AuthorTopic: GR#223 - Improving my Spooky Ghost - Scenery Process & Animation  (Read 13910 times)

Offline Lakelezz

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Dear Pixelation-community!

At the moment I am working at this piece


It got upscaled quite a lot, that is why most parts are having a low resolution.
However that is not my current problem since I am working on the bigger woman right now.
There were several attempts by me to add folds on her dress but they all failed.
The source of light is the lantern behind her. Next to the woman is a little "thing" being a doll. Can also be a little girl - this is totally up to the imagination of the viewer.
Neither the doll nor the background are even close to be done.

I am really struggling by doing the folds of the woman's dress and would be glad to get maybe an edit. Resources on the internet could not really help me. I feel like the way the light is falling onto the dress is not right.
However I would be really thankful for any help you can give me!

with best regards
Lakelezz
« Last Edit: August 22, 2014, 05:19:42 pm by Lakelezz »

Offline Lakelezz

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #1 on: August 23, 2014, 07:56:35 pm
I made quite some changes, what do you think?
The streetlamp's size will be increased.

« Last Edit: August 23, 2014, 07:59:23 pm by Lakelezz »

Offline lachrymose

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #2 on: August 23, 2014, 09:19:25 pm
I like it, but I feel like the shadow on her left side(our viewing right) is to large.

Offline Lakelezz

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #3 on: August 23, 2014, 10:43:15 pm
The shadow? You mean the shadow at all or rather at some point at her clothes? Maybe on the ground?

What do you think about the bushes? Are they too dirty pixeled?
Originally I created some tiles and crafted them together to create the bushes.
Now I had some critique and it was about the piece being "dirty".
I really admit that I can clean it up much more but should I change the bushes entirely? I am kinda confused at the moment.

Offline lachrymose

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #4 on: August 23, 2014, 11:21:24 pm
Sorry wrong side. I had meant to say her right side.(the viewers left)
I just threw in a quick edit just to show the area that i'm talking about.

Offline Lakelezz

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #5 on: August 23, 2014, 11:36:41 pm
Oh, now I understand! Thanks! Yes, I will change that!!

Anymore you think could be reworked (except for the lamp)? The girl is missing a shadow on the ground, too.
The bushes are driving me crazy... I am not sure what to do with them.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2014, 11:39:41 pm by Lakelezz »

Offline Mr. Fahrenheit

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #6 on: August 27, 2014, 12:51:50 am
I think the bushes look great as is, though one thing you could do is put the next brightest color from black instead of black on the parts closest to the light

Offline Lakelezz

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #7 on: August 27, 2014, 07:10:02 pm
You actually like them? I still have to clean them up, I guess.

I tried to fix them the last days but all I achieve is something worse.
Is there somebody who could give it a shot? Everything I would probably need is just a little bit of the bush being edited as a reference.

Offline lachrymose

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #8 on: August 27, 2014, 07:58:50 pm
I like them as well.

But I dunno, maybe you can add some more of that green here and there and reduce a lot of that noise in the bushes. You really cant see the small flecks of green anyway.

Just did the (viewers left) bushes quickly.
Not sure if I like my edit anymore or less though.

Offline Mathias

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #9 on: August 27, 2014, 08:10:39 pm
Needs a bg if you're after a spooky mood.



And I rotated their heads to make it look like they're focused on what's directly ahead of them, which is us I guess - the viewer of the scene
« Last Edit: August 27, 2014, 11:58:12 pm by Mathias »

Offline Daimoth

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #10 on: August 28, 2014, 02:13:51 am
Consider removing her boob crack. With a gown like that it would either be very unpronounced or taught and not visible at all.

Offline Hamenopi

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #11 on: August 28, 2014, 01:39:00 pm
I like your disciple of keeping the variety of pixels down to minimum. The light pole looks a little bit out of place, maybe it's on the thick side for what I'm used to.

Offline Lakelezz

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #12 on: August 30, 2014, 02:10:35 am
So, I did some edits and tried to consider every of all your mentioned points.
However I did not touch the bush - I am just totally unsure about it.

Here is the current version:



I want to fix the water a little bit more and also the right side of the woman's hair. It is a little bit flat due the rotation.

Offline Mathias

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #13 on: August 30, 2014, 06:51:01 am
Suddenly, an edit.



1x


Compare:

Offline Lakelezz

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #14 on: September 02, 2014, 06:49:23 pm
Thanks a lot for your comprehensive edit! I tried to orientate by your changes.
However I encountered some problems.

This is the animated version:


Problems with it are quite obvious:
My water is not moving as I want it to be. I really like how your water animation is working - do you have any tips for me to get the same effect?
Though I looked into your GIF but it I would be quite curious about some further information.
The way I did my water was basically removing every second line and erasing some of the left parts. Then I moved it quite a bit and caused this effect.

Do not mind the speed of the switching between light and darkness, that will be fixed in the end / while I increase the frames.

Additionally the fly is being an awesome idea! However I am pretty much reduced on what to do without simply copying the idea.
I could change the fly a bit or rather how it moves - but to be honest this is probably the best not-boring-way possible.
If it would have been my animation, it would probably just move in a boring pattern like a straight line/circle. But your animation shows character in this term.
Thanks for this insight - I value it! However I am still trying to figure out what to do now.

Finally I want to talk about the bushes. They became the worst enemy I could have in pixel art. Nothing was ever as hard as them. They let me struggle since I started with their idea.
I tried to clean them up - however I am really confused about them. Placing randomly pixels is no good idea of course but since nature is kinda "random" it would make sense for a bush.
Also I think there could be a difference between placing randomly and placing random pixels. Your edit was a pretty good base for me to start from but it still did not work :(

By the way, I thought about some fog-animation moving above the ground or at least where the cobblestones are fading out. I tried to animate fog but it feels really difficult.
In the end I will probably skip this idea.

Closing this up with an alternative design and probably the new version, too:



Just some changes at their eyes and mouth.


I am thankful for coming any help! :)



Offline Daimoth

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #15 on: September 02, 2014, 07:50:58 pm
Big improvement on the lamp post and the face on the doll girl. I like the doll's face better on the unanimated version, though. Those buck teeth aren't really doing it for me.

Offline Lakelezz

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #16 on: September 02, 2014, 09:36:31 pm
Thank you! I am really happy with the lantern, too!

I have to agree - the second picture is probably what I am going to use from now on. Additionally it looks much more scary.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2014, 09:40:28 pm by Lakelezz »

Offline Probo

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #17 on: September 02, 2014, 09:46:08 pm
i like where the cobbles are heading, the strong highlights make them look slippery wet and the shading in general really nails that uneven surface cobbles have.

Offline Mr. Fahrenheit

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #18 on: September 03, 2014, 12:31:24 am
You could try a fly as just like a black silhouette that moves across the light then disappears into the night when not directly in front of the light.

Offline Mathias

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #19 on: September 03, 2014, 10:15:02 am
Thanks a lot for your comprehensive edit! I tried to orientate by your changes.
You're very welcome.
It was fun to edit.

Additionally the fly is being an awesome idea! However I am pretty much reduced on what to do without simply copying the idea.
No no no, there's other stuff you can do.
I just wanted to infuse some life into the scene so I thought to add the moth.
My original idea was to subtley animate a small group of moths fluttering around the light, attracted to it.
I think the one figure-8 looping moth is too distracting actually.
But, if you want to use the idea, go for it. Here's how I did it:



Quickly drawn motion path in blue.
Then took a pink brush with automatic spacing and plopped down the pink dots. Gotta have as many dots as frames for accurate looping. I had to keep tweaking the brush's spacing in order to wind up with exactly 30, but I eventually got it right.
Then I just drew a moth and moved it to each pink dot, per frame. Super easy.

By the way, I thought about some fog-animation moving above the ground or at least where the cobblestones are fading out. I tried to animate fog but it feels really difficult.
Hey! I wish I'd thought of that! Makes absolutely perfect sense - we're right in front of a body of water, there's a light source right there to creepily illuminate the fog, and the air is likely humid so fog is even naturally probable. Plus fog is definitely a good spooky environment effect. OY. hadn't even crossed my mind mind . . .
One could easily pull off a fog effect using The Dan Fessler Mega Dynamic Pixel Technique.
If you don't do it I might have to . . .

My water is not moving as I want it to be. I really like how your water animation is working - do you have any tips for me to get the same effect?
Haha, yes I have tips.
I'll just dump a bunch of GIFs in here that break down how I did it.
But a warning - doing this kind of junk requires a decent level of proficiency with Photoshop's animation tools. I highly recommend this technique but it's got learning curve.
Photoshop CC 2014 was using for the following . . .

