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Messages - OriginalAdric
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2D & 3D / Re: How to achieve seamless low res textures in Maya?
« on: May 06, 2011, 06:54:01 pm »
ndchristie is pretty close to the answer. Maya's a little funny on how it calculates UVs, based on which renderer you use (maya software vs. mental ray). Basically, one of the two calculates from the pixel edges, and the other calculates from the pixel centers, tho I can't remember which one does what. In the pixel snapping options, try switching between Center and Edge modes, and you should fix it quickly enough.

Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: [WIP] Death Korps Portraits
« on: September 06, 2010, 06:53:58 pm »
Did a bit of a palette edit, adding some saturation to the darker tones and bringing the overall tonal range closer together.

Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: [WIP] Death Korps Portraits
« on: September 04, 2010, 06:36:22 pm »
Taking a mental break from the Flame Trooper portrait by working on a portrait of a Death Korps officer. Still figuring out tonal control in the block-in stage. C+C more than welcome.

EDIT: Hurr, forgot to upload the last iteration of the Flame Trooper.

Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: [WIP] Death Korps Portrait
« on: September 03, 2010, 02:10:46 am »

I've started to notice how all of my work is pretty plain b/c it lacks any sort of significant story-telling details, so I decided to add some damage/claw marks onto the helmet and face mask while refining the overall lighting a little bit more.

Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: [WIP] Death Korps Portrait
« on: September 02, 2010, 04:25:25 am »
Thanks for all the advice, Helm. I've downloaded the demo for ProMotion so I can see whether I want to buy it, tho' for $80, it's a steal (in terms of graphics software prices). Getting used to its mindset and workflow means I'm working slower than I'd like, but putting down some custom hotkeys is helping to alleviate that.

I took this back down to scratch again to get the feel of doing a piece in ProMotion from beginning to end. I've only blocked in the basic tone shapes, but I think I'm getting the hang of it.

I've found that taking this same piece and re-doing two or three different times has given me a good way to focus on understanding the process, since I'm not having to work out so many details of the structure and form as I go.

Pixel Art / Re: I try my hardest...
« on: August 31, 2010, 04:21:38 pm »
The thing that stands out most to me is that the different elements don't line up correctly. For example, if you look at the back right tower on the castle, you'll see that it sticks out of the bottom of the structure.

Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: [WIP] Death Korps Portrait
« on: August 30, 2010, 04:52:20 am »

I think I figured out what was wrong with the color darkening. It wasn't the PNG issue, it's actually a Photoshop color profile problem. Basically, the target sRGB colorspace was not the colorspace PS was using to display. Setting the View/Proof Setup options fixed that.


Thanks for the thorough writeup, as well as the second paintover. I appreciate the time you're putting in on helping me out. I was expecting simply for a clarification on the question with the thought that I'd have a chance to take a whack at an answer before being told, but this works well, too. I find it odd that you're seeing hue/sat values for the greys. Even when importing the version I flattened/uploaded, my color picker is showing H/S as zeroed out. Oddly enough, your paintover *does* have some low H/S values in its color table.

A few questions on the notes you had:

1) As I deconstructed the palette you used on the color paintover, I saw that there were a number of colors reused in different areas which appeared to have different colors. Is that what you mean by "linking colors"?

2) In both paintovers, you have some very precise shadowing areas with multiple color/tone transitions (the greyscale collar is a good example). Are those being done with individual strokes lined up manually, or are you using some sort of transparency or other brush techniques to do broad shade areas w/o having to line up individual strokes?

I hate admitting I'm wrong, especially since I'm generally used to being the go-to guy for production workflow solutions, but I see why this way of working is better for doing pixel art. Still not totally sold on using it for animation, but I'll withhold judgment til I give it a go.

Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: [WIP] Death Korps Portrait
« on: August 30, 2010, 12:32:56 am »
Right off the bat, you have really dark shades, and very bright shades, but you don't have enough middle shades. Color identity is in the middle values, how do you solve this?

A weird problem I've run into is that the image looks one way in Photoshop, but when I save it out to PNG, the colors all seem to darken up, so the contrast in the dark areas is significantly less than when I'm working on it.

I'm not sure I understand the question. How do I solve color identity, or how do I solve the lack of middle shades?

Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: [WIP] Death Korps Portrait
« on: August 29, 2010, 11:54:48 pm »
Thanks for the awesome paintover, Helm! After reading over the comments, I decided to take this back to square one. Using the paintover as reference, I roughed out a quick structure exploration, then began to block in my tones. I'm making this a greyscale study so that I can get a better handle on how to use tone to create the appearance of different types of materials without having to worry about color interactions on top of that.

I'm a long way from done, but I figured I'd post my WIP to get some C+C on the new direction I'm heading. I think I may just continue doing greyscale works for a while until I'm confident enough with my tonal control to move on to color.

Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: [WIP] Death Korps Portrait
« on: August 28, 2010, 04:28:57 pm »
Also your layer scheme is not going to make animation any faster. When people use multiple layers for animation they are splitting up the moving parts over several layers. Like if you wanted the head to nod, you would have the head on a different layer then the shoulders. But you are just splitting up the shadows and lines on different layers, unless you want to animate him changing colors or his outlining there is really no point in doing that.

Sure, splitting out absolutely every element to its own layer would make animation slower, not faster, but a happy medium would make things more efficient overall. Painting shadows is one thing, but animating them is a different beast. If you look at traditional (ie. cel-type) animation, shadows are almost always done with a mask layer because of how much of a pain it is to try to go back and fix the animation on a flattened, composited image. Personally, I wouldn't split the different moving parts of a single character onto multiple layers b/c it's faster for me to block things in traditionally. Heck, if I were doing some serious animation, I'd do it all in pencil on paper so I could roll the drawings and nail down the movement, then scan, downrez, and clean up, because it gives me a greater degree of precision and control of the motion before the pixel stage, regardless of the "extra" work.

I agree with Helm's take of not focusing on whether or not the process is helping the image instead of if it's pixel art. Part of my goal is to be able to internalize the process, but for my own understanding, I want to break it into its constituent parts to see how they interact with each other. One of the reasons I decided to start doing pixel art is because it gives me a chance to develop my painting skills in a smaller, more controlled environment where I can more closely examine how light and colors interact.

I find the suggestion that what I'm doing isn't considered pixel art because of my use of layer techniques somewhat shortsighted. I was under the impression that pixel art was defined by the conscious and precise planning of where and how the image is put together, pixel-by-pixel; that's exactly what I've done here. I don't see why pixel art and so called "digital art" (which I think pixel art could be considered a sub-set of) cannot inform and enrich each other. I think the adherence to purely traditional techniques certainly has its place, but to limit the definition of pixel art to those techniques has the potential to cause the form to stagnate by discouraging people from experimenting with new or different methodologies.

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