AuthorTopic: Alien Characters Pixel Art  (Read 4999 times)

Offline Quady14

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Alien Characters Pixel Art

on: March 18, 2013, 11:34:12 pm
I've got a couple of different characters I'd like to post up here at one time or another, but I don't want to just spam everything at once, so I'll start with my current avatar here and maybe show a couple of others in this thread as I go on and improve the current ones I'm focusing on (either that or I'll just made new threads, whichever works better). I've got three sprites for him: his standing, idle blink, and walk/hop animations. I worked on him a good while ago (couple of months I think) but I thought it'd be a good place to start for feedback, because it's one of the better little projects I've worked on, and I wouldn't mind touching him up at some point based on critiques. Anyways I'll stop talking now and just post him.

Standing            Idle/Blink            Walk/Hop



(swapped out image tags so we can zoom in - Facet)
« Last Edit: March 19, 2013, 12:09:57 am by Facet »
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Offline pixelcoin

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Re: Alien Characters Pixel Art

Reply #1 on: March 21, 2013, 03:00:39 am
Personally, I like it alot. I thought maybe the third character in the row could use a couple of flipped frames so the tongue goes both left and right.

Offline Pix3M

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Re: Alien Characters Pixel Art

Reply #2 on: March 21, 2013, 03:33:07 am
Does it seem strange that the alien is walking sideways?

Offline Quady14

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Re: Alien Characters Pixel Art

Reply #3 on: March 21, 2013, 08:25:35 am
Does it seem strange that the alien is walking sideways?

I definitely see what you mean with it looking strange. When I was making this guy for whatever reason I drew the face directly in the middle, which does make it look kind of weird. I guess it was because his eyes are kind of big and I didn't want to cut off much. If I did it again I'd probably just offset the eyes and mouth more to the right so he looks a little more natural, like he's at least sort of looking in the direction he's walking in.

Any other tips on improving perspective? I feel like I particularly have trouble with overlapping say an arm over a torso during a walk cycle, stuff like that catches me up a lot, though not in this particular case. I may upload another alien character I did to show what I mean. I'll wait a little bit for other critiques on this first guy though. Thanks though!

Personally, I like it alot. I thought maybe the third character in the row could use a couple of flipped frames so the tongue goes both left and right.

I like that idea, maybe I'll add more tongue-wagging action to his walkcycle!
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Offline Pix3M

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Re: Alien Characters Pixel Art

Reply #4 on: March 21, 2013, 05:04:14 pm


Improving perspective... Well now that's mentioned, the sprite looks awfully flat. I changed the perspective to be facing more to the side.

I added shading with much stronger shadows to try to give it more depth, via using value contrasts. I think it's interesting you changed the hue and not the value to shade... changing the hue is important and it kind of works in this case since some hues appear at different values, but we can push our value contrasts much farther. IMO dark shadows are also a must-have if you want to make dark outlines work with shading. I've seen plenty of art with weaker shadows that made dark outlines look out of place :(

You can also 'overlap' things and place things in front or behind things to give an illusion of depth. Kinda what I did with the tentacles, which I even applied a wee bit on the bottom tentacles.

EDIT: I also changed the colors (and the presentation) to have a red-cyan color scheme. They contrast each other very nicely.

Plenty of things that can be polished up on my own sprite edit. I'm feeling clueless with highlights but thankfully you mostly want shadows to convey form anyways. The far upper tentacle ends up looking flat since I'm being too cautious about my rendering craftsmanship  :crazy:

But most of this comes from getting your brain to switch to '3-D mode' and not just seeing your flat canvas as a 2D plane. There's this nifty book I know out there called 'Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain' which talks about the psychological stuff behind what makes some people naturally 'good' at drawing while some people struggle a lot, but once you understand that difference drawing becomes much easier. If you haven't heard of that book before, I think it's a fun read anyways.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2013, 05:20:55 pm by Pix3M »

Offline Quady14

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Re: Alien Characters Pixel Art

Reply #5 on: March 21, 2013, 06:01:30 pm
Phew, wow... That was a pretty amazing post  :lol:

I'm honored that you took the time to redo the sprite, and it looks amazing! May I ask how long it took you to make? Also, do you use a tablet? I've attempted switching over to my tablet for pixel art but it doesn't feel very comfortable to use, I'm just not really used to the feeling of it.

