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Messages - Vinik
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Pixel Art / Re: GrassTileset: Issue with single width tiles
« on: February 03, 2020, 01:19:09 am »
As I understand it, if your tiles have reflective symmetry (like they seem to do here) then (if you ignore slopes) you should be able to use the 16 piece tileset. Each tile is just half the length and width of the full tile size you want to use. The 16 piece set contains everything you need - inside corners, edges, outside corners, inside pieces.

Yes, if your tiles have a significantly repeated pattern or are mostly unshaded/untextured, you really can use a half sized 16 piece tileset to fill in for all the 47 pieces of the larger 8bit set.

This method of breaking a larger tile into smaller tiles is generally called meta-tiling, and in this case, four smaller metatiles would make up a larger visual tile.

However, and Chonky bullseyed it here, the smaller the metatiles, the harder it is to apply pretty organic patterns in the filling, and you might end up with a tiny pattern being very visibly repeated.

I think your styling is simple enough that you can start with the 16 piece, make the ramps as alternatives to the outer corners, and if you fill the need for the thin shapes, extrapolating the design to fill the other 31 pieces wouldn't amount to much more a lot of mirroring, splitting and rotating the basic ones.

Do take some time to browse Surt's examples on the open game art site, they are as informative as they are beautiful, and I learned a lot from them.

Edit: if you guys ever feel like going down the rabbit whole on the technical and mathy aspects of the full list of autotiling methods this is the place:

For a more practical explanation on implementation, nothing beats this tutorial:

Pixel Art / Re: GrassTileset: Issue with single width tiles
« on: February 02, 2020, 02:14:51 pm »
I think the trick here is about keeping the angle of the triangular leaves consistent with rotation. If the leaves are 45 deg when hanging horizontally, unless you plan to apply some gravity on them, then the leaves would remain 45 deg when rotated to make ramps. This mean the edges of the leaves would be straight vertical and horizontal on the ramp tiles, so they would be little squares cut in half, how about giving that a try? Check this out, this is how Surt solved that problem on his Nes-like set which uses similar leaves:

Edit: I took so long to finish this reply that I missed chonky's edit before posting, its a great solution  :)

On the single tile terrain problem, organizing your tiles is hard when you don't look at the whole set together, and when you don't know which type of tile set is the better fit for your task. I prefer to draw tiles as being part of a full autotile set.  Even if you are not using autotiling on a game engine and are placing everything by hand, knowing the full sets and all the necessary parts helps to ensure you can always close shapes made with those tiles. You were missing at least one piece of the 4bit autotile set in the first image you posted:

As you probably know, there are two types of practical autotiling most used in gamedev: 16 piece(4bit), and 47 piece (8bit), each one with its advantages and shortcomings. There are also numerous wang sets and other methods, but these two are the most popular.

The 16 piece one is the most used, and as chonky mentioned regarding unity, this one only checks the sides/edges to decide which tile will fit where. As a result, if it is used to fill solid areas, it can only render a minimal shape of a 2x2 square of tiles, and cannot render 1-tile thin platforms and pillars, which is exactly the problem you discovered.

This is a 16 piece set template, notice there is no bordered single tile:

Conversely, there is an alternative arrangement of the 16-piece set which can render 1-tile thin shapes like side-view pipes or topdown viewed fences or narrow walls (sometimes called a fence-type tileset), but then this arrangement becomes unable to render solid filled shapes such as terrain, because all tiles need to have borders to ensure closing all possible shapes.

This is a a fence-type 16 piece template, it is made of corridors, L turns, T sections, and closed caps. As you can see it has no solid fill tiles:

In the other hand, the 47 piece or 8bit autotile checks for connections at the edges AND the corners, having all the pieces needed to render solid filled shapes AND allow for a minimal thickness of 1 tile, so this is probably what you want to use for your set, ensuring you will never miss a tile to close a shape. The downside to 47 piece sets is the heavier work load of making many more tiles, and the fact that you often have to style your borders in a more compact way so that they can wrap around inside a single tile, and bend into tighter connections.

This is a 47 piece template:

In all the cases above, if ramps are used, they usually fit in the place of an outer corner piece (think of it as cutting off the corners of blocky shape), and are complemented by an inner-corner piece which is styled in way that connects with both flat terrain and with the slopes. If you use a complete autotiling template while drawing your ramp tiles, you can somewhat preview how they will connect with the other tiles, making it easier to design them in a seamless way. Here are templates for inserting ramps replacing outer corners, in both the 16 piece and the 47 piece arrangements:

Pixel Art / Re: Trying with bigger objects
« on: January 25, 2020, 12:13:51 pm »
Perhaps you would like more contrast even if it's just color blocking, just so you can visualize things better while studying.

For complex tridimensional shapes, I suggest always starting with pencil on actual paper, breaking down shapes into primitives such as cylinders for the phalanx and spheroids for the finger tips and the palm pads.

In this take, the middle finger is a little too curved considering the index finger is more relaxed. It so also looking a bit noodle like instead of divided into finger sections, but that can be a consequence of the (still) small scale for that amount of detail.

It could very well be this curved but then ring finger would be more clawed as well, since these fingers tend to no be so anatomically independent of each other unless forced into positions.

Keep it up, it's an often repeated saying, but hands are hard, I have a lot of trouble with that.

