AuthorTopic: Mage Knight art-dump, lots of sprites & info  (Read 77926 times)

Offline Tsugumo

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Mage Knight art-dump, lots of sprites & info

on: February 28, 2007, 03:21:48 am
heyo, so we made a Mage Knight game for the Nintendo DS a while ago and I asked my boss and I'm allowed to post up some stuff, so I rounded up random junk from throughout development.  A lot of this is just sketchy rough stuff before it was cleaned up, but some of you might want to see it.  MK is originall a tabletop RPG, so all the character sprites were based off little miniature figures that have a dial under them that you turn to lose hit-points and stuff.  If you're an MK fan at all, you'll probably recognize the characters...I thought their designs were generally pretty cool and were fun to draw/animate...except some of them you're like "shit, how the fuck am I supposed to do THIS as a sprite??" 'cause the guys who made the tabletop figures clearly weren't thinking about how a poor pixel artist was going to try to animate their creations haha...

This isn't all the characters, just the ones I could find and with animations I dig, and most of this isn't final...we were pressed for time at the end so some of the final stuff was done by other artists who took my block-figure animations and added the details/shading in.  Some of those turned out nice, some turned out like shit, so either way I'd rather not post 'em if I didn't do 'em.

The quality on some of the other characters was pretty bad, and we got pretty restricted due to time (6 frame walk cycles, but like 4 frame attacks, which looks cheap in some cases).  The scheduling for this project was insane, bit off more than we could chew for sure.  I had to do 30-ish(?  can't remember) characters, like, a full character (6 frames walking up/right, right, down/right, 4 - 8 frame attacks up/right, right, down/right, 4 frame idle animation up/right, right, down/right...so we're talking like 42+ frames) every 4 days...plus spell effects and stuff.  Crazy shit but I learned a lot about speeding up my process.

Any questions, feel free to ask, I'll blab about each as I go:

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This guy's called Hangart in the game (part of my last name, haha).  Yes, he looks like a ninja turtle.  I didn't design him!  His attacks are one of the set that suffered...only 4 frames.  I figured out fast that there wasn't going to be time to do 6+ Frame attacks, so I went with the blur cheat to save frames...where I do the start pose, end pose, and in-between is just a motion blur effect.  This worked out nice 'cause it saved doing a bunch of in-between frames where the weapon starts speeding up and slows down and stuff.  Wish there had been time to do 6 frame attacks for everyone, but I did what I could with what I had, heh.

I had fun with the skull necklace and cape on his run cycle.  If you look close you can see he gets "simpler" during the run cycle than his standing frame that has a bunch of loincloth folds and stuff.  Stole that from Capcom, again as a time-saver.  In Darkstalkers (3, I think), I remember looking at a sprite of Felicia (the cat chick) doing some sweep attack and the idle animation has tons of detail, but when she attacks it loses most of it.  But you don't even really notice it unless you look for it, especially in-game when other shit's going on.



Archer guy, rough version...I was just trying to get the motion down so I could go back and make him nice.  This is pretty much what I did through the project, there was no way I could hand-draw, scan, retrace, etc. frames so I had to go with the block method.  On the plus side I got pretty fast with it.  Here I was mainly focusing on how his cape would flow and where/when the feet would step, so he has no movement in his head or arrows or anything.  Basically I start animating the major body motions first (rising up/down if he's walking), then focus on the difficult parts (cape/cloth movement, tricky arm/leg movements, etc.), and then save all the little details (hair flowing, hat bouncing, arrows quivering, etc.) for the revamp stage where I make him all nice and final.  No sense wasting time on the shit I know how to animate easy, but I also don't want to go into something difficult to animate without a rough plan, so I found this was a nice halfway point.

You can see the walking up uses like 4 or 5 shades of blue for the cape, while the side just uses 2...when I'm roughing it out it just comes down to getting it to a stage where it's obvious enough to me how it should look.  The back was trickier in my mind and I wanted to get it more final to make sure it looked good before tightening things up.  But the side was pretty simple so I didn't spend as much time roughing it.



