AuthorTopic: GR#228 - Alcopops Pixel Sketch Thread - Sprite Process  (Read 8794 times)

Offline AlcopopStar

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GR#228 - Alcopops Pixel Sketch Thread - Sprite Process

on: September 12, 2014, 05:52:53 pm
Hello Pixelation,

So I've been doing these pixel sketches, they are kind of a halfway point between pixel pushing and sketching on paper, and I thought, seeing as I'm doing a ton and plan to do a ton more, I'd start a thread for it here.

I hope firstly that this style is acceptable for these forums, i'm not being overly messy, but i'm not being particular traditional either. To justify my approach I would say that the reductional nature of pixel line work means a lot of the distracting elements from other mediums (such as line weight) can be circumvented or controlled manually. As well, The fact that you're encouraged to work with a single clean line means you can focus a lot of energy on what a single given line is achieving,  and edit to a very fine degree.

For whatever reason with the process of refinement i find myself losing much less energy when working on these pieces then compared to any other medium i work in.  Which is why it's exciting to me and why I thought I'd share it here. 

Anyway without further rambling here are a few complete works,

Finished:









Wip Progess



Wip Progess:





Axewitch!
Wip Progess:





Current Work:


Wip Progress:



Other Wips:


Liking this a lot not idea how i'll handle colouring tho.


A little looser, might drop this one, unsure.


Probably treat this like demon ladies in terms of colouring.

A lot of these works will be pushed to different degrees of graphical fidelity. I might go deep with the pixel tech into some but more often i'll keep it fast and simple. Speed is very important to me, if I can complete two works in the time it takes me to polish one, i usually will.

Crits on structure, composition, pose, anatomy, expression ect are super welcome. Crits on pixel craft are also good but just keep in mind the rough nature of what i'm doing. Not trying to squirm outta crits just probably not going to go AA heavy or densely shade many images. I probably won't redo images from scratch either unless you catch the work in the design phase, i'de just rather churn out what I have and start a new piece. (though i'll take the crits on board for the next one).

Okay, i'll update as things happen, assuming people care :0
« Last Edit: November 15, 2014, 07:11:46 am by AlcopopStar »

Offline Manupix

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Re: Alcopop's pixel sketch thread

Reply #1 on: September 12, 2014, 09:26:16 pm
I love these =)
I'll admit when I first saw them on PJ I found them a bit on the unfinished side, but I understand your approach and the energy in there largely makes up for it.

I'd agree the technique might be less suitable for portraits though; potions guy is my least favorite, possibly because of lack of detail.

I don't have much else to say, except: keep'em coming =)

Also, reminds me of this guy. Too bad he's stopped posting :(

(btw, I think this would be ok in the PA thread, might get more responses there)

Offline lachrymose

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Re: Alcopop's pixel sketch thread

Reply #2 on: September 12, 2014, 10:58:40 pm
I wish I had the talent. :[

Great work man!

Offline AlcopopStar

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Re: Alcopop's pixel sketch thread

Reply #3 on: September 13, 2014, 08:58:50 am
@Manupix

Thanks for the nice words! Yeah the tech doesn't seem to suit portraits as well as i'd like. So I might be a bit more render heavy on that oldman wip.

The guy you linked has some pretty cool stuff. I like the way he treats his colour and shading, i'm kinda assuming i'll naturally get a bit more complex and daring as I progress with these.

And yeah, if any mods are reading I would rather this thread be in the pixel art forum but I thought i'd play it safe. So if you could change that, that would be great!

@lachrymose

Thanks dude, and as far as I can tell, talent has more to do with getting an easel out and doing lifedrawing with a good book next to you then anything, so don't be dispirited, anyone can learn.

Updates:

Latest demon girl is pretty much done, little worried about readability with the colours I've chosen, any thoughts? Is everything sitting okay?


new butcher WIP. Also happy to get colour suggestions for this guy (weakest area). Beyond that i think i'll keep him pretty simple.

