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Topics - Cyangmou
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Pixel Art / 3rd iteration
« on: January 02, 2015, 09:04:21 am »
art piece for the discussion is the sprite in the middle.

I wanted to try a new artstyle, which keeps the strengths of both earlier styles.
The two main problems I had with the style of the older portraits (third sprite) is that it will get pretty hard to get human portraits animated in a good way and that the high amount of colors doesn't seem to work to the advantage of the pixel art medium (that's just a feeling I have though).

With the face I tried to go back to the first version (left sprite) while keeping the overall proportions more realistic.
Now she looks older than in the first sprite, but I hope the new face keeps the charme of the first sprite.

shading wise I tried to go back to a more simpler and flatter approach with overall less colors, while adding extra colors for the smaller details to highlight them a bit.
The overall light situation is similar to the third sprite.
no outlines, only partyally seperation..

On top of that I tried to add posewise more dynamism and flow, (like with the steamfantry sprite)

so basically I want to discuss the newest artstyle and receive some critique for the newest sprite.

-At the current point I am unsure if I should add a bit more texture (dither) to the stockings and gloves.
-Would also love to get pointers to weird things which escaped my attention.

Pixel Art / Sniper
« on: October 14, 2014, 08:14:07 pm »
Early Wip of the next character,
This time it will be a sniper - I am currently at the early steps of the pose design.

I want to have a secretive pose, preferably a bit hunched over.

The sniper rifle will get pretty long and in terms of using it later in the conversation I think it's better to keep it at a more vertical angle
The red line shows about where the figures will be cut.

the process so far and what I came up with:

pose 1) here I tried mainly to nail the feeling I want, it's a mid-motion pose like the steamfantry
pose 2) the static approach, mainly tried what happens if I lower the gun, what will be adisadvantage is that the gun will take up a lot of horizontal space, colliding most probably with other sprites.
pose 3) after playing around with both approaches and acting in that's what I came up with and liked most.
The weight is mainly on the foot further away from the viewer, the front leg will come forward (closer to the viewer) - the gun should come a bit forward as well balancing it out - and could be much longer. It's a non-stiff standing pose like most other characters have and which I think works best for the intented use.

Where I am looking for help is if pose 3 has everything I want to tell the viewer, or maybe someone has some other ideas/images in mind worth to share.

Started with the next sprite.
As in the description it will be the light cavalry, although I don#t have a concept art yet.
to get an impression of what I have planned you can look up this (big) image:

This time as I have said in the last thread I started with digital posesketches.
I made everything I usually do with pencil digitally, which was also quite an interesting experience, didn't took much longer, but already got a lot more adjustments compared to the pencil stuff.
Also took the time to test and play around.
I streamed the whole process, for everyone who wasn't there a short overview:

1-11 preliminary sketches to get a feeling for the new character
21-26 pushed poses from the preliminary stiff ideas
31-33 extremely overexaggerated poses, to get a feeling for how far I could go

decided then to work on 24/26 because imo that looked best with the restrictions of the chatterbox image (added cutted versions next to it)
In the process I envisioned that 26 was the much better solution if it comes to weapon readability

so I rendered a relatively quick muscle figure, and adjusted the proportions similar to the crow.

Here is the current first version of the render.
I am unsure if the supportive and playing leg approach is good readable without the cast shadow.
After overlooking it now after a break, I also think the rear uppe rleg (playing leg) should be longer.
Also don't really fixed all line alignments so far, but looking on bigger critique for the overall pose (arm lengths/leg lengths/overall weighting).

Pixel Art Feature Chest / GR#219 - Steamfantry - Sprite Process
« on: September 25, 2014, 09:31:41 pm »
Pretty early wip this time. Being this time far out of my comfort zone I guess.
I Just think it might be good to get some opinions on a few troublespots (I am especially unsure about the legs)
Compared to yesterdays pencil drawing I already moved around a lot of things, fixed a lot of proportions and smaller details.
And after a quite long in depth discussion about a few perspectivical things with Wolfenoctis, I also tried to implement some vertical depth impression to get an overall more natural feeling of the space, which adds a lot I guess (compared to the pencil drawing)

If anyone is interested in discussing depth, form and and figure drawing, I am open for it too =)

Placed the current wip version next to the other figures in order to give a better size/space impression
The armor is pretty heavy and won't work without the engine/external support

concept art to find out how the joints work (because just with the grayscale sketch without light or shading it's hard to see) can be checked here:

and that one for Manupix ;)

Regarding the stormcrow topic
Just a question, what kind of material are the shoulder pads made of. It looks like textureless plastic in the version you have now.

