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Messages - Joe
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Pixel Art / Re: [Feedback] Tree
« on: February 09, 2019, 03:16:06 am »
Hi, welcome to Pixelation. If you'd like feedback, please post your work.

Pixel Art / Re: Skull Man
« on: February 09, 2019, 03:14:50 am »
Hello, welcome. Please post your work.

Pixel Art / Re: [Feedback] Frog
« on: February 06, 2019, 10:26:48 pm »
Hi Chow Train and a warm welcome to Pixelation.  :)

In any visual medium you choose, the foundation is drawing ability. It's always there, regardless of style or resolution. Pixel art has additional quirks and technical considerations on top of this existing challenge, so my first advice is to pay extra attention to understanding what it is you're drawing.

You can save yourself a lot of time as an artist by practicing the fundamentals with pencil and paper, and this skill transfers to any medium. Of course, you can practice your pixel art at the same time. Taking your subject as an example, I look up references for the green frog, rana clamitans. I make a few studies so that I understand what makes a frog a frog, noting its proportions and features. I always use a reference because if I'm going to portray a subject, I need to understand it.

After understanding my subject, I created a 4-bit 32x32 on a neutral background. It's good that you've started small, I think 32x32 is a good size to learn at. But you'll learn more if you make your own palettes as you go.

At this resolution there are higher priorities than accuracy, namely, readability. So you'll notice I exaggerated some parts and simplified others. There's a delicate balance between noise and detail. Other pixel-specific considerations are things like clusters and banding. Cure made a great intro tutorial on this.

P.S. On this forum you can click or shift-click to zoom images, but it only works if you include the direct url in [img] tags. Then people can critique your work easier.

Pixel Art / Re: Game's sprite -[CC] - (Parodianus 2-horizontal shmup)
« on: September 29, 2017, 10:11:16 am »
Hi Knarf,

The first thing I noticed when I opened your strip in GG was that the middle frame is off center. I began by centering that frame. I consolidated and spread out your colors more evenly so that they can each imply a larger range of colors and values. Then I set about shifting the top and bottoms of the cannon, connecting them, shifting the greeble lines, and making sure everything rotated well. Then I clean up and move to the next frame. Then for the right side I just mirrored the frames and corrected the shading.

I also made sure the cannon rotates evenly. The left side has ten pixels to travel before it reaches the edge, so the in-between frame shifts it by five pixels. For the head, arms, and body, imagine parallax—how things farther away appear to move slower. So there doesn't have to be much shifting to show this chick is indeed turning. And the pupils need not even move—their relationship to the beak is sufficient. Subtle details like this and their solutions will vary from animation to animation. What helps is to remember what has worked for you, study other's solutions to similar problems, and experiment.

The eyes and beak are tricky, I know. Study what works. If you're dissatisfied come up with variations, and with practice you'll get a feel for what looks right.

I will also second what Astraldata said, make it read well. Hopefully this will help show you what that looks like.

Pixel Art / Re: Darth Vader Fan Art
« on: September 27, 2017, 05:39:45 am »
Hi, welcome to Pixelation.

Are the colours and shade good enough for my creation?

That will always be up to you. I like to ask myself if the lighting makes sense. And when considering a particular area, a good question is: what is this trying to portray?

So for example, those highlights on the bottom edge. That lip is on the underside of the helmet, in the back, and Vader wears a black suit which doesn't reflect much light—in other words, it's physically impossible for light to be present there, in that manner.

What a tricky subject... there are so many ways this helmet can be lit. Here is my advice, which can generalize to all pixel-specific problems. You have a limited number of elements with which to represent something; this demands sacrifices. The best solution in most cases is to simplify as much as possible, allowing for clarity, and only then add a level of detail which does not compete with the subject as a whole.

A related idea is the tradeoff between detail and noise, for example, highlights. If you have high contrast bits peppered across lower contrast areas, it confuses any visual priority. When creating a highlight or any single-pixel texture, you should consider if its benefits outweighs any noise it creates.

