AuthorTopic: Moogle doodle  (Read 3202 times)

Offline Blues

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Moogle doodle

on: February 01, 2017, 05:07:08 pm
I doodled a quick moogle for a friend but I feel like it could be better



For one the wings look weird and I'm not too sure I know how to fix them

Offline dotodrymo

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Re: Moogle doodle

Reply #1 on: February 01, 2017, 07:38:11 pm
Edit:



I reduced the color count to four and then worked on making it match the source material. Your overall shape was pretty good, but some of the proportions/feature placements were inhibiting its cuteness.

Your biggest problem comes from using lots of similar colors. Try working with a smaller ramp and varying your hues more to avoid a blurry look!

Offline Blues

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Re: Moogle doodle

Reply #2 on: February 02, 2017, 11:14:05 am
Aaah yeah your edit looks better. I'll try and look up how to better use proportions and shape of a body but one thing I'm having a lot of trouble with is picking and using colors. I know it'll look better if i read up on how to use proportions to my advantage but until I read up on that and redraw it I'd like to know how to pick and use the best colors so I've been working on the head I drew.



I've got several problems with what I've done for one it doesn't look right and while picking the colors I pretty much purposely went for something similar to what you've done because I'm not too sure how the whole thought process behind picking colors works.

Things like contrast and making sure I don't use too many or too little saturated colors I sorta understand but with things that are hue related I sorta understand a bit less. Like for instance I'm not sure if you made your palette because you knew you'd need purple and red so you worked it out to include them or if there's some other thought process that helps you choose colors that you need for your image and would look nice together.

As for using the colors with a limited palette I find it sorta harder to know where to use them. You used your purple as an outline + for the things that actually are purple and it looked good but normally I wouldn't think to use the purple as an outline but I thiiink you did because it was the darkest shade?

basically I'm having trouble understanding colors and I have read up on it I'm just having trouble wrapping my head around it so if anyone could help me understand it or give me advice on coloring the head in general so I can sorta get used to it I'd really appreciate it.

Offline Runensucher

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Re: Moogle doodle

Reply #3 on: February 02, 2017, 11:31:54 am
Edit:



I reduced the color count to four and then worked on making it match the source material. Your overall shape was pretty good, but some of the proportions/feature placements were inhibiting its cuteness.

Your biggest problem comes from using lots of similar colors. Try working with a smaller ramp and varying your hues more to avoid a blurry look!

I'm not sure about this edit, since it is a total different style. I found the first version pretty to the point when it comes to form and cuteness. But there is definetly room to improve the colours.
@Blues: Your last post is a good way to follow. You tried something out, and in my opinion that's the only way to learn colours. Stop thinking to much about it, just remember to not only to change the brightness. Shades go more to blue and purple, lighter colours more to yellow. I'm not a professional, and I'm confused about colours every time as well. That's why I encourage you to play around with colours to look what happens.
Here is a tutorial that may help: http://finalbossblues.com/using-and-choosing-colors/

Offline Blues

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Re: Moogle doodle

Reply #4 on: February 02, 2017, 12:40:44 pm
Aaah I've read through final boss blues' tutorial before although I guess I skimmed through the whole color ramp thing when I first read it. It's very helpful thank you!

So for now I guess I'll work on this form and read up on using proportions to convey different things before I draw something else and just try to improve the colors on this for now. I think this helped me start to understand colors a lot better.

I recolored the body too but if anyone has any advice I'd still be happy to change this up

Offline dotodrymo

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Re: Moogle doodle

Reply #5 on: February 02, 2017, 06:48:13 pm
That's a lot of improvement! Runensucher is absolutely right about my edit being in a different style. Your initial doodle already had a lot of good stuff going for it, and the ways in which I adapted it aren't universal advice. I'll try to go over why I made the changes I did, and hopefully that'll help you. :)

When I talked about the proportions inhibiting cuteness, this is what I meant:



The face on the left has pseudo-realistic proportions. The face on the right has all the features moved down and the eyes slightly enlarged. This advice doesn't work universally, but generally we find proportions like these cuter. This is also true of head to body ratio; we find larger heads cuter, probably because we associate these proportions with babies.

If you look at the source material for reference, you can see that moogles were designed with these proportions in mind.



