AuthorTopic: GR#089 - Platformer Tiles  (Read 40691 times)

Offline tehwexxl0rz

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GR#089 - Platformer Tiles

on: December 02, 2011, 11:30:00 am
Current:






Really messy/early WIP, sorry about the quality.... Feeling a little burnt out after a marathon programming session. >_<



To do:
- Clearly define rock volumes
- Make grass look lush, chunky stylized
- Ambient light source(?)

This is loosely based on this old tile set I made, but I'm using a 32 auto-tile system now, so I can make the shapes a lot more interesting.
(Not that these old tiles come close to pushing the limits of what you can do with 16 tiles... Looking back, I was super lazy with these.)



I know "center tiles" are frequently darkened to give prominence to the edges, but I feel like I could make the rock formations much prettier by using that space to convey depth. What do you guys think?

Any feedback would be much appreciated.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2012, 03:38:34 pm by tehwexxl0rz »

Offline tehwexxl0rz

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Re: Platforming Tiles [WIP]

Reply #1 on: December 03, 2011, 05:44:05 pm
Update:



I like the way the grass is coming together, but it lost a lot of depth. :-\

Rocks are meh.

Offline Phlakes

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Re: Platforming Tiles [WIP]

Reply #2 on: December 03, 2011, 05:49:41 pm
I think you should try to keep the angularity that the WIP rocks had. Makes them stand out a bit more and feel more rocky.

Offline tehwexxl0rz

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Re: Platforming Tiles [WIP]

Reply #3 on: December 03, 2011, 06:20:21 pm
Thanks, Phlakes. I agree. It's just a matter of realizing that in higher detail... I'll keep working on it.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2011, 09:42:37 am by tehwexxl0rz »

Offline tehwexxl0rz

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Re: Platforming Tiles [WIP]

Reply #4 on: December 04, 2011, 06:20:11 pm
Update:



Grass and colors.

I think I'm going to start the rocks over from scratch. Still undecided about dark center vs. not.... Anyone care to weigh in?
« Last Edit: December 04, 2011, 08:21:08 pm by tehwexxl0rz »

Offline Mathias

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Re: Platforming Tiles [WIP]

Reply #5 on: December 05, 2011, 01:28:39 am
I really don't like platformer tiles with out the inner tiles being different somehow - looks so monotonous. Go dark center.

It's very hard to judge tiles when not in context. Make a mockup. Did you notice what RetroBob uses for tiles?

Offline tehwexxl0rz

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Re: Platforming Tiles [WIP]

Reply #6 on: December 05, 2011, 01:31:10 pm
Thanks for your input. To be clear, the center tile will be unique regardless. (Even the repetition of the big rocks seen in the WIP can be eliminated.)

I've heard of the program RetroRob uses, but I actually wrote my own auto-tiling algorithm for the game I'm working on. I can post a screenshot with the WIP tiles, but I'm not sure how useful it would be since the set is so incomplete. I gave it a look myself though, and one thing i noticed is that the grass is too busy. I think I'll try to keep the "fringe" in front and back, but flatten out the middle where the character will stand.

The algorithm I'm using calls for 16 inner tiles:
  • 1 padded center
  • 4 edges
  • 4 corners
  • 3 narrow column pieces
  • 3 thin platform pieces
  • 1 un-padded center

And 14 outer tiles:
  • 4 convex corners
  • 4 concave corners
  • 4 edges
  • 2 pairs of opposite corners

The system renders the map in two phases, first detecting the edges and then filling in the middle. As you probably noticed, 2 of the 32 tiles I mentioned are unaccounted for; this is because 1 is blank and the other is a generic center tile that is replaced in phase 2.

FYI: I realized I haven't been taking advantage of as much space as I could have. Next update should be a significant change (improvement)!
« Last Edit: December 05, 2011, 01:48:12 pm by tehwexxl0rz »

Offline Mathias

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Re: Platforming Tiles [WIP]

Reply #7 on: December 05, 2011, 05:46:23 pm
Gaaaahh whats with all you pixellers writing code! You guys are making me look bad. Course, I already look bad but . . .

I don't really understand your bullet list completely. I learned how to tile from analyzing WarCraft II, most research of which I shared with Olonthor here. I like your work so I await ya update, don't give out, keep up the good work wexxer!

Offline Fickludd

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Re: Platforming Tiles [WIP]

Reply #8 on: December 06, 2011, 11:57:15 am
Nice!

I think you could have a look at some reference pics, your rocks are too round and regular, there's a nice edit by surt in http://www.wayofthepixel.net/pixelation/index.php?topic=13217.0


My attempt:


Also reduced the brigthness of the secondary light source... it is after all secondary =)

Offline tehwexxl0rz

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Re: Platforming Tiles [WIP]

Reply #9 on: December 07, 2011, 02:35:36 pm
Update!



