AuthorTopic: GR#175 Xedrai's Sprites - Gameart  (Read 18167 times)

Offline Vakinox

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Re: Xedrai's sprites

Reply #10 on: February 14, 2014, 12:33:52 am
I don't mean to jump in to be the bearer of bad news or anything, but unless you are a community favorite or presenting a piece that is acceptable to their tastes, it is very hard to get proper feedback from my experience. Portrait pieces tend to be a big thing and platformers too, and RPG 3/4th perspective pieces (Beetleking) if your art seems serious enough. Newbies tend to frequent the place often so it's understandable that most community members try to ignore them and let most pleas or requests for constructive criticism sink to the bottom of the forums. What I've noticed is members here take their art very seriously, as if the medium were for new-age picassos or da Vincis, and unless you're deemed a potential asset to their community or already have a quality enough post that feels adequate enough to win over a response, it will be very hard to get constructive input or even a simple reply. You're exceptionally lucky to have gotten this many so far.

So understand, because even though you may feel like you're putting enough effort and progress into your project that may make you feel like you deserve a response, the community is more likely to sigh and click the next post in a search to find what makes their insides giddy. And even though pixelart itself is an outdated medium that is retro at best, there's still a shunning or taboo around certain styles or perspectives of pixelart.

I'm not a professional, but I believe your "normal" icon art is fine and nearly perfect for the common eye. The cave troll however needs a bit of work, regarding both it's feet, legs, and shading. I wish I were more experienced to give you the proper response that would be required, but one of the things that catches my eye most is the mixture between flat shading around the shoulder area and the dithering in the rest. The black outline needs to be removed, and try to focus on chest muscles rather than ribs. Not everything needs to be buffed. Had I have the proper experienced to do so, I'd take my time and try my best to work and reedit the sprite towards your next step which would be a proper model with head and arms.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2014, 01:11:09 am by Vakinox »

Offline Ryumaru

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Re: Xedrai's sprites

Reply #11 on: February 14, 2014, 02:53:59 am
I don't mean to jump in to be the bearer of bad news or anything, but unless you are a community favorite or presenting a piece that is acceptable to their tastes, it is very hard to get proper feedback from my experience. Portrait pieces tend to be a big thing and platformers too, and RPG 3/4th perspective pieces (Beetleking) if your art seems serious enough. Newbies tend to frequent the place often so it's understandable that most community members try to ignore them and let most pleas or requests for constructive criticism sink to the bottom of the forums. What I've noticed is members here take their art very seriously, as if the medium were for new-age picassos or da Vincis, and unless you're deemed a potential asset to their community or already have a quality enough post that feels adequate enough to win over a response, it will be very hard to get constructive input or even a simple reply. You're exceptionally lucky to have gotten this many so far.

So understand, because even though you may feel like you're putting enough effort and progress into your project that may make you feel like you deserve a response, the community is more likely to sigh and click the next post in a search to find what makes their insides giddy. And even though pixelart itself is an outdated medium that is retro at best, there's still a shunning or taboo around certain styles or perspectives of pixelart.


Vakinox, it would be in your best interest not to generalize this entire community, and bad mouth the people that make it possible in the first place. We value all members that are serious about what they do and are looking to improve their skill. Many members here, myself included have felt the sinking feeling of putting in an hour or two of time into editing a newcomer's work and constructing a well thought out critique only to have the thread dwindle and the user lose interest in the piece and even pixel art in general. The work in this thread also in my opinion suffers from an area of not being bad enough to critique easily, and not being completely outstanding, where the entire thread is people grasping at enough words to create more than one liners saying " awesome!"

Personally I find Cyangmou's comments on this view not very useful; we may say to new users to start smaller or focus less on stylizations, but we are not here to say " do something completely different".

This is not a warning, but I invite you to drop the overly sarcastic feelings about this community and become an active member that helps pixelation grow. We are always in need of new people that don't just peek their head in for a month or two.

Xedrai: Your weapon icons seem generally well made. I think your art is suffering from too many shades for small sprites, and a more general, almost pillow shaded form as opposed to trying to replicate textures such as highly reflective metal. Finding references of the items you are wanting to represent, and perhaps even scaling them down to a similar size might give some insight into how to better represent these forms on such a small canvas.

