AuthorTopic: Small humanoid alien walking animation (WIP)  (Read 9011 times)

Offline Lachie Dazdarian

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Small humanoid alien walking animation (WIP)

on: August 21, 2012, 08:21:27 pm
Finally got around to draw and animate the main character for my Sokoban game. Some of you might remember it from an earlier thread.

What I got so far.

Frames:

Animated walking sideways:


In the game:
http://img232.imageshack.us/img232/6534/zenmaingame.png

Surprised how well it looks inside the game, but I must admit, I did not work on it with that in mind. Maybe I will have to reduce his height by a row of pixels or two, though.

My problems? Well, I would like to be able to animate the movement of torso, but have no idea. Any tips?

Also, really having problems with animating such small sprites in a clean manner, with pixels of same color ending up touching. Hard to make for the leg in the "background" to pass behind the leg in "front" without ugly artifacts. Just failing to implement clarity and cleanness.

Any suggestions, critics and edits are more that welcomed. Thanks in advance.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2012, 08:11:09 pm by Lachie Dazdarian »

Offline nivek

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Re: Small humanoid alien walking animation (for a WIP game)

Reply #1 on: August 22, 2012, 12:21:10 am
"My problems? Well, I would like to be able to animate the movement of torso, but have no idea. Any tips?"

Maybe you could try moving the shoulders forward and back with the arms.

Offline Stab

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Re: Small humanoid alien walking animation (for a WIP game)

Reply #2 on: August 22, 2012, 02:55:06 am
First off, cool animation! It's very smooth and absolutely nothing seems wrong with it (which is saying one hell of a lot!)!

Second, do you have photoshop? There are some things you could see firsthand that graphics programs could help you see some generally good things you should be thinking about. Forgive me if you're not looking for any critique on your in-game screenshot, but it's there and you posted it and... well, I just can't help myself! If you'd like, here are a few things to think about

First off, values. In photoshop, there are a bunch of ways to look at this. One is to convert the whole image to greyscale so you're not getting confused by colours, and then to eyedropper your various darks and shadows and highlights to see what is actually the brightest. Values are extremely important, and while you can manipulate them to intentionally put very extreme values somewhere important, I don't get the feeling you're doing this! What I'm seeing is that your value ranges aren't consistent, and it's contributing to making everything look like they're under different lighting conditions or part of a different reality. Consistent values visually contribute to a consistent image! Need proof? Look around you! Failing that, do the same experiment on screenshots of your favorite games! There's a lot to learn in controlling values, and it's one of those things that actually takes forever to master... so you might as well start now!

(an easy "fix" that actually just lets you see more consistent values in action is to open the levels slider (default ctrl-L) in photoshop and slide the leftmost arrow about 1/3rd of the way to the right. It ends up looking like this: http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y73/SaboteurGreg/Lachie_001.png... looks a little more consistent, right? For a literally 2 second edit, not a bad step in the right direction, no?)

Second, light sources. A simple criticism, but the light hitting the laser-emitting box seems to be coming from the bottom left, where the light on the wooden box is coming from above and left. The light on the rocks seems to be coming directly from above. Establishing a unified idea for your setting is important if you're making a bunch of things that are supposed to exist within it. Again, consistency is important, and that's one way to get there!

(also related to light sources and consistency: It's the same light hitting everything, right? Why is light interacting so differently with your character as it is with your boxes or the stone? It is definitely true that light interacts with different objects differently, but people have a subconscious visual understanding of how things should look, so if you're accidentally shading wood in a manner befitting of clay while having it look like wood, it will raise a visual conflict that people will feel as icky until they can redefine their understanding of the world to allow for this new world you're creating. This is why games like iji (http://www.indiegames.com/2008/09/freeware_game_pick_iji_daniel.html) can have SUPER simple graphics that don't necessarily obey the real world as we know it, but still follow enough "real world rules" for it to be visually understandable and do it SO DAMN CONSISTENTLY that it honestly feels like you're experiencing a graphical wonderworld even though any one screenshot isn't all that pretty.)

I hope that makes some sense! Again, the animation and character itself are super awesome! As a stand-alone, I honestly wouldn't have any crits. How it fits into its world could use a little bit of work, but honestly you're so far along in the right directions that it very likely isn't as much work as you'd think it is.

Cheers!

