AuthorTopic: Understanding how to approach pixel art [ FEEDBACK ]  (Read 663 times)

Offline scribblylines

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • scribblylines
    • View Profile
Hey there!  :P

I'm new to this forum (though stalked it for many years), currently working on a pixel art game project. The animator working on the project mentioned i need to get feedback from other pixel artists instead of non artists, which is something i haven't actually done before, ^^ mostly insecurity reasons, like majority who feel afraid to post lol.  But gonna try let go of that way of thought.

Anyway i'll get to the point.

I've been struggling with this notion that pixelart needs to be "pixel perfect" in design.
-- i know i have to consider factors like execution and experience to get the right aesthetic and balance. However people seem to like when i don't take the pixel perfect approach and sorta half freestyle/half clean approach to the pixel art i do.

 I'm wondering what are your thoughts about this, as pixel art practitioners?



The more "clean" and crisp pixel art is, make for a better executed design or just naturally developing what you normally do can work, because people don't see the difference.


(sprites that i would consider finished as i can't see what more to add as of now, but i get the " They'll look good when it's done) Which leaves me stuck.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2019, 12:24:02 am by scribblylines »

Offline SeinRuhe

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 16
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • @SeinRuhe
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/127850.htm
    • View Profile

Re: Understanding how to approach pixel art [ FEEDBACK ]

Reply #1 on: May 13, 2019, 11:08:39 pm
Scribbly to get feedback of your work you need to post images of your work, there's no way to know what what you are doing and give you advice/feedback if there's nothing to see but only a description!

Offline 32

  • 0011
  • **
  • Posts: 538
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • @AngusDoolan
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/19827.htm
    • angusdoolanart
    • View Profile

Re: Understanding how to approach pixel art [ FEEDBACK ]

Reply #2 on: May 14, 2019, 01:22:06 am
Welcome to the forum ;D

Definitely post some art! I can't think of any inherent reason why a messier style would be a problem, if it is more aesthetically pleasing then go for it. I could potentially see that it would be harder for other artists to match your work if the only technique you're using is "I don't quite finish it." That may not be an issue depending on the scale of the project but you say you have an animator already so I think it's worth discussing with them whether what you're doing really constitutes a technique/style that can be codified.

I would be asking myself what the disconnect is between the messier and cleaner styles and why one is coming off better, this kind of thing should be an active choice for the direction you want to take your game in rather than a concession because you can't achieve what you're setting out to do.

A lot of the focus on very clean pixels around pixel art communities is a bit of a layover from years past where many pixel artists were trying to train up to be able to work on big productions. In the indie gaming era there's a lot more room for forging your own path. Though I would suggest that learning and choosing to not do is better than not knowing how.

Post some stuff and maybe we can help you to figure it out  ;)

Offline scribblylines

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • scribblylines
    • View Profile

Re: Understanding how to approach pixel art [ FEEDBACK ]

Reply #3 on: May 14, 2019, 10:48:45 am
Scribbly to get feedback of your work you need to post images of your work, there's no way to know what what you are doing and give you advice/feedback if there's nothing to see but only a description!

Unfortunately the pixel art i attached to this post is still in waiting for approval. Unsure why the post was approved but not the image still appending  :(.


Welcome to the forum ;D

Definitely post some art! I can't think of any inherent reason why a messier style would be a problem, if it is more aesthetically pleasing then go for it. I could potentially see that it would be harder for other artists to match your work if the only technique you're using is "I don't quite finish it." That may not be an issue depending on the scale of the project but you say you have an animator already so I think it's worth discussing with them whether what you're doing really constitutes a technique/style that can be codified.

I would be asking myself what the disconnect is between the messier and cleaner styles and why one is coming off better, this kind of thing should be an active choice for the direction you want to take your game in rather than a concession because you can't achieve what you're setting out to do.

A lot of the focus on very clean pixels around pixel art communities is a bit of a layover from years past where many pixel artists were trying to train up to be able to work on big productions. In the indie gaming era there's a lot more room for forging your own path. Though I would suggest that learning and choosing to not do is better than not knowing how.

