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Messages - eishiya
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General Discussion / Re: Pixelation's Future
« on: September 01, 2022, 11:18:42 am »
While forums aren't necessarily my preferred medium for pixel art discussion, almost anything is better than Twitter =_= I don't use that service any more, and don't plan to return. The communities feature seems neat and I'd love to interact with the people who used to be here, but *waves arms at Twitter*. The community has gone to lands where I cannot keep up with it.

I'd love to use the PJ forums, but I feel like there's an obstacle to almost everything I try to do there, though I keep trying. And LoSpec is just too broad in coverage, its forum too disorganized ;_;

All that to say: Pixelation was the best place for me. Thanks for keeping up the fight against spam as long as you did. I miss this place, I miss the people I used to talk to here, and I miss having amazing guidance on my pixel-pushing path.

And thanks for leaving it up as a read-only archive!
Are there any plans to locally back up the various images from the crit threads? I've been keeping mine up, but image hosting sites inevitably crumble... Perhaps submitting this site to the Internet Wayback Machine might be the easiest approach?

Pixel Art / Re: Top down skeleton [WIP]
« on: June 06, 2022, 11:15:01 pm »
This pose is looking nicer, but watch out for the perspective - this is looking way more like a sidescroller sprite.

Try having a bit of floor (e.g. tiles or stone floor) that you draw the characters on, so you have something specific to plant their feet on when you block the poses in. I find it easier to keep everything else in perspective that way.

Pixel Art / Re: Top down skeleton [WIP]
« on: June 06, 2022, 12:15:30 pm »
They keep getting better with each version :]

I don't think this 3/4 view makes it any harder to create readable poses, I think where you're struggling is probably that you're forgetting that these characters still exist in "3D" - bits can go forward and back. Your poses are all very symmetric, which looks stiff and uninteresting. The legs don't have to be next to each other, one can be further back, and that'll look both more interesting and help the character look more balanced. Similarly the arms and even the whole torso don't have to be so symmetrical and facing the viewer directly.

Alundra has 4 directions of poses I think, with the side poses being drawn as 3/4 poses rather than pure side views; if you're tempted into symmetry by the front view, perhaps the 3/4 side view poses might be better to start with?

Pixel Art / Re: Looking for critique on some game art (gifs)
« on: May 13, 2022, 01:02:50 am »
For making things look worn and imperfect without adding a lot of noise, my preferred method is to just tilt some things a bit. Especially with larger bricks like this, it's pretty easy, it's very clear when bricks are misaligned because their normal pattern is so regular and well-understood. Colour variation, such big splotches or whole bricks of a different colour, can also help without adding much visual noise.

You could also make some variant tiles that have more detail/noise (cracks, etc), but which you use sparingly. That way, you can have some noisy bits without the whole scene being noisy.

I think biomes you'd not expect being underground is a pretty good idea, but you should still put thought into at least the recent history of the locations before you draw the tiles, so that they don't just look like Floating Fantasy City #50972 but with a dark background xP The overall concept of a location is important, but it's the small-scale stuff that players spend most of their time looking at, so you should put some thought into it. For example, for the rocky backgrounds in your giant cavern, don't just draw some "rocks", think about what kinds of rocks they might be, and how they came to be in the formations that they are. The lumpy uniform rock look is very common in games, but how often do you see rock formations that look like that? Those kinds of rocks are easy to make work in small tiles, but you might be able to make something more effective by taking the time to draw some large-scale rocks instead, perhaps just as some highlights in an otherwise solid mass, to avoid making the scene too noisy and to keep the tile count low. The shapes of these rocks and other parts of the environment will influence the mood of the location, and you can even use them to wordlessly inform the player about the backstory.

Pixel Art / Re: Looking for critique on some game art (gifs)
« on: May 12, 2022, 12:07:17 pm »
The dog looks like it's floating most of the time. I can't tell if the animation is meant to be a run or walk or something else, because the poses don't look particularly like any of them. It looks like you're reusing the jump poses? I recommend making some unique poses for each animation, even though it's more work. If you look up "dog run cycle" online, you should get lots of results, including some photos like these: one, two. Your animation doesn't need to have these many frames, you can get away with 3-4, as long as they include the extremes of the pose - the leap with both legs off the ground and apart, and when both legs are together under the body. There are similar resources for walking animations, if that's what you're aiming for.

Since you have a dark outline on the dog's paws, the dog always appears like it's floating 1px off the ground, which doesn't help with the floaty look. For the animation frames where the dog is on the ground, have the legs go all the way to the ground, without an outline in the middle. It'll help it look much more grounded. The sprites might look weird in isolation without the outline, but you have to consider the final look. No one's going to be looking at the sprites in isolation.

The environment art looks nice, but rather bland and flat. You've got castle walls and some brown dirt with grass on it, these appear in just about every generic tileset and tell me nothing about your game's world, or even genre or general mood. Even if a generic setting is the goal, you can make it look unique and convey a mood through how you draw them. You've drawn a very generic brick pattern, for example, but the bricks look neither old and cracked nor new. You have crystals and some tiles for vines growing on the bricks, but nothing about the other tiles suggests that the place is abandoned or what might've happened to it.

The light brick surface on which you walk looks nice, but has the same problem of telling us nothing. At a closer look, the brick also seems to be melting? That might be cool, if it's intentional. If it's intentional, make it more obvious perhaps, with larger gloops of stone? And if it's not melting, then what is happening to it? I thought at first it was just cracked and rough (unlike all the other bricks xP), but then I noticed some tiles have the brick dripping down onto lower bricks.