Besides that I like this a lot and love the fur.

I think some light leather-like material or thin metal, and the fabric is just added on top of it.

Pixel Art Feature Chest / GR#212 - Sturmkrähe - Anatomy
« on: September 13, 2014, 10:17:12 am »
Actually, for myself I'd say it's already pretty finished, but there might be a few spots which I got used to, since I worked on it a fairly long time.
Another pair of eyes would be great for overlooking it.

General Discussion / Uncanny Valley/Cuteness in relation to pixel-art
« on: April 06, 2014, 12:05:52 pm »
The deeper I get into realism and the observation of humans the more and more I ask myself how the concepts of the „uncanny valley“ and the concept of „cuteness“ apply to pixel art and in which ways they efectively affect the styles and the outcome of our pixel art.

By the limits pixel art gives us as a medium, we are also limited on what we achieve.
There are limits we an overcome, like skill problems, then there are problems we can't overcome (restrictions in terms of colors, size, animation frames) and then there are some elegant „solutions“ how to imply something in a problem we can't overcome, that it makes sense to us and feels at least ok.

I definitely think those problems heavily define the way how our pixel art looks and how it's crafted.
Some people say pixel art realism is nearly an impossible thing to achieve and indeed it's hard. Especially since we have to fight the problems of the uncanny valley with big sharp dots.

There is a lot to observe if we get really deep into those things and a lot to say, but to give a short kick-off those videos are a good source to get a basic understanding and maybe to start a discussion on the subjects:

Uncanny Valley:


some further thoughts for the interested ones and some theories/explanations and ideas:

Another thing which hit my mind is, that „cuteness“ might be quite a modern approach to things, especially inspired by Japanese culture. At least I don't know of any artwork before the second worldwar which just relly clearly emphasizes the baby schemata as much as modern media like videogames and anime do where some productions just build on the „daaaaaaw-factor“.

I don't want to discuss how wars affect the society and how the Second Worldwar affected Japanese people, that's just a side-note.
However, a lot of the pixel-art defining games were made in Japan (not only, and there is other stuff as well, but it's kinda a majority) and a lot of those used the „chibi“ approach which just emphasizes cuteness.

The big point for me is that this cuteness also seems to heavily correlate to a non-scene audience and a lot of people who start out with pixel art just copying those „established styles“ they know of the roots of popular and successful game series.

The chibi approach definitely has some advantages like:
it's easy to craft something decent, it's effective, it's established, nice readable on lower resolutions and so on,     
makes it attractive to a lot of people

Some of those people try to add more detail to those things, but by adding just a tad more realism and structure to the „chibi art“ we face the „muscle-baby“ problem, Helm brought up 6 years ago

And there are also quite a lot of other notable distortions which make it look „creepy“, which I also think is directly related to the problem of the uncanny valley.

I really wonder why realism has such a strong impact on us.
A lot of people love realism, triple-A studios love realism and hardware designers love realism too. And I am also loving realism (although I also appreciate other approaches to art and I am not sure why I exactly love it).
Nintendo gives a shit about realism and focus on their style (basically they throw out tons of principles) and some of their 2D games really look timeless and now better as their concurrence back then (which are now mainly perceived as „cheap“  looking 3D realistic styled games).

Zelda Wind Waker (2002)

Burnout 3 (2003)

But now there is the „Sword&Sworcery-approach" to pixel art as well, which features „spagetthi people“ and a much higher amount of realism as chibi-art does.
This style creates empathy through completely different tools and also is an attractive direction to go.

And it seems to get another „established“ style directions, as a lot of indie games are using it by now, popular examples are Irkalla or Terra Incognita.

Terra Incognita:


And this style seems to be equally effective as the early featured chibi style and this might be why it finds so much audience, since it really enriches the pool of what one can easily achieve with pixel art.

General Discussion / There are treasures - let's fill up the feature chest
« on: February 03, 2014, 09:11:02 pm »
All threads which weren't got completely broken ended up in the Good Reads section.
So there is no need for this list anymore.
The links are broken, you can look up the threads in this section of the forum.