Beyond touch ups i''ll either finish up or toss out old man face next. So any directions that could make that image remotely interesting would be welcome.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2014, 10:43:28 am by AlcopopStar »

Offline Manupix

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Re: Alcopop's pixel sketch thread

Reply #4 on: September 13, 2014, 12:32:01 pm
Demon girl's horns don't attach symmetrically on her head.
Try them red?

The skulls are a nice touch but they might catch the eye too much. I'd try removing their outlines, and grouping them in one area a little bit more in the background ( = higher in the image).

Needs a simple cast shadow as the other girls.

Offline Probo

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Re: Alcopop's pixel sketch thread

Reply #5 on: September 13, 2014, 03:07:38 pm
these are great!!! wish i could draw like that!

loving the fawn woman. but the right, furthest ear looked a bit weird to me, I think because its going through the hood and sticking out as far as it does, it looks like its sticking forward whilst the other ear points backwards pushing the hood back

I did an edit to make the ears and hood a bit more symmetrical, and i had a go at the horns

Offline AlcopopStar

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Re: Alcopop's pixel sketch thread

Reply #6 on: September 13, 2014, 04:12:28 pm


Update

@Probo

Thanks for the edit and nice words! your totally right about the ears, I pushed it in front of the hood but I couldn't bear to tuck the hood behind. Idk i just feel like that round bagginess is part of the charm of the outfit. I might reevaluate later tho.

I also love ur lil horn touches there and may have copied that a little, albeit with slightly fatter horns.

@Manupix

Removed the skulls, you were right they were a bit too distracting. Fixed the horn positions and added the shadow. Cheers for pointing that all out. :)


Okay so beyond any small tweaks and maybe messing with the hood a touch more i'm pretty much calling that done!

Moving on to old man face.




Here is where it currently stands. the heads slight jaunt is killing me a little in terms of lining the features up but i dug my own grave here.

I have two versions, not sure which I prefer so any thoughts on that would be good. It's shaping up, but i'm still open to ideas in terms of a more interesting direction.

Offline AlcopopStar

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Re: Alcopop's pixel sketch thread

Reply #7 on: September 14, 2014, 04:01:49 pm
Welp, did in fact end up going in for more refinement on this one.





A lot of cleaning up left to do, maybe some light dithering? unsure. Not sure to what degree to add a body either. Also might hit the whole thing with sepia to get an old timey feel. Thoughts are welcome.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2014, 01:20:59 pm by AlcopopStar »

Offline jams0988

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Re: Alcopop's pixel sketch thread

Reply #8 on: September 16, 2014, 04:04:55 am
Cool work! I like all of them, except for the butcher. He's giving me strong "fake anime" vibes, like those horrible shows from the early 00's. He's well drawn, he's just giving me flashbacks to terrible things.

It's obvious you're comfortable drawing, though. All your characters are very lively and natural looking. Good work. =D

Offline AlcopopStar

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Re: Alcopop's pixel sketch thread

Reply #9 on: September 16, 2014, 01:25:11 pm
Cheers jams,

And yeah it's gotta a bit of a teen titans vibe to it doesn't it. Ahh well.


I ended up more or less finishing the old man, who is now named Reginald "Duster" Thompson. Went a little far what was meant to be a pixel sketch but I guess that's going to happen from time to time.

I think i'll tackle the fencer next, and ditch the caster and butcher. Also maybe do a new round of sketches.

Offline FrostPumpkin

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Re: Alcopop's pixel sketch thread

Reply #10 on: September 16, 2014, 01:42:35 pm
Hello ! Really nice works, I enjoy your designs and that last portrait is great.
My only concern is that, I think, you style doesn't really suits to pixel art. I mean, it looks good but the pixel lines adds a sense of restriction that doesn't suit your spontaneous line and designs.

I think the dynamics of your drawings would have much more impact in CG, where you can have another dimension working with line art, varying thickness and intensity of the lines in order to support your already spontaneous design style.

It's very nice tho, keep it up !!