Thanks a lot for the edit, Fickludd! :) As you can see, the direction I decided to take is quite different, but your edit is still very helpful in terms of texture and lighting.

I'm having some trouble figuring out how the underside should be lit....

Offline PypeBros

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Re: Platforming Tiles [WIP]

Reply #10 on: December 07, 2011, 02:54:11 pm
I'm having some trouble figuring out how the underside should be lit....
That should be the secondary (ambient) light source, imho, possibly slightly darker than the dark-side "wall".

Offline Facet

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Re: Platforming Tiles [WIP]

Reply #11 on: December 07, 2011, 09:10:38 pm
Quote
It's very hard to judge tiles when not in context. Make a mockup
Seconded motion  :), I think writing down or mocking up a solidly thought out idea of what it is you're trying to achieve and why will help you create better, more nuanced work as much is it will aid critique from others.

You've done a really nice job realising what you have, a big improvement on the previous set ;D

A couple things look a little odd; the grass could be better integrated with the rocks and lighting is completely different between the grass and rocks.



Offline tehwexxl0rz

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Re: Platforming Tiles [WIP]

Reply #12 on: December 08, 2011, 02:10:29 pm
Thanks for the feedback.

Here's a "mockup" of sorts (actually in game engine) but there's a ton of filler tiles and no other art for context, so I don't know how helpful it is to look at:

(You can ignore the black rectangle, it's a placeholder for the character.)

Facet, you mentioned integrating the grass into the rocks, but I'm not sure how I'd go about doing that with my tile restrictions...
Honestly, my enthusiasm for tan rocks and green grass is dwindling fast. :-\ I thought it would be fun to do my own take on a platform game cliche, but it turns out it just looks.... cliche.

Designing the character is something I still need to do, and I think that might give me some more specific inspiration for the environment.
I'm planning to base it on this character you may have seen me post recently:


(The ARPG concept from before eventually evolved into this sidescroller.)

Offline milleja46

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Re: Platforming Tiles [WIP]

Reply #13 on: December 08, 2011, 02:57:17 pm
Well i think you need to finish off the right side of the platforms...it looks kinda odd just seeing it in one side but not the other...and for the center have it dark :P

Offline tehwexxl0rz

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Re: Platforming Tiles [WIP]

Reply #14 on: December 08, 2011, 03:57:40 pm
Well of course it looks weird half finished! :blind: Thanks for your input about the center part--I agree.

Did a color edit. I think it helps:

Offline Facet

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Re: Platforming Tiles [WIP]

Reply #15 on: December 08, 2011, 04:24:37 pm
At the moment the grass simply intersects the the rock tiles, try rendering some of the rock underneath it, have it cast some shadow and apply the secondary light source to the grass also. The coloured background is a step in the right direction

Quote
There's a ton of filler tiles and no other art for context, so I don't know how helpful it is to look at
Get inspired  :) look at a bunch of reference; your holidays photos, an image library etc and rough out a background and other game elements in as broad strokes as you like and refine from there.

Quote
Honestly, my enthusiasm for tan rocks and green grass is dwindling fast.
Don't let it! Keep working on them, these are looking really nice and you can easily play with colours later. Character is also well done and should translate well to the new perspective.

Edit - Read back when I'd written here and it sounded awful, sorry :ouch:. Reworded entirely.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2011, 01:24:09 pm by Facet »

Offline Wes

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Re: Platforming Tiles [WIP]

Reply #16 on: December 09, 2011, 07:07:00 pm
Well of course it looks weird half finished! :blind: Thanks for your input about the center part--I agree.

Did a color edit. I think it helps:

i looove this man. the colors are really sleek—the blue/purple really helps bring it together.

can you just flip your rocks for the other side? i mean you're not SUPPOSED TO but it could look fine and at the very least it will be a better placeholder.

also on the rocks where they touch the grass (the steps) you could ahve some blades overlap the rocks to give it more depth. now it sorta looks like the rocks are sitting on top of the grass.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2011, 07:11:41 pm by Wes »

Offline tehwexxl0rz

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Re: Platforming Tiles [WIP]

Reply #17 on: December 10, 2011, 11:48:42 am
Thanks for the feedback, Wes! :)

I'd like to avoid mirroring the rocks for the right side, even as a placeholder. I'm worried I would give in to the temptation of just editing them slightly to correct the lighting instead of drawing new rocks from scratch. Also, I'm definitely planning on having the grass overlap the rocks in the middle part (where it's currently solid dark color) I just haven't gotten to it yet. I don't have much room for the grass to overlap on the edges because of how the rock tiles run right into it....

I'm considering killing the perspective completely and going for a direct side-view instead. This would solve potential future problems with collision detection, and on the art side, it would allow me to contain the grass in one row of tiles. That would allow a lot more space for the grass and rocks to interact, and in the case of staircase-like tile placements, I wouldn't need to extend the grass under the rocks in order to line up with the tile below.

What do you guys think?

