Critique => Pixel Art => Pixel Art Feature Chest => Topic started by: Drazelic on February 24, 2014, 06:03:54 am

Title: GR#180 - Night Shop - Perspective
Post by: Drazelic on February 24, 2014, 06:03:54 am

Still in preliminary design phase- the idea is a somewhat rough and mismatched shack, obviously hand-built and rather aged. I'm pretty satisfied with the left side of the house, but the half of the house with a cast-shadow from the leafless tree is really very empty in comparison.

Any ideas what I can do there to liven up the composition a little? I'm considering such things as fireflies or complicated creeping vines crawling up the side of the house.
Title: Re: Night Shop
Post by: Kosvid on February 24, 2014, 08:31:17 am
Ummm... The Moon at the top right corner, may be? It would create both lights and shades.
[P.S. Add "WIP" tag]
Title: Re: Night Shop
Post by: coffee on February 24, 2014, 10:48:53 am
This looks pretty nice!

I don't think the light to the right is ment to be the moon, but more of a lantern sort of thing?
I think the right sides looks good and gives a nice contrast to the left. What's missing and making it look a bit weird is that it got no background.
I would suggest that either the lantern on the right casts som light on the ground a bit further back, reavealing some foliage perhaps. Or imagine  windows
or a porch in the back that casts some light to the background. Any would work and give balance.

So far good work =) Really like the colours
Title: Re: Night Shop
Post by: cels on February 24, 2014, 12:33:13 pm
@coffee: I think Agent00X was suggesting that Drazelic should put a moon in the upper right corner. He wasn't confusing the round lantern as actually being the moon. For what it's worth, I agree with Agent00X that it would be interesting with moonlight creating two multiple light sources with different hues. It's a lot of work to pull off, but so lovely when done right in scenes like this.

Personally, I'm having a lot of trouble making sense of the house's structure. I get that the angles and lines aren't straight because it's hand built and aged, but I just don't see how everything fits together. It's wonderfully rendered, it looks beautiful, but... it's like looking at M C Escher, in my eyes. On the top floor, it's easy to identify the closest corner of the building. But on the ground floor, I can't quite see any corners. Only the "canopy" seems disconnected from the surface of the four windows. (I assume I'm seeing this wrong, because given the corner on the top floor, the left-most of the four windows is probably on a different surface than the other three.

Could be that I'm just looking at this all wrong. If no one else agrees, then that is probably the case.  ;D

I'm also curious about the way you've used those diagonal lines on the 'Shop' crate. Shouldn't those go from bottom left to top right instead? I'm asking out of ignorance.
Title: Re: Night Shop
Post by: Crow on February 24, 2014, 02:39:57 pm
"Liven up"? This already looks pretty alive to me :P I'd love to see what context this is in. Desperately needs a background. Fireflies sounds good, too. In case you animate those, how about rustling leaves and shaking branches? ;D

[P.S. Add "WIP" tag]

That's implied here ;)
Title: Re: Night Shop
Post by: Faceless on February 24, 2014, 03:58:02 pm
I butchered your image for you:
No thanks necessary.

In all seriousness though, I think there are quite a few fundamental issues with your image.
The red lines show the actual boundaries of your building. Given this:
-The green X is shows a window which is drawn as though on the side of the building which is physically impossible.
-The green arrow is meant to indicate that the doorway should be moved to the right so that it's in line with the front of the building.
-The green circle is just highlighting a space where I think there should be an object of interest. It could be anything from a boarded up window to a sign.
-Finally, although you want the house to look crudely made, I think the support beam at the top of the roof should still be (close to) centred between the two slopes of the roof rather than pushed as far forward as you have it now.
Title: Re: Night Shop
Post by: Drazelic on February 24, 2014, 04:46:24 pm
E: Picture in the original post has been updated a little.

Faceless, cels: This is the framework of the house in my mind. I might take that advice on making the roof of the house a bit more rigid, but otherwise I sort of want to keep the porch jutting out from the front.


Crow: There's really not a context for this piece, in case you were hoping this was just a component of a larger game project or something. I couldn't get to sleep last night, so I just stayed up and started doodling and four hours later I found myself with a neat-looking house scene.

coffee: Yeah, a background would be pretty nice, except for the fact that I'm not sure how to begin approaching one from this completely side-view-on perspective. Does anybody have some reference pieces they could link me?
Title: Re: Night Shop
Post by: Kosvid on February 24, 2014, 05:24:30 pm
Some thoughts in a picture.
Everything is already said, but pay attention to the sides of the box - they have phantom lights and shades.

