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Messages - Cyangmou
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Pixel Art / Re: New base for a RPG C&C needed
« on: May 18, 2011, 11:25:59 am »
I looked over it and there are some obvious points which should be changed

-clearing the outline (e.g. the extra line at the feet it don't really look good and clutters it too much)
-anatomy (some parts are not elegant, should be fixed)
-colors and shading (as you said - you are trying to use AA, but it don't work, some colors don't fit together and some of them don't really blur the outline)

I edited it, so let's look at some of the things I changed

1) palette: I can't say how good this palette will work, a sprite is always a thing which is related to the background, but less colors make better animations. I used 9 colors, 5 main colors for the skin and 4 for the eyes, seems to be also a little bit much, but animating the eyes is not hard. Your eyes used some of the skin colors, a really bad mixture. I don't know if you have ever heard of a hue change but it's a really basic technique you should learn. I am going from a creme yellow over a down-toned red and finally end with violet. You can create this if you are playing around with the H-value of HSV

2) anatomy, outline: two things which are strongly related if you are doing a sprite at this size. It's big enough to use anatomy, but to small to do it right, because of that you have to cheat. you can adumbrate the form with the outline too. the best thing for something like that is to work with some simple pixel clusters and create the most important muscles, if you add unnecessary dark lines (chest, feet) it'll get really cluttered. If you add to much muscles it'll get hatrd to read and lots of banding mistakes will appear, try to find the right amount of details.
-the ears are in one line with the eyes, in this 2.5d iso the ears are a little bit higher than the eyes because of the perspective, you can play around with it, but yours were quite too high
-give the eyes special attention, the eyes (and the hair) are the most important parts for rpg charakters, you can also indicate them over the color of the clothing, but nice and crisp eyes are a must-have.
-face: remove the mouth and the nose, it looks not really beautiful, it's easier to adumbrate the forms with the shading. The mouth can appear if you let your charakter talk. just make another frame with one or three pixels and animate it then.

3) Shading: it's always a question if you want to do it as good as possible or as quick and good as it can get. If you want to do it quick use a lightsource from the top and mirror the charakter. in fact yo'll be with this technique really fast. If you are setting sa real lightsource you'll have to do tons of work more. a very important step is to add some shadow unter the chin.
If it comes to shading use your clusters, shading and anatomy are here quite near together, so feel free to take a look at my example

I also made a version with nose and mouth, just that you can feel the difference.

Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: Gregory faces the dragon [WIP]
« on: May 17, 2011, 10:37:02 pm »
You're keeping your ramps' hues a bit isolated from eachother. For example, the dragon's skin is very green, the roofs are very red, etc. Consider the hues of the lightsource(s) and the ambient light in the scene. These will affect the hues of the highlights and shadows, respectively.

Also think about the overall palette of the image. It's better that there are only a couple of major hues running across the entire piece, in the example of my edit purple is the dominant colour with reds/oranges being a secondary colour, and thats it. Being selective like this harmonises the piece much more.

Don't mix your shadows into your highlights. It destroys the sense of volume. Compare the difference in the feeling of volume in the dragon's limbs that I editted.

Be mindful of where you want the focal point(s) to be and how the eye will travel between them. You want travel of the eye to be unhindered. Noisy stuff like the high-contrast area of smoke and fire impedes the movement of the eye and distracts it as it moves between the human and the dragon. I fiddled with the contrast a little jut by lightening up the smoke, but it really needs MUCH more than that.

This carries over into the contrast in all the background elements of the piece. Keep them to a minimum, since they are not focal points. The statue is a good example; tone it right down to match the rest of the background scenery.

