AuthorTopic: Character Anatomy/Position References for detailed actions  (Read 3415 times)

Offline transilience

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Hi All,

Been apart of the community for some time but not very outspoken individual. I've had a couple works critiqued and have learned a lot about general Sprite/Pixel art development and creation.

Right now I'm pretty deep into development and need to start turning out a lot of animations because I'm working on a fighting style game. I probably choose the hardest genre for pixel art since it requires tons upon tons of animations and variety but there's no deadline and I'm in no real rush to produce a product.

That being said, I'm still active and working on characters and enemies. The issue I'm having is that it's hard to find references for very specific and detailed actions. For example if I want a flying kick from the side scrolling perspective (this has been hard for me to find).

I wonder if anyone knows of any kind of repo that has lots of different fighting moves animated out from the side scrolling view, or of any kind of 3D program maybe where I can record the screen and then break out the frames.

In general I'm using Google and finding any image or old game sprites to reference and use for character anatomy and positioning, but I thought I'd put an ear to the ground for a better solution.

Offline Cyangmou

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Re: Character Anatomy/Position References for detailed actions

Reply #1 on: July 29, 2015, 11:34:51 pm
tired to get one of the standard wooden mannequins or build one yourself with your idealized proportions (problem is that most 3d programs use some kind of standardized proportions, while most fighting game characters use very distinctive body shapes and proportion canons)?
The advantage with those physical ones is that they are fairly easy to manipulate.
If you are used to observational sketching you won't even need a camera.
If you need to get photos to draw from, you just need to set up your camera properly in oder that all photos have the same size.
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Offline Kasumi

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Re: Character Anatomy/Position References for detailed actions

Reply #2 on: July 30, 2015, 01:26:42 am
http://www.referencereference.com/fight-hand.html ?
http://www.referencereference.com/fight-kickb.html ?

You'll find gems like this.

Maybe it doesn't totally fit the bill of what you're asking, but better to know than not.

And there's this: http://www.zweifuss.ca/ which is everything from third strike.

You can actually find collections like that for most games, but that one goes the extra mile with the web app.

Edit: Oh yeah. Here's this: http://www.justnopoint.com/lbends/index.php?location=sprites

Looking up Mugen stuff is good, because the Mugen community is all about large collections of ripped art.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2015, 01:29:31 am by Kasumi »
I make actual NES games. Thus, I'm the unofficial forum dealer of too much information about the NES

Offline transilience

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Re: Character Anatomy/Position References for detailed actions

Reply #3 on: July 30, 2015, 08:58:32 pm
Thanks guys!

I appreciate the input and suggestions, thanks Kasumi for the links, and Cyangmou I bow to you and getting a reply from you in itself makes me giddy!

I'll use a combination of these suggestions, I hadn't even considered the real life dummy approach, which is actually quite an ingenious idea since I don't want to just rip moves from other games but come up with some of my own.

Offline 32

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Re: Character Anatomy/Position References for detailed actions

Reply #4 on: July 30, 2015, 11:32:40 pm
Don't underestimate the power of acting things out for yourself. This is how I get 90% of my reference, finding videos is hard, standing up is easy. Even just doing the actions will give you a sense of what the movements are. If you have a mirror or a camera even better :)

Offline transilience

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Re: Character Anatomy/Position References for detailed actions

Reply #5 on: July 30, 2015, 11:39:22 pm
Don't underestimate the power of acting things out for yourself. This is how I get 90% of my reference, finding videos is hard, standing up is easy. Even just doing the actions will give you a sense of what the movements are. If you have a mirror or a camera even better :)

I've done this for a few actions, but imagine trying to self pose for a flying kick!  ???

Offline 32

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Re: Character Anatomy/Position References for detailed actions

Reply #6 on: July 31, 2015, 09:53:13 pm
Obviously in the case of particularly skilled manoeuvres you're going to get more mileage out of reference. You could replicate poses for a flying kick on say a chair or on the floor to some extent. You might need to get creative with it but if you're struggling with a certain pose or angle it will at least give you a rough idea. I personally always found wooden mannequins couldn't get into all the poses I wanted anyway so attacking the problem from many angles is your best bet.

Offline transilience

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Re: Character Anatomy/Position References for detailed actions

Reply #7 on: July 31, 2015, 11:15:52 pm
Yeah, I've actually started to use a couple action figures that I have that have some moving parts and this is good for some things.

One thing I notice about where my struggle is, it's in the way the appendages and 'outards' of the body move as the action is being executed.

So it's easy enough to get a reference and stills of a side view of a flying kick, but it's much harder to get the 'windup' action poses and frames correctly. So if a fighter is running into a jump kick, those moments right before, as, and during the air before the full extensions of the feet seem to be the hardest for me to accurately portray, and also seem to be the hardest to find references for.

This is why I really like the site Kasumi posted, since it shows the full animation of idle -> windup -> action, something that would be pretty difficult to get right on a mannequin. Only problem I have with that site is the videos are flash and I have to convert them an rip the frames which is a bit tedious. And they have limited animations, so clever, tricky, 'super' and gimmicky fighting moves are not featured.

Offline 32

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Re: Character Anatomy/Position References for detailed actions

Reply #8 on: August 01, 2015, 12:15:37 am
It's going to be very difficult to find any reference video that is the exact thing you need from the exact angle you want. Plus copying real life footage directly is going to give you pretty boring animation.

This is where acting it out is super handy; you can look up the action in a video and then try it yourself, even if you cant do it well, that way you at least know what needs to happen for you to move your body in that particular way in terms of wind up and weigh shift and which bits move where. Then you can sit down and sketch out some thumbnails/stick figures and work out the most appealing way to pose the key frames. And then you can start posing your mannequin or taking photos to draw your final animation from.

Offline Kasumi

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Re: Character Anatomy/Position References for detailed actions

Reply #9 on: August 01, 2015, 02:00:18 am
Yeah, I've actually started to use a couple action figures that I have that have some moving parts and this This is why I really like the site Kasumi posted, since it shows the full animation of idle -> windup -> action, something that would be pretty difficult to get right on a mannequin. Only problem I have with that site is the videos are flash and I have to convert them an rip the frames which is a bit tedious. And they have limited animations, so clever, tricky, 'super' and gimmicky fighting moves are not featured.
Yeah, I downloaded everything on that site years ago, hah.

No need to convert them, or rip frames, though. Just download. There are browser extensions for that. I don't really like recommending a specific thing for something like that, though. >_> So as an alternative, you can just view the page source and look for the file.

Meet AVIdemux. Drag a video file to it, and you can scrub it frame by frame (left/right arrow keys). Handles most formats you'll run into, including .mp4, and .flv which is what everything on that site is.

See a fight scene in a Jackie Chan movie you like? Look at it frame by frame. It's an excellent, free program to study films of any kind for any reason.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2015, 02:13:08 am by Kasumi »
I make actual NES games. Thus, I'm the unofficial forum dealer of too much information about the NES