Post some stuff and maybe we can help you to figure it out  ;)

I thought the post+image attachment would be approved at the same time, frankly not =(

I'm unsure what the disconnect is right now, I would say i am at the point, where i'm trying to learn the fundamental techniques to pixel art, but I've been doing pixel art freehand without much need for studying its design philosophy for a few years now.
And maybe that has messed with my judgement, as well as  never getting artistic feedback has tunnelled how i see my work.  Definitely finding it hard to judge my approach, especially when the team i'm working with share different view points without an artistic eye to explain their reasoning behind their critique, which makes me second guess myself a lot without a solution.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2019, 10:52:42 am by scribblylines »

Offline SeinRuhe

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 16
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • @SeinRuhe
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/127850.htm
    • View Profile

Re: Understanding how to approach pixel art [ FEEDBACK ]

Reply #4 on: May 14, 2019, 03:06:20 pm
Scribbly, upload your art to Imgur and post the link generated under the BBCode section, like this:

In that way you won't need to wait for approval of attached files, as a matter of fact, try to not use that feature in this forums, takes way too long.

« Last Edit: May 14, 2019, 03:07:51 pm by SeinRuhe »

Offline scribblylines

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • scribblylines
    • View Profile

Re: Understanding how to approach pixel art [ FEEDBACK ]

Reply #5 on: May 16, 2019, 12:00:50 am
Scribbly, upload your art to Imgur and post the link generated under the BBCode section, like this:

In that way you won't need to wait for approval of attached files, as a matter of fact, try to not use that feature in this forums, takes way too long.

Thanks a lot!, I modified the first post, the images are viewable now!
Much appreciated SeinRuhe  :)
« Last Edit: May 16, 2019, 12:05:37 am by scribblylines »

Offline Kiana

  • Moderator
  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 87
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • Artist & Game Dev
    • kianamosser
    • View Profile
    • itch.io page

Re: Understanding how to approach pixel art [ FEEDBACK ]

Reply #6 on: May 16, 2019, 06:16:57 am
Sorry for the inconvenience - the attachments system isn’t used too frequently here so mods sometimes overlook approving them. Imgur is a good image host to use. Thanks to the users in this thread who helped out. :)

Honestly, I think your art looks pretty cool regardless of the specific rendering style. Content is ultimately more important than rendering in terms of what causes your audience to respond to your artwork. However, the way you choose to render something can add to (or detract from) the overall experience of what you’re creating. I think you should choose your direction based both on what you enjoy doing the most and based on what kind of experience you want your audience to have when looking at your art.

Having some degree of messiness or imperfection can give an energetic look, or an unnerving look, or a cool look, and so on! Having everything be pixel perfect can give the impression that the artwork is drawn at a higher resolution and “hide” the artist’s hand to help with immersion, and you can have greater precision in the details of your characters. A mixture can get anything in-between or create a totally new feeling. There’s no one right answer or even one single effect because there’s so much you can create even in a small canvas. I do think that context can matter a lot, too. If you put your sprites in an environment that matches them then your vision can be a lot more cohesive.

Ultimately, I think you should try to develop a clear vision of what it is that you want, so that you can make informed stylistic choices and decide if feedback you get gets you closer to or further from your goals.
To achieve mastery is not to be able to work without thinking; rather it is to have total control of one's choices.

Offline SeinRuhe

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 16
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • @SeinRuhe
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/127850.htm
    • View Profile

Re: Understanding how to approach pixel art [ FEEDBACK ]

Reply #7 on: May 17, 2019, 12:00:56 am
Scribbly, first of all, your artwork is great, so congratulations and keep the hard work.

From now I will talk from my experience, my vision of what pixel art is may be different from other people's vision, I respect that so feel free to take my advice if it work for you, If not, share your's with me!

To do the excersise I will borrow this piece of yours since it's easier to edit than the other character, pardon me If you don't like what I do with it.


  • The first thing that comes to my mind is that the color count is way too high (97 colors to be exact!), it contain colors that look almost exactly to other but not quite, from my experience that gives the impression that the piece is not finished.

  • The second thing to have in mind is shape clarity: How good defined are your shapes, even from the very beggining of your piece, if shapes are easy to read your piece will give the impression of being "Pixel Perfect"

  • Third, this one is merely personal taste but, avoid using outlines that are lighter than the local color, they tend to look out of place.

  • Lastly, MAKE YOUR OWN RULES! And beside making your own rules, stick to them unless you have a reason to break them. Having some rules and following them will make your pieces look consistent.

I took 15 minutes to edit the head of your character so you won't have to read this and try to figure out what it means:


Here are some characters of mine that follow simple rules: Really dark shadows, sel-out, being about 48 px tall and using a palette of mine.


Other example in a really small size where I try to give myself some rules and try to stick to them (Remember you can click the images to enlarge them):


I'm certainly not good at explaining stuff to other people but I hope this helps you at least a little bit, if you want to know anything specific feel free to ask!

