AuthorTopic: [WIP][C&C] General pixel-art  (Read 36193 times)

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

[WIP][C&C] General pixel-art

on: May 11, 2014, 09:52:37 pm
Hello!

Been pixeling for about a year or two, still learning alot about pixel-art and art in general so i guess you could say i am still relatively new to this.

I've been working on some character "classes" recently, and have recieved critique from places such as PixelJoint, Tigsource and somethingawful forums, but i feel that the more criticism i receive, the more i can hone and learn, in my personal experience at least.

I'm unsure of what i will do with them, my original idea was to maybe use them in a mock-up or game similar to Shining Force or Final Fantasy tactics and how they both have variations of classes, but at the moment that seems a bit beyond my capabilities.

At the very least it's good practise and experience as creating/pixeling characters isn't something im comfortable or good at.

So here they are:



The top four are "bases" on which the other characters originally come from.

All criticism and comments are more welcome.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2014, 10:09:18 pm by AshCrimson »

Offline Fizzick

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 194
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] Medieval Fantasy Characters & Classes

Reply #1 on: May 11, 2014, 10:32:21 pm

opened it up in photoshop and had at it, only used 1/2px pencil brush and text. keep in mind i am no expert on anatomy, but that's some of what helps me sometimes. i didn't point out all you did right, but it's there. if anything is unclear please ask.

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] Medieval Fantasy Characters & Classes

Reply #2 on: May 12, 2014, 08:19:24 am

opened it up in photoshop and had at it, only used 1/2px pencil brush and text. keep in mind i am no expert on anatomy, but that's some of what helps me sometimes. i didn't point out all you did right, but it's there. if anything is unclear please ask.

Thanks so much for the edit!

I was a bit wary of straight up copying what you did, so i tried to add some of my own interpretation whilst also adhering to your edit in terms of lighting and the way it faced.

For reference i included your edit and my original (my edit is in the middle):



Apologies if i got anything wrong or missed something.



Another update, tried doing the same with the other bases:



Not too confident about the others, they're probably less accurate this time around.



Had some more time today for another edit; tried adding the other arm, not sure if it looks right or even accurate. Mainly did it as it'll probably be needed eventually. Tried remaking two of the classes with the latest bases (Warrior and Priest) and kept originals beside for comparison. Also tried a few different poses:

« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 02:03:44 pm by AshCrimson »

Offline Fizzick

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 194
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] Medieval Fantasy Characters & Classes

Reply #3 on: May 14, 2014, 12:44:37 pm
I would say the overall sprite is starting to look pretty good, but the face/head looks pretty wrong bad. Look up some head refs and get the shape right

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] Medieval Fantasy Characters & Classes

Reply #4 on: May 14, 2014, 04:24:36 pm
I would say the overall sprite is starting to look pretty good, but the face/head looks pretty wrong bad. Look up some head refs and get the shape right

Is this any better? (Had some help from CELS on Pixeljoint, giving credit where credit is due)



Included my experimentation with other characters, not sure if i will keep them as they are.

For context, here's a rough timeline of how my character's have progressed (given i just joined Pixelation recently, most of it will not be present on this forum):

« Last Edit: May 14, 2014, 04:26:32 pm by AshCrimson »

Offline Fizzick

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 194
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] Medieval Fantasy Characters & Classes

Reply #5 on: May 14, 2014, 08:56:44 pm
I liked the version of the pose where the back arm is more concealed behind the torso. Otherwise, 4 colors for hair and 3 for skin is slight overkill. I would use 2 of those skin colors per 'block' of skin, and only two or three for the hair. I would still make the heads a little thinner. Your armor looks like skintight shirts printed with a chain mail pattern. You would have similar shadows, but not as defined and it certainly adds some thickness/bagginess to the appropriate areas.  Most of your equipment (even the helmet) is skintight like hat and it makes it look fake. I would refrain from making so many characters before you have a solid base for them.

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] Medieval Fantasy Characters & Classes

Reply #6 on: May 14, 2014, 09:21:56 pm
I liked the version of the pose where the back arm is more concealed behind the torso. Otherwise, 4 colors for hair and 3 for skin is slight overkill. I would use 2 of those skin colors per 'block' of skin, and only two or three for the hair. I would still make the heads a little thinner. Your armor looks like skintight shirts printed with a chain mail pattern. You would have similar shadows, but not as defined and it certainly adds some thickness/bagginess to the appropriate areas.  Most of your equipment (even the helmet) is skintight like hat and it makes it look fake. I would refrain from making so many characters before you have a solid base for them.

Thanks for the critique! I'll make an edit with your words in mind. I appreciate the help so far, your edits have really made me reconsider what i should do.

I'll update and modify this post when i've completed the edit.

Offline Pix3M

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 265
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] Medieval Fantasy Characters & Classes

Reply #7 on: May 14, 2014, 10:37:38 pm
The shields might be confusing though since the general design leans closer to being more historically accurate than heavily stylized like a lot of Japanese games. The shields have different designs on them, which could be interpreted as some characters coming from different parts of the world and part of different armies. Might be helpful to keep shield designs consistent if you're going for designs that are less stylized and more 'accurate'.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2014, 10:43:01 pm by Pix3M »

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] Medieval Fantasy Characters & Classes

Reply #8 on: May 15, 2014, 09:02:32 am
Here's my edit:



Column one has a thinner head, like Fizzick recommended, whilst column 2 does not, for comparison purposes.

I included the base with the arm slightly behind the chest, as Fizzick said it looked better and the current one in the second row for comparison. Not sure which one i prefer at the moment.

I also tried making the chainmail on one of the fighters look more baggy (row 1, row 2 is original) and reduced the definition of the shadows, as Fizzick said. I'm personally not sure how to do this, so im not sure if this is the right direction or if i have misinterpreted what i was told.

Pix3M:

I wasn't thinking of making them come from differing parts of the world or armies, but you've given me the idea that i should try that, to vary them up. Either that or keep them consistant as you said.

Offline Pix3M

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 265
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] Medieval Fantasy Characters & Classes

Reply #9 on: May 15, 2014, 11:26:07 am
I wasn't thinking of making them come from differing parts of the world or armies, but you've given me the idea that i should try that, to vary them up. Either that or keep them consistant as you said.

Oh, just to be super clear, I might want to add that it's mostly the colors and shapes inside the shield and not the shape of the actual shield. (They'd vary in function for different classes anyways). Guys with the golden cross on an azure background design suggests belonging from a different army than the crossbowman with his diagonal stripes. (research I'm doing right now tells me that the cross shape is also known as the Nordic Cross flag. Who'd knew?)

I think they can be compared to today's national flags the more I look at heraldic designs and today's flags.

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] Medieval Fantasy Characters & Classes

Reply #10 on: May 15, 2014, 06:43:30 pm
I wasn't thinking of making them come from differing parts of the world or armies, but you've given me the idea that i should try that, to vary them up. Either that or keep them consistant as you said.

Oh, just to be super clear, I might want to add that it's mostly the colors and shapes inside the shield and not the shape of the actual shield. (They'd vary in function for different classes anyways). Guys with the golden cross on an azure background design suggests belonging from a different army than the crossbowman with his diagonal stripes. (research I'm doing right now tells me that the cross shape is also known as the Nordic Cross flag. Who'd knew?)

I think they can be compared to today's national flags the more I look at heraldic designs and today's flags.

Hope this edit addresses your concerns:



Included my progress with the armour as well. I'm thinking of adding more detail to the crossbow-man (like i did with his shoulder-armour and helmet) but i am worried about how readable it would be and since readability is so crucial i may have to skimp on it.

At this moment, im not sure what to do with the bases; whether i should wait for more advice or continue?



So i've started working on said mock-up (at least the map view) and this is it so far:



I'm not too sure on the pond (the tile with multiple "ponds" and green shapes is my attempt at a marshland tile) as well as the river/water, so i will probably be revisiting those as well as the dirt-road tiles, of which i notice there are some issues with.

My main aim is to keep it as simple as possible, hence why the grass tiles are simply a flat-shade of green to help readability of the smaller unit/class sprites. Very early on into making it, readability became an issue and so a dark outline was needed to ensure it didn't blend in.

Apologies if this is the wrong place to put it, but i didn't want to start another topic when it's tangably related to this one thats already open and still active.

Edit:

Some new stuff:







« Last Edit: May 23, 2014, 07:14:38 pm by AshCrimson »

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] Medieval Fantasy Characters & Classes

Reply #11 on: June 04, 2014, 07:57:50 am
Bit of a big update:

So i decided to try animating smaller sprites instead, as i found it much easier and it kept the style consistant/

Here's some of them (some of them need to be updated like the archer one):









Tried making some non-human enemies; some zombies, Skeletons, Goblins/Lesser Orcs and Orcs. Wasn't sure what colours i should use for the zombies, either that or use different colours for more powerful zombies.

For the Skeletons, Goblins/Lesser Orcs and Orcs the first column is unarmed/basic units (standard weak ones) second are warriors, third are ranged and fourth are magical or holy units. Might actually make more, to distinguish between magical and holy units.



