AuthorTopic: Animated Portrait  (Read 7731 times)

Offline AlcopopStar

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Animated Portrait

on: November 29, 2014, 03:04:04 pm
Hey guys,

I did this test animation a little while ago



I since then have been planning to make a higher quality more complex version, just as a kind of exercise to break into animation and see what I can do.

I might ask for this thread to be moved to the animation section eventually, but for the moment i'm just trying to get a polished look down that I can then get moving. (so I don't find myself wanting to change the style on the 5th frame or something). Here is what I have so far:



latest update:


A little rough but I think you can kind of tell what i'm going for. Really looking for some structural or style crits if you have them, I want to get this portrait down before I move on to, well, movement.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2014, 01:43:53 pm by AlcopopStar »

Offline PixelPiledriver

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Re: Animated Portrait

Reply #1 on: November 29, 2014, 06:03:20 pm
Some quick thoughts:

The timing feels mostly even.
There's no real divisions between the actions.
Some boiling here and there, especially in the hair and shoulders, watch your volumes.
Good drawing overall.

Will post some more thoughts later when I have time.
Could do an edit if you like.


And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline Gil

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Re: Animated Portrait

Reply #2 on: November 29, 2014, 06:26:17 pm
I recently watched this and found it somewhat decent to teach people how to draw a head turn.

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

Basically:
- Curve the turn, don't go straight left to right, but in an arc (left, down, right)
- Adjust timings. You're animating it all in 1/2

Offline AlcopopStar

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Re: Animated Portrait

Reply #3 on: November 30, 2014, 01:43:04 pm
Yeah you are both 1000000% correct on the timing of that animation. I feel a little embarrassed actually, it's stuff I knew about but just did think to put in.

You reminded me of a post david oreilly made a while back


I'll certainly be keeping this in mind!

Thanks as well @Gil for the video that was super helpful.

So yes, when I get to the animation part that's where I'll take it.

Until then i'm still trying to figure out a consistent style and design to go with. Here is an update on that front,

Clothing next.



Okay so an update:



I wanted to design some clothing and more or less used that as an excuse to study / crudely mimic Syosa. In the end the clothing design was kinda dull and rushed because I have a million other art things to do, but i'll certainly come back to this idea. As a consequence tho the portrait has some new colours and I feel like these are working a lot better, but still not quite there. a bit of polishing left on both pictures. I think i'll add an idle animation to the figure and the head turn to the portrait. sorry steam of consciousness post it's 2am aaah.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2014, 09:24:25 pm by PixelPiledriver »

Offline Gabriel

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Re: Animated Portrait

Reply #4 on: December 04, 2014, 06:23:15 pm
The abdominal area is a bit long, which in turn makes the hips a bit too wide, as well as the arms a bit long. Also, the abdomen becomes a straight on view without much of any twisting shown, which contradict the leg position. The clothing does cover it a bit which makes it less noticeable, but it should still be addressed. I've made a quick edit to show the changes.

Offline AlcopopStar

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Re: Animated Portrait

Reply #5 on: December 05, 2014, 02:20:03 pm
Thanks Gabriel you were right about the long torso.

Fixed that up and added more general stuff


Pretty much ready to call this done, I'd love to add animations to the whole lot but i'm going to have to put those ambitions on hold while I work on another project for awhile. Thanks for your help everyone!

Offline Manupix

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Re: Animated Portrait

Reply #6 on: December 06, 2014, 09:58:06 am
I love the little one =)

Doesn't look quite finished to me though. Some readability issues remain (small one's hands, medium one's eyes), lines are still a bit messy.
There's a glaring case of banding in the portrait's right eye (hers); her ear anatomy is questionable!

Offline AlcopopStar

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Re: Animated Portrait

Reply #7 on: December 06, 2014, 12:21:30 pm
Cheers Manupix, agree with everything but I can't see the issue with the middle ones eyes tbh


Also I added a bonus littler one.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2014, 01:06:19 pm by AlcopopStar »

Offline Decroded

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Re: Animated Portrait

Reply #8 on: December 06, 2014, 10:29:50 pm
here's a few quick take-it-or-leave-it ideas based on initial impression


Offline AlcopopStar

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Re: Animated Portrait

Reply #9 on: December 07, 2014, 12:59:26 am
Thanks Decroded, great changes, the right changes in fact, the only thing I disagree with is the coloured outline.

Kind of brings me to an odd question though, what's the etiquette to follow when someone makes "correct" changes on a work that size? I mean there is only so many pixels to push around, and the AA falls pretty much where I would put it.  Apply the edit with different details for the sake of not copying is like closing a door on where those pixels could be.

