AuthorTopic: MTD Sprites  (Read 6723 times)

Offline Zintendo

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MTD Sprites

on: September 04, 2013, 01:12:33 am
Edit: MTD = mentally transmitted disease, codename for the project sprites in this thread belong to.

[img=http://imageshack.us/a/img96/9326/mkwg.png]http://








I guess what I'm asking for is critique, help shading (if you can do one and set it as an example to do for the rest of the swords or axes, that'd be great)

Thanks!!!!!!!





The weapons from the other thread are what goes in the inventory screen.  These creatures are far more important, they are actually in-game!!!

No reference, just kinda winged it.  Started scribbling, cleaned up lines, then figured 'Oh it looks like a tentacle' or, 'oh, I should put a big eyeball in the middle,'

I can't shade, it always comes out as either noise, or it hurts the detail of the image.  When I see sprites from games like Final Fantasy, or Black Tiger, I s*** bricks.  I wonder if there is any inspiring artwork from people who don't use reference to unleash their creativity, because it seems like everyone is all over techniques like art class to paper to pixel, fakemon, or even the lame-o splicing.

Critique please.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2013, 12:00:30 am by Zintendo »

Offline Decroded

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Re: Weapons and Creatures!

Reply #1 on: September 04, 2013, 02:14:26 am
You can make some great little monsters from these.

No offense thought but your colours are really horrible.
I don't know if you're going for that style intentionally but you should try editing the colours in your color picker.
Try to move away from straight greys - blend in some other hues by subtly increasing the saturation.
And don't just use all primary colours, try playing around with the spectrum.

And black outlines look pretty nasty.
Once you have some better colours, try just using a darker version of the fill colour for outlines (there are other options but this is the simplest).

I wish I had time to do some edits but please have a go taking the the advice.
I'd really like to see these improved and then there's some other things we can look at to improve further.

Offline Pix3M

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Re: Weapons and Creatures!

Reply #2 on: September 04, 2013, 04:53:33 am
Many of the weapons feel generic, not sure if you intend to have a lot of generic weapons. We could at least have weapons that goes with the general style of a game. As for creativity, I think it helps to think about what kind of feel you're trying to convey with a weapon. A weapon could be designed to look quiet and unassuming, loud and bold, evil and menancing, crude and simple, and the possibilities goes on.

Look at what a game like Maplestory has with their variety of bows: http://www.basilmarket.com/MapleStory-Bowman-Bow-items.html
Swords are interesting as well: http://www.basilmarket.com/MapleStory-Warrior-1H-Sword-items.html


As for your issue with crossbows, I am not sure sure where you're stuck. I manage to draw a functional arbalest in 16x16.

« Last Edit: September 04, 2013, 04:57:47 am by Pix3M »

Offline Zintendo

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Re: Weapons and Creatures!

Reply #3 on: September 04, 2013, 10:08:59 pm
You can make some great little monsters from these.

No offense thought but your colours are really horrible.
Lol thanks
I don't know if you're going for that style intentionally but you should try editing the colours in your color picker.
Try to move away from straight greys - blend in some other hues by subtly increasing the saturation.
Saturation, got it
And don't just use all primary colours, try playing around with the spectrum.
I'll have to play in my spectral field of vision, regarding the fact that I'm legally colorblind
And black outlines look pretty nasty.
Once you have some better colours, try just using a darker version of the fill colour for outlines (there are other options but this is the simplest).
Again, thanks for the input.  After seeing the examples, I noticed they go with black outlines.  I'm guessing when you say darker, you mean a dark dark purple/black color?  I'm happy it is a solid example without aliasing, I think alaising takes away from pixel art (is also much harder to do) and makes people second guess the fact that one did every pixel by hand.
I wish I had time to do some edits but please have a go taking the advice.
I'd really like to see these improved and then there's some other things we can look at to improve further.
Awesome, hopefully you have time after I apply your critique.  I admire your work!

Offline Zintendo

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Re: Weapons and Creatures!

Reply #4 on: September 04, 2013, 10:32:57 pm
Pix3m, I kinda mean to go with the general feel of weapons.  My game is intended to have a more natural feel, like no HUD as in Call of Duty, and even go so far as no statistics, or numbers, like Zelda.  The HUD will be a pull up like in World of Warcraft with hotkeys.

