AuthorTopic: [WIP] Game Art  (Read 6313 times)

Offline melbow

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[WIP] Game Art

on: September 24, 2014, 07:47:00 am
I've exhausted my talents, as I am a programmer and only rarely have dabbled in pixel art, so any comments or criticisms would be of great use.

I have the most issues with color. I am finding it hard to find colors that have enough contrast with the bird and still look good. I'm not as concerned with composition because I'll be moving things around anyways when making the game.



Things I like that I did: The trees, the bird, the mushrooms, and the grass.

I'm open to any ideas, even crazy ones.

EDIT:
A little about my project... This will play like a platformer, but I don't want to restrict myself to using a tileset and want things to be a little more organic. In conjuction, I don't really mind having a large number of colors in the art either, but I am not really skilled enough to where it would make a difference if I used a lot more colors. I would love it if I could make the whole thing look kind of wooden and toy-ish.

In this image, the water wheel would be turning and the bird can interact with it. Water will be flowing onto it from the right, but I have not drawn that yet.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2014, 05:49:27 pm by melbow »

Offline Manupix

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Re: [WIP] Game Art

Reply #1 on: September 24, 2014, 05:27:16 pm
Looks nice already =)

We'd need more info for useful critique. Like what's moving and what's only bg? What's the game about, what's the player supposed to do, etc.
I guess the bird is the main sprite, the wheel would turn (but where's the water?).
Sprites should be contrasted from bg by color contrast and saturation, and consistent outlines.

The wheel has outlines everywhere except the vanes: why is that?
The bird outlines are not contrasted enough to make it stand out. Variously colored outlines are difficult to do right, I'd go for a single dark color at this point.
The wheel colors might be warmer and more saturated.
The bird pixeling isn't great; it's not stylized enough compared to everything else.
The grass is too noisy.
The very stylized trees are nice; they look like wooden toy trees which works rather well with the overall feel of the piece. That's a direction you might lean toward more consciously. Go crazy with colors.

There isn't an obvious light source; only the trees seem lit from the side. I'd go for top-down light and shade accordingly; it's the easiest light-source for games because it allows mirroring.
Stuff needs to cast shadows on the wall: shutters and platform, maybe wheel.

Offline melbow

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Re: [WIP] Game Art

Reply #2 on: September 24, 2014, 05:57:34 pm
Thanks for your feedback Manupix! It's exactly the stuff I need to get on track. I added a little more description in the topic.
I pictured the light source being top right but I agree it's inconsistent if not non-existent at this time. I'll work on it tonight.

Offline melbow

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Re: [WIP] Game Art

Reply #3 on: September 25, 2014, 08:09:10 am
I didn't do much because I actually got hit by a car today and my arm is aching, but I really wanted to get something done, so I worked on the grass and bird. The grass is much less noisy and only is longer in places that would be hard to mow, so next to the fence and under the trees. The bird is better, but I am going to see if I can't match the styling of the tree a little more next revision.


I also need to work out how to do shading on the water wheel when it is spinning... Should I make it more ambient and static or would I need to actually animate the shading for it to look correct? I'm trying to get away with as little detail as possible because I've never really done pixel animation before and I know it will take me forever.

Offline Manupix

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Re: [WIP] Game Art

Reply #4 on: September 26, 2014, 08:11:16 pm
That's a very minimal change. More contrast is good, but I'm afraid you'll have to redo this bird from scratch anyway.
First thing to clarify: is it a real bird in a toy-like setting, or is everything supposed to look toy-like?
Then how is it going to be animated, what actions are planned?

Contrary to most of the bg, you're fighting against the pixels in this bird, instead of using them to your advantage. Outlines are jaggy, natural pixel angles are ignored.
I'd recommend to research options at this point then experiment with some (of course not all pieces in this link are relevant, but some definitely are).

