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Topics - Tourist
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General Discussion / Pivot Stic kfigure animator
« on: December 11, 2009, 07:41:40 am »
This might be a useful app.  It's freeware from

The application lets you create stick figures and then animate them.  It's all 2d.  It doesn't have any native stretch, squash, or foreshortening (although you can edit the figures).  The animation does have onion skinning.  You can also import a background image.

I think it might be useful for someone creating a figure to check that the body part lengths are good, or to try out a stance before making any pixels.


Pixel Art / Having problems with some faces
« on: December 06, 2009, 05:52:41 am »
I set myself a goal to practice making some generic human heads.  Something that might work as a base for portraits.  Then to verify they would work, make an actual portrait based on the generic head.  Then deform the base and see how well it worked as a starting point for a differently shaped head. 

I didn't get to the last step.  Somewhere along the way the faces got more and more off track.  I've been staring at these too long and I can't see the source of the flaws.  I need some fresh eyes to look at this.

I tried both a 5 color shading of the female head and a 10 color dithered version.  The hair needs rework in all of them that have hair.  The last image with the gaps is where I started chopping up the facial anatomy and realized I wasn't sure if I was making corrections or just changes.

I went back to the male head to see if the detailed dithering exposed any anatomy flaws.  I stopped even though it still has a lot of banding because I couldn't tell if this was working or not.

So, um, any help is appreciated.

Anatomy crits on the grayscale heads?
Shading crits on the heads with color?
Palette crits?
Basic process flaws?

Thanks in advance,

Pixel Art / [C+C] Lounging
« on: November 19, 2009, 10:13:23 pm »
I've posted a lot of crits recently but not much art.  Here's something I'm working on.

The lines are not pixel art, it's vector art that has been resized, which is why it's jagged and has the spots here and there.

Lessons learned so far:
I think I need to practice basic anatomy more.  I definitely need to spend more time on the line work and defining the planes of the face before jumping into detail.

Odd angles (the center lines here are 2:3) are tough.

Working on individual sections in detail before covering the larger areas doesn't work for me that well (yet?).  Plenty of rework to tweak one detailed area to get it to match a different detailed area.

Reducing the forehead and finishing the work on the jaw/mouth should make it look more feminine.  I planned to go back and rework the forehead shading when I got to the hair, but right now the overall distortions in anatomy (the eyes, nose) are bugging me.  Is this piece salvageable?

Here's an animated gif of several stages, FWIW.

C+C welcome,

General Discussion / Pixel art and classical art (palettes again)
« on: October 23, 2009, 03:55:11 am »
I'm still wrestling with color choices and could use some help.

Here's a piece cropped from Calinerie by William Bouguereau. 

You can see the whole thing here (about halfway down the page:

I admire the look of classical oil paintings like this.  I can't seem to translate this into a limited palette suitable for pixel art.  I'm not trying to recreate this piece, but I do want to figure out a palette with the sort of glow in the faces above. 

Too few colors (8 or so) and there is either too much contrast or too narrow a range of hues.  Too many (12+) and I either get banding or have to enlarge my doodles.   

Any ideas? 

Btw, the ARC site (the one linked above) is a fantastic resource for browsing artwork.

General Discussion / Color space
« on: June 20, 2009, 09:12:19 pm »
After learning a bit of color theory, I was no longer satisfied with the existing color pickers.

I wanted a better representation of the color space to start from, like a set of paints that a painter might use.  It would be larger than a single palette, but more limited than the complete RGB space.  A large collection of colors that I could use to create a palette for any particular piece of pixel art.

I took some individual red, green, and blue components of about equal lightness.  Three blues, five reds, seven greens.  They're in the upper left of the picture.  The lower left has the combination of any two of the components, and the center has the combinations of any three.  The colors in the center have the same data sliced three different ways to better visualize the results. 

The idea is that starting from any particular color, one can create a ramp by moving along a constant direction (horizontal, vertical, up/down, and any of the diagonals).  Starting with a few different colors based on the idea for the pixel art piece, I could create ramps as needed and have a palette that works.

The area on the far right is a scratchpad I used to construct some sample ramps. 

The colors are non-linear in RGB space, which means that hue, lightness, and saturation are not independent. Shifting a color lighter, for example, also means shifting the hue in one direction or another. 

This is the fifth version of this I've put together and the first that I'm mostly satisfied with.  Any feedback is welcome.  Do you think this is a worthwhile exercise?  Is there some part of the spectrum that is missing?  A better choice for the red, green, blue, ramps?


Pixel Art / Posted for fun
« on: May 28, 2009, 04:25:11 pm »
I did this one for fun.  This is a goof inspired by some old 70s era fashions. 

I didn't get around to adding any hair, because it was getting late.


Pixel Art / Stairs
« on: May 02, 2009, 03:53:14 am »
I thought I'd try out some iso work to improve my skills.  I feel a bit silly posting something so simple and basic, but I've got to walk before I can run.  I'm posting to get some feedback on some of the simple things.

The version on the left was done earlier than the one on the right.

Difference 1: The version on the left has a lot of AA.  That was very slow to create, which led me to revisit some tutorials and create the version on the right, which has none.

Are there any rules of thumb for when to use AA and when not to?

Difference 2: The colors on the left have a greater contrast than the colors on the right.

  If this image was going to be background, with other things stacked on top (furniture or characters) should the colors be bland and blended, or should they have contrast?

Difference 3: Brickwork highlights on the right.  I think this looks better on the right, but as I extend the lower wall I feel I need to add some noise or something to remove the perfect repetition.  Any guidelines or tutorials on this?  Or do you just sprinkle noise until it looks ok?

I'd also appreciate any comments about the stairs.  The ones on the right are shallower because the height difference is less.  Still there seems to be something a bit off with them.  I'm not sure what it is.  Should the steps be taller?


Pixel Art / [wip] Noob requesting critique
« on: March 14, 2009, 11:14:34 pm »
Hello all, new to making pixels.  I've made a dozen or so small figures over the past few weeks, and I seem to have a consistent problem, so I could use some advice.

The figure on the left is the first one I did.  I revisited it today and made the figure on the right, a larger version with a different view. 

The main problem I'm looking for help with is that the figures look ok when zoomed in, but at 1x they're just a blue smudge.   While the artwork improves (imo), this problem is persistent.  I think I'm missing something fundamental.  Suggestions?


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