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Messages - eishiya
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Pixel Art / Re: Grass
« on: February 08, 2021, 12:41:07 am »
My "trick" is to use tiles, but
- with several variants, 4+ different tiles
- small enough tiles that there aren't big distinct shapes of grass within the tile that will be noticeable when repeated
- with different edges that line up to form different grass clump shapes when put together (this too benefits from smaller tiles)

Towards the end (after placing any props and such, which will cover up a lot of the tiling), the remaining bits where tiling is still noticeable can be touched up manually.

This is the method I'd employ for almost all terrains, tbh - grass, dirt, water, bricks, as well as transitions.

It's a lot easier to avoid the "tiled" look with tiles than it is to manually obtain a good level of polish on an un-tiled expanse like this. The key thing to avoid the appearance of a grid, rather than avoid tiles entirely. Break up those blocky straight transitions, and use a good set of variant tiles, and most people won't even notice you're using tiles at all.

In addition: you can embrace solid areas of colour. Your grass right now, completely solid green, actually looks pretty good, just a little boring! Solid colours "tile" perfectly, don't look tiled, and are easy to draw. All you need to do to keep the image from being boring is to break up the negative space with just enough unique elements and props that the scene doesn't look empty, you don't have to fill it all with texture.

Pixel Art / Re: Castles and clouds
« on: February 08, 2021, 12:24:58 am »
For the clouds, I think it might help to have a bit more space with the solid blue sky visible between the waves/rows of clouds. As it is, the sky reads more like water or some other continuous textured surface, rather than white clouds against a blue background of sky.

Of the three versions you posted, I think the middle one looks most like clouds,  because they're less regular.

I also wonder if perhaps making the sky lighter overall might help, with whiter clouds and a less dark blue for the sky. The sky doesn't quite match the rest of the scene right now because it's so high-contrast. When using photo reference, you need to be critical about the colours, as they're often edited in a way that helps the photo's composition, but may work against your goals. Since you're going for a hazy look for the distant parts of the scene, the sky should also be affected by that.

The highlights on the flat sides of the wagon wheels feel a bit out of place, being so well-defined and sharp, when the rest of the image has such subtle and soft rendering. They draw a lot of attention to themselves as a result, which doesn't seem intentional.

Pixel Art / Re: [WIP] Skelton in Armor
« on: January 11, 2021, 02:18:54 pm »
Have you looked at any photo reference? The lighting you're looking for doesn't seem too different from what you might find in museums and films, so you should be able to find plenty. When in doubt, always start by looking at the real thing, and stylise from there.

Reference would also help communicate to others what sort of armour you're going for, it would help others make suggestions and edit.

Also, your formatting's fine, but it would help people make edits more easily if you posted your image at 1x zoom. The forum has a zoom feature (click an image to zoom, click while holding any modifier key to unzoom), so pre-zooming is usually unnecessary.

Pixel Art / Re: [CC] [WIP] Character sprite feedback
« on: November 09, 2020, 03:47:10 pm »
While I agree with most of bengo's advice, I feel their edit goes overboard and completely changes the style (and in the case of the bird, changes the design/species), loses some readability, and loses the lovely sense of volume the original had. I think it's a good edit to study, but I think it can be difficult to figure out how to incorporate those changes into one's own work, since it's so different.

To help bridge the gap somewhat, here's a different take that incorporates most of what bengo said to a lesser degree, keeping most of the original style.

It uses more colours (14 instead of 9; original had 18) and keeps the external outlines because I feel they improve readability, but makes some similar changes to the silhouette and adds/corrects some of the same details from the reference that were missing/off-model in the original. Mostly I focused on adding the big details from the ref while getting rid of the small ones that weren't reading well (folds, etc), and removing highlights that weren't important or helping define the forms.
I kept the details and lighting on the legs because I don't think they were clashing with the head at all, the contrast there is much lower. I even added more contrast and I still don't feel it clashes.

