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Messages - Helm
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1
Pixel Art / Re: The Girl vs The Ogre
« on: September 05, 2018, 07:05:15 pm »
Honestly, these are very good! Attractive, vibrant palette and solid detail. Perhaps that's why you haven't gotten much critique, because these are quite solid already. What I'd recommend is perhaps reconsidering that reverse-antialias outlines (or 'selout' ) you've got going, I was never a fan and I haven't become one in my old age, but mileage may vary. In the same front, internally you've got some implied linework, where you break up the line, generally there's a lot of antialias conventions that you know how to use but for my money are a bit... automatic, for pixel artists? They're worth reconsidering. Taking a few colors away, disambiguating a few tightly detailed spots in your work might actually help convey volume more, but that's honestly nitpicking. Well done!

2
Pixel Art / Re: [WIP] moonlit snow-covered forest, 5 colors. composition?
« on: September 05, 2018, 07:02:29 pm »
I love the mood so far. Usually I'd advocate for less noisy detail but in this case I don't want to take away from this mood, it's kind of like, grainy, low-light vision. At first I thought that was an rough stand-in for some lightning falling from the sky but now I realize that's another tree's bright bits.

Here's my construction recommendations: give the sky more space, if you can change your canvas size, that is. Let the sky and its flatness give some contrast to the intensely grainy trees and foliage. Perhaps some subtle clouds, but challenge yourself! Don't necessarily go for cartoony fluffy clouds, go on google image search and look at some hazy moonlit clouds and see if you can convey them with your skills in the pixel medium.

I can't talk about this as a composition more than that until you've largely got everything in place and evenly rendered, sadly. This is because you started at the left corner and rendered fully, you didn't go general to specific for the whole piece from the ground up. So, I'll wait for you to do the other half and then we can talk about composition a bit more. But I love it so far, well done!

3
General Discussion / Re: Software recommendations?
« on: September 05, 2018, 06:56:56 pm »
Hey, I used to use JASC Paint Shop Pro/Animation Shop too and they were pretty great for pixel art back... 15 years ago, was it? Asprite is great, but let me also put in a vote for Cosmigo Pro Motion, it's been my tool of the trade for a long time, if you like Deluxe Paint and understand that workflow, it'll feel natural. If not, it has a bit of a learning curve.

4
Pixel Art / Re: [WIP] 16x16 Witch Protagonist
« on: August 29, 2018, 01:22:57 am »
I love your little sprite! And actually, the bigger one helped me a lot to understand what you're going for, so I could give meaningful further help (hopefully) with the tiny one. I hope you don't mind, I did a small edit mainly to convey a pretty simple but on the face of it counterintuitive principle. Here's the edit:



What I wanted to tell you is that sometimes to make something more readable, you have to actually make it chunkier and to take detail away. You've squeezed a lot of character in this sprite, but I think you can go a bit further with tightening up the shapes that you do use, and (this is always my broken-record advice) consider how many single pixels you actually need, as opposed to larger clusters. Their arrangement conveys depth and priority better, I feel, if they're not just, you know two pixels in a corner in a diagonal arrangement, ambiguous and abstract for the mind to solve. Connect them in a tetromino, maximize your usage of a shape, if you're going to imply it anyway.

Your rendering is also quite soft, which I don't mind, it depends on what sort of background it'll go on, but I thought a bit more contrast might be worth exploring. You've got a looooaaadd of near-colors that generally in pixel art will only get in your way when you go to animate. I didn't clean the palette too much, but I just wanted to show you some cluster theory, because it'll help you so much to animate things later if you know why and how each of your shapes exists. Take the little animation in your pixel art program and flip between the two frames and a lot of changes I made will become apparent in their function. it's like a cascade, you fix one little cluster, then everything around that will have to shift to accommodate. Does that make sense?

5
Pixel Art / Re: Advices?
« on: August 29, 2018, 01:04:25 am »
Hi, Unkonoir! Thanks for posting your artwork.

First of all I want to say that I like your use of color, there's some ambitious ideas in terms of color swatches that you're blending together, it makes the eye follow the shapes well. However I think what would be helpful at this point is to go back a little bit to construction and think about 'the joy of pixels' a bit less and how to best represent volumes and light and texture a bit more. What I mean by this is that I feel you've started with relatively simple pixel sketches and then you colored them in and had lots of fun (fun is good, it shows in your final artwork!) with colors and some dithering an detail work on the dragon horns for example, the hair strands and so on. But before you got to that, it would have served you much better to have spent a bit more time with the sketch itself. For the dragon for example, really nailing down that worm-like body as a series of volumes with foreshortening and so on would have helped you a lot to make it more clear to the viewer. Never be afraid of looking at references from real life. Google a few snakes or serpents for ideas you can take and simplify and apply to your artwork. At this point you're going from imagination, and there's limits to how you'll learn like this. Please don't be discouraged by this advice, I can see you've already got some talent going and you are having fun with your pixels, but a bit more construction will really boost your work at this point.

The second piece I like more, probably because you stuck to your reference a bit more? Still I am not 100% as to how the face works. I love the pixel clusters on the legs, the tunic and the cape, though, you've got some good instincts about how to make your pixels work together there, but I think the helmet could use a little bit of a disambiguation. Would you like to share the reference so I can see what you were going for, there?

