AuthorTopic: Black Knight WIP  (Read 11605 times)

Offline wolfenoctis

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Black Knight WIP

on: May 29, 2013, 11:44:02 am
Hi guys, I'm trying to make a black knight from Dark Souls, but I'm having trouble making it look good. Any advice would be appreciated, thanks.



reference: http://extragamebox.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Dark-Souls-The-Dark-Knight-And-Black-Background.jpg

Offline birkka

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Re: Black Knight WIP

Reply #1 on: May 29, 2013, 11:49:16 am
i'm a novice but i think you must use more light  colors 
we can't see the details

Offline Crow

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Re: Black Knight WIP

Reply #2 on: May 29, 2013, 11:50:57 am
Yay, Dark Souls! This is a pretty solid start. Still lots to improve, though. In your current rendition, he looks like he's about to fall over, so you need to straighten him up a little I'd say. Another issue is that a black knight's armor really is black. It only looks sort of dark red-ish in your reference because of the flames as a light source. Finally, both the armor and his sword should be shiny. Right now, both look rather dull. Don't be afraid of using very light highlight tones or adding more contrast in general.
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Offline wolfenoctis

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Re: Black Knight WIP

Reply #3 on: May 29, 2013, 01:06:37 pm
Ok, I tried to straighten him up and lighten the colors, the more I tamper the worse he looks  :'(

« Last Edit: May 29, 2013, 01:22:23 pm by wolfenoctis »

Offline Cyangmou

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Re: Black Knight WIP

Reply #4 on: May 30, 2013, 12:20:13 am
I really like your idea - it's something I also wanted to try out some time ago (dark fantasy, evil and slightly noble - I really like the art direction of the game), because I wondered if it's possible to achieve a similar feeling with pixel art but it doesn't seem to be possible with that small resolution (in terms of pixel art it's already big) and isometry is usually great for this more realistic styles.

Because I had no time I never came around to try it, but you brought it up and I decided to do a little edit.
However I was carried away because of my own ambitions and ended up with a completely own piece of art.
After all I think it's not possible to reproduce the same feeling dark souls has with pixel-game-art.

to give you some critique:
-your shield faces in the wrong direction. if he'd raise it the peak would be at the top.
-your pose is rather static, the head is way back. Even if it's just standing a bit more dynamic livens up the whole thing.
-the sword looks really jagged. You should try to use pixel-perfect lines

here is my attempt:

11 colors (3 more than yours, dunno if the 8 were your personal limit), gray bg because the white of the standard skin here is a color-killer

I used this references:
http://abload.de/img/8cccdbcb155b2efb9bc513hrv8.jpg
http://abload.de/img/hzfkl9vgq5pxn.jpg
« Last Edit: May 30, 2013, 12:29:08 am by Cyangmou »
"Because the beauty of the human body is that it hasn't a single muscle which doesn't serve its purpose; that there's not a line wasted; that every detail of it fits one idea, the idea of a man and the life of a man."

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Offline Decroded

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Re: Black Knight WIP

Reply #5 on: May 30, 2013, 02:19:23 am
omg Dark Souls!  :D

Wolf I love the sprite but see overhighlighting on your latest version.
Highlighting all your
And try working against a mid-grey background like Cyg.

I feel Cyg's edit looks awesome but the lovely gold trims and nice blue backlighting detracts from the feeling of the game.
Trims are great but a little less saturation would fit better IMO:

A browner different tint to the armor would be more fitting too.
Here's a rushed version with readability issues (armor TOO similar to trims) but I don't have time to improve it right now :'(
« Last Edit: May 30, 2013, 10:49:02 am by Decroded »

Offline wolfenoctis

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Re: Black Knight WIP

Reply #6 on: May 30, 2013, 06:36:54 am
Hi guys, here's an update:

spent all night trying to get this to work, this is what I came up with, what do you guys think?