It's something i've always wondered about.

Offline PixelPiledriver

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Re: Animated Portrait

Reply #10 on: December 07, 2014, 01:29:19 am
Quote
Kind of brings me to an odd question though, what's the etiquette to follow when someone makes "correct" changes on a work that size? I mean there is only so many pixels to push around, and the AA falls pretty much where I would put it.  Apply the edit with different details for the sake of not copying is like closing a door on where those pixels could be.

I think I get what you mean, but not exactly.

Are you saying:
- the lower the resolution
- the lower the number of pixels
- the less there is changed in an edit
- the more likely your next variation will match that edit
- the more it looks like you "pixel ripped"

Something like that?

There's is definitely a deep important conversation here.
So elaborate.

I have more to say on the subject, if that is what you are getting at.
But want to hear your side of it first.
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline AlcopopStar

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Re: Animated Portrait

Reply #11 on: December 07, 2014, 02:48:12 am
I'll just add in case it wasn't clear that Decroded's edit was completely welcome and informative, but yes essentially what you are saying PixelPiledriver.

To elaborate, when pixel art is low resolution the number of solutions in play are inherently limited. Editing your own work off someone else's edit can sometimes mean deliberately avoiding the decisions they have made in order not to rip from their edit, which seems kind of crazy to me.

Like Decroded's AA just makes sense, I have nowhere else to put it. And the flame is pretty much spot on too, I could change it but it would kind of be an arbitrary change made more for the sake of not copying then learning or progressing the picture. So I'm kind of left with the choice to either copy the work exactly as it is and feel like i'm ripping, copy the work with arbitrary changes and possibly intentionally work at a lower quality then the edit, or ignore it and apply the information on another picture in the future. None of those feel like optimal choices exactly.

edit: maybe the flame is a bad example, that's probably one of the more malleable edits, but I hope you understand my point. (the change to the eye might be a better example)
« Last Edit: December 07, 2014, 02:58:12 am by AlcopopStar »

Offline NaCl

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Re: Animated Portrait

Reply #12 on: December 07, 2014, 03:16:30 am
I think that question inevitably comes up here, and there's never single right answer. To me, the important thing is not the similarity of the result, but the amount you reap the knowledge and then apply it. As opposed to, just applying it without learning anything. For instance, I posed an animation a while ago where a character stood up from a crouching position. PPD did an edit where when she stood up, and she actually moved up beyond her normal height, and then back down into it. There's not a lot of variation I can add to that, it's simple but very effective movement of one or two pixels. But I did learn something good from it, so I ultimately didn't feel too bad. That's why I was posting in the first place!

Offline AlcopopStar

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Re: Animated Portrait

Reply #13 on: December 07, 2014, 03:33:25 am
I totally get that, and I agree that it's important to not applying changes without thinking about or studying the edit. The edits themselves are wonderful but how to treat your work after they have been given, and after you have learned what changes have been made and why, is a different question.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2014, 04:36:01 am by AlcopopStar »

Offline PixelPiledriver

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Re: Animated Portrait

Reply #14 on: December 07, 2014, 03:37:22 am
I kinda think this conversation is too interesting to have buried inside of this thread.
Seems more like "ramble" material.
But no worries it formed here, so lets just play ahead.

This is quickly formulated thoughts on the subject, so anyone should feel free to point out contradictions and/or oddities that I may say.
There may be better ways to explain what I mean.
Or even points that are more relevant.

In the current era of pixel art that we have apparently formed, it is generally agreed upon that the more importance each pixel has in the piece, the more "pixel art" it is.
This theory is exemplified in Cure's pixel document.


So it could be mathematically written as:
< Resolution = > Importance / Pixel

That's all fine and good in theory and practice, very useful.
But as in this case, it can make us feel weird.

The importance of each pixel becomes so real, that it can be easy to feel that in the edit, those pixels are Decroded's pixels.
That he CLAIMED them.
They were HIS choice.
And for you to put a pixel in that space of the same RGB would somehow cheapen its importance because it was not an original choice on your part.

If that sounds crazy, well that's because it is.
It's fucking bullshit.
A massive exaggeration of Sprite Ripping.
It's one thing to have someone do an edit, and say "Ok thanks for finishing that for me!" and run off.
But just because we are pixel artists, and zoom in a lot, even a single similar pixel is somehow theft?
I have to say, no.
It isn't.

What I would do is just take the insight gained from his edit and redo it manually by hand.
If some of the pixels are the same, fine.
But likely some of the choices would be different.

Anytime you post art here looking for edits, or share it with others and ask what they think, you are implicitly accepting the possibility that your art will be influenced by thoughts that are not your own.
If less pixels = more influence, then you have to be willing to accept that as well.
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline Decroded

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Re: Animated Portrait

Reply #15 on: December 07, 2014, 03:43:39 am
Thanks Decroded, great changes, the right changes in fact, the only thing I disagree with is the coloured outline.

Kind of brings me to an odd question though, what's the etiquette to follow when someone makes "correct" changes on a work that size? I mean there is only so many pixels to push around, and the AA falls pretty much where I would put it.  Apply the edit with different details for the sake of not copying is like closing a door on where those pixels could be.

It's something i've always wondered about.

Eh, I'd say rip off what u want and discard the rest.
Main point is that u understand how and why the editor did what they did and make an informed decision on what to take, and that u learn and grow from the experience instead of blindly copying or ignoring quality advice (as we see some the odd arrogant noob doing).

Edit was rushed couldn't explain but I didn't want to change much, especially as I really like ur lines and poses.
I'd like to see more of these kinds of characters  :y:

First thing I thought is u could afford a touch of smoothing at that res, being mindful not to cause blurring.
Placement was a bit rushed and I'm no expert so don't take any of it as gospel but u get the general idea.

I mixed outline colours because I thought the strong dark line on blonde hair highlights was overkill.
For me a good reason to outline sprites is so the colours don't get lost against similar coloured backgrounds.
By that logic bright colour needs only a mild darkness outline to stand out against similarly bright colours.
A mid brightness colour needs a dark outline to stand out against dark colours.
And it is natural for a dark colour to be lost against a dark background which is why u don't make a whole sprite out of dark colours.
So the formula is pretty simple that an outline can be made lighter where more light is hitting and the material is lighter.

So yeah that's my theory. No idea if it's right or not  :lol:

edit: oh yeah I forgot, about the flame those colours r rushed I would tweak further.
Main point is the flame wasn't readable and I feel like it is consistent with in game effects for it to have its own colours to stand out.
If colours stand out too much though it  might become primary focal point which u may or may not want.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2014, 04:21:45 am by Decroded »

Offline Probo

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Re: Animated Portrait

Reply #16 on: December 07, 2014, 04:56:15 am
id say if you honestly cant think of a way to improve someones edit of your work, and its minor enough that the piece still feels like yours (like AAing an iris or removing banding on an outline), you can keep it as is. just be sure to learn from the edit. If someone was to edit your shit and completely revamp it, using techniques you dont know and stuff like that, youre best off just using the edit as reference.

Offline Decroded

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Re: Animated Portrait

Reply #17 on: December 07, 2014, 05:35:21 am
id say if you honestly cant think of a way to improve someones edit of your work, and its minor enough that the piece still feels like yours (like AAing an iris or removing banding on an outline), you can keep it as is. just be sure to learn from the edit. If someone was to edit your shit and completely revamp it, using techniques you dont know and stuff like that, youre best off just using the edit as reference.
^ You're best of opening a discussion about how and why the technique/choices were used in that case  :y:

Offline Probo

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Re: Animated Portrait

Reply #18 on: December 07, 2014, 06:10:27 am
^yep you should also do that. just dont pass it off as your own

Offline AlcopopStar

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Re: Animated Portrait

Reply #19 on: December 07, 2014, 11:46:19 am
@PixelPiledriver.
Great answer, you should sticky that somewhere. I think because the medium has a real history with ripping and theft we all have this paranoia, but yeah, when you frame it like that it does seem a bit absurd.



@Decroded,
I ended up messing around with your ideas, as you said, I kept some elements, dropped some others.

I like the starkness of the whole consistent dark outline as an approach as it gives the image more presence and makes the image feel a bit more cartoony imo, I think though this is at the cost of some three dimensionality. I think your approach is more elegant, but tbh i still haven't quite decided if I like shaded outlining in general, I always feel like it should be no outline or a consistent one, so it's an idea i'll likely have to come round to. The only place I broke the outline was on the fire, which i simplified down to one shade, but mostly kept the shape. Hopefully this way it's visible but not too distracting.

