AuthorTopic: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly  (Read 15710 times)

Offline Ashbad

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 226
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • I am governor Jerry Brown
    • View Profile
    • SoundCloud

[WIP] Twily and the Firefly

on: July 01, 2012, 03:22:20 pm
Well, I've been playing around in Grafx2 for many hours now, and I'm already moving faster than with MSP, especially because of the super simple keystrokes (using 'u' for undo and 'shift-u' for redo are a *lot* easier to use than C-z and C-y) and the awesome palette menu.  Even the spline tools are a lot more precise and easy to use than the ones in MSPaint.  Kind of unrelated, but I spent the past hour/two playing around with it and came out with this:



Might be something I want to continue working on -- I'd really appreciate no critique on it yet, as I have a lot more I want to do with it, I'm just posting it more as a testament of how fast I was able to get something drafted in Grafx2 compared to MSPaint.  Once it gets to a point where I feel I've done everything in my ability to make it look polished (which will require at least 6-7 more hours of work with what my idea is) I'll open it up to suggestions and make a thread about it. 

Still on the trackpad, but hoping to get that tablet really soon.

As for the Scootaloo pixel, I'm not willing to post it quite yet, as it's kind of in limbo with the edits I'm making on it.  The AA is mostly fixed now, and the colors are way off since I'm playing with more of a pink sky/clouds and a brighter ocean glare.  The only access to internet I have this weekend is at starbucks due to power lines and verizon's phone/internet lines down where I live, so I won't be able to post the edited version until tomorrow.

Offline Ai

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1057
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • finti
    • http://pixeljoint.com/pixels/profile.asp?id=1996
    • finticemo
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #1 on: July 02, 2012, 02:08:13 pm
Well, I've been playing around in Grafx2 for many hours now, and I'm already moving faster than with MSP, especially because of the super simple keystrokes (using 'u' for undo and 'shift-u' for redo are a *lot* easier to use than C-z and C-y) and the awesome palette menu.
Oh, did you find the '[' and ']' keys to move through the palette yet? I use the heck out of that.. (it came to mind cause it's really handy when doing AAing like on the eyes in your pic below.. along with 'QShade'.)

Quote

Looks pretty neat and thematic.. not everything has to be super polished.. something like this, with a little more polish, could be quite effective (and makes it easier to hold onto the original spirit that inspired you). Amounts of clean retro[1] pony are also good.... maybe it's just how tired I am, but I can't read the preceding sentence in a non-dirty way, ironically because of the presence of 'clean'.
 

[1] in particular your palette choices remind me of the Amstrad CPC master palette, which I find delicious.

Quote
Might be something I want to continue working on -- I'd really appreciate no critique on it yet, as I have a lot more I want to do with it, I'm just posting it more as a testament of how fast I was able to get something drafted in Grafx2 compared to MSPaint.  Once it gets to a point where I feel I've done everything in my ability to make it look polished (which will require at least 6-7 more hours of work with what my idea is) I'll open it up to suggestions and make a thread about it. 

Still on the trackpad, but hoping to get that tablet really soon.

As for the Scootaloo pixel, I'm not willing to post it quite yet, as it's kind of in limbo with the edits I'm making on it.  The AA is mostly fixed now, and the colors are way off since I'm playing with more of a pink sky/clouds and a brighter ocean glare.  The only access to internet I have this weekend is at starbucks due to power lines and verizon's phone/internet lines down where I live, so I won't be able to post the edited version until tomorrow.
Looking forward to seeing it :)
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline Ashbad

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 226
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • I am governor Jerry Brown
    • View Profile
    • SoundCloud

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #2 on: July 02, 2012, 02:33:26 pm
Yep, [ and ] are wonderful key bindings :) I've also been going at least 3x faster with pixeling with using other key bindings like `, del, d, f, u/S-u, etc.  The only qualm is that the 'Save' shortcut is set to S-F2, which is a bit awkward compared to C-s in MSPaint.  Also, some palette features like "Merge" and "Spread" are pretty useful at times.

As for where I'm taking that little sketch:



This is definitely not what I have right now, but it's the latest version I have hosted online.  I've gone *much* further since then, but I'm at work and since both the pixel is on my laptop, and I cannot connect my laptop to the base's wifi, this is the most I can post for now.  Since then I've improved dithering a lot, worked on shading more, and added a little firefly.  Also as you might notice in some places (like the AA ramp below her jaw and merging into her neck) that I've been playing with trying a stylistic little dithered AA, which seems like it's add a nice little effect on long AA ramps (doesn't work on short ones, in fact ruins AA altogether on them)

As for the palette, I played around for a while to get really interesting colors that contrast well, but not too well.  A main thing you might notice is that they all can use each other for AA ramps (except for the pink), which I made sure of so I could keep the color count really low (that version has 9 colors, it's increased to 12 now, but only because the firefly uses colors with green hues and I current have nothing even close in the palette.  However, Twily herself should remain static at 8 shades, and I can use her darker colors for a distant background with trees, stars, and possibly the moon covered by clouds.  Just my idea of what I'm going to do with it though)


Well, perhaps I should just start the thread for this new one tonight (once I can post the coolest newest version), so I don't derail my own topic, which I historically have tendancies to do :P
« Last Edit: July 02, 2012, 02:37:57 pm by Ashbad »

Offline Ai

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1057
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • finti
    • http://pixeljoint.com/pixels/profile.asp?id=1996
    • finticemo
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #3 on: July 03, 2012, 06:52:08 am
Looking forward to it. If you chose the green I think you did, you'll have a really solid palette here :)

In the overall help ('?' button, IIRC), you can access a list of all the keyboard bindings, so if you want to check if ctrl+s is already used, or rebind whatever's currently using it so that it can be used for Save, it's pretty easy :)
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline Grimsane

