AuthorTopic: GR#204 - Cartoony Cat Portrait Sprites - Gameart  (Read 9377 times)

Offline W.A.C.

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GR#204 - Cartoony Cat Portrait Sprites - Gameart

on: July 10, 2014, 04:26:24 pm
So I decided that I'm going to make a game (most likely with Clickteam Fusion or Construct 2) and I expect development to take at least five years (probably way more than that). To begin my project, I need to work on art assets. I've put a lot of time and effort into these sprites, but I've gotten very little feedback on how I can improve my work so I made an account here. Any compliments, criticism, suggestions, etc, is highly appreciated.

Offline rikfuzz

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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #1 on: July 10, 2014, 04:44:41 pm
Art looks perfectly fine - that is a whole lot of colours though, and without any context I'm not sure the different faces are distinct enough (depends what they're for really). 

Thing that worries me most is this long development time, make it easier on yourself!  Would using less colours be quicker for you?  Maybe dial back the amount of assets needed?  Can you distil your vision a bit?

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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #2 on: July 10, 2014, 05:52:19 pm
I don't think it looks entirely like a cat.
The large ears and large eyes makes it sorta bat-like and the most catlike features like the mouth and nose doesn't stand out much.

Offline W.A.C.

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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #3 on: July 11, 2014, 04:56:05 am
Art looks perfectly fine - that is a whole lot of colours though, and without any context I'm not sure the different faces are distinct enough (depends what they're for really).

The different faces are so the cat has different expressions. I chose to make the eyes way more expressive than the mouth because it's more characteristic of cats. That, and diverse facial expressions are difficult with mouths drawn that way.

Thing that worries me most is this long development time, make it easier on yourself!  Would using less colours be quicker for you?  Maybe dial back the amount of assets needed?  Can you distil your vision a bit?

I don't think there's too many colors. The black fur has four colors, the white fur has four colors, the ears have three colors, the eyes (excluding the pupil) has three colors, the nose has two colors (same colors as the ears), and the pupil's five colors don't require much effort compared to using a few less colors.

I don't think it looks entirely like a cat.
The large ears and large eyes makes it sorta bat-like and the most catlike features like the mouth and nose doesn't stand out much.

I decided early on that I wanted to exaggerate the ears and eyes for my character. The eyes used to be ridiculously huge in older versions of my sprite. Here's what the previous versions looked like. [LINK] [LINK] Needless to say, the sprites have gone through a lot of changes.

Offline rikfuzz

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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #4 on: July 11, 2014, 08:59:02 am
Without any context I'm not sure the different faces are distinct enough (depends what they're for really).

The different faces are so the cat has different expressions.

It depends what they're for in context of the gameplay.  They are very very similar and not particularly expressive.  If this is just an added subtlety that's totally fine, but if it's related to core gameplay or the player should get any information from it, it could use work. 

You have a lot of almost identical colours, the pupils and the fur definitely don't need different ramps, and pretty sure you'd never notice if I cut the colour count in half.  Maybe if you weren't doing 18 colours each frame you'd be less afraid to redraw new expressions than be so templated? 

Offline PsylentKnight

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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #5 on: July 11, 2014, 03:11:23 pm
Yea, you have way too many colors for such a small piece, dude. And most of the shades don't have enough contrast to tell them apart looking at it at with 100% zoom.
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Offline astraldata

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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #6 on: July 11, 2014, 04:45:22 pm
Yea, you have way too many colors for such a small piece, dude. And most of the shades don't have enough contrast to tell them apart looking at it at with 100% zoom.

Seconded. This sprite could easily look almost identical at 12 colors -- including transparency -- even if you wanted to keep the 'fuzzy' look on the ears/mouth areas, since there is some contrast there. However the black fur and pupil ramps really are just overkill.

More than likely you're zoomed waaay in (i.e. more than 700-800%) which is why the colors seem to have contrast to you, but if the subtle transitions cant be gleaned from a quick glance at around, say, 200-400% zoom, you really don't need them since they will just muddy-up the image rather than contribute something valuable to it.

