Pixelation

Critique => Pixel Art => Topic started by: Monochrome on November 28, 2009, 04:30:47 pm

Title: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: Monochrome on November 28, 2009, 04:30:47 pm
I decided to give a shot at sprite creation meself since I've failed to get any help with this thread (http://www.wayofthepixel.net/pixelation/index.php?topic=9516.0) so far. Keep in mind this is my first attempt at sprite creation, so be gentle.

(http://img177.imageshack.us/img177/9032/helpj.png)

The perspective is somewhat weird, I know, but it's meant to be that way since it's inspired by the classic Bitmap Bros look on games like Chaos Engine (http://www.mobygames.com/game/amiga/chaos-engine/screenshots) and Speedball (http://www.mobygames.com/game/speedball-2-brutal-deluxe/screenshots), so it's actually meant to be used as a game sprite on a similar perspective. However I've been having a problem so far. The helmet. I've been using a placeholder head while I created the rest of the body, so I had no idea  it would be so hard. While there are plenty of references I just can't seem to be able to create the intricate shapes of the terminator helmet (http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/1434/termanator.jpg) with so few pixels and make it look like the real thing. Could you guys help me? Also any other feedback/critics would be useful aswell, just keep in mind that aside of the helmet there's some stuff left that's quite unpolished right now, namely the gun and the pauldrons.

Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: 0xDB on November 28, 2009, 06:44:22 pm
Hm, I made an edit, only to realize that you're right: It is freakinngly hard to cram all those helmet details in.
Still showing my edit, even though I think it's not quite there yet:
(http://img33.imageshack.us/img33/2756/helpjd.png)
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: Monochrome on November 28, 2009, 06:59:17 pm
After a few more hours I think I've actually managed to create a pretty decent version.

(http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/7950/hallelluja.png)

I still would like to see yours though.
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: Jad on November 28, 2009, 08:42:57 pm
You will want to cram all of the important GEOMETRICAL PLANES in there to the highest extent and more or less just don't give a damn about the details, I think.

Piece suffers from low contrast, get some vibrant highlights in there.

For a beginner you're awesome at this. Actually you're just very solid at this, beginner or not. Kudos.
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: tylerjhutchison on November 28, 2009, 08:51:32 pm
Well here is a try for me...  I could not resist some Warhammer 40k pixel art.  Did anyone else play Chaos Gate?  I loved that game.
(http://tylersaurus.com/hotlink/wayofthepixel/monochrometerminator.png)

I used the image here http://www.critical-hits.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/sm-terminator-squad.gif (http://www.critical-hits.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/sm-terminator-squad.gif) as my reference for the terminator face.
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: Kcilc on November 28, 2009, 09:20:27 pm
Oh boy! This looks like it'd be right up my alley. The really important thing with such a little sprite is readability not detail. Instead of finding all of the little contours and intricacies, focus on the basic shapes and angles of the helmet. Once you have those, the details will come easily. Just remember that not all of the details will fit, and trying to cram them in will only hurt the readability by taking the focus away from the more defining characteristics.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v350/Daroge/helpjke.png)

This is my try at making the helmet. The right is what I started with, and the left is what I ended up with. Hopefully I helped a little!

EDIT: I just noticed Jad's post and how I pretty much reiterated what he said, so yeah.
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: Stratto on November 28, 2009, 09:36:52 pm
Here's my take at this:
(http://img188.imageshack.us/img188/6170/spacemarinev.png)
it's not the best, but still pretty decent. I a little tip: dont be afraid to make it a little bigger than if needed, and as everyone already stated, dont think about details, but readabilty.
i suggest also working on shadows and highlights on the armor, as they look pretty bland right now.
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: Monochrome on November 29, 2009, 01:57:19 am
You will want to cram all of the important GEOMETRICAL PLANES in there to the highest extent and more or less just don't give a damn about the details, I think.

I agree. That's what i've been trying to do to begin with. But yeah certain shapes are quite had.

Piece suffers from low contrast, get some vibrant highlights in there.

Again I'm forced to agree, but given the game environment will actually be dark and poor illuminated wouldn't it create too much of a contrast? Perhaps i should use softer reflections instead.

For a beginner you're awesome at this. Actually you're just very solid at this, beginner or not. Kudos.

Gee thanks, I'm actually amazed how nice most folks seem to be around here. I'm mostly used to 3d modelling communities where people usually are a lot more rude and less helpful.

Well here is a try for me...  I could not resist some Warhammer 40k pixel art.  Did anyone else play Chaos Gate?  I loved that game.
(http://tylersaurus.com/hotlink/wayofthepixel/monochrometerminator.png)

This one is great. You mind if I actually use that one? I'll give you the propper credit of course. Also I've never played Chaos Gate though I really wanted to (doesnt work on xp). I am however, an avid X-Com player.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v350/Daroge/helpjke.png)

This is my try at making the helmet. The right is what I started with, and the left is what I ended up with. Hopefully I helped a little!