Ok, hit the spoiler button to unhide this mess:

What I did is essentially very simple. It's even simpler than what you did because it doesn't even require redrawing anything per frame.

I'm simply moving textures over each other and blending them together, then indexing the result (chopping the colors down to only what I want).

I grabbed your water and isolated it. I then attempted a perspective transform to make it seem like it receded into the distance because I felt your water was too flat and out of perspective.
I don't think my perspective transform really comes across very well but I did get larger clusters in front and smaller ones in back for a little perspective boost. This was my cheap, fast way of avoiding redrawing it.
Then I applied a motion blur to smooth it out:



So I have my base layer now. I decided not to animate it at all, but just let it sit there statically while I blended other layers INTO it.

Now for a looping, tiling texture to scroll over it:



Now to blend the moving texture into the base. I also applied a motion blur effect to this layer as well, to make the clusters more horizontal-ish.

But instead of just alpha, I used a blend mode that achieved some interesting highlight effects:



Not happy with only that, I searched for an additional effect for even more random watery movement.

Found this nifty animated GIF:



It features much more organic movement than just scrolling things past each other.
It happens to have 15 frames.
My edit of your scene uses 30 frames, so I can use exactly two loops and add it to my blending pile.

Here's what a crop of it (motion blurred) does to the base layer by itself:




Here's both blended textures combined with their effects pretty much maximized (opacity turned all the way up):



Too extreme, so I tweaked opacity and used a feathered, darkening vignette layer to make the edges fade out on the sides, to help keep the viewer's eye in the scene and not attracted to the edges.

I ended up with this:



Last step - apply indexers:




That's . . . all it . . . took.

Totally inspired by Freaky Fessler's Fantastic Fotoshop Fun.

« Last Edit: September 09, 2014, 08:42:36 pm by Mathias »

Offline Manupix

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #20 on: September 03, 2014, 12:11:57 pm
Mathias, you cheater you  :o

Ok, I have a few problems with this (potentially great) piece.

Perspective: to me it looked seen from a low angle, as the characters frontal view and lamp post (both versions) imply. Consequently I didn't see water at all in the bg, only fog. The pavement was partly inconsistent with that, but I saw the scene as taking place on some sort of hillock and all that would be needed in this case was some rounding of the pavement.
At such an angle we wouldn't (or barely) see anything behind the hillock.
The higher angle of view implied by the water is seriously inconsistent with the characters frontal view and lamp post; and more importantly, it's not as 'spooky' as the lower view.
Also it then looks that the dolls are standing just at the edge of the water, yet they're not dripping wet as if they had just emerged, we don't see a pavement-water transition, the presence of bushes and lamp at the edge of water is weird, etc.

Focus: I think the water, esp animated, takes too much attention from the characters anyway. You just want to give a few visual clues of where the scene is located. Also an elaborate scene animation which leaves the main potentially animated element(s) still (characters) looks unfinished to me.

Light: it's good, but could be more striking. Remember the inverse square law: the bushes on the left being 2 to 3 times more distant from the lamp than the large doll's head, they should look 4-9 times darker (whatever that means!). These bushes (also pavement and dress to a lesser extent) should be just hinted at with a few dark patches.
That might also help with the luminous eyes visibility.
If you keep going with the animation, you should have some low diffuse light in the dark phases, at least on the characters, to reduce the jarring blinking contrast.

Bushes: I'd go for some easier and more defined elements such as a few grass blades or other plants that could convey some atmosphere (twisted, lifeless, etc), rocks, derelict wall or fence, etc.

Offline Mathias

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #21 on: September 03, 2014, 12:41:15 pm
It's all Dan's fault! IM INNOCENT



Great points.
Gonna have to second you on all that.


As for focus, and the animated elements distracting from the focal point (the characters), I say animate the characters, too! Balance out the animations. Bring the whole scene to life.
Some ghostly, flowing shreds of lamp-lit fabric blowing gently in the breeze. Let's pick a direction for the breeze - either left or right. It'll move the foreground fog slowly across the screen AND cause the loose fabric shreds to gently blow in that direction.
Oh and uhh let's make the central figures semi-transparent and slightly levitating, like apparitions emerging from the fog. Why not.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2014, 02:16:38 pm by Mathias »

Offline Lakelezz

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #22 on: September 06, 2014, 02:46:45 pm
Thanks for the feedback and ideas!