@Cyangmou
Thank you for you nice edit, although as you say, not the same feeling as dark souls.
Your half right about the shield direction, the player does hold the shield like that, but black knight enemies hold it differently
here is a reference(so hard to find a screenshot of enemy black knights):
http://i.stack.imgur.com/kWZlm.png
Now that I look at it though, my shield is a little too small, I'm gonna work on the sword and shield a bit more

Also I have no limit on colors

@decored
Thank you for participating, however I can't see your second image, would you mind re-uploading it please?
« Last Edit: May 30, 2013, 06:38:57 am by wolfenoctis »

Offline Crow

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Re: Black Knight WIP

Reply #7 on: May 30, 2013, 07:01:56 am
(so hard to find a screenshot of enemy black knights)

Provide! http://crategam.es/ds_black_knight/
Static ones are difficult, so I just capped a screen every second during my fight. I tried getting some without the enemy lock-on during the first couple seconds, but it's not as easy as it looks. If you want, I can give it a spin again with motion blur turned off. Should provide some cleaner shots (didn't think about it before I shot this).
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Offline wolfenoctis

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Re: Black Knight WIP

Reply #8 on: May 30, 2013, 09:41:47 am
WOW Crow, thanks a lot for all your effort  :y:, those screens really helped

Here's an update:

Offline Cyangmou

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Re: Black Knight WIP

Reply #9 on: May 30, 2013, 10:27:45 am
Your last version nails the ingame color of the knight pretty much, although the sword seems to bright. It's by far more interesting to look at it then the red or silver version.


I never played the game (because it lacked an appropriate pc version - at least from what I read). Crow's screenshots were very interesting, because I only used the concept art and the character looks way different than the concept art and how I envisioned certain things.

The thing which gave me a hard time to imagine was how the knight holds his shield (I also researched some things throughout the web) - but it seems that the developers used a non-realistic approach (or a realistic approach I don't know) with a single anchor point to make the movements more impressive and stylish which is a rather cool observation nonetheless.

(this three ones show the movement flexibility pretty good)
http://crategam.es/ds_black_knight/DATA%202013-05-30%2008-55-51-29.jpg
http://crategam.es/ds_black_knight/DATA%202013-05-30%2008-55-55-29.jpg
http://crategam.es/ds_black_knight/DATA%202013-05-30%2008-56-08-29.jpg


Here are some pics of realistic shield handles and some links from my research, maybe it's interesting for someone:

classical shield handle


kite shield handle:


scutum handle:


overview:


article about shields:
http://www.myarmoury.com/feature_shield.html

Post #76
http://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showthread.php?120683-Big-Shields/page3
(rather interesting read)




"Because the beauty of the human body is that it hasn't a single muscle which doesn't serve its purpose; that there's not a line wasted; that every detail of it fits one idea, the idea of a man and the life of a man."

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Offline wolfenoctis

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Re: Black Knight WIP

Reply #10 on: May 30, 2013, 12:07:03 pm
Gave him more solid dark areas and tried to make the sword less bright:

Thanks for all your effort Cyangmou! You've really contributed much to this thread  :y:

Offline Cyangmou

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Re: Black Knight WIP

Reply #11 on: May 30, 2013, 01:00:15 pm
I think you should focus to force him in the right iso perspective first. YOur angles especially for the knees and shoulders are off.
It's a common habit to draw the shoulders with a much more flat angled angle. I think it's because we are more familiar with this kind of view - nonetheless it's wrong if we just keep the constructive part in mind.

Quick and sloppy edit:

"Because the beauty of the human body is that it hasn't a single muscle which doesn't serve its purpose; that there's not a line wasted; that every detail of it fits one idea, the idea of a man and the life of a man."

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Offline wolfenoctis

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Re: Black Knight WIP

Reply #12 on: May 30, 2013, 02:37:43 pm
Tried putting him in iso perspective:

Did I do it right?

Offline Decroded

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Re: Black Knight WIP

Reply #13 on: May 30, 2013, 02:44:24 pm
Perspective is better.
I like your new horns btw.
Your new shield angle allows for backlighting to bring out its texture.

