AuthorTopic: Attempt to pixel an M16A4  (Read 4452 times)

Offline Velocity

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Attempt to pixel an M16A4

on: May 13, 2013, 09:04:42 pm
Good day guys.

First of all 'hello all', I'm new over here. I'm a programmer that figured out that art (specifically pixel art, drawing on paper seems fine) is a very weak point. Having disgusting assets in any of my games makes me look like yet-another-game-developer which I decided not to be, hehe. I had an attempt at drawing an M16A4 (firearms weapon) in Paint.NET, which... strangely almost looks good!

I would really like to hear from this community how it looks. I really want to improve, learn, develop my skills in drawing but without feedback I won't get there :)



Zoomed-in version:


I explicitly did not use pillow shading (yes, I admit, this was how I used to shade :$) but tried to make it a bit more realistic lighted (the yellow ball is the sun).
Any ideas, or feedback? Would love to hear so!

Kind regards.

Offline Seiseki

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Re: Attempt to pixel an M16A4

Reply #1 on: May 13, 2013, 10:19:00 pm
1st off, reduce the amount of colors and try to start with only 3 colors, base, shadow and highlight. Use those colors to define the different parts and make them stand out.
Because even if you didn't use pillow shading, you're still kinda shading it like it's a single piece. A rifle is made up of different parts after all.

Also, I think it's fair if you buff it up a little.

This is what I first ended up with..


Then I realized how much bigger I had made it and scaled it down.
It's still bigger than your original, but I think that's needed because otherwise the outlines takes up too much.



(click the images to zoom in)
« Last Edit: May 13, 2013, 10:24:45 pm by Seiseki »

Offline Velocity

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Re: Attempt to pixel an M16A4

Reply #2 on: May 14, 2013, 05:59:31 pm
That is seriously amazing! Indeed, the shadows are messed up on mine. They look perfect on your one.
Do you have any hints on how you work with shading? I don't see the theory behind your technique. Could you explain this way?
And yes, you were right with the size. It fits way better now, especially the handle of the gun.

Offline Seiseki

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Re: Attempt to pixel an M16A4

Reply #3 on: May 14, 2013, 08:06:22 pm
Thanks.
Well it was a bit back and forth, at first I reduced it to 3 colors and used those to define the different areas and get some clear shapes.
I also looked at a reference image to add more details and tweak the proportions.

The highlights are what really makes it pop out though, I attempted to highlight all the way around the edges on some of the parts of the gun.

This gif doesn't show the order that I draw in, but it breaks down the different layers.


Offline Velocity

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Re: Attempt to pixel an M16A4

Reply #4 on: May 14, 2013, 08:12:34 pm
Thank you very much for putting so much efford into my learning purpose. That's appreciated very much!
The image indeed clearly shows what you do. This is very nice, time to draw a new rifle with ofcourse the technique I just learnt.

I assume that the pink markings are where important depth changes are?

Once more, thank you so much :)

Offline Seiseki

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Re: Attempt to pixel an M16A4

Reply #5 on: May 14, 2013, 08:37:56 pm
Thank you very much for putting so much efford into my learning purpose. That's appreciated very much!
The image indeed clearly shows what you do. This is very nice, time to draw a new rifle with ofcourse the technique I just learnt.

I assume that the pink markings are where important depth changes are?

Once more, thank you so much :)

Yeah, those are important areas.

Here are some basic blocks showing the shading I use, in 3 colors.
With sharp contrast like the 2nd block, you get a glossy feel and the pixels in the corners give a sense of roundness and the 3rd block is an easy way to make something ribbed.



Pixel art is a lot about compromising, because usually you can't get all the details in, so you have to know what to skip. The important part is that it's easy and clear to see.
So if you find that you've given too much detail to one area that shouldn't be in focus, either because it's small, because it's further away, or just unimportant, then just get rid of it, sometimes just one or two colors will work.

Offline Velocity

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Re: Attempt to pixel an M16A4

Reply #6 on: May 16, 2013, 05:59:57 am
That indeed makes it very clear! I had another try at making a gun, keeping your techniques in mind. This one turned out great, in my eyes! It's a SCAR-L :)



The reference image I used:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d8/FN_SCAR-L_(Standard).jpg

What do you think, is this a better shading? I at first thought the highlights were too bright, but after adding a bit of an inbetween-color it really started to look pretty. Thank you!

Offline Seiseki

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Re: Attempt to pixel an M16A4

Reply #7 on: May 16, 2013, 04:52:43 pm
A lot better!
But don't be afraid to increase the contrast even more.

Some more crits though, you have to add in the cracks between the different parts, also adding a pattern to the attachment rails. Because it's still looks a lot like a single shape.


(hm, top railing is the wrong color, looks kinda off)

I was just gonna make a few changes in the edit, but then I started looking at the reference and it went kinda crazy..

I notice the part between the grip and the stock it goes down a bit in yours, but in the reference it's completely straight, did you draw it partly by memory?
I think you have to train yourself to look at references without thinking too much and just seeing what's there, not making any assumptions like "well a barrel is always straight" even if it's true, because otherwise memories will start interfering..

Also it's really useful if you compare the lines and see how parts line up in relation to each other, which I find really interesting and that's why I like doing edits like this when there is a clear reference.
It's really good training to get better perception and really see what's there, because the brain likes to make assumptions and look at the whole thing instead of the individual parts.'

edit: I just noticed something else on the reference and had to fix it..  :crazy:

« Last Edit: May 16, 2013, 05:14:41 pm by Seiseki »

Offline Velocity

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Re: Attempt to pixel an M16A4

Reply #8 on: May 16, 2013, 06:20:24 pm
Thank you!
Yeah I see what you mean. There's so much detail you can fit into a pixel art that I sometimes just forget to, haha.
Yours indeed looks better, except the railing but indeed a colour change will do it. It's just perfect!
And yes, I sometimes look once, and then draw for a few minutes. Bad habit I think :P

I'll keep this in mind and draw another firearm :)

PS: Any way I can keep in touch with you? Maybe through Skype or such?

Offline Fisharto

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Re: Attempt to pixel an M16A4

Reply #9 on: May 19, 2013, 05:41:31 pm
Not much to say, but to compliment what Seisei did. Truly a great touch up. Since at start I couldn't notice your gun at all, velo. Since it didn't have any kind of lights on it. Other then that keep it up! 
Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition