AuthorTopic: Am I going crazy here?  (Read 25640 times)

Offline jams0988

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Am I going crazy here?

on: September 05, 2012, 07:53:12 am
Hey guys! Just ran into a new indie RPG, which looks pretty fun, called Secrets of Grindea. Scrolling down the comments for the game, I noticed a few of them saying "like the old games, but so much better looking," which really surprised me.


[The best pixel art ever?]

I took a poll of around ten friends, showing them Final Fantasy 6, Seiken Densetu 2 and 3, and Link to the Past. All but one said that Grindea was much better looking than the old classics. The old ones looked "old and dirty," or just "like shit." I was amazed that anyone could favor Grindea over those old amazing works of pixel art. But, I figured maybe those games were just too old for the average person to appreciate anymore, even though I found it hard to believe. So I showed a few people this piece, by Adarias over at Pixeljoint, since it's a modern piece.

"It's ugly. All the purple hurts my eyes. How can you think it looks better than Grindea?"

I wanted to murder the people I talked to over the internet. How can the average person be so ignorant of art? The level Grindea is at and the level of the old classics is nowhere close, in my opinion. Is pixel art even worth doing anymore? Is there even an audience?

What are your guys thoughts on this? The whole thing put me in a bad mood...

Note: No offense to Grindea's creator. I think it looks like a great game, and plan on purchasing. I don't think I'm insulting it by stating that it's not the best pixel art ever created.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2012, 07:54:52 am by jams0988 »

Offline AlexHW

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #1 on: September 05, 2012, 08:02:13 am
My theory is that people's eyesight have been devolving over the years of looking at illuminated screens constantly. People are losing their ability to see clearly and thus these types of games can be fed to people since their eyesight has less sensitivity now. I need a research grant to prove this, but I think all the signs point to this case being true.

Offline jams0988

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #2 on: September 05, 2012, 08:11:49 am
Quote
My theory is that people's eyesight have been devolving over the years of looking at illuminated screens constantly. People are losing their ability to see clearly and thus these types of games can be fed to people since their eyesight has less sensitivity now. I need a research grant to prove this, but I think all the signs point to this case being true.
It's really bad. People really can't tell a mediocre drawing from a great one. I was really shocked, since I'm around artists who know what they're talking about all the time. Normal people really don't give a shit about anything besides how high the resolution is. I'm working on an RPG right now....I'm working with 16x16 tiles, but I'm thinking about doubling the resolution now.

Actually, I didn't mention this in my first post, but the one friend who *did* say Grindea looked worse than the classics....for him, I took the screenshots of the old games, blurred them a bit to make it less obvious they were low-res, and then painted fucking LIGHT BLOOM onto them in photoshop. Ughhhhh. > <
/wrists

He did say the undoctored screenshots looked better after I revealed my trick to him, but I wonder if those were his real feelings?

Offline AlexHW

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #3 on: September 05, 2012, 08:20:02 am
It is an interesting experiment. People who aren't artists or aren't practiced in the ways of observing detail within images will simply see whatever the objects being conveyed are. Their minds aren't adapted to selectively picking out specific details to help their understanding of how to creating an image that mimics real-life.. So to them, a pixelated image may look more confusing than one that isn't, simply because to their mind, it is easier to read the image if it has a smooth continuous edges. To us artists, we can look past that confusing grid/barrier that forces a bit of abstraction and we can melt it all together.
I wouldn't worry too much about it, but simply try to understand why. That way you can use this understanding to make better images depending on the audience you want to attract.. If you want your art to be very artistic and stylized, then people should be able to identify the stylish aspect to it.. but if you're trying to mimic reality, then a pixeled look will only detract it a bit from people who are more literal observers.

Offline rikfuzz

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #4 on: September 05, 2012, 08:25:16 am
I think the trouble is you're asking people to form a conscious opinion, where they normally don't have one.  Resolution is just easily quantifiable. 32 > 16.  I personally have no opinion on football or cars. If someone asked me for my opinion between two teams or two cars and I had to pick one I'd just pick based on something I did know (who I'd heard of, brand, which colour I liked more etc).  I'm sure football fans or car heads would say my opinion is wrong.

I think artwork is almost in the background and unnoticeable to most non-arty people.  Some people will really appreciate it, though, for sure.  Which you wouldn't get if it was actually poor.  Most though will come to have an affinity for it after falling in love with the game as a whole. 

Offline AlexHW

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #5 on: September 05, 2012, 08:38:40 am
If you can do this, I'd like to see a more thorough experiment including inquiry to their eyesight; whether they wear glasses, have any astigmatisms, etc.. How often they look at games. How often they look at pieces of art. Also, give them a few drawing assignments to gauge how well their drawing ability is. Include a couple still life drawings. Also, find an experienced art judge or two to grade each piece. Crunch the numbers and see how it all fits together. Make a venn diagram. There has to be a clear answer why this is the case.

Offline jams0988

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #6 on: September 05, 2012, 08:40:17 am
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I think the trouble is you're asking people to form a conscious opinion, where they normally don't have one.  Resolution is just easily quantifiable. 32 > 16.
Yes, but I didn't tell them the resolution was lower or anything like that, and you can barely even tell with a game like LttP. They just said things like "it looks bad. I don't know why." or "it bothers my eyes. It's too detailed." It's not like I told them "this game is newer and higher resolution. These games are old and have a lower resolution. Which do you prefer?"

I'm just surprised it's even a contest. How can people not see how much more talent was involved with the older pixel art I showed them? How can they not see how interesting Adarias' cave drawing is compared to the bland monochromatic, straight-ramp gray caves found in Grindea? I mean, I don't even expect them to know what goes into making both; I just can't see how they can't prefer the older stuff, from a purely aesthetic standpoint.

Then again, 90% of people out there have terrible tastes. People become famous for making bad music/art/whatever all the time, so maybe I shouldn't have been so surprised.
Quote
It is an interesting experiment. People who aren't artists or aren't practiced in the ways of observing detail within images will simply see whatever the objects being conveyed are. Their minds aren't adapted to selectively picking out specific details to help their understanding of how to creating an image that mimics real-life.. So to them, a pixelated image may look more confusing than one that isn't, simply because to their mind, it is easier to read the image if it has a smooth continuous edges. To us artists, we can look past that confusing grid/barrier that forces a bit of abstraction and we can melt it all together.
That's an interesting viewpoint, Alex. The low resolution really may be the only thing bothering them because they're not used to it. I'd love to hear what they think about higher resolution pixel art....maybe I'll start showing people other examples from the forum. And I'm seriously considering converting all the tiles I've done to 24x24 or 32x32.... : \

Ah, and Alex, all of them had good eyesight. Most were at least casual gamers. None were artists.

The whole situation is bothering me, though. Why am I even practicing? I should just draw everything in adobe flash. Infinite resolution! The best art in the universe! ::rolleyes::
« Last Edit: September 05, 2012, 08:46:45 am by jams0988 »

Offline AlexHW

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #7 on: September 05, 2012, 08:46:56 am
How can they not see how interesting Adarias' cave drawing is compared to the bland monochromatic, straight-ramp gray caves found in Grindea?
Another possibility is that as an Artist, we have become conditioned to looking for more interesting compositions, compositions that wouldn't necessarily be completely natural. Something monochromatic may be more simple to comprehend for someone who hasn't yet looked at such scales intently enough to become bored with them.(they may not even know the difference between them)

You should include photographs in your experiment too.. to gauge what they deem a better photograph, and try to find art or games that mimic the lighting in them, or style or whatever..
« Last Edit: September 05, 2012, 08:48:45 am by Alex Hanson-White »

Offline jams0988

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #8 on: September 05, 2012, 08:53:58 am
Quote
Another possibility is that as an Artist, we have become conditioned to looking for more interesting compositions, compositions that wouldn't necessarily be completely natural. Something monochromatic may be more simple to comprehend for someone who hasn't yet looked at such scales intently enough to become bored with them.(they may not even know the difference between them)
That's a good possibility, too. Or maybe they're just stupid, so such simple compositions are all they can understand. = =;;
I'm really starting to understand the phrase "it takes one to know one." I'm not enjoying it.
Quote
You should include photographs in your experiment too.. to gauge what they deem a better photograph, and try to find art or games that mimic the lighting in them, or style or whatever..
Sadly, my friends are already polled out. I harassed them quite a bit for their horrible tastes. ='D
Anyone reading this thread should give it a shot too though, if they feel so inclined. I'm curious enough that I'd like a larger sample size. Maybe I just happened to ask all the wrong people... = \

Offline AlexHW

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #9 on: September 05, 2012, 09:28:29 am
Maybe I just happened to ask all the wrong people... = \
well.. you did ask non-artists which screenshots looked better..
Perhaps asking artists that don't play games to look and decipher which are better might receive different results.

Offline Crow

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #10 on: September 05, 2012, 09:59:20 am
well.. you did ask non-artists which screenshots looked better..
Perhaps asking artists that don't play games to look and decipher which are better might receive different results.

From a non-artist standpoint (you know, I'm not an artist anyway) I'd rather ask the people who actually end up playing a game what they prefer. In the end, though, I'm sure they'd like some old school art anyway. Game design and execution is also important here.
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Offline rikfuzz

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #11 on: September 05, 2012, 10:14:27 am
Quote
Quote
I think the trouble is you're asking people to form a conscious opinion, where they normally don't have one.  Resolution is just easily quantifiable. 32 > 16.
Yes, but I didn't tell them the resolution was lower or anything like that, and you can barely even tell with a game like LttP. They just said things like "it looks bad. I don't know why." or "it bothers my eyes. It's too detailed." It's not like I told them "this game is newer and higher resolution. These games are old and have a lower resolution. Which do you prefer?"

Yeah but, one screenshot is double the size or the others are very blocky.  Or they don't like purple.  They just sound like easy things to use to make a decision rather than examining the actual aesthetic style and technical talent like we might.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2012, 10:36:58 am by rikfuzz »

Offline jams0988

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #12 on: September 05, 2012, 10:24:27 am
Quote
Yeah but, one screenshot is double the size or the others are very blocky.  Or they don't like purple.  They just sound like easy things to use to make a decision rather than examining the actual aesthetic style and technical talent like we might.
So you're saying these might just be gut reactions, based on having to come up with an opinion quickly and under pressure? That given time with these old games, they might come to appreciate their artwork? That's an interesting thought, too. That might be true, too...

Thanks, that cheered me up a little. X'D

Offline Helm

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #13 on: September 05, 2012, 12:10:16 pm
I think it's absolutely understandable that a mass audience would prefer a simple palette that is straightforward and makes sense on a symbolic level ('grass is green') where there's no supersaturation to hurt people's eyes or arcane patterns of pixels clogging up the space. That is because people do not look at these things as art consciously, they look at them as game-spaces. And from the two screenshots you've provided in this thread, the  Secrets of Grindea one is a better game space. It makes one feel serene, like they know what they have to do before they even touch the controls. There's space. There's a path leading to somewhere. There's numbers where enemies get hurt. This is safe. I know this.

