AuthorTopic: [NEW]Help with perspective and general critique  (Read 3071 times)

Offline Lukkas

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[NEW]Help with perspective and general critique

on: December 31, 2010, 09:24:30 am
I have this so far, for my male walking animations. This is the template that will be used for male characters walking in a game I'm developing with friends. The game is a traditional J-RPG type thing, and should use the perspective typical of that genre. I'm not sure what the word is for that perspective, but think any SNES RPG, like the Final Fantasy or Secret of Mana series.

I designed these walking animations with that perspective in mind, but I had a lot of trouble figuring out walking animation, and I used a lot of references that were probably meant for side-scrollers. (You may notice a lot of the frames in the side animation are actually inspired heavily by Ptoing's awesome tutorial) I worry I may have tainted my perspective, and if you believe I have, could you please recommend how I could make these animations better fit my desired perspective?



I'm also open to general critique such as animation quirks that should be corrected, shading errors, and palette choice.

I realise this animation probably looks a bit soulless or generic, but this is somewhat intentional - it's a blank template, and individual characters that have any sort of personality will probably have a modified stride derived from this sterile template. Also, for the sake of shading critique, the desired light source is supposed to be top-down, straight down.

Thank you in advance for your input. :)
« Last Edit: January 18, 2011, 09:03:22 pm by Lukkas »

Offline theorb77

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Re: Help with perspective and general critique

Reply #1 on: December 31, 2010, 04:58:18 pm
It's called 3/4 perspective.  See here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2.5D#Parallel_projection

I'm not at all in to animation, so I can only say from a lay person's point of view that the body does not look foreshortened enough.  It looks like a straight on side view.  That being said, I feel like the walk animation is convincing and well-shaded.

Offline Glak

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Re: Help with perspective and general critique

Reply #2 on: January 01, 2011, 03:47:30 am
I agree, it looks nice but it isn't what you intended to make.  I think that the problem comes from the line that you have the character walking on.  If you are doing a 3/4 perspective then why is the character walking on a line?  Why is it that when he is walking north I can see the bottom of his feet?    Why is it that I can see the side (rather than the top) of his head when he is walking east?  So yeah, great animation, much, much better than I could do, but not 3/4 perspective at all.  I can see this character in a platformer.

Offline Lukkas

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Re: Help with perspective and general critique

Reply #3 on: January 01, 2011, 08:20:21 am
Thank both of you very much for your insightful critique. It is as I feared - the perspective is certainly off.

My problem is that I do not have a very clear reference to go by and I'm somewhat at a loss as to how to best convert what I've done to a useful perspective. I feel like I need to draw myself some guidelines... zeniths/vanishing points, etc, but I really have no idea where to start.

Any hints as to how to set this up, or if anyone has the time, an example of what I should do to my sprites, please help me. Perspective is probably my greatest weak-point artistically, of all the flaws I possess (Anatomy being a close second :P).

Offline Glak

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Re: Help with perspective and general critique

Reply #4 on: January 01, 2011, 07:21:34 pm
Perhaps you should spend some time getting a sense of your perspective.  Mockup a very simple tiled world, maybe like a chessboard.  Add a few walls and an archway.  Make them super simple to save time, just a bunch of blocks.  Then make a cylinder that is the size of a person, or maybe make this before you do the mockup.  Either way, make sure that the proportions match.  The cylinder should look right standing on a tile, it should look right next to a wall (it should be shorter than the wall), and it should be able to fit through an archway.  Multiple cylinders should look right next to each other, because you want a crowd of people to look right next to each other.  How tightly they cluster, how much the top of one overlaps the one in the tile above, etc... make it all look correctly proportioned.  Adjust things until it looks good.

Then draw a person inside of that cylinder.  The top of hit head should be the top of the center of the cylinder.  His shoulders (or her hips) should touch the sides of the cylinder, the feet should touch the bottom.  If you did everything correctly it should guide you to the right proportions.  You might want to start from the bottom of the character.  First start by drawing his footprints in the ellipse that represents the bottom circle of the cylinder.  Then draw his feet and legs.  Draw his waistline.  It should be an ellipse of the same shape (not size) as the top/bottom of the cylinder.  It should probably be about halfway up the side too.  Then keep drawing the upper half of the body.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2011, 07:24:04 pm by Glak »

Offline Lukkas

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Re: Help with perspective and general critique

Reply #5 on: January 04, 2011, 04:51:54 pm
Thank you for that recommendation, Glak. I experimented with some doric pillars and arches, just fairly rough sketches, and tried making a cylinder in the same perspective, of the same size as a character. I clearly marked the centers (vertical and horizontal), and tried placing the pieces of the sprite into the cylinder, seeing which individual pieces needed what changes.

I dropped the eyes by a pixel or two, added two pixels to his shoulders (looks like you're seeing the top and a little of the back of the torso), changed the perspective on the back-arm so that it's shorter and that shoulder raises instead of being equal height.

The legs took the most work. They had to be almost completely redrawn.

Here's what I have for the first South frame, after doing this evaluation.


Did I get it right? I just want some input before I commit to transforming the other 23 frames.

If it helps, here's the perspective pillars and arches I started on as reference. It's a dirty work sheet basically. Those pillars will eventually be expanded upon and polished into something worthy of being in game.


Offline Lukkas

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Re: Help with perspective and general critique [NEW]

Reply #6 on: January 18, 2011, 08:13:34 am
I made a proper mock-up of what I have of the character sprites, with some Doric and Ionic pillars I set up to test perspective.



And here's another version I did by messing around in Photoshop to make a shadow. More of a technical test than anything. Looks a bit crap - I was just experimenting. Eventually, we're going to have an engine that will dynamically scale and skew a shadow map according to time of day, and render that at the feet of any game object.



I'm open to any and all critique. :) However, the main sort of criticism I need is on perspective of these sprites compared to the pillars, and I also really need help converting the back frames to the new perspective. I really don't know how to do that. A quick edit, if someone could spare the time, would be a godsend. If not, just some advice would go a long way. I can't figure out how the arms and legs should translate. In my original, full-frontal animation, the pixel placement for the arms and legs were exactly the same, in an attempt to keep consistency. However, any attempt to do that at this perspective seems wrong. Am I right in needing to discard that rule? How much of the bottom of the foot should be visible when his leg kicks up in the back animation?

Help with stuff like that is vital. I'm kind of lost.