AuthorTopic: Could i trick you saying this is pixel art?  (Read 8190 times)

Offline madmenyo

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 37
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Could i trick you saying this is pixel art?

Reply #10 on: May 10, 2014, 06:01:54 pm
I understand where you are getting at. However, given infinite time everything is possible. In the end i am going for a smooth and complicated animation. I am making "stills" too later, the looks i want as close to pixel art as possible. I removed the shadow and fiddled with the shader for some artificial shading, i hope this helps too. Rendering a single frame takes a bit over 30 seconds which is an age for an image this small  :o.

Anyway, a smooth and one cut down by 5:




The light highlight is coming from the shader, like in the previous version it just "pops in and out", i am trying to get some sort of smoother transition but i have no clue how. It is popping of from a falloff map linked to viewing direction, so afaik it should be transitioning more smoothly.

Offline rikfuzz

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 427
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile
    • twitter @hot_pengu

Re: Could i trick you saying this is pixel art?

Reply #11 on: May 10, 2014, 06:05:04 pm
I edited your first one, so a lot of detail missing.  But rather than cutting down the frames by equal intervals, I picked ones I'd use if I were doing the animation myself by hand and changed the timing to match:


Also dropped the colours down to a hand-picked palette. 
« Last Edit: May 10, 2014, 06:08:13 pm by rikfuzz »

Offline RAV

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 293
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Blackbox Voxel Tool

Re: Could i trick you saying this is pixel art?

Reply #12 on: May 10, 2014, 06:17:39 pm
Just to clear up why I commented the way I did: this subject is considered a bit "touchy" and by clearing up the frame of discussion preemptively the way I did I hoped to have it avoid the usual "trappings" long-term. Other than that it's not important. Having said that, coming back more on topic: I think this almost ties into our discussion about the Uncanny; some properties of it you might call stylistically pixelart-ish, yet it appears right away to be very calculated and artificial in more than just movement: It is inhumanly uniform in its simple rules of presentation overall. You sense immediately that whoever did this -- the software renderer -- has no own idiosyncratic aesthetic will inscribed in every other detail, that's different than a basic right or wrong, it's about making decisions that are right in different ways. It is hard to explain but easily observable. Though mind you, there also is proper pixel art that is decidedly made so as to look 3d-ish like that.

Offline madmenyo

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 37
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Could i trick you saying this is pixel art?

Reply #13 on: May 10, 2014, 06:37:44 pm
@RAV: All is fine. I do not mind if this gets moved or closed because it does not exactly belong in this section, i already predicted that before i posted. I'll see where this gets me. I think i start to understand what you mean with calculated and artificial movement, well i think Rikfuzz nailed it there with a edit. The idiosyncratic has to come from the model, diffuse/color map and final animation which are hand made. The software renderer in this case is the tool to make it look as close as possible to pixel art.

@rikfuzz: Amazing edit, i will try to adopt this in my next posts. I might go for a tad smoother but it really looks great. I am wondering what direction this post would go if i started of with your edit  ;D. What program did you use for that animation if i may ask?

Also, shadow or no shadow?

Offline RAV

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 293
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Blackbox Voxel Tool

Re: Could i trick you saying this is pixel art?

Reply #14 on: May 10, 2014, 06:50:58 pm
Ah no, it's not about the section itself, you see, the whole discussion about "what is pixel art", I turned it a question of section for practical advice, without serious concern about section, just so as to save you from... a sort of talk you don't wanna know.. be glad it seems you don't have to. I tell you this as a fellow LowSpec'er in some sense. =p

Yes, your goal is to approximate pixel art the way you describe. However the weird detail decisions that's part of what makes the feel is in the pixel level rendering of the result too, not just assets. That in the end is the wall, the limit of your efforts, where it will stay differentiable. The more you want to break through that wall in a quest of perfect illusion, the more it becomes so much work in post-processing by hand, it puts in question the advantage of this.

