AuthorTopic: 32x32 Character Help?  (Read 2714 times)

Offline KillaMaaki

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32x32 Character Help?

on: October 04, 2016, 08:10:23 pm
Hello,
I'm doing some forays into pixel art and I wanted to make a human character for an RPG. I wanted the character to be 32x32, and no more than 15 colors + transparency.

Here's what I have so far:


First of all, I'd like some critiques and pointers on this guy. I feel like there's a few things off, like for example his feet feel vaguely wrong to me but I'm not sure why (if someone's got some insight, I'd love to hear it!).

Also, does anybody have tips for drawing humans at this scale? I've done non-pixel illustration, but at this scale it feels like things are so much harder, and I want to animate this guy but with how hard it's already been just to draw him standing I'm almost dreading the thought of anything more than the simplest walk cycle.

Offline Not4mortaleyes

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Re: 32x32 Character Help?

Reply #1 on: October 04, 2016, 08:57:19 pm
The arms are too short

Offline KillaMaaki

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Re: 32x32 Character Help?

Reply #2 on: October 04, 2016, 09:46:41 pm
The arms are too short

Hm, interesting. The arm length really never bugged me (EDIT: until you mentioned it anyway), but this is why I went for a second opinion lol. Gimme a bit and I'll edit this post with a modified version.

EDIT: Here's the modified version.



Made the arms longer, and gave the boots treads.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2016, 10:29:39 pm by KillaMaaki »

Offline Rydin

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Re: 32x32 Character Help?

Reply #3 on: October 05, 2016, 02:49:46 pm
Every pixel counts at this scale.

One pixel in a different position will completely change the story the collective pixels tell.

For example, the gradual soft hues to shade the face are working against you. They blend into a fuzzy nondescript pillow. There's so much more information and emotion that you can get from a face, and should. The face is the most important place to make human connection with your work.   ;)

Cheers.
Man cannot remake himself without suffering for he is both the marble and the sculptor.

Offline KillaMaaki

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Re: 32x32 Character Help?

Reply #4 on: October 05, 2016, 10:26:02 pm
Every pixel counts at this scale.

One pixel in a different position will completely change the story the collective pixels tell.

For example, the gradual soft hues to shade the face are working against you. They blend into a fuzzy nondescript pillow. There's so much more information and emotion that you can get from a face, and should. The face is the most important place to make human connection with your work.   ;)

Cheers.

I see what you're saying.
What do you suggest, then? Should I get rid of one of the shades, and just work with two for the skin?

Offline ThePixelMonster

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Re: 32x32 Character Help?

Reply #5 on: October 07, 2016, 04:04:42 am
Hello,
I'm doing some forays into pixel art and I wanted to make a human character for an RPG. I wanted the character to be 32x32, and no more than 15 colors + transparency.

Here's what I have so far:


First of all, I'd like some critiques and pointers on this guy. I feel like there's a few things off, like for example his feet feel vaguely wrong to me but I'm not sure why (if someone's got some insight, I'd love to hear it!).

Also, does anybody have tips for drawing humans at this scale? I've done non-pixel illustration, but at this scale it feels like things are so much harder, and I want to animate this guy but with how hard it's already been just to draw him standing I'm almost dreading the thought of anything more than the simplest walk cycle.

Like what Not4MortalEyes has said, the arms are a little too short (which I see you tried to fix already) but there are a few more things that I'd like to point out.

When working with anything south of 64x64 (and often even at that scale) you will want to use higher contracting colours wherever possible. Mostly because otherwise you won't be able to see the difference of colours once zoomed out, that's why you often see people working with multiple "preview" windows when they make pixel art. So that you can get an idea of how it might look when in actual use, as it's often (especially when starting out) hard to devise how it can look when you're zoomed in real close. Often one pixel is really out of place when zoomed in and working on a sprite, but when you zoom out that one pixel works like magic to create the illusion of some intricate detail that would otherwise be impossible to convey.

The colours that you've chosen to use aren't bad but they blend together a little too much, if you break apart the colours of the pieces of your character a little more, it will be easier to define where one part starts and another ends, your palette so far is a little too saturated and close to one another. Don't worry, that's the hardest part to get a hang of honestly.

