AuthorTopic: [Discuss] So what's the big deal with people and "nonstandard" pixelart?  (Read 8518 times)

Offline MysteryMeat

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1997
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • "The new alternative to q-tipping your cat!"
    • mysterymeat
    • spoiledmysterymeat
    • View Profile
    • My rad art blog!
I'm sure you've seen the arguments. People will be playing risk of rain, having a jolly old time. They post about it on some imageboard or forum, and immediately you get people yammering about "1 pixel limbs" this or "unfaithful color schemes" that.

I'm curious why it all matters.

There's certainly arguments to be made for authenticity (which I'll address later), but should that be holding the entire medium up to these strange guidelines on what is or isn't pixelart? As long as it looks good, what does it matter?

For example, let's take the recently-release Hyper Light Drifter:



Visually, HLD is great. The colors work well and the art style is appealing, at least in my opinion, which granted is a your mileage may vary situation.
Still, I've already run across people calling it out as "pseudo-retro 1-pixel limb indie garbage" to pull a quote, and this is a sentiment I've seen leveled at many games before.

The most common reasons I've seen leveled at these kinds of pixel art styles is that it's not "authentic" or that it's just fake-retro garbage, usually citing the 1-pixel limbs or use of gradients. While I have no idea about the latter, the former's been a thing since the earliest days of the medium onwards, though it fell largely out of fashion as the graphical arms races began to build speed.

Still, it strikes me as kind of a weird thing to nitpick about so long as the art looks GOOD.
Even Fez, for all it's flaws in and out of the game itself, looks good and is recognizably "pixel art" in style, despite how often it cheats.

Why is it such an issue?
PSA: use imgur
http://pixelation.org/index.php?topic=19838.0 also go suggest on my quest, cmon
MAJOR BORK TALLY: |

Offline 0xDB

  • 0011
  • **
  • Posts: 873
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • Dennis inter-is.
    • dennisbusch_de
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/1287.htm
    • 0xdb
    • View Profile
    • 0xDB
One is entitled to like what one likes regardless of "the internet"s opinion about it.

I'm curious why it all matters.
It does not.

Why is it such an issue?
It is not.

Still, it strikes me as kind of a weird thing to nitpick about...
Then why make a thread about it to spread the (supposedly negative) exchange of peoples meaningless opinions about something on the net? Or to put it differently: You are making it an issue and you are the one who  decided that it mattered enough to you to write about it. It's not that something matters in itself, it only does if it affects your self. The real question to ask yourself is not why it matters or why it is an issue but how someone else's opinion(the internet's collectively perceived "negative" opinion in this case) about something affects you.

...so long as the art looks GOOD.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It comes down to personal taste (and personal judgement). Like what you like, dislike what you dislike. Let others do the same. It need not affect you (unless it is of course on a matter of life and death or anything "serious" which could have negative impacts on your well being).

Offline MysteryMeat

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1997
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • "The new alternative to q-tipping your cat!"
    • mysterymeat
    • spoiledmysterymeat
    • View Profile
    • My rad art blog!
I made the thread because I hear the argument a lot and haven't really been able to get a real discussion on it.
I worded the op rather poorly yeah, but I want to discuss this.
PSA: use imgur
http://pixelation.org/index.php?topic=19838.0 also go suggest on my quest, cmon
MAJOR BORK TALLY: |

Offline Atnas

  • Moderator
  • 0100
  • *
  • Posts: 1074
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • very daijōbs
    • paintbread
    • paintbread
    • View Profile
People commonly project their desires to protect the perceived value of their own art or ideas by making attacks on art or ideas they do not empathize with. If they looked past their ego they'd understand what makes the artwork successful. Maybe they value the ability to draw, so a poorly drawn piece of art confuses them when it becomes popular. 

Hating popular things is easy to do if you attribute value to the social response/popularity a thing receives.

