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31
Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: Creature from Hell.
« on: February 09, 2014, 11:45:09 pm »
Yeah, I was suggesting drawing something you can touch, re-light, and look at from many angles, whatever the medium.

To be clear I've no issue with linework as a process or aesthetic, you'll probably have keep a certain method or style if you're in the middle of an ongoing project and it might be important to how you do things anyway. Suggestion was as an exercise that isolates things you're not currently doing and confront them, later you can apply that perspective however you choose to do things.

I often feel like detailed step-by-step kind of stuff (also speedpaints, livestreams etc.) aren't nearly as helpful as they first appear 'cos it's a false impression of complete insight; distracting by getting exactly what they're doing and not what they're thinking. I mix up my process all the time, change my mind and fix mistakes, there's many means to an end and it's experience/insight into fundamentals that determines how it ends up.

32
Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: Creature from Hell.
« on: February 09, 2014, 07:17:12 pm »
Ah ok, it seems like a bunch of people already replied while I thought about what to write and made some tea, so there's some redundancy in the following, hope it helps anyway :y:   

Local colour has couple of connotations perhaps; obviously everything is in fact affected by lighting or you wouldn't be seeing it! So that's poor wording but I mean to say 'native' colour; that which you know the object to be under neutral conditions (moderate white light) or intend for the object to be (like a material colour or texture map in 3d software before being lit). The local colour might well not even be present in a lighting scheme if it's not well lit or the source(s) are colourised (like a photographic colour cast), but it's most likely to be truest away from extremes, and on the lit side.

In a sprite you might want a clear colour read in multiple contexts or at low detail so you don't want to be too far removed from the local, and the reference is not a good model for that. I mention it also because you had some long ramps with a lot of one colour (with some very high saturation that can appear 'naive'), or that added white in some WIPs, and you mentioned wanting to discuss theory earlier, not because I thought you weren't making progress.

Highs, lows, the 'key: yep.

Aside from being a pain to animate a reliance on rim-lights is much the same as a reliance on linework in that it's often making up for a shortfall of the underlying form; it's not that lines are bad practice: they're great and more rapid for many things, I love 'em, it's that for the work I've seen of yours, I think that that process for you at the moment is prioritising the wrong stuff, keeping you fixed in a 2D mindset.

Whether the outline is neat and accurate to the ref is not important when that's all you've got done, what's most important is the mass of the form; if you zoom out and squint at both ref and WIP they should look right; you want to approximate the broadest, simplest stuff first so you aren't dealing with everything at once and can stop at any point and either you or any audience will have a good sense of what's going on and what the finish might be like.

Actually just the process of constantly reproducing other 2d images closely is not helpful because it's not requiring you to think in terms of design (how an impartial audience will see something) or of form and light, and this is what I've seen mentioned in some of your other threads, and why I suggest making the effort to practice by ditching lines altogether and drawing from life.
 

33
Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: First Pixel art. (Need direction)
« on: February 07, 2014, 11:10:50 pm »
I didn't actually modify the palette properly but I did straight chuck it on something non forum-white which helps.

The lightsource wasn’t crystal clear but it seemed more frontal and focused so it’s hard to say it was wrong period, I changed it up to a stronger top just because it provides lots of nice mysterious shadow which is very useful in creating intrigue; teasing but not stating stuff which is the idea with pin-up or burlesque cabaret or whatever (assuming that’s what you’re going for with the feather boa and lingerie).

…and I just now realise I drew a bloomin’ feather boa after a conversation on fur, is that foxfur or something? I need to take an early night.


34
Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: First Pixel art. (Need direction)
« on: February 07, 2014, 08:35:19 pm »
This is a pretty interesting topic of material/reflective qualities, just hopefully clarifying what Tapsu was noting with some examples:

The collective highlights on hair as a mass are extended linearly either side of it's position on any underlying smooth form (and so forming the crescent) by the highlight position of many separate strands (essentially cylinders); the same effect is more apparent in the elongated reflections created by choppy water with the crest of each wave adding a separate component reflection. This is pretty much what underpins how diffuse any surface is only usually it's on a smaller scale (and without the directionality) but it's more appreciable (and interesting) here.

I'll have a quick doodle on the sprite in a minute, just wanted to chime in on the material stuff :y:


35
Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: Castle of the Winds
« on: February 06, 2014, 11:42:47 pm »
Ah, a bunch of interesting rendering ideas there, thanks; a lot softer than I usually go in for, I'll definitely have a play with them later.

It does look like you've shortened the guy by decreasing the head ratio, which would impact on the arm size. Generally I feel you're trying to flatten out limbs to the camera a bit? I've been pushing more foreshortening simply 'cos there's the opportunity when I don't have to match the backgrounds, god knows it can get confusing at this size though and I think the animations help a lot with providing volume context which is lacking in a still, though it should read singularly too.

I didn't actually explain before but my idea was that you'd see monsters in approximately first person (with allowances for the read), and gain quite a lot of pictorial space that way; letting really big stuff appear big without extra tilespace and keeping small stuff at a reasonable detail level without appearing as threatening. Here's a sketch of the kind of thing I was intending for the girl: 

36
Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: Castle of the Winds
« on: February 06, 2014, 03:34:29 am »
Hey! Thanks guys :)

|||:
I am quite pleased with the grey flesh, I like the way it brings out his nipples.

Mr Fahrenheit:
Frazetta and corny retro-fantasy stuff yes! Even a bit ‘Fighting Fantasy’ maybe.

Ryumaru:
I’m been a bit stuck on the tiles actually, to follow the original in the dungeon areas I’d have to go without variants, and most patterns in that palette quite quickly become intrusive. I have already strayed with (just-about) animated sprites though, and I’ve no plans to try and make this playable at all, at least not right now, so probably I should go in for proper tilework, should be fun!

Chris2balls:
Liking the solidity of your female edit thanks, and the black too which really surprised me, original looks a bit skinny compared. I took another pass on a compromise. I know contrast is an issue and full outlines would make sense as 9_6 demoed also… but my ever so artistic vision, it leads me a different path :crazy:. Did you see the newer greyshade version for the male char?




(I'll have to redraw this one for the animation, so I'll beef it up with more black then)

There will be more! I was caught off guard a bit by this late interest, I should’ve had more work to update. It's fair to say I’m losing momentum a bit, I’ve considered sticking with static sprites ‘cos trying to make the limited animations work is what’s taking time and discouraging me from knocking a few out whenever I have opportunity. I’ll persevere with them for the moment ‘cos it’s been educational, and I think that kind of visual feedback would have improved the game a lot; the only indication of any hand-to-hand combat is the status bar which can make for some rapid and confusing deaths early on.

37
Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: Room interior; RPG-view (help on shading)
« on: February 05, 2014, 01:33:07 am »
Yeah, the floating stairs look a bit like curved or recessed forms with such a strong gradient across each, I'd expect them to be fairly flat with the light behind them, previous versions look fine to me.

I actually really like the vibe you have about now without so much material texturing; the few fully detailed little touches pop and play nicely, and the white baby grand on floorboards is pretty darn classy looking, I'd personally dial the table detailing back some, and enjoy the general sleekness.

Not a fan of the cornice/border thing 'cos it's not clear what it is exactly. I like the vertical boards here because they harmonise with the lighting direction and draw the eye up to the window.

38
Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: X-Men Clone Wars Mockup [C+C] (animation)
« on: February 05, 2014, 01:22:55 am »
Looks ace! but howja mean 'from the genesis game' are some elements taken directly or remade, what are we critiquing?

39
Ah, Sweet! I clicked thru a whole bunch and they seem to go where intended now, dunno what the issue was.

I started redrafting the old 'Top Threads' list and some of these with specific subject interests or even single really thorough critiques could easily go in there rather than feature chest. Should be a lot of fun to read through later anyway, thanks :y:.

Vote LazyCow's 'Pharoah's Return' for chest! are the graphics 100% done now? I found a TIGSource thread via LC's project homepage says work to continue in Jan 2014 and there's a trailer now! Could wait for a final update and links to where to follow the project elsewhere.

40
Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: Xedrai's sprites
« on: February 03, 2014, 11:40:55 pm »
Why bothering in 2014 project-wise with that dead military perspective, which is outdated since several years.
I think thatís pretty close minded; why use 'outdated' pixelart :P This is oblique projection and 45į lines are pretty crisp? There are definitely advantages to this approach too imo, particularly to do with clarity and tiling that I donít really want to go into but I dunno why this is a issue.

I'm a bit tired to give a full crit, sorry, but those rocks are very repetitive in size and shape, almost arranged in rows, the weapons look nice and in style with Ultima... I mean Tibia.

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