AuthorTopic: The Future Of Pixel Art  (Read 32259 times)

Offline Meta|Fox

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The Future Of Pixel Art

on: June 20, 2006, 07:39:00 am
I am writing this as i think it is a issue involving pixel art that, at least in my mind, needs addressing

Pixel art is basically a medium used to represent things using as little information as possible while still looking good. in the past, this was a necessity for games, as the machines they ran on could not process very much information. but with the gaming industry so large and with technology advancing so rabidly it worries me, will pixel art still be around in 10 years? at least not commercially. at best i think it will mearly turn into a hobby for the dedicated few before fading completely.
The pixel art industry is relatively strong at the moment, as most mobile phones are currently unable to process very complicated things. but how long will this last? with the rate that technology is advancing it doesn't look too hopeful.
So what future does pixel art hold?

I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this subject.

(sorry for bad grammer and spelling)

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Offline .TakaM

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #1 on: June 20, 2006, 07:59:33 am
I dont think theres much to worry about, nowadays some games are 2d just for style reasons, not technical limits, theres still a healthy amount of 2D DS and psp games when they couldve easily been 3d.
2d games will be around for a long time, even the wario ware game for the Wii is 2D and the wii is a step into virtual reality. nothing to worry about
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Offline Gil

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #2 on: June 20, 2006, 12:47:47 pm
I don't agree TakaM, the number of pixel art games on consoles halves every year, there'll be none left soon.

As I see it DS will still have a lot of pixel art, but the next one probably won't. Cell phones is where it's at though, it will still take ages before those can do without pixel art.

If it dies out, so what? We all just switch to something new, like 3D animation.

Offline ndchristie

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #3 on: June 20, 2006, 01:32:06 pm
2d games will remain around for a long time especially in the rpg genres i think because they have the ablity to be much more stylish than chepa 3d like the DS and PSP are capable of. once handhelds and cell phones get good at 3d though (like,xbox good) then pixel art games will most likely die out except where low-resolution screens still dominate (which will be things like cellphones and the gba if it sticks around)
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Offline Lick

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #4 on: June 20, 2006, 01:36:15 pm
Pixel art is a style. It won't die. There are still many applications that trigger pixel art like icons, web layouts and so forth.
2D games are a genre. To be more specific, they form the retro-genre. This genre is very popular among independent game developers.

Don't overthink it. It might be reduced but it will never vanish.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2006, 01:37:55 pm by Lick »
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Offline Gil

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #5 on: June 20, 2006, 02:15:32 pm
Pixel art is a logical extension of the fact that pixels are in fact quite large. This means that pixel art will eventually die out on any medium with a high enough resolution. And with reason, 3D looks just better if done well...

Offline Skull

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #6 on: June 20, 2006, 02:22:41 pm
Just when you start to believe that Pixel art will remain, in such handheld consoles like the Nintendo DS..we get serious advancements, turning 3D away from pixel art, from previous consoles.. You can see this suttle change as early as the Snes.

It's a shame, but inevitable, will 'die'. Of course there will be those who keep 'it alive' as they like the style and what not.. but with Moblie/Cell phone games, Pixel art is in their best interest, though at this rate, they will advance fairly quickly also.

 :'(

Offline JWW

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #7 on: June 20, 2006, 03:34:53 pm
these discussions always make me depressed :F

Offline ndchristie

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #8 on: June 20, 2006, 04:12:10 pm
i see pixel art as living forever in the mobile markets because they cannot make a screen much larger than it is already, and there are physical limitations to resolution etc on screens that size, making pixel art very attractive for...well as long as people cary mobiles (which will most likely be decades at least)
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Offline Lick

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #9 on: June 20, 2006, 05:03:51 pm
Quote
Pixel art is a logical extension of the fact that pixels are in fact quite large. This means that pixel art will eventually die out on any medium with a high enough resolution. And with reason, 3D looks just better if done well...

I'm not going to carry a 15 inch handheld y'know. So if the resolution grows but the screensize stays small, pixel art magnified will still look good.

[edit] Hehe.. I meant 'I agree with Adarias!'..  ::)
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Offline AlexHW

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #10 on: June 20, 2006, 05:13:01 pm
they really need to standardize the screen resolutions. there's nothing i hate more than to have to create multiple sizes of the same work.

Offline vierbit

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #11 on: June 20, 2006, 05:14:22 pm
Interest theme.

personally I dont think 2d graphics in games will die.
I think that pixelart will be disappear in comercial games sometime in the future
handhelds and cellphones are at moment a last place for pixelart.
But in the future even these things have hi res screens and much more memory.

Pixelart has the abillity to show high amount of information on a few pixels.
when you have hi res screens you can take prerendered graphics rather then pixelart.
You can make prerendered graphics faster then pixelart.

I agree that pixelart is a style but the casual gamer is not interestet in style
If he sees big fat pixels on his psp3 he freaks out and trow in the new gta8.

Its all about economy, companys will make money.
Its pity but that is the reality IMO.

But in the hobby gamedevs is always a place for pixelart.


   

Offline Skull

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #12 on: June 20, 2006, 08:25:06 pm
Pixelart has the abillity to show high amount of information on a few pixels.
when you have hi res screens you can take prerendered graphics rather then pixelart.
You can make prerendered graphics faster then pixelart. 

