AuthorTopic: GR#189 - Monster Girl - Anatomy, Shading  (Read 13188 times)

Offline HezaKey

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Re: First Pixel art. (Need direction)

Reply #20 on: February 06, 2014, 05:34:13 pm
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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

This is confusing to me.  Did you mean to say the opposite?


I made up a quick image on how highlights tend to work on hair. 

First you have to take into account the shape of what the hair is resting on, in this case the spherical shape of the head. 

Then I showed some various hairstyles and how highlights might show up on them. (I did not take into account any other lighting effects such as shadows, reflective light, ect.)

The first one curves over the head and really only presents a couple places where a highlight can be seen.  The rest of the hair curves with the head and doesn't have another surface in which to reflect the light source.

The second has longer hair, and as the hair rests on the shoulder it is directly under the light source.  It starts to reveal clumps and strands as it reflects light.

The third one has shorter hair and a lot of clumps.  Highlights will reflect off each clump revealing it's shape and volume.

And then I did the mouse too.  If you see the three dimensional shape of the mouse, then the glossy highlights on it's fur make perfect sense.  They're all curving over the shape of the body, shoulder, and face. 

Short version: Highlights follow the shape of the three dimensional form.

Also that boa example doesn't seem like a good choice for lighting reference though.  It's so dark in the center because it's a three color dye job (the bottom of the hairs are dyed dark, while the ends are dyed light)  So it makes it hard to see exactly what is happening with the light versus the local color of the object itself.

As for the artwork itself, maybe your boa just needs some variation in the clumps.  Not a whole lot, but if a few of the clumps where facing different directions it might look more natural

Offline Tapsu

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Re: First Pixel art. (Need direction)

Reply #21 on: February 07, 2014, 07:32:28 am
Perhaps i will try and do some furry animal, to really force myself.
That task might be intimidating, considering http://wayofthepixel.net/index.php?topic=8925.0, though I have thought of trying it myself some day. Wondering if it would be polite to resurrect that old thread in that case.

I am still learning to draw, but challenging tasks like this make me think of diffuse highlight planes and specular highlight planes to simplify things for myself (and to exercise imagining those planes while shading). Like if some plane in the drawing is not parallel to the specular highlight plane, then I try not to draw a specular highlight there. Sometimes I even hold my palm near the picture for reference. There are more competent people here, though, maybe that method is suboptimal, but, for example, if the light source is from left and above, I doubt there would be reflection on the mid-body like your picture seems to have. The reflection curve continuing there looks nice, though.

Quote
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

This is confusing to me.  Did you mean to say the opposite?
[...]
First you have to take into account the shape of what the hair is resting on, in this case the spherical shape of the head. 
[...]
The second has longer hair, and as the hair rests on the shoulder it is directly under the light source.  It starts to reveal clumps and strands as it reflects light.
[...]
In the context of your picture, what I was trying to say is: if the general shape of the hair was made from some other material that is homogeneous, say, plastic, or dough, the highlight would not have the same shape as, say, the second hair in your picture.
Short version: Highlights follow the shape of the three dimensional form.
In this case, assuming the light source is not behind the head, the highlight would be round, not crescent-shaped. I think this kind of highlights as we see on hair must come from the direction of the hairs.

Offline Facet

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Re: First Pixel art. (Need direction)

Reply #22 on: February 07, 2014, 08:35:19 pm
This is a pretty interesting topic of material/reflective qualities, just hopefully clarifying what Tapsu was noting with some examples:

The collective highlights on hair as a mass are extended linearly either side of it's position on any underlying smooth form (and so forming the crescent) by the highlight position of many separate strands (essentially cylinders); the same effect is more apparent in the elongated reflections created by choppy water with the crest of each wave adding a separate component reflection. This is pretty much what underpins how diffuse any surface is only usually it's on a smaller scale (and without the directionality) but it's more appreciable (and interesting) here.

I'll have a quick doodle on the sprite in a minute, just wanted to chime in on the material stuff :y:

« Last Edit: February 07, 2014, 08:55:02 pm by Facet »

Offline astraldata

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Re: First Pixel art. (Need direction)

Reply #23 on: February 07, 2014, 10:26:37 pm
Gah. Lol, what program are you using to paint this in? The alpha channel is horrible. Makes it very difficult to provide color edits. XD

As an aside, I use Graphics Gale to do my pixel art and animation. Maybe you should check it out. It lets you right-click to select colors, count your colors, has onion-skinning, layers, custom-grids, custom interface, keyboard/mouse shortcuts, etc., and it's free as long as you don't need the animation feature (but you can get around that by exporting as a combined image PNG file), though it's only ~$20 if you do.



Anyway, this is what I've come up with. I didn't realize that was a feather boa at first. I thought it was some extra type of hair or something.

Regardless, my edit reflects a removal of 2 extra colors on the top leg and the hair (which added much needed contrast in those two areas, although you could still add another color to the hair to get that). In addition, I added in some texture to the boa that makes it have more of a feather/fur look that it was lacking with the stringy lines of pixels in the original. I also lightened the next-to-darkest color on the forearms (and everywhere else it was) and helped with the face shape a little bit (hopefully). I also played with the lighting/anatomy a little on the chest and arm, and lighting on the (ears?).

One of the biggest issues with your original and this one as well was the use of colors that didn't add anything to the image but a slight subtle shift from one color to the next. It's best to either remove these colors completely or use them to add a bit more 3d shape to the image with value gradients instead of using them to make the colors appear to blend. The blending should be done when you select the color, not when you put the color to the image (as is the opposite of digital/traditional painting of course).

Hopefully this edit helps you see what I was going for. :)
« Last Edit: February 08, 2014, 12:31:19 am by astraldata »
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Offline Facet

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Re: First Pixel art. (Need direction)

Reply #24 on: February 07, 2014, 11:10:50 pm
I didn't actually modify the palette properly but I did straight chuck it on something non forum-white which helps.

The lightsource wasn’t crystal clear but it seemed more frontal and focused so it’s hard to say it was wrong period, I changed it up to a stronger top just because it provides lots of nice mysterious shadow which is very useful in creating intrigue; teasing but not stating stuff which is the idea with pin-up or burlesque cabaret or whatever (assuming that’s what you’re going for with the feather boa and lingerie).

…and I just now realise I drew a bloomin’ feather boa after a conversation on fur, is that foxfur or something? I need to take an early night.

« Last Edit: February 07, 2014, 11:13:21 pm by Facet »

Offline Jesia

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Re: First Pixel art. (Need direction)

Reply #25 on: February 09, 2014, 01:36:30 am
It is true that i am having problems using the colors in the right way Astra, it's cause i try using the methods i use when painting regularly... which... of course do not work at all! haha. It's a habit i just have to get rid of. To answer your question i use photoshop. I'm gonna look into that program you talked about, it sounds very interesting, and might make it a bit easier keeping track of things. Also. i like what you did to her chest, lot more voluminous teehee.

The hair discussion has been interesting to read. Thanks Milo and Tapsu, for trying to explain it. It has made me think about that topic some more haha, i hope it will help me render better fur and hair in pixels ^^

The lady is based on an old sci-fi sketch i did a long time ago. I wasn't exactly going for cabaret, but someone said it should be more "eye candy" so i kinda just played of on that. Otherwise i really liked what you did facet the volume and depth is great!. I have tried approaching things in a more painterish way, like you did. But whenever i clean it up.. it just... i don't know. loses a lot of initial feeling. Any hints on that? Also, what is the best way to do pixel art? Paint and then clean, or do linework?

Sadly. i haven't had time to do edits myself, and i won't be able to for the next few weeks, as i am busy making a portfolio for an animation school. As soon as i get that out of the world, then i will be back studying and learning pixel art with the help of you guys. Thanks a lot, for spending your time helping me improve. I hope you feel i am taking to heart all that you have to say ^^

Offline Facet

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Re: First Pixel art. (Need direction)

Reply #26 on: February 10, 2014, 12:22:14 am
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I hope you feel i am taking to heart all that you have to say ^^
Absolutely! You've addressed everything brought up even if it wasn't what you might have set out to discuss :y:.