I love the extra work on those reflections while they're a bit too bright methinks. I'll keep 'em as a reference when i'll add the finishing touches.

Here's my take at this:
(http://img188.imageshack.us/img188/6170/spacemarinev.png)
it's not the best, but still pretty decent. I a little tip: dont be afraid to make it a little bigger than if needed, and as everyone already stated, dont think about details, but readabilty.
i suggest also working on shadows and highlights on the armor, as they look pretty bland right now.

Looks good but a bit too small. Actually reminded of the regular space marine helmet, instead of the terminator one.


And sorry for the huge reply, but i felt i had to reply to everyone who helped. Once again, thanks a lot. Still have 8 more directions to go. It's gonna be a long way 'till i get some decent animations out of it.
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: tylerjhutchison on November 29, 2009, 03:43:28 am
Well here is a try for me...  I could not resist some Warhammer 40k pixel art.  Did anyone else play Chaos Gate?  I loved that game.
(http://tylersaurus.com/hotlink/wayofthepixel/monochrometerminator.png)

This one is great. You mind if I actually use that one? I'll give you the propper credit of course. Also I've never played Chaos Gate though I really wanted to (doesnt work on xp). I am however, an avid X-Com player.

Sure, have at it!  It could probably still use a bit of tweaking, but feel free to take it as is or edit it all you like.  One thing you will notice is that the face is actually pretty much looking at you straight on and not a top down angle...  This was quick and dirty for making it recognizable, but shifting the eyes down a bit and adding some shadows near the "back" part of the helmet where it is meeting up with the suit might help give it a more top down look.

I am not actually sure if Chaos Gate was a very good game... but when I was like 13 my best friend and I spent endless hours playing it.  Also we spent a good amount of time playing Ultima Online... those were the glory days for having no responsibility and  nothing better to do with my time.
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: happymonster on November 29, 2009, 01:54:46 pm
Being an idiot, I DID try to cram too much details in there (albeit with a larger 'face' as it seemed larger in some reference pictures I looked at).. Anyway, too much detail really:
(http://www.retroidea.com/Pictures/terminator_marine.png)
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: CrazyMLC on November 29, 2009, 04:16:14 pm
(http://i85.photobucket.com/albums/k42/crazyMLC/terminator_marineedit.png)
Edit of an edit.
Try to use highlights to your advantage, Monochrome.
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: happymonster on November 29, 2009, 04:19:58 pm
I did only attempt the head.. ;)
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: CrazyMLC on November 29, 2009, 04:27:23 pm
I know, I know... was talking to Monochrome. :P
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: Monochrome on November 29, 2009, 06:21:03 pm
Here's my latest version. After a few more hours in front of MSpaint I decided to follow Kclic's model (http://www.wayofthepixel.net/pixelation/index.php?topic=9547.msg103888#msg103888) which I altered extensively to suit the current colour scheme. As for all of your highlight/reflection suggestions, fear not, for they have not been ignored! It's just that I've been struggling a lot to get the helmet just right. I can't believe I spent almost all the afternoon thinkering with just a handful of pixels. and I would've spent more if it wasn't for your support. Once again, thank you all.

(http://img196.imageshack.us/img196/6518/yahoo5.png)


Now for the answers:
Being an idiot, I DID try to cram too much details in there (albeit with a larger 'face' as it seemed larger in some reference pictures I looked at).. Anyway, too much detail really:
(http://www.retroidea.com/Pictures/terminator_marine.png)

While it's excessively big the effect is actually quite amusing; almost bobble-head like. If i was aiming for a more stylized look I would certainly do something like this.

(http://i85.photobucket.com/albums/k42/crazyMLC/terminator_marineedit.png)
Edit of an edit.
Try to use highlights to your advantage, Monochrome.

This just gave me a nostalgia rush. Very creative reedition, although it looks more like a robot than an armor. Those highlights are strikingly similar to style generally used by the bitmap bros on Z (Zed). Perchance you played it before? Also great work on those shadows.

*EDIT* slight update. reduced pauldron size, rearranged shoulder distance, and retouched the headplate casing.

Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: CrazyMLC on November 29, 2009, 07:16:07 pm
Thank you, and no, I've never played that game... but I did read a tutorial on highlights by Helm, who said he had studied the Bitmap Bros' artwork, or something to that effect.

I always tend to make my artwork look robotic, for some reason. Just happens by accident.


I forgot to mention, I added in a lot of grey into the armor because there's too much red! You can't tell one detail from the other.
Greater contrast could also help with this.
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: Monochrome on November 29, 2009, 07:28:36 pm
Thank you, and no, I've never played that game... but I did read a tutorial on highlights by Helm, who said he had studied the Bitmap Bros' artwork, or something to that effect.

Would you mind linking me to it?

I always tend to make my artwork look robotic, for some reason. Just happens by accident.

On 2D artwork robot is usually a synonim of good.


