Ai: Okay, like this? MADE A DRONE.
Thems some thin lines, son! the object line width is totally controlable - you use the vertex alpha value to multiply the width.
...and as for "AutoHinting"... yes, that's completely possible. Even easy! You run into the problem we did last time, though - your assets need to then be built on a grid...and that will only really work at a single zoom level. Zoom in and out, and your exact pixel positioning goes away.
And multiple lights with lighting gradient maps... totally possible as well! I know because I've done it. Here's a test I did for a tribute to the Star Trek 25th Anniversary art style. As you can see, the lighting is ramped, there's multiple colors, and they all play nice together. http://www.hedfiles.net/STMobile/STMobile.html
Conceit: Oh. Oh? Okay, so the shadow bias stuff is in there already.
it's already working - and I'm using the same vertex values to do workable ambient occlusion.
That short is just unbelievably awesome. Great stuff!
On the notes for the skin, and glow...I agree. I wasn't a huge fan of the existing glow, and was looking for a way to fix it. You showed me the way, thank you!
Here you go - I went with the hybrid approach:
And the skin shader + enhanced facial features:
I'm working on explosions and that screen-space Drift Stage cockpit glass. if I recall correctly, I'm one of the guys that showed them how to do that...I think? It was a while ago.
Thank you, Conceit and Ai - your feedback is extremely helpful and I'm loving the challenge to improve that you're setting for me!
RAV: I wasn;t suggesting that in pixelart "anything goes" at all. I was simply pointing out that any pixel art you care to point at, no matter how skilled and polished, would have parts to it that would be reasonably considered to be "wrong" to other pixel artists. I also don't agree with or accept your proposition that "Art is no nilly-willy subject. It's serious as science." That...that statement is fractally wrong. I'm obviously not the end all authority on anything, but stating that the pixel art done by artists is the same level of seriousness as cancer research is utter nonsense. We're just not going to see eye to eye on that one. Sorry.
As for having less room for error in pixel art vs regular 3d artwork...nope, I just can't agree with you there, either. There's plentiful sloppy examples of both, and they both require skill and time to learn how to get right. I'd argue that it's harder to do highly-detailed, high res 3d artwork than pixelart - there's a reason many Indiegames with limited budgets and time/resources choose to use pixelart as their medium. It's not that it's harder than 3d artwork.
"The measure by which to judge your control on the pixels is not the code, but the image we're looking at."
Hmm. No, the measure that I judge my control over what's shown on screen is by how much I actually control it. As I've said, I control all aspects of color, lighting, shape, shading, outline thickness, surface detail, dithering, and indexed palette. The only aspect I'm missing total control over is exactly how the shadow maps fall on the surface of the 3d object. Please don't make the mistake of thinking that since I've exposed several On/Off toggles for various effects that that is the extent of the controls in the system. Those are simply the ones I've shared for demonstrative purposes.
The end goal of this is to deliver a demo project and a tutorial that clearly explains the workings of the system, in a way that can quickly have new assets dropped in, or, alternatively be imported into use in an existing project. I'm still very much on the path to that goal.
Seiseki: Oh, gotcha. Here's the scene with Dawnbringer's 16 color palette with no dithering.
And yes - I still need to tweak AA settings - but again, part of the problem is that the level of AA used by different pixel artists varies wildly. It's a definite headache.
Latest build has also been updated! www.hedfiles.net/PixelShader/PixelShader.html