AuthorTopic: RPG Run Cycles  (Read 2899 times)

Offline jams0988

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RPG Run Cycles

on: April 14, 2014, 07:15:27 pm
So I'm working on a small RPG. Everything is going pretty well, but I'm having a huge amount of trouble with my character's North facing run cycle. I think the problem is that my forward-facing sprite isn't in correct 3/4ths perspective at all, but rather the "let's just ignore perspective and draw them head on" kind of thing a lot of RPGs did. I don't really have a problem with that, though I'm sure Master Cyangmou will (hahah)! I *do* have a problem with my North-facing run cycle. It looks terrible, no matter what I try with it. I don't even think it counts as a run cycle anymore. She just has two sticks going up and down underneath her. It feels like I have no room to show the legs correctly, but that's obviously not true; my sprite is bigger than most SNES rpgs. Hahhhhh. I dunno. Any advice on how to fix this mess? From the front she looks okay, I think, but from the back, she feels like she's laying flat on the ground. And she's definitely not running. Just....spasming?



Thanks for any advice you have, guys! I'll continue working on it in the meantime, after a quick lunch...
« Last Edit: June 27, 2016, 02:42:31 am by jams0988 »

Offline Rosier

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Re: RPG Run Cycles: Huge Perspective Problems! DX

Reply #1 on: April 15, 2014, 01:33:40 am
Just in general, the hair can probably be toned down a bit.  It's a bit garish IMO.

For the first:
Is the spear supposed to be made of jelly?
It should be still throughout the shaft and not all wavy.

For the second:
The head doesn't need that dramatic movement.  Otherwise it looks pretty good.

For the third:
It isn't stable for starters.  Try making the torso not move from side to side like that.

Offline jams0988

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Re: RPG Run Cycles: Huge Perspective Problems! DX

Reply #2 on: April 17, 2014, 06:08:03 am
Thanks for the reply, Rosier!
Quote
For the first:
Is the spear supposed to be made of jelly?
It should be still throughout the shaft and not all wavy.
Yeah, I know. The spear is just a quick hack-up to simulate the spear rocking; it looked really plain when it was static. The plan is to reanimate it to make it look like the angle of the spear is changing later though, since like you say, it looks pretty jello-y right now, hahah.
Quote
For the second:
The head doesn't need that dramatic movement.  Otherwise it looks pretty good.
Yar, I'll tone it down a bit and see how it looks. It's too much right now for sure.
Quote
For the third:
It isn't stable for starters.  Try making the torso not move from side to side like that.
Ah, I didn't even notice, somehow. I think the main problem is the perspective, though. I played with it a bit more, but it still looks wrong. I might just scrap it and start over.

Thanks for the help. I'll keep it in mind next time I work on it.

Offline jams0988

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Re: RPG Run Cycles: Huge Perspective Problems! DX

Reply #3 on: April 26, 2014, 01:46:13 pm
Well, worked on it some more, and ended up with this:

It's an improvement, I think, but something still seems off. Any ideas?
« Last Edit: June 27, 2016, 02:42:40 am by jams0988 »

Offline Johasu

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Re: RPG Run Cycles: Huge Perspective Problems! DX

Reply #4 on: April 26, 2014, 02:24:06 pm
Just some thoughts:
What I am seeing is that the arms flow fully in front of the body with each pump but the legs only appear to reach straight down to the ground.
That coupled with the heels and lower legs moving up parallel to the ground gives a sort of running in place feel.
The arms are swinging super wide too.  It looks awkward because I think if you tried to run this way you might fall down.  I think it would take someone with good balance to manage a run like this and it would be uncomfortable.

The skirt also conveys a sort of flopping back and forth of her balance because it swishes so vibrantly to the sides.  I'm not sure running would make a skirt flop back and forth this way.  It seems more logical that it would billow slightly outward as the wind kicked it up in the back.

The more I look at this the more it looks to me the way a person runs in the water.  Arms wide to keep balance against something dragging their legs down.  Legs not moving as far because they are meeting resistance.  Exaggerated steps on each side to drive body forward against that resistance.

Maybe it will help.  Animation isn't a strong point for me at this time.
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Offline jams0988

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Re: RPG Run Cycles: Huge Perspective Problems! DX

Reply #5 on: April 26, 2014, 03:29:45 pm
Thanks for the quick reply, Johasu. Great point on the skirt. I'll tone down the left and right movement on it and see how it looks. For the legs going forward, I tried finding good reference to fix that, but it seems most games have the same problem. Do you have any good examples? It's one of the main things I was worrying about. As for the arms, I'm not sure how I feel about them. Illusion of Gaia was my main reference here, and I thought their run cycle was pretty great. I'll try to spot where they did better when I get home from work. Iirc, Mario runs like this in Mario64, too, and it looked pretty good. Thanks again for the help. I'll get this sprite to work somehow, haha!
« Last Edit: April 26, 2014, 03:36:51 pm by jams0988 »

Offline astraldata

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Re: RPG Run Cycles

Reply #6 on: April 26, 2014, 05:13:30 pm
I think you're going for more of a Chrono-Trigger look in your original animation, so you might want to look at some of those animations if you haven't already. On the other hand, the Illusion of Gaia had a nice run cycle as well, so that's not a bad source of inspiration -- it looks youthful and lively.