Good Reads

Ok looked through 4 years (2009-2013 - January - December) and 80 pages of pixelation.
Took quite a while

I made a list with a lot of things which seemed to be interesting (art wise, critique wise, both)
left out some things were the art don't had a lot of progress, or the art was good, but the critique a bit specific.
if anyone wants he can also go through the forum
just wanted to provide a starting point for filling up the feature chest

The tendencies after looking through it are:
we have less threads and views every year
the overall quality of the critique and threads improved significantly
lots of great threads are broken image-wise

So now we have to organize this somehow:


Kings the Game

Red Dragon:

'Lil Demon;prev_next=prev#new

SpriteWork (partial Nudity):;prev_next=prev#new

Hide and Seek;prev_next=prev#new

Valkyrie no Bouken - NES sprites;prev_next=prev#new

My Paul Reed Smith (Helm posted here a quite good critique);prev_next=prev#new

Game Artin': Start -> Finish;prev_next=prev#new

The Deep;prev_next=prev#new

The Yeti Project

Personal Project Concept Thread;prev_next=prev#new

Rat Run:;prev_next=prev#new


Tree (great progress/input);prev_next=prev#new

Hex animated water;prev_next=prev#new

SNES-style RPG stuff (mainly just art);prev_next=prev#new


Bridge to Eden (perspective critique & art);prev_next=prev#new

Xochiquetzal (NUDITY);prev_next=prev#new

Isometric 64 x 64 tileset (mainly just the art);prev_next=prev#new

Tobe's Vertical Adventure - Now avaliable for XBLIG  (not sure about this one, don't read it in depth)

Death Walks (Art);prev_next=prev#new

Re: Working on shading, light source and shapes (Iso) (Shading critique);prev_next=prev#new

[WIP]-Female Anatomy-[nudity] (proportion-critique);prev_next=prev#new

[WIP] 1950s isometric cars (C+C wanted);prev_next=prev#new

R0x Zero(wip)

Tree House Mockup - WIP  (art);prev_next=prev#new

[WIP] 16 colour strategy game;prev_next=prev#new

[WIP] Sunblazer - Sprites and Light Devlog;prev_next=prev#new

[WIP] Dragonite;prev_next=prev#new

Spectra-Bird  (Art);prev_next=prev#new

RPG HUD/Tileset fun;prev_next=prev#new

Demon piece progression;prev_next=prev#new

a tree - progress shots included;prev_next=prev#new

brawler WIP with progress steps;prev_next=prev#new

F. Nietzsche gazes into you;prev_next=prev#new


Fir tree WIP;prev_next=prev#new

Grass(WIP) (tiling critique);prev_next=prev#new

Consider The Lilies;prev_next=prev#new

I just want to improve..;prev_next=prev#new

Lion Warrior;prev_next=prev#new

[WIP] Death Korps Portraits;prev_next=prev#new

'Advance Wars'-style Mock-up;prev_next=prev#new

sea monsters from outer space;prev_next=prev#new

[WIP] Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles [WARNING: Image Heavy Thread];prev_next=prev#new

Jungle Ruins;prev_next=prev#new

NES Dungeon Readability;prev_next=prev#new

[WIP] Town (isometric)

Tree (Mush's critique);prev_next=prev#new

2D Platform game sprite + mockups + Tech Demo.;prev_next=prev#new

Kijutsu Shizen Tilesets (WIP) c+c welcome (Elk's critique);prev_next=prev#new

Shading (some good critiques);prev_next=prev#new

After a year I relieved myself.. ';..;';prev_next=prev#new

really green forest mockup;prev_next=prev#new

Creating tilesets for beat em up.;prev_next=prev#new


Planning first!;prev_next=prev#new

Stuck with BG (18+ nudity);prev_next=prev#new

[WIP]Tileset for a bar (Adaria's critique);prev_next=prev#new

[WIP] As Troy Burns... or rather, a citadel just sitting there.;prev_next=prev#new

Making some RPG tiles.;prev_next=prev#new

Growing Cast of Characters for my RPG [C+C] (nude base sprite Half-Kaizer);prev_next=prev#new

Help with Tileset / Scenery [C+C];prev_next=prev#new

I Am Legion;prev_next=prev#new

[WIP] Building that I can see from my window (iso sedges);prev_next=prev#new

Castle Wall Shading Question;prev_next=prev#new

Lingerie? Really?;prev_next=prev#new

Gregory faces the dragon [WIP];prev_next=prev#new

[WIP] Fall;prev_next=prev#new

Still Image Summon;prev_next=prev#new

[C+C please] Platform adventure WIP

Game in progress, Update;prev_next=prev#new

Creature - Sidescroller;prev_next=prev#new

[WIP] Jean Grey as The Phoenix - Help me with the shading!;prev_next=prev#new

[WIP] Super Daimyo;prev_next=prev#new

[WIP] Werewolf game sprites;prev_next=prev#new

Sigil's Older Stuff + Works in Progress;prev_next=prev#new

Dwarf Fortress Platformer Mockup;prev_next=prev#new

knockin' some rust off;prev_next=prev#new

RPG enemies (UPDATE x 7) [++pimped tiles & new sprites] [orcish nudity warning];prev_next=prev#new