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 423
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #4 on: July 03, 2012, 07:25:58 am
you really are quite into all this brony stuff huh :blind:  :lol:



the horn is completely illogically placed in my opinion it is counter to the forms you establish with your hair and your profile view, and it doesn't seem it'd attach in the center of the unicorn pony thingy's cranium

rough suggestion, which looks off too but hopefully pushes my point and shows you a possible solution, application of pixel principles and curves are pretty decent, experimenting with dither is all well and good not entirely sure it'll work well here considering the subject matter is meant to be soft and smooth but if you are limiting your palette that much it's not a bad dither approach especially on the eye, but it's probably best viewed at 1x and you make that difficult  :mean:



Offline blumunkee

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 325
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #5 on: July 03, 2012, 07:48:54 am
See, what did I tell you. :P

Looks like you need another shade to buffer between the pink flesh and the purple shadow.

Also, posting pixel art and asking for no critique rarely works in the Pixel Art section. There's a Random Pixel Art Encounters thread for just dumping stuff. ;)
« Last Edit: July 03, 2012, 07:51:01 am by blumunkee »

Offline yrizoud

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 330
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #6 on: July 03, 2012, 10:22:44 am
Quote
the 'Save' shortcut is set to S-F2, which is a bit awkward compared to C-s in MSPaint
Don't hesitate to replace it then : Place the the mouse over the Save button, press F1, click the shortcut.
For a while I wanted the program to warn the user of shortcuts that are used, but after all, if you want Control-S to save, it means the key wasn't doing anything useful or intuitive for you.

Offline Ai

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1057
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • finti
    • http://pixeljoint.com/pixels/profile.asp?id=1996
    • finticemo
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #7 on: July 03, 2012, 12:11:52 pm
per http://code.google.com/p/grafx2/wiki/KeyboardShortcuts , Ctrl+S isn't bound to anything by default anyway.. I thought it could be 'spline mode cycle', but no .. 'i' and 'shift+i' for spline and spline-mode-cycle, 's' and 'shift+s' for stretching and distorting the brush. I've learnt something useful today  ;D

Grimsane: You will do well to keep in mind .. "there is no such thing as too much pony" ;) :lol:
(second largest fandom ever, BTW... losing out only to Star Trek. Also quickest growing ever. Brony World Domination GO!  :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:  :hehe: )
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline Ashbad

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 226
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • I am governor Jerry Brown
    • View Profile
    • SoundCloud

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #8 on: July 03, 2012, 12:40:47 pm
Grimsane: Decent insight; normally in the show the horn comes out right from under Twilight's Highlights (yay a rhyme), but since this is more realistic than in the show with it's cartoony oversights I think you're absolutely right.  I think perhaps I'd fix the horn to come out of the hair a bit lower, between where I had it and you had it, and it'd probably look a lot better than how I have it now :)  

Blumukee: Fair enough, those mockups should've gone in the "doodles" thread then ;) I'm still hesitant to give this its own thread, so I'll post the next "idea" or two for the direction of this here, and then once I finish polishing Twily's face and then actually start pushing with the hair, I'll start a thread for more C+C and then ask for ideas for a background.  Hopefully I'll start that thread tonighy (though, I guess I said those exact words *yesterday*... so we'll see) As for the buffer, I decided to instead just "widen" the dither buffer and give it multiple patterns instead of just 50/50, so that it's a lot smoother looking (at least to me)

per http://code.google.com/p/grafx2/wiki/KeyboardShortcuts , Ctrl+S isn't bound to anything by default anyway.. I thought it could be 'spline mode cycle', but no .. 'i' and 'shift+i' for spline and spline-mode-cycle, 's' and 'shift+s' for stretching and distorting the brush. I've learnt something useful today  ;D

Sounds like I should go bind it right away, then :D

Quote
Grimsane: You will do well to keep in mind .. "there is no such thing as too much pony" ;) :lol:
(second largest fandom ever, BTW... losing out only to Star Trek. Also quickest growing ever. Brony World Domination GO!  :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:  :hehe: )

But you still have yet to do some pony pixels :(  As for you "cannot have too much pony", by extension you cannot have too much Twilight Sparkle.


Oh, and finally, somewhat of a lastest update.  Sorry for the zoom, again.  Another hardware/software tech forums I frequent keep egging me to scale things 2x when I post it for them, and for some reason I keep on posting my pixels there before here still, even though their suggestions are pretty crap (or, they just say, "yay ponies", "ew ponies", or "wow that looks like it's made of pixels")  I'm on a device now where I have no way of scaling it down... so I'll have to post it 2x :( (don't hit me) I *can* make the promise however that I'll only post 1x scale after this one, since I'm lately realizing (yeah, silly me, I should've realized this immediately, I know) I should bring everything here for starters since you guys give amazing tips... and the tech site doesn't.  This isn't quite where I'm at right now, but it's what I had as of last night:



I've changed the green colors since then (to be a bit more saturated and therefore look like a glowing light source more), and the purple+blue dither has been removed again (the area in the outer layer of the pupil; dithering it was ugly I realize now and both made the eye look flat and messy no matter the magnification.)  In addition, I've improved some of the dithering pattern since then, and started using the purple highlight color as the "darkest" shadow shade in some areas that still need some depth and detail (like the area between her ear and the lighter shades in the face, which is pretty much just a single, boring color right now.  And, of course, still need to fix the horn.  Based on the C+C I get today I'll update this tonight with what I have now (sorry again I can't upload/show it) and start a thread for it.

EDIT: I just realized that this step of the edit made it more detailed and "polished", but I guess also takes away that "clean" feel Ai mentioned.  I'll admit I may have gone a little overboard with some of the dithering... but what do you think of the direction I'm going with this, style-wise?  I already know that "dither it more!" is not going to be a suggestion, but I'm wondering if you think I should go more with the super-clean version I had before, the one in the middle with a slight dither, or the one I have latest (with a little bit of dither taken away here or there)?