Once upon a time, I found myself in the youtube comment section on a 15 year old male vlogger who makes content geared towards younger teenage girls. A commentor (revealing himself to be 19 and male) was talking shit about the vlogger, questioning why he was so popular, and calling any of the vlogger's fans sluts and whores for no reason, going on for hundreds of comments. Anyway, it's the same guarded emotional response to skinny 1px legs. This 19 year old guy had to know why the vlogger was popular: photogenic, deep voice, wealthy, slightly older than his target audience and thus relatable to them, all things impressionable 13 y/o girls tend to idolize. Instead of investigating why he felt attacked by the existence of this vlogger, he formed a negative emotional response.

So sure. Maybe some people have a reaction to 1px legs because they think its the 'easy way out' as opposed to their sets of values. They'd never... 'stoop to those levels', they'd find their own solution of representing a leg. They don't look past it and wonder if the leg simply isn't important to that artist's work as they don't find thing a or b important to their own work. Or maybe anime or cartoony art offends them. It's 'too simple', it doesn't have the merit of their much more detailed, gritty style. They would be ignoring the subtlety of carefully crafted simplifications and its power to communicate concepts bold and clearly. Or maybe people who love bright colors and cartoony art find more realistic or detailed art to be 'too grimdark/tryhard, needless noisy detail'. They would be ignoring the depth you can only find in minutia and intricacy.

In any event, all of these are just where people choose to draw their own line of whats acceptable to them or not. It's willful ignorance. Hyper light drifter has precise color composition and a lot of work went into that. But it's not something people will see if they can't look past the importance they're attributing to legs or gradients, and why that personally offends them.

Also, there's no 'cheating' in these games that use gradients because there's nothing to cheat. The only place in the entire universe where there's a definition of pixel art that could be cheated are places like the pixeljoint gallery that have acceptance rules. Those rules exist nowhere else, and definitions of stuff like pixel art mean nothing anywhere else.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2016, 08:45:59 am by Atnas »

Offline MysteryMeat

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1997
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • "The new alternative to q-tipping your cat!"
    • mysterymeat
    • spoiledmysterymeat
    • View Profile
    • My rad art blog!
That's a pretty solid explanation on the why it happens and that's really fascinating to me as a prospective psychologist, but as an artist I'm curious if there's an actual argument to be made for these criticisms too.
PSA: use imgur
http://pixelation.org/index.php?topic=19838.0 also go suggest on my quest, cmon
MAJOR BORK TALLY: |

Offline yrizoud

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 330
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
"pixel art" can be meant as a medium, as a craft. There are skills common to many visual art media, like color theory and anatomy, and some very specific to the pixel medium, like anti-aliasing and sub-pixelling. A lot of neo-retro games are completely oblivious of ALL these, and thus are very poor examples of the best that could be made from the medium. If they manage to be good games anyway, well, so good for them. But then some people start thinking that dubious artistic choices are part of the recipe for success.

Offline Phoenix849

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 73
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • olegklishinart
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/45959.htm
    • View Profile
    • olegklishin.com
I always felt I were too dumb and uneducated to have a valid opinion on this topic. One of the main problems I see is that "1px limbs" style is very easy to replicate, and pixel art in general helps to mask your insufficient artistic skillset a lot. So there're a lot of people doing this because it's "easy", while lacking experience of making good and consistent gameart as a whole. The result is often messy and incoherent.

Of course that's unfair towards people who put a lot of work into their games. Hyper Light Drifter sure took a lot of thought and passion towards it. I totally love art direction, but have problems with clarity, terrain readability and general level of visual noise. Maybe it's a professional "purist disease" that causes me to nitpick at certain minor things no one will notice.

In general I've seen very few discussions of this outside of pixel art communities, and I'm sure that absolute majority of players won't even notice things we are talking about.

