Critique => Pixel Art => Topic started by: thesydneylad on December 12, 2018, 09:47:35 am

Title: 8-Bit Werewolf [WIP]
Post by: thesydneylad on December 12, 2018, 09:47:35 am
Been away for a while due to life obligations, mainly. Also, this has been a really, really hard piece to make, so that slowed things down as well.

I wanted to make a sprite of a character that would force me to think about body proportions, particularly the back/spine.
I used this particular image because if I looked hard enough, I could make out the structure of the muscles and where each of the limbs are placed (if that makes any sense to someone).

I have to say, I had no idea how to draw the arms to match the original image. I tried my absolute best, and the right arm is left bare because it was so horrible that I just left it out.

I tried really hard to put in everything I've been told from my previous works so far and everything that I've analyzed visually from other sprites.

I tried to make the piece smaller, so it would fit as a Castlevania boss, but things naturally changed, so I made the piece as big as I needed it.

8-Bit Werewolf:

[Huge image]
Title: Re: 8-Bit Werewolf [WIP]
Post by: Chris2balls on December 12, 2018, 02:57:44 pm
This is not a bad start at all! I like the arm and the head, they're pretty readable at that resolution. :y:

My edit:
I tried to recreate the lighting from the reference, which meant working from dark to light, and using the contour to highlight the werewolf's silhouette. I moved the arm and put a kink in the leg to make the shape more readable.
The most difficult part is going to be the shading: I've chosen to dither, because I wasn't happy with my ditherless attempts.

Hope this gives you a few ideas. :)
Title: Re: 8-Bit Werewolf [WIP]
Post by: Ambivorous on December 12, 2018, 06:18:00 pm
Hi there,

I took to making a more "artistic," less spritey approach to show some things.

The first thing to visit is always the general forms:

I tried to over-exaggerate the shapes I saw.
I blocked out the main components, but I wasn't trying to be exact, just to get some sweet shapes to work with.
For the head in particular I changed some angles to give me shapes that work well with pixel art (the mouth in particular requires too much noise to get right at the original angle).
With hands and feet (and any difficult parts) I generally just plop down some pixels and see what cool shapes naturally form and then refine them.

Then I just yolo copied the reference:

This is a case of draw the rest of the owl (https://i.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/572/078/d6d.jpg), but there are some key points to note:
I chose bold colours. No pussy-footing about with a couple of similar greys here. Don't get me wrong, this went poorly at first and went through a few iterations, but you can't be afraid of trying lots of contrast and saturation.
I didn't use outlines to break up my forms, I used key dark areas. This is a lot to ask, but you need to always try think of ways to imply form without giving it away. Again this is often just me making the whole thing dark and then drawing cool shapes where I want them to be and then toning things down at the end.

Finally the silhouette (in grey):

This is where the feeling really lies. You want your silhouettes to look good. The rest is also important of course, but if your silhouette doesn't move you, you're not going to go anywhere fast.

The main thing I'm trying to say is overdo it rather than play it safe.
You'll learn more by trying more things, and messing up is part of the process. You can't get too serious, or hung up on perfection; just have fun. ^^
Title: Re: 8-Bit Werewolf [WIP]
Post by: thesydneylad on December 13, 2018, 08:24:31 am
Thanks alot for your input, both of you, really. But I have to be blunt.

I'm absolutely no artist with no painting background. Basically, I really don't understand what either of you are telling me (which is none of your guys' fault at all), I just need you guys to really spell it out for me in lamen terms.

From what I've gathered, Chris completed my design to perfection by ironing out all the things that was wrong with it and  Ambivorous made a perfect recreation.

From what I understand from what I can decipher, I should draw some sort of alternate pose by using the same werewolf, like he's leaning forward instead of backwards with his head in a different position.

Again, not your fault, guys. I completely appreciate your help, which is why I'm asking for clarity.