Adarias' screenshot is arcane. The purple is so strong it DOES punch through and create a priority issue if you look at it from a game space perspective.

I think from these two screenshots, given that one is higher res and emptier and the other smaller and packed, these reactions are understandable.

This doesn't mean that a game artist needs to make his art bland and inviting to avoid people thinking their game is uglier than those other bland and inviting games are. It's just a risk (to make a more arcane-looking, idiosyncratic game art style) that one has to consider and adopt willingly to persue some other end effect on the user. Perhaps a degree of tension, or a game narrative function that viewers wouldn't consciously point at and say "I think this is a better looking screen that that screen because it makes me feel incomfortable and confined".

Offline Batzy

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #14 on: September 05, 2012, 12:55:42 pm
First off http://www.pixeljoint.com/p/20079.htm

Secondly that SoG screenshot you posted doesn't do justice. Been following this project for a while myself too C:

I noticed a few of them saying "like the old games, but so much better looking," which really surprised me.

and yeah i wouldn't compare it to old pure PA games anyway since it uses NPA effects they (trolls/idiots) just messin' with ya head.

Offline Tourist

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #15 on: September 05, 2012, 03:34:16 pm
For the sake of completeness,

Could you post or link to the other screen shots that you used? 

Did you present the lower resolution images at a smaller size (1x), or did you present all of the images at the same size?

edit: I suppose info about the age and gaming experience of the surveyed group would be useful too.  But others can repeat your survey without that info.

Tourist
« Last Edit: September 05, 2012, 03:37:42 pm by Tourist »

Offline Cyangmou

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #16 on: September 05, 2012, 05:24:26 pm
I think it's completely irrelevant what comments some people post. There will always be comments like "zomfg how great" and "bah that's total shit".
It's all about the people you ask, if your friends are playing just for example 3D ego shooters like CoD and Battlefield they maybe can't really understand what's behind an old 2D RPG.
If you ask people who played lots of the old classics they will give you other answers and if you ask artists the answers will be also different. Just look out for people who like the same stuff as you and all is good. There are that many people and even if you think about some very unusual things, there are still people who like them - and this is good, because if everybody would like the same all would look like the same and this is boring.

Maybe our sight as artists is wrong, who can say that since art is completely subjective.

If you look at both screenshots you can recognize what's illustrated, that's the most important thing.

The Grindea screenshot looks with it's effects much more dynamic and game-like than adarias' mockup. You can definitely see the action there.
The Grindea screenshot also suggests more depth.
And I'd say it's by far more pleasing to look at on the first sight, like helm said, there is a path, you can imagine what is to do and so on.

The colors in adarias screenshot are fighting each other, maybe there is also a too strong contrast (purple-yellow) in the background and the charakters aren't really easy to read since the lava and stones are taking all of your attention. The charakters also don't look at each other and it's not really clear where to look at the whole screen. It's also not clear if the charakters can jump over the lava.
Maybe the parts itself are better made, but the things which you can read are much stronger in the grindea screenshot. Most people even won't recognize how the pixels are arranged, they can see it, but they won't look at it or recognize it.

But just because the illustrated things are "better" made, from an artistical standpoint there is no guarantee that the whole thing will work better. I think the big misconception about this is that we are looking at the most things as artists, not as users, gamers or whatever. We are also rating the things as artists and we are judging things by our own observation. Maybe our observations are wrong, who can proove this? Maybe we are looking at the wrong part, how do we know?
There is no problem with this as long as we don't put our own opinion above all others. It's also possible that our opinion about things changes over the years, was our earlier opinion wrong than?

Is it a necessarity that all people have to think the same as you? Even if they are friends?
« Last Edit: September 05, 2012, 05:29:13 pm by Cyangmou »
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Offline Ryumaru

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #17 on: September 05, 2012, 05:53:09 pm
I would recommend updating the SoG screenshot with your view of general good pixel technique and solid aesthetic qualities and see what people say about a side by side comparison.

Offline Seiseki

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #18 on: September 06, 2012, 12:03:45 am
I've followed Secrets of Grindia for quite some time..
There is a lot of bad pixel techniques, I'm not a huge fan of the palette for the most part.
For example, there is A LOT of edge highlighting and pillow shading.. Some stuff also seems smudged out by shadows.

But they get stuff done and I really like the animations!
And the game really seems to be going in the right direction. Although I can't help but notice details that bothers me.

If their artist would hang around this place, he/she would improve immensely..
Because I think they're just not used to the medium.. I mean obviously the artist has experience but he's skipped on the basics and never learned "proper" techniques.
Much like myself before I found this place, I was not aware of all the mistakes I was making.

It also comes down to preference, I tend to prefer minimalistic use of colors and low levels of noise.
While SoG has quite noisy wood and rock textures which seem kinda random and undefined.
There also seem to be little to no hue shifting, which is what I think made those old rpgs look so magical with blue or purple shadows.

Some better screens:

« Last Edit: September 06, 2012, 12:20:28 am by Seiseki »

Offline Dusty

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #19 on: September 06, 2012, 12:28:21 am
It has a very cartoony appeal and the overall appearance is very welcoming and aesthetically solid... it's just the pixel technique that's atrocious. I quite like the path regardless; very natural looking.

Offline Willows

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #20 on: September 06, 2012, 01:23:07 am
If their artist would hang around this place, he/she would improve immensely..
Because I think they're just not used to the medium.. I mean obviously the artist has experience but he's skipped on the basics and never learned "proper" techniques.
Much like myself before I found this place, I was not aware of all the mistakes I was making.

The question, then, is whether or not they'd actually be "better" if they used the "proper" techniques. There is a -ton- of strength in simplicity and while "proper" techniques would likely be applicable and useful in specific situations, I don't think they'd absolutely make it better.

I like this discussion, though. I'm now wondering how people register visual information, and if everyone instantly and involuntarily applies a binary like/dislike to any visual information they receive... and what affects that snap judgement.

I mean, compare Owlboy to Grindia! I find myself looking at screenshots of either and in both cases at the core only concluding that they're pleasant to look at. My artist self knows that Owlboy is technically far more masterful and impressive and that Grindia... isn't... but if I were forced to make an argument that Owlboy is unambiguously more pleasant to look at, I don't think I could do it.

Maybe there is something to learn, here. Maybe a lot of our pursuit of art is actually extremely vain, and that we're making art for ourselves that WE want to look at because that's much, much easier than trying to figure out what someone else would prefer and making that, instead.

I feel like this line of thought will quickly have me making statements that have me sounding like a stoner. "We need to remove ourselves from the art, and let only the art remain!"

I HAVE ADDED NOTHING BUT QUESTIONS.

Offline TheMonsterAtlas

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #21 on: September 06, 2012, 01:27:15 am
I had always wondered why a lot of today's "pixel art" included straight ramps, poor anatomy and repetitive tiles. Then I found out the users in the BYOND community were not professionals and were actually around 15 years of age.

I think Secrets of Grindia looks nasty, the pallet looks strange and dull. On top of that the mountain is really "detailed" and then the grass is like 3 pallets and empty.

Offline AlexHW

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #22 on: September 06, 2012, 01:46:51 am

Maybe there is something to learn, here. Maybe a lot of our pursuit of art is actually extremely vain, and that we're making art for ourselves that WE want to look at because that's much, much easier than trying to figure out what someone else would prefer and making that, instead.
It is. All art is a personal expression whether you are in a studio painting, or sitting at a computer working for someone else making graphics. The choices you make are representative of your current state of being. A lot of what we express one way may be because we have difficulty expressing it in other ways. There is a lot that can be learnt by examining one's own artwork. You may find certain truths that you hadn't seen before.
It's almost impossible to draw something for someone else, because it all is made from your desire to put out a part that you hold within. And maybe that is all that we are drawing for...

Offline Dusty

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #23 on: September 06, 2012, 02:03:24 am
If their artist would hang around this place, he/she would improve immensely..
Because I think they're just not used to the medium.. I mean obviously the artist has experience but he's skipped on the basics and never learned "proper" techniques.
Much like myself before I found this place, I was not aware of all the mistakes I was making.

The question, then, is whether or not they'd actually be "better" if they used the "proper" techniques. There is a -ton- of strength in simplicity and while "proper" techniques would likely be applicable and useful in specific situations, I don't think they'd absolutely make it better.

Proper techniques wouldn't make it any less simple at all. In my opinion if it were properly fixed up it'd look more appealing. Your Average Joe probably wouldn't be able to pick out why, or maybe even notice, but they'd probably realize that something about the graphics just had better appeal. But that's just my opinion.

I also agree with the above statements that people probably just associate larger resolutions with better graphics. There's already stereotypes that all pixel art is retro/8-bit and so on and I think it all just extends from that. You show someone a screenshot of SD3 and without even really grasping the graphics they see pixels. Oh god they see the BLOCKS that builds the entire imagine and that automatically associate it with "retro" and it all just registers as "old" and therefor worse graphics. If you were to show someone a screenshot of a more modern game that utilizes the same resolution/specs/style but with a better art direction/technique I'm sure they'd pick that instead.

Offline PixelPiledriver

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #24 on: September 06, 2012, 04:58:18 am
I realize this topic is about something completely different but:

Quote
It's almost impossible to draw something for someone else, because it all is made from your desire to put out a part that you hold within.
Artists draw for other people all the time, and get paid to do so.
While I can understand what you mean on some deeper level this is not a productive or healthy way to personally think about art or perpetuate to others.
I'm not trying to make fun of what you are saying or twist it.
Just be careful with destructive thoughts like this because it can really hold you and others back if they are believed in.
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline AlexHW

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #25 on: September 06, 2012, 05:52:04 am
It's not a belief. It's a truth. Tell me how it is destructive? Or actually.. make another thread about it, and I can respond to it there.

Offline Corinthian Baby

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #26 on: September 06, 2012, 05:57:07 am
This is a good topic but the main thing that concerns me about the experiment is that you were photoshop blurring LttP and SD3 screens? Imagine putting a blur filter over the mona lisa, it's no wonder they thought it looked awful. There's no doubt that even the old pixel masters 'could have' been better. (A lot of CT screens have priority/readability issues) but the greater picture is that they invented a lot of the techniques that we use and learn today, and established a precedent so strong, that people are still creating pixel art 20 years later.

