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Messages - Joe
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Pixel Art / Re: I might turn this into my official spriting thread.
« on: June 21, 2020, 07:30:51 pm »
Very nice critique, Kowee.
I would also emphasize readability. I understand the desire to show details in a piece, but the rules change at low resolutions like this. Too much detail becomes noise, so you have to place it carefully. Conveying form is the higher priority here.

General Discussion / Re: Will I get better?
« on: June 21, 2020, 07:20:23 pm »
Naturally. Just persist, and do not get impatient. Study fundamentals, take notes, practice. Proficiency is then inevitable.

Pixel Art / Re: How to improve this piece?
« on: June 01, 2020, 11:56:48 pm »
Hi Sen, welcome to Pixelation.  :)

I did a quick edit on your piece to show how it can be made more readable. It was a mistake to separate the shadow from the cables, as it is a cast shadow, and therefore physically impossible to be separate unless you want to imply that the cables are floating above the desk! I suspected they are not, and you will be happy to know that whether the intention was to remove aliasing or to imply a shadow makes little difference in this case.

However the monitor noticeably lacks a cast shadow, even though it is the tallest object on the desk. I also found that the cables were too messy, to the point that they are distracting from the whole piece. And where are they all going, exactly? I plugged them into the wall. Another issue was proportion, the mouse and monitor too small in relation to the keyboard. I enlarged them a bit, but this monitor can definitely be larger still.

As for how to improve in general, study light and shadow around you. Pencil and sketchbook, just draw whatever catches your eye in your room or around your house, find the shadows on and around objects. Study their form. It does not have to be perfect. But with just the act of practicing you will come to learn how light works.

Welcome, Jellyfish Overlord.  :)

It is correct to have smooth unchecked. However, GG only keeps your pixels crisp on a resample when the target size is a multiple of the current size. You could double your work to 96 and expand it, or triple it to 144 and reduce parts of it, but however you choose, it will need to be reworked. Also, avatars on this site do not need to be 128, that is only a size limit.

Having experience in traditional art will help you immensely. The best pixel artists are always good artists; I've never seen an exception.

Pixel Art / Re: Skull Man
« on: February 10, 2019, 12:24:20 am »
Yes it's better this way, using an image host and [img] tags. It's important to save your pixel art in its original resolution, as PNG or GIF, never jpg. That way you preserve the crispness and the original palette, and others can edit your work (super helpful). On this forum you can click & ctrl+click to zoom images.

Ok first thought is nice flow with the hat, pose shows promise. And good job keeping your shapes clean and fairly readable.

What's detracting from it at this point is the proportions (legs in particular), and the features can be better defined, for example the eye sockets. That single white pixel at the bottom of the jacket is just noise. With this palette I'd use black and the pink more on the interior, because on a black background the white is really strong.

Pixel Art / Re: [Feedback] Tree
« on: February 09, 2019, 03:16:06 am »
Hi, welcome to Pixelation. If you'd like feedback, please post your work.

Pixel Art / Re: Skull Man
« on: February 09, 2019, 03:14:50 am »
Hello, welcome. Please post your work.

Pixel Art / Re: [Feedback] Frog
« on: February 06, 2019, 10:26:48 pm »
Hi Chow Train and a warm welcome to Pixelation.  :)

In any visual medium you choose, the foundation is drawing ability. It's always there, regardless of style or resolution. Pixel art has additional quirks and technical considerations on top of this existing challenge, so my first advice is to pay extra attention to understanding what it is you're drawing.

You can save yourself a lot of time as an artist by practicing the fundamentals with pencil and paper, and this skill transfers to any medium. Of course, you can practice your pixel art at the same time. Taking your subject as an example, I look up references for the green frog, rana clamitans. I make a few studies so that I understand what makes a frog a frog, noting its proportions and features. I always use a reference because if I'm going to portray a subject, I need to understand it.

After understanding my subject, I created a 4-bit 32x32 on a neutral background. It's good that you've started small, I think 32x32 is a good size to learn at. But you'll learn more if you make your own palettes as you go.

At this resolution there are higher priorities than accuracy, namely, readability. So you'll notice I exaggerated some parts and simplified others. There's a delicate balance between noise and detail. Other pixel-specific considerations are things like clusters and banding. Cure made a great intro tutorial on this.

P.S. On this forum you can click or shift-click to zoom images, but it only works if you include the direct url in [img] tags. Then people can critique your work easier.

Pixel Art / Re: Game's sprite -[CC] - (Parodianus 2-horizontal shmup)
« on: September 29, 2017, 10:11:16 am »
Hi Knarf,

The first thing I noticed when I opened your strip in GG was that the middle frame is off center. I began by centering that frame. I consolidated and spread out your colors more evenly so that they can each imply a larger range of colors and values. Then I set about shifting the top and bottoms of the cannon, connecting them, shifting the greeble lines, and making sure everything rotated well. Then I clean up and move to the next frame. Then for the right side I just mirrored the frames and corrected the shading.

I also made sure the cannon rotates evenly. The left side has ten pixels to travel before it reaches the edge, so the in-between frame shifts it by five pixels. For the head, arms, and body, imagine parallax—how things farther away appear to move slower. So there doesn't have to be much shifting to show this chick is indeed turning. And the pupils need not even move—their relationship to the beak is sufficient. Subtle details like this and their solutions will vary from animation to animation. What helps is to remember what has worked for you, study other's solutions to similar problems, and experiment.

The eyes and beak are tricky, I know. Study what works. If you're dissatisfied come up with variations, and with practice you'll get a feel for what looks right.

I will also second what Astraldata said, make it read well. Hopefully this will help show you what that looks like.

Pixel Art / Re: Darth Vader Fan Art
« on: September 27, 2017, 05:39:45 am »
Hi, welcome to Pixelation.

Are the colours and shade good enough for my creation?

That will always be up to you. I like to ask myself if the lighting makes sense. And when considering a particular area, a good question is: what is this trying to portray?

So for example, those highlights on the bottom edge. That lip is on the underside of the helmet, in the back, and Vader wears a black suit which doesn't reflect much light—in other words, it's physically impossible for light to be present there, in that manner.

What a tricky subject... there are so many ways this helmet can be lit. Here is my advice, which can generalize to all pixel-specific problems. You have a limited number of elements with which to represent something; this demands sacrifices. The best solution in most cases is to simplify as much as possible, allowing for clarity, and only then add a level of detail which does not compete with the subject as a whole.

A related idea is the tradeoff between detail and noise, for example, highlights. If you have high contrast bits peppered across lower contrast areas, it confuses any visual priority. When creating a highlight or any single-pixel texture, you should consider if its benefits outweighs any noise it creates.

My first thought was that you make good clusters for being so new to this, most people are quite timid about that for a few years. Keep it up. Also, value is what really matters in correctly rendering subjects; so colorblindness can potentially be used to your advantage.

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