BAMF!!  haha we needed a death animation that could just obliterate the character instantly 'cause we didn't have time for death animations/frames for each character, so I went with a magic Nightcrawler style poof effect.  For the spells I believe we got 32 colors, with 8 levels of translucency.  It was on the Nintendo DS which can handle translucency, but only on 3d objects (otherwise it's normal GBA style translucency where the whole layer turns translucent).  So we used polys for everything (some of the characters have translucent effects on them) to be able to do it.  8 levels of translucency basically means you can make any part of the image 8 levels of see-thru.  So I could have a rainbow, and just streak up the middle of it with an Eraser tool set at 25% and that chunk will be only 75% opaque (even though it's a bunch of colors 'cause it's a rainbow, it doesn't matter, with the method we used).

This led to being able to do some badass spell effects...the only problem is the source material (Mage Knight itself) doesn't really INVOLVE a lot of spells like something like Final Fantasy would.  It basically has maybe 8 spells in total that just everyone uses...we could've had a cool-ass glowy dragon shooting fireballs and shit out of it's mouth but there was just no need to, heh.  I was a little disappointed by that 'cause I had a blast making the effects I did get to make and learned a lot about doing it and wanted to do a lot more with it.  Lately I've been working on systems that don't allow translucency so I haven't gotten to do fun stuff like that...I swear, making things glow is like, a stupid amount of fun for me haha

The colors I used for this are white in the middle, then yellow around it, then pink/purple around that.  I didn't know about this color combo till I was looking at some font effects and one looked really "magical"...I realized these were the colors it used so I used them in a spell.  I've used the color combo in other things since then, I think it gives a neat mystical or laser feel to things (as opposed to using just yellows or just pinks).



haha rock on little drummer dude...wtf.  I think I was just fucking around with the frames when I was setting up the preview animation 'cause he doesn't do this in the game, heh.  I did the first frame or two up nice and then the rest just block-shaded it to get the motion right.  Again the same process though, I focus on the major motions (rising up/down), then the "tricky" motions (the drum pound effect, big arm positions), then leave the tiny details for the final stage (like having that cloth on the flagpole on his back shake during the motion, it's in the final animation, but not in this stage because it's a trivial task to me).  And yes, that's an Elf Warrior head on the top of that flagpole.  MK has some weirdly cool designs, heh...



This guy made me shit my pants when I saw his model figure...he's so intricate and cumbersome...his figure looks really cool, but it's like "wtf do I do with this??"  He was supposed to have an attack where he does damage when he stops moving beside another character, but his drum is huge and he's holding bones and shit.  But his drum had a horned skull on the end, so I went with a charging motion so it's like he charges into them.  Again trying to save and reuse frames as much as possible for the time limit.  I'm really happy with how he turned out though, just because it seemed like such a difficult task to animate.  But once you break him down into block groups it gets a bit easier...still massively time consuming, but at least you know where you're going with it.  This guy wasn't even the most ridiculous of the designs, heh...yet it feels good when you get him in sprite form and go "shit, ya, this DOES look like him, sweet!"



Just showing the process here...because of that stupid thing on his back, I had to animate him in chunks.  So I did him running first, then put those shoulder things on (they're skulls with long hair, again, wtf), then put the bare pole on his back and animated that, then made the cloth motion follow the whole thing.  Note that at this stage I'm figuring out my lighting...the arm on our left goes dark as it goes back and bright as it comes forward.  Same with the thigh on our left, when it's forward the thigh is bright, and it gets darker as it rotates downward (check out the semi-new lighting stuff in my tutorial for the lighting theory I'm using these days...the shading on Kim's legs in Capcom VS SNK was the guide I went by).



I'm not sure this even made it into the final game...I think it did.  Maybe with less frames or something though, I'd swear it got cut in some way at the end.  Anyway, someone a LONG time ago on Pixelation, for a "make a magic spell" pixel challenge (using my little laughing FFTactics looking avatar guy) did some animations using a 3d program to make cool effects that rendered out to perfect pixel art so you couldn't even tell it was done in 3d.  They were really awesome, I think he did two effects...if ANYONE out there stil has those and could post them, that'd be awesome, I lost them a long time ago.

Anyway, I didn't know how to do that exactly, so I went with a more ghetto method...I made a circle in Photoshop, did the design, then rotated it slightly for a bunch of frames so it did a full loop.  Then I just squashed the whole thing vertically a bit to get the perspective right, and it was just a matter of touching up slightly from there.  I was pretty pleased with myself for the final look.  All the cool glowy shit is just a vertical motion blur of purple above it.  Note the way the glow goes from purple to lighter purple then to white with a purple outline...various degrees of glowiness.  It's really fun to play with...

I watched episodes of Visionaries (old 80s cartoon with knights that could turn into animals (their toys had holograms on them), and it used a bunch of glow effects) and random anime for ideas on effects.  Oddly enough I didn't use other games as reference much for spell effects, because other games were either still using old-school effects that don't have glows (SFAlpha stuff, Neo Geo fighters, etc.), or use too MUCH glow to where it doesn't blend in with the 2d look in my opinion (Capcom VS SNKs crazy glowy fireballs and shit, I don't like their look personally).  So instead I was using cartoons as inspiration for what to do with the effects and I like to think that some of the effects have a feel like they're right out of an anime flick (specifically the Delphana chick's fire column thing somewhere in this post).



I'm not really a big fan of this effect.  I'm just throwing it in 'cause it was in my spell directory, heh.  If you zoom in you can see the glow hit the 32x32 box limits, but zoomed out and in-game it's not as noticable.  Generally I tried to avoid that by selecting the 32x32 box at the end and using the Eraser airbrush along the edges to nice it out...



Just a walk cycle for a guy who's design I don't really like (I made a palette swap of him that looks almost exactly like Skeletor from He-Man as a joke, heh)...But check out those fingers on his front walk!  haha I only posted him because of that.  But check out the way the cloth flows on his covered leg when he steps forward, it ripples across the front.  I tried to make cloth ripple whenever I had to draw it for this game 'cause it makes it look lively and thin.  Big inspirations were Capcom's capes/trenchcoats/etc. on their fighters, they always have them rippling in the wind.  The upward walk, again, lots of ripply effects...just on the loose parts though.  Like notice his thigh in the front view, and his shoulders in the back view, don't have any ripple effect on them, they're almost constantly solid, like they're hugging the body shape.  But then the part that's hanging loose is the part that goes all flowy.  Having the two beside eachother makes it get the cloth material point across easily.



Before and after.  On the left is just the raw spell itself.  I looked at King of Fighters fire spells for what to do with the flame part, and just general anime for the ball/column effect.  For the flame, note that the bottom "intense" area is all white, and the pieces that bust off as it burns upward get yellower, then oranger, as they get further away, like they're fading out.  All of these style effects were done just frame by frame.  I found the easiest method was to make the entire fire effect in white, so just a silhouette of it, then draw that dissolving...spreading out and splitting up into pieces starting with tiny pieces breaking off at the top, and large holes breaking out at the bottom where it's "thicker", and then THOSE pieces splitting up into more pieces, etc. until it has a cool particle effect going on...but ya, I had to go through and like, follow a lick of flame as it flowed up and dissolved, and did that across the whole animation.  It was a little time consuming, but the end effect...I mean shit, so worth it.

To give the beam more impact, I started it out as a circle.  Anime does this all the time...it's like there's energy building up about to burst and that circle will get bigger and bigger and then slow down as it's getting bigger so it's like baseball, bowling ball, beach ball, slightly bigger beach ball, slightly bigger beach ball, as if it's trying to just barely contain itself until KAZAM, it explodes into a beam.  Then the beam motion closes in on itself thinning out, as the bubble that exploded dissipates outward from it's original shape.  EVERYTHING has velocity in spell effects like this...as the licks of flame break off on the fire part, they slow down and eventually stop moving upward and just suck up into themselves.  The energy ball expands fast then slows down.  When it bursts the thin lines from it move outward a few pixels then just one pixel, then just stay in one spot and dissolve.  I animated the different parts of this one at a time, layering them on top of eachother (so that the bubble is expanding as the fire is dissolving, and the beam is shooting up while the bubble is still dissolving)...multiple velocities/layers to a special effect add a LOT.

To the right is the exact same spell, but I went through and added the glow effects to it.  I was proud when I first made it and I'm still proud of how it came out...it's a stylin' effect and was one of the first ones I tried (I hadn't really messed with big effect animations before this).  Most static things just have a gaussian blur glow, and most moving things have either a motion blur if they just move in one direction, or I used the Airbrush to manually tease out the shape of the glow that I wanted to show the path something took.  Going back to not having translucency for glow effects after this project was killer, haha...making an explosion without a final glow added to it feels like having one hand tied behind my back.  ah well!



