AuthorTopic: Help with a tree [WIP] [C&C]  (Read 3169 times)

Offline Shrub

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Help with a tree [WIP] [C&C]

on: March 09, 2012, 08:57:17 pm
Long time no see guys!
I'm having a hard time with this tree WIP, even studying a tutorial. The shading is poor, but I've given up on half-assing it with no idea what I'm doing, until someone gives me some pointers.

Would be really grateful for your C&C - I want to improve. I always love the advice you guys come up with, so feel free to go wild.

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« Last Edit: March 11, 2012, 03:08:48 pm by Shrub »

Offline Cyangmou

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Re: Help with a tree [WIP] [C&C]

Reply #1 on: March 10, 2012, 12:37:15 am
nice attempt, but if I am looking at it it's easy to spot out that the whole palette is to green and it looks - as you remarked - flat. Another problem is that the perspective seems to be somewhat off and that your foliage texture is rather rough.
I also don't read your tutorial (link would be great) so it's pretty hard to imagine what you did wrong - or if the tutorial isn't a good one.

So what would be the best thing to do? step I and II should answer your questions, step III-VIII just show you some of my ideas - trees are always a nice thing for exercising.


I: block it at first out with raw forms, this shouldn't take very long but if you are creating different sprites like this you can choose your best one - give special attention to the perspective.

II: try your raw shading, if your raw shading looks weird the end product will look weird.

---

III: if your raw shading looks ok you can work with all those lights you want, the sunlight, the reflected light through the leaves, the reflected light from the ground and so on - train your eye and look around in reality to learn how those light phenomenas are working. The color strongly depends on the light, there is no tutorial for coloring, you can use a reference or thrust your experience.

IV: now you can start with filling in your raw texture, at this time it's more important that you get the right forms and the right impression that you work clean

V: it can be that you did to much, you can test to remove colors and compare the result, in this case the highlights were to bright for a tree

VI: now you can rework your gradients/raw textures. Don't use to much single pixel details, bigger pixel clusters are the way to the goal. Also an important thing to mention is that you shouldn't overdetail it - forms are more important than details

VII: At this point I start to give the outline minimal detail, to underline the impression of foliage.

VIII: FInal color adjustments and contrast/brightness adjustments, this point strongly depends on your scenery




I added next to the last version of the tree yours again, just to show you all the differences - mine has 11 colors, also 3 only colors more than yours.
What to mention is that you keep the pixel art basics (clusters, AA, Banding...) in mind and the drawing basics (perspective,light/shadow,...)

If your drawing or pixel experiences aren't enough to get a good result you should start with studies from nature or from photos. A tutorial will give you only a few insights and you are mostly copying steps you don't really understand.

Or it's also possible to compensate experience with a simpler style or a smaller size, for example -possible isn't a guarantee that it'll look better.



or if you want to do a small and simple variation:
« Last Edit: March 10, 2012, 12:44:40 am by Cyangmou »
"Because the beauty of the human body is that it hasn't a single muscle which doesn't serve its purpose; that there's not a line wasted; that every detail of it fits one idea, the idea of a man and the life of a man."

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Offline Shrub

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Re: Help with a tree [WIP] [C&C]

Reply #2 on: March 10, 2012, 01:15:11 pm
Pffff, I'm pretty blown away at how you just whipped up a perfect tree like that. Great advice. Truly incredible - I've just spent a long time labouring over my new tree, which is stage III at the moment. It's still poor in comparison to yours, but at least it's a start. Your shading is fantastic.

Somehow I've just not been able to capture the magic, but here's my progress:

Offline Shrub

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Re: Help with a tree [WIP] [C&C]

Reply #3 on: March 10, 2012, 06:42:53 pm
Here's an update! I've worked on it to try and give it some texture.

Offline Lilyo

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Re: Help with a tree [WIP] [C&C]

Reply #4 on: March 10, 2012, 07:24:14 pm
Better than your original one but it needs to be more dynamic. The leaves clutters look more like balls than anything and the shading and colors can use some work. Quick edit.

