AuthorTopic: Some new stuff  (Read 10308 times)

Offline xhunterko

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Some new stuff

on: May 05, 2010, 06:05:48 am
I didn't want to bump my old thread. Here's the stuff I've been working on lately:



I'm starting to like these, which usually means there's something wrong with them. The astronaut holding the flag is a bit of worry to me. I think the arm is fine, or maybe not?

What do you guys think?

(cnc please)

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Some new stuff

Reply #1 on: May 08, 2010, 08:42:36 pm
I guess I should not be worried then? Hmm, moving forward then.

Offline Tourist

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Re: Some new stuff

Reply #2 on: May 09, 2010, 01:49:00 am
I like the character designs.  The characters are expressive and distinct despite being small.

The arm holding the flag looks fine to me.

The dark outlines are eating up your pixel space and adding noise when body parts sit in front of one another.  It is difficult to tell the position of the arms of the rightmost figure, even at 2x.

The symmetrical shading on the chest (like the figure with the red shirt) doesn't look consistent with the other lighting (from our right and above).

I think the thighs should be one pixel longer and the shins one pixel shorter.  The boot tops should be part of the shin length, and the shins should not be longer than the thighs.

I did a quick edit on the last figure to try and give it more form.  Mixed results, I wasn't sure what to do with the backpack.  I tried to outline the figures but use internal AA, as if the outlines were less than one pixel wide.  This gets more pixel space (1/2 pixel in each direction) and keeps some of the outline for enhanced contrast.  I'm not sure it worked.  Maybe someone can point to a better technique for achieving this.



Tourist

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Some new stuff

Reply #3 on: May 10, 2010, 12:58:21 am
Just checking to see that I'm following the intention of the edit. The orange guy is still wip.



Any better?

The space guy on the right is supposed to be a big guy like the orange guy is. I also figured, that since the big guy has bigger arms, you would see just a bit more of it on the other side. Right?

Offline Mathias

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Re: Some new stuff

Reply #4 on: May 10, 2010, 02:25:24 am
I like that you're persevering in your attempts. That's good. I was wondering, do you do any actual drawing? Like in a sketchpad?
I detect a traditional skills deficit. I have seen the comics you've posted in OT thread(s), but do you make a habit of playing around on paper, or with a tablet on computer, when developing ideas, especially character ideas? If not I suggest you do. I suggest anyone does. Pixels can't mask this missing skill-set.

But keep up the good work. The orange isn't too bad. How about a little attention to the hair? - Some highlights.

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Some new stuff

Reply #5 on: May 10, 2010, 04:49:32 am
Phew...

Actually, yes, I do do a lot of drawing sometimes. I also did part of this project (though not these particular character designs) with a drawing tablet. These came about from not using a 16x16 grid and not worrying about stiff limits and structure. Then I took the kitty and resized him once and then twice to get the size I'm at.

Funny thing was, I WAS wondering about how to do the hair earlier today. I think the face can stay the same though. Every time I add a highlight to the right side of the face it looks way too bright. So I'm leaving it at that for the time being. Have you seen the other stuff I posted in the OT threads? I'm not sure how much I posted but I've posted some stuff that I've drawn up.

Thank you for the crit. :)

Offline Tourist

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Re: Some new stuff

Reply #6 on: May 10, 2010, 06:31:15 am
I agree that these are much improved.  The guy in the red shirt conveys mass quite well. 

The only concern about the spaceman's arm (arm on our right) is that the elbow is a little higher than the arm on the left.  All the rest looks good.

Tourist

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Some new stuff

Reply #7 on: May 11, 2010, 02:34:01 am
Can I ask someone an odd favor?

I had been playing around with the female look with my last sprite set and would still like to do so here.

The thing is, I want to make it look like a young lady while still keeping it appropriate. (if you know what i mean).

So could someone do an edit like that for me?

Thanks!

Offline bengo

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Re: Some new stuff

Reply #8 on: May 11, 2010, 07:01:10 pm
You won't learn anything if you have other people do the work for you.

