AuthorTopic: [WIP] Polishing things  (Read 2049 times)

Offline eishiya

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[WIP] Polishing things

on: November 16, 2015, 07:23:00 am
First post! Some of you might know me from PixelJoint. I don't post a lot of art, mostly for one reason: I never finish anything. I have a lot of trouble polishing/refining things, they just get stuck in a perpetual rough state, no matter how much work I put into trying to clean them up. They never look finished, so I never post them. I'd like to learn to put a spit-polish on my stuff. I think I just have no sense of direction/goal once the general forms are there. I have a similar issue with non-pixel art, but I've developed some techniques to deal with that, which sadly don't apply to PA.

Since this is a first post, obviously I have to post a tree. So, here's a WIPpy tree, a youngish spruce:

I feel satisfied enough with the general shape of it and I'll be tweaking the colours once I have more of the assets done so that I can make sure everything works together, so my goal here is mostly pixel-level polish.
This is for a side-scrolling game. Here's a very rough general feel/layout sketch for context:


Edit: Tweaked it a little, still doesn't look done. Need to make nicer clusters, but I am clueless.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2015, 03:47:00 am by eishiya »

Offline 32

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Re: [WIP] Polishing things

Reply #1 on: November 17, 2015, 05:19:24 am
Everything looks great so far. Try adding some extra colours, I always find a bit of variety leads to more creative solutions. If you're just pushing around 3 shades there's not much you can do in terms of polishing except clean up your clusters. Focus on a small part of the image and get that to the level of detail you like and then you can try to expand that to the rest of the image. It's hard to focus on pixels when you have hundreds of thousands of them to look at.

Offline eishiya

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Re: [WIP] Polishing things

Reply #2 on: November 17, 2015, 08:59:54 pm
Everything looks great so far. Try adding some extra colours, I always find a bit of variety leads to more creative solutions. If you're just pushing around 3 shades there's not much you can do in terms of polishing except clean up your clusters. Focus on a small part of the image and get that to the level of detail you like and then you can try to expand that to the rest of the image. It's hard to focus on pixels when you have hundreds of thousands of them to look at.
Cleaning up the clusters is exactly the part I'm having trouble with xP I would prefer to avoid adding more colours since the four colours used so far are already very similar. After I make more trees (including ones further in the background), I will probably need to adjust these colours, and I might need some transitional colours then, but at this point, any colours I add would be to expand the value range (which I don't feel is needed in this case) or to add hue variation, which I'm not sure about for spruces, they tend to be more evenly coloured than broadleaves, dead branches notwithstanding. I might add some brighter young shoots to the tips of the branches, depending on which seasons I end up having in the game.

Another update:

I think this one could pass for "finished" in a game, so I feel comfortable moving on to other assets. Critique on this is still welcome, I hope to do better than passable!
I will

Offline PixelPiledriver

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Re: [WIP] Polishing things

Reply #3 on: November 18, 2015, 08:26:52 am
The scene looks nice.
Friendly colors.

The other tree seems polished enough.
Maybe you could cut into it some more with overlapping contrast, but not really needed.
I would suggest working on it within the mockup.

The ground floor feels very ambiguous.
I've been doing a lot of hiking recently.
One thing I notice about the forest is that it's 50%+ dead.
The present forest grows directly out of the old.
And it takes a long time for the old to disappear.
It's difficult to look in any direction without seeing at least a single fallen tree or stump, if not a cluster of them.

Here's some photos from a hike:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8jS4f-ckXL5MjZwUHRqNHlNMFk/view?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8jS4f-ckXL5QUU1bmRpSi1NUjQ/view?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8jS4f-ckXL5djh6eTZQT2NhclU/view?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8jS4f-ckXL5SHU1WlZsR2swMWM/view?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8jS4f-ckXL5bHFGS3dyd2pGczg/view?usp=sharing

All of your trees are standing and healthy.
However it def helps reinforce the happy forest vibe.
And the ambiguity brings a level of clarity to the image by keeping the ground plane simplistic.
So it depends on what you want to express and how purely.

Keep posting whatever.
Pixelation is all about unfinished art.
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline eishiya

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Re: [WIP] Polishing things

Reply #4 on: November 18, 2015, 04:39:41 pm
Thanks for the feedback and the photos! I have plenty of boreal forest photos of my own, as well. The sketch isn't a mockup, it was me working out the scale and colours, and trying to get an idea of how many layers I'll need to get enough trees in the background xP I have been using colours from it as background colours to work on, but not putting my trees in because it's too much of a mess to be of real value. Once I have some more assets drawn, I can put together a "proper" mockup to serve as context for future assets.
The terrain will definitely be more varied and defined, there will be mossy rocks, bilberry shrubs everywhere, dead trees, slopes, tree roots just begging to be tripped on, etc, as much as I can figure out how to do in-engine. Ground cover in particular is something I went out and got a lot of ref of, because that's always missing in other people's photos, no one stops to photograph the ground they're standing on, everybody's always looking forward and up (quite the opposite of how people act in vidyas xP).
« Last Edit: November 18, 2015, 06:00:56 pm by eishiya »