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Messages - Scribblette
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General Discussion / Re: Ramblethread! A brainstorm approaches!
« on: April 17, 2009, 04:21:21 am »
the defining characteristics of a cluster of pixels on the morphological level, obfuscation, sine arch (especially given context of first image!), semiotic, semiotic, semiotic...

Banana taste good to monkey, but monkey like less banana peel. Difficult to peel when made for monkeys with big nails. This monkey lost nails scratching cave pictures. Then rock fall on head.

I had to google definitions. Eesh. I need to read more books. Until I skipped ahead to find the first image of the chap on the toilet was actually a joke, my head was exploding trying to spot what 'must' be there. I can definitely see the sailboat though.

It was very, VERY helpful to read it as one coherent piece on the website, however. And to take it slow reading it. Thank you. I've been struggling with banding and the theory was appreciated. I'm especially looking forward to dithering as texturing - I've been hunting information on that for a couple years now!

Maybe a link to the website could be put in the first post.

IDEA! Rock peel good! Monkey eat more banana now. Nyum nyum nyum.

Pixel Art / Re: Grass/Field Tile
« on: April 17, 2009, 12:08:23 am »
Not that I'm the wisest one here, but given you're working on a simpler look it actually all looks absolutely fine to me. Very cutesie. I see no obvious hurtful-on-the-eyes tiling.

Perhaps once you've added more objects to the tileset it'll be easier to tell what does and doesn't work.

If you're using a program like RPG Maker XP with 'autotiles', you may want to incorporate your darker green path tiles into it. It'll give you more room on your tileset, and will push you a little in order to make the autotile work right in all possible combinations. Plus you can then have autotiles that gradiate (if that's the right word) or merge into each other.

The other thing you could possibly do is have a small round shadow built into your sprite sheet, under the jelly.

Pixel Art / Re: Revamping Hammerman
« on: April 17, 2009, 12:02:20 am »
Gee, I don't know, the sunglasses throw off the perspective even if they save time on drawing the eyes  :lol: Hairstyle makes me think of the main character from DBZ Evolution.  :-[

The ribbon definitely helps :D

On a serious note, I love the colours.

Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: [WIP] Tree / forest / canopy study
« on: April 16, 2009, 11:57:24 pm »
My crash was courtesy of Spybot S&D's Teatimer eating my monitor calibration software. ::) Fortunately it was only bad blotting that I lost.

Thanks St0ven! What you've provided there is plenty helpful, and should help me start off on the right foot when it comes to shading. And it'd save me time on trying to erase the darkest layer over the brances later on when looking to expose a little trunk. Eesh. :) I can also see now that my bonsai is horribly off balance at the front. Hard to draw foreshortened branches to look at the right angle, especially as just silhouettes! Have to rework the trunk.

I don't know about videos. I'm still a big fan of a collection of saved WIPs (as is probably obvious!). I'm especially curious about painting in clusters with appropriate lighting and the detailing stage.

I'll be making a slightly larger version of the trunk next to the flat tree later on - I thought I'd thrown off the perspective on the branches and thought I'd try for simpler trees first. Had a reference x4 the size from a Secret of Mana tileset. Buried somewhere on my laptop, must find.

EDIT: Awesome, St0ven. Given how long it takes me to get as far as you did so quickly, there's probably a lot to be learnt if you do manage to get video recording to work on your PC.


I wonder how much harder - or easier - I'm making it by drawing as large as I am. It's difficult to work out the lighting on something like a tree - especially this upper top left angle traditional to games. Most of the light visible on the tree would probably be reflected light, then. To get the hang of lighting, I figure maybe I should go draw a giant cone, then explode it from within. Maybe that'll help?

Last night, my partner helped me with some advice I'd never heard before - squint when you're shading something. Somehow it seems to make it easier to see whether something 'looks right'. It worked with some sketches I had (balls and cones, yippee) so hoping it'll help with this bonsai attempt too.

Must resist... urge to squeal... like schoolkid... with autograph... squee?

Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: [WIP] Tree / forest / canopy study
« on: April 16, 2009, 08:22:13 am »
Ugh. I think I'm going backwards. :(

I tried using the bonsai tree as a reference. I drew a trunk and tried to get it at the angle I wanted, which is a little more top down than the picture provided. I then tried to just block out the colors so I could have a starting point... but I can't seem to get them even vaguely right.

The lighting on the reference tree is all over the place, courtesy being surrounded by white walls, I guess. I tried treating each branch-end cluster as its own half-sphere for lighting purposes, but it falls apart and doesn't make sense to me. I'm missing the basics, but shading more balls and cones on paper isn't helping me.

