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Messages - Redshrike
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I hate to say this, but if you're practicing something basic like shading it's probably a good idea to start with some smaller pieces first.  Doing a piece this large in pixel art is just a lot of work, which isn't super ideal for a practice/learning piece.
On a more general note, I'd suggest you look at some reference images.  Decide what materials she's wearing and look at how light reflects off of them.  Also make a decision as to where the light is coming from and stick with it.  It looks like she is backlit based on the areas you have started, which would put most of her front in shadow (probably not ideal from a compositional standpoint).
But yeah, a piece like this for practice could really be a frustrating experience for you.

Pixel Art / Re: Mario
« on: April 04, 2011, 10:03:45 pm »
It looks an awful lot like he's wearing a right shoe on his left leg.  A hatless mario is also a bit of a hard sell for me.  But other than those small things I think it's looking quite solid so far.

Pixel Art / Re: Cyborgyetiman
« on: February 26, 2011, 04:17:10 am »
I think what you've got here is a design that really should have been refined a little more before you went into the details phase.  In general, your shading, texture, etc are pretty solid, but there are some issues with the basic linework that are keeping it from being as good as it should be.
I think the first thing is general proportions.  On the one hand, yes, this is a cyborgyetiman, so accuracy to life isn't perhaps a top priority.  But at the same time, things like his lack of forehead, different leg lengths, uncomfortable-looking right arm (our left) can detract from the piece.
Another thing to consider is the silhouette/general composition.  The silhouette of a piece says a lot about how you'll view it--if it's recognizable and has a good "flow" to it, the entire piece can be enchanced.  As it stands, I think his pose is a little "flyswatted", as Arne puts it (in his fantastic tutorial).  There isn't really a flow to it.  You've also put his chest and shoulders in near-profile, but his hips and head in a more 3/4 view.  That's tempting because you want to show off all of his cool accessories, but it's pretty much always better to have a good composition--everything looks cooler that way.
Here's a quick silhouedit, with yours on the left, and a potential revision on the right.  It's certainly not the only possibility, but it's not that far from what you have already, and it's a relatively popular choice, basically a standard contrapposto (popular with artists as diverse as Donatello and Adarias).  The < leg is engaged and bearing most of the weight, leaving the > leg ready for movement, and lending the entire body a bit of a pleasing s-curve.  It's rough, but the basics are there.

Anyway, I think you've got a good thing going here, but you could get a lot more out of it with a little more effort.

Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: Coder Dept. Weapons
« on: February 14, 2011, 01:58:39 am »
So, so so glad to see this thread active again!  This has to be one of my favorite pixel series ever.  It's hard to critique at this point, beyond my thoughts that you've taken the design in a great direction--it's gonna be heck to render, but I'm really looking forward to seeing the results.

Pixel Art / Re: Old, retired tiles
« on: February 14, 2011, 01:51:05 am »
Thanks for posting these!  I'll certainly be using them for reference, especially the snowy trees--I'm quite impressed by how you managed to get the snowiness with just(?) a palette swap.  I'm not quite sure what's going on with the bushes, though (I think they're bushes?  the ones with the red flowers/fruit).  The shaping seems a little odd, and the lighting is kind of uniform, so I don't get the same sense of depth that I do from the trees.

Since the project is dead, have you considered releasing them under an open license (eg one of the Creative Commons licenses)?  I can understand that there can be (plenty of) reasons to not want to, but someone might really appreciate being able to use them.

2D & 3D / Re: Official OT-Creativity Thread 2
« on: November 14, 2010, 07:10:23 pm »
Well, this is sort of creative, and definitely off topic...

I took up jewelry making a while ago, and I'm really enjoying it.  I've collected gems and minerals for my entire life, and this kind of provides a great excuse to handle a lot more of them than before.  Plus the photography is fun, too...

General Discussion / Re: A skin appears!
« on: September 22, 2010, 07:30:57 pm »
I don't dislike the skin at all, but I don't like changing something that I like and am used to.  For that reason I would appreciate an option to change back to the original skin, were that an easy thing to do.

2D & 3D / Re: Skecthes
« on: July 31, 2010, 04:31:36 pm »
I would suggest against drawing on lined/notebook paper.  It might feel normal now, but once you start drawing on unlined, white paper you'll have trouble going back.  Notebook paper is rather dark in color, soft, a little translucent and the lines can easily mess with your drawing in ways you might not notice (see how the characters tend to be an even number of lines tall?  That may be intentional, I suppose, but it's just one example).  Save that for doodles during class.  If you want to draw something more than that, use plain white paper and draw at a larger size.  It's just better all around.  You can see details better, you can make changes better, and it'll look better in a scan.

2D & 3D / Re: Official OT-Creativity Thread 2
« on: July 25, 2010, 05:37:55 pm »
He reminds me very much of Lex Luthor, especially the Animated Series version.  And not just because he's bald!  The expression seems to carry a certain degree of both confidence and contempt, as if to say that he is so thoroughly sure of his own worth that he doesn't think twice about questioning yours, and is sure that you are wasting his time.  Sort of like this, though of course more effective.

Pixel Art / Re: Platformer character
« on: June 16, 2010, 12:57:33 am »
Thanks for the great comments guys!  Here's a version with bounce and less extreme headturnage.  I think it looks much better.

The hat is, indeed, rather strange.  It's lower on one side than the other, kinda like this one.  Except not a woman's hat.  I'm not really sure how to make it less ambiguous; I think the rather poor rotation compounds the problem.

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