Boring.  Why am I posting this one?  It was just in the directory.  Simple attack.  An odd thing I found was that red does NOT glow nicely.  Something about the way the color works, it just doesn't look nice like green or blue or yellow.  At best it either looks murky blah, or really pink and light.  So I tried to avoid red for any other spells, and still do, if I have to make glows.  Stupid red, grr!

- Tsugumo (damn character limit, haha)

Offline Tsugumo

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Re: Mage Knight art-dump, lots of sprites & info

Reply #1 on: February 28, 2007, 03:22:12 am


I made this up for the other artists incase they needed to do glowy stuff for their projects, or on MK.  This was (and still is) my process for making cool-ass glow effects.  I use Photoshop for drawing all my pixel stuff these days so these steps are a Photoshop set.  On the last step, if you just go in and manually anti-alias some of the lines you can smooth it out so it's perfect.  The useful thing about this process is that the way it's done, you end up with the glow effect on a separate layer.  So you can still go back and tweak the original animation and just re-glow it all, if you want to change stuff.  It also keeps your color count reduced...because the actual swoosh effect doesn't change (unless you gaussian blur the whole thing at the end, but say you don't)...so if the swoosh was just white, light orange, and normal orange, so it's 3 colors.  That glow effect is just an alpha-based version of those 3 colors (it's done with that same orange color, but just shown at various levels of translucency (we got 8 of 'em the way we were doing it), so at the end of the day, this final image (we used .PNG files because they have alpha channels built into them) is still only 3 colors, but with an alpha channel that makes it glowy.  Hard to explain if you've never messed with it before, but it all feels very clean and organized in the end.



Various versions/stages of the Steam Knight walking.  His walk cycle has more frames than other people's 'cause I wanted to get a stuttered robotic "clank clank" motion to his walk.  He uses translucency with the little cloud poofs and sparks.  All in all I dig how he came out...unfortunately he was ruined by having a 4 frame attack animation that looks awful compared to his walk cycle, heh...



Elf Warrior, here's his full frames...so each character had to have this at the minimum.  An idle, a walk, and a melee attack in all directions...but if they could also cast spells or shoot, then they had to have a long distance attack animation as well.  Lots of anims, bleh.  This was the very first guy I made...we based the schedule off him.  In retrospect, don't pick one of the simplest guys to draw to base your fucking schedule off of.  Make that drummer guy and base it off THAT, heh.  Anyway, he's pretty plain, but I like how the cloak designs came out on his upward walk cycle, with the shadow rippling across it.  Because this guy was one of the first he looks a bit different than the other guys...a few characters in, I switched to more of a Capcom VS SNK style with less actual outlines because we were told they wanted "more colors" in the characters.  I spent like a year day in and day out doing these characters so the ones I did at the start look different from the ones at the end, not surprisingly, heh...



I still dig this healing effect.  I basically made a circular selection in Photoshop, then airbrushed really lightly the green stuff...so it would never leave that perfect circle shape, and I could really gently trace the outsides of the circle to have it spread out at the edges and go thin in the middle.  After I got the sphere motion down I did the random upward-flowing particles.  Notice the timing in this (and the other spells too)...the sphere doesn't just get created and go, it starts out paused in a corner as a bit of light, then WHIPS around to form the circle, then slows down as it finishes forming the circle...then speeds up as the main light travels toward the center of the sphere...then pauses as it cross the center...then speeds up again as the circle vanishes away.  It's that subtle timing shift and velocity stuff that can add a lot of style to your effects/actions.  Watch a bunch of anime to study snap/timing, heh...they do it in everything.



This was the second character I did...A troll carrying around a tree-trunk to bash people with?  Again, MK has some trippy designs.  I like how this guy came out for his walk cycle (his back on his upward walk cycle, and his general "I weigh a lot" feel), but I hate the attack animations...The way the game was designed (using a hex grid), the characters had to attack really strange angles sometimes, depending on the character's design.  So like when he attacks down he has to bend WAAAAY down.  It's kind of weird.

