Critique => Pixel Art => Pixel Art Feature Chest => Topic started by: Yuushia on June 11, 2014, 09:58:58 am

Title: GR#196 - OC Fighting Sprite - Animation
Post by: Yuushia on June 11, 2014, 09:58:58 am
Hi everyone ! I've been browsing this forum for a while,  now I decided to take the plunge and request your advices for my pixel works. :)

So, this is my very first "serious" sprite. It's intended to be used later in a kind of 2d side-scrolling game.


Maybe it's obvious or not, but I take my inspiration from AbyssWolf (http://abysswolf.deviantart.com/ (http://abysswolf.deviantart.com/)), mainly for character proportion and skin color.

I have to make it clear : this character is a girl. When I show this sprite to some people around me, they say it's not evident and it's a problem for me : I don't know what to change to improve this point :(

I began working on animation too :

Idle :               Punch :
(http://i39.servimg.com/u/f39/12/17/91/76/setsun11.gif)    (http://i39.servimg.com/u/f39/12/17/91/76/setsun13.gif)

Thank you for reading :) If you have any comments or suggestions, post here, I need them !
Title: Re: [C+C] Original Character Sprite
Post by: odedrt9 on June 11, 2014, 10:33:02 am
I'm not a professional artist so I can't give you a real advice, but I think there is a problem with the timing of the punch..
The timing between the punch and the legs movement is unnatural..
I think she needs start moving and meanwhile start the punch itself and not after the punch.

But the design itself is really cool I like how she looks :)

Sorry if I wasn't clear, english isn't my first language..  :P
Title: Re: [C+C] Original Character Sprite
Post by: Seiseki on June 11, 2014, 01:46:24 pm
I have a hard time seeing what is going on with the punch.. It looks like it stops halfway and then goes into a snake-like motion.  ???

I like your sprite though, but the blues feel a bit too saturated. I also think you could simplify some areas of the clothing to put focus in the right places, since right now it's a bit hard to read.
The right arm (the arm to the left) looks really off, since it's smaller than the other, it also seems to get bigger for a few frames in the punch animation.
Title: Re: [C+C] Original Character Sprite
Post by: Yuushia on June 12, 2014, 12:15:51 pm
Thank you two for your comments. I will try to improve all of those points.

@odedrt9 : Don't worry, english is not my native language too ;)

For now, I focused on timing. I tried to stick movement on supporting leg, and delayed it :

Before :                       
Now :

@Seiseki : I understand what you mean with the "wavy" arm. Hmm maybe I should try to bring it closer to the body before letting it fall (hope I am understandable).
Title: Re: [C+C] Original Character Sprite
Post by: Gil on June 12, 2014, 02:04:09 pm
The animation is way better now. Also, I love the blue hair saturation, so I don't agree it's too much.

As for some stuff to improve upon: study the cluster threads. Your sprite is a good example of way too much unnecessary shading detail, trying to hide the fact that the basic clusters just don't work. The result is a lot of what seem almost like scribbly lines everywhere. I'll try to do an edit if I remember.
Title: Re: [C+C] Original Character Sprite
Post by: odedrt9 on June 12, 2014, 03:34:28 pm
I think it's much better now but there is still a little delay..
Hmm I think that in order for the punch to look more powerful, you need to fix that delay.
The punch should end only after the legs switching, that way the force from the leg against the floor will transfer to the punch as in giving it a "push"..
Like when you jump you use the force from the crouching to jump, it's the same here.

The best I can demonstrate lol

Wow it's really hard to explain something like that in english xD Hope it's understandable..
Title: Re: [C+C] Original Character Sprite
Post by: Seiseki on June 12, 2014, 05:04:54 pm
The arm shouldn't be wavy like that.

You're trying to go from an idle stance, to a punch and then back to idle again..
But within a very short time frame with no real windup.

Try making the same move yourself in real life.

Title: Re: [C+C] Original Character Sprite
Post by: JoeCreates on June 12, 2014, 08:55:46 pm
Something else wrong with the punch animation is that the blur of the hand seems to be further back than where the hand ever begins. There should be no trail where the hand never was.

