AuthorTopic: Looking for some tips on certain pixel-arty things.  (Read 308 times)

Offline Noba

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Looking for some tips on certain pixel-arty things.

on: February 21, 2017, 05:34:09 pm
Hi there!

I was wondering if i could get some help with something.

I'm fairly new to pixel art, well, by new, i've been doing it for a few months. Mainly to make my own assets for a game i'm working on (i'm a novice coder aswell ;)), I've only really been able to do top down views of spaceships, since the game i'm working on is a SHMUP. But recently I've decided on homing my skills and working on other things other than spaceships, since i also have a few characters who i could make art for, if i had the knowledge of how to make humanoid characters or just living things in general, which i can't do.

So here comes my question:
Does anyone have any tips or anything like that on making actual living things or just humanoid characters in pixel art? Try as i might i can never seem to get it right, and it's starting to get a bit annoying. I won't give up, but some help would be nice as Google doesn't help.
So, like i said, anyone got any tips?

Offline eishiya

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Re: Looking for some tips on certain pixel-arty things.

Reply #1 on: February 21, 2017, 09:24:10 pm
Pixel art requires the same fundamentals as any other 2D medium, so if you're new to drawing, look up resources on drawing basics.
Before you start pixelling something, look at the real thing (or at least at photos/videos of it, if you can't access it IRL), learn how it works and why it looks the way it does (size, texture, colour, details, motion, etc). Practice drawing it high-res if you want, so that you're not struggling with multiple new things at once (pixel technique + whatever you're learning).

Offline Noba

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Re: Looking for some tips on certain pixel-arty things.

Reply #2 on: February 21, 2017, 11:11:24 pm
thanks!

do you have any links to things i could look at? again, google doesn't really help with the most of these things, and when i do find something, it either costs money or doesn't really help me in a way.

Offline eishiya

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Re: Looking for some tips on certain pixel-arty things.

Reply #3 on: February 21, 2017, 11:26:31 pm
Andrew Loomis's books are available for free online. Fun With a Pencil is a good place to start. For more advanced knowledge on figure drawing and composition you can do much better than Loomis, but for the basics his books are great, so I recommend starting with him.
For pointers on how to think about art, I find the PSG Art Tutorial very helpful. I highly recommend reading the entire thing without skipping any sections, even ones you don't think are relevant to you.

Offline Noba

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Re: Looking for some tips on certain pixel-arty things.

Reply #4 on: February 21, 2017, 11:31:51 pm
okay, thanks!
I really hope they're mainly for digital. Unless i learn how to draw traditionally, take a picture, and trace it on the pc. I dunno, that's what some of my friends told me they do.

Offline eishiya

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Re: Looking for some tips on certain pixel-arty things.

Reply #5 on: February 21, 2017, 11:54:54 pm
The fundamentals are about understanding things like colour theory (how colours interact, how we perceive different colours), composition (how the arrangement of things in a scene affects our perception of them), perspective (how the appearance of things changes depending on where we are relative to them), anatomy (the patterns of shapes and forms that make something look like a human or a dog or a tree ir whatever), etc.
All of these things are the same whether you're drawing with a crayon on toilet paper, etching in wet sand, or painting on a $2000 tablet, or pixelling. Understand these theoretical fundamentals, and you'll be able to make good art in any medium. Fail to understand them, and even the most advanced pixel art techniques won't help your art.

Offline Noba

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Re: Looking for some tips on certain pixel-arty things.

Reply #6 on: February 22, 2017, 01:13:18 pm
Actually, now that I think about it I only really struggle with anatomy, I'll definitely check out colour theory, ect, but is there anything you know on anatomy?

Offline eishiya

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Re: Looking for some tips on certain pixel-arty things.

Reply #7 on: February 22, 2017, 01:54:25 pm
The book I suggested focuses a lot on anatomy and people in perspective, I believe. Loomis also has a figure drawing book, which goes into more detail.

No resource will teach you to understand human (and non-human) bodies though. Everyone thinks about things in a different way, so you need to create your own mental conception of things, based on the things that are important to you, the patterns that you notice.
Drawing books are a good place to start to get a grip on things like ideal proportions and the basic shapes that make up human bodies, but you'll want to branch out if you want to be flexible as an artist. Look at real people (and animals, etc). Watch how they move, how far they can bend and stretch. What features do all of them have? What tends to be most pronounced? What tends to vary the most? How do the various parts deviate from the basic forms? For example, arms aren't quite tubes, they're somewhat conical, flattened and twisted.
Do life drawing if you can, work from videos and photos if you can't. Don't worry about copying references to look pretty and just like the photo, instead focus on the structure, on conveying the 3D form in 2D. Do quick gesture drawings and quick sketches, don't bother rendering details.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2017, 03:12:26 pm by eishiya »