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Messages - bengo
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Pixel Art / Re: Lizardman - please critique
« on: May 23, 2021, 08:49:06 pm »
It's looking better! Forms are reading much more clearly and they make more sense.

If you need to mimic what I did that's fine whatever helps you understand. I gave you that anatomy breakdown for a reason. Just don't directly trace or copy it directly over. I don't think that will help you learn. Something that might help you would be understanding how the pectoralis major fits into everything:

The bicep will go in first, then the pectoralis major will cover that and then the deltoid will go on top of all of that. I tried my best to show it in my anatomy breakdown too. You're not really showing this bicep-pec-deltoid connection in your latest update and I think that would help that area if you did at least a bit. The pectoralis major does connect on the humerus (thats the upper arm bone) after-all so it's going to have to reach over there.

P.S. I would consider Selout (selective outlining) or getting rid of the line in areas altogether.

Pixel Art / Re: Lizardman - please critique
« on: May 23, 2021, 07:13:58 am »
bengo - your lizard looks pretty dang cool too, looks like something from Metroid now with the colors and the eye :)
as for the critique - form first - got it.  I can clearly see the form of the muscles of the arm. When you say adding detail in the transition from shadow to light.. you mean the half tones? for example, I see in the arm that the most dithering is at the light and mid light, while shadows and high light looks more clustered.
Yea, I am doing a set of creatures from Oblivion right now, but once I finish, I am seriously gonna try to study more regular art, including anatomy. It creates problems for me every time I try to create bigger sprites. :)
At the terminator line you want to add detail, where the light transitions into shadow. You'll see a lot of artists do this. Still you need to make sure, like I keep saying ;) , the primary and secondary form is still readable through the detail.

As for anatomy studies this itself could be one! I gave you an anatomy drawover showing all the different muscles. What will help is to reference an anatomy sheet and look up 'origin' and 'insertion' for specific muscles (for instance- 'origin and insertion bicep' and you'll see it connects from the scapula to the radius, part of the lower arm, bone). You can also do something called an 'ecorche' where you draw muscle on top of a figure, typically with obvious anatomy sticking out like someone muscular or very skinny, and of course you can use an anatomy book as reference. Andrew Loomis' Figure Drawing For All It's Worth can be found online for free and has the anatomy correct for you to reference.

Pixel Art / Re: Lizardman - please critique
« on: May 23, 2021, 04:49:37 am »
Cool looking lizard dude! I think you need to be careful about prioritizing detail over form, form always comes first. For my edit I tried to make sure the largest forms read and I also tried to fix up the anatomy. Like SeinRuhe said try to think about where your light source is and stick to it. It might even help to a light a sphere to the side as a reference. For me I picked a different position than him coming more from the top rightish (from our POV). I threw in some reflected light to give a better sense of form. I gave his back arm and back leg less contrast as a design decision I felt it helped him read better.

I'd recommend trying to add detail mainly at the transition from light to shadow ( This is the place you'll typically see detail but, like I said, I highly recommend making sure form reads. Don't forgo form for detail.

I know he's technically not human but he is some sort of lizard/reptile-human hybrid and anatomy will help add some believability to your character. If you want to get more into anatomy there is a book by Michael Hampton or you can check out Proko's series on anatomy.

The Edit:

Anatomy Breakdown:

Proko showing what to think of when drawing and shading form. Primary should show through to secondary and tertiary always.

Pixel Art / Re: Castles and clouds
« on: March 19, 2021, 12:19:31 pm »
While it's good to experiment I don't think it has to necessarily be "random". What I mean is, you can narrow down what you want to do by figuring out what the goal of the piece is or the goal of that part of the piece. I prefer the second one since it helps point to the focal better.

I feel a bigger issue is the size of the spearmen themselves. I initially thought they were statues and not people and, to be quite honest, they still look like statues. Proportionally they're huge and on top of that they have very static poses. I say keep them as statues and throw more of them around the scene but that's up to you.

Also, you typically want bigger pixel clusters/shapes in areas that are closer to the viewer. I think the clouds have a lot of small shapes that are quite distracting same with the mountains a bit.

Pixel Art / Re: Castles and clouds
« on: March 11, 2021, 11:15:32 pm »
Hey nice it's looking better and the clouds are looking good. Just keep at it add more wagons into the background if you want!

Job offers / Re: [PAID] High Res Character Artist Needed
« on: March 02, 2021, 04:19:03 am »
Sent a follow-up email specifically with the kind of work you're looking for. Link to it will be put here as well-

Pixel Art / Re: Castles and clouds
« on: February 20, 2021, 12:44:53 am »

This edit took me a bit longer than expected, so I hope it helps! For environments like this it's important to group everything into their own value groups, you also want to think about where the most contrast should be (most contrast should ideally be where the focal point is). So places of less interest give less value contrast (like the clouds or mountains) and areas of interest give more contrast. I have always been a big proponent of strong, immediate reads and it's something a lot of environment artists do so I think you want to be able to tell what the big shapes are.

