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Messages - daramon
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In a random comment about pixel perfect cameras, I saw the following piece of advice:

Don't use a pixel perfect camera. Instead write a shader that samples the texture for each pixel drawn on screen. If the sample is 100% one colour then draw that colour. If it is somewhere between 2+ colours then draw the average. So you will still get fairly crisp pixel art without blurring (unlike bilinear filtering which burs based on sampled image resolution, not screen resolution) but you will also get an antialiased effect that is only 1 screen pixel wide at most regardless of zoom level.


If you follow the example, the results are quite impressive. This technique has the potential to allow pixel art games in Unity without black borders, shimmering or similar artifacts. The only downside is a maximum of 1px blur on the display screen's resolution. (Of course, you'd have to apply the same processes as usual to the individual sprites and elements to avoid blurring at the pixel-art resolution.)

It may just look awful in play of course. But I'd like to try. All that's needed is a very simple shader applied to the camera but unfortunately I don't know much about the shader system, and it looks like a bit of a rabbit hole to learn right now for such a simple tool.

Your reward is the tool itself. You can even put it on the asset store and see if you can get some $$$... ;)

I'll have a go if I get some time, but I've been caning this forum recently and I have my own sprites to get into Unity! I might wait until you specifically ask.

I'm certainly up for Unity talk, but I can't talk for the rest of the board. This section is more about technique, there may be a different area on here? Maybe "Devlogs and Projects?"

Pixel Art / Re: Help me with Bloodborne Hunter
« on: July 17, 2019, 09:43:48 pm »
Wow, I certainly learned something from that one. Thanks Chris2balls!

Pixel Art / Re: [WIP][Nudity] Upscaled character
« on: July 17, 2019, 09:26:50 pm »
No need to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Chris2Balls' version was much more realistic (and body realism is a worthy objective) but I know you're going for a more idealistic style. However, look at this:

It kinda looks like a man and a woman when you don't have any sexual characteristics to give you cues.

This is my attempt at blending Chris2Balls' arms and legs into your torso. I think the result is more appealing; the arms and legs are a little more shapely.

I also added a shadow on the face from the hair. If you play it right you can get a bit of 3D information into face shadows. And a little shadow definitely makes a female face more appealing to me, YMMV.

You could probably go darker still with the face shadow, looking at it now I've been a bit light-handed.

I love the character!

The landing looks a little soft though. I'd expect more impact for something that looks that heavy. It seems like it's gently easing into place when it hits the ground.

Either play the landing frames much more quickly than they are right now, or remove a few. Also an exaggerated bounce of the central section on landing would help convey the feeling of weight and inertia.

Unfortunately the original you posted looks like it's blown up in size, so I can't make an edit. For future reference, if you post artwork at the original 1-to-1 pixel ratio then we can click on the image to expand it to taste.

Pixel Art / Re: Help me with Bloodborne Hunter
« on: July 16, 2019, 11:26:02 pm »
OK, this is a bit of a mess but all I can hope is you get some ideas from it.

I tried to lift the saw blade and handle away from the body by lightening the color values. It was blending in a bit. I also added shading to follow the light source. The rear of the handle I made darker to place it behind the figure.

If you look at the feet, the rear foot is darker so looks more in the background.

With the hat, I tried to imply texture without drawing lines all the way across. Also, the shading follows the light source.

There are specular highlights on the saw blade, the gun barrel, the hair and the tape on the handle. Also on the buttons.

The rest is an abortive attempt to smooth out the jacket. Ignore.

When it comes to the pose, I cheated and very roughly traced an action figure, then filled the areas with color:

Then smoothed the lines:

Here I've started to add some detail. Where I'm adding creases to the cloth, I'm roughing up the outline appropriately.

In this one I attempt to add an internal outline to the arm and part of the side:

Edited to add:

This is my first attempt at a 256x256 figure. I'm normally at 64x64 or less. Working at this scale is very different!

Also this is my first attempt at a detailed character and folds in cloth. Thanks for the challenge! I may even finish this guy. :)

Pixel Art / Re: Help me with Bloodborne Hunter
« on: July 16, 2019, 10:43:25 am »
Quick disclaimer: I'm pretty new to all this and just learning myself. There's some good work here, you should be happy with this as a first draft!

