AuthorTopic: [CC] WWII German Rifleman  (Read 2298 times)

Offline Heatguts

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[CC] WWII German Rifleman

on: July 26, 2017, 02:06:17 pm
I'm looking to take my art skills to the next level (which is level 2) because I make sprites for my own games and lately I feel like the art has been bringing them down. I thought I might fix this by going up in resolution - most of my sprites previous have been a maximum of 16x16, but they rarely end up filling the whole box and have one pixel wide limbs, making them more like pixelated stick figures. So this time I went for 32x32 and had a try at shading. However, I'm a bit iffy on the result. The shading looks ok, but it doesn't seem thick enough, like perhaps I should be using another color to extend my shadows another line of pixels. Also the helmet doesn't have the right slope, but it looks better in Darth Vader mode than in take-away-one-pixel-and-suddenly-it-looks-really-wierd mode. In addition, there's an area near the bottom of the coat that looks really bland and should maybe have a fold of some kind in it. Or maybe it's fine as it is?

Also, I feel it necessary to mention that the sprite is faceless because I had the idea of making multiple interchangeable faces to slap on different instances to add a bit of variety.

Offline A2J2TIWARI

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Re: [CC] WWII German Rifleman

Reply #1 on: August 01, 2017, 12:08:53 pm
Simplify shapes, Increase contrast so that the separate parts an the sprite can be seen properly, do not add too much details - same colour that looks light somewhere can be used as a dark outline or similar somewhere else, and look up how objects reflect light. For example look up how the metal hats of firemen are or how helmets of armor are and how they reflect light. Apply the same here.
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Offline Heatguts

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Re: [CC] WWII German Rifleman

Reply #2 on: August 02, 2017, 01:32:28 pm
Thank you for your advice. I made some edits based on what you said:

I'm not entirely sure how I could simplify the shapes any more. I already thought I was doing ok with color use, but I managed to bump the grays down from 5 to 4. I could technically make it 3 by brightening up the helmet but I want it to be darker than the coat so I kept it at 4. I tried to increase contrast, perhaps it still isn't enough on the face, but I think all my grays are distinct. Following your advice to keep details to a minimum I left the bottom of the coat bare. I fixed my helmet shape problem by adding a couple pixels to make it less rounded in the back, which completely fixed the issue and it looks fine shapewise now. I looked up the reflections I was going for and while I couldn't find anything at the perfect angle I figure it would look something like what I have now, although there should be highlights on the side of the helmet nearer to the light. The problem with adding them in is that it makes the shading on the back look really bad unless you move it back to the edge where its a barely noticeable one-pixel-wide line. I think it looks alright as it is now, but perhaps I'm not thinking of something. Also, I tried increasing shading in some areas. I think that the far edge of the whole right arm should be shaded all the way up to the elbow (instead of just the forearm), but doing so looks really out of place unless you add more shading to the forearm, which makes the shading take up over half of it and then the forearm looks out of place. I also took away distinction between the flaps on the top of his jacket and just made them a solid color. It looks alright, but I'd really like to differentiate the different flaps somehow. They're supposed to be the color of his jacket anyways but with the contrast up so much using existing colors to differentiate them from the rest of the coat just makes them look out of place. I'm fine with keeping them dark but I'd like help in that area for sure.

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Re: [CC] WWII German Rifleman

Reply #3 on: August 02, 2017, 08:24:34 pm
Okay so here are my edits:


Not the best but I hope it helps you make your sprite better even if 1% at least.

Editing your Sprite:
1. Refined the pose a bit and removed the details that werent helping me. It's always better to start with a good pose than getting into details right away.

2. Looking at the reference and selecting colours accordingly. You made everything too low contrast and quite gray. I picked one colour and then judged how dark or light other colours were in comparision - https://alstoys.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/ssd8.jpg
Do notice that even now I have just filled in the major masses and no details have been added yet.

3.  Shadows.

4. Highlights

5. Add details if you want.

Then I made my own sprite following the same rules, just made the pose a bit interesting. I am not the expert and sure you can improve the sprite I made a ton, but again I hope it clarifies what I am trying to say and helps you.
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Offline Heatguts

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Re: [CC] WWII German Rifleman

Reply #4 on: August 04, 2017, 07:18:22 pm
Your process is more or less what I tried to do.



1. Outline. I didn't save the actual initial outline so this one is recreated by retracing over the first edition. I didn't know exactly where the arms would begin and end or how wide they would be, I was basically just going for the right silhouette.

2. Initial coloring. I can't find the exact reference image I was using to show you, but the coat I'm trying to go for looks something like https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41B0Y3FNQ8L.jpg but a little darker gray. I completely missed the boots, they were supposed to be changed to near black at some point.

3. Shading. Add a color darker than the helmet, and one in between the helmet and the coat because using the helmet gray seems to add too much contrast. The flaps have no real way to differentiate themselves from the rest of the coat besides shading, and it isn't obvious why those pixels are there so I just change their color, now they look more in place. Add shading on them anyways.

4. Highlights. Added one color for coat highlights, grand total is 5 grays between the helmet and the coat.

5. Revision 1. Lighting on helmet is bad and shape is off, fixed. Highlight on helmet looks really bizarre and out of place, removed. Shading on flaps make them look bigger than intended and doesn't seem worth it, advised to keep details to a minimum so removed. Highlight on legs seems too bright and out of place (like the helmet), removed. Increased the size of other shadows and highlights to make them more obvious. Try to increase contrast in facial colors. Colors are too gray, add a little blue to most of them, red on the dark part of the helmet. To minimize colors, lightened up on the helmet and made the edge of the front flap of the coat the same as the shading color for the coat, making 4 gray/blues.

6. Revision 2. Revise boots. Add more saturation to add color. Dark red shade on helmet now clashes heavily with the blue, changed to dark blue instead. Keep red for the boots because using the blue on the boots looks really dumb. Use blue on shading for boots to avoid adding more colors.

That was my thought process. I noticed in your sprites there's a large highlight on the helmet on both, basically eliminating the base color in favor of a shadow and highlight color. Your second sprite also seem to have darker darks and brighter brights, I suppose that ties into contrast but I think the shape of your sprites and angle of the lighting helps to where you can fit all the colors within three pixels of each other in a lot of spots. Also the angle of lighting on your edit of my sprite doesn't quite seem to be consistent. His arm makes it look like he's lighted from the left but his helmet has highlights suggesting it's coming from the right.

But overall I think my pose is ok. There's nothing specifically wrong with yours and the lines are at nice angles but I'd rather have the butt of the gun be pointing to his shoulder rather than stuck under it. My colors could probably use some work in being more colorful and helping identify specific parts of the sprite but since they're all supposed to be the same gray my options are limited mostly to shading.