But if you are aware of that, you will settle for a level of approximation that is its own recognizable style of pixel art, which appears doable manually if so desired, and efficiently producable the way you do.


« Last Edit: May 10, 2014, 07:29:40 pm by RAV »

Offline jams0988

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 346
  • Karma: +0/-1
    • View Profile

Re: Could i trick you saying this is pixel art?

Reply #15 on: May 10, 2014, 11:20:57 pm
It looks nothing like pixel art to me. Just looks like a normal cel-shader...
Are you mixing low-poly 3D models with sprite art for your game? If all of your art assets are going to be 3D models, I honestly think you'd be better off just using normal lighting; low-poly 3D has its own charm, I think, while cel shaded stuff like this just looks sterile. Rikfuzz's edit is a step in the right direction, but it still looks somewhat cheap compared to something hand-drawn, I think.

I'd go simple low-poly, or hand drawn. Unless you're trying to mix this turret in with other pixel art, in which case, you might have no choice. (Besides spending a lot longer making your art assets, hahah! X'D )

The model itself is nice, though. Have you tested it with some normal lighting and simple textures? You could even low-res texture it, if you're going for a retro look. Might look good!
Quote
Maybe if it was a less complex motion, because it is rotating and tilting at the same time, which is something that seems fairly complicated for just a person to animate.
It's a box. If we want to be animators, we should be able to animate literally the simplest shape possible, no matter what it's doing. = =;;
Mind you, I can't, but I suck. There are plenty of animators out there who would have no problem with it, though. :lol:
« Last Edit: May 10, 2014, 11:38:58 pm by jams0988 »

Offline madmenyo

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 37
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Could i trick you saying this is pixel art?

Reply #16 on: May 11, 2014, 07:18:40 am
It looks nothing like pixel art to me. Just looks like a normal cel-shader...
That is what most basic pixel art looks like isn't it? Looking at your avatar it has a outline and on certain angles (cels) it gets another tint. That is what i have going on, or at least somewhat close especially the linework needs to be sharper. I will work on this if only for experiment and study sake.

Are you mixing low-poly 3D models with sprite art for your game? If all of your art assets are going to be 3D models, I honestly think you'd be better off just using normal lighting; low-poly 3D has its own charm, I think, while cel shaded stuff like this just looks sterile. Rikfuzz's edit is a step in the right direction, but it still looks somewhat cheap compared to something hand-drawn, I think.
I am making this for a 2D isometric game, i do not feel comfortable enough with programming for full blown 3D game with shaders, frustum, 3D camera, etc. So yes it probably get's mixed with 2D unless i decide to make the tiles the same way i did this one. If you look at Indigo attempt (http://danfessler.com/work/luckyspace/) it does not look dull at all but sadly his skill level is much higher then mine  :mean:.
I'd go simple low-poly, or hand drawn. Unless you're trying to mix this turret in with other pixel art, in which case, you might have no choice. (Besides spending a lot longer making your art assets, hahah! X'D )

The model itself is nice, though. Have you tested it with some normal lighting and simple textures? You could even low-res texture it, if you're going for a retro look. Might look good!
Thanks, i have done some more complicated 3D art work, the thing is that i am not a good hand painter (i do not take the time to practice enough). Like i said i do not feel comfortable enough with 3D graphics programming so i have to go for 2D and do the artwork myself, atleast for now since 2D art for even a simple game can cost $10.000 easily. I want to do characters like this too, this way i can quickly get them quickly in a pose in 8 directions, even wearing different armor sets will be a cakewalk once i made them. I am just looking for a nice style and indigo inspired me with his work. In the end i might fall back to basic (3D) shading but not full 3D.