Offline Manupix

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Re: Alcopop's pixel sketch thread

Reply #11 on: September 16, 2014, 01:47:44 pm
Mr Thompson is awesome =)
Only thing is his dead eye could be more obvious and scary if it was larger, as people with such impairment usually develop facial asymmetry because (my guess) their useless eye muscles relax into oblivion.

Offline AlcopopStar

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Re: Alcopop's pixel sketch thread

Reply #12 on: September 16, 2014, 02:55:51 pm
@Frost

Thank you for the nice words! :)

You might well be right about the jagged lines being discordant with a more fluid style. And I think eventually i'll head in two different directions with it. One i'll head back to paint tool sai and try to apply with i've learned here to my digital art. And two i'll slowly start colouring and rendering more complexly until the figures resemble something closer to traditional pixel art. (but still hopefully keep their flow)

Either way I think this works as a good starting point. Like, i'm breaking down elements and placing them back in order one by one.

@Manupix
Ahh great idea I quickly sized the eye up a little thanks ;0

Offline AlcopopStar

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Re: Alcopop's pixel sketch thread

Reply #13 on: September 19, 2014, 05:03:57 pm
Okay!

So I put my other sketches on hold to work on this:


Axewitch!

original sketch:





I've got big plans for this one, I want to try to manually control line weight through hand placed AA, which will be difficult because my AA skills are... limited.

I'm going to fully colour and shade it too, but for the moment i'm just trying to finish cleaning up the line work, the axe + foot is being a real pain. And the boars fur isn't quite working.

Thoughts are welcome as always.

More as it comes!
« Last Edit: September 19, 2014, 05:10:07 pm by AlcopopStar »

Offline YellowLime

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Re: Alcopop's pixel sketch thread

Reply #14 on: September 21, 2014, 02:41:08 pm
 :o This is some great stuff, keep it up :y:

Offline AlcopopStar

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Re: Alcopop's pixel sketch thread

Reply #15 on: September 27, 2014, 12:11:23 pm
Cheers Yellowlime :)

Okay, so a hectic week meant some slow progress but I've made a lot of headway with this picture nonetheless.



Pretty happy with this. I feel like this is an evolution of the style I've been working with. I'll keep pushing it, and hopefully I think i'll try to work a whole comic with this approach.

Things to note,
High contrast colours are joined by a manually AAed buffer colour.
Used a dirty technique i whipped up to auto line the background leaves.

Suggestions welcome as always.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2014, 01:14:42 pm by AlcopopStar »

Offline Daimoth

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Re: Alcopop's pixel sketch thread

Reply #16 on: September 27, 2014, 08:12:22 pm
It bothers me that the gruff fellow's face is tilted a little. I don't know why. :blind:

That said, it's obvious you have skill as an artist, and not just pixel art. I look forward to your future work!
« Last Edit: September 27, 2014, 09:27:07 pm by Daimoth »

Offline Cyangmou

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Re: Alcopop's pixel sketch thread

Reply #17 on: September 28, 2014, 05:12:23 pm
I would say the lineart is lovely and powerful, but the colored version lacks visual impact and power.

color/light - everything is pretty gray, you don't have many details of interest to look at, so compensate this with strong colors for a quick and effective impact.
Also considering the quality of the sunlight you can seperate light and shadow planes with light and shadow hues to even strengthen the impact.
eyes: second spot of interest are the eyes, in yours they look dead, which is pretty bad for the character. Even if it's an undead, a vampire or whatever you should add the pupils and rather go for a more fancy form.

cast shadows - at some spots you could add pretty simple cast shadows to make things pop and give the things more form, you have them in a few spots (like beneath the hat) but you can add them at a lot of other spots and much more powerful.

framing elements: the framing elements of the leavas add a pattern where you don' twant to have the viewers eye, simplify them in a big single cluster there.

composition lines: you can use open space like the sky to add a few powerful composition lines to emphasize depth and guide the viewer to the points of interest.
 

"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 Manupix

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Re: Alcopop's pixel sketch thread

Reply #18 on: September 28, 2014, 06:36:26 pm
Agree with Cyangmou.
Also the bg foliage doesn't need outlines, and its shapes are boring and sloppy.
Great character =)
Don't bother with AA, your pieces are large enough to be viewed at 1x and it is lost on the viewer.

