AuthorTopic: Mark Ferarri on 8-bit pixel art. GDC talk. Must watch.  (Read 13085 times)

Offline Gil

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Re: Mark Ferarri on 8-bit pixel art. GDC talk. Must watch.

Reply #10 on: April 13, 2016, 01:19:55 pm
Not sure what you're referring to here
I was just agreeing with the general tone of your post, that there's better ways these days to go about what he's trying to do. Again, that didn't stop the video from blowing me away :)

Offline Probo

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Re: Mark Ferarri on 8-bit pixel art. GDC talk. Must watch.

Reply #11 on: April 13, 2016, 09:10:13 pm
Really interesting talk, thanks for posting. Guys got mad skillz fo sho. My main lesson from this wasn't technical though, it was to just get better at drawing and rendering! XD

oh and I'm now really looking forward to this huckerby fellow's pixel art program!!
« Last Edit: April 13, 2016, 09:24:00 pm by Probo »

Offline trough

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Re: Mark Ferarri on 8-bit pixel art. GDC talk. Must watch.

Reply #12 on: April 13, 2016, 11:30:59 pm
Here is information on the Joe Huckaby with whom Mark Ferrari worked and endorses in this video.  Mark says that Joe is developing a pixel-art graphics program which will include features not seen since DPaint, and a workflow better than that of Cosmigo's Pro Motion.  It should be appearing 2017.

If Mark is excited about it, others here might like to keep watch.

https://about.me/jhuckaby
https://twitter.com/jhuckaby
https://pixlcore.com
https://github.com/jhuckaby
Color cycling sites displayed in the video:
http://www.effectgames.com/demos/canvascycle/
http://www.effectgames.com/demos/worlds/

Mark mentions that he still uses DPaint in DOSBox for color-cycling projects, because he is unaware of an editor with its capabilities.  However, GrafX2 provides a color cycling feature in its gradation menu [Alt+G] and support for DPaint .IFF files.  I am not sure if he is unaware of GrafX2, or if there are other features still missing.  I think I will email him about it.

Offline Ai

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Re: Mark Ferarri on 8-bit pixel art. GDC talk. Must watch.

Reply #13 on: April 14, 2016, 12:50:27 am
However, GrafX2 provides a color cycling feature in its gradation menu [Alt+G] and support for DPaint .IFF files.  I am not sure if he is unaware of GrafX2, or if there are other features still missing.  I think I will email him about it.
GrafX2 was mentioned in a question near the end; he basically ignored it.

Relative to DPaint, there -are- features missing (the 'contour-fitted' / 'shapeburst' fill he used in the waterfalls, for example, and automatic antialiasing.).

Not sure what you're referring to here

I was just agreeing with the general tone of your post, that there's better ways these days to go about what he's trying to do. Again, that didn't stop the video from blowing me away :)
Ah, NVM then, just my insecurity apparently.
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline RAV

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Re: Mark Ferarri on 8-bit pixel art. GDC talk. Must watch.

Reply #14 on: April 14, 2016, 10:40:40 am
Want to note though, I believe that mastering a tool is much more than knowing where the buttons are. And that the mindset that Pixel Art would be merely an extension of general arts and a reduction of digital painting, is very much part of what hurt pixel art as a rusty cage in my eyes. It's not that it's actually wrong, but I believe if you put too much emphasis on thinking it like that, it's no surprise classic pixel art appears nothing more than stale, annoying and shallow to most. It's been what bugs me about tool development for a long time now, and that I think it's important to figure how we inform that.

There are all kinds of long lost features from the old days that were heavily based on the unique properties of pixel art, that were not only necessary to run, but also incredibly fun to be creative with and gain experience in, unlike anything else. And that on top of that there is yet much more inventive potential to pixel art than in just remaking the past.



At the same time, everyone has limits. yes me too.

For example, mine is when watching people remake NES sprites in Minecraft. They spend literally hours to create something that shouldn't take more than five minutes. It's sad that this isn't an exaggeration. It requires me a lot of discipline and good attiude, to interpret this as an amazing quality of humankind, than depressing stupidity. It is in this moment, you will find me mumbling about the importance of results, while they will point out their pride in this process, and that the challenge makes it worthwhile, that they wouldn't want it any other way. I want something different. But I must accept that. with gnashing teeth. The Minecraft purists. Yes, that exists. it's big. Bigger than pixel purists.

But one thing is for sure, no matter what you do, eventually everyone looks stupid. and dead.



« Last Edit: April 14, 2016, 02:21:56 pm by RAV »

Offline Ai

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Re: Mark Ferarri on 8-bit pixel art. GDC talk. Must watch.