Something you might want to consider is punching with the front hand instead of the back hand. This would remove the beat where you currently need to pull the back hand back.
Title: Re: [C+C] Original Character Sprite
Post by: PixelPiledriver on June 12, 2014, 09:11:36 pm
The major action frame has a higher delay than the frames around it.
That means you're slowing down her fist in the middle of her punch.
This should be one of your lowest delays and fastest frames.

Here's a really rough edit:
(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-4wNEuhSY0bQ/U5oa3ado1eI/AAAAAAAAJ7Q/GeAizkbuErA/s1600/setsun15_edit_6.gif) (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wQGOkNOVbpk/U5oXRewDZkI/AAAAAAAAJ6c/XQEFrHnVIb0/s1600/setsun15.gif)

Mess around with it some more.
Title: Re: [C+C] Original Character Sprite
Post by: JoeCreates on June 12, 2014, 11:48:21 pm

I'm not so sure about that. The implication of the blurred frame is that some part of the body started at the left, but it's current position is at the rightmost part of the blur. Without the blur, then yes, the middle part of the motion would be quicker, but with the blur, the speed of the motion is implied. Reducing the time on that frame will apparently help, but I think that's because the frame is wrong, rather than that it should be quicker.


Note the blur starts behind where the elbow started. What is it that got blurred? Note also that the implication of the blur is that the fist is already fully extended to the rightmost point of the blur, which makes the stance fairly strange.

The example Seiseki provided also illustrates the other problem I mentioned before. You're starting out with the punching hand at the front. This means that your get ready involves turning away from the viewer, which adds a delay to the animation. In a game, this could make the punch feel very unresponsive.

Notice the difference, here, though:

The punching hand is already further back, so there is no need for the character to turn away from the viewer to prepare for the punch. Instead, he finishes the punch turned away from the viewer, and returns to forward after completing the punch. In other words, you'd be better off punching with the other hand.
Title: Re: [C+C] Original Character Sprite
Post by: Yuushia on June 13, 2014, 03:57:52 pm
Hi, thank you for your replies.

I have a new version of my character.

Before :

Now :

I mainly added a new "transitional" frame at the start of motion, before blurred frame (so i modified this one too) in hope to harmonize body and arm position.
I changed frame speed to add more "impact" and removing "slow down" effect in middle of animation.

@odedrt9 : Thank you, next update I will change that.

@JoeCreates : I think I understood what you mean. But I already saw animated sprites where the punch come from the back hand, and result was ok :

(http://i39.servimg.com/u/f39/12/17/91/76/test0110.gif) (Melty Blood on PS2)

Is there a reason it could not work with my own sprite ? (I don't say this in order to avoid changing punching arm, in fact it was already planned to make animation punch with both arms)

@Gil : Well, now you said it, I realize using 5/6 colors just for tshirt is... well sooo much. Thank you, I don't know very well this concept, and the thread should help me. I'll correct this point as soon as I can.
Title: Re: [C+C] Original Character Sprite
Post by: Neophos on June 13, 2014, 07:03:20 pm
Just before she throws the punch, her vest on her right side moves in sharply. What movement is that indicating, or is it just a slip-up?

While I do believe you've done some good work with the wrinkles, right in the beginning of the animation, the left leg's wrinkles act up.

I would really like to see a frame where she steps forward with the right leg as the pulls the arm back. I think it's sort of jarring that the leg teleports, especially since it moves to roughly the same place the other leg used to be.
Title: Re: [C+C] Original Character Sprite
Post by: Yuushia on June 16, 2014, 08:10:25 pm
Hi there, I have some update here.

First, about the animation.

- I added one frame at end of punch motion, in order to add more impact by time shifting moment where foot lands and the arm finish to hit. She stays longer in "punching state".
- I corrected (well, I thought it was a problem) the very end of  motion, where she seemeds to back away while recover her position.
- I modified once again frame timing, in order to fit better with the new frame.