Any advice would be appreciated. I'll keep fiddling with it when I get more time - will try to extend the foliage on left and right 'around' the tree, rather than just on the sides.

Edit: Forgot to include picture. I apologize to your eyes.

Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: [WIP] Tree / forest / canopy study
« on: April 15, 2009, 03:39:22 pm »
Ahh, the one by Ensemble w/ Opacus in the Keen Minds thread. Took a while to figure out it wasn't in this thread XD

I'm rather fond of Graphics Gale, but there are quirks I get frustrated by. Any non-rectangular selection once pasted comes with white filling in the gap to make it a perfect rectangle, resulting in unnecessary clicking. Hopefully I'll get some time to devote to photoshop tutorials tomorrow.

Stemixing - ya. It's quick. It's easy. It's cute in its own way, but it's certainly not pixel art, and I haven't tried it. I'd like to create plants with a better sense of form/depth, and I like the crisp appearance of pixel art.

General Discussion / Re: Extended Exasperation Enrages Eternally?
« on: April 15, 2009, 02:52:49 pm »
Dang. This thread both disappointed and inspired me.

One very useful piece of knowledge I can share with you is to stop studying pixel art.
Why didn't anyone tell me?? Nooo!!

Though I've started to figure it out. There's been too much "Why did they do this? How could they have known it'd work with this dot here and that dot there, how did they know what impact it'd have on the overall image in advance?"

I spent most of the last few years studying pixel art. I've thrown in bits of studying photos, objects in RL and as time has passed have spent weeks at a time focusing on just learning to sketch things better... which would probably account for what progress I have made in pixel art as well. Mostly I learnt by making mistakes. I have no background in art.

Actually the more I've tried non-pixel art stuff recently, the more my pixel art has improved, I guess. @_@ It's just frustrating to realize I focused on the wrong aspect of things for so long.

Also, to realize that sketching won't translate to texturing & coloring skills. I have to spend years learning to PAINT before I can spend years learning to pixel paint pretty? *sob*

Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: [WIP] Tree / forest / canopy study
« on: April 15, 2009, 02:20:02 pm »
JJ - I like what you did, and what you say makes sense. It does look more natural than mine, though perhaps I'd adjust the trunk to allow for something a little more cone shape. Thanks! :)

I had this image in my head that somehow I'd wind up with a whole bunch of smaller tree tops and no central mass if I used that trunk pointed out, so just used Zyndicate's tree as reference and tried to imitate structure. As mentioned above, my intent to use a better palette screwed up when I tried to 'cheat' my 3 colors + dark transparent color + palette adjustment. As is colours would definitely need more contrast. Also it turns out my monitor needs calibrating throughout the day - I was definitely lacking contrast to begin with! o_O

I've started a proper attempt at that bonsai tree you linked, and will hopefully be properly demonstrating step 4 as you suggested. Even as crude colour blobs it is looking a lot better. :)

Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: [WIP] Tree / forest / canopy study
« on: April 15, 2009, 06:10:41 am »
No, I use Graphics Gale. :) Graphics Gale brushes work without anti-aliasing. The larger brush is basically a cross of 3x3 pixels. No soft edges. It has layers, and you can set the transparency of a layer. It also has alpha-transparency, but I don't know how to use that inside of Graphics Gale beyond mixing a palette together. I understand that'll put off some purists, but perhaps they can find the strength to ignore the 9-color leaf shading and focus on the structure as intended. If not, my apologies to them. ^_^

I don't understand Photoshop well enough to use it - it's difficult for a newbie. I need to look up tutorials on it online some time! I suppose if I did use it I could draw things in that stemixing style since tutes on that are extensive, but I would lose the control and understanding that comes with being good at raw pixel art. Plus I don't know how I'd avoid anti-aliased edges if I was to use burn/dodge tools etc. :/

Ensemble tree - not sure which you mean. The '08 one by HulioG? I'm meaning to give that style another shot too. When I tried painting trees in their entirety I did neglect the size of leaves as they move away, so thank you very much for pointing that out. I think if I'd made a second set of smaller leaves the leaf by leaf one would've been much better, as I lost a lot of the curves I intended for as per Zyndicate's piece. With smaller leaves I could've structured softer protusions for more character - therés a hint of what I meant for on the lower left corner.

You might notice that the ones you linked follow the #1 method I listed - he created a leaf cluster, flipped it, pasted it about and shaded appropriately. I didn't think it was the right angle for me to imitate, though? I've seen his work before, and it's great, hey :)

Thanks, that was handy. Nice to have a more technical term than just 3/4s view. ^_^

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