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Messages - Kcilc
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Pixel Art / Re: A first go at a character: animated spaceman.
« on: June 16, 2019, 07:29:10 pm »
Hi daramon!

That's an adorable little spaceman.

Here are some thoughts about the animations:

  • Running animation

It appears as though the spaceman is stopping for a frame as his foot hits the ground. I think it would be helpful to make sure that for every frame that the spaceman's foot (do this for each foot) is touching the ground even partially, it is moving a specific amount of pixels. While the foot is in the air, though, definitely give it a bit of a pendulum motion.

In most cases, a person's gait is pretty constant throughout the entire cycle, and it's especially true for games where the sprite moves at a constant rate. Keeping the foot movement (while it's touching the ground at least) the same across all frames will help prevent a conveyor belt/stutter sort of effect from happening while the character is moving in the level.

  • Jumping animation

Right now the spaceman appears to be jumping forward. I'm not sure how the game is going to use the jumping mechanic, but usually, the animation is designed to be used for jumping straight up into the air as well as forward. If you're designing the jump mechanic to act like other platformers, I'd say try a straight up and down jumping animation because it'll look the best in-game while the player is bunny-hopping around and switching directions mid jump.

  • Breathing animation

Your spaceman is breathing too quickly for it to look natural at the moment. I'd say pause the animation for three frames at the point where his lungs are completely full and the point where his lungs are completely empty.

Also, it looks like his head is tilting back a frame before his lungs are full. Try swapping that so that the head tilts back one frame after his lungs are full instead. His diaphragm should be doing most of the work here, and his head should follow it not pull it.

  • Scanning animation

If you want to be a little extra, you could shorten the length of the reflection on the middle frame by a pixel or two to try to account for the curve of the visor, but I don't think it's necessary. I think you handled the reflection on his helmet great.  :y:

Pixel Art / Robotic Hula Dancer
« on: October 17, 2016, 12:22:44 am »

I've had the same avatar for years. The anti-aliasing on that thought bubble rode out the forum's entire loss and resurgence of theme color.

Anyway, I'm still enamored with the little guy, so I don't want him gone. His little skirt gave me the inspiration to make him dance!

Behold, iteration 1:

Not the prettiest.

Iteration 2:

Beautiful, isn't it? I very quickly remembered how important it was to make a few key frames.

Iteration 3:

The magic of a few good key frames makes all the difference. A nicer looking orange also helped. Progress, right?

Iteration 4:

Oops! I wanted to get fancy without putting in the extra work. Didn't work. He's ice skating! At this point, I tried to salvage it with an iteration 5. It only made the animation even worse, I got frustrated and let this piece rest for a few months.

Iteration 7 (the current one): Iteration 6 is too similar to really deserve a mention

What I'm currently working on:
  • General cleaning of the frames; trying to make sure things don't shrink or expand too much.
  • Not happy with every frame of his skirt.
  • I'll be messing with his body and head color some more.
  • I want his plume to be stiffer than his skirt.
Overall I'm pretty happy with it so far, but I want a second opinion before I start refining in earnest.

Pixel Art / Re: Sombra - Overwatch [wip]
« on: October 12, 2016, 05:19:39 pm »
It looks like you got all of her most identifying features. The biggest issue I see is not with her hands (I like the center image the most though), but with her proportions. Look at how big her head is compared to her shoulder in yours, and then in the reference.

Here is her shoulder superimposed on her face:

I checked the hand too

Here is her shoulder superimposed on her face:

See how her shoulder covers her head completely?

It's almost impossible to see, when you're working on it, how out of proportion things get. Proportions are also one of the hardest things to fix later on, so getting them right early will save you a lot of frustration. Two tips to keep yourself on track:
  • Compare parts of the image that should be equal size to each other.
  • Mirror your work occasionally (it's amazing what you'll see).

I see a lot more juicy details that you could fit into your portrait. I'm short on time, so I'll just post my edit for now. Mostly rough. I focused on trying to capture her attitude, and make sure everything was in proportion.

Pixel Art / Re: 4 color face
« on: December 02, 2015, 01:27:20 pm »
Could you please post your reference too? It would help us keep our critique useful. :)

Pixel Art / Re: 4 color face
« on: December 02, 2015, 03:30:34 am »
You've got a little bit of a leftward slant going on there. I'd suggest mirroring your picture for a while to re-calibrate.

As for the hair, remember that it's not a solid mass. It's good to block out the general shape first to see it as a whole, but at this point you'll need to focus on individual strands. You don't need to draw out each and every one, just enough to give it some texture. Also remember that hair is never perfect. There are always little rebels that don't follow the group.

Is there any reason why you're sticking with a monochrome pallet? There's a whole lot more that can be done with four colors.

Here is a scribble. Maybe it will give you some ideas:

Archived Activities / Re: Secret Santa 2015 Sign-Up
« on: November 23, 2015, 04:29:50 pm »
Count me in.

I like steampunk, lots of atmosphere, and ridiculously outrageous guns. Bright colors are also a plus.

Pixel Art / Re: [WIP] Another portrait (nudity)
« on: February 16, 2014, 02:13:32 am »
Her shoulders are too small compared to her head according to the reference. That's why it's not exact right now. Maybe a gif will help!

As for the dithering, I would suggest not taking that route. While it can look good if you put enough time into it, it really has diminishing returns. I'd say just add some more shades if you think it's not smooth enough. However, keep adjusting your placement first—see if you can't make it work without dithering or more colors. It's really surprising how much difference a little (or a lot since you've been working on this piece for a while) tinkering can make.

I case you want to try dithering anyway, I think it usually works best if you pick a direction you want your dithering to go. Don't dither all four sides of a color, and try to keep to the grid. I'm not all that good at dithering myself however, so it certainly won't hurt to play around with what you think might look better.
Here's a quick example:

Also, I don't know if you've been doing this already, but mirror your piece and reference and work from that perspective sometimes. It'll really really really help with correcting her proportions.

