AuthorTopic: First Pixeling in a year [C+C]  (Read 7620 times)

Offline Digivoxel

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First Pixeling in a year [C+C]

on: December 29, 2015, 03:08:27 pm
I use to do some very basic pixel art here and there, but recently I've been working on my drawing abilities, after all drawing translates to pixel art, especially when working with anatomy. Now, the problem is that I've worked on a tiny base, just for fun, and it seem very muscle babyish. It's an attempt at 3/4ths top-down perspective. I feel like it's possible that the arms and legs are a bit too long for the perspective, and that the shading isn't all that great. Looking for some C+C to improve.



Update December 29th 2015, 7:40PM EST
So I did some more fiddling around with the perspective and shading. Changed some shading on the face, also pushed it closer to the shoulders. (Head was too oblong at the beginning) I also changed some shading on the legs and abs, also moved up the pecks. Basically changed anatomy things slightly to improve the look of the character. Any thoughts or suggestions?



I have a slight feeling that the limbs are messing with the perspective of the character....

Update December 29th 2015, 9:58PM EST
So I got on the Slack chat and was able to get some C+C from Atnas. He helped me decide on whether the character should have an odd or even pixel width. Since deciding to stick with odd, I went and shortened the thighs and I feel like that corrected the perspective problems I was having. From there I felt the head was a bit too flat, so I darkened some of the shading on the right side (from our view)


Now with everything fixed for perspective, I'm looking to increasing the depth with a larger contrast in shading. Would this be wise or would it be a bit over kill?

Update December 29th 2015, 10:17PM EST
Alright, increased the stepping and I think it came out pretty well.


Update December 30th 2015, 12:00PM EST
Alright, taking some crits from Gil I attempted to fix the problem with the legs. They were very think and the same size from the calves to the thighs. So I also thought that the arms looked bulkier than they should, and I didn't want the player model to look like he skipped leg day. So I decreased the sizing of the arms. Now once I've done this, this chest looks extremely large now.


I will probably change the size of the chest in the future, or do something to fix the arms.

Update December 30th 2015, 12:09PM EST
Just noticed some strange errors, right version is newest. Fiancee suggested slimming the waist, fixed legs and etc.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2015, 05:10:53 pm by Digivoxel »

Offline Gil

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Re: First Pixeling in a year [C+C]

Reply #1 on: December 30, 2015, 09:14:52 am
Not sure if that's 3/4. 3/4 is something like 45 degree top down, but the projection is different. I'd love for someone who knows a modeling tool to make a proper 3/4 render of a human body, to see if we can study it a bit. For reference, this is v45 (same as 3/4, but perspective projection instead of planometric).



As you can tell, with this pose, the camera seems to come way higher up than in your sprite. Personally, I do my sprites like yours too, as I find whenever I try to do some "proper" 3/4, stuff becomes off. Check my avatar for reference.

Anatomy wise, there's a lot of work to be done, especially the lower body. My avatar has a lot of flaws too, but is a bit closer I feel. There's a million other references for you to check too.

Offline Digivoxel

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Re: First Pixeling in a year [C+C]

Reply #2 on: December 30, 2015, 05:13:38 pm

Here's an updated version. I took the info from Gil about the legs and made them a bit more dynamic. In doing so, the arms looked too large so I down-sized them as well. When that was done, the chest looked way too big, so I shifted the pixels down a bit, and then per fiancee's request I gave him a bit more of a waist.

Offline Atnas

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Re: First Pixeling in a year [C+C]

Reply #3 on: December 30, 2015, 07:25:24 pm
We talked a bit about this in Slack, but I went ahead and did an edit.

First, let's talk about a paradigm shift. You won't gain anything from doing an idle pose in a symmetrical position like this. A few minutes saved by mirroring outfits perhaps. But the time spent fighting the grid by trying to show foreshortening on tapering, tubelike forms that are only 2-4 pixels wide is immensely more than you'd save by just drawing the character in a natural pose. I understand this is a huge tradition in rpg communities so I don't expect it to be an easy decision to make for a lot of people, but looking at it in a social vacuum, it makes no sense. It's similar to making an idle pose in a 3d game and having the characters stand in their T-Pose. Of course, the animations like walking should still be symmetrical.




Now let's go over the gif:
  • Frame 1: Your sprite
  • Frame 2: Your sprite's sillouette. sillouette is important because our minds can imagine the sprite inside of it at a higher resolution than our screens can display, so get the shape down first, then try to bring your mental image into that sillouette.
  • Frame 3: The feet being that big break any perspective illusions you're trying to create
  • Frame 4: Problem areas in red. The arms and torso are too close - pushing them further in makes the pose unnatural, and keeping them hanging leaves double outlines. Knees are going to be a pain to render in this position and leave no room to describe the shape of the legs, leaving you with trunks.
  • Frame 5: Posing the figure naturally. Here we make a key focus on two things that will help make this feel natural. The reflected angles hips and shoulders share when a figure is leaning on one leg, and the new angle the body will be facing to follow the turn in the now recessed left half of the sprite.
  • Frame 6: Sprite is rendered on top of the sillouette, attempting to follow the image we created in our head, making compromises where necessary.

