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Messages - Gizmonicgamer
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General Discussion / Re: Of Value, Saturation, Hue, Contrast and gray;
« on: December 11, 2008, 07:58:35 pm »
You'll need to play with the contrast a bit more and overall pixeling technique. I think a lot of things look tube-ish.
If you want to keep this pure grey scale... I suggest you don't. Use a strong accent color. I've been watching a lot of trailers for "The Spirit" so maybe that's where my desire of an accent color comes from.
Try it, if it's lame then don't do it ever again.
Not so sure about an accent color, but blood will appear as a decently saturated red and a few other effects and maybe environmental things like water and trees will have more of a tint then the rest of the game.
And I agree about the contrast, though as has been pointed out my computer is really old so to me it does look heavily contrasted. Though I'll hopefully be getting a new computer for Christmas, so maybe then I can that remedy the issue. It should also be noted most of the backgrounds and tiles here were made months ago, even up to a year ago. Hopefully new backgrounds and tiles will look better.

But right, I'm still working on fixing up the characters palette and reshading most of the animations so far. Nobody really said anything about it, but:


Is that any better? What about the two screenshots I posted in my last post?

General Discussion / Re: Of Value, Saturation, Hue, Contrast and gray;
« on: December 04, 2008, 08:02:31 am »
Lots of good things being said here.

Hmm, ok, interesting.  I would not call whistler warm and colorful at all.
With the exception of the blueish-grey BG, most of the colors it uses are yellow or orang-y, and alludes to more of a festive night involving fireworks and a bon-fire then a cold, gloomy kind of setting.

The big issue here is that your current palette isn't doing the trick and probably won't.  Relying on grey to create a mood is like relying on a stick to keep you warm - sticks aren't the only thing that burn and even if they were you need to use them right.  Right now you just have a rather dull wash that makes me more sleepy or disinterested than anything else and it's hard to know what to suggest.
I agree that the current palette isn't really doing the trick, especially when put with some newer computers and equipment. As far as the mood I'm attempting to create is concerned (which requires more then just grey; in fact more then just a visual aspect there has to be a heavy audio quality as well) I was thinking more along the lines of melancholy, gloomy, lonely, maybe even subtle; a sort of heavy kind of "gothic" atmosphere. In a subtle way, Shadow of the Colossus was somewhat of an inspiration in this regard (particularly in the solitude factor (and with more a dark/gloomy emphasis)).

As far as references are concerned, the following are about as close as I can find to showing my intent:

And while yes, the picture you posted isn't really what I "want" its still an excellent picture that may prove useful later in other projects, so thanks.

Also based on descriptions your monitor is broken and it's probably a good idea to stay away from making color judgments if you're being forced to use a different set of values.  It's a mistake i've made before, relying on bum machinery...and it's not one that is reconcilable.
Not really "broken", just about 8 years old at this point. It displays hues and colors properly, it just seems to display things a bit darker then most new machines, which just happens to be much more noticable in this project. This particular issue however should be easily reconcilable with a few quick brightness/contrast/palette alterations once new machinery is obtained.

I think you need to be louder and bolder when you do use colour, otherwise it'll look boring, not stylistic. Either have a small amount of colour in everything with saturations high enough that you can notice 'em at normal view, or go for solid flecks of reasonably high saturation colours in strategic locations.

'Course I'm not terribly familiar with exactly how to go about that, so the above are experiments I wouldn't exactly consider successes. I feel as if it could be pushed a lot further than I have, and to greater effect.
That's actually somewhat of a brilliant idea; the execution as you said was more experimental but I believe that idea could be utilized fairly decently.

I've also decided to put up two more screenshots, both with a little more color (or atleast, more going on) then in the previous ones. Obviously wip; the sky and BG are more placeholder until I get better at it (as evidenced by the accidental blur in the corner) and second still has some apparently glaring pallette issues on brighter monitors. The sprite in the second screenshot is also slightly newer then in the first, as it has a revised palette.

Not sure if either of these look any better, though. Also being in game, the second screenshot has two instances of transparency (afterimage, and the light)

So far it looks like I'll have to implement heavier shadows/more black, more contrast, try and weasel in some more color (this will admittedly be the most difficult thing for me to do properly). I also have to play Soul Reaver, apparently. Am I on the right track?

General Discussion / Re: Of Value, Saturation, Hue, Contrast and gray;
« on: December 03, 2008, 06:59:47 pm »
I meant you have a lot of white, and midgreys but little darks.
Alright, this is probably the fault of my 8-9 year old computer and monitor then, because for me I'm actually seeing a lot of really dark, near black colors.

Depending upon context;

In between the blue lines shows up as the 'mid-gray' range. Anything past the small red line is almost indistinguishable from black, unless the shades are surrounded by darker colors, then that can be extended as far forward as the dotted red line; but regardless any shade beyond that is still "black" for me. Does it look any different to you (or even anyone reading this?)

As far as Soul Reaver is concerned; I'll have to actually play the game to really pick up the true extent of its atmosphere and style, but so far it doesn't look too far off from mine; albeit more colorful in parts. I'll see if I can't try and get anything out of the game.

