AuthorTopic: What's the current state of pixel art?  (Read 7707 times)

Offline cels

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Re: What's the current state of pixel art?

Reply #10 on: January 12, 2014, 06:09:07 am
@ Ellian: Nice link, thanks for that! It comes as no surprise that the French are doing their part, given their history of animation and comics. A lot of stuff there that I haven't seen before.

@ Helm: Thanks for the explanation. And I had the same impression in regards to C64 art as well. In regards to pushing the envelope, who would you say has pushed the envelope in recent years? Say since 2010? It looks like people are getting better at working with the "rules" of pixel art, but in terms of experimenting in new directions and paving way for the future? I guess that there's only so much you can do with a given medium. But I can't help but think that there's a lot of potential in looping animations that you can do better with pixel art than any other art form, and it's something that people haven't fully tapped into yet, as far as I can tell. I'm not talking about simple running sprites, I'm talking about portraits, landscapes, complex scenes, abstract pixel art, etc. Especially on a large canvas, with the amount of detail that pixel art allows. And of course, not just sparkling lights, eyes blinking and flickering candles. I mean something more... substantial.

I'm not sure I follow in regards to the no single pixel thing. Do you mean your stance in regards to the freehand tool vs drawing with lines? If you could expand on the last paragraph in your post, that would be very nice.
EDIT: Never mind, found the answer in the latest cluster study thread. But I'm still confused why you feel skeptical. Is it a matter of having such a "refined taste" that your criteria are impossibly hard for other people to appreciate and conform to?

@ Mr. Fahrenheit: I would have loved something like that when I was younger, before I got into Warhammer 40,000 and stuff like that. Thanks for the suggestion.

@ Vagrant: Cheers! I'm not so interested in sprites personally, but it's very good to know!
« Last Edit: January 12, 2014, 06:39:04 am by cels »

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Re: What's the current state of pixel art?

Reply #11 on: January 12, 2014, 06:43:56 am

I'll definitely be checking that  VG Resource spriting forum out.. I never realized that existed.

That looks like an alright forum.


Offline Ai

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Re: What's the current state of pixel art?

Reply #12 on: January 12, 2014, 07:33:43 am
EDIT: Never mind, found the answer in the latest cluster study thread. But I'm still confused why you feel skeptical. Is it a matter of having such a "refined taste" that your criteria are impossibly hard for other people to appreciate and conform to?
I took that comment to be about his own knowledge, that is, "I thought I knew how this thing [pixel art] worked, now [after discovering the effect of the no-single-pixels principle] I'm skeptical of that idea and suspect there is much more to be discovered if I continue"
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline Helm

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Re: What's the current state of pixel art?

Reply #13 on: January 12, 2014, 08:17:19 pm
No, I really mean that cluster theory is useful to everyone (I would hope). My further, more recent thoughts, I do not think will be as useful far and wide. I might be going on a bit of a strange journey that will result, basically, to my own 'style'as it were solidifying, not a wider contribution in theoretical terms.

Offline cels

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Re: What's the current state of pixel art?

Reply #14 on: January 13, 2014, 05:34:16 am
No, I really mean that cluster theory is useful to everyone (I would hope). My further, more recent thoughts, I do not think will be as useful far and wide. I might be going on a bit of a strange journey that will result, basically, to my own 'style'as it were solidifying, not a wider contribution in theoretical terms.
I still don't follow. What recent thoughts? Are you acting mysterious or is there something painfully obvious I'm missing?  :)

Offline Cure

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Re: What's the current state of pixel art?

Reply #15 on: January 13, 2014, 05:44:18 am
I still don't follow. What recent thoughts? Are you acting mysterious or is there something painfully obvious I'm missing?  :)

He's referring to the most recent cluster study thread, which goes beyond the basic cluster theory that he outlined in the Ramblethread and advocates the total absence of single pixels, so that the image is comprised entirely of multi-pixel clusters.

Offline cels

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Re: What's the current state of pixel art?

Reply #16 on: January 13, 2014, 06:38:04 am
Oh, I did read about that. I just couldn't put two and two together, I guess. I did find it fascinating, and it seems every bit as useful-yet-non-intuitive as a number of other pixel art axioms, trends, doctrines, or whatever you want to call them.

I do think certain that tutorials in many ways define the pixel art community. For example, Cure, you've written one of the most comprehensive, widely referenced pixel art tutorials that I've come across. And it's helped me a lot. But it's interesting to see that it seems to influence a lot of new pixel artists, or at least correlate with the problems they're having. Thanks to your tutorial, most people who are new to pixel art tend to avoid the obvious jaggies, banding and pillow shading. But they seem to make the same mistakes with dithering, and I can't help but wonder if this is because dithering is brought up relatively early in your tutorial, and makes up a substantial portion of it. I've no idea if it is indeed because of your tutorial, I've just noticed that a lot of new pixel artists approach dithering as if it were mandatory.

And most of the other criticism that meets new pixel artists is stuff that isn't directly covered in your tutorial, because it's usually not specific to pixel art. It's stuff like composition, color theory, anatomy, perspective, etc. that people can and should learn elsewhere. But then they don't, often because they seem to think that pixel art is a free pass to making cool art without knowing how to paint. Oops, a little rant. Sorry. [Just to clarify, I'm not suggesting that your tutorial needs to cover everything, I'm just reflecting on the impact of your tutorial.]

In any community, there's going to be two camps - one which is willing to bend over backwards to help potential newcomers, and others who take the Mr. Miyagi approach and prefer to let newcomers do their own research and prove themselves. And most people fall somewhere in between, of course. But I think that helping members find the right tutorials with the right content has a huge impact. Perhaps in a few years, when I have a bit more knowledge, I will try to help with this.

TL;DR: The impact of any sort of trend or "rule" probably depends on two things: the degree to which it is used and mentioned by the most popular artists in the community, and the way it is described in tutorials.