EDIT2: I noticed that most of the crappy dithering that's making this look like I went overboard is actually in the eye,sso I'm considering reverting to the old one again and just adding a lsight bi tmore dither as opposed to what I have now.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2012, 01:39:03 pm by Ashbad »

Offline Ai

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1057
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • finti
    • http://pixeljoint.com/pixels/profile.asp?id=1996
    • finticemo
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #9 on: July 03, 2012, 02:02:01 pm
Blumukee: Fair enough, those mockups should've gone in the "doodles" thread then ;) I'm still hesitant to give this its own thread, so I'll post the next "idea" or two for the direction of this here, and then once I finish polishing Twily's face and then actually start pushing with the hair, I'll start a thread for more C+C and then ask for ideas for a background.  Hopefully I'll start that thread tonighy (though, I guess I said those exact words *yesterday*... so we'll see) As for the buffer, I decided to instead just "widen" the dither buffer and give it multiple patterns instead of just 50/50, so that it's a lot smoother looking (at least to me)

per http://code.google.com/p/grafx2/wiki/KeyboardShortcuts , Ctrl+S isn't bound to anything by default anyway.. I thought it could be 'spline mode cycle', but no .. 'i' and 'shift+i' for spline and spline-mode-cycle, 's' and 'shift+s' for stretching and distorting the brush. I've learnt something useful today  ;D

Sounds like I should go bind it right away, then :D

Quote
Grimsane: You will do well to keep in mind .. "there is no such thing as too much pony" ;) :lol:
(second largest fandom ever, BTW... losing out only to Star Trek. Also quickest growing ever. Brony World Domination GO!  :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:  :hehe: )

But you still have yet to do some pony pixels :(
True dat. Once I'm back to settled status rather than 'computer usually inaccessible, moving stuff at every available opportunity', I'll do some Pinkie stuff that I've been planning
Quote


I've changed the green colors since then (to be a bit more saturated and therefore look like a glowing light source more), and the purple+blue dither has been removed again (the area in the outer layer of the pupil; dithering it was ugly I realize now and both made the eye look flat and messy no matter the magnification.)  In addition, I've improved some of the dithering pattern since then, and started using the purple highlight color as the "darkest" shadow shade in some areas that still need some depth and detail (like the area between her ear and the lighter shades in the face, which is pretty much just a single, boring color right now.  And, of course, still need to fix the horn.  Based on the C+C I get today I'll update this tonight with what I have now (sorry again I can't upload/show it) and start a thread for it.
Okay, you want crits now?

The ditherAA generally works.

OTOH the firefly is the dither monster from hell ;) You want a glowy effect, right? One of the most important issues found there is, given three shades ABC (ascending in brightness), you sometimes place A and C pixels adjacent to each other (I count 4 noticable instances). This creates contrast, which visually suggests an edge.

BTW I like the sparkly effect created on the outer edge of the firefly halo.As you step through the layers, the shapes are like 'sparkly,sparkly,sun-ish, sun'. Intentional? Maybe the sun parts could have a more coherent shape? Implied shaping generally looks very pleasing IME.

What about a reflection of the firefly in Twilight's eye? doing a vague reflection would make an excuse to augment the AA for that area with more shades (I'm guessing that your updated colors might still work in that role)


Also some nitpick: bad cluster (purple L) towards the middle-upper-right of the mid blue band. This is immediately adjacent to a 3-pixel diagonal run of mid blue, which stands out vs the rest of that band cause of the aforementioned creation of contrast. You could modify, possibly stretch, the dither pattern there to avoid this.
Towards the bottom left of the eye, rough AA. If you mean to increase focus there, it's correct. Otherwise I suggest more mid-blue pixels as this should improve the conformance to a flowing pattern of AA. Edit forthcoming after I reboot and access GIMP.
Finally, rotated T cluster near bottom-right of same band.

EDIT: Killing the dithering also works. While I personally value the cleanness, that's merely my preference. More objectively, I do feel the eye is overdithered.. You can do 'cleaner' stuff while still dithering.. look at 'Friend' 's work (that's his username here and.. on PJ? A bit of his game work can be found here, IIRC, and looking up 'orchard-lafayette' should find the actual games (w/ screenshots).. he uses strictly three dither patterns only: 25%, 50%, 75%. These are the ones you can implement with a 2x2 pattern, which is suitable for low res. High res pics can make use of more levels effectively (4x4 matrix, so 15 levels of dither); IMO this pic only needs 2x2-based dither anyway. hope that helps :)

Flowing AA writeup/diagram also forthcoming, after a while longer/normal computer access. Short version: try to have all the 'layers' (overall shapes created by shades) flow alongside each other smoothly like a wood engraving.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2012, 02:21:50 pm by Ai »
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline Ashbad

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 226
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • I am governor Jerry Brown
    • View Profile
    • SoundCloud

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #10 on: July 03, 2012, 02:20:16 pm
Firefly: Awesome tips; I had noticed something was causing what you had mentioned with edges, but I wasn't quite sure.  I'll be sure to eliminate that contrast :) As for the sparkliness, very intentional, I played around with it for a while until I thought I'd hit the mark.  And for the reflection, that's a superb idea!  I'll definitely play around with that idea later today, and hopefully the greens I have now will work to make that happen so I don't need too many (if any) new shades.  (on a side note, the phrase "dither monster from hell" made me laugh harder than I should've; I'm considering making that the unofficial title of the piece :P)

As for the more technical nitpicks, I'll hold onto those for later when I can look at them in detail and make the adjustments.  And of course thanks in advanced for the graphical nitpicks :)

