AuthorTopic: GR#058 - Creature - Sidescroller  (Read 20369 times)

Offline slym

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GR#058 - Creature - Sidescroller

on: June 10, 2011, 05:25:37 pm
Skeddles and I are working on a sidescroller project together and we need some critique! Below is a early dump-like mockup of what we have so far. Skeddles is doing the characters, and I am doing the backgrounds.

« Last Edit: October 02, 2011, 04:13:53 pm by slym »

Offline pistachio

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Re: Creature - Sidescroller

Reply #1 on: June 10, 2011, 07:34:55 pm
Me likey so far. Very atmospheric.

I am noticing, however, that the visible background trees' trunks seem awkwardly flat. If reduced to silhouettes, they might as well resemble tubes with branches from the bottom of the canopy down. They should have more variation, like the trees further in the background where the fog begins to take over.

The nearest trees seem darker than the ground. Either make those brighter, perhaps letting some color through, or make the ground darker (probably the best way to go). Overall, however, I like it. It'd be pretty nice to see a cleaned up version of this with parallax scrolling implemented--for each layer perhaps?

Besides that, the creature's current stance seems rather static/boring, too. I'd like to see him in more of a hunched over stance, as he reminds me of some sort of bat-goblin (lol batgoblin). Basically, let some more of his character show.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2011, 07:37:11 pm by pistachio »

Offline Chris2balls

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Re: Creature - Sidescroller

Reply #2 on: June 10, 2011, 08:04:03 pm
first of all, congratulations doing such a big background that looks decent, and secondly on the character design!
however, i have an issue with the contrast and saturation for the background

here's an adjustment i made.

secondly, i find the trees very stiff, use more curves and bumps:

a bit more foliage doesn't do any harm either ;)

regarding skeddles's character: it's very skeddles-y. i think the character could have a more dynamic pose and a more interesting design:

play more with the idea of creature- you can do a lot with that word; should you put most of the sprite in darkness, leaving our imagination to define the details of the silhouette? what is this creature, what is its story and what is its purpose? what does "creature" make you think of?
just a suggestion.

i'm looking forward to more from this collaboration!
« Last Edit: June 10, 2011, 10:03:40 pm by Chris2balls »
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Offline skeddles

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Re: Creature - Sidescroller

Reply #3 on: June 11, 2011, 06:35:14 pm


Working on it a little, what do you think? I'm gonna do a small 3-4 frame idle animation based on it, you know, like a monster heavy breathing kind of thing, so the pose should reflect that, hopefully I can use as one of the frames. SO yeah, I agree, what think now?

 ;D

EDIT: Yeah, I have thought about the characters personality. He's supposed to be creepy and ninja-ey in movement, here's an example of how the game works: http://dev.linkpagecentral.com/images/projects/works/creature.png
« Last Edit: June 11, 2011, 06:49:42 pm by skeddles »

Offline pistachio

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Re: Creature - Sidescroller

Reply #4 on: June 11, 2011, 07:55:15 pm
In my opinion, the best ones are either "big body", or "big body shrunk". But either way I think he might be leaning just a tad bit too much.

Also, have you considered adding a tail of sorts?

Offline Chris2balls

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Re: Creature - Sidescroller

Reply #5 on: June 11, 2011, 08:06:07 pm
i like those different tweaks, it's quite interesting.
you mentioned "creepy" and "ninja-ey": I would look for characters who already embody these traits.
Sam Fisher is not so much creepy as somebody who creeps about:
http://starsmedia.ign.com/stars/image/article/832/832137/hero-showdown-sam-fisher-vs-solid-snake-20071101045730249-000.jpg
http://pcmedia.ign.com/pc/image/article/592/592845/tom-clancys-splinter-cell-chaos-theory-20050302043952598_640w.jpg
http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100102101237/splintercell/images/archive/f/f9/20100213230500!Sam_Fisher_stealth_suit.jpg
http://www.nvnews.net/previews/geforce_7800_gtx/images/splinter_cell_s.jpg
Or Solid Snake:
http://screamingguy.info/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/mgs1.jpg
http://kotaku.com/assets/resources/2007/09/Super_Smash_Bros_Brawl7.jpg

Or even a games series like Tenchu.


I think you had in mind something a bit like Raziel from Soul Reaver when you were doing this character.