- I tried to add another frame as Neophos suggested, but couldn't achieve anything satisfiying, so it's not there.

So here it is :


I have a question. I am in learning phase so I don't care to try as many times needed, but I wondered : since I began to correct various mistakes on this sprite, I added 2 more frames.
Do you think it's possible  I could achieve the same movement with less frame (like 6-8, I currently have 11 frames, without counting breathing frames at all) and keeping animation fluidity ? I mean with my current animation, would it be possible to just remove some frame to leave specifics keyframe of the animation ? Or do I need to redraw entirely the animation from beginning ?

I would really like to train this particular aspect, considering amount of animation there will be needed in my future game's project.

I didn't touch the wrinkles for a reason : I read the cluster study thread & ramblethread and I realized I had more basic stuff to correct. So in hope to understand better cluster concept I gave a try. And...here is my result.


Basically, I reduced colors number in almost every part of sprites (except skin, belt and shoes). I am pretty satisfied on tshirt and hairs. But I am not sure about pants.

What are you thoughts ? Thank you again for your help :)
Title: Re: [C+C] Original Character Sprite
Post by: Yuushia on June 25, 2014, 02:53:55 pm
 Hi there. I started working on another character, being a little stuck on the first one.
I wanted to apply from the start what I've read in the Cluster Study Thread, so before I start animating the character, I would like to hear your thoughts about it, if you would  ;)

Here it is :


I would like the coat to feel like it's made of fabric,  in it's current state it gives more the feel of a leather-like coat.

If you'd have any thoughts about previous post I'll be glad too  :)
Title: Re: [C+C] Original Character Sprite
Post by: astraldata on June 25, 2014, 07:20:59 pm

Looks fairly well-made for the most part. As you mentioned before, you have a bit of trouble with the color-count stuff, and it's clear on your newest sprite too (a particular offender is the blue on the jacket sleeves, but there are many other places the colors can be reused.)

38 colors is a bit extreme, imo, for something that's to be animated by hand. My edit above reduces this to 16 colors (including transparency), which is 16-bit effectively. With a large palette, you easily lose track of what colors are being used where, making it more likely you'll select a wrong color shade and use that to draw on your sprite with until you later realize that you needed the one just a shade away, leading to many many MANY headaches in developing an entire moveset for a single character due to all the recoloring you'd need to do if that mess-up wasn't caught sooner.

I understand you want to go for a photoshop-ish / 32-bit feel to the look of your sprite, but do that only *after* the character's entire moveset has been animated with basic shades so that your palette wont get you confused while editing. The palette I made is sufficient enough to appear 32-bit anyway, despite it only being 16-bit essentially. Unless the character has very few animations in his moveset or they don't vary greatly across the entire range (i.e. an arm moves, a mouth moves, or a leg or two moves with a lot of very flashy visual effects making up for the lack of animation in the body), you might want to aim more at the 16-bit style (SNES) graphics/palette at first and see if you still feel like adding in those extra palette entries for highlights on the shoes/subtle-color-shifts on the jacket/shirt/etc. later when you're done with your first round of moveset animation coloring.

As far as your animation question in your previous post about frame count -- yes, it is possible to shrink that animation down to 6-8 frames at least. I can help you in depth on this aspect (and others) if you like -- just check my signature below and shoot me a PM if you're interested. I'd love to help someone as dedicated to learning pixel art as you seem to be further their skills.

With that said, a quick side note:  you don't have to double the size of your images to post them here (we can just left-click on them to zoom).


2 more things I forgot to mention:

First, the only way to make the jacket appear more cloth-like is to remove the highlight altogether, giving the appearance of more dull or scattered light (as I show in my edit). I personally don't see any issue with the highlight color you have other than perhaps making it almost pointless to have since it can barely be seen anyway. If you wanted a more leathery look, the highlighted area would be much more thin and concentrated to a band of intensified reflected light, appearing as almost a bright line across the wrinkles depending on the kind of leather you wanted to convey (this is assuming an almost latex style leather). The thickness of the sleeves' cuffs too could have something to do with potentially conveying sense of a heavy leather look, though I see it as more of a heavy coat -- but I feel like that's subjective to the person viewing (there's only so much you can do with anime-style coloring to convey certain materials after all).