The things I "corrected" were the heights of the shoulder pads, and the relative sizes of the boots and gloves. Looks like you struggle with keeping those consistent, OP, so that's something you should try to focus on specifically. I also made their trousers tighter (=legs thinner) to be consistent with the ref.

General Discussion / Re: Order of Techniques
« on: November 09, 2020, 03:43:02 pm »
I go the whole nine yards on one of the keyframes (typically an idle pose; I usually do idle animations last) just to be sure that everything reads well. Once that's done, I block in the frames very loosely, and I don't deal with lighting and details until I'm satisfied with the base animation. I'll only touch lighting during this stage if it's an important and dynamic part of the animation.

I usually do this cycle (block in -> refine timing/poses -> lighting/details) on each separate animation rather than several animations at once, because I like having something I can call done on a regular basis. It's probably a less efficient way to work overall, but for me, the psychological benefit is worth it.

Devlogs & Projects / Re: On the take - Visual novel
« on: November 08, 2020, 07:13:29 pm »
I wish you'd actually talk about what's going on in your posts. Three months of posts in and I still have no idea what this project is, what kind of work you're doing and what kind of work needs to be done, or what any of these images mean. I can't even tell if I'm looking at screenshots from some game engine, a custom engine, a story editor, or what. Makes it hard to get interested in the project!

General Discussion / Re: ~Pixel Wallpapers~
« on: November 03, 2020, 02:41:51 pm »
This is the critique board, so yes, this is the wrong place to post this. There isn't a place for self-promo on this forum at all, but perhaps the General Discussion board would work for this. Normally I'd recommend reporting the thread so a moderator can move it, but I'm not sure there are any active ones ):

Pixel Art / Re: [Feedback Needed] Big Rock
« on: October 16, 2020, 06:28:18 pm »
What is the scale of your game? How big are the characters (if there are any)? The details on the rock and the ripple size make it look fairly small (smaller than a person), but its pixel size is very large, I'd be surprised if you made pixel art character sprites to match.

The rock looks good overall and has an interesting shape, but I think you can make it look even better.

The colours look rather dull. Consider adding some faint hints of hues and hue-shifting to it instead of using pure grey. It's in blue water, so presumably the sky is blue, and this would affect the colours of the shadows.

The highlights are inconsistent, the white light seems to be coming from all directions. I'd also use those edge highlights you're doing more sparingly, as overused, they make the rock feel flat.

The details seen through the water look rather noisy, lots of single pixels that don't communicate any meaningful detail or texture. Similarly, the details in the big crack at the top of the rock look rather noisy. Pixel art is often about committing to strong shapes, because it can't communicate tiny details well. Try to focus on showing the big shapes, they're what will create your visual interest. Don't worry about the small details so much.

The shadow cast by the rock seems rather like an afterthought, it lacks the lovely shaping of the rock itself. The shadow would be a great opportunity to suggest some texture of the ground beneath the water without actually drawing it.

Lastly, the piece feels a little rough because of how you've placed thin dark lines immediately next to light shapes, making the pixelated boundry between them stand out more. Some anti-aliasing or different placement would really help make the piece feel more polished.

Here's an edit incorporating the above. I focused mostly on the big shapes making up the rock, and making more "details" by adding more protrusions and dips, rather than surface details.

Pixel Art / Re: [WIP] How can I improve this piece ? Quiet island
« on: September 28, 2020, 11:09:38 pm »
I think the walls and rocks don't fit together primarily due to the lighting, which is more intense and directional on the rocks, and more hazy/overcast-like on the buildings. The buildings have less contrast and form definition than the rocks.

Pixel Art / Re: Animation
« on: September 28, 2020, 10:43:25 pm »
I like the character style, but the motion feels unfinished since the character never finishes their step forward and there's no overshooting or any secondary motion to give the attack any force.

Depending on the character's personality, you may also want to keep their eye visible in all the frames. Expected fighters generally keep their eyes on their opponent as much as possible instead of twirling unnecessarily.

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