What makes Raziel creepy? First of all, we know he's disfigured, and he has part of his face/body hidden by either a scarf or bandages, which can make him seem shifty.
Creepiness also comes from an idea of a deformity.
Anyway, I hope this brainstorm can be of any use!
« Last Edit: June 11, 2011, 08:10:09 pm by Chris2balls »
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Offline slym

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Re: Creature - Sidescroller

Reply #6 on: June 11, 2011, 08:30:44 pm
Thanks for the critique! Here is a comparison of the body types with the background added, and 3 different variations of coloring in the background layers.



Offline skeddles

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Re: Creature - Sidescroller

Reply #7 on: June 11, 2011, 09:03:20 pm
@Chris2Balls Yes I see what you mean, I think my biggest inspiration was Nightcrawler from XMen, he actually looks pretty similar to raziel.

In my opinion, the best ones are either "big body", or "big body shrunk". But either way I think he might be leaning just a tad bit too much.

Also, have you considered adding a tail of sorts?

The orignal had a little short pointy tail, I dunno if I'll keep it though.

A devil tail is too stereotypical / a copy of Nightcrawler, a big furry tail would make him way too werewolfy. maybe like a lizard tail or something, though he was supposed to be furry. skinny dog tail? I dunno. No matter what, having one will underlap other parts of the sprite making it slightly less readable, so I dunno if I want to.


Here's the big body with small and big heads, as well as a bunny that he would like to ingest for size reference. Though I suppose the bunny could be bigger too.

 :D


Note slyms post, he'll be flying around and sitting on those trees, soo....
« Last Edit: June 11, 2011, 09:05:03 pm by skeddles »

Offline pistachio

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Re: Creature - Sidescroller

Reply #8 on: June 11, 2011, 09:29:13 pm
Not leaning as in, his head, but the torso itself seems skewed and throws him off-balance. But seeing how odd his head looks at such an angle, I kinda want to take that back. Either way the sprite's head position looked far better before.

You have some highlights in weird places, like the shoulders, knees and abdominals. The rabbit might be a little too bright.

And @slym; as for the forest colors, I'd go for the bottom one. Top one seems too much like dusk, middle one seems like more of a swamp compared to the last one, which, while being slightly monochromatic, makes skeddles' demon sprite blend in and fit quite well with his surroundings, which suggest more of a forest dimly lit at night (which is what you were going for, correct?) The cooler color scheme is actually more atmospheric. In fact, if I stare at it while thinking about it long enough I can convince myself I'm sort of there.

Offline skeddles

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Re: Creature - Sidescroller

Reply #9 on: June 11, 2011, 10:44:03 pm
Not leaning as in, his head, but the torso itself seems skewed and throws him off-balance. But seeing how odd his head looks at such an angle, I kinda want to take that back. Either way the sprite's head position looked far better before.

You have some highlights in weird places, like the shoulders, knees and abdominals. The rabbit might be a little too bright.

And @slym; as for the forest colors, I'd go for the bottom one. Top one seems too much like dusk, middle one seems like more of a swamp compared to the last one, which, while being slightly monochromatic, makes skeddles' demon sprite blend in and fit quite well with his surroundings, which suggest more of a forest dimly lit at night (which is what you were going for, correct?) The cooler color scheme is actually more atmospheric. In fact, if I stare at it while thinking about it long enough I can convince myself I'm sort of there.

well my plan for animation is heavy breathing, so in one sprite his head will be foreward, another back.
sortof example


is there anything I can do to make the body more balanced? like front foot more forward or something?


and here is without the illogical highlights, but I think it makes him look flat

Offline Varish

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Re: Creature - Sidescroller

Reply #10 on: June 11, 2011, 11:54:36 pm
I think the way to make him look more balanced would be to shrink the head. The body would not be able to support the head at all at the moment. The best iteration, in my opinion, was "big body small head shrunk" if it were just cleaned up a bit.

Offline slym

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Re: Creature - Sidescroller

Reply #11 on: June 12, 2011, 12:43:26 am
Here is an update on the background. (Rock textures and minor color edits)



[Edit]
Struggling with coloring the ground, especially for the characters to fit in.



[Edit 2]
Now working with more foliage, bushes and planning on tree work.

« Last Edit: June 12, 2011, 04:43:31 am by slym »

Offline skeddles

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Re: Creature - Sidescroller

Reply #12 on: June 12, 2011, 01:07:45 am
I think the way to make him look more balanced would be to shrink the head. The body would not be able to support the head at all at the moment. The best iteration, in my opinion, was "big body small head shrunk" if it were just cleaned up a bit.

