AuthorTopic: GR#235 - THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!  (Read 52079 times)

Offline Helm

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GR#235 - THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

on: July 20, 2013, 09:04:49 am
This is a critique thread, but not like the usual ones. Here we will post art (either ours or not, respectfully) where we marvel at great cluster composition and/or offer better solutions for problems in the clusters. This thread is not about animation, palette choice, style or whatever else, it's strictly about great use of clusters.

For those that do not follow the Ramblethread, a brief definition of "cluster"

  • A group of pixels (more than 1 pixel) of the same color, making a shape.

You can call it whatever you like, pixel group, brush stroke, pixel shape, pixel form, whatever. Just as long as we know what we're talking about.

To understand what makes a good cluster (according to me, at least) either read the Ramblethread or follow this thread as it progresses and you'll figure it out. The purpose of this thread is to raise awareness of solid cluster usage for new artists coming to pixel art and old artists that want to branch out in what is often called 'new school' pixel art technique.

I'll start out with an examination of a sprite from Shin Megami Tensei for the SNES, which is from an age long past, decades before any 'new-school' even existed, or even the term 'pixel art' was floated.



This is such a wonderful sprite. I'm going to focus on a few well done situations and then I'm going to do an edit on a few problematic bits. After reading the 'positives' below, I'm going to ask you to be proactive: study the sprite in your image editor and try to fix as many cluster issues as you see and remove banding. Then compare to my own edit to see what we did differently and why.



A. Although the embroidery bands with the outline of the fabric, I think it's a fair trade because the fabric has great flow and the embroidery really adds to the holy warrior aspect of the sprite. The fabric convincingly is one three clusters. One is the big 'triangle' in the front with a taper towards and under the legs where just one single line width edge conveys the end of the shape. The complicated shadow under that single line width edge is another cluster, which bands a bit and can be cleaned up. The third cluster is the shadow of the fabric (right under the green "A") which also could be done with better pixel tech where it buffers into the primary cluster, but it's still very good.


B. The main thing I love about this sprite is the armor. Given the few colors used, there's some broken outlines here (right over the "B") which I can live with because the mind fills in the gaps and can see it's a continuation of the shadow of the kneepad cluster made out of three pixels above and to the left of the B. There are other solutions to this, but I can roll with that.

Right under the B we have a pretty brave cluster combination. The highlight of the edge of the armor meets the shadow of the whole kneepad, which is a triangular cluster with a strong vertical line. I just adore this sort of solution and do it in my own pixel art all the time. Strong and immediately visible for what it is. The boots of the sprite do not fare as well and are a complicated jumble of shapes, I'll address that in my edit.

C. This is another armor edge which I love, look especially how the 45 degree cluster tapers with a darker red to round out the armor. Again, this sort of thing has been influential on me. I can even give a pass to the single red pixel right above the 'C' because the mind can see it's part of the buffer between the shadow cluster and the highlight cluster on top. There are more elegant solutions, still.

D. This whole thing has some banding, but it's been admirably dealt with on the whole. We have here the continuous, flowing and bending single cluster of the back of the loincloth fabric, and ON TOP we have two stands of clothing flowing over it. As you can see again there's a single pixel line going through them, darkening and lightening itself according to its volume and a lightsource. The only thing to do over that is to remove some banding and make the bends even sharper, I would say.

E. Again, armor and edge highlight. A foreshortened bracer works pretty well visually, I just love it. Only problem is an unfortunate vertical band where the edge highlight meets the shadow of the bracer. Also note that the two edge highlight clusters are the exact shame shape, which can be debated as a good or bad idea.

I am going to list some problematic areas now in vague terms and you should look to address them before reading onwards:
  • open palm and hand over the wing
  • the hair
  • single pixels
  • sword banding
  • boots
  • armor faux dither


Alright, got all that? Here's my take:



There's still problems, but I hope some of my changes make sense.