Offline Daimoth

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Re: Alcopop's pixel sketch thread

Reply #19 on: September 29, 2014, 05:01:43 am
This guy could make a killer pixel art coloring book. Fully rendering all that beautiful line art would be extremely fun.

Offline AlcopopStar

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Re: Alcopop's pixel sketch thread

Reply #20 on: September 29, 2014, 03:34:07 pm
Thank you for that wonderful substantive edit Cyangmou! Super psyched looking at your changes, you really honed in on the elements I forgot about or got lazy with.

I'm not quite done with the edit yet but I wanted to get something down before my week of study started.

to
or

One issue I have in general is creating heavily hue shifted ramps with very little tonal contrast out of habit (and perhaps colour blindness). However I over compensated with this picture and made everything a way too bland, your edit really pushed the colours in a nicer direction. I didn't push it quite to the same extreme but even still, the picture is really popping now.

I love love love what you did with the clouds. My new ones are still a touch rough but I feel lousy about not giving them any attention before what so ever. I tend to treat backgrounds as an afterthought, a habit I badly need to break. I think i'll likewise completely redo the leaves and get them into some nicer shapes and forms as @Manupix was saying as well.

I did a version where I replaced that messy red/brown on the clothing with a more "witchy" dark blue on for the hat and top and boots. Not sure which works more, my instincts tell me the blue brings a bit more vibrancy but what colour balancing I did was done with the green and red/brown so maybe I should stick with that.

 I also added some yellow/blue into the hair. The hair in question is meant to be pretty much a white blond but I was hoping to work both blue and yellow into the shading, (a little simular to nia's hair in ttgl)
http://33.media.tumblr.com/362a994ff5f5f900f3b4fb0336e22863/tumblr_mornbrn0Br1qg78wpo1_500.gif

Pupils now exist, took awhile to get right but hopefully they work.

Drop shadows haven't made it onto the pig yet. They looked nice but i'm considering how complex I want the shading to be. I'll get back to this with a verdict.

My colour pallet is still a little weaker then yours, and maybe i'm a being a little to timid, but i'm still a lot happier with the picture over all. I'll re-approach it in a week, any further suggestions on what i've done so far would of course be welcome.

Oh and thanks everyone for the nice comments. :)
« Last Edit: September 29, 2014, 11:40:39 pm by AlcopopStar »

Offline Fizzick

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Re: Alcopop's pixel sketch thread

Reply #21 on: September 29, 2014, 06:38:51 pm
Waifu/10. Great work.

Offline AlcopopStar

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Re: Alcopop's pixel sketch thread

Reply #22 on: November 11, 2014, 01:44:13 pm
Hi all,

I'm finally finished study (whew) so I can actually start dedicating some time back to my personal process. Last time i posted, like a month ago, I said I wanted to redo the background on axewitch, but a little too much time has passed to keep me interested so while the background is a problem I think its an issue i'll tackle with a future piece.

I have started something new however,



Still some cleaning left to do but otherwise on track. A little unsure if a background is in order, and if it is, what of? So some thoughts there would be nice. I've tried to keep the pallet a little more saturated and interesting in this one, so it would be nice to know if that's working or not as well. 

So yeah, lemme know what you think. :)

Offline EvilEye

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Re: Alcopop's pixel sketch thread

Reply #23 on: November 11, 2014, 09:59:09 pm
Looks pretty good. Not sure why you'd want to do pixel art at this size though... but...

That axe thing is a little confusing.

Her right arm looks smaller then her left arm.

Hands, hands... fingers... practice those!

Though it looks passable from this angle, I'll bet if you flipped that image the other way around she'd really look to be standing in an awkward position. If I had time I'd try it myself.

