AuthorTopic: A first try at colored pixel art  (Read 4569 times)

Offline Siapran

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A first try at colored pixel art

on: June 23, 2012, 02:28:24 pm
Hi
I'm quite new to the world of pixel art and I'm really impressed by the work uploaded here.
I'm a programmer and I make games for calculators (that means basically that all the work I did up to now is some lame monochrome or 4gray spriting, the whole thing usually in 8*8 tiles).
I've decided lately that I'd try going deeper on the subject, and I tried doing some colored pixel art.

First I tried doing some 8*8 in color.



And I was, like, eww it's horrible.

So I tried with some 16*16 tiles



And its not much better... (and I abused with dithering. heavily)

So I'd really like some advice on how to make these two a bit better.
I got recently with my programming group a brand new color calculator and we're planning on making a full RPG on it, so, I probably need some training.

Offline JonasO

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Re: A first try at colored pixel art

Reply #1 on: June 23, 2012, 03:13:29 pm
The fist one is much (!) better than the second.


There are a few problems, like the parallel 2 pixel band at the bottom of the cloud, or the bands in the rock. Similarly your rocks at the edges seem to stick out too much and the color contrast between the yellow and the purple sky is strange.
Other than that, your trunc on the tree seems to be one pixel too far to the left. And the leaves have some minor problem: The 2 px lighted areas come off too strong and the light source seems to be a little weird.
Ah and the top of your cloud has a tiny problem where the two top circles intersect. the long straight line is problematic. maybe moving the top left circle one px to the left will solve that issue?
I'm also unsure about the fruit and the banding at the trunc but there's only o much you can do with so little pixels ; )
You might try and modify your palette, at least the green and brown tones.

Apart from that I like the first one. How large will your character be, one tile? Then the object sizes should work fine for now.
It definetly has a lot of potential.

Offline Bissle

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Re: A first try at colored pixel art

Reply #2 on: June 23, 2012, 11:18:47 pm
Gotta agree that the 8*8 is better. If you want to do 16*16, make the tree more like how you did the 8*8--it was perfectly readable and had some volume. The way the leaves are shaded on the large tree ends up actually making it look flat. Play around with the colors some more. :)

Offline Siapran

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Re: A first try at colored pixel art

Reply #3 on: June 24, 2012, 11:25:42 am
Thanks a lot for the advice, I'm currently working on making it better following your critique.  :)
I'm kinda surprised you find the 8*8 one better though, since it took so much less time to do than the 16*16 one 0_0

I had a go at making the character
I have no idea wether this is OK or not  :-\

Offline Ashbad

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Re: A first try at colored pixel art

Reply #4 on: June 27, 2012, 02:45:40 pm
I'm a programmer and I make games for calculators (that means basically that all the work I did up to now is some lame monochrome or 4gray spriting, the whole thing usually in 8*8 tiles).

Hey, we're in the same boat!  :)  A short while back I was a hobbyist programmer for the 84+ using z80 Assembly.  Besides trying to write an OS kernel from scratch to replace TI-OS, I personally also made a few games using 8x8 tiled graphics, first in monochrome and eventually figured out how to use the sluggish refresh speed of the LCD driver to my advantage to display 3 level and 4 level greyscale (I even wrote a routine for 8 level at one point, but it was too hard to align with the refresh rate to eliminate flicker, and impossible to use in most CPU-heavy games.)  I found that most of what applied in such restricted pixeling, however, spoiled me for a while with less restricted pixel art.  For one, I had no knowledge of color theory, since I was usually working with at best 4 (greyscale) colors at a time.  And, I only knew how to create more of "symbolic" styled pixel art due to being used to such confined spaces.  I'll admit, it took a while to break out of that mode.  But I think I've at least gotten out of it by now :D

I think I can, as a result, give you good ideas how how to improve with "colored" pixel art.  for one, try to push yourself to keep making larger and larger sprites, using more and more colors (within reason of course -- for example, try to make a 64x64 fighting game sprite using 16 colors.)  While it's generally not a good idea to shove this at pixel art newcomers, I've found that showing it to newcomers who came form 84+ pixel art needed it; it shows some very basic techniques you'll want to know that you probably never learned before.  Derek Yu's tutorial is pretty short and only goes over the concepts very quickly, but other than that it's what I recommend reading for starters:  http://www.derekyu.com/?page_id=218

And, it also helps if you practice your traditional art abilities on the side.  I've found that once I practiced/improved with pencil art, my pixel art improved as well.

Anyways, sorry for being so offtopic :P  I might as well critique your latest character after making a wall of text not related to your actual sprites and tiles.  I agree that the dithering in the tree is way overused; also, the highlights are rather bright, I would tone them down in luminosity some, they're incredibly contrasted to the darker shades in the objects.  As for the walking sprite, it's rather hard and since it's "symbolic" it's harder to give tons of advice on it (there's only so much you can do in an 8x8 space), but I guess I'd advice for the top pixel of his "foot" or "leg" that comes forward during walking could be removed, and in the back leg I would urge you to play around with less pixels used.

Offline Siapran

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Re: A first try at colored pixel art

Reply #5 on: June 28, 2012, 01:38:16 pm
Well thanks for the advice :)
I already read that tutorial but t kinda lacks the variety of examples.
I also read Gas13's tutorial and some others I can't quite remember the names of.

And yeah glad to meet you Ashbad, it nice to know someone doing some calculator programming reads me.
Well actually I'm not a Ti programmer, I'm on the Casio calculators (slightly more powerful, and have a 128*64 display), but its really the same when we're looking at pixel art (although the TI community is larger than Casio's community, and even then it's kinda slowly dying :/ )
We're programming with my team a Super Smash Bros like game that will feature multiplayer LAN mode between several calculators. The engine is far from complete but we've tested it with two calculators plugged in each other and it works perfectly. I'll probably be posting the sprites of the game when they'll be complete.

I'm currently doing some personal study on drawing human anatomy so I can try doing some more interesting art for characters (because I REALLY suck at it :'( )

Also, I've noticed a weird singularity concerning the sky color I'm using.
I tested the same page with two different browsers: on chrome, it's lavender blue, and on Firefox, its a flashy purple.
It probably comes from the different ways the browsers decode the particular color, but the intended color I used is the one displayed with chrome (or chromium in my case)

Offline Needicla

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Re: A first try at colored pixel art

Reply #6 on: June 28, 2012, 11:43:58 pm
Thanks a lot for the advice, I'm currently working on making it better following your critique.  :)
I'm kinda surprised you find the 8*8 one better though, since it took so much less time to do than the 16*16 one 0_0

I had a go at making the character
I have no idea wether this is OK or not  :-\




you should work on the walking, compare it to your walking, when you walk you surely dont move one of your legs backward and the other forward at the same time, otherwise you will fall