AuthorTopic: Is pixelling as art dead in games?  (Read 13243 times)

Offline AdamTierney

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Re: Is pixelling as art dead in games?

Reply #10 on: November 06, 2006, 06:05:42 pm
I think art is in the errors. For me, the reason 2D pixel work is generally more recognizable as art of the individual than 3D is because we can see all the little pops and quirks in the animation that aren't perfect or expected. 3D is a mixture of keyframes and automation, which sucks a lot of the error out; In 2D, the goal is more to make something visually engaging. In 3D, the goal is to make something correct. That said, 3D can be just as wildly artistic as 2D, it just tends to be less often because models have to follow simple rules to function in animation (limbs have to connect, elbows and knees have to exist, etc). Take a look at something like Psychonauts, and the models are beautiful and creative:



They're still a little restricted compared to the concept art, or perhaps their potential as 2D pixelled art, but it's close. Also unless a developer is thinking outside the box, their character model doesn't fluctuate much or at all during animation. The character is created, and then they're moved around, as opposed to pixel animation where the individual frames can make for an animation as consistent or inconsistent to the original model as the artist wants.

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Offline Helm

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Re: Is pixelling as art dead in games?

Reply #11 on: November 06, 2006, 06:22:10 pm
Yes the problem with 'whacky' design as in Psychonauts is the lack of imaginative squash/stretching in the animation. They feel like hollow boxes moved around. Maybe in the future this'll be adressed more with more liquidy animations where deformation will look better and be easier to deal with. I found Psychonauts to be vastly uninspired-looking in action, though I can tell the concepting and even still shots hold some sort of aesthetic coherency and interest.

Offline Dogmeat

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Re: Is pixelling as art dead in games?

Reply #12 on: November 06, 2006, 06:34:43 pm
Just face it. Pixel art in games is nearly dead. The only place you really see it any longer is in the UI design, because you want it to be crisp and look nice. I really don't see the purpose in pixel art in games anymore. Do you really think these multi-million dollar gaming companies think to themselves "you know, pixel art sure is swell, we should try and make a game using it because it's such a great form of art." no, they think "everyone seems to like 3d blobs this year, heres a concept, combine the 2, make money.."

Good pixel artists are rare
Pixel art games are expensive

Back during the empire of Interplay even combining the 2 technologies, it took forever to get a game out. These days development cycles are half what they used to be, maybe even more.

Face it gents, pixel art is a hobby, nothing more.
Daisuke Nagano Yokoyama

Offline ptoing

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Re: Is pixelling as art dead in games?

Reply #13 on: November 06, 2006, 06:45:17 pm
I don't think it's errors that make art, that would be a bit much. Tho small errors add charm. Both is doable in 2d and in 3d, some things easier some less easy, both forms have their pros and cons.

The problem atm. is games having no mentionable art direction or being boringly realistic looking.

Windwaker, Ico, Shadown of the Colossus, Viewtiful Joe, Okami, Katamari Damacy even stuff like Ikaruga. Clear well thought out art direction, works well, looks gorgeous.

It's just that publishers want stuff that sells and not stuff that looks interesting in terms of breaking new ground artistically.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline AdamTierney

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Re: Is pixelling as art dead in games?

Reply #14 on: November 06, 2006, 09:26:47 pm
Yes the problem with 'whacky' design as in Psychonauts is the lack of imaginative squash/stretching in the animation. They feel like hollow boxes moved around. Maybe in the future this'll be adressed more with more liquidy animations where deformation will look better and be easier to deal with. I found Psychonauts to be vastly uninspired-looking in action, though I can tell the concepting and even still shots hold some sort of aesthetic coherency and interest.

I totally agree. Even though the environments, characters, story and situation were all bizarre and fun, the movement was all very grounded. The same could be said for Viewtiful Joe, which had amazing models and art style but pretty bland animation.

Art direction seems to be pretty impossible to keep ahold of in a licensed or scheduled game. Speaking from experience, I can work with the pixellers and background people a little to decide things out, but at some point it all becomes improv in order to make the deadlines. A lot of what's cool in pixelled licensed games ends up being happy accidents or the ambition of the individual artists, rather than an overarching artistic design. On the other hand, many first party games (like Boktai, and almost anything by Nintendo) seem to do this effortlessly. Their backgrounds and animation don't just match the sprites, they bring out the best in one another. I wonder if there's a different approach the developers behind these games are taking, or if it's really just a matter of having that extra time to experiment collectively and shape the individual art styles.

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Offline Helm

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Re: Is pixelling as art dead in games?

Reply #15 on: November 06, 2006, 09:37:33 pm
Extra time sure, I theorize. But also, that they actually employ people doing art direction that review art and keep it all together?

Offline ptoing

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Re: Is pixelling as art dead in games?

Reply #16 on: November 06, 2006, 09:56:30 pm
Well, art director, massive ammounts of concept art and preproduction, lots of revision of stuff and massive amounts of time.
A game with solid character design and such, but not really artistically groundbreaking, is God of War which has a good amount of bonus videos about the making of on the disks. VEry interesting to see what amount of work goes into a game like this.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline Ryumaru

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Re: Is pixelling as art dead in games?

Reply #17 on: November 06, 2006, 10:16:29 pm
i honestly believe, that it may not be completely dead yet, but it will be soon. i think that the real evolution of pixelart now belongs to us: the ones taking pixelart from its roots of just game art and making it into an artform.

Offline Helm

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Re: Is pixelling as art dead in games?

Reply #18 on: November 06, 2006, 10:30:51 pm
I don't think pixel art would ever hope to be anything than a curiosity as a fine art medium. Don't get your hopes up, if you did. CG art will eventuallly be accepted in the fine art community proper, simply because everybody will start painting like this and doing things on computers that can't be done by hand. But pixel art, as distinctive as it is, will never get a lot of people trying it. Big pixels scream RETRO to people and retro has a small audience always.

Offline Ryumaru

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Re: Is pixelling as art dead in games?

Reply #19 on: November 06, 2006, 11:10:49 pm
whos to say the pixels have to be big? even if people started making pieces the size of cg paintings( impractical yes, but so is doing an oil paintting with painter or photoshop etc on your comp) the underlying foundation will still remain merely because of the fact that the image was manipulated at the smallest screen element.