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Messages - Johasu
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Pixel Art / Re: City Street (Very Early WIP) Perceptual phenomenon?
« on: November 25, 2013, 11:14:53 pm »
The only problem I see is that you are reflecting the light from the bottom of the posts instead of transposed out into the street a bit [line of sight to point of reflection].  This makes your scene feel sort of bowl shaped on the street.
The light shouldn't shine directly off of the ground at the foot of the post like this because at that angle you would have to be more above the lights to see it shine like that.  (correct?)
I found an image here that shows what I am talking about.  The closer you are to the posts the more together the reflected light will appear, and the further you are away the longer the shine will appear on the street.  But even at a distance you don't see the light shining directly below the lights (even when they are shining straight down on the ground like these overhanging lights.)

I just saw two other replies but I don't see that they mentioned this so I am posting.

Pixel Art / Re: [WIP] Platform Terrain Set and Mockup C+C Request
« on: November 25, 2013, 04:22:04 pm »
:)  I had a momentary urge to recolor my water into milk for fun.

The tile set is quite large and experimenting with each asset can be very time consuming.  So I haven't had time to address all of your pointers.  I did spend some time working on the background and tried a few things.

1) I tried dimming down the stones to make them seem further recessed and darker.  This attempt was more at showing only the highlights and insinuating the shape of the stones more than anything else.  I was sort of worrying that the stones were looking a bit like beans for a while but I think it improved some as I dimmed it more.

2)  This was my initial attempt at darkening the stones.  I accomplished what I was going for, but ultimately felt like it wasn't far enough perhaps.  The shadows and the highlights at this point had almost too much contrast division and it made them seem very much popping out--like bubbles.

3) I HAVE experimented with larger stones.  This version was a prior attempt that I went back and finished coloring after you mentioned larger stones.  I had basically come to the same conclusion before posting that maybe the background was too noisy and tried to blend the stones I had together.  This created, to me, a sort of jigsaw puzzle like background that was strange in the shaping enough that it distracted my eyes from the more important elements that existed on the screen.

4) After tinkering for a few minutes trying to decide how I wanted to go about experimenting with new larger stones, I simply 2x scaled my existing stone tile.  Honestly, if I were to go about redrawing new stones [larger] they would come out something very similar to this anyway, so why not?

Do any of these come closer to reaching a less noisy background that feels good?  I look for references of backgrounds of this style and many of them seem to have very evident repeating patterns.  That was a major reason I opted for smaller stones.  It felt easier to hide the grid with smaller stones that intermingled more.  The larger stones have much more recognizable shapes and patterns.

Thank you for the comment.  Just to address the other things quickly before I have an edit ready, I have been strongly considering filling in the void with more stone.  At least in a thicker pattern.  Especially after doing the drop through floor, I really felt the need to bring a more visible division between the two.  I will get on that, but it will take some time to fill all of my tile pieces in, so that might be a few days.

The surface level has been giving me trouble and I bounce between feeling like it looks good and feeling like it's too messy.  I tried a few things in an attempt to go for what you suggested, but I guess I'm not skilled enough to just draw it without some kind of idea of what to go for. Im searching for references of things done similarly, but can't find many platformers that have used a sort of floor perspective like this(as of yet).  [This is my next target area on revision though.]

Thanks again for the pointers.  :lol:

Pixel Art / [WIP] Platform Terrain Set and Mockup C+C Request
« on: November 22, 2013, 10:54:15 pm »
A project I have been working on some to hone my pixeling skills.  This is a tile set for a sort of platformer area.  Including both a mockup and the actual tileset as it is so far.  I'm looking for some advice, input, criticism, and/or feedback on the tile set as a whole and individual pieces therein.
To be clear on a few things to start with.  I built this on 64x64 size tiles.  (Not sure why/I just started pixeling away and that was how I ended up breaking it into segments.)  I am aware that there ARE a few areas of incompleteness on the tile set to complete every possible thing you might need. [For example: conjunctions with the drop through floors and various wall segments and a more complete set of water tiles.]
First the Mockup:

The Tileset for a closer look:

It's definitely a work in progress at this point and I have left a few things sort of messy out of curiosity. I have questions I would like to ask those with keener eyes, heavier experience, and sharper skills.
1) I have a darker tone in the top surface of the floor.  I used it to attempt to show deeper cracks between the rock.  Would it look better without this darker coloring?
2) My background?  Is it too noisy?  Does it clash blend too well with foreground tiles?
3) The forefront/visible edges of the walls are an intermingling of softer cracks and deeper outlined division of the stones.  Which looks better?  The slope for example has a lot sharper contrast division between stones than the flat floor.
4) The vines.  I had a comment that they appear beveled with the rapid shift form highlight to shade.  What can I do to fix this?  Two shades?
5) Is there anything glaringly apparent that is badly done that I am unaware of at this point?
6) I worked with an odd sort of lighting on the top level of the ground, where I tried to highlight the foreground and even the furthest background of the stones while leaving the middle ground where the sprite walks with a bit of a solid darker tone.  Is this just messy or does it look good.  I bounce between opinions on it myself.