With the whole resolution and new = better thing. I think there is a new nostalgic based resurgence of 2D pixel based games. It's just that with them, there are a bunch of stereotypes about what pixel art/that retro look is. Look at the penny arcade game for example, they're reffing FFVI graphical tropes but missing something in translation during the process. It's also perpetuated by those youtubes of popular TV shows turned into pixeled RPGs like Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones. (Also that one Community episode) Pixel art is fashionable and cool again but it's a double edged sword because of how pixel art changes what it conveys. (From being the standard for video game graphics in early 90s to something romantic and nostalgic; intertwined with fond memories of the past instead of being its own entity that has flourished and evolved away from and with game art)

Offline Willows

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #27 on: September 06, 2012, 11:14:58 pm
It's not a belief. It's a truth. Tell me how it is destructive? Or actually.. make another thread about it, and I can respond to it there.

You cannot declare it to be a truth, you can only declare that you believe it to be one!

Though you're right, and the endless philosophy debates are probably best left in another thread, if not avoided entirely.

Offline jams0988

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #28 on: September 07, 2012, 11:46:33 pm
Quote
Did you present the lower resolution images at a smaller size (1x), or did you present all of the images at the same size?

edit: I suppose info about the age and gaming experience of the surveyed group would be useful too.  But others can repeat your survey without that info.
I used the same Grindea screenshot for each person. I switched the screenshots for the older games a few times, thinking "maybe this one will do better." The old ones were presented at 1x and 2x, depending on what I found. All clean pictures, though. No jpegs or anything like that. The people ranged in age from 18-24. Mostly on the higher end, which saddened me. I thought the SNES players would know good pixel art, at least.
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Is it a necessarity that all people have to think the same as you? Even if they are friends?
I wouldn't care less about what people think, except I'd like to sell my work someday. It's sad to know that to sell, I'd have to dumb down my art. From what I can see, people like nothing besides empty spaces, high resolutions, and straight ramps. It's a boring way to draw!
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I think it's absolutely understandable that a mass audience would prefer a simple palette that is straightforward and makes sense on a symbolic level ('grass is green') where there's no supersaturation to hurt people's eyes or arcane patterns of pixels clogging up the space. That is because people do not look at these things as art consciously, they look at them as game-spaces. And from the two screenshots you've provided in this thread, the  Secrets of Grindea one is a better game space. It makes one feel serene, like they know what they have to do before they even touch the controls. There's space. There's a path leading to somewhere. There's numbers where enemies get hurt. This is safe. I know this.
That's a strong point. Maybe I shouldn't have been so surprised. Then again, everyone ranked LttP lower than Grindea too. LttP is probably the cleanest looking example of pixel art on the planet. Ah, I don't know!
You also make a very good point about using your better art skills to *purposefully* make the user uncomfortable or what-have-you. It feels like you've thought about this before. =)
And I suppose if a better artist re-did the Grindea screens in the same style, most people would choose the better artist's...

Anyway, I'm enjoying this discussion. If anyone does any "which is better?" polls, be sure to post them. I'd be interested in seeing what older gamers thought...all my friends are a bit young.
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Artists draw for other people all the time, and get paid to do so.
Indeed. The only reason I started this thread. The thought of getting to PPD's level one day, only to have the audience go "bleah, why is the girl blue?! I'm playing something else instead!" is a little disheartening to me! Not every game should look like Farmville!
« Last Edit: September 07, 2012, 11:54:32 pm by jams0988 »

Offline AlexHW

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #29 on: September 08, 2012, 02:19:49 am
It can be disheartening. The feeling isn't isolated to just pixel-art. It happens with all forms of creation. You end up making something brilliant and others may not think as highly of it because they may not see where that brilliance stems from. It's like finding a leaf on the ground and not being able to appreciate all the work that went into creating that leaf, a person just sees a leaf and doesn't think much of it- they don't see the tree, or the soil or whatever else that was once connected to it; they don't understand the story and so it is hard to show empathy towards the subtler details of it. Much like a person that can't understand a person speaking another language.
What you have to do as an artist is understand how all of this dynamic works and flows, because if you can't understand why you do the things you do regardless of others, then it'll be more difficult to do them period. You're not selling your art- you're selling a part of yourself.

Offline Ai

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #30 on: September 08, 2012, 04:26:17 am
Quote
That's a strong point. Maybe I shouldn't have been so surprised. Then again, everyone ranked LttP lower than Grindea too. LttP is probably the cleanest looking example of pixel art on the planet. Ah, I don't know!
Just wanted to mention that old games typically have crowded screens out of the necessity of low-res. LttP is no exception, and Grindea definitely beats it in the dimension of expansiveness (which is saying something, since LttP is a game about exploration -- Miyamoto must have tried hard to make it feel expansive.).

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

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #31 on: September 08, 2012, 06:55:04 pm
ALTP graphics are a bit too clean and simplistic, I definitely prefer SOG..
The graphics from Minish Cap are superior to both though :)

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #32 on: September 08, 2012, 10:32:51 pm
Looks pretty awful to me.   And yeah Link to the Past is nice and clean though for some reason I prefer Link's Awakening DX on GBC.  I never much cared for Minish Cap's graphics (or the game itself.  I found it massively unappealing).  And Seiken Densetsu 3 is my favorite looking game of that viewpoint for it's gorgeous tilework and palettes.  Sprites could be better though.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2012, 10:34:41 pm by Carnivac »
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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #33 on: September 09, 2012, 01:23:49 am
Quote
I wouldn't care less about what people think, except I'd like to sell my work someday. It's sad to know that to sell, I'd have to dumb down my art. From what I can see, people like nothing besides empty spaces, high resolutions, and straight ramps. It's a boring way to draw!
Relax.
You're making large assumptions over such a small poll of 10 people.
Instead of trying to understand what you consider negative tastes of others, try to understand how they can be used (or the opposite of what they are) in positive ways in your own art.

Helm makes good points that there is more to these images than purely pixel tech.
Games have many properties that will influence how people think about them and can alter what their opinion of each property is.
"The art is so amazing that the mediocre gameplay is worth it".
"The game play is so good that the crappy art is kind of charming".
That's why its good to have a team of diversified people for a game project.
One to focus on the expertise of the art, another to code features and functionality, another to make creative levels within limitations, maximize flow and reward, etc etc.

Also showing videos instead of stills might get completely different reactions.
Art in motion has a different feel.

Quote
The thought of getting to PPD's level one day
:lol:
I'm just some dude.
Don't worry about such things.
Just keep a clear mind, be humble, pace yourself, try new things, learn, make a plan, draw stuff and have fun.

Quote
only to have the audience go "bleah, why is the girl blue?! I'm playing something else instead!" is a little disheartening to me! Not every game should look like Farmville!
If you work at a studio you may not always have complete input on your work. You could be an asset artist for a concept artist, taking their designs and implementing them. Or you might have and even more specific job like only animation. This can pay good money and be a great learning experience.

If you'd rather do things on your own, find a way to go indie or get properly funded. You'll have more work but also more control. I'd still recommend having a small team.

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Tell me how it is destructive?
Alex, I'd be happy to openly discuss this. What should we call the thread?
 
« Last Edit: September 09, 2012, 03:47:49 am by PixelPiledriver »
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline AlexHW

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #34 on: September 09, 2012, 01:43:00 am
Quote
Tell me how it is destructive?
Alex, I'd be happy to openly discuss this. What should we call the thread?
You're the one with an issue with it (I'm not entire sure what you find wrong with what I said even though I have suspicions)- you should be the one to determine the appropriate title for your thread.

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #35 on: September 09, 2012, 03:26:50 am
To be honest, looking at the images from a distance, the first screenshot that seiseki posted is more pleasing to me than the other examples. The depth is very pleasing and the bridge and trees have oddly good drawing to them.

Now, the pixel technique is horrific, but a non pixel artist won't really notice that. Sometimes hue shifting really appears to be something only artists like. For the normal person you have to actually be much more calculated and realistic so that they don't think the image is washed out or on the other side; garrish.

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #36 on: September 10, 2012, 05:38:47 pm
Sometimes hue shifting really appears to be something only artists like.

Definitely. I get a lot of complaints about having "odd" colors where they shouldn't be when I apply hue-shifting.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2012, 05:55:56 pm by Dusty »

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #37 on: September 10, 2012, 08:17:15 pm
hue shifting is just a masked term someone made up to describe the mixing of two colors. All that color mixing is a result of is how light interacts with surfaces. If you understand how light works, then you won't use color in a cosmetic sense.

Edit: the more appropriate terms of; achromatic, monochromatic, and polychromatic should be used if you want to be technical about your art.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2012, 08:25:16 pm by Alex Hanson-White »

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #38 on: September 11, 2012, 12:12:36 am
Hue shifting is not just about mixing 2 colours, it is transitioning a ramp from one colour to another, maybe even through more than one hue.

Also, what do you mean by "if you understand how light works, then you won't use color in a cosmetic sense."

So it there only "cosmetic" and "proper" or something? If you think that, that's a false dichotomy. Tho I am not saying you think that, just sounds a bit like it. There are many ways in which to use colour, symbolic, emotional, realistic, graphical, and to achieve different goals.

That said, hueshifting often is a bit overused by many pixel-artists, so I would agree to try and not overuse it.

Also that other stuff you listed there just means greyscale, single colour (as in one hue, many shades) and bunch of colours. So hue-shifted stuff would always be polychromatic, but not everything which is polychromatic necessarily employs hue shifts.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline TheMonsterAtlas

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #39 on: September 11, 2012, 12:26:54 am
Well on a computer screen, color is simply made of three different values of red, blue and green c: but then there is hue shifting and other things, but realistically, there are only three colors you see and your eye tells your brain that it sees yellow because that's what light looks like when it hits something yellow.

Offline AlexHW

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #40 on: September 11, 2012, 01:08:46 am
hueshifting just implies a polychromatic scale of color. If you look at light and how it reflects, then if you are wanting to represent a realistic image, you would just color everything in relation to the light and shadow in relation to surfaces- how light bounces off, becomes absorbed, spreads and mixes the color spectrum, etc.
Hueshifting just masks all of that terminology and causes the understanding of those things to become unclear. Just focus on the realities and you'll become a better artist and a better communicator of it. Making up terms for other terms just dilutes the language and causes misconceptions.
Just trying to reintroduce some clarity.

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #41 on: September 11, 2012, 01:34:07 am
I specified hue shifting because it is a technique that many pixel artists ( as ptoing said) over use [ im guilty of it myself]- and often do so arbitrarily. There is a certain amount of hue shift that appears in nature due to various light sources, surface reflectivity, atmospheric perspective etc but it is much more modest than what artists sometimes do. With this fact in mind, the exaggeration of how light would realistically fall upon the surface, or ignoring the factors completely and  hue shifting for aesthetic effect can be so far gone from reality, that straight ramps appear more realistic in comparison- and therefore more attractive to the average gamer.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 01:35:38 am by Ryumaru »

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #42 on: September 11, 2012, 01:42:11 am
Yea.. hueshifting is like pillowshading for colors :P

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #43 on: September 11, 2012, 02:40:13 am
Well, hue shifting is not inherently a bad thing. Like all techniques, it's utility depends on moderation and application. Overusing any tech can be detrimental. Art doesn't always have to be the replication of nature either. Style of course comes into play as well as the goal of the artist. Sometimes making things hyper real (or cartoony on the other end of the spectrum) can be more aesthetically interesting than something that's a deadpan imitation/representation.