Offline hapiel

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Re: Small humanoid alien walking animation (for a WIP game)

Reply #3 on: August 22, 2012, 04:07:33 am
How about a little bounce? I am not sure if the head twisting is neccecary but you can make it less generic, and I think the arms can stay longer in their extended positions (long in front, long in back, middle is when they are moving so there you only see them for short. )

I did not edit the arm properly... however, I hope this is of any help.


Oh and at last, the feet are a bit weird and move weird on the ground. I could not find the quick fix though!

Good luck :)

Offline Lachie Dazdarian

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Re: Small humanoid alien walking animation (for a WIP game)

Reply #4 on: August 22, 2012, 11:07:06 pm
Thanks. Forgot about the body bounce completely. It works great. I will implement it!

I'll see what I can do with the arms as well.

I was hoping for more help on the legs. But maybe they are not rewarding to fix. :)

Anyway, hoping to find time to get back to this again soon. Will definitely try to polish this character. There is work to do on him.

Thanks for suggestions on colors Stab. I will definitely attempt to implement them. Not sure how much I can adopt advises on shadows, though. It might be a bit overwhelming for me to take it all into consideration at this point of my development. I want to get the game done.

BTW, I love Iji. Played Daniel's Hyper Princess Pitch? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRJYFbJDkqs

Also awesome.

« Last Edit: August 22, 2012, 11:10:44 pm by Lachie Dazdarian »

Offline Lachie Dazdarian

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Re: Small humanoid alien walking animation (for a WIP game)

Reply #5 on: August 24, 2012, 10:00:52 pm
For some reason, felt like a much better improvement in Graphics Gale:



Now not so sure, but I do think it's better. Close to completing this. Any more tips?

Gonna attempt him pushing a box next. All needed for the game.

EDIT:

Ok, I think this is even more better.



Some edits on the chest, and minor fixes on the legs.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2012, 10:20:43 pm by Lachie Dazdarian »

Offline toaster

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Re: Small humanoid alien walking animation (for a WIP game)

Reply #6 on: August 25, 2012, 09:48:25 am
I think you should keep the head steady, like hapiel said. In my edit I have also changed one of the legs in frame 2 and 6 to make it look a little faster. Also, both his legs are darker than the rest of his body. Is that shading or because his skin is darker there. If shading, maybe you could try only making his far leg dark.


I don't know why the eye's turned blue. It wasn't intended so please ignore it.  ::)

I hope this is usefull.

Toaster

Offline hapiel

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Re: Small humanoid alien walking animation (for a WIP game)

Reply #7 on: August 25, 2012, 03:21:39 pm
The chest you made works :). Also, if you want to keep the head turning I suggest you look again closely to what I have done to the head!

Offline Parkerbaby

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Re: Small humanoid alien walking animation (for a WIP game)

Reply #8 on: August 25, 2012, 04:10:20 pm
I would drop the head turning. In my opinion it ruins otherwise good animations more often than not. It is, of course, also completely unnatural.
Head turning makes me think he is walking alongside a long line of naked women so with each step he furtively glances in that direction and quickly regains focus forward.

Also, you said you forgot about the body bounce.
You should try to not think of it as the body bounce, but rather think of it as absolutely necessary to keep the correct proportions of the legs. When legs bend the absolute height of the head has to decrease or the body would grow longer midstep.

Overall I really dig the style, though.

Offline Lachie Dazdarian

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Re: Small humanoid alien walking animation (for a WIP game)

Reply #9 on: August 26, 2012, 08:11:45 pm
hapiel, his head is turned for a longer period of time? I'll try that.

toaster, I'll explore your new frames.

Legs are darker on purpose. I think it gives the character more color dynamic.

I think I'm going to keep the head turning, despite it not looking "realistic". I'm going with comic style in my game and I want him to be a bit silly and swaggerish. Anyway, I'm making a single screen puzzle game with stages not representing some realistic place (room), although there are few graphical themes (jungle, space station, ...).

Thanks for you input so far. Continuing with new frames, like pushing boxes. Still on stickman skeleton for this part...

It's going slow, but the main character sprites are the integral part of game graphics, especially in my project where there aren't any other characters (at least animated), so that makes sense.