I forgot to mention, I added in a lot of grey into the armor because there's too much red! You can't tell one detail from the other.
Greater contrast could also help with this.

That's because I'm attempting to recreate the original Blood Angels (http://kofler.dot.at/40k/units/Blood_Angel_Terminator_with_Thunder_Hammer.gif)
armor design (http://th05.deviantart.net/fs43/300W/f/2009/080/a/b/Blood_Angel_Terminator_by_pheven.jpg) from Space Hulk before I create a colour scheme of my own. Of course it'll look less dull when I start adding the armor details and engravings.
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: CrazyMLC on November 29, 2009, 07:35:40 pm
Thank you, and no, I've never played that game... but I did read a tutorial on highlights by Helm, who said he had studied the Bitmap Bros' artwork, or something to that effect.

Would you mind linking me to it?
http://www.wayofthepixel.net/pixelation/index.php?topic=1025.msg12272#msg12272
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: Monochrome on November 30, 2009, 09:36:52 pm
(http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/893/preview3c.png)

Added reflections and redesigned gun according to Kclic  (http://www.wayofthepixel.net/pixelation/index.php?topic=9547.msg103888#msg103888)and CrazyMLC's (http://www.wayofthepixel.net/pixelation/index.php?topic=9547.msg103922#msg103922) models with a few changes of my own (sorry if it seems like copying, but like I said, this is my first sprite so far). Aiming for more of a ceramic glow reflection. Any suggestions? Also anyone knows how can I add a bit more of a highlight on the left pauldron without making the insignia smaller? A simple white dot adds excessive glow.

Still need to work on the hands and arms aswell.
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: EyeCraft on December 02, 2009, 04:48:33 am
Oh sweet!

I actually really like happymonster's take. The characterisation is really apparent, very expressive (even though its just a helmet!).

(http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z212/gastrop0d/edits/preview3c_ed.png)

You have 37 colours in this sprite, which is really holding you back from tightening it up. Its biggest issue at the moment is a lack of contrast. It basically reads as this blob of super saturated red. I got it down to 14 colours. Could probably even get it down to less.

Jad has the right idea. Focus on the MAJOR planes of the helmet, rather than lines, edges or anything else.
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: Monochrome on December 02, 2009, 01:35:49 pm
Oh sweet!

I actually really like happymonster's take. The characterisation is really apparent, very expressive (even though its just a helmet!).

(http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z212/gastrop0d/edits/preview3c_ed.png)

You have 37 colours in this sprite, which is really holding you back from tightening it up. Its biggest issue at the moment is a lack of contrast. It basically reads as this blob of super saturated red. I got it down to 14 colours. Could probably even get it down to less.

Jad has the right idea. Focus on the MAJOR planes of the helmet, rather than lines, edges or anything else.


This looks great! I'll proceed to reestrcture the pallete ASAP!. And indeed I must admit you're right, it lacks a lot of contrast and reads a lot like a red blob from a distance. As for the helmet, I think I nailed the right shape and level of detail on my previous take, while yours looks quite good aswell. I'm still open to any other suggestions regarding both helmets, details and colouring.

And once again, thanks for all the help so far.
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: happymonster on December 02, 2009, 06:36:04 pm
I didn't really realise he was supposed to have a red helmet! All the reference pictures I saw were in blue suits with white'ish helmets.

Using eyecraft's image (thank you colour reduction!) I've tweaked some colours, redesigned some parts and redrawn the helmet. Not done much with the rest of his body. Can you tell I like black and high contrast? ;)

(http://www.retroidea.com/Pictures/terminator_marine2.png)
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: Mathias on December 02, 2009, 07:10:19 pm
This is lookin' most exquisite-like now! OP version is miles away. Good progression!

The readability is there. It's got good solid form. The remaining weakness I think is the helmet. It's kinda gets lost among all the red. Though I don't prefer the white monkey skull looking helmet either. A glass dome with a little highlight would speak well, but something mroe unique may be possible, while retaining clarity. Sorry, no edit today.
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: happymonster on December 02, 2009, 07:15:27 pm
Slightly smaller helmet version (but not that happy with this..)

(http://www.retroidea.com/Pictures/terminator_marine3.png)
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: Monochrome on December 02, 2009, 10:15:44 pm
Well, fair gents, I mean no disrespect but this is the part where I must abstain from most creative alternatives and stand to a more regular and less imaginative view. I've actually started to create the first animation stances, modelling them right after from the chaos engine ones, so if they seem odd, blame the bitmap bros :p.