Changes are made:
Removed the lake
Removed the bushes
and thought about some ways to give the dark-frame more reflection on the skin caused by the eyes.

Sadly there is not much to show right now. Animating fog is being very complicated for me!
I really think that Mathias' way of animating the lake was quite creative and I also took a look at the plugin (for dithering and stuff).
However there is no possibility to test the plugin since I do not own PS (only Elements, not even installed though).
I rather ask myself how other pixel artists are animating complex processes like moving fog, falling water, ...
"Via hand / pixeling everything on there own" or are they actually using/creating workarounds like in Mathias' example of the lake?

Offline Beetleking22

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #23 on: September 06, 2014, 06:30:03 pm
Bush looks noisy in my opinion.. It would look better with cleaner cluster and Add some leafs...... I did some edit but maybe this does not fit with the style of yours...


Offline Lakelezz

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #24 on: September 06, 2014, 08:20:06 pm
Your attempt on the bushes looks great but I am really afraid that it (as you assumed) does not fit into the piece.
That is why I should probably remove those bushes, since I am unable to fix them :(

Offline Lakelezz

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #25 on: September 07, 2014, 12:11:54 am
So, I have "sketched" some new background:



I recycled the upper part of the lantern - which I really want to use.
Do you think it draws too much attention? I could add something similar on the left side as well (i.g. a broken lantern, ..).
This piece is of course not done, lighting is just a rough idea and there is no texture added, yet.

What do you think? You can of course do edits on this sketch, to give me some more precised insight in your idea/suggestion/..
If somebody can still give me tips about the fog animation, I would be very thankful!
« Last Edit: September 07, 2014, 12:14:48 am by Lakelezz »

Offline lachrymose

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #26 on: September 07, 2014, 12:52:16 am
I think the perspective of the archway is off a bit. I don't think we should be able to see that shaded area next to the girl. Maybe?

Offline Lakelezz

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #27 on: September 07, 2014, 04:39:19 pm
Lachrymose, you probably mean the little girl (just to be sure, one could just call the woman a girl, too) and the left side of the right post?
I guess that is fine, looking at this example: http://image.shutterstock.com/display_pic_with_logo/805819/138358076/stock-photo-entrance-of-a-graveyard-with-a-closed-wrought-iron-gate-in-dark-gradient-back-138358076.jpg
You are able to look at both inner sides.
However I replaced the archway and changed the way you look at it (it is now rather from the bottom than directly on it).



I am totally confused. Still I am not sure if this background is a good idea...
Any suggestions or edits?

Offline Daimoth

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #28 on: September 07, 2014, 07:02:35 pm
It's a totally valid idea. So was the other one. It's a judgment call, man.

Offline Manupix

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #29 on: September 08, 2014, 05:28:16 pm
While not bad, I don't think it brings anything to the piece.
A patch of pavement poorly lit by an antique lamp post, lost in spooky darkness is all you need to fire anyone's imagination :D

Offline Lakelezz

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #30 on: September 09, 2014, 11:36:13 am
It's a totally valid idea. So was the other one. It's a judgment call, man.

Yes, you are right of course. I am just a little undecided and confused.

While not bad, I don't think it brings anything to the piece.
A patch of pavement poorly lit by an antique lamp post, lost in spooky darkness is all you need to fire anyone's imagination :D

Maybe that is why I always felt weird about background stuff used here.
I will probably do it like that.
Do you or somebody have any idea for the fog animation? I tried it multiple times now but it never feels like fog.
One of my last ideas is something similar like Mathias did but just lowering the movement and removing some stuff here and there.
I have done quite some researches on the internet about animated fog and mist but sadly could not find neither appealing pixel art nor usable fog-movement-patterns.

To prevent you from clicking back to page 2, take this shortcut to Mathias' edit:
« Last Edit: September 09, 2014, 11:37:48 am by Lakelezz »

Offline Mathias

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #31 on: September 10, 2014, 07:56:55 am
K, here we go.
Some fog. First try. Using same Photoshop tricks.   PIXELART.HACK=YES
Would be better if I'd used two different fog textures moving in opposite directions, but used only one in this version:



1x

Ghosty peeps are transparent. Less solid. More ethereal.
Movement everywhere brings the scene to life better.
Fog doesn't read as fog very well. More like random vapors.


