AuthorTopic: Eve - c64 hi-res slicepixel work.  (Read 4293 times)

Offline Helm

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Eve - c64 hi-res slicepixel work.

on: July 25, 2006, 02:56:12 pm


c64, 320x240, not widepixel, 2 colors out of the c64 16 color palette, for every 8x8 character element. Using my own slice tech on what is the aesthetic foundation of Chunk Funk pics, as made originally by ptoing. This time this goes to show the slices can be used also for good, not only for evil.

This is a finished work, and one that I would only very hesitantly edit. Critique is welcome, but will probably apply to newer work than this. This was made very fast and following a mood that was fleeting, so although I know I can 'fix' things here and there, I am reluctant to go over it with an eye for technical merit, as this is not empty art for me where I can do this easily.



solar prepared palette variation by Ptoing. Also, extra thanks for the inspiration and help to him.

Offline Tremulant

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Re: Eve - c64 hi-res slicepixel work.

Reply #1 on: July 25, 2006, 03:51:26 pm
I like it. The slice tech is a nice effect, and it's used well here, especially in the definition of the contours of the face. That said, the sketchiness of the features against the pure geometry of the background/facial contours is throwing me a bit... if that makes sense.

I do quite like it as is, though, honestly. There are certain things that really please my eyes for whatever reason. The way you've used the slice to shade/highlight, for example, is really great.

Offline Evil-Ville

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Re: Eve - c64 hi-res slicepixel work.

Reply #2 on: July 25, 2006, 04:32:06 pm
Looks great, I like the 'solar' version more though. It's less busy and confusing to look at.

Offline MrNormS

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Re: Eve - c64 hi-res slicepixel work.

Reply #3 on: July 25, 2006, 05:10:25 pm
Quote
It's less busy and confusing to look at.
I agree.  However, I really dig both of them.  Very cool.

Offline JWW

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Re: Eve - c64 hi-res slicepixel work.

Reply #4 on: July 25, 2006, 05:43:11 pm
i like the first version better, i think it's more interesting to look at.  Both versions are very cool though.

Offline Blick

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Re: Eve - c64 hi-res slicepixel work.

Reply #5 on: July 26, 2006, 02:17:21 am
I really like how this is made. It's like what I used to do with transparency sheets for overheads, I'd draw lines, overlay a new piece, color in the lines, and I'd do that a few times coloring it differently each time and I'd lay all the colored version together and remove the lines. This reminds me of that, though with lines.

Offline Helm

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Re: Eve - c64 hi-res slicepixel work.

Reply #6 on: July 26, 2006, 08:17:24 am
Thank you for your comments, everyone.


@ Trem: I hear you about the lineart versus geometry issue. Everybody seems to have that problem, but as you can see in the evil pic before it, this sort of slice style cannot be used to much detail, and EVERYTHING in this pic rests on the expression of the face. I had to arrive to a good medium mean between geometric and lineart detail, and this is where I stopped. Think of it as a center-focus camera, where stuff in the center is clear and the rest degrades into caledroscopical corruption. More explanation of the why of the design later on.

@ Evil-Ville: Thanks. Please remember that the original uses the c64 palette, which is not particularily suited for monochromatic pieces. Even just grayscaling the original gives it much more cohesion. I tried to work with the c64 colors even in ways that they're not really supposed to go (mainly the use of green is unorthodox) and this might break the concentration of hues more than the eyes are used to. I suggest you look at it for a while longer, it soon becomes pleasing, hah!

@ MrNormS, JWW: Thank you as well.

@ Blick: I can't exactly imagine the process you're presenting.


If you, the theoretical reader of this thread, are interested, this is how the slicepixel technique evolved. Skip if you do not like boring things:

Originally, ptoing approached me about doing hi-res c64 art, showing me his new Chunk Funk style. Ptoing is full of ideas. As usual, I got excited and decided to try it for myself. In trying to work around the 2 colors per 8x8 char limitation, I started to wonder about antialias. Antialiasing is impossible in practically all cases at hi-res due to the 2 colors per char thing. And when you can do a little, it's at best one-point aa, or at a char border maybe you can squeeze in ZOMG, 2 points! Counter-productive. Don't try to work your old habits into the new medium, make new habits for the new medium! I could not avoid jaggiedness similar to spectrum work, and I'd have to rely on back-background+dithers, again, similar to spectrum work, to get anywhere doing traditional pixel art style work on c64 hires, but that prospect didn't seem inspiring to me at all. So I decided to work in a method that would make anti-alias redundant, and also use attribute clash as a stylistic effect. In retrospect, the original chunkfunk pics of Ptoing have pushed the envelope in that way much more than I have so far. Look how adorably 'drawn outside the lines' they look. It's endearing. Having also recently seen the Chuck Close art, which is so similar yet so different from pixel art, I decided a method of geometric abstractification... like BIGGER PIXELS that could also be smaller pixels... was in order. From experimentation I understood the 8x8 Big Pixel cell was important, and that I had only two colors for every one naturally led me to slice the pixel. This was good because I could do smaller triangles, from 3x3 to a full slice, and it would all look as sharp as it would ever do on 1x zoom because 90 and 45 degree angles are as sharp as possible by default on the computer screen. I could have gone with 8x8, 7x7, 6x6 etc 1x1 squares but that wasn't as pleasing because of the 8x8 grid that would enforce a uniform concentration of squares, regardless of size, whereas with the triangles, I can ommit shape but still suggest it with the choice of rotation of the triangle... well, anyway it gets pretty complicated but you get the picture.

