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Messages - Ai
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General Discussion / Re: Pixel-Gameart Appreciation Thread
« on: December 06, 2018, 02:03:20 am »
Game: Moonlighter
Art looks decent, but it's hard to tell through the upscaling (looks like about 125% upscale, with Lanczos probably since there are sharpening artefacts). Are there any unscaled screenshots available?

Challenges & Activities / Re: The Daily Sketch
« on: October 24, 2018, 08:50:56 am »
Nice balance of tone in that 20+21 dungeon pic.

I have a pile of lettering of course, this is the only one sorted out for upload yet.

No-erase 2B sketches at McDonalds. Levelling up pressure control etc. 'Atelier' tip (inch of lead exposed, long 'bullet' taper) helps a lot with tone + keeping gesture sketch light. Brush smudging afterwards for the expanse of smooth metal.

Cutting down on postprocessing in order to post things more regularly.

General Discussion / Re: Pixelation 2.0
« on: September 24, 2018, 12:18:47 am »
How to handle images is the most complicated thing to solve.  There are several options and each has different tradeoffs:

- first-class images attached to the bottom (or maybe top depending on the design) to the forum post

- arbitrary inline images uploaded and embedded into the post content

- Half and half; first class image attachments and inline uploaded images

- Half and half; first class image attachments, and allow for inline external links if needed

I want to say I got this idea from github, but I don't think that's quite right.. maybe MediaWiki/Wikipedia? anyway..

Footnote-style referencing of image attachments.
So the images you upload are shown with a number next to them, and you can embed that with something like
Code: [Select]
[img#1]. If referencing images from a specific reply is necessary, then this syntax could be extended to eg
Code: [Select]
[img#5.1]. It might also be useful to provide thumbnail embedding
Code: [Select]
[thumb#1] as this cooperates better with a body of text, particularly when you really only need to see *which* image is being referenced, rather than specific details of the image. Clicking on a thumbnail could pop it out (turn it into the regular fullsize image) and then you would be able to zoom it as usual.

IMO this solves a few problems:

* References can be more direct, which helps beyond the point of about 3 images IME.
* Images can be grouped at the bottom of the post but still used wherever in your post.
* Simplifies the 'thumbnail selection' problem slightly, at least for prototyping (just enter a number, graphical selector not required)

I agree with eishiya that we should probably disallow embedding of external images, to protect from thread-rot.

My timing for writing this was not great, so I'll just say that generally I like this new design, for now.

General Discussion / Re: Official Off-Topic Thread 2018
« on: September 13, 2018, 01:42:59 pm »
Yeah, that's probably it :) It's good you noticed the domain difference.

General Discussion / Re: Official Off-Topic Thread 2018
« on: September 13, 2018, 12:24:20 pm »
Just noticed: the 4 rightmost 'Featured' banners produce an error page, titled "URL Shortener":



Everything's working on our side, so the short link you clicked is either wrong or has been retired."

I'm pretty sure that the last banner links to 0xDB's glossary/topic summary thread.. which is definitely still here and accessible if I hunt it down in the forum. The URL in the banner differs in one way -- it's http:// rather than https://.

There's no apparent logic to it -- the first banner link is https and works, the second and third are NOT https but still work, and the fourth and all after that are not https and do not work.

Can anyone else confirm this behaviour? Again, banner links 1,2,3 work, and banner links 4,5,6,7 bring up the error page.

(hopefully an easy fix might be to make all the links https...)

General Discussion / Re: Best application to use for pixel art
« on: September 01, 2018, 07:21:15 am »
As usual with this question, be more specific :) You want to do portraits? What else? Animated sprites? Tilesets?

I strongly agree with the practice of switching apps as opposed to 'one app to rule them all', because this focuses learning better.
(eg. even though I like GIMP and Krita, I would not recommend either of them for learning pixel art because of how many non-pixel-art things they contain. When learning pixel art, it's good to use a tool that offers you *only* things related to pixel art, because you'll then spend more time fighting with the medium itself than fighting with your tool)

Grafx2 is my general recommendation (having features for both animation and tilesets, as well as a good general complement of functionality). Aseprite has more sophisticated animation, but I find actually using Aseprite clunky.

Most of the things mentioned so far have their supported platforms and free/nonfree status recorded in Retronator's graph. With the notable exception of Grafx2, which is free and available on Windows, Linux, and (I think) Mac. Has been ported to phones too but I can't vouch for how well that platform works.

