AuthorTopic: Smileys WIP  (Read 2994 times)

Offline Friend

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Smileys WIP

on: July 07, 2012, 09:19:59 pm


This smiley set is a bit of an experiment with colors and AA.  It's the first time I'm pixeling something with colors instead of greys first.  I really struggle with colors.  It's not really readable at 1x, but I think at 2x is the best size anyway, since it shows off the experimental AA/outlining at this size, so I like it.  All C+C is much appreciated.  I think what I most want to learn from this topic is better color usage, unless bigger flaws exist that I am not even aware of.

Offline Bissle

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Re: Smileys WIP

Reply #1 on: July 11, 2012, 12:05:18 pm
I can't say I don't dig the weird look.  :y:  For some reason it makes me think of something I would see in one of the Mother games.

Good effort. I shrank them to normal resolution, copied the ones you finished into individual files, and tested them out.

The outline on this one doesn't really work, even when I used a black background.

It's hard to tell what's going on at all with this one. The colors are too murky and it's hard to read the expression.

The crying one is very hard to read and could use more contrasting colors.

This one isn't bad, but the shading on the mouth was kind of random; I edited it slightly.

While I love the expression, I can't tell if it's supposed to angry or confused. Also, the outline doesn't translate very well on brighter color schemes.

I think these two are the best overall, but I'm not sure what the expression is for the green guy. Yellow smiley guy could use some more polish.


Overall, the biggest problem is the outline--due to the AA, it's going to be hard to find a color scheme that looks good with all of them. You could minimize the problem by outling them like the green guy--its outline works with most colors I tried out.

I'd do a real edit, but pressed for time at the moment. This is good practice though. I hope you keep working on them. Maybe try more standard smilies, too?

Offline Grimsane

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Re: Smileys WIP

Reply #2 on: July 14, 2012, 06:02:48 pm
I don't think the colours work, some of the expressions are interesting and yeah at 2x/4x they read a bit, but the colours and therefore aa clash quite alot.

I'm not really the authority on emoticons, I've rarely attempted them, but here's a quick attempt

(turned out to be Chihuahua-motes) to show you what you should probably try going for, the top row read best at 2x, and therefore wouldn't be entirely ideal for forum smileys etc (like yours), but if you increase it a bit,  28x28 in this case which is probably a bit too high,(but just for the sake of illustration and easiness in this case) increasing their size makes it easier to render something more readable at 1x

I think you should study the forum emotes, they are fantastically pixel'd and an ideal example of what range of expressions can be made readable at low resolution, and a good reference for effective AA too,

also I know you are trying to experiment, but I think you should think more about and plan the colours, think about how much they contrast and consider how the colours harmonize with each other, but by all means do keep experimenting, it's one of the major acts and approaches that allows you to evolve your approach and discover effective ways of conveying what you want :)
« Last Edit: July 14, 2012, 06:05:35 pm by Grimsane »

Offline Friend

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Re: Smileys WIP

Reply #3 on: July 14, 2012, 06:19:32 pm
@ Grimsane + Bissle

Part of the experimentation was just to have the smileys ONLY work at that background as sort of a "smileys wall poster", and to only use 8 random colors and trying to force them to work while trying new ways to round and outline the circles just to that grey background with the colors I had.  I really should've included that information in my initial post, but I wasn't thinking.  I'll keep going the direction I'm in to finish the experiment, while simultaneously taking tangents on the WIP utilizing the criticism you two supplied.  Will update eventually.  Sorry...
« Last Edit: July 14, 2012, 06:25:09 pm by Friend »

Offline Grimsane

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Re: Smileys WIP

Reply #4 on: July 14, 2012, 06:42:12 pm
even so, even utilizing the random colours you have, you could use them more effectively in relation to each other, some of the combinations are interesting to some degree, but I feel you could push the same palette into something much more readable, either way, good luck with your experiments, hope when all is said and done you had fun doing them

Offline Friend

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Re: Smileys WIP

Reply #5 on: July 15, 2012, 09:51:54 pm
Thinking on the criticism from you two, this is the new direction.  Please tell me what you think about it.  I've mixed pixel sizes, having the smileys at a 2x2 pixel size, and then below each smiley is a 1x1 pixel box that shows the standard form of each smiley.  I know generally one should avoid mixing pixel sizes, but I feel pretty "what the hay" about it, and I like it at the moment.  Also, I tried my best to tweak the colors.  I realized I was going for an inclusive look that had colors that were pretty balanced around the color wheel, but that my colors were a bit out of that balance before.  I think blues and greens dominated a bit, so I made a blue warmer, made the yellow warmer, made the green greener, the orange redder, and a few tiny tweaks.  I want to get in the right direction before I work more on making the smileys.




Oh, and thanks again guys  :-[ And Grimsane, your new Hendrix avatar....   ^-^  Did you pixel that????  
« Last Edit: July 18, 2012, 12:27:51 am by Friend »

Offline Grimsane

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Re: Smileys WIP

Reply #6 on: July 16, 2012, 07:51:40 pm


that one reads more toward that to me

and yep I certainly did started at 11pm a few days ago, and by the time I took time to look away from what I was doing it was 7am, so it's the product of 8 hours of non stop pixelling,
 here is the entire piece:


I'll update my pixel doodle thread or post it to my PJ gallery or something eventually, sorry for the slight hijack  :-X but you asked  :lol:

Offline Friend

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Re: Smileys WIP

Reply #7 on: July 16, 2012, 09:18:59 pm
I assume that means it's ok to mix pixel sizes and the colors are better?  :crazy: Sorry if I've come across as a bit mental lately, but I've been a bit mental lately...

That olive green smiley is supposed to be a decrepit old man.  

That Jimi hendrix piece is incredible, Grimsane!  And having it in my thread makes my thread 10000 better xD.

Will finish the other smileys now  :-*
« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 09:21:40 pm by Friend »