With that said, you might as well use photoshop brush tools if you want the fuzzy look and don't care about the number of colors you add. Pixel art is about clarity -- precise placement of dots of colored-light to achieve the maximum clarity in the description of an image you can -- and when you aren't focusing on that clarity by being careless with the most important asset you've got -- your colors -- then you aren't doing pixel art.

Regardless of the discussion about what is true pixel art or not, you've probably been staring at these too long while zoomed-in and are likely losing objectivity. It comes with the territory of working at very low resolutions. However, constantly glancing at your preview window, ensuring it has a much smaller zoom% than the area you're working (by at least half), is vital to prevent this sort of illusion when doing pixel art. It will really help in the long run if you're not already doing this.
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Offline W.A.C.

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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #7 on: July 13, 2014, 01:52:06 am
It depends what they're for in context of the gameplay.  They are very very similar and not particularly expressive.  If this is just an added subtlety that's totally fine, but if it's related to core gameplay or the player should get any information from it, it could use work.

They were intended to be subtle facial expressions changes depending on the character's actions. For example, I'll probably make my character look more menacing when the cats attacks.

You have a lot of almost identical colours, the pupils and the fur definitely don't need different ramps, and pretty sure you'd never notice if I cut the colour count in half.  Maybe if you weren't doing 18 colours each frame you'd be less afraid to redraw new expressions than be so templated? 


That drawing is awesome. Did you draw that? I don't feel my past color pallet or new color pallet (see image below) will negatively impact my ability to create facial expressions. Later on, I'll probably figure out all sorts of ways to make the cat have different expressions.

Yea, you have way too many colors for such a small piece, dude. And most of the shades don't have enough contrast to tell them apart looking at it at with 100% zoom.

I completely agree, which is why I decided to take your advice and make huge changes to the color pallet. I would've tried to post an update about it sooner, but I was extremely busy yesterday and didn't come home from work today until about three hours ago. I think many of you will feel it's a big improvement over my past color pallet.



The only thing I miss about my previous color pallet is that the white shine in the eyes doesn't blend in as much. Oh well.

Seconded. This sprite could easily look almost identical at 12 colors -- including transparency -- even if you wanted to keep the 'fuzzy' look on the ears/mouth areas, since there is some contrast there. However the black fur and pupil ramps really are just overkill.

More than likely you're zoomed waaay in (i.e. more than 700-800%) which is why the colors seem to have contrast to you, but if the subtle transitions cant be gleaned from a quick glance at around, say, 200-400% zoom, you really don't need them since they will just muddy-up the image rather than contribute something valuable to it.

With that said, you might as well use photoshop brush tools if you want the fuzzy look and don't care about the number of colors you add. Pixel art is about clarity -- precise placement of dots of colored-light to achieve the maximum clarity in the description of an image you can -- and when you aren't focusing on that clarity by being careless with the most important asset you've got -- your colors -- then you aren't doing pixel art.

Regardless of the discussion about what is true pixel art or not, you've probably been staring at these too long while zoomed-in and are likely losing objectivity. It comes with the territory of working at very low resolutions. However, constantly glancing at your preview window, ensuring it has a much smaller zoom% than the area you're working (by at least half), is vital to prevent this sort of illusion when doing pixel art. It will really help in the long run if you're not already doing this.

Believe it or not, I frequently zoomed to 100% and 200% throughout the entirety of making my sprites. I liked the soft contrast I previously had, but I agree going with a much higher color contrast and smaller color pallet was needed to improve my sprites. I care a lot about the colors but making this sprite was a huge learning experience. Didn't help that before I created this thread, I was getting hardly any advice from people I know and that this was the first sprite I've made 100% from scratch. I did make an unfinished Sonic sprite in the past that was mostly from scratch though. I should finish that sprite someday.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2014, 01:57:28 am by W.A.C. »

Offline astraldata

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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #8 on: July 13, 2014, 03:27:48 am
The only thing I miss about my previous color pallet is that the white shine in the eyes doesn't blend in as much.