Point - But you'll always have a nice little easter egg in a game somewhere showing a company's retro roots.  ;)

Offline .TakaM

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #13 on: June 20, 2006, 08:27:33 pm
I really think celphones will be the first platform to abandon 2d games.. I just dont see much... loyalty if you will to 2d gaming and as soon as the resolution standard is bigger and more capable technically, I think 2d games will completely be phased out.

but, I cant remember where I read it exactly, but an interview with miyamoto and he said he doesnt want the next gameboy to be very powerful because he wants most games to be 2d. and I dont think capcom will drop making streetfighter in 2d, same with metal slug
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Offline Skull

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #14 on: June 20, 2006, 08:31:50 pm
I really think celphones will be the first platform to abandon 2d games.. I just dont see much... loyalty if you will to 2d gaming and as soon as the resolution standard is bigger and more capable technically, I think 2d games will completely be phased out.

but, I cant remember where I read it exactly, but an interview with miyamoto and he said he doesnt want the next gameboy to be very powerful because he wants most games to be 2d. and I dont think capcom will drop making streetfighter in 2d, same with metal slug

1 - Because mobile phones were not built or designed for games, just a handy extra - pixels only provide the simplest form of a game with very little memory used, and as soon as they can advance - they will.
2 - That's why you gotta love Capcom. Founded on that style, the 3D EX series of Street Fighter was even boycotted by some fans, it just wasn't the same and that of SF3 and it's two additional games after that were hits. There's no way aswell people would consider Metal Slug as anything but sprites.. though, cracks at getting these types of games on new gen consoles have been rather poor - sticking to 'Nintendo' based or handheld consoles are the best bet.

Offline AlexHW

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #15 on: June 20, 2006, 09:00:54 pm
I don't see cell phone games becoming too complicated unless the controls for playing become more gamer friendly. From my experience, the controls have a big significance on how the games are made. As far as I know, you can only press one button at a time for most cell phones.

Offline ndchristie

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #16 on: June 20, 2006, 09:35:56 pm
people are making the assumption that resolutions are simply going to continue to get smaller and better, but the fact is that there are very real physical limitations with cellphones regarding screen size, and even when clean 3d resolutions become accessable i tihnk much of what goes on will favor pixel art for its clarity.  i could be wrong but i doubt it.
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Offline flaber

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #17 on: June 22, 2006, 05:23:14 am
hmmm..
so this is my thought

as the hardware got better so did the capabilities/limits on pixels. pixels used to only be able to be in a few colours, or were 2pixels wide, sprite sizes could only be specific sizes, etc.
now there really arnt limits placed on pixels. Can make tiles/sprites any size. animations any length, can use as much colours as you want.
so, as the hardware got better, the pixel you could say, evolved or progressed.

Now we have new capabilities that seem to be threatening pixelart.

so this is my thought. just an idea, so dont get grumpy if you dont like it
what about furthering the pixel again?
I have 2 thoughts about this

1) we can convert pixels to vector (iv tried) and by doing that you can change the size, skew, rotate, transform, etc without adding in new colors like in CG. When it is vector, you have still placed every pixel where you want it, and still desgined it regularily, but now you are able to manipulate it to how you want.
This will make it easier to perhaps, make perspective and such

2) not sure about this one... but i dont see why not.
What about applying pixels to 3d? either build it up like lego somehow, or make a style like cellshading so that it looks like pixels.
I believe that some of the things in golden sun, and i think super mario rpg(snes) were made 3d and then put into the game. So what if used those same tactics and made an actual 3d game. still looks like pixel (such as super mario rpg) but then would have the ability of a 3d game.

so, im not entirely sure about those concepts,
but what i guess im trying to say is that, would 'evolving' the pixel be something worth looking into, since it kind of has in the past.
just thoughts

Offline .TakaM

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #18 on: June 22, 2006, 05:40:55 am
number 2, you mean a shader package or whatever its called that would make 3d models look like pre-rendered sprites? :-X
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Offline Frychiko

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #19 on: June 22, 2006, 06:44:46 am
As Adarias said, the screen sizes are the real limitations (as well as the friggin controls, tried playing an platformish game on your phone? or any game that requires two buttons at once? heh..)

The screens are just too small to see pixels... can't really enjoy the pixelwork.. and now screen resolutions are increasing from QVGA (240x320) -> VGA (480x640), which is a valid upgrade.. things do look sharper, less jaggies.

As phones get more powerful, most games will end up being 3d games I reckon with 3d/CG art.

If more screens increase to 480x640.. I personally don't want to be pixelling at those sizes. (Though 240x320 is perfect).
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Offline ndchristie

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #20 on: June 22, 2006, 10:32:49 am
2) not sure about this one... but i dont see why not.
What about applying pixels to 3d? either build it up like lego somehow, or make a style like cellshading so that it looks like pixels.
I believe that some of the things in golden sun, and i think super mario rpg(snes) were made 3d and then put into the game. So what if used those same tactics and made an actual 3d game. still looks like pixel (such as super mario rpg) but then would have the ability of a 3d game.

voxels rockxel (except for the fact that you cant have dynamic lighint very easily)
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Offline miascugh

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #21 on: June 22, 2006, 11:49:37 am
flaber: i'm not sure if i can follow you there. you're not talking about pixel art, but about game graphics. and both those, vector- and pre-rendered graphics have been out there for a long long time. also, converting pixelart into vectors would be kind of weird. why not start out vector in the first place?

and i just don't get that cell-shading remark. or what comes after that heh. though you might want to have a look at paper mario, i've got a feeling that this could be what you are looking for

Offline vierbit

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #22 on: June 22, 2006, 12:05:40 pm
@flaber
as miascugh said already, your two points makes not much sense.

voxels are not very good if you make games
because they have limitations rather than polygon graphics,
and most voxelgraphics in games looks really messy.
there is a reason that most 3d games use polygons. 

Offline Skull

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #23 on: June 22, 2006, 02:11:38 pm
As Adarias said, the screen sizes are the real limitations (as well as the friggin controls, tried playing an platformish game on your phone? or any game that requires two buttons at once? heh..)

Because, seriously.. who even bought an N-Gage?

Offline Kennethfejer

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #24 on: June 22, 2006, 09:45:22 pm
i doubt pixelart will disappear anytime soon.
when developing for mobile phones, you're not just developing for 1 device, but rather 200+ and all with different specs (processing power, screensizes and so on)
so even if the new nokia or sony ericsson phones gets a nvidia 3d chip, most people will still have an old crappy phone without the 3d capability.
so until the 3d chips(or huge screen resolutions (VGA)) are the mainstream, there will still be enough work for pixelartists.

