AuthorTopic: Amateur incoming - A few sprites of mine  (Read 2275 times)

Offline Runefox

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Amateur incoming - A few sprites of mine

on: June 30, 2012, 04:55:27 am
Hey, been stalking around these forums for a few days now, and I feel like I've learned a lot just by looking at the critiques others have gotten. I've always only really dabbled in spriting, but it's been a longtime interest of mine.

Anyway, I'd like to expand that a bit and maybe get into it as a hobby (or more?), so I wonder what might be some areas I could improve on with what I've already got. So far all I've done have followed the same format; A rather large, adventure game- or non-FF jRPG-style sprite one might see in a 640x480 256 colour PC game or PS1/2 game. I didn't apply any particular palette limitations on them; though I did, in all but one case, attempt to keep the palette size to a minimum. The 100x100 canvas size was a direct result of wanting to use these as forum avatars. :P



(20 colours (incl. transparency), 11 frames) This one is the oldest (and only animated) sprite, dating back around 2002 or sooner. It used to look very different, but over the years I've tweaked it and added to the animation here and there. Originally, this was done on a 50x50 canvas, but that version has been lost to time. The tails, coat and pants really need an overhaul, as they haven't really changed since I first created this animation; The chest could also use less motion for simple breathing. I've already identified a few other places where I can make changes after looking around on the forums here a little and comparing notes:



And for fun, the original (embarrassingly) looked a lot like this:



Moving along down the line is something I drew up for a friend of mine in 2010:



(55 colours, heavy AA emphasis)

And something I did of another character of mine at the end of 2011:



(25 colours (same 100x100 canvas as the others - She's a runt))

So, aside from the fact that they all share the same format, any sages able to give me any advice on what I'm doing right, what I'm doing wrong, etc? It'd be greatly appreciated!

Offline Grimsane

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Re: Amateur incoming - A few sprites of mine

Reply #1 on: June 30, 2012, 05:22:51 am
furry fandom? heh anyway that's actually pretty darn good, the amount of dynamics employed on the fluttering and windswept hair is pretty smooth, use any reference on that? or just really familiar with animation techniques? and you could probably work more of a breathing motion in and it could be pushed slightly back toward your other attempt but at a fraction of the strength using sub pixel, at the moment only her breast moves to any real noticeable degree, maybe just a subtle sway in the arm or just the shoulder itself, got some decent sub-p going on anyway

one crit is I don't think that dark tone works, not enough contrast, something like this


overall it's pretty good for someone claiming how amateur they are  :y:

Offline Tourist

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Re: Amateur incoming - A few sprites of mine

Reply #2 on: June 30, 2012, 07:22:58 pm
Here's what I see:

The animation is nice, and your choice of colors is good.  But ....

1) The face is in perfect profile, but the ears are not.  If the head were turned to match the ears, we would see more of the front of the snout.

2) The neck is too long.  This is hidden by the collar, erase the collar and it looks like a giraffe.

3) The head isn't positioned well on the neck.  Move the whole thing forward a few pixels. 

4) The legs are a bit too short, arms are a bit too short, but that's mostly problems with the neck and shoulder.

5) The lighting is inconsistent.  The hair and coat are lit from the left, but there are no shadows on the front of the face or ears.  The shirt is lit from above.  The lighting on the trousers imply this character has no hips or pelvis.  One shoe is lit from the left, the other from the top.

6) The tail doesn't read very well.  Multiple tails?  It is unclear.

7) The shoulder looks a bit out of socket too, but this may be due to the pure vertical line of the coat.  The clothing should depend on the anatomy that lies underneath, and not just cover up a space on the canvas.

Honestly, it looks like you started from the top, worked your way down, and kind of gave up about when you hit the belt.  I recommend working on a couple of simplified stick figures until you are happy with the pose and proportions, then modifying this figure to match.  Practice the anatomy of the human portions a bit before putting clothes over the shapes.  This could turn out quite nice with a bit more work.

Hope this helps,
Tourist

Offline Runefox

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Re: Amateur incoming - A few sprites of mine

Reply #3 on: July 01, 2012, 02:07:13 am
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furry fandom?
Yeeeeeaaaaah, but not super hardcore or anything. Won't make any excuses about it though.