That's not a problem with your palette -- you can and should *reuse* colors across your sprite to unify it (such as some of the greys in the shadows of the mouth area to create the pupil blend if you really want it. Getting rid of colors isnt equivalent to getting rid of details as long as you have a diverse enough contrast in your color ramps. If you do add the blend back however, I would suggest using only one or two shades at most to blend because that's all you need to express that fade.
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Offline W.A.C.

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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #9 on: July 15, 2014, 11:32:41 pm
That's not a problem with your palette -- you can and should *reuse* colors across your sprite to unify it (such as some of the greys in the shadows of the mouth area to create the pupil blend if you really want it. Getting rid of colors isnt equivalent to getting rid of details as long as you have a diverse enough contrast in your color ramps. If you do add the blend back however, I would suggest using only one or two shades at most to blend because that's all you need to express that fade.

I took your advice and I think the pupils for the newest version of my sprites turned out pretty well.



Outside of adjustments to the pupils, the biggest changes I made to this version are shading adjustments and I reduced the size of the eyes for the neutral expression. Any suggestions you have for my current version of my sprites? In an effort to reduce the color pallet further, I experimented with three shades for the fur instead of four, but I didn't like the results. You can see one of my attempts in the image below.

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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #10 on: July 16, 2014, 01:58:57 am
Your next to darkest shade on the head is almost imperceptible on my monitor without zooming way way in. I don't see any difference between removing that color or not.

The smaller eyes look better and not as creepy.

He still kind of looks like a bat though. Those ears are gigantic. Maybe give him a neck and shoulders to express his pain/fear/neutrality a bit better? Outside of everything mentioned here, I've got nothing else to offer aside from making sure you know that your blacks are still very *very* close together -- no real difference on that black ramp whatsoever, and that extra black-ish color on the top ramp (between the other colors) wouldn't be needed if your black ramp had enough variation in contrast between its color values. I suggest going for clarity and fairly stark differences in your color ramps instead of a set of colors for each thing.

That aside, that's all I can really offer.
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Offline W.A.C.

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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #11 on: July 17, 2014, 05:22:41 am
Your next to darkest shade on the head is almost imperceptible on my monitor without zooming way way in. I don't see any difference between removing that color or not.

Since the color pallet wasn't diverse enough and had some ugly colors, I decided to change the color pallet.



Most of my days off from work both yesterday night and today have been spent redoing the color pallet for my sprites, so hopefully my pallet looks much better now. Can you tell the difference between the two darkest shades just fine? Hopefully the cat's primary fur color still looks black to people.

The smaller eyes look better and not as creepy.

The old eyes did look kind of creepy, especially in my oldest versions.

He still kind of looks like a bat though. Those ears are gigantic. Maybe give him a neck and shoulders to express his pain/fear/neutrality a bit better?

I'll keep that in mind when I begin work on the character's body.

Outside of everything mentioned here, I've got nothing else to offer aside from making sure you know that your blacks are still very *very* close together -- no real difference on that black ramp whatsoever, and that extra black-ish color on the top ramp (between the other colors) wouldn't be needed if your black ramp had enough variation in contrast between its color values. I suggest going for clarity and fairly stark differences in your color ramps instead of a set of colors for each thing.

That aside, that's all I can really offer.

Blackish color as in the dark pink? I can't imagine replacing that with another black. o_O I don't think it would look very good unless I massively redid the ears. Hopefully the grayish dark pink's replacement color looks more distinct from my blacks now. As for additional clarity, hopefully making the darkest shade for the eyes the color orange and the darkest shade for the ears dark red helps with that. I also experimented a ton with the lighter shades for the cat's black fur and felt deviating too much from grayscales made the cat look too much like a different color. I did give the black fur a subtle purplish tint though. I also gave the white fur a bluish tint to make it more distinct from the black fur.

Offline Amorphous

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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #12 on: July 19, 2014, 12:57:07 am
You're making a lot of progress, and these have already come a long way, but you could make them even better by addressing a few more issues.  :y:

Here's a (really messy) edit. I only had time to work on the top two expressions, but you get the idea.



Main points:

-There's a lot of banding going on, mostly concentrated around the mouth. You might be tempted to think that the fuzziness this creates is good way of conveying texture, but in reality it obscures visual clarity and clashes with the shading of the rest of the sprite. The Ramblethread by Helm has a lot of indispensable advice about avoiding banding.

-In the topmost sprite, the specular highlight in the pupils is lost in the brightest yellow color next to it, which makes the eyes appear to bulge outward. Try darkening the yellow color so that the specular sticks out as belonging to the pupil.

-You've done a good job of improving the palettes as you've worked on this, but the contrast on the darker fur palette could still be upped a tiny bit more.


I messed around with other stuff as well, but for the most part the above is all I can think of at the moment. Good luck with your game, and keep up the improvement! :)

Offline W.A.C.

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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #13 on: July 21, 2014, 07:56:54 am
New update on my sprites! This was a ton of work.



You're making a lot of progress, and these have already come a long way, but you could make them even better by addressing a few more issues.  :y:

Here's a (really messy) edit. I only had time to work on the top two expressions, but you get the idea.

I love, love, love your take on my sprites. Not the style I would go with, but I love it nonetheless. You made my character look a lot older which gives me ideas on what I can do with villager characters.

Main points:

-There's a lot of banding going on, mostly concentrated around the mouth. You might be tempted to think that the fuzziness this creates is good way of conveying texture, but in reality it obscures visual clarity and clashes with the shading of the rest of the sprite. The Ramblethread by Helm has a lot of indispensable advice about avoiding banding.

I took your advice and I think you'll be pleased with some of the changes I've done to the mouth area.

-In the topmost sprite, the specular highlight in the pupils is lost in the brightest yellow color next to it, which makes the eyes appear to bulge outward. Try darkening the yellow color so that the specular sticks out as belonging to the pupil.

Good point, so I took your advice on this as well.

-You've done a good job of improving the palettes as you've worked on this, but the contrast on the darker fur palette could still be upped a tiny bit more.

After the insane amount of work I put into my current color pallet, I wasn't quite up to modifying it again (outside of changes I did to the white fur), but I did a quick color pallet that modifies the color pallet you came up with.



Initially, I was going to make the shine purple with my previous update, but feared some people would think the cat's primary color is purple. Though after doing this quick mock-up, I think some of my concerns were a little off.

I messed around with other stuff as well, but for the most part the above is all I can think of at the moment. Good luck with your game, and keep up the improvement! :)

Thanks.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2014, 08:04:11 am by W.A.C. »

Offline HarveyDentMustDie

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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #14 on: July 21, 2014, 04:06:44 pm
Here is my quick edit.


In my eyes, the main problem here is cat's ears. You should find some references and learn from them. Cartoony style is ok, but even cartoons need to follow some realistic aspects to make everything look right.

Offline BatElite

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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #15 on: July 21, 2014, 05:35:32 pm


The lightsource is unclear to me, with the sprite appearing to be lit from below and above.
I've attempted to fix that in my edit, but I don't think I was very successfull with the cheeks.
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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #16 on: July 21, 2014, 07:13:04 pm
@BatElite I'm just interested how did you tried to fix shading when you only moved the eyebrows to make cat look more angry.

Offline astraldata

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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #17 on: July 21, 2014, 09:50:14 pm
Quite a lot more progress since I last looked at this topic. Looking tons better man. I wouldn't worry so much about the 'primary color' of the cat -- most people associate bluish-purple with black as an alternate color for a highlight because greys usually dull the image and most artists rarely use them without some blue or red mixed in (read as: some color and saturation) to draw out the forms a bit. Really glad you did this in your newest version. :)

And I was referring to that dark pink in my last comment, but making it more saturated helped a bit to distinguish it from your blacks, but this is a case where one of the greys could have worked still because grey absorbs the colors nearby and it would read as 'pink' as its 'color' in this case. It's your choice if you want to fully-optimize your colors though. The additional color doesn't detract from the overall image -- it's just food for thought more than anything.

@HDMD
He added a brighter color to the top of the whisker areas mostly. Not sure if this 'fixed' the shading for the OP, but the lighting is a little more clear direction-wise, despite it making the cat seem 'wet' and less fuzzy (though this is also mostly a matter of style imo since his argument of the face appearing to be lit from below in addition to being lit from above is also a valid one -- the bottom jaw is deeper but the bottom-most whiskers don't appear to be as deep as the jaw, though his edit didn't really 'fix' or address this problem.)
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Offline HarveyDentMustDie

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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #18 on: July 22, 2014, 01:19:52 am
Quote
@HDMD
He added a brighter color to the top of the whisker areas mostly. Not sure if this 'fixed' the shading for the OP, but the lighting is a little more clear direction-wise, despite it making the cat seem 'wet' and less fuzzy (though this is also mostly a matter of style imo since his argument of the face appearing to be lit from below in addition to being lit from above is also a valid one -- the bottom jaw is deeper but the bottom-most whiskers don't appear to be as deep as the jaw, though his edit didn't really 'fix' or address this problem.)

I wasn't saying that his comment wasn't right , I also agree that light source isn't well defined. I just asked how did he tried to fix lighting when he only moved few pixels around cat's eyes. From gif (old version vs edit) you can clearly see that he didn't add any brighter color.

@BatElite You should freely make drastic changes in your edits, don't think about succeeding or not, just try to make it as you think it should look. This way you will learn more.

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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #19 on: July 22, 2014, 09:31:30 pm
@HDMD:
Not trying to be a pain, but I think you misunderstood the image sequence he put in his post -- those were two new edited versions of the lighting, not a before and after sequence.

The OP wanted some help with ensuring the emotions were different enough as well, so I assume that's why BatElite messed with the eyebrows instead of the lighting -- he just wanted to show his new lighting edit on the face across two different emotional expressions.

That being said, it was indeed a pretty big change from the last OP edit (despite using the same set of colors).
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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #20 on: July 22, 2014, 09:39:29 pm
@astraldata My mistake.  :(

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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #21 on: July 22, 2014, 11:53:03 pm
I made a quick edit for kicks. Tried to reducing the colors to 9 (using colors from the original palette you posted) and added a 'hissing' face. Maybe this can give you some ideas.  :)
« Last Edit: July 23, 2014, 07:56:29 am by donuts »

Offline 9_6

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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #22 on: July 23, 2014, 07:18:26 am
I don't know about cats but with dogs, downward ears usually mean apologeticness or warning while upward ears mean excitement, concentration or just a neutral expression.
Both versions of your cat look sad to me. You might want to utilize the ears for expression too.
Also that beard your cat has isn't found on house cats so unless this cat is part lynx, the fur there wouldn't drop that way.
But that is part of looking up references which, as said before, is something you might want to do.


Oh and don't post giant pictures with 3 different sizes, this forum has a zoom function so you only need to post the 1:1 version.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2014, 07:21:58 am by 9_6 »
Does scaling an image blur it?
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Offline W.A.C.

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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #23 on: July 31, 2014, 03:38:34 pm
I want to apologize for not responding in quite awhile. I initially wanted my response to include an update of my sprites, but I've been really busy with work and addicted to an awesome game called Freedom Planet. I also want to thank those who took the time to make edits of my sprites. I find the unique approaches really interesting.

Here is my quick edit.


In my eyes, the main problem here is cat's ears. You should find some references and learn from them. Cartoony style is ok, but even cartoons need to follow some realistic aspects to make everything look right.

While I could change the ears to be more realistic in proportion, I really love the large ears I gave my cat character. I feel it gives the cat a more stylized look. I think your edit looks really nice though.



The lightsource is unclear to me, with the sprite appearing to be lit from below and above.
I've attempted to fix that in my edit, but I don't think I was very successfull with the cheeks.