There is also an inherent special magic, I've found in that when you slice up a big pixel in the middle, either way you do it, you have to give one of the two colors the advantage (try it and see). There's no perfect 50% share between the two colors, one of the two gets one more pixel line, no matter what, and this somehow felt very invigorating because while it was dualist in essence (as is all computer art aesthetic, rooted in the binary 0 - 1 foundation), it wasn't 'easy'. I'd have to balance the two colors by giving more to each for some cells, so in effect the 'unity' of color towards a perfect 50% medium would only be achieved by clusters of big pixels, not on every single one. Even if I fail in the balancing, it's human and interesting, it's not easy. This is holistic, and therefore closer to how I understand these things. Sorry for the metaphysics, but as you might suspect, I find these things fascinating on the visceral level, not just academically, when it comes to art.

Furthermore enhancing the 'bigger picture' concern when making this, is that there is really, no micropixel technique involved. No dithers, no aa, no color conservation (as the palette is fixed) and no other stuff I've grown accustomed to by my amiga-art type of habits. This is good. Fresh perspective is good. You go closer to the source of the aesthetic the more pure the process becomes. A lot of people don't understand restrictions are freeing. I know this sounds like a bad truism. Some battles are won by not taking part in the battle, so when you realize what your restrictions are and you give in, then you're ready to do as much as you can within this context, and it turns out what can be done is a lot more that one initially thinks. Especially, I've found, in doing art where the process is aesthetically sound and thought-out (as this is) you find yourself asking more in terms of subject matter. You can't dazzle with your millions of colors/polygons so there has to be something else going for it. It all, process and theme, sort-of becomes the same. When I do freeform pixel art (amiga art let's say), it's a very saccharine medium, I don't feel the restriction. I feel I'm making video game art even when I'm not, so colorful and lively and pretty, it is fitting for sunday morning cartoons and OMG ZAWESOME robots and aliens. This isn't bad, I have a sweet spot for that stuff and I hope I pull them off with some degree of sincerity (which is more than I can say for most of those belonging to the dreaded deviantart-cool-quasi-anime-chicks-and-robots aesthetic) this is just where I find myself automatically gravitating towards when I do illustration work in unrestricted pixels. Therefore I don't give weight to the subject matter and hope my technical ability will carry me through, and sometimes it does.

But when I sat down to do this, I found myself very naturally going for something that means a bit more to me, and something which could only benefit THE process, not only benefit from the process. The subject matter (it is not as little as it seems to be initially) in this case is a bit esoteric, but it means a great deal to me and this really helped the process as well. To give a hint, consider a stream of information coming towards the central person from the left. Consider then the filter of the human mind, making disparate connections of information into networks from within of which would arise emergent man-made meanings, emotional states. I know it sounds hilariously overdone, but that's what I tried to do and I am pleased with how it comes out. Especially how it feeds the middle expression, one of joy, activity, imagination.

I have nothing more to say!

« Last Edit: July 26, 2006, 08:23:11 am by Helm »

Offline Feron

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Re: Eve - c64 hi-res slicepixel work.

Reply #7 on: July 26, 2006, 10:09:49 am
Wow.  I think its great how you are always trying to push the boundaries and try out new crazy things.

On the picture front - the top one does look pretty hot with the more interesting pallette, but the second one wins IMO.  It sorta reminds me of an explosion in kaleidoscope form. 

Offline vedsten

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Re: Eve - c64 hi-res slicepixel work.

Reply #8 on: July 26, 2006, 11:03:00 am
damn sexy! prefer the solaris vers. -the huge contrast between the white and yellow in the upper right corner on the c64 vers, somewhat ruins the composition imo. The solaris vers. features a smaller contrast between the colors thus looking a bit more eyepleasing.

Anyhow, great work