Considering the fact you haven't shown distress that I'm using so much dithering, should I take it that I'm going in the right direction in terms of dither? :)

Offline Ai

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1057
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • finti
    • http://pixeljoint.com/pixels/profile.asp?id=1996
    • finticemo
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #11 on: July 03, 2012, 02:47:46 pm
Firefly: Awesome tips; I had noticed something was causing what you had mentioned with edges, but I wasn't quite sure.  I'll be sure to eliminate that contrast :) As for the sparkliness, very intentional, I played around with it for a while until I thought I'd hit the mark.  And for the reflection, that's a superb idea!  I'll definitely play around with that idea later today, and hopefully the greens I have now will work to make that happen so I don't need too many (if any) new shades.  (on a side note, the phrase "dither monster from hell" made me laugh harder than I should've; I'm considering making that the unofficial title of the piece :P)

As for the more technical nitpicks, I'll hold onto those for later when I can look at them in detail and make the adjustments.  And of course thanks in advanced for the graphical nitpicks :)

Considering the fact you haven't shown distress that I'm using so much dithering, should I take it that I'm going in the right direction in terms of dither? :)

Well, I'm far from all knowing ;) If something doesn't scream 'wrong' to me, it seems okay to me to explore that direction. The dithering is a style choice, one that you are carrying off fairly well. Actually, I just realized the most prominent area of dithering is wrong shape-wise, and that's what most struck me as 'off'. See, you shaded that surface like it was convex, but it's actually a concave surface under a convex one, so complicated happened ;) hard to explain w/o an edit.. you have the lighting hitting the surface (which is transparent, so only a sheen) and the light bouncing off underneath.. surfaces at different angles.

EDIT: Not quite up to the standard of previous edits. pixeling with a touchpad is insanity inducing... Anyhow this is my suggestion for that band of eyeris, some of the overly-contrasting firefly bits, and the eye edge AA, which turned out harder than I thought. Personally I'd opt to modify the shape slightly so it AAs better.. that's definitely a style choice though.

On the subject of larger dither patterns.. one reason I can see in this pic to avoid them is that they create bogus edges at this resolution / display size. particularly when you look at  whole or partial diamond-formation that's bigger than
Code: [Select]
#@#
@@@
#@#
It shows up as a discrete shape. I guess what I mean is that the scale of dither patterns that work -- if you are going with traditional pattern dither -- is strongly dependent on the display scale of the object being rendered. Sky gradient, on a pic of this scale? 4x4 patterns will probably be effective.  Smaller, more tightly shaped gradient? 2x2.
An example of where 4x4 is appropriately used is Przystan by Lazur

Also on the subject of dithering, have you intentionally mixed the alignments of the dithering patterns? IMO this gives Twilight a little stubble ;) when you look at the  darkest shade on her jaw. I am a fan of the directional crosshatching look you have going on there... it doesn't require a switch of alignment to achieve it though IME.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2012, 02:25:44 am by Ai »
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline Ashbad

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 226
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • I am governor Jerry Brown
    • View Profile
    • SoundCloud

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #12 on: July 08, 2012, 03:45:33 pm
Well, lately depression has been keeping me too unmotivated to do anything artistic, but here's what I pushed myself to do:



Thanks a ton for the dithering C+C tips, you were right: 2x2 patterns are a *lot* cleaner on this.  Still has a long way to go... I generally know what I want to do with this, so I'll play around with it during the duration of the next week.

On a side note, taking some time away from pixels in general (well, at least spending less time purely on pixel art) and trying to improve my drawing skills.  I'm thinking of putting apart 2 hours a day for sketching stuff around the house, human figures, ponies, architecture, nature, etc. for the foreseeable future.  One thing I struggle with the most when making pixel art is the actual making of the first sketch/lineart.  After that it's not so bad, but that stage takes the longest by far -- sometimes 1 hour for a 2"x2" sketch of a pony that still isn't terribly great.  I know it'll take a while, but 2 hours a day, err'day, for the next year should yield some nice results I'm hoping.

Offline Seiseki

  • 0011
  • **
  • Posts: 915
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Starmancer
    • OminuxGames
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/35207.htm
    • StarmancerGame
    • View Profile
    • Starmancer Patreon

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #13 on: July 08, 2012, 07:11:07 pm
Sorry, just gotta comment on this..
How is shift - U more comfortable than ctrl - z?  :-\
Ctrl and z keys are pretty much next to each other, while Shift and U are miles apart..

(awesome work on your latest, horn needs some work though, like light bouncing off it, and the shape which should be more trapezoid.)

Offline Ashbad

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 226
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • I am governor Jerry Brown
    • View Profile
    • SoundCloud

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #14 on: July 08, 2012, 07:29:38 pm
Sorry, just gotta comment on this..
How is shift - U more comfortable than ctrl - z?  :-\
Ctrl and z keys are pretty much next to each other, while Shift and U are miles apart..

(awesome work on your latest, horn needs some work though, like light bouncing off it, and the shape which should be more trapezoid.)


Yeah, I still need to actually touch the horn and hair.  Right now I haven't even pushed the pixel there -- they're still in first-rough-draft form :P

As for S-u being better than C-z, it's not the distance that's the factor, it's more the fact that I can scroll back/forth through edits slightly easier because to undo, I press u, to redo I just put my pinkie on Shift first before tapping.  Whereas with C-z and C-y I have to keep on moving my fingers between Y and Z while holding down Ctrl.  And, slightly unrelated, but distance in keystrokes is never an issue for me, I have me some piano hands that can spread across 11 white keys flawlessly :3 as for how this translates to keyboard distance, on a normal-sized QWERTY keyboard I can easily make the stretch between the `/~ key and Enter all the way on the right, no sweat.  Too bad this advantage doesn't help with pixeling in any form at all :P

Edit: oh, and before Ai catches it (which I'm sure he will), I accidentally nuked some of the AA in her chin in that updated picture, not sure how it happened.  Looks like something I've got to return to harmony again ;) in addition, besides not touching the hair or horn, I haven't gouged the ears or area near there yet -- in case your wondering why it's so awfully plain.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2012, 10:25:50 pm by Ashbad »

Offline Ai

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1057
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • finti
    • http://pixeljoint.com/pixels/profile.asp?id=1996
    • finticemo
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #15 on: July 09, 2012, 02:36:06 am
1x1 pixels and smooth dithering, yay!