Offline Conzeit

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #25 on: June 22, 2006, 10:13:52 pm
I think we should not depend on hardware to keep Pixelart alive.

I think it is our responsability to develop wholly new aproaches for pixelart,  that is why I enjoy Helm's RGB pic so much, but I also belive we need to develop the techniques of pixelart outside of the realm of pixelart, that is when we can be sure it wont die because that'd make it a meaningfull aesthetic outside of it's medium

Offline big brother

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #26 on: June 22, 2006, 11:01:35 pm
people are making the assumption that resolutions are simply going to continue to get smaller and better, but the fact is that there are very real physical limitations with cellphones regarding screen size, and even when clean 3d resolutions become accessable i tihnk much of what goes on will favor pixel art for its clarity.  i could be wrong but i doubt it.

Mobile is already moving in the 3d direction. Look at a few of these titles available on the V-Cast phones:
Madden NFL 07 (coming soon, the trailer looks tasty)
Need for Speed Most Wanted
Massive Snowboarding

The bigger players in the wireless gaming industry seem to be looking more and more for low-poly 3d artists. However, a good chunk of 2d work is needed by the small independent developers.

Pixel remains viable for GBA and DS also, but I feel that most reviewers tend to be less impressed by it, seeing it as a sort of nostalgic appeal to the games of yesteryear.

Offline ndchristie

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #27 on: June 22, 2006, 11:23:23 pm
but the gamers of yesteryear are the ones with the most cash :P

my point is that good 3d (resolutions) cant be put onto a telephone, nor can speedy gameplay.  you arent going to have metroid prime hunters on your v-cast  ::)

you do have a point, but i and i think most people would rather play a good 2d game instead of something that looks and plays like Descent and has worse controls than an old VCR

what i cant figure is why MMO's arent going on mobiles (yet)  ???.  wouldnt it be cool if you could leave your house AND get killed by oversized ladybugs at the same time :o?  people have good internet connections on things like cellphones and blackberries.  probably that damned resolution issue  :(
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Offline AlexHW

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #28 on: June 22, 2006, 11:31:24 pm
I worked on an mmo, but it never came through because most people don't like to play those games in this region. They are more interested in brand names and sports, things which they know, and things which companies can rely on to make money. If you make some mmo that no one has heard of, chances are people wont care about it because they are looking for all the things which are identifiable to them, and companies see it as too big of a risk to produce if there will be little profit.
it's really lame work, and sucked dry of creativity.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2006, 11:33:03 pm by Alex Hanson-White »

Offline flaber

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #29 on: June 23, 2006, 12:28:46 am
I think we should not depend on hardware to keep Pixelart alive.

I think it is our responsability to develop wholly new aproaches for pixelart,  that is why I enjoy Helm's RGB pic so much, but I also belive we need to develop the techniques of pixelart outside of the realm of pixelart, that is when we can be sure it wont die because that'd make it a meaningfull aesthetic outside of it's medium

thats kinda what i was trying to say

develop new approaches
Have 3d graphics that look like they were pixelled.. as if the image was built with pixels like you build with lego
thats what i was trying to say before with vectors and stuff
yes you can do vectors, but then its all smooth and such, but if u convert pixels into vector it still keeps the pixel look about it, the pixel style but then you are able to manipulate it more

again..
these are just thoughts
just thought id throw them out there

Offline Darion

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #30 on: June 23, 2006, 12:53:26 am
I did have my hopes up for the portable department, but technology is becoming so advanced that they can run 3D games now (DS. PSP). Cellphones are even able to run 3D games now, which is hard for me to believe. Back then, we only used pixel-art because of limitations, so apparently, when it is used now, it must be for visually artistic purposes. As long as the companies that put artistic value into their video games and that are willing to risk their sales to express themeselves stay in business, then pixe-art will continue to exist. As technology advances, pixe-art looks older than it already is in comparison. The masses don't want to see square, flat graphics and hear bleeps, and bloops, the masses want to play games that push the limits of technology; they thrive on realistic visuals, not artistic visuals. This whole idea of making video games to look so realistic is turning them into simulations more than works of art.

Also, indie gaming always contributes a large amount to pixel-art, now-a-days (although, i'm not sure if that department is growing or shrinking).

EDIT: I guess I fell a little offtopic, but you know what I mean. Pretty much what vierbit has said.



« Last Edit: June 23, 2006, 12:58:27 am by Darion »
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Offline ndchristie

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #31 on: June 23, 2006, 01:03:20 am
the Indiestry is constantly growing and shrinking, thats kinda how it works.  i think generally though its growing as developement becomes more accessible.  indie people start in their basements then get hired by big companies.  im not saying its a minor-league industry....but....well....its a minor-league industry.  hopefuls enter, and then leave rich or broke.  very few stay so its hard to keep track

pixel art, now that i think of it, may well die.  2d art istic games wont, but pixelart? probably.  even cellphones will be able to have so many unique colors that pixel will be replaced by hand drawn and cg and 3d together.

i cant believe though that people would choose to put say, a 3d rpg on a cellphone instead of doing traditional pixel art (is there such as thing as traditional pixel art? i guess i mean old-school since traditional = real)

</ramble>
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Offline Faktablad

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #32 on: June 23, 2006, 03:44:59 am
The main hope I have in pixel art lies in communities like this, of people who, although work on games, also do pixelart purely for the fun of it.  There are people (like myself) who are doing pixel art and aren't getting paid, so I'm confident that there will be people who won't "sell out" as soon as pixel art becomes defunkt.

Perhaps there is hope that pixel art will appear somewhere else.  You are all focusing on the cell phone and GBA/DS as the only places pixel art is found.  What if there's another gadget that comes along that requires pixel art?  I'm sure the artists in the time of the SNES weren't counting on cell phones as a place to practice their craft.  Perhaps in the future we'll be doing pixel art for wristwatches, who knows.

