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Messages - Kiana
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The form is definitely clearer now! :) If you want to mess around with having the grip be carved or engraved, that might help get the idea across that itís wood.

A mockup might be cool. If youíre having trouble fitting everything in one screen, since there are a lot of objects, perhaps you could make multiple screens or even a short aanimated display of the player scrolling through or choosing equipment.

Pixel Art / Re: High res pixel character
« on: March 11, 2019, 07:23:36 am »
I think you have the general right idea here. All of the areas of your character are lit from the same angle. You have some cast shadows (such as the shadow the sleeve is casting on the arm, or the shadow the arm is casting on the shirt) and form shadows (such as on the hand and shoe, giving more dimension as the form turns). You seem to be using some hue shifting. Youíve clearly separated each part of the body with use of color and value.

There are some very minor things you could adjust to help give more dimension to certain areas. The shadow you have around the knee area is currently flat at the bottom but you could add a little bit more shadow on the top left of where his calf starts to show that itís a round/cylindrical form.

You could possibly add a cast shadow from his hand onto his pants; same thing for his shirt, if itís not tightly tucked into his pants.

The medium color shadow youíve used on his shirt could be refined a little bit. Itís not completely clear if the shadow by his armpit is a wrinkle (slightly too drastic - could tone it down by a pixel) or the pectoral muscle (too high up if so). Itís not clear if the jagged part of the shadow corresponds to the bottom of his ribcage or if itís just a fold in the fabric - you could either drop the whole area in shadow to imply a plane change below the ribcage, or just smooth out that part of the shadow to simplify the shape of it.

Implying detail within a small character is a difficult thing to do but I think youíre on the right track. :)

Pixel Art / Re: Artyom. Chibi Metro
« on: March 11, 2019, 03:16:53 am »
Good luck! When you're aware of what to practice, you can get better a lot more quickly with practice than if you just used pure trial and error. :)

Thanks! It's a pixel portrait I made a few years ago.

Pixel Art / Re: Artyom. Chibi Metro
« on: March 09, 2019, 01:29:55 am »
No problem! Those are two really broad topics I'm still learning about myself, but both are really fun! Here are some tips.

Proportions seem really tricky at first, but they get easier as you figure out some generalized proportions you can use to measure with. Proportions are relative in art so you can usually check to make sure your proportions are accurate by comparing them to other parts of your drawing. One good reference for learning proportions is Andrew Loomis' books. His breakdowns are rather complex, but pretty rigorous and nice if you need accuracy. Some convenient measurements I like to use to ballpark proportions are that the upper body and lower body are roughly equal in height, the eyeline or browridge is roughly halfway down the face, and the fingertips roughly reach midway down the thighs when the arms are straight. Another commonly used form of measurement is heads tall, which is useful for keeping characters' heights consistent or making a character look a certain age or cuteness. Then you can use your convenient generalized measurements to make a more specific character. For example, lowering the eyeline can make a character look cute like in this drawing here. Characters come in so many different shapes and sizes, and it's fun to experiment. :)

Color is controlled by the light source(s) and environment. An arbitrary example of this is that if you had an environment which was mostly green, and a light source that was warm (as opposed to neutral or cold), your character might look like it was tinted green (because light bounces off the green surfaces onto your character) and you might see highlights that are yellowish or orangeish. On the other hand, if the light source was cold, perhaps you would see highlights that are more cyan. The basis behind "hue shifting" that pixel artists use for color is just the manipulation of light sources and the environment to get an interesting looking color scheme that gets your intent across (color serves functions like communicating mood and making characters stand out from or blend into the environment). Light works off a system called additive color and there are theories as to which colors naturally look nice together (color theory). You can play around with color schemes on sites like Paletton to get a feel for what you think looks cool.

If you need me to explain anything I've said in more detail or if something is unclear, just let me know and I'd be happy to break it down more.

General Discussion / Link Fixing & Cleanup
« on: March 08, 2019, 07:06:03 am »
I've been going through some old threads and repairing a bunch of links that were still on the wayofthepixel domain. Unfortunately, I can't recover any images that were on hosts which expired like imageshack, but I was able to fix a lot of old activity threads. ;D I may also be sorting and archiving some threads which haven't been touched in a while. If I miss anything, just let me know or report the post in question.

General Discussion / Official Off-Topic Thread 2019
« on: March 08, 2019, 06:53:51 am »
Happy 2019! Better late than never, right? 8) You can post about anything here that doesn't quite fit anywhere else or deserve its own thread.

Last year's thread is here.

I have to say, I really like how youíve handled the specular highlights. They give just the right amount of punch. The progression of details youíve been adding is great, too. The objects feel nicely specific and generally consistent in style with one another.

I know itís still WIP, but I think you could improve the rendering of the leather, cloth, and wood areas. Dropping the areas of the belt where itís folded over in shadow may help improve depth. I do see that youíve added some ambient occlusion shadow but itís very subtle right now. Itís fine to exaggerate the lighting for the sake of readability.

