AuthorTopic: Moar castles, moar clouds!  (Read 7922 times)

Offline cels

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Moar castles, moar clouds!

on: March 31, 2015, 11:55:41 pm
New pixel art from CELS. Now with 10% extra castles and clouds.



Any feedback welcome. Obviously this is WIP, especially the clouds.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2015, 12:20:20 am by cels »

Offline Friend

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Re: Moar castles, moar clouds!

Reply #1 on: April 01, 2015, 02:37:35 am
the mood youve gotten from your colors is awesome. 

Maybe try for more sinister shapes in the castles?  http://lmgtfy.com/?q=scary+castle

I am not certain, but I think there might be a perspective issue with the statues aligning the road? Have you checked worked out a vanishing point? 

The statues could also be a good opportunity to try some really intense rim and specular lighting so it pops very very strongly from the black: 

This is kinda leading into some suggestions you seem to be getting a lot lately.  You have great ideas and your environments are awesome, but you can be bolder in ambience.  Don't be afraid to really make those clouds nearly literal fire in the sky.  Don't be afraid to turn that somewhat playful castle into something of knives and nightmares.  Don't be afraid to give the statues so much lighting you are glad they are just statues.  Don't be afraid to make that lonely house feel more out of place

Offline cels

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Re: Moar castles, moar clouds!

Reply #2 on: April 01, 2015, 12:48:55 pm
Thanks for the feedback!

I think that's a fair criticism. I have tried to work on landscapes lately and I do move forward with baby steps. I'll experiment with different weather conditions and different degrees of visibility. I've never really pixelled this kind of sky before though, so it's a first for me. I was looking at this piece by Dex and admiring its realism. So that's what I'm going for this time. In the future, when I'm more comfortable that I know how to draw things realistically, I will make it my aim to experiment more.

We have a different approach in this regard, I think. For example, you started with a very ambitious piece here, as a way to practice anatomy. I prefer to practice more slowly, and I don't like to use pixel art as anatomy practice at all, because it's such a difficult medium for anatomy. So much time is spent rendering and moving the pixels around. That's why the statues aren't more acrobatic. I simply don't have the knowledge of anatomy to do anything like that picture, and the only way I could get it right would be to make the nice people at Pixelation hold my hand through the process, which I have found is not a process I like. I just feel like I end up with something that isn't really mine, if I need help every single step of the way.

I will definitely experiment with the lighting on the statues though, and give them a bit more contrast, maybe make them more interesting to look at, despite their stoic poses. And in regards to the perspective, I am entirely open to the possibility that I may have got it wrong. I kind of just did the perspective by eye, because vanishing points can be a bit tricky when you're dealing with different objects that don't follow the same axis or the same angles, and when you introduce sloping hills. The road is actually sloping upwards towards the castle on the hill, which messes with the perspective a bit.

Offline Friend

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Re: Moar castles, moar clouds!

Reply #3 on: April 02, 2015, 07:58:18 pm
No problem.

You're right my approach has been bad, which is why I've started over.

I think you may be working a bit comfortably now though. You've progressed a lot, but I'd like to see more risks.  I think the clouds here were one. I'd like to see new castle shapes and something different with how you construct buildings. The dirt road is a little safe though considering it's the same as your last piece. I'm not saying go straight to trying something too hard, just maybe be less afraid to churn out a castle or road that looks bad, but something more developed and new

Offline cels

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Re: Moar castles, moar clouds!

Reply #4 on: April 03, 2015, 03:57:31 pm


Latest version. I'm trying to make this a bit more interesting to look at without messing too much with the very high contrast. I may have already made the buildings too bright, perhaps. I really want to have a lot of darkness here.

@Friend: I'll have another go at the castle in my next edit. Maybe see if I can add more complex shapes and complex rendering. I haven't really seen any pixel art castles that I really liked at this scale (100 x 50 pixels), so I guess I'll just wing it. Now that I've added more details to the statues and the houses on the left, the dirt road does look very plain, so I'll need to add more detail to that as well.

Thanks for the advice. And I didn't say your approach was bad, mind you. Just different from mine. With any hobby, people have different approaches to learning, so it's more about what's right for the individual, I think.

Offline Drazelic

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Re: Moar castles, moar clouds!

Reply #5 on: April 04, 2015, 03:44:46 pm
I'm not sure the square house in the corner works. It's a bit too perpendicular to the camera and detracts from the three-dimensionality of the piece rather than adding to it. It almost feels like it's floating in front of the camera rather than rooted into the rest of the landscape.

This is already a really amazing piece, though! The high contrast and mood are fantastic.

