AuthorTopic: [Feedback] [CC] FE style game sprites and animation  (Read 2126 times)

Offline falz

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[Feedback] [CC] FE style game sprites and animation

on: December 19, 2018, 05:43:47 pm
So I've been working on this game. It is in a Fire Emblem style and I'm at the point where I want to generate better art for the units. Here is the first draft of a sword-guy unit


The more specific question I wanted to ask was if I wanted to make another unit, like an enemy, with the same sprite but different colors, what is the most efficient way to do this? Is there a way to swap color palettes on the fly in some software?

Second, I am working in photoshop to make pixel art. If it is best to use another program, I'm open to changing.

Here is a small capture of an image where the game is at.


Also, any feedback on the art would be awesome!
« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 08:28:59 pm by falz »

Offline Curly

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Re: FE style game + technical question

Reply #1 on: December 19, 2018, 07:17:40 pm
In Photoshop you can use the fill tool and uncheck the contiguous option so it replaces the old color with the new one wherever the old color is (in that layer).
You can also use the magic wand with the contiguous option unchecked again to select all skin colors for example and then ctrl+U to change their hues, saturation and brightness (ctrl+H to hide the selection outline). It's a quick way to try new colors but if you have many colors selected it will probably mess up the contrast and hue shifting so you will have to fix that later.

The character looks great in 1x and 2x. The tiles are pretty noisy and the stairs maybe stand out too much in comparison to the gray bricks.

Offline Vinik

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Re: FE style game + technical question

Reply #2 on: December 19, 2018, 07:29:30 pm
Well, that depends on the engine / software / language you are using to program it. I believe this should be on the general section instead of pixel art critique :)

Since it is already here, you could improve the sprite quickly by removing the banding on the sword, front arm and front foot. Try to reduce those gradients, use less shades to define their shapes and try to make the arm, swords and feets be made of big clusters of pixels of the same color. While you are at it, t would be nice if you were to reduce the noise in the floor and stair tiles, it hurts legibility, prefer flat surfaces or, again, textures made of big clusters and of low contrast.

As for your question, you can do that before the assets are loaded on the game, or during runtime.

To do it beforehand, go by Curly's explanation using image editors.

To do it automatically on runtime it depends on the engine. If you use game maker, there are a number of assets to do just that, and I recommend Pixelated Pope's pallette shader on the market, it is cheap and effective. If you are using unity or another engine the solution is likely a corresponding shader that does the same, give google a go. :P
« Last Edit: December 19, 2018, 07:36:25 pm by Vinik »

Offline falz

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Re: FE style game + technical question

Reply #3 on: December 20, 2018, 05:21:41 pm
Responding to the critique, I sort of see what you are saying, but I can't cut down too much on the number of shades before the detail I want is lost. I took what you said into account and also used some sprite work from Breath of Fire 4 as a reference (game has amazing pixel artwork).



I wonder if this looks any better to you guys' eyes? I changed a few things like most of the colors (slightly), the sword is not curved, thus easier to render. I also made it a couple pixels taller because it looked too awkward before

edit: redid animations. I used your comments to redo colors. Very helpful!




I haven't actually programmed different unit types really, so I guess I'll do that than make a spellcaster sprite

edit: did some more modifications, added some details.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2018, 10:38:37 pm by falz »

Offline Vinik

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Re: FE style game + technical question

Reply #4 on: December 21, 2018, 02:36:16 am
That is better already, you got the spirit. It could go further or removing yet some more banding, single pixels, and improving contrast between shades, but you got the gist of reducing the amount of closely packed colors.

As you mentioned losing detail, at this size you are better letting go of some detail an keeping it readable, focusing on key features. Gradients of 1 pixel per shade don't help define shapes, they make things look plane and unatural, you don't want that kind of "detail" if it details nothing :)

I am in hurry but I'll try coming up with an edit that might give you some ideas.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2018, 03:06:47 am by Vinik »

Offline Ryumaru

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Re: FE style game + technical question

Reply #5 on: December 21, 2018, 07:28:28 am
Already some good advice given, here's my take



Very charming sprites! While I don't know if the motion they're doing with the sword backhanded really makes sense, the hair bounce and fist pump have a lot of character.

I think your color choice could use some work, very flat and uninteresting.( and it's more of an issue in your tiles than sprites) A common trend, especially in jrpg sprites is for the shadows to tend towards one color, usually a blue/violet. Not only is this a convenient shorthand to describe some lighting scenarios, it gives the entire sprite a feeling of unity, and allows many characters to all feel like they belong in the same scene, no matter how different the local colors of their designs may be.
 
Also your treatment of the sword does little to describe it's material- in fact the buffering and AA you've applied makes it appear soft. Stronger contrast and a highlight ( that could come in and out of sight in animation) help sells the idea much better.

Hope this helps and good luck on your work ^_^
« Last Edit: December 21, 2018, 08:25:57 am by Ryumaru »

Offline falz

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Re: FE style game + technical question

Reply #6 on: December 21, 2018, 12:22:20 pm
Holy cow! That looks very nice :)

You right on the sword, the animation should be better expressed through the hand (he's just slightly waving the sword). Your sword for sure looks better with better lighting and dimension. Also, your lighting around the whole character demonstrates more depth. Im not sure I want to use that much depth for each frame but there are some techniques here that I'm not using for sure! I'll be returning to this guy and I'll revamp the sword and hand and maybe some more details. For now, I've begun working on a Witch type character which I'll post progress on soon.

Thanks for all the help people really! I love seeing your interpretations. Concerning the background tiles, thanks for the critique, I drew those back in 2010 and am using them as placeholders right now. I'll post my attempts at real stuff soon!

Also, I keep wondering if this is taking me longer than it should :/ I think I worked around 10-15 hours on this guy... Does that seem like im working particularly slowly? I just haven't done an enormous amount of this work and the pace of progress feels painstakingly slow. Im still having fun though
« Last Edit: December 21, 2018, 12:37:04 pm by falz »

Offline Vinik

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Re: FE style game + technical question

Reply #7 on: December 21, 2018, 01:33:41 pm
Pixel art is not quick at all per se, it gets quicker as you get more experience but to do it right it always takes considerable time compared to other media. Rymaru here is a world class super hero so he probably works way faster and yet much better than me :P, and that only comes with experience and time. Don't worry about it unless it makes your pipeline unbearable. If so, develop stuff with place holders like you said (making too beautiful prototypes is often toxic as you might get attached to broken or not fully working protos).

@Ryumaru, man, nice edit, needless to say I am a fan of your work, which is very inspirational :) /Fan mode off

Offline falz

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Re: FE style game + technical question

Reply #8 on: December 21, 2018, 08:54:02 pm
man, ryumaru, I couldn't unsee the way you did the hair/sword/colors. I tried to do a rework but I kinda copied a bit of what you did lol.



edit: Two ideas for the other character working off the same base. I think I'm gonna keep trying. I like these though.


edit: Another. I might stick with this one!
another edit ->

edit: idle animations


edit: slept on it, I changed some things about her design


edit: new color palette, animated


edit: finished animation for selected bandit unit with the new look.

Next is the selected animation for the mage woman. I'm not sure what I'll have her doing yet...
« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 04:27:59 am by falz »

Offline falz

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Re: FE style game + technical question

Reply #9 on: December 24, 2018, 07:48:50 pm
This is my first pass on what I want the final frame of the "selected" animation. I wanted it look badass, but maybe now it would be better as an attack animation... not sure yet. Also, did it pretty quickly and would love feedback.


« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 07:51:05 pm by falz »