Connecting back to the main topic, I think there is an important distinction that hasn't been brought up yet about comparing the games. The golden age of SNES games, beautiful as they are, were experienced on CRT monitors, also at varying resolutions depending on what size tv. ("Like a 20 inch Zenith you gotta see it to believe it") They wouldn't have had the crisp picture that keeps the integrity of the pixels intact. The colors bleed into each other. This is why the bitmap brothers got away with crazy dithering/ramps, they looked totally smooth viewed on what it was intended to be experienced on, CRTs. We take the sharpness of LCDs for granted. It may help account for the disparity.

Also we should remember that in the large schema of art, pixel art is relatively esoteric, not everyone will be able to appreciate its greatness, as is true for any type of art.

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #44 on: September 11, 2012, 04:27:38 am
With this fact in mind, the exaggeration of how light would realistically fall upon the surface, or ignoring the factors completely and  hue shifting for aesthetic effect can be so far gone from reality, that straight ramps appear more realistic in comparison- and therefore more attractive to the average gamer.
Yea.. hueshifting is like pillowshading for colors :P

By that analogy abstraction is like pillowshading for rendering. If it was not for that :P I would not even know to whether to take you even a little serious or not.

Hue shifting is simply exaggaration of reality, as Ryumaru already pointed out. Art which just apes reality gets pretty old pretty fast. Knowing the tools to make realistic art is good, but there are many good artists who can not do this convincingly but still are so much better in other areas than some which can do stuff that looks photoreal. It is all relative.

Also to go back to pillowshading. I have yet to see a good usage of pillowshading. I have seen plenty of good usage of hue shifting. Also most of the drawings on your homepage look like some new-age-hippie stuff in terms of coloration, Alex. Glasshouses and such... (don't expect much more discussion from me on this, I discussed with you before, I know how that works.)
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline AlexHW

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #45 on: September 11, 2012, 05:08:12 am
I was just trying to test how expressive the word hueshifting is to convey the nuances with color. Obviously it means to shift hues, but it doesn't really explain color for me. It just feels a bit like a blanket for those who may be trying to learn more about light- but I suppose anything that gets you more involved and practicing will inherently push through to something more.

Offline jams0988

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #46 on: September 11, 2012, 05:11:17 am
Quote
By that analogy abstraction is like pillowshading for rendering. If it was not for that :P I would not even know to whether to take you even a little serious or not.
I'm pretty sure what he meant by that was "when artists don't know how to shade correctly, they pillow shade. When artists don't know how to choose their colors correctly, they simply hue shift [even when hue shifting isn't appropriate.]"
I understood the analogy, and it made me laugh. It's true, I think!
Quote
Hue shifting is simply exaggaration of reality, as Ryumaru already pointed out. Art which just apes reality gets pretty old pretty fast. Knowing the tools to make realistic art is good, but there are many good artists who can not do this convincingly but still are so much better in other areas than some which can do stuff that looks photoreal. It is all relative.
I think most people would agree with this, Alex included! =)

Alex is simply saying "hue shifting" is the knee-jerk reaction bad artists have to "oh my god, what color would be best here?" I think he's trying to say we shouldn't even have the term hue-shifting, because it teaches new artists that simply sliding the hue over to the left or the right will produce good color selections for us, when that's obviously not true. He's saying to learn how colors actually work, instead of relying on cheap tricks. I agree that hue-shifting IS used as a cheap trick a lot of the time, with bad results. I see the advice posted here constantly, by artists who don't know any better. "Hey, your drawing looks dull. You should make all the shadows purple! That's called hue-shifting! If the object's brighter, make it more yellow, instead!" Half the time, that advice makes absolutely no sense, hence (from what I gather), Alex's aversion to using the term at all. (Sorry for putting words into your mouth, Alex!)

About Alex's "Hippie color choices," I think his art makes it obvious he's followed his own advice; he's very familiar with how colors work, and because of that, I think he does a fantastic job of bending (and even breaking!) the rules. =)
Quote
I'm just some dude.
Don't worry about such things.
Just keep a clear mind, be humble, pace yourself, try new things, learn, make a plan, draw stuff and have fun.
Oh, don't worry, I know.
If I didn't plan on surpassing your current (very high!) level one day, I'd quit drawing now, heheheh. ;P
I used you as an example, because you're a good artist with a very idiosyncratic artstyle. =)
« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 05:25:43 am by jams0988 »

Offline AlexHW

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #47 on: September 11, 2012, 05:28:57 am
(Sorry for putting words into your mouth, Alex!)
Pretty much spot on with my thoughts, I agree with your assessment. :y:

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #48 on: September 11, 2012, 05:56:02 am
I think these technical terms are quite fitting because in PA its more about knowing how certain colors are perceived because most created pixel works, defined by the medium, are rather unrealistic and more symbolic so it's less about finding "natural" looking colors but more about finding colors which give the right contrast or feel.

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #49 on: September 11, 2012, 06:03:30 am
I remember my first exposure to Seiken Deikutsu 3 art in pixel art tutorial and I thought to myself "how could those people actually value graphics where there is non-sense-ish purple on trunks and leaves ??". It almost blinded me to the remaining quality of the piece. of course, my feel towards this piece has changed over the years.

That being said, as soon as you're asking the question on a place where people that liked game X gathered, your poll output will be biaised. I mean, there were people around who prefer(ed) Virtua Fighter over Street Fighter II, blocky characters nonwithstanding... and I couldn't count the number of modern (post-2000) cartoons that I consider über-ugly but that kids worship (sponge bob, bratz, little poney redux, only to name a few).

I've just went to the devlog of the game, and imho, the screenshot you pick doesn't do justice to the overall game level. Especially, the screenshot doesn't render animations which seem to be pretty smooth and it has a layer of smoothing that kills whatever was properly done. Granted, there are plenty of things that could be improved on those "green fields" (rocks definitely need a face-lift), but on some point, the game's art is indeed superior to Z:LttP, where everything was over-symmetric and had to work with very few colours. Zelda's trees, if anything, were quite weird at first glance.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 06:32:54 am by PypeBros »

Offline ptoing

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #50 on: September 11, 2012, 07:26:48 am
Alex is simply saying "hue shifting" is the knee-jerk reaction bad artists have to "oh my god, what color would be best here?" I think he's trying to say we shouldn't even have the term hue-shifting, because it teaches new artists that simply sliding the hue over to the left or the right will produce good color selections for us, when that's obviously not true. He's saying to learn how colors actually work, instead of relying on cheap tricks. I agree that hue-shifting IS used as a cheap trick a lot of the time, with bad results. I see the advice posted here constantly, by artists who don't know any better. "Hey, your drawing looks dull. You should make all the shadows purple! That's called hue-shifting! If the object's brighter, make it more yellow, instead!" Half the time, that advice makes absolutely no sense, hence (from what I gather), Alex's aversion to using the term at all.

Any practise can be used badly, does not devalue the term. And yes, you are right, there are times when generic and bad advice is given here as well, tho I have not seen that bit of advice in a while now. A lot of this I feel comes from stuff like the Seiken Densetus 3 trees and similar game stuff. Hue shifting can work, and given that is is so easy in pixelart to manipulate the palette it is a term that makes sense as well. How someone ends up using it has nothing to do with whether the term is valid in what it conveys. That's really is all there is to say to whether the term should be used or not.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline AlexHW

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #51 on: September 11, 2012, 07:38:29 am
But what is hueshifting? The term doesn't really represent color truthfully because you're removing the understanding involved with how color and light function, which is fine, but it doesn't seem appropriate for critique about colors(see my point?). If there is a problem about color, you shouldn't use a term that blankets the understanding of color. All that does by suggesting it is enforce a practice that doesn't promote an educated foundation involving light/color. Hueshifting describes a practice, not an understanding. We're not here to force everyone to create art the same way(at least I'm not).

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #52 on: September 11, 2012, 08:35:44 am
Neither am I. Hue is the part of the colour minus the shade, the pure colour if you will. And I think that the term is useful to say things like "The hueshifting on those trees is a bit excessive, maybe tone that down." or "Seeing as this is supposed to be set in bright daylight, maybe hueshift the shadows toward blue a bit to represent reflected light from the sky." The latter one is a bit long and could be put shorter, yes, but for the former hueshifting is a good and short term and people generally will understand what you mean by it.

What I would agree with, and I think you do too, is that hueshifting can more or less be put in a box with things like selout, as in they are both things which are used too much and often by people who just start out with pixelart and do not know too much about pixelart or art in general.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline AlexHW

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #53 on: September 11, 2012, 09:55:11 am
Color doesn't involve shade. It's a misconception to think it does. Color and hue represent the same phenomenon when you understand how Chroma fits into the equation. Chroma describes the colorfulness(how intense the hue is), and it is dependent upon how light interacts with matter(how the spectrum becomes bent). Luminance is the scale of brightness or directness of the light which produces the shades between light and dark.

When you refer to "The hueshifting on those trees is a bit excessive, maybe tone that down.".. What does that mean?.. The hues are shifting too quickly?.. the hues' intensity too conflicting?.. there is too many adjustments to the hues happening?.. Just saying that that the hueshifting is a bit excessive is a bit vague- It's like saying that the hues are too colorful or the shades are too shaded or something. It's better to go to the base of the issues.

Offline ptoing

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #54 on: September 11, 2012, 10:53:37 am
Lightness (which also results in shades) is part of what makes colour. I am not gonna discuss semantics with you here. What I am saying is that most people familiar with the term hue shifting as used in the pixel art scene will get what someone would mean by "the hue-shifting is a bit excessive." It might be a vague statement, but it is not something that is totally stupid like "the shades are too shaded."

Anyway, last thing from me on this.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline AlexHW

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #55 on: September 11, 2012, 11:07:41 am
Lightness has shades but color is not a shaded characteristic in the same sense that brightness is. Color is simply a characteristic of how light bends. Darkness and lightness have nothing to do with the hue/color.
And yes, saying that the hueshifting is a bit excessive is essentially saying that the colors in the image are too colorful. Simple as that because you haven't really proven it otherwise. Try understanding color a bit more and you may see what I'm saying.

Offline rikfuzz

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #56 on: September 11, 2012, 12:05:05 pm
When you refer to "The hueshifting on those trees is a bit excessive, maybe tone that down.".. What does that mean?.. The hues are shifting too quickly?.. the hues' intensity too conflicting?.. there is too many adjustments to the hues happening?.. Just saying that that the hueshifting is a bit excessive is a bit vague- It's like saying that the hues are too colorful or the shades are too shaded or something. It's better to go to the base of the issues.

