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Messages - Johasu
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Pixel Art / Re: First Sprite
« on: November 19, 2013, 04:54:32 pm »

Yours Tall > Yours Small > Mine
Threw together an edit.
You didn't fit her to the size limits. You went 16 tall but stayed 14 wide.  Which really makes it hard to emulate a style when you aren't following their limitations and/or aren't using the full potential of them.  Every pixel counts and has to show something.
They use that black border to outline their sprites but you have to watch for clumps that aren't necessary (between arms and body on yours)
Those extra black spots take up some of your available shaping area.
You are using sort of scattered differentiation in colors on the dress to attempt flow, but you have to think about the bigger picture.  If you were looking at a person from this far away would you be able to see the wrinkles in her dress or would you maybe see the line of lighting that reflected off the curve of her bosom. Think about how you use each pixel and what you are trying to make it show.
I tried to show how you can show shape particularly on her chest and the way I divided the portions of her body with lighting.  Bright on top dark under chin bright chest, darker underneath, brighter knee area, darker in to small feet.  This implies shape.  I also pulled a color out of your hair because it just wasn't necessary at all.  (The brightest shade you used was only one pixel and only existed in that one spot through the entire piece.)
Mine isn't perfect by any means.  I can already see things I could have done to make it better.  Hope this helps you some.   :y:

Pixel Art / Re: First Sprite
« on: November 19, 2013, 02:07:01 pm »
You took a leap in the right direction. I haven't really tried to build much of a sprite like this, myself.  But there are some interesting differences between your sprite and those old FF classics that sort of pop out as large differences.
The largest of which is the size/shape.  FF4 sprites seemed to be mostly 16x16 square and FF6 worked off of a taller 16x24 template.
Your sprite is now 14x27.  Not a large variance to be sure, but on sprites of this size every pixel can make a huge difference in the overall item.
Your sprite has a very slim and very tall look to it.  The waist is as narrow as the neck/chin.  The length along the dress is long, flat, and unnecessary. Cutting a couple pixels there or redefining them to give your character more shape would probably help a lot.
You also have large chunks of solid color patches on the clothing, face, and hair.  More shading placement will correct that. Look at the way the colors were used in the old sprites to form shape. At this size you really won't see the shadows.
Your shading and solid color is also really pulling forward the mirror-like way you designed the sprite.  Split her down the middle and she looks almost identical on both sides. The FF sprites did this too in their standing poses, but they had enough shading/highlighting going on that you had to look closely to notice it. Yours feels statuesque in comparison.  The eyes sort of sweep across those solid blocks and immediately pull the shapes out and reveal the mirror pattern.
Another issue that is pulling yours away from the feel of those old sprites is the angle.  Your sprite is looking directly at us. FF sprite eyes were placed lower on the face to make the sprite seem like it was looking forward of itself.  (Also the eye color does blend with the hair to sort of muddy the face up to the observer.)
Hope these observations help.  :)

Pixel Art / Re: Help with Cave tileset for platformer [C&C][WIP]
« on: November 17, 2013, 05:30:42 am »
 :) You really don't want your terrain to take more attention than your sprite(typically).
Thin may be good for this case.  Your terrain is already 60% of the mockup and the other terrain in the background fills almost the rest.  If you go much "thicker", your terrain may pull too much away from the action.

Are you running off of a 2x zoom or anything?  That might help a lot to bring the attention squarely onto the subject and it will also make the tiles feel much more fleshy up close.

Pixel Art / Re: Large 3/4 view NES figure (nude)
« on: November 14, 2013, 07:30:14 pm »
I feel like these edits are missing the 3/4th view he is aiming for.  That is above at a sort of 45 degree angle.  Not top down or directly in front of.


I've been hammering on this quite a bit, although most of the work I have done isn't visible with this result.  I have played with moving things around and changed a lot of angles.
Several hours working on perspectives and color palettes have left me with a really bad wall (though it's grid work is what I am using to develop my perspective in an anchored direction.  I will probably return to a dirt or stonework wall after I have finished using it to layout the scene better.

The furnace isn't quite there yet on it's shape but it's definitely getting closer. The opening and bottom are both in line with the perspective and the colors are closing in on what I'm aiming to use.
I still need to round the top better and then spend some time laying out the bricks as I want them. I imagine that will be time consuming so I am trying to get the scene fully ready before really coloring anything with any dedication.

I realize now just how out of perspective the character is, particularly his hat and face which are/were created with a straight 2D mindset.   :blind:   ~Learning~

Pixel Art / Re: Large 3/4 view NES figure (nude)
« on: November 14, 2013, 02:56:55 am »
There are a lot of ways to help yourself with this.  You started with a weird wobbly canister/cake model which didn't help your perspective attempts.  Perhaps a stick/wire frame with balls for joints and structures would have worked better to shape it.

At any rate the struggle lies in this particular angle you are aiming for which is sort of hard to find a good reference for online.
I dug one up for you.  <-- Near the very bottom of that page you will find a pose very similar to your goal that should help you out with your problem.

If you can't find a pic on the internet or in a book. Use real life. Find a doll or toy and pose it.  ~Or get daring and try a real woman~.  ::)

I like the way the image in the link uses the box frame to illustrate the spacial shift and sizing differences.  Maybe that will help you with yours.

I have been to many tournaments and viewed/participated in this sort of conduct. This style of movement is deliberately attuned to muscle control. It simulates not only the ready stance they take before and after but also displays crisp and precise movements.  The purpose is to show they have control of every muscle in their body.  Refinement and mastery of the body.