Title: Re: Night Shop
Post by: cels on February 24, 2014, 05:38:38 pm
The criticism wasn't about the porch jutting out from the front. It's a lovely little porch. But it's more about the connection between the light sources, the walls and the timber structure which looks like a mix between English timber framing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timber_framing) and some sort of wooden exo-skeletal framework not connected to the walls themselves. Some places it looks like part of the structure, other places it looks disconnected, and it's hard to see where it's one or the other.

If you want the side of the porch to be on the same surface as the walls, then the colours and lighting should match accordingly.

Maybe my edit can explain better than my words.
Top version is the original
Second version is what it looks like you were originally going for
Third version is what matches the framework you just illustrated.

Title: Re: Night Shop
Post by: Drazelic on February 26, 2014, 10:57:56 pm
The advice about the warm-cold color split across the side of the house was very useful! This is what the house looks like right now:


It feels a bit... noisy, though. Maybe I should go back in and erase some of the brick-edge texture?
Title: Re: Night Shop
Post by: HarveyDentMustDie on February 26, 2014, 11:42:01 pm
IMO there are still the same problems here. :( Watch cels marks where he defined "Two surfaces" with yellow and purple color. These two areas hurt my eyes,while I try to define how it all fits together, as long as the "Shop" sign. Here is quick edit, how I think it should all look.

Title: Re: Night Shop
Post by: Drazelic on February 27, 2014, 12:44:49 am
Why does everybody think there's a wall behind the crate/counter? That segment of the house is literally empty, it's like a big storage barn thing. The entire side of the house is one big wall! The wooden framework at the front isn't an empty frame, it's part of the solid wall next to it.

Maybe it's because I didn't make the front segments of the frame wide enough? Perhaps this edit will help:

Title: Re: Night Shop
Post by: tim on February 27, 2014, 01:08:15 am
I just want to say that it looks fabulous. The lighting especially. It seems like a nice place with a nice atmosphere. Awesome !
Title: Re: Night Shop
Post by: HarveyDentMustDie on February 27, 2014, 02:11:44 am
Why does everybody think there's a wall behind the crate/counter?

If everybody sees it, there must be something.  :)


If that area behind the counter is empty, problem is top part of the house because it looks like it's on top of the barn, not next to it. Eye is trying to justify this buy making stone wall a lot closer to the tree. Main reason for all this is trying to achieve depth without perspective.

Also here is quick sketchUp model, maybe it can be useful to you.  :)
Title: Re: Night Shop
Post by: Mr. Fahrenheit on February 27, 2014, 02:39:19 am
I dont know for sure but I think that the big overhangy part in that model is supposed to be not an overhang at all. Think of like a halftimbered house or whatever they are called but with bricks instead of plaster. Is this correct?
Title: Re: Night Shop
Post by: Drazelic on February 27, 2014, 03:06:46 am

If that area behind the counter is empty, problem is top part of the house because it looks like it's on top of the barn, not next to it. Eye is trying to justify this buy making stone wall a lot closer to the tree. Main reason for all this is trying to achieve depth without perspective.

It /is/ on top of the storage shed, though. What's the problem with a house designed like that?

(Also, your sketchup model seems to think that the two sloped roofs on the first floor are contiguous, a presumption that seems rather difficult for me to buy considering I put trees between the roofs specifically to break up that composition so you wouldn't think it was the same roof. In fact those segments of the house are perpendicular to each other; if you looked at the house from above the shape of it would be a T, not an L.)

Title: Re: Night Shop
Post by: cels on February 27, 2014, 03:27:32 am
Instead of everyone trying to guess the structure of the house, perhaps you can draw a simple sketch from a different angle, so we can understand how everything fits together.

