Critique => Pixel Art => Topic started by: Mixel on April 16, 2007, 12:52:38 am

Title: [WIP] Zombie Walk (probably done)
Post by: Mixel on April 16, 2007, 12:52:38 am
It's my first time posting sprites here. :) I guess this is a WIP.. every time I think I'm done I spot more mistakes at least..

Zombies are integral to a game demo I'm working on, and I just redid some 'bog zombie' sprites I'd been sitting on for a while. Wanted to ask for C&C and see if people like them..

(http://mixelmagic.com/crap/ZH/zomFIN.gif) (http://mixelmagic.com/crap/ZH/2zomHb.gif)(http://mixelmagic.com/crap/ZH/2zomMed.gif)
Ed: Original / First edit / maybe final edit.

I think I still have some work to do, one frame his leg jerks back (too?) fast, but I convinced myself it was the judderiness of undeath - does it look really bad? What other things have I missed? I know the head is massive too, that's a stylistic choice.

I've used a lot of v boring dithering, but i think it might add to the texture and make him look sort of grotty? In a good way..?

Here he is doing a more head-on pose..

(http://mixelmagic.com/crap/ZH/zomstill.gif) - I should probably make him breath or something.. Or sway back and forth..

I started redoing the zombie right after finding Pixologic and reading a lot of the crit here.. Before I 'redid' this zombie, the sprite I was "happy" with before looked like: (http://mixelmagic.com/crap/ZH/minizomba.gif) ... He was way too short compared to the player.. And too cute! And pretty terrible.

You guys blow me away btw, some of the art here is insane.. I doubt I'll ever be that level, but I'm certainly going to try to improve!
Title: Re: Zombie Walk
Post by: Fool on April 16, 2007, 10:50:19 am
Generally I'd say It's hardly reads as a walk  - more like a dance, reminds a MJ stance. =) Old one looks more convincing from that point.

A few things - piece lacks of light source and pretty much pillow shadowed, which makes it hard to read in the first place.
His elbow travels up and down and head change its volume in sequence and looks not in place - sticking out forward a little to much.
Legs feels short - maybe raise the knees or shorten torso... That's all I can spot for now.=)
Title: Re: Zombie Walk
Post by: Jad on April 16, 2007, 02:22:52 pm
Note that he's moving his hands along his legs as he walks, where normal humans swing their arms in the opposite direction as their legs.

This kind of walk looks very broken, but since it's a zombie, that might be appropriate :]

Just wanted to point it out 0:
Title: Re: Zombie Walk
Post by: Sharm on April 16, 2007, 04:26:25 pm
I'd move his butt up, his torso is too long in comparison to his legs.  The old one's animation wasn't smooth, but the sprite certainly isn't all bad.  I like parts of it better than this new version.  Mostly the lack of dithering, I'm not a big fan, and I think it's hard to pull off correctly.  Your new one looks overly dithered to me, and it takes away from some of the readability.
Title: Re: Zombie Walk
Post by: Jamie on April 16, 2007, 04:48:42 pm
more like a dance, reminds a MJ stance.

Haha, i thoght exactly the same when i saw this earlier.
Title: Re: Zombie Walk
Post by: Mixel on April 16, 2007, 05:05:22 pm
Well, at least MJ+Zombies isn't totally unprecedented, hehe.

Sharm: I'll try experimenting with less dither.. Thanks for pointing out the leg length thing too, I'd imagined his legs going quite far up his shirt, but in retrospect it doesn't look so much like that!

Jad: ty.. I dont know if i should fix that or not.. I'll try and see what it looks like. I'd 'seen' him being tense and rotating his arms with his body.. I don't know if i can pull it off though..

Like Fool: said, it does look more like a moonwalk, hehe. Yeah I have a big pillowing problem. I'm finding it hard to unlearn. I'll resize his head a bit along the way and and try moving up the knees!

TY all, that's exactly what I needed. :) Might be a bit before I can post an update, hopefully soon though.

.. Here's the first little edit:

(http://mixelmagic.com/crap/ZH/2zomHb.gif) - I moved his knees up 2 pixels and got rid of what looked like his ass, so hopefully his legs seem longer now. I've also started resizing his head.. Thanks for that Fool! I still have to sort out the pillowy stuff.. And yeah he still moonwalks.. I'm really not sure about a light source.. i should probably have lit him from above.

Completely OT, but Fool, your avatar reminds me of Black lamp (http://www.retro-experience.co.uk/atarist/screenshots/blacklamp1.html).. :)
Title: Re: [WIP] Zombie Walk (little update)
Post by: Mixel on April 17, 2007, 04:32:53 am

Do the new shadows look like a complete afterthought and detract from the image? I tried to add some texture to the big spaces, hopefully decreasing the pillows.. I think I've made his animate a little smoother.. Does it look any more/less like a walk now though?

Here's a page i made of his various stages sofar (http://mixelmagic.com/pixelrats/ZH/sprites.html)..

Actually I'm not so bothered about the animation as I am the look of him. Try to ignore the moonwalk :lol: It looks better in game than it does just stood still!