Offline Decroded

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Re: Moar castles, moar clouds!

Reply #6 on: April 04, 2015, 11:22:27 pm
Hey cels I really love this and the other stuff you've been doing lately  :y:

I'm not sure the square house in the corner works. It's a bit too perpendicular to the camera and detracts from the three-dimensionality of the piece rather than adding to it. It almost feels like it's floating in front of the camera rather than rooted into the rest of the landscape.
I agree. While it looks cool in its own right it doesn't help the piece.

I did this small edit yesterday from original version but didn't get time to post...

Main point was to illuminate the statues as they get closer coz it was a bit weird to have something so dark up close.
Not sure about the lighting on the castle I was just messing around to see what would happen then got carried away with patches of AA  :crazy:

Offline Cyangmou

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Re: Moar castles, moar clouds!

Reply #7 on: April 05, 2015, 01:07:03 am


some subtle suggestions on color, atmosphere, compositional balance, depth and light.
"Because the beauty of the human body is that it hasn't a single muscle which doesn't serve its purpose; that there's not a line wasted; that every detail of it fits one idea, the idea of a man and the life of a man."

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Offline jahasaja

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Re: Moar castles, moar clouds!

Reply #8 on: April 06, 2015, 08:29:58 am
So nice.

I really love the clouds and the statues. Perhaps the castle could be a little bit moar elaborate and the closes statue could have more details.

And where are the castle flags?

Offline Decroded

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Re: Moar castles, moar clouds!

Reply #9 on: April 06, 2015, 10:29:39 am


some subtle suggestions on color, atmosphere, compositional balance, depth and light.
^ refer to this double pixel AA on mage's cloak.
also i couldn't work out what the closest guy's hand was doing until u drew the sword in  :lol:

Offline cels

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Re: Moar castles, moar clouds!

Reply #10 on: April 07, 2015, 05:47:02 pm
Thanks a lot for your help, guys :)

There's two situations I really struggle to deal with when I'm getting feedback. The first situation is when someone offers a critique I don't understand or agree with at all, and I don't want to seem rude or unappreciative. The second situation is when someone does a great edit and I just want to copy pixel by pixel, because I can't really think of how I would do it different, much less improve upon it. And this case falls firmly into the second situation. Those were some really great edits!


Question: Does it make sense for the shadows to cast a shadow on the road? Or would the shadow be nearly invisible given the lack of strong, direct sunlight on the ground?


@jahasaja: As much as I love old school pixel art castles with moving flags, I'm afraid that feels a bit too cheerful for this piece. I'm going for a sense of foreboding, you see :)

@Drazelic: Good call, I think. I removed the house from the bottom left corner and replaced it with a more simple one. Maybe this one is too big and eyecatching as well? Is the composition better with a bit more dark space in the bottom left?

@Decroded and Cyangmou: The details you added are amazing, and it's cool that you went in different directions with the colours. I will keep working on the details and the AA on the statues and castle.  I'll play around with the colours, I haven't quite settled on those yet.
- The closest statue is actually supposed to be missing an arm. But it's hard to really show that the statue is broken, without just making it look weird. I wonder if my choice is to either have more statues visibly broken (e.g. broken in half) or simply let all statues be whole, in order not to confuse the viewer. Really interesting that you saw him holding the sword that way. A cool interpretation that I didn't intend. I may go with the sword-idea if I can't make it very clear that the arm is broken.
- I'm surprised by the way you've rendered the "mage" in the robes. Because I wanted him to hold a staff with his left arm and be facing the viewer, but now it looks like he's holding it with his right arm and facing away from us. I left him untouched in this edit, but I guess I will need to pixel it better.
- I really like the use of window lights to guide the eye and make a sort of line towards the castle. Very cool.



I really spent a lot of time looking at your edits, but if there's some points I've missed, feel free to let me know. It's not necessarily something I have disagreed with, it may be I simply didn't notice it. But like I said, I'm still working on the details and the AA on the statues and the castle.

« Last Edit: April 07, 2015, 05:53:06 pm by cels »

Offline Cyangmou

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Re: Moar castles, moar clouds!

Reply #11 on: April 07, 2015, 06:20:54 pm
castle shading worked imop best in sahjasa's edit (very dark frontplane, little biut brightened sideplanes)

THe mountains had a much nicer line and flow in your earlier attempt.

In terms of adding detail I'd consider doing it at the statues and tone everyting back down like in your earlier version(s)
"Because the beauty of the human body is that it hasn't a single muscle which doesn't serve its purpose; that there's not a line wasted; that every detail of it fits one idea, the idea of a man and the life of a man."

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