Pixel Art / Re: Here goes some library tiles
« on: January 22, 2020, 03:01:49 pm »
Depending on how this is implemented, you may be able to save time and space by having the shadows be their own solid-coloured tile layer that sits between the floor and the objects. If you choose its colour and opacity wisely, it could look as nice as bespoke shadow tiles, but with the ability to use the shadow tiles on any surface. Since it doesn't look like the floor texture affects the shadows anyway, there doesn't seem to be much need to have dedicated shadow/shadow-transition tiles for every floor type, and you can probably get away with some simple blocky shadows for most objects.
Now that's a good idea. In fact, since I have some sort of palette LUT to enforce showing colors from the palette for some effects, I really could try to make all shadows be on layer with alpha. If I have some fixed levels of black+ alpha matching the average value distance between the color steps, it "should" render with a fitting shadow color from the palette. Probably without much hueshifting, unless I can hack it by putting some red or blue in the black to make the LUT choose a shadow from a more distant hue lol. Great idea :y:

Pixel Art / Re: Here goes some library tiles
« on: January 19, 2020, 06:08:54 pm »
Thanks for the edit chonky, I am seriously reconsidering straight down shadows. The reason I committed to front light from the beginning was pretty much to save time, since I'll be making a lot of assets in the same style, and front light allows for mirroring tiles. I have been given this same warning before, and perhaps I have underestimated how much angled lights impact in selling tridimensional volume. I'll have to munch on this for a while, it would change a lot of things.

Pixel Art / Re: house/shop
« on: January 19, 2020, 06:00:33 pm »
I honestly like everything here, except for how you rendered the pushcart, since you have some hard banding there, you should make the second brow shade  AA strips shorter on the bottom of the angled beams as you did on the top, avoiding having pairs of 4 pixels wide clusters vertically aligned.

As for the houses, I really don't have anything to add and I think they are very nice. I see no problem with the blue roof. Perhaps you are reading it as detached because there isn't a larger shadow beneath it like with the other two houses, but I wouldn't change what is working well. The houses do seem made of different materials, but they all look to be fitting in the same style to me :)

If I were to nitpick, perhaps the horizontal boards on the bottom of the middle house could be shaded differently than just a rectangular shade all around their shape. The same could be said of the horizontal suspended floors of the first house, and the fix would as little as pushing a few pixels on the extremities to avoid making the shadow hug the outline on the sides.

I love the palette and its clean use here by the way.

Pixel Art / Re: Here goes some library tiles
« on: January 18, 2020, 04:15:42 pm »
Dithered shadows, yes or no?

Pixel Art / Re: Here goes some library tiles
« on: January 17, 2020, 02:48:28 pm »
@Chonky and @eishiya: thank you for pointing towards how wrong the shadows are, and sorry to the late reply, I was out of town these days! I was never trying to be too accurate with the shadow direction, but you are right. The idea was that I had a hard light casting shadows coming from the north and a softer/reflected front light illuminating the faces of objects, with equal falloff on either slanted faces of diagonal walls. However I'll need to check reference, I was under the impression that a north light would make the slanted walls cast shadows in this situation. Thanks again for pointing that!

Edit: uh, looking again, if I were to consider a single light source for this, it would be coming from the south and more from above, to give those highlights, so the shadows would actually be behind the objects and not visible at all  :blind:

@Chonky Pixel, yes that kind of subtle texture around the shades areas and randomly splashed as texture on the main surface is indeed what I plan after eishiya suggestion. However, I find it rather difficult to choose where to texture and where to leave it blank to achieve an organic look. To me it seems to be like a particular kind of skill that lack, and I mentioned in a previous thread that it feels like "Zen gardening" to me, and I am awfully bad with it :/

Sorry for not posting updates right now, I have something soon, and thank you very much for all the attention and critique :)

Edit: tried my best to use all input mentioned here. I tested generating shadows with a north facing light and the slanted ones did cast shadows, but I think my shadows were too long. I also switched the grey for another one in the palette which is a bit more greenish to simulate getting some diffuse light from the walls. I hope the books shelves look more caved in and the books more 3d. I tried some natural/random detail placement, too much?

Pixel Art / Re: Here goes some library tiles
« on: January 10, 2020, 04:14:00 pm »
Oh, thanks eishiya! I am not a fan of dithering, but suggestions 1 and 3 sound like a plan.

By the "not doing hue shifting" I take that if there is only value contrast (instead of value AND hue contrast) any texturing should stand out a little less, that makes sense. As for the selective detail depending on shadows, that's a great idea. For other sets I was simply going up or down a step in the values depending on shadows, as here for example:

But having less information in larger unshaded areas sounds like a solution. In examples above, you can see the repetition make the textures tiresome. The second take works better I think, because the pattern is larger and not aligned with the props, but I cant make a game with a single floor pattern and that's the only one I am satisfied with so far lol

Pixel Art / Here goes some library tiles
« on: January 10, 2020, 02:32:34 am »
When I work with a palette with considerable contrast between value levels (such as gameboy or gbc-like palettes), I often find it hard to texture floors without having the texture look too pronounced. If anyone has some experience with this, how do you handle it?
Comments and Critique appreciated :)

In this case I am using a palette with 4 gb-like values (but various hues) ending in a dark purple + black for extra contrast on outlines and detail on collision objects and walls, but any texture on floors feel to much, even with just the second value next to the one of the flat color. Should I leave it flat?

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