Offline AlexHW

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #33 on: June 23, 2006, 04:35:08 am
I've been a little hesitant to mention this, but I believe I have a solution to this problem.
I've thought about this issue last year and came up with a practical solution, but the only thing is that I would need a talented coder who is willing to put in the time and effort to program it and also enjoys pixel-art.

I would think it be hard to find a talented coder who also has a great interest in pixel-art and be completely devoted to the idea, and that's mainly the reason why I placed the concept on the backburner.
Since this topic came up, I feel it necessary to mention this incase there are any capable coders reading who want to do something about it.

edit: I'd also like to mention that though the concept was aimed towards pixel-art, it also has the capability for other things as well.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2006, 04:40:30 am by Alex Hanson-White »

Offline Akira

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #34 on: June 23, 2006, 05:25:15 am
I've been a little hesitant to mention this, but I believe I have a solution to this problem.
I've thought about this issue last year and came up with a practical solution, but the only thing is that I would need a talented coder who is willing to put in the time and effort to program it and also enjoys pixel-art.

I would think it be hard to find a talented coder who also has a great interest in pixel-art and be completely devoted to the idea, and that's mainly the reason why I placed the concept on the backburner.
Since this topic came up, I feel it necessary to mention this incase there are any capable coders reading who want to do something about it.

edit: I'd also like to mention that though the concept was aimed towards pixel-art, it also has the capability for other things as well.

Well are you going to tell us what it is or do we have to guess :P
thanks Dogmeat!

Offline AlexHW

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #35 on: June 23, 2006, 05:50:51 am
well, I like to keep my ideas under wraps because I find most of them could be profitable.
If this concept of mine is ever made to the full vision I see it as, it could help or hurt pixel artists. Though as pixel-art seems to be declining in the business world, this idea could only be good if you want to see more pixel art around maybe. It certainly would put more dynamicness into it.

Essentially, the concept is to put a 2d vector texture map(this would be like a 2d bitmap texture map used in texturing 3d models, only this would consist of vectors) onto a 3d model. You'd be capable of defining attributes of each vector(similar to vector programs where you can choose for instance the style of borders of shapes), and these attributes control things like anti-aliasing, colors, palette limitations, dithering, and anything else related to pixel-art. This 2d vector texture map then gets wrapped onto a 3d model, and the viewer engine reads it and displays the 3d model as a pixel image based on the attributes of the vectors which are in view.
The vectors in the texture can add attributes to them and you can prioritize them and tie them in with outher vectors in how they mesh together and such.
The end product is you have a 3d model that looks like 2d pixel art.

Offline Meta|Fox

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #36 on: June 23, 2006, 06:46:21 am
All though I don't really under stand what your saying there Alex, I'm sure its a very good idea.

On the topic of 3D and 2D. I think Ragnarok is a good example of successfully combining the 2.

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Offline Helm

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #37 on: June 23, 2006, 07:06:13 am
Quote
And with reason, 3D looks just better if done well...

Better? At what? At representing reality? That's not what pixel art does, only. There's no better, there's different. 3d WILL be the thing to use for the industry, it already is on higher specs, it will become the norm for handhelds too, eventually. But style-wise, there is no better. Your opinion that it looks better is just that, your personal opinion based on your aesthetic sense. Do not mention it as if it's an objective truth.

About pixel art's decline and fall in the industry, the golden years are already behind us, they've been behind us even long before most of you took up a mouse to pixel for the first time, I don't care if the eclipse soon will be total, as I don't pixel for the industry but for myself. As long as there's amateur interest, I'm happy.

Offline Sohashu

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #38 on: June 23, 2006, 08:13:17 am
There is no way that pixelling will die out.  I love the way every thing can turn out so precise, so...full of effort.  I usually buy a station for the games on it which have good gameplay, and a replay factor.  I don't want an Xbox 360 at all, because it represents the evil of exploring too far without looking back.  I will always play my SNES. 

Just my 2 cents. 
Back from hiatus, just remembered how excellent this community is at forming technique in a fledgeling artist of any kind.

Offline Meta|Fox

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #39 on: June 23, 2006, 08:56:26 am
Quote
There is no way that pixelling will die out.  I love the way every thing can turn out so precise, so...full of effort.  I usually buy a station for the games on it which have good gameplay, and a replay factor.  I don't want an Xbox 360 at all, because it represents the evil of exploring too far without looking back.  I will always play my SNES. 


Yes but the I doubt the average consumer feels that way. I  see pixels dieing commercially and then more slowly as a hobby.
the one safe haven i think pixel art will find is really the internet. as pixel art is one of the only art mediums where you can easily have large or small pixel collaborations. (iso or otherwise)

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #40 on: June 23, 2006, 04:01:15 pm
I wonder if it will come that far. Take a look at this analogy. Our (human, I hope) race has been developing social and intellectual knowledge since the Age of Enlightment (and before, of course). We have discovered many facts in the natural science, invented many tools to enhance the existing problems. However, with the arrival of all that information, teachers are still teaching abcdefg in primary schools. Kids don't learn about DNA till their teenage years (; in some countries perhaps never). Also, artists still work with pencil and paper.
I think that at some point, technology has won the race against human development (some call this evolution). We are just facing against the bounderies of human adaption.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2006, 04:11:31 pm by Lick »
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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #41 on: June 23, 2006, 04:28:46 pm
the best praise i typically recieve is 'wow, that looks so good, like it has way more colors' or 'wow, i cant believe its pixelled, that must have taken forever'.  i think this reflects the general attitude towards pixelart as being slow and low-quality.  im not saying thats true, but it does reflect what i think is the general public opinion.  even i was like, 'wtf?' when i saw the newest samurai showdown.  i thought they were going to say it was for the gba or ds or something and then they say xbox 360?
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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #42 on: July 04, 2006, 05:06:43 am
3D moves better, but it doesn't look better. It offers more flexibility and adapts to envirnoments more easily, but ultimately any single image being output by a 3D engine could probably be pixelled better by the hand of a talented artist. Pixelling isn't about mindless color and size restrictions, it's about squeezing the absolute most detail, style and meaning out of each pixel. And methodical, manual pixel manipulation always has the potential to look better than automated pixel output.

