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2D & 3D / Re: Sprite interpretations
« on: May 15, 2010, 11:42:26 pm »
Been participating in this all by my lonesome in traditional medium. Hopefully I work up the courage to launch a digital attempt soon!

Out of curiosity: Arne, what's your process, here? Are these first passes, or do you thumbnail for a bit first. Are you actively playing the game, pausing when a pose/scene inspires you, or do you rifle through sprite pages via google and draw as you wish?

Pixel Art / Re: Some new stuff
« on: May 15, 2010, 10:37:17 pm »
 - Real live people are the best 3d models ever, and they're rather hard NOT to find. Real lights, too, are easy to find and easy to position.

 - Try not to feel awkward about "having to" look at nude men and women. There is nothing sexual about it, and that's not a joke.

 - What's most important is whether or not YOU like your work. Critique is a great tool, as it typically offers a different perspective/approach to the work you're doing, and very likely to see things you may have missed. There is no critique that is absolute; At the end of the day, it is YOU who judges whether or not your work is adequate, and whether or not a certain aspect is in need of repairs.

 - Be conscious of your own attempts to take shortcuts in your path to great artisthooddom. (Example : a 3d model that strikes the pose and defines the shadows for you, allowing you to copy without comprehension) Decide whether or not they are truly wise steps toward whatever end goal you hope to acheive (such as "I WANT TO BE BETTER THAN EVERYONE!" or "I WANT TO BE COMPETENT ENOUGH TO MAKE A GAME THAT DOESN'T MAKE THE LADIES SCREAM IN TERROR")

 - Keep friggin' tryin'! I've been watching from the shadows, and I for one am happy to see that you're still improving! Keep it up!

2D & 3D / Re: Official OT-Creativity Thread 2
« on: May 09, 2010, 05:15:46 pm »
Man helm you shud not rip off ptoing's av >:V

No I am kidding. You should get a free puppy, cause that's awesome.

I, too, believe helm eats puppies.

This thread is and always has been fantastic.

Also, Souly... going to school? Where at? What program? Your eye for style combined with a solid understanding of the fundamentals of many things should prove to be a dangerous combination.

2D & 3D / Re: Official Anatomy Thread
« on: April 18, 2010, 02:11:39 pm »
General consensus is probably going to be something like WHO KNOWS MEN JUST DO IT!

But I started by attending some local lifedrawing classes (DO ITTTTTTTTTTTTT) and acquiring many helpful books that gave me things to think about and focus upon whilst attending said lifedrawing classes.

I reccomend the Force book ( because it doesn't immediately vault into flexors and extensors and the latin names of finicky little bones, but starts with much, much broader concepts of anatomy, such as how to "see" where the force or weight is, how to see the forceful shapes, and how to actually start drawing. It's not necessarily an anatomy book in the technical sense, but I found it to be a lot of fun and improvement inducing.

Experience and failing a lot is always the best teacher, though. I'm extremely hypocritical on that front. I should go draw. RIGHT NOW.

2D & 3D / Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...
« on: January 18, 2010, 12:50:51 am »
I don't think the off-timed double barrel recoil is helping you much, if any.

Also, I think it'd probably be wise to stick some sort of recoil absorption method on the pivot, so the character doesn't rip his own shoulder off every time he fires. Exaggerated and too powerful, but an edit:

Ehh, or maybe the double barrel recoil is cool. Iunno.

2D & 3D / Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...
« on: January 17, 2010, 03:35:43 am »
Perhaps not the best place to initiate a discussion (or, more appropriately, "rant"), but it is relevant to what's going on here... an' pixelation is one of the few hidey-holes on the internet where you can pose your thoughts and have reasonable hope for an informed reply!

So, I begin.

How much does it matter?

In this case, the "it" is the feeling of weight of the gorilla. In the context of the game, how much does it matter? The animation, as is, looks... well, like a gorilla running. it doesn't necessarily look like a slaughterous, 900 pound cyborg primate feline, it doesn't necessarily project each of our specific images for what it -should- look like*... but at the end of the day, in the context of the game, it -is- emitting a mood and seems to be performing the actions it is supposed to be performing.

It is/was also being judged primarily (by myself, at least) as a stand-alone animation, without regard for the context it was in. If/when it is seen in its home context, I have a hard time believing the already small errors of weight in animation will be all that easy to pick out, or noticeable... especially considering the player will likely have more important things to worry about, such as robots shooting LASERS at his FACE.

This is my opinion, though. I was raised and have always taught myself in a more or less absolute, black-OR-white yes OR no sort of way. The reason I'm raising my voice here is because there's quite a few minds (helm-who-must-not-be-named ( :P ), NDChristie and/or Adarias (I still fight with your name change!) would be the two most vocal) who comment upon and point out the merits of subtlety in game design and art in general. I've never outright disagreed with that notion, but there are times when I struggle to see its strength, and times where I see the pursuit of subtlety be damaging to the process in general.

Off on a bit of a tangent, here, but I'm sure I'll work my way back to... uhh... somewhere.

"It's the little things that count" is a saying that comes to mind. I don't disagree with that saying. It is one that popped up occasionally in my formal education, and every time I heard it I could think of examples where it rings true. Take the entire "knytt" series as a shining example. There's a ton of subtle environmental interaction and sound effects and... things that all wonderfully support the main theme of the game. Most of 'em you don't even consciously register until you realise that it's the subtle things that are sucking you in, and start looking for 'em. It works brilliantly, and why it works brilliantly, I think, is directly connected to a saying that was welded to my chest by my formal education.

"YOU'RE POLISHING THE TURD". The reason "knytt" works so well is because its core is solid. The concepts, gameplay, and progression all work, and all the little subtle things compliment the fact that the core is solid, and make the whole game enjoyable (for some). To get away from the game theme, and back to why/how I find focus on subtlties to be detrimental to the whole process is this: Often, I find myself (and other artists) focussing on something that essentially amounts to "polishing the turd" (NOT YOU, HOWARD DAY! I'm off on a tangent, just needed to clarify that this does not pertain to your work!). For 'zample, how often have we seen (and done!) someone working really hard on a human face, trying to convey this precise emotion, drawing and redrawing and redrawing the smile and CURSING THE SKIES BECAUSE THIS FRIGGIN PORTRAIT ASDFFFFFFFF... only to have someone walk in and mention "Hey, your perspective / proportions are off!"

Same thing goes for people attempting to draw drapery over volumes they don't understand. Adding the interaction of subtlety over a core that is broken is only going to result in it being shiny poo.

I think I did that thing where i answered my own quesiton. Lemme check. Yep!

Subtlety matters, but the biggest thing to remember is that subtlety adds, not masks.

HOW this relates back to the topic and subject and whatnot (Kay, Howard. This is you again!) is that either our, the critic's view of the core is bustigated, meaning we don't know something he does that makes it work... OR the core of the beast is bustigated, meaning it is not designed or constructed in a manner that makes sense or reads correctly to the viewer.

Personally, after a bit of observation, I'm opting for the latter. Unless the character is redesigned in a way that supports more believable subtle motion (Primarily, I think, the allowance of shoulder motion would do wonders. I'm not too sold on the rotating disc shoulder joint, as it doesn't allow for much chest rise/fall on impact, and I feel that a lot of the weight in four-legged creatures of this nature is shown by the shoulderblade breaking the contour of the back/neck.)

OF COURSE, that is just criticism in the context of Howard Day's pursuit of believable animation as an artist. I don't have any criticism for the animation in the context of the game, as I think it works well now, and adding anything further to it will excessively complicate matters without reaaaaaaaaally adding that much.

This post was something of an experiment. Thanks for allowing me to let my train of thought do a couple laps around the mountain!

2D & 3D / Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...
« on: January 15, 2010, 01:24:35 am »
You've sold me on it, Howard. Now that you've explained it (and I'm sure it'd be explained in the game as well), I'm having a much easier time reading a sort of "reluctant hero" in your main character.

Conceit's got good points about the animation, though (Though you misplaced your links, Conceit! It's the 2nd link that has runs after 2:02 :P). I'm not sure I entirely agree that aiming for a realistic (according to the video Conceit posted) run is a wise design choice, as it looks to me a lot more like two midgets doing the wheelbarrow than a powerful, fast run.

Iunno. I can't make any informed judgements, and I think the catlike run -is- the way to go, but Conceit is very right about it floating.

I'll do some experimenting, you'll hear 'bout it if I get anywhere.

-e- nope, I got nothin'.

2D & 3D / Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...
« on: January 14, 2010, 08:17:04 am »

First off: Fantastic, ridiculous, if I can concoct stuff at this level of quality some day, I'll die happy.

Second: For your Gorilla... if the function defines the form, then what is his body armour/cyborg-ness doing? What is he supposed to be doing?

The rest of your work seems to make sense in this regard. Not much seems incongruous; everything is where it should be, reads easily, and supports a function.

For example, the Deathbot. From a few seconds of looking, my brain picks it up as a tough, frontal-defense robot, built primarily to stand its ground and repel a number of medium-to-small, relatively slow targets. This idea of the robot is gathered from the way it appears to be crafted. It has a single, nonrotational optic up front, mounted low and moderately well defended, as well as two frontward-facing guns, seemingly well-protected legs and an energy core placed behind it all where it's very unlikely to be hit at all. Your design of the character is fantastic, and tells the viewer a lot of things that probably won't even register unless he thinks about it.

In comparison and using the same analysis, I wanna look at your Gorilla. It has a giant friggin' cannon, which is very clear in intent and purpose. It appears to be built to charge headlong into a battle and exploderize everything by virtue of the fact that its gun is so large aiming is just a suggestion, not a necessity. It is incongruous, however with itself and its own percieved function by the way it is crafted. If it IS a beast (Cyborg primate whatever) meant primarily to juggernaut its way in there and leave bits of robot strewn across the earth, then why are its two most important physical forces entirely unarmoured, save for two bracelets that remind me more of restraining devices than anything else? Also, why is there more protection on the rear end, where nothing is likely to even be scratched, let alone permanently damaged?

The character's design isn't telling me what it's meant for. My heart says it's made to rush in there fastlike and crushinate (Also, I feel like I read this somewhere), but the character design isn't supporting that thesis, or offering another suggestion (If the gun had a longer barrel, and the gorilla had freaky optics, I'd think sniper gorilla. If it was clutching a nuclear warhead, I'd think kamikaze gorilla.).

What I'd be playing around with or attempting to do would be to push the idea that this gorilla does not believe that "slow", "backwards" and "stop" are anywhere in the dictionary, and that forward progress despite any obstacle is the only way to go, ever. The character doesn't project any definite idea right now, and I think that's where it suffers most.

2D & 3D / Re: Official OT-Creativity Thread 2
« on: January 14, 2010, 03:52:30 am »

Willows here, lost the login an' email for... well, Willows. Whatever!

Started learning flash!

General Discussion / Re: Animation Challenge #5
« on: August 02, 2006, 06:33:13 am »
At leeeeast I tried.


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