Critique => Pixel Art => Topic started by: Indigo on August 26, 2008, 07:05:23 pm

Title: Tsu-Moe [Finished?]
Post by: Indigo on August 26, 2008, 07:05:23 pm
His name is Moe, and he loves his freakishly tight pants.  As you can tell he is unfinished.  the hands have not been touched yet, and much more work needs to be done to the shoes, hoodie, and head.  I'm posting this here to keep me motivated to finish it :)


Newer --->

Current:  (finished?)

any critique would be appreciated

Title: Re: Tsu-Moe
Post by: AdamAtomic on August 26, 2008, 07:40:03 pm
Sweet start!  His pants seem to be selectively tight however.  I think you've either got to bite the bullet and detail his package a bit more, or (what I think would make a stronger comp anyways) pixel a baggier pant.  The way his head is situated seems out of character against the rest of his pose, its a dejection/shame head posture against a more combative, proud body pose, feels out of place to me.  His hoodie strings look too dark and distracting to me.

That said, this is a really nice start, the colors and sense of volume are great so far!
Title: Re: Tsu-Moe
Post by: un7 on August 26, 2008, 08:02:16 pm
Nice character!
There was something that was really bugging me...


His crotch looked too flat, maybe I rounded it too much, but you got the idea (whoa, looking now, that would be way TOO virile :o).
I also think the hair is getting too much of attention, it's really dark. I agree that there could be a focus point, by I think you could make his face be it :)
Title: Re: Tsu-Moe
Post by: happymonster on August 26, 2008, 08:33:25 pm
When I look at the image, I first see his face, then the straps/cords hanging down either side of his chest, then his skateboard and then the laces on his shoes.

So I think the cords on his jacket and the laces on his shoes do distract the eye from the face, jacket and skateboard.
Title: Re: Tsu-Moe
Post by: ter-o on August 26, 2008, 08:55:43 pm
This is obviously nitpicking but I started to look at how my eyes flow on this picture and here's the results:


I assume that this isn't supposed to a piece of art itself but more like a character design, but if speaking with art terms, I had troubles keeping my eyes on the picture. My eyes were focused on the hoodie strings first and then guided by their tangent my eyes fell out of the picture along the leg. I wondered that maybe you could prevent that by placing the fist a bit more over his leg, so it would block the eye falling off the picture and start exploring other areas. I hope this makes any sense :D
Title: Re: Tsu-Moe
Post by: Helm on August 27, 2008, 12:59:34 am
The pixel technique is very solid, naturally.

I think an obsession with idealized muscle is hurting your character here. I know it's fun to draw the tight muscle, but I would really suggest just drawing him like a human being and trying to emote something with his body language, not just a male model strutting-stuff pose... I know this requires a pretty drastic makeover and also a lot of thought on what exactly the character's personality is and what he's trying to do etc etc and that's a pretty tall order that we don't ask for in this forum often, but then... you're a great pixeller, why not deal with what's important now? It's not dithering or aa for you, obviously.
Title: Re: Tsu-Moe
Post by: Indigo on August 27, 2008, 03:01:44 am
I just want to address helm's advice before getting around to the others...

let me start out with saying that I do in fact agree with you.  But this critique is about the quantity of this type of work I've done in the past, and not so much about this piece itself - correct?

As said on MSN, while I agree that I should explore different avenues and focus less on the 'ripped-muscle' - applying that to this piece would be a bit counter productive.  If i am to start over from scratch, I'd much rather apply it to a new concept than destroying the character I've developed thus far (which I personally like, regardless of the idealized muscle).

the intent of this particular piece was to play around with proportions and underlaying structure behind the muscle-mass - Something I haven't explored so much (at least to this extent) in the past.  This goal would entirely be lost if I were to chose your route.

I do have other pieces in the works that explore different subject matters.
Title: Re: Tsu-Moe
Post by: Souly on August 27, 2008, 07:22:02 am
I showed you this on MSN, made some minor changes.
Changed his ear.
The strings on the hoodie looked like they were attached to his face, so I changed that.
Highlighted his hair, tweaked his ponytail.
Dithering on the griptape and some minor tweaks on the front of the hoodie left side and the very bottom of it.
Title: Re: Tsu-Moe
Post by: Krut on August 27, 2008, 10:17:11 am
Hey Indigo!
Lovely piece and colour choises.