For some reason, your link no longer shows up for me. But I saw it earlier and that animated GIF HDMD posted still shows what it looks like. The eye lids was an interesting touching, but it makes the cat look mean in both sprites. I'm also not a fan of the way the shading is done for the whisker area. You did a nice job with the shading adjustments to the forehead and ears though. For the light source, I'm surprised it confused so many people. I had the shading be a combination of the light source and the position of where everything is positioned. The darkest shaded area for the whisker area is the furthest back and the closest area of the whiskers to the front of the cat are the bottom part of the whiskers, so it made more sense to me to make that part the brightest part of the whiskers. I also wanted the brightest shade to be only on the forehead and ears because they get the most amount of light. A lot of the older Sonic games did something similar for the shading. [LINK] However, the light source is more clearly defined with those sprites. I guess I need to do more editing on the shading until the light source is more clear.

Quite a lot more progress since I last looked at this topic. Looking tons better man. I wouldn't worry so much about the 'primary color' of the cat -- most people associate bluish-purple with black as an alternate color for a highlight because greys usually dull the image and most artists rarely use them without some blue or red mixed in (read as: some color and saturation) to draw out the forms a bit. Really glad you did this in your newest version. :)

Definitely going to stick with the purplish shine then.

And I was referring to that dark pink in my last comment, but making it more saturated helped a bit to distinguish it from your blacks, but this is a case where one of the greys could have worked still because grey absorbs the colors nearby and it would read as 'pink' as its 'color' in this case. It's your choice if you want to fully-optimize your colors though. The additional color doesn't detract from the overall image -- it's just food for thought more than anything.

Ah.

I made a quick edit for kicks. Tried to reducing the colors to 9 (using colors from the original palette you posted) and added a 'hissing' face. Maybe this can give you some ideas.  :)

Your edit reminds me of a panther. Very interesting take on the eyes and how you pulled off the ears.

I don't know about cats but with dogs, downward ears usually mean apologeticness or warning while upward ears mean excitement, concentration or just a neutral expression.
Both versions of your cat look sad to me. You might want to utilize the ears for expression too.
Also that beard your cat has isn't found on house cats so unless this cat is part lynx, the fur there wouldn't drop that way.
But that is part of looking up references which, as said before, is something you might want to do.

One of my friends thinks the ears in the first edit look too rabbit like. >_> Cool edit though. As for why I made the fur like that in the bottom part of the cat's face, I was trying to give the cat a unique shape for the whisker area that looked very cat-like but uncommon. Considering how the character will probably be more wild in my game, I think that fits really well.

Oh and don't post giant pictures with 3 different sizes, this forum has a zoom function so you only need to post the 1:1 version.

I post my updates on four sites and this is the only site of the bunch that has the zoom in feature. That, and it's annoying I can't zoom out without refreshing the page.

Offline 9_6

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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #24 on: July 31, 2014, 07:07:33 pm
One of my friends thinks the ears in the first edit look too rabbit like. >_> Cool edit though. As for why I made the fur like that in the bottom part of the cat's face, I was trying to give the cat a unique shape for the whisker area that looked very cat-like but uncommon. Considering how the character will probably be more wild in my game, I think that fits really well.
We're not here for you to tell how much you love your stylistic choices since they fit so well you know.
This is literally the first time the word "wild" has been uttered in this thread to describe where you want to take this character.
All you do is frustrate people and not make any meaningful progress this way.

I can fix the bunny ears but what does that do for you if you seemingly won't try any of the approaches presented to you?
You really need to forget "style" right now and experiment to see what works any why.



I post my updates on four sites and this is the only site of the bunch that has the zoom in feature. That, and it's annoying I can't zoom out without refreshing the page.
Shift click.
Does scaling an image blur it?
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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #25 on: July 31, 2014, 10:16:09 pm
I agree with 9_6, why did you ask for help when you aren't taking any of edits into consideration? All edits here are very different, and made with different styles and you only say that they are good but you like your version better. If you are satisfied with your current version (which is your choice, and it's perfectly ok), you should say that and close this tread.

