AuthorTopic: Am I going crazy here?  (Read 25638 times)

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:

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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
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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.