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #43 on: July 04, 2006, 10:48:00 am
When I read your post adam, I agree that a still image could be done better by a talented artist. But I dont see how that necesarily implies pixel art.

this is another thing, how is it that using little tools has been asociated with pixelart? it is as if most people just see it as drawing pictures with MS Paint, I belive it is more about controlling every color shift precisely, knowing how to be selective about detail and also knowing how to use composition to enhance readablity.

That does not imply using little tools, or putting every pixel in manually.

I belive tools as useful as the many alpha blending tools we use on photoshop can be done in pixelart if in place of Alpha Blending we used 1-more advanced pallete data that recognizes diferent color ramps and equivalent tones between them 2-Color cycling that took advantage of this.

The idea is pretty much a photoshop oriented to direct control over each tone used in the picture.....I cant see why nobody imagines higher end tools for pixelart, and I also cant see why it's only seen as an oldschool art style, I belive it has principles that are potentially more poweful than those of the current high-end digital drawing software.

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #44 on: July 04, 2006, 11:28:10 am
Heh, Conc.. ehh... I'm just gonna call you Camus, alright?

Remember Locust from Pixelation? He made airbrushed Photoshop pieces on pixel level... That looked insanely sweet.
Whatever happened to him?

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #45 on: July 04, 2006, 11:37:13 am
yeah, call me whatever you feel like, I just like it as a display name :p

I dont actually, must have missed that.....either that or it didnt impress me as much as it did you.

but my point was more like, a program based on those principles I see as fundamental to pixelart would be a better tool than photoshop....I'm not really saying let's make sprites with photohsop

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #46 on: July 04, 2006, 11:42:36 am
Yeah, of course, you just reminded me of him. I'm not surprised if you don't remember, he didn't actually stay for very long. I only recall two pieces he made. I think he was from Sweden.. and he might've spelled Lokust with a K... Eh, whatever.

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #47 on: July 04, 2006, 01:41:41 pm
As long as computer screens use pixels we will all be here for years to come.

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #48 on: July 04, 2006, 02:24:15 pm
Commercially, games with pixelled graphics are dying down commercially, but they will never fully die. It'd be impossible, unless forums like these stopped existing, and all knowledge of old 2d video games disappear. As long as classic 2d games and old systems are still in memory, people will always be making 2d games. There just won't be as many sold.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2006, 02:28:05 pm by GOODNIGHTdestroyer »
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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #49 on: July 04, 2006, 03:40:09 pm
Commercially, games with pixelled graphics are dying down commercially, but they will never fully die. It'd be impossible, unless forums like these stopped existing, and all knowledge of old 2d video games disappear. As long as classic 2d games and old systems are still in memory, people will always be making 2d games. There just won't be as many sold.

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #50 on: July 04, 2006, 05:13:11 pm
...ultimately any single image being output by a 3D engine could probably be pixelled better by the hand of a talented artist...

The point of this being? 3d and pixelart can not be compared they are 2 completely different forms of applying art to a game. Stylewise they can meet somewhere in the middle with pixelled looking 3d but stuff like shadow of the colossus is just not possible in 2d EVER. I like both if done well.

About Lokust, he is fine, but he is doing 3D stuff nowadays.
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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #51 on: July 04, 2006, 05:31:29 pm
It's not practical, but it's possible. That's the point I was making. Take any screenshot of SotC. A few members on this forum could create more impressive art through pixelling. All pixelling is, is a manual manipulation of pixels for greater clarity, detail and composition.

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Offline Helm

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #52 on: July 04, 2006, 05:42:17 pm
Quote
All pixelling is, is a manual manipulation of pixels for greater clarity, detail and composition.

I have a different opinion. Pixel art is not only technique (and as technique, it's not only the techniques that you mention here), it is also a separate art form, and as such has it's own history, aesthetic charge and future independent of current game art. Someone can be very clear and detailed and compositionally-sound with his pencil too, or in pure CG coloured artwork. The pixel-level control in pixel art IS formidable as a technique and artists that possess that sort of control will always be able to cram more information into a piece of art, be it game art or art art than others that are more about general broad shapes and volumes. This isn't why pixel art is 'better' than anything else. Pixel art isn't better than anything else.

Pixel art is different from other types of art. The connection with the foundational, basic signifiers of machines: Binary, big, dogmatic squares, algorhythmic construction, fractal repetition, pixels as the atoms of presentation, the pure colors the computer screen tubes could first portray. RESTRICTIONS you are so hasty to brush off as mindless, scanlines, alternate resolutions  and the concept of sprite (anima, soul, it is alive) over tile (static, dead, but with the benefit of repetition, depth and alteration) make pixel art so much more than 'manual manipulation of pixels for greater clarity, detail and composition'.

Offline AdamTierney

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #53 on: July 05, 2006, 03:21:54 am
Obviously I see pixelling as a unique art form as well. But I was commenting on the bare specifics of it as a technique. Resctricitions, color management, sprite rationale and everything else you mentioned are not necessarily core to the act of pixelling in its most literal sense. They are important fundamentals regarding pixelling as an art form, but that's not the perspective I was speaking on. We don't have differing opinions, we're simply discussing different aspects of the same thing.

- Adam
« Last Edit: July 05, 2006, 03:26:32 am by AdamTierney »

Offline NyanNyanKoneko

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #54 on: July 13, 2006, 07:26:49 am
3D moves better, but it doesn't look better. It offers more flexibility and adapts to envirnoments more easily, but ultimately any single image being output by a 3D engine could probably be pixelled better by the hand of a talented artist. Pixelling isn't about mindless color and size restrictions, it's about squeezing the absolute most detail, style and meaning out of each pixel. And methodical, manual pixel manipulation always has the potential to look better than automated pixel output.