Something I didn't think of about the wheel is the problem of size vs anim.
It's going to require a large number of frames to look smooth at this size, and lines will look bad at all angles other than the present one. Can you downsize it significantly?
It can be done anyway =)

Previous grass was better. When I said noisy, I meant that the bright pixels looked random instead of defining blades of grass clearly. Keep a few blades only but make them clearer and a bit larger if needed.

Offline melbow

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Re: [WIP] Game Art

Reply #5 on: September 29, 2014, 06:01:20 am
So I started over completely on the bird as you suggested. I have been struggling for a while but finally got inspired by some cute little owl pictures. This is what I came up with. I think it's MUCH better.

« Last Edit: September 30, 2014, 07:06:30 pm by melbow »

Offline YellowLime

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Re: [WIP] Game Art

Reply #6 on: September 29, 2014, 10:51:38 am
I didn't do much because I actually got hit by a car today
Oh my sh*t. :-X Thankfully, it seems you didn't get badly hurt. Get well soon!

If you want things to look more toyish, add glossiness and saturation :y::)
Take the Nitrome games as example.
Just make sure the player can differentiate the background from the elements.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2014, 10:53:51 am by YellowLime »

Offline melbow

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Re: [WIP] Game Art

Reply #7 on: September 30, 2014, 07:19:08 pm
Oh my sh*t. :-X Thankfully, it seems you didn't get badly hurt. Get well soon!

Thank you for your concern. I'm alright -- just some bruising, aching, and tenderness -- nothing permanent.
I wouldn't have mentioned in but I wanted Manupix to know I was really taking his advice to heart and was not slacking, but aching.

And thank you for your suggestion YellowLime, I checked out some of those games and while some look a little shiny, I didn't get a huge toy vibe. I think the animations were too smooth and it's too hard to give that effect with a tiny image. I may just go for the "they are toys" approach, where it is known that they are toys (because you tell the player), but via the powers of imagination, have come to life and appear to be real (or as real as my pixel art can get).
« Last Edit: September 30, 2014, 07:20:55 pm by melbow »

Offline DannyRyuu

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Re: [WIP] Game Art

Reply #8 on: September 30, 2014, 10:26:30 pm
Hey man, great work.
That owl is a great improvement, I would only suggest to either make the trees more detailed or the fence and the owl easier.
It looks kinda like 2 people worked on one piece (i'd suggest making the trees more detailed).
Other than that you have a very unique style!

Offline melbow

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Re: [WIP] Game Art

Reply #9 on: October 02, 2014, 09:16:22 am
Ah, I just realized I never answered all your questions Manupix.
First thing to clarify: is it a real bird in a toy-like setting, or is everything supposed to look toy-like?
Then how is it going to be animated, what actions are planned?
I originally was trying to make it look more stylized and wooden/toyish. I seem to have gradually gone against that, partly because I can't seem to get my old tree to look right lit from above, and partly because the owl looks so much better now and doesn't really look wooden/toyish to me. If you have any recommendations on how to get the original tree looking lit from above, yet maintaining it's elegant simplicity, I'd absolutely love to hear it.

Something I didn't think of about the wheel is the problem of size vs anim.
It's going to require a large number of frames to look smooth at this size, and lines will look bad at all angles other than the present one. Can you downsize it significantly?
It can be done anyway =)
Unfortunately I cannot downsize it. The bird must interact with it. I've removed the water wheel from my recent images because I'm going to rework it to try to come up with something that works better at odd angles.

Previous grass was better. When I said noisy, I meant that the bright pixels looked random instead of defining blades of grass clearly. Keep a few blades only but make them clearer and a bit larger if needed.
Thank you for this! It put me on the right track and I now love my grass.


I reworked the grass. The tree became a kind of bushy tree with more detail. Fence shading was improved. And I randomly added: a bucket, a ladder, and another bird. I tried to make the bird look more toyish/wooden, partly because that's where my original concept laid, and partly for practice.

Sorry for changing the scene up so much. My approach is kind of scatter shot until I finally get what I am going for.