I'll definitely try to work more with shading. I haven't really learned a hard and fast rule to it and this was one of my earlier attempts to use shading; still didn't quite get the look I was hoping for though, so yeah, I think the method you showed here would definitely benefit me to start messing with. I'll look up "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" too, sounds like a good read for me!

Thanks again for all your help, I really appreciate it. My biggest thing right now I guess is that I'm afraid to take risks with my art; I've been making most everything flat because delving into that frontward/behind depth of the character starts to just confuse me. Gotta really start working on that if I want to improve. I'll maybe try to redo this guy from scratch a couple of times and post what I get. Hopefully it'll at least be somewhere halfway between my original sprite and your edit!
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Offline Pix3M

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Re: Alien Characters Pixel Art

Reply #6 on: March 21, 2013, 09:44:28 pm
Phew, wow... That was a pretty amazing post  :lol:

I'm honored that you took the time to redo the sprite, and it looks amazing! May I ask how long it took you to make? Also, do you use a tablet? I've attempted switching over to my tablet for pixel art but it doesn't feel very comfortable to use, I'm just not really used to the feeling of it.

I'll definitely try to work more with shading. I haven't really learned a hard and fast rule to it and this was one of my earlier attempts to use shading; still didn't quite get the look I was hoping for though, so yeah, I think the method you showed here would definitely benefit me to start messing with. I'll look up "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" too, sounds like a good read for me!

Thanks again for all your help, I really appreciate it. My biggest thing right now I guess is that I'm afraid to take risks with my art; I've been making most everything flat because delving into that frontward/behind depth of the character starts to just confuse me. Gotta really start working on that if I want to improve. I'll maybe try to redo this guy from scratch a couple of times and post what I get. Hopefully it'll at least be somewhere halfway between my original sprite and your edit!

I use a mouse for pixel art. Pixel-level precision doesn't really need a tablet, though I hear that a tablet speeds up the beginning stages when you're 'sketching' around. Still sprites of this sort of style and size (provided it doesn't have clothes and stuff) takes me roughly 30 minutes.

If you want to know how shading works, they say that doing still lifes can really help understand how shading works. Get a really dark room possibly at night, get a small lamp so you get only one light source, and experiment to see how lighting works and stuff under extreme lighting you get to have. See how shadows are made where light doesn't hit, and highlights bouncing off from surfaces directly to your eye like a mirror. Highlights are funny as whether an object has highlights depends on the surface quality and what it's made of.

Don't look at me as some art master though. There's plenty about shading that I don't yet know, mostly knowing how to convey objects being made of a specific material.  :blind:
« Last Edit: March 21, 2013, 09:47:02 pm by Pix3M »

Offline Quady14

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Re: Alien Characters Pixel Art

Reply #7 on: March 21, 2013, 11:40:34 pm
Only 30 minutes? I swear everywhere I look people are so speedy with their art. It's embarrassing but I spent at least 3 hours on those sprites and that was the best I could come out with  :-[

The biggest thing I've been trying to do it just draw as often as I can, at least once a day, and while it mostly just amounts to doodles in my sketchbook, I feel like that's a decent way for me to get better right now. Life drawings would probably be helpful though, I've never really enjoyed them very much but I can see how they would be really useful in terms of fundamentals.
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Offline Pix3M

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Re: Alien Characters Pixel Art

Reply #8 on: March 21, 2013, 11:48:11 pm
It's mainly being familiar with the tools of your trade, and being familiar with what you're drawing, and not distracting yourself too much. An alien which there's already a sprite made of (I mostly transformed it) isn't much trouble. I wouldn't worry about comparing speed yet.

Life drawings do seem boring but mostly when I have no actual drive to learn anything. At this point, I'm getting to a point where I'm starting to appreciate all the little details when stop and observe from life  ;D

Offline Quady14

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Re: Alien Characters Pixel Art

Reply #9 on: March 21, 2013, 11:53:07 pm
Just found out we actually have "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" right in our garage storage! What a coincidence, huh? My mom's gonna send it up to college come Easter, so I'll probably check it out within the next couple of weeks. I just want to reiterate, I appreciate all your help!
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