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Messages - Kiana
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General Discussion / Link Fixing & Cleanup
« on: March 08, 2019, 07:06:03 am »
I've been going through some old threads and repairing a bunch of links that were still on the wayofthepixel domain. Unfortunately, I can't recover any images that were on hosts which expired like imageshack, but I was able to fix a lot of old activity threads. ;D I may also be sorting and archiving some threads which haven't been touched in a while. If I miss anything, just let me know or report the post in question.

General Discussion / Official Off-Topic Thread 2019
« on: March 08, 2019, 06:53:51 am »
Happy 2019! Better late than never, right? 8) You can post about anything here that doesn't quite fit anywhere else or deserve its own thread.

Last year's thread is here.

I have to say, I really like how youíve handled the specular highlights. They give just the right amount of punch. The progression of details youíve been adding is great, too. The objects feel nicely specific and generally consistent in style with one another.

I know itís still WIP, but I think you could improve the rendering of the leather, cloth, and wood areas. Dropping the areas of the belt where itís folded over in shadow may help improve depth. I do see that youíve added some ambient occlusion shadow but itís very subtle right now. Itís fine to exaggerate the lighting for the sake of readability.

The grip of the pistol seems to lack depth compared to the rest of it. You could perhaps ďcheatĒ either the backside or the front and bottom of the form into view, or bevel the form underneath the leather so itís not technically cheating to show more of a side or bottom plane. Iím not sure the additional grip on the pistol is consistent with the rest of the form and how itís lit. Figure out the volume of the grip and see if you can revise that part so itís consistent. You also might not need the black inner lines on the cloth grip. How does it look if you just use the shadow color you have as the line in that area to soften it a bit?

For the wood, I wonít comment much on it for now since youíre clearly still working on it but try to imply the wood grain more than you explicitly show it through how you shape and texture the shadows. Also, depending on what part of the wood was used and how makeshift it is, consider that the part where itís sharpened could get lighter as if the outer grain has been shaven away.

Overall, great job so far, canít wait to see more progress.  ;D

Pixel Art / Re: Artyom. Chibi Metro
« on: March 07, 2019, 08:06:23 pm »
Overall, itís pretty good for a first try! The proportions definitely feel cute and you have a cool aesthetic there. The only proportional issue I see is that the arms may be a bit short. When your arms are straight, your fingers usually reach down to about midway down your thigh. You may want to consider making the gun a bit larger for more clarity and to help reinforce the cuteness of the character in comparison.

In regards to the composition, you may want to dim the snow on the ground a bit so that the logo pops out more in contrast and the background feels a bit more consistent in lighting level.

I agree with Strawberry on the rendering - you have some areas which look fuzzy or blurry due to having too many colors in certain areas. One area this is happening is the pants. Youíre using what appears to be 4 shades to create the shading on the pants, but you really only need two. The colors you used to blend the light and shadow are redundant at this size and are causing banding (we can see individual bands of color in an area youíve intended to look like a gradient).

While I understand the intent of trying to smooth areas out with many colors or add texture with dithering, I recommend trying to focus on how you can make your shadows into simple shapes which define the forms of your subject based on your light source. Currently, some areas of your character are lit from the side such as the pants, whereas other areas are lit from the top left such as the chest piece or muzzle of the mask. Try to make sure these forms are consistently lit from roughly the same angle and use as few colors as possible to start out with (if needed for detail, you can add in more colors as you go).

Once youíre comfortable with this, you can start thinking about more complicated concepts of how light interacts with different materials. Like Strawberry mentioned, metal is characterized by distinct dark and light areas. This would be good for metal which is polished and has a slick, reflective surface. Rough or dusty metal might have less clear reflections and a bit of texture to it with nicks in the surface and whatnot. Donít be afraid to use reference photos or look at objects around you to study how you might approach rendering different materials.  :)

Good luck and keep at it! This is good for only having started pixel art two weeks ago. Imagine what you could do in a few months or even a year if you keep practicing!

General Discussion / Re: Friend's account registration troubles
« on: March 07, 2019, 07:25:03 pm »
You could PM Indigo or just post in this thread. The only info needed is your friendís username.

For future reference, you can go here and search by position for a list of administrators or search ďmoderatorĒ instead for a list of moderators. Admins have power over stuff like account activation and username changes whereas mods generally just have forum moderation tools.

General Discussion / Re: Be aware of fraudulent clients.
« on: March 07, 2019, 07:24:43 am »
The main difference here is that a client can dispute a payment which has been made and get their money back easily (perhaps too easily, as wrongful chargebacks are an issue artists have to face sometimes) if the artist turns out to have been a scammer, whereas an artist cannot get back any time wasted if they have been scammed. The amount of risk with no downpayment is very unequal. A case can perhaps be made that the artwork can be resold, but usually it isnít ďgeneralĒ enough or expansive enough to make back the lost time/money.

You argue that a client would have absolutely no reason not to pay you except in cases like emergencies, and while that would be true for legitimate clients, there are people who intend to get artwork, sketches, concepts, ideas, etc. for free if they can. Even if a piece is sent watermarked and at low resolution, some people are only after the pose, composition, color scheme, concept, design, or the fact that itís artwork of a particular character/subject, etc.

The safest way to have a freelance transaction without a downpayment is to have a contract signed by both parties with explicitly defined expectations (such as art delivered by x date, y pay due by z date), but many artists feel this is overkill if itís a one-off commission, and if one party breaks the contract it may be time consuming and not worth it to go through small claims court depending on how much money it is. No contract and no downpayment is not something I would recommend to any artist since it leaves you very open to unrecoverable losses.

Now, if the client is one you have worked with many times before or is generally trustworthy, you might choose to be more lax about when you ask to be paid (instead of upfront, maybe itís in a few weeks). All of this is risk management, and itís better to be safe than sorry if youíre doing business with someone you donít know much about.

General Discussion / Re: Friend's account registration troubles
« on: March 07, 2019, 05:27:06 am »
Has your friend checked their spam folder or tried whitelisting
An administrator can manually activate the account if for some reason the activation emails arenít sending.

General Discussion / Re: Issue about Balance the two.
« on: March 02, 2019, 01:16:36 am »
You donít have to completely focus on one or the other - you can prioritize computer science while still practicing art on the side. The key is managing your time well and not burning yourself out. If you can handle programming every day and drawing some every day thatís great, but really if you can take the time to draw a little bit even once a week or once every other week thatís better than never drawing until you graduate. Use it as a way to handle the stress of university and give your mind a break, even. :)

MysteryMeat makes a good point in that you can use the money you make from your tech job to fund your game company endeavors. Iíd also add that connections from your job or university can be valuable for trying to start a company. Just make sure all your agreements are clearly laid out on paper.

You may find that problem solving techniques you use in computer science are useful for learning art and vice versa. For example, debugging techniques can be used for figuring out weak points in your drawing skills. The more you learn, the more tools youíll have at your disposal for problem solving and creating. ;)

General Discussion / Re: Pixel Art MMO App
« on: February 11, 2019, 10:38:13 pm »
Cool concept, reminds me a bit of Redditís r/place April Foolís event. I donít think I have a compatible device to try it out but consider making it possible if it isnít already to put the palette on the side or bottom instead of the top (customizable UI).

Assuming there is no way to edit more than one pixel at a time, also consider allowing the host of a canvas options to allow methods of drawing with a MSPaint-like pencil or rectangle filling small areas. I can understand not allowing those features by default since itís easy to vandalize.

General Discussion / Re: your ideas?
« on: January 29, 2019, 11:33:16 pm »
Ha, thanks, I figured theyíd edit in a URL or try to hide one but decided to approve the post since itís an interesting discussion topic.  :)

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