Offline Cyangmou

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Re: Help with a tree [WIP] [C&C]

Reply #5 on: March 10, 2012, 11:14:09 pm
Pffff, I'm pretty blown away at how you just whipped up a perfect tree like that. Great advice. Truly incredible - I've just spent a long time labouring over my new tree, which is stage III at the moment. It's still poor in comparison to yours, but at least it's a start. Your shading is fantastic.

Well, well, it was more a quickie than a fully finished tree - there are lots of things you could do with my version VIII to make it better especially at the leaf texture:




To your actual problems:



I guess your try is somewhere at my VI or VII

1 - you don't added a cast shadow below your tree crown
2 - the shading at the roots is inconsequent
3 - there is also a reflection from the light which hits the ground on the trunk
4 - now look at all those single pixels in your texture - they cause a grainy impression, however you should think of your forms and your perspective before you are thinking of adding texture.

I think it would be more important for you to get the basics right before you start with the texture because of this look at those facts - maybe the help

5 its for an RPG - this means it uses a 3/4 perspective, you have some foreshortening in it at the base plane
6 now this are base forms
7 shading the baseforms
8 reflections (but before you think of reflections you should try to get the basic shading right)

Once you are able to draw the basic forms (cube, cuboid, sphere, cylinder, pyramid, and cone) in any perspectiy and shade them from every possible direction you are able to create anything you want. With more practice you can also shade anything you want. You can build up complex forms out of simple forms - usually you don't do more than creating forms and give them plasticity with shading - that's it

Lilyo showed you how you could solve it better, especially his shading is on a higher level than yours - it's because his understanding of forms and besic shading is better than yours - you should try to increase your skills by understanding how light works - this will help you at your current level the most. The best thing is learning by seeing - for example you could turn on one light in a room and study then how the perspecitve and shadows are working at a simple geometrical thing a box or something else. You should also look at it from different angles and change the position of the object some times that you get a feeling.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2012, 11:24:58 pm by Cyangmou »
"Because the beauty of the human body is that it hasn't a single muscle which doesn't serve its purpose; that there's not a line wasted; that every detail of it fits one idea, the idea of a man and the life of a man."

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Offline jams0988

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Re: Help with a tree [WIP] [C&C]

Reply #6 on: March 10, 2012, 11:48:20 pm
No offense, guys, but all these edits look more like strange alien shrubs than proper trees to me. Too much roundness to them, and different leaf sections are too round, too.

Obligatory Seiken Densetsu tree for reference.

The Seiken Densetsu tree is roundish, too, but it looks like the leaves still sort of fall outward...the trees in this thread look like all the leaves are being shaped upward into an oval-ish shape, like someone sculpted them. Hard to explain in text, but I hope you know what I mean.

Might also be the size of the leaves compared to the size of the tree that's making the edit trees look like shrubs to me. The leaves on the SD3 tree and the leaves on the edit trees are all the same size, even though the SD3 tree is much larger. Maybe if the leaves were smaller/only hinted at in the edit trees, they'd look more tree like.

I dunno. Tough to make trees so small?

Edit:

Yeah, I think the leaves on the edit trees are a bit too big. Even on a picture this size, the leaves are still just a few pixels across.
Not sure how I'd render such tiny trees realistically... = \
« Last Edit: March 11, 2012, 12:00:38 am by jams0988 »

Offline Shrub

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Re: Help with a tree [WIP] [C&C]

Reply #7 on: March 11, 2012, 02:33:08 am
Thanks for the advice again. It's hard for me to be this bad at something, I must have tried that trunk about 40 times before I finished, and it still looks bad!

It's the small scale and colours I think - it just throws me off. Working with such tiny units makes it difficult for me to get the shading and form accurate, then when I try and use colours imaginatively I fail even more astronomically.

If this was pencil sketching, I'd have a chance because it's more "feel" than anything else. This just throws me off because pixel art is very mechanical.
I go to shade stuff and I basically don't know what to do to make it look appealing, especially when I've got to pick colours. I don't know where to put the pixels, it feels really random when I try and place 'em. Pixel art has its own rules that don't come naturally to me.

This is the best way to learn though, so I'll try and redo some stuff tomorrow.

EDIT:
I've done some more work on the tree.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2012, 03:08:34 pm by Shrub »