Tried my hand at some horses as well; first row are the forms i tried, with the last being the final(for now maybe?) product, second row are the various colours:

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] Medieval Fantasy Characters & Classes

Reply #12 on: June 21, 2014, 07:58:31 am
Update

I've been thinking more about making the human unit's more diverse, by splitting them into 4 different factions with differing appearances based upon different historical cultures

I wanted to show a chart that displays what units are available to four factions, as well the potential promotions/class changes available. Not all factions have access to the same classes.



I tried making each faction different in terms of the units they recieve, for example Blue recieves more Ranged units, Green recieves more Melee units and is more geared towards offense (and has a Melee/Magic hybrid Spell-sword), Orange has a balanced range of units and Purple are balanced as well, receiving an extra melee unit at the expense of one-ranged unit and are more defensive in comparison to Green.

Tried making an example mock-up of how movement/action would be dealt with:



I wanted to go with a simple design, although it's obviously subject to change.

I hope this is an improvement over my previous attempts at attack animations (Specifically the spear-thrusting knight):



Previous version (Sixth Row):



I tried making him look less static and tried to put more oomph behind his thrusting of the spear. I'm unsure of what to do with the shield, but i don't think it should remain in place, especially after such a thrust, like it did in the previous version as it made it look more static in my opinion.

Also; should i cut the frame where he's turning the spear 90 degrees? Or do you think it adds to it? I'm currently restricting the frame limit per unit to 8 frames, since that's what i feel comfortable working with at the moment.

I currently use frames 1-3 to get the unit in place, such as raising a sword, lowering a spear, raising the staff etc, Frame 4 as a build-up to the attack, frame 5 as the actual attack although this can vary between 5-6 especially with the archers and in this case the knight, Frame 6 where they complete their attack, with melee units moving slightly forwards to suggest this and frames 7-8 as recovery, with units moving back to their original place if they've moved. For archers, they usually fire on the 7th and return to their original stance on the 8th.

Here's an update:



Tried reducing the sliding of his legs and the pole whilst he is thrusting, and tried making him walk forwards. Not sure if an improvement, but i have been trying to do a walking animation so i can at least improve my animation(s).

Update:

Tried also re-doing the swordsman's attack:



I've probably got it wrong, but it's a start.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2014, 08:48:33 pm by AshCrimson »

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] Medieval Fantasy Characters & Classes

Reply #13 on: July 07, 2014, 09:28:11 am
Another update, been mainly practising movement of the limbs (mainly arms and shoulder) and trying to update some of the attack animations:








Not much of an improvement, but it is what it is.

Offline Cakeprediction

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 96
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • huehuehue, newer...er avatar :D
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] Medieval Fantasy Characters & Classes

Reply #14 on: July 07, 2014, 09:40:56 am
Can't say too much about it(since I'm really not that advanced in pixelart), but this might help you a little bit:

I just removed the third frame and added a frame after the slash with the bulrrything. This gives the slash a little more impact. Just did it with the sword guy, but you can do it with every slash animation

Hope this helps :D

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] Medieval Fantasy Characters & Classes

Reply #15 on: July 07, 2014, 08:07:24 pm
Can't say too much about it(since I'm really not that advanced in pixelart), but this might help you a little bit:

I just removed the third frame and added a frame after the slash with the bulrrything. This gives the slash a little more impact. Just did it with the sword guy, but you can do it with every slash animation

Hope this helps :D

Thanks for the advice! I tried what you said but it seemed a bit too fast in terms of progression if i deleted the 3rd (I think you meant 4th btw?) frame, so i compromised; kept the frame but also added the frame you mentioned.

Here (Also slightly changed the blur-animation for this one solely, to make it consistant):



Also included, updated two-handed attack with what you said applied to it:



Further update:



Just a further re-working of it
« Last Edit: July 07, 2014, 10:02:25 pm by AshCrimson »

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] Medieval Fantasy Characters & Classes

Reply #16 on: July 21, 2014, 09:50:29 pm
So here's some more animation edits:

Spear:



2-Handed weapon:



1-Handed weapon:



Non-Animation stuff:

A bit burnt out from animating (I was finding it more of a chore than something i actually enjoyed) so decided to give animating a rest for now whilst i go back to my bigger bases that i left behind sometime ago and see if i can improve on them with what i've learnt, here's an update:



I guess what i am struggling with the most on this is the arms and how to make them look like actual arms. I tried avoiding the straight arm look but it ends up looking wonky like in the edit.

Offline kriss

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 124
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] Medieval Fantasy Characters & Classes

Reply #17 on: July 22, 2014, 08:35:09 am
Sorry but your 1 hand animation show weapon used with 2 hands  ;D

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] Medieval Fantasy Characters & Classes

Reply #18 on: July 22, 2014, 09:33:55 pm
Sorry but your 1 hand animation show weapon used with 2 hands  ;D

Are you sure? In the frames it only uses one hand...

Here's a further edit of the bigger base, also included two different poses that i felt were appropiate:

Offline kriss

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 124
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] Medieval Fantasy Characters & Classes

Reply #19 on: July 23, 2014, 11:43:25 am
Quote
Are you sure? In the frames it only uses one hand...

Sorry i mistanderstood  the text and picture ^^

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] Medieval Fantasy Characters & Classes

Reply #20 on: July 25, 2014, 05:26:45 pm
No problem Kriss!

So tried animating again:



Changed spear, one-handed and two-handed weapon attack animations.

Added a bow attack animation, a shield defend animation (Still very WIP), Preparation for casting a spell animation and an attempt at a horse running/moving animation (Again, still very WIP).

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] Medieval Fantasy Characters & Classes

Reply #21 on: August 08, 2014, 05:10:50 pm
Updates on some of my previous pieces:

Walking Animation:



One-handed attack:



Two-handed attack:



Some new stuff:

Horse rider attack:



Running Animation:



Hopefully i have shown some improvement.

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Sorry for the lack of progress and updates in this thread. Changed title to make it more relevant to what i am doing.

The following are updates to pieces i did previously:

One-handed attack:



Two-handed attack:



Spear attack (I am aware there are issues with the centre of gravity, probably will edit this at some point!):



Update on the medium-sized base i did some time ago, as well as a bigger version. Two versions with differing shades, included Ash Crimson's sprite for reference.

However this is new:

Tried my hand at animating an idle stance for the base, more of a practice and getting used to animating larger sprites than anything I'd probably end up using.



I'm finding the jump from animating sprites with 1 pixel limbs to animating sprites where limbs consist of many pixels to be quite jarring at the moment, hopefully it won't always be like that.

Edit: Just an example of what could be done with it:



Quite rough atm, hopefully it'll get smoother as time goes on.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2014, 02:49:33 pm by AshCrimson »

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Haven't made much stuff recently, mainly been focusing on anatomy:



Also included medium sized base, but im focusing mainly on the bigger one as a way to assist me with getting better with anatomy.

Any advice/Critique is more than welcome!

Offline Night

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 173
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • exidelo
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/26118.htm
    • Exidelo
    • View Profile

Made an edit, it might help you in the meanwhile.
Now obviously you're not gonna learn it overnight, but if you really want to get into anatomy you should study it. There's plenty of material on the web and there's no need to dissect humans for the purposes of learning anatomy as we used to, all it takes is patience.  ;)

Also an interesting way I've learned to memorise muscle groups is actually by the very medium this forum is based upon, pixel-art. Of course drawing irl is a very important step in learning anatomy (much more than pixelating it imo) and shouldn't be ignored, but if you want to memorise it a little better then pixelating it might be a good way to; since it takes you more time to notice every part of the muscles' origins and insertion points you're pretty much ought to remember it better.
Here's an unfinished study I've done about a year or so ago.

(you're also practising pixel-art in the process, so yeah)
There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Thanks for the edit Night, It captures what i originally wanted to portray. I think i may have gone a bit too overboard with the lines, i should probably try to use more clusters and less AA and go outside my comfort zone.

In regards to anatomy i am currently reading up on it from a few books i've purchused, it's slow going right now but i feel it's helped me improve, even if it's just a small improvement.

I've tried drawing in the past but i'm often frustrated by my lack of basic skill with it, so i usually just go straight to pixelling.

Offline Night

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 173
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • exidelo
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/26118.htm
    • Exidelo
    • View Profile
No problem man.

As with everything in life, if you want to get better at it you need to deal with it more; art is no different. The more time you spend learning and doing it, the better you'll get at it.

I understand what you mean by getting frustrated from your own lack of skill, I can relate. It sometimes seems impossible to get to the level that you desire (it gets even worse when you look at art better than yours' and wonder how was that even done). But the only way to get out of this situation is by practising more, as banal as it may sound.
There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Tried to change the chest, to reflect the 3/4 view i am going for, as well as trying to shape the ribcage more:



Apologies for the slow going on this.

Kind of frustrated with my inability to recreate a semi-accurate human form, might try other stuff eventually if it keeps burning me out.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2014, 03:31:11 pm by AshCrimson »

Offline Fizzick

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 194
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
the head has a bit of a corner and the biceps are a little pronounced, also slightly uneven vertically.
in the breathing animation you posted, with every deep breath the guy flails his entire body back and forth/up and down. i don't know about you, but when i'm out of breath i try not to jump all over the place.

Offline Night

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 173
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • exidelo
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/26118.htm
    • Exidelo
    • View Profile
Could you cite the books you're reading possibly? Just wondering.

