AuthorTopic: [C+C] [Newbie] Help me get on the right track!  (Read 8085 times)

Offline Alvarop

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[C+C] [Newbie] Help me get on the right track!

on: November 11, 2014, 04:17:26 pm
Hello everybody,

I'm pretty new to pixel art and I was wondering if you guys could give me some tips and feedback to get better and not get into bad habits.
Here's what I've done for now. General tips are also welcome.

Mockups for a reverse metroidvania I'm making





I'm aware this one might look weird to you because it has two pixel sizes. My mistake, I mixed two images together without realizing this was a bad thing.



Practice













Alright so, don't be shy and hold no punches. I want to get better and I'm making at least one piece a day (I don't always save them because they suck)
« Last Edit: November 11, 2014, 04:20:46 pm by Alvarop »

Offline PixelPiledriver

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Re: [C+C] [Newbie] Help me get on the right track!

Reply #1 on: November 11, 2014, 06:11:08 pm
Quote
I'm pretty new to pixel art
Welcome to Pixelation!   :crazy:

Quote
(I don't always save them because they suck)
WHAAAT!?  :wah:
Save all your work, even "crappy" stuff.
It's good for comparative progression along your pixel journey.
You can even dust off old files and improve them later if you want.

Don't have time for a long post right now.  :blind:
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline Alvarop

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Re: [C+C] [Newbie] Help me get on the right track!

Reply #2 on: November 11, 2014, 07:06:03 pm
Quote
WHAAAT!?  :wah:
Save all your work, even "crappy" stuff.
It's good for comparative progression along your pixel journey.
You can even dust off old files and improve them later if you want.

That's a good idea and I think I'll start doing that from now on. Thanks!



Tried making a little slime-guy. Can't figure out how to shade him / make his body look any good.

At least my lines are not that terrible? Not sure...





Also tried to make some 32x32 px tiles.

« Last Edit: November 13, 2014, 08:41:40 pm by PixelPiledriver »

Offline Decroded

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Re: [C+C] [Newbie] Help me get on the right track!

Reply #3 on: November 13, 2014, 11:37:59 am
i haven't read much so not sure if ur going for a minimalist style, but here's some ideas if ur not.
     



Offline Alvarop

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Re: [C+C] [Newbie] Help me get on the right track!

Reply #4 on: November 13, 2014, 12:18:31 pm
I actually was but I should try to go for something more complex to learn some more. I'll try to improve my tileset and post another version later on.

Offline hobbler_toppler

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Re: [C+C] [Newbie] Help me get on the right track!

Reply #5 on: November 18, 2014, 09:33:22 pm
Honestly, I've played plenty of little games which managed to keep me immersed with this type of minimalist artstyle. If your goal is to make a small game, then I would just go ahead and do it, despite your tiles not looking anything like Decroded's edit. You'll be happier with a completed game on your resume even if it has super-simple graphics. I know it sounds like I'm telling you to be complacent, but I'm kind of getting the impression that you got intimidated by Decroded's cool looking edit and gave up. My suggestion is to take that grass tile, add another complementary tile (maybe some blocks or stones) and show us a mockup of a hypothetical game. The key to making good, but very simple pixel art is how it all ties together, which is why mockups are more telling than individual tiles. Here's hoping you didn't give up!

Offline Maki

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Re: [C+C] [Newbie] Help me get on the right track!

Reply #6 on: November 18, 2014, 10:04:46 pm
The key to making good, but very simple pixel art is how it all ties together, which is why mockups are more telling than individual tiles. Here's hoping you didn't give up!

Although what Decroded did looks wonderful, you probably can't go straight with that if you're new. Not that it would be impossible for you to make it, but it would take you much more time and you'd be therefore wasting tons of time without learning much. Basic pixel art knowledge can still be tested on way easier graphics.

Take a look at these, they're simple, more than having to do extremely awesome shaping, textures and colours, you gotta get the feel of depth in my opinion. Ofc art will start to look good once you're able to do all of the above on a decent level.