Oh, and thanks for your own style, Ambivorous, but upon studying your style, I'd just confuse the absolute hell out of myself if I did what you do. Personally, I start drawing the outline of the body starting from the feet upwards.

Thank you.
Title: Re: 8-Bit Werewolf [WIP]
Post by: Zanorin on December 13, 2018, 09:23:10 am
I don't have much to say, I'll let Chris and Ambivorous reformulate themselves; I just wanted to drop in to say I'm pleased to see your skills are imploving slowly but surely. Good job, keep it up  :y:
Title: Re: 8-Bit Werewolf [WIP]
Post by: thesydneylad on December 13, 2018, 10:20:07 am
Thanks Zanorin.
Title: Re: 8-Bit Werewolf [WIP]
Post by: Chris2balls on December 13, 2018, 12:00:23 pm
That's fine, thesydneylad.

I tried summarising Ambivorous (great post btw) and I's processes:


First, try to find a shape you recognise clearly as a werewolf, even if it's completely black;
Then, you can start dividing the shape into parts: arms, legs, hands, torso, etc. It is easier to do so with colour, note how I matched colours for different parts, like red for the pair of arms.
As I want the sprite grey, I then turn the colours into grayscale.
You can then outline, shade, highlight these parts as you wish - what's good about splitting the sprites into parts is that you can place the highlight independently in each part, which will help give a better sense of volume, like you can tell that's an arm, made up of a shoulder, a bicep, a forearm and a hand, for example.

Hope this is a bit clearer  :)
Title: Re: 8-Bit Werewolf [WIP]
Post by: thesydneylad on December 14, 2018, 07:25:40 am
Hey guys, I'm taking the night off, so I think I'll ask for clarification.

This is embarrassing to come out and say cuz this is just meant to be a hobby, thus should be easy to understand, but I have Asperger's, which is an intellectual disability, so obvious things may not be clear to me.

So, basically, starting tomorrow, should I take what I've learned from your posts and move on to a new project, or should I continue work on the werewolf project, cuz apart from trying to make a change to a few shading or lines within the body, I really don't understand how I could proceed with this piece. Should I try to redraw the piece in a different drawing style, like anime, base the style off of the Bonk video game, for example.

Thanks guys.
Title: Re: 8-Bit Werewolf [WIP]
Post by: Ambivorous on December 14, 2018, 03:32:34 pm
If it were me I'd try to draw this wolf again from scratch trying to employ the advice you learned. It's a nice reference.
A different style could be cool, but it's up to you.

I would like to see you try to use the advice, because then I can change the way I give you advice going forward.
Title: Re: 8-Bit Werewolf [WIP]
Post by: thesydneylad on December 16, 2018, 09:33:33 am
The new werewolf I made is a scaled down version. The dimensions are 34x36, were as the original was somewhere in the 40s, like 44x48. I used Chris's final design since it was a perfect recreation.

The way I 'downsized' the design to make it usable as a character in a game was that if there was three squares used in the outline in a sequence, I would decrease it to two instead.

I also changed the angle of the left arm. It didn't particularly bad at the scale, but to me, it looked really clear that the left arm hadn't been modified to fit the new size, whereas every other part of the model had been changed. 

I've got two PNG files, the first displays myself trying to adapt your style when building the sprite. I didn't end up following your style 100%, but that's because it was my first time. I immediately color-coded sections that were to be shaded and un-shaded.

Color-coded Version:

Finished Version:

Regarding the two pictures up above, they might look slightly different in terms of where the black lines are placed.

