AuthorTopic: (C+C) What's wrong with my background/color/shading/everything?  (Read 3325 times)

Offline mzn528

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Hello all!
Update: finally got time to redo it...
Now I have multiple layers woohoo. Here's the forest in game (just thought showing a gif with parallax will give you guys a better idea of how it looks).


Any advice on coloring/shading/grass looking stupid or anything?? Thank you so much!!!!!!!

Original Post:
So I spent the last few days trying to create a background, I am really really bad with picking colors and everything but I tried. And ended up with a three layer parallax, but when I put into the actual game it just looks pretty bad, I don't know how to describe it, but it just doesnt feel right... any advice..?

This is in game screen shot:

This is the full first layer: 



Thanks a lot guys!
« Last Edit: March 13, 2015, 10:29:08 pm by mzn528 »
Noob Game Dev and Pixel Artist - Twitter @mzn528

Current Game: Soul Appeaser, an ARPG inspired by Dark Souls and Berserk (the manga yes)
DevLog here

Offline oxysoft

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Seems like it all became aliased when you put it in the game

Offline smithy101

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you have to turn of the Interpolation in game maker.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frySAAf1hHc
here is a video that explaines what it is and how to turn it off.

Offline Willabee

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I don't know how much you'd like to consider or look into, but these are my thoughts. I present them to thee to take as thou seest fit *kneels with hands stretched forth* They are but ideas, my liege.

I'm curious to know about the spotlights and the backdrop... Are the spotlights meant to be light filtering through the canopy? And relating both to the spotlights and to the backdrop; what time of day is it and what season?

To me (in my uneducated eyes) the filtering light gives more of an afternoon almost sunset effect or maybe a summery warmth (from the yellow). It's also a little odd to look at because it doesn't illuminate so much as it does change the color of whatever it hits. This might be just me, but when I think of light filtering in a forest, it adds more depth the whatever it touches. Bright leaves become brighter and warmer while dark shadows get deeper and cooler.

The backdrop is kind of leaving an impression of an open field, though the trees suggest that it's meant to be continuing forest thickets. Also, the strict use of green isn't really reading as any particular time of day or season to me. In any case, it might help if you use cooler colors for the shading Add a little blue or remove some yellow. I just learned about that bit myself, so I could be all wrong, but I think it might help.

I did this really quick, so it's not great, but this should help show what I'm talking about with shading with cooler colors. Compare the tree trunks to the original. (I just realized that I didn't color the trunks inside the spotlights... so... ignore those sections?)

I'd love to be a part of this and all, but I can't take it. I wish I wasn't so touchy, but the fact is -- I am! So to save you all the trouble, I'm heading out. Thanks for the help so far! It really means a lot :) You're all beautiful, wonderful people with beautiful, wonderful art. Keep it up!

Offline mzn528

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Seems like it all became aliased when you put it in the game

Thanks for the reply oxysoft! I just learned from smithy101 below that this is something my game maker is trying to do by default, now I am able to turn it off (finally) to make everything look sharp!

you have to turn of the Interpolation in game maker.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frySAAf1hHc
here is a video that explaines what it is and how to turn it off.

OMFG you are a life saver, THANK YOU so much!!!

I don't know how much you'd like to consider or look into, but these are my thoughts. I present them to thee to take as thou seest fit *kneels with hands stretched forth* They are but ideas, my liege.

I'm curious to know about the spotlights and the backdrop... Are the spotlights meant to be light filtering through the canopy? And relating both to the spotlights and to the backdrop; what time of day is it and what season?

To me (in my uneducated eyes) the filtering light gives more of an afternoon almost sunset effect or maybe a summery warmth (from the yellow). It's also a little odd to look at because it doesn't illuminate so much as it does change the color of whatever it hits. This might be just me, but when I think of light filtering in a forest, it adds more depth the whatever it touches. Bright leaves become brighter and warmer while dark shadows get deeper and cooler.

The backdrop is kind of leaving an impression of an open field, though the trees suggest that it's meant to be continuing forest thickets. Also, the strict use of green isn't really reading as any particular time of day or season to me. In any case, it might help if you use cooler colors for the shading Add a little blue or remove some yellow. I just learned about that bit myself, so I could be all wrong, but I think it might help.

I did this really quick, so it's not great, but this should help show what I'm talking about with shading with cooler colors. Compare the tree trunks to the original. (I just realized that I didn't color the trunks inside the spotlights... so... ignore those sections?)



