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Topics - Gil
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2D & 3D / Experiment: using AI to turn pixel art into paintings
« on: May 19, 2019, 07:03:45 am »
I'm using Waifu2x with noise reduction level 3, double resolution, then I'm running it through ESRGAN, and afterwards I do another Waifu2x scale pass, without noise reduction. I'm getting really nice results. If you want to do a similar experiment, you'll have to play around with it. ESRGAN is wonderful, but it's not very good at the initial step it seems.




General Discussion / Emoji standardisation on Pixelation
« on: February 22, 2016, 12:47:32 pm »
I'm wondering if we should adopt the emoji standard on Pixelation. On one hand, we already use the same syntax, with non-standard names and on the other hand, it'd be a good challenge to do all of the needed emoji. Then there's the fact that now that they are standard, everyone is going to switch, and maybe we shouldn't be left behind. The amount of websites that uses the standard is already staggering.

Not sure, thoughts?

Here's the standard for those wondering (with sample implementations by a few companies):

General Discussion / Old Pixelation stuff from around 2003
« on: January 24, 2016, 06:05:08 pm »

I found this on my hard drive. Fun stuff.

My very first Pixelation piece I posted, dated October 2003 according to the hard drive:

This was back when the background was purple, Bruce Lee was in the banner and you had to fill out a pop quiz and score enough to register. After that you had to post 10 critiques before you got to post your own stuff. In the General section of course, you'd need to be a total wizard to post in the Serious Critique section :crazy:

Anyway, here's a miascugh basketcase piece from 2003:

This is, if I have it correctly, one of the first pieces that Splatpixel posted on Pixelation in 2003. I think it's him, shoot me if I'm wrong.

This, still 2003, is something I must've saved because I liked it, it's a day older than my first piece it seems. I can't remember the artist, though I think it was someone well-known.

If memory serves right, this was from someone called Xavier? Not sure. Also 2003

Then, from March 2004, I've got this funny piece:

Someone called Nemesis made the lineart and I colored it with his permission. For some reason, people liked that and after a few days, the whole thread was filled with people's renditions. As far as I know, I started the very first "pixel fad" :lol:

Ok, so I'm probably the most scatterbrained person you'll ever meet, but I also have the luck of having a brain that is able to learn most things to a certain degree. I spent my days making art, writing music, programming, doing random abstract math. All of these things I learned specifically because I've always been fascinated with all things games (my second job is instructing kids how to play competition volleyball, quite a cool game in its own right). When I cleaned up my old room back at my parent's house, I dragged out a big box of paper, I estimate about 4000 pages, with just random game ideas written down. I never ever finished a game. I'm that kind of guy :D. So yeah, if there's anything in this thread that you'd like to use for your own projects, just ask, I bet I'll just give it to you  (if you ask nicely :mean:). My hope is one day make a game. Or not.

Few odd bits to get started:

An art collective I started with some friends that is still kinda going on I guess (I keep postponing our meetings). Most of these are not mine, some are, and some are collabs.

I draw a LOT of stuff, but most of it isn't online (it'd take longer to scan or photograph what I'm doing than to actually do it I guess).

For some reason, I only draw bald male faces with no eyes. I've got a few sketchbooks worth of this shit:


Some game music I made (I'll need to get some more online, but that's all I dug up for now):

Making game music eventually made me get into instruments, and I'm in about 3 bands now, more or less. Here's the ones that released stuff:

Azzaro is my main band. I play harmonium, we make poppy songs, we've got a demo ready, but it's not online, because we need to sell some first. We tend to do about 1 live show every two months or so. The picture above is 6 out of the 8 musicians, it gets a bit crazy. (<-- CLICK HERE FOR PICTURES OF REAL GIL)

Lesbi&semen is my other band, we never rehearse as we are both lazy, but we did finish a song once while we were drunk in the afternoon:

Oh and sometimes I even sing (not well, but hey):


A Minecraft texture pack I never finished (I have about 6 of these in various states of disarray):

A Minecraft mod that I never seem to finish (but my friend and I worked on for like a few hundred hours):


So yeah, hard to show programming unless I finish something, which HAHAHAHA.

There's this thing:

And I'm working hard on that actually, it's just not stuff I can show yet.

So yeah, more stuff soon.

Pixel Art / Over-rendered huge RPG bases
« on: December 31, 2015, 05:38:13 pm »
For giggles, I'm trying to do some huge ass RPG bases, because why not? :p

I think I'm going to go for the good old mesomorph, ectomorph, endomorph or something. For now in a very generic T-pose, I'm not sure yet how I'm going to handle poses, directions, animations and all that jazz, as these are just waaaaay too big to be practical in any way.