You can also check comments here, particulary response by FlyGuy:
Quote
I don't know if I would consider this "next level" although it looks amazing.. but I do agree with beetleking and Thu about the popularity of a certain style that I personally think has infected indie pixel art games. And I think it's because many of the artists working on these games have recently picked up pixel art because of the fad. They might not fully understand all of the techniques that have been created through millions of hours of experimentation by experienced pixel artists. Not to say it looks bad, it's just boring at this point. It's time for something new.
A common approach with this "lazy style" (for lack of a better term) are skinny sprites. (Once again, some can look good, but I believe a lot of them choose to pixel like this due to a lack of experience, or simply because everyone else is doing it.) Another thing you might see is a lot of banding, a whole lot of unnecessary colors, stray pixels, and generally what pixel purists would consider sloppy form...probably becuase less time is spent on each asset in order to get the product to launch date faster? Here are some examples.. Sword and Sorcery, Riot, Paradise Lost, Gods Will Be Watching, Witchmarsh, Galactic Princess, Curious Expedition, Irkalla... Then there are games that don't really go the whole skinny sprite route, but alter it a little, they generally still use most of the same fast/messy techniques for tiles/backgrounds. Project Rainworld, Hyper Light Drifter, A.N.N.E., Super Time Force, Crawl.. Like I said, it can still be done tastefully. And some of these examples might be reaching a little..But It's hard to argue that the style in each of these games is drastically new or aren't "HEAVILY" inspired by each other. This argument could be used with 3D games as well (like Call of Duty), so all of this might just be me wasting my breath.. I think the frustration of only seeing a certain style be really popular is what might cause people like Thu to try something else. I applaud him...I for one am bored of the skinny sprites and messier backdrops.

UPDATE:
As for personal input, I think one of the most important pixel art strength is good detail simplification, stylization, clarity and coherency. That's why I dislike glow post-effects, stray pixel noise, overlay gradients and palettes with millions of colors. It's not playing to pixel art strength in my opinion. To my taste "1 pixel limbs" is mostly a fad for people who think that pixel art is "style", "cheap" and "easy". And I found Sword and Sworcery to be frustratingly boring and pretentious. But that's just me, I've met plenty of artists who think otherwise.

I may be too damn stupid to understand cluster theory or arguable cases of banding and consider them too elitist to my taste. I think it all comes down to personal preferences only. Pixel art "rules" are mostly advocated only by a small number of people on pixelation and pixeljoint and may be highly subjective. Though they were suggested by people far, far more experienced, skilled, clever and educated than me, so I at least grew to respect them.

Closing thought: do whatever the hell you want, your life and art are only yours to command :)
« Last Edit: April 06, 2016, 03:09:14 pm by Phoenix849 »
Art portfolio and social media links: olegklishin.com

Offline DawnBringer

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 51
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
If your only metric for graphics is "visual pleasantness" then what does pixelart or anything else have to do with it?

Offline trough

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 66
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile
1-pixel limbs [...] fell largely out of fashion as the graphical arms races began to build speed.
Nice pun.

Offline Cyangmou

  • 0011
  • **
  • Posts: 929
  • Karma: +3/-0
    • cyangmou
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/32234.htm
    • cyangmou
    • View Profile
    • Pixwerk Homepage
Some people like a thing.
Others don't like that thing.

Some people talk shit about stuff they don't like.
Some people don't talk at all about stuff they don't like.

Every opinion is equal.
You can't change opinions.
You could slowly educate people, if you think your opinion/arguments are superior. If they are people will believe them over time.

If you create anything though, there will always be a person who dislikes it and if the thing is popular enough the amount of people who dislike it is greater in numbers too.

In fact it doesn't matter, as long as you have your own, very strong opinion about things you value.
It could get a problem if you take general consensus "e.g. popularity" as measurement for "quality".

People who say something is not good either have some very good arguments to make and you should listen to them carefully, or they talk total trash and don't have a more educated opinion on the topic than avarage.
You should try listen to the first group of people, and blend out the second group, because their rage isn't worth your time usually.
"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."