Offline W.A.C.

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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #26 on: August 01, 2014, 07:14:36 am
We're not here for you to tell how much you love your stylistic choices since they fit so well you know.
This is literally the first time the word "wild" has been uttered in this thread to describe where you want to take this character.
All you do is frustrate people and not make any meaningful progress this way.

I can fix the bunny ears but what does that do for you if you seemingly won't try any of the approaches presented to you?
You really need to forget "style" right now and experiment to see what works any why.

I agree with 9_6, why did you ask for help when you aren't taking any of edits into consideration? All edits here are very different, and made with different styles and you only say that they are good but you like your version better. If you are satisfied with your current version (which is your choice, and it's perfectly ok), you should say that and close this tread.

"Wild" was probably a poor choice of words. My ideas for this character frequently change and evolve as I work on my sprites. I had no idea what type of plot I wanted for this game until about two or three weeks ago. But to give better context, I'm thinking about having the cat live in a small village that's located in a exotic location in a fantasy setting. These ideas can change at any time, but it gives more context into how I currently vision my character. In terms of style, while yeah, I like the style of the ears, I'm fully opened minded about experimenting with any aspect of my cat's sprites. I initially wanted to do a bunch of experiments that take influences from the edits before responding to this thread again, but after not making any progress with my sprites for over a week because of work and my love for the game Freedom Planet, I felt it was best to make responses instead of going a long period of time without saying anything. I feel my sprites are still very WIP and what I've created is a tiny fraction of all the sprites I'll make for my character. I find much of the responses very helpful and gives me context into how people perceive my sprites. Probably the biggest change I need to make is make the light source more obvious since it's unclear to so many people.

Shift click.

Thank you.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2014, 07:19:53 am by W.A.C. »

Offline W.A.C.

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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #27 on: August 05, 2014, 03:21:06 am
I want to thank everyone who took the time to make their own edits of my sprites and to everyone who left feedback. If it weren't for you guys, the new version of my sprites would not look as nice.



I completely redid the ears and made huge changes to the shading. How do you guys feel the new design compares to the previous one?

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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #28 on: August 05, 2014, 02:41:59 pm
Now it looks like a cat with ice cream cornets stuck onto it's ears. It's because of ear shading. Bright pixels in cats ears give the impression that ear isn't hollow but that it's going outward, that's why they give conic feel.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 09:12:20 pm by HarveyDentMustDie »

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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #29 on: August 05, 2014, 07:58:30 pm



I second HDMD's feelings about this sprite's ears, and also about the shading. Your new version also has a weird skull shape -- seems to be shaped like a rock instead of a skull.

My edit addresses the main problem of your skull issues, both in the new version and the old version, and it addresses the ear shape in your new version. In your old version, your ears were part of the skull somehow, and it seems that's the case in your new version somehow too.

There needs to be clarity in your 3d forms -- not just a stylized 2d silhouette -- to make it work.

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Offline W.A.C.

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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #30 on: August 07, 2014, 09:29:17 am
So... About 'bout these ears?



I hope the light source is finally clear to everyone and that the ears no longer look attached to the skull. Last change I made to the sprites was adjustments to the eyes. I tried making the eyes white instead of yellow and love how they turned out. Though I also loved my yellow eyes. Maybe my color pallet choice in the yellows wasn't the best or do white eyes just work a lot better?

Now it looks like a cat with ice cream cornets stuck onto it's ears. It's because of ear shading. Bright pixels in cats ears give the impression that ear isn't hollow but that it's going outward, that's why they give conic feel.

Yeah... Lots of people noticed the ears looked very cone like. Hopefully the new ears look cat-like to everyone now.



I second HDMD's feelings about this sprite's ears, and also about the shading. Your new version also has a weird skull shape -- seems to be shaped like a rock instead of a skull.

My edit addresses the main problem of your skull issues, both in the new version and the old version, and it addresses the ear shape in your new version. In your old version, your ears were part of the skull somehow, and it seems that's the case in your new version somehow too.