Now, what to do in this thread:

1. Detailed critique as in the above
2. Just post images with great clusters for us to debate on and study
3. Ask questions to disambiguate the term or various issues surrounding it
4. Post your own images just for cluster edits and critique
5. Debate theory
6. Have fun and learn and rub the bellies of pugs and french bulldogs

Offline hapiel

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #1 on: July 20, 2013, 12:01:01 pm
I read too little from the ramble thread and obviously I have no clue what we are talking about here, but I thought I could at least give editing a shot.


I think I made some improvements.. Right?

Also Helm, is that additional sel-out that you did? On the knee and sword? I am confused.

Offline Mr. Fahrenheit

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #2 on: July 20, 2013, 01:46:15 pm


I mainly tried improving some of the clusters I guess. I also demonstrated my unwarranted hatred for single pixel lines in such places as the fabric and most of the highlights. I didnt really work on the wings or lower legs too much though.

Edit:



A second edit. I removed the free flying fabrics because I didnt really get what they were doing :/ . I messed with the back legs some as well
« Last Edit: July 21, 2013, 12:42:17 am by Mr. Fahrenheit »

Offline pistachio

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #3 on: July 20, 2013, 02:38:47 pm
Here's my take:



Aimed for value and color adjustments, simplifying/amplifying light on dark contrast, etc. Tried ways to give it more perspective and make it read at a glance. I'd like to do that to more of the SMT sprites if I have the time, could get interesting results. Been thinking of doing it for years actually, but skill-wise probably couldn't do it justice until recently.

Obligatory cluster adjustments on face and hair, and redone sword. Thought the ribbons positions was a bit monotonous, so repositioned. Most light and dark adjustments took place around there.

Certainly not as drastic as planned and a bit rough where it is, thus effectively WIP. I'll focus on the wings in a second edit if that can be put out and reviewed. Maybe change the angle of the head towards us, making it more engaging. Even bigger hand, maybe ribbons towards the viewer--why not exaggerate perspective? More drastic and complex stuff overall, but just putting this out for now, as that's gonna take a while.

EDIT: Ed. II added, more cleanup, brought back some lost definition in spots like the loincloth and leg armor, did work on the wing, made hand bigger, more hue blending. Tried out a solution for foreleg with more contrast similar to Helm's, basically outside the bounds of the game aesthetic though.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2013, 02:52:12 pm by pistachio »

Offline PixelPiledriver

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #4 on: July 21, 2013, 02:27:58 am


Kinda messed up in some spots.
I'll come back to this.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2013, 02:29:49 am by PixelPiledriver »
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline Mr. Fahrenheit

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #5 on: July 21, 2013, 03:17:42 am
I love the aura! Very reminiscient of old religious paintings, which I'm sure you knew.  :D

Offline Helm

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #6 on: July 22, 2013, 07:30:23 pm
Wonderful edits and comments. Now let's keep moving, find a different piece of art with great/interesting clusters to observe or mess with!

Offline Mr. Fahrenheit

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #7 on: July 22, 2013, 07:39:12 pm


I think this one is really cool. It's by Blackbeltdude. http://www.pixeljoint.com/pixelart/58859.htm

Offline Cure

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #8 on: July 22, 2013, 11:34:25 pm
Not a very good cluster study imo, there really aren't that many cluster relationships to manage. Despite its size it's mostly giant clusters defining just the major features, anything that looks 'vectory' is probably not ideal for cluster focus. Think about more compact images that try to describe maximum detail in minimal space.

Example: (by thernz)
« Last Edit: July 23, 2013, 12:01:14 am by Cure »

Offline Mr. Fahrenheit

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #9 on: July 23, 2013, 01:01:41 am
Yeah I agree with you. I didnt think too hard about it at the time  :-[

Offline Helm

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #10 on: July 23, 2013, 02:25:43 pm
There's some really brave choices in there and thernz is either paying attention or has a great intuitive sense for this sort of thing



Some solutions to complex bits and added depth, less single pixels, some really really minor banding. Not much to say, if pixel art was of this standard often I'd be very happy.