Dev-Art
Twitter

Offline MysteryMeat

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1997
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • "The new alternative to q-tipping your cat!"
    • mysterymeat
    • spoiledmysterymeat
    • View Profile
    • My rad art blog!
If your only metric for graphics is "visual pleasantness" then what does pixelart or anything else have to do with it?

It's about a specific subset of pixel art looking good. I don't rate it PURELY on that, of course, but in the end being visually appealing is what matters most to me when it comes to both my own art and the art in media I consume.

This has been a pretty good discussion so far, I'm learning a lot here!
1-pixel limbs [...] fell largely out of fashion as the graphical arms races began to build speed.
Nice pun.
haha, glad SOMEONE caught that :p

Anyhow, good discussion, ay
PSA: use imgur
http://pixelation.org/index.php?topic=19838.0 also go suggest on my quest, cmon
MAJOR BORK TALLY: |

Offline Gil

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1543
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Too square to be hip
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/475.htm
    • View Profile
    • My Portfolio
Isn't this whole thing about how HLD and its ilk all look alike, so it's a problem of originality? I kinda get it, but I like the aesthetic, so whatever. I'm sure the authors of HLD don't claim it as being original.

Offline Ai

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1057
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • finti
    • http://pixeljoint.com/pixels/profile.asp?id=1996
    • finticemo
    • View Profile

UPDATE:
As for personal input, I think one of the most important pixel art strength is good detail simplification, stylization, clarity and coherency. That's why I dislike glow post-effects, stray pixel noise, overlay gradients and palettes with millions of colors. It's not playing to pixel art strength in my opinion. To my taste "1 pixel limbs" is mostly a fad for people who think that pixel art is "style", "cheap" and "easy". And I found Sword and Sworcery to be frustratingly boring and pretentious. But that's just me, I've met plenty of artists who think otherwise.
:y:
This issue is really about people who think that process can replace thought, ie that a 'style' can 'be' 'good'. It can't. It can only work well for your particular application because you designed it to work well for your particular application.

I would happily condemn 'artists' who think in such a way, because to me that is the essence of art : you may not always know *why* X works, but nonetheless, you need to arrive at X via thinking about what elements will give the right 'whole picture' (of your game, website, whatever). Preset choices can only ever be a starting point.

If a person can explain to me why they chose 1-pixel limbs and it fits in, there's no reason for me to give critique. Even if 1-pixel limbs are not to my taste. Ultimately all art is made to fit one purpose or other. If we know the purpose, it's coherent, and the art fits it, any crits must necessarily be of minor details. I don't know the purpose of HLD (especially since I haven't played it), so IMO I have no basis for criticising it -- I can only comment on whether it fits my taste, which is ultimately a fairly trivial issue.
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline MysteryMeat

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1997
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • "The new alternative to q-tipping your cat!"
    • mysterymeat
    • spoiledmysterymeat
    • View Profile
    • My rad art blog!
As sucky as it is to admit, I feel there's some pretty hard evidence style over substance can still work.
Just look at Avatar (the one about blue cat people), it didn't even need it's own plot

/rimshot

Nah though, I feel like 1 px limbs are just another example of artistic abstraction in most cases. I'm not saying it ALWAYS look good, per se, but in games like risk of rain or hyper light it is definitely a specific choice made in the presentation rather than a concession made due to lack of artistic ability.

Abstracting certain things like that is just another facet of cartoonistry to me.
You can see similar ideas at work in shows like adventure time or Powerpuff Girls, as long as the overall artistry is consistant you can make just about anything look good.