Now, because of this, It is important, to me anyways, to have the weapons convey a clear message with their type.  Daggers are for chainmails, Estocs are for Calvalry, Flanged Maces are for Platemail.  I'm kinda going for a type trump, game, where you can be the jack of all trades, or specialize in certian types.  I'm kinda hoping players will apply what they learn from, idk, let's say Pokemon, and figure out a good balance, to invest in areas they feel will match up to what they read reviews on are important, hard bosses (or not, lol, they can just play it without google).



Enough game theory.  Yes, I am going for that simplistic, realism feel.  I'm not a big fan of crazy designs atm.  That being said, I feel as though the bows don't vary enough irl.  I appreciate the links you sent me, I really dig those bow designs, never would've thought of stuff like that.  I feel as though the other weapons vary enough for visual recognition, that the gamer can differentiate them without having to do the mouse over for information, unlike the bows.  Thanks for your input as well dude!
« Last Edit: September 04, 2013, 11:58:09 pm by Zintendo »

Offline Decroded

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Re: Weapons and Creatures!

Reply #5 on: September 05, 2013, 07:03:51 am
Pix3m, I kinda mean to go with the general feel of weapons....Yes, I am going for that simplistic, realism feel.  I'm not a big fan of crazy designs atm.  That being said, I feel as though the bows don't vary enough irl.  I appreciate the links you sent me, I really dig those bow designs, never would've thought of stuff like that.  I feel as though the other weapons vary enough for visual recognition, that the gamer can differentiate them without having to do the mouse over for information, unlike the bows.
I actually like to hear these comments.
I think its fine if you're into over-the-top WOW style, brightly coloured weapons and cuddly toy looking characters.
Personally I'm feeling a bit saturated with alot of designs I'm seeing these days, seems like everyone is trying to out-do each other which is understandable from a marketing perspective.
For example I loved Diablo 1&2's balance of earthy hues with selective use of primaries.
The same could not be said for Diablo 3's art style. Most people like it, I however do not.
Just a warning (not directly aimed at you) this reasoning should never be used as an excuse to be lazy though, you should still strive to improve your designs and your art style.

Here's something simple I did a while ago as a style test.

This was intended to be very simple with a subtly stylised realism.
I was happy with it then though now I can clearly see how I could use better technique to make it visually more interesting without sacrificing the simplistic theme.
The idea was to start with something basic and then work my way up to more higher advanced and fancier designs made from rarer materials etc. as you progress through the game, but still trending to avoid overuse of bright colours.

Bow designs is an interesting topic I'd like to come back to later.
I'm no expert on that but I've been wanting to have a go at it myself for my own projects.
Perhaps check out a bunch of different RPG's and find examples of what you like the look of and try to combine some designs.

Enough game theory.
Feel free to PM on game theory if you don't want to blab on about it here, I'm always up for a chat on the topic.

Saturation, got it.
Not quite I don't think. I was saying to work from grey in the Color Picker and play around with increasing Saturation with various Hues.
Here's a screenshot of Photoshop's Color Picker.

Note the H,S,B radio buttons. I personally like working in H mode most of the time as is selected here.
In this way I have clicked on the left to pick pure grey, then clicked inside the S box (not the radio button!) used my mouse wheel to scroll up the value and see the effect is has.
In this way I've been able to give a subtle decent blue-metal tint.

...I'm legally colorblind
Ah crap...well that could make things diffiult  :lol:
What colours do you have a problem with?

After seeing the examples, I noticed they go with black outlines.  I'm guessing when you say darker, you mean a dark dark purple/black color?  I'm happy it is a solid example without aliasing, I think alaising takes away from pixel art (is also much harder to do) and makes people second guess the fact that one did every pixel by hand.
OVER-antialising, along with too many gradients and fear of contrasting clusters (re: http://www.wayofthepixel.net/index.php?topic=15566.0) definitely ruins pixel art.
But I find it hard to see any justification in the statement that anti-aliasing done selectively takes away from pixel art.
Regarding outlining, maybe check out my very simple example here:
http://wayofthepixel.net/index.php?topic=15733.0
I also touch briefly (since my knowledge is extremely limited) on clusters, low colour count and selective anti-alising there.
Its not necessary to stick to the same method but its definitely a good place to start.