Offline wolfenoctis

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #11 on: July 24, 2013, 07:02:24 pm
My try at editing the angel:

Offline Mr. Fahrenheit

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #12 on: July 24, 2013, 10:32:08 pm


Old to new. Nothing drastic.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2013, 01:09:55 pm by ptoing »

Offline wolfenoctis

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #13 on: July 25, 2013, 11:15:56 am
My edit of thernz:

Offline Mush

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #14 on: July 25, 2013, 11:29:03 pm
There's some really brave choices in there and thernz is either paying attention or has a great intuitive sense for this sort of thing



Some solutions to complex bits and added depth, less single pixels, some really really minor banding. Not much to say, if pixel art was of this standard often I'd be very happy.

Wow your edit is subtle, yet really improves readability. I especially love the change to the the sprite's right sleeve. One thing I take away from your work is the strength of 45/90/180 degree-angled clusters.

I should probably participate in one of these...

Offline Helm

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #15 on: July 26, 2013, 10:30:27 am
Never stop, never stop, more images with interesting clusters, post post post.

Offline wolfenoctis

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #16 on: July 26, 2013, 08:02:32 pm
Angel V2.0:


May I also suggest Magneto from X-men Clone wars as a subject?


Offline CytricAcid

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #17 on: July 28, 2013, 06:28:38 pm
Holy crap, you can really tell that sprite was made for the blurry TV screens of the past. I had to pretty much edit every single part of that sprite to optimize the pixel clusters.

There are probably still some banding errors and with my lack of knowledge of both the character and muscle anatomy there are probably errors in that too. :P I think it's a huge improvement on the original sprite, though.

Offline API-Beast

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #18 on: July 30, 2013, 07:15:08 pm
« Last Edit: July 30, 2013, 07:20:26 pm by Mr. Beast »

Offline wolfenoctis

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #19 on: August 01, 2013, 12:37:17 pm
Here's my attempt at Magneto:
« Last Edit: August 01, 2013, 04:41:07 pm by wolfenoctis »

Offline Helm

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #20 on: August 06, 2013, 06:14:51 pm
http://www.pixeljoint.com/pixelart/10466.htm



Quote
Helm (Level 5 Detective) at 4/19/2006 9:06:57 AM
In many ways this is some of the best pixel art I've seen here. Nice going

This has stayed with me, you see. Because DE here shows great cluster control before clusters were a glint in the eye of my goat.

Offline Helm

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #21 on: August 15, 2013, 08:07:42 pm


Jesus christ, please, somebody save this guy.

Offline ptoing

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #22 on: August 15, 2013, 08:43:54 pm
This was quite tricky, and I did not want to take away from the greeble too much.

There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline Arne

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #23 on: August 15, 2013, 10:47:09 pm
What a nonsense guy. Tried to find more info on his anatomy.

http://www.mobygames.com/game/r-type/screenshots

Made a sloppy sheet from above sshots, and version of my own (still a bit greebly):

Offline Reo

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #24 on: August 15, 2013, 10:49:59 pm
Here's a more conservative entry ( at least compared to Arnes) + a bonus unfinished Magneto from a few weeks ago :-X

Offline Helm

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #25 on: August 16, 2013, 09:50:51 am


This was the most difficult cluster thing I've had to do in a long time.

Offline Helm

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #26 on: August 16, 2013, 09:53:06 am
hah looking at the other edits and Arne reference sheet I realize that the guy is holding a purple gun. I couldn't understand what that was at close zoom.

Offline Seiseki

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #27 on: August 17, 2013, 01:18:44 am
hah looking at the other edits and Arne reference sheet I realize that the guy is holding a purple gun. I couldn't understand what that was at close zoom.

You made him more Gangsta by holding it sideways ;)

The outlines makes him so much clearer, but isn't that cheating?
He has way better contrast and cleaner shading too.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2013, 01:22:11 am by Seiseki »

Offline Conzeit

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #28 on: August 17, 2013, 05:26:58 am
Does this thing count?