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Some new stuff

Reply #9 on: May 11, 2010, 09:50:19 pm
"You won't learn anything if you have other people do the work for you." - ???

I have done women edits before. It's not that I couldn't do it. I just don't want to get in trouble while doing it. And I really don't want to get it wrong either.

Any edit in any form would've been helpful. 

I can just imagine the question: 'Hey, what are doing staring at that one area for so long?'
Me: 'Uh, trying to get it right?'
Them: 'Uh huh, sure.'

Offline bengo

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Re: Some new stuff

Reply #10 on: May 11, 2010, 10:47:29 pm
Guessing does not = improvement, thats why you've barely gotten anywhere in the past year or so. I think you're still struggling with fundamental concepts, its obvious. Besides edits, you can also do something else, use reference, etc.

Offline Larwick

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Re: Some new stuff

Reply #11 on: May 12, 2010, 12:31:18 am
Quote
The thing is, I want to make it look like a young lady while still keeping it appropriate. (if you know what i mean).

I can just imagine the question: 'Hey, what are doing staring at that one area for so long?'
Me: 'Uh, trying to get it right?'
Them: 'Uh huh, sure.'


Are you talking about boobs? You're 27 right? Don't worry about it, if you let that hold you back you'll never get a chance to practice right? If you're afraid of other people seeing you checking out references then just try and find some privacy. At any rate at that scale you probably won't need that much reference.

If i'm completely off topic and using my wild imagination then please excuse me.  :crazy:

Show us the sprite you're trying to make look like a young lady and we'll be able to help you from there.

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Some new stuff

Reply #12 on: May 12, 2010, 01:01:18 am


I'd post some refs but I think the list would be too long.*

I found some Metal Slug+Megaman concept art and went from there. Plus some stuff I tredged up from the forums here.

I think the doing something with the eyes helped alot.

Anything else you see?

*Some concept game refs below.
http://www.themmnetwork.com/gallery/displayimage.php?album=30&pos=72
http://www.themmnetwork.com/gallery/displayimage.php?album=30&pos=103
http://www.themmnetwork.com/gallery/displayimage.php?album=30&pos=56
http://images.mslugdb.com/ms/others/061.html
http://images.mslugdb.com/ms/others/039.html

Though not knowing what to look for certainly doesn't help.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2010, 01:59:44 am by xhunterko »

Offline Larwick

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Re: Some new stuff

Reply #13 on: May 12, 2010, 02:18:09 am


Her skin colour as well as the shape of her head makes her very E.T.-esque. I'd suggest giving her pinker skin (closer to pink, not actually pink) and making the face less wide. Her shoulders should taper up to her neck, her neck should not just sprout from her torso suddenly. Her shoulders are very wide, typically women's shoulders are less wide than mens, so making this less of a feature will help. Her hips are very thin, women's hips are wider than mens (think childbearing) so giving her some hips will also help with the femininity. That will be a good start I think, good luck.  :y:

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Some new stuff

Reply #14 on: May 13, 2010, 12:30:49 am


Hopefully I was able to get some of lawrick's suggestions across.

Now I don't know where to go yet with shading. Hmm.

What do you think?

Legs don't look like they match to me. They look too wide, I think.

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Some new stuff

Reply #15 on: May 13, 2010, 02:10:23 am


Added shading after some confusion on irc.

Offline NaCl

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Re: Some new stuff

Reply #16 on: May 13, 2010, 10:13:59 am
Her head is shaped like a funnel, her hair is like a rug glued to the funnel. I've honestly seen you progress very little from when you first came here. Start looking at your work objectively. Start taking the time needed to make one thing look good. Stop drawing people the same height in the same pose over and over and over again. Start paying attention to your lines, two forty five degree lines do not look good as a waist. Start paying attention to the structure of the eye, 4 black pixels and a blue pixel do not look good. Start paying attention to the structure of the head and the body (limbs should be the same girth and length, heads are kind of egg shaped). Stop relying on lines to define everything. Start experimenting with colors, use the HSL sliders.