With spooky light flicker:



#DATFESSLER
« Last Edit: September 10, 2014, 07:58:50 am by Mathias »

Offline Fizzick

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #32 on: September 10, 2014, 08:50:51 pm
Mathias, I'd really like to know how you're pulling these tricks off. I've got to do a lot of environment art for a project and a few fancy tricks would go a long way!  ;D

Offline Mathias

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #33 on: September 10, 2014, 09:10:55 pm
Absolutely.
Hopefully, you're already proficient with Photoshop. It's 100% Photoshop techniques.

Have you seen Dan's HD Index Painting in Photoshop thread yet? All credit to him, for this stuff. It'll explain how I'm doing it.
Head on over there and see if you can't figure it out. Post in that thread if you have any trouble. I'll try and help if need be.


*EDIT  (trying not to hijack thread)
I figure you were using index painting. I was more interested in the way you did the fog, and especially that slidey water in the background.
As for the water animation effect, I tried to explain it here (hit spoiler tag at bottom of post).
Start a new thread in Animation if you want to discuss it further. Better than PM, since others can get benefit from it as well.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2014, 09:28:35 pm by Mathias »

Offline Fizzick

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #34 on: September 10, 2014, 09:13:25 pm
I figure you were using index painting. I was more interested in the way you did the fog, and especially that slidey water in the background.

Offline Lakelezz

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #35 on: September 12, 2014, 03:24:56 pm
Hmmm, I really think that the fog is too fast but that is rather something to test than the main problem.
However the fog almost disappears on the pavement - creating just some random noises, in my opinion.
Though this could be probably fixed by using different colours for the fog and lowering the level of the layer of the pavement highlights.

Is there specific internet source where you can find different moving patterns?
Also what do you mean by "ghosty peeps"?

Sadly I cannot use the HD Index Painting by Dan.

As a result I think I have to go without fog animation. Additionally I could not even find another pixel piece using animated fog to get a proper reference  :yell:
« Last Edit: September 12, 2014, 03:28:12 pm by Lakelezz »

Offline Manupix

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #36 on: September 12, 2014, 03:56:09 pm
Pixelling fog is fogging difficult, as evidenced by this challenge. Animating fog must be hellish.
Also you don't see fog move a lot at small scales IRL; don't be fooled by movies (they use dry ice).

For what it's worth, my fave fog pixel; Skeddles' fave fog pixel  ;)

Offline Lakelezz

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #37 on: September 12, 2014, 04:39:22 pm
You are right, Manupix. I just thought that moving fog is scarier than static one  :o
Specially because most people imagine fog like moving due the movie dry ice influence.

Thanks for your help. It made a lot clearer for me in terms of animation to keep on working.
I might just add some small movement around the fog, like some "glowing".

Offline Lakelezz

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #38 on: September 14, 2014, 01:04:09 am
Ok, I tried to animate it:



My feelings are twisted.
First of all, yes the girl mouth is supposed to freak out like that.
However I think that they should rather not have an animated jaw. Rather just still standing.

I tried something with the flies at the lantern. I guess their movement is too fast? Should I remove them?

Edit: Made the animation of the girl's mouth smoother.
By the way, I am afraid that the flickering is no good idea. It might be frightening but it can be quite annoying for the viewer.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2014, 02:41:01 am by Lakelezz »

Offline Lakelezz

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #39 on: September 17, 2014, 08:23:31 pm
This is my current version:



It is not done, yet. For example the shadow of the girl is actually twitching around, which is meant to be fixed of course.
Somehow I still like the idea of making the shadows a little bit more dynamic, due the light source wont be constant on it's light level for sure.

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #40 on: September 17, 2014, 11:15:57 pm
You are ruining the idea of light flickering. If it's continuous it's not scary, it's like "join us in the disco". :D Fly movement have one glitch in last frame. I personally think that you can improve characters faces, better define that ball of hair and clean them before you continue with animation. I know that hear should be messy but you should try to make it look more like hair.

Lamp is great but I don't understand highlights in the middle of the pole. Is it reflection from the ground? Dithering on the ground and some parts of characters is not contributing to overall look, it just makes it look more messy, try and see how it will look without dithering, or try some other more defined form of dithering. Texture of paving is very nice.

Offline Daimoth

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #41 on: September 18, 2014, 04:28:40 pm
Mathias for the love of God will you explain how you did that fog. That's great stuff.