Also I don't like the swoosh effects in this one...I hadn't decided how I wanted to do them yet (I ended up going with a specific set of streaks...3 colors, light to dark, with "bars" to divide them up in a consistent way...you can see it in the Ninja Turtle guy's attacks if you look at the frame).  We actually didn't have it so the characters could use translucency for like, the first 3/4 of the project, it was reserved for spell effects...then at the end we changed some stuff around and suddenly the characters could use it...alas by then it was too late to do more than just add some translucent effects to the characters I hadn't made yet (like the Steam Knight).  If there had been more time, or we had had translucency from the start, I would've made these swipe effects a cool alpha swipe instead of thick color blobs and it would've looked way cooler I'm sure.



Originally we were going to have him walk down, down/right, right, up/right, AND up (for some reason Up isn't in this pic but I remember drawing it).  haha fuck that.  That lasted like, a day.  shit, I can't even comprehend how much more work that would have been...they would have found me cutting my wrists with a sharp pencil by the end of the project for sure haha



Steam Mauler...I think he ended up with glowy effects too for steam/sparks, but I can't remember.  I'm just happy with how his hammer came out, heh.  Again starting with the blocks/shading was a big help 'cause it made it clear where/how things should move/rotate to keep the form.



Stole this effect from Visionaries, haha..basically an object forms itself out of solid light, flashes bright and then fades into the actual form of the object, does it's thing while glowing solid, then flashes bright and blanks out.  Visionaries did this for almost all of their sweet effects...mine isn't as good as theirs though, I couldn't think of much to do that'd make sense up close and stuff so somehow it turned out to be...an axe?  I had a dragon head come out of the book and chomp but again the time limit killed that idea off.  I think I used the same axe animation for each direction even.  You might be able to find the intro to Visionaries on youtube or something...it's worth checking out for the old-school-ness, heh...glow stuff was hella hard to do back then so that they crammed that much into it was awesome.



Another random effect...starts as a solid white ball and then "bursts" into the forms.  Again, playing with velocity/timing as the pieces rotate in smaller and smaller increments, and fade out from white to blue.



Evil priestess chick...I dig the folds on her skirt and the flowy motion of her arm cloths...only thing is that she looks a bit more like she's wearing pants than a skirt in the front walk cycle.  She's a chick that has no weapons, and holds a chalice cup thing in her actual MK model figure, but was supposed to have a close-up melee attack...another "wtf am I supposed to do with this?" moment, so I went with her spitting glowy liquid at the enemy.  It doesn't glow in this version though...this is the very first block-form of the spells that I do.  Like I'll start solid and get the motion/particles flowing right, and then go back and add the shading/glowing/etc. when the form is down.



This was one of the first attack mock-up animations...to see how glows and streaking the arm over fast movements would look.  I think his actual shooting effect in-game turned out to be crap (long story, a lot of stuff got cut in the end), but I dig the mock-up still.  I based it off the shotgun blast in Metal Slug.  Like the big Delphana chick's beam spell, note that the cannon blast starts out as a sphere and then "bursts" into a straight flare.  If you just do the straight flare, it has less impact than starting from that bursting effect.  The smoke just follows the motion of the blast and it slows down it's forward motion as it dissolves, to where the last two frames, the furthest forward edge of the smoke poofs stays where it is.



Flapping animation for the Sky Mage.  There came a point where other artists were adding the details to the frames because we were so pressed for time, so I would do up the first frame in each direction how it should look, with detail and all, and then do the animation in block-form, so the artist could keep the style reasonably similar by using the first frame as a guide (unless they suck, heh).  For some reason I'm really happy with the upward-facing flapping...I think I got the perspective on the wings right so it feels nicely 3d.



This was another situation of "she has to attack the hexagon down-right, AND it's someone on the ground while she's hovering, so I have to cover a lot of distance at a weird angle" but I think the stab worked out alright.  She's one of the 4-frame attack animation people, but with her using such a small dagger, I think it actually works out decent.  4 frames is fine for a small weapon/motion...it's when you try to do a bigass sword slash that it starts looking ridiculous.

Two cheats: 1) She has a long-range spell animation, so I designed the attack so that I could just use the first two frames, where she raises her non-weapon arm in front of her, as a spell-casting animation, heh...and 2) the first two frames of the attack are the same for down/left and left...but you didn't notice till I told you, heh.  I hope, anyway.  I made her at the end of the project when I was having to do little cheats like this to save time.