Started this from your previous version.
I thought the sword should be something a little more along these lines:

Tried to give a curve to the horns.
Started mucking around with the chest try to make it more like the reference but your one kinda looks sharper/better.
Added a crappy version of Cyg's backlighting  :ouch:

Would love to see some environment and more characters ;-)
« Last Edit: May 30, 2013, 02:47:23 pm by Decroded »

Offline Cyangmou

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Re: Black Knight WIP

Reply #14 on: May 30, 2013, 04:00:51 pm
@wolfenoctis
much better now perspective wise.

I tried to get rid of senseless details and emphasized some places through simplification.
I also tried to make it easier to grasp the whole concept on first sight, which isn't easy with this pitch-black design because it's hard to read what's going on.

"Because the beauty of the human body is that it hasn't a single muscle which doesn't serve its purpose; that there's not a line wasted; that every detail of it fits one idea, the idea of a man and the life of a man."

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Offline wolfenoctis

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Re: Black Knight WIP

Reply #15 on: May 31, 2013, 06:42:13 am
Added some light from the back and attempted some AA:


@Cyangmou: Your version is much more readable, although the angle of the sword seems off, if I can't make these dark pixels work I will definitely have a go at simplification  ;D. What do you think of this one?

Offline Decroded

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Re: Black Knight WIP

Reply #16 on: May 31, 2013, 07:53:46 am
Darker background can make ur job harder...

Offline wolfenoctis

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Re: Black Knight WIP

Reply #17 on: May 31, 2013, 09:10:41 am
Tried to simplify a bit and made the background lighter:

this better?

Offline Decroded

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Re: Black Knight WIP

Reply #18 on: May 31, 2013, 09:18:46 am
Its looking so awesome man.
I could be wrong viewing on my phone screen but torso back light line follows too far left and down which makes it look disjointed.
try following curve of his back instead.
The new sword is great but looks too clean for me.
try introducing 1 or 2 shades of dull red to give it that rusty and/or old dried blood appearance >:-)

Offline Cyangmou

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Re: Black Knight WIP

Reply #19 on: May 31, 2013, 10:33:08 am
yeah it looks really cool now. I think only some polishing is left to do.



-colored the sword red (decroded was right that it might be a nice detail and the overall palette benefits from it)
-I removed a lot of the AA from the knight against the background. It will cause trouble if the background is really dark.
-I removed some of the banding at the helmet and the breastplate
-I changed the jaggy shield edge near his shoulder to a 2:1 line
-I straightened the strange looking front edge of the shield (I suppose you want to illustrate some nails, but it doesn't work)
-I changed the shinbone armor with that one from an earlier attempt and polished it a bit (this cluster seems to be more effective)
-I toned down the knees - they seemed to be to bright for my taste.
-I removed some dither of the shield (it rather made texture instead of a gradient)
-I removed the 2 pixels in the shadow (they won't work with background)

I dunno were you want to put the knight (bottom-tile wise). Maybe removing the AA of the shadow would make sense from the game-approach.
However I think there is less which can be improved here without changing the general design, all things I listed are only small details.

I also really like the outcome  :y:

P.S.:
to prevent the disjointed look (which decroded pointed out) an steeper angle for the backline might work.

« Last Edit: May 31, 2013, 10:42:59 am by Cyangmou »
"Because the beauty of the human body is that it hasn't a single muscle which doesn't serve its purpose; that there's not a line wasted; that every detail of it fits one idea, the idea of a man and the life of a man."

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Offline wolfenoctis

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Re: Black Knight WIP

Reply #20 on: June 01, 2013, 04:45:58 am
I was looking at some of crows screenshots and noticed that some details are wrong, I then attempted to fix them.
Here's the result:

How does it look? ???

Also I've been fiddling with background colors:

Which one is best?
« Last Edit: June 01, 2013, 06:11:47 am by wolfenoctis »

Offline wolfenoctis

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Re: Black Knight WIP

Reply #21 on: June 01, 2013, 06:50:03 pm
Ok forget what I said above, I think I managed to make an improvement:


Thank you to everyone who participated in this thread, especially Cyangmou and Decroded. I learned a lot :-)
« Last Edit: June 02, 2013, 02:37:45 pm by wolfenoctis »