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Messages - Squiggly_P
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2D & 3D / Re: Cave Story wip
« on: May 03, 2009, 08:18:45 pm »
Nice.  Balrog looks great.  The robot (I always forget his name...) looks good, too, but his face feels different from the game and he's got some texture warping on the legs and arms.  You can probably fix the warping by just adding some verts to the joints to keep that chunk of the mesh from deforming too much.  Really low-res stuff like this can sometimes benefit from a few extra verts if it can help keep it looking good when it animates, and sometimes to save a lot of texture space.  If you have a large chunk like the arms or legs here that are all one color, you can scale those down to 1 pixel and get the same results.

Good stuff.

2. Why are the colors in the sprite sheets different from the original colors (the ones I get when I take a screenshot from an emulator)? When I make my own sheets I get the colors right.

It CAN be the emulators, but it can also be due to the way the hardware handeled colors.  With the NES, you could change the pallets, which is how they did the flashing effects, for instance, when you get a star in mario, or when you get the fire flower...  you turn white, but it's the same exact sprite and animation with a different pallet (or the same pallet with different colors being applied?  I've never figured that out...).  You can find examples of that technique being used all over the system for a variety of effects, from simulating movement in the backgrounds to weapons to fading in and out on some characters, etc.  I'm not sure how the sprites get stored on that system, either, so it could have just been a shortcut for the devs (doing the sprites in one global pallet and then re-mapping the colors to the 'correct' pallet or something?)...

The NES had some serious limitations, but it had a lot of fun stuff like that which allowed for some pretty awesome graphical tricks.

General Discussion / Re: Official Off-Topic Thread
« on: May 02, 2009, 04:41:38 pm »
Found this article interesting:

Some students are apparently altering Stella, the 2600 emulator, to apply filters to make it feel like you're playing on a crappy old TV, the way you could originally play them.
I find it pretty awesome, and hope more emulators start working on options like this, especially emulators for older systems.

I love Tactical RPG's and I love the NES, so yeah...  I'd play it.

Pixel Art / Re: my first pixel
« on: May 01, 2009, 10:06:20 pm »
The BDZ piece:
1)  I agree with hsn2555 about the glow effect.  It's not pixeled.  The background gradient is also not pixeled.  Having that many colors sort of defeats the purpose of pixel art.
2)  It's really big.  You could probably cut the resolution in half and get the same level of detail into it, and I think that would be a good idea.
3)  The lighting is all over the place.  You've got light coming from four or five different directions.  Top fo his head is lit and a shadow is directly below him on the ground, so I'm assuming a light directly above him.  His face is lit in such a way that makes it look like he's facing a second light source.  The fireball itself is a third source, but the hand above the ball indicates that another light is off to that side as well, his other arm has light coming from below him and some of the shadows seem to indicate that there's a light source at some position that's slightly above the point we are viewing this from.  So basically, you need to define your forms more.  Start with just the flat colors and add one shadow color and get those forms blocked out and solid-looking with only a couple of light sources.  The ball could be one.  Another one from above somewhere would work.

The ball might be a good way to get some warm / cool lighting in there as well...  have the ball throw warm light and the other light source throw something a little cooler at him...  Or maybe the opposite of that....

The Sprites:
I'm just gonna crit a couple things on it.  It's an improvement over the larger piece.  There are still some lighting issues, tho, mostly from the way you animated it.  The arm moves forwards and backwards on the running animation, and the shading stays the same the whole time.  The legs have the same problem.  In one frame the lighting is coming from above, and a few frames later it's coming from below.

The motion is great, tho.  The legs especially move very well.  Very fluid.  The head and arm both feel a bit detached from the body.

Some of the pixels on the top of his head change color on a frame or two of the run cycle.

Overall, tho, if this really is your first pixel stuff, then you did pretty damn well, especially on the sprites.  You'll have mad skills in no time if you keep it up :P

General Discussion / Re: The Ongoing War
« on: April 26, 2009, 04:39:36 am »
Link was screwed up:

You should try out Allegro Sprite Editor and add it.  It's got layers, animation and it's just simple to use.  The only drawbacks are the way the pallet behaves sometimes (changing the top color will destroy your pallet...  i think it's a 'feature' but it's lame as hell), and the frames and layers are only accessable by tabing to them, but that's just a mild annoyance most of the time.

I've got about a half-dozen others as well that are in various states of useability.  Grafx 2 is another of those apps that is heavilly based on another app's design (is it a port?).  I like MTpaint, but it's got some weird design as well.  The number keys are zoom levels, but 1-4 are 10%-100% and the next level with 5 is 400% and then 6 is 800%...  what happened to 200 and 600...  and why would you want to zoom to 10% or 25% when editing pixelart anyway?  1-4 are pretty much wasted levels, and the others aren't really useful.  100% and 400% are the only really useful zoom levels...  the rest you have to use the menu or manually zoom to it.  It does have some neat effects, and if you want to achieve a pixeled sort of look, but aren't really familiar with pixel art you can make some pretty neat pseudo-pixel-art with it rather quickly.  The vertical pallet is odd as well, and i dunno if it's common or if my computer just sucks, but it's got glitches with some of the tools.