With anatomy it's pretty important to know how the skeleton looks like, so you know where the muscles originate from and attach to; put some more attention to that.
I would recommend studying some older renaissance anatomy book illustrations, particularly the ones by Vesalius.
This site is pretty good for such information, some of them are pretty bad for reference, but there are a few really good ones (Vesalius, Albinus, Genga, Cheselden  and Casseri (to an extent)).

One book that doesn't appear in the list, and is more medical in nature rather than for art, is Grey's anatomy, there some really superb illustrations in it.
http://www.bartleby.com/107/indexillus.html
There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Offline Facet

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 425
  • Karma: +3/-0
    • View Profile
I would recommend studying some older renaissance anatomy book illustrations, particularly the ones by Vesalius.
This site is pretty good for such information, some of them are pretty bad for reference, but there are a few really good ones (Vesalius, Albinus, Genga, Cheselden  and Casseri (to an extent)).

One book that doesn't appear in the list, and is more medical in nature rather than for art, is Grey's anatomy, there some really superb illustrations in it.
http://www.bartleby.com/107/indexillus.html
While those links are hugely interesting, I think a more contextual figure drawing book (try Loomis – Figure Drawing), would be more appropriate than de facto anatomy tome. The idea of a beginner improving the figure that way (and specifically from antiquated sources, which could easily be misleading or inaccurate) actually seems a bit mad to me. Gray’s is cool; I have a copy inherited from a nurse, but might only have really used it a couple times for zombie viscera or something. 
 
You might actually be better off focusing on honing your observational drawing skills (measuring, proportions, shapes, fluency) to improve the accuracy of your figures and most else. You can always keep ref. handy 'til it sticks.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2014, 06:01:42 pm by Facet »

Offline Night

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 173
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • exidelo
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/26118.htm
    • Exidelo
    • View Profile
While those links are hugely interesting, I think a more contextual figure drawing book (try Loomis Ė Figure Drawing), would be more appropriate than de facto anatomy tome. The idea of a beginner improving the figure that way (and specifically from antiquated sources, which could easily be misleading or inaccurate) actually seems a bit mad to me. Grayís is cool; I have a copy inherited from a nurse, but might only have really used it a couple times for zombie viscera or something. 
 
You might actually be better off focusing on honing your observational drawing skills (measuring, proportions, shapes, fluency) to improve the accuracy of your figures and most else. You can always keep ref. handy 'til it sticks.

By no means am I saying that these are best ones out there (as I said most of them are pretty terrible, especially the older ones. I noted the ones that I saw as the best); but they do represent the muscles and skeleton in a very clear way, to me at least.
 
Perhaps I've had an unusual way of learning anatomy to others, but I don't see the big deal about learning from those, nothing mad for sure (I swear I'm not crazy :crazy:).
In terms of accuracy the ones I noted are pretty accurate in my opinion, nothing really irregular catches the eye; and sure there might be some small muscles that are inaccurate (which is doubtful within itself seeing as all of them are drawn directly from dissected bodies) ,but you aren't expected to remember any those (like in the area between the neck and traps for an instance; looks like a bunch of strings to me, but it has a configuration).

The muscle groups are largely the same as the modern ones would depict them, if not exactly the same (muscle groups likes the pecs, delts, biceps, triceps, etc... big muscles).

About Grey, a rather interesting example you give to its use, but I hope you didn't misunderstand me as I wasn't referring to the organs and stuff, but to the skeleton and muscle illustrations, which might be few, but still are pretty great in my eyes.
There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Could you cite the books you're reading possibly? Just wondering.

With anatomy it's pretty important to know how the skeleton looks like, so you know where the muscles originate from and attach to; put some more attention to that.
I would recommend studying some older renaissance anatomy book illustrations, particularly the ones by Vesalius.
This site is pretty good for such information, some of them are pretty bad for reference, but there are a few really good ones (Vesalius, Albinus, Genga, Cheselden  and Casseri (to an extent)).

One book that doesn't appear in the list, and is more medical in nature rather than for art, is Grey's anatomy, there some really superb illustrations in it.
http://www.bartleby.com/107/indexillus.html

I'm currently using books designed for beginners currently:

Human Anatomy Made Amazingly Easy By Chris Hart: http://www.amazon.com/Human-Anatomy-Made-Amazingly-Easy/dp/0823024970

And

Figure It Out! Human Proportions By Chris Hart: http://www.amazon.com/Figure-Out-Human-Proportions-Christopher/dp/1936096730/ref=pd_sim_b_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=1HCB4TQTA7GM9E88T42P

My foray into pixel-art is to be honest my first and only time i've ever done art, i haven't studied it before, nor anatomy, so im not familiar with any other references be they art or anatomical.

I originally made stuff like weapons and shields before thinking "Oh it would be cool if there were characters that could hold them and stuff" and then made the logical leap to making said characters.

Offline Facet

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 425
  • Karma: +3/-0
    • View Profile
@Night Sure, loads of those are beautiful and I hadn't seen them before, so thanks for that! I'm surely not knowledgeable enough to say where those might be inaccurate but itís an unnecessary pot-luck on top of all the stuff which wonít be useful; those are presented and archived as historically notable artworks, not reference sources.
   
And of course I don't mean to say youíre crackers if that worked for you! :lol: Don't mean to overstate. But there are some well-established artistís guides that make sense of so much, and from whatís being worked on I donít think full spectrum anatomy will be that helpful. 

edit:
Quote
About Grey, a rather interesting example you give to its use, but I hope you didn't misunderstand me as I wasn't referring to the organs and stuff, but to the skeleton and muscle illustrations, which might be few, but still are pretty great in my eyes.
In everyone's eyes! It's excellent stuff to refer to some specific. I think later editions have some replacements of the original drawings, and the contemporary hardly anything left, which is a shame.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2014, 10:02:57 pm by Facet »

Offline jtfjtfjtf

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 12
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
I second getting Andrew Loomis' book Figure Drawing. His other books are good too.

Offline Mr. Fahrenheit

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 326
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
His books are online for free here: -noped-
« Last Edit: October 12, 2014, 09:38:56 am by Crow »

Offline Crow

  • 0011
  • **
  • Posts: 646
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • Technicanimal
    • View Profile
I question that legally, Mr. Fahrenheit. Especially because another site linked on the one you provided stated they had to take their copies down due to a cease and desist. More info on the books, please, and if it's really okay to distribute them freely.
Discord: Ennea#9999

Offline Mr. Fahrenheit

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 326
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Hmm, sorry about that crow, I never realized that.

Offline Night

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 173
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • exidelo
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/26118.htm
    • Exidelo
    • View Profile
Quote from: AshCrimson
snip
Seems alright I suppose, sorry if the links I sent were a little out there; I still think you should check them out when you're more comfortable with anatomy though.  :D

Quote from: Facet
snip
You're welcome! about using them as a reference; I might be pulling this out of my ass since I have no clue if it's true, but I think they might've been used for art during the renaissance, and are still used today by some.  ::)

And I was already starting to think that I've gone insane!
Yeah I agree with you, and to backtrack I actually think Loomis' books are wonderful and would suggest them too, but for the purposes of learning the muscle groups and skeleton alone I think these good ol' tomes are too, wonderful (the ones I noted! not something like the Persian illustrations or Brunschwig's work); perhaps not fit for a beginner though on a second thought..

I'm not suggesting studying anatomy all round if that's what it seemed like I was doing (that'd be useless for the purposes of art, well, unless for something like zombies like you mentioned earlier), but I am advocating to learn the skeletal and muscular structure in depth, if that's a little less crazy.  ;)
There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Thanks again for the links to the Loomis book, Started reading up on it and attempted to draw one of the "Manikin Frames" (from page 40, 3/4 Front view).



I realise the limbs are quite thin, just wanted to get the general shape of the thing down before i detailed the limbs specifically. Will try to make the knees and elbows more obvious, but at this point tried to indicate them with darker shading.

Offline Night

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 173
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • exidelo
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/26118.htm
    • Exidelo
    • View Profile
Looking much better! Can't quite understand the 3/4 view aspect you want to give to it though; it doesn't work mainly because of the feet, but I also feel that going with a 3/4 view will overcomplicate things, care to elaborate?
There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
I think it looks more interesting than a straight-on aspect (which i fear would look boring to me at least), but also because previous works and attempts were in a 3/4's view, as well as my goal is to eventually animate or at the very least depict characters in said aspect. There's also an element of me probably just being stubborn, but i will give it a go, as it sounds helpful in helping me learn/practice anatomy.

Offline jtfjtfjtf

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 12
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Don't worry about the limbs being thin. In the mannikin frame they're simplified versions of the bones. The cape is a simplified version of the upper body muscles over the rib cage. Loomis' methodology is pretty logical building the parts up.

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Wanted to post a quick update, just to see whether i am on the right track:

Offline Night

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 173
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • exidelo
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/26118.htm
    • Exidelo
    • View Profile
If you want it to be a little easier I'd suggest going with a normal view.
But if you do choose to go with 3/4 still, then you'll have to make quite some changes in regards to how literally everything looks like in the figure (see what I mean in the edit in the middle).

There are lots of problems with the basic skeletal structure currently, not so much with the muscles even.

