AuthorTopic: Newbie trying to pixel elephants  (Read 9227 times)

Offline RiseAgainst378

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 9
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Blog

Re: Newbie trying to pixel elephants

Reply #10 on: July 25, 2013, 05:12:14 am
Keep us updated -- I want to see where this goes! :)
- Brian

Offline PixelPiledriver

  • 0011
  • **
  • Posts: 997
  • Karma: +6/-0
  • Yo!
    • View Profile
    • My Blog

Re: Newbie trying to pixel elephants

Reply #11 on: July 25, 2013, 06:49:06 am
Quote
That may be part of the "incomplete", either in his edit
Yes there were some parts held over that I didn't change such as the trunk, tail, etc.

Quote
I'm not quite sure what to take from it other than "get better"!
Sorry, sometimes I am too tired to write stuff and hope that the image will explain itself.
But agreed, edits are usually better with text.
Hope some of this is more helpful.

Quote
can you explain a little bit about your process
Software
I used Graphics Gale for this.
There are plenty of good pixel editors.
Mess around and find some you like.

Reduced the number of colors from 35 to 13
This kind of happened over time by just painting over with eye dropped colors.
A lot of the 35 seems to be accidental duplicates.
I think one of the 13 was also a random pixel.


Use frames as versions
When I make a change that I like I duplicate to a new frame.
This let's me go back to previous version quickly and compare.
Also I have a process animation ready to export when I'm done.


Time
I consider myself to be somewhat slow.
This took about 40 minutes.

Quote
What got you to think of those changes?
PypeBros did a good break down but I'll throw in some thoughts.

Surfaces and Forms
Surface normals face in different directions and reveal light and create shadow.
This helps the viewer understand the objects shape and depth.


Non uniform color balance
While the balance is determined by light its important to also think of them as just colors.
Variety in balance creates more visual interest.


Variation in size
I shrank the ear a little to create different overlapping sizes.

Same idea with the hair


Overlap/ tension lines
Lines that show where forms intersect, connect and push against each other, such as the joints and creases in the skin.

Iconic elephant stuff
I looked up a couple photos and looked for details that stood out to me.
Little toenails, ripples at bottom of ears, scrunchy trunk lines, etc.


Cartoony features
Round socketless eye, eye brow, puffy hair, little bit of blush for cuteness, simple lighting - basically 2 tone.

While a lot of the stuff I drew over was based on analyzing your image, some of it was rather random, and perhaps even out of personal habit.
I tend to over exaggerate surfaces and intentionally separate forms.
For me the most important tool in art is comparison.
Put something down and then flip back and forth.
Is it better? Keep it.
Is it worse? Change it.

Try stuff and see what happens.
It's improved quite a bit already.  :y:
« Last Edit: July 26, 2013, 05:38:04 am by PixelPiledriver »
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline Sophistique

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 14
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Newbie trying to pixel elephants

Reply #12 on: July 27, 2013, 03:01:35 pm
Thank you very much for the detailed explanation, it helped out a lot.

Had a few more attempts at the overall 'character' and shading, and this was one that make it past outlining stage.





Sorry for the multiple posts - done more work on the above guy and I think it's really changed him up nicely. The Game Designer said there was something "alien" about the face, so I tried to work on it a little more. Added other small details like toe nails, knee wrinkles, trunk wrinkles, shadowed front leg in the background, changed his eye and gave him a forelock/hair-do again. I think that's what was missing from him face which changed it a lot.

Please C&C again - I really appreciate the advice, it's helped a lot & I can really see the differences in each new piece I work on.

« Last Edit: July 28, 2013, 08:42:49 am by PixelPiledriver »
Follow Maily & Parcel's development!

Offline YellowLime

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 227
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Sour Pixels

Re: Newbie trying to pixel elephants

Reply #13 on: July 30, 2013, 06:46:03 pm
Well, the frown looks kinda weird, but if you must leave it, think of how the muscles of the face would be placed if elephants could frown.
Also remember that in this case the frown would be a fold in the head's skin, and not an eyebrow as it usually is...
I would place the "frown line" closer to the front of the face.