There's more we can talk about in your designs but my advice at this stage is just to edit what you have here based on all this information and post again.
Don't be afraid to experiment!!

Offline Decroded

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Re: Weapons and Creatures!

Reply #6 on: September 06, 2013, 06:56:49 am
Ok, I really need to practice sprites and I had some time to kill (at work  :P) so decided to have a tinker.
Don't know what colours are appropriate for a "Star" Demon so went with hot scheme with just 4 colours.

Drew without arms for something different and I did away with the little spikey things from his hips because I thought they took away from his silhouette.

I forgot to progress the start which was pretty rushed anyway.
But at least here you can see I'm messing around trying to learn how using clusters can help emphasize the forms:


He might benefit from some clusters of other colours instead of being all one colour but keeping it simple for now.

These colours might be too bold for your tastes and there is endless other ways to colour him, but from an action gameplay point of view at least this little guy will stand out to the player's eye.
If you fill a screen with bland, washed out colours and everything has black outlines it will:
A) Look shit.
B) Be hard for the player to keep track of everything that is happening on screen, causing frustraion that can lead to a deep sense of hatred for your game.

Offline Zintendo

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Re: Weapons and Creatures!

Reply #7 on: September 09, 2013, 03:10:03 am
Is that my star demon  :D z0mg dude it looks industry standard, you werent kidding when you say the creatures have potential!

I wish I could see it like you do.

Offline Zintendo

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Some Rock Tiles

Reply #8 on: September 18, 2013, 09:11:24 pm


It's two tiles side by side.  I really need to get this looking nice, I don't know which way to shade it though.  Is it going to start to matter, whether I shade it from left or right?  I plan on using the swords as icons in the HUD, so they won't be in-game, but the little star demon creature that received a nice hellish shading, will these rocks have to be shaded just like him? 

For simplicities sake, I'd like to think the Sun is pretty much overhead at all times, and a cutscene will be displayed saying 12 hours have passed, for the only other time in-game, nighttime.


Do the rocks need to be more consistently sized?  The guide I was following said to black out a bunch of areas between the rocks, because rocks are not evenly spaced, but I chose not to for whatever reason.  I'm afraid to add the dithering in the bottom left, because like I said, I'm on the fence about where to go with color pallette (I'm opting for as few colors as possible, although not sticking to 16 or 256)
« Last Edit: September 18, 2013, 10:27:12 pm by PixelPiledriver »

Offline Lilyo

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Re: Some Rock Tiles

Reply #9 on: September 19, 2013, 04:19:20 am
Why are they green? I would help you buy idk whats going on here lol

Offline Zintendo

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Re: Some Rock Tiles

Reply #10 on: September 19, 2013, 06:55:12 am
Right now let's focus on the outlines.  I'm trying to take this with a grain of salt as I go, I plan on making this the main tile.

I'll repost tomorrow with an appropriate palette from a nice SNES rock palette, or at least use it as a starting point.

I need a professional opinion on how to make the tile less noticeable when looped for the ground to walk on.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2013, 06:58:15 am by Zintendo »

Offline Decroded

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Re: Some Rock Tiles

Reply #11 on: September 19, 2013, 11:48:46 am
Its better for everyone (including you) if you reuse your previous thread for the same project rather than starting a bunch of separate threads.


1) Repeated tiles 9 times. Placed the Star Demon sprite on for reference.
2) Desaturated the nasty green colour out and removed all the ugly gradients.
3) Balanced the values. Keeping contrast low as is the general rule with backgrounds.
4) Added some various subtle hues. Keeping saturation low (lower than sprites anyway) as is the general rule with backgrounds.

Tiling is fine anyway but lined up like this you can easily tweak anything you want.
Your tile size is 32px, probably makes more sense that this is 4x16px tiles.
Anyway now you have a usable background tile. Not the prettiest thing in the world but at least it doesn't induce vomiting.

Right now let's focus on the outlines.
Don't discount advice just because it doesn't relate directly to your question.
We should all be wanting to absorb as much knowledge from each other as possible.

the Sun is pretty much overhead at all times
Consider offsetting your sun to the left (which I prefer) or right by say 45 degrees so you can define forms by rendering rather than everything appearing flat.
Refer to the Star Demon's rendering.

Do the rocks need to be more consistently sized?
No, you have a pretty good balance.
Too consistent and its boring.
Too inconsistent and the pattern will be too obvious when tiled.

