AuthorTopic: [WIP] First go at making spaceship sprite  (Read 522 times)

Offline Meladyfreshness

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[WIP] First go at making spaceship sprite

on: December 10, 2018, 09:44:42 pm


This is the first time I've posted here and I'm a bit nervous because everybody's work is so good!

I'm playing around with making a 2D sprite game with Unity and I'm trying to make a really basic spaceship. I'm not sure what I can do to optimise my palette and improve the shading. Any pointers?
« Last Edit: December 10, 2018, 09:47:17 pm by Meladyfreshness »

Offline Chris2balls

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Re: [WIP] First go at making spaceship sprite

Reply #1 on: December 11, 2018, 01:02:02 pm
Hi,

The design is intricate for a really basic spaceship! ;)

Okay, so judging from the perspective and shape of the ship, I'm reminded of Dodonpachi. What's good is that you've tried putting highlights in where it hits edges, so you've got the right idea. Overall, it could do with more contrast in the mid range.

My edit:


I made the ship Dodonpachi style.
The thing about this style is that it works with straight lines and diagonal lines, with very few exceptions. This makes shading easier, as everything is straight.
The colour palette is a lot more subdued, going into the greys. This style works with mechanical bits being spread out on the machines like patterns in a patchwork, which also done in the Star Wars franchise for its spaceship designs.

The lighting comes from the top-back, highlighting the edges, and making the sides and the face closer to us darker.
I would say the way you can build designs in this style is like an architect's elevation drawing, where you start with a surface which is extruded, and thus becomes a 3D shape.

In terms of palette, if you want to do "purist" pixel art, you should avoid transparent brushes and brushes with anti-alias or a smoothing option on: this way you don't end up adding a lot more colours accidentally. You also have to consider where you can re-use colours rather than picking new ones, so it's important to keep track of the colours you've used.
Optimising colour palettes really depends on what you want to optimise the sprite for: visibility (high contrast compared to background), readability (high contrast within the sprite), the mood (ex: if the game happens underwater, things tend to have some blue colour in them), and the textures in the sprite (ex: imitating wood is not the same as imitating stone).

Otherwise, you can do indexed digital  art, where you use any kind of brush and/or layer mode you want, and the index the colours in the image - this reduces the colours to either a default colour palette, or a palette of your choice.

Hope this helps. :)
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Offline Meladyfreshness

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Re: [WIP] First go at making spaceship sprite

Reply #2 on: December 11, 2018, 02:01:28 pm
Wow thankyou! That looks amazing!!! ;D

Thanks so much for such great, specific advice - I think I can start putting that into practice right away.

Will post back my interpretation, but I'm gonna have to work pretty hard to be nearly as good - that's just awesome!

Offline Chris2balls

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Re: [WIP] First go at making spaceship sprite

Reply #3 on: December 12, 2018, 11:27:47 am
Here's an image breaking down what I said previously, if it can help making it easier:



Looking forward to your take :y:
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Offline Meladyfreshness

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Re: [WIP] First go at making spaceship sprite

Reply #4 on: December 14, 2018, 04:25:49 pm
I've been trying to put your advice into practice and played around with a design with straighter lines and more implied flat surfaces. Still not sure about the shading and palette? I need to add cockpit glass and metal around the jets, but not sure what colours to use to get shiny effect

Offline Chris2balls

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Re: [WIP] First go at making spaceship sprite

Reply #5 on: December 14, 2018, 04:49:44 pm
It's shaping up nicely! I wouldn't add any more colours to the palette, besides the colours for the jets and cockpit.

Fighter jet reference:

Note how the thruster is highlighted with white, as it's a shinier metallic surface, unlike the body, which has a more matte finish.
The light is coming from the top right, as you can tell from the shadow on that front fin, and so the light highlight the thruster along the top, and following its tubular shape.


I think you can recreate this in 4 colours for your piece: as mentioned earlier, a white highlight, then a light grey to smooth out the transition to the grey colour of the thruster (which I call body), to finish with a dark grey for details and shadow.
You may have noticed that to give the impression that the thruster is lit from above, I had highlighted the top of the jet's rim (like you've started to do), and the bottom.

Keep it up!  :y:
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Offline Meladyfreshness

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Re: [WIP] First go at making spaceship sprite

Reply #6 on: December 15, 2018, 11:17:45 am


So I made the cockpit, which I'm pleased with coz it looks like the rocketships in old 16-bit games I remember - kindof like a jewel?

I honestly don't know what to think of the rest of it coz I've stared at it so much I'm losing objectivity. I like faces in textures, but overall I feel it could do with more variety in the texture patterns to make it look more like a spaceship and less like some sort of ancient artefact - tho I'm going for a bit of that.

Thanks so much for your help - is it finished? Any finishing touches?