I find it a bit hard to critique a piece when its still WIPish, because i don't know how much of the "faults" there are being worked on and not, like lack of contrast on some parts, and some better AA on others, but what i can say tho, is;

-His right leg looks completely broken to me...even with the exagerated/stylized proportions.

Keep up the good work  :y:
Title: Re: Tsu-Moe
Post by: Ryumaru on August 27, 2008, 07:19:33 pm
Really the only thing that i have that hasn't been mentioned is the fact that the gap between his legs that make his crotch is basically the width of his head, which even with the MOST EXTREME distortion, imo is much too much. Good job otherwise, coming from a muscle lover :P
Title: Re: Tsu-Moe
Post by: Willows on August 27, 2008, 07:20:33 pm
I risk sounding like an ass here, but I need to point out that this, like a fair amount of your work, is coming out to look like a solid rubber figurine, or one of those sculptures crafted from a 3d model by a machine with lasers that carve out the forms.

In short, it's perfect, and not in the good way (:O?).

I'll explain. Most of the time you put any work up for show, it's IMMEDIATELY recogniseable as an Indigo character, because it's massive, in a dramatic pose, and has a distinct display of at least one group of massive muscles. The whole piece is usually rendered cleanly, well, and with a fantastic choice of colours. The volumes are all there, the force is there, and the message of "I AM A MEAT TRUCK, DON'T MESS WITH ME" rings loud and clear.

All very good, but it gets boring.

My opinion on where you should go with this piece is something leaning toward what helm is saying. I think. Try and break out of the traditional Indigo character and add a bit of frailty or some kind of weakness to him. Give him something to stand for, give him some kind of background and history. Try make him look like the world's biggest, buffest nature-loving greenpeace advocate if you must, but for goat's sake try break out of this same-old-same-old that's only brining you down!

Yep. That's my opinion on the Indigo work I've seen. Now, for some piece-specific crits:

There are some tension issues with the cloth, what with it being tight as the devil's wife in some places but showing slack on the opposite end. Most notably seems to be around his neck, where it's tight all the way up his gut, pecs and practically strangling him at the neck... but when you look at the hood, it's hanging free and loose. Though probably physically possible, probably not comfortable, and something he's likely to fix (assuming he can still reach his own neck with those arms of his :D).

The seams seem wierd. Is that a zipper going down the front of the hoodie? It looks like a single, simple overlap seam, and if I were to make a hoodie and had to put a single seam in somewhere, you can bet I wouldn't put it straight in the middle of the hoodie. In the event that it's a zipper, it might be good to have the zipper open a bit to support the idea that the hoodie is stretched over his manliness. The seam in his pants has the same issue, though it's a different kind of manliness that it's stretched over, so bringing that zipper down might be a little less appropriate.

Skateboard seems short when compared to his casual stance. Plus I think those long ones that taper to a point look cooler. But that's just me.

Pose is making it look like his backpack is ridiculously heavy, as if he's got to stand like that to maintain balance. Y'know, it might be cool if you ran with that notion and made his backpack a HUGE TOWER OF SKATEBOARDING STUFF or whatever he's in to.

I think that's all I've got to say. I still love your work, Indigo, and can't wait to see what else you can do!
Title: Re: Tsu-Moe
Post by: Indigo on August 27, 2008, 09:15:05 pm
if we must delve into theoretical matters such as this, allow me to be more blunt...

While I truly respect the opinions about the subject-matter of my art, and though it may have some validity, I simply did not choose to draw a human-proportioned skater.  I chose to draw a sumo-skater with large musculature.  I will not go back and redesign the entire character just because other people of this board feel I should.  If there were a technical reason in the piece for doing this, I would be more than happy to - but this is not the case.  People feel I should change the character simply because I have an abundance of this type of work in the past.  I chose to draw what I did.

I feel that lately whenever I post a new piece of art, a large chunk of the critique I receive is not on the art itself but of me as a person.  I feel a bit discouraged by this, as it is a recurring pattern throughout this board.  Anyone who has a distinct style has experienced these types of "critiques" and every one of them becomes frustrated over it.  To name a couple, both Kon and St0ven have expressed this to me.  One does not want to be told to not draw what he wants to draw.  We come here to fix the subjects that we have already chosen.