Quote
Maybe if it was a less complex motion, because it is rotating and tilting at the same time, which is something that seems fairly complicated for just a person to animate.
It's a box. If we want to be animators, we should be able to animate literally the simplest shape possible, no matter what it's doing. = =;;
Mind you, I can't, but I suck. There are plenty of animators out there who would have no problem with it, though. :lol:

I might have to say that I have control over the diffuse/color map, this however is 2048 x 2048 since I am not using 3D models this does not matter for the performance of the final game. I can still add in a ton of detail but i think i want to go for a "sterile" clean look that basic pixel art has https://www.google.nl/search?q=basic+pixel+art&es_sm=93&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=xCJvU7zdL4b_PMm3gKAE&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAQ&biw=1746&bih=890. However i am still searching and experimenting for a style.

Here is the difuse sized down 2 factors.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2014, 07:29:33 am by madmenyo »

Offline cels

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 258
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Could i trick you saying this is pixel art?

Reply #17 on: May 11, 2014, 08:23:31 am
It looks nothing like pixel art to me. Just looks like a normal cel-shader...
Like madmenyo, I'm very curious to know why you say that. What specifically makes this look "nothing" like pixel art? I'm not being sarcastic, I'm sincerely hoping for an explanation, as extensive as you have time for  :)

Offline RAV

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 293
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Blackbox Voxel Tool

Re: Could i trick you saying this is pixel art?

Reply #18 on: May 11, 2014, 08:47:09 am
The magic of what makes pixel art special really happens in the manual raster-rendering. I too think you should take pride in the intrinsic qualities of your work rather than dilute it ever more to simulate a strength that in the end looks like a weakness in the hand of a tool. For this reason, I recommend you go for super smooth animation, much better attainable your way, for the price of sterile rendering. There is nothing appealing about having choppy animation plus sterile rendering. Pixel art has the advantage of artistic rendering, but difficulty of complex animation in high-res. So your way should not aim to create what amounts to a "worse pixel art", but an alternative with pros and cons like the rest. What they have in common thematically is restriction of colour, and maybe certain stylistic features like a sort of outline optionally.



« Last Edit: May 11, 2014, 08:59:17 am by RAV »

Offline Cyangmou

  • 0011
  • **
  • Posts: 929
  • Karma: +3/-0
    • cyangmou
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/32234.htm
    • cyangmou
    • View Profile
    • Pixwerk Homepage

Re: Could i trick you saying this is pixel art?

Reply #19 on: May 11, 2014, 11:46:35 am
It looks nothing like pixel art to me. Just looks like a normal cel-shader...
Like madmenyo, I'm very curious to know why you say that. What specifically makes this look "nothing" like pixel art? I'm not being sarcastic, I'm sincerely hoping for an explanation, as extensive as you have time for  :)

Just my opinion on the subject why it probably doesn't look like pixel-art.
since pixel art usually is drawn from a white canvas the choices the artist would make in order to effectively render this thing would be kinda different and he won't really end up with the decisions made there

1) it's to soft (you would decide on AA every line, quite an unusual choice)
2) it's really high res and has barely any detail (quite an unusual choice, usually you go smaller and put in some more details to make it more interesting to look at)
3) it emphasizes an mathematical approach of art and is there really on the high-skill end (perspective, shadow construction smoothness) - while other areas like colors, depth emphasizing through careful plane selection, structure, detail are not evident - means the skills showed don't align up properly.
4)animation is to smooth (the animator rather would carefully choose well timed keys and differently placed inbetweens to get the impression of speed and weight across)

I don't think  the smoothness of the animation is the biggest problem, it's just adding up.
Rikfuzz basically nailed it in terms of decision making, he reduced the colors and chose frames an animator who would have to draw all frames by hand would rather choose to draw. So the decisions made there are by far closer to the natural decisons a pixel artist would make.
Although it's still easy to spot that it's "edited prerender" mainly because of artifacts and it still feels to exact in some spots and to sloppy in other ones.

If you ask me it's kinda the same problem, why posterized images don't look like pixel art. If that makes more sense. Lots of reasons which all add up, but individually you can point out all of them. The sum of them causes a completely different impression.
"Because the beauty of the human body is that it hasn't a single muscle which doesn't serve its purpose; that there's not a line wasted; that every detail of it fits one idea, the idea of a man and the life of a man."

Dev-Art
Twitter