Offline Atnas

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Re: Platforming Tiles [WIP]

Reply #18 on: December 10, 2011, 02:12:09 pm
Side view is worth it. Though to be honest your current grass does work for sideview, just render the player behind it rather than in front of it, though you might also need to make the top of it less dark - perhaps reverse it so the grass hanging down over the rock is darker.

What would be wrong with mirroring the rocks and editing them? If anything I think having a new contour would throw things off. Mirroring works in part because the full left side is tiled and consistent already, and so it's sort of expected that the pattern will repeat.

Offline tehwexxl0rz

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Re: Platforming Tiles [WIP]

Reply #19 on: December 10, 2011, 10:05:13 pm
Thanks, Atnas. I'm going for side view. :)

Here's an update:


I think the grass looks pretty good, but the top could use some work.
The right side is mirrored for now... need to redo with ambient light source. Lighting on the bottom also need to be fixed.

(The rocks on the bottom need to be fixed in general; they're too flat.)

Due to technical restrictions, the fade-to-dark distance can't be as long as in the old WIP, but the way I'm dividing the tiles now will make level editing much easier.

Just a heads up: I'm probably gonna take a break from the terrain and work on the character. If anyone can help me with the ambient light though, I'll love them forever.... ;_;
« Last Edit: December 10, 2011, 11:49:23 pm by tehwexxl0rz »

Offline Wes

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Re: Platforming Tiles [WIP]

Reply #20 on: December 11, 2011, 01:37:59 am
I like that.

the problem that I have with it is with the way the rocks fade in towards the middle. because the rocks seem to get smaller (instead of just getting darker), it looks like the middle is further back—like the edges are coming out towards us. it makes for a weird kind of perspective that looks like there's a big hole in the middle of the rocks.

Offline tehwexxl0rz

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Re: Platforming Tiles + Character [WIP]

Reply #21 on: December 16, 2011, 10:13:00 am
Thanks, Wes. I hadn't really considered the diminishing size of the rocks to be a problem, but you make a valid point. I'd be interested to hear what others think about it...?

I started working on the character (just blocking out shapes, really.)

Super wiptastic:

Offline Charlieton

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Re: Platforming Tiles [WIP]

Reply #22 on: December 16, 2011, 04:00:49 pm
the problem that I have with it is with the way the rocks fade in towards the middle. because the rocks seem to get smaller (instead of just getting darker), it looks like the middle is further back—like the edges are coming out towards us. it makes for a weird kind of perspective that looks like there's a big hole in the middle of the rocks.
Thanks, Wes. I hadn't really considered the diminishing size of the rocks to be a problem, but you make a valid point. I'd be interested to hear what others think about it...?
Yes, I see it too, and it's been bugging me. The rocks toward the middle should appear to be as big as the others, while just getting an increased amount of shade. That should fix it, right?

Otherwise, it's looking great!
Det skulle vara lätt för mig att säga att jag inte gillar dig, men det gör jag; tror jag

Offline tehwexxl0rz

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Re: Platforming Tiles + Character [WIP]

Reply #23 on: December 17, 2011, 03:34:29 am
Thanks for your input, Charlieton, I'll work on it. :)

Update on the character:


I'm debating upping the resolution of the tiles since the character is pretty big. Thoughts?

Offline Atnas

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Re: Platforming Tiles + Character [WIP]

Reply #24 on: December 17, 2011, 01:25:31 pm
I think the tile size works well. Nice job on the character! Very readable (and cute). The only thing which I can see at a glance that might need attention is perhaps the shading on the tummy is a bit claustrophobic/dark, and the back shoulder might look better if it was pushed a few pixels to the right instead of hidden.  :y:

Offline tehwexxl0rz

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Re: Platforming Tiles + Character [WIP]

Reply #25 on: December 19, 2011, 10:03:30 am
Thanks, Atnas! :)

This better? I can't decide if the seam in the corset is too much detail...


Got started planning a run animation:

Offline PypeBros

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Re: Platforming Tiles + Character [WIP]

Reply #26 on: December 19, 2011, 12:25:35 pm
My analysis of Sonic Physics Guide reveal that your character should be 1) capable of standing on a single tile and 2) not larger than two tiles.

Offline tehwexxl0rz

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Re: Platforming Tiles + Character [WIP]

Reply #27 on: January 07, 2012, 11:09:20 am
In that case, the character is definitely too big for the tiles. Thanks for your input!

Here's an update:


The hair is closer to what I originally had in mind.

I'm debating getting rid of the skirt altogether... It looks a bit cluttered, but I'm worried the outfit would be too boring without it. Do you guys have any suggestions?

Here's an old piece of concept art that might help:

Offline PypeBros

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Re: Platforming Tiles + Character [WIP]

Reply #28 on: January 07, 2012, 11:46:20 am
In that case, the character is definitely too big for the tiles. Thanks for your input!
I wouldn't say so, although 24x24 tiles wouldn't hurt.