Personally when I create top down sprites, I tend to enjoy them a little closer to the top down perspective than most people, I prefer it to look like a top down sprite, where others prefer it to look like the classic zelda style of top down, where it almost looks like a platformer sprite with a slight angle on it. Anyway...

Here is a small example of what I was talking about above:
100% zoom


300% zoom


You can see, I simply copied your sprite, altered the colours a little, and already you can break the image apart, sorry it's not that complete, I quickly rushed this example for you. Also I have in the image an older sprite of mine to show a few other things.

You mentioned your feet look off, that's probably because you've merged them together, with the amount of pixels you can't really define one single darker line down the center between the two, because the pixels are odd and not even between both of the feet in the sprite, so it makes it harder to separate them from one another, which to me doesn't help the weird look of them. You can see on the slightly altered version that I've created, that I ran a two pixel wide darker line between them because of that, it looks better but too thick if you ask me.

Note that there are also some problems with my older sprite that I've included on the far right, but you can see what I mean about the perspective a little. Also see how the colours are broken up a little, way back when I animated this sprite I ran into a few issues which you will definitely come into contact with, with your current sprite. The hands and the feet overlapped often and where they are both a shade of brown, it made it harder to animate, simply using a darker line for the shade when these overlapped worked well but made it harder to animate by hand making it take more time more than anything, but I simple make them a dark shade of grey on another character and it went much faster. You don't have to alter the entire colour of any particular section like that, but when you're limited to a handful of colours then it may be best to at times. Especially when starting out as it tends to make things easier to work with early on.

It's not a bad attempt at a character sprite though, and it will take some time to get used to things, just keep playing around with the pixels and colours. Pixel art is a lot harder than it looks but with a little patience, trial and error and a little know how gained from that trial and error, you can get some wonderful things going.

I hope this helps you a little. Sorry for the rather rushed examples, it's 05:00 and I need to get some sleep. Feel free to use the sprite that I've shared in any way, including the one on the far right. I never ended up using it for anything other than a quick placeholder for some old mockup image.

Good Luck with it all, I hope you stick with it!

Offline KillaMaaki

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Re: 32x32 Character Help?

Reply #6 on: October 07, 2016, 07:35:39 am
So I did a bunch of touching up of my sprite. I went with your advice about separating the legs, and also redrew the arms from scratch so they look more relaxed and less boxy. Additionally, I touched up the skin shading as well as rearranging some other colors and trying to increase contrast and readability. Also trying out a new glove design - trying to make them look like fingerless gloves, how'd I do?



EDIT: Also added a shadow, although in practice that would probably be a separate sprite or something, since A.) it goes over palette limitations, and B.) actually I kinda have the MegaDrive in mind for this sprite, so the shadow could theoretically use the shadow/highlight mode to appear semitransparent anyway.

EDIT 2:


Redid his palette altogether. A bit closer to your example, it was right after I mentioned having MD in mind that I started thinking about palettes and realized his color palette might not be nearly versatile enough. So I took a look at Pier Solar's sprites and realized they tended to heavily reuse colors across sprites. So I tried dividing him into different color groups that could be reused in other sprites as well, and this is the result.
As an added bonus, he seems to maintain much more readability when displayed in a CRT filter I've made in Unity, even when the filter is set to RF or Composite modes, as compared to the last iteration of his palette.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2016, 08:45:23 am by KillaMaaki »

Offline ThePixelMonster

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Re: 32x32 Character Help?

Reply #7 on: October 07, 2016, 05:40:40 pm
It looks considerably better than before. Nice work. Just note that you should consider your light source as much as possible, sometimes the lighting in a sprite won't perfectly align with where the intended light source is coming from but usually that is when the odd placement is building on the actual design of the sprite.

As for the shadows, I always place them for presentation purposes when presenting a top-down perspective sprite, so that people can understand right away that they're looking at something in a top-down view, sometimes it's a little harder to just tell from the get go, I would rarely include the shadow in a sprite unless it was a technical requirement from a client or programmer.

Glad to have helped, the progress is nice! Keep up the good work.