- Adam

The best results, of course, is a conjunction between the programmer and the artist.  Most gamers will agree that shaders, for example, can really enhance the game's ambiance, if you will.  Pixel art has this quality about it, but I'm not sure how long "pixeling" will last commercially.  2D games will continue to grace the market forever as, quite frankly, some people are turned off by the complexities of 3D gaming.  Many of my friends cannot play 3D games as it makes them sick.  However, even if cell phone resolutions do not improve, their rendering ability certainly will.  2D games in the future will probably look more like Paper Mario in style than Metal Slug.

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #55 on: July 13, 2006, 08:16:42 am
2D games will continue to grace the market forever as, quite frankly, some people are turned off by the complexities of 3D gaming.  Many of my friends cannot play 3D games as it makes them sick.
What about 2D games using 3D graphics (like New Super Mario Bros. [DS])? Do those games make them sick also?

Quote
2D games in the future will probably look more like Paper Mario in style than Metal Slug.
I don't get this one. If you mean like 2D-sprites running in a 3D world: what different is that from a 3D game? The world will still make your friends sick. And if you're talking about the graphics style; no. Artistic taste will not die out. People will make their games with different art styles, just like now.

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Offline Rox

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #56 on: July 13, 2006, 01:01:08 pm
If someone gets sick because of 3D, it's because of having to navigate a complex, multi-dimensional world, not because the environment happens to use polygons. A 2D game with 3D graphics is still a 2D game. Pandemonium was a 2D game. MegaMan X8 is 2D. Heck, Gradius V uses polygons for pretty much everything except projectiles, and that's very 2D.

There's a heck of a difference. You'd be surprised how many people rejected Descent because of motion sickness!

Offline NyanNyanKoneko

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #57 on: July 13, 2006, 02:01:13 pm
What about 2D games using 3D graphics (like New Super Mario Bros. [DS])? Do those games make them sick also?

No, it doesn't, obviously.  :)

I don't get this one. If you mean like 2D-sprites running in a 3D world: what different is that from a 3D game? The world will still make your friends sick. And if you're talking about the graphics style; no. Artistic taste will not die out. People will make their games with different art styles, just like now.

I meant the style in which paper mario is drawn.  He's more or less drawn in a "traditional style" with a few tweaks for the rendering system as opposed to being pixeled.  He's a texture that can be resized very smoothly, basically.

The fact of the matter is that commercial vendors want their games to look as good as possible at as little of a cost as possible.  With HD-TV and other high resolution formats coming out for mobile devics, I doubt many companies would willfully not take advantage of the newer hardware features.

In any respect, there will always be a need for pixeling, but the industry trend will probably be to make use of newer techniques for rendering 2D sprites, regardless of the screen size or resolution.

Quote
Heck, Gradius V uses polygons for pretty much everything except projectiles, and that's very 2D.

I'm also under the impression that a strictly 2D game comes across as more accessable to newer players.  So don't worry, I have absolute faith that strictly 2D games will live on.  :)
« Last Edit: July 13, 2006, 02:11:07 pm by NyanNyanKoneko »

Offline Froli

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #58 on: July 21, 2006, 04:25:56 am
Maybe this animation might shed some light, I don't understand this persons explaination but he made this movie with 3d with 2d designs. The result was a very nice style :D

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waa so much reply thx all!
what a surprise to see a link in the front page

so more about the making of to answer all the questions here ^^

we were 4 to make the movie, each one of us has touched every step of the fabrication (modeling/animation/rendering) but there was mainly 2 animators 1 renderwoman and 1 modeler.

all the database was modeled for the animation (sceneries and characters). so all the camera movement and animation were executed in 3d. but we tried to keep a 2d look everywhere in all the processes (no 3d cam, no 3d particles).

to give the overall aspect of painting in the movie. we developed some tricky shaders for the characters (even a hack of the mental ray contour). all the fx are 2d painted sprites or layer animations done with after effects. and all the backgrounds have been converted to matte paintings. for instance the bg in the 1st shot of the movie in a layering of 'cells' and the maya scene looked like a big aftereffects file so we have been able to render lots of cartoony details in a short amount of time

everybody have tried to understand the words of the actresses. but it is impossible since they speak the akajou, their native language in faerie world in fact it looks like french, and it is possible to intercept some word of it. so if you want i will try to convert their babblings in akajou-english

i will also post some making of movie soon in the gallery so stay tuned
oh and yes, i rigged the bouncing of the yellow one maybe i will post some of its crash test too


http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=347944&page=4&pp=15

The movie "fairy berry"
http://flbl.net/akajou/index.php?movies

Offline jagged software

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #59 on: July 30, 2006, 10:04:27 am
I haven't read replies to this thread yet, but I'll give my two cents.
I don't see pixel art so much as a way of getting around hardware limitations, I see it more as a show of skill. Pixel art is much more appealing (if done right) than 3d in my opinion - it is more immersive, more direct, more impressive.
I don't think it will ever die. The screen you're looking at right now is all pixels. Someone will always express themselves and interface directly with pixels, manually.
Besides, I will do everything in my power to prevent pixeling from going out of style and I encourage everyone else to do the same.

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #60 on: July 31, 2006, 06:14:53 pm
New Super Mario is only partly 3D. Look at the enemies closely. About half of them are pre-rendered.

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #61 on: August 01, 2006, 10:41:49 am

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #62 on: August 02, 2006, 11:52:40 pm
Maybe instead of trying to keep 2d pixelart games alive, us as pixel artist should now be striving make pixel art into a trully accepted art form, with exhibits etc. All of us who want to see pixel art survive forever should now instead of concentrating on the past of pixel art (ofcourse we shouldn't forget our roots) and it being all about games, should now be trying to use the techniques we have learnt through creating game art etc to creating works of art. Well, it's late, my grammer aint great at the moment and trying to express my idea doesn't seem to be working, so if anyone understands me, thats awesome :).

Offline Rox

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #63 on: August 03, 2006, 07:49:10 am
Pixel art as an art will never die. Art forms tend to stick around forever.
People still carve things into rock for fun, don't they?

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #64 on: August 03, 2006, 12:12:28 pm
I've tried to put a little thought into this before posting, it's been going through my head a lot the last couple of days.

I think we can all conclude with one thing: Pixel art will not die. I have yet to see a single artform dissapear no matter how endangered it may be.

Now, I've read the suggestions that we need to promote Pixel art as an artform to preserve and educate. While this is a good idea in many ways, it's not as simple as that. Pixel art is in all respects a digital medium and can be regarded as the very basis of all digital art (that it's made out of the most basic part of digital visual media: pixels, and that it was the first digital media computers could produce. This includes text.) As many of you are aware, digital art is usually frowned upon by cometees of 'finer arts' unless its printed on a peace of paper or in physical form. If pixels are not shown on some sort of screen, the purpose and basis of the pixel piece shown is changed (meaning, for example, that it is no longer digital in the same sense). Also note that pixel art, like all the other art forms when they originated, is a practical art style. It was and still is made to do a job, be it to show icons on your PC or to show a character in a game.

Of course, putting a printout or a screen showing pixel pictures on display at, for example, a museum would help shed some light on pixel art, is it a good idea to let it evolve as an artform rather than an active tool? First of all, as I understand it we still don't have a pinned down set of ruled defining what exactly is to be defined as 'pixel art'. The view that the common man has about pixel art usually goes along the lines of: "a picture made of dots on a computer" or "what people use when the machine isn't good enough for 3d". It's a good idea to educate the common man, but if the view of pixel art shifts from computer generated art to a fine artform, then pixel art is going to evolve in that direction. If you were to make a large, grand pixel picture and put it up for display, it is going to look stunning. Personally however, I don't feel that this is what pixel art is meant for and partly the reason Digital painting was made.

But let's say that this is the direction that we take pixel art. I've had to learn and study modern art for 3 years as part of my general arts class, and modern artists have a tendency to stretch the borders quite a bit. There are artist that paint by hand single frames from comic books and show it off as something new due to the production method. If people start hand painting square tiles, is this still what we were hoping to show the world? One of the forms of art I loathe the most are the kind of people that paint large, messy squares on a canvas and go into endless elaborations of what it represents, how the strokes where made, why it was made and so on. This is not out of ignorance, I understand very well how and why this is done and the artist are, naturally, able to explain themselves. However, I do not like this art direction at all because it is art for arts sake. It is made by artists for artist and the only people that can judge them have to go through extensive learning to do so. So why am I mentioning this? Because that is the direction Pixel art might go if it is to be regarded as an artform by the general public. I do not want to see smeared ms Paint lines on display at some fancy house with some guy explaining that its his 'soul rage representing the horizon of hope'.

This i merely an example though. There are people who try to make graffiti an accepted artform and yet it's practitioners are still displaying it as an underground artform, keeping it alive. Personally, I would think that the best way to preserve pixel art is to have an open comunity where people are able to learn and display their pixel art, much like we do here. After all, the net is digital and so are pixels, few other artforms have it this convenient. The question that then commes to mind is: why would people still make pixels? Demand for pixel art will drop, that is a fact. Still, pixel art is still favored by indie gamers that create small scale or limited games. If there are people who are educated in pixel, then there must exist people that are willing to make something professional in pixel. If someone is able to stun another with a grand pixel piece, then interest and use of pixel will still be practiced, even if home consoles or local store PC games all become full 3d.

Well, that's some of the stuff that's been stored in my head about the subject. Might have messed up some of my explanation, but I'll leave you to make what you want of it. ;)

Offline Helm

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #65 on: August 03, 2006, 01:03:00 pm
Quote
why would people still make pixels?

same set of reasons people use any outmodded technical method to make art: because it's charged with specific aesthetic properties that are not there in digital painting. I suggest you think about what those might be.

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #66 on: August 03, 2006, 01:37:19 pm
Of course, putting a printout or a screen showing pixel pictures on display at, for example, a museum would help shed some light on pixel art..

I am dreaming about doing an exhibition with pixelart, but if i will ever do that it sure as hell wont be prints, but there will be HUGE screens displaying the pictures. Pixelart needs the light!
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Offline snake

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #67 on: August 03, 2006, 01:59:02 pm
same set of reasons people use any outmodded technical method to make art: because it's charged with specific aesthetic properties that are not there in digital painting. I suggest you think about what those might be.

I agree. I was in no way implying that pixel art has no value other than it being favored by indi developers. Pixel has a very distinct feel to it that I am very much fond of. For example, one of my all time favorite adventure games is Police Quest for just that reason. The game had some incredibly blocky graphics, giving room to your own interpretation. You can't get that same feeling with more painted media. I was mainly focussing on its position in games-development.

In light of ptoing's comment, i did find this: http://www.petterbuhagen.com/ Check out 'current' and 'previous'.

This guy has made an exhibition of old Nintendo pixel art with hand painted pixels on walls and montages. If this is the best way to go is open for discussion.

Offline Helm

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #68 on: August 03, 2006, 02:02:50 pm
I don't think this is the best way to go, nor do I think anyone really promotes this route. These people that use the symbolism of early game art in their artistic exhibitions, do it based on the nostalgia involved with Super Mario World and what else. They're not doing something that is alive or vital, they're doing 'retro'.

But pixel art, while based on limitations of obsolete machines indeed, can be much more vital than this, in my opinion. You don't have to be in a gallery to be relevant.