I've probably been staring at this house for 30 minutes since I first saw this thread, and I still have no idea how everything is connected. It's still like looking at an MC Escher piece. Every component looks alright separately, but my mind can't quite comprehend how the components fit together. Since everyone's a bit confused right now, it's probably best to attack this from a different angle, instead of making even more edits of the same piece without getting to the root of the problem. If you have Sketchup, that would be best. Otherwise, a simple MS Paint sketch in a 3D perspective would do the same trick.
Title: Re: Night Shop
Post by: Drazelic on February 27, 2014, 03:33:48 am

Man, is it really that difficult to visualize? If so, I really need to take this back to the drawing board and figure out how to direct the eye to better understand the layout of this.
Title: Re: Night Shop
Post by: HezaKey on February 27, 2014, 06:43:21 am
Well, I did a bit of editing to the lighting, since a lot of places have light on them that in actuality are blocked by walls and other structures of the house.
And then I really got to the root of the problem in that your house has no perspective on it.  Since we're viewing the object at an angle, you need to be using 2 point perspective.

You can get away with a lot of fudging of the perspective, since an old sagging house won't have a lot of perfectly parallel planes.
Just have a couple of converging lines and it should become much more readable.

I was really lazy and didn't measure out my perspective lines at all.  Don't follow my example, shame on me.

As for the overall composition, I think a couple of small figures standing by the tree is all you would need to put a bit of interest in that space.  They don't even have to be well defined, just something interesting to find and look at over there. 
Title: Re: Night Shop
Post by: HarveyDentMustDie on February 27, 2014, 08:39:40 am

 :huh: I Never would have guessed it. T shape and stone room on wooden pillars. :)

Maybe thing that makes me read this structure like an L and not a T shape, is strong lighting of the left door, which makes it look like it's not very far away from lantern.

Don't get me wrong, except this "optical confusion", your idea, rendering and atmosphere are really good. :y:
Title: Re: Night Shop
Post by: cels on February 27, 2014, 09:55:37 am
I'm more surprised about the biggest wall than the T-shape. Although I agree that the trees seem to hide the shape of the structure instead of accentuating it.


What's been confusing me, primarily, is the way the light reflects from the lantern (there is some light coming from the 2nd floor, but that seems realistic enough). My whole point about the warm and cold surfaces was that there shouldn't be any warm colours on the "cold" surface, where the light should not be able to reach. For example, the left side of all the vertical timber framing reflects a lot of light from the left, as if the light is sneaking through the walls. You could have some light shining through the windows to hit those vertical beams, but it would be limited to a very small portion of those vertical surfaces.

The only way I could make sense of the lighting on the timber framing was if it was disconnected, like THIS (http://i.imgur.com/fdNyLoW.png). But then I don't see how it connects to the second floor.
Title: Re: Night Shop
Post by: HumpRAWR on February 27, 2014, 09:23:17 pm
So, this is a terrible edit, but here's some thoughts I had while looking through this post. What's annoying about this is that the brick texture has to be fairly side-to-side since it's pixel art, but that makes it hard to tell when the wall is flat with the camera or at some angle. The part that's being confusing looks like its flat with the camera due to the texture, and since the light from the current light source is moving through the wall, the wall must be behind what seem to be stilts holding up the roof of the porch. But farther to the right, the image establishes that the wall is inline with the stilts, which are angled with the camera and headed away from the viewer.

So I'm looking at a wall that's facing me and also angled to me depending on where in the image I look.


Truth be told, this is an amazing piece of art and you could stop working on it now if you wanted to. It would probably have the effect you want.
Title: Re: Night Shop
Post by: PsylentKnight on February 27, 2014, 11:11:10 pm
I honestly don't know why everyone is so confused about the shape of it.  Its an amazing piece, well done.
Title: Re: Night Shop
Post by: tim on February 28, 2014, 01:04:06 am
I agree, even if it has little flaws and could have more consistency in the lighting, overall the piece is working perfectly.

About composition, rather than adding "easy stuff" like fireflies, you have to think about a backstory : how do they bring water here ? maybe they have a water tank ? or a river ? If people come with horses, where do they tie their horses ? Is there a road in front of the house ? Is there a backdoor ? What is the surrounding view ? From where come the sunlight in the morning ? the evening ? Where do they stock their food ? Is there a cave ? How do they heat the place ? Fireplace ? Then they need to stock dry wood.

