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Messages - Beoran
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Pixel Art / Re: First Character
« on: June 25, 2009, 09:40:30 am »

Why so many colors? Less is more. Most of the colors you're using are amost identical, so you don't need them. I reduced your drawing to 16 colors by using the Gimp, and as you can see above, it doesn't really change the look of your sprite. A few colors got munged but not unreasonably so. I'd recommend that you reduce the amount of colors considerably. Also, I'd recommend that you use and edit your images as indexed PNG's with a limited palette, so you don't end up using almost identical colors.

Secondly, I'm assuming you're going for a kind of superdeformed style? Even so, the shoulders seem a bit thin to carry the large, superdeformed head.

For the rest, it looks very nice, actually, I like your style! Keep up the good work ^_^

General Discussion / Re: Art Swiping?
« on: June 25, 2009, 09:23:51 am »
I would agree that generally, you shouldn't worry about it too much. However, if you are worried about copyright infringement, there are a few small technical measures that can make it more difficult for casual rippers to get away with it. The first measure is to use PNG files, and embed a comment with your copyright in it. This is fairly easy to do with, eg, the Gimp. , Secondly, you can hide some kind of visible or invisible mark in your image (watermark). For example, you could use an indexed (palette-based) image, and then hide a text or logo by using a color that has a different index but looks the same. Finally, there are some steganography programs out there that allow you to hide all sorts of data in an image invisibly. You should decide yourself whether the last two suggested techniques are really worth the effort.

Of course, none of these measures is foolproof, and they can all be circumvented by someone knowledgeable enough. But I think some of these techniques might be helpful, especially embedding a comment, which I think is  generally useful, because it clarifies the copyright of your art to people who have no intention of ripping your art. Also, someone may find your sprite on the internet without a way to contact you, and  mastilla y want to contact you (say, to hire you). In that case an embedded comment with your e-mail address in it will be very useful.

OK, thanks for affirming that. Maybe I'll try to shorten the lower legs one pixel and see if that helps too, or not. However, this thread has already taken me a bit too far,  I feel. So perhaps, if no one else has any edits to contribute I'll leave it as is for now. I've got a whole lot of other fish to fry to make my game, I can't "yak shave" every detail, I'm afraid. ^_^

Pixel Art / Re: [nudity, WIP, spritework] Yarble yarble. Yarble?
« on: June 22, 2009, 07:57:18 am »

Just a suggestion for the shoulders.

Oh, and not to sound harsh, but I think you should try to decide yourself what look you are going for. It's difficult for me to see which version is closest to what you want it to be. I think it would be easier if you told us which is your favorite edit.


OK, I think I understood what you meant about the banding. I'm not quite sure I understood what you meant by "false incision", but I hope I solved it. Is my pixeling better now? If you could point me to more examples of false incision I'd be grateful.

As for the shoulders, I think this is characterization versus anatomy. In all the references I saw, female shoulders are just as straight as the male ones. But most people seem to /think/ that women have small, round shoulders and men have big straight ones, so I decided to give the smaller, rounded shoulders you see above a try. I'm not sure if it is an improvement or not.


Finally, I decided against shaving of one or two pixels in the width, because, no matter how I tried, it just looked to scrawny and weak to my eyes, not to mention it didn't fit with the head. I was from the beginning dead set against presenting my women like barbie dolls, so I feel like i'd rather have my character look too portly than too skinny. Remember, it's not fat, but muscles! ^_^ I also decided against the flipper arms, as they aren't the style I'm looking for. Also, the face looks exactly how I want it to be, so I'm afraid I'll have to reject the heavier brows, which look more manly to me.

However, I lengthened the torso to give a more vertical, slightly thinner feel. I think this works better than shaving off pixels. I also straightened out the shoulders. I updated the outline to use two colors more effectively. I also borrowed st0vens hand  and texturing/shading technique, so I feel it looks a lot better, now. I also tried to make the ankles look more narrow, but I refuse to make either the arms or legs 3 pixels wide because it just look too thin to me.

Anyway, I'd like to thank ndchistie and st0vens for your contributions, although I didn't heed most of them. I'm thinking I have a more clear idea now about the style I'm going for. 

And Roy Krenkel? Now there's a woman:

st0ven, Ok, I misunderstood the point you're trying to make. With your new edit I think I can better see your intentions. You seem to suggest making the sprite more slender in general, right? I can see now your approach is workable, but I have to admit I may not like the resulting look too much. You're right it's possible to open up the legs, but I think women don't generally seem to stand at rest with their legs open. But I do agree that it's better to use more than one outline color. I like how you use a light outline on the non-shadow sides of the sprite.

ndchristie, I'm trying to balance anatomical realism with characterization. That's why I've done the two versions on the right by tracing over an appropriately scaled down reference, except for the hands, feets and face. Check out this link for my references: Hence, these two on the right have body shapes that are mostly anatomically correct. It does look more slender and feminine, but I think the slightly wide character(as it was) seems to fit better with the face. The right version is based upon my original sprite, but has arms that are more "flipper like". What do you people think about it?

Interesting point of view, Atnas. I guess we can say it's true that creativity can grow from limiting ourself.

Well, yes, most of it is noise. Although good noise may become a grass or stone tile if you expand it to 32x32, or something. ^_^
The last thing you said is the point I'm making: Pixel art is just as deep in scope as are all other arts. The numbers are just an illustration of that.

General Discussion / The sheer infinite possibilities of pixel art
« on: June 19, 2009, 03:47:11 pm »
Some people may think that pixel art is a limiting type of art, since we can only work at the pixel level, with very few colors. But I was calculating a little, and it can be shown mathematically that the possibilities of pixel art are sheer infinite. For reference, let's keep in mind a very big number, 4*10**79 (4 times 10 to the power 79), or 40000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000. That number is the current estimate for the amount of hydrogen atoms in the whole universe!
Now, let's take a look at very small pixel art piece of 16 x 16. How many possibilities are there? Well, it depends on the number of colors. If we use 2 colors, then there are 2**(16*16), or 115792089237316195423570985008687907853269984665640564039457584007913129639936, possibilities, which is "only" 1/345th of the amount of hydrogen atoms, but still, a lot more than there are stars in the universe!

Once we use 4 colors, then there are 4**(16*16) or
different possibilities! That's just astronomical! More than there are hydrogen atoms in the universe!

And, if you'd use 24 bits full color, then there would be (2**24)**(16*16) or
different possibilities! That's a number so insanely huge it's unimaginable!

This interestingly enough shows why it's important to limit your palette when making pixel art. Using a limited palette limits the possibilities somewhat, but with an unlimited palette, the amount of possibilities is bewildering. It also proves that pixel art is indeed, an art, for it takes great creativity to make anything that looks nice within the vast amount of possibilities. Pixel art as the spiritual descendant of pointillism. What do you think about it? ^_^

PS: These numbers were calculated using the Ruby programming language , which has great facilities for handling astronomicallly large numbers.

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