AuthorTopic: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly  (Read 12349 times)

Offline Ashbad

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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

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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
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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 »
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Offline Ashbad

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 :)
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Offline 9_6

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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?
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