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Messages - Beoran
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General Discussion / Re: Perception of color of skin and hair
« on: June 27, 2008, 06:54:45 am »
Thanks for that tip, Conceit. I think the important lesson I can draw from your comment, is to use indexed images with a palette for a sprite, even when doing a full color game. Like that, the colors of the sprite can be adjusted more easily by adjusting the sprite's palette to the general environment and mood.

General Discussion / Re: Laptop Color Calibration(pixel related)
« on: June 25, 2008, 11:12:13 am »
Another, cheaper, but less nice way to solve the problem is to go for the lowest common configuration.
Configure both your laptop and your CRT to sRGB.  You can probably even do this without using software,
by using the color menu on your screen settings, and resetting that to default or sRGB if that is indicated separately.
This will probably mean reducing the quality of colors on your CRT, but your laptop most likely will be able to handle it.
Most contemporary LCD screens are set by default to sRGB, so this will also help you ensure that your art will look the
same to most other computer users.

General Discussion / Re: Perception of color of skin and hair
« on: June 25, 2008, 06:10:37 am »
Atnas, thanks for your input and the link to that tutorial. It's true that the lighting influences colors a lot. As for your suggestion I saw something similar in Fenix Blade, an indie RPG. There, colored lights were simulated by using colored radial gradient circle "light cones" that are nearly transparent as "light sources".  Blitting those "light cones" over the sprites adjusts their color much in the way you suggest, although that game only used it for indoors lamps in dungeons, etc.  This technique tends to lower the FPS quite a bit, since alpha blending is expensive, so that's why it's also quite rare in most 2D games.

Chriskot, it's true that color perception is subjective. It seems that I ave a strange type of color blindness which makes me see all colors less intense.  All colors with a with a low value or saturation (less than 15 on a scale of 100 in the Gimp), simply look like black or gray to me. I have a lot of difficulty seeing the difference between very dark blue and black, specifically, where other people don't seem to have any problems.  I guess I must have a lower amount of color receptors in my eyes. That's why I love the art in video games with "exaggerated" colors like Secret of Mana. Somehow, they look "just right" to me. That also explains why I tend to oversaturate the colors I choose.  >_<

General Discussion / Perception of color of skin and hair
« on: June 24, 2008, 07:20:57 pm »
In my search for a good color palette, I decided to inspect the colors of the hair and skin in photographs of me an my wife. I was quite surprised by the results, so I'd like to her your ideas on this. (Perhaps, to clarify I should add that I am a very pale skinned European and my wife is Asian.) 

  • The half tone of my skin is a desaturated and grayish hue of red orange (HSV around: 20 40 80) . When looking at the photograph, I would say my skin is pinkish or whiteish, but that shows that the camera reacts differently than the mind.
  • Generally, my wife's skin is not more yellow as one would expect, but simply darker, that is, with a lower value (HSV around: 20 40 50 ).
  • In normal light circumstances, shadows on the skin have a more orange/yellowish hue (around 25). This is different form what I read  before.
  • My auburn hair is a very dark shade of pure red.
  • My wife's black hair seems to be an extremely dark shade of orange/yellow.
  • Lastly and most importantly: using "natural" colors from photographs does not work at all for pixel art, unless you are going for a very realistic style. In any more sketched or anime style, the natural colors look way too dark. I tested this on a rather good base from FrozenChild82 on deviantart, (not on my own crap) so I can't show it example here, but you guys can try it yourself on your own stuff (if you didn't do so before).
    The human brain seems to use some kind of extreme "jpeg" style compressing when seeing, and the colors of reality into a kind of symbolic colors that are different from reality. I think the brain especially brightens colors. Also, it seems that contrasts are highly simplified in our brain.  Hue also seems to be somewhat unreliable, and tied to prejudices in the brain.

So I guess my conclusion would be to use photographs only for guessing the hue. The saturation and value should be set to match mental expectations. What your idea about this all?