Almost.
PSA: use imgur
http://pixelation.org/index.php?topic=19838.0 also go suggest on my quest, cmon
MAJOR BORK TALLY: |

Offline Ai

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1057
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • finti
    • http://pixeljoint.com/pixels/profile.asp?id=1996
    • finticemo
    • View Profile
As sucky as it is to admit, I feel there's some pretty hard evidence style over substance can still work.
Just look at Avatar (the one about blue cat people), it didn't even need it's own plot
Not sure who you are replying to here, I can't see anyone suggesting that style over substance doesn't work. The closest I guess is me saying that your style has to fit the application, rather than be thoughtlessly adopted because it's already considered cool.
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline MysteryMeat

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1997
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • "The new alternative to q-tipping your cat!"
    • mysterymeat
    • spoiledmysterymeat
    • View Profile
    • My rad art blog!
Was replying to you, though re-reading your post I may have misunderstood you just a LIL BIT

Any excuse to dump on problem solverz tho
any excuse
PSA: use imgur
http://pixelation.org/index.php?topic=19838.0 also go suggest on my quest, cmon
MAJOR BORK TALLY: |

Offline Glitchcraft

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
This topic is kind of old but I feel strongly enough about it to bump it and possibly have a conversation.

I think the whole idea of authenticity is a pretentious, elitist mindset that holds pixel art (as well as most mediums) back. I don't know if anyone is into black metal, but there is this smug purist mentality that everything should emulate Burzum and utilize the 90's Norwegian church burning aesthetic or it isn't trVe."

One of the reasons it took me so long to get into doing pixel art was because of that mentality. I accepted for quite a long time this false pretense that pixel art is a style, rather than a medium. I wouldn't have started doing pixel art if I didn't want to push the boundaries of it and modernize it. I just don't enjoy adhering to a strict template. Maybe it's a narcissistic part of me that needs to stand out and have a distinct style, or maybe I just don't like boring tired art that peaked 20 years ago.

Offline ptoing

  • 0101
  • ****
  • Posts: 3063
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • variegated quadrangle arranger
    • the_ptoing
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/2191.htm
    • View Profile
    • Perpetually inactive website
Disclaimer: If any of this sounds a bit rambly or convoluted, it's because it is 7:24 in the morning here and I have not slept well in the last few days. Read at your own risk.

I think the whole idea of authenticity is a pretentious, elitist mindset that holds pixel art (as well as most mediums) back.

The idea of authenticity has validity if you have some base level or standard to compare to. For example using a brush that looks kinda like pencil in Photoshop is not authentic pencil art, for what that's worth. As far as pixelart goes you can IMO only really go as established rulesets, which stem from hardware restriction. So you could do things like art that is authentic in the constraints regarding different machines, such as NES, C64, Amiga, and so on. All of this is totally value free IMO and everyone should be doing what they enjoy, without telling others what they are doing wrong, esp. when it comes to things like style.

There are things where people can be helped with getting better, such as art fundamentals, anatomy, lighting, colour, as well as more pixel art specific things such as aa, dither, clusters (in the sense that clusters are important in helping what you are trying to communicate, whatever that may be, for example, more noise might be something you want, so you choose smaller more noisy clusters.), colour conservation, etc. That is what this forum is for. I don't think that any of the moderators on here are part of the crowd that would advocate "pixel purism" as the one true path, unless I missed something.

I, personally, as an artist who has worked in the game industry for over a decade now, mainly doing pixelart, I do not give a fuck about purity in my work, I care about getting stuff done. What matters is that the client is happy, and if the client wants a more "pure", or a better term would be "oldschool" look, then that is what I do.

Quote
One of the reasons it took me so long to get into doing pixel art was because of that mentality. I accepted for quite a long time this false pretense that pixel art is a style, rather than a medium.

I don't think that pixelart is even a medium as such. It is a somewhat of a medium-style mix.
To say it is a medium you would have to specify what makes pixelart pixelart, and then you are at square one once again. I guess the smallest common denominator you could boil it to is "you can see the pixels"

To make the style/medium thing a bit clearer.

Digital art is a medium, in digital art you get a bunch of different approaches; 3D polygonal, 3D voxel, 2D raster, 2D vector are the ones that come to mind. Those I guess could be called actual mediums.