She can stand on a 16x16 box, so the standing position is fine.
She'll likely use up to 32px base when walking/running (The reference here is the collision box, not the art), that's 2 tiles, and that's ok. (yeah, "larger" should have been read as "wider", not "taller" in my former post).

She's a bit high, but that make her look more adult. That's likely not to be a problem, imho. You may have to adjust her attack pattern or the level design to benefit for this additional "exposure" of the head. A quick "duck" frame that make her only 2 tiles high and the option to only shoot at the head's height, for instance, can make it interesting. She's not the kind of sprite that will easily crawl in a 1-tile-high tunnel, obviously (or slide ā la Megaman, morph ā la Sonic/metroid, transform ā la shantae ... name your poison.). I let you judge whether that's a problem for your envisioned gameplay.

Quote
I'm debating getting rid of the skirt altogether...
It doesn't read well, true. It will be interesting to animate, btw. She can puff the dust out of it when idle, it will flap when she'll fall down. Design-wise, keep the skirt. Pick a colour that doesn't blend too much into the other things (hint, her eyes&hair colour ?) and make sure that colour doesn't happen to be present a lot in the tileset (errm. It looks like gimp auto-converted the sprite into the tileset's palette ... nevermind :P).

The concept art shows a side-tied skirt. That's definitely not what you rendered... and that's much more feminine, imho.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2012, 12:04:40 pm by PypeBros »

Offline PypeBros

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Re: Platforming Tiles + Character [WIP]

Reply #29 on: January 07, 2012, 12:20:42 pm
--

Well, looks like it still work better when the character is 2 tiles high, doesn't it ? At first, I thought that was just a side-effect of Sonic character (and friends) to be somehow puppet-shaped, but there's something else: An obstacle that's half as high as you(r character) seems like something more substantial to go through, while the '16x16 box' for a 48px girl sounds like just a step that can be easily climbed over. Nothing that needs a jump.

Offline tehwexxl0rz

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Re: Platforming Tiles + Character [WIP]

Reply #30 on: January 09, 2012, 05:49:07 am
Update on the run animation:


Thanks a lot for your detailed feedback, Pype! :)

You raise a good point about tile height relative to the character. I am planning to have the character duck and slide, so maybe bigger tiles would better accommodate that. But then again, I could just make the "crawl space" 2 tiles high. I also plan to make sloped tiles, so smaller tiles might give me more freedom there.

I agree the skirt will be interesting to animate! That's the main reason I've kept it, tbh. I also like the side-knot from the concept art, but that would require me to create unique left and right versions of every animation, which would be tedious to say the least... >_<

Offline Corinthian Baby

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Re: Platforming Tiles + Character [WIP]

Reply #31 on: January 09, 2012, 10:01:30 am
I feel like the left and right sides of the cliff are receding and twisting my eyes into different dimensions of space. It's starting to look like a Q-Bert projection, (quasi isometric) instead of platformer.(head-on deadpan 1/2 top view) It probably has to do with the diagonal corner connecting tiles, and how quickly the cliffs disintegrate into darkness. I would suggest a more medium cliff to bridge not only to the darkness, but from the light to the shadow variants.

Offline Mathias

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Re: Platforming Tiles + Character [WIP]

Reply #32 on: January 09, 2012, 09:04:31 pm
I think it's great that for once, mechanics are being considered at the outset of a game project here, instead of only visuals. This is helpful to anyone wanting to make a char work with platformer tiles. Thanks for bringing this up, PypeBros.

Offline tehwexxl0rz

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Re: Platforming Tiles + Character [WIP]

Reply #33 on: January 12, 2012, 08:19:57 am
Run update:



Proportions aren't exactly right, but I'll tweak them as I add detail.
I'm mostly concerned with timing and believability now. C&C is much appreciated, as always! :)



Thanks, guys! :)

Corinthian Baby, it sounds like you're looking at the older tiles (that PypeBros used in his examples) not the latest ones, here:


Do you think the same problems persist? (I know I don't have as many tiles on display, but killing the perspective should solve a lot of the issues you mentioned.)

Offline tehwexxl0rz

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #34 on: January 13, 2012, 02:41:57 pm
Update:



Must... sleep.....

Offline yrizoud

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #35 on: January 13, 2012, 04:46:21 pm
"Mechanically" the feet animation seems right, (ie. with each new frame the ground seems to advance by a constant offset)
 but as a whole, I feel the character spends too much time crossing legs and not enough time in full extension.
Maybe it's because the back leg seems to extend backward very far (and very suddenly) after it leaves the ground.