[WIP] Mockup platformer C64 palette;prev_next=prev#new

WIP Punk FurryTail High;prev_next=prev#new

I don't think I'll do something like this ever again.;prev_next=prev#new

Pirate Game - continued - again;prev_next=prev#new;prev_next=prev#new

Minefields Project;prev_next=prev#new

Re: [WIP] Rath Character Design [C+C];prev_next=prev#new

The Werecrow!;prev_next=prev#new

[16x16][C&C] House Tileset;prev_next=prev#new

Time for some help: My Minecraft texture pack;prev_next=prev#new

Coder Dept. Weapons;prev_next=next#new

[wip] 2 works in low progress;prev_next=prev#new

[WIP] 16x16 Tilesets for;prev_next=prev#new

Nameless Pixel Art;prev_next=prev#new

I'm practicing animation. WIPs and C&C!;prev_next=prev#new

AdventureGame Mockup;prev_next=prev#new

[C+C] generic soldier + tiles;prev_next=prev#new

RPG Tiles - Chip16;prev_next=prev#new

[WIP] c + c on 16x16 rpg tiles;prev_next=prev#new

You Can Design a Kindergarten's Bathroom Pixel Art™;prev_next=next#new

[wip] Rat Warrior v2;prev_next=prev#new

Old Dead Tree PJ Weekly;prev_next=prev#new

[WIP]Castlevania-esque Mockup;prev_next=prev#new

Re: Base;prev_next=prev#new

[C+C][wip] first attempt at a tree;prev_next=prev#new

Grass Attempt;prev_next=prev#new

plain dark tiles;prev_next=prev#new

Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP];prev_next=prev#new

[WIP] Mountains n' villages;prev_next=prev#new

Nordwand - Gameplay mockup;prev_next=prev#new

A title screen. With sheep. And a dog. And now some level tiles.;prev_next=prev#new

EGA Adventure Platformer Mockup;prev_next=prev#new

[WIP][Nudity] Another Werewolf;prev_next=prev#new

Get Yourself A Dragonite!;prev_next=prev#new

[WIP] 32x32 RPG tiles C+C  (thread mostly broken,shit.... Facet's critique is great);prev_next=prev#new

The return of the amazing Musclecat;prev_next=prev#new

iPhone Platformer + Animations;prev_next=next#new

[wip] stony monster not stony enough.;prev_next=prev#new

[WIP] need help with pixel character;prev_next=prev#new

Color/anatomy study;prev_next=prev#new

some works.;prev_next=prev#new

[WIP]Girl C&C;prev_next=prev#new

Rock Monster;prev_next=prev#new

Desert Character Animations;prev_next=prev#new

Grimoire - Art C&C;prev_next=prev#new

Aurora poster;prev_next=prev#new

[WIP] Battle Sprite(s):Wangsta Chick;prev_next=prev#new

Female Assassin Sprite - (update: not assassin,just fighter);prev_next=prev#new


Isle of the Dead [DONE];prev_next=prev#new

Police Car for a Game;prev_next=prev#new

Mountain landscape;prev_next=prev#new

Phantis: Protagonist Sprite;prev_next=prev#new

Jill sprite finished;prev_next=prev#new

Dragon/dinosaur head and body;prev_next=prev#new

Pixel Art by Kaz;prev_next=prev#new

Ryu Revisited - a new progression thread;prev_next=prev#new

Topic: Making a game :o [ Project Deadbird];prev_next=prev#new

Princess Piledriver  (Read 9761 times);prev_next=prev#new

[WIP] Cartoon RPG [C+C];prev_next=prev#new

Le Scaphandrier - A game in the making;prev_next=next#new

Pixel car(s) (WIP);prev_next=prev#new

[WIP] Action/Adventure Sprites;prev_next=prev#new

Pharaohs Return (C64);prev_next=next#new

return of shiny red creature, c+c;prev_next=prev#new

(WIP) Desert Rumble (Looking for critiques and help with improving.);prev_next=prev#new

Topic: Super Mario Land sprite remake/edit;prev_next=prev#new

Battlescar WIP [C+C please]