Offline Vakinox

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Re: Xedrai's sprites

Reply #12 on: February 14, 2014, 03:59:33 am
Not to press the issue, but a generalization would be using specific instances limited to only my experiences and using them to judge the community overall. This constructive criticism is coming from the two years I've been on this site and watching other threads, alike my own, banished without care or welcome to the bowels of the forums.

There's only been one genuine offer and exceptional tutor from here in my time here, but they didn't stick around long and hastily abandoned any and all progress with me despite it being the same simple request I've had since the last two years which is help on one GB style 8-bit sprite which I am patiently still working on with very sparse input from any pixelart communities because of their seemingly narcissistic in-crowd circlejerk. Most will drop in one critique and leave it at that. And because people find it's unnecessary to lend me or anyone in my situation a hand, we're the ones that has to suffer for it and has the hard time learning or correcting ourselves in the end. Thus spend years wading through trial and error to no avail. 

Not to mention I have those real life issues (jobs, bills, etc) too, or a.k.a that lack of time to do this stuff but I still make time to do it and come on here and comment anyways. Yet somehow, this excuses other people's rudeness instead of my own when I pointing out theirs. As for other new users of the community, the description in my other comment still stands which is even further confirmed by the comment you made. It's not sarcasm, maybe a bit sharp but it's from just the simple truth these things exist and happen which is even acknowledged and reflected by your own statements.

Personally I would've loved to be a part of the community, to grow, expand my portfolio, and learn as much as I could. However, it's you guys who rejected people like me and the rest of the people that simply gave up. You don't need new comers, you only value people who are already professionals to come and further bring traffic and reputation to the site and to help yourselves feel validated by other artists you believe are on the same or a higher level than your own. Apologies for my experience and evaluations, but it's been long needed to be stated and taken under advising.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2014, 04:28:57 am by Vakinox »

Offline Johasu

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Re: Xedrai's sprites

Reply #13 on: February 14, 2014, 05:15:15 am
@Vakinox ~It's been my experience, despite being quite terrible and presenting work that was likewise terrible, that if you continue to work at it and post edits showing your efforts, someone will eventually chime in with advice.  You don't have to have a straight up edit from a master to take advice and improve and even people with very little skill are willing to point out the things that seem off to them.
It's unfortunate that you feel the way you do Vakinox.  I feel as if I have grown immense amounts in the short time I have been participating in this forum.

It's a skill that requires time and practice.  Like any skill the best way to learn is to just do.  Look at how others did things and try to pick it apart.  Keep trying new things until it begins to work.  The members of this forum aren't obligated to respond to any threads, that I know of.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________
On topic:  It feels odd to me that your weapon, armor, and other elements are all at odds with one another on perspective.  The anvil stands up with the well and the troll.  The helmet is sitting up at a different angle or is it laying down on it's back?  Now the armor is straight forward.
Maybe these are typical of the perspective/style you are going for. (I don't know)

Are you constructing the sprites within the dark border line around the outside?  The black border will eat up some of the value on the colors you are using which is partly why you are struggling to create curves and angles (and needing so many colors).
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Offline Xedrai

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Re: Xedrai's sprites

Reply #14 on: February 14, 2014, 06:09:59 am
@Vakinox:
At the moment I'm visiting 3 forums where 2 of them are dedicated to the style I'm making sprites in and in this forum is where the most constructive crituiqe I've got so far. So I'm getting used to no response at all but I'll keep trying, I want to get better :)

The cavetroll isn't really done yet, just started with the legs to see if I could do it. I have a reference from Tibia which is in the  correct perspective of the game that I'll add arms and head with!

@Ryumaru:
I found a link in another thread here which made color gradients which I used for the armor and sword to try to limit myself a bit, think I used 16 colors. I've never been good with metals IMO so I'll certainly look into reference images for those.

@Johasu:
Why the equipment is flat and the environment not is because the style that Tibia use. That's also why there's a black outline on some things and not on other. Now when I've looked closer at their sprites I've noticed that it's not a black outline everywhere so I'll try to experiment with no black outline on some of my next sprites. And yes I'm making the border first and then filling it in.

I've made an edit of both the sword and armor where the sword is less greenish yellow and more orange and some better shading on the armor but can't post them until tomorrow.
I'll also try to explain the perspective and light sources so everyone will better understand the sprites.

Thanks for the feedback everyone, I'll try to make something new as soon as I can and I'll post it here when I do! :)

Offline PixelPiledriver

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Re: Xedrai's sprites

Reply #15 on: February 14, 2014, 06:34:20 am
Vakinox I'd like to talk with you about this.
Perhaps this can be discussed more on the General board?
If so please start a thread in the General discussion stating your problems with the community -----> copy paste what you have here is fine.
Then I and others can post and we can try to sort it out.

And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline Xedrai

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Re: Xedrai's sprites

Reply #16 on: February 15, 2014, 02:55:36 pm
I had a go at a stone. Not really sure if the textures are right or not.



Here's the armor with a little bit more shading on the right side:



And the sword with changed colors, will try to fix the metaltexture on it too:

Offline Xedrai

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Re: Xedrai's sprites

Reply #17 on: February 16, 2014, 12:48:37 pm
A couple of stone tiles I made. I think I got the texture to look quite good if I say so myself! :)



Ingame picture:
(NOTE: The only sprites I've made in this picture are the stone tiles for the streets. I'm replacing more sprites as I go along.)

Offline BatElite

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Re: Xedrai's sprites

Reply #18 on: February 16, 2014, 08:53:28 pm


You use a lot of colours where a few would also do well. On the left the colourcount on the sword was reduced to 8 including background, and it looks the same as the original. The right has 6 including background.

I only replaced colours though, except on the guard where it looked segmented otherwise. You woudl probably have to redraw some things. Also, the contrast on the blade is very weak.
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Offline Cyangmou

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Re: Xedrai's sprites

Reply #19 on: February 16, 2014, 10:50:40 pm
Seems you got a lot of thougths on your icons, but none for your environment stuff.

For my edit I chose your anvil, but the principles should also help your other environment pieces, since a lot of the stuff I am pointing out can be applied 1:1 on other graphics.
It's not really palette-restricted pixel art, rather low res digital painting, but yeah, no problem if you want to go for that (Tibia has pure pixels - saw some stuff on PJ and that kind of style - I dunno).

The underlying forms and proportions you have going on are pretty solid. The peak of your anvil seemed a bit detached (to wide at the left) and wrong in terms of perspective (the straight line looks nice there, but is construction-wise off) - I suppose this is more a matter of taste - I just adressed it since I remarked it and applied it to my edit.

What's actually really bad are the internal lines

I talked about internal lines here: http://wayofthepixel.net/index.php?topic=16261.msg148111#msg148111
(example number 2)


You should avoid them if possible, since they really easily destroy the form impression of a drawing and rather go with contrasts -
It's ok to use them if you have stones with gaps when the line illustrates a shadow (like at your street tile those shadows are missing).
You just shouldn't illustrate boarders with dark lines. Someone mentioned that looking at an edge of your room helps you to understand that principle.

The next thing which isn't solved optimally is that the top and side plane are in terms of value pretty similar (shows up once you remove the internal line). The light seems to come from the side (brighter than the frontplane) and the positions of the highlights confuse the lightsource further (front one at the peak seems fitting, rear one at the knob seems to come from the left side) - that's bad.

All in all the anvil seems to be to bright for the material - it rather looks like platinum, than iron or steel. The ones I know are significantly darker and look somewhat like this



If you study it you will see that there isn't a lot of saturation, the highlights aren't that bright and that it can get really dark.

I applied this observations and some small little details (like the form of the base and the hole at the top plane) in my edit and also changed the direction of the light from the side to the front - why that?

If you are going to add an additional cast shadow which will anchor the graphic in the surrounding environment I suppose that this angle for the light direction is one of the best options you have (I just went ahead that the top plane is brighter than the side planes - sunlight, ceiling lamp?).
Can't say for sure if it's the best direction for cast shadows which will be casted from-the-object on-the-object as well.

Read carefull ythrough all points and compare my version with yours



Do you see the big differences:
That your anvil seems to be floating?
That your anvil has a weaker form?
That your anvil seems to be to bright?
« Last Edit: February 16, 2014, 10:52:18 pm by Cyangmou »
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