The reason I say this is because you are watching the wrong things to simulate this sort of walk.  Their legs aren't stiff. They are precisely placed and moved at a speed that controls body weight and balance. They are not walking heel to toe as most of us do in shoes they are walking on the balls of their feet.  If anything they are graceful.  (Think cranes stalking fish in the water.)

Their shoulders are not bouncing around because they are keeping such movement in measured increments and more importantly SLOW increments.

Think of it like tip toeing.  Not silly but sneaky tip toeing. Gradual measured movements.
To capture this effect you will need to do several things.
Study animation to understand the speed at which you have to transition a sprite to capture speed effects, study how their entire bodies are moving and not only their feet and legs, and do something about the super exaggerated movements that you have in your sprites.  Your arms are noodles, the shoulders are all over the place, and your legs function like 80s action figure toys. (The point is that your figure seems to have very little control of his movements. ~The opposite of your goal~)

I think you could probably capture the effect if you tried those things, even without really developing your figures shape and body.  I have seen it done with stick figures.
You could also see this type of movement in military drills, ceremonies, balance competitions, religious and royal processions.  Hope this helps. :y:

Hello, you should modify this message with some pixel art for criticism soon, or I suspect you will be flamed a bit for a broach in protocol.

As I understand the matter, outlines should be used on pieces that struggle to stand out from the background elements a bit.  You want key elements such as player characters, enemies, and interactive elements to stand out to the viewer. If the colors overwhelm these items or blend them in too well, outline borders are sometimes used to make them stand apart a bit more.
Of course many of the older games simply used palettes that were of complementary colors to create the division.  (Blue vs. Orange/ Red vs. Green) and so on.
There are tons of helpful insights on animations and everything if you read through the hundreds of threads and general discussion forum(which is where this should probably be until you get some art up.)

Feeling like I have been a bit verbose in my replies and postings so, I'm going to try to keep it a touch more concise.
[First]                [New]                      [Framing]

Started by trying to push wall back away. Didn't like it. Worked on redesigning the layout with a new perspective arrangement.
Testing the layout of the furnace with some bad wire framing technique to see how it lines up. Reworked floor.  Preparing for wall revamp.
Any crits on current layout? I lined up the perspective based on the lines of the anvil base.  It was the only thing I had which was concrete(snicker) in it's form.  I'm no expert on perspective yet so I may need to do a bit more tweaking before I do any heavy coloring such.

Pixel Art / Re: Portrait: Looking for a Mentor !
« on: November 11, 2013, 01:43:06 pm »
I am fairly new to pixel art myself, but a few things I can see that you could do right away to fix this some before you get into more advanced things such as your color choices and how to shade and define shape more clearly.

One of your eyes ISN'T lower than the other one. Even in your particular picture the eyes are fairly level. If anything the one you have placed lower should be higher than the other one to match this pose.

You used a solid color for both your hair and the headphones. While you may perceive both to be the same color (black"ish") I suspect your hair is actually a very dark brown. While the headset is actually black. Another issue with this is that one is made of hair and the other is plastic. They shouldn't be the same colors at all.  [If you are going for less detail this could be okay probably but you seem to be aiming for more so...]

The headset itself is completely out of whack. It, like your eyes, is not so askew on the actual image as you portray it here.  Also the side which you have as larger on your image is farther away in the actual image which gives makes it look odd in this image.  The angle feels like it is sticking out from your ear sideways almost.

That super high contrast blue you are using for your background will pull some of the depth away from your other colors as it's so high in value. Use a more neutral color that isn't so deep and strong and you will have an easier time choosing your colors and shaping things.

A suggestion~   Break the image apart and work on separate pieces at a time instead of trying to nail down the entire thing in one go.  Work on your face and get the angle and shape right.  Then work on the headset.  Then the controller.  It will make your time more productive and you will KNOW that the face looks right before you try getting the headset to work and so on.   :)


I went ahead and did a small edit. I didn't put much time into it so it's not even close to perfection. As you can see I compressed the other image down and put it side by side so you could see the way I lined up the face to more closely match the image. Don't mind the pixelated mess that the other became, we aren't after a clean image there.  I then drew some lines to emphasize the size and shape of a few things.

The biggest changes I made were to take down the length of your forehead which I think was too tall. I put a new positioning on the eye and a bit of a shape change on them. The nose could probably move up a bit too.
I took your palette and shifted it to a more flushed color as in the image. The big thing to do is to shape the face with contrasts and then move the colors into the place you want them. My super high division between colors is to show the shape of the face. Then coloring, shading, and contrast bridging could do a great job to really fill it in.  I did a bit of highlight work on the hair tips.  As your spiky hair style shows, the light reflects off of the individual hair spikes differently than the thicker bunches. That will give the solid blob of hair a more defined shape as well.
I actually think your nose was a little too wide and sharply cut for the face.

Finally your dithering. I'm not expert, but I think that dithering works better to define texture in this sort of piece. I could see what you were trying but the plane of the face doesn't seem to slope enough to warrant isolated patches of dithering like you were doing.  [Not an expert on this, so I may be wrong]  I think the dithering would work better on parts of the skin that need more of a texture definition, for example the whisker shadows, and more glossy pores that show.

Take what you see or leave it, I tried this out to see if I could. And to maybe help you out in the process.  :P 

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