AuthorTopic: Rainbow Dash -- the Art of Being Awesome  (Read 4418 times)

Offline Ashbad

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Rainbow Dash -- the Art of Being Awesome

on: May 22, 2012, 03:39:17 am
After many hours of experimentations/improvements, I finally made this:



I did a decent amount of anti-aliasing (perhaps a bit too much; but I think it looked better than without), and finally learned what banding is and how to fix it (after reading an excellent tutorial on the matter by our own admin, Helm) through this revision process.  The color count is pretty high, my estimate is somewhere around 40 colors.  Early revisions had 24, then moved to 14, but then I decided to stop worrying about keeping a super small palette, and see what I could get out of what I had available.

As for what the revision process entailed:

http://img.removedfromgame.com/imgs/7-Rainbow_wow_fa_sho.png

C+C would be most welcome. :)

Offline Decroded

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Re: Rainbow Dash -- the Art of Being Awesome

Reply #1 on: May 22, 2012, 04:44:48 am
Haha looks awesome  :D
Our little one is getting into that show always makes me lol.
I think it goes well with the style.
If you want crits then nothing stood out as nasty when I first looked but I guess the mouth looks slightly off.
Are the eyes supposed to have that agressive look?
Back rear leg should have less light to make it recede and since it wouldn't normally be catching any directly light.

Offline Ashbad

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Re: Rainbow Dash -- the Art of Being Awesome

Reply #2 on: May 22, 2012, 11:02:35 am
Haha looks awesome  :D
Our little one is getting into that show always makes me lol.
I think it goes well with the style.
If you want crits then nothing stood out as nasty when I first looked but I guess the mouth looks slightly off.
Are the eyes supposed to have that agressive look?
Back rear leg should have less light to make it recede and since it wouldn't normally be catching any directly light.


Thanks ^_^ I personally love the show as well.  Well, that might be a bit obvious, actually, considering I'm making so many pony pixels :P

I agree that something about the mouth is still a bit weird.  I'm going to try and play with it to see what I can do with it.  The eyes are indeed supposed to look agressive like that :) And for the back legs, I think you're right, there's more lighting on them than on the front leg, so I guess I definitely need to tone it done some.

Thanks!

Offline jinza

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Re: Rainbow Dash -- the Art of Being Awesome

Reply #3 on: May 22, 2012, 11:52:57 pm
wow you've improved a lot since your last attempt at these ponies

Offline Ashbad

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Re: Rainbow Dash -- the Art of Being Awesome

Reply #4 on: May 23, 2012, 12:58:35 am
wow you've improved a lot since your last attempt at these ponies

Thanks! :D  I've learned a lot since then.  And learned a lot through revising this work ^_^  I studied tons of pixel art since then, and read many insights on what makes pixel art good, as opposed to making it look like a rough piece that's merely composed of pixels.

What I think I need to work on next is creating a good palette, and some intermediate and advanced color theory.  I'm pretty weak on that, as this sprite is pretty bright and saturated.

Offline Ai

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Re: Rainbow Dash -- the Art of Being Awesome

Reply #5 on: May 24, 2012, 01:34:12 pm
A few things I spotted.

* You antialiased onto the background. Try tweaking the background color to something much darker and the crunchy pixels immediately show up.
* Upscaling the image is EVIL ^_^ as it makes edits harder. Leave the upscaling to the script built into the board, please.
* Right from the start, you seem to have given RD a plushy-like modelling. This is weird for an athlete, and also makes it rather difficult to do crisp, readable shading.
* You seem to use only 1-pixel runs of AA... If this is in an attempt to reduce banding, it's largely unnecessary. In this situation of toon-ish lighting, antialiasing rarely causes banding, because of the simplicity of the shapes involved.
* There are some style questions. Exactly how realistic are you trying to be? What line weight are you aiming for? These factors are currently inconsistent throughout the picture. Addressing these questions is something that is much easier with fewer colors, BTW -- there are many many reasons to keep colorcount low.
* Which brings me to the question of colors. You use a lot (50). However I don't really see them, much. The appearance of your sprite is more along the lines of 36 colors, meaning you're probably wasting about 14 of them.

Here's an edit partially addressing these issues:



Overall, I feel that your 'picture idea' is satisfying, while the expression of that idea is unsatisfying. I'd say that this indicates the problem is artistic in general, not specifically to do with pixel art... so I'd recommend doing some traditional art... experimenting with all those things like line weight, lighting, etc that you can quickly do with just a pencil.

If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline Grimsane

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Re: Rainbow Dash -- the Art of Being Awesome

Reply #6 on: May 24, 2012, 10:58:43 pm
easiest solution for reinforcing depth in the background legs is to just remove the highlights,
and as stated by Ai you've got some bright unnecessary edge AA, and if you insist on so much AA use it consistently.
I don't think so many AA tones on the mane and tail were necessary, the darkest tone of blue also wasn't used much and didn't necessarily add anything to the clarity of the sprite, try and stay consistent the darkness of edges.

I messed with it a little, mouth was easy just drag it back 2 pixels and reshape it a bit, also a few angles bothered me so I might have been a little extreme in culling or augmenting somethings, like the rear background leg. I'm not the best pixel'r but hope it helps
edit:

and a gif for clarity:

Offline Ashbad

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Re: Rainbow Dash -- the Art of Being Awesome

Reply #7 on: May 24, 2012, 11:17:48 pm
Nice edits! :) I like the suggestion of fixing the AA and the lighting on the opposite legs.  The mouth edit, however, seems very awkward.  I think a bett anatomical fix would be to shorten the snout and lower the eyes down.  I'll play around with it to see what I can make of it.

Offline Grimsane

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Re: Rainbow Dash -- the Art of Being Awesome

Reply #8 on: May 24, 2012, 11:49:43 pm
I'm only vaguely aware of MLP so my point of reference on how they should look is null :lol:
but just in case you were having still having trouble, another suggestion/edit?
mouth:

Offline Seiseki

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Re: Rainbow Dash -- the Art of Being Awesome

Reply #9 on: May 25, 2012, 07:22:55 pm
There's definitely something weird going on with the mouth. Not only the shape but the highlights are shaped like 'db', and once you see it, it's hard to unsee, it's like that area is flat.
Grimsanes latest edit makes it better.
Also, is it just me or is the head a bit too small?

The shading is quite soft too, a bit too soft. Especially the wings and face area.
There's also a large jaggy thing in her hair.

Great improvement though, it's a good pose and the colors seem right :)
You could try to add a shadow to emphasize that her right hoof is lifted.