Critique => 2D & 3D => Topic started by: Ai on January 13, 2014, 11:33:07 pm

Title: Idyllic icons
Post by: Ai on January 13, 2014, 11:33:07 pm
Recently I discovered a pixelart-friendly image viewer, sxiv (https://github.com/muennich/sxiv)*
It doesn't have its own icon yet, so I made one up:


The author said he'd like to use it, but other sizes were needed..
If you are an X11 application, you need to provide your icon in all sizes: 16x16, 32x32, 48x48, 64x64, 128x128. So I went on to draw icons for the larger sizes:


I'm posting this in LowSpec because I feel it borders on controlled Oekaki rather than pixel art... since sxiv is the 'Simple X Image Viewer', I had a focus on simplicity.

* I say that it's pixel-art friendly because it has toggleable AAing, toggleable alpha channel, and builtin animation support with the ability to step one by one through frames. The scriptability doesn't hurt either.

Anyway, hit me with your best shot!
I feel particularly iffy about the sky as resolution goes up, but haven't put my finger on what it is. Any critique in that area would be particularly appreciated :)

EDIT: updated.
Title: Re: Idyllic icons
Post by: Facet on January 14, 2014, 02:43:33 am
I'm sure sure what the scene is, what's the concept?

Icons are usually pretty graphic; primary colours, big central icon etc. this looks a bit indistinct and forgettable yet. I find the text pretty hard to read; I'd actually be tempted myself to simply quarter the icon with the 4 letters (http://motherpie.typepad.com/motherpie/images/2007/04/03/love.jpg), find a nice colour scheme, then concentrate on scaling that interestingly if you want to use per-pixel technique on each scale. 
Title: Re: Idyllic icons
Post by: Ai on January 14, 2014, 03:43:03 am
It's pretty much a generic landscape, in a frame. Hills, sky, sun :) I mean, 'image','viewer'.. I didn't have any concept that invokes 'image' more directly.

The text is obligatory. I may be able to rearrange it, but the actual bits of the text are an obligatory part (at least at the moment, barring negotiation with the author). Thanks for the quartering suggestion, that seems like it could work well, I could make the landscape into an intentionally indistinct background thing. And in general for making clear crits :)

Here's a 16x16 attempt:


There's really no denying it's much more readable.


After some more discussion with the author, here is where I'm at for the basic concept:


using 2x3 blocks for the lettering  (but only for this particular scale, 32x32, because 2x2 blocks leave the lettering too small so it just seems like a white scribble. For other scales I should be able to get good enough visibility without resorting to tallpixels.)
Title: Re: Idyllic icons
Post by: Facet on January 15, 2014, 12:45:51 am
No problem ;D

That's a lot slicker, better contrast, text is more elegant (and legible) are the colours headed completely abstract? I think that, or some aggressive stylisation is sensible. Never that fond of bevels, either. Old demoscene logos might be a nice, (and philosophically aligned) reference pool for FX while scaling up.

OT, I wouldn't have guessed sun in the first iteration 'cos it seems perpendicular to the lightsource, and to have a shadow.
Title: Re: Idyllic icons
Post by: Ai on January 15, 2014, 04:33:41 am
Interesting that the text seems more legible, since the structure is identical and only the aspect ratio changed. I do agree though :)

I also agree you should be very careful with bevels, I was really just thinking "Oh, I want to draw attention to 'sxiv', so I'll make a contrasty gradient pointing at it."

Yeah, I messed up the sun substantially.. I wanted a bright feature there, but I also wanted to keep the overall color scheme..

More rendering is needed for the larger sizes, but I do want to carefully avoid the demoscene tendency to overdo rendering by about 1000% ;) Maybe I could think of it as a necklace with colored discs or beads.


Imgur pseudo-gallery link where you can quickly tap left / right to run through the sizes. (http://imgur.com/9KiygJk,0MhCiMG,FRBUJPF,4AThhZ2,UfOP5hQ#1). They turned out more apparently uniform than I had thought, which is good -- I had to do some distortion of the text to make it approximately match the aspect ratio of the text in other icons in the set.

No technique work at all yet, just availing myself of G'MIC's Scale2x filter and cleaning up the result.



Currently feels like I hit halfway between 'slime' and 'glass beads'. Definitely needs more cleanup and simplification, it makes a decent thumbnail though at least.

EDIT: well, the above images are it (excluding the glass-beady one)-- they have just been committed, apparently. I can probably do some more cleanup, but apparently that was the style desired.
Title: Re: Idyllic icons
Post by: Facet on January 16, 2014, 10:11:52 pm
>Interesting that the text seems more legible, since the structure is identical and only the aspect ratio changed
I guess there's now a definite major and minor axis to each letter; easier to partition.

Lines are a little wobbly, if you're sticking with mostly graphic shapes now I'd use a single bézier curve for each line; the fallible human touch isn't really adding anything :P. Demoscene wise, by posting in here I was thinking you were intending to ramp up the colours and rendering quite a bit; graffiti-style text effects and such seem rather to benefit from that mindset anyhow.