AuthorTopic: Barbarian Idle Breathing Animation [C + C Welcome]  (Read 7207 times)

Offline stevenblanc

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Barbarian Idle Breathing Animation [C + C Welcome]

on: March 05, 2015, 05:01:51 pm
Hey folks,

I'm working on building up the action sprite sheet for my character but he's only 32 px tall and I'm having some difficulty making animations seem natural.

I think I've got running down after some help in the pixel art forum:


However, my breathing action seems a touch off:


How can I make this more natural with the space given? I've tried to move around the colours to give the chest a lifted appearance and I dabbled with adding another frame in but I couldn't get the mid point to look natural too.

Offline PsylentKnight

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Re: Barbarian Idle Breathing Animation [C + C Welcome]

Reply #1 on: March 06, 2015, 12:44:54 am
Look into subpixeling. It'll help make it look a lot more subtle. The stomach expanding is more important than the chest rising.

As far as timing, the time spent with the lungs full should be about the same time as them being empty. In your animation your guy is just sitting there with his lungs empty and then suddenly inhales and quickly exhales. It really doesn't read as breathing at all.
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Offline stevenblanc

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Re: Barbarian Idle Breathing Animation [C + C Welcome]

Reply #2 on: March 06, 2015, 01:03:52 pm
PsylentKnight,

Thanks for the feedback, I tried my hand at subpixeling around the chest but you are right, its not enough movement to look natural.

Based on your comments I made the following changes:
- Added in a stomach swell frame. I added it following the chest after doing some yoga breathing. It seems the chest expands before the belly starts to push out.
- Adjusted frame delays so that the breath and static periods are roughly the same. At this pace though, I'm not sure if I should add in a second blink or not.

Edited Pose:


Looks better but still a little off to me. Maybe the legs should move somehow?

Offline Alex Sinigaglia

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Re: Barbarian Idle Breathing Animation [C + C Welcome]

Reply #3 on: March 06, 2015, 03:43:29 pm
You used a lot of colours for these very little sprites. You could reduce the amount to 18 colours (or around that number).
He looks like he's gasping for air/he's tired; usually people don't breathe that fast, so a bit of adjustment of the timings is needed for it.

Here's my fix:


I added some frames with sub-pixel animation.

Your sprites had 77 colours, I reduced the palette to 19 colours.



« Last Edit: March 06, 2015, 03:46:02 pm by Alex Sinigaglia »

Offline Iceaxe

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Re: Barbarian Idle Breathing Animation [C + C Welcome]

Reply #4 on: March 07, 2015, 01:45:45 am
So when people breathe heavily their chest fills with oxygen, not their stomachs. I made a rough edit giving him that effect. I only really used 3 colors for the animation of the chest even though you kind of had colors all over the place. Animation efficiency relies on less colors and a smaller canvas. If you are going for detail or a certain style then by all means use as many colors as you like but just know that the pay off is that your sprites will take a lot longer to make and if you are planning on using them in a game or whatever you will have to allow yourself a lot more time to make said game.

Anyway here he is:

It's not perfect by any means but I am trying to illustrate that movement can be represented in different ways. You'll notice at his stomach that his outlined shape does not change at all but you can hopefully see that he is pulling his diaphragm in while his chest expands. This is done simply by using the dark and light colors to represent depth and using darker colors for concave and light colors for convex surfaces. This is pretty common in art as your eyes will automatically push darker, less saturated colors to the background and lighter more vibrant colors to the foreground.

The other thing you will notice is that his chest grows a lot to the point where it's almost ridiculous. This expanded chest is extreme and might not be what you are going for but sometimes it is necessary at such a low resolution as there isn't much wiggle room for movement as it's either moving one pixel or moving no pixels.

I would suggest giving it another go with this new information and seeing what you can do with it. I would also suggest trying to make as much as you can move around on each new frame, like if you move an arm, you should move his shoulder, move his chest and in turn move his whole body. When people move one part of their body, the rest of their body is never static.

Offline Alex Sinigaglia

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Re: Barbarian Idle Breathing Animation [C + C Welcome]

Reply #5 on: March 07, 2015, 11:03:46 am
I knew about the chest inflating instead of the stomachs, why did I not fix that? :yell: I'm stupid.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2015, 11:05:52 am by Alex Sinigaglia »

Offline Probo

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Re: Barbarian Idle Breathing Animation [C + C Welcome]

Reply #6 on: March 07, 2015, 11:57:50 am
I think its worth remembering that the stomach can inflate too when you breathe, depending on the ratio of muscles you use. personally my ribcage lifts a little and my stomach expands a little when i breathe relaxed and standing, i must be using a combination of the muscles that lift the ribcage (deep in the neck and other places) and the diaphragm muscle that pushes down, distending the stomach. individual anatomy and posture plays a big part too.

Offline Alex Sinigaglia

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Re: Barbarian Idle Breathing Animation [C + C Welcome]

Reply #7 on: March 07, 2015, 12:50:52 pm
Well, but it inflates so much (maybe less than that) only when you're sitting on something (chair, sofa etc.) or laying on bed, in my "fix" that movement is inappropriate because he's standing: the chest movement should be more visible. We get to the posture thing you mentioned, but I should have paid more attention to that beforehand.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2015, 06:03:27 pm by Alex Sinigaglia »

Offline stevenblanc

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Re: Barbarian Idle Breathing Animation [C + C Welcome]

Reply #8 on: March 07, 2015, 01:05:55 pm
You guys are incredibly awesome!

Alex: your motion is much smoother and I love how you made the pixels transition properly. I was finding it difficult to get in between frames that made sense when playing with so few pixels. With regard to the palette: Did you just do a colour swap or did you recolour with intention? I haven't had a chance to analyze frame by frame yet. I really have to look into creating fixed palettes in photoshop; that's always been my downfall when it comes to colouring!

Iceaxe: also incredible. Your breathing pattern seems the most natural to me but I find the chest expansion at the highest point of the breath huge compared to the resting chest size. I'm going to study your pattern and see if I can reduce the colours as Alex did and then see if I can use your guidelines but end with a slightly smaller overall chest size. I suppose this will require a bit of playing with the subpixeling.

I'll be out of the house most of today but I'll post an update by tomorrow evening for you guys to take a look at!

Thanks again all of you for the help; it's incredible how different each person's perspective can influence the same sprite.

Offline Alex Sinigaglia

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Re: Barbarian Idle Breathing Animation [C + C Welcome]

Reply #9 on: March 07, 2015, 06:07:10 pm
All I did was putting it in RGB then selecting the number of colours to 20, with Gimp. I recoloured some parts of the sprites, but nothing too big.