Offline Mike

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #36 on: January 14, 2012, 12:13:25 am
It gives a very determined sort of hop style run.  I like it.  And as for the constant offset, as long as the feet move within the same amount of spacing per each frame on the ground it should work well enough.  The only thing that is really missing is a slight torso rotation. Which is when the torso twists toward the viewer as the front arm swings to the back because its pulling on the chest.  Also I think she has too much jiggle based on the material she is wearing...which looks like a leather corset piece.  Oh and I can see that you are waiting for the most absolute last moment to take the feet off the ground.  Good...good.  Another thing that is a bit jarring is how quickly the feet transition from the flick of the kick off.

That's all the critique I have time to give right now.  Excellent work so far!

Offline tehwexxl0rz

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #37 on: January 16, 2012, 10:19:39 am
Update:


More torso rotation, less jiggle.

I'll fix the snapping on the back foot! Thanks for pointing it out! :)

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #38 on: January 16, 2012, 11:08:08 am
improving greatly. Maybe just one "pendulum" frame at the end of each semi-cycle would make it smoother.

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #39 on: January 16, 2012, 02:06:46 pm
Keep the fists clenched. The forward movement with the head is a little awkward in my opinion.

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #40 on: January 17, 2012, 09:29:39 pm
I agree. Either that or have the palms turned more downwards. Overall the animation looks very good, lots of personality. :y:

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #41 on: January 19, 2012, 02:56:25 am


Update! I'd say more, but I gotta run out the door atm...

Thanks, Pype! Not sure what you meant by "one 'pendulum' frame at the end of each semi-cycle"... Could you clarify? (I changed the arms pretty dramatically, so I don't know if it's still relevant.)

Thanks, ErekT and slym! Clenched the fists. :P

ErekT, I think the movement of the head will look more natural when I add some movement to the hair. Stay tuned! :)
« Last Edit: January 19, 2012, 01:21:31 pm by tehwexxl0rz »

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #42 on: January 19, 2012, 01:24:48 pm
Update:



Hair movement and higher framerate!

There are a couple problems I see:
- Arms are too short at full extension
- Hair style (specifically front) does not match idle pose

I'm not 100% satisfied with the face in profile. Any suggestions to make it resemble the idle sprite more closely?

Oh god, animating the skirt is so intimidating.... :ouch:
« Last Edit: January 19, 2012, 01:37:54 pm by tehwexxl0rz »

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #43 on: January 19, 2012, 02:44:32 pm
--

Update! I'd say more, but I gotta run out the door atm...

Thanks, Pype! Not sure what you meant by "one 'pendulum' frame at the end of each semi-cycle"... Could you clarify? (I changed the arms pretty dramatically, so I don't know if it's still relevant
I mean either adding an extra frame before the fist change direction with very small displacement, to render the fact that the fist doesn't "bounce" against an invisible wall, but rather slows down and then accelerate in the other direction.

I can't find that "pendulum tutorial" animation back on the forums, unfortunately >_<

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #44 on: January 19, 2012, 10:10:34 pm
...slows down and then accelerate in the other direction.

Hmm... I believe it's doing that already. If you look at the positions of the hands in each frame, they are much closer together when they change direction compared to mid-swing.

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #45 on: January 20, 2012, 11:23:38 am
Messy edit to express my feelings

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #46 on: January 21, 2012, 01:11:08 pm
Update:



Modified idle sprite to improve likeness. Fixed proportions in running sprite.

Thanks for the edit, leroy! I like how the fade to center is more gradual, although I would like it to get darker than that as not to pull too much focus. Also, unfortunately given the size of the tiles (which I don't think I'll change after all) the fade can't be that gradual and still connect seamlessly in all configurations.

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #47 on: January 21, 2012, 02:08:17 pm
I like the idle sprite changes. Motion-wise I prefer the run cycle you had before you modified the hands (hands themselves look better tho). I felt it had more character. The determined hop Mike mentioned has been kinda muted by the upped speed and the amount the feet lift off the ground when extending backwards.

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #48 on: January 21, 2012, 04:43:44 pm
Update:


Blocked out the skirt, made a bunch of little tweaks.

Thanks, ErekT! I see what you mean about the loss of the hop. It's not just the speed that mutes it, but the reduced "flick" that Mike and yrizoud pointed out. I'll try bringing some of it back. The speed had to be increased for the animation to keep up with the movement speed in the game.

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #49 on: January 21, 2012, 08:33:05 pm
Better?



EDIT: Tweaked the legs even more. I think it looks a lot more natural now.

I previewed the sprite in engine and I realized, even though the hair bounce looks good in place, when moving, it should blow back a lot more....
« Last Edit: January 22, 2012, 07:36:55 pm by tehwexxl0rz »

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #50 on: January 26, 2012, 10:20:59 pm
Updates:



Sorry for the lull in progress recently, I've been doing a lot of programming. Anywho, I changed up the colors a bit, changed the grass, and worked on shading the legs and boots in the run (mostly the foreground boot; back boot is rough.) Not too happy with the boot though... :/

Also, the movement of the skirt is pretty erratic; definitely needs work.

