AuthorTopic: I'm new and would like some advice on a piece.  (Read 2681 times)

Offline boogieman

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 13
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

I'm new and would like some advice on a piece.

on: December 08, 2013, 01:50:15 pm
Hello, I'm the new guy  :)

I have messed with image editing for around 15 years and have a grasp on basic things but am completely new to pixel art.  I have read several tutorials and have managed to make this:



It is a boogieman creature that started as a funny story for my niece and sort of warped into my online avatar.  A little about him (it's relevant to the art).  He is kind of a material that you may think of like a dolphin's skin.  He moves with locomotion like how a slug/snail would.  If I were to be realistic, I don't imagine him leaving a slime trail as he moves, so it's not exactly like a slug either.  He also has dark yellow "spots" but I still need to put them in.

I know I still need to try to do some anti aliasing based on a tutorial by Derek Yu, the one with the luchador lawyer, and also final touches and such.  I may try to animate this in the future for an animated avatar.

1.  I would like a little constructive criticism for this pixel art.  I am new to pixel art and really am just "winging it" off of a few tutorials.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
2.  I would like some advice on making him look rubbery/"dolphin skin" for lack of a better word.
3.  Even though he doesn't secrete slime for locomotion, in your opinion would he look better with a wetter looking base?
4.  Any advice on making him look more like something from a Sega Genesis or Super Nintendo era character or cut scene even?

Thanks!

Offline Night

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

Re: I'm new and would like some advice on a piece.

Reply #1 on: December 08, 2013, 02:45:16 pm
You need to work more on the shape and form of your creature, what makes me say this is the shadows on its body (the shading); there's no actual apparent light source in your scene, what gives off the appearance of pillow shading. Focus more on getting the shadows on its body correct, make them hit its body where they need to (not just a slight shadow under the prominent features of your creature, such as under the jaw, or under its belly).

In order to achieve that rubbery look you need a stronger highlight, and also your creature needs to absorb some light onto its skin from its surroundings. You've got a really heavy colour around your creature, purple, use it in order to create reflection on areas where the light source doesn't directly the body.
You should also look up references and study why it looks the way it does, that would definitely give a boost.

For your third question, I'd say yes; it adds some more variety to the textures your creature holds.

For your last question it depends, which character would you give out as an example? They all, pretty much, have different art styles.
The only significant thing I can see that is related to all is the colour palette (which even then, had a lot of colours, so it wouldn't really make that much of a difference).

Another thing I want to mention is the colours. Right now the colour palette isn't very interesting (and even has some wasted colours. e.g that lighter olive green on his stomach, and light pink on the horns).
In order to make your palette more interesting I'd suggest adding hue-shifting, which I generally apply the logic of "hit by the light source = warmer colour and brighter, doesn't get hit by the light = colder colour and darker", there are obviously exceptions and such, but you shouldn't be too bothered with it now, as in your picture it appears to follow that logic.

Just a quick edit to demonstrate what I mean.

There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Offline boogieman

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 13
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: I'm new and would like some advice on a piece.

Reply #2 on: December 08, 2013, 03:08:37 pm
Night, thanks for all the great info.  I will dive into your suggestions when I wake up.  They make a lot of sense and your example really "pops".  I don't really have the proper vocabulary, but it really adds a lot of "life" to the character.  I like what you did with the mouth a lot, it adds a lot of dimension.  I never thought about seeing the cheek/back of mouth.  It makes total sense, I'll chalk that up to a beginner mistake  :-[

I just thought I would post some progression images.  I started out with a really rough sketch, and photographed it, scaled it and outlined it.  The first image is when it was really rough, but at a point I thought I would save as a base point.  I got a little excited and didn't save before this point. 

The second is some plainer coloring I did:

 The third is some attempts at dithering (pretty bad haha). 

I decided at this point to split off and make the image in two different styles.  The first is the one I posted on the purple background.  The second direction was more "outlined" sprite type, if that makes sense.

Offline boogieman

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 13
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: I'm new and would like some advice on a piece.

Reply #3 on: December 10, 2013, 12:39:54 am
So I have been working on this.  I am finding it hard to add the shading without just copying what you did knite.  Haha your "quick" edit is quite nice!  I did decide to redo his mouth.  I have been thinking about how a person (or a mean dog etc) would look and how facial muscles would look in a snarl.  I am trying to work it to show some "gums" above the teeth.  Making him in a snarling pose is more dynamic and puts a lot of emotion into the image.  I also decided to add some little nubby arms in.

It's sort of funny because I didn't realize how much you should understand anatomy and things like facial expressions for pixel art.  I guess that was me being naive, obviously its a form of art so most art rules would apply.

Edit: I still haven't got the shading and such, but I fixed the teeth and facial structure.  I am still not satisfied with it, but I have to go to work soon, so this is my stopping point for now:
« Last Edit: December 10, 2013, 02:07:07 am by boogieman »

Offline Night

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

Re: I'm new and would like some advice on a piece.

Reply #4 on: December 11, 2013, 10:47:14 pm
Try to go with simple shading first, like such.

Just keep in mind where your light source is, and how the shadow falls off of him. :)

I think you should approach the way you're making pixel art a little differently. The way I created my previous edit was by just placing large chunks of colours on top of more chunks of colours. The way I do pixel art is similar to that, the only difference is that at the very beginning I draw down the lines, to get the idea of where everything's gonna be(If you're wondering those lines aren't accurate, I don't refine them, they're there just to give me a basic idea of the structure; quite like painting in real life)

What I do after that is place some colours, without any attention to detail whatsoever (with a big brush obviously), to get the idea of what colour everything is and what it's going to look like, and then I just start refining it. I find it to be the easiest way of making pixel art, when it's a large image.
There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Offline boogieman

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 13
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: I'm new and would like some advice on a piece.

Reply #5 on: July 02, 2014, 01:11:33 pm
I thought I would update you on my progress.  This is still very much a WIP.  I have been very busy IRL and had no time to work on this.  I had been working on it on my tablet using isopix pro (great program btw) and lost my tablet.  Anyway, I found it.  This is what I have done so far.  I feel that something just isn't right about the lighting but it's getting there.