Whatever you pick, I'd suggest making sure it has customizable keyboard shortcuts. They're another way to streamline your work process / remove unnecessary complications.

General Discussion / Re: Community updates
« on: August 21, 2018, 02:36:04 pm »
Haven't heard of Flarum, but it seems similar to Discourse; I'm fairly happy with how Discourse deals with "embedded" images - making it show any image embedded in the first post, within the index, would be the main change needed AFAICS.
Examples of Discourse use in a graphics context are MyPaint forums and graphics processing forums

General Discussion / Re: What software do most pixel artists use?
« on: July 29, 2018, 01:03:00 pm »
- zoom level > 100% shows the image with linear interpolation, which seems to be a big no-no for pixel work.
Edit the line assigning self.pixelize_threshold (line 737 of gui/ I set it to 1.01 rather than 2.8.

If somebody cares to test, the newer versions of MyPaint should still have two interesting pre-made brushes in the "experimental" drawer : 1pixel (ignore pressure, 100% opacity) and pixel-hardink (proportional size, 100% opacity)
Thanks, I made those.

I also made others but it's difficult to get the brush engine as tightly controlled as pixel art needs. I'm not even happy with the two you mentioned, because there were occasionally lowered opacity pixels and I didn't figure out what was causing them.

General Discussion / Re: the 3 questions
« on: May 22, 2018, 08:02:27 am »
I think the schedules laid out in Nicolaides' Natural Way to Draw illustrate what you need to break through a plateau: varied struggles. Even if you think you're terrible at faces, don't work just on faces; Even if you think you are terrible at pixel art, don't work only on pixel art. Cycle through both "types of study" and "mediums", giving all of them equally serious attention; This breaks you out of the dogmas you develop when working mainly in one particular medium, on one particular kind of subject.

1a. Tangents. In pixel art it's easy to pile these up, because you really only can do 0, 45, and 90 intersections. Tangents encompasses a lot (lines, intersections between clusters, spaced relations between clusters as in dithering or banding). In art in general, I simply was obsessed with going fast, without proper preparation.

1b. I have to say I just pixel whenever, not regularly (as opposed to drawing, which I do every day). To me, the pixel aspect is minor - pixel art is functionally just another (painting) medium which happens to place an extreme emphasis on design. As I understand it, that attitude is partially a function of pure volume of experience (and experience in other mediums was critical here, IMO), and partially spending time analyzing it in a formal way (eg. mathematical basis of AA, formal encoding of line segment patterns).

Maybe it'll help to say that all the optimizations of the picture I do in pixel art are the same ones I do when drawing or painting on paper -- they're the same principles, stretched to the extremes. Pixel art was well suited to teaching me certain of these artistic principles (eg. conservation of detail, strategic exaggeration, painting order), and unsuited to teaching me others (eg. perspective, tangency, flow)

2. The illusion of color. I say illusion, because when I was starting -- with EGA color -- you certainly couldn't just pick the color you wanted and lay it down.  The illusion of color isn't expendable today, but it's more marginal (you still need to think of your picture's colors as one whole thing containing relationships, but you can select the main colors reasonably precisely even if stuck with a fixed palette).
I don't think there is anything expendable today, actually -- art is like this all-devouring blob, if you learn something there is probably a way to apply it to art and art to it.

3. Again, tangents -- there are many levels of tangency you can get tangled in, avoiding most of them is a rare sign of paying proper attention and having a workflow that enables you to be thorough. Also framing/composition -- it's easy to tell the difference between a framing that knows it's telling a story, and a framing that's just like "I needed a canvas to put this thing in".

These both fall in the general category of 'did your homework, acted with clear intent, held firmly onto that intent until the end', which is how I identify .. people I consider genuinely competent.

(I avoid the terms 'experts' or 'professionals' because I think the meaning is usually unclear. I think that you were aiming for 'people of notable competence' here.)

There is another particular concrete skill that is really important IMO, but it's hard to tell if anyone has it unless you are looking over their shoulder when they are drawing, and it's also pretty difficult to explain.

Resources / Re: Tools, Resources and Linkage.
« on: April 15, 2018, 02:35:08 pm »
I just made this: Automated file-history tracker for *nix after a brief discussion in PJ chat. It watches files and automatically tracks their revisions, in a 'plain directory containing numbered copies of file' format (meaning, in the case of pixel art, you can look through history easily using an ordinary image viewer)

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