be improved.

Sometimes you're forgetting colors that you have available, and sometimes you seem to favor corners over curves (for something that shouldn't really have corners, like cloth).

Offline wolfenoctis

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Re: I move for no man [WIP]

Reply #30 on: October 03, 2013, 08:00:03 pm
Thanks Larwick. Yup I still need to improve my knowledge of cloth folds, thanks for your edit, I wouldn't have thought of some of those solutions  :-[

Offline Decroded

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Re: I move for no man [WIP]

Reply #31 on: October 12, 2013, 06:26:46 am
Good improvements.
Can't help feeling his feet are a bit too rounded and puffy giving a kind of cartoony feel, especially that ring thing around his ankle which I'm not sure what that is but makes it look like ankle boots with the top folded over with no protection.
IMO you could use some some sharper/squarer edges especially around the toe.
I'm a bit confused by his left (our right) leg rendered as if there's a bump running down his shin that isn't present on other leg, and the kneecap seems to be pointing out at a different angle.

Offline Shrike

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Re: I move for no man [WIP]

Reply #32 on: October 18, 2013, 05:02:57 am
Hey dude. Great progress! hyper-quick edit addressing cloth folds that were bothering me.



Also, consider doing something to ground the sword in the image more? Feet seem to have shadows that affect the cloth but not the sword, so the visual impact of his stance is lost there.

Also also, always work with a reference!

« Last Edit: October 18, 2013, 05:08:23 am by Shrike »

Offline wolfenoctis

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Re: I move for no man [WIP]

Reply #33 on: October 18, 2013, 07:41:39 am
@ Shrike: good point, totally slipped my mind to add that. Yup I need to use references more.
@ Decroded: I changed the boots and shins, thanks for your feedback