Its this sort of totalitarian mindset in this forum that is causing a 'style consensus' of everyone's art.  While this is slightly a tangent point from this thread, I feel it's worth mentioning.  Have you not noticed that there seems to be a very distinct community style at Pixeljoint vs Here vs Punaji?  Even I fall victim to this style-path.  This is because people naturally discourage non-conformity.  "This is the right way"  why?  "because it is"

with all that said - and as said before in my reply to helm - I do acknowledge that you may be right.  But I will not take that as a critique of this piece.  I came here to get critique on the choices I've made.  I also realize that this isn't as clean of a line as I'm making it out to be.  Some content/concept critiques are very valid to helping someone's art, but something as broad as "redesign the character" is not and would go against nearly all artistic choices I've made in the process.

I will, however, apply this suggestion in future works, and already have a few pieces on the back-burner which do not involve idealized musculature.  Don't get me wrong.  I don't take any offense to this, nor do I consider the suggestions "assy".... I just feel this sort of mentality should be changed a bit

I will get around to all other critiques later on today.

Title: Re: Tsu-Moe
Post by: Helm on August 27, 2008, 09:19:04 pm
I do not see style conformity in pixelation, but that may just be me

I feel that lately whenever I post a new piece of art, a large chunk of the critique I receive is not on the art itself but of me as a person.  I feel a bit discouraged by this, as it is a recurring pattern throughout this board.  Anyone who has a distinct style has experienced these types of "critiques" and every one of them becomes frustrated over it.  To name a couple, both Kon and St0ven have expressed this to me.  One does not want to be told to not draw what he wants to draw.  We come here to fix the subjects that we have already chosen.

there's not much to say about dithering and aa on your piece. Furthermore for those of us that have seen you grow as an artist, is it really unreasonable to expect some of us to tell you "that's awesome, but branch out"? Personally I only have your artistic growth in mind. I do not have much pixel art critique for this because it's solid, I only have style critique. If you or St0ven or Kon ever felt put off by well-ment comments to urge you to step out of your safe zone then I can only suggest you get over it because it's a natural thing for an artist to encounter.
Title: Re: Tsu-Moe
Post by: Indigo on August 27, 2008, 09:25:37 pm
I think you misunderstood.  I truly understand the value of breaking out of one's comfort zones.  What I do not agree with is telling someone to redesign an entire piece in the name of it.  If the critique can be applied without destroying the intent of the piece in the first place, then I can see this working.  Otherwise, that would be much better applied to a new piece.

as for the stylistic consensus.  This is not just me speaking.  I've talked with many many people who feel this same way - and not just the ones who are frustrated.
Title: Re: Tsu-Moe
Post by: Helm on August 27, 2008, 09:36:43 pm
Well I don't know, if you think the style consensus is a real thing you can start a thread about it in general discussion and have all voices be heard. Personally I think it's more wishful - begrudging - thinking than reality. Like for some reason (there could be many) somebody feels on the outs with Pixelation and goes "oh I don't like that place everybody draws the same now days and they tell me I should draw like them" and then their peers who might also have a beef (for a completely different reason) go "yes yes you're right, fuck those guys!" and that gives discontent a more palpable, common, and ultimately invented shape. Pixelation doesn't go "because it's right" because people post huge critique posts explaining exactly that "because". You can't really say "Because it's right" with many more words than that, you know?

If you want to rebut start a new thread! I'd like to hear there from Kon or St0ven or whomever else has felt the oppression of the PIXELATION TOTALITARIAN REGIME too!
Title: Re: Tsu-Moe
Post by: Turbo on August 27, 2008, 10:23:50 pm
Other than looking pretty nice as been said, here are some crits, hopefully adressing issues in between the "style vs. tecnhical correctness" discussion.

I didn't read it as a sumo fighter, even a stylised one. He needs to be fatter.
Usually, large amounts of fat, as present in sumo fighters bodies (even the "slimmest" of them) will first gather around the mid-section, and when a certain threshold is reached, will begin to acumulate around near body parts, but always with the belly as their "source", moving along the body towards the tips of the limbs.


Excuse the rushedness, and possible lack of clarity. The sequence shows stages of "fattening", yellow as less concentration of fat, red with more. There are variations, individuals where fat tends to group more near certain parts than others in ways that differ from this image, but this is how it generally happens.
Considering the notion that fat covers the muscles, hiding them, and this diagram, the upper arms and legs should display larger quantities of fat, more bulk, and less muscle definition. He may be ripped underneath the fat, but the fat hides that. Right now, you have just a big belly - the red part -, and no yellow or orange ones.

