AuthorTopic: Cluster Study: Animated Sprite  (Read 3914 times)

Offline Gil

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Cluster Study: Animated Sprite

on: July 24, 2015, 03:44:35 am
Ages ago I talked about studying clusters in animation. I just never found the right examples to really pursue it. I just noticed a great example in this thread by The Phinx. What I want to do is a cluster study similar to this one where we study a single sprite and do edits.

The goal of the exercise is to identify clusters and look how they move/change in time. You will notice that larger clusters tend to behave organically, while smaller clusters, especially single pixel, stay very rigid (look at the speculars on the arm for example). If the small clusters where to move/change too much, you'd just get animated noise that doesn't convey motion very well.



The sprite itself is really well made. It has some great clusters going on and the animation works really well (apart from some the legs being a bit noodly perhaps). At the same time, there's some areas that can be improved. The head clusters work well when paused, but in motion, they seem to behave a bit erratically. The highlight on the left leg (HIS right) seems to be really jumpy and I feel this is a great cluster to try and make behave. Also, the lower part of that leg seems to have a lot of banding that you can fix. The abdominal region has some bad banding that needs to be fixed, this can be done in multiple ways I feel. You can simplify the cluster, try to simply eliminate the banding or experiment with subpixel animation to try and make that work. I'm sure there's other solutions :).

So yeah, basically the gist of the exercise is: How can we adjust modern pixel techniques like clusters and banding awareness to animation? Secondary to this, there's also room to discuss other high-level pixel techniques concerning animation, like subpixel animations. Like the previous cluster study, the idea is to keep the spirit of the sprite, not to radically alter it. Also remember that The Phinx graciously allowed me to use his sprite, which seems to be a character he conceived, so extra respect is due.

I'll post my own findings after a few people have had the chance to study. I'll probably show off a few details of things I picked up over the years concerning pixels in motion. Have fun!

Offline The Phinx

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Re: Cluster Study: Animated Sprite

Reply #1 on: July 24, 2015, 07:20:56 pm
So I should keep the lighter shade clusters the same shape? I'm new to clusters and banding and all this stuff. I've seen these words like one time  :-[

But yea the left/his right leg lighter shade does jump around I didn't notice until you said something. And the legs are noodly? How and how do I make em less...noodly?

Offline Gil

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Re: Cluster Study: Animated Sprite

Reply #2 on: July 24, 2015, 11:01:13 pm
Remember that this is all VERY nitpicky, I love the sprite and wouldn't normally be so harsh on it :)



Here's the stills, though I'm not sure if it's a good idea to focus too much on these. You'll find and try to fix errors that actually aren't errors and the animation will suffer. We can, however, try to highlight some of the issues that show up in the animation and try to find where in the stills they occur. Here's a quick study to show some of the banding in the sprite that shows up in the animation:



So first of all the waistband, the banding is prominent in the stills, as well as the animation. The leg banding is more pronounced in animation than the stills, but you can see that it shows up in four consecutive stills. Then there's a more subtle one: in the foot there's a pattern of two wide pixels that keeps reappearing. In the stills, it's not very noticeable, but in motion, it creates animated banding.

Offline The Phinx

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Re: Cluster Study: Animated Sprite

Reply #3 on: July 25, 2015, 09:34:42 pm
Banding. I'm still unsure what that is. It's like a shading thing right?

Offline Parkerbaby

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Re: Cluster Study: Animated Sprite

Reply #4 on: July 25, 2015, 09:37:41 pm
Banding. I'm still unsure what that is. It's like a shading thing right?

This thread will explain: http://wayofthepixel.net/index.php?topic=8110.20