Hope this helps. I love big, dramatic scenes like this, so look forward to seeing more. :)

Ahh yeah, completely understood what you said and some points are really helpful as well.

made the palette (29 colors so far) and cleaned up the whole concept and mirrored it, not quite sure which side is the chocolate side.
Did some changes (anatomy, volume, still not finished). I tried to make the fire look like the wizard splits it up (maybe add here and there a little bit smoke later, not as much as before)
I personally think tydiing up was quite helpful for the focus, now I am worrying about the warm/cold combo, because there isn't really lots of space to get away from the heat of the flame (midground, background and some shadows are done with the cool colors)

All in all a really small step forward, but gathering some opinions here is quite useful
(and ignore the mistakes at the shoulders of gregory, will fix it)

Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: Gregory faces the dragon [WIP]
« on: May 14, 2011, 11:01:58 pm »
Foreground looks nice for a start, even if the lighting could use a bit of work. Background scenery, however, seems oddly pieced together, making for lack of depth that I think has been mentioned in this thread a few times. And I find it hard, once I've got my eye on them (after I've looked at the brightly colored eye-candy in the foreground), to take my eye off. I think I can't resist the subconscious urge to nitpick and ponder over all these little problems you have. Some sort of isometric perspective you've got, I think, but in isometric, distant buildings don't get smaller. Here, a little guide for you. It's probably not that technically sound, as even I'm not all that used to using perspective and it would ruin a lot of aspects of the drawing as they are now:

Other than that, "Gregory"'s pose is pretty odd and rigid. His face seems to look off to his left side, rather than face the dragon, so, you know, that's not very true to the title of this piece. His... left? Foot/boot is visible, but should probably be in shadow. Fire should be more yellow/bright towards the source, and give off some smoke farthest from the source. Here's a picture of a flamethrower in action that someone posted on another thread regarding some adventure game. Should help. Link here.

Dragon's limbs are a mess. Just found that out after focusing my attention off of its head. I really can't discern if those are forelegs or hind legs. If the dragon really could squeeze himself into such a position, it'd be rather uncomfortable, something along the lines of a yoga position for dragons, and he'd have to have a really big head.

EDIT: It might be better, actually, if the perspective lines spread out left to the image rather than from about the dragon's eye.

I don't really constructed anything, just took some colors and put them at the canvas :), although you are right, your feeling can play tricks on you. All things you pointed out helped me much.
And the point about the limbs, I wasn't sure if it's clear to everybody, i wrote it, but you comment showed me that i also had to change this.
Oh and it's OK if you are nitpicking and saying all those little things, I really appreciate that - if i wouldn't like critique I weren't here, so thanks that you took the time to wirte such a helpful critique.

Now I overworked the whole piece, I changed nearly all things, don't worked out more, just improved here and there a lot. the only thing I haven't changed much is the bg. I know there are tons of lighting mistakes now, I'll remove all i recognize till the end

some important points i have changed:
-construction of everything (except bg building(s))
-completely overworked dragon anatomy (maybe will change the serratus anterior, although I'll look how it'll come out with scales)
-completely overworked fire
-removed the forceshield, I am not sure at the momen, maybe I'll play around with that if all the other things are done
-completely overworked Gregory, more active pose, not sure about the morning star holding arm
-corrected the tiles in the foreground, not finished

What I'll do next:
-change the spikes at the neck (make them bigger (don't fit together with the tail spikes)
-add light from the little fires
wait for helpful critique and work on.

Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: Gregory faces the dragon [WIP]
« on: May 10, 2011, 11:41:41 pm »

Today i worked out the first part, foreground without Gregory. There could definitely be some minor failures in it, I don't overlooked it (at the last artwork i did it during the work and a completely fix at the end)
I also get tired about the bricks at the broken arch, could be that I'll do some changes there.

things I'll do:
-fixing mistakes/outworking of Gregory
-tweak the dragons head further
-add the new skin color at the wings
-remove mistakes/work on

Pixel Art / Re: Stop a Moving Train! [WIP] & [C&C]
« on: May 10, 2011, 01:31:50 pm »
Did a little and quick edit

the major problem is atm the wrong perspective of the roof and the stripe,  and there is also a lot of staircase banding in the whole piece.
You also used lots of colors, to much shades of gray. Try to make the whole thing with 5-6 shades of gray and about 3-4 shades of yellow. You won't need more.

Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: Gregory faces the dragon [WIP]
« on: May 09, 2011, 06:24:32 pm »
I wonder if the dragons mouth should be opened wider, specially it's breathing it's fire breath.

Thought so too, changed it

The biggest problem at the moment is a lack of focus.

-My eyes get lost in all the details and has nowhere to rest.
-Readability is an issue.
-There seems to be a lack of depth.

All theses problems can be solved when you establish a hierarchy of focus. Things in the distance  should have very low contrast, while things in the foreground should have high contrast. In effect you need to create contrast in the "big-picture" (foreground vs. background). There also are a lot of details that don't really add to the picture but add a lot of clutter (the flower pot, buildings underneath the dragon's left wing, and the Triton statue to name a few).

Yeah I also worried about the details and most about the cluttering, it's good to hear it from somebody because it's really hard to guess how the artwork will look for other people if you have your own idea in the head.
Lack of depth is true, i am usual creating and refining the palette during the work, improve here a little bit and than change there something, but it helps if somebody reminds something as important as you did. Thanks.

-built the first rough palette
-set a focus
-killed the flower pot, changed the foreground buildings reworked the mermaid statue (now it fits better together with the buildings architecture, think it's better now)
-improved the dragons head, improved anatomy, added the second horn (very rough), opened the mouth
-did some little things at the background

thing's i'll change:
-add another skin tone between the dark and the light one
-change the colors at the buildings under the dragons wing (right side of the artwork)
-remove some lighting mistakes
-add more light at gregory

I think it's now ready to begin with the outworking of the whole thing, although some comments would rather help.

Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: Gregory faces the dragon [WIP]
« on: May 05, 2011, 11:47:49 pm »
I have a few comments,

Firstly, the area in yellow.  Maybe in the background there's something that's casting a shadow on that building, but as far as readability it looks like that's a surface and the dragon's wing is casting a shadow on it.

The second thing I wanted to point out was that Gregory's torso and face are looking off to the left of the dragon, but his legs are facing it.  This looks akward.

I would suggest that the dragon's eye be less cartoony.  Reptilians have slit pupils and in general can't bring their pupils that far forward.  Also where his hand meets the fire in the force shield, those marks take away from the piece.  If you can figure out how to imply there being a shield there without that, it'd look much better.  And where is your light source coming from?  Because if the sun is in this picture, then it would be brighter than the flames, which would mean the shading on the dragon's back and the rightmost pillar/column is off.

But I think you're off to a good start.

At first thanks to your comments, they really helped me.

Let's see now.

Today I created out of the rough sketch a finer one. I also set the lightsource (dragon's fire) and added very rough shadows to it. I also changed the scenario - now it's night - and I refined the palette a little bit.
I also refined some parts a little bit, but don't worked out anything so far.

I reminded just that I've forgotten to do the shadows at the top of the broken bow and there is a mistake with the mermaid sculpture's shadow at the wall of the house behind it.
I also want to redo the background fire, add clouds in front of the moon and tweak it more. And I'll rework the dragons eye later - just did some little changes that it looks more reptilic.

The most important thing for me is at the moment if the arms of the dragon can be recognized as them and not as his feets (I think dragons have usually 6 limbs, so there shouldn't be a problem)
Feel free to tell me your opinion about the artwork.

Pixel Art Feature Chest / Feature 08 - Gregory faces the dragon
« on: May 05, 2011, 12:05:44 am »


rough sketch:

This is another try to create a pixelartwork, in fact it'll be my second artwork.
So far it's not more than a simple rough sketch (just did the base areas so far), but the thing I am thinking about at the moment is the composition and about the reading of the whole thing.

The next things I'll do is fixing the lighting and start with fixing/cleaning/outworking of everything.
The palette is also not final so far and i am sure I'll add some more colors.

If you have critiques, suggestions or anything else let me please know it =)

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