The guide I was following said to black out a bunch of areas between the rocks, because rocks are not evenly spaced, but I chose not to for whatever reason.
There's endless ways to do it.
Next time you design some tiles, consider giving your ground tiles lines a prominently horizontal feel.
And go for vertical lines for vertical surfaces like walls.
This is one trick to help define surfaces.


I'm afraid to add the dithering in the bottom left, because like I said, I'm on the fence about where to go with color pallette (I'm opting for as few colors as possible, although not sticking to 16 or 256)
It would be useful if you could answer my previous question on getting some details about your color blindness.
You should check out this link below, but my advice is not to get caught up in dithering at this stage.
Limit your colours but I really think you should get more practice in and make a bunch more usable tiles rather than worrying about dithering and anti-aliasing or your just going to go around in circles.
http://wayofthepixel.net/index.php?topic=1025.0

I plan on making this the main tile.
Don't fill the screen with one tile.
I think you should move on immediately and make 2 or 3 variation tiles (e.g. in some parts there are like shallow holes in the ground rather than every rock popping up).
You should consider some other surfaces like grass and/or dirt, and the various transition tiles including 45 degree angles, corners etc.
Try working on a mockup in the res of your game and draft in some other stuff such as rocks to place around the screen.
Don't spend forever on each thing, just block it in to get it started and repost.
This is the quickest way to make some progress rather than getting too caught up in trying to perfect 1 tile then realising much later that you wasted heaps of time...

Offline Lilyo

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Re: Some Rock Tiles

Reply #12 on: September 19, 2013, 07:11:24 pm
Right now let's focus on the outlines.  I'm trying to take this with a grain of salt as I go, I plan on making this the main tile.

I'll repost tomorrow with an appropriate palette from a nice SNES rock palette, or at least use it as a starting point.

I need a professional opinion on how to make the tile less noticeable when looped for the ground to walk on.
Well it wouldn't really make sense to try to create a texture without first choosing a pallet or at least having a general idea for the textures. You chose a really saturated green to start your texture off of and whatever youll do will reflect the colors you chose. It makes no sense. So first figure out what color you want your texture to be, choose a midtone and fill the 32x32 texture with this, then bright the brightness down, increase or decrease the saturation depending on what you want, and change the hue to reflect a darker shadow (or in this case outline of your rocks). Don not make this one smooth line, you have to break it up from point to point with the midtone, otherwise the textxure will look dull and flat. Then take a bright unsaturated highlight and start placing specks on the upper left corners (least to most from bottom left to upper left, then most to least from upper left to upper right). This should give you a basic rock structure that's flat. I would demonstrate but I can't till later tonight.

Offline Zintendo

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Re: MTD Sprites

Reply #13 on: September 21, 2013, 08:28:44 pm

I took your advice to heart.  Thanks for re-priortizing me, (Colors are important as ****) it's why I come here! 

I also added a darker shade, and may have ruined the outlines a bit by adding a nearly black line to some of the outline, inconsistently.  Oh well, better than before... right?

-thanks

Offline Cyangmou

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Re: MTD Sprites

Reply #14 on: September 21, 2013, 10:38:22 pm
I don't know if it's a wall or a bottom texture.
What I see is that you could work on your understanding of form.

You are using 6 colors for your texture, but you don't describe anything with it - for this example I am just using 3 colors (midtone, light and shadow) - that's how you should start.

First let's take a look how it works in nature



as you can see every stone in there has a unique shape.
this shape is intersected into different planes (red wireframe)
The brightness of those planes changes with how they are hit by light.
All planes which are directly in light are bright, all planes which aren't hit by light are the shadow planes.
In the example the light is coming from the upper left side and the shadow is in the lower right.

Once you understood this concept you can apply it to all your drawings, textures as well as scenery. Bottoms usually tend to be flat, while walls can provide a lot of form (since nobody have to walk on them).



1) your texture desaturated
2) your texture reduced to 3 colors
(I used a fourth color for the bottom, just to bring in some additional depth)

Just using outlines won't help - you will end up with a very cluttered result. Lines are the solid fundament, although in a lot of cases you won't see them in a final artwork.