(http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/3359/frame1.png)

I've taken into account plenty of your later suggestion to create this version. Indeed I traced the outlines and added a lot more shades, but ultimately I couldn't find the guts to render something in the ways of Eyecraft, for after a much deliberation and inspection, I decided I wasnt satisfied with how it looked from less zoomed distances. Actually I think I ended up adding more colours then previously, but since the sprite is actually for a pratical purpose I don't think adding extra detail is such a bad thing. I started adding some extra details since terminatour armors are actually pretty rich in decorations such (http://www.bolterandchainsword.com/uploads/1221384027/gallery_38383_2606_18734.jpg) as (http://space-marines.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/terminatorflamer.jpg) these (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_E8MAURXGyJ4/SubglN1nAaI/AAAAAAAABKY/94V6DB8zn8M/s320/6th+Blood+Angel+Terminator+Final+2.jpg). Once again perhaps I should've clarified things a bit more beforehand. Ideally the sprite is meant to be played not on its original size but similar to Chaos Engine scale (http://www.modmancer.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/02/1702uchaos_engine2jpg.jpg), which is enough to display plenty of additional detail, especially on a bulky fella such as this.

Still feel free to post any other creative deviations or alternative views, but don't forget to keep suggesting more pratical stuff I can use aswell! Always keep in mind I really need your feedback in this. And again, I'm sorry if I picked something more bland than you were expecting.
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: ndchristie on December 02, 2009, 10:24:19 pm
i think some of it has to do with the angle he's looking at and the fact that we have no real understanding that there might be a chest...

possible edit, made him look more down/forward:

(http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/2686/termy.gif) (http://www.retroidea.com/Pictures/terminator_marine3.png) (http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/3359/frame1.png)

also a few smaller things:

you have it right from the beginning : blood angels terminators like those found in Space Hulk (which was i assume the inspiration and the character you're making) wear red helmets, not white, with the exception of some who may wear black as an honor (tyranid wars, or have reached captain ranking but not been awarded the post).  This is also true in 40k.
blood angels carry black-cased weapons (also helps show that it's a gun being held, not a gun-arm)
tried to simplify the chapter badge on the left his right shoulder
added the crux terminatus to his left our right shoulder (which i see you did yourself while i was editing the latest edit)
added an aquila to define the chest
broadened/flattened the armor backing and raise the shoulders to meet it per the game designs
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: Monochrome on December 02, 2009, 10:33:18 pm
i think some of it has to do with the angle he's looking at and the fact that we have no real understanding that there might be a chest...

possible edit, made him look more down/forward:

(http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/2686/termy.gif) (http://www.retroidea.com/Pictures/terminator_marine3.png) (http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/3359/frame1.png)

also a few smaller things:

you have it right from the beginning : blood angels terminators like those found in Space Hulk (which was i assume the inspiration and the character you're making) wear red helmets, not white, with the exception of some who may wear black as an honor (tyranid wars, or have reached captain ranking but not been awarded the post).  This is also true in 40k.
blood angels carry black-cased weapons (also helps show that it's a gun being held, not a gun-arm)
tried to simplify the chapter badge on the left his right shoulder
added the crux terminatus to his left our right shoulder (which i see you did yourself while i was editing the latest edit)
added an aquila to define the chest
broadened/flattened the armor backing and raise the shoulders to meet it per the game designs


Your version seems really cute in a cartoony way, sometimes it makes me feel a bit sorry we're going with a more bland interpretation/design. I decided to go with silver decorations just to differ a bit form the classic blood angels pattern. The gun design is perhaps the best thing. It looks great. I've been trying to create an aim for the stormbolter for ages now, and I had quited a few minutes ago until you came with that. Again, sorry if it's copying but it looks really good. Ill be noting each and every single of your names to make sure i credit you all when it's done.
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: ndchristie on December 02, 2009, 10:42:55 pm
Well, cartoony reads really well.  You might dodge that, but i would urge you to examine quite closely the shapes that you make.  There are a couple of problems with the sprite as it is now, notably that it's rather flat (the contrast added by happymonster  was a good solution) and the face you've got which drops off chinless makes it look a lot like a bug.  Actually his whole form reminds me of the alien brutes from half life painted red :P
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: Monochrome on December 02, 2009, 11:03:58 pm
Well, cartoony reads really well.  You might dodge that, but i would urge you to examine quite closely the shapes that you make.  There are a couple of problems with the sprite as it is now, notably that it's rather flat (the contrast added by happymonster  was a good solution) and the face you've got which drops off chinless makes it look a lot like a bug.  Actually his whole form reminds me of the alien brutes from half life painted red :P

The face does indeed look a bit bug like but alternatives so far, are either too big or look like something aswell. Eyecraft's version seemed great until i recognised a lion-like face on a closer inspection. I'm still tweaking it over and over, but i've realized that you either had the breeding mask thing and leave out the chin or put the chin and leave the mask part of, which is bad aswell. The trick is to show a bit of both, but so far I've yet to realize how. As for contrast and highlights there are still some things left to be shaded, such as the arms.. I'll probably attempt to reshade the pauldrons too. A problem with adding darker shades to the chest was exactly another bug related problem: harder inbetweens make it look like a red beetle or a ladybug. Also keep in mind this sprite model is supposed to be recoloured according to other chapter patterns/colours, so overshading might turn up to be a bit of a risky choice for me :p.