Your clouds and elements should not be randomly placed or sized the same they should be placed with purpose and size varied to give the illusion of depth. They should also be repeated. Don't just put one statue, put multiple and use it as a way to point to the focal point/destination in this case it can also help give depth because it's size reference. As for the clouds, you also want the clouds to point towards the focal point, not randomly placed about. You're directing a scene here, a composition, you're trying to guide the viewer on where to look.

I didn't do it too much here since it's simply an edit but typically you want more detail for what's closer to the viewer and less/simplified detail for things further away. You want to think about the narrative as well- the snow element could be pushed why is it only in one area? These are travellers that have been on the road for awhile correct? So they'd like encounter snow they're obviously cold. You can use the cold exterior to contrast with the warm exterior of the wagon. Where would snow fall? Where would it stay? Etc. You're telling a story though this image so utilize that. Having multiple statues is also a way to show what kind of city this is, maybe the statues are purposely used to advertise which way to go for these sellers.

Something else I didn't do here too much but you can keep in mind is where you put your saturation. You usually want more saturation for focal points and less for areas that aren't focal points. The sky in yours right now is super saturated and has some varied values same with the mountains. Don't forget atmospheric perspective is here too!

I hope this helps, excited to see the next update!

PS Thinking about it, you could add breath fog to the animal and make sure it has snow on there as well. I would've added it but didn't want to spend forever on it.

Job offers / Re: [PAID] High Res Character Artist Needed
« on: February 18, 2021, 01:35:43 am »
Sent an email. I will await your reply. :y:

Pixel Art / Re: Need some help on my sprite CVS styled
« on: February 18, 2021, 01:08:45 am »

Use the image option (a little mona lisa icon) to show your image. I assume CVS means Capcom VS SNK so I tried to match that style more closely. I did this by using colors found in the game, her skintone for instance is copied over completely, changed some design elements and I also gave her a fighting pose. You want to try and make sure your lights and shadows stay separate really try to think about where light would hit and where it wouldn't. I assume on the legs you were trying to make them be in shadow but since the legs aren't bent it ends up looking like a change in the cloth color and not a shadow. If the light is coming from above the legs would be almost completely in shadow. Try to think of highlights on the hair like a ribbon. Anyway, hope this helps!  :y: :)

Pixel Art / Re: [CC] [WIP] Character sprite feedback
« on: November 09, 2020, 09:15:19 pm »
Good edit that retains the style but I would like to clarify why I did what I did in my edit.

The reason I went so extreme with my edit was to showcase the advice I stated below (e.g. breaking the line/not using outline fully though admittedly I could've used more of an outline, using less colors, importance hierarchy and simplifying). Not sure if I fully agree on the readability, of course when you have a black outline it's gonna immediately stick out against mostly anything but, I think the lack of outline while technically "sacrificing" some readability has its own perks (related to a sense of 3dness and the breaking the line principle I stated). An outline around something will definitely make it more readable but I think ultimately it comes down to design.

Changing the bird was just to show how much you could simplify it. Keeping it the same kind of bird is fine too. The colors I chose were to demonstrate how little is really needed. I still don't think the shadow color on the jacket is needed... it's so close in value to the dark "black" outline color which is why I got rid of it in mine. This kinda decision is really up to if you care about palette size (I personally am not a big fan of limited palettes but I do think trying to limit your colors to "only the necessary" can be good practice).

So, when you're talking about volume, you've got light hitting areas where it wouldn't be receiving light (like the legs) assuming the light is coming from above (the hair and the specular on the hair indicates from above). I opted to simplify and stylize to avoid this lighting issue (that shirt in reality wouldn't be that white because it wouldn't get hit by light for the most part) though the other way would be to of course keep it consistent... but since we're at suc ha small size that could be a problem. Personally I think the change from top on the hair, to the the side on the chest and arms, to the other side light on the legs is too major of a difference. I suppose you're still technically showing the volume this way but lighting-wise will be logically confusing.

Ultimately it comes down to when there's errors or when there's design choices. Sometimes it can be a design choice and even an error could be a design choice if it arguably looks better. I felt the design choices I made helped improve the sprite over-all (I don't think the un-logic of the lighting works) or at least helped demonstrate the critiques I gave. It's up to you to decide what you want to do or how you want to tackle this. The critiques I would say you certainly want to do though is make the legs skinner make them less bent, modify the shoulders so they're not awkwardly tilted and make sure the lighting follows one direction. The lighting thing can be quite difficult though, since even in my edit the bird's lighting is slightly different from the girl's but I felt it wasn't drastic enough to be super noticeable and helps the readability of the bird (though who knows, you could probably do top lighting and it'd look fine, it's really close to that as is).

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