Think also about utility objects like a weather cock, a wheelbarrow, etc… And try to make sense ! For instance the hanging light on the tree seems too high to be reachable by a human, so they have to use a ladder to light it ? Then put the ladder near. If there are a tree, there must be some dead leaves on the ground. Dead leaves means a rake or a pitchfork nearby to gather them and reuse them ! etc etc…
Title: Re: Night Shop
Post by: Faceless on February 28, 2014, 07:07:51 am
I think it reads much better with the recent changes, and readability is no longer an issue.
It's ready for polish now imo. milokey's perspective edit works really well, and wouldn't be wrong to pursue, but I don't think it's necessary.
Wouldn't mind seeing some character/creature sprites added to the scene either.
Looks like it would be a great location for an old-school point and click adventure title.
Title: Re: Night Shop
Post by: Tapsu on February 28, 2014, 08:16:18 am
Yeah, it looks good but starts to look a bit funny when you start to notice how light passes through the solid brick wall but not through the windows in the wall : )
Title: Re: Night Shop
Post by: DatMuffinMan on March 01, 2014, 03:27:56 am
I think I see the problem, though I may be wrong: the roof on the top (pointier one) hangs over the wooden columns on the edges of the house, thus making it seem more like a normal roof. The roof hanging over the empty space, however, does not, which (might) make the perspective hard to visualize.

Also, you can see much less of the sides of the shingles up top than of the sides of the wooden 'logs' on the lower roof.
Title: Re: Night Shop
Post by: Drazelic on March 01, 2014, 09:38:22 pm
Alright, here's where I'm standing now.


Milokey's revised perspective is really good, and if I were just considering starting on this piece I'd probably go with that in hindsight. However, as I worked on this, part of my goal became to try and define depth from a very, very strictly horizontal perspective, so I'm going to try and stick with that just to see if I can pull it off. To help with that, I moved the tree a bit so that I could fit in the back-half of the house, to help make the house easier to read.

I'm definitely interested in making the scene more 'real' by adding details that imply a story or a function to the design, and I put a sort of 'pulley system' behind the tree lantern for that purpose (maybe I'll make that lantern a set of multiple lanterns, because having a set of pulleys for just a single lantern seems like overkill).

Next up- figuring some character designs to put into the scene, I think.
Title: Re: Night Shop
Post by: tim on March 02, 2014, 01:40:05 am
For people like me that didn't really see the difference,
I made a before / after of your own work :
Title: Re: Night Shop
Post by: HarveyDentMustDie on March 02, 2014, 11:36:14 am
Here is another model:

I think that left part of the house should be darker, almost like the right one, cause it's much further from the lantern than it seems, and there is a tree between them.


Also what light source makes top part of the roof so bright? It looks like there is another floating light source in front of the window and above lower roof.

Last edit of the tree trunk is better, somehow it looks more natural, and now you can see what's going on on the right part of the structure.   :y:
Title: Re: Night Shop
Post by: Drazelic on April 08, 2014, 10:58:33 pm

Long time no update, but I recently got a bit of inspiration and threw this up as a quick background prototype. And also two characters which in all honesty I drew while not really being sure what to do with the scene, and which will probably end up removed eventually.

The primary tree's readability has been drastically reduced, but I can probably fix that with a bit of detailing further down the road.

I'm a little uncertain about the sky-light thing, it seems way too big compared to the effect it has on the lighting. Maybe I should make the implied hole in the canopy smaller?
Title: Re: Night Shop
Post by: Neirda on April 08, 2014, 11:26:21 pm
Amazing piece I love it so much !

 In my opinion the two characters are not essential, you should add a bored shopkeeper behind his counter for a better story telling in the scene

 For the right tree you should put a lighter sky behind it in the background for a better readability.

 The natural lighting ( from the moon I guess ) should come from the back, following the blue right edge of the building belong to me.

 Anyway keep it up dude, I can't wait for the next step ;)
Title: Re: Night Shop
Post by: Manupix on April 09, 2014, 12:34:24 am
I'm afraid these new developments are a hindrance to composition, readability and even atmosphere.
I love the strong triangular composition and pitch-black night of the previous versions; the new background almost makes it look like daylight now.
Some hints of things there might be good, but I'd use only the darkest tone(s).

Also something that bugs me from the start and won't go away is the absence of perspective, specifically on the highest rooftop.
Giving it a slight incline (although less than in Harvey's model) would help tremendously.

Title: Re: Night Shop
Post by: Drazelic on April 09, 2014, 01:16:23 am
Oooh, yeah, you're definitely right about the weakened contrast. I was so pleased that I'd overcome my art-block at all that I didn't really give the changes much of a second glance.


A whooole lot of NPA stuff going on here, but hopefully a few color-reductions and recolors will help push it towards a state where I can start doing pixel-detail-work over it again.