I've always liked the way Samsho does clusters but maybe this is too big...?
« Last Edit: August 17, 2013, 04:46:10 pm by Conceit »

Offline ptoing

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #29 on: August 19, 2013, 05:53:40 pm
I love Toki/Juju Densetsu, but the artwork could be improved.



Just pick one, unless you wanna do all three variants.
Extra challenge in case you are changing colours: Keep the hex values to 00, 11, 22, 33.. FF, because the game runs in RGB444.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline Helm

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #30 on: August 19, 2013, 11:37:48 pm


I tried to make him more ape like. Contrast, weird idea for fur on the arm. 4,4,4 bits.

Offline PixelPiledriver

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #31 on: August 20, 2013, 10:58:15 am
« Last Edit: August 20, 2013, 11:01:08 am by PixelPiledriver »
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline wolfenoctis

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #32 on: August 20, 2013, 01:36:00 pm
Edit of Rtype:

Offline ptoing

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #33 on: August 20, 2013, 01:37:55 pm
Very good, but you missed the gun.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline wolfenoctis

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #34 on: August 20, 2013, 01:53:03 pm
To be honest, I can't make out where the gun is that you're referring to :huh:. I thought his arms were the guns haha.

Offline ptoing

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #35 on: August 20, 2013, 02:22:51 pm


This looks like something that goes under the shoulder and is not on the other side of his body.
But yeah, the original sprite is super bad as far as clusters and readability goes.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline Helm

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #36 on: August 20, 2013, 10:29:17 pm


Save poor old Ryu. So much wrong. Try to keep the palette if you're brave.

Offline ptoing

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #37 on: August 20, 2013, 10:53:12 pm
Rid Shadow Dancer and/or his dog from the cluster fleas.

There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline ptoing

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #38 on: August 20, 2013, 10:59:46 pm
This Pteranodon from Prehistoric Isle may not have legs, but he sure has got some banding.
It also is RGB444, like Toki.

There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline Seiseki

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #39 on: August 21, 2013, 01:57:08 pm
Some banding is a grave understatement   :crazy:

Offline ptoing

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #40 on: August 21, 2013, 03:29:30 pm
Full on gradient full pillow-banding. Go save him!
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline Arne

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #41 on: August 21, 2013, 04:33:54 pm
Hard to salvage that Ptera without being familiar with the rest of the frames.

Offline ptoing

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #42 on: August 21, 2013, 04:59:39 pm
I might get the full cycle later today, will give it a shot.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline Conzeit

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #43 on: August 21, 2013, 05:31:42 pm
LMAO at the high heeled karateka. maybe we should just parody him instead of trying to get him right

Offline ptoing

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #44 on: August 21, 2013, 08:43:14 pm
Here, animation and strip.



he actually does have legs! Tiny ones.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline Corinthian Baby

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #45 on: August 22, 2013, 06:12:02 pm
The only reason that amount of banding was viable is because of CRTs and the animation. Probably looked vaguely 3D in situ.

Offline ptoing

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #46 on: August 22, 2013, 06:24:30 pm
Banding does not make things look more 3D than proper rendering. And this stuff never looked 3D. I played this when I was liek 12, in an arcade, did not think it was 3D back then either.

CRTs help, but the main reason is quick workflow, contour gradient fill or something like that was most likely used
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline ErekT

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #47 on: August 22, 2013, 07:18:33 pm


Hmm, I dunno..
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 07:24:12 pm by ErekT »

Offline Helm

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #48 on: August 22, 2013, 10:42:45 pm
So much better.

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #49 on: August 23, 2013, 03:10:45 pm

Offline ErekT

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #50 on: August 23, 2013, 06:15:44 pm
Haha, oh dear. Love the face.

