AuthorTopic: Tips for improving? What should i practice?  (Read 315 times)

Offline glisean

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Tips for improving? What should i practice?

on: November 12, 2018, 12:38:54 am




Offline pistachio

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Re: Tips for improving? What should i practice?

Reply #1 on: November 12, 2018, 11:30:33 am
Pretty broad stuff here, it's a major help if you say something specific you want to nail down.

Overall here I see a lot of outlines and not enough shadows on forms...Pose of the zombie lady(?), not very zombie like. Bottle, if you do the shadows/forms thing you can tell us it's liquid way more effectively with I.E. highlights.

Last image doesn't need to be upscaled, you can keep it at 1x.

Just keep pushing yourself, if you chose pixel art then pixel a tank, tiger, something out of that boundary.
OpenGameArt | TIGSource | Reddit coming soon. | Polycount

Offline yrizoud

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Re: Tips for improving? What should i practice?

Reply #2 on: November 12, 2018, 11:33:27 am
It's impossible to be sure from just 3 pieces, but maybe you have room for improvement in color choice / color balance.
Pixel art has an opportunity for very rich exploration of the way colors work with each other. If you haven't already, try studying pixel art that mix greys and colors (lots of pics by Dawnbringer), or several different colors next to each other that don't represent different colored surfaces (many examples, such as Jinn)
Using some preset palettes can really help you explore colors that you're not used to, and check how they look together. See for example here https://lospec.com/palette-list

Offline Zanorin

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Re: Tips for improving? What should i practice?

Reply #3 on: November 12, 2018, 02:14:50 pm
Some thoughts about color and shading.

Let's take a look at your zombie girl for a moment :

What did you want to convey ? 1. dead skin, 2. decomposing/wounded areas.
Now what did you actually do ? I'm gonna guess 1. You picked a skin color and desaturated/added some brown, 2. You added lines and dithering to create a texture.

1. Palette, color count, shading

Right now your sprite has 38 different colors. That is way too much and unnecessary, to show that I've brought it down using Gimp's "Indexed Mode" to just 5 :

Not much difference right ?
A low color count is better in pixel art, to maintain visual coherence/reduce noise, but also to maintain control over your palette (let's say you want to make your zombie girl red, you'll have 5 colors to swap instead of 38 !).

Now about the shading :
- Pick a lightsource
- Stick to it
- Think of your object as a 3D object, with volumes, and of how light hits it
- Drop unnecessary gradient effects with lots of very close variations of a same color and prefer a couple of values with good contrast - pixel art loves contrast.
- Volumes : avoid representing them through lines, but through light.
To quote Pistachio about this last thing :
Quote from: Pistachio
I see a lot of outlines and not enough shadows on forms

Here's an edit :

It's not perfect, but I tried sticking to the lightsource I chose (left-side), notice how the sprite is a lot less flat than before.
About the lines VS light thing, look at her boob.

About the choice of colors :
I agree with Yrizoud, try using preset palettes to get used to the contrast between colors, the use of colors you wouldn't have thought of...
Now, wanna represent dead, disgusting zombie skin ? You could add grey/brown to regular skintone. Or you could make the shadows increasignly greenish, the possibilities are unlimited.


2. Texture

Texture representation is one of the hardest things in pixel art: with a very limited resolution you have to convey a specific texture to the viewer. Pixel art also follows different rules than traditional art. When with paint you can use a thousand different shades of green for a single object, with pixel art it'll just look noisy and bad.
What you did with dithering to convey decomposing skin reads as noise instead.
I suggest you read through this very interesting Pixelation topic ; to quote Atnas's eye-opening explanation about a fox's fur :
Quote from: Atnas
You're all about the contours. You don't seem to grasp this "fur" you're trying to render, because perhaps you don't understand yet: it is just more fox. [...] you add some texture on top, like it's a 3d model. It's not. It's all fox.
Think about the texture you wish to represent as just being more zombie. A not really good edit, but maybe you'll kinda get the idea :

I tried representing decomposing skin on her elbow and leg -> for that I drew some skin "flaps" that detach from her body.

That's it *whew* hope this will help you find ways to progress.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2018, 03:00:56 pm by Zanorin »
Half a noob figuring out stuff.

Offline glisean

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Re: Tips for improving? What should i practice?

Reply #4 on: November 13, 2018, 12:25:13 am
Thank you so much!
I will work on my colors more.
I really like the greenish version you did - but just to clarify I was trying to do a sprite version of this:


Good advice nevertheless since I still don't think I quite captured the pose.

Offline glisean

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Re: Tips for improving? What should i practice?

Reply #5 on: November 13, 2018, 01:05:43 am


Made some adjustments.