In short: You seem to be going for an overgrown fantasy castle look. Give some thought to how and when it became like this, and integrate indications of this into the other tiles, even those that don't directly show plants. If it's been a while and it naturally got like this, make the bricks less perfectly even, add some cracks. If it magically suddenly became like this, make the bricks tidier and brighter to show their newness.

Speaking of integrating the plants and bricks: try having the moss, vines, and grass follow the brick lines a bit more. Moss and grass especially tend to favour upward-facing surfaces, so they'll often have grown further in the bits where the mortar is gone, and just on the upper edges of the bricks in general. This can make help them look like they're actually growing on the bricks rather than just merely slapped on.

The ground tiles have very noisy edges, especially compared to the clean geometric pattern within. The edges should feel like they're consistent with the front, they should have the same scale of detail. The ground overall feels out of place with the bricks and the detailed grass on top of it. The bricks seem to be going for an only mildly stylised texture and get dark towards the middle, while the ground has a Sonic-like highly stylised pattern, and gets dark at the bottom. They don't look like they belong in the same game. Then you also have the background ground/stone(?) texture, which is just a pattern throughout without going solid anywhere. Notice how Sonic, when it does use its patterned textures (mostly in Emerald Hill Zone), uses them throughout the map, and maps using more realistic textures have such textures throughout (and the more "realistic" textures are still very geometric, which maintains a sense of consistency).
I think the stylisation on the ground looks cool, but if you're going for that kind of look, commit to it, stylise everything else too. And if you want a less stylised look overall, then don't stylise the ground either, unless you have some story reason for it that's explained to the player.
In your maps, it looks like you have lighter tiles behind the dirt, so the dirt looks blockier than it has to.

Lastly, watch out for the tangent of the lowest crystal on the second tree in the tileset. The way it's placed exactly 1px into the trunk all around makes it look like it has a dark outline.

Edit: I completely forgot to talk about colours! If you don't have a specific look in mind and don't feel confident in choosing colours, then starting with a palette like that is good, since it helps you get started. However, don't feel like you have to use only those colours, feel free to change or add colours if you think it helps your specific art look better. You might end up with something very different at the end, or with largely the same palette, and the only thing that matters is that the resulting art works well.

General Discussion / Re: Do People Still Use this Website/Forum?
« on: January 11, 2022, 01:23:59 pm »
Considering how many job offers I've gotten from merely posting a portfolio here, I'd say at the very least people trawl it for artists
I'm glad to hear this. I haven't posted my portfolio here, but I was wondering if it was worth the effort. Since most of those threads don't get replies (I guess because people contact via email instead), it looks like they get no attention.

Pixel Art / Re: [Feedback] [CC] Fantasy iso 1bit-BW Mockup
« on: November 16, 2021, 11:47:02 pm »
The scenes feel "fantasy-like" in that they depict fantasy subjects, but I don't know what you're aiming for beyond that. When composing scenes, make sure you give characters some breathing room instead of cropping them or near them (unless making them feel boxed in is part of your storytelling goal). Scenes 1 (distant tree) and 3 (vaulted hallway) are my favourites of these, but they both have some awkward cropping on the characters.

Scenes 2 (campfire), 4 (bridge smash), and 6 (kiss) feel boring, the compositions don't really communicate any energy or emotion. If the campfire is meant to be intimate, move us closer, let us focus on the characters' faces and interactions. If it's meant to feel cold and distance, zoom out more. If the bridge smash is meant to feel grand and objective, then perhaps show it somewhat from below to make the creature feel larger, and to show the stakes (the distance to fall). If the bridge scene is meant to make us feel what the characters are feeling, then move us closer to the characters, show us the scene from their perspective, show that huge fist coming at them, with the creature in the background. For the kiss, consider using multiple shots, so that we can see both of the characters' expressions. If the girl wants the kiss, have her reciprocate by embracing him or at least leaning in, right now it looks like the guy is kissing a statue. The medium shot is very neutral, it's good to establish what's about to happen, but for the kiss itself, I'd probably zoom in.

The dragon scene is pretty cool, but I'd pull the camera lower to the ground so that it's eye-level with the character, I think that'll make the dragon seem scarier. The view is currently more objective, which makes the dragon seem smaller and weaker than it's probably intended to be.

If you want to do an isometric scene in pixel art, then you only really have one good option: something like the last example, with 1:2 slope lines. Anything else is either going to give you jaggy lines, or it's not going to be isometric.

General Discussion / Re: Do People Still Use this Website/Forum?
« on: November 04, 2021, 02:01:25 am »
That's good to hear, thank you! Maybe I'll check the PJ server out again some time.

General Discussion / Re: Do People Still Use this Website/Forum?
« on: November 02, 2021, 07:47:45 pm »
Does the PJ Discord still have a single channel for both off-topic chatter and art feedback? That was one of the things I really didn't like about it when I was there, there was no way to mute channels such that I would only get notifications for art-related conversations. I suggested the idea of splitting them, but the moderation preferred to keep them merged.

General Discussion / Re: Do People Still Use this Website/Forum?
« on: October 30, 2021, 06:07:39 pm »
PixelJoint's the only somewhat-active website I can recommend.

As for Discords, I can't recommend any as I've not looked at any of them in a long time.

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