AuthorTopic: Platformer Character WIP w/ Sword Swing Animation  (Read 4304 times)

Offline hobbler_toppler

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Platformer Character WIP w/ Sword Swing Animation

on: March 02, 2014, 06:58:47 pm
Hello pixelation, I've been a lurker on these forums for a very long time but have never posted any work. I recently made a decision to devote more time to pixel art, and hopefully become a great artist. I know there are many extroardinary artists who post on this forum, and it would be an honor if any of you were to help me improve my work and hopefully someday reach your level of skill.

Today I'm working on a small, sword-swinging platformer-game character. I like the shape of the character, but picking colors has always been my weak point.



The main problem giving me a headache at the moment is that I want the character to be displayed on top of very bright, sunny backgrounds. I originally imagined him as a warrior with a white cape that burned bright and glistened in the sunlight, along with his sword. However, putting white on top of an also-bright background simply makes the sprite blend in. At the moment his cape is somewhat gold-colored, but that didn't help much. The problem becomes apparent on the following .gif, which uses the background color I wish to use in my game.



Here's the first sword-swing animation. The goal was to make the wind-up as slow and deliberate as possible while still allowing the attack to come out quick enough after inputs for it to be useful to the player. Another problem I'm having is that I'm not really sure how I want to draw the sword. I like the appearance of a thin and slightly curved blade, like a stylized katana - but I feel like if his sword were nothing more than a thin white/gray 1px line, it would blend in to the background.

Thanks in advance for any help. Feel free to comment any thoughts or critiques.

Offline Coltrane

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Re: Platformer Character WIP w/ Sword Swing Animation

Reply #1 on: March 02, 2014, 11:22:22 pm
Hi. I might not be one of the "extraordinary artists who post on this forum", but here are some ideas :
- an outline ? maybe not something you were thinking about.
- More contrast between your light colors and the shadows. The cape, even if its bright, can have dark shadows on it.
- Does he has to wear a white cape at all ? (by extension : does his outfit has to be blue on a blue background?)

Here's a fast edit. Just tried to find another possible color for the cape. Don't know if it looks better though...
« Last Edit: March 03, 2014, 12:09:21 am by Coltrane »

Offline hobbler_toppler

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Re: Platformer Character WIP w/ Sword Swing Animation

Reply #2 on: March 03, 2014, 10:31:55 pm
Thanks for your reply. I hope I didn't imply that only the best artists could comment on my piece. I appreciate any help whatsoever!

Originally I was trying to stay away from using outlines, but in this case I may just have to make a small sacrifice. This way I can keep the cape bright while still allowing the sprite to remain visible against the background.



Also: his outfit does not neccesarily need to be blue. I'm still undecided about that part. Any ideas?

Offline Ryumaru

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Re: Platformer Character WIP w/ Sword Swing Animation

Reply #3 on: March 03, 2014, 11:19:42 pm


Perhaps a red? The blue looks nice of course because it complements the golden/ white cloak. But against a background that is also blue it could be a bit too much.

Offline Grimsane

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Re: Platformer Character WIP w/ Sword Swing Animation

Reply #4 on: March 04, 2014, 08:50:00 am
I know you said you liked the shape of the character but couldn't help but illustrate what I saw at glance until i zoomed in,


also colour wise i think it reads fine, these edits are more suggestions of alternatives rather than any criticism, but it all depends on the colour and value context of environment though,
also a suggestion, when you struggle to decide using multiple schemes there is always an option of palette swaps in the game, they are easily implemented, and can be used for customization or narrative device (changing outfit or whatever) :P

keep it coming, looks intriguing  :crazy:

Offline hobbler_toppler

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Re: Platformer Character WIP w/ Sword Swing Animation

Reply #5 on: March 04, 2014, 04:54:41 pm
Wow, those edits look very nice. Moving the belt up and adding more form to the cloak made a big difference. Later today I will try to incorporate you guys' edits and maybe add a background so there is context to this "bright background" thing I keep going on about.

Something that intrigues me a lot about your edit are those dark pixels on the right side of the image, contouring part of the edge of the cloak. That is something I would never have thought to do myself, yet somehow it makes the image look very good. What's the logic behind that kind of outlining?

EDIT: going to be a bit late. Grimsane's edit has given me a lot to think about.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2014, 06:42:43 pm by hobbler_toppler »

Offline Grimsane

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Re: Platformer Character WIP w/ Sword Swing Animation

Reply #6 on: March 05, 2014, 06:07:54 pm
glad it struck a chord ;D

the logic behind it is something that is done a lot in painting, it's probably got a technical term, it's just accentuating certain edges while ignoring others, implying and "bluffing" edge definition and making it read better against the backdrop or neighbouring details, in pixel art i guess it's equatable to "sel-out/selective outlining" but it's very purposeful in it's application, I'd link examples if i could find them.  I read about it in magazines not long ago too long ago about breaking lines and implying the detail like this



it has many different contexts of course (the example not entirely applicable directly to this piece), but illustrators use it a lot, in both line work and also paintings  :)

it was definitely conscious on the underneath edge of the hanging cloak, on the upper right side it was more keeping the emphasis from yours (which i later realized where spindly thin arms  ::) ) and wasn't really that conscious, but overall i was trying to emphasis the form and a curved posture,

he reads (especially on glance and as i tried to depict him) as a strong wandering nomad-esque character, I really like that, looking forward to your revision :D

Offline Daimoth

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Re: Platformer Character WIP w/ Sword Swing Animation

Reply #7 on: March 19, 2014, 02:53:32 am
I enjoy how well your sprite reads despite its relative simplicity. Impressive.

Offline hobbler_toppler

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Re: Platformer Character WIP w/ Sword Swing Animation

Reply #8 on: April 13, 2014, 08:03:16 pm
Sorry to necro a thread like this, but I felt it was rude of me to suddenly dissapear after all the excellent advice I was given. My life went out of a sync for about a month because some kids ran a red light into my car, destroying it totally. I had to take some time away to deal with insurance and finding a new car. Everything is fine now though.



Here's a new edit. This edit took a while and was mostly used as an attempt to learn as much as possible from Grimsane's interpretation of the sprite. I am satisfied with how it looks, but the truth is that this sprite has so much detail in comparison to the old sprite that I am wary of attempting to animate it.

This project may go on the backburner for a bit. I want to build up my portfolio with more simple games, and my vision for this game was too grand. I'm glad I posted it here though, as I feel like I improved a lot.