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Topics - Dr D
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Pixel Art / Brother w/ Buster Sword
« on: November 11, 2014, 10:42:52 pm »
Started making this as a gift to my brother last year, but never finished it in time.  :(

Went to go work on it again this year, and it occurred to me that I should probably post about it as this kind of stuff is not my strong suit (anatomy, poses, full body portraits.. people in general), although I am very happy with how the face turned out, and it resembles him when he was younger.

The angle of his left arm holding the sword, and the way it rests/hovers on his shoulders might be problematic, I think, but not sure how to fix it.

Also, thinking about how to tackle his right hand and the texture on his coat and pants.. but I'll worry about that when I get to it I suppose.

In case you're wondering it's supposed to be him as Cloud Strife from FF7. To be honest though, I've really only used the sword so far.

I know it's quite large, sorry about that. I'll shrink it if it becomes a problem.

Some refs: My brother (recent). Younger: 1, 2, 3. Sword ref.

General Discussion / Individual Pixel-placement Stress
« on: September 13, 2012, 11:47:35 pm »
So recently I discovered a huge problem I seem to have when trying to create pixel art pieces, and was more or less wondering if anyone else has this kind of problem. But before I talk about it more I want to mention 2 things:

1) I like to think I have a little bit of OCD. Maybe not a severe case, and maybe not something like a professional would diagnose you with, but I can spend many hours trying to get something relatively unimportant to be just right.

2) This problem probably stems from my lack of skill and experience, and (hopefully) will be remedied as I improve. But at the same time I can see the possibility of it not changing as I improve, as well.

Anyways, when I begin to work on pieces, and all throughout working on a pixel piece, I often spend much time placing pixels, and not knowing the 'optimal' spot to place them in. 'Do I place this pixel here? Or maybe it looks better here.. Let's try this spot. Compare it with the first spot again. (Ctrl-Z, Ctrl-Y x10). Rinse and repeat, for many, many pixels, for many many hours. (I should also mention most of the art I create is for use in games.) Does anyone else have this sort of problem? Should I worry less about individual pixel placement?

I feel like I lose many hours of work with this rigorous habit, but also feel like I learn less, and my piece is far from reaching it's 'maximum potential' if I do NOT do this kind of experimenting.

General Discussion / A thank you to the community.
« on: July 17, 2012, 09:14:48 am »
Not sure if this is the right place to post this.  :)

Recently, though, I've been overcome with this feeling of delight whilst browsing these forums. You people are awesome, seriously. I just want to say thank you to everyone who helps out around here.

I feel like it's one of the greatest things to watch a struggling new artist or pixel artist come here asking for advice or seeking help and having dozens of selfless members come to their help, some devoting hours or even days of their time. And through that advice, watching the novice artist bloom into something much greater, gaining understanding and skill they might not have gained without your/our help.

I remember my own threads from years ago before I had even discovered the inner artist in myself. I'm not sure if I would have ever pursued pixel art / art in general as far as I have without this community's help.

I just want to say everyone to keep being the kind and helpful people that you are.

Pixel Art / Self-Portrait
« on: May 14, 2010, 07:04:52 am »
So I've been working on this for a while now, needless to say; I like it enough to be posting it here for comm'n'crits.

Here's the ref I used:
And here's a less craptastic, more recent pic of myself:

Please drop some critique, thanks.

Pixel Art / Eyeball Enemy Sprite (AA'ing vs. Sharpness)
« on: April 03, 2010, 10:45:03 pm »
Multiple problems.

I've been having some real trouble with careful pixel placements. I haven't seen anyone else really come across this problem (Or maybe I haven't looked hard enough), so I assume there must be some common practices used to eradicate these demons.

The trouble I've had explaining this to so many people now. I can't put it in words very well, so I'll use pictures, instead.

What I'm currently trying to solve is adding a fine highlight (specular?) on the top left spike in the last (wip) frame there. But the line providing the symmetry through the spike has quite irregular steps, making this a bit harder. That is where I'm trying to add the highlight. Refer to the other frames if you still don't know what I'm talking about.

I can't seem to make it look good and smooth without distorting the form of the spike. I think I may have to add a(n) extra color(s)?

Here are some failed attempts:

Maybe I'm being too nit-picky? It's just an animation frame to go in-between the other two key frames.

Now that I'm looking at it, I also fear the spike is too large. I've been having trouble with that as well; trying to get the size and shape right for the spikes, whilst avoiding jaggies, and irregular steps as much as possible.

Also, in the first complete frame there, I feel the top-left spike (what is it with that god damn top-left spike?  :yell:) looks too flat, and I have no idea how to remedy this problem either. I've been toying with it a lot. Both of the sides are meant to receive equal lighting.

One more thing; I suck at choosing colors. I honestly can't tell what looks good and bad. I'm not color blind, but I just don't know. I thought the orange looked alright for the eyeball color, but then I also thought, "Meh, too mono" and changed it towards another warm hue, a lavender color. Also toyed around with some other purples, you can see that in the first image. What do you guys think? And yes, I plan on using mainly warm hues for enemies and colder hues for 'good' sprites, it is for a game. (One of those top-down, scrolling, space-shooters.. like Tyrian.) Good idea or not?

Also, while you're here, I'd also absolutely love any kind of crits or comments on anything you see.. please.

Ugh, I am so long-winded.

(this looked kind of cool.)

