AuthorTopic: Vacation game assets [Need help with character sprite!]  (Read 8891 times)

Offline imnumberfour

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I have decided to delve into another mockup frenzy! This time I went for something out of my ordinary and decided to pixel a tree (oooh, aaah) and an actual character sprite. The tree is still WIP so help there would be great and the sprite is extremely WIP: i have no idea whatsoever on what to do with him.



How it will most likely be viewed:



Offline Pix3M

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Re: Vacation game assets [Need help with character sprite!]

Reply #1 on: April 11, 2013, 05:35:21 am
Looks like a character who belongs in an adventure game. A tourist as old as middle age looking for something... That's what I am.feeling when I look at this. Is that what you intended?

Offline imnumberfour

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Re: Vacation game assets [Need help with character sprite!]

Reply #2 on: April 11, 2013, 10:26:50 am
Yes. The man is supposed to be a tourist at a resort island, attractive, in his 30's and looking for something (haven't yet decided). So I guess I conveyed that pretty well?

Offline Ymedron

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Re: Vacation game assets [Need help with character sprite!]

Reply #3 on: April 11, 2013, 01:49:14 pm
The earth textures might be too high contrast? It pulls your eyes away from the character. I wonder if you could use more standing-out colors for the character, too? :o
Also my art tumblr: ymedronart.tumblr.com

Offline imnumberfour

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Re: Vacation game assets [Need help with character sprite!]

Reply #4 on: April 11, 2013, 02:12:33 pm
I was thinking that about the dirt....originally it was like this but I just REALLY liked it when  added more colours, haha. If it's too much of an issue I willl change it, however I thought I could make the character really simple so it still stands out against the detailed background (and, ya'know, easier to animate).

More colours + more contrast? Hawaiian shirt it is then.



Offline Tourist

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Re: Vacation game assets [Need help with character sprite!]

Reply #5 on: April 11, 2013, 06:33:27 pm
If this is not a platformer, then I strongly recommend adding depth to the scene.  Study the design of old cartoons, since they had to work with the same sort of limits as side view video games.

I took the liberty to pasting your character into the background of Donald's Vacation, a 1940 Donald Duck cartoon.



The lines I drew roughly break the image into the foreground (lowest stripe), the character area (between the cyan lines), the middle ground (up to the red line) and the background (everything else).

The lone tree in the middle ground serves to break up the composition into different areas (clearings in this setting).  With the character wandering horizontally, it helps to pace the scene; things happen over here (on one side of the tree), and over there (on the other side), and the character walking in front of the tree is transitioning between the spaces.

The middle ground area also contains scenery objects the character interacts with.  Doors, or treasure chests, or whatnot would be placed there.   Putting a scenery object in the character space is used only when that object also blocks further movement in the horizontal direction, or transitions to another scene entirely.

The character will generally never leave the character area, but it looks like they could.

Observe the huge jump in scale between the middle ground and background elements.  Those background elements are very far away, which emphasizes the character is unlikely to interact with them.   Also consider out the saturation differences.

Of course, if you are creating a run and jump platformer, most of this advice is moot.  More animation backgrounds are here:

http://animationbackgrounds.blogspot.com/

Hope this helps,
Tourist

Offline imnumberfour

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Re: Vacation game assets [Need help with character sprite!]

Reply #6 on: April 11, 2013, 06:36:31 pm
If this is not a platformer, then I strongly recommend adding depth to the scene.  Study the design of old cartoons, since they had to work with the same sort of limits as side view video games.

I took the liberty to pasting your character into the background of Donald's Vacation, a 1940 Donald Duck cartoon.



The lines I drew roughly break the image into the foreground (lowest stripe), the character area (between the cyan lines), the middle ground (up to the red line) and the background (everything else).

The lone tree in the middle ground serves to break up the composition into different areas (clearings in this setting).  With the character wandering horizontally, it helps to pace the scene; things happen over here (on one side of the tree), and over there (on the other side), and the character walking in front of the tree is transitioning between the spaces.

The middle ground area also contains scenery objects the character interacts with.  Doors, or treasure chests, or whatnot would be placed there.   Putting a scenery object in the character space is used only when that object also blocks further movement in the horizontal direction, or transitions to another scene entirely.

The character will generally never leave the character area, but it looks like they could.

Observe the huge jump in scale between the middle ground and background elements.  Those background elements are very far away, which emphasizes the character is unlikely to interact with them.   Also consider out the saturation differences.

Of course, if you are creating a run and jump platformer, most of this advice is moot.  More animation backgrounds are here:

http://animationbackgrounds.blogspot.com/

Hope this helps,
Tourist

Thats a really neat thing to do, I think I may try that. Would doing so mean I have to change the perspective of the trees/bushes?

Offline Tourist

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Re: Vacation game assets [Need help with character sprite!]

Reply #7 on: April 11, 2013, 07:30:54 pm
A little bit for the bushes, not much for the trees.  Since there is a horizon line the scene should have some perspective.  The viewer should look down just a bit on short objects like the bushes.  Tall trees will stretch across the horizon line so you can get away with less perspective.  For the trees, make the base curved instead of flat and you're probably fine.

To be honest the degree of perspective tends to vary quite a bit from cartoon to cartoon. There are also perspective tricks to set up the backgrounds with multiple vanishing points across large horizontal layouts, but I'm not sure you need to use them.

One important trick is to hide the explicit breaks in the depth areas.  Those lines that I drew?  They should not be obvious to the viewer.  Notice that the ground around the tree.  The shadow/grass spills into the character area to hide the face that there is a hard break in the depth.  Same thing on the right hand edge where the ground goes from tan to greenish.  This makes the clearing a sort of round, space like a room, even though the character will never step in there depthwise.

The (red) line between mid ground and background is explicit on the right to keep them separate, but on the left the line is broken up by the large rocks and extra trees.  Other cartoons place the objects at slanted angles relative to the horizontal axis, but the actual boundaries for the characters and objects remain a fixed horizontal band to make it easier on the character animators.





from Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt, 1941.  This is a Bugs Bunny cartoon. 

A little perspective on the bushes, not much on the trees.  A wide empty space at the bottom for the characters to walk around in.  Note how all of the boundaries are curved or angled rather than horizontal.  This is illusion for the most part.

The canoe is technically at the edge of the middle area, even though the lake above it is background.   You'd have to do a custom animation for a character to get in or out of the canoe.

Browse the blog for more examples (it's not mine, but I think it's rather nifty).

Offline imnumberfour

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Re: Vacation game assets [Need help with character sprite!]

Reply #8 on: April 11, 2013, 07:37:37 pm
This is really helpful. Thank you for all this information! I will definately work this into the tiles.

Offline PypeBros

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Re: Vacation game assets [Need help with character sprite!]

Reply #9 on: April 12, 2013, 07:34:05 am
I note that there also was a ton of similar "side-view-character-in-depth-enabled environments" in Lucas Arts DOS point/click adventure games such as DoTT, Monkey Island or Sam&Max Hit the Road...