AuthorTopic: [C + C][Game Sprites] Bigger Sprites  (Read 3708 times)

Offline Tetiro

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[C + C][Game Sprites] Bigger Sprites

on: September 10, 2014, 12:38:49 pm
Hey everyone!

While I work on Legena, I also do smaller projects. And for my next 2 smaller projects (and one almost finished project), I need bigger sprites. You see, I am only good at spriting in small details. The moment I go bigger, the graphics tend to look bad. I want to fix that. So I want you guys to rip apart my game sprite I just conjured up to find out what is going wrong.



I am looking for as much criticism to improve my work so I can get these projects in full swing (A Fighter game and a Isometric game. Both of which need smooth graphics). Now I am not looking for perfect. But better than what I can currently sprite.

I have also noticed the following so any help curing these problems would be helpful.
  • I can never get skin colour right
  • Shading and Highlights on clothes always look...strange
  • I feel odd with the arms and legs

Offline hobbler_toppler

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Re: [C + C][Game Sprites] Bigger Sprites

Reply #1 on: September 11, 2014, 05:33:00 pm
It's good that you're motivated enough to tackle all these projects. However, before you work on a fighting game in particular, your "big" pixel art skills are going to need some work. There are a couple of major problems hindering these piece, and thankfully, they're both pretty simple to fix.

The first problem is the pose. You were right to feel odd about the arms and the legs. His body parts aren't working in unison to do anything meaningful. What's the purpose of the sprite? Is it going to be a walking animation, or an idle animation? His pose makes him look like his knees are pressed together with his lower legs splayed outward, butt sticking out. I'm also not quite sure why one of his arms is raised. I would suggest redoing the piece with a solid pose in mind; maybe use a mirror to come up with something. If you do that, then suddenly things will begin to make more sense and he won't look "odd" anymore.

The second problem is your chaotic pixel placement. It looks like you tried to imitate jpeg artifacts by hand. On small pieces like this (even though it may be bigger than your regular work), it's still important not to overcomplicate things. Here is an edit I made to illustrate:



It's good to illustrate texture, but you need to be subtle because you don't have very much room to do so in pixel art. If you go overboard it just looks like a murky swamp of random pixels. For now I think you'd be better off just picking a light source and shading from the opposite direction.

I hope this was helpful. Good luck with your games!

Offline Tetiro

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Re: [C + C][Game Sprites] Bigger Sprites

Reply #2 on: September 11, 2014, 05:43:52 pm
It's good that you're motivated enough to tackle all these projects. However, before you work on a fighting game in particular, your "big" pixel art skills are going to need some work. There are a couple of major problems hindering these piece, and thankfully, they're both pretty simple to fix.

The first problem is the pose. You were right to feel odd about the arms and the legs. His body parts aren't working in unison to do anything meaningful. What's the purpose of the sprite? Is it going to be a walking animation, or an idle animation? His pose makes him look like his knees are pressed together with his lower legs splayed outward, butt sticking out. I'm also not quite sure why one of his arms is raised. I would suggest redoing the piece with a solid pose in mind; maybe use a mirror to come up with something. If you do that, then suddenly things will begin to make more sense and he won't look "odd" anymore.

The second problem is your chaotic pixel placement. It looks like you tried to imitate jpeg artifacts by hand. On small pieces like this (even though it may be bigger than your regular work), it's still important not to overcomplicate things. Here is an edit I made to illustrate:



It's good to illustrate texture, but you need to be subtle because you don't have very much room to do so in pixel art. If you go overboard it just looks like a murky swamp of random pixels. For now I think you'd be better off just picking a light source and shading from the opposite direction.

I hope this was helpful. Good luck with your games!

I am glad I decided to focus on the isometric game first then! It is clear my humanoid sprites are terrible.

Pose: Actually it has no purpose. It is just a practice sprite.

Arms and Legs: I always have problems with arms and legs the moment the sprites get bigger. I use a mirror as well and that does not help. Are there any tutorials about getting arms and legs right? And please note I am an absolute beginner of big sprites so tone down the art terms. I really am more of a programmer than an artist.

Chaotic Pixel: JPEG? That's a little harsh :P I do know why though. It looks too noisy right? I can fix that.

Light Source and Shading: But what happens if I don't want to add shading but highlights instead?

Do you have any articles/tutorials to better help my symptoms?
And finally, was there anything about this sprite that was ok/good?

Offline hobbler_toppler

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Re: [C + C][Game Sprites] Bigger Sprites

Reply #3 on: September 11, 2014, 06:42:35 pm
I'm sorry if I seemed overly harsh. I can be long-winded sometimes so it may have seemed like i was levying an essay of complaints about your piece when I didn't intend for it to come out that way.

I think it'd be best not to mentally separate highlights vs shading. They're all part of the same thing - defining forms by implying a light source. It may sound vague but as long as it seems like the light source is coming from a consistent direction, then you're on the right track regardless of whether you consider it "highlights" vs "shading".

I'm almost late for work so I'll address the other posts later today. Good luck!

Offline Tetiro

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Re: [C + C][Game Sprites] Bigger Sprites

Reply #4 on: September 11, 2014, 07:03:32 pm
I'm sorry if I seemed overly harsh. I can be long-winded sometimes so it may have seemed like i was levying an essay of complaints about your piece when I didn't intend for it to come out that way.

I think it'd be best not to mentally separate highlights vs shading. They're all part of the same thing - defining forms by implying a light source. It may sound vague but as long as it seems like the light source is coming from a consistent direction, then you're on the right track regardless of whether you consider it "highlights" vs "shading".

I'm almost late for work so I'll address the other posts later today. Good luck!

No no that's fine! In fact, I am happy you were harsh. In fact, I agree on all of your points. Keep it coming!

Tell you what, I will work on everything minus the arms/legs tonight. Can you help me with poses? It's easy to get someone to fix a sprite, harder to learn how to fix it yourself. I want to be able to fix it myself!

Offline Tetiro

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Re: [C + C][Game Sprites] Bigger Sprites

Reply #5 on: September 13, 2014, 02:28:14 pm
I had another try on the shading and noise-control. Can you tell me if it is better or worse?

Offline HarveyDentMustDie

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Re: [C + C][Game Sprites] Bigger Sprites

Reply #6 on: September 13, 2014, 04:45:08 pm
Remove black outlines they occupy useful space. Also try to give some facial features cause now he is almost faceless and if you want to use him for a game it will be very hard to show basic emotions.

Here's my edit:

Offline Tetiro

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Re: [C + C][Game Sprites] Bigger Sprites

Reply #7 on: September 13, 2014, 07:43:12 pm
Remove black outlines they occupy useful space. Also try to give some facial features cause now he is almost faceless and if you want to use him for a game it will be very hard to show basic emotions.

Here's my edit:


I will be honest, that sprite is not my style. However I will add facial features :)