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Messages - Carnivac
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Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: [WIP] Magic Effects (fire)
« on: May 27, 2012, 11:23:21 pm »
Daimoth and Carnivac I actually agree about PxPd's edit, but I still it's an excellent form of C&C =), which is what it's supposed to be. I doubt PxPd thinks it's a finished piece to ship in a game.

Oh yeah.  They're still lovely animations if not quite 'firey'.  I've saved them onto my laptop to study the motion as I just like the actual animation of them.

Pixel Art / Re: [WIP] JMBCreative Art's Pixel Progress
« on: May 27, 2012, 05:37:41 pm »
You're right of course and it was a poor choice of words from my point, Lineart would've been a better term to use perhaps . Clearly outlines can still be useful in seperating things, even my edit still has outlines to a degree. What I meant was that sticking to lineart (especially inside the sprite) can clutter it. :-[ Also nice edit! :y:

Ah fair enough.  I liked your edit too by the way even though I had to brighten up the two darkest shades of green and brown because they looked almost black on my computer. :P

<Edit II: didn't look knightly enough, and did an animation :D lol got carried away, I'll stop now.

Very cool knights and no you can't stop. 16x16 sprites are addictive.  :P

Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: [WIP] Magic Effects (fire)
« on: May 27, 2012, 02:50:25 pm »
PixelPileDriver's edits are nicely animated but lack a sense of energy (can't think of a better word at moment) and the flames don't seem wild enough, but Sohei's latest attempts certainly have it.  I actually get a feel of burny death impact from those. :)

Pixel Art / Re: [WIP] Street scene with dude smoking..
« on: May 27, 2012, 02:47:38 pm »

Must say I find that quite an interesting color scheme.  Sets a nice tone.

Pixel Art / Re: [WIP] JMBCreative Art's Pixel Progress
« on: May 27, 2012, 02:44:48 pm »
The biggest misstake you're doing at the moment is relying to heavily on outlines. When working on such a small and limited scale as this it is better to scrap outlines alltogether as the sprite tends to look cluttered and they take up valuable pixels. Instead you should try to convey shapes. At this size you need to simplify and you might be forced to sacrifice details for readability.  

I don't know if I'd fully agree with 'scrapping outlines altogether' as I find sprites of this size sometimes need some outlining in places to make them stand out more and detailing of small sprites is one of the few things I find really interesting about pixel art and why I quite enjoy doing 16x16 sprites (my main game project uses a lot of them) more than any other size.  I suppose it depends on the sprite in question and the artist's ability to use the space well.

edit:  I did a quick goblin sprite to have a go.   I say goblin but it looks more like the idiot lovechild of Yoda and any of the Ninja Turtles and came out far too cute and cartoony...  But anyways it's just to show that outlines can be used with various degress of moderation on a 16x16 sprite to help shape it and stand out from various types of background tiles.  In my opinion anyway.   

General Discussion / Re: your first pixel ever
« on: May 23, 2012, 12:15:10 pm »
I heard some emulators can play off MP3s, so if you do find the cassette and some ancient technology for playing a cassette there is hope! 

I don't think I have the actual cassette anymore.  I only really have the actual cassettes that had games and programs already on them.  Don't think any of the tapes I saved on to are still around.  They were generally storybook tapes I recorded over cos I needed something to save my work onto.  Usually tapes that came with kids books such as ones for Masters of the Universe and Transformers.  :P

General Discussion / Re: your first pixel ever
« on: May 23, 2012, 09:49:51 am »
directly drawn on technical, millimeter paper, and then hand-typed into some DATA statements in a BASIC listing.

That line there just brought back some memories.  I've had an Amstrad CPC 464 since they came out in 1984 (still works perfectly outliving every other computer I've ever owned) and it was my first computer and got me into gaming and also creating things on a computer.  I didn't have any proper coding or graphics tools on it for the first few years so I made do with the Locomotive BASIC that was already on there on the computer when you switched it on.  My first attempt at 'pixelling' on it was because I was writing my first little game on it and obviously needed graphics and since I didn't have graphics software to make proper sprites I used the SYMBOL command in BASIC to redefine certain ASCII characters to create the assets needed and like used the grid paper of my maths exercise books to design the characters (I remember being told off about that by my teacher and I protesting that I was at least using the back of the book rather than the front).  This must have been about 1987 or the beginning of 1988 as it was a teacher from my school in London and I moved away from there in March 1988 so it's quite a while ago.

This here's a quick reconstruction as the original code was on an old cassette tape and likely lost forever and even if I could find it I wouldn't have a clue how to get a screenshot from it but this is pretty much how I remember it.

You control 'Blob' at the bottom (yeah I wasn't a very imaginative kid when it came to naming things) and you had to move left and right avoiding the falling green spiky things while catching the red apples and occasionally extra lives (the 'baby blobs').  That was pretty much all there was to it and it was pretty clunky to play since everything moved in increments of 8 because it's all made out of redefined ASCII 8x8 characters and even then sometimes it was a bit slow so Blob's four 'sprites' that make up his body would sometimes look like they seperated a little during movement due to the lag) but considering it was made completely in BASIC I was pretty pleased (even had a few little musical jingles here and there).  Blob did have seperate 'sprites' for moving left and right as well though weren't animated.  He also did have some alternate expressions for the frontal view since each 8x8 bit of him was independent so for example I could make him blink with both eyes or wink with one just by using the same images but seperate from each other.

Eventually thanks to the cover-mounted cassette tapes of the magazine Amstrad Action I did obtain a couple of proper CPC graphics programs such as Smart and G-Paint and they allowed me to create much more detailed and colorful graphics none of which I have anymore either but I do recall doing a fullscreen pixelled image of Batman (Michael Keaton version since it was about the time that film came out) and the cover of the game Shadow Warriors. Also did an animated Batman run-cycle which was originally going to be Keaton again but it was hard to distinguish the arms and legs with an all black costume so I made it blue and gray and it's general blockiness made it end up looking far more like Adam West. :P

Cheers for jogging my memory and sending me on a little nostalgia trip. :)

edit:  Just been thinking about that lil game and just suddenly occurs to me it's got a bit of a dark side I never noticed before.  Blob there eats the apples and tries not to eat the spikey things.  And yet he collects the 'baby blobs' in the same manner, meaning he EATS them to gain life?   Seems my childhood self somehow missed how weird that is.

Portfolios / Re: [Portfolio] Carnivac
« on: May 15, 2012, 10:25:16 am »

I'm going through the masses of seemingly random folders on my hard drive here and finding other lil bits and pieces of pixel art I'd long forgotten I ever did.  Just added a few more small bits now.

General Discussion / Re: What are you worth?
« on: May 14, 2012, 01:36:42 pm »
PixelPiledriver thanks for the lengthy post.   It's given me some things to think about.   No idea what a Myers Briggs personality thing is though.  I'm currently trying to broaden my skills a bit by also finally learning how to do vector art (not for sprites, pixels all the way for my game projects) just to have more general skills in art.  Schu's recent Doctor Who images at have inspired that decision and I think it would just increase chances of employment if I wasn't only skilled in such a niche as pixel art is these days.  Also something I haven't done in a very long time is just draw for the sake of drawing.  As a kid I'd fill sketchpads within days of all sorts of random drawings and I think it's hurt my drawing skills these days that I haven't done that in years.  Just drawing anything and studying forms again.  Maybe if I improve in these things then I'd be more confident as an artist and be more accepting of higher pay.

What I mean by that is that your answer on that question shouldn't be based on what you are "worth" but on your needs: how much money you need to live the way you are comfortable with? .

I need enough to find a home I can actually get some peace and relax in.  :)  Oh and to get me driving too.

General Discussion / Re: What are you worth?
« on: May 11, 2012, 12:13:00 pm »
It *is* a confidence thing. The potential employer that is approaching you and not someone else obviously sees something in your work that cannot be reproduced by a different artist. You might not see it, because you're clouded by your ability to see all the deficiencies in your work that outsiders cannot. But they see it. Take their word.

I suppose.  I think it's related to the fact I don't have a lot of confidence in anything I do.  I'm a brown belt in shotokan karate and the highest grade in my class but that time where the sensei got caught in traffic and needed someone to take over the class til he got there?  I couldn't do it.  The next guy below me (several grades below me) did it instead because I simply lacked the confidence in my own training to be able to teach others.   I'm an amateur actor with local drama groups as well and lately I've realised I'm only ever comfortable at rehearsals once I'm being the character I've been cast as and tend to sort of stay in character even after my scenes are done because I find it easier than being myself and yet I don't consider myself a good actor at all.   I think you're right in that I see far more flaws in my own work (and my own appearance) than most people would.  Maybe that's an artist thing, that we probably notice more and study the looks and shapes of things even without realising we do it.  

The 'Atomica' artwork could absolutely not have been reproduced (let alone originally created) by many people.
I thought that piece could because it was purposely deriative in some ways to 16 bit games (things like the logo especially) as the guy hiring me to produce that for his album specifically asked for that sort of era of pixel art.  The 16 color palette though was my own self-imposed limitation mainly because I'd been using preset palettes for a while (stuff relating to my game projects) and I wanted to see if I could still create a decent and flexible low color palette from scratch for that imaginary game's setting.  A personal challenge of sorts.

Furthermore keep in mind that when a high visibility & skilled artist such as you undersells their talents because of confidence issues, they're hurting the market for the rest of us.

That's a fair point and I'm sorry.  I haven't actually accepted many projects at all though in the past few years due to various reasons (this confidence thing being one of many) but I know what you're saying.

I think artists are terrible for valuing their work.  I do a lot of freelance work, mostly pixel art, but also some coding stuff.  I get paid a lot more for programming (a lot more for a lot less work), even though I'm much more of an 'expert' at pixel art than coding (or for modesty's sake, I should say I'm not a very accomplished programmer).  

How do you decide that you're capable of coding what they need?  It's much less of a visual thing than art so does it matter how efficient the code is or how it's presented (in case someone else needs to modify it in future)?

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