AuthorTopic: pixel mech: 8 frame walk  (Read 4958 times)

Offline rosagi

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pixel mech: 8 frame walk

on: May 04, 2014, 05:37:29 pm
Hi all, new member here and old deluxe paint hat (16 odd years gap), after a number of stabs at traditional and 3d art, I still  never got around to UV texturing one thing successfully (even after completing a related degree). Now Increasingly inspired by the still flickering light of the pixel art community round these parts, keepin it real basically. Desire to improve and enjoy every stage leaving mind numbing rendering, 3d art conventions and stereotypical game designs behind with software that doesnt require a driver bugged tablet or high powered 3d card. can anyone relate? Btw Another world pretty much summarises everything I love about games from the 80s 90s

So here I basically nudged a primitive pixel sketch into the walking concept here. So far main challenges have been adapting the design to a number of conventional leg types, and trying convey a sense of bulk without resorting to unecessarily detailed secondary motion. Would be great to get some feedback on the design and animation of the walk, much thanks in advance.

- flat shading/no dithering

-dithered shadows over outlines, contact (extreme) pose widened.

PS: some asymetry in the 'UP' frame as the foot comes forward, although it hardly registers in playback I'm still deciding which better mediates the passing and contact frames, though accelerating into that part of the motion seems to fit with a heavy  design. I tend to think its more an aesthetic issue with the overall silhouette rather than appropriateness of motion.

Goals

Concept: a 'walking tank' sort of design, with options for interchangeable sidearm( gattling default) somewhat more realistic than say, metal slug but with definite 'toon' aspect. The player is intended to climb into the mech via the head much like a tank and the intention is to have a jetpack- though some further hacking up/retro fitting to the design may be required. At this stage to have a walking and turning 'mach I' that we can use to test various level design elements and scope in the vein of a side scrolling multiplayer deathmatch platformer.

Animation: regular walk (12 frames /sec)- 8 frames, based on the traditional extreme, down, passing, up, extreme approach
Colours: 16 was the original goal, atm I'm learning how to remap palettes in pro motion, but mainly sticking with limiting the tonal range and cutting AA.

tonal breakdown: darks, mids, highlights:- 3-5 tones max, selective dithering/ shadows, no AA
« Last Edit: May 05, 2014, 01:17:09 pm by rosagi »

Offline Pyrovisionary

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Re: pixel mech concept: 8 frame walk cycle

Reply #1 on: May 04, 2014, 06:19:52 pm
Could hardly see the animation because of the dark sprite on a dark background, so a lighter background of even transparent one would be nice.

The body of the walker looks loosely like a tank turret and I feel myself wanting for a body on that thing. The legs I don't like, the joint doesn't seem to move, and they are far too simple in comparison to the rest of the tank (Which is very well done, if a bit lacking in shading.) So I'd like to see longer and more detailed legs with joints instead of stilt like legs. I know that it's easier but I think having the legs attached to the outside of the body instead of underneath (behind the chassis) would add to the immersion. Lastly, whilst the dithering adds some depth to the other leg, using a darker colour altogether would have looked better I think and  draw the eye less.

The animation itself is very smooth and I like it  :y:

Offline rosagi

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Re: pixel mech concept: 8 frame walk cycle

Reply #2 on: May 05, 2014, 10:33:18 am
Hi Pyro and thanks for your helpful comments, I've made a few tweaks to the palette so as to bring up the contrast and perhaps replace the dithering on the back leg with a flat shade (eg a few of the frames), however I'm undecided on whether it actually works better at this stage- though I agree it will draw the eye unecessarily if the dithering isnt present throughout the design. Your comments regarding the lack of detail in the legs are entirely valid, I originally intended to bring up both mass and detail on the feet/legs to balance the rest of the design once I got the more or less fixed joint lengths moving convincingly. I originally tried a similar build with more humanoid legs and a 6 frame walk, but not only did the proportions make it seem too light, but it quickly lost the somewhat cutesy tank aspect. Still looking at doing another similar but lighter humanoid model similar to this.



I can see how having the legs attached externally might better sell the idea of the working joints, however I feel it might add too much detail here, short of having to redesign the rest to work with it. Still working with the back facing 'stilt type' here, I've tried to add selective a few details in the foreground and break the leg segments a little during rotation, while further subordinating the back leg. Its still a little hashed in places, but let me know what you think.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2014, 10:37:47 am by rosagi »

Offline Manupix

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Re: pixel mech: 8 frame walk

Reply #3 on: May 05, 2014, 02:40:08 pm
This is still extremely dark. I'd bet you have monitor calibration issues; you should check that first thing.

The anim doesn't read as a heavy, powerful, menacing, death-dealing machine. It's too fast and nimble, has no recoil.
In animation, you need to exaggerate and overshoot.
Heavy feet require lots of energy to be lifted, and drop back with a bang that shudders the whole machine. That shudder gets delayed along the way as it progresses to the most distant parts such as the cannon tip.