Cheers for the crit and thanks for soothing my silly worries everyone. :)

Offline Manupix

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Re: Animated Portrait

Reply #20 on: December 07, 2014, 07:22:24 pm
I can't see the issue with the middle ones eyes tbh

I'm afraid I can't be very helpful. I'll just say that they almost look good at 1x, but the more I zoom in, the less sense I can make of the pixel choices. At 1x the only issue is the bright pixels look cut off in 2 clusters per eye, which zooming confirms, and the surrounding dark clusters get pretty smooth / over-AAed with no apparent structural reason (that I can think of). I'd have expected the bright clusters to be AAed more (by 'clusters' I don't mean strict monochrome clusters, just broad regions of related pixels).
Part of the problem may result from keeping some dark outline, esp. in the inside of her right eye.

I wish I could be more specific and offer solutions, but unfortunately the very few times I tried to pixel eyes I failed miserably.
The only general advice I'd give is to get rid of as much outlines as you can at these small scales, contrary to your usual work. The littler one is an example of this: the arms are all banded outline.

Offline Probo

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Re: Animated Portrait

Reply #21 on: December 08, 2014, 01:59:45 am
heres an edit for the eyes:



basically detail reduction and AA

Offline Mr. Fahrenheit

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Re: Animated Portrait

Reply #22 on: December 08, 2014, 02:29:42 am
@the discussion

I skimmed through some of those posts and totally agree with you guys about the plagiarizing thing but you guys sort of make it seem like there is a faction of people who refuse to allow pixels placed in the same place, when I think its more that everyone sort of agrees that there are only so many things to do so its almost logical to say that "plagiarizing" in pixel art isn't inherently bad. Its just that everyone has a different threshold to what is and isn't acceptable. Also its just sort of easier to say to not copy edits outright rather then to line up a whole list of when it is and isn't okay to use someones edits. Obviously less experienced people should be encouraged to do their own work and whatever but with more refined work there really is only so much you can do to remain in a stylistically similar mode. I think its sort of just easier to say don't copy but nobody will really call you out if you have an idea of what you are doing.

I'm not sure what exactly I'm trying to say but those are some of my ideas on the subject

Offline lachrymose

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Re: Animated Portrait

Reply #23 on: December 08, 2014, 03:19:03 am
Being extremely new this is something I struggle with greatly. There have been cases where I really didn't apply an edit because either nothing looked better, or I lacked the skills to fully utilize the edit. I really hate asking for help and not really being able to apply everything. Especially when great effort was put into an edit.

Offline PixelPiledriver

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Re: Animated Portrait

Reply #24 on: December 08, 2014, 10:49:05 pm
Quote
but you guys sort of make it seem like there is a faction of people who refuse to allow pixels placed in the same place
No that's not what I'm getting at.
You're right there isn't a group of people to point fingers at.

This is what I'm concerned with:
Quote
I could change it but it would kind of be an arbitrary change made more for the sake of not copying then learning or progressing the picture. So I'm kind of left with the choice to either copy the work exactly as it is and feel like i'm ripping, copy the work with arbitrary changes and possibly intentionally work at a lower quality then the edit, or ignore it and apply the information on another picture in the future. None of those feel like optimal choices exactly.
Quote
and thanks for soothing my silly worries everyone.
This is all an internal struggle.
Artists do this a lot, even me.

We take very small bits of quotes, interactions, preconceptions, ideas of courtesy, etc.
And then spool it into a sort of logical grind that somehow just stops us from drawing.
Instead of a creativity block, it's more like a made up moral dilemma.
Whether it has any sort of artistic value or not.
It can be very mentally crippling.

To me that's a huge problem.
Because it's not real and a lot of times completely unimportant, even tho it seems to be.
If we create reasons not to move forward with art, especially ones that don't really matter, it's just a huge waste of potential.

I think if you look around Pixelation, or pretty much anywhere, you'll find these sort of feelings to be rampant.
And they are not caused by people enforcing them, just like you said.
They are created internally by the artist.

Quote
I'm not sure what exactly I'm trying to say but those are some of my ideas on the subject
It's cool, thanks for weighing in.  :)
I am also just rambling a bit.
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline Decroded

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Re: Animated Portrait

Reply #25 on: December 11, 2014, 12:29:21 am
If we create reasons not to move forward with art, especially ones that don't really matter, it's just a huge waste of potential.
^My life!  :'(

Mind if I quote u on that?

Offline PixelPiledriver

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Re: Animated Portrait

Reply #26 on: December 13, 2014, 02:55:44 am
Quote
^My life!  :'(
No worries.
Mine too.
That's why I bring it up.
It's something that I struggle with constantly.

Quote
Mind if I quote u on that?
:lol:
If you find it to be a useful thought, then sure.
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1