It's a myth that simply practicing something will make you better. Only effortful  practice will make you better. To effortfully study something, you need to identify how to improve and peruse it. Start doing this.

Offline Reo

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Re: Some new stuff

Reply #17 on: May 13, 2010, 12:13:35 pm
Remember what's been said in other threads, you rely too heavily on outlines to convey details, and that isn't a terribly good idea when you're working this small.

Other than that they both have pretty outlandish skintones, and since the guys legs are roughly the same colors as his skintone it apears a he doesn't have any pants.

I did an edit of the girl:



Her hair is very stiff, like it's one big object, I thougth it was some sort of bandana in your previous verisons.

The way I did the eyes is just one  way of showing the viewer that this is a female sprite.

I don't know if you care for colorsaving, but I cut them down from 21 to 16.

And as I stessed before, outlines often just mess up when you're working this small instead you should use highlights and shadows to show form.

You're maing progress though that is evident!
« Last Edit: May 13, 2010, 06:28:36 pm by Reo »

Offline zez

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Re: Some new stuff

Reply #18 on: May 13, 2010, 09:28:55 pm
so umm, as a 24 year old man who has done a great deal of staring at tits (er, research, yes... research, thats what I was diong...) I think yours would benefit from some gravity. Boobs tend to hang down a little bit and form more of a teardrop shape, as opposed to just being flat at the top and bottom. Obviously you dont want to go overboard with it, or you will end up with sagging D cups, but give them some sort of downwards slope. Also, this is less a direct breast comment, but applies pretty well. Things closer to the viewer tend to be larger, your posture suggests (for the most part) that the backside of the characters are slightly closer to the viewer, but the features dont reflect this (the best example I can find, is in your previous female, this one --> where her nearest breast is actually smaller then the furthest.)
Anyhow, take this with a grain of salt, my pixel skills are sub-par at best, but I figured it could help out.

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Some new stuff

Reply #19 on: May 13, 2010, 11:25:29 pm
"so umm, as a 24 year old man who has done a great deal of staring at tits"

//// Absolutely NOT! I'm 27, not 24. Sarcasm aside, one of the things I was worried about was the view. Thanks for that, and the other tiips.

"Her head is shaped like a funnel, her hair is like a rug glued to the funnel. I've honestly seen you progress very little from when you first came here. Start looking at your work objectively. Start taking the time needed to make one thing look good. Stop drawing people the same height in the same pose over and over and over again. Start paying attention to your lines, two forty five degree lines do not look good as a waist. Start paying attention to the structure of the eye, 4 black pixels and a blue pixel do not look good. Start paying attention to the structure of the head and the body (limbs should be the same girth and length, heads are kind of egg shaped). Stop relying on lines to define everything. Start experimenting with colors, use the HSL sliders.

It's a myth that simply practicing something will make you better. Only effortful  practice will make you better. To effortfully study something, you need to identify how to improve and peruse it. Start doing this."

//// One of the things that I want to try to get across is structure and form. Thanks for pointing those out to me. Also, I have never really been good with eyes. Also, npcs usually do not have that many poses to worry about. But it couldn't hurt to try out something new I guess.

"Remember what's been said in other threads, you rely too heavily on outlines to convey details, and that isn't a terribly good idea when you're working this small.

Other than that they both have pretty outlandish skintones, and since the guys legs are roughly the same colors as his skintone it apears a he doesn't have any pants.

I did an edit of the girl:


Her hair is very stiff, like it's one big object, I thougth it was some sort of bandana in your previous verisons.

The way I did the eyes is just one  way of showing the viewer that this is a female sprite.

I don't know if you care for colorsaving, but I cut them down from 21 to 16.

And as I stessed before, outlines often just mess up when you're working this small instead you should use highlights and shadows to show form.

You're maing progress though that is evident!"