*Gah just noticed a really obvious flash in one frame of the back of the collar.
Title: Re: [WIP] Zombie Walk (little update)
Post by: Fool on April 17, 2007, 06:21:24 am
Light source not set, most of it remains pillow shadowed. Proportions still off.=) Torso is too long, legs could be longer, arms are short ... Would you care for edit?=)
Generally search site for anatomy - I believe Helm made quite few pieces on subject, would be nice to get it pinned somewhere for reference.=)

Here what I think reads better on proportions and lighting.=)
Title: Re: [WIP] Zombie Walk (little update)
Post by: Mixel on April 17, 2007, 08:34:03 pm
Wow that's great, thanks for the edit, that's really helpful.. :D Lighting-wise particularly.. I'll make his torso shorter definitely, that'll be an easy edit at least.. Also moving his head backward a bit seems a good idea!

The detail and realism are a bit much for me.. I mean it definitely looks a lot better but it doesn't fit the tone of the game world.. I'm gonna try learn as much from it as I can but I dont know if I'll be able to ween myself off the pillowing entirely, lol. It seems to be about having the confidence to use lighter shades around the edges of forms.. I love how you've done the creases in the fabric too. Grraah.. I have a looong way to go. XD

If I get further into making the game then I'm going to need to draw tonnes of zombie variants, so this is a really helpful learning experience. Ty Fool. The lack of dithering on yours looks niiiice too.. So yeah. I've got a lot to experiment with!

Here's a tiny edit where I shuffled his head back fractionally and made his torso 4px shorter.. (http://mixelmagic.com/crap/ZH/2zomMc.gif) - his head deforms a bit in some frames and I have loads of stuff to fix/clean up still. Might add ears.. the ears on your one look really good Fool. :) Hmm I'll probably be working on this guy all night again.
Title: Re: [WIP] Zombie Walk (little update)
Post by: AdamAtomic on April 17, 2007, 10:15:32 pm
Low contrast, pillow shading and goofy anatomy are all hurting this piece a lot.  You don't have to make it look like Fool's edit, but his changes fixed all these problems, and your teensy tweaks over the last few updates have not addressed any of the major issues with your art at all.  Whatever the tone of your game world, pillow-shading and lack of contrast are not going to help this guy fit in!  You need a stronger base before tweaking things will make any difference in the quality.  Generally speaking, pixel art, like all other forms of art, reflects the amount of time and planning you put into it.  If you just move a few pixels here and there when you really need to be repainting things you won't get anywhere!  Do the bold thing; kill your darling, and make something better!  Don't throw away the design or your ideas or goals, just foster a willingness to repaint things when they need it!
Title: Re: [WIP] Zombie Walk (little update)
Post by: Mixel on April 17, 2007, 11:49:09 pm
TY for the honest crit. Though I disagree with part of it. (uhoh!)

I'm learning a lot, and if it wasn't for the tweaky fix approach I don't think I'd be getting as far. The crit on small elements is getting me to notice things I hadn't before, and Fool's edit made me realise some things I can improve easily. I don't like the pillowshading, but I can, and will improve that.. You guys have much better trained eyes for this stuff than me. (for example the contrast thing really hadn't occured to me until you just mentioned it.)

Saying that - I've probably been posting updates too frequently.  :-[

I have a lot of other zombies and monsters to draw, so if I can do a lot of learning on one or two of them (even if they potentially look duff in the process) it's going to save me having to throw out loads of them once I'm better at this. At this stage, my "new amazing next edition Mk.2 zombie" could  be just as bad, because.. I suck a bit. I'd likely have to tweak him lots too.

The question was "is this improving?" not.. "is this worthwhile?".. I don't want to give up on him yet, but I can certainly post less about him. I know he's not perfect, but I can't do that yet. And though it'd be bold to just ditch and do it all again, I think It'd also be a waste, considering he's the best little zombie I've made, hehe. I might well discard him once I've improved.

I think: (http://mixelmagic.com/crap/ZH/2zomMe.png) is a marked improvement anyway. (no more dither, more colours) And pfft, I'm proud of him sofar. No darling killing! *strokes zombie*

PS: I totally see what you're getting at though, and see how you're trying to help, I'm just not ready yet.


So as to not double post, here's a near final edit.. Just tiny tweaks left now. (fingers etc)

Thanks everyone.. I'd not have done a lot of the stuff without your suggestions/edit... I think i've done an okay job against the contrast and pillowing, and given it more of a consistent (above) lightsource.. It's still wonky, but it's been good experience. Hopefully he ready better now too. I think I've got him as good as I can, anyway.


Title: Re: [WIP] Zombie Walk (probably done)
Post by: Fool on April 18, 2007, 01:24:15 pm
I'd say it reads much better=) Top of a sprite needs to be balanced in contrast with a bottom.
For animation - his head still changing volume on turn and elbow travels along the arm.=)
Title: Re: [WIP] Zombie Walk (probably done)
Post by: AdamAtomic on April 18, 2007, 05:35:35 pm
the pants and legs look a lot better, but the jacket still looks more like a poofy robe because of the way you shaded it, and the head's volumes are indistinct and confusing still.  keep at it!