AuthorTopic: GR#143 - Blacksmith - Sprite Process  (Read 13593 times)

Offline Johasu

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Re: C+C/Assist with advice on palette choices and shading please.

Reply #20 on: November 04, 2013, 04:56:11 am


Wow on that musculature.  Made an attempt at this myself.
Touched up the hammer some.  Experimented with the yellow lighting on the metal a bit and put a few extra touches there too.  Really surprised that I didn't notice the handle hand issue until Vermolius pointed it out.
I have been working on this anvil as the next step forward in this piece.  (I know the hammer isn't really the right kind for this sort of thing and that it doesn't fit the piece exactly but I am pushing my boundaries and hope to make some modifications to make it all fit as I get better at this.)

I like the knees but I felt like maybe the popped a bit too much so I tried to tone that down just a little.  Removed a color from the pants in an effort to make them seem less messy.
A few other touch ups in small places.

At this point I am working on the anvil a lot.  This is about the fourth full version I have done and I finally feel like the angle is approximating what it needs to be.  My color choices started with a sort of rusty brown that I pulled from an actual anvil image, but I found them way to difficult to work with so I moved to this sort of dark purple range and stuck there.  The shape and shadows are giving me problems still and I keep making small adjustments over the whole piece.

Comments, suggestions, ideas, and critiques are more than welcome!
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Offline Johasu

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Re: C+C/Assist with advice on palette choices and shading please.

Reply #21 on: November 04, 2013, 11:38:59 pm


Bringing this closer to my vision.  Feeling fairly satisfied with the overall look.  I am not sure how I like the hand holding the metal. I made a few subtle attempts at shifting its angle but haven't come up with a satisfactory alternative form.
I worked pretty hard to get the anvil the way I want it.  It feels good to me.
The base stone was a challenge and even though it's sorta messy with all the AA I put into it(and like a dozen shades of grey) I feel like it looks decent.

Im still hoping to get some creative inputs on how I can improve the colors or any other critiques on the form and designs.
I really appreciate all the advice and inputs I have received so far.  To think that my jiggy looking mess has evolved into this in a couple days with the assistance of a few more experienced individuals!  Wow and thanks.

Hoping for more help and tips and any input is welcome.  Thanks again!  :y:
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Offline HarveyDentMustDie

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Re: C+C/Assist with advice on palette choices and shading please.

Reply #22 on: November 05, 2013, 01:03:43 am
Your shading makes his face looks flat. You should choose higher contrast flesh tone colors. If he is in dark area an candle is main source of light, all parts of his body shouldn't be so bright. Also red light from the iron should be reflected of him as a highlights. Why the front part of his hat is not highlighted if the candle is right above it? You should choose main light source and stick with it.

Shape of his head and position of his ears is weird, ears should be placed higher and left part of his face and left eye are too far out. Boots in previous post were better, now they look puffy like slippers.

You received edit from Pixel Piledriver, one of the best artists here, and you didn't pay close attention. Hammer position, legs, hat, body proportions. You should go back and analyze it again. You shouldn't exactly copy his work but try to learn from it.

Offline Johasu

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Re: C+C/Assist with advice on palette choices and shading please.

Reply #23 on: November 05, 2013, 01:33:06 am
I didn't disregard his words or his advice.  But, I wasn't ready to simply drop what I was working on to completely redesign my character around someone else's design whether they are a better artist than I am or not.  My goal(and I think the goal of anyone trying to learn an art medium) should be to find a way to portray the vision you have in your mind in a way that shows what you want to show.  With that said, I have already stated several times on the thread that I have listened to comments regarding my character's shape and anatomy and while I have given sound acknowledgement that they are not in direct line with purely human shapes or PixelPiledriver's particular vision of a cartoonish shape I have accepted all of their words kindly and noted them down as something to work experimenting with when I'm done getting what I want with this.

For now I am mostly trying to find ways to make the shape that I am working with show properly.  Learning about shadows and light sources. My color choices are something that I have asked for advice on several times.  Thank you for your input in that regard.  I was noticing a bit of flatness to his face but haven't found a good way to round it out a bit (a bit because I want his head to have a blocky wide shape to it). I am not rooted in a particular color style yet for the skin tones.  I have changed the palette a bit here and there throughout as I am experimenting with learning the coloring as well.  So nothing is set in stone so much in that regard and I thank you for the advice.

I like where his ears are, but I will take some time and play with his facial alignment and see if I can get something that turns out nicely.  I had worked a bit with the iron glow on the skin but it was coming out super orange and looked really bad. It's my next solid goal area to play with. I haven't decided whether I want to keep the full leathery boot or go back to the plated toe and play with the metal coloring again. (Glad to get some feedback on that one though.)

I have been analyzing everything everyone has said, and I'm fairly confident in saying that it is pretty evident that I have taken advice from everyone here. Just because I haven't scrapped my old design to follow someone else's vision for my character doesn't mean I have disrespected anyone's help or time.  I am very grateful for all of the help.  As an exhibition of the learning and growth I have managed by listening to the words and advice of others, I created a .gif which exemplifies the transformation of my original piece to where I am now.

Thank you again so much for the advice.




I took those suggestions and played some with his face.  Moved the eye, the ear, and tried to reshade his face.  Tried to round his eyeballs with a bit of a shadow in the corner. Recolored the hat with a new palette in an attempt to come closer to the copper tone I was after. (any tips on this?)
Tried to build out his shoulders instead of having a massive rounded deltoid that functioned as a spherical attachment to his trunk.
Haven't yet figured out a higher flesh tone contrast to round his features well. I plan to work on this more in the next day or so. Any tips on how to think that through are greatly appreciated.
Replaced the metal plating on the toe and recolored it to more closely match the hammer. Then, I spent a lot of time working on the red lighting cast by the iron and I feel like I made progress though I don't know how well I actually did. My palette choices are a struggle area still. Are there good lessons for this somewhere specifically for pixeling or is this something you just get better with in time as you work with it?
 
Finally I moved his arm to more of a crest on the upstroke. I don't think it's terrible for what I was going for, but feel a need to reangle his hand and the hammer so they don't look like they are parallel behind his head.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2013, 09:57:26 pm by PixelPiledriver »
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Offline PixelPiledriver

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Re: C+C/Assist with advice on palette choices and shading please.

Reply #24 on: November 05, 2013, 10:33:25 pm
Quote
You received edit from Pixel Piledriver, one of the best artists here, and you didn't pay close attention.
I assure you I am not the best, nor do I think that is a healthy structure.
I'd rather be thought of as helpful.
My post is just to illustrate a concept.

Johasu your process on this image is very linear.
I didn't expect the anvil, I kinda thought this guy was a miner or something.  :blind:
It would have been better to sketch all objects into the scene from the black and white start, even if very rough.
But don't worry about it.
I often end up drawing stuff with no real plan of what it's going to be, adding this and that as I think of new things.
Just realize that if you do know what it should end up as, designing all the parts together usually results in a more cohesive image, especially interactions between characters and objects etc.

One of the best things you can ask yourself about anything in art is: What's it for?
The more specifically you answer that question the more direction you will have.
This will also allow you to choose your colors more easily.
I've written some stuff about color purpose a while ago.
I didn't fill in examples but perhaps it will be useful for you.
Many of the colors you have chosen are object driven, as opposed to being scene/mood driven.



There isn't a right or wrong here, it's just helpful to know which side you want to be on.
And there is a middle ground of course.
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline Johasu

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Re: C+C/Assist with advice on palette choices and shading please.

Reply #25 on: November 05, 2013, 10:42:27 pm
 ;D
I know my process has been sorta linear.  I guess I was okay letting myself make those sort of mistakes because I tell myself that if I do something wrong and out of place I can force myself to learn how to fix it.  So, allowing the improper positioning forced me to have to learn how to construct the anatomy better.  Doing the lighting improperly for the scene is making me learn how to work with lighting as the piece evolves.  I originally was sort of aiming for miner but then decided to redirect into an anvil because it just sounded better to me suddenly.  Sorry for the curve on that.

Now I'm working on altering the positioning of his arm and figuring out how to work with two competing light sources at the same time.  It's really challenging and I will have an edit up on that soon.

I'm ok making mistakes. I always feel like I learn better that way.  My art was all feeling very flat until I started getting advice and critiques from you guys and now I can see how to start rounding things out and giving definition.  Several comments have radically changed my ideas on how to go about creating pixel pieces.