My first thought was that you make good clusters for being so new to this, most people are quite timid about that for a few years. Keep it up. Also, value is what really matters in correctly rendering subjects; so colorblindness can potentially be used to your advantage.

Pixel Art / Re: Yet another fox thread
« on: February 29, 2016, 05:01:21 am »
Hey Oded, here are some things to think about.

A good test of recognizabiliy: if the coat was a uniform gray, would I still know it was a fox? My first thought was this sprite has no characteristics that distinguish it as a fox aside from the coloration. So I set about getting to that point.

This skull would be significantly deformed if it were present in a live fox; the orbital (eye socket) is past halfway, even farther back than you would see on an herbivore. But foxes are predators, so their eyes are at the front of their skull. It also needed to be compressed vertically, it just had this cap shape to it that you wouldn't find in a sleek carnivore.

The raised tail and large chest cavity are very doglike. Foxes are not like dogs: even at full sprints, their tails stay below parallel. They have limp, flowy tails. Your limbs are also too short, if you look at a fox skeleton you'll see the limbs are almost as long as their spines, which is pretty crazy. Also, you had a poorly utilized color slot used only once under the belly. I used it for more flexibility between the grays.

So at this point if we apply my original test, would I still know this was a fox if the coat was a uniform gray? Probably. At this point, once I've understood what makes a fox a fox, I could then emphasize certain colors/features as desired.

Challenges & Activities / Re: Hexquisite Corpse III
« on: February 21, 2016, 05:49:39 am »
t48... done.

Pixel Art / Re: Improving my pixelation
« on: February 21, 2016, 12:18:24 am »
But how should I avoid fat pixels, it's just one color on top of another? There is no example there and I'm struggling to understand whats wrong with it.

The form he shows is isolated, you usually find it integrated with the surrounding colors. There's a perfect example at the jawline of your sprite. See the stair-stepping? I've also highlighted some other areas where you can find banding. Like Cure says, none of those names are official, and there are more cases of banding than he lists; but the principle is always the same: some sort of alignment or repetition that betrays the grid. It's a great exercise to find & correct as much as you can find in your sprite.

Just remember you're going to get a lot more mileage out of pencil and paper studies. I encourage you to participate in the daily sketch. If you aren't comfortable with drawing, pixels are not going to compensate for lack of fundamentals.

Pixel Art / Re: Pig Man Portrait
« on: February 05, 2016, 04:54:00 am »
Huh, using GM's built in editor is probably more masochistic than MS Paint, though GM being my personal entry into pixel art I have fond memories of it. :) I would say this: if you intend to pixel for any serious amount of time, or make games, or get better at art, staying with such basic tools is going to make it all that much harder. There's no palette management which is core to pixel art, no layers, tile management etc. There are a few good dedicated pixel programs out there, I would recommend GraphicsGale or Aseprite maybe. GG's free version has everything you need right now. The full has gif saving, and it's around $17 which is nominal.

Of your sprite I'd say you have contrast in all the wrong places and I'd like to know what your thought process was in color selection. For example on the one hand it seems like you were timid in pushing the areas where you do suggest form, but on the other you've got these stark lines that kinda ignore the rest of the image. It could easily be improved with a light source and shading with respect to the forms. Very basic problems but nothing you can't correct with some practice.

Pixel Art / Re: Knight sword draw animation
« on: January 03, 2016, 12:36:27 am »
Interesting link, I love learning about real history.
Well in this context I think the main problems are:
  • The sword leaves the scabbard too soon, you basically have it rotating out/teleporting which is possible in frames but not reality
  • Elbow/shoulder doesn't draw high enough to carry it out straight
  • The foot extension serves no purpose, he would be trying to stay as stable as possible

I get that you're trying to make it pop at the end, but it would make more sense to work to a combat-ready stance. Or is he just trying to intimidate?

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