Basically I want an overall critique of the entire set.  But any part or piece that anyone feels like rippin into please do.  I am in this primarily for the practice and development of my skills and any growth I can squeeze out of it is fantastic as far as I am concerned. After critique more on the tiles than the sprite, but comments on that are welcome too :)
Fire away boys and girls. I am looking forward to making this thing glisten!   :lol:

Pixel Art / Re: Help with spriting process
« on: November 21, 2013, 10:34:52 pm »
Anatomy is one of those things that really is a whole realm on its own.  The human body is so flexible that understanding it well enough to recreate it in varying poses takes a deep understanding of the skeleton and muscle underneath the skin level we portray.
I haven't spent much time on it myself at this point so I don't know that I could really be of use to you in building a better shape to your character.
However, you can equip yourself with the basic OBVIOUS tools at your disposal to save on some of the big mistakes.  Find a good reference for what you want to emulate and look at the way the light hits it.
Think about the shape of the body and look at how long arms, legs, and other parts are.  They are usually pretty similar in proportion to other body parts in MOST people.
Start small so it's easier to make large changes with less work.
Don't be afraid to save a copy or make a new layer and redraw something completely if it's screwy.
And really the biggest one of all...  You have the internet.  Most powerful tool ever invented, as far as we know.  Use it.  Research what you want to draw.  Research art.  Research drawing.  Research coloring.  Look up pictures of boobs if you can't get them shaped right.
Then practice.  Be willing to change it, even when you are frustrated with it.  :yell:
Keep at it. ;)

Also, you really need to stop working off of a white background.  Too bright or too dark on the background will overpower your pixels and you won't be able to see what your colors are actually doing.
Find some neutral soft color to use: a soft brown, blue, or grey often works for me depending on what the base color I am using for my sprite is.

Pixel Art / Re: Metal Is Hard! (WIP)
« on: November 21, 2013, 10:06:55 pm »
I have absolutely no experience with dealing with pixeling metal, so I am really not going to be very helpful in completing your mission.
However, I can help the overall piece maybe with pointing out some things that I am struggling with while trying to do an edit of this myself.   :lol:

You have very evident banding throughout your character.  Particularly his arm+back, the leg, and the helmet. You have a straight side view which seems to make sense to draw the light division right down the middle like this.  But, that only works when the character comes to sharp angles at his edges, correct?

Another thing is that you seem to have an odd intermingling of color schemes on the armor which is confusing me.  Grey/Blue.  So is a blue light shining in the blue areas?
You have also lined him in a dark color which really sort of forces pillow shading when I try to define his shape.  If the light is coming from up and to the left straight ahead there shouldn't be any darkening along his upper left edges but instead, the highlights should be there correct?

You have clearly attempted to round his midsection with the armor but it doesn't run straight up and down at his sides like his arms seem to be doing. I think the shading on his arms could use some similar highlighting and shading even if they are hanging down at ease.

I would do an edit for you, but I'm currently insufficient in my attempt to produce something better.  Apologies.  :-[

Pixel Art / Re: Help with spriting process
« on: November 21, 2013, 04:46:11 pm »
So...  Rainbow Cheetara?   ;)
Looking at your piece straight away, I can see that you are using a large amount of colors which really aren't necessary for how far along you are.
In the beginning you should perhaps start with a simple range of 3 shades for your creation.  One to set the color and a brighter version for highlight and a darker one for shading.  You can then use those to define your shape and afterwards add more colors as they are needed.

A couple more glaring oddities are the egg shape to the head.  Her chin is super pointy and crown very rounded.  Your eyes and nose are very high on the face, while your mouth is much lower.  Are your nose and mouth that separated? Her ear is on the back of her skull.  Think about these things as you look at it.  How far apart are your ears and eyes?  How high above your eyes is your hairline?

Im no expert on anatomy, but there are some simple guidelines to go by when you draw a face.  [Unless you are going for nonhuman shape, which you have established you aren't.] If you trace a finger straight down your forehead to your chin you will feel a symmetry of features, midline between the eyes, down your nose, midline lips, down your chin.  If you run a finger across from one ear to the other you will brush your finger along your eyes and clip the bridge of your nose.  Now, no two people are perfectly the same, barring twins, but these features can help you line up a face in a drawing.  You can even use lines to help you square things up and get them placed right.

