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Messages - Phlakes
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Pixel Art / Re: [c+c] Spaceship
« on: January 06, 2015, 12:23:27 am »

aaaayy it's my thing, thanks for the words yaomon.

Speaking of DDP, take a look at the old CC of it, I haven't read through it in a while but IIRC there's some good stuff.

I've made a lot of spaceships in my time, and it wasn't until I started working on this thing that I actually liked what I was drawing (and I still don't even like what you can see there, only really the newest enemies-


Those are all pretty okay, but they only got that way after doing several dozens that looked really ugly. What I've settled on at this point, for designing ships, is this (and note that this is entirely personal/subjective and what works for me might not work for you)-

  • Scribble a bit with a general idea in mind (this one was "long thing with two things sticking out at the back", in keeping with this thread's phallic imagery)
  • Flip it
  • Refine it by eliminating large gaps and weird curves/angles (this also depends on the particular style you're going for, the ships for this game have lots of sharp angles and small details)
  • Take a couple colors and start building shapes (the question probably on your mind now is "how do I know what shapes to build?", and the last section of this post will cover that)
  • Keep doing that (one big thing to keep in mind here is that light colors come forward and dark colors go back, so you want to use that fact to create depth)
  • Keep doing that more until it's done (I've run out of things to say)

This one didn't turn out so great (probably because I made it in like five minutes just now) but it gets the point across. A lot of people prefer line art, but for me, I've found that this way feels more like I'm discovering shapes inside the silhouette and/or building it up and out like clay, as opposed to having to draw every shape directly from my head, which usually ends up stiff and awkward (okay this phallic thing was a bad idea)

Anyway, aside from all that I have two big suggestions, which also apply to pretty much everything anyone could ever make (honestly you could just ignore the rest of this post and just worry about this part)-

  • Look at tons of references and see how those ships are designed, from their basic silhouette to each individual panel and detail, and ask yourself why it was made that way, even if the answer is "I don't know"
  • practice practice practice practice practice practice

Three of the most important things in making spaceships (which I've learned after many years of making spaceships) are general design knowledge (i.e. what shapes look good together), 3D spacial reasoning, and experience. Those are all things that you'll naturally acquire over time through the aforementioned references and practice practice practice practice practice practice. I didn't mean for this post to be this long so I'll stop now.

Devlogs & Projects / Re: Kickstarter thread!
« on: August 06, 2014, 11:05:51 pm »
I'll skip all the fancy stuff since there's plenty of info on the page itself, but I'm making a game called Super Galaxy Squadron that's finally on Kickstarter.

Here's a screenshot for convenience.

All proceeds from the game after it releases (which should be this winter) will go to Child's Play, a really cool charity.

Plus if it gets to $2000 I can pay these guys to do the soundtrack. So yeah, if you want to help out I'd really appreciate it, and there's a playable demo if you want to get a closer look.

Pixel Art / Re: [WIP] Improving my character & scenery-piece
« on: July 17, 2014, 08:25:54 pm »
I just realized something that's been bothering me, the lighting on the character seems to be coming from nowhere since the only light that affects the environment is coming from the windows behind her. Quick edit-

Obviously there's some issues with priority, but consistent lighting goes a long way in making things feel cohesive.

I don't know how viable it is at this point, but there's a very jarring clash in style and quality between the environments and characters, and since the environments are really impressive, if it's possible to take the time to bring everything else up to that level I'm sure it would go a long way, especially since you're planning on Kickstarting it. And I'm speaking from experience too, I was hired onto a project to overhaul the art after they ran a KS that failed, mostly because they had three artists with little consistency and no direction.

Pixel Art / Re: Pixel z1
« on: June 28, 2014, 03:31:25 am »
It's apparently gone now but since his only other post was "cameltoe" in another thread I don't think there's any question that he's a troll.

Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: [C+C][WIP] Sprites for a beat'em up
« on: June 11, 2014, 05:08:04 am »
For the animations, one thing you should really focus on is punchiness. You're almost there with the speed of the actual attacks (i.e. the gap between the windup and strike), but they still feel kind of slow and muddy.

As a general principle, the animations should have a smooth gradient from anticipation -> attack -> follow through.

Come to think of it, all of them but the knife attack are missing the follow through entirely. It makes a huge difference in showing momentum, a punch that take a couple frames to come to a stop feels way more powerful than one that stops immediately on impact.

Something as simple as deleting a couple frames to speed them up and adding some follow through would probably really improve them.

Also, when you're animating things like these, most of time less is more. Look at this for example-

The slashes are just one frame each, so the sword jumps from being all the way back to all the way out, but the arc implies that it moved super quickly that entire way, and the combination of the arc fading and the arm slowing down gives that movement a little accent that makes it more fluid and believable.

Think about pixel art in general- you use a small amount of resources to give the impression of something greater than you're actually making. So instead of padding the animations to make them smoother, try making it feel as good as possible with as few frames as possible before you worry about how it looks. In fact it would probably be better to just sketch it out with a stick figure until the movement is right. Like wolf brought up consider dramatic poses.

Pixel Art / Re: :) Just joined, would love some help!
« on: May 15, 2014, 06:33:49 am »
For one that's obviously Cyndaquil, like in a legally questionable way, so you really shouldn't go with that design if you don't want to get called out by everyone and possibly C&D'd by Nintendo. Sorry to be so frank.

Secondly that's a really big sprite, so animating it will be a nightmare. Pixel art is best looking and most practical when its relatively small, like a quarter of that size. If you want them to be that big though you should look into other media, either vectors or straight illustration.

Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: A Samusy character for a Metroidy thing
« on: February 01, 2014, 11:50:52 pm »
Sorry for not replying ever, over the last few months we've gone through a long redesign process and ended up with something super different.

The final armor concept (made by someone other than me, the design is pretty much out of my hands outside of suggestions)-

The actual sprite-

And how it got there-

The backstory of the character involves being unwillingly cyborgified, which should explain the transition up to the sixth, and then it was changed from being rough and badly done to something a little more battle ready for the last two. The head is also a placeholder at this point until we get those concepts in.

2. Thank you notes for useful posts, as in 'x,y and z user found this post useful' to promote helpful critique
We need a way to submit particularly helpful critique/posts allowing them to get posted in and/or linked-to from a single thread when they offer excellent insight on certain topics (such as animation or color).

Theoretically these could probably be combined, with some kind of leaderboard thing (but without the competitive connotation) that shows the most thanked posts in order, along with a separate post that has something more organized. I'm guessing it would be insanity/completely impossible to get working on the technical side, though.

Pixel Art Feature Chest / GR#160 - Metroidvania Char - Sprite Process
« on: October 19, 2013, 03:43:31 am »

I'm starting to help overhaul the art on a Metroidvania project and my first task was the player character, pretty simple stuff I guess. The palette is still super tentative but people and animals have always been my weak point, so I could use some help with the anatomy errors I can't recognize and all that business. The only thing I'm really happy with is the left (character's right) leg

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