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Messages - Manupix
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Pixel Art / Re: [C+C]Marines.
« on: November 19, 2014, 02:05:52 am »
Hi there =)

Not sure how you got this and where the size caption comes from. Anyway, there are 2 big no-nos in this:
- don't EVER save pixel art as jpeg. It will ruin your work because it will add millions of colors and ugly artefacts (jpeg is a 'lossy compression' format). Use png or gif. Read up about these image file formats (and others) on wikipedia, you must know what they do and what they don't before you use them (for any type of digital art as well).
- don't resize pixel art, unless you know what you're doing and have a compelling reason to do so. Post your pieces in their original x1 size, the forum has a built-in zoom (click image; may look blurry in some browsers but sharp in Firefox); working on pixel pieces (for you or someone else to edit) is a pain if the piece has been resized.
You may need to resize final works for display on other websites: only use nearest neighbor resizing, by an integer factor (200%, 300% etc).

It's next to impossible to give meaningful crit on the resized jpeg you posted: let's see the original  ;D

Pixel Art / Re: [WIP][C&C] Sidescrolling strategy - game art
« on: November 19, 2014, 01:53:56 am »
The new farmhouse looks good. You're doing quite well actually, there's a good sense of light and also precise pixeling in these.

Gil makes a valid point about the highlights, though I'd reserve my judgment until a complete mockup. That should be easy to finetune at any time anyway.

I noticed 2 more details that should be fixed:
- the contrast is inconsistent in some color ramps / areas: for instance the town hall, the triangle trusses at the top have darker shadow than elsewhere, esp. the opening just below on the left; and on the farmhouse, the right side 'garage door'  ??? (what is it?). Deep openings should be the darkest spots.
- on both farm and warehouse, the roof eaves are higher at the back than the front, which creates an impossible perspective.

About the lift: I happen to know quite a few things about mining / quarrying, I'd be happy to help =)
Hiding this behind spoiler tags as it isn't about pixeling.

for going downwards only
Not sure what you mean, they certainly were most useful going upwards?

What these lifts have is most likely, small cages that are incapable of carrying people, unless they put themselves into some uncomfortable position, what I need is a lift that can carry few workers at once.
Oh yes they could, these things could easily raise half a tonne. Comfort didn't count - think 12-15h work days hacking at rock in 0.8m high (or less) chambers. However they were quite slow and that wouldn't do.

Was it like that in the medieval ages, was it even invented?
Not sure about exact century without checking, but the most prevalent way of getting people down and up would have been ladders, down to depths of 100s of meters, because lifts would have been way too slow before steam power replaced human or animal power.
Btw, steam power was introduced in mining for pumping water out in the first place, not for getting people in and ore out =)

if there was a giant cage like mine, it would spin around if attached to one rope only
True, but your solution wouldn't work as the 2 ropes are too close. That's why they used buckets.

2 lifts one on each side and then even some wooden construction that wouldn't allow the platform to spin around or move left or right when going downwards
That's exactly how it worked (and still does).

I found the lift model you used, there are other views including of the axis drum; I'm posting it in case you didn't see it.

Another real-life example:

The underground stone quarries in and around Paris made use of a similar but simplified design of a gigantic wheel right above the shaft (google image 'roue de carriere' for more):

These were later replaced by horse drawn hoists ('treuil de carriere'):

Both these systems remained in use well into the 20th century! However they would have been far too slow for mines or anything deeper than a few 10s of meters.
The typical mining landmark in the machine era was the headframe.

More about this if you wish, but not today and likely not tomorrow  ;D

Pixel Art / Re: SNES/GBA-ish Dark Mansion
« on: November 17, 2014, 11:07:50 pm »
The glossy floor makes it really hard to read at once, it looks like a continuing wall. I'd drop it if there's no compelling reason for it (or try to suggest it in another manner).
Snader's edit improves it, but not totally, as the light is conflicting with the volumes: the floor next to the windows should be brighter than elsewhere, all the more so that the other light sources look dim.

The diamond pattern would help a lot, too, as it would create an immediate and obvious distinction between floor and walls.

Pixel Art / Re: [WIP][C&C] Sidescrolling strategy - game art
« on: November 17, 2014, 11:01:51 pm »
These look good already, mostly clean pixeling =)

Agree about white bg.
Relatedly or not, these pieces lack highlights.

Not sure why the roofs are the same color as the wooden walls; nor why the City Hall has different window colors.

The different roof angles on the backsides (except City Hall) bugs me, esp. as it looks jaggy (if you really have to, make it clean 2x1 but I don't see what could justify it).

I have several issues with the lift:
- the beams should be clean 1x1 and 2x1, that would additionally increase their separation and make their persp. consistent with the wheel.
- the mechanics are bad: the rope should unwind from a smaller drum on the wheel axis for gearing down (increasing torque / reducing speed); then it should pass in the pulley, down to the cage and pass in another pulley on the cage and up again, but not back into the pulley, rather visibly attached to the pulley axis.
Or better, just have a single rope from the pulley down to the cage. I don't think they used the double rope winch system in mine shafts because of the increased length of rope; all the down gearing would be applied by / to the drum.
- the cage is too wide (unless necessary for the game of course), it would require a uselessly wide shaft. A bucket-like thing was used as a cage in early mines.

Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: [WIP] Pixel Assets [C+C]
« on: September 29, 2014, 03:05:34 pm »
I hope the image is self-explanatory  :)
What I understand is you seem to advise 100% saturation in all colors, and I can't agree with that  :(

A Ramp would be using shades within a colour and shouldn't be done?
Critique about 'color ramps' in these parts usually means a palette made up of independent ramps wherein all colors share a single hue, and sometimes a single saturation.
If this is done without a compelling reason, it usually gives poor results.
By contrast, a good thoughtful palette has colors picked across the whole range of hues / saturations / brightnesses, chosen so that they 'work well together' in most combinations, as well as offering solutions for a specific piece pixeling challenges.

More about this here.

The usually associated mistake is to use these ramps in specific and exclusive areas of the piece: the ramps are then truly independent, instead of an 'organic' palette where colors are 'recycled' throughout the piece to unite it.

Consider your player 1's colors.

There are at least 5 independent ramps: hair, skin, eyebrows, eye pupils, mouth + blackened eye.
Most saturations are in the 20-27 range, except the hair blues and eye purple.
Additionally, 32 colors is a huge lot for this piece, considering that many are used in very few pixels (you can see where each color is used by hovering over the palette; you can also sort colors by hues and other criteria).

To get a better understanding of these issues, I'd recommend practicing palette challenges, here or at Pixeljoint. These will force you to find creative solutions and get rid of the color ramp mindset. The smaller and crazier the palette, the better!

Edit: also check this thread.

Pixel Art / Re: Steve Animations
« on: September 28, 2014, 06:42:31 pm »
Looks great. Nothing constructive to add I'm afraid =)

Pixel Art / Re: Help with RPG Sprite animation
« on: September 28, 2014, 06:41:26 pm »
Much better!
The feet don't move realistically though, it looks like you're reusing frames, just adding the shadow.
Feet do stay in contact with the ground on their (apparent) backward move, but they're raised during all the forward thrust. You can't avoid drawing that.
(basically what michelcote was saying, I guess)

Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: Alcopop's pixel sketch thread
« on: September 28, 2014, 06:36:26 pm »
Agree with Cyangmou.
Also the bg foliage doesn't need outlines, and its shapes are boring and sloppy.
Great character =)
Don't bother with AA, your pieces are large enough to be viewed at 1x and it is lost on the viewer.

Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: Heavy Infantry
« on: September 26, 2014, 08:41:21 pm »
that one for Manupix

I find the pose is somewhat unbalanced, not in the sense of unrealistic but rather of being frozen at the wrong instant: he's falling forward a bit.
Because of other things that I can't pinpoint, he doesn't look as heavy, powerful and menacing as (likely) intended.
Random example (obviously not relevant as far as the pose and structure are concerned, just for the kind of feeling I'd expect):

Pixel Art / Re: Self portrait
« on: September 26, 2014, 08:19:25 pm »
Easily the most dithering I've ever used.
Dithering in faces is anathema   :o
There are very few cases where it works, as in Mandrill's entry, but most of the time it just doesn't. Faces are what our brains have evolved to extract the most detail from, they are also usually the focus of a piece. You just want everything to be pixel-crisp.

Also this ref is not very useful, you can't see any detail in there, it has even less resolution than your pixel piece.
You should sketch your features in the mirror and use that as a complementary ref =)

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