I've been trying to put my finger on exactly what I don't like about the run animation, and I think it's that the head is too static compared to the rest of the body. I'm not usually a fan of this, but do you think some head rotation would help? Ugh, I want to be done with it....

I don't know if it makes a difference to anyone, but I should probably mention the game will run at 2x zoom (or greater if you've got a hi-res monitor) so I might be obsessing over pixel tech even more than usual.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2012, 01:56:59 am by tehwexxl0rz »

Offline Sharm

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #51 on: January 27, 2012, 01:28:49 pm
I'd do head bobbing instead so that the chin tilts down and up in response to the running.  I'm pretty horrible at animation though, it might not work as I envision it.

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #52 on: January 27, 2012, 10:32:29 pm
it seams you add more details in the last gif ! very good job

about the head i posted this in my topic :


imo, the head should be shaked or not depend only if the character only run or make a sprint (very faster than only running)
« Last Edit: January 27, 2012, 10:36:07 pm by kriss »

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #53 on: January 28, 2012, 02:10:54 am
Thanks for the feedback! :)

kriss, in this case, the character actually does need to be running rather fast, so I think some shaking is appropriate!
Regardless of realism, I thought it looked weird for the face to be static when everything else is so fluid...

Sharm, for a higher res sprite I would totally agree, but considering the size, I'm not sure how I could do it without it just looking like deformation. Since the mouth is only 2-3 pixels wide, I can't really change the angle in subtle increments. :/

Head rotation test:


Yay/nay?

(Not complete; didn't rotate the hair or the ear, but you get the idea.)

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #54 on: January 28, 2012, 05:58:33 am
Nah the head rotation loses the intensity that she had before. She looks less determined with it.

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #55 on: January 28, 2012, 03:25:05 pm
If it was somehow eased into and given an equal turn to the other side, I'd definitely pick it over a static head. I think its subtle enough to not detract from the main animation, and the more details animated, the better!

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #56 on: January 29, 2012, 12:22:42 am
Blehhh I tried giving an equal turn to the other side and it looks way too extreme:



I think I'm going to keep the head looking forward, but play with the hair more to keep it from looking too static.

The tendril in front of the ear doesn't really match the front view, so if I fix that and animate it a bit more I think it'll help...

Offline TheMonsterAtlas

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #57 on: January 29, 2012, 07:42:07 pm
I'm not very good at animation, alright I suck badly....But I think the reason the head turn looks so extreme is because the hair keeps static. By this I mean the hair doesn't move with the turn of the head, it moves up and down with the body but it stays in the same spot when the head turns. This gives off the impression that the eyes are the only thing moving on the head, making the face look as if it has properties of liquid.

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #58 on: January 31, 2012, 10:32:24 pm
Do you move your head sideways when you run? Well, I don't. The head rotation is pretty much fixed while running.

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #59 on: January 31, 2012, 10:48:15 pm
I don't think it's head rotation just for head rotation.  It's the head being slightly dragged by the torso rotating.  That's how i would look at it.  But I do agree if you rotate the head just for the hell of it it's stupid.  Right now it looks like too much rotation.

A good example would be Megaman X sprite.  That looks pretty good. Here!  This looks natural.  His head is rotating because his body is.  It's a choice to do head rotation in animation but I think it looks pretty good for platformers.

Oh I see the issue with

Its' because the head moves independent of the torso.  It should either move at the same speed or drag a frame behind the torso rotation.  That's my take on it.


« Last Edit: February 01, 2012, 12:12:23 am by Mike »

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #60 on: February 01, 2012, 12:04:34 am
I don't think it's head rotation just for head rotation.  It's the head being slightly dragged by the torso rotating.  That's how i would look at it.  But I do agree if you rotate the head just for the hell of it it's stupid.  Right now it looks like too much rotation.

A good example would be Megaman X sprite.  That looks pretty good. Here!  This looks natural.  His head is rotating because his body is.  It's a choice to do head rotation in animation but I think it looks pretty good for platformers.


Yes, this exactly!

The fluidity of the sprite you've done tehwexx is amazing, but don't forget to turn the hair as well.

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #61 on: February 01, 2012, 05:31:39 am
maybe we should all take some running courses ...

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #62 on: February 01, 2012, 11:00:10 am
Its' because the head moves independent of the torso.  It should either move at the same speed or drag a frame behind the torso rotation.  That's my take on it.[/b]

No man, that looks even more unnatural.

Look at this:

The head only moves slighty, and only when the arms are forced forward. It's no homogenus movement but the result of the forward-thrust.
(orginal sprite from Megaman Zero)

Offline Mike

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #63 on: February 01, 2012, 08:56:31 pm
No no no no no no no.  His back arm is moving forward and the front arm is moving backward which is the point you most see his chest.  This movement is responsible for the head rotation that moves to the left.

Also yeah re-re-relooking at the Megaman sprite it's a bit ridiculous.  They got a little over ambition.  But it looks great in game :D  

On the otherhand I think that Zero sprite looks quite clunky.