Also, I think you should try a different method for conveying the shine in the eye. Maybe cover a wider area of the eye, and use a darker tone...

Offline Sophistique

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 14
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Newbie trying to pixel elephants

Reply #14 on: July 31, 2013, 05:34:17 am
Thanks for the feedback YellowLime - the frown is more to portray 'sadness' in the character before they are "cheered up", why I have the frown line above the eye to act as an eyebrow to help show this emotion as well.

I'll try messing around with the frown itself and the lines around it - and to see if I can change that shine as well to make the eye feel a little better.

Thank you
Follow Maily & Parcel's development!

Offline Facet

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 425
  • Karma: +3/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Newbie trying to pixel elephants

Reply #15 on: July 31, 2013, 10:40:15 pm
Some more ideas; way too many maybe :P

An outsize head to body ratio is usually good for youth/cuteness, but it is looking a bit like a regular adult with a tiny body atm; perhaps because the ears are so big and there's little puppy fat. I noticed the babies in PPD's ref looked adorable with that ratio inverted so I gave that a go.

More junk in that trunk! ie, a bit chubbier in the rear, seems a bit mismatched atm, and you could also try demonstrating weight and contact with the ground by flattening out there.

Cleaner lines: you had a few stray 'jaggies' - bits of lines that look rough or stand out from the rest. I'd also avoid using the same weight of line for internal details as for external outlines for clarity's sake.

Generally I tried to simplify things; I removed the outlines from the hair because it felt like a separate, solid object to me rather than an insubstantial accessory to the body; I removed the light patches entirely just because I didn't really know what they were and I flattened out the ear a bit. The previous combined I thought were more prominent than the expression was.

Speaking of the expression: I gotta agree, I'm getting sort of a worried/forced smile vibe. If you wanted gloomy I'd turn those brows and mouth downwards.

If there's one thing I think you could do with practicing generally I'd be form/lighting; you're using a bit of a tentative 'embossing' method (lighting one edge, darkening the other, middle left alone.) rather than diving in and establishing a 3D source.

I didn't polish everything up properly in my example because I like to take my sweet time with that, but I'd probably finish the rest of the outlines, maybe up the contrast overall and reintroduce some other, stronger colour for a bit more zing/individuality.

« Last Edit: August 07, 2013, 05:28:30 pm by Facet »

Offline Sophistique

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 14
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Newbie trying to pixel elephants

Reply #16 on: August 07, 2013, 03:00:06 am
Hi Facet,

That helped a LOT - little things that just weren't standing out to me that made a lot of sense, thank you very much for the insight!

I did do a few of the changes mentioned below, and the difference really is great. He's still a "first pass" art I think but the overall character design I'm really liking.



The bigger "junk in the trunk" made a huge difference (with such a small change), and changed up the light source and shading which made a good improvement also.

Game Designer really liked the changes, which inspires me to keep working on them. (And they look GREAT in the game so far even though it's all first pass art so far).

Thank you so much everyone, I've appreciated all the help I've recieved so far! I'll certainly keep posting more "Effelants" as I work on them for more C&C to improve them as much as I can for the final game :)
Follow Maily & Parcel's development!

Offline e4r

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 111
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Newbie trying to pixel elephants

Reply #17 on: August 07, 2013, 04:58:50 am
The white, get rid of the white lol. It's causing too much noise, unless you're using it in the way PileDriver did. But just in big areas of white stand out too much for the colors you're using

Offline r1k

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 270
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Newbie trying to pixel elephants

Reply #18 on: August 07, 2013, 05:18:00 am
problem with the white is, its making it look like the skin is pulled up into a blister, like this:
http://www.daviddarling.info/images2/blister_toe.jpg

Offline Sophistique

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 14
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Newbie trying to pixel elephants

Reply #19 on: August 07, 2013, 11:53:25 am
hmm yes, I see what you mean - the white is meant to be "markings", sort of like spots on the Elephant to add to the 'cuteness' & such.

Any suggestions of a way to keep the white markings without having them look like blisters?
Follow Maily & Parcel's development!