Critique => Pixel Art => Topic started by: Azuyre on September 12, 2012, 07:34:22 pm

Title: [WIP] Platformer Sprite [C+C]
Post by: Azuyre on September 12, 2012, 07:34:22 pm
I'm currently working on some sprites for a platform game and I'm trying to develop a new graphic style. The original graphics I used were basic 16x32 8-bit sprites but I decided I wanted to try something different so I went for a bigger size and less limited colors. The sprite is based on a tile size of 18x18. So far this is what I have:

Current Version

Version 2

Version 1

It's really basic so far, so I was wondering if I might be able to get some critique and suggestions on how I can improve it. I want to keep it somewhat simple since my original sprite was 8-bit, my plan is to try and limit the colors I use a bit, using only 2 shades of each color.

I'm not against redoing the sprite completely if it comes down to it.

So, any help is really appreciated, thanks in advance. :)
Title: Re: [WIP] Platformer Sprite
Post by: Arne on September 14, 2012, 04:55:19 pm
Three immediate things:

Work on a sort of neutral background so you can get a feel of... contrast stuff.

When doing black-lines, keep in mind that you might not need them where things separate on their own thanks to contrast, e.g. skin vs a dark shirt or something (though you might want to use it to suggest a drop shadow in this case where the sleeves are kinda loose). You might also want to avoid black-lining where details are too small to deserve it, or where squishy parts meet (like lost lines in cartoons).

When doing 2-shade coloring, try making an area either mostly light shade or mostly dark shade. Partly, because the flat graphical effect is nice, but you also avoid banding problems this way.

Sloppy edit.


As for anatomy, when doing plain frontals, imagine the character being able to fold the hand in and do a Michael Jackson crotch grab. That's a proper arm length, when doing realistic stuff.
Title: Re: [WIP] Platformer Sprite
Post by: Azuyre on September 14, 2012, 06:02:56 pm
I had never really thought about losing the black outlines in certain spots, it certainly makes a huge difference. What exactly are the lost lines you mentioned? It sounds familiar but I can't seem to think of what it is.

I'm currently working on the sprite so I'll be sure to post it once I finish editing it.

Thanks for the tips, they're a big help. :)
Title: Re: [WIP] Platformer Sprite
Post by: Arne on September 14, 2012, 08:27:17 pm
Lost or suggested lines is... for example what you might see on anime eyes or mouths. Only some of the lines are drawn around the eye. If lips are squeezed tight, only the corners of the mouth are drawn, and the brain fills in a line between. but, open mouths often don't have lines all around either. It can also be more of a stylistic choice, like drawing teeth as (+++++) rather than lots of squares...

Title: Re: [WIP] Platformer Sprite
Post by: Azuyre on September 14, 2012, 08:34:13 pm
Oh, okay, right when you said suggested lines I understood what you meant. That really helps to avoid having too much black from the outlines.

Here's the newest version of the sprite:

I made a lot of changes to it, mostly with the head, but a bit of a change for the legs as well. I also tried two different poses this time, the plain one I had before and the one with her arm on her side similar to what you did. The more I look at the blue on her shirt the more I'm not sure about it though, I tired using that instead of a grey like before to see how it might turn out. I think I may switch it to a slightly bluish grey like you had.

This is the palette I've been using so far, it's just a temporary one based on the NES palette:

I made some more changes:
Title: Re: [WIP] Platformer Sprite
Post by: Azuyre on September 26, 2012, 06:02:34 pm
Hopefully its alright if I bump this, it's been a little while since the last post and I've been in the middle of a move to another state so I was a bit too busy to work on the sprite. Here is the most recent version:

I made a taller variation and I've been working on tweaking minor details here and there, I'm not sure which version I like better yet though but I think I'm leaning towards the newer one.

Looking at them now though the taller one makes it seem like her whole body is kind of leaning forward, does anyone have any advice on how I might change that?
Title: Re: [WIP] Platformer Sprite
Post by: Helm on September 27, 2012, 01:42:05 pm
Hi. Let's work on this. (working on the smallest one where you'll learn more about pixel placement as it's more important)

First of all, let's remove almost everything


On this level, I changed the stance to a wider one because I felt your character was leaning. I elongated the arms and the legs some.

The important thing here is to look at each color, the shape of each color cluster. Try to optimize NOW, not later. Make it efficient and make it so it reads. If the image doesn't work on this level, it will have trouble later on.


Here I've added colors and sculpted the forms. This is a relatively soft pass, though I personally like it. Do you see any black outlines here? The reason there's none is because at this res a single pixel is a lot of real estate. It doesn't convey anything to put big fat black lines and noise everywhere, it doesn't make it clearer what the image is and it destroys the relationship of the clusters to each other.


Here's a stronger render pass using the same palette. More black is added, but added strategically, considering where the shadow would mostly fall.

Hope this helps a bit.
Title: Re: [WIP] Platformer Sprite
Post by: Azuyre on September 27, 2012, 05:04:58 pm
Thanks for the reply. :)

I'm gonna start working on an updated one based on some of the stuff you mentioned, though I'm a bit wary about removing all the outlines permanently.

I know it doesn't make too much sense to spend so much space on outlines but I've always kind of liked the look of them, I'm used to working with older style graphics like the stuff you'd see on the NES and I've really gotten to like the way things can look with outlines as opposed to without. I do need to learn not to use them everywhere on a sprite though, like Arne mentioned.

Your outline-less version does look pretty cool though, I'm just not sure if I'd want to keep that type of style for everything since I'm not really used to working with it.

Anyway, I'm gonna start working on an updated version, I'll post it later on today probably.
Title: Re: [WIP] Platformer Sprite
Post by: Helm on September 28, 2012, 02:38:57 pm
I hear you.

You know, you can try a castelvania trick with the outside outline


Here it is adapted to your palette


And here's an 8 color version if you want it to look even more oldschool

Title: Re: [WIP] Platformer Sprite
Post by: Azuyre on November 08, 2012, 08:30:22 pm
I'm guessing it would be alright to bump this back up now that I have an update. I've been a bit busy lately and hadn't been able to work on this, I started up again and have a new version to show:

The team for the game I'm working on has finally decided on a size so I ended up making the sprite a bit smaller, the sprites will be based on a tile size of 18x18 rather then the normal 16x16. At the moment she's 38 px high which should be alright with the 18 px tiles, the very bottom pixels of her boots will likely be 1 px into the ground tiles so her hair will only clip with the tile above her by 1 px, which is hardly noticeable.

I changed the palette a bit and made it a simple 8 color palette and I removed some more black based on what Helm had shown. The background is just something simple I put together to see how it might look.

I'd like to try starting a walk cycle at some point, but I'm not sure if this is a good starting point or if I should try for something where she's facing the right a bit more so if anyone can give me some advice on that I'd greatly appreciate it. :)

[Edit] Did a bit more work on it:

The tiles are a WIP as well so if anyone feels like giving any C&C on those I'd appreciate it. :D The main thing I'm worried about now is the sprite though, I'll likely make a separate topic those tiles and the rest that I'm working on later.

[Edit 2] Here's the newest version: