AuthorTopic: GR#189 - Monster Girl - Anatomy, Shading  (Read 13497 times)

Offline astraldata

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Re: First Pixel art. (Need direction)

Reply #10 on: January 29, 2014, 07:16:55 am


versus



As you can probably tell, not a lot of visual difference at first glance, however I reduced a TON of colors on your image -- I took it from 86 colors down to 54, though I'm not sure if the alpha channel was included in that color count or not. Either way, this is a pretty huge difference for not much lost in visibility or appearance.

As you can probably tell, all I did was take some colors with similar value and replace them with other colors of a similar value. I didn't go through the entire sprite because it's getting late here, but I went through most of it. You should look very closely at the differences between yours and mine to see which colors I replaced and which colors I left alone. I did no edits whatsoever to the image or coloring itself outside of color replacement (except for that bottom leg shading, which was bothering my OCD pretty badly).

After messing with this sprite, it must have taken you a significantly longer time creating it than I spent on editing it (which must have been a long time D: ), but, in reality, a sprite with this style should really not take so long if you simplify the number of colors you use to the bare minimum necessary (i.e. simply avoid having to use dithering by creating a palette with 3-6 shades depending on how much you use a color).

A good rule of thumb is to keep your sprites between 16-20 colors maximum (including transparency) to ensure maximum readability, and blend the colors between one another to ensure maximum unity of the palette. There's nothing inherently wrong with using more colors, it's just that you should keep in mind that the more colors you add, the more difficult it gets when you want to change those colors (especially a shade or value) because you can quickly end up with a huge number of colors just by adding or slightly modifying a shade/hue here and there and forgetting you already have one pretty close to that color/value (thus throwing off the unity of the entire piece). This is what makes the number of colors blow up exponentially, such as what happened in your image.

I admit, my color choice sucks in which colors I kept (i.e. I kept the more grayed-out monotonous/dull colors over the vibrant ones), but I wasn't thinking about that at the time of the edit. Instead, I was simplifying the groups of colors and eliminating banding to show you how to do the same thing with minimal anti-aliasing (AA). I could have simply tweaked the shades I kept to be a halfway blend of the dull color and the most vibrant one (example: the 2 colors that gave the hint of yellow lighting on the grey fur in the original image, for example).

And just fyi, I think your 'flat' color choice for your animation was actually very well made (you obviously have an amazing eye for color) -- it provided much more unity in the colors than r4c7's edit. Once you perfected your motion, THEN give it more form/contrast via lighting/shadow (no need for any contrast, etc. until that time). I'd suggest, as far as the animation itself goes, roll the ball a little more and give it a slight bounce or two to indicate she isn't kicking a beanbag/hackey-sack (unless that's what you were going for, then by all means, you've got it correct).

Hopefully that helps.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2014, 03:57:39 pm by astraldata »
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Offline Probo

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Re: First Pixel art. (Need direction)

Reply #11 on: January 29, 2014, 04:18:53 pm


here it is with 17 colours, save you a bit of work reducing it down.

using transparencies like that isnt a great idea, the colour count goes through the roof! theyre fine to play around with and experiment, ive often looked at how colours blend. but you should choose and add the colours yourself for the final piece.

an important thing to bear in mind to keep the colour count down is to think how shades can be reused within the picture, the flat colour from one area could be used as a shadow elsewhere, and so-on. then you tweak colours en masse as you go along. you might actually change the colour of a piece of clothing or something so that shades can be recycled elsewhere for example.

edit: i should go into more detail about what i changed. i changed the shadow at the crotch a bit, so that light wasnt getting right to the bottom of it, and used one of the lighter shades from the tights as a bit of AA where the flat skin colour meets the shadow. I lost most of the browns of the hair completely but if you choose carefully you could put one or two back and have it look brown again. I used the colours from the tights and pants to add shadow for the skin, and theres only one skin highlight colour.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2014, 04:33:39 pm by Probo »

Offline Jesia

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Re: First Pixel art. (Need direction)

Reply #12 on: January 29, 2014, 09:53:26 pm
Thanks Astral for taking the time to change my sprite. Perhaps i took your suggestion about using more colors a bit too far xD I will try to find a balance in my use of colors, and stick with those 16-20, which might be a really wise idea. I really like the challenge of working with a limited pallet. Also many thanks for the compliment about color choices. Choosing colors is my favorite part ^^
I will see if i can give the ball in the animation a bit more life, thanks for the suggestion ^^

The same goes to you Probo Many thanks for taking the time to modify my sprite. It was purely me going way overboard with colors. I will restrain myself some more xD
A question though, what exactly do you mean with transparencies? OAO

I will study both of your modifications closely, before starting my new character ^^

r4c4 Thank you for the suggestion. The pastel colors were completely intentional, since i thought they would fit more to a sweet little innocent girl. I also thought not putting on a certain light source, would make animating it a whole lot easier. I do agree though, that there could perhaps be a bit more contrast, since she is such a little sprite. So thank you for reminding me of that ^^

Offline Probo

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Re: First Pixel art. (Need direction)

Reply #13 on: January 30, 2014, 12:58:45 am
i thought youd achieved the 86 colour count by laying semi-transparent colours over existing colours, as the PNG had some alpha properties. did you not?

