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Messages - Amorphous
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Pixel Art / Re: [WIP][CC] Looking to Push My Characters
« on: June 16, 2015, 02:45:21 am »
Gonna echo what Fickludd said. Use dark outlines only when you absolutely need them to distinguish forms; otherwise they just take up precious space and increase clutter. Try using differences in value to do the same job.

I did some messy edits on the leftmost four sprites. Many of your colors were saturated shades of orange, which isn't bad in and of itself, but your palette could use more cooler blues and purples to add interest. Also, recycle colors throughout the sprites. There were several isolated clusters of colors that only appeared once, and you could either eliminate those color or come up with ways to reuse them in funky combinations.

Finally, consider giving yourself some breathing room in terms of your characters' proportions. You're trying to pack a lot of detail into small areas; it might be easier to just make them bigger -- for example, the heads on all of these guys are pretty small.

Hope that helps!

Archived Activities / Re: Secret Santa 2014
« on: December 25, 2014, 10:37:23 pm »
Psst, Crow! Have a really sloppy banner.

Happy holidays, everyone! Lots of awesome gifts this year. :)

Pixel Art / Re: Mech
« on: October 19, 2014, 11:29:36 pm »

@Dennis and astraldata: I'm short on time, so I can't respond with the length of post that you two deserve, but I definitely appreciate you (politely!) discussing this. :) Naturally the three of us have had different experiences with art and won't agree on every detail, but it's clear now that I objected to what you, astraldata, wrote mainly because I misinterpreted you. Sorry I was so brisk!

@oderdrt9: Apologies about derailing your thread. :-[ I look forward to watching this improve; good luck!

Pixel Art / Re: Mech
« on: October 16, 2014, 09:28:42 pm »
My two cents.

Quote from: astraldata
[...]'just experimenting with it till it looks right' just doesn't *ever* help you learn *why* something's 'wrong' in many cases -- rather than prevent it from looking wrong, it only helps how to make it not look *as* wrong. You could do that for years and never grow once in your understanding of the basics of art (I know this because I went down that path for many years!)[...]

Speaking as someone who hadn't received any type of formal art education until high school started a month ago, I strongly disagree. :-\  Over the past two and a half years since I started drawing, "just experimenting [...] till it looks right" has gotten me from pixelling like this to as so. Obviously the latter is messy and unfinished (sorry about that :blind:), but I think you get my point. I don't see why experimenting without a definite purpose is somehow a brick wall to artistic growth. For me, screwing around with a project until it improves has always been the precursor to figuring out why the previous version looked worse and the new better. Like Dennis said, "In that phase, it is in my opinion unnecessary to already know how to render things accurately for the final version."
Maybe our methods of learning are just drastically different, but tbh I'm kind of puzzled by your thought process, astraldata. Thoughts? ???

Anyway, as for the mech, visual clarity is a big problem. When I first clicked on this thread, I thought it was a helmet visor. I made two edits, one with a totally different style, and another that might actually be helpful for your purposes, odedrt9. Astraldata's edit has good points, but I think bringing out the highlights so much actually didn't add depth, because I can't tell which portions are higher than the others.

Hopefully something in there helps you get the mech up to your level of satisfaction!

Pixel Art / Re: Mr. Tortoise
« on: October 12, 2014, 04:47:08 am »
First of all, as someone who has an unbridled obsession with the order Testudines, I must say that I approve of your subject matter. :D

You've got a good start going, but there are some pretty big issues with proportion and form. I couldn't resist doing an edit, so here's the ridiculously messy result of about an hour and half of scribbling over your work:

There's a lot wrong with my edit, so I wouldn't read into it too much, but hopefully you get the idea. Here are some of the main things I see:

-It looks like you went into detailing before you got the main forms down. This flattens the whole thing, especially under his "chin," like you noticed. Focus on giving him a depth before adding all the little bumps and wrinkles.

-Another issue in the area under the chin -- you added a scale-like texture when the reference actually shows more of a wrinkled-looking skin. If you google "tortoise skin" and scroll for a while, you'll find that many tortoises/turtles have a lot of areas bare of scales (which helps them be flexible and articulate enough to do things like tuck their heads into their shells).

-A lot of the colors are very close to each other in value, and more contrast would help make it pop. Particularly brighten the highlights on the top of the head because that would add more depth and also makes the lighting clearer.

-The proportions are very different from your reference's in some spots. The ones that stick out immediately: his nostrils should be bigger (they're about the same size as his pupils in the reference), and the whole mouth/nose region should take up more space; the eyes should be further apart and less centered; and his head should curve in a tiny bit towards the middle before going out again.

-I don't think mirroring and then going in and changing some parts is going to work in the long run for this guy; there's a bunch of asymmetry in your reference, and adding in the extra work to show it all would make him look a lot more life-like.