Secondly, try flipping the sprite horizontally. You'll see he doesn't quite look as correct or cool facing to the left as he does facing to the right. His deepest shoulder-arm contour is the offender here.
Title: Re: [C+C] Original Character Sprite
Post by: Yuushia on June 27, 2014, 09:13:54 am
Thanks for your reply astraldata.

Keeping your advices in mind, I processed to reduce the palette to 16 colors. Reusing colors did not cross my mind until now, and with a quick cleaning of some single colors here and there (mostly forgotten and couldn't see them as there were very similar to another color.. ex : I had #ffffff and #fff6ff) , it was easier than I thought to achieve this goal.

I flipped sprite and saw what you meant about the arm, and tried to adjust him to the back.


I'm pretty satisfied, the result is not far from original and I can easily understand color reduce should
save me from a lot of difficulties later.
I didn't like the final rendering without shadow on arm, so I finally kept it and gave up about giving a more cloth-like feeling. As you said there is not so many way to depict a precise kind of material in anime style, particularly within such a small area.

Btw I knew about the zoom on [img] with left-click, but I work directly with this size for spriting thoses characters (and spriting everything in fact). Plus, zoom on Chrome Browser doesn't work effectively and tend to blur pictures a lot.

I read your topic in your signature, and while it is nice to make this kind of offer, I can only accept punctual advices. Mainly because I have a lot of personal projects involving that I learn pixel-art in the way I want, and I know I can't "give you what you give me".

But thank you again for your help.  :)
Title: Re: [C+C] Original Character Sprite
Post by: astraldata on June 27, 2014, 04:17:36 pm
Not a problem man. Good luck to you in your endeavor dude. You've got a good style of art, and it would be nice to see it in a game eventually. Let me know if you change your mind.

Regarding your new sprite, I suggest brightening the next to darkest shade on the pants leg a bit (it's much too dark to show the 3d form it needs to convey, making your sprite look flatter than it needs to.) The over-use of dark colors without many easily-visible color variations is hurting your overall design, which looks great in terms of shape, style, and construction.
Title: Re: [C+C] Original Character Sprite
Post by: Hurumi on June 30, 2014, 07:00:04 pm
Hello there so I had checked out the guy in which you said you was influenced from and his pixel work is really awesome. How long did it take to get the hand of doing pixel I'm trying to learn nowhere near getting this well as you have made so far.
Title: Re: [C+C] Original Character Sprite
Post by: CombustibleNate on June 30, 2014, 09:00:48 pm

So here it is :


Reading through this thread, the biggest glaring issue is his feet work. I am not the greatest artist, but I have practiced boxing and muay thai. You would never step with your rear foot like that, you want to remain square [meaning you are more stabilized in case someone counters your attack] so the lead foot steps forward when you throw the punch and you push off the ball of your back foot for extra power. If you make your character appear to do this, you'll illustrate the power of a normal fighter. Other than that, the punch looks nice.

Title: Re: [C+C] Original Character Sprite
Post by: Yuushia on July 01, 2014, 08:31:26 pm
@astraldata : Thank you  :) I brightened a bit the shades on the pants. It will be visible in the next update (I am working on idle stance).

@Hurumi : Hello ! Yeah I love AbyssWolf works, it's a huge inspirational source for me. To answer honestly your question, I don't remember how much time I took to realize the first sprite I show in the first post. 2-3 weeks maybe ? But I train my art only on my free time, and sometimes at work  ::)
However I can say you I did the 2nd character a loooooot faster than the 1st, like 2-3 days.

I suggest you to follow some tutorials (like those ones (http://www.deviantart.com/digitalart/pixelart/?q=tutorial)), even if it's not spectacular characters or effects. I started pixel art with them, and once I was confident enough, I made a character and started to animate her.

@CombustibleNate : Thank you for your comment. I'll probably redesign this animation soon, so I take note of your advice for the next version  :)