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Messages - HughSpectrum
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I just outdid my topic title.  THIS is the worst idea I've ever had, and it might actually be in all seriousness.

What I am thinking of attempting is probably bad form, so I'm gonna go ahead and present the idea.  It's something I've been wanting to try for awhile, but is highly inefficient when it comes to color count and the pixel form.

It's a combination of adding an extremely low contrasting shade and dithering to create a super smooth and subtle gradient, because some times I want to add an extremely subtle curve or shading to a surface, but can't do so without drawing too much attention to it.

It's a debate with myself, because it's not pixel information that's necessary or maybe not even useful, and it also begs the question "why not just use another medium that better facilitates such a task"?

There must be something else I can do, because most pixel artists seem to do fine without having to resort to choices like this.

I caved in and made the screen bigger, but now I'm bitter at how much of an annoyance it was to do.

Since the screen is so much bigger now, I figured it'd be neat to have another screen at a surrounding angle.

Anyway, changed light source (though I'm probably abusing light physics here, I really don't want to bring the light source in view), and other changes I either don't remember or feel like mentioning.

I don't want to make another big change now, I really need to start finishing this up.

Okay...  What I'm probably gonna do later...

1) Say "screw it" and assume the playing board is physical, and the characters will cast shadows over it, and nerf the sci-finess of it.

2) Enlarge the screen (although I won't go for a super dramatic effect).

That idea is too good.  I feel like it's almost stealing if I went ahead and enlarged the screen this late in the game.  I think something like that I should try and consider for a future project so I can actually learn from the advice.

@Mathias: I originally didn't intend it to be Tron-like, but I probably overdid it in trying to communicate that environment is a visual display and not a physical object.  It's been awhile since I've actually seen the show, to be honest, so I likely got a lot of things wrong.

Looking back on earlier versions where the colors are much darker than they are now and thinking about past lighting conditions I've done (as a side note: I will never dither like that again), I can see where my mistakes and habits have come from in terms of lighting.  I also need to fix a palette that I pull a lot of colors from.

Either way, I think the point is ultimately that a lot of background elements are too strong, and need to be nerfed.

I pushed the two big lights more towards the back, and with the new implied distance I was able to have another light where the close spotlight used to be, to help have something to fill negative space and frame the image.

I'm trying to imply that the grid is sort of glowing without it being distracting.  Unfortunately the shading here might be banding, and I'm not sure what to do about that (I also might not have cleaned up a lot of dirty artifacts that may exist by the grid lines.)

Started adding more colors.  Unfortunately this leads to a lot of colors currently underused as a result, and a lot of straight ramps (but I can adjust the hues later on once a lot of the colors find their uses and I start intermixing ramps).

I also have to apologize, but despite it being better to have warm colors up front, I just love the kind of atmosphere the warmer colors of the holographic backdrop behind the monster has.  Making the castle very light was an accidental decision.

Again, very incomplete and a lot of messy clusters here and there still.

I also want to note: I'll be adding outlines last or close to last, as a sort of cherry on top of a finished cake once I get everything else working.

I'm probably not going to have an update until Wednesday, depending on how much I get done on it.

On #1, the way I select colors is a bad habit and I always forget to consider making a proper palette before.  I tend to select new colors as I go until I don't need any more new ones, and recycle colors when possible, and later remove colors that are either redundant or not used enough.

What I'll do is create a 2nd set of extra colors for when I start truly polishing the piece later.

On your advice, I haven't really established every bit lighting all that well yet (this is still in the early stages but I'll eventually have lighting on the characters), but I want to say the direction your edit has went is different from what I want to go for, since the stadium they're in is supposed to be lit as well as a football stadium and I want to go for a very "fake" holographic game look that doesn't truly respect a dreary atmosphere.


This is still extremely messy and still very incomplete because I was changing a bunch of stuff at once and still working out how I want to do things, and I only now made some major changes in the last couple of hours.

Biggest change is that I removed the little pillars at the corners and between walls, creating a lot of mess.  I just didn't think they were appropriate in the end.  I also had the idea of lining the walls with green lines to show that they are part of the game's grid.

For the floor tiles, I don't think I want to gradiate towards darkness, since the game board is probably technically a light source, but I'm thinking of doing where each tile darkens towards the center like you would see in Metal Gear Solid VR Training missions (two of the tiles show this, just two for now in case I change my mind or get a better suggestion).

I tried to make Kaiba at his dome more perceivable and not a part of the Blue Eyes Ultimate Dragon.  I haven't made that part very clean yet though.

As for colors, I did desaturate the 2nd lightest blue (thinking of undoing that) and saturate a lot of the darker colors, but I don't think I want to darken that color just yet.

Okay, yeah, that's actually two separate objects.  I'll work on both separating them and keeping them from blending into the screen too much.

Yeah, I plan keeping the floor tiled like a virtual grid.

What bugs me right now is that something below the screen (?). Is that some sort of monster? It doesn't read very well, and at first glance I thought it was part of the screen due to the colors being used both in that object and in the screen. You should definitely work on separating these two.
I'm not sure which thing you mean (one of them I haven't started cleaning up yet).  Whenever I post an update you'll have to tell me if I did better on that.

Pixel Art / This is the worst idea I have ever had (WARNING: Anime)
« on: April 19, 2012, 03:17:43 pm »
Back from a hiatus of being depressed from realizing that I am terrible at readability.

The idea behind this is what would happen if Kaiba from Yu-Gi-Oh were a dungeon master, complete with all of his holographic technology.

This is a SUPER ROUGH coloring still, probably shouldn't be considered pixel art yet, but I need to post a WIP sooner or later.  Also not every detail is drawn in or fleshed out yet and I'm sure there are readability issues everywhere despite my best attempts.

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