AuthorTopic: Choosing Colors and Color Theory  (Read 764 times)

Offline HDthunder

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Choosing Colors and Color Theory

on: January 22, 2017, 08:40:11 pm
I've been noticing that my pixel art is improving and my understanding of light and shadow and forms is going well.
I want to know how I can Improve my choice of color and understand the color wheel more and more, my colors just
don't pop out I've seen pixel art pieces with just 16 colors or less. Make such a huge impact on me and While I use less than that
amount and most of the time more my colors it just doesn't look right and feels dull. I need some type of guide or maybe some
tips to help me Improve my choice of colors to really make my pieces pop and not look so dull.



This Piece I did recently, is dull and doesn't pop out as much it doesn't catch the eye at all.

Offline Achrileg

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Re: Choosing Colors and Color Theory

Reply #1 on: January 23, 2017, 05:13:01 pm
The way to make anything pop out is CONTRAST. That's the key word.

I'm going to go ahead and say that learning color theory and colors digitally is so much harder than traditionally, where you have to actually think about the colors you're mixing. I had to pick up guache for studies, and honestly it helped me a lot. And learn from references and still life. STILL LIFE IS DA BEST.

Anyways, think of it this way, and I'm not relating this to your character or the lack of a background, it's just an analogy.
To make a character pop out from the background in a 2d top down game there's a few options, but the main one is to use colors. Make the background generally use desaturated colors and the characters use saturated, brighter colors. The DIFFERENCE is what makes the CONTRAST, and lets you as the artist control where the eye goes.

I hope you get what I'm getting at. =p

Disregarding colors, the character seems noisy, and the form is hard to read, the character seems flat. You're overcomplicating the character and I feel like you're trying to add too much detail. If you want to learn something art-wise, remember that pixel-art is a stylization of the basics - it's important to have fundamentals down before if you want to reach a very high level. That includes but isn't limited to perspective, proportions, light and shadows, simplifying shapes, anatomy and so on.

I am biased and it shows, so take what I say with a grain of salt, but I feel that learning outside pixel-art is the best way to improve.

Offline HDthunder

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Re: Choosing Colors and Color Theory

Reply #2 on: January 23, 2017, 10:45:19 pm
ty so much for the reply! I see what you mean about using life in terms of learning about colors and using saturated/desaturated colors to give the character more contrast. The noisy part is me using so many colors on a small sprite. I'm just about doing realism with pixel art and that contradicts the point of pixel art in most cases. Just like looking at real life and my fundamentals for color is the worst and 2nd to that is perspective and 3rd form. just trying to get more of a feel as my skill increased.

Offline Arne

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Re: Choosing Colors and Color Theory

Reply #3 on: January 26, 2017, 05:50:14 pm
I didn't spend much time adjusting the colors/palette here... most palettes have some room for expression and if you're sort of happy with the general colors and the atmosphere they create, then it comes down to what you do with pixel placement and figure/construction. I did reduce to under 16 colors because it saves time. I don't like to work with colors that are too similar, and I prefer the look of smaller palettes over smooth gradient stuff. More colors, more little AA dots to place, and that just makes things blurry, to my eye.



For the figure, I just erased the pants to move a foot back, and consequently, hip out. Reduced texture/folds on shirt. This allowed me to fit in some actual detail, like buttons. He could also have a stripe running down the shirt sleeve or something. I was thinking vintage navy/air force for theming. Added a gold accent near foot to suggest detail and some form of regality.

Offline HDthunder

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Re: Choosing Colors and Color Theory

Reply #4 on: January 26, 2017, 10:27:25 pm
I didn't spend much time adjusting the colors/palette here... most palettes have some room for expression and if you're sort of happy with the general colors and the atmosphere they create, then it comes down to what you do with pixel placement and figure/construction. I did reduce to under 16 colors because it saves time. I don't like to work with colors that are too similar, and I prefer the look of smaller palettes over smooth gradient stuff. More colors, more little AA dots to place, and that just makes things blurry, to my eye.



For the figure, I just erased the pants to move a foot back, and consequently, hip out. Reduced texture/folds on shirt. This allowed me to fit in some actual detail, like buttons. He could also have a stripe running down the shirt sleeve or something. I was thinking vintage navy/air force for theming. Added a gold accent near foot to suggest detail and some form of regality.
your amazing at this! how did you learn to choose like that or does it comes from experience experimenting all the time? my colors doesn't have that much of an impact on the eye compared to mine it's really nice. how long have you been doing pixel art?

Offline Arne

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Re: Choosing Colors and Color Theory

Reply #5 on: January 27, 2017, 04:41:48 pm
Since 1990, when I got my Amiga 500 and Deluxe Paint II/III.

When it comes to choosing colors for a ramp:

Is it for a sky or smooth sphere? Then I might want to consider a very even, linear ramp from dark to light with a gradual hue shift.

Is it for a figure, tree or rock? Here I might start with a linear ramp, but it usually looks boring so I go in and change the hue and value of colors slightly until it looks interesting. See this tree, where I also added a parallel ramp of alternative browns.


Sometimes if a piece isn't working, it could be as simple as changing the colors, and sometimes the palette is just fine, and the problem lies in pixel adjacency (how colors look next to each other).

Working with a neutral gray-ish background helps when setting up darker colors.

I started on a tutorial once but never finished.
Link

Offline HDthunder

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Re: Choosing Colors and Color Theory

Reply #6 on: January 27, 2017, 10:58:04 pm
thank you so much for the tips and advice

Offline DawnBringer

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Re: Choosing Colors and Color Theory

Reply #7 on: January 28, 2017, 07:48:21 pm
Try to maintain some consistency in the saturation levels. The two darkest blues are a bit too colorful compared to the rest of the palette, making he pants look like they don't quite fit in the scene.