Look here how outlines affect the form:

« Last Edit: September 21, 2013, 10:50:00 pm by Cyangmou »
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Offline Zintendo

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Re: MTD Sprites

Reply #15 on: September 22, 2013, 12:44:17 am
Thank you for your advice.regarding the differences between pixel izing top and bottom features.   :y:


I can see my stones have unique shapes.  I started with midtones and light, but because I shaded darks in later, I should restart?  Your saying to start with lights, midtones, and darks. I  don't want to work on big boulders, I want to know what's wrong with my tile.  So please, aim your artillery directly at my rocks; tell me how to fix them while keeping the 6 color palette, I'd rather fix this bad boy then scrap it for some photorealistic boulders. 

Offline Cyangmou

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Re: MTD Sprites

Reply #16 on: September 22, 2013, 09:56:08 am
It doesn't matter how you start. You can start with the shadow, with the midtone or with the light, that won't change the result if you understood how light works.
In your texture every stone has it's own lightsource (the red arrows are showing the direction).
On top to the wonky shading every stone is very small and you don't have the chance to work out the form.

You also should try to understand what we all want to say you, there is much good advice in this thread - but if you don't think about it, it won't help you.


That you want to do a texture is perfectly clear to me, I used the big boulders to show you the approach.
The only difference between the boulders and the texture is, that the texture repeats, that's all, all other things are the same.
If you don't know the approach how to solve your problems nothing will help you. Even if we'd explain all things step by step and you would try to copy it you won't learn anything.

6 colors might be too much for your current level of understanding.
Textures with multiple forms are hard to do if you struggle with shading a single form.
If you are redoing things it will get easier with every try.
Sometimes starting over is quicker than editing something which has too many problems

How to fix your rocks:
1 ) clear your mind
2 ) look closely at the 3 other examples i posted and also read through all other comments
3 ) try to understand how light&shadow & outlines works and feel
4 ) once you think you understood it open your graphics program
5 ) pick two gray colors
6 ) make your rocks as big as possible while hiding the grid as much as possible (small rocks won't add more detail, it will just add more clutter)
7 ) start with your 2 colors (2 are enough for the first step, details can be added later)
8 ) now get the basic shapes done (if you want to start with lines, do your lines and fill them that the result looks the same)
9 ) add light (3rd color) regarding to the observations of the third step)
10 ) now you can start adding more colors (also regarding to your observations of the third step)



I went with a wall tile, to force you to find your own solution for the ground tile through observation.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2013, 10:29:52 am by Cyangmou »
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Offline Decroded

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Re: MTD Sprites

Reply #17 on: September 22, 2013, 10:59:13 am
I  don't want to work on big boulders, I want to know what's wrong with my tile.  So please, aim your artillery directly at my rocks; tell me how to fix them while keeping the 6 color palette, I'd rather fix this bad boy then scrap it for some photorealistic boulders.
Dude really??
1) Nothing to do with photorealism.
2) Your missing the point.

Cyangmou is a highly skilled artist so you should pay closer attention to everything he says (I've attached myself to his head like a leech extracting knowledge :crazy:).

^
4 shades there and already there's a nice ground texture forming.
You could simply try to draw something similar to what he does and you will end up with something better than what you have now.

Starting with 6 colours is actually detrimental.
Start with less and only add when really its beneficial, ur stuff will come out looking better if u do.

I keep coming back to these really awesome tiles by Vierbit:

For rock, brick and grass there's a total of 5 colours each.
And the dirt only uses the 5th colour at the edge of the grass.
Adding more shades of the same colour and singular light source would take away from the beauty of this artwork.

I thought from the start some of this would be over your head which is why I suggested you start roughing out a whole scene.
With more elements in the picture, more shapes, more lights, shadows and textures, you are more likely to understand how it all cant fit together rather than being trapped forever inside one 32px square.
I'm not saying to move PAST this, but by saying to do a bit more at once as it will help you with this tile too.

Offline Zintendo

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Re: MTD Sprites

Reply #18 on: September 22, 2013, 11:57:20 pm
Thanks for rewording your instructions with a heavier reference to my tile throughout.  It Sparks more neural circuitry;and quite honestly I feel like I finally have a real foothold with making realistic art.  I'll see what I can do, making a 550x400px scenery  with a corrected source of light.


...I had no idea the red arrows would be that off!   :o I feel like I bit off more than I can chew, & see the importance of starting with 3 basic tones.

Sorry for being a pill