Offline ndchristie

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #69 on: August 03, 2006, 04:02:07 pm


art forms similar to pixel-art have been around for centuries, i dont that the current, computerized use of grid-based artistic expression will die out completely, and if it does, it will probably have given rise to something similar that transcends pixels completely.  perople like to make things with blocks :P
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Offline Meta|Fox

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #70 on: August 04, 2006, 03:56:28 am
Quote
I've tried to put a little thought into this before posting, it's been going through my head a lot the last couple of days.

I think we can all conclude with one thing: Pixel art will not die. I have yet to see a single artform dissapear no matter how endangered it may be.

Now, I've read the suggestions that we need to promote Pixel art as an artform to preserve and educate. While this is a good idea in many ways, it's not as simple as that. Pixel art is in all respects a digital medium and can be regarded as the very basis of all digital art (that it's made out of the most basic part of digital visual media: pixels, and that it was the first digital media computers could produce. This includes text.) As many of you are aware, digital art is usually frowned upon by cometees of 'finer arts' unless its printed on a peace of paper or in physical form. If pixels are not shown on some sort of screen, the purpose and basis of the pixel piece shown is changed (meaning, for example, that it is no longer digital in the same sense). Also note that pixel art, like all the other art forms when they originated, is a practical art style. It was and still is made to do a job, be it to show icons on your PC or to show a character in a game.

Of course, putting a printout or a screen showing pixel pictures on display at, for example, a museum would help shed some light on pixel art, is it a good idea to let it evolve as an artform rather than an active tool? First of all, as I understand it we still don't have a pinned down set of ruled defining what exactly is to be defined as 'pixel art'. The view that the common man has about pixel art usually goes along the lines of: "a picture made of dots on a computer" or "what people use when the machine isn't good enough for 3d". It's a good idea to educate the common man, but if the view of pixel art shifts from computer generated art to a fine artform, then pixel art is going to evolve in that direction. If you were to make a large, grand pixel picture and put it up for display, it is going to look stunning. Personally however, I don't feel that this is what pixel art is meant for and partly the reason Digital painting was made.

But let's say that this is the direction that we take pixel art. I've had to learn and study modern art for 3 years as part of my general arts class, and modern artists have a tendency to stretch the borders quite a bit. There are artist that paint by hand single frames from comic books and show it off as something new due to the production method. If people start hand painting square tiles, is this still what we were hoping to show the world? One of the forms of art I loathe the most are the kind of people that paint large, messy squares on a canvas and go into endless elaborations of what it represents, how the strokes where made, why it was made and so on. This is not out of ignorance, I understand very well how and why this is done and the artist are, naturally, able to explain themselves. However, I do not like this art direction at all because it is art for arts sake. It is made by artists for artist and the only people that can judge them have to go through extensive learning to do so. So why am I mentioning this? Because that is the direction Pixel art might go if it is to be regarded as an artform by the general public. I do not want to see smeared ms Paint lines on display at some fancy house with some guy explaining that its his 'soul rage representing the horizon of hope'.


It seems to me that pixel art isnt actually an art at all. its a craft. Generally, non of us really attach signifigent meaning to our pixel art, we do it for our own enjoyment or as a means to an end.

(id write more but im reallly busy!)


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Offline ndchristie

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #71 on: August 04, 2006, 04:06:22 am
pixel art has a tough break because it is not taught at fine arts schools where students really learn to make meaningful art.  much of pixelart is driven by technique and rarely concept, though there are some notable figures that do more interesting things.  however, so far as the majority of pixel art remains game-oriented or at the very best art for the sake of being visually interesting it wont be truely respected as an art form until it is widely used as a way to communicate deeper meanings.  most of what is considered 'real art' reaches emotionally beyond where most pixelart tends to reach
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Offline Helm

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #72 on: August 04, 2006, 06:28:25 am
pixel art has a tough break because it is not taught at fine arts schools where students really learn to make meaningful art.  much of pixelart is driven by technique and rarely concept, though there are some notable figures that do more interesting things.  however, so far as the majority of pixel art remains game-oriented or at the very best art for the sake of being visually interesting it wont be truely respected as an art form until it is widely used as a way to communicate deeper meanings.  most of what is considered 'real art' reaches emotionally beyond where most pixelart tends to reach

Agreed, more or less. What's interesting is that a lot of the digital art on the internet also suffers from being empty. It's just stuff that looks good, like deviant-art-cool-anime-girls-and-gun-omg-robots etc or it's bad fantasy with a really silly symbolic undertone "The harp represents DEATH and the lady is playing it she's going to DIE" so it's not only that pixel art isn't getting a break, content-wise. There's just a lot of pretty painting going on, without most of it meaning anything.

But I believe as far as here goes, as long as we help people with their technique, and years pass, and they grow older... if they stick with (pixel) art, they'll either eventually find it personaly mandatory to stop doing empty art, or they'll quit. it's a personal decision, you can't force anyone in making deeper art in any field.

Offline Skull

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #73 on: August 04, 2006, 03:10:02 pm
New plan of action : Pixel Art Camp.

 ::)

Offline jagged software

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #74 on: August 05, 2006, 04:54:02 am
Skull: I'm with you on that one dude.

Offline ndchristie

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Re: The Future Of Pixel Art

Reply #75 on: August 05, 2006, 06:10:34 pm
I blame a bastardization of the tenets of postmodernism and contemporary art where people think that because the unique experience is created by the viewer, the art itself does not have to mean anything; but this simply makes all art turn into the same shit weve seen over and over again and it has no meaning for anyone.  philosophically i would consider myself a post-modernest, but not in the way that the movement seems to currently exist as a movement of bland shit and self-indulgence sprinkled with unhealthy pessimism.  i think that (great) art should mean something to the artist and serve as a method of communicating something equally important to the masses, which is then open to free interpretation.

which is why a media steeped in game-art history will have an uphill battle to be regarded as a real art form.  most game art is made for one reason with two faces: to be visually attractive in either a realistic or abstract way, and that goal simply wont get digital art respected for anything but the artist's technical skills.
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