General Discussion / Re: New Astounding Linux Pixel Software
« on: June 24, 2008, 07:16:04 am »
If you are serious about releasing the code under the GPL, please set up a project under Google Code or Sourceforge open source project hosting web site, upload the C code you have to that rpoject,  and post the link here. I will contact you through your project. I'm willing to help you out if you're willing to show that you're serious and have the stamina needed to work on such a hard project.

Also, I really recommend to enhance mtpaint. It takes one person at least 3 years to make a paint program from scratch, if the code has to be clean and relatively bug-free. So while it's very brave to try to start from scratch, I think it will take way too long. I'll contact the maintainer of mtpaint to get his opinion on this.

Thanks for the advice, Lackey-sensei! I'm impressed by your correction, just a few tweaks make that sprite look a lot better already. :)

You're very right on about the colors. From now on, I'll avoids fully saturated colors, except maybe for special effects such as "magic".

Also, I noticed that in your correction, the shape of the head is much better, less round, the ears are smaller, and the chin is shadowed, not outlined. I was struggling with that chin and the position and size of the mouth, as it was touching the outline, or at least seemed to do so. But with a shadowed chin, the mouth also comes out much better.

The reason the elbows were sticking out was because I had trouble in defining the arms and shoulders. I used thin wrists because I thought they looked better. But then I found that the arms would stick to the torso too much, so I had the elbows stick out a bit to suggest "wideness".  But your solution is much better, making the shoulders more square and turning the lines of his shirt towards the torso, and also widening the wrists a bit, makes the arms a lot better defined.

Oh yeah, and , of course, the waist shouldn't be a straight line. Heh, how come I didn't d see all those details before?  :P Anyway, I'd hate to steal your correction as it is so much better than my attempt, so I'll scrap this sprite and redo it, keeping your advice in mind. :)

Point taken! When I was drawing this sprite, I was just thinking: "I want to make a generic placeholder guy with red hair that I can reuse later in the game as the main character with some modifications".  The result of such intentions is that, he looks like a placeholder. That makes a lot of sense, now. :)

To be honest, I'm not at the stage of the design and development of the game yet where I can say exactly what personality my main character will have. So, perhaps I should focus on drawing some NPC's first, and use them as a placeholder for the player character.

But I'm the kind of guy who obsesses over certain details, especially on palettes. I've been spending weeks on deciding what palette to use, so, I really want to get myself a fixed palette to draw from as soon as possible (so I can stop obsessing over it). So I'm still looking on advice or even better,  a good example of a 64 color palette. Arne's 16 color palette is awesome, but I'm going for the SNES style, so a bit more colors will be needed.

Hi, first submission here. I'm a good programmer but less good an artist.
This is 20x40 Sprite set for the main character of my future action RPG.
I am well aware that these sprites are lacklustre, I want to go for a sort of simple / anime style for my game,
basically something that looks "good enough" to be playable and enjoyable, since I also have to put my time in actually programming the game.

Anyway, C&C please. Should I carry on, or should I look for someone to help me with the artwork in stead?

Also, I need tips on how to construct a nice general palette, that has a cheerful feel to it .
I'm currently using a calculated "evenly spread" 300 color palette (based upon HSL) with many straight ramps. :p I'd like to reduce it to +-64 colors. 


General Discussion / Re: New Astounding Linux Pixel Software
« on: June 19, 2008, 01:02:42 pm »
Looks very nice. I hope it will become open source, perhaps I'll even help you with programming it, then.
So, please set it up on Sourceforge or such.

However, as an aside, I wanted to ask you if you knew about mtpaint? I'm a C and Ruby programmer (I know C+++ but I dislike it, it's a beast)
and I wanted to do my own sprite editor for my game too, until I found mtpaint. I looked at mtpaint's source and it's all relatively clean
and portable C, split up nicely in over the c files, using the GTK toolkit. Because mtpaint already has a lot of nice featured, but is also a relatively small
program, I feel that it would be more easy and quick to extend mtPaint to make it more useful as a sprite and tile editor, than to start from scratch.
Basically, the main thing lacking in mtpaint now is are a tile/sprite list like in the bottom of your mockup, and a multi-column display for the palette.

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