On a closer inspection I've just realized I need to rearrange the hunchback aswell. and change it back from a ^ to a V perspective. The leg stance could use a tweak aswell- Is not as quite as good as I thought it was.
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: Monochrome on December 03, 2009, 08:19:58 am
On a funny sidenote, it seem that even the folks at EA had trouble in making the helmet look good, even at a higher res! The maskpiece looks more like a mouth smilling.

http://img710.imageshack.us/img710/2425/lolwut.png (http://img710.imageshack.us/img710/2425/lolwut.png)
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: ndchristie on December 03, 2009, 11:54:37 am
when in doubt you can go with the pre-90's fluff which routinely refers to these characters as having elephant-like faces (and indeed, many of the old chaos/traitor/mutant terminators have tusks or trunks)
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: Monochrome on December 03, 2009, 01:11:12 pm
One thing that I've been doing wrong so far was to present it in a light or soft coloured background. The itself we'll be featuring very dark environmets, similarly to space hulk, so as soon as I accidentally dropped a black paintbucket on the background, magic happened and the sprite suddenly looked a lot better. Added darker shaders and remade the helmet. He looks like he means business now. Should be adding a few more black shaders. Also added mdchristie's gun (hope he doesnt mind), reduced the torso size and the arms a bit. Reversed the hunchback.

(http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/761/yikes.png)
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: happymonster on December 03, 2009, 04:25:44 pm
Great edit ndchristie, that looks a lot better!

Monochrome: I wouldn't have said it looks more cartoony, just perhaps darker as fitting with the subject matter. Your latest sprite does indeed look better against a black background, especially with the dark shades. I think though that the helmet still needs to be more distinctive, as I find it hard to see what it is now.. I would rather have a recognisable, distinctive 'face' on a sprite, than something that is more accurate in terms of size and shading, but is less readable. For figures I think faces are very important as we pay so much attention to faces with the way the visual systems work in our brains.

However, it is your sprite! Just my thoughts.. :)
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: Monochrome on December 03, 2009, 06:24:43 pm
Great edit ndchristie, that looks a lot better!

Monochrome: I wouldn't have said it looks more cartoony, just perhaps darker as fitting with the subject matter. Your latest sprite does indeed look better against a black background, especially with the dark shades. I think though that the helmet still needs to be more distinctive, as I find it hard to see what it is now.. I would rather have a recognisable, distinctive 'face' on a sprite, than something that is more accurate in terms of size and shading, but is less readable. For figures I think faces are very important as we pay so much attention to faces with the way the visual systems work in our brains.

However, it is your sprite! Just my thoughts.. :)


Then again, try to understand I'm trying to reproduce a terminator as faithfully as possible (http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/mediawiki/images/2/2b/Ultramarine_terminator.jpg) on a very specific perspective (http://www.modmancer.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/02/1702uchaos_engine2jpg.jpg). ndchristie's version looks great, but it's excessively stylized and  fdoesn't fit the look I'm aiming for in therms of design, proportion and perspective. My version is far from perfection, but it fits a more serious tone. The recent changes I did to the helmet are based on upon other pixel artwork that is by far the best pixel rendition of a terminator I've yet to see (http://img202.imageshack.us/img202/9171/bloodangelssample.jpg), though it's a simple adaptation of EA's own version I posted before.
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: Photocopier on December 03, 2009, 07:19:30 pm
but at the size you're working it's too small too get away with it not being stylized, the thing about spriting for a game is to create readability. Therefore it is much more difficult to draw in as much detail as the sprites you've just linked to. Could we see some of your other graphics? because I much prefer the edits with the larger helmets to the version you are currently working with.
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: Monochrome on December 03, 2009, 07:35:24 pm
but at the size you're working it's too small too get away with it not being stylized, the thing about spriting for a game is to create readability.

Yet remember the sprites are zoomed while in game.


Therefore it is much more difficult to draw in as much detail as the sprites you've just linked to. Could we see some of your other graphics? because I much prefer the edits with the larger helmets to the version you are currently working with.

But not impossible. If you take a look at any of the chaos engine character sprites (http://sprites.walen.se/?level=album&id=5), you'll realize how the artist managed to create a lot more intricate details at a smaller scale with no more stylization the one I'm using. Plus by observing the basic shapes of the terminator armor itself, one can realize they're a lot more straightfoward to come up with than certain, let's say a more human or animal shapes. the details being mostly concentrated on highlights and reflections which once again are not impossible to create at this scale.

Could we see some of your other graphics?

Pardon me? I thought I mentioned at the beginning of this thread this was my fiirst sprite
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: happymonster on December 03, 2009, 07:59:23 pm
Well, I used this image as a reference (not being familiar with modern 40,000)
http://www.ifelix.net/gamingblog/wp-content/sh001.jpg (http://www.ifelix.net/gamingblog/wp-content/sh001.jpg)
And that seems to have a larger helmet than the image you posted. That's my excuse anyway! ;)  ;D
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: EyeCraft on December 04, 2009, 12:36:59 am
Eyecraft's version seemed great until i recognised a lion-like face on a closer inspection. I'm still tweaking it over and over, but i've realized that you either had the breeding mask thing and leave out the chin or put the chin and leave the mask part of, which is bad aswell. The trick is to show a bit of both, but so far I've yet to realize how.

