AuthorTopic: This is the worst idea I have ever had (WARNING: Anime)  (Read 12747 times)

Offline HughSpectrum

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Back from a hiatus of being depressed from realizing that I am terrible at readability.

The idea behind this is what would happen if Kaiba from Yu-Gi-Oh were a dungeon master, complete with all of his holographic technology.

This is a SUPER ROUGH coloring still, probably shouldn't be considered pixel art yet, but I need to post a WIP sooner or later.  Also not every detail is drawn in or fleshed out yet and I'm sure there are readability issues everywhere despite my best attempts.

Offline Crow

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Re: This is the worst idea I have ever had (WARNING: Anime)

Reply #1 on: April 19, 2012, 05:13:32 pm
I'm not sure why, but I really like where this is (seems to be) going. Colors already seem quite nice, too, expect for the fact that some could be a little more saturated, I guess. What bugs me right now is that something below the screen (?). Is that some sort of monster? It doesn't read very well, and at first glance I thought it was part of the screen due to the colors being used both in that object and in the screen. You should definitely work on separating these two.

Also, do you plan on doing something fancy with the floor, or do you plan on keeping this sort of tiled floor? It gives off some kind of virtual reality feeling, which (I suppose) fits Kaiba..?
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Offline HughSpectrum

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Re: This is the worst idea I have ever had (WARNING: Anime)

Reply #2 on: April 19, 2012, 05:20:38 pm
Yeah, I plan keeping the floor tiled like a virtual grid.

Quote
What bugs me right now is that something below the screen (?). Is that some sort of monster? It doesn't read very well, and at first glance I thought it was part of the screen due to the colors being used both in that object and in the screen. You should definitely work on separating these two.
I'm not sure which thing you mean (one of them I haven't started cleaning up yet).  Whenever I post an update you'll have to tell me if I did better on that.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2012, 05:25:42 pm by HughSpectrum »

Offline Crow

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Re: This is the worst idea I have ever had (WARNING: Anime)

Reply #3 on: April 19, 2012, 05:28:53 pm


Boxed it. I really hope this is just a single entity of.. whatever it is. It reads as a single object, but also blends too much with the screen above.
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Offline HughSpectrum

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Re: This is the worst idea I have ever had (WARNING: Anime)

Reply #4 on: April 19, 2012, 05:36:54 pm
Okay, yeah, that's actually two separate objects.  I'll work on both separating them and keeping them from blending into the screen too much.

Offline BladeJunker

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Re: This is the worst idea I have ever had (WARNING: Anime)

Reply #5 on: April 19, 2012, 06:05:58 pm
Back from a hiatus of being depressed from realizing that I am terrible at readability.

The idea behind this is what would happen if Kaiba from Yu-Gi-Oh were a dungeon master, complete with all of his holographic technology.

This is a SUPER ROUGH coloring still, probably shouldn't be considered pixel art yet, but I need to post a WIP sooner or later.  Also not every detail is drawn in or fleshed out yet and I'm sure there are readability issues everywhere despite my best attempts.


Oh don't feel bad, we all have our weaknesses. :)

I think it reads pretty well composition but I have to agree with Crow on more saturation in the colors. I had a chance to look at some of your work since your statement of depression got me curious, in general I see 2 things that are hampering the readability in your work.

-The aforementioned saturation, I noticed that when using a contrasting "system set" palette like EGA for example you're fine but when using a custom color palette you lean too far into pastels or overall greying of the colors.

-You often try to cram a disproportionate amount of detail into small resolutions, its a fine line between detail and homogeneous noise. A good reference actually can be found in Anime production practices where in distant or smaller scale renderings of characters uses a more simplified version of the characters not just to speed up the process but also that the dimensional scale at which the cells are drawn are very small that it would next to impossible to draw the same amount of detail as a closeup.
So in general broader strokes and less dither.

Don't get down Hugh, I think you are a very good artist that could become a great one. Now me on the other hand idk. :-\

Offline Ryumaru

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Re: This is the worst idea I have ever had (WARNING: Anime)

Reply #6 on: April 19, 2012, 07:45:34 pm
As a yugioh fan I found this quite readable ( and awesome) in a matter of seconds. Now, contrary to what everyone is saying I think blue eyes ultimate should have LESS saturation, and be a little darker. Push him back in space and give him a strong, simple silhouette. Get rid of the dust clouds or whatever that is behind him so that it can read as one light value shape against the dark background ( or at least subdue that area a lot)

Also I know it's early, but a gradient on the floor, darker in the distance would be great too.

I really look forward to seeing this progress! :D

Offline HughSpectrum

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Re: This is the worst idea I have ever had (WARNING: Anime)

Reply #7 on: April 21, 2012, 07:21:01 pm
UPDATE



This is still extremely messy and still very incomplete because I was changing a bunch of stuff at once and still working out how I want to do things, and I only now made some major changes in the last couple of hours.

Biggest change is that I removed the little pillars at the corners and between walls, creating a lot of mess.  I just didn't think they were appropriate in the end.  I also had the idea of lining the walls with green lines to show that they are part of the game's grid.

For the floor tiles, I don't think I want to gradiate towards darkness, since the game board is probably technically a light source, but I'm thinking of doing where each tile darkens towards the center like you would see in Metal Gear Solid VR Training missions (two of the tiles show this, just two for now in case I change my mind or get a better suggestion).

I tried to make Kaiba at his dome more perceivable and not a part of the Blue Eyes Ultimate Dragon.  I haven't made that part very clean yet though.

As for colors, I did desaturate the 2nd lightest blue (thinking of undoing that) and saturate a lot of the darker colors, but I don't think I want to darken that color just yet.

Offline Helm

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Re: This is the worst idea I have ever had (WARNING: Anime)

Reply #8 on: April 22, 2012, 04:45:27 pm
Hi. This is an ambitious piece. Readability is an issue, yes. You've already made great progress. Here's some more ideas.
My edit is dirty as all hell (used photoshop to alter colours and make the three levels separate, then I outputted a 64 colour composite and fucked around in pro motion with every paint modifier there is, blend, darkness/lightness, smooth, whatever. Just to give you a mockup of what you could be heading towards if you want.



The tools I'm using here to achieve readability are the following:

1. More colors. I do not believe what you're trying to do here can be accomplished with so few colours, unless you're willing to sacrifice detail and simplify the threee 'zones' of the perspective to the point where they're more symbolic. I'll explain both points of view here. If you want this to be complex and realistic (to a degree) you need to look at what demoscene artists do. The first thing a demoscene artist would do is steal from an established real-world non-digital painter. That's bad, don't do that. But the second thing they'd do is establish a large palette with which they can convey what the real-world, non-digital painter did. The real-world artist probably knows about composition and depth and stuff like that so it trickles down through the demoscene even through their bad practices. This is why you should study the demoscene regardless of their problems, which you can avoid with honesty and hard work.

Either a big palette that gives you a lot of options, or a small palette and very simple shapes and constructs. For example, where there are figures, the brickpattern on the walls should not touch their lineart. That's a very simple example. Or another example, characters could use straight-up black outlines to be readable even with NES colors or whatever.

You can go either way, but in the middle the space is more uncomfortable and it requires you to be more crafty to achieve a balance.

2. Less focal points. I'm no master of composition but even I know that what you've got going right now is too dense and waaaay the hell too bright/hurts eyes. If you want flashing lights, give us some darkness. There's an issue of mood you're trying to convey and me trying to convey a different, darker mood, but I thought 'dungeonify a kiddie cartoon' calls for some darkness. Ominous clouds and a castle in the distance instead of caramel clounds and a blue castle in the distance. However, with more colours and smart outlining and simplifying of shapes here and there I don't think you necessarily need the black far-ground in the distance like I chose. But it's a trick that works, no?

3. Less sharpness on less important, distant or otherwise disconnected points of interest. Pixel art is a hard medium in which to convey blurry flashes of light, but you can go SOME of the way towards that direction without horrible banding (like my use of the blend brush introduced in my mockup). If you set your mind to it, good pixel technique can get you somewhere in the ballpark. I also toned the digital dungeon master screen down in the distance, I think it sorta works. You can do without that, but you'd need more colour separation between DM_screen and blue_dragon layers.

4. Warming the colors in the foreground, making them more cold in the distance. Not much to say to this, very common trick. Also pushing saturation on the digital aspects of the playfield (the green vectorish grid, most of all. It's not the future unless it's saturated).

5. Fancy FX to signify the digitalness of this setup, which you should absolutely do if it helps with readability as well. Mostly around the DM_screen

6. Dramatic lighting. Well, it's cheap. But you've got spotights on your crew after all! I did this last, so I know the edit works without the contour lightning as well, but it looks much better like this in my opinion.

Offline HughSpectrum

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Re: This is the worst idea I have ever had (WARNING: Anime)

Reply #9 on: April 22, 2012, 07:08:14 pm
I'm probably not going to have an update until Wednesday, depending on how much I get done on it.

On #1, the way I select colors is a bad habit and I always forget to consider making a proper palette before.  I tend to select new colors as I go until I don't need any more new ones, and recycle colors when possible, and later remove colors that are either redundant or not used enough.

What I'll do is create a 2nd set of extra colors for when I start truly polishing the piece later.

On your advice, I haven't really established every bit lighting all that well yet (this is still in the early stages but I'll eventually have lighting on the characters), but I want to say the direction your edit has went is different from what I want to go for, since the stadium they're in is supposed to be lit as well as a football stadium and I want to go for a very "fake" holographic game look that doesn't truly respect a dreary atmosphere.