Given that, a quick few points:

1: I love the shapes you have here, but it looks like you've taken almost every shape and just shaded from one side to the other. This is forcing unnatural angles for any given light source. Pick a light source direction and imagine which bits would be bright and which in shadow. I compare this style to pillow shading, where a standard pattern is applied to all shading areas regardless of light source, angle of component, etc. There are a few places where you've added in shadows, think about where else in the figure shadows would occur, and how shading will flow naturally around shapes.

2: The rear leg and arm may look better if they're one shade darker across the board. This will give z-axis information and provide more depth. The same for the rear side of the front of the coat, if you see what I mean.

3: The tops of the boots and the left side of the buttons down the middle are crying out for some shadows...

4: There are some jaggies in the outlines that could be tidied up. IMO outlines are best kept thin, one pixel thick, without clumping or steps at the diagonals. As they don't convey any actual information, another option is to just go round the edge and create an "inside outline" by using a darker shade (one value darker for each pixel) for all edge pixels. But it's a matter of style and preference.

5: The arms are a touch short, especially his right arm (our left). If you imagine straightening out his left arm, it will extend just past the waist. His right arm barely gets there. If you stand up and relax your arms, you'll probably see that they extend a little way into your thighs.

6: Shading again. Instead of taking roughly equal "bands" of shade and roughing them up with noise, have the bands occur very near each other with large areas of the same shade. thus you reduce "banding" and create more realism. If you look at how things are shaded around curves in reality, you'll probably see what looks like a sharp cut-off of shade from bright to dark across the face of the object.

7: Everything looks like the same material. Matt and dull. Pick some bright colors and add specular highlights to shiny objects. What is the jacket made of? Shiny leather? Matt suede? Are the boots polished to a shine? Is anything made of metal? Anything that's shiny should have point or near-point highlights to represent shininess. Larger areas of dull highlights (as seen across this image) convey matt surfaces like skin, wool, etc.

8: The only place where the outline of the coat reflects the crumpled nature of material is the lower part of his left arm. The rest shows straight, smooth edges but  contains noise attempting to suggest creases and folds. This confuses my brain somewhat. I'd like to see what happened with fewer folds, that match up to the edge disruption.

Phew! This is probably a lot to take in. I may have time to do a quick edit in a few hours, to demonstrate some of what I'm talking about. In the meantime, ask me about anything that I've been unclear about and I'll at least attempt to back it up with examples of other work! ;)

Edited to add:

When I started playing with this image, I noticed something. All the lines seem to be pointing down.

 - The hat is pointing to the ground.
 - The face is looking down.
 - The shoulders are rounded and hunched.
 - The weapons are angled downwards.
 - The arms are hanging a little limply.

I'm guessing you want to get across a fierce, dynamic character. Some things you could try:

 - Separate his right arm from the body to show he's putting some effort into the pose.
 - Square off the shoulders, thrust out the chest, pull the chin up, maybe add some neck height. The coat can pinch in the middle a little to emphasize the big chest and the flare of the coat lower down.
 - Try a more dynamic use of the gun. You could point it at an imagined enemy or even at the viewer. With the former we would be able to see more gun detail.

Pixel Art / Re: A first go at a character: animated spaceman.
« on: July 16, 2019, 08:55:50 am »
Thanks Pistachio! That's very kind. I wouldn't have been able to get anywhere near those results without your edits.

With "slow in" and "slow out" are you talking about what I'd call "easing" in web UI design?

Pixel Art / Re: [WIP] Anyone knows how to make hands?
« on: July 10, 2019, 03:47:00 pm »
A quick point as you asked for help with palettes. Apart from the overall darkness and lack of highlight shades, have a quick look at the reference picture. You'll see that the highlights are generally warmer (more reds in this case) and the shadows colder (more blue).

This is a good tip for picking pixel art palettes. Take a mid shade of the color you want. Don't oversaturate it! but don't make it too dark either. Now create your darker shades by taking down the value and shifting the hue towards a colder color. Do the opposite with your lighter shades.

I cheat; Pyxel Edit provides a range of shades with this kind of hue shift in the palette editor. :)

The hue shift adds interest and makes the final image more appealing. You can experiment with saturation shift as you get darker and lighter as well. Saturating light and mid tones can get a bit eye-searing, so be careful.

Pixel Art / Re: Pixelating Fire
« on: July 10, 2019, 02:52:21 pm »
Just a random comment. While the most recent fire looks more well-defined and pixel-art-y, I preferred the overall shape of the original.

It told a story. I knew from looking at it that there was wind or a gust of air, which direction it was going in and how strong it was. It was dynamic.

The most recent one doesn't seem to have a narrative.

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