Not sure this got into the game.  I made it for a Smite effect but I don't know if that's in there.  I like how it looks though...I used a flashing circle that "cuts out" a hole (so it starts bright, then black with just an orange outline, then white again before it bursts)...a little more "ka-pow!!" to it with that extra white circle flash.  I also tried doing beam glows on this one...selecting a beam shape and just brushing over it with the Airbrush, getting less intense as it gets toward the far end.  Then at the end I went back and drew in some particles flying out of it to have that layering "more than one thing going on at once" effect.



Needed to use red because it was a Vampirism spell but in retrospect I should've gone with purple or something...red looks like crap when you try to make it glowy.  With other colors you can even use a white middle and trace around the outside with like, green or whatever, and it looks good, but with red it looks too separate, unless you go up to pink and that loses the intense impact.  bleh, I hate red for glows.



Run cycle for the Veteran.  Pretty simple, I'm just happy with how the swords came out jiggling on his back.



Quivering roar for the Warbeast...this was done REALLY fast 'cause I needed it for something else, so it's not awesome, but I like the quiver.  Quivering in pixel art always looks sweet, heh...you can see down below that this guy ends up being 32 colors, this is his early 16 color version.



I wanted to make an effect like this...figured it'd work for the drum guy, like a sound shockwave bursting out.  It starts bursting out really fast, then slows how fast it expands until it's not expanding anymore, just pausing for a moment in it's final form, then dissolving upward and fading out.  Again all done by hand, I just made up the form of the rising flames, then broke them up as if they pulled themselves apart from the bottom, leaving little flakes behind, all travelling upward.

The way we did the effects, they were always overlain on top of the character...which is fine, normally.  But for this effect, it's supposed to look like it goes BEHIND the character.  The MK characters vary in size dramatically...tiny little thin chicks, and giant beefy monsters.  So you erase just enough that it looks good on the thin chick and it looks weird on the beefy monster.  You erase enough that it looks good on the beefy monster, and there's a big gap where it stops before going "behind" the thin chick.  So if you zoom in close you can see that I erased the middle chunk more and more toward the center, but left it verrrry faintly.  So generally you don't notice it on the big guys, and when it's a little character you can still see it a bit.



One of the first effects I did, to show everyone how worth it translucency was...this looked pretty "meh" without the glows, but once you have them on and have the middle chunk translucent and everything it looks really shiny-cool.  Unfortunately, I was keen on the first part of it where the flames spiral up, but didn't know what to do with them from there because I didn't plan it out like I did with later spells...as a result I think the end is kind of sloppy the way it decides to vanish.  You can tell I didn't know what to do with it and just got rid of it in a random way.

This one looks neat if you zoom in because you can see that I rotated the motion blurs on the small particles that fly out to the sides, as they fly out.  Little subtle stuff you probably can't even see in-game, but it was a good learning experience.



This is why some of the earlier characters look different than the later.  We started with a 16 color limit, but we were told to make things more realistic than cel-shaded...so we went with 32 colors for the characters.  Unfortunately, that meant that the time to draw them was increased 'cause it wasn't just filling in line-art, now I had to go back and color all the lineart with selout and shit painstakingly.  I like the end result, don't get me wrong, it was worth it, but that's so NOT something you want to hear halfway through a project, heh...we went back and added more colors to the earlier characters so they matched but some of them still stand out a bit if you know what to look for (like the black outlines still in places).



Glowy!  Not sure this made it into the game...I think we took out the Sweep spell but I have no idea.  I actually made this up for a different spell effect and we decided it looked "Sweep"y I think.  Honestly though, I just wanted to try making an effect like this...like I say this was my first time doing bigass effects like this, so I was having fun experimenting with different types of them.  This was inspired by some wind attack by the chick with the Naginata in Garou: Mark of the Wolves, I think...except theirs is on Neo Geo and doesn't use glowy shit, whereas mine was on DS so it could and I think it makes it look awesome...just adds that extra intensity to it.  Those awesome effects in KoF would look a million times better if someone were able to go back and add glows to them, heh...Used a sketchy motion blur on this one instead of just a gaussian one...if you zoom in and look close at the top you can see the blue streaks that glow out from the shape actually slide along the circle edge in a cool flowing motion.  This happened purely by chance, based on the way the colors inside the sweep were spinning.  It "just happened", heh...I love glows.