Also, you have a recurring error in our humanoid pieces, you ignore doing the initial perspective construction of the figure, and then the bottom body's perspective doesn't match the top's, the feet are a bit wobbly and don't match the knees, etc. Check crits done to your previous pieces posted here in the forum.
Title: Re: Tsu-Moe
Post by: Willows on August 28, 2008, 12:27:36 am
In my opinion, giving this character some more character wouldn't be redesigning the whole durn thing, which is why I suggested the backpack with loads of skateboarding stuff on it. That would put your character as a guy who is big BECAUSE he needs to carry around all these skateboarding things BECAUSE he's so passionate about what he does (Skateboard).

At the moment, all I know about your character is that he's big. And has a skateboard. Why? You tell me :)

He's too clean at the moment, too "Perfect" for me to relate to him as a character (which is important to me) and as such though I enjoy the asthetic appeal brought on by the combination of colours and use of rhythm, I don't actually like the character itself. If I could reach the stage you're at with this character, I'd progress by "dirtying it up" one way or another, such as with holes in the knees and a couple bloodstains to show he's not the best skateboarder in the world, or a logo on his sweater showing his affiliation with a specific company... or something. By no means change the entire character, but by all means give your viewers more telling details to look at, and therefore a more interesting and relatable character.

Title: Re: Tsu-Moe
Post by: Froli on August 28, 2008, 03:27:07 am
Made a rough edit.
Adjusted the leg by few pixels, made the crotch smaller and refine a bit the ears which souly pointed out.  :)
Title: Re: Tsu-Moe
Post by: Froli on August 28, 2008, 03:34:25 am
Uhmm... crap does it resemble a camel toe?  :lol: Still need to be adjusted by few pixels I guess

Edited -pixel adjust-
Title: Re: Tsu-Moe
Post by: Indigo on August 28, 2008, 05:10:51 am

thanks to all for the critiques.  Here is a list of things that changed..

fixed perspective issues
fixed symmetry
added zipper and pockets
fixed the crotch (thanks froli and un7!!)
changed the ponytail (thanks souly!)
addressed the broken leg issue
...and several other things I'm sure you can spot.

also, something interesting to note..  While I was making these changes - which I knew were right - I had a hard time keeping the same dynamic/flow.  Often times I'd end up with a version which was more correct, yet I still liked it less than the original version.  This is something that I haven't experienced too much.  I believe I've found a good balance.

I just wanted to mention that I absolutely love your edit.  I especially like how you rendered the wrinkles in the pants.  As much as I like it I decided against it simply because it didn't seem to match the style I was going for this piece.  I hope that makes sense.

thanks for the clarification.  I do agree he needs more character - I'll work on that.

thanks for the extensive critique.  It certainly is accurate, I just really didn't want flabby arms and legs despite it being more 'sumo'.

those action lines you're pointing out are not just there by chance.  The piece was entirely designed with this flow in mind.  Having a piece follow a general flow like this makes for a very visual appealing experience.  This particular flow I tend to use too much, because its just so effective at what it does... It makes for a great idle pose. While you are right, this is not intended to guide the eye around the piece per say - for something this size, that hardly matters.  What matters more is the overall flow.  your arm edit essentially breaks this flow.

here is the flow I had in mind when creating the piece

Thanks for all the awesome critique.  I will address more soon
Title: Re: Tsu-Moe
Post by: Krut on August 28, 2008, 06:02:50 am
Right leg still looks off to me...am i alone in this? can anyone confirm?

-I agree with the comments on the details/accesories (in fact i deleted it from my original message figuring it was something planned), like a zipper thingie hangin from the neck, or maybe a keychain here or there would be cool, some kind of reference to Japan would be great to get the feeling of "sumo" or whatever.
-There's of course some polishing issues im sure you are aware, a few jaggies here and there, if not, ill be glad to point them out on a edit, but taking the nature wipish of the pic, i figure you'll get around to those.

Keep it up, looking top notch.
Title: Re: Tsu-Moe
Post by: Ben2theEdge on August 28, 2008, 01:40:35 pm
Technically great, as always, Indigo.

The only thing bothering me, really, is his pants. They're so tight that they look like they're painted on. My package hurts just looking at it. You have a passion for anatomy but drapery can be fun too! Why not give him shorts or some nice baggy skater pants?
Title: Re: Tsu-Moe
Post by: Akira on August 29, 2008, 07:03:26 am
Right leg still looks off to me...am i alone in this? can anyone confirm?

Yeah, I agree with you. The way his right leg is draw makes it look like the right foot should be rotated outwards a little. I think it may be to do with the rendering on the back of the leg?
Title: Re: Tsu-Moe
Post by: Indigo on August 29, 2008, 08:05:08 am

firstly, stripes or no stripes?

