Critique => Pixel Art => Topic started by: metachaos on July 18, 2011, 12:06:36 pm

Title: [WIP] RPG Casting Skill animation
Post by: metachaos on July 18, 2011, 12:06:36 pm

Need some C&C.

I'am still working on my RPG for PSP, and can't find what's wrong in my sprites casting skill animation :



(by the way if some of you wants to help with the game, we are making partnership with digital coproductions)
Title: Re: [WIP] RPG Casting Skill animation
Post by: heyy13 on July 18, 2011, 12:46:03 pm
Did you use layers and transperancy to do the light glow?

That arm upward movement looks alot like he's about to bitchslap someone, arm fully extended and hand flipping up like that. What does his idle animation look like (some of his bodyparts twitch like he's convulsing and i'm wondering if that's the transition from the idle, right now it doesn't make alot of sense with the wild arm movment)?
Title: Re: [WIP] RPG Casting Skill animation
Post by: metachaos on July 18, 2011, 12:53:46 pm
I used a layer with a screen effect to do the lightning which looks good for me.

About the bitchslapping stuff, i get it, but i don't see how i could avoid this? Any idea?   and for the legs i made minors modification so that the motion can be read and all the body (exceptthe head perhaps though i animated hairs)
the first 2 frames arn't from the idle animation, they are part of this skill casting animation.
Title: Re: [WIP] RPG Casting Skill animation
Post by: heyy13 on July 18, 2011, 01:05:27 pm
For the purpose of this board it's definatly not pixelart though, and will probably get a hit for that. Though it understand why you chose to do it as it's faster and easier that way (the look is debatable :P).

I meant are they part of the transition from idle to skill casting. I mean his idle isn't likly to be sorta psudo crouched like that, so where's him going from standing/whatever and getting into position for this spell? Go stand infront of a mirror then watch yourself as you throw an arm out to send out a plasma bolt. Hell find a curtain rod or something to hold in the other hand to imitate that longsword he has. Differant people will have a differant way of throwing out their arm and that will convey some of the character's personality in that movement. If his idle is standing with his sword ready, then the movement he makes will be totally differant then if it's in his hand to his side or whatever. Why i wanted to see the idle, so i know what kind of motion you really should be going for. :)
Title: Re: [WIP] RPG Casting Skill animation
Post by: metachaos on July 18, 2011, 01:23:17 pm
Sorry for the use of layers, i really thought i was doing pixel art  :(

if you have idea to improve the lighting effect i would be glad to know how.

the 2 first frame are transition from idle to skill cast, i choose to move legs because the char need to have a good grab of the floor with his feet.
when i do throw my arm i can do soemthing near from what the char do naturally. But i understand that's not the case for all people and that it may seem strange.
Perhaps if instead of opening his arm he close it so that the skill come out of a punch would make it more 'manly' ?
Title: Re: [WIP] RPG Casting Skill animation
Post by: st0ven on July 18, 2011, 06:42:07 pm
It feels the transition to whatever his normal battle ready stance is and his casting stance is rather weak. Theres some obvious motions in the legs but the motion doesnt seem/feel like it has any use, other than to just say that something about him is moving. It seems like shifting his weight would be a more effective subtle motion vs spreading the feet ever so slightly more than they already are.

I dont mind the 'non-pixeled' effects at all, however the motion blur effect that youre currently using for your casting arm is relatively weak. If something were to blur out like that because it was moving really fast, id expect to see that blur happen at the starting position, not mid way through, and then barely catch a glimpse of it again before it settled to its final position. I believe there are far more effective 'speed' animation effects you could use on the arm that would be much cooler and more convincing. Now that i think about it, why blur it at all? the motion to move your arm up shouldnt require any great effort that a normal smooth animation couldnt provide.

maybe showing the other stances might help us help you out a bit.
Title: Re: [WIP] RPG Casting Skill animation
Post by: metachaos on July 18, 2011, 11:14:18 pm
Thanks for the tips .

I followed your suggestion and made some improvements :

- added a thumb for the hand to look less bitchy.
- removed the motion blur effect and did a pixel art motion blur on the begining of the motion like suggested.
- more lightining effect with more contrast


this is the starting stance :

Title: Re: [WIP] RPG Casting Skill animation
Post by: pistachio on July 18, 2011, 11:57:49 pm
The head/torso still aren't moving at all, even if the limbs are, and I find that a bit odd. :huh: You may need more of a switching of poses to make the animation more dynamic.

Also, his sword's barely moving or showing any indication of weight even though he just let go of it with one of his hands.
Title: Re: [WIP] RPG Casting Skill animation
Post by: EyeCraft on July 19, 2011, 04:11:14 am
What exactly is your process for developing animations? Do you keyframe the movement? Do you use any kind of simple skeleton? Or do you work step by step through the motion from one frame to the next?