In my opinion, although the big head is illogical, it still works, because it is just a game, which are largely representational rather than realistic. And lots of things get away with anatomically incorrect proportions, especially oversized heads (chibis). The game is already scary enough, and we want to keep at least a little of the light feel. But tell me if you disagree.


In other news, here are some bunny animations for you:
« Last Edit: June 12, 2011, 01:09:48 am by skeddles »

Offline Glak

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Re: Creature - Sidescroller

Reply #13 on: June 12, 2011, 12:01:10 pm
I agree that a big head is good.  However the head that you labeled "small" is gigantic.  In real life someone with the "small" head would be bed-ridden.  Your regular head is simply too big and would detract from the mood of any game.  He looks like he just consumed a head enlargement powerup that should make him float across the screen.

The forest though... beautiful.  I called someone over to look at it.

Offline Chris2balls

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Re: Creature - Sidescroller

Reply #14 on: June 12, 2011, 01:35:05 pm
it's shaping up pretty well!
however, the bushes and the rock look rather similar.
the rocks i see in the forest tend to be more like this, something smoother.
as for the bushes... they're pretty clustered and quite blue. i don't have the impression i'm looking at a bush.
looking forward to more progress!
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Offline slym

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Re: Creature - Sidescroller

Reply #15 on: June 12, 2011, 03:29:03 pm
Once again, thanks to everyone for the great critique on this!

Glak: Thank you so much! It's been quite a long road of pixeling 8 hours on end :P

Chris2balls: I see what you mean, I actually tried doing that in the background but it was too difficult to pixel rocks of that type in style. That's why they are much sharper and crispier. With the bushes I tried to make it just feel like clumps of leaves - if you could show me an example of it looking less clustered that would be great.

[Edit]
Here is the resource I used to determine the shapes of the rocks:
http://www.byronjorjorian.com/gallery/Waterfalls/51105_008.jpg

[Edit 2]
Attempting the massive trees :P I'm not satisfyed at all with the texture I am creating, if anyone could help specifically critique the texture and coloring it would be very helpful.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2011, 04:14:24 pm by slym »

Offline Elk

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Re: Creature - Sidescroller

Reply #16 on: June 12, 2011, 07:41:24 pm
This is an treeedit i made for linx long ago...maybe it helps

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Offline linx

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Re: Creature - Sidescroller

Reply #17 on: June 13, 2011, 02:09:54 am
Eww it has the crappy versions of my character/tiles in there D:.
@slym- Possibly slightly changing the color of the bushes might help distinguish them?  Also,  your style reminds me of Elk's a lot :0

Offline slym

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Re: Creature - Sidescroller

Reply #18 on: June 13, 2011, 03:58:13 am
Thanks Elk, that has helped me understand the highlights on trees. I still haven't been able to get very far on it though... I feel like there is something that I'm missing that makes it a tree. And after all, if the trunk was completely wood, wouldn't it be boring?   :blind:

« Last Edit: October 02, 2011, 04:14:39 pm by slym »

Offline Jim16

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Re: Creature - Sidescroller

Reply #19 on: June 13, 2011, 08:17:39 am
Just posting to say I'm liking this. Looks like you are inspired by Frogatto, which is cool. The way those guys did the rocks and foliage is fantastic
Keep it up.

Offline slym

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Re: Creature - Sidescroller

Reply #20 on: June 14, 2011, 12:44:22 am
Thanks Jim16! It really means a lot coming from you - when I was younger, your old avatar inspired a lot of my style :P (Which in a way has effected my art today).

Here's an update!



(those super-foreground trees are a bitch to texture xD)

[Edit]

« Last Edit: October 02, 2011, 04:15:00 pm by slym »

Offline skeddles

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Re: Creature - Sidescroller

Reply #21 on: June 14, 2011, 07:26:56 pm


oh deer!
:D

deer will munch on grass for idle

Offline Jim16

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Re: Creature - Sidescroller

Reply #22 on: June 15, 2011, 09:11:11 pm
Bambi and friends finally meet their demise in this game.  :'( I so loved that movie as a kid.

The deers body seems very long. and the head a bit low. Something like this perhaps?