If you've only felt depressed for a short while, don't worry about it too much (and, there's no need to let it get in the way of doing stuff. As long as you're not brooding about something, it's important to keep going on your projects regardless of any disturbing feelings, and as you make yourself do things, your feelings will abate.)
</soapbox>

.. I really have no crits to make here. When you get to it, the ear and horn definitely need some light, the rest can probably get away with just a bit. It could be good to leave a few areas flat, this can give an impression of the vague 'looks about the same brightness, but there's too little light to see' visual flattening that can occur in low light.

On the subject of undo, I personally bind undo to /(keypad) and redo to \, whenever possible.
Accessible, easy to remember, and logical, IMO.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2012, 02:38:26 am by Ai »
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline Seiseki

  • 0011
  • **
  • Posts: 915
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Starmancer
    • OminuxGames
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/35207.htm
    • StarmancerGame
    • View Profile
    • Starmancer Patreon

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #16 on: July 10, 2012, 12:47:12 am
oh, I actually thought it was shift + U to undo :D

I always keep the mouse/wacom pen in one hand and my left hand on the keyboard, so I prefer my binds being in the keyboards left corner :P
« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 12:48:51 am by Seiseki »

Offline Ashbad

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 226
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • I am governor Jerry Brown
    • View Profile
    • SoundCloud

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #17 on: July 12, 2012, 01:59:27 am
Split off of the "Scootaloo and Cloudy Scene" topic, since it's its own pixel and unrelated to the other one, and the other topic I'd like to keep on track for revisions of other said pixel.

Anyways, update since last post in other thread; not huge, but it's something.  Tried some quick shading of the horn and the ear area, added the darker purple shade already used in her eye and as a frequent AA ramp shade to add definition to the area between the ear and muzzle, changed the cilors slightly (mostly in the firefly to make a better "glowing" effect, which I think I accomplished), and most of all, fixed the anatomy of her face (made it thinner, it's more correct looking that way and also because smaller proportions here give a better "cute" effect it seems)



Still need to shade her hair, and of course make a snazzy background, so I reckon I've still got a ways to go on this before it's done-quality.

Like always, I'd appreciate every last scrap of C+C you'd be (generously) willing to offer. :)

Edit:

While the shading of the ear is still slightly off in my opinion (I think I need to clean up the dithering job here and there for the most part), the horn is bothering me; I'm trying to make her have "rings" in her horn, and they're looking kind of messy.  I don't want to ditch the idea, but so far it's not working out.  Without any rings the horn just looks really plain.  Should I keep playing around with this, or do you guys feel that the rings will end up retracting from the quality of the rest of the piece?
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 02:02:41 am by Ashbad »

Offline Ai

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1057
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • finti
    • http://pixeljoint.com/pixels/profile.asp?id=1996
    • finticemo
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #18 on: July 12, 2012, 05:54:42 am
* much better glow effect :)
* IMO you need to get rid of the dithering on the horn until you've got some satisfactory cel-shading going.
   This intersects with:
* Not everything needs to be dithered. It's directly analogous to airbrushing, so it tends to make the area blurrier, thus less readily .. readable. Leaving some areas undithered will draw attention to those areas; you can influence the viewer this way. Fool's application of this principle is excellent, for example this image. "Airbrushing" before you have decided what the key lines are, tends to lead to vague, poorly defined rendering.
* Her ear.. the top left edge has thicker shadowing than makes sense to me. At the top it's all right, but IMO it needs to taper as you travel down towards the 'corner' in correlation to the reduced proximity to the lightsource.
* personally I'd suggest to shrink and tighten the minor (mid blue) highlight in her eye.. by way of 'cheating', really.. adjusting the aesthetics of the picture to fit better into a pixel art format :)
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline 9_6

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 416
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #19 on: July 12, 2012, 09:57:25 am


-Don't dither until you're done, it's a pain to edit that.
-Don't finish one part completely while leaving everything else rough (if it's even there yet), try working on everything simultaneously.
-This also goes for backgrounds and I suppose this piece calls for some sort of background. It doesn't need to be complicated, just something.
-Colors tend to interact with each other. Even skin is slightly reflective and will contain some green if surrounded by green. This is especially true when it comes to light sources.
Does scaling an image blur it?
Opera fix Firefox fix

Offline Ashbad

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 226
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • I am governor Jerry Brown
    • View Profile
    • SoundCloud

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #20 on: July 16, 2012, 05:33:50 pm
Some progress lately:



Still seems to be something about the cheek that makes me want to keep revising it... however, I can't seem to figure out what's wrong, and definitely not what to do about it (can't solve a problem when you don't know what it is)  I shaded the hair pretty simply, so that it has an different texture from the skin (plus long dithering ramps weren't working out well at all -- the shorter the dither ramp, the better it looked); However, with the face I increased some dither ramps (and re-did the "glare effect" from the firefly as a lightsource -- still need to play with colors to make it reflect the color, but I think it now at least reflects the light in general in a correct fashion.)  probably going to add some of the darkest green shade on the firefly to the tips of her hair (9_6's edit showed that it seemed to work)  And finally, color changes yet again.

Offline Cupcake

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 30
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #21 on: July 17, 2012, 12:25:09 am
Cute! Her head looks a little bit like a flat object with this latest update - maybe something like this?



You've come a long way since your first posts here! Good job. :)

Offline Ashbad

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 226
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • I am governor Jerry Brown
    • View Profile
    • SoundCloud

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #22 on: July 17, 2012, 01:56:20 am
Ooh, that gives me ideas on how to make things less flat for sure!  Thanks!  (I was playing around with other ways this morning for 1-2 hours, but it was nothing that worked, yet this solution looks a lot more obvious and effective) :)

As for the improvement... Thanks! :D  I'm extremely motivated to improve my pixeling skills (and art skills in general) and that's been my goal since I started pixeling/art in general ~2 months ago.  The guys here at pixelation are great and helpful so I owe a lot of my newfound skill (which I think is developing well, however has a very far way to go) to everyone here  ;D

Offline Ashbad

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 226
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • I am governor Jerry Brown
    • View Profile
    • SoundCloud

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #23 on: July 25, 2012, 12:03:25 am
Meh, still playing with a reflection of the light on the hair, but... Meh.  Essentially done with Twily herself.  The firefly I was gonna change the (hard to see) dark blue surrounding it with the lighter blue on the bright part of her hair -- I tried it out in MS Paint real quick (had no access to Gfx2 earlier) and it works great, but when I try to save/copy the image MSP complete mucks up my colors, so I'll have to do the recolor in grafx2 tomorrow.

After fixing hair and stuff, I'll be onto the background.



(Made horn more pointy by suggestion of MikeBissle)
« Last Edit: July 25, 2012, 12:05:12 am by Ashbad »

Offline Ai

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1057
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • finti
    • http://pixeljoint.com/pixels/profile.asp?id=1996
    • finticemo
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #24 on: July 25, 2012, 02:43:08 pm
that reminds me.. those grooves.. the way you lit them is impossible. I mocked it up in Blender, and
with a single lightsource, there is always going to be a dark and a light side to the grooves, no matter where it's placed.

In general, the effect of not having that light/dark contrast along the grooves is to make the horn look 2d, like a paper cutout.

here's a rather rough edit that I think gives more 3dness.
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline Seiseki

  • 0011
  • **
  • Posts: 915
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Starmancer
    • OminuxGames
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/35207.htm
    • StarmancerGame
    • View Profile
    • Starmancer Patreon

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #25 on: July 25, 2012, 09:16:21 pm
I think that amount of detail might be too much.
Because this piece really benefits from it's simplicity.

And you gotta ask, "do I really want that much attention focused on the horn?"  ::)

Offline Mr. Fahrenheit

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 326
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #26 on: July 25, 2012, 09:45:23 pm
Does anyone else think that the horn is in the wrong place? Either that or the hair is messed up. Like it seems like on the side of the head facing us the hair is pressed up against the pony's face but on the other side its like 20 inches away. And it looks like the horn is coming out of the side of the pony's head and not going straight and out of the front of the ponies hair. Also the pony's head is very flat.

Offline Bissle

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 117
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #27 on: July 25, 2012, 09:53:03 pm
I know what you mean, but from looking at official art for the character he is depicting (Twilight Sparkle), her horn really does stick out that way. It's a question of whether he wants more "realism" or wants to stick to the original design. I think the latter would be better based on where he's going.

Offline Stab

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • I'M WILLOWS!
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #28 on: July 27, 2012, 04:29:36 am


Everything beyond this rendition doesn't look like progress. This reads as a very soft pink pony staring with fascination at a firefly, outside and on a respectably light nighttime sky. Obviously it doesn't read as something real (there's no physical interaction (light and shadow!) between the firefly and the pony) but I don't feel that should. It's a rainbow coloured unicorn staring at a ball of light... fairly safe to say that realism doesn't need to be the goal.

Compositionally, the quoted version also works cleaner than the later renditions. The bands of colour in the hair direct you toward the eye where the visual tension between the firefly and its (her?) eye is set up. The only thing that irks me is the ear standing straight up and right on the edge of the frame. It creates tension that draws your eye to the ear, shows that the ear doesn't have a function in the composition (it points to nothing, says little and leads you nowhere!), and competes with the focal point for eye attention while not... yeah. It breaks things a little bit. I would greatly greatly greatly prefer it if the ear was lying flat back and breaking the edge of the image. If it were doing that, it could "point" to the eye and lead your eye inward from the edge of the scene towards where you're supposed to be looking anyways. It would also emotionally project an image of uneasiness or uncertainty at the strange thing in front of them WHICH feels consistent with the theme, to me.

As for the horn, I'd agree that it looks strange, but honestly a quick google search reveals that it looks strange on the "real thing", too. It only looks strange if you look at it, it isn't visually disruptive, so I'd say it can stay where it is and how it is without the world imploding.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2012, 04:31:19 am by Stab »

Offline Seiseki

  • 0011
  • **
  • Posts: 915
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Starmancer
    • OminuxGames
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/35207.htm
    • StarmancerGame
    • View Profile
    • Starmancer Patreon

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #29 on: July 27, 2012, 05:46:32 am
I too prefer the less contrasted version since I like the tones more, although some kind of mix between the two might look good.
What I do like from the newer version is the sharp highlight on her nose and forehead and more contrast for the eyes.

I decided to try and play around with the proportions a bit! :D

             

I think she looks more feminine with the hair pushed back.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2012, 06:12:49 am by Seiseki »

Offline Ai

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1057
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • finti
    • http://pixeljoint.com/pixels/profile.asp?id=1996
    • finticemo
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #30 on: July 27, 2012, 07:31:03 am
My point was about consistency and what the eye recognizes as a groove more than realism, FWIW -- if you render the rest fairly realistically, the horn will and does look odd if not rendered realistically. That's the current state of things.