Regards,

SeinRuhe


Offline scribblylines

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • scribblylines
    • View Profile

Re: Understanding how to approach pixel art [ FEEDBACK ]

Reply #8 on: May 17, 2019, 04:39:25 pm
Sorry for the inconvenience - the attachments system isn’t used too frequently here so mods sometimes overlook approving them. Imgur is a good image host to use. Thanks to the users in this thread who helped out. :)

Honestly, I think your art looks pretty cool regardless of the specific rendering style. Content is ultimately more important than rendering in terms of what causes your audience to respond to your artwork. However, the way you choose to render something can add to (or detract from) the overall experience of what you’re creating. I think you should choose your direction based both on what you enjoy doing the most and based on what kind of experience you want your audience to have when looking at your art.

Having some degree of messiness or imperfection can give an energetic look, or an unnerving look, or a cool look, and so on! Having everything be pixel perfect can give the impression that the artwork is drawn at a higher resolution and “hide” the artist’s hand to help with immersion, and you can have greater precision in the details of your characters. A mixture can get anything in-between or create a totally new feeling. There’s no one right answer or even one single effect because there’s so much you can create even in a small canvas. I do think that context can matter a lot, too. If you put your sprites in an environment that matches them then your vision can be a lot more cohesive.

Ultimately, I think you should try to develop a clear vision of what it is that you want, so that you can make informed stylistic choices and decide if feedback you get gets you closer to or further from your goals.

Ah fair enough, it's been a while since i used a forum xD imgur is really convenient; glad it was mentioned.
---
Thanks Kiana. I will definetly use the feedback to see how it can help push forward the development for my goals.
Since i'm working on a game, i do need to keep in mind the overall intentions and restraints for why i'm rendering the way i am, and to ensure it compliments the game.
I'm glad you mentioned this or i might have gone into a trigger happy rendering session without much thought of WHY lol. and that rabbit hole always leads me to back square one xD

Content and consistency between all the elements will be my main priority going forward, hopefully i wont lack awareness of this!
TY for the kind words of wisdom!

//btw d/l'd lootlookout xD! loved the art and concept, must've been a fun gamejam!



Scribbly, first of all, your artwork is great, so congratulations and keep the hard work.

From now I will talk from my experience, my vision of what pixel art is may be different from other people's vision, I respect that so feel free to take my advice if it work for you, If not, share your's with me!

To do the excersise I will borrow this piece of yours since it's easier to edit than the other character, pardon me If you don't like what I do with it.

I'm certainly not good at explaining stuff to other people but I hope this helps you at least a little bit, if you want to know anything specific feel free to ask!

Regards,

SeinRuhe

I appreciate that Sein, and will continue to do so :P

I've taken a lot from your advice and your sprites are awesome and so clean, theirs definitely a lot to learn from your methods! I too once wanted to be a pokemon trainer xD... But yeah, holy thanks for even putting in the effort to edit the picture, i'm grateful!

- never realised i had such a blurry high color pallette, Didn't even figure that to be something to pay attention to. But now, it will be. ( i think i managed to get the colour count to around 25 from like 100+ ...  :'( )
The limitation aspect of pixel art does make for some creative solutions that i'll try explore.

-I've always had a distinct idea of the style i'm after, but the techniques i used definitely lacked structure. Will make some design rules for myself after i figure out what they're through more practice/studies :P

I learnt a few things trying to apply your methods to a sprite of mine. But let me know if i missed any.

before

after


Offline Kiana

  • Moderator
  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 87
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • Artist & Game Dev
    • kianamosser
    • View Profile
    • itch.io page

Re: Understanding how to approach pixel art [ FEEDBACK ]

Reply #9 on: May 17, 2019, 11:44:42 pm
Thanks! It was challenging but a lot of fun. If you’ve never tried a game jam before I recommend doing one at least once! You learn so much about which parts of your workflow aren’t efficient, and you learn to solve creative problems quickly.

I definitely think it’s easy to lose sight of your goals or intentions while you’re making a game. It takes a lot of work and a lot of time! You can always have multiple passes of an asset or an area (time/budget allowing) in order to better incorporate your vision. I recommend writing your goals down on a sticky note and putting it on the border of your monitor or somewhere you look a lot to help remind you. You can have little notes on mood (ex. “solemn” or “energetic” or “cheerful”), style (ex. “no lineart” or “use pointy shapes”), technique (ex. “use clusters” or “make it messy” or “crosshatch all shadows”), or anything else that’s important (ex. “doing this for my mom!” or “make it fun!”). Something somewhat equivalent to this are mottos and core values. They’re usually just short catchy phrases for remembering something important.

By the way, that looks awesome. Love the energy!
To achieve mastery is not to be able to work without thinking; rather it is to have total control of one's choices.