General Discussion / Cluster Study: Animated Sprite
« on: July 24, 2015, 03:44:35 am »
Ages ago I talked about studying clusters in animation. I just never found the right examples to really pursue it. I just noticed a great example in this thread by The Phinx. What I want to do is a cluster study similar to this one where we study a single sprite and do edits.

The goal of the exercise is to identify clusters and look how they move/change in time. You will notice that larger clusters tend to behave organically, while smaller clusters, especially single pixel, stay very rigid (look at the speculars on the arm for example). If the small clusters where to move/change too much, you'd just get animated noise that doesn't convey motion very well.

The sprite itself is really well made. It has some great clusters going on and the animation works really well (apart from some the legs being a bit noodly perhaps). At the same time, there's some areas that can be improved. The head clusters work well when paused, but in motion, they seem to behave a bit erratically. The highlight on the left leg (HIS right) seems to be really jumpy and I feel this is a great cluster to try and make behave. Also, the lower part of that leg seems to have a lot of banding that you can fix. The abdominal region has some bad banding that needs to be fixed, this can be done in multiple ways I feel. You can simplify the cluster, try to simply eliminate the banding or experiment with subpixel animation to try and make that work. I'm sure there's other solutions :).

So yeah, basically the gist of the exercise is: How can we adjust modern pixel techniques like clusters and banding awareness to animation? Secondary to this, there's also room to discuss other high-level pixel techniques concerning animation, like subpixel animations. Like the previous cluster study, the idea is to keep the spirit of the sprite, not to radically alter it. Also remember that The Phinx graciously allowed me to use his sprite, which seems to be a character he conceived, so extra respect is due.

I'll post my own findings after a few people have had the chance to study. I'll probably show off a few details of things I picked up over the years concerning pixels in motion. Have fun!

General Discussion / How should I display my pixel art in a gallery?
« on: July 17, 2015, 09:45:45 pm »
I've been offered to display some of my pixel art in one of those trendy bars that have art for sale. Now I'm wondering what the best way to present pixel art is. It doesn't really have a retro or arcade vibe or I'd go with a flickering CRT. So yeah, we're talking about printing.

Should I print on paper or cloth, matte or gloss? What size should I go with to really present the pixels? It's 16 colors, so some weird pixel art screenprint experiment also seems out of the question. Maybe I should visit my local print shop to ask for advice too.

Also, if I put it up for sale, how does that work for prints? Is there anything I can do to make it more than a print? I don't want to charge people premium for a print.

For reference, these are the pieces they are interested in displaying/selling:

Pixel Art / Hoodie Mage
« on: December 07, 2014, 08:19:21 pm »
I'm working on a concept for a game where modern kids find themselves in a fantasy style world. The first character I'm trying out is a mage. I want to start animating him, but I don't feel super confident about the basic pose I have:

I'm mainly not happy yet with the shading. The shading needs to stay simple like this, so mainly two-tone shading. I could probably integrate the palette and go for more complex shading, but that's not my goal for this. It should be a bit reminiscent of comic books, hence the pure black and separated ramps.

Edit: this is better, pretty happy with this

General Discussion / Chrome now supports pixel zoom!
« on: July 16, 2014, 09:13:13 am »
If you update Chrome to 41, you'll have pixel-perfect zoom! THE FUTURE IS HERE.

Outdated Haxx:

This doesn't work anymore in the latest versions of Chrome! But don't worry, proper support for non-blurry zoom is already in the latest Chrome (Canary 41)

I made this TamperMonkey script for Chrome to disable the blurry zoom, based on the excellent work over at PixelJoint:

You can install TamperMonkey here:

I was pretty tired of people claiming you can't make a zoomer for Pixelation due to cross-origin policies, when there's several ways to get around that, a TamperMonkey script being one, using the createPattern hack being another.

Have fun with it! Should work for recent Chrome and probably Opera (I didn't test Opera, as I don't like it).

2D & 3D / Basic flat rendering
« on: June 13, 2014, 05:32:15 pm »
Hey guys. I outlined a way of prerendering space ships in 3D for this thread:

Basically, I need a simple way to generate prerenders looking like this:

Does anyone know what the easiest way is? I've got some Blender experience, but that wouldn't get me close to where I want to be. I'd also like to be able to tilt the ship up and down (simple camera manipulations). Materials are not important, as I just want grey-scale shading, after which I'd add colors like above, to finish with detailing, making it look like this:

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