Chris's Version and My Edited Version:

I think the lines to show the pectorals should be black, as well as the stomach muscles, but at the time, I was trying to learn how to imply the forms, but I wanted to see if I could do it without using the outline colors, but I guess I kind of expected too much from 8-bit, but I wanted to leave my decision be so I can hear what you two think.
Title: Re: 8-Bit Werewolf [WIP]
Post by: eishiya on December 17, 2018, 01:57:22 pm
I don't think you need outlines on the pecs at all. Pecs are really just a slight protrusion, bordered by the shadow cast by the head above and the shadows they cast on the abdomen (+ the upper abdomen itself being a shaded pit) below. Use the juxtaposition of light and shadow to show the pecs.
Title: Re: 8-Bit Werewolf [WIP]
Post by: dpixel on December 17, 2018, 06:16:15 pm
The ultimate werewolf study thread!    ;D

Your latest is very much improved.  My edit has only minor changes(mainly the hands and the snout and ear).  And as mentioned before, the forms are more important than any detail at this scale.  Good form conveys a lot of information.  Just play with it until it looks right is my best advice.  I guess what looks right takes practice(at least in my case I've found). 
Title: Re: 8-Bit Werewolf [WIP]
Post by: thesydneylad on December 18, 2018, 02:46:58 am
Oh, thank God. You fixed the head, dpixel. I hated that head. Looked like a shark's head to me, but I didn't know what to do.

I was going to follow eishiya's advice and do an edit i.e. what you've done. I can't completely mentally visualize what edits I plan to make to a sprite just yet, but my plan was to do something like yours, so I'm glad that, even when I try to plan ahead, I'm getting a little better. I visualized a plan by just doing the chest area, but you took it a few steps further, which is a great bit of learning on my part, so thank you.

EDIT: Also, I see you added and got rid of some of the pixels to make the sprite more accurate. Honestly, it's a real shame I couldn't accurately build the sprite properly cuz, if memory serves me right, I think I made the same number of mistakes with the bigger version.
Title: Re: 8-Bit Werewolf [WIP]
Post by: thesydneylad on December 18, 2018, 03:49:43 am
Just a head's up. I think I've got the idea down on how to draw the werewolf in different styles. Before I had no idea what to do. But now I think I understand. I'm gonna draw a fighting pose, with the original werewolf picture in mind. I all comes down to the trouble of drawing it on paper now.
Title: Re: 8-Bit Werewolf [WIP]
Post by: Ryumaru on December 22, 2018, 09:53:02 am
This is a marked improvement from some of your earlier work, good job! Also the scale here is good- still requires great pixel technique, but you can actually begin to - sort of- draw things as well. Looking forward to your new werewolf too  ;D
Title: Re: 8-Bit Werewolf [WIP]
Post by: thesydneylad on December 30, 2018, 12:06:18 am
Alright, so here it is - the 'fighting' genre sprite of the werewolf.

I drew up a sketch that was good enough to upload: TOO GIGANTIC TO DISPLAY

I left the head bare because I wasn't sure how much room I was going to be given on the sprite, so I decided to make it up once I knew what dimensions I had to work with.

Next image is the color-coded version, Chris' process:

Gotta say, color coding the image helped me to see flaws in small places that helped me see how to fix them.

Final image:

The left leg on the final image is completely different because while I was trying to clean up the leg to make it look better, I noticed after a while that the leg had naturally changed it's look, so I decided to keep it cuz I thought it looked a lot better.

The head changed between the 'color' and 'final' files because I was having so much trouble creating a werewolf head, that I just gave up and image searched for an 8-bit werewolf - came from this (https://r.mprd.se/media/images/57436-Werewolf_-_The_Last_Warrior_(USA)-2.jpg). But I gave it another try the next day, but this time I 'molded' it and came out with a head that matches the...art style(?). Either way, I feel happier knowing that I made a head by myself.

It should be noted that I'm not 100% satisfied with the end result, only because I knew it was going to be a real challenge to keep the werewolf's original essence of his pose and to transfer it into a fighting pose for a video game.

So far I've learnt that I should make my sketch on paper as pitch perfect as I can. Though this piece was a challenge, I'm positive that this has been the fastest sprite I've made from scratch, and it's all because of the multiple attempts I made to perfect the sketch.
Title: Community updates
Post by: Warnervox on January 12, 2019, 06:32:30 am
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