Examples (I know there are heavy mecha anims on PJ but couldn't find exactly what I was thinking about): 1, 2, 3.

Edit: just happened across this. Video version.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2014, 04:36:43 pm by Manupix »

Offline PixelPiledriver

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Re: pixel mech: 8 frame walk

Reply #4 on: May 05, 2014, 05:52:48 pm
As stated it's really hard to see the character.
Use a color index mode and mess with the colors some.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2014, 06:57:01 pm by PixelPiledriver »
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Offline rosagi

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Re: pixel mech: 8 frame walk

Reply #5 on: May 06, 2014, 10:08:19 am
Thanks guys, PixelPileDriver, am working with an old laptop and bad viewing angle, probably could do with a calibration too.. hopefully thats a bit clearer now.



Manupix: I am familiar with the 12 principles - thanks for the cool reference. Good point regarding the feet, I guess I tried to undershoot here in attempt to cut down on frames (8@12fps) trying to keep a sense of mobility, though admittedly it lacks any ease in -ease out in the body movement and apart from the head bob, any further secondary effects that could help sell the weight. I'm familiar with the idea (consistent with your examples) that 12 frames is the standard walk for heavy mechs, hulks, robots and the like. Was hoping to economical rather than stingy, unfortunately I cant just bump it up to 12 by interpolating the existing frames  :lol:.

Firstly, design workable enough in it's current state to be re- animated?

and if so would you recommend trying to rework the 8 frames.. or shoot for the 12 frame standard regardless of other design considerations?
« Last Edit: May 06, 2014, 10:16:59 am by rosagi »

Offline astraldata

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Re: pixel mech: 8 frame walk

Reply #6 on: May 07, 2014, 01:44:08 am
This can work at 8 frames without a hitch if you do it correctly. Don't give up though just because something doesn't seem to be working. Trying a few random placements of moving parts will sometimes give you all you need to know about what's wrong with your animation sometimes.

Anyway, I don't have any crits that havent been mentioned other than just one, and that's the head(?)-bobbing seeming to be very light and not very well bolted onto the body (it's a sort of a follow-through action atm, more akin to drapery or hair than an actual part of the machine.)

You can fix this by making the "head" move down just after the stomp of the foot, instead of lagging behind and then moving it down, as it is currently. It will appear more tethered to the machine, and also convey a sense of weight this way (which seems to be what you were going for).
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Offline rikfuzz

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Re: pixel mech: 8 frame walk

Reply #7 on: May 07, 2014, 08:49:29 am
8 frames is fine... Is 12 a standard for a walk?  There are 8 keyframes in a walk right, so I've always done 8 or 16...  (Has my whole life been a lie?)

Anyway, I don't think frame count is that important, if the timing is weird you can distribute the positions differently too. 

More important is having good looking poses to transition between, at the moment it all looks like one pose being shuffled around. 

Best ref of this I could find, sorry:


Particularly check-out how Ed209's feet change as they're lifted off the ground.  Think the head bobbing is not necessarily a bad thing and you should have more follow-through as with 209's arms/guns if you can.  It looks a little bit weird atm cos the chassis is totally horizontally still, but if you can have any parts that can rotate with a bit of delayed action away from the pivot it'll look more natural. 

Offline Carnivac

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Re: pixel mech: 8 frame walk

Reply #8 on: May 07, 2014, 08:55:29 am
Just signed in to say Rikfuzz I love you and that ED-209 animation is exactly the sort of thing I've been looking for now that I'm at the stage of my RoboCop game that I'm planning to animate my ED-209's walk cycle.   Thanks so damn much.  :D
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Offline rikfuzz

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Re: pixel mech: 8 frame walk

Reply #9 on: May 07, 2014, 01:13:15 pm
@Carnivac  Ha! That's funny cos I first searched your tumblr to see if you'd tackled this yet (didn't feel the arcade sprite was very useful).

Offline Carnivac

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Re: pixel mech: 8 frame walk

Reply #10 on: May 07, 2014, 01:24:35 pm
The arcade sprite isn't very accurate really.  I've been using screencaps from the movie and my large NECA figure for reference but this is real useful too.   And no I haven't yet done the walk though I have designed the main sprite and am quite happy with it.  I've been plotting out the walk cycle but it's going to take quite a lot of time to get it right and I'm a bit stressed with my driving test coming up soon and I am so not ready.

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Offline rosagi

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Re: pixel mech: 8 frame walk

Reply #11 on: May 09, 2014, 10:32:38 am
thanks very much Astraldata and Rikfuzz for the thoughtful and considerate feedback, I will keep these points in mind when I get to try re-do the animation later this weekend.. have another working starting to spawn some top down shooter ideas. Hopefully will have a fresh take on things then