/// I like what you did with that edit. I tried an earlier edit with with no outline fir the hair and liked it. But someone said (gosh darn me and names) that it clashed styles with the others, so I changed it back. I'm still concerned a bit about those though. Should I have a lighter shade at the edge of the sprite that's facing the most light? I also noticed you changed the light direction. Would it be better to change it for everything else, or keep a north-west light?


edit: "and since the guys legs are roughly the same colors as his skintone it apears a he doesn't have any pants."
///// I just Now noticed that. Woopsies.

(if it's not too much to ask, for further discussion can we keep the names/slang names of a womans upper torso use to a bare minimum? thanks)
« Last Edit: May 14, 2010, 04:02:45 am by xhunterko »

Offline Pawige

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Re: Some new stuff

Reply #20 on: May 14, 2010, 03:39:35 am
//// Absolutely NOT! I'm 27, not 24. Sarcasm aside, one of the things I was worried about was the view. Thanks for that, and the other tiips.

Pretty sure he was talking about himself, not you...

Anyways, the important thing for you to notice about the change of lighting is not so much the direction as the way he gave it shape. You've shaded your girl the way you typically seem to shade things, with what appears to be absolutely no understanding of form. Think hard about this and ask yourself, what kind of light source would light up one leg and not the other as you have it? It's pretty much impossible, barring some sort of bizarre angle and shadow combination. Then look at Reo's edit and think about how the lighting is working there, see, the light is from above, so the upper legs, which are facing more towards the light, are brighter, and the upper legs, which are facing away from the light, are darker. Same situation with the top of her breasts and shoulders, they are lighter because they face the light source, the undersides of her breasts and abdomen are darker because they are facing away from the light. Rather than seeing your characters as just a collection of flat shapes that get lighter as they get closer to the light source, you need to imagine them as actual 3D objects and shade accordingly. The surfaces that are pointing most directly at the light source are the brightest, and the surfaces pointing away are the darkest.

Offline 7321551

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Re: Some new stuff

Reply #21 on: May 14, 2010, 06:43:05 am
(if it's not too much to ask, for further discussion can we keep the names/slang names of a womans upper torso use to a bare minimum? thanks)
I hope you're not living in some kind of draconian theocracy?

Anyway, all of the attention to mammaries it misplaced - they're influence at this scale is pretty negligible.

Larger things such as stance, hip/shoulder ratio, & hip/waist ratio are more important. At most, all you need is to allude to breasts with a bit of shadow like Reo did.

It's a myth that simply practicing something will make you better.
Yes!! This is very good to know.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2010, 06:44:46 am by 7321551 »

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Some new stuff

Reply #22 on: May 15, 2010, 07:10:44 pm
@7321551: Where did you find those! Now if I can only find some as a 3d model so I can play with the pose and the lighting and draw from there. How did you get them to that scale?

While I have been futily trying to look for a free/opensource 3d poser (looking at make human btw but not sure). Cause, I think, that if I can get it into 3d and play around with the lighting, I could actually see what changes are made and apply those to the actual pixel art. So, here's what I've been working on.



Not much changed but I tried to get some of the crits in. The left sprite is just for fun.

Offline Stab

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Re: Some new stuff

Reply #23 on: May 15, 2010, 10:37:17 pm
 - Real live people are the best 3d models ever, and they're rather hard NOT to find. Real lights, too, are easy to find and easy to position.

 - Try not to feel awkward about "having to" look at nude men and women. There is nothing sexual about it, and that's not a joke.

 - What's most important is whether or not YOU like your work. Critique is a great tool, as it typically offers a different perspective/approach to the work you're doing, and very likely to see things you may have missed. There is no critique that is absolute; At the end of the day, it is YOU who judges whether or not your work is adequate, and whether or not a certain aspect is in need of repairs.

 - Be conscious of your own attempts to take shortcuts in your path to great artisthooddom. (Example : a 3d model that strikes the pose and defines the shadows for you, allowing you to copy without comprehension) Decide whether or not they are truly wise steps toward whatever end goal you hope to acheive (such as "I WANT TO BE BETTER THAN EVERYONE!" or "I WANT TO BE COMPETENT ENOUGH TO MAKE A GAME THAT DOESN'T MAKE THE LADIES SCREAM IN TERROR")

 - Keep friggin' tryin'! I've been watching from the shadows, and I for one am happy to see that you're still improving! Keep it up!