How do you make a lightning based spell when you're trapped in a 64x64 box so it can't come from the top of the screen?  This is all I could think of, heh...this got pretty ridiculous...I did it in pieces.  First the starting "burst up from the ground into a curved streak" part...then the "form a circle and spike straight downward" part...then the "smack the ground with a bursting circle shape" part.  I layered the animations so they overlap with their timing (one thing is dissolving while another is doing it's motion, instead of waiting for one to dissolve then the next to happen, it all just flows over itself), then going back and adding the glows and erasing parts of it to get it translucent all over.  It looks pretty complicated, but if you break it down, and follow the steps of silhouetting it out and working on dissolving each part individually following the motion, it gets more manageable.  Think of it as if the pieces are "tearing" away from eachother all the time.  Everything tears away from everything else as it shrinks and dissolves, so there's little trails attatching all the pieces to eachother and then that trail breaks off as the piece fades and shrinks.  Think of how when you stretch gum it gets thinner and thinner in the middle, I guess.

-----

That's about it...any questions or anything, toss 'em here and I'll answer best I can.  There are a lot of little problems I see in these, and probably you guys will catch, but I chalk most of it up to just a severe time limit.  I'd rather have 10 really solid characters than 20 semi-solid ones, but then I'm an artist, haha  I learned a TON of stuff on this project, got a massive handle on selout...Selout and I are like one now.  Got a ton of practice animating shadows on cloth and making it flow and ripple and stuff...got to try my hand at making detailed spell effects (they really don't take as long as they look like they would, give it a go, I got pretty fast with it by the end of the project), and experiment with glow effects...

...but MAN am I glad that project is over, haha  it was a long year.

- Tsugumo

Offline Wakka

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Re: Mage Knight art-dump, lots of sprites & info

Reply #2 on: February 28, 2007, 03:32:59 am
That's going to be one awesome game! No critiques, except for the fact we're moving onto 64bit colors :P.

Offline Solitaire

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Re: Mage Knight art-dump, lots of sprites & info

Reply #3 on: February 28, 2007, 04:02:55 am
You are a pixel god.'Nuff said. :)
-CK-

Offline Darien

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Re: Mage Knight art-dump, lots of sprites & info

Reply #4 on: February 28, 2007, 04:16:06 am
Ace stuff, Tsu.  Interesting to see what compromises you had to make due to time constraints.  I particularly like the cloth ripling effects. 

Heh, I remember seeing screenshots for this game while flipping through a Nintentdo Power a while back, I was like, "Damn, that looks a lot like Tsugumo's stuff..."

Offline Stwelin

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Re: Mage Knight art-dump, lots of sprites & info

Reply #5 on: February 28, 2007, 04:21:16 am
The mechanical knight is so fucking... geez... awesome just isn't a strong enough word. Same with the valkyrie. Great great work.

Offline Rydin

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Re: Mage Knight art-dump, lots of sprites & info

Reply #6 on: February 28, 2007, 04:27:20 am
All this stuff is really cool.  I especially love the drummer and its unintentional drumming animation.  I'm a bit concerned though...isn't using Gaussian blur pretty much cheating?  I know it's because of time constraints, etc, but still  :mean:.  Other than that though, all this, for being unrefined, is amazing; your skills at animating pixels are unmatched.
Man cannot remake himself without suffering for he is both the marble and the sculptor.

Offline Blick

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Re: Mage Knight art-dump, lots of sprites & info

Reply #7 on: February 28, 2007, 06:10:22 am
Quote
isn't using Gaussian blur pretty much cheating?
Not if you're looking through the eyes of a developer. Time is money, my man.

Steam Knight and Steam Mauler are definitely my favorites. They have so much character and I just love their designs.

I really like that you added something that probably only you would notice, the hand of the skeleton guy and the fact that he looks like Skeletor. It's interesting when the artists slip in their own little visual jokes in there.

How long did you have to make all of these? You talk about time constraints, but when I think time constraints I think "omg Tsu once made a game over Labor Day weekend", but I imagine you define it as a bit longer than that. Right?

Offline SCiDT

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Re: Mage Knight art-dump, lots of sprites & info

Reply #8 on: February 28, 2007, 07:16:42 am
Amazing work, well done and thanks for this. The little drummer man is so CUTE!

Offline Helm

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Re: Mage Knight art-dump, lots of sprites & info

Reply #9 on: February 28, 2007, 09:38:09 am
Thanks for posting all these and the text. I will study.