This design has a big bean-shaped head with low facial features and a small round body with cute little limbs. The sharpness of the ears and wings accentuates the roundness of the head and body.

Just by emulating the moogle design, your sprite already has a lot of these traits. This is a matter of personal taste, of course, and my modifications of your sprite were pretty extreme, but I find that I even prefer a version of your sprite with minor edits, like so:



I just moved the face down a couple pixels and used the shading colors to round out the body a little. EDIT: and messed up the wings in the process because I wasn't paying attention, oops  :blind:

Your colors are already looking much better, so I'm not sure any tips from me will help at this point, but I'm happy to share my process.

When it came to recoloring your sprite, I saw that all of your shading colors were very close to each other on the color map:



So first, I cut out all the super-similar colors:



Then, I reshaped:



I decided that the black and the purple were rarely used and pretty similar, so I combined them, darkening the purple and making it bluer so it could be easily distinguished from the red. I didn't know what kind of background you were eventually going to put this piece on, so I used my new dark color to add an unbroken outline, because dark outlines go well with most backgrounds:



I knew from experience that because the red was between the purple and the cream in both hue and brightness, it could be used to soften the transition between them. Some of the transitions were still too harsh, so I selected another color between the cream and the red (again, between them in both hue and brightness) and used it to shade/add detail, resulting in my final sprite:



That was a reenactment of my actual process, which involved more trial and error at each stage. I guess I figured out my colors by working with your colors! This particular ramp works because each color is darker and closer to purple than the previous color. By going yellow-orange-red-purple, we make a smooth transition.

Let me know if I can clarify any of this. I'm interested to see how you progress on this and other projects! :)
« Last Edit: February 02, 2017, 06:54:46 pm by dotodrymo »

Offline Aniki

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Re: Moogle doodle

Reply #6 on: February 03, 2017, 07:08:17 am
Thanks for that post dotodrymo. That was really helpful and the kind of post I wish we'd see more of around here.

Offline Blues

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Re: Moogle doodle

Reply #7 on: February 03, 2017, 08:36:51 am
Yes thank you that post was very helpful!! One thing I don't understand though is how I should go about picking colors when I start something new without a reference I'm having issues with that when I try to start something new because I'm not sure if i should decide on all the colors I want in the image beforehand or not;;

Offline dotodrymo

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Re: Moogle doodle

Reply #8 on: February 03, 2017, 09:28:53 pm
Glad I could help! I learned color theory for art in general first, and then adapted it to pixel art. My advice would be to study reference for whatever you're drawing. Look at photographs, official art, and pixel art of whatever you're trying to make. As you practice, you'll begin to notice patterns. Most of what I have to say about color has already been said in other tutorials. If you've googled around for pixel art tutorials, you've probably already found this one, but I'll link it anyway:

http://pixeljoint.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=11299

If selecting colors when you start a new piece is stressful, there are a few things you can try.

For one, if you're getting bogged down because you have to manually replace every pixel of a color with a new color, the problem is probably the art program you're using! Most programs suitable for pixel art have a "replace color with another color" tool. I use Gimp, but there are tons of options available. This makes palette experimentation much faster, especially when working on a larger piece. If you're already doing this, disregard this paragraph. :)

Using a preset palette can also help with getting a handle on how to make creative use of color. Dawnbringer's 16-color and 32-color palettes are both great for this:

http://pixeljoint.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=12795
http://pixeljoint.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=16247

There are many different types of pixel art, and each one has its own set of techniques. You might want to sketch out an outline, lay down flat colors, and then add highlights and shadows by varying hue and brightness, like in this tutorial:

http://makegames.tumblr.com/post/42648699708/pixel-art-tutorial

Or you might make the palette first by picking several colors that you know you're going to need, then use them to block in shapes that you can refine, like for the parrot picture in the above tutorial.

Palettes often start in a bright, light yellow and end in a dark, unsaturated blue or purple, because yellow is very warm and purple is very cool. You'll often see ramps like these ones:



This is a super generic palette. (I haven't tested it, so it would probably need tweaking for actual use.) It definitely wouldn't work for everything, but a ramp very similar to the red one was used on your moogle. The left ramp would also work just fine:



(I mean, it's toxically green, but it still makes sense to look at.)

But really, the only way to improve and learn is to just go for it. Do the best you can, and then revise until you're happy with it, listening to feedback as you go! :)