If he said that to me I'd take it to mean the effect is over pronounced (the hues at either end are too far appart or too arbitrarily tinted), and then investigate exactly what's pushing that particular piece over the edge.

Can definitely become a little tiresome on the eye if the whole screen is full of unusual and conflicting hue-shifts and not enough contrast in the saturation (but I don't think I've ever seen an example I don't prefer to dull flat ramps). 

Offline AlexHW

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #57 on: September 11, 2012, 12:34:51 pm
(but I don't think I've ever seen an example I don't prefer to dull flat ramps).

just curious what you think of this since this game doesn't use any crazy "hueshifting"
 

Offline ptoing

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #58 on: September 11, 2012, 12:54:43 pm
Dodonpachi does have straight ramps as well in most cases, as do most other arcade and console games.

Those arcade and console games mostly have straight ramps because it is way easier to get a coherent look if you have more colours with straighter ramps. If you have something that only has 16 or 32 colours like on Atari ST / Amiga 500, then hueshifting can work nicely and you need a smarter palette anyway.

Also esp in fighting games sprites are done to be easily palette swapped for alternate looks. This again is a lot easier and more straight forward if you have straight ramps.

Also, I know I am breaking my promise to myself here: Colour is the totality of what we percieve. Stuff like Chroma, Brightness, Hue, Lightness, Saturation and so on are all parts of colour, and they are also not super consistently defined, depending on what colour model you are talking about, but I think saying that colour can be taken further apart into bits (such as HSV for example) makes sense. Again, this is mostly semantics.

ptoing, OVER AND OUT.

PS: Alex, I dunno if you are doing this kinda stuff on purpose, but your post here, with the Last Blade screenshot is kinda trollish, and some of your other posts are semi trollish. You do not need to reply to this here, it is just an observation. It just seems to me that you want to get some sort of discussion going which does not necessarily have much value. I recall a certain discussion about veganism from a couple of years back. Not quite as bad right now, but similar kinda stuff.

Enough derailing from me.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline r1k

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #59 on: September 11, 2012, 01:30:00 pm
This is just an idea, but maybe when begginers think about hue shifting, they may tend to think of hue as being seperated into "hue families" rather than hue simply being a smooth scale from red to magenta.  By hue families I mean like: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple.  So when they have something green its easy to think that they must shift into the adjecent hue families (yellow and blue) rather than thinking they can just move into a warmer green and a cooler green.  Or maybe its just too much SD3 influence.  In anycase whenever I suggest someone does hue shifting I try to explain the basic cooler shadows, warmer lights idea, but also suggest that the opposite could work in some situations too.  Too often the hue shifting I see is too predictable and boring (purple/blue shadows, yellow/orange lights).  I think thats because theyre only open to the cool shadows, warm lights idea, without being open to other possibilities.  Subtler hue shifts may open more possibilities too (orange shadows and blue lights might look totally wrong, but a more subtle variant might look interesting)

Offline rikfuzz

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #60 on: September 11, 2012, 01:40:56 pm
(but I don't think I've ever seen an example I don't prefer to dull flat ramps).

just curious what you think of this since this game doesn't use any crazy "hueshifting"
 

It looks good!  Maybe I was too hasty to say that.  There's a lot of contrast in the value of the shades, and a lot of contrast in the saturation between foreground and background in, so it's pretty hard to describe it as dull with a straight face.  Of course more interesting lighting conditions might be a more fun image for me, it's a little hard to say it's a fault in this case. 

Offline AlexHW

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #61 on: September 11, 2012, 01:45:22 pm

PS: Alex, I dunno if you are doing this kinda stuff on purpose, but your post here, with the Last Blade screenshot is kinda trollish, and some of your other posts are semi trollish. You do not need to reply to this here, it is just an observation. It just seems to me that you want to get some sort of discussion going which does not necessarily have much value. I recall a certain discussion about veganism from a couple of years back. Not quite as bad right now, but similar kinda stuff.

I don't know what you're talking about. And I'm just wanting to know what rikfuzz thinks of that screenshot. Also wanting to clear up misunderstandings related to colours and reveal what hueshifting is/does by looking at more concrete understandings.

As far as colour. Seems like it's one of those terms they use for generalized impressions of varying hues, and I guess most people tend to lump together brightness/chroma, etc with it and call the overall combination a red, blue, whatever colour for convenience sake with cataloging all the possible configurations.. Kind of seems more like a complication in my opinion as it serves to dilute the focus from the true fundamentals.
This kind of thinking reflects the term hueshifting as well since it doesn't add much to what is obvious about how colors work. It like a name for a slightly different shade of grey. Infact, I could probably come up with the term greyshifting. Let's all use the term greyshifting to describe the use of our shadows.

Offline AlexHW

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #62 on: September 11, 2012, 01:54:28 pm
This is just an idea, but maybe when begginers think about hue shifting, they may tend to think of hue as being seperated into "hue families" rather than hue simply being a smooth scale from red to magenta.  By hue families I mean like: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple.  So when they have something green its easy to think that they must shift into the adjecent hue families (yellow and blue) rather than thinking they can just move into a warmer green and a cooler green.  Or maybe its just too much SD3 influence.  In anycase whenever I suggest someone does hue shifting I try to explain the basic cooler shadows, warmer lights idea, but also suggest that the opposite could work in some situations too.  Too often the hue shifting I see is too predictable and boring (purple/blue shadows, yellow/orange lights).  I think thats because theyre only open to the cool shadows, warm lights idea, without being open to other possibilities.  Subtler hue shifts may open more possibilities too (orange shadows and blue lights might look totally wrong, but a more subtle variant might look interesting)
Yes, that is the most likely case. They see a color as an identification of a combination of brightness/chroma/hue and haven't yet learnt to utilize each proponent individually yet because they haven't understood the dynamics involved with light yet(they aren't aware these details exist, or at least aren't aware of their pertinence with the overall color they identify with). This is taught in art classes, and students are given tasks to paint achromatic gradients, monochromatic gradients as well as polychromatic gradients to help the students become comfortable with these transitions.


It looks good!  Maybe I was too hasty to say that.  There's a lot of contrast in the value of the shades, and a lot of contrast in the saturation between foreground and background in, so it's pretty hard to describe it as dull with a straight face.  Of course more interesting lighting conditions might be a more fun image for me, it's a little hard to say it's a fault in this case. 
Yea, I love the greyshifting that they use in the background and foreground!

Offline API-Beast

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #63 on: September 11, 2012, 02:47:33 pm
(but I don't think I've ever seen an example I don't prefer to dull flat ramps).

just curious what you think of this since this game doesn't use any crazy "hueshifting"
 

Actually those ramps are all hue shifted... it's used in moderation but it's there. And they look good :P

Hue shifting is a mere tool and it's primary use is rather to add contrast rather than have to have some weird hues, you don't need to use it but if you know how to use it its definitely useful.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 02:59:00 pm by Mr. Beast »

Offline rikfuzz

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #64 on: September 11, 2012, 03:07:01 pm
Well I thought the same, but I flattened them in photoshop and the difference was incredibly negligible. I'd consider them the same hue through all shades for the sake of this discussion, even tho there's technically a little movement. 

Offline Carnivac

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #65 on: September 11, 2012, 03:16:13 pm
(but I don't think I've ever seen an example I don't prefer to dull flat ramps).

just curious what you think of this since this game doesn't use any crazy "hueshifting"
 

It looks good!  Maybe I was too hasty to say that.  There's a lot of contrast in the value of the shades, and a lot of contrast in the saturation between foreground and background in, so it's pretty hard to describe it as dull with a straight face.  Of course more interesting lighting conditions might be a more fun image for me, it's a little hard to say it's a fault in this case.

I'd have to disagree.  I certainly find the color ramps particularly on the characters extremely dull.  Particularly the drab red of the shortest character but the green shades on the one on the left aren't much better.  Not keen on a lot of the pixelling either.  There's bits of the characters that aren't anti-aliased which I find very distracting and obvious compared to parts of them which are.  Ok it might just be cos certain game graphics are rushed or it might just be a style of that game (which I used to play a while ago and do consider it one of SNK's actual good fighting games and certainly better than King of Fighters and Samurai Shodown).  To me it looks sloppy and unfinished.  The slightly hue-shifted gray ramp of the status bars is nice though.
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Offline AlexHW

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #66 on: September 11, 2012, 03:24:58 pm

I'd have to disagree.  I certainly find the color ramps particularly on the characters extremely dull.  Particularly the drab red of the shortest character but the green shades on the one on the left aren't much better.  Not keen on a lot of the pixelling either.  There's bits of the characters that aren't anti-aliased which I find very distracting and obvious compared to parts of them which are.
I'd much prefer to look at something like this while playing a game than some amped up hue splurg that lacks consistency. The greyshifting in this looks really nice and the color is intelligently applied where appropriate.
As to the lack of anti-aliasing..that shows technical precision regarding the understanding of the shapes and values. A sprite rendered well doesn't require anti-aliasing.

Offline rikfuzz

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #67 on: September 11, 2012, 03:53:26 pm
Antialiasing is a tough one, obviously you can't have antialiasing very easily if you can change the character's palette.  (Which brings the possibility that character palettes were possibly put together by coders considering they're separate from the assets). 

Yes, I still think I'd prefer more interesting shifted palettes, but I think I was overstating how bad it is to not have them earlier, as the examples I'd normally see would be poor in other ways.   

(Also, stop trying to make greyshifting happen. It's not going to happen).  :crazy:

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #68 on: September 11, 2012, 04:46:48 pm
I'd much prefer to look at something like this while playing a game than some amped up hue splurg that lacks consistency. The greyshifting in this looks really nice and the color is intelligently applied where appropriate.

'amped up hue splurg'?   Who's asking for that?  I just find the colors very dull and washed out and could benefit from more interesting color ramps.  Not overdoing it.

Quote
As to the lack of anti-aliasing..that shows technical precision regarding the understanding of the shapes and values. A sprite rendered well doesn't require anti-aliasing.

But it's the fact that some of a sprite is anti-aliased and some isn't.  Look at the big guy's hair for example.  On our left the hair draping down that side of his face lacks the AA the other side has when it could easily have it.  As it is now it looks horribly jagged in comparison.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 04:51:41 pm by Carnivac »
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Offline Lachie Dazdarian

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #69 on: September 11, 2012, 04:51:29 pm
You bring up really important issues here, Alex. Not sure why ptoing felt it was trolling. Weird.

Anyway, to a beginner (who seems unable to find time to pixel for the last two weeks, argh!!!), colors are still quite a mystery to me, and precisely these "local" terms like hue-shifting only increase the confusion.

Would appreciate a good tutorial on colors in pixel art exclusively.