The grip of the pistol seems to lack depth compared to the rest of it. You could perhaps ďcheatĒ either the backside or the front and bottom of the form into view, or bevel the form underneath the leather so itís not technically cheating to show more of a side or bottom plane. Iím not sure the additional grip on the pistol is consistent with the rest of the form and how itís lit. Figure out the volume of the grip and see if you can revise that part so itís consistent. You also might not need the black inner lines on the cloth grip. How does it look if you just use the shadow color you have as the line in that area to soften it a bit?

For the wood, I wonít comment much on it for now since youíre clearly still working on it but try to imply the wood grain more than you explicitly show it through how you shape and texture the shadows. Also, depending on what part of the wood was used and how makeshift it is, consider that the part where itís sharpened could get lighter as if the outer grain has been shaven away.

Overall, great job so far, canít wait to see more progress.  ;D

Pixel Art / Re: Artyom. Chibi Metro
« on: March 07, 2019, 08:06:23 pm »
Overall, itís pretty good for a first try! The proportions definitely feel cute and you have a cool aesthetic there. The only proportional issue I see is that the arms may be a bit short. When your arms are straight, your fingers usually reach down to about midway down your thigh. You may want to consider making the gun a bit larger for more clarity and to help reinforce the cuteness of the character in comparison.

In regards to the composition, you may want to dim the snow on the ground a bit so that the logo pops out more in contrast and the background feels a bit more consistent in lighting level.

I agree with Strawberry on the rendering - you have some areas which look fuzzy or blurry due to having too many colors in certain areas. One area this is happening is the pants. Youíre using what appears to be 4 shades to create the shading on the pants, but you really only need two. The colors you used to blend the light and shadow are redundant at this size and are causing banding (we can see individual bands of color in an area youíve intended to look like a gradient).

While I understand the intent of trying to smooth areas out with many colors or add texture with dithering, I recommend trying to focus on how you can make your shadows into simple shapes which define the forms of your subject based on your light source. Currently, some areas of your character are lit from the side such as the pants, whereas other areas are lit from the top left such as the chest piece or muzzle of the mask. Try to make sure these forms are consistently lit from roughly the same angle and use as few colors as possible to start out with (if needed for detail, you can add in more colors as you go).

Once youíre comfortable with this, you can start thinking about more complicated concepts of how light interacts with different materials. Like Strawberry mentioned, metal is characterized by distinct dark and light areas. This would be good for metal which is polished and has a slick, reflective surface. Rough or dusty metal might have less clear reflections and a bit of texture to it with nicks in the surface and whatnot. Donít be afraid to use reference photos or look at objects around you to study how you might approach rendering different materials.  :)

Good luck and keep at it! This is good for only having started pixel art two weeks ago. Imagine what you could do in a few months or even a year if you keep practicing!

General Discussion / Re: Friend's account registration troubles
« on: March 07, 2019, 07:25:03 pm »
You could PM Indigo or just post in this thread. The only info needed is your friendís username.

For future reference, you can go here and search by position for a list of administrators or search ďmoderatorĒ instead for a list of moderators. Admins have power over stuff like account activation and username changes whereas mods generally just have forum moderation tools.

General Discussion / Re: Be aware of fraudulent clients.
« on: March 07, 2019, 07:24:43 am »
The main difference here is that a client can dispute a payment which has been made and get their money back easily (perhaps too easily, as wrongful chargebacks are an issue artists have to face sometimes) if the artist turns out to have been a scammer, whereas an artist cannot get back any time wasted if they have been scammed. The amount of risk with no downpayment is very unequal. A case can perhaps be made that the artwork can be resold, but usually it isnít ďgeneralĒ enough or expansive enough to make back the lost time/money.

You argue that a client would have absolutely no reason not to pay you except in cases like emergencies, and while that would be true for legitimate clients, there are people who intend to get artwork, sketches, concepts, ideas, etc. for free if they can. Even if a piece is sent watermarked and at low resolution, some people are only after the pose, composition, color scheme, concept, design, or the fact that itís artwork of a particular character/subject, etc.

The safest way to have a freelance transaction without a downpayment is to have a contract signed by both parties with explicitly defined expectations (such as art delivered by x date, y pay due by z date), but many artists feel this is overkill if itís a one-off commission, and if one party breaks the contract it may be time consuming and not worth it to go through small claims court depending on how much money it is. No contract and no downpayment is not something I would recommend to any artist since it leaves you very open to unrecoverable losses.

Now, if the client is one you have worked with many times before or is generally trustworthy, you might choose to be more lax about when you ask to be paid (instead of upfront, maybe itís in a few weeks). All of this is risk management, and itís better to be safe than sorry if youíre doing business with someone you donít know much about.

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