6
Pixel Art / Re: [CC] Sprites for RPG/adventure game
« on: August 29, 2018, 12:53:23 am »
Hi! I don't have a lot of critique because I love your sprites, honestly. I can see you've gotten a lot of great help in this thread, this makes me happy. The only thing I wanted to mention, and I don't mean to contradict critique elsewhere, but I am not usually a fan of moving the head of a sprite horisontally on a walk cycle much, because although it might look correct stationary, once the sprite is in the game and moving to a place I've almost always found back-and-forth head movement to be too snappy. Because the sprite is ALREADY in motion at probably more than 1 pixel per frame, when the head falls back it will look as if it's staying in the same place for a duration of cycles, and then when the sprite gets to push its head forward 1 pixel in the abstract, in motion it'll look like much more than one pixel. Try it out in your engine or even just in flash or some other animation suite and you might see what I'm talking about. Perhaps that's my pet peeve, though. Anyway, gorgeous little character!

7
Pixel Art / Re: [C+C][WIP] warrior and mage character
« on: August 29, 2018, 12:47:53 am »
Hi, KaiserPixel!

I like your characters. They're readable and they've got personalities, and the use of color is solid. If theres anything I would recommend at this point with these sprites is to, as counter-intuitive as that sounds, remove most of the internal bits of anti-aliasing you've placed pixel by pixel and just let the shapes breathe as they are a bit more. You're working at a high enough resolution (but not too high, well done) where you do not need antialiasing to convey the shapes you've got going. I know it's not to everyone's taste, but it might be a good learning thing to remove a lot of these single pixel shinies and other *implications of curves* and just let your diagonals and solid chunks of pixels portray the shapes. If this all sounds a bit abstract as a piece of critique, let me know and I'll do a modest edit if you'd like.

There are underlying anatomical issues, but then again anatomy is an endless pursuit. I like that you are gutsy and are attempting animations to give them more character, and the spell glow is interesting as a choice, but perhaps if you want to convey that kind of motion with the arm going to the side as the spell burns, you might need to keyframe a little bit more and not rely on just shifting just that one arm around while the rest of the body stands completely rigid. As always with animation, the best piece of advice is to act it out! Stand up, play the part in your bedroom, become this cool hooded wizard and pose 1, place yourself before the spell does its fancy arc, and pose 2, place yourself at the end of that motion. These are two keyframes, and the inbetweens will become MUCH easier to deal with when you've got those two solid places to start and finish from.

As to the hair of the warrior lady when she takes off her helmet, honestly I like the volume and colors, I think you're doing pretty good! If anything I'd simplify the antialiasing again, heh. But on the whole these are quite promising. Keep learning :)

8
Pixel Art / Re: Here goes a little robot guy
« on: August 12, 2018, 10:39:09 pm »
Hi, Vinik!

I love your sprite. Two small pieces of critique, though:

1. Your darkest shading color and your outline color are a bit too close and so at 1x or 2x they merge a little bit. I'd both darken the outline color and brighten the shadow color and pick from either or both, against a backdrop of what you are planning to use this for.

2. The million dollar question: is the robot head square? If it is, I understand your solution when you are doing a sideways version of it, but if it's more irregular rectangular (taking into account top-down videogameified perspective) then the side view should have a more vertically long/horizontally short head than the front view. Even if logic dictates you should keep it as is, experiment a little bit for the value of perception versus reality.

I like the design, though. Perhaps a bit gribbly on the body in the front view, though? Could simplify some bits if you want to experiment, but it's honestly solid as is.


9
General Discussion / Re: Community updates
« on: August 12, 2018, 08:05:03 pm »
eishiya, thanks.

I don't think forums are bad for the critique process, in a certain way they're quite perfect, but I have a few reservations that mean it might be worth going the full step to a modernized setup.

1. As you say, the hurdle of registration on a new board is a HUGE way to keep people off of it. In the past we would have said in a less enlightened way "if they don't want to take 5 minutes to register, then how serious are they about learning?" and leave it there. However this is a new time on the internet and you log into everything with twitter etc. Also back in the day, forums were de rigeur for stuff like art critique. But today is today and we should lower the price of admission to as little as possible.

2. I want threads to lead with art. This is a board about art, and if you could look at what everyone's posted without having to click through a text header first, it's going to facilitate people helping other people with their artwork in an intuitive way. If I can scroll through a bunch of images, ideas might immediately spark in my brain about how to help them. Then I can click through and write under the art. We couldn't easily do this back in the day, but it seems that's the direction Mastodon for example would help with.

3. I just took a stroll through active pixel art threads and I was surprised and happy to find that nearly every one of them has at least one post with worthwhile critique by our pixel warriors. This gives me hope that the spirit of the thing is intact, we just need to help shape a better outlet for it.

Also, eishiya, in that exact stroll through the forums I noticed your good work helping others as well. Thank you.

10
Rules & Resources / Re: Pixels And Art Glossary
« on: August 12, 2018, 06:18:12 pm »
I just wanted to say thanks for this amazing thread. Such a valuable resource.

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