Offline AlexHW

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #70 on: September 11, 2012, 10:02:04 pm
Antialiasing is a tough one, obviously you can't have antialiasing very easily if you can change the character's palette.
anti-aliasing has nothing to do with whether a palette can be swapped. You misunderstand what anti-aliasing is, and it is not always beneficial to an image because the intention is to smear/blend tones to appear smoother. Smoothing can remove precision of edge detail.

Quote
(Also, stop trying to make greyshifting happen. It's not going to happen).  :crazy:
Greyshifting is happening!! I can feel it!! :o

'amped up hue splurg'?   Who's asking for that?  I just find the colors very dull and washed out and could benefit from more interesting color ramps.  Not overdoing it.
That's fine, but saying that the hueshifting is a bit excessive or there's not enough doesn't really help you understand anything about color. So the opportunity to use color in other ways that also look great is lost when you can't understand why.

Quote

But it's the fact that some of a sprite is anti-aliased and some isn't.  Look at the big guy's hair for example.  On our left the hair draping down that side of his face lacks the AA the other side has when it could easily have it.  As it is now it looks horribly jagged in comparison.
That is because those edges don't need anti-aliasing. Why smear them into a mess when leaving it crisp allows the surface values to express more about the structure of the forms? You should study form and value more and stop using techniques that serve to mask your ability to discern for yourself how to create something.

You bring up really important issues here, Alex. Not sure why ptoing felt it was trolling. Weird.

Anyway, to a beginner (who seems unable to find time to pixel for the last two weeks, argh!!!), colors are still quite a mystery to me, and precisely these "local" terms like hue-shifting only increase the confusion.

Would appreciate a good tutorial on colors in pixel art exclusively.
Thanks. I understand how the terms can appear mysterious, because I've had to deal with them while learning pixel-art in the past with things like selout(another term that lacks substance for the same reasons).
All these terms do is enforce a practiced way that keeps you making the same looking art over and over, but doesn't necessarily challenge you to grow.
Perhaps I'll look into creating such a tutorial, but there are already many resources online about color that aren't pixel related, yet offer lots of insight that any artist can benefit from(including pixel-artists). I'd advise pixel-artists to look at those- dig deeper and learn more about art in general.. or science or whatever helps broaden your awareness to everything.

Offline Helm

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #71 on: September 11, 2012, 10:17:09 pm
I don't think Alex is trolling here. Perhaps Ptoing is sensing an atmosphere from past threads and dragging it in here, it doesn't need to be here. Alex is making good points. In fact I agree with a lot he says. Hue-shifting is an incomplete decree because it does not rely on understanding a coherent color theory to apply, it's just a 'flashy effect'. Good artists use it well intuitively. We all could use a lot more theoretical knowhow. But it ties well with color conservation and is a very interesting product of indexed palette control, it's good to suggest it to people while giving edits and examples, not just in theory "try some hue-shifting".

I do find the Last Blade sprites boring to look at, color-wise. I would hue-shift, them, yes. But it's personal preference, I understand why others would not.

Anti-aliasing can be ommited with good pixel clusters in most cases, yes. I do not think these Last Blade screens show the best clusters, but they show good structure and design on the whole.

Offline Willows

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #72 on: September 11, 2012, 11:50:10 pm
@semantics argument:

Alex, you come off as someone who is arguing not towards a goal or understanding, but arguing for the sake of itself. Not that that's against the law or anything, but neither is shouting at no-one in particular in the middle of a road. Similarly, though to a lesser extreme, it is odd and probably unfruitful.

Your arguments show obvious bias like an overswing to defend your point such as "amped up hue splurg that lacks consistency" or "since this game doesn't use any crazy "hueshifting"" or other cases in which you propose an exaggerated idea of what you understand as hueshifting to reinforce the idea that you wish to project it as a bad thing. It feels like you simplified the argument down into a FOR OR AGAINST HUESHIFTING and are attempting to bully the opposing argument out of the ring, rather than letting your points stand on their own for what they are (purportedly as truth). I don't hope to fully discredit any of your arguments in this! You're obviously bringing up a lot of good thoughts (Though again I'd debate the fruitfulness of them in the first place, in certain instances) and are definitely contributing to a good discussion... I suppose this is just a personal aside to maybe allow you insight into why some people are turned away by your attitude, provided I'm in a position to provide insight in the first place.

More on-topic, couldn't we all use a stronger theoretical knowhow on a whole lot of common pixel art terms? What suddenly makes "hueshifting" a hot point?

Take "Shading". Fairly ambiguous general term that, while it blankets a phenomenal wealth of information, typically to beginners means "Things should have light and dark spots". It serves as the first step to learning! When I first shaded something (and I'm tempted to speak for most people here) I wasn't thinking particularly hard about the value of the light that was hitting the object nor did I have a fundamental understanding of what I was doing, how light interacted with different surfaces or any of the actual science involved in what I was attempting to replicate. It didn't matter. I was wrong and dumb and completely incompetent, but someone saying "You should shade that better" was a simple use of an almost meaningless term that enabled me to forward my own learning and broaden the simple word's definition. The term used was simply reference to an idea that I would benefit from exploring further. It didn't mean I couldn't do anything until it was understood, but meant that I needed to include it in my progressive understandings.

In that light, I don't understand why there is an argument against a tool (Hueshifting) being bad because the tool is being used without knowledge or improperly. Even if it is used without knowledge or improperly, the crime isn't that in itself, but that the artist fails to recognize his own failure and doesn't take steps to correct his act. Though things don't HAVE to be hard, I would find it hard to stomach a serious argument that hueshifting teaches a bad habit that stunts an artist's growth.

Offline ptoing

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #73 on: September 12, 2012, 02:20:49 am
Nicely said Willows.

Just a few things on anti-aliasing. When you want to colorswap your sprites (and we are talking low colour stuff here) you can not really aa between colours, as in if you have a sprite which has a grey, a blue and a red ramp. In certain colour combos aa between colours would work, but not in all, which is one reason that these kinda fighting game sprites generally do not have a lot of aa. In the case of SF2 where sprites do have aa as well as swapable palettes it kinda works because the colours are all kinda washed out.

Plus, again, everyone is always forgetting this, this stuff was made to run on arcade cabinets which are CRTs, you get scanlines, stuff is still sharp but there is some bleed going on, aa becomes relative.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline Corinthian Baby

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #74 on: September 12, 2012, 03:39:12 am
I mentioned that earlier because the same was true for most TVs in the heyday of SNES. The pixel beauty of those games could only really be examined after LCDs and emulator rips, which is why not all of the techs translate pristine.

I also agree with Willows.

Offline Tourist

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #75 on: September 12, 2012, 03:46:55 am
Hue shifting as a technique has been in use since at least the Renaissance.



Look at the clothing on this guy right here, particularly the sleeve and leg.  Yellow highlight to red to blue shadows.  This is from the Transfiguration by Raphael, 1520.   



And this guy, with the nice yellow to orange shading on his shirt?  Sistine Chapel.   I'm just saying that hue shifting has been around for a while, and it's not limited to pixel art.


As far as the original topic, should we have a separate thread to discuss visual priority, and composition for large game areas?  I've got a few thoughts skittering around in my skull, but I'm no expert.  It also seems like a more general art topic rather than anything pixel specific.

Tourist

Offline AlexHW

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #76 on: September 12, 2012, 04:10:42 am
nice finds Tourist,
Though, it looks more like reflective lighting. I'm sure the masters weren't thinking- "Let's see.. hue shift the yellow to a blue for some extra ambiance?"
Sure, it could be easy as that, but there was more thought put into it. They had to understand light and how surfaces reflect the rays and cause hues to become absorbed and spread, layered over other colors, etc.
I don't know how relevant the bleeding involved with crt tvs etc is to the way artists create images, if anything I would think that would be a secondary effect that probably felt more of a burden to the artists trying to portray something accurately without distortion. If it helped distract from other technical nuances with the limitation of colors, that probably was just an added bonus that they learnt to cooperate with like any medium. You can say the same thing for watercolor since it can be difficult to handle and bleeds, etc..

Alex, you come off as someone who is arguing not towards a goal or understanding, but arguing for the sake of itself. Not that that's against the law or anything, but neither is shouting at no-one in particular in the middle of a road. Similarly, though to a lesser extreme, it is odd and probably unfruitful.


I'm not sure what you're getting at. But, it could be insightful to try it sometime if you think nothing can come of it that is any good. You might find something you weren't aware of before.

Offline Willows

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #77 on: September 12, 2012, 04:48:01 am
For the sake of clear communication, Alex:! I'm not driving at anything. I'm presenting you with how I view the way you've presented yourself in this thread. It's the same as if you were to personally show me a picture of a teapot and my comment were "It looks cute." I'm not presenting a slant or interjecting my own personal opinion of what the teapot should be; I'm simply telling you my initial reaction to seeing the teapot. If that information is not useful to you or how it is useful to you or whether or not you even deign to acknowledge my input (:P) is none of my business! As a member of the audience, I'm providing you with feedback. There isn't any motive or direction!

Also, I'm familiar with the idea of pushing -something- (or in this case arguing for the sake of arguing) because not pushing anything is unacceptable. However, I've recognized as a truth for myself that in all situations there are goals I could identify and pursue, and until that stops being true, pushing for the sake of pushing feels just as unacceptable as not pushing used to.

On the topic of making new topics : I don't think any subject of discussion that has come up so far actually necessitates its own separate thread. This is just where the discussion has evolved to... BUT if anyone wants to make a helm-esque massive post of knowledge or what feels like it, I would gladly read every bit of it :D

Offline AlexHW

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #78 on: September 12, 2012, 05:06:22 am
Seems clear enough Willows. But just because you can't identify a goal doesn't mean there isn't one there- so what may seem unacceptable to you may not be as such believed to be in relativity to all possibilities. It is interesting your views, honestly.

Offline Carnivac

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #79 on: September 12, 2012, 07:04:11 am
That is because those edges don't need anti-aliasing.  Why smear them into a mess when leaving it crisp allows the surface values to express more about the structure of the forms?

Yes they do.  That area of hair which lacks the AA looks absolutely terrible especially when the other bit of draped hair has good AA.  How does it help the form of the hair in any way leave it totally un-anti-aliased when the rest is and I thought you liked consistency which that example does not have.  It looks crap.

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You should study form and value more and stop using techniques that serve to mask your ability to discern for yourself how to create something.

I'm starting to get quite offended by your tone here. 
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Offline AlexHW

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #80 on: September 12, 2012, 07:50:49 am
Can you point out the inconsistency more specifically with an edit or something? I'm not seeing it currently. The shading/tones used appear to be supporting the structure of the forms involved and I don't really see the requirement for anti-aliasing anywhere..