The reason I gave those books earlier as a suggestion has a lot to do with their halfway-through illustrations of the muscles and skeleton and skeleton alone; I think that learning the skeletal structure is a very important step to take early on in learning anatomy (which I'm a bit faulty of not doing myself, kind of explains some of my downfalls in anatomy, particularly on the hands and feet) as it gives you a better understanding of everything in the body and how it looks, and then start studying where from and what the muscles attach to (doesn't need to take long, just study the basic form of the skeleton and begin with the muscles). Kind of a process from the simple to the complex in a sense.

Here's an edit, on the far right I just drew the skeleton with some muscle groups attached, so you can contrast with yours (it isn't 3/4 view tho)


Also not sure if the picture's resolution is the one you work on, but if it is you should expand it. Will give it some more breathing space and it won't feel as restricted.
There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Thanks for the advice, i'll try the front on-view and if i can get that down then go onto the 3/4 view. I'll concentrate on getting the basic skeletal structure down before going into muscles. In regards to the dimension, i do work in small dimensions, im not quite brave enough to go bigger yet.

Apologies for the frustration!

Offline Night

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 173
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • exidelo
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/26118.htm
    • Exidelo
    • View Profile
You're welcome! Sounds good, by the dimensions I just meant the canvas size, not the figure itself; just feels restricted the way it is now, with the figure touching the borders of the canvas.

No problem at all.  :D
There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
You're welcome! Sounds good, by the dimensions I just meant the canvas size, not the figure itself; just feels restricted the way it is now, with the figure touching the borders of the canvas.

No problem at all.  :D

No problem! Main reason for the small dimensions is because i usually work with one big canvas on various stuff, practices etc. It's more viewable if i cut it down to a smaller, individual piece.



Wanted to get the basic shape down before i went fully into doing the muscles. It's based upon Loomis' simplified manikin (page 44, top box, left) didn't bother much with the arms or legs, main concern right now is getting the torso, chest and hips/pelvis down.

Apologies if im posting too much or if the improvements/updates are only incremental.

Offline Night

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 173
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • exidelo
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/26118.htm
    • Exidelo
    • View Profile
Ah alright I see.
What Loomis' illustrates as sort of.. an Egyptian collar if you will is actually two muscle groups, sort of, but cut-off in the delts (not quite sure why he cut it there).

In any case, the pecs (chest muscles) should be lowered down, they look a little too squished in there and don't appear to have an origin point.
The rib cage should be slightly narrower and straighter, if you look at a real skeleton you can see what I mean (it actually goes slightly outwards toward the end even, sort of like this: /  \).
The part where the shoulders are I think you should create with full delts, not cut-off ones like in Loomis' illustrations (like I mentioned already).
The traps (muscles behind the neck that attach to the scapulas) should be a little more separated and distinct.

Here are a few fancy sketches I drew right now (it mainly has to do with muscles, so you can leave it for later):

With the pecs there are mainly just two heads, the clavicular and sternal (there's also a "coastal" head if you want to call it that which attaches to the rib cage, but it's not really important since you never see it; and there are I think another two muscles under the pec, but they're also kind of unimportant).
I also created a small image showing how it looks like when the arm is raised, as you can see the clavicular pec becomes much more pronounced (just wanted to include this for future reference).

With the traps there's not a lot to say, just wanted to show how they're connected. Same with the delts.

Hope this was of some help!  ;D

edit*
I just realised what you meant by 3/4 view; I for some reason had this in my mind that 3/4 is only like bird view in games, if you want to make it 3/4 it's absolutely fine. my bad  :ouch:
« Last Edit: October 14, 2014, 01:31:28 am by Night »
There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Ah alright I see.
What Loomis' illustrates as sort of.. an Egyptian collar if you will is actually two muscle groups, sort of, but cut-off in the delts (not quite sure why he cut it there).

In any case, the pecs (chest muscles) should be lowered down, they look a little too squished in there and don't appear to have an origin point.
The rib cage should be slightly narrower and straighter, if you look at a real skeleton you can see what I mean (it actually goes slightly outwards toward the end even, sort of like this: /  \).
The part where the shoulders are I think you should create with full delts, not cut-off ones like in Loomis' illustrations (like I mentioned already).
The traps (muscles behind the neck that attach to the scapulas) should be a little more separated and distinct.

Here are a few fancy sketches I drew right now (it mainly has to do with muscles, so you can leave it for later):

With the pecs there are mainly just two heads, the clavicular and sternal (there's also a "coastal" head if you want to call it that which attaches to the rib cage, but it's not really important since you never see it; and there are I think another two muscles under the pec, but they're also kind of unimportant).
I also created a small image showing how it looks like when the arm is raised, as you can see the clavicular pec becomes much more pronounced (just wanted to include this for future reference).

With the traps there's not a lot to say, just wanted to show how they're connected. Same with the delts.

Hope this was of some help!  ;D

edit*
I just realised what you meant by 3/4 view; I for some reason had this in my mind that 3/4 is only like bird view in games, if you want to make it 3/4 it's absolutely fine. my bad  :ouch:

Thanks again for the information, I've been consulting Loomis and the anatomy book i have as well as pictures of skeletons, in an attempt to aid me in getting the skeleton somewhere near being correct. I'm hoping it get it down and then use it as a basis to flesh out the muscles, if that makes any sense?

Here's an updated attempt so far, with the previous version for comparison:



I realise the number rib's don't both add up to 24, but i thought i might as well include them for completion's sake. I also tried to indicate the shoulder blades with green.

Offline Night

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 173
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • exidelo
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/26118.htm
    • Exidelo
    • View Profile
No problem. Yeah that makes sense, I was hinting at doing it 2 posts back actually.
Don't stress yourself over too much about the number of ribs and if it's accurate; it's not a terribly important detail to remember.

As for the sketch a few little problems:
- the rib cage should be slightly shorter and smaller.
- the lower circular parts of the hip bone (ischium) should be closer to each other, not sure if it was your intention but it looks they're connected to the leg bones, which is not the case.
- the lower leg bone should be slightly closer to each other (same with upper bone), and the two bones in the lower leg should be both straight, not only the tibia.
 
There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Thanks for the advice night, here's an update with your advice in mind:



Are the proportions of the ribcage still off? Put the previous version for comparison's sake.

Offline Night

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 173
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • exidelo
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/26118.htm
    • Exidelo
    • View Profile
No problem, now the rib cage needs to be just slightly larger.  :P
Some other things:
Head's a little too big.
The scapula is under the clavicle from the front view.
The upper leg bone is slightly shorter.
Neck a bit shorter.
Hip bone lower.

Some things depend on whenever the skeleton belongs to a female or male, but generally the hipbone and rib cage line up vertically.
Here's an edit concerning some of the other things (removed the body outline for a clearer view):
« Last Edit: October 15, 2014, 08:08:23 pm by Night »
There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Thanks for your patience in helping me night! Sorry for making so many mistakes, i always feel that there's something lost when i translate what i see/read onto paper/computer etc.

Offline Cyangmou

  • 0011
  • **
  • Posts: 929
  • Karma: +3/-0
    • cyangmou
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/32234.htm
    • cyangmou
    • View Profile
    • Pixwerk Homepage
If you want to go with realistic proportions I think:

the head still is a tad to big
the upper/lower leg/arm ratios are off
the hands ar eby far to small
feet are by far to flat

shoulders are a tad to wide for my taste, but I guess that's preference.

"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

Offline Night

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 173
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • exidelo
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/26118.htm
    • Exidelo
    • View Profile
@AshCrimson
As long as it's of some help it's cool man.


That's my edit you edited Cyan. ;)

I might as well give my opinion I suppose.
Head size depends (really any ratio between that and this in the human body is interchangeable to a degree), I assume you went for the 8 head proportion which is idealistic, usually it's round 7.5 heads if not less for an average person, but yeah.

The upper to lower limb ratio in the human body isn't 1:1 if my memory serves me right, but rather the upper limb is a bit longer than the lower one.

Well, didn't bother to edit those; just thought it's the stump of the lower arm bone rather than a hand.

The feet I think are alright to be that flat for a skeleton from the front view, I suppose if you were to apply perspective they wouldn't be as flat though.

edit*
Yeah I was right, here are some pictures of the lower and upper limb bones (looks authentic)
http://www.visualphotos.com/photo/1x8464213/femur_tibia_and_fibula_2R7632.jpg
http://www.visualphotos.com/photo/1x8464582/right_humerus_radius_and_ulna_2R7622.jpg
« Last Edit: October 15, 2014, 09:24:14 pm by Night »
There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Offline Cyangmou

  • 0011
  • **
  • Posts: 929
  • Karma: +3/-0
    • cyangmou
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/32234.htm
    • cyangmou
    • View Profile
    • Pixwerk Homepage
Hmm ok, well then I edited you edit Night.

Well then I mistook the green stomp as hands.

