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Topics - cels
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General Discussion / How to learn how to draw
« on: June 11, 2015, 05:57:00 pm »
I've been taking a break from pixel art to improve my skills with a pencil and knowledge of anatomy. But I'm... not quite sure how to go about it. I feel like a new guy at a gym, just picking up different weights and trying out different machines without a clear idea of how to train the body properly. Specifically, I'm not sure how much time I should be spending just drawing skeletons, muscles, different parts of the body as opposed to the whole body... how much time should I be meticulously imitating references and how much time should I just be just drawing stuff from scratch? How much time should I spend refining each piece, meticulously adding shadows and texture and how much time should I be spending just doing lots of speed sketches?

Or is there no right answer to any of those things, unlike when you're learning a new sport? Should motivation be my only guide, and should I just do whatever I feel like doing?

Pixel Art / Moar castles, moar clouds!
« on: March 31, 2015, 11:55:41 pm »
New pixel art from CELS. Now with 10% extra castles and clouds.

Any feedback welcome. Obviously this is WIP, especially the clouds.

General Discussion / Winning at pixel art
« on: March 24, 2015, 10:45:09 am »
I have a question and before I start, I would like to point out that this subject could easily turn into something negative. My main goal is to just share my view and hopefully have other people share their views, without necessarily fighting about who's right. And certainly, I hope to avoid ad hominem insults like "Who are you to talk?" or "Do u even dither, brah?"

With that said, here's the premise:

As a competitive person, I have a tendency to look at everything in terms of winning and losing. Even art. Of course, it's also about the personal journey and the joy of learning, but ultimately I still maintain a competitive mindset. I can see why some artists stay away from DeviantArt and PixelJoint, because there's something insidious and tantalising about counting the number of 'favourites' and comments each time you upload something. If you get a lot of faves, you count it as a victory. If your latest work is ignored, you count it as a defeat. You assign each piece of work a numerical value to indicate its actual value, to measure its success.

Every time I produce something that doesn't get good feedback, it really burns at me. Sometimes, the negative emotion is my primary source of motivation, as I hate the feeling of defeat when something doesn't get the recognition I feel it deserves. To put it mildly, I am very puzzled when I see other artists who keep making art for years and years without any sort of public recognition and no one to compliment them on their progress. In my competitive mindset, I don't understand why they go on. I don't understand what drives them to keep sharing work without getting real recognition, when their work is sometimes ignored completely.

Do any of you guys understand what I'm saying? Do you ever look at other people's art as competition and get annoyed if they get more recognition than you? Or is it as I fear - are you all much more mature, calm and confident than me? Is your artistic mindset unsullied by childish competitiveness?

I'm interested in your honest views. Let it all out.

Pixel Art / Tiny castle landscape
« on: March 21, 2015, 10:20:04 pm »
Alright, I'm in over my head again. Can someone help me understand how sunlight works?

This is a fairly small piece, so I'm open to go crazy with special effects. But I'm thinking I should probably do the light rays in layers, and I want to get the castle right before I move on to anything closer.

I guess the shadow from the castle doesn't really make sense, right? I'm out of my league here and I can't really find any good reference pics to understand how light works in a scene like this.

Pixel Art / Foggy city in rain
« on: February 26, 2015, 10:54:36 pm »

So the idea is that this is a city very far up, above a thick layer of dark clouds. There are still some clouds further up (otherwise it wouldn't be raining) and a bit of fog creeping into the city. But the land far below is invisible due to the heavy blanket of clouds.

Some things I need help with:

  • Does the perspective look alright?
  • I don't feel like I'm getting the clouds right, but I don't know how to improve them
  • I want to animate rain, occassional thunder and running water. Can I do that in GIMP or do I need some proper pixel art software?

Any other critique you may have would also be welcome, of course.

Pixel Art / Luna sci-fi scene
« on: February 21, 2015, 06:51:59 pm »
Just uploaded this to the PJ gallery, but I'm posting it here too because I'm looking for criticism. My previous work has often been the result of long Pixelation threads. In the end, this hugely improves my work and I learn a lot from it, but this time I wanted to do it the other way around. Finish it and then ask for feedback once I'd taken it more or less as far as I could.

Any feedback is much appreciated.

Pixel Art / Dogtanian & Co
« on: June 04, 2014, 09:31:06 pm »
Doing something completely different from my previous work.

The eyes are giving me a hard time, because I want them to look like in the original cartoon. At the same time, I wanted to make these as small as possible. Hands are also very hard at this size, and I'm having a bit of trouble with the palette. Not really happy about the colours.

Ignore the version on the right. I started out big, then made it smaller.

Pixel Art Feature Chest / GR#193 - Isometric Landscape
« on: May 28, 2014, 02:41:54 am »
This is my first attempt doing anything like this, so I'd appreciate any kind of feedback. First and foremost, I would like to know if I've made any blunders in terms of perspective and lighting. But yeah, I'm also not sure if I'm able to pull off the grass like I want to. The most astute observer may be able to guess my inspiration, but I don't want to limit myself to that or just make a complete copy.

Pixel Art / Rippling grass animation
« on: May 27, 2014, 11:13:14 pm »
I've been trying to work out how to do a rippling grass animation, like when the wind is sending ripples through the grass. It should look almost like ocean waves when it's done right, but I can't seem to find a good balance that looks realistic, yet isn't too detail-heavy and hard to render.

I mean, the ripple effect comes as each "wave" of win bends the grass, causing it to reflect light in wave patterns. So the grass needs to grow brighter as the wind bends it.

Has anyone seen this done for pixel art? Is it simply too hard? It seems like it should be doable, but... my attempts so far have all failed.

General Discussion / Questions about GrafX2
« on: May 18, 2014, 08:09:09 am »
- How do you identify and replace superfluous colours in GrafX2?  Like if you have 150 colours, and you're pretty sure you only need half of that, because half of those colours make up less than 1% of the pixels on the screen and are probably sloppy leftovers from various palette changes. Do you press the 'PAL' button and just go through every one of them, changing the values to see where they're used and then replacing the superfluous colours one by one?

- How do you work on tiles using GrafX2? Is there any way to divide different tiles into linked entities? So if I make a Super Mario game and I want to change the texture on the green pipes, then changing one pipe in the picture would change all the pipes on the picture, is what I mean. Obviously, changing the palette would impact everything in the picture, but I'm talking about pixel placement. Or do you simply create different tiles and then constantly repaint the picture when you make changes to the tile-set?

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