Some promised samples to look at.
http://i.imgur.com/FXtiTvk.gif

http://images.pocketgamer.co.uk/FCKEditorFiles//Deep%20Dungeons%20of%20Doom%20Image.jpg

This looks like something you could do with the way you're doing your art atm. It has a little bit more depth, but it's still sidescroller.


Hope this helps.

Offline Alvarop

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Re: [C+C] [Newbie] Help me get on the right track!

Reply #7 on: November 18, 2014, 10:12:37 pm
Hey guys, I did not give up on pixel art! I'm practicing a little every day whenever I can. I will study those examples you sent my way Maki, I really like how they look and I hope one day I'll be able to do something like that. I'm currently working on a piece for pixeljoint's weekly challenge, I'll post it soon :)

And while I may have gotten intimidated ("I'll never be able to do that!"), I actually got motivated to see what I might be able to do one day, so no worries about that. I'm reading more and practicing so I'm understanding some things better. I can't quite get what I have on my mind in pixel form, but I've improved. Again, I'll post an example later.(I'll edit this)
« Last Edit: November 18, 2014, 11:59:54 pm by Alvarop »

Offline Maki

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Re: [C+C] [Newbie] Help me get on the right track!

Reply #8 on: November 19, 2014, 03:55:44 pm
I can't quite get what I have on my mind in pixel form, but I've improved.

I've had about the same problem at the beggining. I knew how I'd like to have the final outcome, but then it just seemed impossible to get anywhere with pixels. So once again, start small, get along with all the techniques and ''rules''.

Here's some that are pretty similar to what you've done so far. Try to work with colours as well, to get better with the palletes/colour choice.
You might wanna check out this game. It's simple, but the graphics look well all together.

I believe it's called Elliot Quest, it's good for learning cause there's 2 different views in game and it's pretty basic.



Offline Alvarop

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Re: [C+C] [Newbie] Help me get on the right track!

Reply #9 on: November 20, 2014, 01:23:26 pm

Keepin' it simple. A couple of slimes. I don't know how to do the outline / shading yet.... Trying out stuff. Gonna try to animate these guys eventually. Basically it's the same slimes as in the first post, but with twice as much pixels.

I've read a few tutorials on lighting and shading but it never comes out like I'd want it to. I guess that's because I'm no artist and I need practice. I think I'm going to try and do simple shapes : cubes, spheres, etc. and light them differently to try and understand how this works. Is this a good idea?


edit : Here's a guy I'm doing for the pixeljoint weekly challenge. I have no idea what I'm doing  ??? ??? ???


trying stuff out


Looks even worse with transparency?
« Last Edit: November 20, 2014, 07:50:14 pm by Alvarop »

Offline Fizzick

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Re: [C+C] [Newbie] Help me get on the right track!

Reply #10 on: November 20, 2014, 08:19:11 pm
I don't think slime drops are going to help you move forward.

Offline Alvarop

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Re: [C+C] [Newbie] Help me get on the right track!

Reply #11 on: November 20, 2014, 08:38:42 pm
What are your recommendations, Fizzick?

Offline Decroded

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Re: [C+C] [Newbie] Help me get on the right track!

Reply #12 on: November 20, 2014, 10:27:03 pm
Draw from reference.
Copy a photo of an old rusted car with grass growing around it.
Draw a horse.
Whatever takes ur interest.
U can post ur reference here and don't be afraid to post scrappy rough drafts as u progress along.
Pretty sure u will learn lots from that since ppl here r pretty keen to help.
The more u learn from drawing realism will benefit what ur able to do in a minimalist style.

Offline jackjokezz

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Re: [C+C] [Newbie] Help me get on the right track!

Reply #13 on: November 24, 2014, 04:51:17 am

Keepin' it simple. A couple of slimes. I don't know how to do the outline / shading yet.... Trying out stuff. Gonna try to animate these guys eventually. Basically it's the same slimes as in the first post, but with twice as much pixels.