In the future I will begin a new piece with a more complete idea of where it's going. I'm fully enjoying forcing myself to make changes to this one and figuring out how to make it work.

Thanks again for the help!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
UPDATE:

I have made a lot of changes to him today.  Feel like my confidence in showing form is growing as i experiment with lighting and color tones.
Completely changed his skin color palette again.
Altered the hammer to be more in line with something a smith would use on this sort of work.  Not sure if I am digging the head on the mallet yet. I rotated his hand and redesigned his arm entirely.  Changed the other hand and reworked his pants some.  I dimmed the whole thing down some to make it feel like he is working in a darker space.  The candle light and the light from the iron are competing a bit to light different areas and I struggled with that a lot.  I haven't figured out a red tone to light his torso with but I feel like the glow I put on his chest and cast on his hand and underarm are in line with how it should be.  Still experimenting with colors on that red glow.  I found a way to round his face a bit and dimmed his eyes some.  The new copper tone on his hat is working better for me than previous versions as well.

I feel as if maybe his upper left arm is a bit too long. Any input on this?  I may wait on some critique before moving on with his physique or lighting as I'm not sure how to improve it more at this point.

Hopefully someone can give me some sound input as to where I can improve this more, or how I can fix any issues I'm having that I am not aware of yet.

Thanks!
« Last Edit: November 06, 2013, 02:06:11 am by Johasu »
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Offline Tidbit

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Re: C+C/Assist with advice on palette choices and shading please.

Reply #26 on: November 09, 2013, 12:26:19 am
You've come a really long way! I think the only thing that stands out to me now is that right hand. Fix that and I'd call your piece done  ;D

Offline Johasu

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Re: C+C/Assist with advice on palette choices and shading please.

Reply #27 on: November 09, 2013, 12:42:23 am
 ::)  Thanks.  I'm still monkeying with that hand a bit. I feel like it's more a matter of the angle of his pose than anything else causing the problem. Artistically I wasn't good enough to set it up with the correct angles and found myself struggling to get it to come together.
I'm a little too stubborn to accept a need to simply redesign the whole arrangement to get them to fit better.  So at the moment, I am still fighting the hand.
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Offline Mrwhitepantz

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Re: C+C/Assist with advice on palette choices and shading please.

Reply #28 on: November 09, 2013, 07:24:52 am
Hey dude, looking at your first and last pictures, you have really done some impressive work here. As I'm quite new to pixel art myself, I can't offer you any advice on the pixels themselves, but I would like to comment on a few things.

While I'm not 100 per cent sure how to fix it, his left arm does look just a skosh too long, and his bicep up there looks a wee bit big to my eye. Please take that with a grain of salt, as I'm certainly no expert on proportions.

Your sledge is pretty good, as is your sense of where shadows would fall. Just a sidebar here, I worked as a blacksmith for awhile, and you might be surprised by how little light hot metal actually puts out, particularly at the color you have it, which is probably around 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, assuming it's iron. It is often exaggerated, like so many things, in movies and pictures and such.

A word about the right hand, if I may. Your biggest problem is that his hand (and the anvil) are at a really unnatural angle to his body. You might try bringing the anvil in a bit and more towards the center of his body, and then you could bring his right arm out a little and make his hand wrap around the piece of metal (don't do that in real life) instead how of right nowit looks like he is barely grabbing it with his thumb and forefinger. Don't forget to adjust the angle of your metal as well, it should probably be a bit closer to parallel of his shoulders.

Some of these are definitely style choices, so feel free to ignore whatever you wish, I am excited to see this guy finished.

Offline Johasu

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Re: C+C/Assist with advice on palette choices and shading please.

Reply #29 on: November 09, 2013, 04:48:37 pm

Spent some time reworking his arm and hand.  I'm not entirely content with how it turned out yet.
Moved the anvil some, but again not sure how I feel about it yet.  I almost feel like I need to alter the angle of the anvil to pull it more level with his  stance and positioning.
I tried angling the bar a bit. Found that I didn't enjoy pulling it away from a straight edge to angle it.

Let me know what you think. Feel free to C&C some more on the stance and his build. I am beginning to feel more comfortable recomposing his stance as I improve with my ability to draw and color.  :crazy:
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