Reply #15 on: April 14, 2016, 03:24:51 pm
Want to note though, I believe that mastering a tool is much more than knowing where the buttons are. And that the mindset that Pixel Art would be merely an extension of general arts and a reduction of digital painting, is very much part of what hurt pixel art as a rusty cage in my eyes. It's not that it's actually wrong,
I think I have to disagree here - it -is- basically wrong. Pixel art, assembler for embedded systems, duplo, etc, are all primarily 'you can put only so many X into Y' optimization problems, whereas CG, programming for desktop systems, RL construction are really only limited by time and money.  The parallels in 'what the goal is' is far overshadowed by the differences in 'effective ways to get there'.
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline RAV

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Re: Mark Ferarri on 8-bit pixel art. GDC talk. Must watch.

Reply #16 on: April 14, 2016, 04:35:41 pm
It's good you boil it down to this, because that's something I'd like to talk about.

When I see a line of proper high level code, I see much more in it, because I know what actually happens down on the low. And this realization, consciously and sub-consciously, heavily impacts many decisions on the higher levels. Many of my high level decisions would be much poorer without. It is often actually pretty severe, in how it influences radical architecture design, choice of algorithms and math. Because just as art draws from visual reality, coding has to deal with the reality of hardware, even if we like to forget that these days. For me there is no clear cut border between low level and high level, that it would be these two entirely different worlds of thinking modes, divided by the vacuum of space, and you should stay on the warmer and brighter one, 90% of your time.

And a similar idea guides my thoughts about pixel art. To slightly caricature the problem, the sentiment of basically "Well, I should rather be doing some real art than pixel art in my time -- more bang for the buck", is somewhat understandable, but a pixel art that is a mere after-thought, robs you a lot of unique creative inspiration, a reason to bother with any pixel art at all, and affects how you construct pixel art tools.

Many of the system features of how graphics work, how colour palette, and tiles and sprites work, how you manage your resources as an artist, how you go about constructing things, the reality of the tool given, is also a high level inspirational component to your creativity. It kinda goes into how people feel that the limits of pixel art stimulates their creativity. Pixel Art is a joint effort, and the design decisions of coders and artists affected each other. And the creativity coders put into pixel art tools has been much more than restricting it in some number, it also provided mechanics with which to rethink the art on more than the lowest level, sometimes in new surprising ways, be it good or bad, that still had another value to art, that other art tools didn't give.

And by that thought, a pixel art that's just reduced to the problem of how many colours, and how to dither and aa, is just a little fragment of what pixel art means to me creatively, and how that guides my own development. I indeed want to make pixel art deep. This is my motivation and mindset for design. Is it true? can it be? even if not, I feel it's better for my work to go at it with this attitude, to search for what makes pixel art worth your time. And that's sort of why I look for the creative "dignity" and opportunity of pixel art, as something more than a robot's labor or an autist's obsession.

So that's where I am coming from. I understand your position though, that the pixel art scene is beset by too much lack in art fundamentals, and that this is most what holds back many in their pixel art, and thus your response is the other way around.


« Last Edit: April 14, 2016, 05:06:01 pm by RAV »

Offline RAV

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Re: Mark Ferarri on 8-bit pixel art. GDC talk. Must watch.

Reply #17 on: April 14, 2016, 10:53:10 pm
Or here something else:

When I look at the history of pixel art, I find it remarkable how stupid it often was, if you look at it from a classic artist point of view. From the choices in the preset palettes to all kinds of crap everywhere, that would distract you from how you're supposed to go about real art, coders sure did their best to make your life miserable. And yet here we are today loving it in retrospective. Is that Stockholm syndrome? S&M games?

It kinda makes me think, my job is not to make you feel cushy and give you what you say you want, but to present you an outrageous oddity, flip the finger to you, and tell you to deal with it for art. My computer doesn't care about your feelings and stuff. Just do the impossible, or go fuck yourself. And no one pays you to do fancy pencil sketches. Pixel sprites for 24h in a sweatshop, or burn in hell.

You can send me your gratitude with flowers later, if you're still alive.

like, yeah, totally.

Something kinda gives me the impression, Mark Ferrari "learned to love" pixel art for games and stuff. I suspect it wasn't love on first sight. He got money, so that's what he did. until you tell yourself how great that is, that how you spend that time fiddling around had a greater meaning, and other artists shouldn't pity you, but admire you.

I'm a total ass. A double cheek.




« Last Edit: April 16, 2016, 04:41:59 pm by RAV »

Offline Ai

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Re: Mark Ferarri on 8-bit pixel art. GDC talk. Must watch.

Reply #18 on: April 15, 2016, 12:59:50 am
It's good you boil it down to this, because that's something I'd like to talk about.

When I see a line of proper high level code, I see much more in it, because I know what actually happens down on the low. And this realization, consciously and sub-consciously, heavily impacts many decisions on the higher levels. Many of my high level decisions would be much poorer without. It is often actually pretty severe, in how it influences radical architecture design, choice of algorithms and math. Because just as art draws from visual reality, coding has to deal with the reality of hardware, even if we like to forget that these days. For me there is no clear cut border between low level and high level, that it would be these two entirely different worlds of thinking modes, divided by the vacuum of space, and you should stay on the warmer and brighter one, 90% of your time.
That is IMO the difference between levels of understanding. To the master of an art, they no longer have to think about things like gesture, form, color at length, because they have largely internalized the workings of those things. But this is not true for someone who is not a master. The less skills you already have, the more the difference between mediums affects you; you will tend to conform to the idiosyncracies of the medium, rather than choosing it ahead of time because you know it can do what you want. So it needs to be viewed in terms of what it will teach you, which I maintain that for pixel art is optimization under tight constraints, and for CG is more about efficient processes (since you have the latitude to fit in almost anything you want but not infinite time)

Quote
And a similar idea guides my thoughts about pixel art. To slightly caricature the problem, the sentiment of basically "Well, I should rather be doing some real art than pixel art in my time -- more bang for the buck", is somewhat understandable, but a pixel art that is a mere after-thought, robs you a lot of unique creative inspiration, a reason to bother with any pixel art at all, and affects how you construct pixel art tools.
Certainly - there are things that you would only think to do in the first place if thinking in terms of pixel art. I feel the need to point out that my posts in this thread have not been directed at the problem of where to spend one's time, though. Rather, at the issue that different media teach you different skills, and in the case of tightly constrained media like pixel art, those skills are highly technical and specific (iow, the problems you are pushed to spend most time on solving are highly technical and specific to the media).

Quote
So that's where I am coming from. I understand your position though, that the pixel art scene is beset by too much lack in art fundamentals, and that this is most what holds back many in their pixel art, and thus your response is the other way around.
Again, my response here is not attempting to claim that one is better than the other, simply that the processes and skills involved are fundamentally different -- not entirely different, or people wouldn't make the mistake of thinking of pixel art as a 'reduced CGing', but unquestionably different enough that it should be clear that it IS a mistake. Even though you attempt to say that it's not exactly wrong, my impression is that you agree with me (otherwise you wouldn't make statements like "a pixel art that is a mere after-thought, robs you a lot of unique creative inspiration, a reason to bother with any pixel art at all, and affects how you construct pixel art tools.")

Regarding your other post, IMO that was addressed in the video: limitations inspire creativity, and that's what we like. The EGA palette was pretty terrible but it also made us think, construct things differently, make different patterns than we would if we had "unlimited" resources.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2016, 01:04:17 am by Ai »
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline RAV

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Re: Mark Ferarri on 8-bit pixel art. GDC talk. Must watch.

Reply #19 on: April 15, 2016, 08:13:10 am
So yeah, it's not just what's being said, but what it implies further, and the connections.
And it's not that I seriously disagree, with you or anyone, but that I find it important to add this note.

That even though we should realize that pixel art is not the best means of exercising every important aspect of art skills, that in that recommendation, we don't delegate Pixel Art down to an uninspired after-thought, after we're done doing the real work. Because that's what I'm noticing often about "high level" pixel pieces, as much as we'd notice a lack of fundaments to "low level" pieces: it really looks like pixel art is just a matter of polishing pass at the end. And that a pixel art tool is just a matter of deactivating auto-AA and setting nearest neighbour, avoid most of the functions, and keep colours below 256.

That's not what pixel art was in the past. or only a part of it. Pixel Art happened from the very start you made a piece, it happened on the constructive macro level of a visual, not just micro-ing the pixel level. Even if you made what looked like a painting, it was quite different making that than doing an actual painting. Nowadays, we scan a drawing, we actually paint, clean it up, and that last step that's the most uncreative, that's what makes it pixel art now. And maybe that's okay. Maybe it's for the better. Just get it over with. But at the same time, I find it harder and harder to see what's the point of pixel art as just that.

And even though I know I'm a pest, and maybe it's not relevant, but I feel like mentioning that.

I do very much recommend people to make most use of higher programming languages, engines and frameworks, especially with quick focus study on algorithms and math. But I also tell them, when they make their particular choice on something for a project, know exactly why you picked that, and make use to the fullest extend of what it can offer. Don't pick C if you have no ambition and need in memory management, else it will just annoy you. But whatever it is you pick even on high level, you must learn to interpret your general computer science through specific application, and to master this kind of negotiation between levels, to become one to greatest effect, requires much dedication and experience as well. And every language will make its darn best to convince you, why it's so much better and different than anything else, maybe it really isn't, but hopefully it will at least attempt to develop itself to a depth of interesting concepts, that very much qualify and challenge everything else you know.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2016, 01:34:15 pm by RAV »