Offline rikfuzz

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #81 on: September 12, 2012, 08:22:54 am
Antialiasing is a tough one, obviously you can't have antialiasing very easily if you can change the character's palette.
anti-aliasing has nothing to do with whether a palette can be swapped. You misunderstand what anti-aliasing is, and it is not always beneficial to an image because the intention is to smear/blend tones to appear smoother. Smoothing can remove precision of edge detail.

If you were wondering why you raise people's hackles so often, it's this strange assumption that nobody else can comprehend simple concepts such as antialiasing and 'how to create something'. 

I understand exactly what antialiasing is and I'm not sure what on earth makes you think otherwise.   ???

There are technical implications of palette swapping that makes antialiasing between colour ramps very problematic.  Try and draw two different coloured sections, antialiased betweem, using two separate colour ramps and see what happens when they're swapped with other colour ramps.  Chaos!  :crazy:

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #82 on: September 12, 2012, 08:42:37 am
What you're talking about is a color issue, not an anti-aliasing issue. Having implications of palette swapping requires extra management of the colors, not the anti-aliasing.

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #83 on: September 12, 2012, 08:53:56 am
What he (and I earlier) are saying is that not having aa to deal with when you plan to colourswap is easy. Having to make sure that all the colour combos work with the aa would result in a lot more work and restrict possible combos. Especially if you work on a commercial game where time is money.

Also please don't ignore replies which are directed at how your posts are perceived (Carnivac's last post)
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #84 on: September 12, 2012, 09:11:07 am
What he (and I earlier) are saying is that not having aa to deal with when you plan to colourswap is easy. Having to make sure that all the colour combos work with the aa would result in a lot more work and restrict possible combos. Especially if you work on a commercial game where time is money.
Did you read my post? implications of color-swapping require management of the color, not the aa. Rikfuzz was saying that you can't having aa easily if you are changing the palette, but that is false.
If restrictions of amounts of color reduce the amount of useful shades for rendering a form, then yea the restriction is affecting the aa; the color isn't effecting the aa.

Quote
Also please don't ignore replies which are directed at how your posts are perceived (Carnivac's last post)
Don't know what you mean.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2012, 09:20:25 am by Alex Hanson-White »

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #85 on: September 12, 2012, 09:22:39 am
I mean this:

Quote
Also please don't ignore replies which are directed at how your posts are perceived (Carnivac's last post)
Don't know what you mean.

You should study form and value more and stop using techniques that serve to mask your ability to discern for yourself how to create something.

I'm starting to get quite offended by your tone here. 

About the aa again:

In most cases older hardware would have 16 colour sprites. One reserved for trans, so 15.
This allows for quite a few setups still in terms of ramps.
The thing is that a) usually it is unwise to have mixed ramps if you plan to do a lot of colourswapping (esp. under time restraints) and b) you want to use all your colours for your ramps and not reserve some colours for just aa between the combos you do.

If you did that and had special aa colours for each of the combos possible then you would be fine, but this was not the case on old hardware, and even today would increase the workload by an unreasonable amount.

As I said, depending on how you manage your colours you can still do aa and colourswap and it will look ok in most cases. Like in SF2 where everything is relatively washed out and there are not too many super saturated colours.

What rikfuzz said still stands and is valid. This is not soley a colour or an aa issue, but it is a combination. And eliminating the aa makes your life a lot easier in this case.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #86 on: September 12, 2012, 09:32:24 am
The whole point of palette swapping is to make as much variation as possible.  What's the point of palette swapping, if you're restricting to combinations that are rough equivalents of the original to stop the AA behaving differently?  I've worked on several commercial games that utilise palette swapping or user/code generated palettes, and buffer shades between ramps is much more hassle than it's worth.  This is my experience. I don't know how that assessment is 'false'.  ::)

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #87 on: September 12, 2012, 10:24:33 am
Palette swapping should make workload easier. Just seems as if your troubles stem from an artistic standpoint and not necessarily a technical one. The real issue here isn't that limited colors forces you to cut out aa, but rather limited colors forces you to manage them more precisely. The palette-swapping helps give a bit of variability to it, at a lower cost.

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #88 on: September 12, 2012, 10:29:30 am
You keep ignoring things directed to you which relate to how others feel about your posts. I reward you a strike.
If you have a problem with this you can PM me.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2012, 10:36:18 am by ptoing »
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #89 on: September 12, 2012, 10:37:03 am
Oh my, this thread took a turn. I think sides have been expressed on these issues. If you carry on, try to be considerate.

Offline AlexHW

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #90 on: September 12, 2012, 10:53:00 am
You keep ignoring things directed to you which relate to how others feel about your posts. I reward you a strike.
If you have a problem with this you can PM me.
You didn't really explain well what was bothering you about my habits.
But if you prefer to explain it to me in pm, then I can pm you to ask about it. oh well..

edit: also, He never asked me to respond to his post. Am I suppose to be a mind-reader?.. perhaps he didn't want me to respond.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2012, 11:07:11 am by Alex Hanson-White »

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #91 on: September 12, 2012, 11:41:14 am
When someone's telling you you've offended them usually that's a cue to either apologize or explain yourself until the thing's cleared up. Of course you can do what you do and avoid this, but it's not going to show good judgment in social situations and that ends up with people no longer talking to you.

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #92 on: September 12, 2012, 12:04:28 pm
Well I'm not really sure what Carnivac is upset with about my tone as I just offered suggestions. I didn't see the point in making a big deal about it since it sounded more like a side-remark which I read and considered and then moved on. If he wants to explain how I'm making him uncomfortable then he can do that. I don't have any malice towards him- I barely know him so all I can react to is with the things he says.
I'm well aware of what makes people not want to talk to someone, but I'm trying to talk to people who understand me or who can understand me. I have to be myself to do this otherwise who am I and who would really know me? If people don't want to talk to me, that's their choice, and I would hope that they choose for their own sake- not mine. because it would save me a lot of trouble and stuff.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2012, 12:09:09 pm by Alex Hanson-White »

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #93 on: September 12, 2012, 04:03:59 pm
It's all great that you're trying to retain your integrity about who you are, but it might come to be that who you are is annoying and rude for enough people that you get banned. I, for one, wouldn't want to see that. You'd have to contain who you are, in this case. If you aren't willing to do that, you'll have a rough time here and everywhere else on the 'net, really.

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #94 on: September 12, 2012, 04:55:45 pm
Can you point out the inconsistency more specifically with an edit or something? I'm not seeing it currently. The shading/tones used appear to be supporting the structure of the forms involved and I don't really see the requirement for anti-aliasing anywhere..



Original on left, edit on right.  see my issue with that part of the sprite is the un-anti-aliased part of the hair looks far too sharp and jagged compared to the rest and it sticks out like a sore thumb to me and I find things like that very distracting whether I'm playing a game or just looking at screenshots of it.  There's no reason for that hair to need to stand out as it serves no gameplay function or feature so I did the edit on the right that just smooths it a bit so it looks more consistent compared to the rest. Ok I also made a couple slight tweaks on other parts of the hair (the more I look at sprites like this the more I find myself not liking them and feeling the urge to tweak them).  Also added a couple of the dark 'gray' pixels to the bottom of the hair to seperate it from the shirt as I felt it blended in far too much before and could benefit from a slight bit of seperation.  Anyways now that hair is a bit smoother my eyes draw more to the face of the character which is fine cos the face is more of a focal point.   Not saying my edit is 'right' or 'correct' and it could probably be done better, but that's what I see and I certainly prefer it to the original which as I've said bugged me a lot.   I still don't even understand why an edit was even requested to explain what I was referring to. 

And about being offended it may be an issue on my part that I simply misunderstand your way of speaking (hey I'd happily admit I'm an idiot and far less knowledgable about actual 'arty' terms and techniques) but to me it comes across as very condescending or patronizing and I do not like it.   
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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #95 on: September 12, 2012, 05:15:30 pm
Well typically the exterior of sprites are not AAed because it wouldn't work on every background the sprite may be placed over, no? But if it's just a general observation I agree... but then again rarely ever see non-AAed pixel art where the harshness doesn't bother me.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2012, 05:17:55 pm by Dusty »

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #96 on: September 12, 2012, 05:32:05 pm
But it's NOT just the exterior of that hair (look where it meets the dark shadowed area of the hair before the face) and it's the fact the many areas of all of the sprite has anti-aliasing even on the exterior which makes this bit without so damn out of place...  Anyways the darkening anti-aliasing on an exterior works as a sort of 'outline' anyways which gives it more chance to stand out more from whatever background is in use as it should. 
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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #97 on: September 12, 2012, 11:42:59 pm
It's all great that you're trying to retain your integrity about who you are, but it might come to be that who you are is annoying and rude for enough people that you get banned. I, for one, wouldn't want to see that. You'd have to contain who you are, in this case. If you aren't willing to do that, you'll have a rough time here and everywhere else on the 'net, really.
You make it sound like it's inevitable, but we're all working together. So it's not a one sided observation here- perhaps there are more conditions involved than simply how I act that determines whether I get banned. It's easy to point fingers, basically.

Can you point out the inconsistency more specifically with an edit or something? I'm not seeing it currently. The shading/tones used appear to be supporting the structure of the forms involved and I don't really see the requirement for anti-aliasing anywhere..



Original on left, edit on right.  see my issue with that part of the sprite is the un-anti-aliased part of the hair looks far too sharp and jagged compared to the rest and it sticks out like a sore thumb to me and I find things like that very distracting whether I'm playing a game or just looking at screenshots of it. 
Looks better without the anti-aliasing to me. The anti-alias you added just blurs the detail of the surface edge. Hair extends straight and shouldn't be beveled as your anti-aliasing is making it look. Not everything is soft around the edges in the world, nor should it be. Just because you can make it so in a game doesn't mean it'll make the art more pleasing. Often if you do it just makes the art more muddy.

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There's no reason for that hair to need to stand out as it serves no gameplay function or feature so I did the edit on the right that just smooths it a bit so it looks more consistent compared to the rest.
I don't understand this reasoning. This game has a lot to do with the characters and how they look, and aesthetic is important. Maybe not to the gameplay, but I don't see how you can make the look of a character unimportant in this case to the extent that you would need to smear out part of it for the sake of making the character appear out of focus.

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Ok I also made a couple slight tweaks on other parts of the hair (the more I look at sprites like this the more I find myself not liking them and feeling the urge to tweak them).  Also added a couple of the dark 'gray' pixels to the bottom of the hair to seperate it from the shirt as I felt it blended in far too much before and could benefit from a slight bit of seperation. 
All you're doing is adding more work than is necessary and blurring the edges, making surface edges appear less clear by making the character appear out of focus.