And at one point in time what we now call "pixelart" was the cutting edge, or the only game in town until things like early prerenders and realtime 3D, and then also higher resolutions came onto the market.

So what I am saying is that both pixelart and high definition digital illustration would fall under 2D raster art (or actually mixed medium of the 4 above, I have used 3D as guides to make pixelart before, and I am certainly not the first person to do so). Or lowpoly stuff like Quake, or even earlier games that are way more primitive, and modern stuff like Doom 2016, both utilise polygonal 3D art (which also uses 2D raster art to a huge amount for textures), but lowpoly is nowadays seeing a comeback in the indiescene and is seen as somewhat of a style. But pretty much everyone doing 3D nowadays would tell you that being able do to good lowpoly models is something that is useful, because it trains you in things like economy and developing things with strong silhouettes (which is very important for good character design).

What I am getting at ultimately is that the wordsauce and semantics do not really matter, what matters is what people do with what they are given, or what they choose to use. If that makes them, and maybe even others happy, and even better, enables people to make a living, and hopefully make their ideas come to fruition, then great, that's awesome. I am all for that.

Quote
I wouldn't have started doing pixel art if I didn't want to push the boundaries of it and modernize it.


To me the idea of modernising pixelart sounds a bit like modernising pencil drawing, or oil painting. You can of course take clues from things that were not possible 20 years ago (which is again, largely due to hardware constraints.) And if modernising means just branching out into different styles that people have not generally used much or at all in pixelart then you are not doing anything groundbreaking either, you are just applying your own artistic vision. There is a lot of aping styles going on in pixelart (art in general), and it can be very tiring, there I totally agree. But I doubt you will reinvent the wheel in terms of pixelart.

Quote
I just don't enjoy adhering to a strict template.
That is fine, and no one here will tell you to do that (unless you wanna take part in some activity that has restrictions, like the hex corpse ones). Do whatever you feel will help you grow as an artist, and if you think people on here can help you with this and you can help others in this regard as well, awesome.

Quote
Maybe it's a narcissistic part of me that needs to stand out and have a distinct style, or maybe I just don't like boring tired art that peaked 20 years ago.

That last statement is just as narrow-minded as the idea of "pixel purism". The past is here to learn from, in all regards. And there is a lot of that "boring tired art that peaked 20 years ago" that many of us will never reach, as far as level of craftsmanship goes. Ignore the past and what you can learn from it at your own peril.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline RAV

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 293
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Blackbox Voxel Tool


When I look at this game, I feel very excited about it. It looks clever and fresh.

Of course someone can look at it and say, "I see nothing innovative and impressive here".
"It's just another side-scroller made on a game jam with the usual techniques. I could do better!"

And when they show examples of other projects they admire instead, often I look at that and see nothing intriguing.
Very standard and uninspired art and code, that both may be more accomplished technically, yet are somehow boring me.

Well, there certainly is an ocean of pixel art games that are simple, but bad. So that's not really the point.
But it goes to show, the aspects you are stressing in judging a work are not necessarily the most important.

The old can feel new, it can have productive merit, it can work and be successful. It depends on what you can do.
But you didn't make it. You didn't envision this. Because you're a different person with different interests.

People like to stress an aspect they are good in, maybe even original in,
and like to judge another work in this special light to its disadvantage,
while conveniently ignoring all the other weak points in the own.

The truth is, being innovative and original is very exhausting, even if you want it, you can't do it in everything,
at best you pick your battle according to your biggest interest, mix other things up, recombine stuff, switch around,
and hope that altogether this sculpture made of weathered stone and rusty junk appears roughly unique enough.

Creative aspects are very much connected, a good game is a very tight experience, built on a variety of subjects.
Maybe you could replace all the pixel art with something else, now that you know it. It could be just as good and successful.
But would this game have been made like that in the first place? in all the creatively connected aspects that made it cool?

