Critique => Pixel Art => Pixel Art Feature Chest => Topic started by: Kaz on December 28, 2012, 09:57:20 pm

Title: GR#117 - Sword - Form, Shading
Post by: Kaz on December 28, 2012, 09:57:20 pm
Hey Everyone one!

I'm new to the forums and semi new to pixel art. These are some things i have completed.

Please tell me what you think and tell my what i can improve on.

(My first sword) Necromancer Sword


My "Evil" Sword (don't really have a name for it)


A Diamond Dagger (not quite perfected yet)


And a very unfinished shark


Once again tell me what you think of these I would love to hear your feedback  :)

Title: Re: Pixel Art by Kaz
Post by: Ymedron on December 28, 2012, 10:30:34 pm
Well, I'll just focus on the shark for now.

The main thing here is to shade according to the actual form of the object, rather than on the edges, as it flattens the form into a sticker of sorts. Another thing is actually portraying the detail of the object - here it's hard to see what the object really is, though it has the silhouette of a shark. For example, the bump at the middle of the belly? Is it a fin? A blade cutting into the poor animal? Something else entirely? Using shading and 'lines' to show what you want to portray is helpful. (Humans naturally understand lines- you don't need to teach people to see that a line represents the edge of something or whatever.)

I'll try to explain with this picture...
(sorry it's not pixelart, I'd spend more time refining that than explaining what I was trying to say...)

What to do regarding this? I say study basic drawing on the side. You don't need to drop pixeling entirely for the duration, but studying on the side certainly will improve your abilities as a pixel artist. :o
Title: Re: Pixel Art by Kaz
Post by: Kaz on December 29, 2012, 01:07:47 am
Thanks for the advice  :)

Not very good at living creatures more items and terrain.

What do you think about the swords. I'm not sure about the shading.
Title: Re: Pixel Art by Kaz
Post by: Ymedron on December 29, 2012, 01:42:57 am
Hm, I think the swords could use a lot less colors. The more you use, the softer and rounder the item turns out to be -> loses clarity.

I semi-quickly cleaned your first sword to only use two colors on the blade:

In general, my suggestion would be to use as few colors as you can get away with, and add a new color if you are starved for detail. In this picture I'd say you could reduce the colors on the blade to 4 colors - a dark shadow, an antialias color, the normal color and a highlight color. The bone only needs 3 and the black area probably just 2 since it isn't very shiny looking.

http://www.pixeljoint.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=11299&PID=139322 This tutorial might prove very helpful!
Title: Re: Pixel Art by Kaz
Post by: Ninjus on December 29, 2012, 02:14:56 am
Not the best,but a quick way I approach pieces
Instead of a large amount of colors close to each other, uses less colors and make them differentiate from each other well meaning for example:
1. A color/shade where little to no light touches
2.A color/shade where some light touches
3. A color/shade being hit by light directly
and etc.......
(Basically what Ymedron said)
Title: Re: Pixel Art by Kaz
Post by: adcrusher524 on December 29, 2012, 02:37:16 am
Okay, I went a little nuts with it.


Basically what ninjus said, you have to first define a light source.  In yours, a light source is clear but it is shown by a great big clump of banding. (read up on banding here http://www.pixeljoint.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=11299&PID=139322#139322) Instead, think of the sword as a 3d figure. Where would the light hit the most? Where would the light hardly hit?
Another issue would be the color choice. All of your colors are 100% saturated (or close) which makes the colors seem unrealistic. I like to have my middle colors have the lowest saturation, and as the color gets more extreme in brightness the saturation increases. Some people do it the opposite, its a stylistic choice I think. Also, with you colors you also want to shift the hues as the brightness changes. Usually, when the brightness decreases, the hue shifts towards a blue or purple, and when the brightness increases it shifts to a warmer color like red or yellow. Notice how in my edit the sword is not just red, the darkest is purple and the brightest is orange and pink. Try to incorporate that into your next attempt. Another good resource for general art knowledge is here  http://androidarts.com/art_tut.htm

Good luck!

(changes in sword design were personal choices :D)
Title: Re: Pixel Art by Kaz
Post by: Kaz on December 30, 2012, 02:37:01 am
Wow Thanks everyone for all your amazing support! I can't wait to try out these new techniques.

I'll post an update when i try out these on a new sword. Thanks again guys  ;D
Title: Re: Pixel Art by Kaz
Post by: Kaz on December 30, 2012, 03:36:20 am
Hey guys! You advice since last lime really helped and i redid my necromancer sword with these new techniques  :)

Old Sword:


New Sword (with the colours i used off to the side):


Tell me what you think  ;D

Title: Re: Pixel Art by Kaz
Post by: Ymedron on December 30, 2012, 03:51:21 am
The reduced colors certainly improve it, however you need to make the colors more different from each other. Also reducing the vividness of the shadow and highlight would help (as well as changing the hue, for example to a more reddish purple in highlights or a more blue purple in shadow).

You still haven't really brought out the shape of the bone with the shading, as it mainly hugs the outline of the form.

Edit: Shrunk the image.

Edit2: I apologise profusely if my advice is suspect, Im a bad educator.
Title: Re: Pixel Art by Kaz
Post by: adcrusher524 on December 30, 2012, 03:56:00 am
Definitely better. I think you should change the design on the blade a bit, the two sides are thin and don't look very sturdy, also the small area makes it difficult to shade. I would suggest filling in the middle with white, connecting the two ends.  Another thing is that your sword needs a bit more contrast, mainly the darkest should be pulled down a bit more I think.  I made quick edit to show what I mean. Good work so far.  ;)


Also, you don't need to increase the size before posting, there's a feature on the forum where you can click the image to make it larger.
Title: Re: Pixel Art by Kaz
Post by: Kaz on December 30, 2012, 08:29:51 pm
Hmm Not exactly sure what you mean but i made the blades shadow darker and differed the colours a bit. But I'm worried about differing the colours too much from the original dark purple design.

Also I'm not sure i like the forums click the zoom feature it makes the image look blurry.

Anyway Old Sword:


New Sword:

Title: Re: Pixel Art by Kaz
Post by: ptoing on December 30, 2012, 09:08:30 pm
Please do not post scaled up images. We have zoom code on the forum. clicking zooms in, shift or ctrl click zooms out, alt click resets zoom.
Title: Re: Pixel Art by Kaz
Post by: Dr D on December 30, 2012, 11:00:00 pm
Also I'm not sure i like the forums click the zoom feature it makes the image look blurry.

That is because of your browser. What are you using? I'm using the most recent version of Firefox and it looks fine, pixel crispiness reserved.

Also your choice of shading and colors make your sword look more like a rubber or plastic toy than a lethal weapon.
A blade that is made to cut something will have a very thin, sharp edge. The 2-pixel thick highlight that you have on the edge makes the sword look blunt. As for your colors, not only are they very unrealistic - the purple is very strange in my opinion, but if you want to go with it, then that is okay, but you should attempt to make your colors look more interesting (with hue shifts) and have more value difference between them.

I'd do an edit, but you have received plenty of nice ones already, maybe read over them again.  :y: