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Messages - Cage
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2D & 3D / Re: Official Anatomy Thread
« on: February 07, 2013, 11:16:12 pm »
Grown tired of posemaniacs for a while, so I'm using the stocks from deviantart for reference.

Some more of my figures:

Still the same problematic areas: hips/pelvis, neck, hands and breasts obviously

I did some muscle/bones drawing in the meantime - think I have a bit more idea what actually I'm constructing than before.

It's still a long road! :)

Pixel Art / Re: Beginner, stuck with sprites and tiling.
« on: February 03, 2013, 10:47:28 am »
I'm using photoshop too - had my share of "extra colors" but I've got it under control. :) Some tips from me:

First of all, if you're using a graphics tablet, make sure you don't have any pen pressure settings adjusting the opacity of the brush etc. Also be sure to use the pencil tool (and pencil/block mode of the eraser tool) - those don't produce any anti aliasing. Remember to turn off anti aliasing for the selection tools like lasso/polygonal lasso, too.

Watch out for layers - it's easy to replace a color on a single layer instead of the whole picture by mistake - extra color.

Also, if you're using masks, make sure that they are strictly 0/1 - either fully white (255/255/255/) or black (0/0/0). Accidental transparencies were most often the cause of unnecessary colors in my workflow.

To keep track of your colors and keep them uniform over the whole piece, you can use the extra space of your artwork to place the blotches of the colors to work as your palette or use the swatch window.

As a means of cleaning up the color, you can use the forced color in the index color conversion dialog ( forced -> custom ) and just select only the colors you want to use (the palette mentioned above helps, since you can use the eyedropper)

As far as your artwork:
I like your shading and color choices, looks like you know what you're doing ;) I recommend you read up more on pixel-specific - alternatives to black outlines, manual AA and cleaning up lines - it's great you've cleaned up you're lines, but they're very angular in some places which isn't always desired - practice cleaning up some oval/curved lines for example.

The mushrooms in the tileset could use some shadow (they blend in a bit). Besides that, there's something weird going on - not sure if that's intentional, but it looks like the tileset was scaled up from a smaller size and cleaned up, but it's still kinda blocky - mainly the grass and bush tile give off this vibe.

Pixel Art / Re: Franko
« on: January 29, 2013, 08:13:49 pm »
Hey, that's a nice sprite, I like the clean and very readable style.

While running certainly works, I think the dynamics in the punch animation are in the reverse - it seems that the character uses more force for pulling his hand back than for the actual punch. At least it looks like this to me.

Pixel Art / Re: Trying Pixel Art again
« on: January 28, 2013, 11:17:51 am »
Textures are considered a part of the detailing process - something you do last on your piece.

Since you have your lineart (which is pretty nice, btw!) I recommend that you colour it with a single, midtone colour (if he's not going to be all brown, then one color of each hue in case of differently colored parts) and then block out the general shading - it doesn't have to be precise yet, it's purpose is to show, what geometry, what 3d shapes is your character made out from.

Since it's a stone golem, you might want to go with blocky/cube shapes.

Excuse the roughness, but it's just supposed to give you the idea ;) Of course not perfect cubes, but when working with rocks, think of them as blocks first.

The texture so far, reads in my mind as more of a pillowy surface - like it's edges drop down smoothly. Rocks most of the time have a rough texture or a layered appearance. Another picture to illustrate:

As far as the colors go: I like the muddied-reddish base color, for lighter colors you could warm it a bit to an more orange hue for example. Observe how the lights and shadows shift the color in real life.

Oh, and the current three shades are very close together value wise - don't be afraid of contrast - it's something that makes up the readability of sprite and makes them pop :) If the difference between too colors is too much, you can always add an in-between color. If you're just starting with pixelart, I wouldn't worry too much about the number of colors, but try not to get too overboard ;) In general, you should focus on making things look good first - using lower color counts and clever colors/palettes comes with the experience, don't worry about it yet.

Hope this helps, good luck!

Pixel Art / Re: Portrait: Ewout Genemans
« on: January 26, 2013, 10:31:46 pm »
Stoven's version defines the face and the neck a bit better.

Notice how the shading separates the frontal planes of the face from the sides. In yours, the head/face seem kinda eggy ;)

Here's a quick ref for the planes of the face, something I have to work on myself too!

Also, the neck could use some darker colours - the values you used suggest that his throat is in the same z space as his face 

Pixel Art / Re: [WIP]Tactical Game Tileset
« on: January 25, 2013, 04:30:56 pm »
The general idea behind the wall is something like this:

The engine doesn't allow tiles obscuring the sprites so I've decided that a trapezoid wall would be the way to go. I'm not sure if the current tiles really show this.

If I won't be able to work out a nicer grass edge, I might go with a shadow, we'll see. As far as the amount of detail tiles, it's my mockup-testmap and I've kinda crammed most of the stuff there.

As I've mentioned already, I think the whole problem with this, is that I've rushed into the gfx without thinking too much ahead. Redoing the tiles more-or-less would help tremendously but I'm on a deadline with this and the client likes how it looks currently - I'll try to do some fixes if I'll have some time left. Guess it's not the first time I'll finish a project with kinda "meh" feeling :(

I overall impressed by the quality of pixel work and it's the skill level I would kill for, so you are really little from making kick-ass pixel art. You only need to concentrate more on these perspective/size/style problems. The very technique, for my standards, is excellent.

Thank you very much for the kind words, I consider myself intermediate at most, though ;) You're 100% spot on on the perspective/form/color shortcomings, those are general art qualities at I need to work a lot, and well, I'm doing as much as I can :)


Ignore the legless rider and no "utilities" like mount etc. :P

Pixel Art / Re: [WIP]Tactical Game Tileset
« on: January 25, 2013, 11:16:24 am »
Okay guys, learn my lesson and PLAN AHEAD :D

While I've had a good image in my head, how I want the stuff to look like, I've jumped into the assets :P which got me into the whole color debate.

For the sprites, I've made drawings first and a quick color/shading paint over and then actual sprites. Only two done so far (without animation yet) but I'm a lot more happy with them and they just look "right".

No changes on tileset, I might do colour tweaking once I'm done with all the sprites, so they work together best.

I've been always afraid of the ailments listed, being impaired in doing the stuff you love is a terrible thing indeed!

Never had problem while using computer/mouse and general drawing/painting but I'm playing the guitar (and started piano last year) and well, I've had my share of arm and wrist pains ;)

Nothing major though, and never anything that persisted until the next day or two, and it seems more practice and experience made them occur less and less.

However, I'm trying to keep my technique proper and I don't push it when anything starts to hurt (possibly worst thing you can do, especially if yo're imposing the  "drill-sergeant" "do it soldier!" approach on yourself as I do ;)). Even if everything works fine and painless, you should be taking breaks every now and then.

Funny thing I've noticed, once I've started learning the piano (I was already playing guitar for few years), I've had pains in my right hand but not in the left - even through, based on the info I've gathered, I've had proper posture. Blamed it on the guitar playing ;) - left hand got more training than the other ;) And guess what, with regular practice the problem went away. But still, I didn't push it when it hurt at first and even ended exercises prematurely.

In short, I'm trying to maintain a "better safe than sorry approach" and yet still do my thing and guess I'm in the clear so far.

Devlogs & Projects / Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)
« on: January 25, 2013, 10:28:45 am »
Hey, this looks lovely!

I have a thing for prerendered 3d space ships since Super Stardust ;)

I like the video you've shown, despite the modern graphics, the movement/camera feels a bit like those old flying games - especially the moments the player is closing in on the exploding ships.

The alien concepts remind me of those big organic creature bosses, which take half of the screen, from the r-type/gradius like games - this is a good thing too!

What software are you using for the models/rendering?

Pixel Art / Re: [WIP] Fantasy isometric tileset
« on: January 23, 2013, 12:44:27 pm »
I like the muted palette too!

I think it's pretty good, just needs some cleaning up. As far as the contrast issues on the characters, you might want to try more saturation or just a hue shift towards the warmest colors (opposite with the environment). As far as the poses go, they feel pretty solid, but the dwarf and skeleton seem to lean a bit.

I like the texture of the golem but I'd use a bit different forms for him - I think he'd look more interesting and intimidating, if the chest/pelvis area was more humanoid like:

Sand tiles - are they supposed to be sand? I like their texture, but they feel more like a firm, pretty solid dirt, or maybe dried, hardened mud (well, except the color, of course:P). Depends what you want, for sand I'd use a more dune-like, stylized texture.

Not sure how WIP is the slime, but the current texture is very inappropriate IMO - colors and the bit of dither suggest something more like sand - unless that's something you want, but the idea of the slime is very established and a sandy slime might not look right to your "audience" ;). There was a thread about a slime sprite not while ago, and I'll repost Cyangmou's image, since it's very helpful in this matter :) (hope you don't mind)

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