Losing feeling & the magic of suggestion when you’re cleaning up is a perennial problem but my working preference is to clean up only when absolutely necessary :lol:. I just typed out a bunch on linework and method versus insight in a neighbouring thread, so that may be sorta the same stuff you're thinking about.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2014, 12:24:37 am by Facet »

Offline Jesia

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Re: First Pixel art. (Need direction)

Reply #27 on: May 23, 2014, 02:28:41 pm
So i finally finished with my whole portfolio and school thing (took a long time haha), and so i am back at practicing Pixel art again.  After looking through the posts it seemed one of my main issues was using too many colors, so i have tried limiting myself to a smaller pallet (12 colors in this one)
It is a work in progress, not made for anything particular other than serve as a practice. Im still new to the whole "banding thing" so sorry if i did something gastly xD
I'm sorta stuck as to how to proceed with this. I want to expand it, adding more science objects (wires, machines etc.) But i am unsure if it would get muddied or if i should introduce new colors ^^

Offline astraldata

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Re: First Pixel art. (Need direction)

Reply #28 on: May 24, 2014, 12:39:24 am
Hi there again! Long time no see! Good to see you got back to pixel art! :)

I'm going to be a little harsh here, so bear with me -- I just feel honest critique goes a long way when trying to improve on something.

So, first thing, is that you've done pretty well with 12 colors to get across what you were trying to convey. Unfortunately, I feel like your palette could have been used a little more effectively in the sense that you seemed to put most of it toward shadow gradients, etc. These entries actually caused you to have a 13th color somehow in the darkest shadows on the floor. I suggest you get a program like Graphics Gale if you haven't already (it has a feature to count colors in the image). I actually removed a color in my edit that could have been rendered with an existing color (i.e. the wires' gray color), so my color count is now 11 after removing that extra color in the shadows.

You went pretty heavy on the dithering and it mucked up the clarity of your image, so I tried to show you how it could look better with less dithering and more solid colors. There was some dithering I didn't even see zoomed-in, which means it really was unnecessary. I do appreciate the subtle color transitions you were aiming for with the dithering, but with color-restricted pixel art, this is not usually something you want to devote specific colors to, but instead you want to make sure all the colors you have evolve naturally into one another, creating a dynamic, but organic, palette -- and you've accomplished this pretty well, so congrats. :)

Not sure if you were aiming for a great composition for this, or were just practicing forms, but wires were definitely useful in that. I got the feeling of a Resident-Evil sort of house-laboratory feel from the colors and dithering, so I edited accordingly:



The biggest trouble I had with your image was the subtle transitions that were very close to the same color except normally in hue. Many of the colors in the dino's housing were replaced easily by other colors in your palette, which could have freed you up to use them for other stuff. I had a whole extra color leftover out of your 12 color restriction by getting rid of the gray on the wires, as mentioned before, which allowed me to use the background gray as a middle shade for the wires, since the intention was to blend them in fairly well. I stole a little focus from the main subject matter using the lighter wires, but I added more interest to the composition as a whole in doing so. It also gave me an excuse to use them to frame the empty space in the rest of the composition.

Not sure why there's a shadow being cast into the darkest color in the image, but I removed it to show a little more of the 'dark' mood you appeared to be going for with your color scheme. I left some dithering in there on the oxygen tank in case you could come up with a more purposeful use for it, since it kept the framing looking nice, but it really should be modified a bit or removed.

As you can see though, there was no need to add in more colors to use the existing elements in the scene to make it work compositionally. You can do a lot with the rendering to solve issues such as 'needing' a mid-tone on the wires. The end result was only 11 colors (I started with 15 before I removed the white, then ended up with 13, cleared a grey color and found that hidden dark grey dither in the shadows, leaving us with only 11.).

Though, as a side note, most color-restricted palettes will generally restrict to about 15-16 colors (SNES style) -- if you're going for any sort of variety in painterly detail, as you appeared to be going for, so take it as a point of pride you got this composition looking fairly workable in the 12-13 color range you did. It's possible to restrict more, and still get a pretty workable result, as NES games have shown time and time again, but for a nice image to look at, this wasn't far off -- I just gave you a few techniques you might consider reinterpreting on your own next time. :)
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