Offline PixelPiledriver

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Re: First Pixel art. (Need direction)

Reply #14 on: January 30, 2014, 03:00:49 am
One place the dithering was working well was the fur boa.
The current shading lacks any sort of descriptive texture where originally even just the slight hint was nice.


I just drew a bunch of lines and it could be done more properly with reference.
https://www.google.com/search?q=fur+boa&rlz=1C1CHFX_enUS553US553&espv=210&es_sm=93&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=xr7pUqqjJdbloASqmYHwDg&ved=0CAoQ_AUoAg&biw=1920&bih=947
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline Jesia

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Re: First Pixel art. (Need direction)

Reply #15 on: January 30, 2014, 11:31:01 am
Probo I did apply a color filter, yes. But it was across the whole sprite. meaning i changed every single pixels nuance slightly. So it shouldn't have added to the color count OAO

I agree with that that Piledriver, i thought it worked well there as well, but as a suggestion, i didn't use any dithering on it. I will try recoloring it with less colors and dither the boa, as others also have mentioned ^^

Edit:

Been a while since i posted. Been busy with other sorts of artwork. But! I finally finished my new version of the lady lying down. I reduced the colors to 17 and tried adding some texture to the boa as Piledriver suggested. I'm not really happy about it, so i might try and change it. Anyone have any ideas as to how to make it more convincing? I also changed the features of her face, as they weren't exactly right, and also tried to smooth out her bicep and leg just a little bit, to make it more convincing, anatomy wise.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2014, 11:17:16 pm by Jesia »

Offline Tapsu

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Re: First Pixel art. (Need direction)

Reply #16 on: February 05, 2014, 09:37:51 pm
I have always wondered at how people shade fur according to the general form, but not according to the direction of the individual hairs, which should especially apply to reflected light.
My own sketchy first attempt (in my life) at shading fur would be as follows, in the green box:

Also, assuming light from above, the chest should be in shadow, shouldn't it?

Offline Jesia

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Re: First Pixel art. (Need direction)

Reply #17 on: February 06, 2014, 11:17:23 am
do you have any real life references that showcases this? I tried to use a reference when i did the furboa, but the problem is, that all pictures are so evenly lit, so i kinda just had to go with my guts xD

The light does indeed come from above, top left, to be more exact. You are right about the chest having to be more dark, i'll see if i can change that, without leaving it too dark and flat (atleast that is what i fear xD)

Offline Tapsu

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Re: First Pixel art. (Need direction)

Reply #18 on: February 06, 2014, 01:03:12 pm
just in case, please don't get me wrong, the fur in the picture looks OK already, and unless you are interested in exploring fur more there might be no pressing reason to try what I wrote about.

The point was that people have trouble drawing furry things, and also human hair, and it seems to me it comes from not noticing how the location of highlights depends on the angle of the individual hairs, not on the angle of the general shape.

If human hair there is this crescent shaped highlight:
http://www.hairstylesguide.org/wp-content/uploads/Hairstyles-For-Your-Face-Shape-34.jpg
which in drawings usually looks like this:
http://th00.deviantart.net/fs70/PRE/f/2012/311/9/f/beyond_birthday_chibi_coloring_by_sima_sama-d5k9h5d.png
I have not taken the time to make it extremely clear to myself why hair highlights have this shape, and how it depends on the light angle, sorry.
Some more examples of "weird" highlight locations:
http://virtuavet.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/healthy-scared-dumbo-rat.jpg
http://resources.waza.org/files/images/w(415)h(252)c(1)q(90)/cccf5852eaca0fa9161ad53f87baae6e.jpg
Same should apply to shiny cloth which is sometimes hard to shade because of more complicated highlight locations.

Colored hair becomes more saturated as light is passing through a semi-transparent colored material the same way light becomes saturated green when passing through green leaves.

Looking in the same direction as the hair, some darkness deeper between the hairs should be more visible:
http://kaufmanfurs.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10001/thumb_dyed_purple_silver_fox_fur_boa_scarf_furs_5%20(296x500)~0.jpg
« Last Edit: February 06, 2014, 01:08:17 pm by Tapsu »

Offline Jesia

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Re: First Pixel art. (Need direction)

Reply #19 on: February 06, 2014, 01:22:21 pm
thank you a lot Tapsu for taking the time to post these examples! I see what you mean, and i can't really explain it either haha, but it is definitely true. I'll try and see if i can make it look better, but it seems like a very hard thing to replicate in pixels, at least for someone my level, but i will surely do my best. Perhaps i will try and do some furry animal, to really force myself. Other than that, you have definitely given me food for thought, both when it comes to pixels and other types of art, thank you, yet again ^^