AuthorTopic: Lab virus animated (I seek for help/critique) [wip]  (Read 1625 times)

Offline BioRenegat

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Lab virus animated (I seek for help/critique) [wip]

on: December 14, 2017, 12:24:17 pm
Hello, everybody! If you can spare some of your precious time, I would really appreciate it. This is my first pixel art (and, to be fair, any art) in my entire life and I decided to do something strange, tackle many different things in one gif, like: different shapes, color palette, shades, animation ant e.t.c. That took me 9 days to do, and I'm somewhat happy, that I made quite a big progress. However, I'm right now stumbled upon the fact, that I don't know, what else to improve. I know, it's VERY far from being perfect, but I can't put my finger on, what's exactly wrong or missing (except her hair, but about this later). So, I would like to hear your opinion about what I did already and what could be improved.



Also, I have couple of questions, I hope you can answer those.
1) I made this Sketch.



This will sound weird, but should I always draw sketch, before drawing pixel art? And are there any techniques to make sketch much more helpful, because, I realised, that some shapes are just impossible to recreate in pixel art.

2)This character is from this picture



And this is THE only official picture of her, so I had to improvise a lot. The problem is, because of that, some parts look really strange (like hair). Should I do 100% accurate recreation of her, or adding something of my own was a good idea?

3)Looking at others work. Now, I'm not going to lie, I did everything by myself (mainly by experimenting and redrawing same things million times) except for the next things: Colors for fire, 2 colors for this right panel and wires. So, I'm wondering, is it a bad thing to do this? Should I, after looking at others work, implement these features, but adapt it to my own style?

Well, I think this is it. I already spent many hours, and I'm ready to spent even more to improve and perfect this animation. I hope you are going to torn it apart and shred my work into pieces, don't hold back, or otherwise I'm not going to improve. If you managed to make it this far, thank you for reading all this mess, you are true hero for doing this.

« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 12:29:52 pm by BioRenegat »

Offline Rydin

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Re: Lab virus animated (I seek for help/critique) [wip]

Reply #1 on: December 14, 2017, 09:41:00 pm
I like this. It's big. Reminds me of the good old days with the animation up in the top right corner. Very ambitious first piece. Makes me want to dig up my old old pieces... lol

My biggest critique is that it's TOO big. The actual pixels themselves aren't being used efficiently. A lot can be portrayed even in a size restriction of 16x16. So the main thing I would ponder about if I was you, moving forwards, is how can you use all of your space?

The ambient lighting coming of the test tube and such is great. Why not add some ambient light up on the controls and readouts up in the top right?

I do see some general no-no's for pixel technique. See on her chin, you have the dark line for the chin, then a dark color right along side of it. This is wasting this color. You can carve volume and shape with this darker color, but when it's just a single pixel line along side a black line, it just make the black line thicker and messier.
Man cannot remake himself without suffering for he is both the marble and the sculptor.

Offline SilverBrick

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Re: Lab virus animated (I seek for help/critique) [wip]

Reply #2 on: December 15, 2017, 08:13:40 am
A general rule for the size is: If it's big enough to show the smallest important detail, it's big enough.

In this case, I'd say the smallest important detail is the earring. Make the earring 1 pixel big and you have the canvas size that you need.

Offline Decroded

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Re: Lab virus animated (I seek for help/critique) [wip]

Reply #3 on: December 15, 2017, 12:42:59 pm
imo pls post ur pixel art at 100%.
we can critique better across more devices if u let the forum do the upscaling for u.

Offline BioRenegat

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Re: Lab virus animated (I seek for help/critique) [wip]

Reply #4 on: December 16, 2017, 10:04:41 am
Thank you everybody for replying. I will try to respond to all of you.

My biggest critique is that it's TOO big. The actual pixels themselves aren't being used efficiently. A lot can be portrayed even in a size restriction of 16x16. So the main thing I would ponder about if I was you, moving forwards, is how can you use all of your space?


This is exactly, what I started to think about, but you perfectly phrased it. One of the strongest features of pixel art is to be able to perfectly represent something just in few pixels. This is the direction, which I will take from now on, trying to master it.