Offline 7321551

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Re: Some new stuff

Reply #24 on: May 16, 2010, 03:01:26 am
Where did you find those! [...] How did you get them to that scale?

Stock photos & Photoshop.  ;)

This new version is a step in the right direction.

Offline onek

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Re: Some new stuff

Reply #25 on: May 19, 2010, 08:28:47 pm
heres another example for a girlish look.....

Offline Tourist

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Re: Some new stuff

Reply #26 on: May 23, 2010, 01:04:29 am
An edit of the original.  Basic head shape shamelessly ripped off from the main character of Legend of Kyrandia 2.  character designed more for a run and jump adventure (long legs and giant hands).



It's always interesting to see the different styles people use.

Tourist

Offline zez

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Re: Some new stuff

Reply #27 on: May 23, 2010, 04:57:16 am
Your latest one is a VAST improvement :y: :y: :y:.  (Thats right, I have three thumbs,  I dont make fun of your birth defects, so leave mine out of this.)
I really like the tiny one, its dead on. Both manage to look feminine without moving over into the sleazy department.
My critiques on the second are pretty basic, and shouldnt be to hard to fix.
1. The face could really do with some more shading, or a more muted skintone. I would honestly go with both, maybe shift the color a little bit further towards yellow and gray, and add some highlights (mind you, dont make it yellow and gray, just move in that direction a smidge from the color you have.)
2. The pose is a little bit awkward. I feel like maybe if you moved her stomach a little to the left it would do wonders on it, and Im kind of unclear if she is facing towards me, or to the right. The line between her right arm (well, my right, her left I guess) and the torso suggests she is facing to the right, along with her foot, but the rest of her pose and the proportions are dead on looking right at me. You could probably fix that a little with some well placed shadows, but really you want to work on the overall form, and make the furthest away points scaled down a tiny bit.
3. Her pony tail defies gravity. Im assuming that is a pony tail, although Im not 100% sure. If its hair flapping in the wind, it should be a little more exaggerated, and going up higher, otherwise, it needs some gravity applied to it. Right now, it looks kind of like she jelled it straight back, and thats a little confusing.
Otherwise, this is awesome. You have come really a long way on this in not a very long time, so my fourth thumb goes up to you  :y:(dont ask.)

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Some new stuff

Reply #28 on: May 28, 2010, 05:43:21 am
Oh wow, I had no idea this was still being given crits! My bad!

@onek: Nicely done! I love the color reduction. I'm tempted to steal that palette. The reason I chose the non-discript flag was precisley that reason. I like what you did with it though. I honestly didn't think of it as a flag. I was going to turn it into a weapon or something actually.

@Tourist: Never heard of that game. I love what you both did with the hair. I always try not to let the hair get in the way. That is always one of my worst areas of shading.

@zez: Thanks for the crit and encouragement! Yeah, about that ponytail. I actually didn't want to go for the classic red head double pony tail look. I thought it was cliche' and didn't like it. I wanted to have her in a relaxed pose sort of that a fencer does after having a match or practice round. Sort of the inverse of an old guy leaning on a cane. I was going for simple on the face as well. I wasn't trying to do anything much with it and trying to keep it plane. I had seen that some other games had done that as well, so I thought it'd work for me. (tiny one is a cave story 'Curly Brace' recolour I hope you know, that's why it's just for fun. Unless, you were joking of course. But then again, not everyone I think knows what cave story is. Oh well.)

Hopefully I can come back and work on this mockup a little bit later. But now that Flixel is in a stable state, I have been working on an open source project for a while and I'll be concentrating on that. For now, I'll be content with what's here and let this slip under the second page or so. (everyone can draw a box though, right? So I thought, why not use a box for characters in the project? Note to self, stop thinking)