Offline Chris2balls

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Re: Creature - Sidescroller

Reply #23 on: June 15, 2011, 09:45:24 pm
the background's looking great!
now i said i had an issue with the rocks:


this is more what i had in mind, despite still looking a bit crumbly. take in count that these rocks erode slowly, smoothly and are somewhat more massive. i had a rock like that in my garden, and it was a huge thing smooth thing i used to play on. the rocks you've made just... don't usually appear in forests, stones aren't exposed to erosion that way, or the elements that would make them form like that would be in a different environment. and, as i mentioned before, they look quite similar to the grass. if you made the clusters twice or even three times as big, it'd look like forest rock.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2011, 09:12:18 am by Chris2balls »
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Offline Candy Man Criminal

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Re: Creature - Sidescroller

Reply #24 on: June 18, 2011, 07:18:54 am
oh wow, that was a rock?
i thought it was a bush!

yeah, unless someones been going around smackin the rocks there with a hammer or something they should be rather solid

tho with a bit of recoloring and a little reshaping you could use the current rock as a bush instead

Offline skeddles

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Re: Creature - Sidescroller

Reply #25 on: June 30, 2011, 08:49:03 pm

2 bunny animations :)

running wip


EDIT: update
« Last Edit: July 02, 2011, 01:36:04 am by skeddles »

Offline pistachio

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Re: Creature - Sidescroller

Reply #26 on: July 02, 2011, 02:50:35 pm
Just a quick note, the rabbit seems to be running rather awkwardly. The head only moves up and down with barely any horizontal/circular movement at all. What little of that movement it does have doesn't seem to correspond with the rest of its run cycle. Forelegs are acting funny too. Consider using more bunny-run references.

More things I spotted afterwards: Ears are straight, don't move at all (I suspect this will be fixed by the final ver.), and the low amount of frames is very jumpy. More frames would better suit the game's style, as the animations would finally catch up to the exceptional graphics slym has already proved promising with the latest WIPs. (Aside from the given critiques, of course.)
« Last Edit: July 02, 2011, 08:17:05 pm by pistachio »

Offline Cesque

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Re: Creature - Sidescroller

Reply #27 on: July 02, 2011, 03:13:31 pm
I don't think the running looks very bunny-like in general - rabbits hide their front legs all the way under the back legs when running, for starters. On the other hand, the current (dog-like) running cycle gives it some comedic value.

Offline skeddles

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Re: Creature - Sidescroller

Reply #28 on: July 03, 2011, 06:43:24 pm
Alright, I'm gonna do 6 frames then. The non-bunny-like movement was definitely because of frame count, last run animation I did (8 frames) looked TOO bunny like...


I went back to wire, and added 3 more.



Starting with just the head movement, let me know what you think, gonna add the in between wires, hopefully it'll look okay.
Ears will of course be changed, I just use the head as a whole at first since its the most static thing in an animation.
Ignore the flashyness

Offline thedaemon

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Re: Creature - Sidescroller

Reply #29 on: July 04, 2011, 04:44:29 am
When a rabbit runs it's back legs go straight outwards then abruptly jut back forward. I did a small rabbit runcycle, here let me show you the non animated version. It's not perfect but I did look at some reference footage and images for it.

Offline slym

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Re: Creature - Sidescroller

Reply #30 on: July 09, 2011, 01:14:30 am
Been very busy lately. Here is a mock-up with some GUI. Color changes, moss added, etc. Some parts of the moss are obviously unfinished, and the rocks still need a bit of editing.

Iphone


Sorry for the weird colors, photoshop 7.0's gamma settings are a hot mess. Oh and don't mind the different heart sizes, the larger ones are obviously the current ones.  :mean:



I uploaded the screens as pictures on my iPod :P

« Last Edit: October 02, 2011, 04:13:45 pm by slym »

Offline pistachio

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Re: Creature - Sidescroller

Reply #31 on: July 09, 2011, 03:26:04 am
Maybe it's just my monitor (wait no it isn't) but it seems the contrast/saturation is now upped way too high, so much it's starting to destroy the mysterious, calm atmosphere you had going earlier. Just turn it down a tiny tad bit, if you can. Not to say you can't leave it higher than it was before, just a bit.

Also I now realize the bunny's arms seem a bit odd; not quite sure what's wrong with them. As a next step you might want to pull of references for both the bunny and deer to fix this. The Creature's shoulders are a bit high but I suppose that's just the common odd-looking keyframes you find in animations.

Offline slym

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Re: Creature - Sidescroller

Reply #32 on: July 09, 2011, 03:55:13 am
The creature's anatomy may be a bit off, I don't think that it is the newest version. As you can tell, the bunny's colors are very messed up. It works much better when it is darker. The colors fix themselves when they are on the iTouch/iPhone (even the brightest settings on the device make the image darker and less saturated than it appears on here).