General Discussion / Re: Community Problems
« on: February 14, 2014, 05:23:22 pm »
Having essentially grown up with this forum (I was part of the original forum, and was ecstatic when I found it again in '05) I can see where you're coming from. There is definitely more attention paid to certain topics than others; however, I'm not sure if this forum is meant to be a place for long-term mentorship, and there certainly is never any guarantee that you'll get the critique or attention you hope for. Maybe I'm just used to the environment. Most of my experience with posts is about the same as yours. Sometimes I'll get a few comments, sometimes nothing.

I'd argue that most of the forum is people that are just a couple years into pixelation. People tend to come in swinging and slowly taper off, contributing less and less to the overall content of the forum. Eventually they'll either lose touch or become lurkers like me. I notice just a handful of really big posters who have a few new critiques every day, but these people come and go, making mini eras as they do. I think the main reason for this is because of the general vibe of the forum. It's a place to go when you're stuck mostly. Can't get that leg to look right? Post it. Can't get the tusks to look menacing enough? Post it. People will usually be able to help with those things, but as the issues become more general, it gets harder to post valuable critique.

I see a lot of "help me improve this [whatever]!" posts, and people will try to help the best they can, saying how the leg is a little too small or the tusk isn't pointy enough, but this forum is usually only useful for adjusting yourself. It's less a classroom and more a resource. People will tell you what looks wrong and how to fix it, then let you fix it. If you can't fix it, it's probably a something that just needs more practice. You practice, fix it, and post another thing in a week or month or year. Repeat this process, and that's Pixelation to me. This is also why I see the threads with minimal replies not as a problem. Sure, it feels crappy if you put in your time and make a fabulous new update to your art only to have it sink to the bottom of the page, but I think that's just because there really isn't much more to be said about the piece. It's mostly finished, and there really aren't many flaws that can be adjusted any more.

There are sometimes some really cool pieces that get posted, and there's huge progress and pages of critique, but those are generally weeks and sometimes months old where the artist has made major fundamental changes to the base art. Most of the motivation to post comes from the change in the art. When there are limitations in skill, there isn't much change between the piece at the beginning of the thread, and the subsequent updates, to the end. Sometimes there are posts with pages of critique and virtually no progress. It doesn't happen terribly often, but they feel just as lonely as a post with no replies.

As a forum, I think it's impossible to make people stick around and work with one artist, or make sure there is a reply to every thread. This is an open forum, so what you get out of it isn't necessarily what you put into it, but the longer you stay, the closer those lines will become.

Pixel Art / Re: Girl with a gun [WIP][C+C]
« on: January 19, 2014, 01:08:08 am »
Well, I started messing with her head, and then decided to keep going on with my edit, and I moved pretty far away from what I think your intentions are, but I hope you can still apply some of my information.

First, there is too much noisy detail that doesn't contribute to the whole picture. The hair, for example, doesn't have a very hairlike appearance—not because you didn't use a hair texture, but because it just gets lost in such a small space. It's more important to hint at textures instead of actually create them at this size. Let the volumes get the most attention.

Second, I'm not sure what sort of character you're going for, but to me, it looks like a ditsy corporate girl freaked out by the robber that just burst through the office door. She happens to have a gun that she hasn't even fired since she bought it, and will most surely miss if she fired. Personally, I like to draw girls that know how to defend themselves and always dress in something she can move in no matter how small the chances of a robber showing up are. That's the direction my edit took, so I apologize if the stance I chose doesn't really fit the style. However! There are a couple things that stood out to me that lead me to change the pose. One of them was that her torso looks oddly large compared to her legs, another was how she's a little off balance. Those two things aggravate each other. I adjusted those slightly, and got myself a little bit carried away by the end as you can tell. making her legs and hips a little bigger to even out her form, then shifting her top half to the left a pixel or two should be all you need to do to make the pose you have work.

As for the womanliness of her face, try to trim her jaw down a little bit, and find a hairstyle that's more feminine. Yours looks little bit like a bowl cut right now. If you were going for a bob, I'd say make it just a pixel longer, deepen the shadows around her face, and really emphasize where her part is.

Pixel Art / Re: Justin Bailey Pin up
« on: September 08, 2013, 11:36:24 pm »
I see a lot of motion in your reference picture that I don't see reflected in your rendition.

In your picture her left shoulder is down below her right, her feet are both firmly planted on the ground, and she's leaning slightly away from us.

In your reference her left shoulder is up, her left heel is raised ready to pin her around, and she's leaning towards us.

Here's an edit trying to capture that motion.

I used this action line as a guide for where to and what angle to place her limbs.

You've got some issues with her proportions. Her shoulders are too small, her butt's too big, and a few other little things. What I usually do to keep the proportions on target (or get them to the target) is look at how the different parts of the image line up with one another. For example, her left palm lines up perfectly with the middle of her butt, and the back of her hand would be touching her heel if they were at the same height. You can also compare different sizes this way; her left arm including her shoulder and hand is about as long, in the image, as her left leg including her foot all the way up to right below her but. Doing little checks like that while you're still in the beginning phases of the picture—and throughout the entire process—will save you a zillion bottles of aspirin.

I'm sensing a little bit of symbolism in certain parts of your picture too. Mainly her face and her spine. Try to draw the shadow that her spine creates instead of the spine itself. That's sometimes a very subtle difference, but it becomes incredibly valuable when drawing strange poses or lighting. The same goes or everything else you might be tempted to abstract into a symbol. I really think that's what separates an artist from a person with a pencil and paper.

That's about all I have. I hope something in here is useful to you!

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