Offline AlcopopStar

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Re: Alcopop's pixel sketch thread

Reply #24 on: November 13, 2014, 09:52:45 am
Thanks for your crit Evil, very helpful. You've got a good eye if you ask me. ;)

I like to do pixel art at this size because I think it makes me more exacting in my art. I think it gives me a way to focus on elements I consider more fundamental, such as pose and colour, without worrying about things I consider peripheral, like line weight or complex shading. It also gives me a lot of control. I might not stick with this approach forever, but its fun for the time being.



So,

Flipped the pose, I like having the spear looking like it's in reach this way.

Evened her arms up.

Pushed her head and neck back, it was way to far forward, I think this was unbalancing the pose

Hands, well, yeah I need tons of practice, still I cleaned them up and tried to make them less awful

Changed the weapon design, and shrunk it down, to look like something actually functional

A million other tiny changes and general cleaning

The biggest issue remains the hands, they sit a bit flat and are lost in the detail. Not sure what to do about that, if anyone has any advice? beyond that I still have some touch ups and a little shading to get too but crits are still very welcome.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2014, 10:16:23 am by AlcopopStar »

Offline Probo

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Re: Alcopop's pixel sketch thread

Reply #25 on: November 13, 2014, 11:35:03 am
the nearest arm looks a bit short to me, and the other hand holding it looks like its warping a bit to do that. i find those circular details on the back of the hands a bit distracting when trying to think about the pose, id delete them for now!

as for making them stand out a bit more, theres less detail and shading on them compared to the surrounding chest/head/shoulders area and theyre not casting a shadow so that wont help. have you thought about trying to introduce different line-widths into your work? i think line-width is often used to add depth in art like this.

Offline AlcopopStar

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Re: Alcopop's pixel sketch thread

Reply #26 on: November 13, 2014, 02:22:10 pm
Thanks for the feedback probo, as always :)

Your right on all fronts, and I tried to amend some of the issues, but I think the broader issue was that the wrist holding didn't make much sense as a pose.

I don't like changing major elements like that at this stage of the image, I find it often unbalances things, but i might make an exception. I added a rough version of what i'm thinking.

>

this way the spear also isn't just floating there.

Better, worse?

Offline Probo

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Re: Alcopop's pixel sketch thread

Reply #27 on: November 13, 2014, 03:50:44 pm
yeah i like it. its hard to tell why shes looking at the hand now though - before it looked like her hand was hurting because she was grabbing it by the wrist with the other hand. if you change the hands pose a bit it could look more like shes inspecting it or looking at something she is holding in her palm

rough edit -



something like that maybe? excuse my drawing lol

also the furthest shoulder would need redrawing because its still rolled forward from when the arm was coming across her, but im sure youre aware of that

Offline AlcopopStar

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Re: Alcopop's pixel sketch thread

Reply #28 on: November 14, 2014, 11:44:30 am
Okay, so after getting some advice from a few friends I decided to keep the arm where it was and redo the hand. The body language is just a touch better this way.

Beyond that I've added some shading and pretty much polished everything up a touch, so unless there is something really standout to fix i'm pretty much calling this one done.



That said, some quick and dirty background ideas or colours are a welcome suggestion, if anyone has any thoughts.

(edit: added animation) :)
« Last Edit: November 15, 2014, 07:11:14 am by AlcopopStar »

Offline EvilEye

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Re: Alcopop's pixel sketch thread

Reply #29 on: November 18, 2014, 12:28:48 am
Here is my take on the hands. It's rough but I think you get the idea. Also tried to straighten out her stance a tad.

« Last Edit: November 18, 2014, 08:18:16 pm by EvilEye »

Offline NowvaB

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Re: Alcopop's pixel sketch thread

Reply #30 on: November 19, 2014, 04:22:05 am
Here is my take on the hands. It's rough but I think you get the idea. Also tried to straighten out her stance a tad.



^^^ I like this one feels right.
makes it seem more like she is looking down in thought rather than looking at something on her hand.

-----

ehh, new page I guess. I was referring to EvilEye's edit

Just quote the post you're referring to in the future. Added it for you. -Crow
« Last Edit: November 22, 2014, 10:17:02 am by Crow »