I tend to have a more holistic view on pixel art and its role in development, and I look more for the little things and their connections.
I'm more interested in the feats of cleverness in pixel art, than the same kind of revolution that's been done to death in every other art.

So that has me appreciate the classics and people concentrated on pushing that.
And the more I tinker, the more I find properties that have immortal quality.

A horse doesn't need to be a cow; it needs a life as a horse.

I think most important is that you feel excited and passionate about your work,
whatever that is, that will eventually show and validate its existence.

At the same time I am at a stage of my life I not so much look at what would hold me back,
but what opportunities the world around me offers for furthering my own goals.
Seeing this needs training too, it's on what I want to spend more effort.


« Last Edit: May 15, 2016, 07:00:46 pm by RAV »

Offline Glitchcraft

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Perhaps I wasn't descriptive enough with my post. I didn't mean that authenticity wasn't important. I meant that "authenticity" as in "you used non pixel art overlays in your game so you are a fraud."

And yes, fundamentals are important, on a much bigger level than with just pixel art alone. The artists that make this so called inauthentic art have fundamentals though.

I'm not saying there is anything wrong with being into the aesthetic of retro pixel art. Secret of Mana is a beautiful game with beautiful art. I just believe that, if anything, the artists that push the envelope should be praised.

About the whole modernizing pixel art thing. I didn't mean for that to sound nearly as grandiose as it was interpreted. When I say modernizing pixel art, I'm referring to games like Hyper Light Drifter, Super Brothers, Fez (even though it's pixel art painted on 3D models), Carrion (awesome pixel artist on newgrounds).

I know I sounded like a hypocrite by countering elitism with anti-elitist elitism haha.

So let me sum up what I should have said to begin with in a TL:DR format:

Criticising modern pixel art for not adhering to the aesthetic perfected by the golden age of pixel art is grounds for stagnation.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2016, 08:30:32 pm by ptoing »

Offline ptoing

  • 0101
  • ****
  • Posts: 3063
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • variegated quadrangle arranger
    • the_ptoing
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/2191.htm
    • View Profile
    • Perpetually inactive website
Yeah, I can agree with that statement. Also please don't quote entire posts like that, does not help with seeing what is going on. You can just address me by name in your reply, that's enough.  ;)

Like:

ptoing: text here.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline ErekT

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 330
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • fistful of pixels
    • View Profile
Perhaps I wasn't descriptive enough with my post. I didn't mean that authenticity wasn't important. I meant that "authenticity" as in "you used non pixel art overlays in your game so you are a fraud."
Hmm. I'm not opposed to doing that in principle myself. I wouldn't call people frauds for doing it that's for sure. But at the same time I think pixel art mixed up with various kinds of automated render effects don't mesh so well. The reason being that high fidelity effects like blur, smudge, sharpen, gradient overlays etc feel at odds visually with the low fidelity quality of pixel art. Pixel art usually has very obvious limitations in terms of both resolution and color count, every pixel is deliberately placed, and the totality of it is completely crafted by hand. Render effects are diametrically opposite to all that; they're basically automated algorithms that go wild with color usage, no attention to individual pixel placement, and you have only indirect control over them by way of parameters to tweak.

Nothing wrong with mixing them in and of itself, but to some people, me included, the result will often look like a jarring hifi/lofi-clash.

Offline Ai

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1057
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • finti
    • http://pixeljoint.com/pixels/profile.asp?id=1996
    • finticemo
    • View Profile
I think that's basically the same reason that if you render something in your picture, you need the rendering levels in the rest of the picture to suit (don't have to match, but do have to be chosen strategically).
IMO this is actually an argument that generalizes beyond this area, into 3d rendering for example, where thoughtlessly hi-fi rendering (eg. too many frames / too much going on) hurts the artistic impression.
Really, the only way to be sure about this kind of thing seems to me to be either a) hand render everything, or b) use some level of AI.
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.