I know I'm forgetting stuff as I write this, but I'm tired and probably getting less and less coherent. Hopefully something in that garbledook was useful to you. Keep going with this! :)

Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: [WIP] Cat Sprites for a Game Project
« on: July 19, 2014, 12:57:07 am »
You're making a lot of progress, and these have already come a long way, but you could make them even better by addressing a few more issues.  :y:

Here's a (really messy) edit. I only had time to work on the top two expressions, but you get the idea.

Main points:

-There's a lot of banding going on, mostly concentrated around the mouth. You might be tempted to think that the fuzziness this creates is good way of conveying texture, but in reality it obscures visual clarity and clashes with the shading of the rest of the sprite. The Ramblethread by Helm has a lot of indispensable advice about avoiding banding.

-In the topmost sprite, the specular highlight in the pupils is lost in the brightest yellow color next to it, which makes the eyes appear to bulge outward. Try darkening the yellow color so that the specular sticks out as belonging to the pupil.

-You've done a good job of improving the palettes as you've worked on this, but the contrast on the darker fur palette could still be upped a tiny bit more.

I messed around with other stuff as well, but for the most part the above is all I can think of at the moment. Good luck with your game, and keep up the improvement! :)

Pixel Art / Re: [WIP][C+C]The Modern Prometheus
« on: June 29, 2014, 01:58:44 am »
Update! I've been trying to incorporate your advice and also fix other things I saw. Sorry for the slow progress!

Getting closer to completion, but I've still got some polishing to do. Some notes since last time:

-I swapped Victor's and Elizabeth's positions because, as I drew, I noticed that the diagonals the heads made formed a nice triangular shape when arranged that way. However, now all of the characters are staring off into space -- I've been looking at this too long to be a good judge, but I'm guessing that the way this affects how the viewer's eye travels around the image isn't good. :-\ Opinions?

-The text is looking better, but some parts are still iffy (like the S, which looks pretty ugly).

-I'll probably need to tone down the triangles on the border so they're not quite as distracting. This view might give a better sense of what it looks like than the forum background.

-With varying degrees of success, I tried to implement Manupix's concept for the different color balances for each character. Can't tell if it's noticeable, but it was fun to play with!

Nothing else I can think of off the top of my head. Feedback on the above or anything else would be greatly appreciated! :)

Pixel Art / Re: [WIP][C+C] character sprite
« on: June 18, 2014, 11:56:35 pm »
I like the simplicity, and this has lots of potential!

|||| beat me to it, but I made a quick edit as well. Besides the contrast and extra colors, the stance was a little awkward to my eye. The s-shape is hard to accomplish at this scale and doesn't add much -- it's up to you, of course, but consider making him stand straighter. :) Other things I just fooled around with, like the legs and hair.

Good luck!

Pixel Art / Re: [WIP][C+C]The Modern Prometheus
« on: June 18, 2014, 11:19:09 pm »
Alright, I'm back -- busy past few days; sorry I didn't update sooner!

Nothing huge done so far, mostly I just cleaned up Victor some (I decided to stick with the original set of light sources after all) and played with the borders a bit. Elizabeth and all of her gloriously anachronistic hair have been scrapped while I search for references, and I also got rid of the "Prometheus" for the moment.

Quote from: Corinthian Baby
Don't be afraid to cheat and use a real font. Typeface can really convey emotion if you know which ones to use.
Quote from: Manupix
I'm no fan of how the main word (Prometheus) is a smaller and less readable font. . . . I see this: P--r-ome-the-uS

Looks like, at the very least, I'll have to test out different fonts for "Prometheus" until I find one I like, or get good enough reference/inspiration to draw something decent myself. Do either of you have any suggestions on where to start?

Quote from: Corinthian Baby
I would also encourage, but this is up to you, an alternative design to the monster rather than relying on the iconography of the Boris Karloff film. Maybe take a description from the book and use that with other non-related ref to come up with a design we haven't all seen before.

Ah, yeah, you hate the nail on the head. This depiction has been done to death so many times -- I'm kinda annoyed I didn't think of deviating from it earlier in the process before I spent so many hours on it. :-[ That said, coming up with alternative designs would probably be pretty fun anyway. I'll try to do that once I can get my hands on the book again!

Quote from: Manupix
More difficult, I'd try to give them some 'feeling' according to their characters and destinies (I have no idea how you go about and do that).
Maybe use color to emphasize that: assign each of them a main color?

That's a really cool idea! Probably would be a little hard to implement, but I'll have to play with doing something along those lines as I keep working.

Anyway, I'll keep chipping away at this. Thanks again for the feedback! :)

Pixel Art / Re: [WIP][C+C]The Modern Prometheus
« on: June 16, 2014, 01:40:14 am »
Ooh, lots of good ideas! Thanks a ton for the feedback, Corinthian Baby. :)

Quick update. Can't go too in depth because I'm short on time, but I liked a lot of what you did. I'll try and fix more stuff tomorrow.

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