AuthorTopic: GR#034 - Death Korps - Portrait  (Read 9393 times)

Offline Helm

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Re: [WIP] Death Korps Portrait

Reply #10 on: August 30, 2010, 12:23:35 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?

Offline OriginalAdric

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Re: [WIP] Death Korps Portrait

Reply #11 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?

Offline blumunkee

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Re: [WIP] Death Korps Portrait

Reply #12 on: August 30, 2010, 02:34:28 am
PS can biff png gamma.

http://morris-photographics.com/photoshop/articles/png-gamma.html

The grayscale is good, but watch out for gradiants and banding. Helm's paint over uses color and texture to keep things from looking too cylindrical.
ALL CREATURE WILL DIE AND ALL THE THINGS WILL BE BROKEN. THAT'S THE LAW OF SAMURAI.

Offline Helm

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Re: [WIP] Death Korps Portrait

Reply #13 on: August 30, 2010, 03:56:12 am
You solve the issue by introducing more middle-shades and evening out your lightness spectrum on the shades you already have! The middle of the range is where you need to work most, not the extremes. Leave the top of the range for small highlights and the bottom of the range for dark shadows. Right now, whereas you've got the right amount of dark in your picture, when you need to bridge the gaps. You have 33 colors in your image, I am not sure how, I see about 11 handpicked in that little palette you have on the top-left. Also they're not really grey, they have small saturation and hue values.

Crash course on pixel art:

1.You'll never be in control of your palette until you can select every index and change its HSL values in real time in a real pixel art program. If you're using photoshop, you'll never control your palette like a person that uses graphics gale or pro motion or any other program where you can edit every index entry in real time on the fly. Even if there are workarounds, they'll never be as fast as a real pixel art program does it, and what is not fast, whatever you have to do extra labour to achieve, your artistic reflex will be to do less. And pixel art is control, you need to control more, not less.

2. Small palettes are manageable, this is why pixel artists use small palettes, not to look 'retro' (well, not all of them). Even the palette in my edit is too big, your image can be done with 16 colors or even 8 colors if someone wants to accentuate the planes and doesn't care about AA so much. If you don't know how many colors you've got in a picture at any given time, you won't be able to control the palette.

3. An optimized palette is one where you can convey a lot of different hues and gradations using interchangeable 'linking' colors on a small linear index. That stuff can only be done right in a deluxe paint-like program. You won't be able to map it out on the little right corner of the screen.

4. conveying small shapes that flow into each other well and avoid banding and mudded up volumes is what pixel art is all about. If you have very large flats and too many colors to convey them with, take away colors! Reach a balance between what you are drawing and how much you need to use to draw it.

Are you starting to see why pixel artists work like pixel artists and not like photoshop-in-small-resolution-artists? There is wisdom in taking the aesthetic form to its logical workflow conclusion. Pixel art isn't 'pure' because some guy on the internet made up some rules and marketed them, art made of pixels looked best when done in a certain methodology set and that's what informed people's opinion of what a pure version of the nascent medium would look like.

Here's an edit



And yes, try to avoid just doing a gradient that follows the shape of the mask from point a to point b. Instead think of the thing as if it's a low-poly flatshade 3d mesh at first. Just use straight lines and cut through the complexity of the real thing.

Offline Demon11777

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Re: [WIP] Death Korps Portrait

Reply #14 on: August 30, 2010, 04:27:21 am
I really like where this is going but the left eye was bugin me a bit. I think it should be more oval like

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Offline OriginalAdric

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Re: [WIP] Death Korps Portrait

Reply #15 on: August 30, 2010, 04:52:20 am
@blumunkee

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.

@Helm

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.

Offline Helm

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Re: [WIP] Death Korps Portrait

Reply #16 on: August 30, 2010, 08:06:30 am
Don't worry I haven't told you anything because being told means nothing. If you put the effort into this medium, like any other, it will teach you all you need to know first-hand. I'm just hoping words act as a vague catalyst to build interest in doing the work yourself. If I had even the smallest fear that instruction can rob someone of the journey of self-discovery, I'd shut up forever. I've read some philosophy and if it worked like that I'd have made right choices in my life from 16 on up and instead I've made so many mistakes I can feel Plato and Nietzsche together face-palming when they watch me from within. Whatever I know I know, it had nothing to do with being told.

The hue/sat values might be from when I imported the image into pro motion, I might have mistakenly checked 'use current palette' instead of 'adaptive palette'. Anyway, it doesn't matter. Even if something is wrong with your photoshop that's tinting your grayscales, I hope eventually you'll stop using photoshop for pixel art anyway, heh. Solve a maze by not walking in it.

1) Yes, exactly. As Tsugumo used to say [I paraphrase] 'look, I used the same dark brown from the skins of the shadow as the main hair color, like Capcom would!'. We may have reverse-engineered a few solutions from video-games, but if you look at real painting, many of the masters had small and controlled & reusable selections of color too. It makes sense if you're aiming for control.

2) There is a draw mode in pro motion called 'Brighten/Darken' to which you feed a value x from 0 to 255. When you click down with the mouse button, it checks the lightness value of the pixel(s) below it and replaces them with +/- (left click/right click) x by approximation. If you are working with a 4 color palette, this is pretty useless because you can do it by hand anyway, but if you're trying to mock up something fast with 22 colors, then it's very useful for selecting a stencil of a whole area (as I did here) and pressing the right mouse button down twice to make the whole selection move down two index slots in the linear palette.

Pro Motion has a lot of other very useful things for pixel art in specific. You should check out a demo or something. If you're serious about pixel art, it's the go-to tool.

I'm looking forward to seeing you grow as a pixel artist :)

Offline OriginalAdric

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Re: [WIP] Death Korps Portrait

Reply #17 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.

Offline OriginalAdric

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Re: [WIP] Death Korps Portrait

Reply #18 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.

Offline Cure

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Re: [WIP] Death Korps Portrait

Reply #19 on: September 03, 2010, 04:51:02 am
This is coming along nicely

One thing I think could be worked on that helm covered in his edit-
Yours seems like it's flooded with light, over all very bright so it doesn't fit the mood of the battle-weary, post-apocalyptic soldier. it also creates huge lit plains that compete for focus, you'll notice in helm's image that there are a few key highlighted areas that make the image pop where it needs to- drawing the focus up to the face. Introducing some darker greys should help fix this.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2010, 04:53:19 am by Cure »