What it appears to be is the latter, as this often leads to very reluctant movements in the animation, with only small parts of the sprite being modified. You need to keyframe the entire figure moving through the motion from strongest stance to strongest stance, focusing on the shifting of weight/support through the figure (and in this case also the sword).

You can keyframe with a simple silhouette (can help with volumes), a very rough block in (I find this better to do after one of the other two), or a skeleton (helps maintain proportion and mechanics of the figure in motion).

Try thinking of the motion in terms of the key structural points on the figure: the feet, pelvis, spine and head. How does the pelvis move over the space that the feet bound? Is the head above the pelvis or not? How does this affect the spine? Basically, "is the figure in balance, or not?" If they are not, they will need to come to a point of balance by the end of the animation.

But to iterate, do not do this process frame by frame, keyframe it from major stance to major stance, then tween each of those, then tween those, etc until you are happy with the level of smoothness you have.
Title: Re: [WIP] RPG Casting Skill animation
Post by: metachaos on July 19, 2011, 10:37:33 am
Thanks for your advices.
But unfotunaltely, the fact that i'am not a good drawer and i'am not good at proportion lead me to hours of work for the basic idle stance, and as i don't have enough time to "learn" the very good process that you talk about, i'am bound to keep on editing frame per frame which is not a good solution to have a smooth and dynamic motion.

Anyway, posting here helped me a lot since the motion is way better from the start (even if it's still not good pixel art which i must admit)

As soon as i finish this project i will do something to learn how to pixel quickly with redrawing the whole body each frame.

Title: Re: [WIP] RPG Casting Skill animation
Post by: metachaos on July 19, 2011, 10:42:11 am
@Pistachio :  i don't see how i could move the torso ?  i will try to move the whistle and the sword as you say to see if its good  Thx !


I made some changes :



I forgot to tell that this sprite go in a video game and i can't do more than 4 frames for the animation, that's why i can't more frames for a smoother motion.
Title: Re: [WIP] RPG Casting Skill animation
Post by: Olothontor on July 19, 2011, 02:42:22 pm
If you have a large or full-length mirror somewhere around your house I'd suggest taking a minute or two and try to see yourself doing this animation. You might notice that when you do, you personally won't look nearly as stiff and inorganic. Try to figure out why that is; how does your torso swing when you raise your arm like that? What happens to your other arm? Do you adjust your weight on one/both of your feet?

If there's no mirror available, try looking up some reference material here. (http://www.spriters-resource.com/) When you find something that fits your style, play close attention to the changes that the spriter made in each frame of the animation, and how the body moves to adjust to the new position.

I feel your pain, I'm no good at this either, but after a while of tweaking I can usually get it to look acceptable enough. Good luck!
Title: Re: [WIP] RPG Casting Skill animation
Post by: Sigil on July 19, 2011, 05:54:22 pm
It might be good to have him "sit" a little as he casts, so there's some vertical motion as well as the side to side.
Title: Re: [WIP] RPG Casting Skill animation
Post by: metachaos on July 19, 2011, 06:43:32 pm
@Olothontor :     I did see myself on a mirror but i don't see the need of rotating torso. 

Let me explain my point : in all Combat sport, the first rule you learn is to avoid having your torso facing your opponent. Why ? Because by doing this your opponent can easily hit your chest.  If you keep in the stance in which my sprite is, it's way harder for your opponent to lend a critical blow to you chest.  Thats why when i'am doing the motion in front of my mirror i don't flip my chest/torso and he keeps being in the same state before and after casting my arm.

Title: Re: [WIP] RPG Casting Skill animation
Post by: st0ven on July 19, 2011, 09:39:41 pm
I couldnt help myself and i hope you dont mind too much, but i took the opportunity to do a take on the character to play around with its idle pose and i obviously took some liberties with the palette (and hence the character design).


basically i wasnt really jiving with how the basic pose is structured, simply because it looks like a pose one would take as theyre already cocked up and ready to unleash a sword swing. and while i realize in battle you always want to be at the ready to swing the sword, it might help to have a more neutral pose to transition into and out of other battle animations (such as spell casting). I also gave my guy a smaller sword so that he can support the weight of the weapon more realistically with that one arm. more importantly the torso isnt so blatantly slanted forward, so the weight is more evenly balanced over the hips. again more of a neutral position, probably a bit more natural.

I wanted to also do an alternative pose to suggest some casting stance alternatives for you but i havent the time for it today unfortunately.
Title: Re: [WIP] RPG Casting Skill animation
Post by: metachaos on July 20, 2011, 06:06:39 pm
Thank you very much for the edit, i see what you mean by the more natural stance and balancing.

Seeing your edit make me counscious of the anatomic problems my sprite has. I'am stuck because i already did a lot of animatiosn for the game and can't go back now with a style like yours  :(

i'll try to go later on with some things like you did.