AuthorTopic: Help me improve my dumb tree!  (Read 1649 times)

Offline Vinik

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Re: Help me improve my dumb tree!

Reply #10 on: October 07, 2018, 01:00:31 pm
Now that you pointed it out I see it,somehow the green one still looked pretty symmetrical to me.

Offline eishiya

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Re: Help me improve my dumb tree!

Reply #11 on: October 07, 2018, 01:20:19 pm
By making the horizontal/vertical sides less straigh, I didn't mean modifying your tile structure, I meant modifying the structure of the interior of the tiles. They would still tile the same way. It looks like you have two such tiles (I didn't even notice it was two different ones because the silhouettes are so similar!), consider keeping one of them convex like they currently are, and making one of them have a concave shape, possibly going quite far "into" the tile.

Here's an example editing one of the two vertical tiles and using the other tile as-is, compared to your original:

Even when it's just a straight line of tiles like this, the silhouette of the whole thing looks much more leafy and interesting when the two tiles have different silhouettes.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2018, 02:30:11 pm by eishiya »

Offline GDawgTheFab

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Re: Help me improve my dumb tree!

Reply #12 on: October 08, 2018, 03:20:57 pm
Ah ok I see what you mean, I think I will try to restructure the tileset a little bit and try to cut down on superfluous tiles as well.

In the meantime I am trying to do a mossy texture for the tree trunks but I can't help but feel it just looks like somebody spewed on them



Any suggestions?

Offline eishiya

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Re: Help me improve my dumb tree!

Reply #13 on: October 08, 2018, 03:52:24 pm
Moss tends to grow in thick clumps, so I think if you avoid dithering between wood and moss and instead keep the moss in all-green chunks with smoother/undithered edges, it'll look less like spew.

Offline GDawgTheFab

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Re: Help me improve my dumb tree!

Reply #14 on: October 09, 2018, 06:38:42 am
Something like this closer to the mark?

Offline pistachio

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Re: Help me improve my dumb tree!

Reply #15 on: October 09, 2018, 08:27:54 am
I know it's a background prop but contrast could really be pushed here. Loads of pillow shading here too.

Another thing in addition to what eishya says, you have to pull out the shadows under the moss, make it look solid. I totally know that's a cheat, IRL moss you can't really see. But a rule of thumb I use is the smaller the rez, the more you have to blow up/exaggerate the crucial detail to make it read. Usually you do that or you scrub it out altogether (about this dichotomy, think character heads with huge eyes/heads with no faces).

Offline GDawgTheFab

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Re: Help me improve my dumb tree!

Reply #16 on: October 09, 2018, 09:42:07 pm
In honesty i think pillow shading is a problem in a lot of the work i have done so far, however i kind of want the game i am making to have a day night cycle and as such i am trying to make the light source fairly neutral as to not look out of place no matter what time of day it is.

The angle of light i am going for is the same angle the player views the game world from, however this causes everthing to have a case of pillow shading.

I was wonderinf what your suggestions are regarding this? Is it better to pick a better lighting direction regardless of the day cycle?

Offline eishiya

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Re: Help me improve my dumb tree!

Reply #17 on: October 09, 2018, 10:22:54 pm
You can avoid the pillow-shaded look while keeping the (intended?) diffuse frontal lighting look by being more careful with how deep the various shadows are. You're going full dark to full light on every "segment" of the tree, which makes it look flat. Reserve the darkest shadows for the deepest crevasses, and the lightest highlights for those parts of the tree that face the sky (such as the tops of the roots, but not the front of the vertical part of the trunk).

Also, consider if you really need all that texture. Surface texture obscures form, and the effect is even more pronounced in pixel art where the spatial and colour resolution are limited. Sometimes, a textureless surface on an interesting, well-defined form looks better than something with a detailed surface texture.

Offline GDawgTheFab

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Re: Help me improve my dumb tree!

Reply #18 on: October 10, 2018, 09:22:08 am


Heading in the right direction?

Still I am curious on how you guys would handle the light direction in a game with a day night cycle? A lot of the examples I can find online seem to avoid the frontal light source and go for something from the side for more contrast between the sides. just wondering if it is better to pick a stronger lighting direction and ignore time of day?

Offline eishiya

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Re: Help me improve my dumb tree!

Reply #19 on: October 10, 2018, 02:31:14 pm
I usually go for lighting from above (for exteriors) just because that tends to look natural even at sunset/sunrise since there's always the sky reflecting light from above. I like to add extra visual interest through additional fixed light sources (torches, etc). Scenes tend to look repetitive and boring after a while when they're made up of entirely all-purpose tiles anyway, adding custom sections like that helps a lot. Such light sources also help distract from the unchanging light direction on the other parts of the scene.

If the day/night cycle is fixed rather than dynamic (e.g. it changes during map transitions rather than while the player is just waiting on the same map), then I'd make different versions of the different tiles for different times of day.

Another, more difficult, possibility is to do truly dynamic lighting via normal maps (created with something like SpriteLamp).