Furthermore guys please don't model your animations after the real world.(What I meant is don't settle with a final version that you just copied from real life)  Get a copy of Animators Survival guide and look at the pages that show you how to create your own runs and walk cycles.  That is far more interesting than real life.  ( But obviously reference is key.  Reference yourself if you have the means to.  Referencing yourself allows you to feel what it's like to do the movement which helps with the animation part)
[edit to make it more clear]

In that section it shows that head rotation and motion can be used to show emotion not just apart of a chain reaction of body movement.

« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 01:12:43 am by Mike »

Offline TheMonsterAtlas

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #64 on: February 02, 2012, 02:44:48 am
maybe we should all take some running courses ...

This technique was developed for long distance runners who do not jump over obstacles. For sprinting on the other hand it is impractical. This is more for jogging so you can conserve energy for those long distances.

Offline jams0988

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #65 on: February 03, 2012, 12:11:51 am
Quote
Furthermore guys please don't model your animations after the real world.  Get a copy of Animators Survival guide and look at the pages that show you how to create your own runs and walk cycles.  That is far more interesting than real life.
I don't think that's always true. Some of the best animation I've ever seen has been the more realistic variety. Go check out Ghost in the Shell, End of Evangelion, or any of the Ghibli movies. Incredible animation, and all very much grounded in reality. Telling other artists not to draw from life is only going to hurt them; it's definitely the fastest way to learn.

After you can draw a realistic run cycle well, then you can start messing around with it and stylizing it. How can you stylize something effectively when you don't even know how the actual subject is *supposed* to look? That's my opinion, anyway.

I've got animator's survival guide, too. It's an awesome book, and will definitely help with understanding animation. Still, after reading it, I'd apply what you learned from it by studying actual references. You'll come out with a better animation in the end, I think! For me, the Animator's Survival Guide taught me how to think about and approach animation, but not how to actually animate anything specific. I always look up a ton of references when drawing or animating something new.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uK8V9jG7Wjg
Ghost in the Shell tank scene (end of the movie, so spoilers! Also, nudity and a girl ripping her own arms off. NSFW?) It's a lot more interesting than the simple animation you'll get by simply studying from books, in my opinion. Great animation takes a very solid foundation in life.

Wexx, you run cycle is looking better and better, so good job on that. I still don't agree with what you're doing with your stone tiles, though. Like someone else already said, it looks like you have black voids in the middle of all your platforms, because the rock texture is getting smaller and darker, instead of just getting darker. On small platforms, I'm not even sure if black-out would be appropriate at all. Have you tried just having flat rock texture across your small platforms? I think it might look better. I like the overall look of your set, though. It reminds me of some of the old Psygnosis games, or something. X3

Edit: What I remember Psygnosis games looking like is totally different from what they actually look like, so nevermind, hahah.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 12:27:45 am by jams0988 »

Offline tehwexxl0rz

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #66 on: February 03, 2012, 04:20:55 pm
Update:



Redid the hair, accounting for wind blow-back and correcting some perspective issues. I'm pretty damn satisfied with the head now; just plan to clean up the motion of the skirt and the shading on the boots and call this DONE.

Thanks a ton for the quality discussion on head rotation/animation in general. There's a lot I want to respond to, but right now I'm too sleep deprived to form any more coherent sentences. I'll be back! :)

PS: If anyone's got any ideas for a (SIMPLE) idle animation I'd love to hear them.

PPS: ALSO! I should probably mention I'm planning to redo the rocks completely as I've decided to scrap the auto-tiling algorithm I was designing around. I can get a lot more creative with manual tile placement! However I should really do some concept arting before I dive back into the pixels...

WHAT'S WITH ALL THESE SENTENCES I SHOULD BE ASLEEP
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 04:31:05 pm by tehwexxl0rz »

Offline Mike

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #67 on: February 03, 2012, 08:57:51 pm
tehwexxl0rz I don't want to seem like a jerk here but you should think of what her idle animation is on your own.  Though I can help you get in the right frame of mind.

Standing still:
 
Is she a restless sort of character itching to get moving? 

Is she vain, would she pull out a mirror she takes with her and fix her hair? 

Is she a fighter?  Would she straighten her gloves or crack her knuckles? 

Maybe her hair is always getting in her eyes.  Would she be the type to brush it out of the way with her hand? 

Is she lazy?  So lazy that she might just sit on the ground as she idles?

Is she neurotic?  Always looking back to make sure no one is following her?

Maybe she is calm. Just standing there breathing. Enjoying the sun beating down on her and the wind whisking through her hair.

Maybe she is the sort to get caught in her own head.  And while she is standing there she remembers that one guy she likes that hands around the town.  She remembers and she sighs.  A heavy sort of sigh but happy.


I could go on for quite awhile but for sake of space and time I'll stop.  :D  Good luck!