(http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z212/gastrop0d/edits/preview3c_ed2.png)
The Emperor's Pride Chapter knew they could get the edge they needed over the Xeno's by splicing the might of the king of the jungle's DNA into their marines.  :lol:

Quote
A problem with adding darker shades to the chest was exactly another bug related problem: harder inbetweens make it look like a red beetle or a ladybug. Also keep in mind this sprite model is supposed to be recoloured according to other chapter patterns/colours, so overshading might turn up to be a bit of a risky choice for me :p.

It's not the "amount" of shading that makes something like that difficult. It's the number of colours you use to shade it. You don't need to add darker shades, you need to darken the darks and mid-darks you have.

Quote
On a closer inspection I've just realized I need to rearrange the hunchback aswell. and change it back from a ^ to a V perspective. The leg stance could use a tweak aswell- Is not as quite as good as I thought it was.

Nice work on that. Looks much more terminator-y now.  :y:

Still contrast issues. Working on a dark canvas is a trap. Your sprite's contrast should be able to stand up to the scrutiny of a lighter canvas. If it doesn't, retreating to a canvas that downplays the problem won't fix it. Black canvas or not, it's still to a large extent a saturated red blob to the eye, it's just that now the eye has lost the clear silhouette of it.

Still got a tonne of unnecessary colours. I don't see the contrast really fixable until the palette is controlled.
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: Monochrome on December 05, 2009, 04:25:52 pm
Reshaped the whole thing and recoloured it according to happymonster's pallete. Only extra colours are the grays in the gun and the green used for the chest crest and eyes. Opinions?

(http://img51.imageshack.us/img51/8659/ahake.png)(http://img260.imageshack.us/img260/6025/aha2.png)
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: happymonster on December 05, 2009, 04:30:15 pm
Much much better!

Helmet shape is clearer and the greater contrast range overall helps. Maybe a bit more shinyness on the gun?
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: Monochrome on December 05, 2009, 06:40:30 pm
I must admit more vibrant colours really make it stand a lot more. Once again thanks for all the help, yet I'm still open to again modifications and suggestions. Next step will be adding certain decorations and extras like the Crux Terminatus and the power fist. Any suggestions?

And I'll tweak the gun later.
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: happymonster on December 05, 2009, 11:31:29 pm
Only other suggestion is to covert to the Ultramarine brotherhood.. ;) :P
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: ndchristie on December 06, 2009, 01:17:33 am
Only other suggestion is to covert to the Ultramarine brotherhood.. ;) :P

Booooo no smurfs!  They only make up 200% of the fairweather fanbase...(with blood ravens taking up another 150% despite having the most tepid backstory offered in the game universe since 1990)

Revamp is an accomplishment.  Now moar frames! :D.

Also you might want to look at a little of AA to clear a few of the larger edges, and the cross could come back for balance as long as the form is subservient to the pauldron:
(http://img710.imageshack.us/img710/6030/crux.gif)
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: Monochrome on December 06, 2009, 12:04:25 pm
Booooo no smurfs!  They only make up 200% of the fairweather fanbase...(with blood ravens taking up another 150% despite having the most tepid backstory offered in the game universe since 1990)

Indeed. I do like the Ultramarines but they're overrated by most fans. I'll try making a Deathwing recolour instead


Revamp is an accomplishment.  Now moar frames! :D.

I think I'll give it a rest. It will be mighty hard to come up with new stances and I've been working on this simple frame for almost two weeks.

Also you might want to look at a little of AA to clear a few of the larger edges, and the cross could come back for balance as long as the form is subservient to the pauldron:
(http://img710.imageshack.us/img710/6030/crux.gif)

Hum, I'm affraid I don't get what you mean. are you talking about all the edges or simply the edge on the left pauldron?
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: ndchristie on December 06, 2009, 01:49:39 pm
names the top of the back.

also look to your palette a smidge (on a similar note of eliminating jaggies):

your red ramp by value goes like this:
(http://img109.imageshack.us/img109/9205/strip.png)

see the hopskip between the reds?

also, because the model is mostly made up of the first 4 values and because the human eye can discern on-screen differences between medium-dark tones better than elsewhere, it's more important to try and balance these out or add another tone to smooth.

Also you have some redundant values (2 to be exact) which i think are the result of splicing and shifting colors over time and not ealizing they've ermerged (see the shadow tone on the hand is different, and the dark bright red up top is not the dark bright red of below...)
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: Monochrome on December 07, 2009, 09:50:43 am
names the top of the back.

also look to your palette a smidge (on a similar note of eliminating jaggies):

your red ramp by value goes like this:
(http://img109.imageshack.us/img109/9205/strip.png)

see the hopskip between the reds?

also, because the model is mostly made up of the first 4 values and because the human eye can discern on-screen differences between medium-dark tones better than elsewhere, it's more important to try and balance these out or add another tone to smooth.