Robo-edit:

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #51 on: August 23, 2013, 06:46:44 pm
Making him a bit bulkier worked great. I still would love to see something that is closer to the original and works better.
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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #52 on: August 24, 2013, 06:40:55 am


Changed the head, shoulder, and the pad he sits on to follow the original shape more.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2013, 06:57:59 am by ErekT »

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #53 on: August 24, 2013, 02:16:03 pm

Chessmaster (SNES) sprite.
Quite an interesting study for volumes. I toned down the shading because the original was an overdone mess. I would say the trickiest was the neck, as it has a slight curve in it.
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Offline wolfenoctis

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #54 on: August 27, 2013, 12:53:38 pm
« Last Edit: August 27, 2013, 01:17:51 pm by wolfenoctis »

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #55 on: August 28, 2013, 01:16:35 pm
A little hard without adding your own colours to the palette and/or changing the already existing ones, but I think I managed pretty well.
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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #56 on: August 28, 2013, 02:58:30 pm


Edit: gave ptera more love
« Last Edit: August 29, 2013, 06:34:29 am by wolfenoctis »

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #57 on: August 29, 2013, 05:47:07 am
it's the high heels that does it for me.  Dem are some yummy clusters

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #58 on: September 02, 2013, 12:47:18 pm
Wanted to tackle fur tufts.

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #59 on: September 03, 2013, 08:53:57 am
Tried editing the colors, made a few minor changes

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #60 on: September 05, 2013, 12:35:05 pm
Centaur Knight from ActRaiser.
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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #61 on: September 05, 2013, 11:57:36 pm
Took a look at Shadow dancer. The Mame shots/videos seem to exhibit the problematic popping black tones and pastel colors. Guessing the game looked quite different in the arcades.

Completely reindexed this.


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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #62 on: September 06, 2013, 07:24:58 pm

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #63 on: September 08, 2013, 01:43:18 pm
might find some more time to work on this, awesome thread  :crazy:

attempted this when i scrolled to it, feel a bit discouraged now I've seen other peoples attempts :blind:

tried keeping the detail

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #64 on: September 17, 2013, 09:36:56 pm
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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #65 on: September 19, 2013, 12:01:45 am
May I suggest an old sprite of mine for this?
it's based on an outline made by st0ven, and he also had a version

I remember I was very fond of not using outlines back then and feeling like I had everything figured out, I was so cockssure about it I even made a big flamewar out of Egoraptor taking a potshot at it.
But I can see a lot of bad clusters and not very clear lightsource now....so it would be nice to see like a thousand ways it could be better, cause I can see enough bad in it to know it's wrong, but probably still too biased to tear it down and rebuild myself.

so....please? :p
« Last Edit: September 19, 2013, 12:27:34 am by Conceit »

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #66 on: September 19, 2013, 02:39:52 pm

Offline wolfenoctis

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #67 on: September 22, 2013, 07:19:26 pm


I removed the very saturated red and one of the blues from the pants, went for more realistic proportions

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #68 on: September 22, 2013, 07:57:57 pm
That edit really changed the tone and the message of the original one very drastically.

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #69 on: September 22, 2013, 11:29:56 pm
What was the message of the original?

Offline Mr. Fahrenheit

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #70 on: September 23, 2013, 12:19:56 am
I guess by message I mean what pose the original was compared to the edit. To me the original is like rearing to slam into the ground, while the edit is just flexing.

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #71 on: September 23, 2013, 04:13:58 am
I thought the original was flexing  ???

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #72 on: September 23, 2013, 07:51:27 am

eh.
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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #73 on: September 24, 2013, 11:37:24 am
Here's my take on Conceit's image.

Hopefully the face is readable; and it's not just me who sees it.  :crazy:

I have to say though, despite the fact that it's an old sprite of yours, the legs are actually pretty well done.
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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #74 on: September 25, 2013, 07:26:45 pm
Wanted to tackle fur tufts.



Wow. I always love to see your work.

May I ask why you have your palette set up like that?  Why are some colors branching off the others? Is it because it's a shared highlight?

Anyway, looks fantastic.