Anyway, the biggest issues with your new animation is that the legs aren't running in perspective (as you pointed out) on the Gaia edit. And speaking of edits, you'd be much better off tucking the 'inspiration' sprite on the side and using it as a reference than editing it directly. You lose the parts that the original animator nailed when you erase them and try to reinterpret them rather than drawing each frame from scratch while simply referencing the frame you'd like to use to the side of your animation.

To be clear, I'm not trying to say "OMG U PLAGERIZAARRR!!" -- only that, to learn more efficiently, you'll want to study not the pixels themselves, but the principles behind why they were placed the way they were on the reference so that you can understand where to place yours on your reinterpretation of the image.

The appearance of over-flapping of the skirt thingy Johasu pointed out came from keeping the arms and skirt pretty much identical to the sprite you edited to get to where you are now, most likely due to the lack of confidence you probably had in editing them. While it helped to keep the arm positioning in tact, the torso looked too large for the thin form you're trying to represent (I'm assuming it's female) and the skirt thingy just seemed extreme and exaggerated thanks to that, and the odd look of the leg movement animation was exacerbated by the fact that you're fine with ignoring the rules of perspective. If this were an abstract piece, you could get away with that a little, but since you're trying to represent something very concrete (the illusion of a person running upwards across the screen), you can't just ignore perspective -- especially when you have some sort of perspective on the arms or body movement to begin with.

Once again, I will reiterate my main point of concern with your sprites: directly editing the sprite in an attempt to shape them into what you want and try to learn simultaneously -- that simply won't work to help you learn or even prepare a solid sprite because something will look off eventually. And the bad part? You won't ever be able to figure out what it is without understanding the 'reference' sprite. So my suggestion stands -- draw it out on a completely different canvas than your reference sprite and look at it as a series of shapes rather than as a series of dots that make it look cool. An additional advantage of doing it this way -- looking at it as a series of shapes will prevent any dependence on resolution the original sprite might require, thus you can do larger or smaller sprites without any real loss in animation or construction ability. ;)



I edited your running upward animation to show you how you can perhaps apply this perspective and torso size to your forward animation as well since you'll similarly have to make the sprite look like it's running downwards across the screen (rather than forwards AT the screen), which means that, if you'll want to add any sense of perspective in the front animation, you'll need to enlarge the hands as they go toward the bottom of the screen and put the legs beneath the body a little as they are intended to be from a somewhat top-down perspective. You'll also want to think about the weight of the body going up and down on each step and apply that to the hair for both views. Since you only have 4 frames to mess with, that should be MUCH easier for you to study how to animate this sort of stuff. :)

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Offline jams0988

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Re: RPG Run Cycles

Reply #7 on: April 26, 2014, 05:23:01 pm
Quote
I think you're going for more of a Chrono-Trigger look in your original animation, so you might want to look at some of those animations if you haven't already. On the other hand, the Illusion of Gaia had a nice run cycle as well, so that's not a bad source of inspiration -- it looks youthful and lively.
I know, I might be crossing styles, now. I might end up redoing all of them to bring them more in line with each other in the end.
Quote
And speaking of edits, you'd be much better off tucking the 'inspiration' sprite on the side and using it as a reference than editing it directly. You lose the parts that the original animator nailed when you erase them and try to reinterpret them rather than drawing each frame from scratch while simply referencing the frame you'd like to use to the side of your animation.
Eh? I *did* draw everything myself, though, usually without even having the Gaia sprite open at all. I'd never just draw on top of another sprite. It's definitely stealing in my book. Even when just looking at a sprite for reference, I make sure to name it to credit the original artist. People who steal art make me sick, hahah! Like you say, though, the Gaia artists knew what they were doing, while I don't. :lol:

The fact that you think I simply edited the sprite is bad news, though. I obviously consulted my reference too often if it looks that close. 80% of the time I worked on my sprite, I didn't even have the Gaia sprite open, though. I must have consulted it too much during the roughing out phase of my sprite, I guess. : \
I only checked the forms, though, and went from there. I never per-pixel edited or anything like that, so your suggestions are making me a little uncomfortable, especially since I've called out (and yelled at) plagiarists here and other places a million times before. ^ ^;;
The crappy sprite up there wasn't a cheap re-color of another person's work. It was about five hours of messing up, studying Gaia's run cycles (front, back, and sides - I couldn't read the North facing sprite's legs, actually!), erasing things, redrawing things, getting pissed and started all over again, and...yeah. That sort of normal art tedium, hahah! It sucks that after all that effort, I still only have a two-frame animation that looks like a cheap copy of somebody else's work, but I can at least promise you that it is in fact my work! X'D
With the other versions I've done, consulting the Animator's Survival Kit and various other run cycles, I'm probably pushing close to twelve hours now. I'm slow, but I'm learning. If I couldn't have made a certain sprite without consulting my reference in the end, I won't be happy with it. With that said, I'll have to try again later, hahah. Thanks again for the reply, astraldata! =)

Edit: Was there a front-facing edit, too? I like the small changes you made to the skirt on this one.

Edit edit: Actually, now that the shock of being accused of tracing (all? wut?) of my sprites has worn off, and I read your post again...

Gah! Being serious, though, thanks for the (hopefully) well-meaning reply. Your advice was good.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2014, 11:40:00 pm by jams0988 »