Critique => Pixel Art => Topic started by: Coltrane on February 13, 2014, 12:04:09 am

Title: a tree attempt. help needed [WIP]
Post by: Coltrane on February 13, 2014, 12:04:09 am
Hi. I try to make an autumn tree (the palette is not definitive). I saw many trees made in pixelart and a lot of them have a kind of balloony shape i don't like. What i would like to achieve is the feel of lightness and weightlessness in the leaves. What's important also is the complexity of the leaves because of the their multitude and the unique position of each one of them.
So this is a first try but i'm sure with some help i could do a better job.
Title: Re: a tree attempt. help needed [WIP]
Post by: Pix3M on February 13, 2014, 04:32:20 am

I honestly find this rather impressive, though what stuck out to me was how perfectly geometric and rectangular the trunk of the tree was.

Made it bend to our left to help balance this guy out, though the crown could be tweaked since it feels like it is heavily leaning to the left.
Title: Re: a tree attempt. help needed [WIP]
Post by: Coltrane on February 13, 2014, 01:17:30 pm
Thanks Pix3M. I tried to update it following your advice and changed also the palette of the leaves :
Title: Re: a tree attempt. help needed [WIP]
Post by: Kosvid on February 13, 2014, 03:07:39 pm
You know, now all the other part of the stem definitely seems to be completely straight.
And in the whole your tree looks not bad at all, but in details it is far from natural state. Too few branches, wrong shapes, let alone leaves. Shades lack almost at all, the shade on the stem is wrong (at least not natural), too...

I am really sorry that I can`t show you instead of just saying about mistakes... May be one day I will draw a tree. In the summer, perhaps..

Well. My advice is to watch real trees, then watch them again, then draw, then watch, then draw, then watch again and again... The trick is that all realistic genres of art in fact are just copying of nature. Because everything what does not match the nature`s shapes looks weird and, consequently, less people like it. So a real artist is a plagiator. If to say roughly. And to make an art looking naturally means to know the nature quite well... I think you understand the further logical chain.
Title: Re: a tree attempt. help needed [WIP]
Post by: Coltrane on February 14, 2014, 02:28:42 pm
Thank you for you comment Agent00X. I tried to fix my mistakes. Does it look better to you ? What's wrong with leaves ? (I'm not going for a realistic look. It would be insane to try to draw every leaf on this tree. That's why i tried to find a way which is a simplification but also gives the feeling of the multitude, as i wrote in my first post.)
Title: Re: a tree attempt. help needed [WIP]
Post by: Kosvid on February 15, 2014, 07:50:41 am
Much better now. I`ve doubt about the stem splitting into two similar ones, but it`s not critical, I`m just picking at you.  :lol:

So I decided to spend some time to show you somewhere about what I mean and what I want. I darkened the parts which, I think, should be in shade (I chose the upper right corner as a light source since I had`n find it). I also added some new colours (Note: I almost don`t pay attention to their number whatever I`m working on). I set borders and erased most of the "cube area" - it only spoiled everything.
Of course, this is just a rough draft with the only purpose to show you how I see it. Anyway, I would draw a completely different tree.  :)


Don`t forget the main thing: the main person whos opinion you should stick to is you. So don`t listen to me if my ideas conflict with yours. =) Especially it is important when only one person gives you advice.

P.S. There should not be any holes among the leaves. Or may be just few. I find the trees on the dark background seem to be more comleted because the background between the leaves looks like dark leaves. So I think all the spaces (only in entire branches) have to be coloured.
Title: Re: a tree attempt. help needed [WIP]
Post by: looaks on February 15, 2014, 01:19:29 pm
I'm working on trees right now mine are slightly more hires but i'm going with the more realistic look as well.
I tried very rapidly to add some bark texture in the trunk without adding colors. That's my suggestion but maybe you prefer the silhouette look you already have. I also 'trimmed' the floating leaves because they bother me :)
Title: Re: a tree attempt. help needed [WIP]
Post by: Coltrane on February 18, 2014, 02:25:31 pm
Updating the tree again.

@Agent00X : My inspiration for this tree are the ones i see by the windows of my flat, so i can assure you : the stem can split in two similar ones.
Anyway, thanks for the edit. I like what you did but i'll stick to a minimal palette. The darks are washed out on purpose because this tree will be placed in a washed out background image and doesn't have to really stand out.

@looaks : Love your works on your trees in your post with the murky water and this added texture on mine (thanks for the edit). I tried to emulate your edit but, again, trying to stick to the minimum texture required to be understandable.

@both of you : I understand you don't like the floating leaves.. I decided to reduce their amount but not to erase them completely. In fact, i can imagine these as animated cubic particles as if they were moving with the wind and i think that would "attach" them to the tree in a way.
Title: Re: a tree attempt. help needed [WIP]
Post by: cels on February 18, 2014, 02:42:39 pm
For what it's worth, I really like the floating leaves. They're one of my favourite things about this unusual and lovely tree. It gives it a touch of tangible pixel art in what is otherwise a very realistic approach compared to standard pixel art trees. I don't think it was a bad thing to remove the most isolated floating leaves, but I'm glad you still kept many of them. As long as they have a close proximity to other leaves, I like that they're floating.
Title: Re: a tree attempt. help needed [WIP]
Post by: astraldata on February 18, 2014, 03:04:53 pm
Definitely a neat way to do a tree. Props to the stylistic choice.

To be honest though, my main issue with this tree is that the the trunk looks too flat. You're not shading it like a cylinder at all (especially toward the middle of the trunk where it bumps out a little). Even if that's supposed to be back-lighting on the trunk, it does very little to add volume to its form due to the extremely low contrast.

The edit by looaks has the right idea, but the contrast in the values in the trunk are a little too weak in his edit too. You don't need another shade, just a boost in value on the lighting and bring your light source around toward the front of the tree more to pull it forward. As you said, it doesn't have to be realistic, but it does have to be believable. Atm the trunk's 3d form / shape is not believable (the canopy is workable though as is). You can even leave an implied line around the edge of the tree with the shadow color to keep the light and the background from touching if you want to (this is a stylistic choice, but it would emphasize the roundness of the volume better).
Title: Re: a tree attempt. help needed [WIP]
Post by: Jim16 on February 18, 2014, 06:05:12 pm
First thing I thought of game wise that does something similar was owlboy. Although, the tree in owlboy is slightly more stylistic than it is real.
Title: Re: a tree attempt. help needed [WIP]
Post by: Coltrane on February 20, 2014, 12:19:16 am
Thanks guys.

Here is the last update of the tree by itself. I still have to learn a lot about light sources and shading but tried my best here. Next thing will be to place it in a background and see if the palette needs a lift or if the lights need a boost.

Title: Re: a tree attempt. help needed [WIP]
Post by: astraldata on February 21, 2014, 05:49:04 am
Definitely makes it pop forward a lot better. Great job. :)

And depending on what sort of root structure you want (i.e. how deep into the ground do the roots go before they begin to spread) you will either make the roots gnarl as they go into the ground (perhaps a little above the earth even), or, like in the image you have there so far, the roots go almost straight down into the earth before they begin to spread out a little, though not much at all (more like an almost-closed umbrella) as if they've got a tight grasp on the earth, though if that tree were ever pulled up out of the ground, it would come out almost like a toothpick. Just some food for thought. :)