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Anyways now that hair is a bit smoother my eyes draw more to the face of the character which is fine cos the face is more of a focal point.   Not saying my edit is 'right' or 'correct' and it could probably be done better, but that's what I see and I certainly prefer it to the original which as I've said bugged me a lot.   I still don't even understand why an edit was even requested to explain what I was referring to. 
You totally changed the hair's crispness and clarity. I prefer the original because the hair feels more straight and sharp. Slick rather than fuzzy.
You should understand how these changes you are making effect the overall impression of surfaces and texture. It would serve you well as a pixel-artist. Not to do these things based on a knee-jerk reaction for personal preference or habits. This is a suggestion for improving your understanding, not an insult or demeaning comment. You edits may be relevant in other situations, but I don't see the point of it in this case. All your reasoning is stemming from your own personal preference as to how edges should look, and I don't know if you're taking into consideration what it is being represented.

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And about being offended it may be an issue on my part that I simply misunderstand your way of speaking (hey I'd happily admit I'm an idiot and far less knowledgable about actual 'arty' terms and techniques) but to me it comes across as very condescending or patronizing and I do not like it.   
I don't know what to say about that. I apologize if I make you feel like that, but I'm just trying to help by explaining what I see wrong with things. It can be tough to hear for anyone. I don't like being "wronged" either, but It's not going to prevent myself from sharing what I know is the case if I believe I am right. If people want to take what I say personally, that is not my fault.

Offline Carnivac

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #98 on: September 13, 2012, 01:31:45 pm
This is a suggestion for improving your understanding, not an insult or demeaning comment.


Every goddamn thing you say sounds like a demeaning comment.  And I totally disagree with you about the hair edit.  From what you say pretty much everything I've pixelled looks 'blurry' or 'muddy' and quite frankly I think you're absolutely wrong.   Also after speaking with a couple other people about you I'm making this my last interaction with you.  I do not enjoy reading your pretentious comments nor do I feel I should waste my time any further.
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Offline Willows

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #99 on: September 13, 2012, 01:49:53 pm
It was the inconsistency in AA that Carnivac was complaining about, yeah? He was objecting to the AA of the hair in one location forcing a stark contrast between two elements of the same object (hair), which stuck out as a sore thumb, to him. To ask him to do an edit and then criticize specific aspects of the edit without considering the application of the concept he's portraying across the whole image just reinforces in me the idea that you're disinterested in the outcome of the argument and sustaining the argument for the sake of itself.

I am of the opinion that Carnivac's edit would produce a more pleasant image were the concept extended across the whole. There are quite a few high contrast / banded pixel edges that could use love and are the way they are because they are, right now. Either that, or push the image the other way and bring everything to the same level of un-smoothness. To have the lock of hair hanging contained by the sprite be very soft and AA'd and the other consisting mostly of two un-AA'd 3x3 blocks of white is definitely something that needs more attention, and most probably not a happy accident.

Alex, as a thought : Most everyone (myself included) assumes they're always right. A healthy person will also allow themselves to be wrong. Do you allow yourself to be wrong?

(My line of questioning here is fairly heavy. If you don't care to respond or this isn't something you want to get in to, I fully appreciate that. If you -are- interested I will happily explain every bit of where these questions come from in a common pursuit of truth! )

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #100 on: September 13, 2012, 02:35:57 pm
This is a suggestion for improving your understanding, not an insult or demeaning comment.


Every goddamn thing you say sounds like a demeaning comment.  And I totally disagree with you about the hair edit.  From what you say pretty much everything I've pixelled looks 'blurry' or 'muddy' and quite frankly I think you're absolutely wrong.   Also after speaking with a couple other people about you I'm making this my last interaction with you.  I do not enjoy reading your pretentious comments nor do I feel I should waste my time any further.
You misunderstood what I was trying to convey. It's not that aa makes everything muddy, but it tends to do that if used primarily for the sake of aaing something without putting into consideration what the subject is, with the material qualities associated to it. It makes sense to study those things and find ways of representing their qualities without instantly thinking it needs aa because an edge is crisp.
My intentions are not to demean, in the contrary, I'm adding meaning and awareness by seeking to explore more subtle nuances with decisions regarding art. I'm not here to create a personal battle no matter how many times people try to twist it that way.

It was the inconsistency in AA that Carnivac was complaining about, yeah? He was objecting to the AA of the hair in one location forcing a stark contrast between two elements of the same object (hair), which stuck out as a sore thumb, to him. To ask him to do an edit and then criticize specific aspects of the edit without considering the application of the concept he's portraying across the whole image just reinforces in me the idea that you're disinterested in the outcome of the argument and sustaining the argument for the sake of itself.
That wouldn't be the case with me. In the original I see why some areas are blended more than others because it has to do with how light rolls off surfaces and angles. The uniformly placed aa across all sides of the edges produces a flat sense of the structure and makes it appear fuzzy and less detailed.

Quote

Alex, as a thought : Most everyone (myself included) assumes they're always right. A healthy person will also allow themselves to be wrong. Do you allow yourself to be wrong?
A person can only be wronged. Show me the facts that can sway my views and I'll direct myself towards whatever else there is to see, but so far I still see pertinence to exclaim the obvious since there is denial by those around me of these facts I see.

Quote
(My line of questioning here is fairly heavy. If you don't care to respond or this isn't something you want to get in to, I fully appreciate that. If you -are- interested I will happily explain every bit of where these questions come from in a common pursuit of truth! )
Questions can be intriguing. I don't mind.

Offline Helm

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #101 on: September 13, 2012, 05:01:27 pm
Of course it's not just you getting yourself banned, it's also be on the person that will ban you if it comes to that. I'm prepared to do the deed even if it distresses me, as it usually distresses me to ban. But you also should take responsibility for your part of it and you really are not. You're just pushing everything to the other people talking to you. They misuderstand you. You're just suggesting to them how to improve their knowledge, etc.

We've discussed before about what I think is going on with you and I won't rehash. I'll just say regardless of whether I'm right about what's going on, your current approach won't work, socially. Not here, at least. There are other places on the net where your bluntness would be celebrated. Try a different route if you decide to remain in Pixelation.

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #102 on: September 13, 2012, 07:05:42 pm
Quote
but so far I still see pertinence to exclaim the obvious since there is denial by those around me of these facts I see.

but, your disagreement with Carnivac is not a matter of fact..

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #103 on: September 14, 2012, 01:17:22 am
Of course it's not just you getting yourself banned, it's also be on the person that will ban you if it comes to that. I'm prepared to do the deed even if it distresses me, as it usually distresses me to ban. But you also should take responsibility for your part of it and you really are not. You're just pushing everything to the other people talking to you. They misuderstand you. You're just suggesting to them how to improve their knowledge, etc.

We've discussed before about what I think is going on with you and I won't rehash. I'll just say regardless of whether I'm right about what's going on, your current approach won't work, socially. Not here, at least. There are other places on the net where your bluntness would be celebrated. Try a different route if you decide to remain in Pixelation.
What responsibility? That I shut up? because ultimately that seems to be the only way to really appease everyone who is bothered as any attempt to explain my reasoning is met with backlash of a personal level where people begin to analyze me rather than what I said. But I suppose I shouldn't expect too much. I am being responsible/responsive. I can't be responsible for what others do. I've tried to be nice and unbiased and not attack anyone, but people seem to be extremely sensitive to little things and externalize their grief. That's fine, but to angle it in a way that puts a person in a negative spotlight seems a bit much. I haven't done that at all in this thread. I've focused on the art and why certain actions would produce certain results- based on facts and observations I have made and studied. So perhaps you need to readjust your evaluations because it can be easy to go with the flow of popular belief and mistakenly react in an unjust manner that hasn't looked at the truths of both sides. But I suppose that's just a suggestion and you really don't have to or want to. That's your choice and perhaps we're all tilted to one side or the other for political reasons that serve to uphold our own interests or the interests of others. So if that's the case, perhaps I shouldn't say anymore since I'll obviously be just disrupting the common consensus that isn't a part of me, and what right do I have to do that? Well.. this is a forum, and I am a person, but I guess some things must rest and be put under cover until conditions reawaken it when it is wanted. It's obvious my views aren't wanted in this thread anymore so I'll try to prevent myself from posting in it to the extent I had been.

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but so far I still see pertinence to exclaim the obvious since there is denial by those around me of these facts I see.

but, your disagreement with Carnivac is not a matter of fact..

Right, I wasn't disagreeing with Carnivac personally, I was simply showing alternative reasons why his case wouldn't make sense given the understanding I have. To simply aa for the sake of aaing can easily overlook questions of whether it should be aaed in the first place. There's a lot more to art than the technique or practices, etc, and it is worthwhile to understand why as it helps make you use techniques more precisely and meaningful.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2012, 01:20:36 am by Alex Hanson-White »

Offline Willows

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #104 on: September 14, 2012, 02:34:58 am
Alex! This is why I ask if you allow yourself to be wrong! You're in a situation where it is fair to say the majority of people have a fundamental disagreement with at least one aspect of your interactions with others. It is fair to say that you're controlling your interactions intentionally, but given the evidence sitting in front of you it is FACT that your current methods of communication are -not working-. Your reaction to this truth is not (as far as I can tell, given your posts on a forum) to look internally and try to discover where you are wrong, but to concrete yourself into your position and declare everyone else the problem(s).

This is not a practical way to live life. It is you wronging yourself.

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #105 on: September 14, 2012, 03:09:08 am
Alex! This is why I ask if you allow yourself to be wrong! You're in a situation where it is fair to say the majority of people have a fundamental disagreement with at least one aspect of your interactions with others. It is fair to say that you're controlling your interactions intentionally, but given the evidence sitting in front of you it is FACT that your current methods of communication are -not working-. Your reaction to this truth is not (as far as I can tell, given your posts on a forum) to look internally and try to discover where you are wrong, but to concrete yourself into your position and declare everyone else the problem(s).

This is not a practical way to live life. It is you wronging yourself.
I'm not sure what the difference is. It just appears as if you want some sort of satisfaction by asking that I will give-up my self by becoming something that isn't me. You seem more like one pursuing a destructive angle here. I'm just sharing my observations and it really doesn't matter to me what you do because I can't control that except you. I can't allow myself to be wrong because that requires an outside individual to do the wronging. All I can be is myself and convey what I see. If that is hard to interpret, then ask yourself why, but don't expect me to suppress myself if it is me who you are questioning. I will try to answer these the best I can- don't fault me for my expressions that you asked for.
If you want me to answer a specific way, then it defeats your purpose for asking a question because you are trying to assume something that exists within yourself, not me. So instead, be yourself and just say what you mean rather than put words of ideas into me that aren't mine. Stop misrepresenting who I am.

edit:i'm kind of surprised this thread isn't locked yet as we seem to be drifting far away from the original theme.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2012, 03:12:07 am by Alex Hanson-White »

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #106 on: September 14, 2012, 09:58:48 am
It is locked effective now. Anyone who wants to take this further with Alex can PM him or if need be post in the OOTT.
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