Also you have some redundant values (2 to be exact) which i think are the result of splicing and shifting colors over time and not ealizing they've ermerged (see the shadow tone on the hand is different, and the dark bright red up top is not the dark bright red of below...)

I'll try introducing an extra dark red value inbetween the 1st then. As for the redundant values I could only find the one in hand shader. Where is the other one? It's a bit hard for me to keep track of all these things since I'm using mspaint. Can you point me to any specific software (preferably free) that allows me to keep track of all this stuff? Keep in mind a lot of the things you mentioned are new to me and any new bit of information is precious. As for creating animated gifs what kind of software should i use, given that i'll be working with animated frames later?
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: Monochrome on December 09, 2009, 08:59:36 pm
(http://img44.imageshack.us/img44/2937/grr2.png)

Added an extra dark red tone along with a few extra shades. While the bridge between the darker tones is still noticeable I feel  adding yet another tone would be useless at this stage. Looks a bit softer now. Any opinions? I decided I won't venture further into the next frame until this one isn't perfect, so please, give me all your feedback.
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: Etchebeur on December 09, 2009, 10:00:13 pm
hi  ;D
i dont have color table...im are using colors of BOF3
but...see...
(http://img34.imageshack.us/img34/1078/roboty.png)

edit!
20 colors and simple move...
(http://img34.imageshack.us/img34/1101/robot2h.gif)
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: Indigo on December 10, 2009, 03:03:19 am
there are some threads here at pixelation that EVERYONE feels the need to make edits.  This is one of them ;)  To me though, I'd be much more interested in animating this bad boy at this stage.  The version of the terminator you have now is really solid.  I think you should listen closely to ndchristie's advise.  Everything I'm about to say was already said be him, now that I look back over the comments...

I made an edit too ;)
(http://danfessler.com/dump/terminatorpaledit1.gif)
(animated, yours and mine)

and the palette:  (yours on top, mine on bottom)
(http://danfessler.com/dump/terminatorpaledit2.gif)
note: this isn't your full palette, just your main red ramp.

Like ndchristie was saying, Your ramp has some pretty ugly jumps right now.  You have a red thats so near-black, that it may as well be black to the eye.  I raised the value of that, and made other value changes in the palette to make a smoother, more evenly spaced, ramp.  I also noticed that your second-lightest color, the gray one, was poking a hole in your ramp.  This is because a gray (even though it technically is the right hue, just really desaturated) will tend to look cool in context of warm ones, and warm in teh context of cool ones.  I raised the saturation towards a more yellow color.  I also ramped the dark values towards purple, just for some extra interest.  This alone, helped your sprite a bunch.

There were colors in your ramp that you didn't even use in areas of your sprite - making areas look more rough than they needed to be (such as the right, his left, shoulder pad).  I added in those colors where needed - smoothing the sprite a bit.  The last thing I think you should consider is lightening up the lit edges of a sprite.  In the darker areas, it makes sense to have a dark outline, but in areas like the shoulder pads and back which are pretty bright, its quite a big jump to go straight to the darkest values for the outline.  I tend to change the outline color dynamically with the color it surrounds - keeping it maybe 1 or 2 shades darker.

hope this helps.  In all honesty, I'm much more interested in seeing this thing be animated than I am interesting in nit-picking it any further.  You've made a wonderful progression this far.

-Dan
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: Monochrome on December 12, 2009, 03:05:51 pm
there are some threads here at pixelation that EVERYONE feels the need to make edits.  This is one of them ;)  To me though, I'd be much more interested in animating this bad boy at this stage.  The version of the terminator you have now is really solid.  I think you should listen closely to ndchristie's advise.  Everything I'm about to say was already said be him, now that I look back over the comments...

I made an edit too ;)
(http://danfessler.com/dump/terminatorpaledit1.gif)
(animated, yours and mine)

and the palette:  (yours on top, mine on bottom)
(http://danfessler.com/dump/terminatorpaledit2.gif)
note: this isn't your full palette, just your main red ramp.

Like ndchristie was saying, Your ramp has some pretty ugly jumps right now.  You have a red thats so near-black, that it may as well be black to the eye.  I raised the value of that, and made other value changes in the palette to make a smoother, more evenly spaced, ramp.  I also noticed that your second-lightest color, the gray one, was poking a hole in your ramp.  This is because a gray (even though it technically is the right hue, just really desaturated) will tend to look cool in context of warm ones, and warm in teh context of cool ones.  I raised the saturation towards a more yellow color.  I also ramped the dark values towards purple, just for some extra interest.  This alone, helped your sprite a bunch.