Whether or not it seems like it, your comments are helping me out here~

General Discussion / Re: Of Value, Saturation, Hue, Contrast and gray;
« on: December 03, 2008, 06:19:02 am »
Try looking at pixel art when converted to greyscale.
Actually I was trying to specifically avoid doing just this - those sprites aren't meant to be in greyscale; hue is still a necessary element to them. Using those as a reference is more bound to mess things up then anythng else. That is, a direct reference anyway. I decided to look at some Castlevania Symphony of the Night sprites that I greyscaled and I think I've got a better grasp of how to change the shading. Make it a bit more bold and less reliant on "gradients", while not jumping into a 'kiddy anime' style of shading. (Though the edit below won't be much of an example)

The problem I see is that the contrast range isn't very high. Most of it is quite low with a lot of white added to try to add detail. So it looks a little strange to me as the brightness of the pixels doesn't seem very realistic. You could use more dark colours to improve this, but don't just add black and white to add detail.
On my computer it's displaying a lot of contrast for these. The 'wasteland' shot (which I forgot to add is incomplete; there is still sky to be added) on the ground goes from a near black dark gray (with a blue tint) to mid gray to white . Exactly how new is your computer/how bright are the settings set too? One thing I've noticed the game has a tendency to look a lot different depending upon which computer is running and viewing it. That is, the palettes are the same but the computers representation of them is very different.

I agree, your execution is way too blurry. (and think about what it will be like resized, then.)
I agree the execution is a little blurry; I've started to repallette the main characters sprite slightly; removing a useless color or two and upping the contrast and fixing up the shading a little. I'm not sure if you'll really see the differences here, but I'll post the two of them to show anyway. At the end of the post*

Also I don't have to imagine as alongside making sprite and backgrounds I've been programming the engine; those shots up there are in-game. Honestly, it only blurs the edges slightly. In my opinion it looks nice.

Try getting rid of gradients and replacing it with harsh shadow.
This sounds like a decent idea, actually. I'll see about giving it a shot sometime.

agreed about the shadowing and need for strong spot brights.

also, i think you can work more with color.  Here's an example of lower-to-middle-saturation that's beautiful and still conveys that grayness you want : [IMAGE]
Actually I disagree entirely, that image is far too warm and colorful and in my eyes completely lacks the atmosphere/style I'm attempting to attain. Though there will be key points with certain effects where color will be slightly more prominent; not majorly so though. Mostly with water and blood and possibly fire.
Also what do you mean by "Strong spot brights"?


General Discussion / Of Value, Saturation, Hue, Contrast and gray;
« on: November 30, 2008, 07:37:25 am »

So. I'm working on a game (have been for quite some time now) which is primarily pixelled. It has a 256x192 screensize/resolution* (akin to the Metroidvania Castlevania titles) but what seperates this from most games I see, particularly games featuring sprites, is that it is essentially gray - "black and white" if you will. All of the shades are predominately gray; occasionally with a tint of red or maybe blue and green, but 'gray' is the dominant shade and feeling. Thus the aspect of saturation and hue are reduced dramatically, and most of the game will feature dark and dank castle hallways with a sort of (if all goes as planned) 'frightening/lonely/gloomy gothic aesthetic'; or grey, misty forests and dusty wastelands which will likely rely more on value and contrast then hue and saturation. Is this heavily-grayed out style applicable, or does it suffer too much from a lack any true distinction?

Screenshots from the game in question; Please do not critique the sprites themselves (unless it is related to the primary question at hand) but rather the screen as a whole in regards to this subject. It should also be noted the Healthbar is not omnipresent; it will only be visible during combat.

    *That is at the minimum windowsize. Its base pixel level. The game scales itself by default to match your resolution, generally resulting in slightly blurred graphics. This scaling can be altered from your resolution, to windowed 512x384 or 768x576 (with 256x192 also an option) to help accomodate for speed issues and general preferences.

Essentially; what are your views on this heavily desaturated visual style - Is it a smart move, is it applicable, does it even work? Furthermore, if it does have issues, either in its nature or in my representation of it, what do you think can be done to fix them?

General Discussion / Re: Official Off-Topic Thread
« on: November 30, 2008, 04:58:23 am »
Augh, that disgusts me. He is a disgrace to metal music in all of its form.

General Discussion / Re: Official Off-Topic Thread
« on: October 20, 2008, 06:44:03 pm »
Uh, what happened to the old one?  ???

Pixel Art / [WIP] Muscled Statuesque
« on: October 20, 2008, 01:46:58 am »

Still a WIP. A large golem or statue like thing, I suppose. Mostly making this to play around with the idea of a black and white sprite with a blue-ish/purplish tint to the shadows, though this ended up being a little more saturated and AA'd then originally intended. Either way, like I said, its still a WIP.

So without further adieu, C+C?

Pixel Art / Re: [WIP] Walls, part of a tileset
« on: October 09, 2008, 06:27:34 pm »
Basically, I think all you'd really have to do is to reshade it to account for the lightsource. Maybe add another 'lighter' shade to put on the brightest parts/parts closest to said source.

Also cracks or holes or dents in the pipes (are they pipes? they look like pipes at certain parts) also couldn't hurt.

Pixel Art / Re: Soul Reaver 2D
« on: October 08, 2008, 03:59:54 am »
Looks amazing - my only complaints would be the character/enemy sprites, and the water. The two character sprites are lacking detail - making, particularly Kain, look awkwardly done around the outline and torso regions. Adding another color and fixing up the shading slightly could fix the problem.

As for the water, it looks too gelatinous to me. More like mud or goo then water.

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