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #75 on: September 27, 2013, 12:06:18 am
@wolfenoctis @Night =D that's awesome guys, thanks. Wolf that looks very Dukenukem, funny stuff :p Night...I disagree about my legs XD I basically just shaded in what St0ven drew and really the way I shaded them isnt very clear :p

The original image to me...looks very body sculpting competition, he's flexing but he's also sort of trying to twist in an appealing way :p almost aware of the line of action

if any of you want to do that one you dont have to use my arcadey over saturated colors, just work from the sketch like I did. St0ven had another version with lots of selout, very Street Fighter Alpha-ish...wish I still had it =O

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #76 on: September 27, 2013, 09:34:58 pm
Polioliolio> I work in 24bit most of the time (makes it easier for me to mix new colors) so a drawn palette is useful. That particular network of colors is a bit haphazard (the structure grew and shrank as I worked). I didn't want a fully linear hueless brown ramp so I set up some parallel ramps, one for the cold top colors and one for the orange yellow skin tones (and a few on-the-side highlights). The pink index at the top of the center ramp should really go on the left & cold side of the fork (over the lone cold gray purple) for the structure to make sense.

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #77 on: October 10, 2013, 08:13:09 pm
I've been re-working my totem animal with a cluster-focused approach

   

The palette is mostly the same as Piledriver's original. I've modified the colours a bit to make them contrast more, but basically they're still straight gradient ramps. Also, I'm struggling with creating depth on the claw, and the bottom half in general.

Thoughts?
Det skulle vara lätt för mig att säga att jag inte gillar dig, men det gör jag; tror jag

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #78 on: October 10, 2013, 09:51:33 pm
May I suggest an old sprite of mine for this?
it's based on an outline made by st0ven, and he also had a version

I remember I was very fond of not using outlines back then and feeling like I had everything figured out, I was so cockssure about it I even made a big flamewar out of Egoraptor taking a potshot at it.
But I can see a lot of bad clusters and not very clear lightsource now....so it would be nice to see like a thousand ways it could be better, cause I can see enough bad in it to know it's wrong, but probably still too biased to tear it down and rebuild myself.

so....please? :p

Ah.. back when st0ven would have deltoids merge into arm pits.  Fun times.

Offline Drixxel

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #79 on: October 23, 2013, 08:38:31 am


Mainly tried to trim Ryu down a shade without robbing him of his original doughiness, as well as to sort out the fabric a bit (although not totally successfully).

EDIT: Those pants were really bugging me and demanded another pass.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2013, 05:59:31 pm by Drixxel »

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #80 on: October 23, 2013, 10:23:35 pm


Mainly tried to trim Ryu down a shade without robbing him of his original doughiness, as well as to sort out the fabric a bit (although not totally successfully).

EDIT: Those pants were really bugging me and demanded another pass.

I don't have anything technical to say, but I like your edit, overall it's a lot cleaner!  Only thing I really dislike is the new face, the old one had much more personality.  Perhaps try accentuating his old features to be a bit stronger/ more visible?  Might just be me, though.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2013, 10:54:13 pm by Ashbad »

Offline Drixxel

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #81 on: October 23, 2013, 11:32:36 pm

I don't have anything technical to say, but I like your edit, overall it's a lot cleaner!  Only thing I really dislike is the new face, the old one had much more personality.  Perhaps try accentuating his old features to be a bit stronger/ more visible?  Might just be me, though.

Thanks for the feedback! I kinda-sorta agree with you on the face, the old Ryu's expression is definitely more interesting, the open mouth especially. I might play around with this a bit more.

After messing around with it for a bit, it's impossible not to echo the thread's sentiment regarding that R-Type enemy's purple gun thing. Blarg.



EDIT: Attempted to fix a couple blatantly obvious screw-ups, although the low contrasty approach is not really doing this fellow any favours.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2013, 01:25:36 am by Drixxel »

Offline ErekT

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #82 on: October 25, 2013, 04:52:49 am

Offline Geti

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #83 on: November 10, 2013, 09:09:19 am
Tried to keep similar feel/pose (shouting, arms extended) and
keep a lot of that "old Ryu" feel while adding some new Ryu
features (ripped sleeves, blocky nose).