There were colors in your ramp that you didn't even use in areas of your sprite - making areas look more rough than they needed to be (such as the right, his left, shoulder pad).  I added in those colors where needed - smoothing the sprite a bit.  The last thing I think you should consider is lightening up the lit edges of a sprite.  In the darker areas, it makes sense to have a dark outline, but in areas like the shoulder pads and back which are pretty bright, its quite a big jump to go straight to the darkest values for the outline.  I tend to change the outline color dynamically with the color it surrounds - keeping it maybe 1 or 2 shades darker.

hope this helps.  In all honesty, I'm much more interested in seeing this thing be animated than I am interesting in nit-picking it any further.  You've made a wonderful progression this far.

-Dan

You sorta made my day. Your edit is really good and thanks to it, I think I'm finally done with this frame. So far my two latest problems where finding  a way to keep light reflections neutral on dark environments and general smoothing. Since my main source of inspiration for my game project are the bitmap bros, I've been testing the sprite with some industrial environments from chaos engine, one of my favourite titles from the bros.

(http://img515.imageshack.us/img515/4332/ihi2.png)

These are the previous looks of my sprite. While it's decently smoothed it's still quite inferior from the general LOD of the original CE sprites. Like I mentioned, the other problem was related with lighting. Contrary to CE, our project will feature some poorly illuminated environments on which white reflections would stand out a bit too much, I believe. I was actually thinking of a solution until your edit came.

(http://img300.imageshack.us/img300/7787/ihi.png)

And the difference is notorious. Not only it blends a lot better with the background, but also the yellow reflections contrast a lot better with the darker shades. I'm definitively keeping your pallete and I'm about to go straight to animation now. It will be though for someone who never done something like this before, (I've already wasted +2 weeks on this frame alone) so wish me luck. I'll be counting with your help later aswell ;)

Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: big brother on December 12, 2009, 10:29:02 pm
I think the red needs to be more muted to fit into that scene. As it is now, it burns a hole through the plane.
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: Monochrome on December 13, 2009, 10:29:31 pm
I think the red needs to be more muted to fit into that scene. As it is now, it burns a hole through the plane.

The scene I used is just a test scene. It's not supposed to fit in therms of pallete or illumination. Just in therms of proportion, smoothness and style.
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: Monochrome on December 19, 2009, 03:37:32 pm
(http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/3280/yayframe1.gif)

Early attempt at leg animation. Head, and body movement will come later. Ideally the cycle should be a bit slower, but for that I require more frames to make it look smoother. The plan is to make his movement look really heavy yet not clumsy. Like if every step taken made the ground shook. The terminator is about brute strenght and raw firepower and that's the feeling I'm planning to transmit here.

Any ideas/suggestions/improvements?
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: happymonster on December 19, 2009, 04:44:18 pm
I'd say you could have the body move down one pixel for the frame where the weight comes down on the leading leg.
Also probably need to move the arms / shoulders a little.
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: Lizzrd on December 19, 2009, 05:46:21 pm
Have him tilt to the side of the front leg.
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: Gil on December 19, 2009, 11:28:38 pm
Don't animate a few body parts at a time, animate the whole thing at once. You can't animate legs when you're not sure yet how the rest will fit in.

Also, never design a walk without a head bob. Exagerate it for robots (or space suits or whatever).

Here's an edit on the walk (+AA on the insignia, it was bothering me for weeks now)

(http://www.game-designer.org/art/pixelart/edit/yayframe1.gif)
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: Helm on December 20, 2009, 02:24:53 am
...and from there it's very easy to make just a couple of frames of tweens to even it out

(http://www.locustleaves.com/yayframe2.gif)

Though personally I would suggest you go ahead and make shoulder movement too.
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: Gil on December 20, 2009, 04:50:00 am
Haha, that's funny Helm, I had almost the exact same tweens ready, but decided not to post them because it would take the edit too far :)

Mine had the gun stationary, because I figured that a high-powered exoskeleton made for battle would be at least capable of keeping the gun level. I agree about the shoulder movement btw.

It should be noted that both Helm's and my edit are animating too fast to be a believable walk animation and too chunky to be a run animation.

Walk vs Run

(http://www.game-designer.org/art/pixelart/edit/yayframe2walk.gif) (http://www.game-designer.org/art/pixelart/edit/yayframe2run.gif)
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: Monochrome on December 20, 2009, 01:22:41 pm
It should be noted that both Helm's and my edit are animating too fast to be a believable walk animation and too chunky to be a run animation.

Walk vs Run

(http://www.game-designer.org/art/pixelart/edit/yayframe2walk.gif) (http://www.game-designer.org/art/pixelart/edit/yayframe2run.gif)

 Noted. Probably I'll have to add even more tweens to make the walking smoother at a slower speed. Again, thanks for the help and the free tweens. It's looking better and better all the time.
Title: Re: [WIP] help with sprite - space marine terminator
Post by: CrazyMLC on December 20, 2009, 03:58:10 pm
Haha, nice job Gil. Very terminator, and I think it fits nicely with the sprite.