There needs to be clarity in your 3d forms -- not just a stylized 2d silhouette -- to make it work.

I'm going to make a modified version of the cat sprite with the more wild ears look at some point and I'll definitely use some of your shading suggestions. I always felt something looked really off about those sprites of mine and you made it very clear (both visually and verbally) what was wrong with it. Thanks to everyone for the help. If it weren't for all the useful advice I've gotten here and other places, my work would look a lot worse. Constructive criticism just encourages me to try harder.

Edit-

Funny to think the color pallet had 18 colors when I started this thread and now I only use nine colors.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2014, 09:44:52 am by W.A.C. »

Offline astraldata

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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #31 on: August 08, 2014, 12:45:42 am
Excellent work there man! You've made a ton of progress! The new eyes and ears read very well now. Reminds me just enough of Sonic stylistically, but not too much. Nice job. :)
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Offline W.A.C.

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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #32 on: August 08, 2014, 11:12:49 am
Excellent work there man! You've made a ton of progress! The new eyes and ears read very well now. Reminds me just enough of Sonic stylistically, but not too much. Nice job. :)
Thank you so much. I definitely took inspiration from the Sonic series, but made sure the art didn't look too Sonic like. Also, I'm not 100% sure if I'm sticking with white eyes or not. I love the nice contrast from the white eyes and how the simpler color pallet looks so nice, but there was something very aesthetically nice about having yellow eyes. I think the biggest problem with my previous yellow eyes was that I made it too strong of a yellow. Someone on a different forum made a mockup that changed the eye color which I think looks really nice.



What do you guy think looks nicer, white eyes or eyes with a less intense yellow tint to them?

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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #33 on: August 08, 2014, 11:39:06 am
Keep the previous version. It looks clean. This yellow tint is too much, don't complicate it.

Offline W.A.C.

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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #34 on: August 08, 2014, 02:08:44 pm
Keep the previous version. It looks clean. This yellow tint is too much, don't complicate it.

After experimenting more with the color pallet, yeah, I agree. I noticed the lightest yellow was really similar in color to white, so I tried having the color pallet for the eyes go from white to yellow and it just looked weird. Anyways, I did a small update for the cat's neutral expression and the cat's somewhat sad look.



I really like how the neutral expression turned out. Hopefully the two white pixels for the shines in the eyes next to the the lightest shade of the fur doesn't look weird to anyone. I think the colors look visually distinct enough not to blend much.

Offline 9_6

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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #35 on: August 08, 2014, 02:17:09 pm
neutral expression
It looks like 3 times the same expression to me.
Does scaling an image blur it?
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Offline W.A.C.

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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #36 on: August 08, 2014, 02:21:16 pm
The difference is in the eyes. >_> I'll experiment with the mouth more in the future to make it more visually distinct for certain expressions but in the mean time, I'm just leaving that aspect of the cat's look alone until I've made more progress with other areas of my sprites like getting a full head rotation with the cat's new look. That's going to take a very long time.

Offline 9_6

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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #37 on: August 08, 2014, 02:28:23 pm
I know.

Drop whatever the 2 other expressions are supposed to be then, you only got 1.
Why display them if you're not yet willing to improve upon that aspect yet?
« Last Edit: August 08, 2014, 02:30:10 pm by 9_6 »
Does scaling an image blur it?
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Offline W.A.C.

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Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project

Reply #38 on: August 08, 2014, 02:47:09 pm
I know.

Drop whatever the 2 other expressions are supposed to be then, you only got 1.
Why display them if you're not yet willing to improve upon that aspect yet?

That's because I'm currently willing to make further improvements to the eyes in how they would look for different expressions. I'm also willing to make improvements to the muzzle, but not for different expressions yet because it's not a huge priority right now. That, and the different expressions for the mouth in certain angles might never get used in my game, where as I'm not 100% sure which way I'll have the eyes by default for when the cat stands and isn't doing anything.