I rathe rmeant that upper arm to lower arm and upper leg to lower leg didn't feel alright to me in your pic.
Those photographs are quite interesting, although I wonder how big the overall inconsistencies for different humans are in order to use it as a general rule. Do you have any measurement/distribution charts for this lying around?
"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

Offline Night

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 173
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • exidelo
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/26118.htm
    • Exidelo
    • View Profile
Yeah I know, I just meant overall proportions of the limbs, in both arms legs (the upper leg limb in my edit is a tiny bit too long actually).
Nothing really comes to mind in terms of charts or graphs, although I did find this study:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23521756
edit* doesn't really seem to address everything about lengths by the looks of it though.
edit 2*
Found this, no idea as to how accurate it is, but it seems pretty legit :
http://multidict.net/cs/1316

Femur: 50.5 cms
Tibia & Fibula: 43.03 cms & 40.5 cms

Humerus: 36.46 cms
Ulna & Radius: 28.2 cms & 26.42 cms
« Last Edit: October 15, 2014, 11:06:46 pm by Night »
There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
A quick update:



Thanks for the edit Cyangmou! Wasn't sure if both the fibula and tibula are straight or need to be slightly curved. I think the head still might be out of proportion.

Offline Night

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 173
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • exidelo
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/26118.htm
    • Exidelo
    • View Profile
Starting to shape up pretty nicely, don't worry too much about the silhouette, it'll shape up when you begin adding muscles. Also I think it'd be in your best interest to make the figure from three different angles (front, side and back that is), will give you a better feel for where everything is.

As for the head, I feel it's fine as it is proportion-wise, although you should make it narrower (you could also make it shorter if you want, but it's not necessary).
On a side note; the head is a completely different beast in terms of anatomy, generally even if you study it (both skull and the muscles that overlay it I mean) it won't give you a full understanding of the human face, in order to achieve that you need to practice/draw a lot of human faces (even with the body you need to do that, to a lesser extent though I think).

I feel that the head of the femur is sticking out too much. It should almost line up with the hip bone vertically (as with the rib cage), just barely sticking out, like 1 pixel horizontally I'd say (look at my edit to see what I mean).

I'm under the impression that you're making a male skeleton, if not the shape of bones has a slight difference, or rather the proportions  have a slight difference (bigger hips, smaller shoulders for an instance), so which one is it?

The hands are a problem, as with the forearm, work a bit on that.
There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Thanks!

I am working on a male Skeleton/Body at the moment. I'll work on the hands, I'm unsure of their proportion's in comparison to the body, so im a tad hesitant to make them too big/small.

In regards to the fore arm, is the issue the lack of distinction between the Ulna and radius, or is it just it's general shape/size?
« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 04:26:20 pm by AshCrimson »

Offline Night

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 173
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • exidelo
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/26118.htm
    • Exidelo
    • View Profile
Yes, the lack of the distinction between the two bones. I'd suggest making the hands in the same manner that Cyangmou made, open towards the viewer, it also gives a better view of the ulna and radius that way -- because of how it's rotated.
There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Tried to make both the Ulna and radius distinguishable, decreased with the width of the head and attempted to make hands with fingers that are at least distinguishable (although some are joined together, sort of).



Barring any major need to alter the Skeleton, i will start to put the muscles on it, but before i do that i want to ensure the skeleton is at least properly preportioned.

I'm also thinking of trying out different directions, like you said Night, if and after i can get the front-view down correctly.

Offline Night

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 173
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • exidelo
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/26118.htm
    • Exidelo
    • View Profile
Yeah looking better, with the hands I meant something more like the left hand in this illustration.

Here's an edit of a few things.


A bit tired right now so I won't explain what I've done, but hopefully it can somewhat help you.

About the directions, sounds good.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 11:15:12 pm by Night »
There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Yeah looking better, with the hands I meant something more like the left hand in this illustration.

Here's an edit of a few things.


A bit tired right now so I won't explain what I've done, but hopefully it can somewhat help you.

About the directions, sounds good.

Thanks for the reply, will change the hand and feet (as well as the head, lowered it for now).

I've started on the muscles and i've done one side so far and i have a few questions (as well as an example of what i've done below):



Is it okay to stick to the important muscles, the one's that show through the skin and on the body?

Is it necessary to show and detail every muscle? I've tried to show as much as a can, but given the space i have and the size of some muscles, i have had to lump some together (most notable in the arm).

I realize there may be some issues with the size of some of the muscles, I've had to use a few different sources.

Apologies if these are pretty dumb questions and for how amateurish the muscles are.

Offline Night

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 173
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • exidelo
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/26118.htm
    • Exidelo
    • View Profile
An ťcorchť type of approach is pretty useful with learning anatomy, don't bother with fat and stuff just yet (which is the feel that the pink silhouette gives off right now).
Since you're pixelating it you won't have much space for every muscle obviously; so you'll need to emphasise on the bigger ones simply because you can't make the smaller ones visible at this level, I suggest sketching irl for full detail.
Here's how I've done it with sizes in a study not too long ago:


Also, more with the pink silhouette, I think you should go without using it, but rather overlay the skeleton with muscles; it's a bit confusing like this.

There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Thanks! Had to look up what Ecorche meant  ??? as i wasn't sure what you meant.

I've done most of the muscles (barring chest), yet im not happy with them. I'm unsure of how i'd be able to put the skin over them and make a character look at least slightly realistic.

I'm currently reworking the arms, feet and hands as well as the muscles on them, I'll post pictures when i've gotten them done (skeleton and muscle wise) i also won't include the pink  silhouette, apologies about that!

Edit:

Sorry for the slow progress, spent a few hours looking at arms today.

Here's some highly simplified muscle placement on the arms also tried to make the arm look uh, more arm like:



Key:

Blue = Deltoid
Yellow = Triceps
Pink = Biceps
Green = Brachio
Red = Flexor

An update:



Came to the realization that it's more about depicting what muscles show through the skin and are prominent then necessarily every oneof the muscles.

Basically redone the arms, chest and legs, trying to depict the lines of the muscles that actually show through, but right now it's basically a simplified version.

Also overlaid the skeleton on top it of it, just to ensure it still looks vaguely anatomically correct in terms of bones etc.

I think, like Cyangmou said, the shoulders may be a bit too broad.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2014, 04:45:00 pm by AshCrimson »

Offline Night

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 173
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • exidelo
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/26118.htm
    • Exidelo
    • View Profile
That was the point lol.  :D

Don't worry about skin and fat, as it contributes a really small covering surface on top of the person (especially skin, fat kind of depends on the person and on the area of the body (for an instance; the forearm stores less fat than the stomach does).

Don't drift away that quickly from studying all the main muscle groups, it might be annoying and time consuming at first but it'll give a greater understanding of anatomy later on - with and without skin.

The muscles so far look way too bulky, when in fact, even if the person is muscular, they're still pretty close to the bones. So the delts,(or even the whole body for that matter) for example look far too big and wide because of the muscle placement (insertion and origin points) which is a kinda wrong (a few posts back I posted a few sketches of muscle insertion and origin points, look at the delts for example and how close they are too the bone)

Also there's a huge problem with the hip/leg transition, it looks like there's way too much fat in there

here's an edit:

Some points in the edit that I didn't address.
-hip bone closer to rib cage vertically (along with some minor structural edits on the bone itself, the two sort of "wings" of the hip bone aren't that round)
-straighter clavicles (didn't notice before that you made them that curved)
-moved lower legs closer to each other (the diagonal angle of the upper leg bone could only exist if that was the case, sorry for the confusion earlier)
-the clavicles are indeed really broad (my bad), a longer neck would fix it proportion-wise
-the abs go in two straight columns and not in sort of round space like you drew it.
-when the arms are held this way, facing the viewer, the forearms are going to slightly move outwards rather than stay straight (you can try it yourself and see)

Other than that I just added the main muscle groups (the ones you can see at least) and some shadows here and there where it was necessary.
Not sure how you added muscles to your skeleton, but it looks like you used the pink silhouette figure as your based for the muscles (at least in the previous post), you should really go with the approach you started with which would be to find where each muscle originates and attaches to and put a high notice on every little curve (like on the delts you overextended the curve on the side); that's the problem with making such small pictures for learning anatomy, you can't capture everything you need to without the knowledge already being there.
There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Thanks for the advice. I'm going to double the size of the skeleton and redo it, hopefully allowing me to put more detail into the muscles and skeleton as well. I think i kind of screwed myself over by doing it so small.

A very quick attempt at a larger skeleton, probably needs more refining. Tried to get the feet closer and to make sure the forearms aren't dead straight:



I also realise the skull's pretty bad, and maybe the ribs need to be closer to the pelvis.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2014, 08:33:57 pm by AshCrimson »

Offline Night

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 173
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • exidelo
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/26118.htm
    • Exidelo
    • View Profile

Circled some important areas, also edited the skull in case it might help.
There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Left one side free of muscles so i could show the changes i made (thanks Night for pointing some of them out!) and still working on in regards to the bones:



I've probably got the muscles all wrong, alot of them seem to blend in together, but i did try to to get their general shape down.

Offline Night

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 173
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • exidelo
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/26118.htm
    • Exidelo
    • View Profile
Still a few problems with the structure of the skeleton, which would be pretty good if you fixed, but let's focus on the muscles for now.
I think that marking each muscle in a different colour is more trouble than it's worth, try going for a solid red colour for all muscles along with several shades to mark indentations and shadows.

Here are a few more sketches I've made of some muscles, mainly added the torso ones (going to add a few more later). Also fixed some problems with the muscle insertions (chest and traps) where I was wrong.
Hopefully this is of some help to you and not just out there to bolster my ego (all in all though it does help me too, can't say that I'm a master at anatomy, not just yet anyway)  :P

There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Thanks for the sketches man, it's not ego stroking at all. To be honest, im jealous of how well you can depict them! Hopefully i can begin to approach the level of detail you put into your sketches, let alone work.

The main reason for making them different colours is because when they're all red, it's sometimes difficult to tell them appart from other muscles.

I did a quick attempt at trying to put skin on the muscles:



I've sinced edited some of the muscles so it's sort of obsolete.

Offline Night

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 173
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • exidelo
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/26118.htm
    • Exidelo
    • View Profile
Hah, thanks! I'm glad it can help.

Yeah I understand the reasoning behind why you choose to make them in different colours, but I feel like it's not that useful. The lines that are created by the muscle folds and shadows are very important when it comes to art as it gives you that 3 dimensional feel; with different colours, and without shadows/different shades too, it removes this 3D feel and makes it harder on you to remember.

I still urge you to go for an ťcorchť approach with the figure rather than with skin.
Even with the skin on though you should make some differences in regards to anatomy and shading (don't be afraid to add shading, it will just add to your understanding of anatomy here).

There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Will definitely try what you said!

Just want to clarify something; im not wanting to be a slave to anatomical correctness as much as i want to be able to to make characters that look "right" if that makes sense?

Offline Night

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 173
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • exidelo
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/26118.htm
    • Exidelo
    • View Profile
Cool!

Sure, but without the knowledge of anatomy there's no basis to the "right" look. Basically, if you know anatomy well you can translate it into characters that aren't supposed to be realistic, even cartoonish in a reasonable way.
There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Took a break from anatomy because it's pretty tiring sometimes and focused on smaller animations, mainly trying to get used to moving limbs and possibly even gesture:



Trying to get this swaying stance thing down, but it probably looks too jerky.



Some idle stuff with a dude with a spear.

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Sorry for the lack of updates for the last month or so.

Been mainly concentrating on smaller pieces like the below:



Or practicing animating:

Offline AlcopopStar

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 153
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • https://ramheadedgirl.com/folio/

Re: [WIP][C&C] General pixel-art

Reply #78 on: December 08, 2014, 12:28:33 am
Amazing thread btw, glad this popped up I hadn't seen it before.

Good start on your animation, but I feel that it comes across as a bit robotic and zombieish. Robotic in the sense that his torso seems to slide back and forth while the rest of him stays in place. and zombieish in that the lack of movement in the other arm makes it look broken or dead. Both of these stem from the same problem; a lack of movement in the figure. I feel like the motion needs a twist in the chest, a shifting of the feat or a bowing of the head. However you treat the motion you need to do something to get the rest of the body in play.

I get that this is just practice of course, but hopefully those thoughts are still useful. I quite like all your static sprites, looking forward to seeing more.

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] General pixel-art

Reply #79 on: December 08, 2014, 09:25:21 am
Amazing thread btw, glad this popped up I hadn't seen it before.

Good start on your animation, but I feel that it comes across as a bit robotic and zombieish. Robotic in the sense that his torso seems to slide back and forth while the rest of him stays in place. and zombieish in that the lack of movement in the other arm makes it look broken or dead. Both of these stem from the same problem; a lack of movement in the figure. I feel like the motion needs a twist in the chest, a shifting of the feat or a bowing of the head. However you treat the motion you need to do something to get the rest of the body in play.

I get that this is just practice of course, but hopefully those thoughts are still useful. I quite like all your static sprites, looking forward to seeing more.


Thanks for the advice, I appreciate it! I thought there was something up with the animation.

Here's a quick update with some of your words in mind:



I apologise pre-emptively for how awful it looks, i wasn't sure what to do with his spare hand, so i added a shield and tried to make it look like he was counter-balancing but i think i messed up. I also tried to make him move as well, in the hopes of it looking less robotic.

Offline PixelPiledriver

  • 0011
  • **
  • Posts: 997
  • Karma: +6/-0
  • Yo!
    • View Profile
    • My Blog

Re: [WIP][C&C] General pixel-art

Reply #80 on: December 08, 2014, 10:25:39 am
Quote
I apologise pre-emptively for how awful it looks
No worries.
Animating characters can be complicated and requires practice, but also some prior studies.
If you have not done the basic animation tests such as the Bouncing Ball, and Flour Sack, I highly encourage you to do so.

Be careful of drawing animations in a literal descriptive way.
Each part feels as if it moves independently rather than coming together to create a cohesive piece of functional art.

You're being very timid with the pixels, keeping things looking the same through out the animation.
While that can help to save time, and I use the same concept quite often, there are ways to better balance unique and static parts of a frame.

For me it helps to do the same animation 5 to 8 times.
Here's my first vartiation:


Many parts of it could be improved, but I would most likely stop at this point, save it to branched filename, and then start over.
The next time I would do it differently.
It would still be a sword swing, but I would start from the first frame, or completely from scratch.
Then compare them all, figure out what works, what doesn't.
Maybe combine a few ideas or just choose the best one and then finish it off.

Also realize that its all a choice.
Everything I've said can be done the complete opposite way and yield a valid result.
In the correct context with intention, your animation could work fine.
As Alcopopstar mentioned, the motion is sort of undead like.
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] General pixel-art

Reply #81 on: December 08, 2014, 11:39:02 am
Quote
I apologise pre-emptively for how awful it looks
No worries.
Animating characters can be complicated and requires practice, but also some prior studies.
If you have not done the basic animation tests such as the Bouncing Ball, and Flour Sack, I highly encourage you to do so.

Be careful of drawing animations in a literal descriptive way.
Each part feels as if it moves independently rather than coming together to create a cohesive piece of functional art.

You're being very timid with the pixels, keeping things looking the same through out the animation.
While that can help to save time, and I use the same concept quite often, there are ways to better balance unique and static parts of a frame.

For me it helps to do the same animation 5 to 8 times.
Here's my first vartiation:


Many parts of it could be improved, but I would most likely stop at this point, save it to branched filename, and then start over.
The next time I would do it differently.
It would still be a sword swing, but I would start from the first frame, or completely from scratch.
Then compare them all, figure out what works, what doesn't.
Maybe combine a few ideas or just choose the best one and then finish it off.

Also realize that its all a choice.
Everything I've said can be done the complete opposite way and yield a valid result.
In the correct context with intention, your animation could work fine.
As Alcopopstar mentioned, the motion is sort of undead like.

Thanks so much for the advice, critique and edit. It's actually made me consider switching the angle of the character when he attacks. I'll confess i have little to no previous knowledge of animation or even art in general prior to picking up pixel-art, so this is sort of my first foray into art (although i have been pixelling for over a year+ now).

Often when im animating i focus solely on trying to get the (specific) limb moving in the correct way, often neglecting the bigger picture (the body and how it'd react), like Alcopopstar pointed out. I wasn't aware that i was being too literal with the advice given, i tend to take things literally, be they advice or words in general. Not an excuse, just wanted to explain my thought process.

Edit: I really like the edit, but i don't want to copy it, so im going to try to take elements of it and learn from it. Is that okay?
« Last Edit: December 08, 2014, 01:15:45 pm by AshCrimson »

Offline PixelPiledriver

  • 0011
  • **
  • Posts: 997
  • Karma: +6/-0
  • Yo!
    • View Profile
    • My Blog

Re: [WIP][C&C] General pixel-art

Reply #82 on: December 08, 2014, 10:55:08 pm
Quote
I really like the edit, but i don't want to copy it, so im going to try to take elements of it and learn from it. Is that okay?
Yep that's fine.
My animation is just an idea.
Attempt your own version manually, but don't be worried about making something similar.

There's a lot of compressed thought and knowledge in my edit. --> meaning I didn't take the time to explain it  :blind:
You're welcome to ask questions if you feel stumped.
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] General pixel-art

Reply #83 on: December 09, 2014, 06:34:41 pm
Thanks for the reply PixelPileDriver!

I apologise pre-emptively for basically copying your edit; I was pretty confused as to how to even start, I've only ever animated limbs if im going to be honest, so i've never dealt with animating the torso and twisting it. I ended up going through your edit, frame by frame and trying to see what i could learn from it, such as the way you displayed the torso turning during the swing of the attack.



I realise it doesn't have much impact. Wasn't sure what to do with the empty hand and im pretty sure the swing itself looks off, that there's something wrong with it most likely because it doesn't have  blur lines yours did, but also because i think it doesn't look as natural or as fluid and still looks robotic.

Edit: Made one of the other perspective, might upload that for comparison.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2014, 01:00:21 pm by AshCrimson »

Offline AlcopopStar

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 153
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • https://ramheadedgirl.com/folio/

Re: [WIP][C&C] General pixel-art

Reply #84 on: December 11, 2014, 03:20:10 am
great progress! keep pushing it, Piledriver's process sounds like a really good (though time consuming :P) approach.

Offline Gil

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1543
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Too square to be hip
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/475.htm
    • View Profile
    • My Portfolio

Re: [WIP][C&C] General pixel-art

Reply #85 on: December 11, 2014, 02:21:42 pm
Swashbuckler movies are a great reference for this kind of stuff and nothing beats this choreography:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L10fR31jC1w

Jordan Mechner actually rotoscoped this Erol Flynn scene for the sword fights in the original Prince of Persia. I'm a huge Erol Flynn fan (and a PoP fan :) )

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] General pixel-art

Reply #86 on: December 11, 2014, 05:37:26 pm
Thanks for the comment AlcopopStar!

Had a look at that video Gil, must be the older robin hood movie?

Update:

Changed attack slightly, added front view attack as well:



Also spear/thrusting version:



I also wanted to see what it'd look like if it had a large shield (that covered up parts of the body and arm).

In regards to animation process, what i do is take something and keep at it until it's either right, or i have to change it completely and start the process again. Not very efficient but it's what i've done so far.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2014, 05:44:23 pm by AshCrimson »

Offline Gil

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1543
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Too square to be hip
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/475.htm
    • View Profile
    • My Portfolio

Re: [WIP][C&C] General pixel-art

Reply #87 on: December 11, 2014, 07:18:37 pm
Had a look at that video Gil, must be the older robin hood movie?
It's the 1938 one

Offline PixelPiledriver

  • 0011
  • **
  • Posts: 997
  • Karma: +6/-0
  • Yo!
    • View Profile
    • My Blog

Re: [WIP][C&C] General pixel-art

Reply #88 on: December 13, 2014, 03:27:00 am
It's looking much better.  :)

Quote
I've only ever animated limbs if im going to be honest
Change this.
You don't have to stop animating cool dudes with swords.
Just rewind a bit sometime soon and animate some really basic stuff.
There is much experience you are missing that will help you with animating characters.
I would be more specific, but busy at the moment.

Quote
In regards to animation process, what i do is take something and keep at it until it's either right, or i have to change it completely and start the process again. Not very efficient but it's what i've done so far.
This is exactly what I was implying you should avoid.
There is a point you need to work up to, without just dumping an animation too quickly.
But I don't recommend to change a single animation over and over until you end up with a result you like.
Just as seeing my version gave you new ideas when you felt stuck, you need to be able to give yourself new ideas.
It can be very helpful to branch out to different ideas and create a basis of comparison.
The same design process you can use for finding a composition or character design can be applied to animation. --> with minor tweaks to the steps of course

If I get some time I will put together a series of animations to show the full process.
But no need to listen to me.
Keep hitting the pixels.
 :y:
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] General pixel-art

Reply #89 on: December 13, 2014, 05:39:59 pm
It's looking much better.  :)

Quote
I've only ever animated limbs if im going to be honest
Change this.
You don't have to stop animating cool dudes with swords.
Just rewind a bit sometime soon and animate some really basic stuff.
There is much experience you are missing that will help you with animating characters.
I would be more specific, but busy at the moment.

Quote
In regards to animation process, what i do is take something and keep at it until it's either right, or i have to change it completely and start the process again. Not very efficient but it's what i've done so far.
This is exactly what I was implying you should avoid.
There is a point you need to work up to, without just dumping an animation too quickly.
But I don't recommend to change a single animation over and over until you end up with a result you like.
Just as seeing my version gave you new ideas when you felt stuck, you need to be able to give yourself new ideas.
It can be very helpful to branch out to different ideas and create a basis of comparison.
The same design process you can use for finding a composition or character design can be applied to animation. --> with minor tweaks to the steps of course

If I get some time I will put together a series of animations to show the full process.
But no need to listen to me.
Keep hitting the pixels.
 :y:

I definitely see the wisdom in your advice!

Went back and redid the limbs and original position of the sword and made it so that there's an actual wind up animation and added the attack going further, rather than just suddenly stopping midway:



Previous version for comparison's sake:



I was actually looking back on some of my previous stuff i did, in an older style and thought that i might try that again:



Obviously way more animated than the prior two.

Offline Gil

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1543
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Too square to be hip
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/475.htm
    • View Profile
    • My Portfolio

Re: [WIP][C&C] General pixel-art

Reply #90 on: December 13, 2014, 06:24:58 pm
Just a quick pointer. Nearly all movement we do starts from the hips, the more the hips push the movement, the better animation looks. Your hips you animated are very rigid.

I could go into a lot more detail (I'm a movement coach) if you want.

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] General pixel-art

Reply #91 on: December 13, 2014, 07:18:04 pm
Just a quick pointer. Nearly all movement we do starts from the hips, the more the hips push the movement, the better animation looks. Your hips you animated are very rigid.

I could go into a lot more detail (I'm a movement coach) if you want.

Sure, I'd appreciate it! I'll also work on trying to animate the hips more, apologies for the stiffness of them.

Edit: Another quick update apologies! I added hip movement, not sure if thats what you meant by that Gil. Also changed various things as well as the speed of certain frames as well as adding extra frames for more movement:



Here's the previous two, just because i find it easier to compare them when they're all in the same post (if it's annoying, just tell me and i will stop doing it sorry):




« Last Edit: December 13, 2014, 10:20:59 pm by AshCrimson »

Offline Gil

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1543
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Too square to be hip
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/475.htm
    • View Profile
    • My Portfolio

Re: [WIP][C&C] General pixel-art

Reply #92 on: December 14, 2014, 01:37:52 pm
Okay, so this is technical, I hope any of it makes sense. The kind of over the top swing you are going for is a very well known movement where you store potential energy in your transversal power line. This is basically one big group of muscles that go from your right foot to your left arm. As I said the hips are the most important part of any movement. Basically, to form one single transversal power line, your hip needs to open up to make space. Once the potential energy is at its limit, it's the hips that will start the rapid movement, so the hips will be slightly in front of the other body parts to start moving. The muscle group from the hips to the wrist form a whip that lashes, which creates the insane kinetic energy you seem to be going for.

Several sports have a technique similar to this action, three that come to mind are the volleyball spike, the tennis serve and the basketball alley oop. You can also see it in a basketball alley oop, but the movement is strange there, because they try to use this power line to bring two arms up. The one closest to what you're going for is the volleyball spike, though you should study the tennis one too, it's a different way to do it, so you could use it for another animation to get variation.

Examples:

Alley oop:


Tennis serve:


Volleyball spike:



So, how do we translate this to a maximal sword swing? Well, for one, you wouldn't, in the way you're trying. A swing like the one you're going for leaves a lot of defensive holes. It looks super cool though, so let's just go with it :). To maximize the swing, we're going to bring the hips out, make the elbow pull the arm out (this opens up that diagonal power line we want) and you will see the legs compensate for all this. When swinging, the hips push forward a bit and I removed a frame to get more speed going. To compensate for the removed frame, I combined two frames, creating a multiframe.

The result:


Honestly, I should make a video of myself explaining this to properly explain :/. I hope some of it comes across :)

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] General pixel-art

Reply #93 on: December 15, 2014, 03:35:33 pm
Thanks for the post Gil. I'm going to study more movement and examples of it, so i can apply it to what i've done. I appreciate the effort you made, im not big on theory but it makes sense to me. Also, i realise now that the feet shouldn't be as static as they are and should at turn to compensate for the movement. I know this is basic stuff, but alot of the time im working without references or just looking at myself in the mirror trying said activities, without a frame by frame analysis or video of it, so i tend to miss out the more subtle details needed.

I've been trying to make a two-handed version of the swing, but im having a few problems. Here it is so far :



I suspect the arm movement is pretty bad, but that's just my intuition, i could be wrong.

I wanted to make it look like he was returning the sword back to it's original position but im worried it looks like hes' attacking again.

I know for it to look in anyway convincing it need's a blur trail during the swing, but even at this stage i think the arc is travels in looks wrong.

It could probably do with some more frames just as the blade is traveling downwards in an arc from the shoulder, during the attack, after it rests on the other should and during recovery, but i wanted to get the basic movement down before i started on polishing it.

« Last Edit: December 20, 2014, 06:14:43 pm by AshCrimson »

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] General pixel-art

Reply #94 on: December 20, 2014, 06:59:07 pm
Apologies for the double post, but i just wanted to ask a few things about proportion and style;

I'm in the process of reviewing my current sprites something i do every so often, just incase there's something that needs changing and im of the opinion that the knees are in the wrong position, that they're too low, or at least appear that way. This also applies to the crotch, even in my new version im still sure it's not proportionally correct. I've tried to keep it based on the 8-head proportion guide, after reviewing it again i realised that sections of the body were out of proportion, according to the guide.

Below is the current version of what im working on at the moment with the aim of rectifying the issue of the disproportionate body, i am aware the changes are quite small at this size, with the previous version next to it for reference.



I've also got the problem of trying to keep the sprites under or at least at 32x32, which fits tiles i've made, i tried going up to 64X64 tile size but that was frankly too big but without making them look too small or unintentionally dwarf-like or weak. This size limitation has meant that I've had to make the character bases 1-pixel shorter as well, to fit the 32X32 limit, as they were previously too big.

Im interested in hearing people's opinions on whether trying a realistic style at such a size is even possible, let alone practical. I realise that at this level and size i am sacrificing a great deal of realism for the sake of portraying limbs, the body etc, so realism may not even be desirable, but my main goal is to have a medium between a realistic and practical style. I guess the main question i have is, am i concentrating too much on the former, to the detriment of the latter?