General Discussion / Hourly Payment Method
« on: May 04, 2009, 08:18:40 am »
So after reading the following, from AdamTierney's Freelancing document, I got to wondering..

"It should go without saying, but never lie about the hours you put into a project. Even if you're working hourly and finish up early, take advantage of that extra time and see if the developer has another project you can move on to. It's easiest to keep your integrity because the every time you lie on your hours for some extra cash, less will be holding you back the next time and if discovered, such practice can ruin your career."

So I feel kind of embarrassed asking this question, but I simply do not know how it works.

'How do employers keep track of the amount of time you're putting into your art?'

Working out of your home, supplying art for an employer is a fine thing, but when it comes to payment, I'm a little clueless. I understand one of the common methods is hourly pay. But even with legal documents, it seems there's no real way for anyone to know how much time you're putting into your work, unless you video-record it all, but that is highly ridiculous.

So, do you just tell them how many hours you worked, and they'll pay you based on an established hourly rate? Seems like it would be easy to lie. Not that I would, but my point is, it just doesn't seem secure enough.

If I were an employer, I wouldn't use this method of payment, if what I know is correct.

Can anyone who's worked this way, or even an employer, provide a little insight?

Is there not a more full-proof way to guarantee that the employer is handing out the proper amount of payment to the correct amount of hours of labor?
Will he not be concerned with his employees simply wasting their time doing other things after they're complete, and state they worked more hours than they really have, to drain more money out of him?

Pixel Art / CGA Hand Cyclops
« on: March 14, 2009, 10:50:29 am »
I thought I'd post this here before the challenge expires.

I consider this my first 'real' or 'serious' pixel art piece. (Only ever done a few tiles and an avatar) So I need some guidance and critique, if anyone will kindly help.

WIP steps up to 15, plus most recent versions:

I realize I might have started off doing all the wrong things. (eg.. refining before defining). I don't want to give up on this, and want to broaden my pixel skills and knowledge. I am definitely willing to skip the challenge if it's in my best interest, and the best for the piece. Thanks.

Note: I realize I'm not conforming to the challenge restrictions yet (size, colors), this will be taken care of before the final version.

Pixel Art / [WIP] RPG Tiles [Tiles in progress: Tree]
« on: December 03, 2008, 04:40:19 am »
Hey everyone!  ;D

I'd just like to start off by saying I'm new here, this is my first post, although I've been lurking for the last few days and studying/researching a lot.
I've recently became involved in a project which has no sprite artist, so I volunteered myself to attempt at it, since nobody on the rest of the team would/is able to. I as well am eager to improve my skill and get better at pixel art.

And the reason I made that statement above was because I have little to no artistic ability, at least compared to just about everyone else here.

I'd also like to say, I simply love this forum and it's members, and the helpfulness of everyone here, you guys even critique what seems like the best-of-the-best pieces, and I love that.

This is one of my first, although not exactly my first time working with pixels. I, before, have created a few items for another 2D RPG, whos name I won't mention, because I don't believe I'm allowed.. Anyways, if I am, or not, I'll just save us all the trouble. (But if you really would like to know about my current project or the one I've worked on before.. send me a PM!)

This is my first time working with tiles, or any kind of landscape art.

Anyways, to the point, I'm going to be creating a majority of the tiles, if not all of them. However I won't be doing sprites.. Thank goodness.

They will be in a 3/4 view.. Or top-down view, I don't know which term is correct to describe the view, but it's the same as most 2D grid-based RPG's such as Pokemon, or Seiken Densetsu 3.

I came here to receive some help and advice on how to proceed in creating tiles, as well as utilizing the advice I get to better my skills.
I didn't want to dive in without any knowledge, only to have to protract all of my work later.  :-X

Here is a simple grass tile I came up with, as the first tile, and marking the beginning of the creation of the tileset. Also, the same tile, tessellated 3x in a 48x48 square, the size of the tile, as well as future tiles, is 16x16.


I don't think it's TOO bad, but it can certainly use improvement, right? And the color palette isn't something I'm worrying too much about right now either, I can always change it in the future.

I have been working on it rigorously, creating many different versions of it, however, my main problem is breaking the grid, without having strands of grass too cluttered, I realize I can fix this problem by creating multiple tiles, however I simply want to perfect this one tile as of now.. It can't be impossible, can it?

Here is the most recent fix I have attempted.. But as you can tell it's not much better than the original, if at all, and demonstrates the problems I stated above.


Other things I'd like to note.. I am foreseeing that our game will be more realistic rather than vibrant and cartoony, which is why I'm trying to use darker, more 'earthy' colors, as someone pointed out somewhere else on this forum.

Seiken Densetsu 3 is a big inspiration, by the way..

And I can already see that my weaknesses will be rocky surfaces, such as cliffs, and water. The amount of detail that will most likely need to go into those tiles are something that I believe myself incapable of doing. Perhaps I just lack a very vivid imagination.

I'm trying to stay away from that solid-color coloring stuff, like, for example, done in The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past. And I'm trying to include more detail. It's a longer and harder practice for an inexperienced newbie like myself, however I think it will pay off in the long run.

Again, I really would like some C&C although I don't have much to show at this point. I am all for self-betterment as well, although it may not be so apparent, I try hard, but.. I really struggle. Most of the time I have no idea how to even start a piece and most tutorials don't usually seem to help much, although a few have.

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