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Messages - cels
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Challenges & Activities / Re: The Daily Sketch
« on: April 04, 2015, 01:49:11 pm »
Couldn't sleep last night.

Pixel Art / Re: Moar castles, moar clouds!
« on: April 03, 2015, 03:57:31 pm »

Latest version. I'm trying to make this a bit more interesting to look at without messing too much with the very high contrast. I may have already made the buildings too bright, perhaps. I really want to have a lot of darkness here.

@Friend: I'll have another go at the castle in my next edit. Maybe see if I can add more complex shapes and complex rendering. I haven't really seen any pixel art castles that I really liked at this scale (100 x 50 pixels), so I guess I'll just wing it. Now that I've added more details to the statues and the houses on the left, the dirt road does look very plain, so I'll need to add more detail to that as well.

Thanks for the advice. And I didn't say your approach was bad, mind you. Just different from mine. With any hobby, people have different approaches to learning, so it's more about what's right for the individual, I think.

Pixel Art / Re: [WIP] [C&C requested] Background Help!
« on: April 03, 2015, 01:55:41 pm »
I kind of disagree with CelioHogane in regards to limitations. Using limited colours for pixel art is usually a way to make it easier, not harder, in my experience. It's kind of like cooking. If you're making a meal with only 4 different ingredients, then it's easier to get a good balance and increase or decrease as needed. If you're making a meal with 100 different ingredients, then it's a lot harder to get the same balance. If you suddenly add too much flour, then you need to adjust the 99 other ingredients to make up for that.

Of course, it's hard to make a pixel art masterpiece with only 2 or 3 colours. Just like it's hard to make a four star Michelin dinner with only 2 or 3 ingredients. So there's a balancing act involved too.

In regards to the first background, I think you need to do more work on the trees before we can help you with them. Start refining their structure, the trunks and the leaves and the vines. Then we can provide feedback. Right now it's too rough to help.

In regards to the second background, I have two tips:
Use a lot of reference images for the holes in the wall. Google stuff like "rubble", "ruins", "wall hole" and so on. Don't draw it from scratch with nothing to inspire you. Try to imitate something.
Don't add texture without a clear idea of what kind of texture you're making. A lot of people will just add random scribbles to make the texture more complex. You've used some dark lines. But what are they meant to represent? Are they cuts from lasers? Are they semi-broken glass or ceramics? Are they splashes of dirt? When you make a mind up, use google images to find a reference and try to imitate. If they're cuts or cracks from lasers, then you need to add both light and shadow to make them look more 3D. They will usually be lighter on the bottom 'lip'.

General Discussion / Re: A Bastards Tale
« on: April 03, 2015, 09:27:32 am »
This game has a very old school feel to its graphics. It has a certain realism to it and a certain quality to its palette. I don't often see this in modern pixel art games. Looking forward to playing it.

The HUD / strength or life bar is a bit... plain though. To me, it's a non-optimal compromise between simplicity (e.g. just a simple bar) and a more elaborate design (e.g. a beautifully rendered sword with lots of detail)

General Discussion / Re: Winning at pixel art
« on: April 02, 2015, 01:49:27 pm »
Some really great perspectives here. Just want to thank everyone again for posting their views. I'm not looking to start a big discussion, because ultimately attitudes are so personal and I'm not sure if there's a right or wrong. But it's really cool to hear how other people think about these things. Especially experienced artists.

Pixel Art / Re: Tiny castle landscape
« on: April 02, 2015, 09:18:07 am »
Just uploaded this on PJ and I'm no longer working on it. But I just wanted to say thanks a lot to everyone who helped. It makes a huge difference for my learning curve.

@PsylentKnight: I'm doing a series of nine 300x100 landscapes, and I already had plans to do another piece like you describe. A road from the foreground to the background. So I like the way you think, but I'm not using it for this piece, otherwise they'll look too similar :)

@Friend: I'm really digging what you did with the light rays. Maybe not for this particular piece, because it makes the air look as thick as water. But it's definitely something to keep in mind for pictures with lots of particles or moisture in the air. I have another piece in mind specifically, so I will use your idea later. I'm glad you had fun, it's always very interesting to see other people provide a completely new take on one's own work.

Pixel Art / Re: A Discworld tribute
« on: April 01, 2015, 10:03:55 pm »
This is really great! Haven't read the Discworld novels, so I can't comment on the actual resemblance.

There's a lot of great sprites, but one stuck out to me. What I presume to be death or the angel of death on a banjo or similar instrument. Seems to me like the upper part of the skull could be a bit darker from the hood. His skull looks really, really bright to me. :)

I'm really terrible at this, but I make a habit of trying to do an edit, if at all possible.

General Discussion / Re: Pixel Art 3.0
« on: April 01, 2015, 03:35:11 pm »
Imagine for a moment: Cyangmou is showing what he's been up to recently working on his game project. So he shows a new character asset, explains the backround it has, why he made it, how it goes, what's it for. Maybe he even comments what he doesn't like about other RPGs, and how he aims to do it different, better, as he believes.
And people are like: "Duuuude, where's the gameplay? lol. Why are you telling me about this story stuff I don't care about. where's the game man? Your thoughts on character design and what you think of RPG mean squat without a game, pal. Release something playable now, or rather work on it until you can release, but don't talk around -- leave interpretation and judgement up to us, the player, about the worth of that!"
That would be a good analogy, except it doesn't quite fit the situation. What if Cyangmou posted artwork on a forum for programmers. The programmers would look at the art and go "Alright... now how are you going to code this?"

Similarly, when you're talking about pixel art 3.0 on a website dedicated to artwork by only showing us a program... the artist tend to go "Alright, now where's the pixel art? You've shown us how the tool works, but we've seen nothing that warrants the description 'pixel art'." Obviously, no one is asking for a 3D Mona Lisa. But we haven't even seen the tiniest crumb of artwork, just some doodling to experiment with the tools.

I am not speaking on behalf of anyone except myself. Seeing is believing. Do a tiny demonstration of your idea, even if it's just a 5 minute piece of work, like a small model of a birdhouse or a car or a tree. And then show us how this is pixel art. That has a lot bigger impact than trying to convince people through words.

Pixel Art / Re: Moar castles, moar clouds!
« on: April 01, 2015, 12:48:55 pm »
Thanks for the feedback!

I think that's a fair criticism. I have tried to work on landscapes lately and I do move forward with baby steps. I'll experiment with different weather conditions and different degrees of visibility. I've never really pixelled this kind of sky before though, so it's a first for me. I was looking at this piece by Dex and admiring its realism. So that's what I'm going for this time. In the future, when I'm more comfortable that I know how to draw things realistically, I will make it my aim to experiment more.

We have a different approach in this regard, I think. For example, you started with a very ambitious piece here, as a way to practice anatomy. I prefer to practice more slowly, and I don't like to use pixel art as anatomy practice at all, because it's such a difficult medium for anatomy. So much time is spent rendering and moving the pixels around. That's why the statues aren't more acrobatic. I simply don't have the knowledge of anatomy to do anything like that picture, and the only way I could get it right would be to make the nice people at Pixelation hold my hand through the process, which I have found is not a process I like. I just feel like I end up with something that isn't really mine, if I need help every single step of the way.

I will definitely experiment with the lighting on the statues though, and give them a bit more contrast, maybe make them more interesting to look at, despite their stoic poses. And in regards to the perspective, I am entirely open to the possibility that I may have got it wrong. I kind of just did the perspective by eye, because vanishing points can be a bit tricky when you're dealing with different objects that don't follow the same axis or the same angles, and when you introduce sloping hills. The road is actually sloping upwards towards the castle on the hill, which messes with the perspective a bit.

Pixel Art / Moar castles, moar clouds!
« on: March 31, 2015, 11:55:41 pm »
New pixel art from CELS. Now with 10% extra castles and clouds.

Any feedback welcome. Obviously this is WIP, especially the clouds.

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