Offline Zizka

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Re: Small humanoid alien walking animation (for a WIP game)

Reply #10 on: August 27, 2012, 12:34:17 pm
I prefer without the head turning although both look quite good. I just don't think people move their head like this when they walk unless they're looking for something I guess.

Keep going!  :y:

Offline Lachie Dazdarian

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Re: Small humanoid alien walking animation (for a WIP game)

Reply #11 on: August 28, 2012, 10:05:18 pm
Box pushing, preliminary version:



Any tips to make this better? I feel it's wrong in several aspects, but don't know where to start really.

Offline PixelPiledriver

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Re: Small humanoid alien walking animation (for a WIP game)

Reply #12 on: August 29, 2012, 04:22:38 am
 :y:
I like the cute, simple character.
But he looks heavily orthographic compared to the box.

However I feel you could get away with not changing what you have.
It's a challenging perspective to keep consistent.

The animations are looking decent.
I'll have something to say about them later.
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline Dr D

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Re: Small humanoid alien walking animation (for a WIP game)

Reply #13 on: August 29, 2012, 04:26:26 am
I feel like in the push animation, his arms are portraying that he's moving something large.

When you push a box, all your strength comes from your legs; adding some strain to them might not be a bad idea to show the object he's moving is probably heavy.

Offline Lachie Dazdarian

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Re: Small humanoid alien walking animation (for a WIP game)

Reply #14 on: August 29, 2012, 05:17:17 am
That makes perfect sense PixelPiledriver. For some reason I thought it could not be pulled off to look right on this small canavas size, but yeah, you've illustrated perfectly how much better the design should and can look.

Anyway, not sure how much I can replicate this (especially animate), but I will try to make my work so far appear less orthographic. I got work to do this weekend. :)

Dr_D, that might be corrected by keeping the legs longer in front, I think.

Got a lot of stuff to try now...

EDIT:

"Axonometrizing" walking animation. It's a first step toward doing that for "box pushing" animation. Despite losing some of the "cuteness" and clarity, I think this is much better. Great advice Piledriver. Thanks again!

Still need to clean this up. As always, CC is appreciated.

« Last Edit: August 29, 2012, 09:21:32 pm by Lachie Dazdarian »

Offline Willows

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Re: Small humanoid alien walking animation (updated 30.08)

Reply #15 on: August 30, 2012, 12:04:01 am
Not to cop-out and leave just a blurb here, but http://www.wayofthepixel.net/index.php?topic=6968.0;nowap is a discussion on exactly box-pushing that happened priorly on pixelation, and is perhaps pertinent.

Offline Grimsane

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Re: Small humanoid alien walking animation (updated 30.08)

Reply #16 on: August 30, 2012, 06:08:23 pm
the foreground leg get's longer on contact. his proportions look better in that latest version

Offline Lachie Dazdarian

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Re: Small humanoid alien walking animation (updated 30.08)

Reply #17 on: August 31, 2012, 08:02:52 pm
You are right Grimsane! I forgot about foreshortening. I reduced the leg "contraction" from 2 to 1 pixel and it's much better now. Maybe I can experiment with no contraction at all. Thanks!

Anyway, replicated PixelPiledriver's design. Can't say I added much of myself in it, but it was such a good design I saw no other alternative to replicate it. But, will attempt to animate it this weekend. Expect a preliminary mess soon.

Offline hapiel

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Re: Small humanoid alien walking animation (WIP)

Reply #18 on: September 01, 2012, 08:07:27 am
I think the head moves way too much and is distracting this way. Edit:



Also, the back leg needs to go more up. There is one frame where he seems to be standing still. (frame 1). This pose does not exist in a walking pattern. Instead do the same as you did with frame 5 on the legs!

Offline Lachie Dazdarian

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Re: Small humanoid alien walking animation (WIP)

Reply #19 on: September 26, 2012, 09:08:03 pm
Finally got back to doing this. Had so little time to do this for the past month and now, when I finally caught some break, I'm struggling with motivation as results of my pixel activities are poor. But I'm trying. I think I need to go back to tutorials again. Got lost in dealing with specifics of this characters.

Anyway, progress! Fixed the walking animation according to hapiel's suggestion:



Any more tips regarding this animation?

Tried to decipher the box pushing animation, and not sure what I got:



For some reason needed 9 frames. Maybe something can be done there.

Your thoughts? Salvageable? Any tips?

This perspective is hard.

I'm lost.