AuthorTopic: Stylized Hero Sprite and Animation Feedback Needed!  (Read 1835 times)

Offline Lustxful

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Stylized Hero Sprite and Animation Feedback Needed!

on: August 12, 2017, 06:33:48 am
Hey there Guys!

It's my first time posting here!  I cannot say I have been a long time lurker here either so I am fresh!

I have one or two things I need critique on. I started pixel art 2 days ago. I am working on a game for it and I need outside perspective on this sprite.

I will post the sprite itself, the walking animation, and the sheet I generated.

Programs used: Aseprite

The Hero


The Hero walking


The Sprite Sheet


« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 06:35:35 am by Lustxful »
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Offline Quady14

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Re: Stylized Hero Sprite and Animation Feedback Needed!

Reply #1 on: August 12, 2017, 07:19:33 am
Heya, first off I like the thick outline, it's a style I enjoyed in LISA so that might be a good point of reference to see some similar art if you haven't seen it already. Past that the main point of improvement I can see being made is in the arms. I sorta see what you went for where one arm lifts before the other but it's too subtle and it just comes off like they're twitching and shrugging out of sync.

I did a really quick edit, I'm not super accustomed to this sort of thing (still plenty to learn myself) so I mostly just tweaked some bits. I removed a couple frames overall as unless you're depicting a fluid range of motion this sort of walk cycle can be done with 3-4 frames (maybe this was just an effect from Aseprite? If you were trying to lengthen each frame, they run at default for 100ms, but you can extend it if you want a certain frame to hang longer by double-clicking the number above each frame). I tried to fix up the arm motion primarily, you do have to be willing to get a little dirty and mess up your initial pose to get a dynamic walk; it seems like you were afraid to move the arms too much which I definitely get, but you do have to work out of that comfort zone to get better results. I also shifted the body armor left and right with the arm swings as an extra bit of motion.








I think that's all I've got. Definitely keep at it, I don't know if it would help you but I've personally been working with larger, static sprites and focusing on stuff like shading, anti-aliasing, color palette selection and the like. Working bigger does take longer but gives you more freedom to work on detailed facial features, clothing designs, anatomy, etc.


Create a 100x100 or 200x200 canvas and then just shape things out, cropping the excess space when you're done. You can always go back and do a low-res version of the character to try for animation afterwards, and you'll have a better idea of the design right there to work off of, just becomes a matter of fitting or foregoing smaller details to make the design work on a smaller scale. Hope all this helps. It's advice from a fellow amateur but better than nothing I guess. ;)
« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 07:30:14 am by Quady14 »
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Offline Lustxful

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Re: Stylized Hero Sprite and Animation Feedback Needed!

Reply #2 on: August 12, 2017, 07:55:14 am
I did a really quick edit, I'm not super accustomed to this sort of thing (still plenty to learn myself) so I mostly just tweaked some bits. I removed a couple frames overall as unless you're depicting a fluid range of motion this sort of walk cycle can be done with 3-4 frames (maybe this was just an effect from Aseprite? If you were trying to lengthen each frame, they run at default for 100ms, but you can extend it if you want a certain frame to hang longer by double-clicking the number above each frame). I tried to fix up the arm motion primarily, you do have to be willing to get a little dirty and mess up your initial pose to get a dynamic walk; it seems like you were afraid to move the arms too much which I definitely get, but you do have to work out of that comfort zone to get better results. I also shifted the body armor left and right with the arm swings as an extra bit of motion.


Wow. Thanks for that. I needed to see it and I knew there was something. That chest piece movement isn't something I thought of, and you enlightened me. Now I appreciate your frame by frame, it was a really good reference to see. I went ahead and I made the improvements where you advised. (( I didn't wanna take your edits because I didn't do them, nothing against yours!! ))

This is my current form:


And it's sheet:


« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 08:01:30 am by Lustxful »
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Offline Quady14

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Re: Stylized Hero Sprite and Animation Feedback Needed!

Reply #3 on: August 12, 2017, 08:07:49 am
Hey lookin' better already! I like how the pauldron's shifting back on his right arm, adds more depth to the animation. Next thing I'd change are the outlines on the pauldron and left arm, there's a single frame on each where it goes from 2 pixels thick to 1 pixel thick and I'd try to keep them consistent, or in the case of the pauldron remove the outline entirely as it moves to the back, then change the left arm so that the outline thins out when it's moving back instead of forward. Hope that makes sense!
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Offline Lustxful

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Re: Stylized Hero Sprite and Animation Feedback Needed!

Reply #4 on: August 12, 2017, 08:37:04 am
Hey lookin' better already! I like how the pauldron's shifting back on his right arm, adds more depth to the animation. Next thing I'd change are the outlines on the pauldron and left arm, there's a single frame on each where it goes from 2 pixels thick to 1 pixel thick and I'd try to keep them consistent, or in the case of the pauldron remove the outline entirely as it moves to the back, then change the left arm so that the outline thins out when it's moving back instead of forward. Hope that makes sense!

My Fixed Pauldron


I tried to do the outline fade trick with the left arm/pauldron, either I couldn't get it right or it just didn't fit the style/vision aspect to me. Thanks for the catch! Tomorrow I'm going to get sword animations down!~

Do you, or anyone for that matter, know the best way to prevent having to animate this sprite with every sword in his hand? Like If
the player changes swords, would I be able to utilize the sword swing animation but have a certain sword there in replace of it? or is it time to re-do that with the sword every time?

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Offline Quady14

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Re: Stylized Hero Sprite and Animation Feedback Needed!

Reply #5 on: August 12, 2017, 09:13:20 am
For sword animation I guess it just depends on what sort of animation you're planning. If it's a real basic forward swing i.e. Zelda you could probably just animate the character motion and create several swords under a template to fit in his hand, just placing them in the proper spot for each frame of the animation. If you're thinking of more complex animation like a multi-hit combo, or using different weapon types that obviously increases the amount of work you'd need to do exponentially.


You could create layers in Aseprite, one per sword, and just switch them in or out, although that would be very tedious to create separate character art assets for every weapon. In all likelihood there's probably a good programming work-around to just substitute different weapons in and out, maybe you wouldn't even need a weapon sprite sheet? The Castlevania series starting with SotN definitely made use of a few basic animations based on weapon type for many different weapon sprites, but I'm sure they didn't make a new character sprite for every single weapon.


Before you go worrying about all that I'd just work on a base template, make the animation you want the sword swing to have and either leave the weapon out or put it on a separate layer so it can be removed easily and doesn't tamper with the character sprite. If you want to work on a variety of weapons just do them as a line-up so you can explore different designs. Then, once you reach the point of wanting to have different weapons implemented I'm sure there's resources to find out how to swap in and out weapons onto the character's base animation. Worst case scenario you can always go the old "inventory sprite is unique but the character animation always has the same weapon" deal, though that does admittedly feel a bit lazy.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 09:15:58 am by Quady14 »
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Offline Teriyaki

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Re: Stylized Hero Sprite and Animation Feedback Needed!

Reply #6 on: August 13, 2017, 12:28:36 am
When he walks, his chest moves from the center to the left, but not to the right.