Pro-Motion is weird...  it LOOKS like photoshop or the gimp, but aside from that, it's completely alien in the way it behaves.  Actually, it sorta intimidated me.  You go to make a new image and it pops up this form with tabs and a million settings.  I still don't know if I understand half of it, so I don't know if I'm screwing things up or not.

Anyway, I'm probably taking this way off topic and sounding like a whiny biatch, so I'll shut up.  It might be interesting to explore future GUI / interactivity of pixeling apps, or just apps in general.

Just curious, how many people use a tablet to do their pixeling?  I've tried it a few times, but it just doesn't feel right to me.  And I wonder what it would look like to use vector art to create pixel art...  aliased vector art that could be rotated, scaled, etc...  maybe textured...

General Discussion / Re: The Ongoing War
« on: April 25, 2009, 04:52:08 pm »
I've personally never been satisfied with either of them.  I've not tried the non-free version of GG, so maybe the paid version is far superior, but if I had to choose between the two I'd say GG.  I tend to try out a lot of different pixel apps, tho.  Lately I've been using Alegro Sprite Editor more than anything.  Animation isn't the easiest with it, but the tools are straightforward.

Personally, I think the whole trend of basing every pixel art app on old pixel art apps is kinda dumb.  Lots of music apps have this problem, too.  There are so many free music-making tools, but 90% of them are all based on Fast Tracker or Pro Tracker...  apps that are 15+ years old.  Pixel art apps all seem to be obsessed with Delux Paint and a couple of other old painting apps...  Why not make something new?  I've actually been dicking around with C++ just so I could start working on a pixeling app.  There are some nice things about a lot of pixel apps, but none of them really feel right to me, or they're missing some fundamental function...

I dunno.  For now I'll just keep learning C++.

General Discussion / Re: Is this good animation?
« on: April 24, 2009, 04:01:04 am »
This would probably be better off in the Off Topic section...

I liked these.  The voice acting is a little rough, but the idea is solid, and the shorts themselves are funny.  I think a little more confidence in the voices will help to nail the comedy.

When you say "for TV", are you talking about full length, half-hour episodes, or a collection of shorter bits like these, or as just bumpers between other shows, or what?  I think the shorts are funny enough to carry a website and get some decent hits and maybe some secondary revenue through merchandise, but if you're wanting to shoot for a full-length half-hour sow, you will probably want to make at least one episode, or something longer format than these clips.  The idea is funny, but I dunno if it can carry that long a format.

The animation itself is obviously really minimal, but it works for these shorts.  Again, i don't think it could carry a half hour in that department, either.

I'd suggest just setting up a website or blog for these, put them out on some kind of regular basis, like every couple of weeks or so.  Get the word out on gaming forums, myspace, facebook and whatever else you can think of, and see where it takes you.  But if you want to persue TV as a format, then you should test that format the way you'd envision it being...

I love the intro music, btw.

Edit:  Forgot to mention that these feel very much in the Seth MacFarlane character style.  Personally, I'd ditch that and go for something else to avoid issues later on.

Pixel Art / Re: keep on pushing revision
« on: April 15, 2009, 05:00:55 am »
The shadows you can see at the top of the image shouldn't be there...  I shouldn't be able to see those.
There should be a line of shadow on the faces of the blocks where a shadow meets it's base' midpoint.  For instance, the block at the left that has the crack that starts at teh bottom of the block...  on that face, just to the right of the crack where the shadow touches the base, there should be a shadow from that point up to the top-right corner.  The guy should have a shadow that falls across the block he is pushing as well.

Just pointing things out, tho.  Dunno if they were already mentioned or not.

Love me some pac-man.

Pixel Art / Re: Call me a rasist but it's a black man with big lips.
« on: April 14, 2009, 02:20:37 am »

Now that that's out of the way, I'm having a hard time figuring out the mouth.  Is the large circle the lips and the stuff inside supposed to be teeth, or are the things inside supposed to be the lips and there's a large circle around them for some reason?

I mean, I know it was customary with blackface to paint rings around the lips like that to make them look larger, but this doesn't really look like traditional blackface either.  The top part of the head actually looks kinda tribal and cool.  It's stylized but has some structure to it.  The mouth area just doesn't look like a mouth.  I THINK I know what you were trying to do, but I think you should check out some of those early, highly racist cartoons that featured blackface characters, or some turn of the century comic characters.  They tended to make the mouth area more ape-like and emphasized it by making it a lighter shade.  What you've got here is similar in approach, but without the ape-like quality.

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