AuthorTopic: Newbie trying to pixel elephants  (Read 9739 times)

Offline Sophistique

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Newbie trying to pixel elephants

on: July 21, 2013, 07:55:13 am
Hi guys,

As the title suggests, I'm a newbie trying my hand at some pixel art - my boyfriend is working on a game & suggested I should at least give him some 'fill-in' art until he finds an actual artist. I've never done pixel art before (I'm a very traditional artist), so figured I'd have a go at this genre.

First attempt:



  (this one just had 'hue' added to the grey color)

Second attempt:



Basically going for a 'cartoon' look (they'll have the lighter spots on them all like the first attempt guy), but I'm very stuck on the shading aspect of pixel art. Trying to avoid the "pillow look" that the second guy has going on.

My first dithering attempts (with & without the black outline):







Any advice? Tips?
« Last Edit: July 21, 2013, 08:27:33 am by Sophistique »
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Offline YellowLime

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Re: Newbie trying to pixel elephants

Reply #1 on: July 21, 2013, 09:06:31 pm
Was going to comment on how the first ones were all pillow-shaded and didn't look like pixelart (you didn't make those pixel-by-pixel right?), but I see you took a new direction ;)

I don't see why you adhere to a color restriction, though. Why don't you use 5 shades of blue instead of 3, for example? :)

Offline PixelPiledriver

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Re: Newbie trying to pixel elephants

Reply #2 on: July 22, 2013, 12:08:30 am
Here's some incomplete thoughts:



« Last Edit: July 22, 2013, 12:10:38 am by PixelPiledriver »
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Offline RiseAgainst378

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Re: Newbie trying to pixel elephants

Reply #3 on: July 23, 2013, 02:24:08 am
PixelPiledriver -- just to chime in here -- can you explain a little bit about your process in changing the Effelant? I brought it into Photoshop and I see it immediately went through some very drastic changes -- I'd like to know what was going through your head. The result looks fantastic and it seems like you've provided a good "launching off" point, but I'm not quite sure what to take from it other than "get better"!  :-[

Thank you for your time!
- Brian

Offline Sophistique

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Re: Newbie trying to pixel elephants

Reply #4 on: July 23, 2013, 04:24:53 am
YellowLime - No, the first coloration on the second guy wasn't pixel by pixel, which I can see was wrong as soon as it was finished lol. I didn't really limit myself to just the 3 colors, I thought it might have been better than trying to crap too many color variations in there because of the size, but I can certainly open up the pallet a lot more in the future, thank you.

PIxelPiledriver - pretty much what RiseAgainst was asking if you don't mind - the changes look fantastic, and I can see how it was slowly changed. What got you to think of those changes?

I'm working on another sketch of the same position to fix up some of the flaws of the original shape and design of the character, and I'll post some updates when I've colored them to see if I have any improvement.

Thanks guys.

Editted to add:

I done an edit on him very quickly on paint (so forgive the horrible black background it threw on there, and the other paint related issues) after PixelPiledriver's suggestions

I think it's a great improvement on him, and I like the coloration style - thanks PixelP :) Any other comments on him? I'll be starting fresh on another Effelant drawing for the next update to hopefully incorporate some improvements again.

« Last Edit: July 23, 2013, 08:37:47 am by Sophistique »
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Offline PypeBros

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Re: Newbie trying to pixel elephants

Reply #5 on: July 23, 2013, 09:46:46 am
Here's some incomplete thoughts:




can you explain a little bit about your process in changing the Effelant?

I wish I was behind PPD's chair as well. Yet, I can note the following tricks:
- focused on making volumes correct rather than on having soft transition (gradient) between highlights and shadow
- plain black only on the eyes, which makes them the focus point our brain expects
- used dark, but tinted shade for art lines in different places
- introduced a secondary color for the pink spots, makes the drawing feel more complete
- stylized features for the hair, but with a small number of clusters

I'm more surprised by the light outline on the back and the trump. I'd have expected him to use light (but not highlight) outline enclosing a specular cluster, instead. That may be part of the "incomplete", either in his edit, or in my study of (pixel) art :P
« Last Edit: July 23, 2013, 10:00:23 am by PypeBros »

Offline Sophistique

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Re: Newbie trying to pixel elephants

Reply #6 on: July 24, 2013, 12:25:15 pm
Thanks so much for putting that into words for me PypeBros - helped a lot.

This was another sitting position I was working on has gone through.

Please keep C&C up, it's helping me out a lot to find my style and what works for me.



Then with rework:

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Offline e4r

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Re: Newbie trying to pixel elephants

Reply #7 on: July 25, 2013, 02:20:33 am
I thought your piece could use a bit of contrast,  I probably went a bit overboard, and then for some reason graphicsgale added more colors to it when I used the tool.. I think it was because teh alpha background messed with it. But yeah, I don't know what it was about your light source, but it seemed weird so I jsut made it come from the top. Also I wouldn't use that white as a highlight because it makes your elephant have a "metallic" look to it.

Edit: Just noticed I messed the Trunk abit its too thin, oh well. And I left the hair 1 color because I'm not proficient enough with hair atm to give you any tips on it
« Last Edit: July 25, 2013, 03:35:31 am by e4r »

Offline RiseAgainst378

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Re: Newbie trying to pixel elephants

Reply #8 on: July 25, 2013, 04:47:33 am
My main concern right now is that the elephant looks like it's made out of metal -- there isn't much texture indicative of "elephant skin". The ear looks pretty detailed and the legs somewhat, but the light hitting him in the back and the subsequent shading make his body look a bit metallic.

Hopefully that makes sense -- I'm not too great at explaining things (or showing them!)
- Brian

Offline Sophistique

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Re: Newbie trying to pixel elephants

Reply #9 on: July 25, 2013, 05:05:17 am
Thanks for the advice guys! I'll try it out on the next "Effelant" design (still working on getting a common 'theme' of the characters down pat as well), but I think I'll go with the light coming from the top simply because this sprite will flip in game and I can A). Take the easy way out of having a light source that will suit the character if he is facing left or right, and B). Should take out the need to have the really light blue down his back which might be take away the "metallic" look as well.

I'll update with the next one soon - thanks again guys!  :lol:
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