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the amount of dynamics employed on the fluttering and windswept hair is pretty smooth, use any reference on that? or just really familiar with animation techniques?
Neither, actually. :P I just kind of taught myself one day. Maybe subconsciously by observing, but I generally went at it until it looked right.

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and you could probably work more of a breathing motion in and it could be pushed slightly back toward your other attempt but at a fraction of the strength using sub pixel, at the moment only her breast moves to any real noticeable degree, maybe just a subtle sway in the arm or just the shoulder itself, got some decent sub-p going on anyway
Yeah, my thoughts on it at the time were that the chest would be all that moves, but I know that's not accurate. The shoulders should be moving slightly, and it wouldn't hurt to have the arms themselves move a little.

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one crit is I don't think that dark tone works, not enough contrast, something like this
I'm not sure what you mean by that; The dark tone where? I compared the edit you made, and discovered the hair seemed a different shade, but not by too much; The saturation seemed lower. Is that what you meant?

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overall it's pretty good for someone claiming how amateur they are
Thanks! I actually am, though. These are literally the only character sprites I've finished to date, and I don't do it often. The animation is basically the result of me learning bits and pieces over the years and slapping it all together bit by bit. It's why the upper body looks so much more sophisticated than the lower - I've most recently redone that.

@tourist:

Yeah, like I said, I started this back in 2002 or earlier, and the belt down hasn't really changed very much since then; Same with the coat. I wasn't quite as good with anatomy as I am now, but I haven't yet gotten to overhauling much more than the face/hair. Back in 2010, I did an experimental revamp that more or less followed the same kind of overall shape, but incorporated a lot of the changes you're talking about here:



I eventually decided that instead of completely redrawing it, however, that it would be best to work with what I already have. Anyway, what I take away from your suggestions are:

  • Reduce neck size - Reduce hilariously large collar's height to compensate.
  • Use space gained on canvas to increase length of legs
  • Change perspective on the face so that it isn't 100% in profile. (this is already partially done, as noted by the ears, but the way the face looks, it's skewed)
  • Increase length of arms
  • Move shoulders forward
  • Finally redraw those stupid tails (yeah, there are four of them)
  • Make the pants and shoes not-suck
I've just quickly done up a new version (static; I'm going to have to change a lot of the animation) incorporating a most of those changes:



(I stupidly saved over the altered file I linked to up top, so a force refresh might be necessary)

Redrawing (and animating!) those tails is going to be a bit of a project. I'm a little conflicted as to the changes I made; Something looks off about it, almost like it's off-balance.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2012, 02:19:25 am by Runefox »

Offline Grimsane

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Re: Amateur incoming - A few sprites of mine

Reply #4 on: July 01, 2012, 03:35:33 am
haha I won't hold it against you don't worry, and the darkest tone, mainly the grey between the legs on yours, are close to black on the edit which happened to be used on the eyebrows and eyelashes too ::)

and Tourist raised some good points, I only spoke in regard to the animation on it's own really, and avoided critiquing the anatomy, colour choice and style I will however add to his crits by stating some of them are very much dependant on what you want to achieve with the style and proportions. Saying the limbs are too short is quite vague, if it were say chibi style then maybe they are the correct length and the torso is too tall and so on but I will say you need to balance the proportions because unless they harmonize to some degree within certain ratios it will look quite wrong, or more accurately just unappealing. and also balance in the truer sense in the pose is also important keeping in mind trying your best to distribute the weight either side of the centre of gravity.

also at glance the face isn't in perfect profile just the nose is a bit more profile than the rest of the face, and yeah the legs are the weakest point they have an awkward angle and size ratio to the rest of the character (but the pant animation itself is quite effective)

the bad thing is if you want to make it more appealing you will need to adjust or redraw quite a few areas over every frame, but the good thing is that you have reinforced and learnt some animation principles and effective methods of conveying what you intended so it should be easier to reproduce, arguably I think it will be easier to redraw and reanimate the troubled regions because you may cause or exacerbate any inconsistencies frame to frame if you adjust each region over all 11 frames

also if you wanted to improve or further perfect the piece (or even keep this in mind when and if you start another piece) that it's advisable to first decide what proportions you want to achieve and following Tourist's suggestion of blocking it out as a stick figure, is a good approach, then mass in the volumes, and not polishing or pushing any animation until you are satisfied with what you have proportion and pose wise