I've read a few tutorials on lighting and shading but it never comes out like I'd want it to. I guess that's because I'm no artist and I need practice. I think I'm going to try and do simple shapes : cubes, spheres, etc. and light them differently to try and understand how this works. Is this a good idea?

Hey Alvarop,

Just thought I'd drop in my two cents.

I like your form a lot, just I wanted to edit your colors a bit. Your blue is a bit too saturated so I scaled it down a bit and made it a bit lighter and you might want to shift your hues and saturation a bit more.
  • As opposed to just making a black line for the eyes, I made them a fairly dark purple so it blends well with the blue. This was a bit of an issue since the blue was so dark and the black was so... "black" they kind of mixed together and the eyes didn't contrast well.
  • The white that was used for the highlight I shifted it just a teensy bit to the light blue and saturated it just enough that you can tell it's bluish. The reason for this is basically the way that light works in the real world; when you shine a light on a surface it doesn't turn directly white, but rather a very light shade of said color. In this case a slime --which is basically animated Jell-O-- will have a light blue as opposed to pure white.
  • Lastly, I made your outline a bit darker, but notice I used a shade of purple. It's not directly noticeable at first glance, but that's the point. From a distance, it looks like a medium blue, but it's actually a purple. That's because it is surrounded by a bunch of light colors! So long story short, the colors surrounding a pixel matter just as much as the color of said pixel itself.
You can read more about that here http://finalbossblues.com/thinking-in-color/.

I'm by no means an "expert" myself, but I'll help in whatever way I can  :y: keep up the good work!

Offline Alvarop

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Re: [C+C] [Newbie] Help me get on the right track!

Reply #14 on: November 24, 2014, 04:58:20 am
Hey, thanks for the feedback. I'm currently checking out the changes you made and comparing it to my take, to see what I did wrong.

I'm currently following Decroded's advice and working from references. Pictures, mostly. I don't feel I'm doing that good of a job, but I'm trying to.


Tried to do something with a picture my gf posted on instagram.
(silly, but i'm doing that as a little learning project, making pixel art from her pictures)

It's off, but yeah, I think I kind of made the "fog" work? Not sure. I don't know how to keep the "foggy" effect *and* add some contrast like there is in the picture. I tried some stuff, but it didn't work so this is what I could come up with.


Here's a portrait I tried to do, and that I'm still working on (some lines don't make sense and stuff, also can't post reference, she doesn't want me to)
I guess this is more relevant to the "work from references" idea than pixel art, as it doesn't respect many of its rules.


Also did this one

from this one


But I couldn,t really get the curtains and reflections right so I just took the cat's shape and went with it.

If I may self critic myself, the cat one has "bad colours" (they're too much alike and you can't really read the image well). I know that now, but it's hard to notice those things when I'm working on it.

Also, I think one of my main problem is that I just don't know how to draw. I used to draw as a kid and people told me I was good, but really, I wasn't. I would always draw the same thing and that's making it hard for me to get forms and shapes down correctly. I'm doodling here and there, when I can, but yeah, it's going to take a while.

Honestly, the more I try to draw from reference, the more I feel I'm not good at this. I'm going backwards, lol.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2014, 05:13:55 am by Alvarop »

Offline PixelPiledriver

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Re: [C+C] [Newbie] Help me get on the right track!

Reply #15 on: November 24, 2014, 05:59:05 am
Quote
I know that now, but it's hard to notice those things when I'm working on it.
It's never too late to tweak colors.
Put the image into IndexColor mode and pump out some variations.



What drawing software are you using?

Quote
Honestly, the more I try to draw from reference, the more I feel I'm not good at this. I'm going backwards, lol.
It's meant to be difficult.
That's why it's a good exercise.
Don't forget to warm up with loose but decisive scribbling.
And don't worry about "not being good".
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline Alvarop

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Re: [C+C] [Newbie] Help me get on the right track!

Reply #16 on: November 24, 2014, 05:28:42 pm

Put the image into IndexColor mode and pump out some variations.

No idea how to do that, I'll look it up.
What drawing software are you using?

Photoshop.
Quote
It's meant to be difficult.
That's why it's a good exercise.
Don't forget to warm up with loose but decisive scribbling.
And don't worry about "not being good".

Good to know that it's meant to be difficult. I'll keep it in mind.

Offline Alvarop

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Re: [C+C] [Newbie] Help me get on the right track!

Reply #17 on: March 05, 2015, 07:29:31 pm




Some more practice.

Offline Friend

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Re: [C+C] [Newbie] Help me get on the right track!

Reply #18 on: March 05, 2015, 08:09:27 pm
hely alvarop  :D, I really like what I see so far.  I'm also glad you put "help me get on the right track" in your title.  We can use it to help you-

Do you feel you are not on the right track?  why not?  I see two tracks-

track (a) has more direction and focus:
 (a) Where do you want to improve for now?  Drawing? Pixeling?  It might be best to focus on one aspect at a time.
  I personally think you should first pick a spot you want to improve in and dedicate a single work or a few to that goal...I think your progress will be slower if you stick to the track in which you create one thing that has no focus or goal to improve, finish it, move to another piece and rinse and repeat.  A faster track I think would be to start with the fundamentals in whatever area you want to improve.
Say, if it is drawing- maybe start by learning how to draw the most basic 3d objects in various perspectives. Stick with an area until considerable progress has been made.
Or if it is pixeling- maybe start by doing a small portrait and focusing how to master the pixels within it. 

track (b) has less focus, but more freedom to attain various skills at the same time.  The problem is that you will not see much improvement in your work for a long long time, but maybe eventually everything will click into place.  Also, you run into the possibility of your specific strengths in drawing or in pixel art to become way out of balance with your weaknesses, and you may become frustrated and avoid fixing your weaknesses.  The benefit is it can be more fun, and definitely allows more freedom.

Of course progress is not so divided between tracks like this, and the right track will ultimately be whatever you want it to be.
I myself went with track b.  I began pixeling with zero skills in drawing.  For a few years I observed pixels, learned the rules, found my favorites.  I started thinking and understanding pixels deeper through observation and occasional messing around with them.  I did not learn any skill in pixeling fast because I did not focus attention to any area, but instead tried to do it all at once without breaking it down.  Fast forward a few years to now and my understanding of pixels is good, but I can't draw, so now I have to completely forget for now most of what I have learned about pixeling to instead learn how to draw.  It will take a long time for my drawing level to reach my pixeling.  The good thing is, I can pixel great, and understand a lot of the pixel techniques!  And if I hadn't gone track b, I may have never been interested in learning how to draw...

if you go track b, you will eventually need to pull your weaknesses up to match your strengths.  If you go track a, you should find a way to keep yourself inspired, since learning fundamentals can zap the inspiration out of what you are making as you do it...Drawing cubes is just not very inspiring without some extra creativity.

either way, I think that your art is great (I hope to see improvement) ^_^


Offline Ai

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Re: [C+C] [Newbie] Help me get on the right track!

Reply #19 on: March 06, 2015, 07:39:36 am
Honestly, the more I try to draw from reference, the more I feel I'm not good at this. I'm going backwards, lol.
Aside from PPD's very on-point statement "Don't worry about being good",  I want to point out that feeling you're not good at this is the feeling of improvement. If you get to feeling 'I'm good at this', it's time to move on to something more challenging.
This is something paradoxical about reward in art that I think it's very important to keep in mind: you are usually getting the most gains out of the work you feel crappiest about, cause you are noticing your errors.

That cat seems rather French for some reason :)

Is Photoshop something you are very familiar with, or not so much? If not, moving to a dedicated pixel art app like GrafX2 or Pro Motion may help you to pixel more effectively.
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.