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #42 on: September 18, 2014, 05:37:39 pm
Good point with the light.
The flickering is meant to be a glitch in the lamp post's function, like it's short circuiting, or who knows, maybe it's being affected by the spooky ghost peoples' presence.
Either way, if you're gonna flicker the light, you want to do it in a scary way. Just a few flashes here and there. Just enough for the viewer to be able to read the ghosts peeps correctly.
I think the flickering light lends to the scariness of the scene because we as humans are more vulnerable in low light conditions; when we can't see what's in front of us we can't prepare for or defend ourselves very well.

@ Daimoth - Yeah, cool, no problem.
Please see my post here, in response to Fizzick who had the same question.
If you still don't get it and really wanna know, post a new thread in Animation.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2014, 06:02:29 pm by Mathias »

Offline Lakelezz

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #43 on: September 18, 2014, 08:37:16 pm
I totally agree on the problem with "disco", haha :D I will reduce the flickering to a minimum when I start working on the animation-part again.

Also I have done some tweaks.
On the updated version you can see following edits:
-No dithering anymore
-Tried to clean up the hair
-Pole lighting fixed
-The little girl's hair is now better to read
-Pavement got fixed here and there

Compare:


Latest version:


Thanks HarveyDentMustDie and Mathias for your kind help :)

Offline Lakelezz

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #44 on: September 20, 2014, 10:20:37 pm
I did some more changes:



-Added more strands
-Structured the hair a little bit different
-Pavement is now much more detailed in terms of lighting
-Surrounding glow effect on the lantern and the main part
-Some other little tweaks
« Last Edit: September 20, 2014, 10:28:42 pm by Lakelezz »

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #45 on: September 21, 2014, 07:35:24 pm
I tried to clean my piece up:



-The dresses were much more defined, removed random feeling pixels.
-Pavements highlights are now more "smooth" and less edgy
-The shadows between the single stones were "fixed"
-Face got changed a little bit
-Tweaked colours

A few things I want to change:
-The pavement got reduced on the right side due ugly placement of some stones -> Repairing the right side.
-Also the faces could be improved a little bit more
-Maybe her left arm needs some more fixes
« Last Edit: September 21, 2014, 07:37:45 pm by Lakelezz »

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #46 on: September 21, 2014, 07:46:18 pm
This is turning out nicely. I do hope you animate the moths, flickering bulb and maybe add a fog effect similar what Mathias had displayed. It really amplified the spookiness overall.
I think one more lighter blue around the streetlamp too just to make the aura pop out a lil more.
 

Offline Lakelezz

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #47 on: September 21, 2014, 08:00:03 pm
I will of course animate this. However I am not sure about how the moths should move.
Sadly it seems like I wont add a fog effect. It is too hard to do it properly.  :(

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #48 on: September 21, 2014, 08:41:38 pm
for the fog you could go Castlevania IV style - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0myhqezd-s

skip to 1.10 for dat alpha fog!

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #49 on: September 21, 2014, 09:39:18 pm
Really neat idea! I will take a look into that! Thanks!  :)

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #50 on: October 03, 2014, 09:39:05 pm
Okay, I did some more edits.

This is my current piece:



I also tested a little bit to create fog. However keep in my mind that the following piece contains older footage:


This one got changed colours, does not work though:

The fog is not cleaned up. I kinda disliked the fog and so I continued working on the characters and pavement.

« Last Edit: October 03, 2014, 09:43:18 pm by Lakelezz »

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #51 on: October 04, 2014, 10:41:44 pm
This is pretty awesome!

Personally I felt a bit distracted somehow, and kept looking at the street by the boys feet instead of the faces and streetlamp - which feel like they should be the focalpoints.

In edit tried to:
- decrease brightness and detail in places other that above focal points (mainly street, hair and some rimlights)
- increased shadow depth on her left arm and below boys cheek.

Offline Facet

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #52 on: October 05, 2014, 03:01:56 pm
I like the idea, I might have guessed zombie the demoniacally possessed though; are ghosts not usually a bit more incorporeal? You see through ‘em a bit, not really affected by scene lighting etc. Probably there’s many and varied kinds of ghosts but I had a go at the translucent effect using the fog idea you had which I rather liked; it might be easier to sell with more/more colourful background stuff though.

I changed the angle of the lamp to a bit more straight on 'cos it was a bit hard to place in space; seemed like it might have been over the brow of a hill and so not have been casting so much light into the foreground, probably should have raised it up a bit too I guess.

I also second the love for those gnarly 1-bit bushes you had going before, anyhow stick at it!


« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 08:01:19 pm by Facet »

Offline Cream

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #53 on: October 07, 2014, 10:33:55 pm
I have a question. These shadows are correct?



Bonus question: how do i calculate these shadows?
 
 ???

Offline Lakelezz

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #54 on: October 11, 2014, 01:32:02 pm
This is pretty awesome!

Personally I felt a bit distracted somehow, and kept looking at the street by the boys feet instead of the faces and streetlamp - which feel like they should be the focalpoints.

In edit tried to:
- decrease brightness and detail in places other that above focal points (mainly street, hair and some rimlights)
- increased shadow depth on her left arm and below boys cheek.



I can imagine that you feel that way but I dislike the idea of lowering the saturation of the highlight :o
However thanks for your feedback and impression! The way a viewer feels when looking at this piece is of course very important for the final version, though this is not final.

I like the idea, I might have guessed zombie the demoniacally possessed though; are ghosts not usually a bit more incorporeal? You see through ‘em a bit, not really affected by scene lighting etc. Probably there’s many and varied kinds of ghosts but I had a go at the translucent effect using the fog idea you had which I rather liked; it might be easier to sell with more/more colourful background stuff though.

I changed the angle of the lamp to a bit more straight on 'cos it was a bit hard to place in space; seemed like it might have been over the brow of a hill and so not have been casting so much light into the foreground, probably should have raised it up a bit too I guess.

I also second the love for those gnarly 1-bit bushes you had going before, anyhow stick at it!




The term 'ghost' was not specially aiming to describe logic but simply appearance of a mysterious figure (two in this piece).
Translucent might be used on the fog while not on the figures. I am afraid making both translucent would cause tons of readability problems.
Finally those are not just some ghosts as I said before. Probably at bad idea to pick up this term, my bad  :blind:
However thank you a lot for the idea on the lantern and the visual example. It helped me to realize the fog/mist idea more visually.
Oh! You reminded me of how much I liked the concept of the bushes! I sadly wont be able to use the first version you liked so much due the huge amount of unmanageable dirty pixels.
Although I will give the bushes a new attempt in general.

I have a question. These shadows are correct?



Bonus question: how do i calculate these shadows?
 
 ???

Those are probably not right. I moved the light source around quite often.
If you want to actually calculate shadows roughly: Trigonometry; do some research about this.
However I think this is a rather ugly (but precise) way to 'calculate' shadows properly.
When it comes down to bodies (e.g. anatomy) you can always make use of your own body/real life.
On this piece it could be done like this: Place two blocks on a surface. One taller for the woman and a smaller one for the girl.
Try to reduce/turn off all light sources in the room. Now take a lamp or something rather close to the shape of the light source of the lantern.
The rest should be self explanatory! Play around with distances, positions and angles. Now you know how the shadow will fall, how stretched it is and so on.

As I said in the reply to the post of Facet, I worked on the bushes again.
I really want to finish the piece before I add animated features (like the fog).
Another idea which came up in my mind had in the last days was to add a border to the left (a tree).



On the one hand the tree is just sketched but on the other I tried to add some texture to it.
The lines on it (the brightest colour) should be more curved maybe due the tree being roundish  :-\
Nonetheless the tree is targeted to be not that fancy to reduce attraction. That is why I do not want to use highlights on it.

The bushes are a dirty pixel fest, haha. Some of you might remember them, they lurk around on some older pages  ::)
However I really want to tackle them again!
This is my first rough attempt to bring some real volume into these bushes:


This was another attempt make more out of the texture while respecting the volume idea:


I really want to go for those bushes. If somebody could give me some help and share his or her mind about those posted images that would be great!
If there would be someone who could do an edit onto certain area of the bushes to show me how to clean them that would be even greater  :o
Overall I am thankful for every idea and help concerning this piece!  :)







Offline Facet

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #55 on: October 12, 2014, 09:41:36 pm
I'd really finalise the position of the light source and figure before adding more stuff; the figures are pretty well straight facing us while the cobbles are seen from above with no change in scale coming forward, and the lamp seems like a fair distance away, going back and in quite strongly as from below.

Quote
Oh! You reminded me of how much I liked the concept of the bushes! I sadly wont be able to use the first version you liked so much due the huge amount of unmanageable dirty pixels.
Although I will give the bushes a new attempt in general.
Not that you should necessarily, but if you really wanted to clean up dirty work you could just select the darks using a low-ish threshold + flood fill with a solid colour -> inverse selection + flood fill that also. done.