There are countless untold volumes of tutorials on the web for how to draw sketches.   :y:

I did some work here to illustrate a few things.
1) I cropped it down to just focus on the face.
2) I tried to draw the frame box around yours, the hairline left me with a bad shape on top but this shows that your characters head either ends very quickly above the visible patch in the hair or flattens out on top.  Also of note is the way your chin curves outward from the mouth giving a sorta protruding chin or "round painted on an egg appearance" to the mouth.
3) I drew something closer to what a traditional framework for a head/face is. I tried to frame it around yours so it's a little odd in shape still.
4) I filled your primary skin palette blue to just show you the crazy number of extra colors.  I think whatever tool you are using to draw is auto anti aliasing.  The face in 1 has 90 something colors in it..
5) I cut the hair out to just show how you can isolate things in layers to work on particular portions without distraction and clashing efforts.  [Keep it as simple as you can and your work area clean.]
6) I took out the colors just to show the line-work on the face and how oddly shaped and jaggy it is on the one side.
7) I added a color to your palette and cleaned it up some.  Tried giving it a more humanoid shape, though I clearly kept to your original shape and allowed it to have a sort of pointy chin, shortened/rounded crown, and little to no pronunciation at the nape conjunction to the skull.  This kept to your initial portrayal, but left it with more shape. It feels like a toy doll now to me and I would definitely try to correct more of the anatomy, unless you want it to look sorta unusual.
8 ) I stuck your hair back on it to show how much the shape changed.

Now you can take these edits with a grain of salt.  I am no master of anatomy or even faces.  It IS your piece, so my idea may be way off from what you want.  Mine looks differently colored but that is only because I haven't shaded, or highlighted anything.   That comes next.  I didn't deal with the neck aside from cleaning up the mess of extra colors there.
Definitely check into the auto AA though.  It will make pixeling nearly impossible. :(

Archived Activities / Re: Secret Santa 2013 Sign-Up
« on: November 21, 2013, 04:08:09 pm »
I want to play.

Monsters, Creatures, Non-traditional aliens, Strange animals, Mythological beasts.
High Fantasy, Mysticism, Magic, Science Fiction

Standard repetitive tropes, non-inventive uses of cliches, "minmaxing" characters for utility purposes.
Things that aren't meant to end.  (Endings are important.)
Crying.   [I have kids.   :-\ ]

Pixel Art / Re: Help with spriting process
« on: November 21, 2013, 03:30:36 pm »
You didn't really outline what you were going for.  Are you asking for critiques on the model, your form mockup, the palette you are using, or the portion you have begun to pixel?
This information will help others to help you.  I make mistakes on art by not thinking through what I am doing before I begin.  It's ok when you are aiming for random creativity, but direction is important when you have a goal.

Your anatomy is in crazy disarray at this point if you are aiming for a human female as the end result.
Hands and feet are same size.
Off balanced posture (leaning backwards)
One leg is thinner than the other.
Breasts are wider than the torso.

You have shaped the face with a smooth flat color and sort of crimped the edge down with a thin layer of shading.  Remember to show SHAPE with your colors. You haven't defined a light source. You are also working with a very large body model, which is more challenging because more pixels are required and it's a lot more work to make any sorts of changes.  Do you have a reference that you used?

What is your objective?  What is the subject?  Is it a robot?   A person?  A doll?  Are you going to work on anatomy?  Coloring?

Sorry for taking so long to reply.
I don't have a proper edit yet because I'm not quite sure how I want to proceed yet. I HAVE spent some time on your comments and considered my problems as they are.

First of all on the left:
I took some time to lay out my problems with perspective.  I started with the character from a primarily front on perspective. Then I screwed everything up by throwing this anvil in with a different perspective because I wasn't skilled enough at the time to draw it properly.

Then I continued to make mistakes by finding a way to jam a bar into his hand in a front on perspective to match his body that DID NOT match the anvil.  While this forced me to fix his anatomy issues substantially, it did not fix the image at all.

I used red lines to show how I have lined the room out with perspective matching the lines on the anvil. I was cheating and not using any form of real 2 point perspective, but instead just running parallel lines.

I used green circles/lines to show how his body plateaus are lined up straight across.  Looking at it this way I see that my image simply cannot work as it is.
In conclusion, I must either redraw his form or the room and the anvil upon which I rooted the setting's lines.  :blind:

Next, I considered your comments on broadening the shot and using the image to flow the focus inward on the character.  (Basics that I forgot as I struggled with my lack of experience on the perspectives.)
I used simple tools to mockup a new layout for the room.
I will probably pull the anvil across more and level it out to match his body alignment.  Then I will use a single vanishing point to make minor modifications on the layout and line up everything in a parallel room.  I put in some details on the furnace(which I pulled to the back wall.  A basin for an oil quench beside him, and a grinding wheel which I put on the other side to force attention inward.

I have a few open areas.  I think that with these items I can get away with using lighting to pull the attention onto the figure though.  Comments and criticism on this before I move forward to any sort of REAL heavy work on it would be greatly appreciated.  And thanks a lot for your time and patience guys!   ;)

Pixel Art / Re: First Sprite
« on: November 19, 2013, 09:13:08 pm »
It's cool, I just wanted to see if I could do it mostly.   :hehe:
Glad to be of help.  I almost feel like I can see a skeleton in the highlights of your lower dress now though.  ::)  Something to think about.

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