Now lets get to the reasons why it's so difficult to show foreshortening on a static pose at this size

The red lines on either side of the high resolution leg represent the pixels they become aliased by. The brighter areas are the areas that affect how one form (thigh) is perceived to overlap another form (shin). By changing the angle of the leg, you can reveal areas that can help define its form more easily by pushing them to the contour of the object rather than having them on the interior. Also of note is that the kneecap doesn't suffer for being on the inside because you can just use the contrast between the bright and dark tones as a contour to define that.

Color. On sprites of this size it's generally a good idea to push the saturation to the middle tones and leave the outline more desaturated because grey is a better bridge color and you'll find the sprites don't clash with the outside as much. Where saturated outlines are a good idea is where they overlap with a form on the interior, that can be seen as a sort of bleed between two similarly colored forms and the outline between them (anti aliasing). Skin isn't that reflective unless you are oiled. Tone it down a little and you'll actually describe the form better than you would with a more contrasting specular.

Face can be opened up a bit, the shadow under the eyes doesn't let them read as well.

Shadows help ground a figure and can help add to the illusion of perspective. They can imply the angle of the ground via an ellipse, and then our mind assigns the angle of the soles of the feet to the shadow's angle.

Offline Gil

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Re: First Pixeling in a year [C+C]

Reply #4 on: December 30, 2015, 08:44:27 pm
Just as an aside, actual RPG games considered holy grails by the JRPG community always have dynamic idles, none of them use these generic default poses enthusiasts seem to use. I personally always really loved the Chrono Trigger idles, study those?

Atnas' edit is really wonderful, but the pose still feels generic. Compare it to something like Lucca:


Sassy and nerdy, really cool :)


EDIT: I really suck at 3D programs, so here's the best I could do. 45 degree orthographic (3/4). I'll have to try and convert this into a base myself sometime.

« Last Edit: December 30, 2015, 09:36:46 pm by Gil »

Offline Digivoxel

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Re: First Pixeling in a year [C+C]

Reply #5 on: December 30, 2015, 10:34:40 pm
SNIP

I getcha now, what I'm going to do is I'm going to study some Roman statues to look for some very strong poses, then try to figure out how to translate that to pixel art. Thanks for the high-res art to demonstrate as well!
« Last Edit: December 30, 2015, 10:53:31 pm by Digivoxel »

Offline Gil

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Re: First Pixeling in a year [C+C]

Reply #6 on: December 30, 2015, 11:35:31 pm
I had some spare time to give it a go myself, here's what I came up with:



Way over-rendered, but hey, I had fun :). Maybe it'll give you some ideas.

Offline Glak

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Re: First Pixeling in a year [C+C]

Reply #7 on: December 31, 2015, 12:33:01 am
Well it seems that you are going to do a major rework inspired by Atnas's edit, but here are my thoughts on what you did so far:

In your original picture he looked like a muscle baby.  There are a few reasons.  The first is the large head.  You can get away with a large head (to provide a distinct and expressive head) but it is going to eat away at your muscle baby budget, so you have to be extra careful on the rest of the sprite if you don't want it to look like a baby.

The next is that his shoulders are slightly narrower than his hips once you factor in foreshortening.  Men have shoulders that are wider than hips, women have hips that are wider than their shoulders, and young children about equal.  Your fiancee seems to have partially picked up on this when she recommended narrowing the hips.  However that just made it look like he had big thighs, a trait indicating that he is a mature woman.

Third, your sprite has big feet in proportion to his leg, which is another baby trait.

Offline Digivoxel

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Re: First Pixeling in a year [C+C]

Reply #8 on: December 31, 2015, 01:06:33 am
Well it seems that you are going to do a major rework inspired by Atnas's edit, but here are my thoughts on what you did so far:
Yep, I've been doing a lot of rework, trying to get a better stance utilizing this silhouette method.


This is the point I'm at right now, I've gotten a stance and fixed a lot of the anatomy flaws in the original. However, I believe the stance is still very forward-facing. I don't feel like it's Action-RPG-y enough, so I'm trying to solve that perspective problem a bit more.

Fixed the perspective problem I believe:
« Last Edit: December 31, 2015, 01:54:11 am by Digivoxel »

Offline Ambivorous

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Re: First Pixeling in a year [C+C]

Reply #9 on: December 31, 2015, 08:24:36 am
Blah blah, most amazing post every, blah.



So I made a quick edit of your latest post, and using the powers of everyone else's resources and powers combined, I got to this:



I basically just gave anything that's topwards facing more real estate and everything not, less.
Which basically means I made the chest a lot bigger. And squished the face closer to the front.



Forgot to mention, Atnas I'd never thought of it that way thank you for that extremely useful post and I will be sure to use it in the future.
Also thanks Gil for the model it was very useful in making this edit.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2015, 08:27:49 am by Ambivorous »
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