I fixed a lot of things, refined a lot of things, and added a few things.  I again tried to fix the leg.  Its not a significant change, but I tried making the calf muscle less defined in hopes that the rotation would look more correct.
Title: Re: Tsu-Moe [updated 8/29]
Post by: Helm on August 29, 2008, 08:10:49 am
Yell, stripes, naturally. More detail on large monochromatic parts is a good thing.
Title: Re: Tsu-Moe [updated 8/29]
Post by: Luzeke on August 29, 2008, 08:12:49 pm
This is looking really cool. Definately keep the stripes, looks much better with them. Adds another layer to the sense of form as well.  :)

To add more detail and character, I'd add some patchwork to the knee area. Since he obviously skates he's bound to fall on his knees more than a few times.
Title: Re: Tsu-Moe [updated 8/29]
Post by: zi on August 29, 2008, 08:41:37 pm
nice work as always :) with stripes.

I dislike his muscle in his left leg over the knee ... this muscle is very inflated, but if you make him thin will have problems with his groin that is why maybe his left leg must going a bit inside.

Title: Re: Tsu-Moe [updated 9/2]
Post by: Indigo on September 03, 2008, 02:53:31 am

finally got around to the unfinished areas.   I'll try to address more of your guys' critique, though I'm getting close to just calling it done.  I'm not entirely sure if I'm satisfied with the hand though.  Any critique is welcome :)

thanks so much guys
Title: Re: Tsu-Moe [updated 9/2]
Post by: saimo on September 03, 2008, 09:46:44 am
I'm not entirely sure if I'm satisfied with the hand though.  Any critique is welcome :)
Maybe it is a tad too big? Even considering the stylish choice, it looks a bit oversized with respect to the forearm - or perhaps it is just the bulkiness of the whole.
Besides that, the same arm looks a little too big - f.ex., the upper arm practically matches the left thigh. Speaking of thighs, the right one seems to suffer from a little undersizing...

DISCLAIMER: I'm no anatomy expert nor I know exactly where yoy intended to draw the line between realism and style, so I'm just reporting impressions ;)

Regardless of the above, your piece looks great - love the style, love the colors, love the pixelling!

Title: Re: Tsu-Moe [updated 9/2]
Post by: Willows on September 04, 2008, 07:21:28 pm

(http://danfessler.com/dump/sk8_8.png) (http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y73/SaboteurGreg/Indigo_Edit.gif)

I maked an edit, perhaps more for my benefit than yours. Didn't add any colours, gave the viewer more something to look at and a bit more of a story is told. The angle I was going for was street-thug that does his business on a skateboard. Though I highly doubt I got that idea across at first glance, the idea is at least recognisable sooo you know what the heck I'm talking about.

I aimed for a bit of "every colour everywhere"... as best I could understand the concept, to evade the current "THIS PART IS BLUE. THIS PART IS BROWN." aspect that's going on at the moment. I added more or less random belt buckles on his backpack straps, because buckles always look cool, and they help define the straps for what they are, as well as provide an insight into function. I gave him a gun right next to the most visual-weighty part of him (his left thigh, with the chain and all) and though it might be small, it's evidently a weapon of some kind, which is all I was going for.

I also lowered his zipper just to see if it would make a positive difference, and I'm not sure it did.

He also has rougher knuckles on his left hand, scratches on his skateboard (the idea is that he notched it to represent successful hits, though have it ambiguous to represent scratches if the need be) and a hole in his knee. If I had the pixel finesse, I'd attempt to make is pants look like cloth, and his shirt look like cloth. I tried, evidence of which can be seen in the more-or-less random pixel placement. The smooth shading is appealing and calming, but that's not exactly what I'd be going for, were it my piece.

I still think the final result is great, but I also think it could be pushed to a more interesting and appealing design. Hopefully I didn't crush any of your views in my edit, and hopefully it gives you a clearer notion of what I mean by character :D


(P.S. I did no intentional changing of the palette :O! That must have come from... random extension changing.)
Title: Re: Tsu-Moe [Finished?]
Post by: Indigo on September 04, 2008, 07:46:00 pm
insanely wonderful edit!  I agree greatly with the buckles on the straps - I'll be sure to add those.  I am not a fan of the gun idea, but you are certainly right that he needs more details like the ones seen in your edit.  I'll try to pump something out soon.

thanks so much willows