AuthorTopic: Second Cluster Study - Knights of the Round  (Read 23805 times)

Offline ptoing

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Re: Second Cluster Study - Knights of the Round

Reply #60 on: January 07, 2013, 03:48:34 pm
It is not A LOT of games in MAME which look odd in that way. It is a bunch of old Konami ones and others on the same hardware core. I think it has to do with faulty emulation of the gfx core in that machine than with anything else. The shadowmask or the glass and such do not make things look super different or darker at all. I am sure someone could go and fiddle with that core and get the colours looking proper relatively easily if they have access to some original board to compare.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline Arne

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Re: Second Cluster Study - Knights of the Round

Reply #61 on: January 07, 2013, 04:17:20 pm
It's in a lot of SEGA games too. When I mentioned the odd looking games to a guy on IRC (iirc, he was peripherally a MAME dev) a while back, he took a look at the games and concluded that the color values and gfx routines really did output what they were supposed to, so it was most likely something with the display hardware. Even the ported stuff, Wiiware and XBLA etc. looks the same kinda wrong. I'm not sure if they also use MAME though.

Offline ptoing

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Re: Second Cluster Study - Knights of the Round

Reply #62 on: January 07, 2013, 04:31:57 pm
I would not be surprised if they were cheapass and just used MAME. The Neo Geo X just ripped off Final Burn Alpha, so it would not be beyond people for sure.

And yeah, I know it is in quite a few SEGA games as well, like Alien Syndrome for example. Contra is not properly dumped. Alien Syndrome is. One thing which it could be is that those boards have an analog intensitiy resistor or something which is not emulated properly. That is my best guess.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline Helm

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Re: Second Cluster Study - Knights of the Round

Reply #63 on: January 07, 2013, 04:38:34 pm
Quote
But even in that, imo, the shadow mask stuff looks ass.

You can make the HLSL filter use whatever shadowmask you want besides aperture.png, though. Most of this technical talk is over my head. Here's the second part of my critique of what we've got so far.

R1K's first edit: Under filtering, this looks pretty close to the original, besides added contrast as needed. Somehow a bit bland, it seems it could use more definition. Many areas are blobby, blobbier than the original. Some sharp highlights work to the favour of the first sprite. If there's something to learn from the filtering is to not oversoften sprites, I think.

Pistachio's edit: is pretty great. I especially like the legs part, which some dynamic highlights on the thighs, some hue blending (which I'm pretty convinced works better with filtering than with supersharp pixels, which makes me even more surprised the artists of the time didn't use this technique though the demoscene was all over it - I guess the Japanese didn't watch c64 demos, huh?). If anything I would make some areas even clearer and less noisy than in this edit. That angle of the flap of his right boot is too forced, though. And the arm anatomy could use some cleaning when the strongest detail is the elbow. Unless one is avoiding beefcake for a reason, in which case, sure.

R1k's 2 edit: This has kind of a Yoshi's Island vibe, what with the unAAed black in places. It's a very weird clash of styles for me. I know a lot of people didn't take my suggestion to keep to the original's aesthetic as they best see it very seriously, but it also limits what I have to say about these ones.

Batzy's edit: I kind of like it inspite of itself. The anatomy is taken to an aesthetic extreme where it seems like he's grown tumors everywhere which although 'not correct' I find interesting. The face I think is to squashed in there and the kneecaps being the same color as the biceps makes for unfortunate visual confusion. I don't think the tumor-look works well with the share shaded idea, though. Two different tendencies, you should service the one or the other. Also a four finger hand holding that sword, if that's worth mentioning I don't know.

Dex's edit: is my favourite of the bunch. First of all I'm surprised nobody else thought to add a belt buckle because it absolutely helps the sprite. Second, this is the best solution after St0ven's for the red flap, in my opinion. The color identity is strong, the sculpting is miles ahead of the original, the sprite is dark but not too dark, the visual focus is on the sword and the stance. I like the face even if it's a minimal edit keeping close to the original. The kneecaps are some good eye-candy. The fist holding the sword is not solved in this edit, though. Worth taking another look there, Dex. You're also one of the few to add bodybuilder girth on that arm which I don't think the sprite needs, really. More tendon and carved anatomy for Arthur, I would say. The highlight on the shoulderpad (which also god me) is also worth another look, too segmented. Super nice shiny boots too. Congrats.


Mr. Beast's edit: I think this has some unfortunate problems in volumes. None of them look real, kind of flat but uneven at the same time. Dark at places that I don't understand, I would like to see pencil studies of some cups or telephones or shoes or something by you to see if there's a reproducible problem here of if somehow this sprite got away from you. Dig the kickass sword, though.

 

Lachie's edit: Aesthetically as I said I can't say much because it's not in the spirit of the original game. I'll just note that if you were going for ninja, I would suggest looking at how fabric folds and is lit by a lightsource, because the way you adopted the lights from the arms of the original just changing the hue and said 'that's a fabric'... do not work. On the legs you make an effort to say 'these are puffy pants' but you didn't work from reference to see how they would fold. Also a katana (if you were going for that) has a flat blade.

R1k's 3 Edit: I like this palette much more but I fear it's too unified between flesh tone and pants tone, so it kind of looks like he's wearing just the flap and has unfortunately shaped musculature on his legs. I would keep these things distinct. The face did not survive filtering in a flattering way either. The darkness on his left boot is a nice idea, good volumes that read very well and suggest depth.

Erekt's second edit: I like how Arthur finally has some facial hair here, I'm kind of tickled by that none of us almost thought to fix the disparity between the portrait and sprite of Arthur. I still think some details are too defined and stylized in this, the fingers of the hand holding the dword, the tapered red flap that works against clearing up the shape distinction between flap and legs (could be mistaken for a skirt with a red middle and white sides, for example).

PPD's edit: Is from another game, heh. An awesome game I want to play, but another game nonetheless. I enjoy the simple and interlocking muscle shapes on the arm, this is a very good solution. And again, I feel kind of in love at how dark sprites look with the scanline effect. I really think someone should persue this, if they don't I will. Also nice to see some racial diversity in the mix. Great cluster shapes on his left thigh too. Generally, some nice technique here. Lots of strong diagonals and so on. That adopted two-finger hold of the sword hand could be solved in a better way, though. Also take care of the clusters on his right kneepad, they cand be disambiguated much better. And I would ease up on all these specular highlights. Make your eyes go blurry (if you can, some people can't!) and look how much the sprite is a black blob with oily shines. Do you want this? Even if you do, I would suggest trying to tone it down and have it lead the yes to the jewel on the forehead, the sword most, secondarily on the belt, shoulderpad and kneepads and much less on the shoes.

Xion's edit: I love the color mixing on the pants, although they share with the arms, they're clearl not the same material and therefore the mind makes an automatic distinction. Yours has my favourite sword design/render, eventhough that guard is small for such a big sword, I think. I think the lower legs could use some more contrast, but otherwise one of my favourite edits. A very different but equally interesting solution to the red flap. I think that belt is too loose, but not a big deal. And extra credit for those very interesting detail designs on the gauntlets, they solve a lot of readability problems that I hadn't considered before. I don't particularly enjoy the superjaw but I can see the desire for him to have more personality.

Jeremy's edit: I want to congratulate you for somehow creating what I think is a very possible redraw representation of this sprite were Knights of the Round to have been ported on the Amiga 500 back in the day. Everything from the dark and washed color range to the 'Arthur should have a beard, dammit!' mentality. I Actually think this is my favourite head edit. The legs have unfortunate muscles which you should reference for. I like the ornamental design around the red flap. You didn't solve the fingers holding the sword, but it's a tough bit. Your highlight on the rip of the shoulderpad wors best from the filtered ones. If you spent more time with anatomy, this would be my favourite.

Offline PixelPiledriver

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Re: Second Cluster Study - Knights of the Round

Reply #64 on: January 08, 2013, 06:34:03 am
I like the character select design:



Thanks for the crit Helm.
It's always helpful to get another perspective.
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline API-Beast

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Re: Second Cluster Study - Knights of the Round

Reply #65 on: January 08, 2013, 10:02:23 am
Mr. Beast's edit: I think this has some unfortunate problems in volumes. None of them look real, kind of flat but uneven at the same time. Dark at places that I don't understand, I would like to see pencil studies of some cups or telephones or shoes or something by you to see if there's a reproducible problem here of if somehow this sprite got away from you. Dig the kickass sword, though.
This could be caused by the method I use to for shading. I try to find and follow the flow of the shape, this can work quite well in higher resolutions and especially for textures but not so much for sprites. (Basically imagining the shape of a object as a wire-frame out of curves instead of straight lines.)

st0ven gave me the advice to use primitives for shading in this scale, something I've never even considered before and which seems to work quite well, but I still need to experiment with that a bit more.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 10:09:40 am by Mr. Beast »

Offline Conzeit

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Re: Second Cluster Study - Knights of the Round

Reply #66 on: January 08, 2013, 06:15:37 pm
« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 06:41:32 pm by Conceit »

Offline PixelPiledriver

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Re: Second Cluster Study - Knights of the Round

Reply #67 on: January 08, 2013, 07:04:47 pm
Oh nice!
I hadn't thought to twist the sword like that.
My blade is maybe too round looking.
Showing the backside of the armor in the armpit was a good call, missed that too.
I tried really hard to make his boots more boot like and draw them different than I normally would.
Personally I don't wear anything with a heel but I notice a lot of shoes have them and its something I omit from drawings unconsciously.
Thanks for posting the concept.
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline Conzeit

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Re: Second Cluster Study - Knights of the Round

Reply #68 on: January 09, 2013, 05:40:39 pm
I was browsing for sprites I like and for the first time I looked at shin megami tensei sprites
http://www.spriters-resource.com/psx_ps2/shinmegamitensei2/
I post them here because they seemed from what I understand very cluster focused. Much like St0ven's art in this thread and the last. Many enemies in catlevania x/rondo /symphony of the night, wakfu and galaxy fight also aproach what I understand to be cluster focus

Offline Helm

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Re: Second Cluster Study - Knights of the Round

Reply #69 on: January 13, 2013, 06:49:36 pm
Yes the SMT sprites are awesome and a definite influence.