->

Was fairly informative, but there are a few bits that I strugged
with - the back arm (particularly the join with the body), front
foot (ankle feels strained at the moment but it felt kinda stupid
facing backwards) and joining the open clothing with the front arm,
the volume in there feels wrong at the moment.

The face took quite a while too, but conversely to the above,
I'm fairly pleased with it.

Gonna take a break, may come back to it after dinner, may not.
I quite like Arne's edit (the heels were exactly what I was thinking
the whole time)

Fun thread, either way.

Edit: Updated, fixed most of my gripes with it. I still
have no idea why he's wearing these weird ballet flats for
fighting but that's what the original sprite says, so whatever.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2013, 12:47:41 pm by Geti »

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #84 on: November 13, 2013, 06:29:04 pm
there's this one guy that was on the development team for castlevania rondo of blood and SotN who has a very distinctive style imo
i think he understands how clusters work quite well, with very few shades he makes quite crisp sprites

i also love how he goes out of his way to have as many straight horizontal/vertical/45° pixel lines as possible for that sharp feel

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #85 on: November 15, 2013, 08:56:52 pm
I agree, I've always enjoyed several of the sprites in Rondo (although that sheet has mostly  Symphony of the Night sprites, not to bring them down as they are most of  my favorites from SOTN).
Any reason you filter out a particular guy? I figured it was just an aesthetic shared in the dev team.

Also, after many years of admiring the SOTN/rondo enemies I found the SNES era Shin megami tensei games (like the first sprite in this thread). 

Intuitively to me, these seem like the real thing while the SOTN/Rondo seem like less consistant offshoots of this aesthetic, might the guy from SMT have gone to the Rondo/SOTN team?

check out some  MegaTen monster sheets, I'm interested in your oppinion since we have a similar taste in SOTN monsters =)

http://www.spriters-resource.com/playstation/shinmegamitensei/

http://www.spriters-resource.com/playstation/shinmegamitensei2/

http://www.spriters-resource.com/playstation/shinmegamitenseiif/

http://megamitensei.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Kyuyaku_Megami_Tensei_Demon_Images#

« Last Edit: November 15, 2013, 08:59:30 pm by Conceit »

Offline Lexou Duck

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #86 on: November 17, 2013, 01:12:57 am
well i think its one person cause you can definitely distinguish how he often uses bright selout instead of no outline like they usually do, his recurring choice of very light colors, and total absence of gradients that are otherwise omnipresent in the series sprites so i figure its probably just one guy that kinda strays from how others define the style

those shin megami tensei sprites are quite sexy though, SMT is played kinda like fire emblem iirc ?
i do agree they're a joy to watch especially at how consistent the style is kept and great designs all around


though i'd have trouble believing that this guy and the Rondo/SOTN guy are the same person because of the differences in how they handle posing



on another note, i recently started playing lunar knight on ds and wow the sprite work is amazing


too bad its near impossible to find sprite rips of this game, i tried to look into the ROM but they have very strange file formats, even a friend who's quite savvy with this kind of stuff couldnt manage :/

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #87 on: November 18, 2013, 06:28:25 pm
Quick one.
Took the crusader sprite from HoMM 2, picked off some random colours from the original sprite and made it.
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Offline BlackTar in a Jar

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #88 on: November 24, 2013, 06:04:59 am
My attempt at Magneto:

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #89 on: November 24, 2013, 10:52:55 pm
Knight, that's pretty amazing, and 100% in the spirit of the thread. Great job

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #90 on: December 08, 2013, 01:37:57 pm
Thanks Helm! ;D

Another practice piece, this time from scratch and with more colours.
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Offline Sardone

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Re: THE CLUSTER STUDY THREAD!

Reply #91 on: December 17, 2013, 01:09:26 am
My try  :-[