Thanks Willabee, your reply is VALUABLE and really helped me understand why this is flat!
1. Backdrop: originally, I was thinking about doing something that will go darker as the layer goes deeper, but it didn't work out because I suck at coloring, so now I am trying to give it a light green so I can mimic the sun/lighter forest, etc. But that didn't turn out so well either sigh...
2. Spotlight: this was used to mimic the effect of "sun going through the leaves" but I will remove it... too confusing it seems
3. Your coloring really illustrates your points.. But I think at this point I will probably re do everything and try to do a little bit hue shifting..

Overall, I've getting a lot of feedback on how the leaves should be smaller and more detailed, etc. I will probably re do the trees as well.

Any thoughts on the grass?


Noob Game Dev and Pixel Artist - Twitter @mzn528

Current Game: Soul Appeaser, an ARPG inspired by Dark Souls and Berserk (the manga yes)
DevLog here

Offline Willabee

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I really like that you wanted to work with the filtering light :) It just might take some research to get right, but it was a neat idea, and I'd love to see you work on it some more :) If not in this project, maybe in another!

As for grass... my first thought was to look at how other games present it. My first thoughts were Pokémon and Zelda. They both follow this idea of lines curving up and out from a clump... but they each do it a bit differently. Top is Pokémon, bottom is Zelda.



Pokémon unstrategically pastes little glyphs of three lines in different colors on a solid background... which works pretty well considering the resolution of the game. Zelda, on the other hand, follows a strategic pattern and fills some but not all spaces with thicker, richer looking grass tiles. (I forgot to check out grass thickets in pokémon...)
I'd love to be a part of this and all, but I can't take it. I wish I wasn't so touchy, but the fact is -- I am! So to save you all the trouble, I'm heading out. Thanks for the help so far! It really means a lot :) You're all beautiful, wonderful people with beautiful, wonderful art. Keep it up!

Offline Ryumaru

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Great words from wilabee  :y:
I too think the light peaking through the canopy can work, it just has to be in the right setting. Usually in backgrounds like this, the background goes deeper and deeper into a forest, with no end in sight, but right now you have only a few rows of trees making it feel much less expansive, and it lessens the effect of the light.

I encourage you to go get lost in the good reads section a bit. There are multiple examples of well done trees. Right now the leaves are too big and cartoony. The common trope in video games and anime has always been to develop the environments more, because you didn't have to animate them. It's a concept that works well and should probably only be discarded if you have a specific reason to.

Do you have any game inspirations for this background? That would help is a lot in developing the right style and detail level.

Offline mzn528

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I really like that you wanted to work with the filtering light :) It just might take some research to get right, but it was a neat idea, and I'd love to see you work on it some more :) If not in this project, maybe in another!

As for grass... my first thought was to look at how other games present it. My first thoughts were Pokémon and Zelda. They both follow this idea of lines curving up and out from a clump... but they each do it a bit differently. Top is Pokémon, bottom is Zelda.



Pokémon unstrategically pastes little glyphs of three lines in different colors on a solid background... which works pretty well considering the resolution of the game. Zelda, on the other hand, follows a strategic pattern and fills some but not all spaces with thicker, richer looking grass tiles. (I forgot to check out grass thickets in pokémon...)

Yeah I was inspired by some pictures and I thought it would be fun to include them... I will first trying to get everything else better before attempting to implement them lol. Glad you liked it though!!

For me it was hard to figure out a way to show "there is grass" without putting it everywhere and exaggerate it, I think the Zelda style will probably work better? Choosing the color, of course, is the hardest part of all for me lol..

Great words from wilabee  :y:
I too think the light peaking through the canopy can work, it just has to be in the right setting. Usually in backgrounds like this, the background goes deeper and deeper into a forest, with no end in sight, but right now you have only a few rows of trees making it feel much less expansive, and it lessens the effect of the light.

I encourage you to go get lost in the good reads section a bit. There are multiple examples of well done trees. Right now the leaves are too big and cartoony. The common trope in video games and anime has always been to develop the environments more, because you didn't have to animate them. It's a concept that works well and should probably only be discarded if you have a specific reason to.

Thanks for the reply Ryumaru! I think I will focus on getting the forest right. I was trying to make give it more trees in the front layer and less in the deepest layer (the exact opposite of what SHOULD happen...) but yeah, the background is a real pain compare to other works... But I will take your suggestion and read through the good read section!

Do you have any game inspirations for this background? That would help is a lot in developing the right style and detail level.
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Noob Game Dev and Pixel Artist - Twitter @mzn528

Current Game: Soul Appeaser, an ARPG inspired by Dark Souls and Berserk (the manga yes)
DevLog here

Offline mzn528

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So I finally got a chance to make it look better and all!! Check it out guys!
Noob Game Dev and Pixel Artist - Twitter @mzn528

Current Game: Soul Appeaser, an ARPG inspired by Dark Souls and Berserk (the manga yes)
DevLog here