I've always liked the sprites in Final Fantasy Tactics, Tactics Advance and Tactics Advance 2, as well as in Tactics Ogre and the knight of Lodis, although i feel their proportions are odd, resulting in a chibi-like style which i personally find difficult to emulate, thought this is less pronouned in the Final Fantasy tactics, which has more detailed, larger sprites, but seem to be closer to chibi style than my attempts, which may be due to the perspective in the game (isometric, i think?).

Apologies for the rambling, I honestly don't know much about art nor any of it's theory. My main inspiration and reason for ever venturing into pixel-art is the desire to emulate or achieve something akin to above mentioned games, as well as Shining Force 1 & 2, Alundra, Pokemon, etc.

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] General pixel-art

Reply #95 on: January 17, 2015, 07:57:39 pm
Haven't done much recently, but here's some updates:











Nothing massive or radical unfortunately.

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] General pixel-art

Reply #96 on: February 04, 2015, 12:05:18 am
Been practising all the time, haven't made anything that i'd want to submit or has even gotten past the wip stage yet because i feel it's not up to a good enough standard :-[

Sorry that all my stuff is basically the same, I've made stuff that i look at now and am frankly embarrassed with so i want to practice until i can get to a stage where i'm happy enough with it, if that makes sense? I realise it's probably a fool's errand but it's how i feel.

Updates on animations;

One-handed attack:



I've been told that realistically attacks would be done in a quicker fashion, rather than the slower, more flashy version i've previously done. I removed some frames and sped up the attack, but i feel it's now too fast possibly, but might as well include it for the sake of progression.

Spear attack(s):

After watching some videos of people using spears and playing games like Dark Souls 1 and two, i realised some of them actually slid in the hand (but not out of it) during the attack. Here's a one-handed version:



I wasn't sure how i'd go about it in a two-handed version, but i presume it's something like this (obviously with full arm motion but it's just a quick attempt atm):



Also was just wondering if anyone could review the palette im using? I've been using it for a while, but i always like to change it every so often so i can learn more from it:



It's currently 36 colours (34 without black or white)

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] General pixel-art

Reply #97 on: February 19, 2015, 07:43:33 pm
Just a small update, mostly animation wise:

Tried varying the single-handed attack animation:

Side swing:







I will probably speed the other two up, but i just want to make sure i've gotten the basic movement done right.

Here's an archer's basic attack:



Static unit bases for now (playing around with black outlines, also thinking of putting black outlines around weapons):



Trying to make them all look different is harder then i thought it would be, im trying to avoid making them look samey and bland.

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] General pixel-art

Reply #98 on: April 03, 2015, 07:49:06 pm
Haven't done much as of late sadly, but here's some of what i've done:

I'm currently experimenting with idle animations and trying to settle on one i could use, here's an example:



I'm trying to make different units for each of (currently)four factions, as of now each faction is denoted by a differing colour, sort of like in Advance Wars, although im also wanting the appearances to be visually different as well, so one can tell immediately (and not just because of said faction's colour).

Some more below (Sorry for the unused space, still trying think of more units to make):



More attempts at improving previous attack animatios below.

One handed: Should probably be faster, but i am worried if i increase the speed it'll look too fast.



Two-handed sword:



Two-handed non-sword attack:



Sorry if there's not much improvement!

Offline r1k

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 270
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] General pixel-art

Reply #99 on: April 03, 2015, 10:26:05 pm
On the idle animations, I think the frame where the legs are the most bent is a little too much.  Makes it look more like theyre doing some kind of squat exercise than an idle.

Offline Flappy

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] General pixel-art

Reply #100 on: April 04, 2015, 07:41:16 am


Some thoughts on your little guys, just to give you some ideas. Yours are below, mine are above.

Terrified first time critique-r here so Iím not sure what I should talk about exactly, so if youíve got any questions on what I did or why feel free to ask. Let me just say: I really like your little men. Theyíre bright and colourful and strangely adorable. Onto the critique though.

Palette wise:

- White ramp could do with more contrast. I bumped it up a bit in my edits but it could probably be taken further.

- Yellow on white/yellow next to white is a hard combo to discern at times. For example, I didnít notice it on the old purple wizard guy until I zoomed in. Not sure how to fix exactly.

Design wise:

- Blue faction, I would personally exorcise that orange. The orange faction are orange, so itís muddying up the distinction between factions.

- Leg area, those thin strips of skin showing beneath pants/skirts that are only one or two pixels tall. These create a strip of high contrast that distracts the eye and helps to create noise. High contrast should really be focused where you want the viewer to look, torso (your largest blob of colour, best for creating a quick Ďreadí), and weapon (because thatís also important information).

- You can get a stronger design wise by stronger clothing division. Right now theyíre suffering from what Iíll dub mix-and-match syndrome (honestly not a real term, donít bother trying to look it up). Basically across all your factions you have similar elements, such as pleated skirts/dresses, the same shoes, etc. Splitting features across factions, like pleated skirts being only for blue and horned helmets only for green helps to separate factions.

Thatís the main points I think. My edits arenít necessarily the best, but like I said theyíre just to give you some ideas. Alternative views and everything you know.

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] General pixel-art

Reply #101 on: April 04, 2015, 08:11:40 am
Thanks so much for the edit and critique Flappy, I really appreciate it and your edit gives me some new ideas that im going to try. I just want to say that im trying to keep the size under or about 32x32.

Palette:

Perfectly reasonable; will try to bump up the gray/white's contrast. Im just worried about making them too dark as im still inexperienced with palettes. Will also remove yellow on white, thanks for the input!

Design:

Regarding blue's orange armour; my intent was that it was supposed to be bronze, mimicking ancient greek armour but i understand that it could lead to misreading and confusion. I'll try to find an alternative to this.

Regarding the leg skin; this is really valuable input; i wasn't aware it created noise so i will take steps to remedying that, thanks!

Regarding your last comment; thanks for pointing this out, will work to ensure certain design choices are unique to each colour/faction.

Your comments have been really helpful and they've given me a lot to think about; thanks so much! Hopefully i can repay you one day for your advice. I've found when you're making something (regardless of the medium) you can get bogged down with what you're doing and you become unable to view your work with an independent, unbiased eye, so differing views are always welcome.

r1k: Thanks for the comment; will edit it and generally play around with it and see what it looks like if i make them less bent/sticking out less.



So i've been spending the last few days re-doing some of the classes/characters. Haven't gotten onto the medieval (purple) ones yet and i still haven't finished any of the other ones but here's what i've got:



For comparison's sake old version is on left, new on right, although not all have previous versions.


I was disappointed with most of them last time, but im hoping they look less stock and have character/flavour to them, rather than just looking like generic military units.

Got to say again i really appreciated your input flappy; i incorporated most of your edit's details in my new attempts. Tried adding a roman-flavour to one of the blue units, added some celtic (mainly scottish) elements to the green as well.

Sorry for the double post; i just want to know whether this is a step in the right direction in regards to making them look better and "different".

Further update (Some more done):

« Last Edit: April 10, 2015, 06:33:00 pm by AshCrimson »

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] General pixel-art

Reply #102 on: April 21, 2015, 01:46:54 pm
Update:

Here's some casting animations for the factions priests (unsure if i'll make unique one's for mages though)







Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] General pixel-art

Reply #103 on: May 10, 2015, 07:44:41 pm
Here's some updated attack animations:





Sorry for the slow and small updates, been juggling work and pixel-art for the last few weeks.

I know the waist is quite stiff but i am unsure of how to show the rotation of the waist without making it too exaggerated.

I've also been working on tiles:



Also some updates on units:



Edit:

Added Anti-aliasing to Outside outlines for Roads, Mountains, Rivers, Marshes/Swamps, Lakes/Ponds and Towers.

Changed Towers, made them slightly thinner in the middle.

Changed Castles appearance, tried to make the bricks in the wall visible.

Changed Marshes/Swamps; hopefully they look more like either of them, i also changed their colours as well to green, still unsure if they read well though.

Changed Mountains: Made they more rounded, unsure if they look better compared to previous version. Tried to split them up with a black outline in the inside.

Roads/Paths: Removed banding from inside and replaced with Anti-aliasing. Hopefully it looks cleaner now.

Forests: added dirt beneath the trees (inspired by an edit made on another forum)

« Last Edit: May 11, 2015, 06:36:56 pm by AshCrimson »

Offline AshCrimson

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP][C&C] General pixel-art

Reply #104 on: June 17, 2015, 11:23:39 pm
Sorry for the lack of updates, been busy with my new job, still pixeling but at a slower rate.

Played around with trying to twist the torso during a sword swing, hopefully it looks more active and less awkward:



Updated idle animations, with two versions; one for battle and one for the map.

Map/Non-Combat idle animation (Tried to keep it from looking too much like the combat idle animation, but it ended up looking stilted, so i added a bend):



Combat (Not a lot of difference, but they have an initially wider stance):

Offline Seiseki

  • 0011
  • **
  • Posts: 915
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Starmancer
    • OminuxGames
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/35207.htm
    • StarmancerGame
    • View Profile
    • Starmancer Patreon

Re: [WIP][C&C] General pixel-art

Reply #105 on: June 18, 2015, 08:49:42 am
The tiles look very strange when you outline absolutely everywhere.
It's like everything is floating above the ground.

A good rule for outlines is, don't outline where stuff connects into the ground.
You want the trees, mountains, rivers and roads to blend into the ground.