Offline TheMonsterAtlas

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #68 on: February 04, 2012, 10:34:45 pm
For an idle state, I'd say give her some attitude. Hair Flips, Hand on Hip, the works haha :P

That run cycle looks great! good work teh!

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #69 on: February 28, 2012, 03:47:09 pm
Thanks for the feedback and suggestions! Sorry about my recent disappearance.
Programminggggg....



I started working on a jumping pose and made some final tweaks to the run cycle. I also changed the color palette a bit - it might look too dark on the forum background, but I think it should fit the tone of the game better. I plan to animate in and out the jumping pose (just FYI) but that'll have to come later. Next in line is a falling pose and wall-jumping pose....

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #70 on: February 29, 2012, 02:25:35 am
Am I going insane, or has the timing of the bounce in the run been backwards this whole time?

Old >> New



(Before was low on the pass, high on the jump, now it's high on the pass, low on the jump.)

EDIT: Guh... even if the new one is more "correct" it lacks the liveliness of the old one. I think I'll keep it the way it was. Or not.
« Last Edit: February 29, 2012, 03:05:20 am by tehwexxl0rz »

Offline tehwexxl0rz

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #71 on: February 29, 2012, 05:23:03 am
THERE we go!


Updated the idle pose too:


(One pixel taller and a more dynamic pose.)

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #72 on: February 29, 2012, 06:57:21 pm
I like the running animation. (what about an idle animation?) But it seems like the torso and the legs are too dark. That might be because of the bright background... (new forum theme? anyone?)

Nevertheless you want your heroine stand out in front of the game background, and so she needs some bright colors, doesn't she?
A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. Yes we can!

Offline tehwexxl0rz

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #73 on: March 01, 2012, 10:59:04 pm
I will definitely do an idle animation, but I need to prioritize the action poses first so I can demo my engine.

I'll consider boosting the brightness depending on how the backgrounds turn out. Thanks for the feedback. :)

Took a break from animating to work on new tiles, now 24x24 pixels:


NOTE: I used "dirty" tools to skew the grass used for the slopes. Just to get a sense of how they'd look -- I don't plan to leave them like that.

Regarding the blacked-out center tiles, I plan to keep them that way at least temporarily so I can focus on other more important assets.
It seems like there's a style clash between the rocks and grass. (I like the rocks better.) :/

Offline michelcote

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #74 on: March 02, 2012, 12:31:24 am
It seems like there's a style clash between the rocks and grass.
Maybe not so much, your tiles just cut off abruptly in the mockup/screenshot. The first thing I noticed is how green(or blue?) the rocks are compared to before. It looks good, but maybe shifting the hue closer to yellow/orange in the highlights could help them stand out a bit more from the grass.
The engine you have running on your site feels nice so far, btw. Can't wait to see it running with your character sprites in place and all the verbs/moves implemented.

Offline tehwexxl0rz

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    • Ian Wexler | Game Developer

Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #75 on: March 02, 2012, 08:23:38 am
Thanks, michelcote! Your color critique was spot on. Is this better?



(Once I seam together the rocks and grass I think it will be much easier to harmonize the palette.)

The engine you have running on your site feels nice so far, btw.
Thank you! I'm always surprised to hear people have actually tried it. I hope to update it with the new art soon! :)

Offline Facet

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #76 on: March 02, 2012, 04:24:33 pm
Lovely character stuff, I imagine the thing around her waist is a nightmare to animate but it looks smooth.

The new tiles have the same strange 'pillared' effect as mentioned earlier (by Wes) as oppose to simply getting darker towards the centre. Try and keep the size of the particals consistant towards the centre, have a few interior stones at a lower contrast and perhaps even eke out the transition over two tiles. There are also highlights on absolutely everything which I would lose completely; the rock shouldn't really be reflective and it's distracting.

You've got WIP in big letters there but really it's a couple of highly finished tiles and then ones you haven't started. It would be so much easier to block out everything you're going to need from the start and troubleshoot when refining.

Example with inexplicable tulip -

Offline infinitegames

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Re: Platformer Tiles, Character + Animation [WIP]

Reply #77 on: March 14, 2012, 02:35:22 am
Lovely character stuff, I imagine the thing around her waist is a nightmare to animate but it looks smooth.

The new tiles have the same strange 'pillared' effect as mentioned earlier (by Wes) as oppose to simply getting darker towards the centre. Try and keep the size of the particals consistant towards the centre, have a few interior stones at a lower contrast and perhaps even eke out the transition over two tiles. There are also highlights on absolutely everything which I would lose completely; the rock shouldn't really be reflective and it's distracting.

You've got WIP in big letters there but really it's a couple of highly finished tiles and then ones you haven't started. It would be so much easier to block out everything you're going to need from the start and troubleshoot when refining.

Example with inexplicable tulip -



This looks REALLY nice. The problem with your current tiles is that both the rocks and the grass look like they're made out of metal, and the colors are just not working very well.