The ambient lighting coming of the test tube and such is great. Why not add some ambient light up on the controls and readouts up in the top right?

Agree. I don't even know, why it didn't cross my mind, definitely will add it in the future.

I do see some general no-no's for pixel technique. See on her chin, you have the dark line for the chin, then a dark color right along side of it. This is wasting this color. You can carve volume and shape with this darker color, but when it's just a single pixel line along side a black line, it just make the black line thicker and messier.


Now I see, what you are talking about. Honestly, I'm not even surprised about it, since I had to improvise a lot and sometimes try something randomly. It's either hit and miss. I will work on it, I appreciate your imput, Rydin.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 10:09:27 am by BioRenegat »

Offline BioRenegat

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Re: Lab virus animated (I seek for help/critique) [wip]

Reply #5 on: December 16, 2017, 10:12:26 am
A general rule for the size is: If it's big enough to show the smallest important detail, it's big enough.

In this case, I'd say the smallest important detail is the earring. Make the earring 1 pixel big and you have the canvas size that you need.

Wow, that's a really useful technique, thanks for sharing it. I will definitely use it in the future.

Offline BioRenegat

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Re: Lab virus animated (I seek for help/critique) [wip]

Reply #6 on: December 16, 2017, 10:20:04 am
imo pls post ur pixel art at 100%.
we can critique better across more devices if u let the forum do the upscaling for u.

Sorry for being so dumb, what exactly do you mean by 100%? Are there some sort of settings here, which are saying, what scale it is? But thanks for you comment, appreciate it.

So, to summarize everything, this work shows lack of understanding of how to use space efficiently. Plus, some mistakes, thanks to you for explaining some of them, but I feel like there are some more small problems, which could be solved by simply practicing. I will definitely update this work in the future, but for now I will focus on other stuff, so I could learn from it, and later implement everything here.

Offline eishiya

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Re: Lab virus animated (I seek for help/critique) [wip]

Reply #7 on: December 16, 2017, 03:46:43 pm
100% means without zooming in, i.e. one pixel in the image is one pixel on the screen.


I think more than your choice to make a large pixel art, the problem is the composition, which is making that space  feel wasted. This was a problem even in your sketch, which was not pixel art. Nothing in the composition clearly dominates size-wise:

Nothing leads the eye to the important parts of the image, except the character's gaze. All the lines are horizontal and vertical and at best do nothing at all, and at worst lead the eye off the image. The character is looking to the left, which directs the viewer there as well, but the thing in the jar they're looking at has lower contrast than other, less-important elements in the image, so the viewer is likely to skip it.

The animated elements also don't help. You seem to have animated whatever you could, rather than what would help the image as a whole.

What are the important elements in this image? What is the mood you want to establish? What's the story you want to tell?

Here's one example of the same scene with a more interesting composition in the same canvas size/shape. However, it probably tells a different story from what you wanted, since I don't know what you wanted:

Here, the orange blob draws the viewer's initial attentntion, both because it's highest-contrast element (and glowing and lighting up the character) and because it's the largest single object. The character is technically larger, but their face is smaller. Because the character feels a bit smaller than the blob, it makes them look "weaker", perhaps afraid of the blob, or perhaps just not knowing much about it.
The fish-eye perspective also creates tension and a feel of uncertainty/weirdness, and allows the various foreground elements to frame the piece (keeping the eye from "escaping") and allows the background elements lead the eye to the character and the blob.
This composition has a clear foreground, midground, and background, which gives it depth, which also looks more interesting than just having objects float in 2D space with no apparent 3D structure.

You don't need "fancy" complicated perspective like fish-eye to have an effective composition, but you almost always need something. A completely flat look tends to look, well, completely flat. That can be effective in communicating loneliness if the character is small and the empty spaces are vast, and it can be effective for communicating oppressive orderliness if there are repeating elements (and again, the character is small), but for most stories/moods, you'll want something less flat.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 04:44:28 pm by eishiya »