Kinda agree that the brightest colour is a little distracting used so liberally btw.

« Last Edit: October 12, 2014, 09:45:13 pm by Facet »

Offline Lakelezz

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #56 on: October 13, 2014, 11:45:21 pm
Thanks for your point of view, Facet! I really can understand all of your mentioned points but I doubt that I am able to fix the pavement.

First of all, I want to work on the light.
I made some changes. The back light was removed due having no light source.


This is the older version; the black light can be seen:


I am curious about your thoughts!



I have done some edits!

First of all I want to show you the current version. This contains all latest changes concerning the characters.



Here is a version which tried to have more fitting shadows but the rest is neither fixed nor edited:



However there is this alternative edit for the left bush:



The bushes are offering so many different ways to change and optimize them... that I am not sure how to proceed on them.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 05:39:33 am by PixelPiledriver »

Offline Lakelezz

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #57 on: October 28, 2014, 10:58:12 pm
I reworked the bush pattern and started to animate.
There might be some "shadow cast"-test when I am done with animating!

This is the static image:


The animation:


Flies are much smoother in terms of movement and the blending of the flicker-effect is much nicer.
As I mentioned: The animation is not finished due time lack - the flies will stop existing at some frame.
I will fix the first two frames soon, where the upper left fly is "spawning" and directly disappearing (flying behind the lamp) too weirdly.

Offline Fizzick

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #58 on: October 29, 2014, 01:46:39 am
I think the branch should make more of a cast shadow across the trunk of that tree.

Offline Lakelezz

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #59 on: October 29, 2014, 08:05:54 pm
I will take that into account, Fizzick!
However I had barely time for such changes today.

This my current full animation:

Offline HarveyDentMustDie

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #60 on: October 29, 2014, 11:09:00 pm
I have few notes on this. Night is never pitch black dark, so when your light goes off you won't loose all elements from the screen. You should at least show some shapes with currently darkest blue you've use.

Also your fade out flicker is very strange, especially because it happens in equal intervals. It's like car signal lights.

Also, how come ghosts are visible only when light is on? Because of this, they just read as mom and son going out to trick and treat.

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #61 on: October 29, 2014, 11:35:02 pm
I agree with Harvey on the flickering. I liked it better when it flickered very sharply and randomly. It was very uncomfortable to watch (hard on the eyes), but I suppose it could be said that that's to your advantage given your subject.

Also, how come ghosts are visible only when light is on? Because of this, they just read as mom and son going out to trick and treat.

I haven't seen many modern portrayals of ghosts that are glow-in-the-dark. This scene in Mama comes to mind:
Mommy's Boy: Development Blog  Youtube  Contact: MommysBoyGame or Psylent-Knight@hotmail
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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #62 on: October 30, 2014, 11:12:45 am
@PsylentKnight Good point. From the beginning of this tread I had impression that he wants to achieve glowing effect.

Something like this:

Offline Lakelezz

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #63 on: October 30, 2014, 09:33:19 pm
The ghosts are not glowing but the eyes.

The flickering is not happening in exactly equal intervals but I guess that is almost impossible to see. In the end the feeling about the animation is what counts, so thanks for your impressions!
However I dislike the idea of adding just a pure strobelight festival (which would be sharp and random flickering).

I tried to combine the idea of the calm flickering with the rather rapid ones. Additionally I added a shade for the darkest frames - using the darkest blue tone.



This is still work in progress and I have already some thought but I would really like to hear your opinions!

Thanks for your support, HarveyDentMustDie and PsylentKnight!

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #64 on: October 31, 2014, 01:49:07 am
You definately need to leave a space of either on for a while, off for a while, or both.

Offline Lakelezz

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #65 on: October 31, 2014, 02:56:55 pm
When? Between both the fast and slow flickering?

Offline Lakelezz

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Re: [WIP] Improving my spooky ghost

Reply #66 on: October 31, 2014, 09:39:13 pm
Thanks everyone!

I decided to finish the piece and stop editing it since I want to move on. Additionally it simply fits to publish due Halloween.
However I really want to thank you all for your great critique and welcoming help :)

If you want to take a look at the finished piece, here is the link: http://lakelezz.deviantart.com/art/Shadowless-Life-Animated-491796466
There will be probably no more changes on it.