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Messages - SwapBrain
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Archived Activities / Re: Secret Santa 2014 Sign-Up
« on: November 21, 2014, 05:10:51 am »
I would like to participate.

I like:

interesting color palettes
dark fantasy
sci fi noir
contemporary art
demoscene-y stuff

..but mostly anything that is well made will do me just fine

Pixel Art / Re: yet another platformer game (sorry!)
« on: December 31, 2010, 12:55:28 am »
I like this in general. Though I would like to see it 1:1. Also, the rocks (the whole island) are a little noisy.

Archived Activities / Re: Secret Santa 2010
« on: December 28, 2010, 02:01:49 am »
Skamocore: Top notch! Thanks a million!

There is some really great stuff here. Nice to see everyone so active.

General Discussion / Re: Pixel art and Sharpness
« on: November 25, 2010, 04:47:38 am »
I recently turned a corner in my 'traditional' media where I am ok with letting people see my 'hand' in the media. For a long time my goal was to obscure the medium to create a clearer and higher fidelity image, but I am moving away from that, mostly thanks to a more solid footing in 20th century art history.

All this is to say that one thing that I love about pixel art is the ways in which the images it creates are ambiguous - one of my favorite moments is when I zoom in to get a better look at a particular detail, only to realize it does not exist. I think that to focus on this or that technique is like arguing about the best kung-fu, and we know how Bruce felt about that.

It is true however that I am a hobbyist when it comes to this, and not a professional, or a purist. When it comes to jagginess, my only response is that if it is done in such a way that I as a viewer can recognize it unambiguously as a choice and not a mistake, then I accept it at face value (see Corporate Climber, for a recent example). I feel like intentionality is core to any technical discussion - how many times have you tried to critique someone only to have them blow it off with "I meant to do that." - in the words of Robert Anton Wilson: "Reality is what you can get away with. If you can't get away with it, it ain't real."

Sorry if this is too rambly. I would be glad to clarify or discuss further.

Pixel Art / Re: Samurai sprite
« on: November 22, 2010, 12:13:14 am »
The image seems jagged to me - in a way that the pixels are of different sizes and not really square. It may be something wrong with my browser, anyway, if I right-click and choose 'show image', the image is ok.

The issue you are describing is typically the result of using built-in browser zoom function. For instance, Firefox allows you to zoom in by using CTRL+scroll-wheel. When you do this you may zoom to a resolution that your monitor does not actually support, and so has to approximate. This will result in non-square pixel rendering. The fix is relatively simple, for example in Firefox using View>Zoom>Reset (CTRL+0) will reset the pixel display ratio to 1x1. The particulars of correcting your problem will best be discovered by consulting your browser's documentation.

This does not look pillow-shaded as such, but the volumes seem awfully pillow-y - they tend towards the barrel/cylinder/oval shape in their rendering. Also, it would be a good idea to try to mix your palettes more unless palette-swapping is important (it has been a while since i played BFW, so i forget whether this is a concern.) While some of your color use is inventive and well-done, it seems like you could achieve very similar or superior results  with a smaller but more carefully considered palette. To be more specific, metal=gray, skin=tan, wood=brown works well enough on a visual-symbolic level, but unless these fellas are doing their thing under a 5000K lamp, you may want to consider avoiding achieving your lighting effects straight tints and shades (mixing colors with blacks and whites)and moving towards using chromatic grays (mixing colors with their complements).

Archived Activities / Re: Secret Santa 2010 - The Sign up
« on: November 17, 2010, 12:47:09 am »
Count me in!

I like:
the ISO50 design blog
Bitmap fonts
Frank Frazetta
Metal and Metal art
Old-timey cartoons

Pixel Art / Re: Sunken Ship
« on: November 02, 2010, 04:57:31 pm »

I didn't have as much time to work on this as I would like; I hope this edit helps more than hurts. I know you said that you were going for anime, but, just for the record, anime does not (to me) necessarily mean minimalistic or simple, either. I tried to take it farther in rendering than you might, so I apologize. Also, I added 2 colors, mea culpa. If I had more time I would spend it on the sand, which is just sort of scribbled in, for now.

The main points I wanted to communicate were that a small amount of defining shapes and cleaning up outlines could go a long way. Also, especially because you want your style to be cartoon-y, your rocks should be so rocky that they are confrontational about it: "Yeah I'm a rock! Wanna make something of it!?" Your sand should be so sandy that from a block away people are like: "Oh sh- here comes sand again to stir up trouble..."

As it stands with your rendering, one would not be so sure what was what if a section of the picture was pulled out of context.

Three places I would recommend offhand for the kind of feel you are going for to study are The backgrounds for The Little Mermaid, Pinocchio (the underwater scenes, obv.) and Spongebob. All have different, but very effective ways of approaching this environment.

Anyway, not everything I did is perfect, so don't take it as gospel, but rather as a number of suggestions.

Let me know if you have any questions about what I did.

EDIT: Oh, also - I found working with your palette to be most enjoyable - good picks on the colors.

Pixel Art / Re: Compulsory Tree Tile
« on: November 02, 2010, 01:02:50 am »
Thank you adcrusher and Cilein for your input. Adcrusher, your edit intrigues me because you managed to make the trunk look like it is behind a piece of glass or underwater, which would be a cool effect to reproduce later.

I tried to shift the shadow more toward the blue, added another green because I think i had at lest one to few, and tried to de-noise the trunk a bit. Let me know if you think the edit was a step in the right direction.

I think i will work on upping the contrast next.


Figured I was being too precious with the original and so went for a major re-work. Check check it.

Pixel Art / Re: Sunken Ship
« on: November 01, 2010, 10:50:35 pm »
I may be wrong, but as it stands, this isn't really pixel-art to me because no attention has really been paid to the individual -pixel level during drawing. The curves are not smooth, everything is kinda blob-y (as if drawn with a 3px circle brush), and (most importantly) I think the piece suffers for this.

Fist, smooth out the curves, then consider AA for the curves to get rid of remaining jaggies, then consider adding some detail to differentiate sand from rock from cloud. Have to make dinner now, but may take a crack at a small edit later to illustrate my points.

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