Autumn Tileset WIP - Forest tileset

[WIP] "Labyrinth" Sprites and Tiles

[WIP]Help with Spriting,practice;prev_next=prev#new

Gold Mining Town;prev_next=prev#new

[WIP] Platform Game;prev_next=prev#new

First try (help..);prev_next=prev#new

Dark interior architecture background;prev_next=prev#new

Help with shading a character;prev_next=prev#new

Help with Sword swing motion blur;prev_next=prev#new

Just one Sword;prev_next=prev#new

PixelArt tutorial illustration and mini dump;prev_next=prev#new

Help with Dragon;prev_next=prev#new

[WIP] Magic Effects (fire+ice);prev_next=prev#new

Journey to Hammerdale - pixels dump for zelda-like game

I move for no man [WIP];prev_next=prev#new

Reworking Zelda style tiles and sprites [c+c];prev_next=prev#new

(WIP) Newbie Trying To Pixel An Island

C+C/Assist with advice on palette choices and shading please;prev_next=prev#new

Little Knight Scene;prev_next=prev#new

[wip] Bilou's school : Pendats goes marchin' in [c+c]

Slashing Animation  (Read 2345 times);prev_next=prev#new

"Atari ST Robotz"-like shooter, but with NES restrictions;prev_next=prev#new

PPD Crits:;prev_next=prev#new;prev_next=prev#new;prev_next=prev#new;prev_next=prev#new;prev_next=prev#new;prev_next=prev#new;prev_next=prev#new;prev_next=prev#new;prev_next=prev#new;prev_next=prev#new;prev_next=prev#new;prev_next=prev#new

I am searching a program which is capable of composing/animating various different static frames of pixel art and save them together as a flatted gif.
I mean basically a program in which you can load all your single frames and build them together and move them around without being restricted by layers.

besically this program should be capable of:
-animating parallax background animations consisting out of several layers - that you have a preview for the speed and don't have to place every single frame by hand and that ity's possible to create a gif which would have about 600 frames if done by hand quite fast and automatical

-animating complex mockup scenes consisting out of various animated elements which have different appearing & disappering times and also can move independendly from each other. Means that you have a timeline overview for sprites and can manipulate them quite easily.

Does anyone know of a program capable of this?
The program must be compatible for pixel art (means pixel-exact placement, png, gif, bmp support) and a plus would be if it's quite intuitive to learn.

Pixel Art Feature Chest / GR#144 - Thoughts on Resolution - Gameart
« on: November 23, 2013, 06:12:34 pm »
So I wanted to ask something which I am questioning myself since a long time, but it seems I don't come to a satisfying answer and yeah, this is intended to be a critique thread, so don't move it to the general discussion board.

With which resolution and charsize would you proceed?
please check the HD versions 1:1 on your monitor

The character sprite I use is currently just placeholder and will be redone, but before I will do that I am interested into thoughts on overall size impression.
If you have a different feeling than my approaches, feel free to do a quick resize.

The bigger version of the char was initially done for a 640x480 resolution (quite useless in the retrospective and either to big or to small to be used for a HD resolution)
since I want to have full HD resolution (1920x1080) I have basically 2 choices

-960x540 displayed with 200% (making the char slightly bigger)
-640x360 displayed with 300% (making the char slightly smaller)

the 640x360 300% seems to have a much nicer "pixely" look, which means, that the game would intentionally read much more like a modern pixel art game, while the bigger resolution definitely has more space for details and looks much cleaner.

My prefered two versions are 960x540 110%char and 640x360 90%char - which one is better? Maybe you have an even better idea for the overall size.


some gif tests with the sizes, to get a better feeling

the link always leads you to a full HD image

-960x540 displayed with 200%

-640x360 displayed with 300%

Pixel Art Feature Chest / GR#156 - Gothic Dieselpunk - Gameart
« on: September 24, 2013, 09:21:53 pm »
current work - look at site #2

finally decided to switch to 1920-1960, Dieselpunk scenario in a patriarchal society
core parts of architecture are gothic related with some more modern elements (mostly art nouveau floral patterns and & wrought iron structures)
I also decided to bring in quite some pieces of symbolism and use a lot of gargoyles and other sculptural elements to make the city more interesting.

Still want to keep the earnest more realistic anime direction for characters - mainly that it's easier to get their facial expressions and emotions across in the big sprites


I created a more detailled artwork of one of my earlier designed charakters.

the scenario is the same as my house piece (some of you might know it). It should be dark, oppressive and the universe has some parallels to our worlds 1900.

I am trying to achieve a steampunk style with gothic elements, but I want to take distance from the generic fantasy and steampunk illustrations we all know.
So it's a special kind of steampunk (but more or less inspired by Jules Verne, R.L.Stevenson, Bram Stoker... and similar books out of this epoque, not the fancy gear stuff).

For the artwork style I went with a realistic approach, although quite flat shading with a fair amount of black and adjusted proportions. Another important design choice was to put the artwork just a little bit in the anime direction, while keeping most western art approaches I usually love to a certain degree.

first version:

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