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Messages - Tourist
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Pixel Art / Re: Jade [C&C]
« on: July 26, 2014, 02:15:49 am »
Here's what I see:

1) Your value scale is off.  Everything is too light and it ends up looking all washed out.  Maybe check your gamma settings in whatever application you are using.

2) The head is constructed symmetrically, then the features are just pushed to one side.  Real heads don't do that.

Here's a reference:

The cheek line is more vertical, and the jaw line is more horizontal.  The tip of the chin lines up with the inside corner of the far eye.

3) You've drawn the eyes like fried eggs on a plate.  There are many eye shapes available that work, but fried eggs is not one of them.

For the eye, start with a simple shape.  Then shade in an eye socket.  Since this is a female head, I added a big curved eyebrow.  It's not realistic, but it breaks up the brow line and implies a curve to the whole eye shape that doesn't really exist.  It's a style choice. 

How big should the eyes be?  The width of the eyes should be roughly the skull height divided by 6 or 7 for a realistic head.  Maybe add one to that for over-sized eyes.

This is what it looks like when you fix the eyes and put the jaw in the right spot:

The far eye is the same height as the near one, but one pixel less wide.  The mouth and the base of the nose are only sketched in to show where they might go.  Oh, I moved the ear down to where it goes, on the side of the head rather than the top.  Already it looks much better. 

I think that there is a sweet spot for portraits with a skull height of 18-20 pixels, and another sweet spot at twice that height.  A head that has a 28-32 pixel skull is tough, because some of the dimensions don't map to neat pixel intervals.  The features are either to wide or too narrrow, too thin or too thick.  The eyes aren't bad, but a 3 pixel mouth is a bit too thick, the eyebrows are a bit of trouble, and the base of the nose is either going to be too wide or too narrow.  This could just be the way I draw things, you may find this size to work well for you. 

At this size I end up either using a deformed head shape (chibi or dollz style), or bumping up the color count to work at half pixel scale.  For this edit I used a 6-step gray scale, plus one for the highlight at the tip of the nose, and about 6 green colors for the eyes and lips.  You could probably do this with fewer colors and it would look fine. 

Then I went nuts:

Eh, overdid the lips.  Oh, well.  The second head uses the same eyes and almost the same mouth.  The only differences are the width of the nose, the jawline, and the hair.  It doesn't take a lot to make characters look very different.

Hope this helps,

Pixel Art / Re: Characters
« on: February 27, 2014, 08:17:11 pm »
Everyone is cross-eyed. 

Use the range of skin tone values that you have to suggest different eye shapes or expressions.  It only takes a few pixels at the corners of the eyes to do this.  Here are some examples:

Hope this helps,

Pixel Art / Re: Need criticism big time
« on: February 07, 2014, 10:05:43 pm »
I like these concepts and basic designs.  Each built with a few strong colors, that's good.  There's a lot of potential here.

Proportion, construction, anatomy,  these are all poor.  Time to work on the art basics.  Check the resources link in the Things of Interest forum and grab some drawing books.  Or your local library, that's a good resource too.   

I had fun with this, although the legs need another pass. 


Pixel Art / Re: Creating a 64x64 platforming animation. [WIP]
« on: November 22, 2013, 08:14:55 pm »
I would suggest a different approach for the animation.  The fluid visual choreography of well executed parkour depends on the interaction of the character and the environment.  Designing the animations separately from the environment may not look as nice.

Perhaps start from the environment instead.  How far or high are the jump distances?  How fast should the character cross x distance?  If the set of moves includes, say, a wall jump, what does the wall look like, how high is it, how far away is it between walls?

Once you have the environment dimensions sketched out, then start on the character animations.  Perhaps start with a simple sphere to get the timing, stretch, and squash.    Replace the sphere with your stick figure, using the center of the sphere as the center of mass.  The stretch and squash can be done with the limbs or angle of torso rather than actual squashing.  Focus on modeling the dynamic elements of force and motion. 

Then worry about the fine details of leg and arm placement at the same time you are adding details to the environment.  A grab motion needs a handhold, and a handhold provides a spot to grab.  That sort of thing.


Pixel Art / Re: Sprites for new game
« on: November 22, 2013, 06:38:21 pm »
Anyone have any sort of input on doing a drab office scene?

Unfortunately, yes.  I spent too many years working in one of those.  In general, vary up the shapes and sizes a bit.

Change the distribution of drawer shapes on the thing under the desk.
  • A thin drawer on top for pencils, pens, and small junk like post-it pads.  Since it is wide and deep the various bits slide around in an unorganized fashion and it is a hassle to get that one thing you need.
  • Underneath is a larger drawer, usually with file holders. 

At my work, the overhead shelves would open upwards, not outwards.  Like a roll-top desk, only square.  One of them should be open, one should be closed, for visual variety.  Generally filled with useless and outdated corporate procedure manuals.

Most of handles are recessed into the furniture rather than protruding.  To prevent people from whacking their hands or knees on the handle.  What you have looks like kitchen cabinets.

Three walls is extravagant.  That meant the cube could be classified as an office, and peons don't get offices.  So you could remove the small wall on the right hand side.  It makes the worker more 'accessible' to the boss, and coincidentally costs less money.   I doubt the audience would care, so it can stay in if it makes for a better composition.

Obviously needs some other tings on the desk.  A computer, with the monitor sitting under the open space and subject to strong glare conditions.  A few comic strips pinned to the walls.  A small picture frame on the desk with an image of a happier place / family member / pet.  Waste basket under the desk, an office chair, that sort of thing.  Possibly a tiny office plant, or miniature zen garden thing.  Power cables for the computer running under the desk.  The actual outlets are inside the wall dividers, but you still need cables.

Overhead should have a ceiling vent or two in addition to the lights.

In our office, the color was on the divider walls (the lower half, usually) and the furniture was all shades of gray.  The desk was the lightest, the overhead shelves were a mid-tone, and the under-desk things were darker.  But I imagine that's not universal.

Hope this helps,

Pixel Art / Re: I Need Help to Make Dungeon Tiles
« on: October 11, 2013, 05:42:12 am »
The artist who did the Castlevania bricks in your original post was cheating quite a bit.  In a good way, but still cheating.  He or she only made two rows of bricks.  From the top, row 1 and 2 of the texture are unique.  The rest are just a combination or repetition of those two.

Row 3 copies the left half of row 1, and uses the left half of row 2, mirrored, for its right half.
Row 4 is exactly row 3, mirrored left to right
Row 5 and 6 are the same as row 1 and 2.
Row 7 is row 2, mirrored left to right.  Row 8 is just row 1 again.


General Discussion / Re: Official Off-Topic Thread 2014
« on: October 07, 2013, 04:10:23 am »
Looking at clothing catalogs is a great idea.  That should be enough to get a snapshot of current clothing styles.  It's still going to take some work to map the catalogues to the target markets and any relevant cultural things, but it's a starting point.  Thanks for the suggestion!


General Discussion / Re: Official Off-Topic Thread 2014
« on: October 05, 2013, 09:23:33 pm »
Does anyone have any good fashion references?  I'm doodling some characters and I'm having troubles figuring out how their clothing should look.  I'm not looking for the oddball runway stuff, nor fashion with specific function, just general things that people actually wear. 

The late 80s had some ankle boots.  In the early 90s it was Doc Martins.  In late 90s-early 00s it was big clompy things.  Nowadays...?  Are neckties wide or narrow these days?  That sort of thing.   It would be good to have a selection across categories like conservative vs stylish vs regional things. 


General Discussion / Re: The chalenge to upscale pixel art
« on: September 21, 2013, 11:08:44 pm »
Perhaps there needs to be an in-between step to identify the artist's intention. 

This color is used for lines, so scale it according to these rules.  This other color, which has the same RGB value, is just a material shade, so scale it using these rules.

These two colors are on a common ramp, so shape the boundary between them to preserve the larger path of the border, and maybe use a little AA.  These two colors are two different objects altogether that just happen to be adjacent or overlapping, so do .. something else.

You could probably do it with different palette entries, but only for small color counts.  Otherwise you need to store additional data with the pixels.  A custom TIFF file format, maybe.  Final output can have the extra data stripped and colors merged.

Pixel Art / Re: Anime Male Base, WIP (Need Guidance)
« on: September 21, 2013, 10:48:04 pm »
It would help to know what kind of project you are working on.  The design choices for a fighting game would be different than an RPG or a platformer.

I assume you are doing some sort of overhead-ish RPG thing?  Then,
1) If it more important to show the character's expression on the main sprite, chibi is a good choice.
2) If it is more important to show different character gear and outfits then keep the head small. 

Hope this helps,

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