Seiseki: your edit looks like filly Twilight. I -think- that's what Ashbad was aiming for. Neither adult nor filly Twilight have hair that's overtly feminine, though... So something mid-way between the two is best IMO.

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

Offline Seiseki

  • 0011
  • **
  • Posts: 915
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Starmancer
    • OminuxGames
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/35207.htm
    • StarmancerGame
    • View Profile
    • Starmancer Patreon

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #31 on: July 27, 2012, 08:16:31 am
True..
But there's something slightly too tomboyish about the current hair.

Possibly the way it seems to wrap the whole way around the head.
Looking at images of twilight, it seems to be more flat rather than a bowl.

Offline CrazyMLC

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 282
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #32 on: July 29, 2012, 12:24:52 pm
Just popping in to leave my two cents.


I really liked how it looked back when it was simple, just Twilight. I personally think it'd be interesting to work from there with a totally new perspective, and see what you get.

That said, I really don't like the horn on the newer ones. Frankly, I think it looks ugly. The shading could use some serious reworking.
The ear also bothers me in a similar way, though I can't quite put my finger on it there.


One last little picky detail that bothers me.
If it's such a dark night, then a bright firefly appearing in front of her face would probably make Twi squint at least a little bit, right? She's barely reacting to the firefly. In fact, they look completely separate.

The piece itself is well AA'd and has a fairly nice look to it, but it lacks human quality.
Twilight sees a firefly? What does this cause her to do? How does she feel?
We can't tell at all - she has her poker face on.

There's no story. No emotion. There's nothing going on in this pretty picture, except for the piece itself.

I personally think if you injected a bit of a story into this piece it'd multiply the quality twofold.

Offline Seiseki

  • 0011
  • **
  • Posts: 915
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Starmancer
    • OminuxGames
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/35207.htm
    • StarmancerGame
    • View Profile
    • Starmancer Patreon

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #33 on: July 29, 2012, 02:14:36 pm
I disagree.
If she were squinting you'd lose that curious and surprised expression and you'd think she was afraid or suspicious.

I think there's quite a clear story and feelings here.
She's discovered a firefly and is both surprised and curious, having a hard time looking a way from the hypnotic light.

I do feel like the later edits look stiffer some how though.

Offline Ashbad

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 226
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • I am governor Jerry Brown
    • View Profile
    • SoundCloud

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #34 on: July 29, 2012, 04:26:05 pm
So many conflicting ideas ಠ_ಠ

While I personally would like to think there was progress since that quoted version, I guess some tend to disagree; I think you're all probably right about the shades, but I also like where it is now; I think I should try meeting halfway and see what it produces.  I guess it also pains me to revert back because that's a few hours of work lost then, but hey, at least I'm honest about that ;D I guess as Bob Ross would say, "It's just a happy mistake"; better to learn and revert than keep on going, than to continue making something that isn't working out as well.

As for the hair: I'm thinking of meeting halfway on that, too.  I just realized how silly that "bowl" cut she has is so I definitely need to remove that bit of hair that wraps around the other side of her head; also might try placing it back a little bit.

Horn: yeah, I shaded that completely wrong  ::) thanks for the model, Ai!

Squinting: yeah, I have to disagree too; I had always intended for it to be more of a "small kid looking at something with surprise and curiosity" look, and I think that a feel like that would be best done with a wide-open, glaring eye.  Of course if you think otherwise that's fine too ^_^

Composition: I won't lie when I say that all that talk of compositional qualities when right over my head  :-[ I'm pretty new to art in general, and composition is something I haven't quite dug into.  Definitely need to read some material on the matter so I can get a better feel for what you're saying and apply suggestions in an educated manner :)



On a final unrelated note, I'm really pushing myself not to just drop this; while I haven't been working on it intensely lately, I've spent almost a month on it now, and I'm starting to get sick of it (mostly because there were a lot of revisions behind the scenes I never posted)  -- Ideas on how to keep focused on this?  Perhaps work on two larger pixels at the same time?  Take a break from it and work on something else?  Just stick with it with no distractions?  What works well for you guys?

Offline Seiseki

  • 0011
  • **
  • Posts: 915
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Starmancer
    • OminuxGames
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/35207.htm
    • StarmancerGame
    • View Profile
    • Starmancer Patreon

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #35 on: July 29, 2012, 04:45:10 pm
I think most of the time spent might have been dithering? ;D
Also, if you're still on a trackpad, that's a huge time sink too :P

Try making the entire image and then focus on the details. Like rough background, rough shapes. Basic shading and lighting.

Offline Ashbad

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 226
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • I am governor Jerry Brown
    • View Profile
    • SoundCloud

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #36 on: July 29, 2012, 05:07:52 pm
I think most of the time spent might have been dithering? ;D
Also, if you're still on a trackpad, that's a huge time sink too :P

Try making the entire image and then focus on the details. Like rough background, rough shapes. Basic shading and lighting.

Yes.  And yes.   :-[

You're right, I have spent a lot of the time dithering.  Plus, it's painful to actually draw on the trackpad.

I think you're right, I went about starting this the wrong way.  Lesson learned ^_^

Offline PixelPiledriver

  • 0011
  • **
  • Posts: 997
  • Karma: +6/-0
  • Yo!
    • View Profile
    • My Blog

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #37 on: July 29, 2012, 05:53:23 pm






Quote
She's discovered a firefly and is both surprised and curious
To emphasize this I'd say either make her lean forward or backward.
Either could work.

Quote
composition is something I haven't quite dug into.
You need to.
And its good that you recognize that you do.
I don't say this in a mean way.
It's just that it will change the way you think and help you greatly.
Basically composition is how you control the viewers eye and mind.
When I'm feeling a little better I can come back and do some posts on basic composition if you want.
I'm sure some other people here have great things to say about it as well.

Quote
Also, if you're still on a trackpad, that's a huge time sink too
Personally I use a mouse for all of my pixel art, and i like it.
But yah a trackpad sounds difficult.
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline Ashbad

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 226
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • I am governor Jerry Brown
    • View Profile
    • SoundCloud

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #38 on: July 29, 2012, 06:13:12 pm
 :wah: mfw PPD's edit

And of course I don't take what you said in a mean way at all, I appreciate the feedback greatly :) I'd also definitely more than love anything you can lend me about good composition!

As for the trackpad, it's probably the reason I don't make huge anatomy/subject changes after I start -- once I scan in my pencil drawing for something and make some basic form out of it, I don't touch it much, because it's about impossible to actually "draw" on the pad; I have a mouse at work and I've played around with pixeling with that before, and it's definitely a lot better, but I think I'm still going to go all the way and get a tablet ASAP.

Offline Seiseki

  • 0011
  • **
  • Posts: 915
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Starmancer
    • OminuxGames
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/35207.htm
    • StarmancerGame
    • View Profile
    • Starmancer Patreon

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #39 on: July 29, 2012, 06:34:16 pm
I think I know the basics of composition, but I'd love to learn more as well! :)
That edit is fantastic! Really makes it feel less stiff and more dynamic!

Offline PixelPiledriver

  • 0011
  • **
  • Posts: 997
  • Karma: +6/-0
  • Yo!
    • View Profile
    • My Blog

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #40 on: July 30, 2012, 02:10:28 am
Here's some thoughts on composition.

Visual Flow
As the viewer looks at an image their eyes move around to view each part.
The eyes will follow elements like edges, lines, shapes, etc, across forms in the drawing, even if they are separate objects.
Flow encompasses the image as a whole.


The flow of the right side is good.
The hair and the jaw lead us to the firefly.
But on the left there is nothing leading us back into the image.
While this isn't a bad thing the eye has nothing to do once we move out across the eyeline past the firefly.
Then we come directly back to the rest of the image.


We can catch the viewers eye with forms and lead them back into the image.
This keeps the eye flowing around the image easily.

Eyeline
Because these are characters in our mind we percieve that they are "looking" at each other.
An eye is a powerful symbol.
We look where the character is looking along a line to see what they are looking at.


The eyeline here is flat, Completely horizontal.
Horizontal elements are stable, calm, and have little motion.


The eyeline here is diagonal.
Diagonal elements are unstable, exciting, and have a sense of motion.


Motion
A static image doesn't move.
But we can still perceive it as moving.
Looking at an image we suppose that something happened before this, and something will happen after.
We can drop hints for the viewer that will amplify the sensation of motion.


1. The trail of the firefly shows us where he has been and we can predict where he is going. small accents emphasize turns.
2. The "dust" from the trail is drawn in a vertical progression which makes it appear to be falling.
3. The posture of the head and neck appears to be pulling back and tilting up.
4. The hair appears to be swaying as follow thru to the motion of the head.



Opposing Shapes
Shapes are similar to visual flow but deal more with individual objects and how they interact, rather than how the eye move across forms.

The rearing back version somewhat resembles the iconic head of a horse, like a chess piece.
The firefly's trail makes a similar shape overall.
While its not a blatant feature of the image it has some interesting properties.


Color Groups
The eye connects areas where colors re-occur.
I like to think in groups of color, but the same is true of individual colors as well.









Quote
Try making the entire image and then focus on the details. Like rough background, rough shapes. Basic shading and lighting.
Yes this is good advice and common process.
Complete the image at a very rough level.
Try a bunch of quick versions of the same subject with different properties.


There's a lot more to composition than this.
Also there's plenty of reasons to do things completely opposite of what I've done here to achieve a desired result.
Use the basics and do creatives things.
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline CrazyMLC

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 282
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #41 on: July 30, 2012, 02:17:58 pm
Great edit PilePixeldriver! That's exactly what I was driving at and I think it's a knockout.

Offline Ai

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1057
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • finti
    • http://pixeljoint.com/pixels/profile.asp?id=1996
    • finticemo
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #42 on: July 31, 2012, 02:51:16 am
The only thing I want to add to PixelPileDriver's fantastic post, is two references to look up: the practice of thumbnailing (this will expand on the last idea he wrote about, and doesn't need to be done in any specific medium), and Rule of Thirds (which provides a nice simple framework within which you can distinguish, for example, that having the character's head at the top of the frame and lots of space below makes them look big, and putting it near the bottom with plenty of space above, makes them look small.). Also if you do photography, something that helped me with composition was to take a photo and crop it many different ways using GIMP*, noting the difference in the feel of the various crops.

* specified here because the crop tool and rectangle-select tool both have an option to display a rule-of-thirds grid.
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline Ashbad

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 226
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • I am governor Jerry Brown
    • View Profile
    • SoundCloud

Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #43 on: July 31, 2012, 12:55:00 pm
Thanks all, especially PPD for that fantastic crash course on composition; I don't think I'll ever be able to see what I draw the same way again, even if I tried hard to not focus on compositional aspects.  Thinking of picking up a few books on the matter to learn more about the subject as well.

I think it's a fair decision for me to go back to the drawing board with this one :)  I'm surprisingly more inclined to start all over than revert progress partially, because I now have a "happy accident" to show from it, something for me to stash away and look back on later and see what I learned about planning and composition since then.  I'm going to read up more on composition, continue practicing drawing ponies for the rest of the week, then this weekend I'm going to draw up a few thumbs of other ways to go about working on this piece.

Oh, and I'll be sure to rough the whole thing out and work in steps on the whole, rather than keeping parts rough and finalizing others this time :P

Learning a lot, thanks again everyone  :y: